Tag Archives: schadenfreude

Superman III 4.2: It Was Ilya’s Other Idea

So, let’s say you’re a Salkind. You’ve been producing movies for your father for ten years now, including some of The Three Musketeers and a couple of Superman movies, but people still think that you’re just a money guy — specifically, your dad’s money guy.

But you’ve been working in the same building as creative people for so long, you’ve started to hallucinate that you’re a creative contributor as well. Since nobody has any idea what to do with Superman III, you sit down at the typewriter and write an eight-page treatment, which you send to the Warner Brothers and ask them for millions of dollars so you can make it.

In the years to come, you’ll tell people that Warner Bros thought it was too “sci-fi”, and too embedded in Superman lore. That is not the reason Warner Bros rejected your treatment. They rejected it because they were grown-ups who read movie treatments for a living, and yours is bugfuck insane.

Continue reading Superman III 4.2: It Was Ilya’s Other Idea

Swamp Thing 3.16: Suiting Up

I suppose that now is as good a time as any to start assigning blame.

We’re currently thirty minutes into a ninety-minute Swamp Thing movie, which means it’s time for them to stop dicking around with opossums and go ahead and show us Swamp Thing. So here he is in long shot, emerging from the mire to bang on a boat, and save the day.

You don’t see a lot of him, right away. A muscular green arm grabs the bad guy’s head, and throws him off the boat. Then there’s a shot of the monster hitting the boat and turning it over, and then we see him from behind, carrying an unconscious Cable out of the danger zone.

So you know how sometimes in monster movies you only get to see little pieces of the monster — a fang, a claw, a tentacle or two — because they want to save the thrilling reveal for later in the film? Yeah, that’s not what’s happening right now.

This isn’t whetting our appetite. It’s managing our expectations.

Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.16: Suiting Up

The New Mutants 86.1: Control Control Control Control Control and Control

So now I’ve got a new hobby/mission in life, which is to get really drunk and trash-talk all the terrible non-MCU Marvel movies on the film podcast The Signal Watch. In the latest episode, host Ryan Steans and I venture into the spooky haunted hospital of The New Mutants, the 2020 X-Men movie that you keep wondering if you should get around to watching at some point.

This is the story of five X-Teens trapped in a sinister prison orphanage mental hospital, unable to escape despite the fact that they are magnificent supermutants who could easily use their powers to wreck the place and run away. It’s the film that dares to tell the truth about how many bears there are inside you, and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to not do whatever the hell the spooky doctor who runs the institution is trying to achieve.

This movie has everything, including scolding therapy, hand puppets, lesbian romance, tambourines, a breathtakingly gorgeous naked dude, solitary confinement that looks exactly like their regular confinement, an inefficient email system, a guy who won’t shut up about working in the mines with his dad, and a cast of six annoying characters who fail at literally everything that they try to do.

Continue reading The New Mutants 86.1: Control Control Control Control Control and Control

The Fantastic Four 60.1: Fun with the Fantastic Four, part 2

In the first half of my Fantastic Four adventure on The Signal Watch Podcast, we discussed the 2005 Fantastic Four movie, and here in Part 2, we talk about the 2015 reboot, which is seriously just as bad as everybody said it was.

This objectively terrible movie shows the FF as nobody wanted to see them: deeply unhappy government assets, who are locked up in a secret underground bunker and despise each other.

But you can sit back and enjoy the schadenfreude as Ryan and I tear apart all of the decisions that director Josh Trank and the incompetent studio execs made, as they desperately tried to land this film. Body horror! A completely unnecessary CGI chimp! Finding a clearly dangerous and unstable form of energy in an unknown dimension, and sticking your hand in it! And the two words you must never say to anyone who has seen this movie: Pattern recognition!

Continue reading The Fantastic Four 60.1: Fun with the Fantastic Four, part 2