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After being bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly, high school loser Rick Riker develop superhuman abilities like incredible strength and armored skin. Rick decides to use his new powers for good and becomes a costumed crime fighter known as "The Dragonfly." However, standing in the way of his destiny is the villainous Lou Landers. After an experiment gone wrong, Lou develops the power to steal a person's life force and in a dastardly quest for immortality becomes the supervillain, "The Hourglass." With unimaginable strength, unbelievable speed and deeply uncomfortable tights, will the Dragonfly be able to stop the sands of The Hourglass and save the world? More importantly, will we stop laughing long enough to notice?
For more about Superhero Movie and the Superhero Movie Blu-ray release, see Superhero Movie Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 21, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Director: Craig Mazin
Writer: Craig Mazin
Starring: Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Leslie Nielsen, Kevin Hart, Marion Ross
» See full cast & crew
Superhero Movie Blu-ray Review
'Superhero Movie' earns a few laughs but isn't a new Spoof classic.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 21, 2009
You may fail or you may fly, all that matters is that you do it for the best of reasons.
Finally, there is a new parody film without the infamous influence of the writer/director tandem of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, those responsible for the films that often find their way onto the Internet Movie Database's list of the 100 worst films as voted on by the users of that site. Nevertheless, Superhero Movie, written and directed by Craig Mazin (who does share a pair of writing credits with Friedberg and Seltzer for the last two Scary Movie films), shares many of the same angles, attributes, and absurdity as the most heinous of the Friedberg/Seltzer specials, including the critically panned and practically universally loathed Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie. So, how does Superhero Movie fare against the competition? Not too badly, thankfully. Unfortunately for Superhero Movie, however, most anything looks good against the duds heretofore named. Such a comparison is like judging a bad baseball team, say the Pittsburgh Pirates, based on a single spring exhibition game after beating the living daylights out of Manatee Community College. Things look bright for a brief period of time, but come July, the Pirates are back in the cellar, looking way up at the big boys. No, Superhero Movie is a pretty lackluster movie, but taken in the proper context, it's at least watchable and, most importantly, pretty funny in many places.
Taking its cues primarily from the first Spider-Man film, Superhero Movie follows the origins and early crime-fighting career of the Dragonfly, known better to the world as school nerd Rick Riker (Drake Bell). On a field trip, Rick is bitten by a genetically-enhanced dragonfly and soon discovers he possess improved reflexes, heightened strength, and the ability to scale walls. As he slowly morphs into a hero, he remains fixated on his crush, the beautiful Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton), receives "support" from his best friend, Trey (Kevin Hart), knowledge from his uncle, Albert (Leslie Nielsen), and help on how to be a better superhero from Professor Xavier (Tracy Morgan). Meanwhile, the diabolical and terminally ill Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald), CEO of Amalgamated Pharmaceuticals, searches for and discovers a cure to his disease, a cure that will result in the deaths of thousands of innocents. His plan in full effect, Landers dons his archenemies costume as the "Hourglass" and prepares to become an immortal at the expense of thousands -- and only Dragonfly can stop him.
Aside from the absence of the names Friendberg and Seltzer among the list of credits, Superhero Movie actually does feature one or two positives. Superhero Movie manages more genuine laughs over the opening credit sequence than Meet the Spartans earned in the entire length of the film. Yes, this film retains plenty of raw and crude toilet humor, with even the characters themselves often making a gag reflex in response to some of it, but it never sinks to the absolute lowest common denominator as do other recent parody movies. Even if it is hit-or-miss, the film does seem to have at least a passable grasp on comedy, occasionally offering a legitimate funny scene or line of dialogue, rather than randomly tossing movies and celebrities into a blender and pouring the results onto a reel of film. Sure, there is a mention of Britney Spears somewhere in the movie, and poor Stephen Hawking takes quite the beating here (though his scenes are arguably some of the funniest in the film), but most of the humor makes at least a slight bit of sense in the context of the narrative. Speaking of, Superhero Movie does indeed feature an actual plot. It's not all that strong of a plot, ripped directly from Spider-Man, with a touch of X-Men, Batman, and The Fantastic Four thrown in for support. Finally, Superhero Movie benefits greatly from the presence of comedian Leslie Nielsen, himself a longtime veteran of what is widely considered two of the better parodies around, The Naked Gun and Airplane!
Superhero Movie Blu-ray, Video Quality
Superhero Movie flexes its muscles on Blu-ray and showcases an impressive, but not at all memorable, 1080p high definition image, framed in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The film is colorful and bright, but the material never really pops off the screen. Detail is fairly high in foreground images, but the movie never looks all that film-like. Grain is a non-issue, present but barely visible from normal viewing distances. Flesh tones often veer towards the red end of the scale, and black levels are fine, neither truly dark and inky nor overly bright and gray. This is very average high definition material, looking nice at a glance, but never distinguishing itself at all from most other average discs. This is one that will be lost in the shuffle of high definition transfers, representing about the midline of what to expect out of Blu-ray, meaning it looks quite nice, a giant leap ahead of standard definition DVDs, but never really making any kind of visual impact to the beholder who has seen a fair share of Blu-ray transfers.
Superhero Movie Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Much like the video transfer described above, Superhero Movie's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack is fine, but definitely not memorable. The track is at times robust and room-filling, certainly exciting and satisfying from the very beginning as listeners hear the film's rather cheesy but passable superhero theme that spills out of every corner of the listening area. The score, and the mix in general, are emphasized up front, but features a fair share of support from the back. Bass booms in several instances (perhaps most disturbingly during an extended flatulence sequence), rattling the chest cavity and adding a bit of flair to the experience. There are also a few decent directional effects to be found scattered about the entire soundstage. Dialogue reproduction is clean and precise, never muffled, and delivered crisply through the center channel. While the overall track rates as "good," nothing about it really delivers a memorable experience.
Superhero Movie Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Superhero Movie comes to Blu-ray with a few bonus materials. First up is a commentary track with writer/director Craig Mazin and producers David Zucker and Robert K. Weiss. The track is far superior to the film, fun and breezy, offering plenty of background information on the film but in a friendly, easy-on-the-ears experience. It almost makes the movie worth watching a second time. Meet the Cast (480p, 11:14) showcases how the "inter-generational" cast came together, looking closely at the strengths each of the primaries brought to the film and the characters they portray therein. The Art of Spoofing (480p, 10:35) begins by looking back at the Spoof genre and moves into more specifics pertaining to what makes this particular film work. Also included is an alternate ending (480p, 5:15), 21 deleted scenes (480p, 10:42), and the film's theatrical trailer (480p, 2:08). Concluding the special features is BD-Live (Blu-ray profile 2.0) functionality. Currently, the BD-Live page features cast and crew profiles, a Superhero Movie photo gallery, movie clips, "The Superhero Movie Blu-ray Community," and trailers for additional Weinstein Blu-ray discs.
Superhero Movie Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Thankfully, Superhero Movie rises above the dregs of the modern-day Parody genre, but that doesn't necessarily make it one of the best Parody films around. The movie exudes sheer brilliance compared to Meet the Spartans, but what doesn't? This is still slightly below average entertainment that often relies on lewd and crude humor for its laughs, but the smattering of several genuine moments of levity and smart takes on the Superhero genre do allow it to stand with its head held a bit higher than the average, well, Disaster Movie. Weinstein unleashes Superhero Movie onto Blu-ray as a decent technical package. While both the picture and sound qualities are on par with the average Blu-ray release, never do they distinguish themselves in the least. The studio has also seen fit to provide several supplements to round out the package. Superhero Movie makes for a solid one-time rental, particularly for fans of the Superhero genre.
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• Today on Blu-ray - January 13 - January 13, 2009
After an exciting CES 2009 - drooling over the latest Blu-ray hardware and software advancements - we are back to reality: Blu-ray releases. The latest sales data indicates that for the week following Christmas, Blu-ray took a record 16% of the home media disc ...
• Superhero Movie Gets Blu-ray Date - October 29, 2008
The Weinstein Company has revealed that they will bring the latest in a (seemingly) never-ending stream of spoof movies, 'Superhero Movie', to Blu-ray on January 6th. Technical specs have yet to be announced for this title, and special features are expected to ...
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