Superhero Movie (2008) - Extended Edition

Genre(s): Action / Comedy
Dimension || Unrated - 82 minutes - $29.95 || July 8, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-06-27


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Craig Mazin
Writer(s): Craig Mazin (written by)
Cast: Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Leslie Nielson, Kevin Hart, Marion Ross, Ryan Hansen, Keith David, Brent Spiner, Robert Joy, Jeffrey Tambor


Theatrical Release Date: March 28, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Meet the Cast
  • The Art of Spoofing
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

And so it continues... and sadly this is probably the “better” of the bunch.

This “story” follows nerd Rick Riker, a teen whose parents were murdered by a mugger in an ally 9 years ago. His Uncle Albert (Nielson) and Aunt Lucille (Ross) take him in and while on a school field trip, he is bitten by a genetically-altered dragonfly. He wakes up the next day with new powers (super quick reflexes, impervious skin, etc) and decides that if he were to be a superhero, he needs a costume and thus he becomes “The Dragonfly”. His arch nemesis is Lou Landers (McDonald) who has a terminal illness. Landers has built a machine, though, that will extend his life, but when something goes wrong, he gains his own form of power: he can steal the life energy of everyone he touches! Through some calculations he finds that if he were to kill 4,000+ people, he would be immortal. Who shall stop his evil plan?

In my review for Meet the Spartans, I mentioned how I’ve come to loathe the skit-like comedy the Friedberg/Seltzer team has embraced and unleashed upon the masses. Superhero Movie doesn’t jump from one skit to the next, though there are a couple moments like when Rick goes to Professor Xavier’s (Morgan) “School for the Gifted” or Dragonfly runs into The Human Torch (Rex) on a rooftop. Other than that, it pretty sticks with the Spider-Man plotline they were trying to spoof. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily work much of the time.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh, but I did. There are actually a couple funny jokes but one running joke concerning Stephen Hawking didn’t work from the beginning and yet they continued to use it until the last frame. That bit alone lowers my score.

My other complaint concerns the cast. Yes, teen girl crush Drake Bell is at times funny and takes the tone of the Toby Maguire role just right, but at times he uses the confused/disgusted facial expressions far too often that it becomes not only repetitive, but worse yet for a comedy, just annoying (the rest of the case do variations of the confused/disgusted as well, but Bell is the most obvious). Bell is fine in the role, but he could’ve pitched down the expressions just a tad.

I will give this to Superhero Movie, they did manage to find an actress that probably is just as good and even more beautiful than the role she was spoofing. Sara Paxton is a lovely young actress and she plays the damsel in distress part pretty well – or as well as should be expected in this film.

I think however, the primary reason Superhero Movie doesn’t quite sink down to the levels of all those other “Movie” movies is because of that great and underappreciated Christopher McDonald. I liked the way to plays that Willem Dafoe villain with enough seriousness that it makes the jokes funnier and the film itself more tolerable (if ever so slightly). He too uses the confused/disgusted expressions, however unlike Bell, he doesn’t seem to overdo it.

Superhero Movie was written and directed by Craig Mazin. Mazin was writer behind Scary Movie 3 & 4 but he takes the directorial chair this time around with quickly fading comedy genius David Zucker serving as producer (still I do believe he had some input in the writing here as well). Missing from the collective group is Jim Abrahams. But fret not you Scary Movie fans, the fifth entry is coming soon to a theater near you, along with Friedberg/Seltzer’s Disaster Movie (how poetic).

In any case, Superhero Movie, by comparison, is a “better” film than the other recent spoof flicks, but it’s nowhere near the same level as Airplane! or the original Scary Movie (not to mention Hot Shots! or even Top Secret!).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The disc starts off with an amusing feature commentary that devolves into a tedious track. If you’ve listened to Craig Mazin, David Zucker and Robert K. Weiss on either of the Scary Movie commentaries, you get more of the same here. They do mention one scene put into this version that was excluded from the theatrical release, but that was the extent of what was added.

Next is an alternate ending (5:12) that features footage from the trailer (“Black Co... Rooster”) and a massive 21 deleted scenes (10:41), some of which were apparently features during the end credits in the film’s theatrical run (they’ve been removed for this “Extended Edition”).

Meet the Cast (11:11) and The Art of Spoofing (10:36) are the sets two featurettes that really are fairly basic. With “Meet the Cast” the actors and producers talk about each other and how wondering it is working with one another; “The Art of Spoofing” is just some behind-the-scenes footage overlaid with sound bites from various members of the cast and crew.

And finally, Dimension was kind enough to also include the theatrical trailer (2:15).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Well, sites like IMDb state the movie’s OAR is 1.85, but from what I could tell, it’s 1.78 on DVD. In any case, the picture looks good with crisp colors, though I did notice some dust or scratches at one time.

The disc sports an average Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. Honestly, do you really want anything else with a comedy? Didn’t think so.



.::OVERALL::.

Superhero Movie still doesn’t touch even the average spoof flicks (Spy Hard) and is far from the heights of Airplane! or Scary Movie. It’s a little better than Friedberg/Seltzer’s shitfests but that’s not saying very much. The film does feature a few funny jokes but also resorts to typical potty humor that this film didn’t really need other than to pad its already paltry 82-minute running time.