Kevin Michael Richardson

Catwoman (2011, Lauren Montgomery)

So in the mind of writer Paul Dini, human traffickers take women from the United States and ship them overseas. I really hope he’s not heading a commission for the U.N., because that situation isn’t accurate.

Catwoman opens, in an attempt to show just how grown up DC’s cartoons are, in a strip club. I wonder how many parents are going to buy this movie for their kids and then realize the filmmakers think mature storytelling means pornographic implications.

Sadly, director Montgomery is excellent. Though Catwoman’s really silly—she swings around on a whip, doing Spider-Man stunts—the direction is amazing. Until the final shot, which is too goofy, there’s not a single false moment.

The cartoon’s fast, which is nice, but can’t disguise the mediocre voice acting.

Eliza Dushku is okay (nothing more) as Catwoman, but John DiMaggio’s weak as the villain.

Besides the writing, it’s essentially competent.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Produced and directed by Lauren Montgomery; screenplay by Paul Dini, based on the character created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane; edited by Margaret Hou; music by Christopher Drake; released by Warner Premiere.

Starring Eliza Dushku (Catwoman), John DiMaggio (Rough Cut), Kevin Michael Richardson (Moe) and Liliana Mumy (Holly).


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Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010, Joaquim Dos Santos)

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam is not particularly good. It has a lot of problems, which I’ll enumerate, but it also has a lot of undeniable strengths.

I’ll start with those….

I mean, it’s got James Garner voicing an old wizard. That casting alone makes it worth some kind of look.

And Dos Santos conceives some good action sequences (they’re all based on Superman and Superman II), but set to the delicate electronic score, they work.

Unfortunately, the writing’s weak. Michael Jelenic is fine on dialogue, but the plotting is dumb (why is a thirteen year-old living alone—who pays rent, buys groceries?).

Additionally, there’s some terrible CG and acting. Arnold Vosloo does a Bela Lugosi impression and George Newbern’s a weak Superman.

Plus, the end is—from Superman II again—a superhero beating up a regular person for kicks.

Still, it only runs twenty-five minutes….

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos; screenplay by Michael Jelenic, based on DC Comics characters created by Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, C.C. Beck and Bill Parker; edited by Margaret Hou; music by Benjamin Wynn and Jeremy Zuckerman; produced by Bobbie Page and Dos Santos; released by Warner Premiere.

Starring George Newbern (Superman / Clark Kent), Jerry O’Connell (Captain Marvel), Arnold Vosloo (Black Adam), Zach Callison (Billy Batson), Josh Keaton (Punk), Kevin Michael Richardson (Mister Tawky Tawny), Danica McKellar (Sally) and James Garner (Shazam).


Planet Hulk (2010, Sam Liu)

I think the only reason I liked this one is because it’s incredibly harsh (no pun). Not only do they have one character–while thirteen years old–killing her parents (after they’re turned into zombies) on screen, she then kills her little brother, now a zombie too (off screen), and later having a little kid die in her arms after a nuclear explosion. It’s horrifying.

Planet Hulk runs about seventy minutes (you know, so the producers can sell it to kids television and make three easily installments) and those scenes I mentioned above hit around the fifty minute mark. Maybe five minutes sooner. Well, maybe even more for the flashback, but they aren’t in the first arc. It basically doesn’t have a first act, instead it just starts (it’s adapted from a comic book and they leave off the first arc near as I can tell).

It’s low-grade and ugly. I guess Marvel teamed with Lionsgate to produce animated movies on the cheap–the no-name cast (apparently Canadian) doesn’t help. The worst performance is probably Rick D. Wasserman as the Hulk. They should have gotten Lou Ferrigno. The best are Kevin Michael Richardson and Sam Vincent.

It’s a big dumb sci-fi movie. At its worst, it reminds of a Star Wars prequel (the comic book source character, removed from that medium, really don’t make a difference here); at its best, it provides for a decent diversion. The writing’s nearly strong at times.

Terrible opening though, just awful.

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by Sam Liu; screenplay by Greg Johnson, based on a story by Johnson, Craig Kyle and Joshua Fine and on the Marvel comic book by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan and the Marvel comic book character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby; edited by George Rizkallah; music by Guy Michelmore; produced by Frank Paur; released by Lionsgate.

Starring Rick D. Wasserman (Hulk), Lisa Ann Beley (Caiera), Mark Hildreth (Red King), Liam O’Brien (Hiroim), Kevin Michael Richardson (Korg), Samuel Vincent (Miek), Advah Soudack (Elloe Kaifi), Michael Kopsa (Lavin Skee), Paul Dobson (Beta Ray Bill) and Marc Worden (Iron Man).


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