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Superhero Movie - DVD Review

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Before I begin to tear this film a new one, let's take a moment to get something out of the way. Humor is a very individualistic thing, and it would be remiss of this reviewer not to concede that ‘football in the groin' type humor, that has sustained shows like ‘Funniest Home Video' and the like, doesn't have a mass audience they wouldn't have been on TV since Jesus was a baby otherwise.

Hell, I am not above a chuckle seeing some hapless dope come a cropper into some painfully sudden stop on an unforgiving surface. Sometimes I feel guilty for the smirk on my face, but if it's funny to you, then it's funny no deeper examination needed than that. Stuff the upper-crusts who don't the simple pleasures of someone falling on their ass.

Like these type of shows, ‘Scary Movie' started something of a new tradition about a decade ago: the resurgence of the spoof movie. And some of them haven't been bad at all (in fact my favourite is the almost universally hated ‘Scary Movie 2' ‘The Exorcist' bit at the front strikes me funny every time.) But like a knife stabbed through so many grifters... eventually the effect dulls some... or a lot. Like a virus, clogging your pores to the brink, we have had no less than 5 in the last year! And they must be making money, ‘cause there's more on the way. ‘Superhero Movie' is the latest.

Superhero MovieTo their credit, the makers do actually attempt to provide a coherent story and limit their lampooning to fewer films to accomplish this. However, that pesky little incidental portion of the flick humor is where things start to become unbearable... and with each and every succeeding â"Insert Genre-Movie," the joke well seems to be running oh-so dry.

‘Superhero Movie' tells the origin of The Dragonfly; a bad photo-copy of Peter-Parker/Spider-man, who is bitten by a genetically engineered... you guys are smart, you're ahead of me already, aren't you? His nemesis is a crazed scientist (is there any other kind?) with a terminal illness, who figures out a way to suck the life force out of folk and buy himself more time. Between trying to win the heart of his hottie next door neighbour, and running through the ‘Spider-man' plot like a Paint By Numbers, The Dragonfly learns to believe in himself and become the hero he doubted he could be.

In an hour and a half, the film managed to create a grin on this reviewer's face about three times; I chuckled once. For a film that has Leslie Nielson (I grant you this is becoming a mute point) Christopher McDonald (Shooter from ‘Happy Gilmore') and even Mrs Cunningham (Marion Ross) from ‘Happy Days' hamming things up, there should have been some chance for laughs by accident... but alas not.

The film's production values are great, but without the scope of the films they are trying to rib but you can't expect a studio to shell out $250 million for a spoof to play out on a broader canvass. The result though is less effective ignoring the fact it's not funny - than the ‘Scary Movie' series. Horror films are made on lower budgets, so a spoof can ridicule things a lot closer to the bone. I suspect the upcoming ‘Disaster Movie' will suffer from the same limitation.

Wrapping things up, this reviewer is not going to stand-on some unfounded pillar of superiority, lamenting the degradation of our society and blaming the mass appeal of puerile humor. I like being puerile all I ask for is a laugh... 'Superhero Movie' just doesn't deliver one... oh, and of course, there's a sequel coming.

Component Grades
1 Star
3 Stars
DVD Experience
2 stars


DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English; Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access..

* Commentary
o Feature-length commentary track with writer/director Craig Mazin and Producers David Zucker and Robert Weiss
* Deleted Scenes
* Alternate Ending
* Featurettes:
o Meet the Cast
o The Art of Spoofing
* Previews - Original theatrical trailer

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging


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