Earlier today I saw probably the more popular of the two super hero movie‘s Kick Ass (2010) which saw a teenager take on crime as a superhero. Tonight I see another take on the same idea with a thirty something who becomes a super hero Super (2010). They are both very different beasts. A part of me is preferring the lower budget film which I’ve just viewed. Both equally as funny, maybe Kick Ass more so. The violence in Super is not hidden from view as much as it is sensationalized for effect, which works for it too.
However when Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson) a seemingly quiet married man discovers his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) has left him, his world falls a part. Learning that she is with gangster Jacques (Kevin Bacon) Frank will stop at nothing to save his wife, who he first reported stolen to the police, a sweet and innocent gesture.
Finding solace in a Christian T.V. channel where superheroes use the word of god to defeat the devil. This simplistic programme resonates with Frank who also has a disturbing “vision” which tells him to fight crime in the guise of a superhero. Of course before he can really fight crime he needs to do his research, which includes being an undercover student looking into drug dealing. Having more success at a comic book store where Libby (Ellen Page) is on hand to assist him. Playing her usual kooky role that overtime gets rather annoying, with all her knowledge and enthusiasm.
And so The Crimson Bolt is born, first trying to beat criminals up, before turning to a wrench to wreak havoc in the crime world. It feels more real and disturbing, seeing real people being attacked and even bludgeoned to near death. It seems that The Crimson Bolt is on a one man crime-wave, kept free from his own justice by wearing his own red costume. The laughs are light, which eases the violence, not helped by the zaniness of Page who jumps onto the scene when she works out that Frank is indeed The Crimson Bolt wanting to join him in his fight on crime, with the aim to rescue his wife. Taking on the guise of Boltie (the best of a bad bunch of names she comes up with. She’s so enthusiastic that she gets carried away with almost killing people, which wasn’t Frank’s real aim. She’s too excited, having read so many comics she forgets that if these super heroes existed they would cause havoc which is discussed more in The Incredibles (2004). She is wrapped up the the world of costumes, even to the point of practically raping Frank until he just gives in.
In places this is a gruesome film, with a christian message to do good, yet I’m sure violence isn’t the answer. As in other films the public become aware of his activities, they get on his side when they learn who he is attacking. The comedy is sometimes too light to really be effective, leaving Wilson who is breaking away from The Office to try other things out. He fits the unattractive guy, having the weird looks. At the heart of this is a woman who is a recovering addict who is thrown back into that world, and Frank wants to rescue her, that’s what gives this film a strong sentiment, I’d just hate to be around when everything kicks off.
- Not So Super (reviewerdiscretion.wordpress.com)
- Super Review (fangirlsarewe.com)
- Super (flikgeek.wordpress.com)
- Super Vs. Kick-Ass and the Art of Superhero Deconstruction (thezeitgest.wordpress.com)
- Kick-Ass (2010) (rantbit.wordpress.com)
I always enjoy a 1950′s socially aware film, usually from the likes of Nicholas Ray, the high contrast colour schemes, the “shocking” behaviour of the characters who are breaking the mould of what society expects of them, being more relevant to then day.
Set just over a day in a rural Kansas town over Liberty Day we see a group of people from all different backgrounds celebrate the national holiday Picnic (1955) could just have been a drab film that sees the all American family have a good time, doesn’t make much for a film, you could just go to a park when the sun is out and see that happening. Instead an old college friend Hal Carter (William Holden) of resident in town, hoping to get a job and go up in the world. He encounters more than he hoped for. Meeting a girl who is in the prime of her life, being courted by the most eligible bachelor in town Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson) who he Carter went to college with. Always wooing her, there’s something between him and Marjorie ‘Madge’ Owens (Kim Novak) yet something is missing, that spark that makes things just happen between them.
A female dominated film, most of them living in a house with rooms to rent, becoming a home for “old maids” one of which is set in her ways but ready for a change if the right man comes along, which could be Howard Bevans (Arthur O’Connell) for school teacher Rosemary (Rosalind Russell). It’s an ensemble piece, even if Holden received top billing, he doesn’t hog the screen as others may have. Instead there is a chance for all to grow as people, understanding the path they must make in life over the space of a national holiday. Two men fighting over a woman who wants to be seen as more than just an object of desire. Her younger sister Millie Owens (Susan Strasberg) who is always competing with her, the pressure to be more feminine, as though her intelligence could hold her back.
It seems those who are in the grip of overwhelming change those on the sidelines see things different, such as the girls mother Flo Owens (Betty Field) who can only see her financial future, not her oldest future, the here and now, how she feels, not just what maybe best. Whilst older neighbour Helen Potts (Verna Felton) who was first to meet the handsome college graduate and stranger in town, sees a man who has lacked in her life, and can see the difference he makes the Madge’s life. It seems society is starting to loosen up to who parents approve of for the children to be with, that background and stability is not for everyone, that you shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover” and go more with gut feeling instead.
The colours are not cranked up, instead the telling of the plot over the course of the day is the radical film-making, that see all these people’s lives cross over a normal holiday, that is so engrained in the nation’s culture, that people can fall in love with others partners, that you can get drunk and say more than you mean. It happens so why not depict it.
- Movie Review: Picnic (1955) (prettycleverfilms.com)
- Auntie Mame (1958) (campycritic.com)
- Sultry Susan Strasberg (famousdames.wordpress.com)
The first and probably major part of the Ghost Dance project which is slowly coming to a close, I spent the day adding the soundtrack which took a while to settle on, getting the right sound and the fit for it to flow. A few pieces had to be moved around for that too. I added either side pieces of film soundtrack, which really raise the piece to another level. I’m really happy with it. Next I will be working on the gunfight on the rocks which will be really fun.