The B-Movie Bungalow Presents: Ghost Shark (2013)

Griff Furst

Mackenzie Rosman - Ava Conte
Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis - Blaise Shaw
Sloane Coe - Cicely
Jaren Mitchell - Cameron
Richard Moll - Finch
Lucky Johnson - Mayor Glen
Tim Taylor - Deputy Hendricks

Genre - Horror/Thriller/Bad Animals/Supernatural/Sharks/Ghosts

Running Time - 95 Minutes

Some father and daughter fishing team are having a contest for cash. However, a great white shark bites the prize fish in half before it's reeled in. Obviously, the father and daughter team are upset by this and decide to shoot the shark with a crossbow. Then after dumping hot sauce over the shark, the daughter tosses a grenade into the shark's mouth. The shark survives the grenade, making its way to a cave where it dies. However, the cave seems to have supernatural properties that bring the shark to life - as a ghost! Now pissed off and able to survive within any form of water, the shark plans on dishing revenge on those who murdered it and the town nearby.

GHOST SHARK is the latest SyFy feature that unfortunately had to follow up one of Summer's biggest pop culture phenomenons, SHARKNADO. And while it doesn't even come close to the epicness of SHARKNADO, GHOST SHARK is still a pretty entertaining time for the most part.

- Screenplay: When you sit down and watch a movie called GHOST SHARK, you're not really preparing yourself to dive into the screenwriting of said piece. After all, you're not expecting award winning writing for a movie that's basically about the spirit of a vengeful ghost shark attacking stupid characters in a variety of ways. The writing is pretty silly and mediocre. The characters are all stereotypical without much of a personality. The only real thing the script has going for it is when the shark randomly pops up to murder people from different water areas. And while those scenes are entertaining as hell, it's the scenes where there needs to be drama, exposition, and character development that suffer.

I'm not going to totally tear GHOST SHARK apart for having an extremely cliche B-movie killer shark script. But it would be nice if the storytelling rose above that somewhat. Add in a twist to change the predictable script into something more memorable. Give the main characters a bit of depth, so we can believe that this situation is a threat to their survival. Watching most of these characters have fun at a pool party hours after one of their best friends is murdered by this ghost shark isn't believable in any sort of sense. It's like that moment in SLAUGHTER HIGH, where the girlfriend [whose boyfriend exploded after that can of beer] chooses between grieving or taking a bath. Guess which one she chose? I have no sympathy for characters like that! Make the situation surreal, while keeping the characters somewhat in reality. It's not too hard.

Hell, two of the main characters' dad is murdered by this shark in the opening scene. Yet, they seem indifferent to his death, even though they want to stop the shark. Why should I care about their goal if they don't properly react to their motivation? And even as people died around them, they barely felt bad. Maybe this shark was doing the right thing in getting revenge on this town after all!

As for the explanation of why the shark was turned into a ghost to begin with - it's just a muddled mess. I guess the cave has history with magic or voodoo or something. And one of the characters doesn't want the cave to be destroyed [which would destroy the shark] because his wife died and doesn't want to lose her again - or some shit like that. I didn't really care enough about the characters to really pay attention. I just wanted to see this Ghost Shark do some damage.

GHOST SHARK doesn't have a terrible script. But besides what's done with the shark [the only real highlights of the film, story-wise], it's pretty much been-there-done-that-executed-better. But I've seen worse storytelling in my time.

Direction: The direction by Griff Furst is probably the highlight of the story. While the visuals won't set the world on fire, at least Furst seems competent enough to visualize a silly piece of fluff into something memorable and entertaining. The picture quality is what you would expect out of a SyFy feature, which is pretty decent. The pacing was good - that tends to happen when characters don't react to much around them. I thought the special effect for the ghost shark was actually not that bad. It looked silly, but I was glad it was silly. It stood out and made me laugh. And the violent moments had style and were shot well. I thought Furst did a commendable job with a dumb flick. I honestly had no issue with the visual presentation for what it was.

Acting: The acting, however, wasn't the greatest in the world. Some actors were way over-the-top. Some actors went to the same school as Kristen Stewart. I wasn't expecting great acting in a film called GHOST SHARK, but it could have been better!

Most of the actors were pretty bland, but some stood out more than others. Mackenzie Rosman, who played the youngest daughter on 7th Heaven, did nothing for me as Ava. While she grew up into a hot looking woman, her acting is only a step above Kristen Stewart's. Rosman doesn't really emote as much as you'd want her to, pretty much having a serious face the entire runtime. At least have fun with your role!

Lucky Johnson, as Mayor Glen, was the total opposite. He was so over-the-top in his performance, that he actually annoyed me. It also didn't help that Mayor Glen was probably the most unlikeable character in the film. I wanted the shark to eat this guy the moment he opened his mouth. I wasn't convinced by his performance, even by B-movie standards.

The best actor, by default, was probably Night Court's Richard Moll. He was hammy at times, but at least he showed some passion in his role as crazy guy Finch. At least someone in the film was enjoying himself.

GHOST SHARK is a pretty violent film, using a lot of CGI brutality that will probably make you chuckle. This Ghost Shark really enjoys munching on living folk. The shark usually favors chomping someone right in half, where only the bottom half is uneaten. Also, we get decapitations and chewed off limbs. The coolest violent moment was when some dude drank a cup of water [which the Ghost Shark had mysteriously entered] and the shark rips the dude open in half. Even a few children get killed by this shark! Just a lot of CGI bloodshed and brutality by this one dead shark. Highly entertaining stuff.

Other than hot girls in bikinis and some shirtless dudes, not much sex going on here.

While nowhere near the level of SHARKNADO, GHOST SHARK does have really bizarre moments that only made me enjoy the film probably more than I had wanted to. Not only does this shark have the ability to travel within the ocean, but it can travel through any water source. If you're swimming in a pool, that shark could come out of nowhere and eat you. Have a busted pipe? Expect to be sucked through it by the shark. Car wash? Better wear your best bikini because you're gonna die in it. Watch out for that shark mouth while you slip and slide. And not even an umbrella will save you from the rainy weather, as the shark will rain down on you and swallow you whole. And don't bother drinking that cup of water. That shark will just rip you into two. All these moments had me laughing throughout the film. Extremely silly and highly illogical, but fun times nevertheless.


- A fisherman and his daughter murdered a great white shark for killing a prize winning fish that was worth $30,000. Maybe Lil' Kim should consider the same with her plastic surgeon.

- The token overweight guy got eaten in a swimming pool by the Ghost Shark. He really is The Biggest Loser!

- A plumber got sucked through a kitchen sink pipe by the Ghost Shark. Too bad the Princess is in another castle.

- A little kid got eaten by the Ghost Shark will on a slip-and-slide. Man, that's a slick way to end someone.

- Cicely was attacked by the Ghost Shark while relaxing in her bathtub. Freddy Krueger saw that and said, "Bitch, been there and done that!"

- Some dude got ripped in half by the Ghost Shark after drinking from the water cooler. Montezuma's Revenge - DAMN!

- The Ghost Shark enjoyed munching on the Deputy. It's true - everyone does love bacon.

- The Ghost Shark really wanted a piece of Ava. After seeing how hot she grew up to be, that shark must have been in 7th Heaven!

While no SHARKNADO, GHOST SHARK still managed to be a fun time whenever the title character would make its presence. The violence was way over the top, which made the film a lot more entertaining. The direction wasn't that bad. And the film had enough moments that will remain memorable until the next B-movie shark film is released. What other movie can give you a man being ripped in half just by drinking a cup of water that possesses the spirit of a dead, vengeful shark? Too bad the drama wasn't there and the acting was deader than the shark. Still, GHOST SHARK entertained me for the most part and that's all I really wanted from this film. So a mild success, I guess.

2.5 Howls Outta 4


Press Release: Agent 88 [Web Series]

Full Moon Reviews has received some information about an upcoming web series called AGENT 88. And after watching an episode in a private screening, I have to say that this is a web series you guys should definitely keep an eye on.

Here's some information on AGENT 88:

“Kay Darcy is the octogenarian Jackie Chan.”  – The LA Times

Meet the Creative Team: 

Digger T. Mesch (Ultraviolet, X-Men: Dark Tide, Gears of War)
Joseph Gatt (Game of Thrones, Banshee, Star Trek into Darkness, Thor)
Jan Upstein (Pumpkinhead, Snake Plissken Chronicles)
Kevin Eastman  (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heavy Metal Magazine)

Agent 88 is the world’s deadliest assassin... an 88-year-old British woman on the verge of Alzheimer’s.

An eclectic cocktail of Kill Bill, 007, and Mr. Magoo, AGENT 88 is a dark, action comedy that meshes wry wit with cutting-edge martial arts action, slick visual effects and the conviction that... killing just gets better with age. She may suffer from the occasional bout of forgetfulness but this geriatric killing machine is as proficient with a bazooka as she is lucky at bingo.  

As I mentioned, I watched an episode of AGENT 88. And honestly... I thought it was very, very cool. The direction had a ton of style. The blue hue that tints the picture makes some of the other colors pop out and look vivid. It's shot on digital and looks great. The action sequences are choreographed expertly well, directed in exciting angles that exhance the fight scenes. We get some MATRIX moments, as well as a Batman TV show inspired words after someone gets hit. Watching an elderly lady beat the crap out of bad guys is just so hilarious, yet awesome at the same time.

Speaking of the elderly lady, actress Kay Darcy is just incredible in the role. She's one half Mary Poppins, one half The Bride from KILL BILL. Her British accent brings out an aura of class, politeness, and sweetness that goes against the fact that she can kick butt better than anyone half her age. With sharp hair pins, battle sticks that double for handles for her water, and a durability that I don't even have, this is one badass old lady. Darcy plays the role really well.

I honestly hope to see AGENT 88 gain more exposure, because this could be a great extremely popular web series due to its novelty and style. Definitely be on the lookout for AGENT 88.

Entertainment Weekly Online coverage
LA Times: Martial Arts Action Hero Article


You're Next (2013)

Adam Wingard

Sharni Vinson - Erin
Nicholas Tucci - Felix Davison
Wendy Glenn - Zee
A.J. Bowen - Crispian Davison
Joe Swanberg - Drake Davison
Barbara Crampton - Aubrey Davison
Rob Moran - Paul Davison
Margaret Laney - Kelly
Amy Seimetz - Aimee Davison
Ti West - Tariq

Genre - Horror/Home Invasion

Running Time - 95 Minutes

Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davison (Barbara Crampton) are having their 35th wedding anniversary at a isolated mansion in the country. The couple have invited their four grown children - Drake (Joe Swanberg), Crispian (A.J. Bowen), Aimee (Amy Seimetz), and Felix (Nicholas Tucci) - and their loved ones to celebrate the event with them. However, the Davison family are dysfunctional and pretty much bicker and argue the moment they all gather together at the dinner table. However, it stops when Aimee's boyfriend (Ti West) is shot through the window with an arrow to the head. Confused and scared, the family and loved ones encounter a trio of masked killers [a lamb, a tiger, and a fox] who trap them inside the mansion to kill them all one-by-one. While many of them argue what's the best plan for survival, Crispian's former student and now girlfriend, Erin (Sharni Vinson), may be the family's secret weapon in making sure most of them come out of this situation alive.

YOU'RE NEXT, a film that's been waiting for a worldwide release since 2011, is probably the best home invasion film I've seen in quite a while. It's great when the trailers don't give you too much that spoil the experience for you, as YOU'RE NEXT is a film people ought to go into without much knowledge about it. It's also a hard film to really review in detail, since I would be giving away certain plot devices that lead into the twist at the end. So I'm gonna make this review as short and to the point as possible.

I did enjoy the screenplay by Simon Barrett. There was humor that the trailer doesn't really show, and at times YOU'RE NEXT tries to be somewhat a horror-comedy. Not all the humor works, but I did laugh a few times at the dialogue and how the characters handled themselves through the terrifying situation.

But Barrett has to be applauded for writing characters that felt real. What I mean is that not everyone falls into the horror stereotype. While some of the characters react stupidly, like running away from the group to save themselves, they aren't stupid people. Most of them actually take the time to figure out the situation through their confusion, trying to come up with ways to maximize their potential survival. Not all the plans work, obviously, but at least these characters are smart enough to stop panicking and analyze what's going on. That's not to say that the characters are all that likeable. In fact, maybe three of them come across as people you would root for, while the others you would care less if they lived or not. But I actually liked that, since it made the situation realistic. These characters have issues with each other and it sometimes works against them here. Not everyone in a group is going to be someone you like. You're going to have a jerk or two in there - one that will probably try and cost you your life in order to save theirs. It's just human nature, unfortunately. But it's no surprise that the smartest, more active one in the group is the one who survives the longest. And this person is treated like a total badass, which I loved. I kept rooting for this person because he/she would have handled things like I would. So Barrett did write some great characters in here, who all feel different from the other, and have their reasons as to why they behave the way they do.

I also found the twist believable as well. YOU'RE NEXT starts out kind of slow, but it's done to set up the dynamics of the situation and the characters involved. And because of this build up, it makes the mystery of the masked killers feel genuine. Unlike THE STRANGERS, where the characters doing the invading had no clear motivation [which made things creepier, to be honest], the masked killers in YOU'RE NEXT are clearly here for a specific reason. And by the end of it, you realize that something like this is probably possible in reality. I won't spoil the twist, but I liked it and thought it added to some humorous moments once it was revealed right before the final act.

Honestly, I think the best part of YOU'RE NEXT is just the feeling that anyone could invade our own personal lives in such a violent manner. There's a reason why these home invasion films work as well as they usually do - it plays on our fears of privacy and safety. If this sort of thing ever happened to me, I'd probably act like some of these characters as well. Will my fear take over? Will I be able to come up with some sort of plan that could help me live a while longer? Can I stop these invaders before they stop me? This situation has happened and will happen again. I'm glad some of these characters actually took the time to breathe and make decisions that were more right than wrong. That human instinct of "fight or flight" will always kick in, but I'm hoping I'll be a fighter like a certain character instead of fleeing like some of the others.

YOU'RE NEXT is a pretty brutal film, but it's not shockingly gory. And I'm kind of glad it turned out that way. I don't need to see guts and tons of blood to make me feel tense about what I'm watching. The violence in the film does that plenty. And we get a ton of people attacking with weapons, such as arrows, knives, cleavers, and blunt objects that result in people getting bludgeoned to death. We also get a booby trap to a door that results in an axe to the face. I think the best violent moment was towards the end, where one of the characters battles two killers in the kitchen of the house. YOU'RE NEXT is a thrilling survival film, especially during the last half of the movie. I was definitely cheering in my seat.

My only major gripe with YOU'RE NEXT would be with the camera work by Adam Wingard. I thought his direction was fine. The shot scales and compositions were good. The editing was tight. The jump scares were pretty effective, especially with those creepy animal masks. YOU'RE NEXT is a low budget film, but I thought the way the setting was used and how the picture looked was great. There are definite tense and suspenseful moments that raise your blood pressure a bit.

However, Wingard LOVES to use the shaky-cam effect to no end. And man, did it bother me. I get that you want to shake the camera during intense situations to create an effect for the audience. But it distracted me more than make me feel something for the scene itself. It got to the point where I kept saying, "I get it. I get it. Can you put the camera on a tripod now?" It was a bit overwhelming for me. Some shaky cam is fine. But watching a movie that looks like it's being filmed during an earthquake isn't a pleasant visual experience. Other than that, I was fine with the rest of the visuals.

The acting was also quite strong. A.J. Bowen is becoming quite the popular horror actor these days, doing very well as Crispian. Director Joe Swanberg is pretty perfect as the prick and judgmental brother, Drake. Nicholas Tucci plays the mysterious Felix well. Rob Moran is one of the better actors as the low-key patriarch, Rob. I really liked his performance, as he kept himself grounded throughout the turmoil. Always a pleasure to see Barbara Crampton in anything, and she was wonderful as the fragile matriarch, Aubrey. But the real star of YOU'RE NEXT is Australian actress Sharni Vinson as Erin. Just a breakthrough performance, as Vinson was super convincing as this intelligent, strong woman who would not let anybody hurt her or the people who could soon be her family. The entire last half of the film belongs to her, as she carries the movie without a struggle. I definitely want to see more of her.


YOU'RE NEXT continues a very strong year for horror. It's not perfect, but it comes pretty close as one of the best home invasion films I've seen. Strong performances [especially by Sharni Vinson], very direction, and a smart and sometimes humorous script that highlights the film's intense brutality. While the film probably did make more than its budget back, it's a shame it didn't do better at the box office this weekend. It's a pleasant summer movie surprise that we need more of.

3.5 Howls Outta 4


The Last Shark [a.k.a. Great White] (1981)

Enzo G. Castellari

James Franciscus - Peter Benton
Vic Morrow - Ron Hamer
Micaela Pignatelli - Gloria Benton
Joshua Sinclair - Governor William Wells
Giancarlo Prete - Bob Martin
Stefania Girolami Goodwin - Jenny Benton

Genre - Horror/Thriller/Bad Animals/Sharks

Running Time - 88 Minutes

Port Harbor is an ideal little town by the coast that's made for beach activities. As a matter of fact, Governor William Wells (Joshua Sinclair) plans on having an annual regalia that consists of tourist attractions and teenage wind-surfing. However, this tradition is being threatened by the presence of a great white shark, who has been killing the locals. Of course, Wells feels the shark isn't that big enough of a deal to postpone the festivities [he thinks the murders are due to boating accidents in the area], thinking that containing the area will keep the shark away.

However, there are some that disagree with Wells. A heroic author named Peter Benton (
James Franciscus) and his gruff fisherman friend, Ron Hamer (Vic Morrow), believe the shark is a huge threat to their town and will continue to create chaos until it's stopped. Things escalate when both Wells' and Benton's children are attacked by the shark, making it personal for both men to get rid of the shark for good.


THE LAST SHARK, also known as GREAT WHITE in the United States, is one of the many imitators after the blockbuster success of Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic JAWS. However, THE LAST SHARK is the only one that was actually sued by Universal Studios [the studio that distributed the JAWS franchise]! In fact, Universal Studios actually won their lawsuit, which resulted in THE LAST SHARK being taken out of theaters after a week and has been banned in the United States since. The only way most people are able to see it are through bootlegs, video sites, or foreign home video distribution. It's pretty sad too, since THE LAST SHARK is one of the better imitators out there [better than both JAWS 3 and JAWS: THE REVENGE for sure]. It's not great cinema or anything, but it is memorable. Whether it's memorable for the right or wrong reasons, that's up to the viewer.

The story for THE LAST SHARK is pretty much stolen, I mean borrowed, from both JAWS and JAWS 2. There's a great white shark terrorizing a beach community. The main character joins a local fisherman to hunt down and kill the shark. The politicians in the area ignore all the signs, hosting a local festival that turns disastrous. Teenage characters get hurt by the shark - some of these teens being the children of several main characters. I could probably go on and on. It's the Italian version of JAWS, just with less interesting characters and not as good direction.

Honestly, I don't see how anyone would care for any of these characters. They're not really developed in a way that makes you want to root for their survival. The main character, Peter, is an author who seems to suck at his job since he patrols the area more than he writes. His courage and the fact that he sees things for what they are make him more likeable than anyone else in the film. But he's no Brody. Same goes to Ron Hamer, the gruff fisherman who wants to be Quint - but only gets halfway there. The fact that he's courageous and smart makes him likeable as well. Of course, you have the shady politician. But instead of the Mayor, you have Governor Wells, who denies the threat of the shark to host a party that will help with his campaign. Unlike in JAWS though, Wells does get more active - even having a memorable scene with a helicopter and the great white shark. The rest of the characters are pretty generic, especially the teens who just get in the way of things, thinking they're helping out the situation. Peter's wife is a non-factor [why was she even written into the script?]. And the reporters are story-hungry, create chaos, yet leave with an unsatisfying conclusion. Most of these characters deserved to be eaten by this shark, but they weren't. Eh.

That being said, I don't think the screenplay is terrible or anything. Nothing about it struck me as bad. The dialogue was fine. The way the three acts told the story was pretty decent. At least the screenwriter took the best moments from the first two JAWS films and copied them in a decent fashion. I can understand why Universal was so upset about the blatant similarities, but THE LAST SHARK is obviously inferior to both of those films. The studio really had nothing to worry about.

At least, unlike TINTORERA, THE LAST SHARK is actually a killer shark film. The shark attacks random people and eats them. The special effects are a mixed bag, to be honest. The shark itself looks totally fake. I think it was plastic or rubber or something. Its mouth never moved! Hell, the shark roars [so ridiculous] and the mouth never moves an inch! But at least the shark attacks are a blast to watch. Instead of just attacking boats or a dock, the shark has to blast through from underneath, creating an burst that causes characters to leap high into the air. I laughed each and every time the shark performed this.

THE LAST SHARK is a bit gorier than JAWS though. We see a bunch of severed limbs and even characters bitten right in half. There isn't much blood to go around, but I still liked these scenes as it made the shark more threatening.

I did have issue with the film's final moments though. Obviously, you would expect a JAWS ripoff to have an epic conclusion like the film its copying. Unfortunately, THE LAST SHARK has an extremely lame ending that makes you question, "That's it??" I was expecting an exploding shark, or some sort of messed up exit for this killer fish. But nope - instead of ending with a bang, it went with a whimper. Even one of the main characters is killed off-screen, and not much is really done with that fact. I mean, all that crap for nothing? Lamesauce.

The direction by Enzo G. Castellari is a mixed bag. The director of THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS knows his way around making westerns and certain action cinema. But when it comes to horror, I wasn't all that impressed really. There are tense moments here and there, but it's hard to be afraid for these characters when you don't really care about them. Plus, the way the scenes are shot don't lend to suspense or fear anyway. Also, I admire the use of stock footage [if it works for your story, why not?]. However, the film in the stock footage really stood apart from the actual footage that Castellari directed, taking me out of the film a bit. Still, I liked how Castellari made both connect in a logical manner. And I thought the shots where the shark just blasts through things, sending its victims into the air before killing them, were filmed really well. It's a decently directed film that doesn't do that terrible a job trying to ape Steven Spielberg's JAWS and its sequel.

I also thought the score and the soundtrack were really cheesy. Synthesizer and folk music doesn't exactly make a shark movie "thrilling". Plus the shark theme as he attempted to kill made me chuckle at how non-threatening it was. But I guess that's part of the small charm with THE LAST SHARK.

The acting is decent. James Franciscus is a decent leading man, but he over emotes at certain points. Still out of anyone in the film, I'm glad he was the main hero as he looked the part and played to his character's strengths. Vic Morrow is probably the best actor in the film as the Quint-wannabe, Ron Hamer. While he changes accents every now and then [he's Irish in one scene, American in the other], he does carve out a convincing performance that makes you believe he wants to kill this shark for some reason. Joshua Sinclair played the selfish politician pretty well and got to have one hell of an exit. The other actors [some Castellari mainstays] are alright. But it's hard to tell sometimes with the dubbing. But I didn't think the acting was a distraction.


THE LAST SHARK/GREAT WHITE is a pretty decent ripoff or JAWS and JAWS 2 that feels like a Cliff's Notes version of the films, just with inferior direction and acting. Nothing about the film is all that special, considering how generic the screenplay, the direction by Enzo G. Castellari, and the acting are. Still, watching a rubber shark burst through things, sending people up in the air and then eating them, is pretty fun to watch. THE LAST SHARK is an entertainingly mediocre film that has a certain level of charm going for it. I'd take this film over JAWS 3 and JAWS: THE REVENGE any day of the week.

2.5 Howls Outta 4


The Watchtower of Justice: Beware The Batman [Episodes 1 - 6] (2013)

By Mike Huntley

When it comes to animated superhero shows, Batman The Animated Series is held by many to be the best of the lot. That series got everything right from the mood to the characters and especially the voice acting. Since then, Batman The Animated Series producers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini have expanded the DC Universe they crafted with Batman when they switched from Fox to The WB in the mid '90s. Then we got Superman The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, and then finally Justice League/Justice League Unlimited. 

While Bruce Timm and Paul Dini were working on Justice League, Warner Bros. Animation wanted to make Batman a solo animated show again. The next solo Batman series titled The Batman was inspired by anime and featured a very different take on the Batman mythos by following Bruce Wayne in his 3rd year of being Batman and meeting all of his classic rogues for the very first time. The Batman is often bashed by hardcore fans due to its character design of The Joker as well as it not being on the same level as Batman The Animated Series. Even with this small backlash, The Batman still managed to run a strong five seasons and even spawned a movie where Batman had to fight Dracula. Now I used to bash The Batman like the rest of them, but not too long ago decided to give it a fair chance and you know what? I came to like it quite a bit. As good as The Animated Series? No. But it was a fresh and interesting take on the Batman characters especially Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Clayface, and Riddler. You just gotta adjust to the different style of animation and you may find yourself enjoying it for being different from Batman The Animated Series

Shortly after The Batman finished its 5 season course, Cartoon Network partnered with Warner Bros. Animation to station more animated shows based on DC Comics characters. In 2008, Batman The Brave and the Bold began, which was influenced a lot by the more campy Adam West Batman series from the '60s. A few years later, Young Justice began which was about the classic Justice League members' sidekicks training to join the next generation's JLA. Due to the popularity of Green Lantern in 2011, a CG animated series was made. By the ending of 2012/beginning of 2013, Cartoon Network decided to cancel Batman The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, and Green Lantern. This infuriated fans quite a bit especially about Young Justice which from the looks of it, actually looked like a decent show. 

But, with these cancellations, Warner Bros. Animation/Cartoon Network announced a new animated Batman TV series that was going to be different from all of the other Batman animated shows we've seen in the past. For starters, it was going to be CG animation instead of the usual hand drawn animation we are used to seeing with these shows. And instead of Robin, Katana was going to be Batman's partner. Alfred was going to be a gun toting badass. Oh yeah and we were getting brand new villains that have either hardly been or have never been animated before instead of the classic Batman rogues. At first glance, I honestly thought that this show was going to suck. Never been a big CG animation fan, had no clue who Katana was, wanted to see the classic Batman rogues, and really thought that this series like Brave and Bold was going to be campy and only aimed towards kids. Shortly after the second episode aired, I watched a clip and it actually got me intriqued. So, I got On Demand and decided to give the first two episodes a fair chance. And you know what? I got hooked! Beware The Batman was a return of the dark and serious Batman, yet still appropriate enough where kids could enjoy this series too. Color me shocked and very surprised and pleased to be proven wrong! 

Beware The Batman is probably the most original and fresh take on Batman in animation. I still love Batman The Animated Series more due to not only nostalgia but because I consider it more classic Batman. It is still the definitive Batman TV show to me, but Beware The Batman is a very close 2nd! It brought back the more detective elements to the character which were missing from The Batman, which was more of a superhero series than the crime drama that The Animated Series was and Brave and the Bold where it was just a kid friendly superhero series. 

Batman in this show is very dark much like the version we saw in The Animated Series.  Sure the CG animation is new, but the portrayal of Alfred is completely different than the one we got in any of the other shows. This Alfred is an ex agent of MI6 and is a total badass! Alfred's military experience has been hinted at in other interpretations of the character, but it is better explored in this show. Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana is a great addition to Batman's allies. And I love that this time around, Gordon is not trusting of Batman yet. But, the biggest difference is that all the episodes are connected like a prime time live action series. You have to watch them in order to get what's going on. It's a fresh new take on The Dark Knight's mythology and that is a very good thing. So I will break down and review the first six episodes individually and start reviewing them every 3 episodes once more episodes are released. But, you can purchase the first 6 episodes of Beware The Batman on iTunes right now or watch them for free on IMDB! 

Episode 1-  "HUNTED"

There are two eco terrorists running around Gotham City and kidnapping wealthy industrialists. They call themselves Professor Pyg and Mr. Toad.  Batman is on the case, but things take a twisty turn when Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred ends up getting kidnapped by the criminal duo. Meanwhile, Alfred hires his friend Tatsu Yamashiro to be Bruce Wayne's new bodyguard and driver.

I thoroughly enjoyed the pilot episode to Beware The Batman. Professor Pyg looked like a slasher film villain with his heavy build and pig mask. Plus he wields a pretty big saw. I was kinda thrown off by Mr. Toad due to it actually being a mutant toad, but these two were a lot of fun.

Another strength to Beware The Batman, aside from the gothic and moody scenery, is the voice acting. Andrea Romano, who did the voice casting for Batman The Animated Series, does a great job at getting the best fit for these characters. Anthony Ruivivar makes for a solid Batman/Bruce Wayne and is actually just as great as Kevin Conroy. He gives Batman a dark and brooding voice while Bruce Wayne gets a lighter voice. JB Blanc is great as Alfred, who this time is just as badass as Batman. I just love this scene where Simon Stagg says, "And just who are you?" and Alfred replies with, "Oh, didn't I tell you? I'm the butler". And then he picks up a big pipe like he's about to kick someone's ass. They kinda made Alfred to be like an older Jason Statham. He rocks! Sumalee Montano is great as Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana. Here's a woman with real strength and is perfect to assist The Batman. Her backstory is still a mystery and is slowly unfolding. Jeff Bennett worked as corrupt billionaire douchebag Simon Stagg. He's the total opposite of Bruce Wayne. And then there's Udo Kier as Mr. Toad. A British pig and a German toad as a criminal dynatic duo? Hell yeah! Great beginning of a great series! 

Episode 2- "SECRETS"

A wacked out goth chick, who wears bird feathers to go with her mistress outfit, named Magpie has wiped out the memory of a man named Joe Braxton. Batman is on Magpie's trail, but so is Lieutenant James Gordon. Their clues point to a psychiatrist named Bethanie Ravencroft who had an experiement to wipe the bad memories out of criminals in order to give them a new life. Could Magpie have been an experiment gone terribly wrong?

Secrets is probably my favorite episode so far. Magpie is a very sexual character for a Saturday morning cartoon, but dammit she is so fun to watch! She felt like Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman crossed with Harley Quinn. If your child is going through puberty, then this episode may make him learn the hard way what an erection is.  This character hasn't been used since the 1980s, and I dug that they reimagined her design because otherwise she wouldn't feel right in this version of Batman.  This is also the first episode where we get a better characterization of this version of Gordon who we just saw briefly on the television in episode 1. We also get more Katana, who is slowly discovering Bruce Wayne's secret. Gordon's daughter Barbara also appears, who is best known to Batman fans as Batgirl. I love that they brought back Tara Strong from The New Batman Adventures to play her. Kurtwood Smith from That '70s Show is really great as Lt. James Gordon. Really love this episode.

Episode 3- "TESTS"

Batman busts two dumbasses for vandalism. The next night, the two idiots are back on the streets, swinging bigger and more destructive weapons. It turns out that a costumed psycho named Anarky is involved and sees Batman as being his greatest enemy. Anarky thrusts to be the polar opposite of Batman so he tries to throw Gotham into chaos by using the two vandal artists. Meanwhile, Katana discovers a secret elevator behind the fireplace in Wayne Manor that leads to a secret library. While she is being tested to be Batman's assistant, Batman's fight for order is being tested by his new nemesis. 

Anarky is an interesting villain, yet kinda rips off the Joker. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed him as a villain but I've always seen Joker in this kind of role. I did feel Katana's side of the episode was more interesting because you are wondering if and when she will discover the whole truth about her new boss. The two vandals are so dumb that it is hilarious. Plus, Alfred gets to drive the Batmobile, which by the way looks pretty awesome. I love how the Batcomputer is linked into the Batmobile and Batcycle. It sorta reminded me of Iron Man and Jarvis. The Batcave also looks incredible. I have a feeling we will be seeing Anarky again. 

Episode 4- "SAFE"

A criminal elite known as The League of Assasins are after a scientist named Dr. Jason Burr who has created the Ion Cortex. Tatsu Yamashiro saves Dr. Burr and decides to keep him secured at Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, Batman goes off to find out more about these ninja assasins. Lady Shiva, the leader of the League of Assasins sends a fierce hitman named Silver Monkey to assasinate Dr. Burr. As these assasins break the security of Wayne Manor, it turns out that Tatsu knows Silver Monkey from her past. 

This was a very intense and action packed episode! Batman dodging bullets in the air, an awesome motorcycle chase, some cool fighting, and more. For those of you who don't know, The League of Assasins or the Society of Shadows, or The League of Shadows is the ninja vigilante terrorist group ran by Batman villain Ra's Al Ghul. You may remember this organization in Batman Begins or The Dark Knight Rises. Lady Shiva too is a Batman villain that has briefly been out of comics. She was in that short lived Birds of Prey TV series in one episode. Here, we don't see her, but just get her voice. Dr. Burr is a bit on the annoying side, but he's played by Matthew Lillard (Scream, Scooby Doo) so it's all good. We also get Alfred with a shotgun. And Silver Monkey is one badass villain. It turns out that Tatsu/Katana has a green sword known as the Soultaker Sword that she stole from the League. 

Episode 5- "BROKEN"

When toy soldiers are found around Gotham with people trapped inside them, Batman and Gordon are on the case. All clues point to a genius mob accountant named Humphrey Dumpler who had gone insane after he was nearly killed while under Police protection. Now calling himself Humpty Dumpty due to his large egg shaped size, Humpty Dumpty aims to get revenge on those who broke his sanity, which includes Gotham's own Police Lieutenant James Gordon.  

You'd think a story about a villain named Humpty Dumpty would be corny as Hell, but no! This dude is creepy! It's like those horror movies that take a sweet little children's fable and turn it into a dark and freaky tale of carnage. Basically Humpty Dumpty traps his victims in statue horsemen that are in cased with a bomb so if someone tries to release them, they get blown up. There is a funny scene though where Batman asks the Batcomputer to give him the location of Humpty Dumpty and the Batcomputer responds, "A wall." Katana also mentions the name Ra's Al Ghul. So I have a strong feeling that we will be seeing him sometime this season. I would like to see the more classic Batman rogues show up at some point in this show, but I dig that they are starting off with lesser known villains. It makes me feel like I did when discovering the classic villains for the first time. It's always great to add to Batman's already awesome rogues gallery!  

Episode 6- "TOXIC"

Security guard Rex Mason is in love with Sapphire who is the beautiful daughter of billionaire scumbag Simon Stagg. One night the alarm goes off at Stagg Industries so Rex chases a masked intruder into a special room where he is trapped and exposed to an experimental gas. Batman saves Mason and takes him to the hospital. Later, Mason's body begins to turn and he changes into a multi colored monster known as Metamorpho. Metamorpho begins to attack Gotham in a rage for what has been done to him and wants to still be with Sapphire, but can the daughter of a famous billionaire ever accept his new monsterous appearance?

Toxic is a very sad and tragic episode. It's basically a mix of the Hulk and Beauty & the Beast. Metamorpho is a character who has appeared in animation before. Him, Sapphire, and Simon Stagg were all in an episode of Justice League, which also told the origin of Metamorpho. Although in that story, Rex Mason was an adventurer who was long time buddies with John Stewart who was the Green Lantern of that series. It's obvious that Stagg was behind Rex Mason's accident because he didn't approve of his daughter dating a security guard and wanted her to marry someone of wealth and ruthlessness. But, unlike the Justice League version, this episode doesn't really have a happy ending. Adam Baldwin did a great job as Rex Mason/Metamorpho, giving us a villain that we both feel bad for and really care about.


Indie Horror Spotlight: Don't Go To The Reunion (2013)

Steve Goltz

Stephanie Leigh Rose - Erica Carpenter
Spencer Harlan - David Holland
Mike Goltz - Joe Wynorski
Brady Simenson - Scott Rantzen
Matty Dorschner - Brandon Kaufman
Nick Sommer - Christopher Lynch
Hayley San Fillippo - Kimberly Buechler
Tawnie Thompson - Megan Cunningham
Hannah Herdt - Jessica Thompson
J.R. Watkins - Jay Miner

Genre - Horror/Slasher

Running Time - 75 Minutes

This edition of Indie Horror Spotlight is for the independent slasher DON'T GO TO THE REUNION, brought to you by the two men who are in charge of the great Slasher Studios - Steve Goltz and Kevin Sommerfield. Steve and Kevin are great guys and I really wanted to check out their first feature film [they have done short films before - I hope to review those as well soon] which they've been promoting a whole lot on social media. Kevin sent me a private online screener so I can feast my slasher-lovin' eyes on the film he wrote and produced. And after watching it, I can say it's a good tribute to the slasher days of yore.

DON'T GO TO THE REUNION pretty much follows a similar template to 1986's SLAUGHTER HIGH. A small group of friends, who happen to be the popular ones, decide to pull a prank on a socially awkward horror geek. He's kicked out of school and is reputation is completely ruined.

Ten years later, these group of friends receive a special invitation for a reunion at a creepy house near their High School. Although some of the members of the group haven't changed all that much in terms of personality, all of them have pretty much moved on from the vicious prank they pulled years ago. However, there are clues that lead some in the group to believe that someone is trying to get revenge on them for that incident - making sure that not everyone will survive.

DON'T GO TO THE REUNION isn't perfect, but Kevin Sommerfield and Steve Goltz do a very good job capturing the essence of the slasher film boom of the 1980's. Sommerfield's screenplay doesn't hide his love for slasher movies. In fact, certain moments of pretty popular slashers are recreated as a great homage to movies' past. The set up is SLAUGHTER HIGH. The deaths are inspired by NIGHT SCHOOL, MADMAN, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, and BAY OF BLOOD/FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2. We even get SCREAM moments here and there, especially when the characters are all aware of these horror films. While not original, at least these moments allow slasher fans to point out their origins with a smile on their faces. It's always great to see a horror film made by real fans of the genre. You can tell that both Sommerfield and Goltz are having fun making a movie similar to the ones they love to watch.

As for the rest of the screenplay, it's pretty good. The characters [most of them named after famous horror directors] are obviously stereotypical, following the rules of a slasher film. You get the Final Girl. You get the asshole Jock type. You get the Drunk asshole. You get the Smart One. You get the One Who Shouldn't Fit In But The Group Keeps Them Around Anyway type. We don't get much development for anyone in this film, but slasher films weren't known for that anyway. However, I do wish the characters were more likeable than they were. All of them were either perverted and/or mean to those around them. Sure, I laughed at some of the dialogue and their antics. The Jock was a total prick, but he had moments that entertained me. But I can't really root for characters I don't feel much sympathy for. They were the perpertrators of a terrible prank that ruined someone's life, and maybe two of them felt sort of bad about it afterwards. In my view, karma is a bitch and they had what was coming to them. Sometimes there are characters that are the exception to the rule, but I didn't really get that from DON'T GO TO THE REUNION. The characters really didn't change much within 10 years, which was an issue for me. Some growth, even if the personalities and stereotypes stay intact, would have helped a bit.

However, I did think the dialogue was handled well. All the characters had different voices and some great banter as well. The scene where the Drunk asshole guy [Christopher] is being tricked in believing he's possibly gay had me laughing, because it's something I can really see happening. The sex stuff between asshole Jock, Joe, and his wife had me chuckling as well due to their dysfunction. I also liked the reasoning for the murders and how it felt influenced by a certain slasher that I won't spoil.

I did think the ending was a bit rushed. It felt too abrupt and too easy, in my opinion. I think there should have been more to it, as I didn't feel it fully satisfied what the story was trying to tell beforehand.

The gore FX were pretty good for a low budget feature. I thought the car hood death scene was pretty cool. The poker through the mouth was done really well. And some of the other death scenes were either shot in a way where it was implied what happened. And for a low budget movie, I'm totally good with that. I don't need to see guts and gore throughout the entire film. As long as I know what went down, that's all that matters to me. It's obvious Slasher Studios didn't really have the budget to go all out, but they used their resources to the best of their ability and it worked out in the end.

The direction by Steve Goltz was very good. I loved the establishment shots he used to set up the isolated locations. I enjoyed how some shots seemed to pay tribute to previous slasher films, especially HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH. The editing was excellent. The picture quality looked pretty damn good. The pacing was well done. I really liked the look and tone of the film. The film felt a lot shorter than it was and visually told a good story.

The acting was pretty good as well. I thought Stephanie Leigh Rose, Spencer Harlan, Mike Goltz, and Matty Dorschner were the standouts. They all played their characters convincingly well, especially Rose and Goltz. I have a feeling there may have been some ad-libbing on their part as well, which made the forced moments feel a bit more natural. I liked the cast.

DON'T GO TO THE REUNION is a good independent slasher by guys who love them. It has its issues and won't set the world on fire. But Kevin Sommerfield and Steve Goltz should be extremely proud to make their feature-length filmmaking aspirations come to life. I look forward to seeing more from Slasher Studios, as I'm sure they'll only get better and have more support from here.

3 Howls Outta 4


The Watchtower of Justice: Kick-Ass (2010) & Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

By Mike Huntley

Most of us in our childhood have thought of how cool it would be to be our favorite superheroes in comic books, movies, television, and animation. Imagine having super powers and being able to fly. Imagine having endless amounts of money, a mansion, and your own secret Batcave with your own high tech Batmobile. Imagine having the ability to run faster than anything on this planet. But, when you stop to think about it, what kind of life would you have? You couldn't have a good relationship with the opposite sex in fear that your enemies might hurt or kill them. You would have to constantly lie to your friends and family. At some point, your secret would take a great toll on your body and soul. Still, it doesn't stop us from wanting to dress up like a superhero and pretend we are fighting crime. The key word in there is pretend. Unlike our logics on why being a superhero in our real world is a very bad idea, there are some characters in a popular comic book who actually give it a try and turn our world into the world of the theatrical and heroic. Their names are Kick-Ass, Big Daddy, and Hit-Girl and this is their origin story off the comics page and into the wonderful world of cinema.

Dave Lizewski is a High School outcast who long wishes he was as cool as his favorite comic book superheroes.  One day while in a comic book shop with his two buddies Marty and Todd, Dave gets the idea to give it a try. He orders a ridiculous costume and mask online. His first mission? To stop the two thugs who keep robbing him and his friends. Well, things don't go great as he is stabbed and hit by a car. At the hospital, he tells his Dad that two guys robbed him and stole his clothes. This of course starts a rumor around school that he is gay, which Dave uses to his advantage when his crush Katie is all the sudden wanting to hang with him. Even though he should have quit his try out as a masked superhero when he almost got killed, Dave decides to give it another chance, this time saving cats out of trees. Oh and he stops a group of low lifes from killing some guy by pounding on them with two night sticks. This captures the attention of a huge crowd and is filmed by someone and posted online where Dave calls himself "Kick-Ass".  Now Kick-Ass is a New York City icon with costumes, comic books, and the like. Meanwhile, a former cop named Damon Macready and his daughter Mindy are killing off bad guys who work for NYC mob boss Frank D'Amico under the personas of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl due to D'Amico framing Damon and causing his wife to commit suicide. The costumed vigilantes take notice of Kick-Ass and want him to join them. Meanwhile, Frank D'Amico's son Chris wants to prove himself worthy of his father's empire so he hatches a plan for Frank to capture Kick-Ass and Big Daddy, which will change their lives forever.

Bottom line is I love Kick-Ass. I loved this movie when I first saw it in the theater a few years ago and I still adore it today.  It did something unique with superheroes by just having an average dude with no money or powers be a superhero. A superhero film that feels like it belongs in a comic book yet is set in the real world with real consequences. Now, would people act like these characters in real life? Probably not. But, this is a great satire on the superhero genre. We all love superheroes and Kick-Ass is us, but also shows us why people don't wear masks and capes in real life. Would it be cool to be saved by a masked caped crusader with cool gadgets? Absolutely. But, heroes in real life wear badges or military uniforms. Or they just do the right thing by risking their life for another Human Being.  The badge of being a hero is a rewarding feeling. Just knowing that someone is safe and out of harm's way because you had the guts to act, now that I'm sure would be overwhelming.

So, why does Kick-Ass work? While I love Spider-Man/Peter Parker for just being a kid yet doing extraordinary things to make this country's most well known city a better place, Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski has zero powers. Peter Parker has spidey sense, fast reflexes, and the ability to climb walls. Dave doesn't. He's just us in a costume with two sticks ready to kick someone's ass even if it means getting his own ass kicked or stabbed. The kid's a hero because he has overcome the one obstacle that differs a casual person from a masked crusader: the fear of death. If we didn't fear death, then there would be nothing holding us back from being a superhero. Death is one of the most primal fears us Human Beings have. Take that away and we become more superhuman.  That's what I admire about Kick-Ass. This kid is not afraid. He just goes out and sticks up for the underdogs. In fact, Dave is a lot like Peter Parker but minus the science fiction elements. He lives with his Dad and the two aren't close since his mother died.

And then there is Damon and Mindy aka Big Daddy and Hit-Girl.  Mindy is an 11 year old girl who hasn't had a childhood due to her father training her to fight the criminal underworld. This is the coolest little girl you'll ever meet. She swears a lot, kills bad guys, and will basically kick your fucking ass. Damon used to be a cop till he was framed  and imprisoned for years vowing to destroy Frank D'Amico. Gotta love the almost Batman and Robin reflection of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. That classic Dynamic Duo type of partnership.

But then there is the father/son relationship between Frank and Chris D'Amico. Frank is basically the Lex Luthor or Norman Osborn of New York City and Chris wants to join that big empire that his Dad has set up. So, Chris disguises himself as a fellow superhero named Red Mist to lure Kick-Ass into Frank's trap because Frank wants to kill Big Daddy as well as teach NYC that being a superhero will get you killed.

Like all superhero stories, there's the love interest. In this case, Kick-Ass's Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson is Katie Deauxma. Although I find it kinda messed up that she doesn't start talking and flirting with Dave until she thinks he is gay. But then the two become really close once she finds out that he is Kick-Ass. That is til the sequel.

Kick-Ass is NOT a family superhero movie! This film is violent and bloody as Hell. Bad guys get dismembered and not to mention by a little girl. The gruesome comic book violence is part of Kick-Ass's charm. Because let's face it, superheroes in real life wouldn't be PG or PG-13, they would be a hard R and this film is a pretty hard R!

The direction by Matthew Vaughn, who went on to direct X-Men: First Class, is top notch. Vaughn is a director that I'm quickly becoming a fan of and he shows his love for superheroes in his work. Hoping he steps back into the superhero world someday.

The acting is top notch. Aaron Johnson is great in the lead role as Kick-Ass. Nicholas Cage looks like he's having a blast playing Big Daddy, who's obviously a Batman knockoff. Mark Strong was great as villain Frank D'Amico. I really hope this dude gets Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman, especially after he got screwed as Sinestro with Green Lantern. McLovin was decent as Chris D'Amico/Red Mist, who will be the villain in Kick-Ass 2. Lyndsy Fonseca did okay as the love interest Katie. Unfortunately, her character sucks in the sequel.  Clark Duke and Evan Peters were hilarious as Dave's friends Marty and Todd. And then we have Chloe Grace Moretz, who gives the excellent stand out performance as Hit-Girl. Moretz has become a much bigger star thanks to this film, and I think this girl has a bright career ahead of her!

Overall, Kick-Ass kicks a lot of ass! In fact, it was in my top movies of 2010. I love this film so much and am super excited that it got a sequel.


After the somewhat success of 2010's superhero movie Kick-Ass, plans for a sequel quickly came up.  Now, I'm not sure what all happened, but Lionsgate who distributed the first film dropped the sequel, so Universal picked it up. Then, Matthew Vaughn couldn't come back to direct due to scheduling conflicts, so he just stayed on as producer.  Co-creator of Kick-Ass, Mark Millar, decided on Jeff Wadlow to write and direct Kick-Ass 2. It was obvious due to the ending of the first film that McLovin's character Chris D'Amico would be the villain in the sequel. Excitement really kicked in when Jim Carrey was announced. It's been a long time since Carrey has been in an awesome movie, and plus he has been in over the top superhero movies before with The Mask and Batman Forever, so he seemed like the perfect person for a film like this. Unfortunately, Carrey didn't like the violence in the film and publicly tweeted on Twitter that he didn't feel right in promoting the sequel. Critic and audience reviews have been all over the place. But, this is a comic book world that is not for everyone. Kick-Ass is only for those who can handle over the top cartoonish violence and dark humor. If that ain't your cup of tea then you have no business watching either film. So, is Kick-Ass 2 the sequel that we have been waiting for? In my humble opinion, Hell Fucking Yes!

Dave Lizewski has been wanting to become Kick-Ass again after spending some time just being a normal teenager. So, Mindy trains him to become a tougher crime fighter. Unfortunately for Dave, Mindy decides to hang up being Hit-Girl due to her guardian Marcus wanting her to have the life she should have had all along. Mindy tries to hang with the mean girls and the Heathers of her new High School, but quickly finds that being a normal teenage girl is almost as hard as being Hit-Girl. Dave on the other hand is dumped by his girlfriend Katie when Katie thinks that he is cheating on her with Mindy.  So, Dave puts on the costume again and joins up with fellow superheroes like Dr. Gravity, Colonel Stars and Stripes, Night Bitch, and his buddy Marty who's now Battle Guy and they form their own JLA known as Justice Forever. Meanwhile, Chris D'Amico wants revenge on Kick-Ass for killing his Dad so he decides to become a supervillain known as The Motherfucker and starts his own Legion of Doom. Now it's an all out war in New York between Justice Forever and The Motherfucker's army of supervillains.

I'll say it now, Kick-Ass 2 rocked hard! I loved it. Now, was it better than the first film? Yes and no. Where the first film shined better was by having a much better villain. While Frank was a great foe, Chris/Motherfucker is not but his army sure as Hell is. Mother Russia was probably the best villain of the movie. That was one tough woman! She's basically the Kick-Ass world's version of Bane. That fight between her and Hit-Girl was insane. But, The Motherfucker with his S & M bondage costume was lame, yet the kinda lame where I can laugh at for being so stupid.

I thought Kick-Ass (2010) had much better character development than Kick-Ass 2, but loved the escalated development of Mindy/Hit-Girl in this. It kinda reminded me of Spider-Man 2 where Peter Parker decided to quit being Spider-Man because it became too much and tried a normal life. I know some complained that this section of the story went into a Mean Girls/Heathers direction, but you know what? I was okay with that. I liked how these popular bitches were almost just as villainous as the dudes that Hit-Girl would fight and kill on the streets. And Mindy's way of getting revenge on them was both gross and hilariously genius. If I could pick one thing about this sequel that I hated though, it would be the portrayal of Kick-Ass' girlfriend Katie. She just came off as a fucking bitch in this movie. Now, I can understand how she could maybe get the idea of Dave cheating on her with Mindy, but she could have at least up front asked him about it instead of slapping him and calling him a rapist. And then she is out of the movie! What the fuck? They don't even resolve this conflict? But yeah aside from a lame main villain, this was the big issue I had. I do kinda think they had too many characters to focus on, but at least they were interesting and didn't annoy me.

I do like that Kick-Ass and his Dad had a better father/son relationship in this film unlike the first movie. Mr. Lizewski is very concerned about his son and doesn't want him to be Kick-Ass anymore.  And then there's Justice Forever. These people are probably my favorite part of this sequel. Basically Kick-Ass has his own Justice League. It was just really cool seeing all of these people in costumes that looked goofy yet fun to wear. It's like when you're a kid and want to dress up as Batman or Superman. Colonel Stars and Stripes was awesome. I loved him telling the other members to watch their language and to not take the Lord's name in vain. And how about the swear jar where Mindy had to put money in every time she cussed, and then you see the jar at the end of the film and it has over flowed with cash?

The film was definitely a little darker than the first film in the violence department. This is the perfect example of escalation besides The Dark Knight. By dressing up in a costume, it inspired others to do so and when Kick-Ass killed Frank D'Amico, it inspired Chris to become a villain.

I love the final battle at Motherfucker's lair especially the fight between Hit-Girl and Mother Russia.

The direction by Jeff Wadlow was not bad I thought. Although, I would have preferred Matthew Vaughn. But, Wadlow makes the experience fun.

The acting was fine. Aaron Johnson still kicks ass as Kick-Ass. Chloe Grace Moretz is still great as Hit-Girl/Mindy. Due to the way this film ended, I hope the next film will be a Hit-Girl movie. Fingers crossed. I sincerely think that Moretz could carry a film with this character. Clark Duke was fun as Marty/Battle Guy. McLovin was a lame villain as The Motherfucker/Chris D'Amico. I'll take Mother Russia over this douche.  Lindy Booth was hot as Hell as Night Bitch. I haven't seen Booth in a film since like 2005 so it was great to see her again. Jim Carrey was awesome as Colonel Stars and Stripes. Definitely one of Carrey's best performances. It's a shame that he thinks so negatively of the film. John Leguizamo was good in his small role as Chris' bodyguard Javier. Donald Faison, who I haven't seen in awhile, was great as The Atom wannabe Dr. Gravity. August Prew who played Todd, and replaced Evan Peters, was just forgettable. Bring back Peters! Lyndsy Fonseca was wasted and turned into a bitch no less as Katie. What happened to that sweet girl from the first film? And Morris Chestnut was okay as Marcus.

Overall, Kick-Ass 2 was a very awesome sequel yet just lacked a few small things that made the first movie great. It's a definite must watch if you loved the first film. If this is your type of superhero saga then welcome to Justice Forever and if not then, "HAHA! There's a dog on you're balls!"


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