• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam: The Return Of Black Adam

TITLE: DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam: The Return Of Black Adam

YEAR: 2010

Genre: Superhero/Comics

There are times when a title to a product is deceptive in nature. Judging from the title of this film, I was expecting a full length animation feature, but instead the film turned out to be an anthology of four lesser known DC Comics superheroes. Nothing wrong with an anthology, but this one appears to be a single film as none of the cover art features the rest of the stories contained in this collection. Never the less, DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam: The Return Of Black Adam is a fairly decent compilation of DC Comics superhero short films that vary in quality of storyline and content.

There are a total of four stories in this collaboration, and all of them feature lesser known DC Comics superheroes from their vast archives.

  • “Superman/Shazam: The Return Of Black Adam”: A young kid named Billy Batson (voiced by Zach Callison) is chased by super strong evil guy Black Adam (Arnold Vosloo). In the process, Billy learns that he has superhero powers of his own—when he says the word “shazam” he turns into Captain Marvel (Jerry O’Connell) and has super powers including flight. Captain Marvel and Superman (George Newburn) fight Black Adam to protect Metropolis and send the evildoer back to where he belongs.
  • ‘The Spectre”: Detective Jim Corrigan (Gary Cole) investigates a string of murders revolving around a Hollywood film production. Corrigan is also The Spectre, an undead judge, jury, and executioner of people who commit nasty deeds in the name of profit, and once Corrigan discovers the perpetrators it is time for the cold hand of justice to deliver its restitution.
  • “Green Arrow”: Oliver Queen (Neal McDonough) is on the way to propose to his girlfriend who is also the Black Canary (Greg DeLisle) when he becomes aware of an assassination attempt of pre-teen royalty who just inherited the reins of her country. Queen must become his super alter ego of Green Arrow to save her from certain death.
  • “Jonah Hex”: The deformed vigilante (voiced by Thomas Jane) rides into a dusty town to collect yet another bounty, but discovers that Madame Lorraine (Linda Hamilton) has already beaten Hex to the punch. Hex discovers that the prostitute has been luring unsuspecting men up into her bedroom to kill them and collect their money, and Hex decides that her deathly deceptions must end.

All of the animation is acceptable and done rather well, but the stories are a mixed bag. “Superman/Shazam” is the poor man of the lot, as most of the story centers around a massive fistfight between the two do gooders and Black Adam. “Green Arrow” is exciting at times but has an ending that seemed to be a bit contrived. The happy ending at the end of “Green Arrow” seemed a bit force-fed and was shallow in nature. “The Spectre”, on the other hand, was a lot of fun to watch and was reminiscent of the comic book from the 1960’s and 70’s. This story was quality and stood above the rest of the entries in this compilation. I also enjoyed “Jonah Hex” as the story was simple enough and the storyline would have been in place with many of the spaghetti westerns of the 1960’s. The overall production with “Jonah Hex” was probably the best of the lot as the Old West feel was carried out very well, the voice acting selections were excellent especially Jane as the distorted desperado, and the tinkering piano music throughout the production was especially well done and fit well with the storyline and setting. In addition, Jonah Hex’s rendition of justice at the end of the story was quality and more horrifying than the expected bullet to the head.

The title of the production should have been something else that would have reflected that this was a compilation of short films, as quite a few fans have whined about the title on various IMDB and Netflix reviews. Despite this, DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam: The Return Of Black Adam is a fair collection of animated shorts that deserves a viewing by fans of animated superhero productions. Personally, I would like to see more collaborations like this as DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam: The Return Of Black Adam is a wonderful way to introduce some of the more obscure comic book characters of days gone by to a wider audience.

* * *

–Mark

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