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Old 01-31-2013, 03:12 AM
Past Tense

This outing we slam evil over their wicked noggin' with a large red wrench in "Super"...



The motion picture opened in limited release on April 1st, 2011. It was made with a budget of $2,500,000 (estimated) and grossed over 327 thousand during its U.S. theatrical run. This was an Indie feature. The film opened number forty-eight at the box office, the following week it dropped to number fifty.

The feature opened against "Source Code", "Insidious", "Sucker Punch" and "Hop".

This release originally came with a cardboard slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. There was no insert or advertisement.

- - -

There were two exclusives for this film, both of them from Best Buy, which is pretty sway since it was barely a blip at the box office.



The first was a bonus disc, it streeted with the movie on August 9th, 2011. The set sold for $14.99 (the exclusive was also available on Blu-Ray for $19.99). It came in a two disc, transparent DVD case. There was nothing printed on the underside of the wraparound.



Above is the weekly ad announcing their particular gimmicks. I bought my copy on release day. The bonus disc has a run time of 95:33 minutes and the gallery holds 26 images. A pretty cool collection of extras here.



The second exclusive is internet based. On the Best Buy website is a 2:14 minute clip (too short to be called a featurette). Quick interviews with the folks who made the film. It's free, I've downloaded it, an FLV document. It was interesting, but parts of it are carry over from the bonus disc.

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Rant.



I'm sure there are a number of you who are in the dark about this flick. Okay. This is a home made super hero movie - much like "Kick-Ass" (2010), but on a much smaller budget. This isn't an action film, it's a drama with some comedic moments. It's about a middle age, broken man who got pushed too many times and takes it upon himself to make things right... with violent results.

Frank Darrbo (Rainn Wilson) works as a short order cook at a diner. It's a bland existence. There were two perfect moments in his life; the day he married his wife, Sarah (Liv Tyler) and the time he helped the police catch a crook (which was more of a finger point... he did it).

His dull life has pushed Sarah back into bad habits - she was a recovering addict. Sarah left him and hooked with a drug dealer, Jacques (Kevin Bacon); her sugar daddy/supplier. Things looks bleak for Frank when he gets beaten up trying to convince Sarah to come back to him - beaten by Jacques' henchmen.



Recovering at home from the thrashing, he hallucinates and gets the idea of how to stop crime, stop drugs - get his beloved back. Do what the cops can't do - Frank Darrbo becomes the Crimson Bolt! But his first outing as a vigilante is a failure. He decides to rethink his scheme and takes a trip to the local comic book store for inspiration. There he meets Libby (Ellen Page) who is curious about him; he's not what you could consider a fanboy. She helps him with various comic books where the hero has no super powers, but still fight crime. Crimson Bolt version 2.0 is born.



The second attempt is only slightly better than the first, but Frank gets injured. Panicking with no place to go - he heads off to the only other person he knows... Libby. Frank is somewhat of a shut-in. Crimson Bolt has made the news and she is surprised to meet the man, the guy she met earlier. Libby helps him recover and gets the idea of becoming his costumed sidekick, Boltie. Frank declines, but admits her knowledge in these kind of things - he reluctantly agrees. The problem is... she has issues, this misadventure is just an excuse for her to act out.

Not to worry, I haven't really spoiled anything, this is the set-up, much more happens. There is a moment near the end that is unexpected, it happens so fast, reality based. It's sad, but feels very natural. The end is also so right. It's not a Hollywood ending; things don't always go the way you want. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a success. Victory isn't about a parade or getting a prize. Frank finds joy and becomes a better person from his experience, made me smile and I'm sure you will too.

Lets clear something, Libby did not rape Frank. He even hugged her when climaxing. There is a moment where things got very heated after stopping some baddies (once they returned to her place). He gave in and had sex with her and immediately regretted it - vomiting in the bathroom. The whole point of become the Crimson Bolt was to get his wife back. And now he cheated on Sarah with a girl he just met a few days earlier, this wasn't his pathos, an adulterer. He was suppose to be the moral compass; his world view is very black and white. Good? There.

- - - - - - - - - -

Footnotes.

There are a couple more home made hero movies; both like "Super" didn't get much attention, but deserve to be seen.



Released in 2009 from Magnolia Home Entertainment was "Special: Specioprin Hydrochloride (RX)". The movie was made in 2006. Les Franken (Michael Rapaport) is a fanboy who works as a meter maid, an awkward, quiet fellow with friends who work at the local comic book shop. Les decides to participate in a clinical trial of an experimental anti-depressant, Specioprin Hydrochloride. The drug has a side effect, super powers.

The thing is... it's all in his head.

He quits his job to undertake his new life calling - stopping villainy. This could've been so cartoony, but wasn't. Les has such a hole in his life that's so sad. He thinks, believes this drug is the cure to his situation - a way out of his monotony. There's a part towards the end when he realizes his world is a fake, Les has a breakdown in the bathroom of a convenience store. It's depressing. He wants to be someone so badly.

But when one of his friend is kidnapped for Les' drugged up acts of vigilantism. He has to go crazy one more time, become that person, be a real hero. *smile* This could be summed up as a dark comedy, but it's a drama. The arc of man who finds out who he is and comes out the other side, whole.

I do like the fact that Les' slap together costume is very utilitarian. It serves its purpose and if you were to see him on the street, you might mistaken him as homeless, that's smart.

It's pretty obvious that Les is trippin' on the pills. BUT there are two moments that make you wonder if... maybe there is something more going on here. These are not from his point of view, it's reality based. Not going to spoil them, they are head scratchers. There is wonderment out there.

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The other was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2010, "Defendor". Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) is a mildly retarded guy who works in construction by day and becomes a budget avenger by night - Defendor. Unlike Frank or Les, Arthur creates an arsenal of home made gadgets for his alter ego, they are functional. His motivation is retribution, the murder of his mother by a man known to him as Captain Industry (it's a huge mis-understanding).

The plot centers on a crooked cop (Elias Koteas) who's working with the Serbian mob. Arthur finds a friend in Katerina (Kat Dennings), a local prostitute that he rescues (which isn't so much a rescue). She gets entangled in his fantasy and things escalate quickly. Captain Industry must be stopped. It should be noted that Katerina does not become his sidekick, but rather his confidant, a friend.

It's apparent that Arthur is somewhat handicapped. But the people around him don't call attention to it. He isn't talked down to. It could've been a cliché. Nope. We learn that he has had a hard life, but it hasn't taken away his optimism or good heart. He genuinely want to help make the world a better place.

This too is a drama with some funny moments sprinkled in. All three films, are highly recommended; the gems that fell through the crack.

I'm done.

The next PT will surface on February 14th. *wink*
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