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District 13 (2004)

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Rating: ★★★½☆ 

This movie was written by Luc Besson and directed by Pierre Morrel. If those two names mean anything to you, then you already know whether or not you want to see this film. In fact, if those names mean anything to you, then you’ve probably already seen District 13.

But I hadn’t. I had heard about it–probably about the time that Casino Royale came out, and everybody was suddenly talking about parkour. I didn’t bother to find out anything about District 13, though, even to the point of watching it on streaming Netflix last night, so I had this notion in my head that it was merely going to be some sort of plotless parkour exhibition. On the contrary, this was a rather good movie.

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Superman vs. the Elite (2012)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

This should really be called Superman vs. The Authority. Because that’s what it is (The Authority have been reimagined as a smaller group called The Elite, but the parallels are, of course, glaring). So if you ever wondered how that would go down, this is how. Spoilers: he beats them.

Me, personally, I never wondered how that would play out, because these characters exist in vastly different comic book realities. And the fact that I kinda really loved the first couple of volumes of The Authority made me actively feel as though I didn’t want to see this confrontation. Let me just enjoy Superman and The Authority individually, please, and for different reasons.

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All-Star Superman (2011)

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Rating: ★★★★☆ 

I understand why the viewer response to this animated film seems to be rather polarized: it’s partially for the same reason that Grant Morrison, himself, seems to be somewhat polarizing as a comic book creator. It’s stuffed full of quirky details that even while interesting can sometimes be distracting, as though Morrison knows he’s a clever guy, and he kind of wants to rub it in your face. The overall narrative carries the viewer from one high concept to the next without ever dwelling too long upon anything, such that one never has the opportunity to question whether there’s anything there apart from a few neat story ideas.

Now take a 12-part Grant Morrison mini-series in which the individual installments were meant to more or less stand alone, and merge them into a 70 minute film that almost irrefutably feels disjointed and meandering, and see what happens.

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