• Tag Archives superhero comedy
  • Canister X Movie Review #101: Zoom (2006)

    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Zoom (2006)
    Written by Adam Rifkin and David Berenbaum
    Directed by Peter Hewitt
    Runtime 93 min.
    3 out of 5

    Captain Zoom used to be a great superhero and leader of the government-sponsored superteam, Team Zenith. When the government tried to enhance his powers and those of his brother, Concussion, something went terribly wrong and Concussion turned evil and killed his teammates. Zoom stopped him and after the explosion, Concussion was presumed dead and Zoom lost his powers. Thirty years later, the government tries to resurrect Team Zenith using new kids with superpowers and recruits the retired Captain Zoom to train them. At the promise of a big paycheck, Zoom reluctantly agrees and when it’s revealed that the real reason behind the resurrection of the team is because the government discovered Concussion is still alive in another dimension and is plotting his return, Zoom takes it upon himself to make the team ready before his evil brother comes back and puts the planet in jeopardy.


    This movie is based on the children’s book Amazing Adventures from Zoom’s Academy by Joe Lethcoe. It’s a lighthearted superhero comedy, which is kind of like X-Men but with kids and tailored to that audience. Which is totally fine because kids need superhero movies, too, and with the majority of mainstream superhero stuff geared toward adults, I’m glad flicks like this are made.

    This flick is chock-full of big names and recognizable faces: Chevy Chase, Rip Torn, Courtney Cox, and, of course, Tim Allen in the lead. Speaking of whom, Tim Allen was pretty funny in this and if you liked him in Galaxy Quest, he’s pretty much playing the same character of someone who once had glory but has fizzled out. The thing, too, is aside from the funny bits, when it came time to be serious and/or reflective and sad, he nailed it as well and you genuinely felt bad for the guy.

    Courtney Cox was the biggest dork in this movie, which was perfect because that was her character. And she played it straight, too, that is, there was no tongue-in-cheek here, but a beautiful nerd that made you love her and roll your eyes at her at the same time.

    Chevy Chase—big fan. As the head scientist for Team Zenith, he’s just following orders, and with his trademark deadpan humor and wit, I can watch the guy all day.

    The kids who made up Team Zenith: just fine. Cute. Funny with kid stuff. The little girl with the superstrength was adorable. The teenager stuff played by actors who were older in real life than their characters—such a Hollywood thing—I could do without, but I hate teenage angst garbage and wish we as a species could just skip those years as we go from kid to grownup. The superpowers displayed were definitely budget: superstrength, telekinetics, invisibility and clairvoyance, and a kid who can blow his body up like a balloon. Yet they worked those not-so-awe-inspiring abilities into the story and made them work for what they needed them to.

    I will say that when Captain Zoom cranks up the superspeed later on, it’s pretty cool and makes me excited for a Flash movie if it ever happens.

    Overall, Zoom is a decent flick, good for kids, and if you’re a superhero fan it’s worth checking out for the sake of a fun time. However, if you’re one of those people where everything has to be top notch, then you’ll be disappointed.

  • Canister X Movie Review #20: Blankman (1994)

    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Blankman (1994)
    Written by Damon Wayans and J.F. Lawton
    Directed by Mike Binder
    Runtime 92 min.
    4 out of 5

    Two brothers. One a nerd. One a Karate expert. Both grown up and living with their grandma.

    Darryl and Kevin Walker (Damon Wayons and David Alan Grier) have lived in the rough part of town with their grandma since they were kids. As boys they’d run around the apartment with towels tied around their necks, aping Batman and Robin. Now, grown up, Kevin works at the TV station doing over-the-top news stories about aliens while Darryl works as a repairman and has a knack for inventing. After their grandma is killed along with several others while working to support the campaign of a wholesome, upcoming mayor, Darryl vows to make a difference in his city and invents bulletproof long johns, transforming himself into Blankman. He even makes a costume for his brother . . . who quickly refuses to join him. Taking cues from the campy 1960s Batman series, Blankman sets out to help others and uses this super alter ego to work through his grandmother’s death. Meanwhile, Kevin lets Darryl go about his crimefighting business since he’s too busy trying to woo beautiful reporter Kimberly Jonz (Robin Givens), who does real news stories several floors above him. Of course, tensions rise as Kimberly seems to have a thing for Blankman and admires the superhero’s heroic efforts.

    Eventually, Kevin learns who was behind their grandmother’s death: the city’s crime boss, Michael Minelli (Jon Polito). This time, Kevin asks to join Darryl on his crusade and since Darryl is the ever-faithful brother, he produces the outfit Kevin rejected and Kevin becomes Other Guy, Blankman’s sidekick. The two take it upon themselves to hunt down Minelli and bring him to justice, making him pay for what he did once and for all.


    Blankman is superhero comedy at its finest. It’s also inspiring as it’s the story of everyday guys trying to do the right thing even if it means putting on a costume and helping others. Damon Wayons and David Alan Grier are hilarious and the chemistry between the two works well. If you didn’t know any better, you would think they were brothers in real life.

    This flick isn’t your usual superhero spoof, though. It took itself seriously in that it wasn’t tongue-in-cheek, but a deliberate superhero comedy with serious undertones. Everything from the social outcast that rises up, to the standing up for what’s right in a world that’s cynical and jaded, to going out of your way to help your fellow man, Blankman hits it hard on all points.

    The jokes and humor are laugh-out-loud funny, the sad moments make you ache inside, and David Alan Grier’s facial expressions are priceless.

    Like I mentioned in my review of The Phantom, sometimes it’s nice to unplug and watch a superhero movie that’s lighthearted, easygoing, and loads of fun.

    There’s plenty of action and excitement in this movie to satisfy those looking for those things, but it’s real strength lies in its heart and that is about two boys rising up to become men in a world that took away the one person they held the most dear.

    As a fair warning, this isn’t a kid’s movie as there’s grown-up humor, innuendo and some language in it so is recommended for ages 14+.

    I’ve been a Blankman fan from the beginning and though it’s been nearly twenty years since it came out, I’m still rooting for a sequel.