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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD Review: Super Capers



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#1 of 1 Todd Erwin

Todd Erwin

    Screenwriter

  • 2,160 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 16 2008
  • Real Name:Todd Erwin
  • LocationOrange County, CA

Posted July 20 2009 - 06:11 AM



 

Super Capers



  • Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
  • Theatrical Release Year: 2009
  • US DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
  • Rated: PG (for mild language, some rude humor, and brief smoking)
  • Running Time: 93 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 anamorphic
  • Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish

Movie: 2.0 out of 5
Ed Gruberman (Justin Whalin) is a super-hero wannabe, a young man with no powers who dresses up in full costume delivering singing telegrams and making appearances at store openings. One evening, as he is walking home, he stops a mugging but is inadvertently arrested for assaulting the mugger (Clint Howard). He is then sentenced to a halfway house to join the Super Capers, a team of superheroes in training. Soon, the team is off to thwart an armored-car hold-up, where Ed finds his power is faith.

Super Capers is a real mess of a movie, trying to be family film to appeal to everyone, but ultimately succeeds in appealing to no one. Writer/director Ray Griggs infuses the film with 1980s pop culture references that not only fall flat, but also reveal the lack of originality in his screenplay. Full pages of dialogue are lifted, literally word for word, from such movies and television shows as The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Star Trek: Next Generation, Terminator, Back To the Future, etc. The Super Capers vehicle is a Winnabago version of the DeLorean from Back To The Future, re-enforcing a joke that kind of worked in Mel Brook’s Spaceballs.

The characters and casting is not much better. Whalin plays Gruberman as someone who knows he is a moron and thinks it is funny. Jon Polito, Michael Rooker, and Tom Sizemore seem to be competing for an over-acting award. Adam West makes a cameo as a former superhero turned cab driver, whose taxi just happens to be the Batmobile from the iconic series from the 1960s. And Sam Lloyd takes his character of Ted the lawyer from Scrubs and adds the power to move things with this mind as Brainerd.

The remaining cast of superheroes appear to be walking through the movie, just happy to pick up a paycheck. Ryan McPartlin (best known for his recurring role as brother-in-law “Captain Awesome” on the television series Chuck) plays Will Powers, a Superman-like hero who’s Kryptonite is his self-esteem. Danielle Harris is Felicia Freeze, who has the power is to freeze anything.



Video: 3.0 out of 5
The 2.35:1 anamorphic video is, for the most part, quite good. Colors are well-saturated, blacks are inky, and overall the image has minimal compression artifacts and noise.



Audio: 3.0 out of 5
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track, encoded at 448 kbps, has good frequency response, but is front-heavy, as you would expect from a low-budget independent feature, especially a comedy. Surrounds and LFE are used sparingly. Dialogue is centered and intelligible.



Special Features: 2 out of 5
Super Capers is packaged in an eco-friendly keepcase with a paperboard oversleeve.

Although it appears the disc is loaded with features, none are particularly interesting.

Audio Commentary: Writer/Director Ray Griggs is joined by Sam Lloyd and Justin Whalin as they discuss making the movie. Parents beware – this is not a family-friendly track.

Deleted Scenes: A series of three deleted scenes, without commentary, are provided in anamorphic widescreen.

Making of Super Capers: This is an 8 minute EPK short, consisting of interviews with the cast discussing how funny this movie is going to be, in non-anamorphic widescreen.

Original Storyboards: This may be for only one sequence in the film, but the storyboards are presented in a way that is difficult to actually look at. There are 3-4 frames per page, and each page is legal-size and framed in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Digital Comic Book: Featuring the same stale jokes and 1980s pop culture references from the movie, the comic book tells a story that takes place during the world premiere of the movie in Hollywood. Similar to the Storyboards feature, each frame of the comic book is often too small to read, even on a 56-inch monitor.

Also included are the Original Theatrical Trailer (in anamorphic widescreen) and two TV Spots.

Although listed in the press release, there was no music featurette included on the disc.



Overall: 2.0 out of 5
The little ones may find the movie mildly amusing, but Super Capers will likely test the patience of most parents and adults with its stale jokes and 1980s pop culture references.







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