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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – Character Study

After living with Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer all last week, I found myself with plenty to say in my review about the hits and misses of this big summer sequel. Only when I was finished did I notice that I had completely overlooked one of the most important things - The Fantastic Four! I barely said anything about how the four characters were portrayed on screen or how they’d grown from the first film to the second. How little characteristics so important in the comics had, in this adaptation, been spotlighted on screen in the best of ways. And I knew that it deserved its own space. The die-hard FF fan in me had to come back and talk about this team a little bit, because for a movie that doesn’t do much to develop its villains properly, Fantastic Four 2 sure knows how to pay tribute to its core four.

I was most impressed with the characterization of Reed and Sue (Ioan Gruffudd and Jessica Alba’s), two people that are searching for the perfect balance between superhero celebrity and normal life. In the comics this has been a reoccurring theme for years, especially after the couple had children and had to revaluate their priorities. They didn’t ask for these fantastic powers and are constantly questioning their responsibility to use them.

Of course in the end they always do the right thing. A great example of that in the film is Reed, an absolute work-a-holic, who puts his wedding plans on the hold to help develop the device that locates the Silver Surfer. He had to do it because he’s the only person on the planet that could do it. At the same time he doesn’t tell Sue because he truly loves her and doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. It’s a dangerous balancing act, one that is revisited time and time again in the comics, and one that was translated to the screen extremely well.

Sue is the glue again, going as far as to hold together emotionally not just the Fantastic Four, but also the extended characters as well. Her relationship with Dr. Doom (something that never happened in the comics but added fuel to the fire of the Reed/ Doom feud in the first film) is touched upon here, and it’s important that it is. The entire team knows that Doom is up to no good, but it’s important that one of them reaches out and pleads with him to rethink his actions. You can’t have a team of compassionless jackasses, and Sue being the character to break that type is very natural.

Her bonding with the Surfer is also an invention for the movies, though it does echo one she has in the comics with the king of Atlantis, Namor: The Sub-Mariner. To Sue Namor represents everything that Reed is not. He’s impulsive and exciting. Their flirtations never go very far but still remind Reed to put down the notepad and take his wife out to dinner every once and a while. Thankfully, Sue’s connection to the Surfer doesn’t go far either, I honestly think it would have muddled the storytelling considerably, but should Namor pop his head out of the water for part 3, I’d love to see Mr. And Mrs. Richards’ love put to the test.

Before I move on… a lot was made of Jessica Alba’s look in Fantastic Four 2. The blue contacts and bleached hair weren’t exactly doing it for a lot of young men out there. I heard more than once that she looked like a bad transvestite. Personally, I just don’t get that. I thought she looked smokin’ in her librarian get-up with the glasses and all… She’s got fake hair and fake eyes, but it’s still Jessica Alba… let’s not get carried away.

One character we don’t have to argue about looking good is the Human Torch. Am I right ladies!? Chris Evans returns to play everyone’s favorite hot-head member of the FF and is indeed given a just-out-of-the-shower beefcake shot. I guess us fellas are given a half-naked-on-a-city-street shot of Alba in both movies, so the ladies had to be thrown a bone too.

I like Evans a lot in this role. He’s a perfect fit for the impulsive and cocky young fire starter. What’s interesting this time is that we get to see his character follow a path that his comic counterpart doesn’t encounter until about 40 years into the series. (Don’t forget, FF is one of the longest running ongoing comics in existence topping even its more popular Marvel buddies Spider-man and The X-Men.) That path specifically is – maturity.

The Torch by nature is young and carefree. When the imposing threat of Galactus is presented to the team and the Surfer tells them to enjoy their final moments on Earth, it hits Johnny the hardest. He takes stock in his life analyzing what he has and hasn’t accomplished. In a fantastic heart-to-heart with Ben in a New York City pub, he confides his sadness over never finding someone. All the promiscuity that comes with his superhero celebrity seems frivolous in the face of death.

As the movie progresses, Johnny’s uncertainty is developed through his sudden power switching problems that put the team in danger, his fear over being abandoned by Sue and Reed, and his eventual decision to stand-up and take on Surfer Doom by himself. Through the course of this relatively short film we see his life take a shift and I thought it was a wonderful addition to the character. Lord knows how far they’ll take it in the third film. Do they dare marry off the most famous bachelor superhero of them all? Judging by the final scene in this movie where he burns a thrown bouquet at a wedding so his lady friend won’t catch it, Johnny still has some commitment issues to overcome.

Last but not least is Michael Chiklis, who is back as the ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing, and it’s great to see him in the suit again. I took some issue with all the complaining he did a couple of years ago while promoting the first movie, but except for one moment on one of the DVD’s documentaries, he seems to have curbed that. It’s not that I don’t appreciate his hard work. Quite the opposite in fact. What he went through is amazingly difficult and the fact that he was able to breath life into a rock monster is astounding. But the kid in me wishes he was excited about it as I was. I have nothing to complain about this time though. The Thing is realer than ever.

Though the character is given a back seat in comparison to everyone else, the true heart and soul of the classic figure finally comes out. At a glance he may be more interesting as a tragic beast cursed to be alone forever, it’s a big part of the character, but for me the best part has always been the man that accepts his path and finds peace. Instead of being haunted by the constant desire to become what he used to be, he’s able to come to grips with what he is and have some fun! He finds love, cracks jokes, wears specially made shoes and loves life. That’s the Thing we’re given here, and even though we only get small doses, they were welcome stolen moments. It may not be as classic a story, but I’ll take the loveable lug over the tragic monster any day of the week.

I had planned to talk a little bit about the villains in the film as well as some of the great secondary characters like Andre Braugher, Kerry Washington and Brian Posehn, but I seem to be rambling again. I tell you what. Not to get greedy, but let’s dip back into the well one more time. Next week I’ll be back with a third strip and review focusing on the supporting characters of Fantastic Four 2. Nothing as extensive as these first two efforts, but hopefully something fun none the less. If anything I hope this convinces you to run out and give the movie a shot.

I’ll keep it short and sweet today. On last weeks Triple Feature, Gordon, Tom and I agreed to focus this coming night’s show on the movies of Wes Anderson. With the release of his latest movie, The Darjeeling Limited, we thought it might be fun to watch some of his older films and reflect on the growth of his career.

I caught Darjeeling last week and it’s my hopes to get the comic and review done for tonight. But should life get in the way you can hear my opinion first hand through the show. Be sure to tune in at 10pm EST for the fun.

That’s it for now but I gotta say - how good is NBC’s Journeyman? Is anybody else watching this? Ironically enough it’s on at the same time as the Triple Feature, so in the same breath that I pimp our show I’m telling you to watch another, but it really is one of the coolest new dramas of the fall season. Set those DVRs people!

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V