Monday, June 2, 2008

Jason reaches back in his archives and pulls out "Sidekick"

So way back in Indiefest of 2006, I saw this neat independent Canadian superhero movie called "Sidekick". Here's what I said back at the time (imagine this in the middle of several reviews):
[N]ext up was "Sidekick", a wonderful superhero comedy. I wouldn't call myself a comic geek, but I do have a love of superheroes. If I had planned ahead, I would've worn my superman t-shirt for this show (I'm wearing it today, instead) [Jason's note: I've since worn it so much that it fell apart. I need to get a new one!]. Anyway, this was the first ever screening of the 35 mm print of this movie, and I got to see it first, by at least a few nanoseconds [Jason's note: because light travels at 1 foot per nanosecond, and I was the only guy in the front row]. It's the story of a comic book geek Norman (as in normal man) who works (in IT, of course) in a big financial company. One of the top dogs in the company is Victor (as in Victory Man), who has a secret--he has mild telekinetic powers (he catches a falling coffee mug that's a little out of his reach, he can always hit a home run in baseball). He keeps it a secret, but Norman is so obsessed with comic books and superheroes that he picks up on what's happening. He talks it over--hypothetically--with comic book shop owner Chuck (Daniel Baldwin, in a really cool supporting role), who thinks Norman is pitching a comic book idea. He convinces Norman to train Victor. Problem is, Victor is a jerk--not really hero material. And he makes a sort of Frankenstein's monster out of him (another meaning to "Victor"). A really cool, funny movie, with a weird homosexual subtext (typical of superhero-sidekick relations, even if they're both straight--which they are in this movie). Focus features (which made "Brokeback Mountain") has purchased the remake rights, so this version might be buried, but maybe you'll be able to see a Hollywood-ized version sometime soon. If not, this movie is great as it is, and leaves it open for a sequel (or trilogy?)
Yeah, I still remember and like the movie, it was really cool. I have no idea what happened to the Hollywood remake of this, but I'm sort of glad that it hasn't happened (yet?).

Anyway, what has happened is it got DVD distribution. Lightyear Entertainment is distributing it through Warner Home Video, and they were kind enough to contact me out of the blue and send me a DVD of it to review! It's available for purchase on June 10. When I have time to actually watch the DVD, I'll write another post about the DVD features (director's commentary, deleted scenes, etc.) In the meantime, it leaves me with a little problem. You see, although it's out on DVD in the US on June 10th, it's been out on DVD in Canada for a while. And I liked it so much, I bought the Canadian DVD. So now I have two almost identical copies of it, and I only need one. Which's time for another amazing jasonwatchesmovies free giveaway!

Here are the rules. Leave a comment on this post telling me (and the world) what the best independent superhero movie--other than "Sidekick"--is, and why. It's gotta be an independent movie (I know you all love "Iron Man", but that won't work). And you've gotta explain why. In 100 words or less, make the case for your favorite indie superhero flick. In fact, I'll judge the entries entirely on the case you make--so if someone has already chosen your movie, you can still win by making a better argument for it. I'm going to be busy at Holehead starting Thursday, then I'm taking off for a family reunion. So the deadline is when I get back--June 21.!


Dadmaniac said...

Not being the independent film buff that you are Jason, I must admit that I haven't seen any Independent Superhero movies. However, if I had to make an Independent Superhero movie, it would be about Bikeman. This hero's special talent is riding his mountain bike in the Alaska wilderness looking to rescue those unfortunate enough to be cornered by bears. His special power would be his ability to spew pepper spray out of his mouth at the attacking bears ala "The Mummy" (substitute the spray for the flies). Of course, this hero would also be a bit of a doofus. Yesterday I was doing some research on his abilities. After crossing one of the wooden bridges over Campbell Creek, I came upon a muddy patch left over from winter. Picking the smallest puddle I plowed ahead...right into a two foot deep hole. In typical America's Funniest Video fashion, the front wheel descended, became stuck, and I slowly pitched over (bike and all) into the soupy mud puddle. I immediately realized that this was the part of the superhero that was missing. So Bikeman will be a bear chasing, damsel rescuing, moose saving, high profile protector with the added ability to do pratfalls into glimy mud puddles.

So, what do ya think? Did I kind of win? Bring my prize to the family reunion.

puppymeat said...

Hmmm...I never even considered independent superhero movies that don't exist! But...this intrigues me.

Okay, new rule, you can enter with a made-up superhero movie. However, in general I'll give more points to movies that actually exist.

Also, I did say that you have to make your case in 100 words or less. Your Bikeman summary is over 200 words. I guess I can be lenient on this, but I'll still give more points for keeping it brief.

I'm still sticking to the plan that this contest is over June 21 (when I leave from the family reunion). If you win then, I'll leave the DVD with you, dad.

Dadmaniac said...

OK. New entry. 100 words INCLUDING the title.


Hero’s special talent: riding his mountain bike rescuing those unfortunates cornered by bears. His special power: his ability to spew pepper spray out of his mouth ala "The Mummy." This hero is also a doofus. Doing some on-bike research, I came upon a muddy patch left over from winter. Picking the smallest puddle I plowed ahead...right into a two foot deep hole. The front wheel descended, became stuck, and I pitched over into the soupy mud puddle. Epiphany: the superhero eats mud! Bikeman will be a bear-chasing, damsel-rescuing, moose-saving protector with the propensity for pratfalls into glimy mud puddles.

Anonymous said...


puppymeat said...

Hell yeah, ICHI THE KILLER counts, and good choice! But your 100-word-or-less justification is kind of lacking. Unless you're making the point that ICHI THE KILLLER is so awesome you don't even need to make the case.

I've left this pretty open ended, putting the onus on the entrants to make their case (briefly) that a movie is the best indie superhero movie ever. If you can make a 100 word case that REMAINS OF THE DAY is a superhero movie, I'll consider it. For that matter, even though I rejected IRON MAN in the main post, if you make a case that IRON MAN is an independent film, I'll consider that, too.

Winner still won't be decided until June 21.

Unknown said...

Okay, Jason. I've been thinking long and hard about this and I keep coming back to Party 7's Captain Banana. As for the argument, I think he speaks for himself. The costume, the originality, the inability of anyone who's ever laid eyes on him to get him out of their head, the peeping...what else is there to say?

puppymeat said...

Contest's over. Sam wins. Congratulations.