Hmmmm.  Coincidentally, the day after I discuss Alex Levine’s transparent attempt to land a role/directing gig on a potential Dark Matter series (Based on the comic book series of the same name. Check it out!) which, coincidentally, came the day after I discussed Ivon Bartok’s equally obvious attempt to get himself cast, I received an email from my buddy Carl Binder.  Attached was the above photo and the accompanying message: “FYI – I have lots of experience. I played Elwood P. Dowd in my high school’s production of Harvey.”  And who can forget his turn as Dr. Jennifer Keller’s creepy uncle in the the framed photo that appeared in an episode of Stargate: Atlantis?

If we wig him, I think he might make a pretty good Two Katana-san. What do you think, Das?

Today, as promised, I turn this blog over to our guest blogger, Cookie Monster, as he hosts the next installment in our continuing Supermovie of the Week club.  Over to you, monster…

Kwestion #1: When is superhero movie NOT superhero movie?

Answer #1: When hero in movie NOT have any superpowers.

Kwestion #2: So why monster watching dis movie?

Answer #2: Becuz somebody (ie Joe) tell him to watch for Supermovie of de Week Club.

Kwestion #3: What de deal with Bert Convy hair?

Answer #3: No answer to dat one.

WTF (What Da Fro)?!!!

Boy, me not happy after watching superhero movie wit no aktual superhero.  Not been dis disappointed since Striptease (too much tease and not enuf strip for dis monster).  Anyway, Hero At Large does best it can wit not much.  Like in most superhero stories, start off wit sad sack pathetic loser charakter so can show contrast wit him later as spektacular hero.  Qwick!  What profeshun most pathetic and loseriest? Coin counter at laundromat? Nope, more pathetic.  High school band brass instrument spit valve cleaner?  Nope, more loseriest.  Struggling aktor?  Bingo!

Walmart already have more den enuff greeters. Why not try akting?

Our progato potago protagonuss lead guy is out of work aktor who have to take job dressing up like charakter from superhero movie (that aktually look like a superhero movie) called Captain Avenger.  He show up at theater where he sign autograffs and get ridikuled.  At one point, gets so bad dat even Kevin Bacon make fun of him.  Kevin Bacon!

Pre-Bacon crowd notoriusly eazier.

Turn out he just one of mebbe 50 out of work aktors dat dress up like Captain Avenger and do signings.  Dey get bussed around.  Bus ride scene deliver film best out of contekst line from other Captain Avenger: “I screamed.  I’m not tuff.  Not in de ass!”.

All aboard da Loser Express!

But our lead guy in luck.  On way home, he stop off at convenients store and it get robbed.  He jump out in his Captain Avenger costume and save de dey, chasing away bad guys (who mebbe nekst time remember what Gonzo always say: “Never bring a knife to a gun robbery”).

To tell you de truth, monster would run from him too.

Suddenly, Captain Avenger all over de newz.  Our guy famous!  He start to hit on girl who live in same apartment building.  She played by Anne Archer who try her best to look sexy wit 1980’s hairstyle.  She say no, not interested.  He persistent, don’t take no for answer, and show up at her place of work.  Nowadays, dis behavior cause legal problems (like for Count who do 6 munths community service and have to write letter of apology to Bette Midler), but 30 years ago a-okay and, in fakt, work out great becuz soon dey are dating!

Awww. How creepy romantic.

He stop more bad guyz.  Soon, whole city have Captain Avenger fever!

Everybody revere his shiny orange spandex butt.

Office of Mayor say he good for re-elektion campane, find him and say he have to keep being hero.  Dey stage subway robbery and he save de day.  At dis point, monster have trouble wit suspenshun of disbelief.  If robber try to rob me on subway and he down on ground, monster jump in for payback, maybe stomp on robber head or get in monster patented grape shot, but nobody do anyting.  Hard to believe.  🙁

But den, at big press conferunce, robber reveal as aktor.  Just like Captain Avenger.  Crowd angry.  Boo Captain Avenger!

Boo! Boo! Your shiny orange spandex butt no longer revered!

Pimp try to ruff him up!  All seem lost…

But den a wunderful ting happen.  Apartment building on fire! Families lose everyting!  Kid in danger of burning alive!  So lucky!  Firemen on de scene decide to call it a night (Dunno.  Mebbe fire TOO hot.) but Captain Avenger arrive on scene.

He trow kid to safety.  He on ledge, ready to jump.  Den – exploshun! Captain Avenger gone!  Where he go?!  Bystanderz do irresponusble ting and go into creaky burning apartment building.  Save him and prove dat everyone can be not speshul, just like Captian Avenger, if dey just try hard enuff.

Da end.

Verdikt: Dis not a superhero.  Is a movie disguized as superhero movie. So meta!

Rating: 3 out of 10 chocolate chippee cookies.

Please diskuss!

33 thoughts on “February 13, 2012: Well look at who else is angling for a part in the Dark Matter television series! The Supermovie of the Week Club! Cookie Monster Reviews Hero At Large (1980)!

  1. At the end I was thinking…”he’s still a failed actor.” But at least he got his self-esteem back.

    Most of the story line was too predictable and formulaic, but we did enjoy watching it as a family and making fun of the 80’s hairstyles (although I did have to explain who John Ritter was to my teenage kids).

  2. Oh Cookie. Not only was that not a real super hero movie, it arguably wasn’t even really so much a movie as an extra long episode of a poor man’s “Greatest American Hero”. I guess that was done during the height of John Ritter’s (rest his soul) stint on “Three’s Company” and was supposed to capitalize on it. Even Ritter kind of looked embarrassed by times, poor fellow.

    Also, how can you be standing in a window, and have a huge explosion blow out the side of the building from BEHIND you, and fall back IN and not only survive, but come out hardly scratched? Maybe he did have super powers, after all! I was actually kind of hoping he did get killed, which may have partially redeemed the whole thing, but disappointingly it ended as dramatically flaccid as it had started.

    But then again, there was Kevin Bacon!!

    Loved the review, Cookie! Keep ’em coming!

  3. Answer to #3 — CHIA

    BTW, didn’t Jonathan Frakes career start out like this guy..?…

    Happy V-Day Cookie!! 😀

  4. This review doesn’t do the movie justice. It was shot for TV in 1979, so measuring it by today’s standards is unfair. The movie has a lot of charme and a somewhat unique setting (as it is NOT a superhero movie) that make it very loveable. I did search for this movie for years because I loved it as a child and ended up importing it from the states (to Germany) because that was the only way to get it. Still love this flic.

  5. I was gonna watch this movie in preparation for today’s review but then I found out it has John Ritter in it and I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. Urgh!

    The costume is very “Greatest American Hero,” though. I loved that show as a kid.

    Hey Cookie, what film is Joe making you watch next week?

  6. The movie seems a little hokey, well maybe more than a little, but hey look at the timeframe and it seems to fit. Bert Convy I never figured him out. Glad we have it to look back at and compare to today. But not sure I could set through the whole thing again, I loved John Ritter, may he rest in peace. and thanks to Cookie for the stunning review, job well done, how are you being paid? in cookies? no bakes? cookie dough,,,,(teehee).
    ~Did Carl frame the comic book, did you sign it yet? He can preserve it all he wants but will need that signature…
    Have a great day!!

  7. I find it so depressing that the Cookie Monster can write better reviews than I can. Much better.

    Its almost as depressing as perusing the free ads online and seeing all the cats and dogs that need a good home “or else”.

    My hats off to the cookie monster.

    I’m pretty sure that big bird is illiterate though. At least I’ve got one up on him. Or is it a her? Hmmmm….

  8. Cookie cuts down to the bone of the story. He would do well on twitter.

    Das: I hope you are feeling better today.

    The Carl pictures are grand! Did they really use that picture on SGA? I’m going to have to rewatch them.

  9. Sorry, I was not able to find this movie. I guess it didn’t reach France.
    Have a nice day.

  10. @ Deni – That’s what Depends are for. 😀 I think Carl looks quite fetching after his makeover, don’t you? Like a bad boy rock star, eh?

    @ Tam Dixon – Thanks! Actually feel worse today! My throat is ‘sore’ from coughing, but I think the tickle is finally easing up. Overall I feel fine (not achy, sleepy, or sicky). The tickle is more annoying than anything, and that just makes it hard to really relax, which makes me grumpy. Like Carl. In a wig. 🙂


  11. Well, the movie does beg what is a superhero. After all when you are impervious to bullets and can survive in space without a suit, it doesn’t take much courage to play at helping people. Here, we have a man who is very vulnerable, and knows it. And he does at least think about the ramifications of what he is doing, even if he caves to gem
    Tation once. Which sets up the admittedly hokey final scene. As a firefighter, I cringed at much of that, yet it’s not totally unrealistic. People do rise to the occasion(though civilians would not have been let in, the rule is you risk life to save life, so someone in more appropriate gear would have kept looking.
    Gone the amount of action, this falls more into the romantic comedy than superhero I’ll give it a 4/10, with high marks to Ritter for doing what he could for a…. Limited script.
    Having watched this, I would like to nominate Dr. Horrible’s sing along blog for the next offering. Available on you tube as well as for download, it’s less than an hour long, so those who do not like it will invest minimum time.
    Good to cede Carl, and definitely want to see him in a role. Maybe a part you can add onto the show…the proffesional spaceship sanitation specialist? Thanks for the daily post as always.

  12. I don’t care about the films. It’s Cookie Monster’s reviews themselves that I find entertaining 🙂

  13. I did like the TV theme for the Greatest American Hero. Thanks to YouTube, you can hear it again. 🙂

    I really miss TV themes for favorite shows in general. Many times I might not have been in the mood to watch an episode, but got hooked in once again by the show theme/opening sequence. They tossed them in order to make more ad revenue at the top of the hour, right? What if people aren’t enticed to watch? There goes that revenue…

    Carl, that is one of the nicest photos of you we’ve seen on the blog. It would make a great profile pic for social media, like WordPress or Twitter. Hang onto that pic and crop it. IrfanView (a free download) is great for image/picture editing if you have a PC (and also a Mac, I think). You can do a quick Gamma correction to the photo and bring it out of the shadows, if need be. Nerd-girl moment, done. 🙂

    Joe, what do you and Akemi have planned for Valentine’s Day?

    Happy Valentine’s, everyone. 😀

  14. Coooookie!! Love ya Cookie Monster! 🙂 “Hero At Large” sounds like a terrible movie. 😛 You’d hafta pay me lots of money for me to watch that thing.

  15. I just couldn’t make myself watch this one. And I didn’t want to waste a Netflix slot on it since I’m catching up on the first season of Castle right now! But I really did enjoy the review!

    Carl as Two-Katana-san? Hmmm. Just can’t make that one work. If Mark Dacascos was a little younger, I think he’d be perfect (see Brotherhood of the Wolf). But, alas, we have no time machine!

    Drat! My work computer won’t let me view das’s hubba hubba picture. I’ll have to wait ’til I get home!

  16. @ Sparrowhawk – I am eagerly anticipating your reaction! 😀

    I am also eagerly anticipating Carl’s reaction, but so far he’s been silent. Probably all full of his sexy ol’ self now. 😀


  17. Clean my kitchen or watch Hero at Large…hmm….Sorry, Cookie, catch ya’ next time.

    It sounds like he learned an important lesson in then end. That people don’t suck if the script writes them as dangerously foolish and that’s a timeless truism. I shall ponder it as I scrub the sink.

  18. Elwood P. Dowd?! Now that’s hawt!

    My brother played that role in high school… I found the old program while cleaning out dad’s house, my brother was “Spock Castle”. Yeah, he had the hair when the show was on in prime time. Everyone called him Spock.

    How was Valentine’s Day? Mine pretty much sucked, literally, I had fluid aspirated from my “alien bump”, the lovely remains of my surgery in December. Big needle, ouch.

  19. Give Carl a break. It’s hard to transition from being a Hot print model to Television Leading Man. I know he is a writer/producer because a man has to make a living, but he is like Harrison Ford and working around television sets just waiting for his chance to get on screen. As his friend, Joe, you should give him a shot at it. doesn’t Carl deserve it? He’s been such a good friend to you coming out to Toronoto to help you out and all. Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Okay, I’m a couple days late, but whaddya expect, what with it being Valentine’s Day and all. (There was the Valentine’s dinner Saturday at Le Gavroche, the Monday night let’s-recreate-dates-number-three-and-four skating at the Denman ice rink and dessert afterward at True Confections, and then V-day night itself — which was just Shawarma take-out and making progress on the Buffy season 3 set.) I only just finished watching Hero At Large today.

    Anyway, as I had expected, HAL is not as good when you’re 39 as it is when you’re 8. Firstly, the pacing seemed especially slow. I’m not sure exactly how standard editing practice has changed between 1980 and now, but it’s pretty clear that it has, and that generally, the change means you can pack a lot more into 90 minutes today than you could back then. The earliest Burt Convey scene was almost painful to sit through, because while the mayor’s campaign manager is johnny-on-the-spot with the next line, Convey seems to take a moment to gather his thoughts before every single line he utters, regardless of the urgency of the delivery of the other guy’s immediately preceding line. If I were editing that scene, I’d have mercilessly cut Convey’s pauses and tightened up all that dialogue and had the scene done in 2/3 the time. Maybe Convey (or his ‘fro) had some kind of minimum screen time clause in the contract. And that opening credit sequence was downright interminable!!!

    And it wasn’t just the pacing of individual scenes. I mean, Steve’s existential crisis of whether to accept Convey’s offer doesn’t even happen until an hour and eight minutes in. And he’d only performed two measly acts of Captain Avenger heroism before that point! Why so few? And if so few, why was the city still talking about him after a couple days of regular news cycle? It didn’t seem logical that Convey would consider an Avenger-mayor tie-in arrangement with so little evidence of the motives or sanity of the unknown “Avenger”. I know it’s not really a superhero movie, but there needed to be way more opportunity to see this guy being heroic in the face of grave danger (even more poignant when the hero has no superpowers, as Thornyrose put it, above), in order to justify the public’s adoration of him.

    Then there were the other logical inconsistencies: Steve’s packing to “leave town” and just taking one tiny, briefcase-sized suitcase and leaving the whole rest of his apartment for that wretched landlady? He’s not even going to sell off some of his belongings before he moves? He’s got NO JOB! That TV, that dresser, his acting books: all that stuff would fetch some much-needed dough. And why the bloody hell is he leaving his apartment still wearing the Captain Avenger costume?!? He’s just been pilloried by the community for wearing it as a fraud, and he hasn’t ripped it off and burned it the first chance he got? He’s really going to go walking through the city to the bus station or whatever wearing that outfit? That’s just asking to be beat senseless. The only possible reason for him to be wearing it is for him to have it on in the fire scene when he rescues the kid — which, of course, is no legitimate reason at all. And Jolene (Anne Archer) is going to let him lay on her immaculately white daybed with a bloody arm wound that he should have gone to the hospital for? No way. Not without a towel to protect the bed. An OLD towel, at that.

    All in all, not a great film. But also not a truly terrible film. I think you could take the idea and remake it with more action, less romantic subplot (which, in this version, was really more along the lines of a competing main plot, rather than a subplot), and much faster pacing, and it would have the potential to be a pretty good film. As it is, though, it’s really only saved by the immense likeability of John Ritter. The cheezy, “anyone can be a hero” theme, coming from anyone other than Ritter, would ring pretty hollow. But he’s so sincere, you’re willing to go along on his cheezeball ride and believe that everyone has an inner hero, ready to act when the need arises. And that’s a valuable message — so long as you don’t take it to mean that you should rush into a burning building with no fire protection equipment on when the fire department is right there, on the scene, next to you.

    Did you notice this in the end credits?: “The New York City Transit Authority is not responsible for the content of this film.” When even the Transit Authority is seeking to divorce itself from the content of the film, you know you might have a stinker on your hands.

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