[Beyond Fest 2020] Review: ‘Archenemy’ A Gritty Take On Superheroes and Former Glory
The super hero genre in the past several years has become a tentpole of cinema and pop culture, for better or worse. In doing so, for major franchises like The Avengers, Batman, Spider-Man and so on, have elevated comic book adaptations to multi-million dollar extravaganzas. But still there are many different types of stories to tell and many that can be told from the ground, instead of the skies. Such as what if a hero loses their powers? What do they do then? This is the set-up to Archenemy.
Max Fist (Joe Manganiello, True Blood) is the most powerful superhero in the universe. At least, he was. Now, he is a homeless man and alcoholic with possible delusions of grandeur and an anger problem. Punching brick walls and desiring being able to punch through buildings like he claims he could. He is beneath notice in a big city, humored by his bartender and treated like a nuisance until he meets someone willing to actually listen to him. Hamster (Skylan Brooks, The Darkest Minds) is a local vlogger and reporter looking for a big scoop, and he sees his chance with Max. Though he has his doubts about Max Fist’s fantastical stories of super heroics and his nefarious Archenemy from his home universe, they’ll at least make for entertainment. But he’ll need Max’s help when his sister Indigo (Zolee Griggs, Bit) gets entangled with The Manager (Glenn Howerton, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) a vicious crimelord who wants Indigo in his clutches. Now the siblings have to team up with Max Fist and discover whether his tall tales are true or if he’s a lunatic. Or maybe both?
Archenemy comes from writer/director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who gave us 2019’s mind and bodybending horror movie Daniel Isn’t Real. Much like his last project, he’s made something that defies being boxed into one singular genre or style. Archenemy is an action crime movie, a psychological thriller, a super hero movie turned on its head. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. While I wouldn’t say people are sick of super hero movies, there is some fatigue stemming from the limits of their stories. And this bashes right through them. The truth and delusions of Max Fist are kept up in the air, with clues and turns that will make audiences question the veracity of the supposed super’s claims. But they will not doubt he’s a fighting machine.
Joe Manganiello gives a hell of a performance as Max. Imagine an embittered Thor or Superman struggling with his loss of identity, of power. Even if he’s crazy, you cannot help but sympathize with the guy, even if he punches brick walls to feel something and can bust a man’s skull with his bare hands. But then again, it could just be thanks to all the drugs and alcohol in his system. Skylan Brooks and Zolee Griggs stand out as his unwitting ‘sidekicks’ though they have far better sense and logic than the deranged would be hero. Zolee as Indigo shows unmistakable cunning and is aloof, even when the odds are against her and she’s put into intense situations with literal guns to her head. Hamster is an excellent audience surrogate and gives support to Max Fist’s story. Giving an in-universe perspective on his mystery and his interactions with the everyday world. And Glenn Howerton shines going full blown villain as the elusive Manager. Adding some quirks to a very dangerous and very easily angered crime kingpin.
The action scenes are harrowing whenever Max Fist goes all out. Be it with pipes, guns, or just his seemingly unbreakable hands, Max makes minced meat out of anyone in his way. Especially if he’s inebriated. And Max’s past and possible delusions are handled masterfully with an extremely colorful and surrealist series of motion comic style sequences and rotoscoping. Max’s origins are a comic book style fantasy world, so it only makes sense they’re presented as much. It also makes for an interesting contrast between the sci-fi aspects and the more muted and drab reality Max finds himself trapped in. The plotlines twist and turn together, intersecting in a pretty balanced fashion though some moments dragged a little.
I was fortunate enough to experience Archenemy at Beyond Fest 2020 at the Mission Tiki drive-in and it was a blast on a big screen. As well, the cast and crew including Adam Egypt Mortimer and Joe Manganiello (With his dog, Bubbles!), Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs and others including producers from Spectrevision were in attendance with the Legion M car for photo-ops and intros.
Archenemy was as entertaining as it was heart rending and face punching. Though people don’t yet know the name “Max Fist”, they hopefully will be as invested as Hamster is.
Archenemy is set to be released on December 11th, 2020.
‘Ghostbusters’ Receives Slime-Covered, Glow-in-the-Dark Sega Genesis Cartridge
Sega Genesis’ Ghostbusters game was a complete blast and with the recent updates, patching in Winston and a few other characters was a much-needed update. The underrated game has recently seen an explosion in popularity thanks to those updates. Gamers are checking the full game out on Emulator sites. In addition, @toy_saurus_games_sales released some Sega Genesis game cartridges covered in glow-in-the-dark.
The Insta account @toy_saurus_games_sales is giving fans a chance to purchase the game for $60. The awesome cartridge also comes with a full-fledged exterior case.
Have you played the Ghostbusters game for Sega Genesis? If you have, let us know what you think.
In order to purchase the limited edition, slime-covered game cartridge head over HERE.
John Wick in Development for a Sequel and a Video Game
John Wick 4 was a complete blast and the ending pointed at the odd fact that John Wick might actually be… dead. I didn’t believe it for a second. Not John Wick. The dude is a tank. Lionsgate has already greenlit development for a John Wick 5.
That isn’t all the studio has in store though. It also appears that we will receive a big triple-A game based on the Baba Yaga.
“What is official is that, as you know, Ballerina is the first spinoff that comes out next year,” President of Lionsgate Joe Drake said, “We’re in development on three others, including and including television series, “The Continental”, will be airing soon. And so, we’re building out the world and when that fifth movie comes, will be organic — will be organically grown out of how we’re starting to tell those stories. But you can rely on a regular cadence of John Wick.”
In addition to those awesome projects, we also have The Continental TV spinoff coming and a whole new Ballerina film based on the assassins introduced in John Wick 3.
The synopsis for John Wick 4 went like this:
With the price on his head ever increasing, legendary hit man John Wick takes his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin.
Are you guys excited about a John Wick 5 and a full-on, shoot-em-up video game based on Wick? Let us know in the comments section.
Tim Burton Documentary Features Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, and Other Regulars
Tim Burton will always be a part of horror for us. He has a page indexed here and we love it. From Beetlejuice to Ed Wood the director has broken the mold time and time again. A documentary focused on Burton is headed to Cannes this year and will feature all of the director’s co-conspirators in action.
The four-part documentary features Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Jenna Ortega, composer Danny Elfman, Christopher Walken, Danny DeVito, Mia Wasikowska, and Christoph Waltz. All of these awesome actors to talk about their time with Burton.
“Tim continues to build his aesthetic, the Burton-esque style, derived from a wealth of art, cinematic, and literary genres,” the release says “The documentary explores how Burton brings his vision to life through his own joyous idiosyncrasy and his ability to meld the ominous and the frightful with a sense of whimsy. Tim’s films are just the tip of the iceberg.”
The documentary will take us through Burton’s life and many adored films.
Are you excited to see Burton’s documentary? Let us know in the comments section.