Ruining Katherin’s Childhood (Again)

Hold onto your Omega Hedrons, because Supergirl is the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the movie poster or the title above to download our review of the film, featuring the return of Katherin “the Great”.

Review in a Nutshell:  A super hero film from a more innocent time, Supergirl seems painfully unsophisticated by modern standards.  Nonetheless it has some interesting imagery and a plot that can best be described as “completely bonkers”.

This movie contains:

Drunken Wizards.

KILLDOZER!

A Black Magic Woman.

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23 Responses

  1. Hooray! Love Kat! ❤

  2. WB, Katerin! 🙂

    Here’s hoping SUPERGIRL didn’t make your brain boil out of your ears….

  3. Wow, I apparently had forgotten most of this flick past her arriving on earth! Will have to re-watch this now, it sounds pretty special. Love the podcast as always!

  4. Good stuff. I was at work yesterday and I randomly remembered “Steel” starting Shaquille o’neal which is a Superman movie. A very bad Superman movie but technically there were 2 of them made since the old movies. Although it’s probably best to pretend Steel was never made because it’s bad even by Superman Returns standards.

    Anyways, thanks for the podcast. You and Fast Karate are pretty much the only podcasts that I’ve listened to for years that still put out regular episodes and have managed to keep the quality consistent.

  5. Glad you all liked the podcast!

    Rachel, I’m always afraid to read the comments, but you started them off right. Much love to you too ❤

    And Timothy: No my brain didn't boil out of my ears (unfortunately since that might have erased this latest viewing from my memory), but my heart did break a little at how bad it was. Sigh! You'd think I'd be used to Paul crushing my hopes and dreams by now. He's just so sneaky about it … picking movies that I think I love (this one) or actors that I do love (still haven't forgiven you for Nathan Fillion in Slither, Paul).

    Hope you all keep enjoying it!

  6. When Katherin kept saying “Take the spider out of the walnut”, I thought she was saying “Take the spider out of the Walmart”. I feel that would have made the movie even better.

  7. Listening to Paul and Katherin talk about SUPERGIRL reminded me of just HOW appallingly bad (and cheap!) it was – and how little it had to do with any continuity in the DCU. Omegahedrons? Evil witches in Midvale? Crazy wizards in Argo City?!?!? Yes, the SUPERGIRL comics used magic as a plot device much more often than SUPERMAN comics did, but I don’t remember magic being used in any remnants of the firmly scientific and rationalist Krypton.

    Katherin – Paul’s repeated insistence on quoting Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”) sounded like his own mantra as to how this movie might not have sucked so hard. He’s right insofar as recognizing that Some Great Super-Science Whatzit would be construed as “magical” by primitive mortals who had never come across the like, and what it’s capable of, before – but Even Magic Has To Follow Rules, or it just gets stupid. The Omegahedron is used in Argo City as a big honking power supply – so for what Faye Dunaway’s Selena uses it for, we have to assume it’s driving…something All Magical and Evil that just needed a lot more energy to work, kind of like plugging your iPod Touch into the world’s most powerful Juicepack.

    There are bits and pieces that suggest the original writer, at least, understood this and planned accordingly; for instance, Argo City is supposed to be in a “pocket of trans-dimensional space” where time seemingly moves much more slowly than in our dimension – but that’s neither made clear, nor are we given any indication of how differently time moves so we how Kara Zor-El’s doing versus how long she has before everybody she knows dies! We’re also not given any reason for her going rather than somebody more qualified, other than that she feels responsible for the Omegahedron’s disappearance and is willing to risk her life to travel to Earth – they might have used those early scenes in Argo City to set up that while Kara’s not the brightest bulb there she is very brave and athletic (and a natural pilot, which is why she can fly easily once it comes to her flying as Supergirl,rather than running into walls and billboards ala THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO), and chooses to go as Argo City’s champion. A lot of the problems, I suspect, are the result of the Salkinds or Scwarz tossing out the explanations that make things make sense as “boring” so they could get to the (underfunded) action!

    We went and saw SUPERGIRL when it first came out because – well, Tammy hoped a movie with a female ass-kicking hero would be awesome, and I figured (to paraphrase TOP GEAR UK right before everything goes to Hell!) “How bad could it be?” It it quite likely the worst movie in this franchise we had (or have) ever seen – even more so than SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE.

  8. By the time we’d seen SUPERGIRL, Tammy had published her first Alanna books and was working on her third – and her editor at the time, the legendary Jean Karl, had already drilled it into her head that

  9. ::Sorry – new kittens and laptop keyboards don’t mix!::

    Tammy’s editor for the Alanna and Daine books, Jean Karl, stressed that every power or victory costs something – and the difference between a hero and a villain is that while a hero pays the cost, a villain keeps trying to avoid it. She also stressed that for heroes, things can’t come too easily – lessons Tammy’s used in all her subsequent work.

    I bring this up because even when SUPERGIRL came out, Tammy knew enough about storytelling to know how much bakwas was being distributed. While it fits that Selena wants to take the lazy way to wealth and power, we don’t get any sense that using the Omegahedron has a cost that she’s trying to avoid paying or is indifferent to – i.e., it’s sucking the power out of our sun at an alarming rate, which is dropping temperatures globally – and beginning to give us the radiation of a red sun, that’s reducing Supergirl’s powers!

    For that matter, Kara Zor-El doesn’t pay anything, really – she’s a ditz who quite literally blunders her way into incredible powers and teen puppy love, so her telling Selena “You’ve had your fun – the game is finished” is a bit, um, disingenuous. Her Hero’s Journey feels far too easy and worse, far too convenient – she knows what she needs to know so the story can move forward (like how to forge a Letter of Recommendation from her cousin’s human identity, Clark Kent), but then doesn’t know other stuff that she’d far more likely know about if it could be turned into a joke! She doesn’t feel especially heroic, even going against Selena in Full Evil Power Mode.

  10. Dcervantes: Entirely too many spiders in Walmart! How would you know which one is the right spider? Although, a movie about ridding Walmart of all spiders to break a (24-hour) love curse would most definitely be better than Supergirl.

    Timeliebe: That’s a really great point about a hero versus a villain when it comes to cost. Now that I think about it, a lot of my favorite stories (films and books) really seem to follow that theme. Also, your analysis of Supergirl is much better than my “take the spider out of the walnut” (or Walmart) and “lightning doesn’t work that way.” Way to show me up in my grand return to GME 🙂

  11. Nolan’s Batman, particularly The Dark Knight, are some of the most challenging films to dislike, because they’re so popular that one just comes off as a troll. And at this point, an uneducated troll, given the academic pretensions of these movies

  12. Katherin – Tammy got me this button at a SF con some years back that reads:

    “I’m not pompous – I’m pedantic.
    “There’s a difference.
    “Let me EXPLAIN it to you….”

    We were really happy to hear you as Paul’s co-host again – one thing Tammy and I both love about TGME Podcast is that he has female co-hosts like you, Mom and now Rachel on regularly. Unlike Some Other Movie Podcasts I Could Name, his show’s not always a sausage-fest of guys sniggering for an hour every episode.

    Paul also knows a lot more about movies than most of his podcasting counterparts, or does his research – he’d be really good on movie panels at SF cons, if you guys ever go to any.

  13. Holy cats! Talk about hive mind! I was just thinking yesterday Paul should apply for panel time at MegaCon and have Mom, Kat, and Sean on it with him.
    PEER PRESSURE

  14. Jung-ho, there is a growing backlash against the Nolan BATMAN movies. A large part of it’s political, admittedly – either Right Wingers railing against it’s “libburulism”, or Progressives enraged at how it seems to justify The Post-9/11 Security State – which may be why it would be a hornet’s nest for any podcaster who doesn’t have an explicitly political show.

    Since Paul tries not to get political on TGME Podcast, he’d probably rather not go there.

  15. Rachel – You mean this MegaCon in Tampa?

    I’ll admit I was thinking of cons a bit more Northern than that, like Confluence in Pittsburgh (which Tammy and I just got back from – Tammy teaches at the Alpha Young Writer’s Workshop that’s attached to it) or Darkovercon Thanksgiving Weekend outside of Baltimore – both of which we attend regularly. But, MegaCon sounds interesting – maybe we should look into it, especially since we have friends in Tampa….

  16. MegaCon is in Orlando. But yes, Paul should think about GME panels for cons. 🙂

  17. My complaints about the two Nolan Batman films I’ve seen weren’t really relevant to the Supergirl discussion, so I didn’t pursue that line of thinking further. I haven’t seen the third one, so I can’t comment there. My complaints aren’t political, either, although I can definitely see how some people think that the movies seem to justify fascism / police state tactics. Basically, my complaints boil down to that I find Christian Bale’s performance as both Batman and Bruce Wayne unconvincing, that I find Nolan’s earlier films (Memento, Following) more interesting than any of his Batman work, and that Nolan’s nigh-slavish devotion to evoking a gritty sense of realism works at cross-purposes with the subject matter. That is, the more realistic Nolan tries to make Batman, the more absurd the whole thing becomes. Plus there are issues of plotting and structure that I feel are not properly addressed, but a lot of that is very meta and doesn’t seem to impact other people’s enjoyment of the films.

  18. It is interesting that a superhero movie can even appeal to those polarized views, or introduce discussion at all, but I have to agree with the Almighty here — the movies themselves are just not that great, though I did enjoy Begins. TDK then went ahead and replaced the Blade Runner look and the spectacle with a mess — it was a big head with empty ideas, genre-identity crisis, and light story schizophrenia

  19. Also excuse me for taking things off-track, I know the B-man was only mentioned briefly on the podcast

  20. Paul – then you really should do a Nolan BATMAN podcast! See DKR and do a trilogy one – maybe do a point/counterpoint with a real fan of the trilogy, which I’m sure one of your regular co-hosts or guest hosts would be….

    I disagree with Bale failing as Bruce Wayne – I feel he’s the best Wayne so far, which Clooney a close second (Clooney failed as Batman, b/c he looked like he could barely move in his outfit until the stunt guys took over!). But – yeah, his Batman feels more like clever editing effects than Bale being a believable ass-kicker.

    I actually kind of liked how fairy-tale Nolan’s “gritty realism” is – which means that he’s succeeded by failing miserably, in that his “grit” feels Dickensian crossed with Thirties Warner Brothers rather than remotely present-day! The Gotham of the first two movies, in fact, feel like a dystopian fantasyland that most people would hate to live in, but would probably be one Hell of a popular weekend vacation spot for the adventurous – kind of like New York City that way…. 😀

    My only rebuttal to the plotting and structure issues is that those problems exist – but I’ve seen far far worse (any Michael Bay movie!). Still, that’s really no defense for sloppy storytelling, is it?

    “Not As Bad As Michael Bay!”
    – Timothy Liebe
    Random Internet Commenter

  21. @Rachel – heh, Orlando. Tammy and I were in Orlando once for some NCTE thing – in June. I think the trip across the parking lot from the hotel to the convention center wilted all the attendees – most of whom came from the Tri-State Area as we did. Well, I suppose it can’t be quite as bad in March – can it?

    Paul – I second Rachel’s comment about you, Mom and Katherin attending cons as TGME Podcast crew. I think you’ve got fans out there you don’t even know about in SF land – and if you were there to talk about your show and the anime work you do, you’d certainly get more.

    If you can make it to Darkovercon Thanksgiving Weekend, send me a message on FB – the woman who runs the con is a friend of ours, and one of our contributors on Tammy upcoming Tortall Companion Book. I’m sure we could get you on some panels there….

  22. A good friend of mine is a huge fan of the original Salkind produced Superman features; as such, Supergirl for him is all different kinds of pain. All that means to my masochistic mind is ‘must see’ material.

    On the Batman tanget, I might as well throw my two cents regarding Nolan’s trilogy. All very enjoyable films, but each suffer from their own individual flaws that differ depending on the instalment. Mask Of The Phantasm remains my favourite theatrical Batman feature.

  23. I’ll cast my vote for Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker as my favourite batman movie. I know purists aren’t overly fond of Terry in the suit, but that movie has given me my favourite rendition of the Joker thus-far. Mark Hamill has never sounded more menacing and soulless as the Joker as in that movie, and his camp-disposition is replaced with an incredibly dark sense of humour. Almost feels like a precursor to Ledger’s joker in some ways.

    I guess all that’s left for Goob to review in this ill-gotten Superman franchise is III. I consider that probably the most unwatchable Superhero film created. Its not an entertaining kind of bad, I genuinely just can’t sit through the entire film.

    To Ilya Salkind’s credit he wanted to use Brainiac in Superman III, and also in Supergirl. His theatrical debut is long overdue.

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