Sparks: DVD review
by, 02-26-2014 at 05:16 AM (5511 Views)
Give me any well constructed, aptly produced & decently presented superhero movie, and I'm a totally contented fanboy. In a normal circumstance I'm even willing to forgive overtly cheesy CGI, lame dialogue & the occasional annoying sidekick forgoing ALL logic and causing lapses in mental judgement that put our dynamic duo in eventual jeopardy......cue heroic theatrical music !!
Okay, so maybe I'm overthinking all this, but I'll admit when a copy of "Sparks" was lovingly shot-putted onto my front porch by an apparent hurried UPS worker, my suspicions arose to colossal proportions that this film would tank miserably. and boy was I wrong ! The movie, adapted from the hit graphic novel by Catastrophic Comics, and directed by both Todd Burrows & Christopher Folino , tells the story of Ian Sparks, who at a very early age was involved in a horrific train accident while riding in the back of his parents' car - which became overcome by a rogue wave of unnamed chemicals that spilled out when the locomotive collided with their vehicle....amidst a 1920's era where multiple do-gooders donned homemade costumes to combat crime.....and somehow I'm starting to feel a connection coming on here.
Parents passed away (Hello, Batman)...Ian is taken care of by Aunt May (good seein ya, Spider-Man), and a vigilante-style troupe battles the baddies nearly EVERY night (is that you, Kick-Ass ?)...but that is when the comparisons stop, and the imaginative storyline picks up, much to the viewers's benefit. Sparks (Chase Williamson) lives and trains his life much like any self-respecting superhero should - now granted he catches his fair share of beatings from time to time, but it's all in the progressive creation of a man the people can look to in their time of need....but a partner to protect your backside doesn't hurt, especially when she's easy on the eyes & a skilled brawler to boot - enter Lady Heavenly (Ashley Bell of The Last Exorcism series) - their relationship quickly matures from partners in crimefighting to soul mates...until a devious interruption of a celebrated moment between the two by the master-villain, Matanza (William Katt - The Greatest American Hero...need I say more ?), leaves Sparks with a gunshot in his skull, and his Lady Love battered & bruised..worse off, they've been rescued by Lady's former love-interest & current super-protector, Sledge (Mr. Jake Busey).
The attack has left Sparks a collective wreck, fighting to regain not only his foothold amongst the public, but personally as well - you see, Lady no longer wants to be associated with him, personally or professionally - a grand scheme if I do say so myself - what better way to shatter a superhero, but to lay waste to their personal & public agendas - score a HUGE victory to Matanza. The actions layed upon our hero have made him a vengeful sort, uncaring and limitless in his torturous ways towards the everyday wrongdoer. Sparks' greatest challenge now lies in the hopes that he can place himself in the good graces of his city's residents while attempting to uncover the secrets behind Matanza and his cronies...and to get back with the woman his heart pines for. Numerous cameos in the film make for some excellent viewing, and we are treated not only to Bell, Busey & Katt, but have eye-catching performances by industry veterans Clint Howard & Clancy Brown, who both throw down the acting gauntlet whichever feature they may be in. Visually, the film is quite the spectacle, with it's 40's noir eyepieces - although many scenes have that "green-screen" look, they are still presented in a way that gives the viewer a peek into the old radio-presentations of yesteryear's superheroes.
You'll definitely be engaged with the multiple-plot twists, if not the slam-bang fighting action (Ashley Bell's character should have her OWN movie) - for a film without the highest budget available, "Sparks" still delivers the goods if you're looking for a fun "Spirit" styled, heroic paladin-like presentation of war-time era superhero movies. Watch and ENJOY !
The DVD will be made available to the public on March 18th, 2014.