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Comic Book Villains
Comic Book Villains
Actors: Donal Logue, Cary Elwes, Michael Rapaport, Natasha Lyonne, DJ Qualls
Genres: Comedy
R     2002     1hr 33min

Told from the point of view from archie a comic book collector this is the story of a rivalry between two comic book shop owners. One does it for the love of comics while the other shop run by a husband-&-wife team are in ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Donal Logue, Cary Elwes, Michael Rapaport, Natasha Lyonne, DJ Qualls
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Comedy
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/03/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Pulp Fiction of comic book movies
A. KAPLAN | Las Vegas, NV United States | 09/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In a small town, a comic book collector passes away, leaving a phenomenal collection in the hands of his elderly mother. The owners of the town's two rival comic book stores hear about it, and become obsessed with acquiring the collection. For Raymond (Donal Logue), whose entire life revolves around comics, the collection represents a dream, a chance to be taken seriously and remembered by his peers. For Norman (Michael Rappaport) and Judy (Natasha Lyonne), it's all about the money. Teenage fanboy Archie (DJ Qualls) just wants to see his friend Raymond happy. And the shady, mysterious Carter (Cary Elwes)? Who knows his true motivation?What starts out as a whimsical tale of oddball obsession takes a very dark turn about 2/3 of the way through, when everything goes horribly wrong. It is to writer/director James Robinson's credit that he keeps the viewer onboard, despite this tremendous shift in tone. We can see him bring the characters to the brink of madness, so the transition feels more natural, and not completely forced.I should point out that I am a huge comics fan, and have known people just like the ones in the movie. (Though I'd like to think I'm more Archie than Raymond.) I have been a fan of James Robinson's work for years, and eagerly awaited this, his first feature film as writer and director. This film provides an interesting counterpoint to the tales of collecting and nostalgia presented in his Starman series. Overall, his message is a little heavy-handed (Interest Good, Obsession Bad), but he manages to create mostly fleshed-out characters through his customary clever dialogue. There are lots of insider references to comics, but viewers unfamiliar with comics shouldn't be put off any more than non-doctor viewers are put off by the medical terminology in a typical episode of ER. The detail just helps illustrate how much the comics mean to the characters, which in turn helps explain why this particular collection is so important.The actors bring the characters to life in a believable fashion. The real surprise for me was Cary Elwes, who I generally think of in stick-up-his-wazoo, pretty-boy roles like in Twister or his recent turn on X-Files. Here, he manages to play a nasty two-bit, low-life punk with some edge, and I almost didn't recognize him. It's a low-budget, independent film, but a cast of names we recognize from other films give it some prestige.This won't be the last movie we'll see written by James Robinson; his screenplay based on Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is already being filmed. Hopefully, this won't be the last we'll see of his direction, either. It's too dark and nasty a film to be called charming, and the message is a little too obvious and not particularly clever, but it's very watchable, and I enjoyed it."
What could have, my, what could have been.
Vincent Zahedi | Alpine, NJ United States | 01/20/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I am not a comic book fan. I have read a few comic books, but not enough to be called a reader, let alone a collector. I was drawn into the premise of this movie, and also believe that Michael Rappaport has the ability to turn dog[doo] into diamonds, no matter what the role. I am also a fan of Donal Logue, and I have an appreciation for culty films like this. As it turns out, the comic book aspect was not too extreme. "Comic Book Villains" requires a familiarity for the themes of comic books, rather than the comics themselves. There are three types of comic book 'geeks' in the movie: the hardcore collector, represented by Logue's character; the famous book reader, who knows everything about popular comics, but nothing about less-known ones; and the casual reader, represented by DJ Quall's character of Archie. His role is where the problems begin. Every moment that Logue, Rappaport, or Cary Elwes is on screen, the movie shines of brilliant observation and attention to dialogue (even though the funniest conversation is blatently ripped off from Kevin Smith's "Mallrats"). However, Archie was written as the ideal reader, a guy who understands that comics are entertainment, not reality. He epitomizes everything i dislike about this movie. Every scene he is in is either hinting at a message, or explaining a message. The theme Archie brings to the story is furthered by ridiculously pathetic acts of violence and obsession, which ruin the film's last 4th. If one were to watch the ending of the movie and then the beginning, he would not have any idea they belonged to the same picture. Take Natasha Lyonne's character for instance. At the opening of the movie, she is a bright woman who runs a comic book store very casually. A slow change and character ark would have been brilliant for her character. However, after one stupid plot-hole-filled scene, she becomes a vengeful warrior obsessed with getting the mcguffin of the piece, the dead man's comics. And by the end, the film has made such lifeless criminals out of the characters, I couldn't even enjoy watching Logue, Rappaport, or Elwes anymore. The theme of the movie jumps so violently from comedy to black "comedy", that it no longer becomes entertaining. A potentially brilliant film cut down by the director's hatred for comic book readers."
Well... really 2 and a half
Jennifer | San Antonio, TX USA | 04/28/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Anyway when I first heard of this movies I had such high hopes for it... but it reallty took a trip down the toliet. For the first 45 minutes or so it was hilarious, the "accidental" running over Logue, even when he incinuated that Archie was "doin'" the old lady. I was excited about the cast it seemed really cool. But right after the old lady got stabbed it just took a turn for the worse. I'm a comic book fan myself and I don't even buy this. Okay I can buy that Logue would hire a man to steal the comics, I can buy that the old woman got stabbed by accident, I can even buy that no one wanted to call the police for her, but anything beyond that was on the wrong track. I was very disappointed to where it came to in the end. It felt like I was watching two different movies at the same time. I don't know... was this supposed to be dark humor or serious? PICK ONE! The dark humor quickly turned from something funny to something serious, then to something funny and light hearted again. There were a few things I liked about it that DJ was figuring out that there was a life outside of comic books and to get a life, and even how the rivals were going about getting the priceless comic books. I went from liking the movie to surprised then pissed off then indifferent. Not a good reaction. This is only for the hard core comic book fans that want no clear storyline, just mindless insanity and reference to comic books."
It had its moments....
Mike | Brantford, ONT, Canada | 04/13/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Well I just rented Comic Book Villians. When I was looking at the cover it looked promising. I like Donal Logue in Grounded For Life, n he was funny in Blade. But I was hoping this would be kind of like Mallrats. Mallrats is probably my favorite comedy, well most all of Kevin Smiths comedies(Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) are my favorites, except Dogma, im not really into the religious thing. But anyway back to CBV. The movie is actually pretty good, with a few funny parts. And i do mean a few, prolly the only part i really laughed at was when Donal Logue(Raymond Mcgillicuddy) is talking about his money problems and sum1 says but you have loyal customers, n Raymond replies, well ya so does Mcdonalds, but they just brought in a few billion more than i did ok. Anyways Raymond and Normal are rival comic book store owners, and are trying to get there hands on the collection of a recently dead old man. Who had been collecting for 45 years. The mans mother refuses to sell them, and that leads the to men to try and steal the comics. It turns from slightly funny to a very weird everyone goes nuts n gets guns tone, witch has a man killed because he didn't know what comic Wonder Woman was first introduced in. Over all its a good comic book-fan movie, but I am a comic book collector, and i was hopeing for more inside comic book humour, that only really happens at the beginning of this film..."