Beyond Spider-Man : 2001 : Unbreakable

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The idea about Better Read is to maybe point out a few non-Spidey comics or books that might be worth a quick peek. Well, this month we're going to stretch the point and go a little beyond comics.

First up, a Movie. Over a year old now, and available on DVD.

Let's be honest here. Are there really that many Super-Hero films you would bother wanting to own on DVD? Are there many that really haunt you? How many of them would you call uplifting, or powerful, or thoughtful, insightful, clever, challenging? How many of them are actually good film, instead of just good fun?

There have been a few Hollywood successes. The first Super-Man, the first Batman, the X-Men Movie. Even Judge Dredd. Spawn. All were perfectly acceptable blockbusters, appealing with the industry-approved mix of action, special effects, big name stars and scripts which lead around the regular twists in the time-honoured conventions which when combined with a big screen and Dolby™ Surround Sound are well-proven to take your mind off the real world for 90 minutes.

Of course, there were just as many 'follow-up' movies... Batman 2, 3, 4, etc. All of which were your typical mediocre money-spinning sequels. Plus don't forget the real bombs... like The Punisher (straight to video) and Blade (blaxploitation). Let's not even talk about those 70's Spidey movies.

But have any movies really tried to make a film about what might really happen if an ordinary guy in the everyday world really might have some sort of power. Not flying, or sticking to walls. But maybe just enough power to make a difference. Except that he has his own life, and his own secrets, dreams, fears, doubts and dispairs.

Enough. Let me just say that when I say M. Night Shymalan's "Unbreakable", I saw the first truly praise-worthy film to in any way deal with the subject of super-heroes. No special effects. Hardly a fight sequence in sight. Just a superbly subtle and moving plot, and masterful performances from a very talented cast. If you love movies, and comics, then you should see this.