The Return of Captain Invincible

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Overview

This patchy, uneven combination of fantasy and musical comedy is hilarious in parts and embarrassing in others, though the premise has great potential in itself -- a screwball Captain Invincible is out to save the world from his nemesis, Mr. Midnight, the white supremacist. Captain Invincible (Alan Arkin) is wallowing in his cups in the Australian outback when he receives an unusual call from the American President asking for his help. Unusual because the Captain had no choice but to go into exile after Joseph ...
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Overview

This patchy, uneven combination of fantasy and musical comedy is hilarious in parts and embarrassing in others, though the premise has great potential in itself -- a screwball Captain Invincible is out to save the world from his nemesis, Mr. Midnight, the white supremacist. Captain Invincible (Alan Arkin) is wallowing in his cups in the Australian outback when he receives an unusual call from the American President asking for his help. Unusual because the Captain had no choice but to go into exile after Joseph McCarthy's Un-American Activities Committee became suspicious of his red cape, and he has never been sober enough to recover from the shock. This history is given in a mock newsreel at the beginning of the film. But now Mr. Midnight is threatening to dismember New York City by convincing all the ethnic groups to live along the seashore. Once they are situated on beachfront property, he will blast out a crack in the earth behind them, cut their connection to the mainland, and send them drifting off into the Atlantic. It seems the dastardly Midnight has stolen the ultra-secret hypno-ray and can slice off New Jersey whenever he wants. Weakened by depression and alcohol, Captain Invincible is nursed back to full throttle by Patty Patria (Kate Fitzpatrick) and is soon ready to zoom over Sydney to the far side of the globe -- after practicing in harness in front of rear-projected scenes. Meanwhile, Mr. Midnight and his sidekick are all set to defend their turf, and their ability to slice it up -- though the (American) patriotic sentimentality that prevails in the end, after several other songs have come and gone, is summarized in a rendition of "God Bless America" that conflicts with the opening scenes and may leave foreign audiences cold.
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Special Features

New widescreen transfer supervised by director Philippe Mora (aspect ratio 2.35:1, enhanced for 16x9 TVs); Theatrical trailer; Newly remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Return of Captain Invincible is a product of its time; how well it's aged is up to the viewer's response. A reaction to the straightforward superhero comic book movies that were the rage in the late '70s and early '80s, Captain Invincible turned the genre on its head and gave it a nasty, dark tone -- an alcoholic superhero reluctant to save the day? Christopher Reeve this is not. Those looking for another moon-eyed superhero swoon such as Superman will be not just disappointed by the cynical tone, but perhaps even upset that such liberties could be taken. Which is exactly what director Philippe Mora had in mind. Using the built-in naïvety of the genre and its fans, Mora's off-the-wall take -- musical numbers, anyone? -- creates conflict within itself, not unlike the turmoil raging inside the reluctant superhero, played with characteristic understatement by Alan Arkin. How you feel about the film depends on how much you want to invest in thinking about all this. If you just want to see the good guy take on the bad guy in an effects-laden spectacle with all the lines clearly marked, then rent Batman again. But if you like your films skewed and with an edge, check out Captain Invincible.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2003
  • UPC: 790594762520
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: Elite
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Arkin Capt. Invincible
Christopher Lee Mr. Midnight
Kate Fitzpatrick Patty Patria
Bill Hunter Coach, Tupper
Graham Kennedy Australian Prime Minister
Michael Pate U.S. President
Hayes Gordon Kirby
Max Phipps Admiral
Noel Ferrier General
Brian Adams Reporter
David Argue Italian salesman
Ron Beck Black salesman
John Bluthal Deli owner
Chelsea Brown Tour guide
Max Cullen Italian man
Arthur Dignam Lawyer
Chris Haywood Maitre d'
Gus Mercurio Noisy garbageman
Technical Credits
Philippe Mora Director
Brian Burgess Associate Producer
David Copping Production Designer
Steven E. de Souza Screenwriter
Christopher de Vore Screenwriter
Kate Duffy Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew Gaty Producer, Screenwriter
Ken Hammond Sound/Sound Designer
Louis Irving Cinematographer
Michael Molloy Cinematographer
William Motzing Score Composer
Owen Paterson Art Director
John Scott Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [10:30]
2. "Mr. Midnight" [5:47]
3. "The Hypnoray" [5:47]
4. "Your Country Needs You" [8:59]
5. "Into the Blue!" [16:01]
6. "Are You Ready Captain?" [8:58]
7. "Evil Midnight" [9:42]
8. "Operation Ivory" [9:33]
9. "The Deli" [5:53]
10. "Name Your Poison" [8:20]
11. "The American Eagle Network" [7:16]
12. Closing Credits [4:14]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Feature
   Scene Index
   Theatrical Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ''Alan Arkin Is God''

    It's a bird, It's a plane, It's Alan Arkin the first and only alcoholic super hero! A rare cult film. Alan Arkin the King of Comedy. Check out the musical tunes sung by Arkin and Christopher Lee. A personal favorite.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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