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Sparks


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 18 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00H91LVOM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,736 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

After a radioactive meteor strikes Earth, a genetically altered group known as The Rochester 13 gain astonishing, superhuman powers. Ian Sparks (Chase Williamson, John Dies at the End) doesn’t feel remotely super… but after his parents’ death, he throws himself into battle against the criminals plaguing the mean streets of New York. Teaming up with, and falling hard for, the beautiful Lady Heavenly (Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism I & II), the unstoppable duo quickly decimates the city’s army of thugs. But when they tangle with the nation’s most twisted arch-villain, they end up losing everything — including each other. Sparks’ rage-fueled quest for vengeance ignites a battle that will change the world and alter his destiny, forever.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 27 2014
Format: DVD
This is a film that people seem to really love or absolutely detest; I actually thought it had some very strong points and fell a bit flat elsewhere. It is a `superhero' tale and based on the graphic novel which tells the story of a meteor crashing to earth causing a genetically mutated group of people who become known as `the Rochester 13'. Then we have the story of the hero or rather `superhero' Ian Sparks (Chase Wiliamson - `John Dies at the End') whose parents are killed in an exploding car incident that was partially caused by the cops.

We jump ahead a number of years and Sparks has decided to go out righting wrongs and in the end teams up with Lady Heavenly played by Ashley Bell (`The Day') then they come up against a super villain and the rules of the game change forever... type thing.

Well all of that is pretty predictable and I quite liked the suspending belief as you swallowed their stories of woe. It unashamedly plays for the `noir' feeling and in many ways copies `Sin City' with its use of graphics and live action. However, it lacks the pathos of that film and is never consistent with the noir feeling, so at times it feels like we got only half the film that the makers wanted us to see - that may have been down to budget. The action is ok at best and sporadic and you will be amazed at a shotgun that causes no damage to the moving vehicle it is fired at, whilst killing the passenger.

Some have criticised the acting, but I think they had to play it in a kind of cheesy tongue in cheek way as the whole thing is quite unbelievable and some would argue that is as it should be. If you are a fan of super hero type films this will tick some of your boxes, if you are hankering for a noir then look elsewhere - if you just want some not too sensible viewing fun then this more than passes muster.
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Format: DVD
Ian Sparks (Chase Williamson) joins with mutants to avenge the death of his parents. He discovers that not everyone is honest in this age of vigilante super heroes. The complex plot takes some nice twists in this comic book adventure set in 1948.

The film reminded me a little of the Warren Beatty "Dick Tracy" film. I would say if you couldn't stomach those sets, skip this one.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs. No nudity. Sex scenes and prostitution theme. 3 1/2 STARS
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 67 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A great story and a great movie. March 19 2014
By Ethan MacKuin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I write this review neither as a professional critic nor as someone directly involved with movie making. Instead I am simply a long time fan of movies in general and of the various genres that make up the melting pot that is Sparks. Sparks in its simplest description is a combination of noir style and superhero action with a late 1930s to early 1940s backdrop. It is a wonderful film and should be included in anyone’s personal catalog of DVDs. That having been said, getting down into just what makes this film special will yield even more impressive details.

Sparks is based on a graphic novel of the same name written by Christopher Folino. During the original run of the comic he and William Katt (yes of Greatest American Hero fame) decided to try to bring it forward as a film. There’s more to it than that but this is supposed to be a review of the film and hot a historical treatise of it. However, it does bear to point out that the film was produced completely independently. It is very much a labor of love and it shows in the finished product.

Visually the film is a study in contrast. Scenes are shot in a way that is similar in feel to a combination of Sin City and a theatrical production. Because the production was completely independent and was shot quickly in one location, a lot of green screening was used. Much like it was in Sin City but it doesn't take anything away from the shots. It’s the same kind of feeling you would get watching a play where you know the characters aren't actually in the location they're pretending to be in but you accept the conceit and go along for the ride anyway.

The effects overall are magnificent. Yes certain nitpicks could be made about their quality if you were to go frame by frame but given that all the visual effects were the work of TWO guys alone, it’s a marvel of artistry and talent. For a superhero movie, there aren't that many big, in your face effects (no city destroying climax here) but how and when they’re used is done to perfectly illustrate and forward the plot which is a lesson that many effects heavy blockbusters could learn.

The musical score is perfectly interwoven to the film and blends in with the entire package to nicely frame things and add to the flow without being blaring or overpowering the dialog. It is dramatic without being corny. No noticeable dead girlfriend violin.

The acting was spot on with Chase Williamson (John Dies At The End) going from adorably dorky one moment (the meeting Lady Heavenly scene is perfect illustration) to pissed off world weary the next with ease as Ian Sparks. Ashley Bell (Last Exorcism) is wonderful as Lady Heavenly in every aspect of the character. To say more about her portrayal would be to spoil a bit of plot. Clancy Brown, Jake Busey, and Clint Howard all turn in stellar performances but William Katt deserves special note for his chilling portrayal of Matanza. He delivers his lines and presence with a gravitas that is calm and sinister without being campy.
The plot and writing is where the movie shines the most. Like most noir works (at least that I've seen) the film makes heavy use of flashbacks. Sometimes repeating the same moment but from different points of view or with people admitting things they hadn't before. Sparks will not spoon feed you everything up front but by the end of the movie you will get what was going on. Fair warning though that it will not happen until quite literally the last minute but the film does tie up all the loose ends in a very satisfying way. More than once you will find yourself going “Ohhhhhh so that’s what that was.”

So to sum up, is the film absolutely 100% completely perfect? No. But it is a masterpiece of ingenuity, storytelling, and a perfect demonstration that for all the jadedness in the world, there’s still some magic to be found in movies. Beyond all that, it’s just a fun movie to watch with a great story and the world needs more great stories. Here’s to hoping there’s a sequel somewhere down the road.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A movie for fun and a message June 2 2015
By Nina Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Sparks is a movie that proves that you don't need Michael Bay at the helm, or a legion of A listers to make a great movie. The movie truly shines on its own as it combines a unique combination of film noir, grit, romance, and action culminating in what is one of the more realistic approaches to super heroes that I've ever seen in a movie. In most movies the protagonist, antagonist, and other characters inherit their powers and immediately it becomes a black and white scenario of good and evil. What makes Sparks stand out in my book is the fact that the line between the two is crossed several times, and ultimately blurred as you watch Sparks battle not only his enemies, but himself. You get to witness a "hero" have a fall from grace, taking part in acts of treachery and revenge, and several other gifted individuals use their abilities in other advantageous ways other than saving a cat from a tree and fulfilling the stereotypical role of a hero as we have come to see it in todays society. You get heroes whom one minute you want to have their collective butts kicked, and the next moment you are rooting for them. This emotional shift also applies to the antagonists in the film such as Jason Driver (played by David Sobolov), who you watch go from a despicable criminal ring leader, to a vengeful man whom, much like the character Sparks (played by Chase Williamson) has been deceived and as a result loses everything they once held dear. Which leads the audience members wishing nothing short of seeing Archer (played by Clancy Brown) suffer. The only faults with the movie lie in it's misuse of a few elements that didn't exist in the 1940's, and the overuse of a few particular scenes. However, between the enchanting Ashley Bell, the phenomenal Chase Williamson, and the legendary Clancy Brown, those minor issues are easily overlooked and swept away by the performances of the amazing cast of the film. Overall, I recommend watching "Sparks" as the wonderful 1940's noir elements meshed together with the comic book super hero create a unique dynamic tone for the film.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I love this movie June 2 2015
By Virginia Boudreaux - Published on Amazon.com
I loved this movie which is based on the graphic novel which is mind blowing and stands on its own, because it literally brings a unique richness to storytelling, and it does make for a perfect companion to "Sparks the Movie," building on relationships of the characters in a film noir 1940s setting. I've decided to give this graphic novel a read after having seen the movie. Overall, I am having a difficult time deciding which I enjoyed more, the graphic novel or the movie? Which of course is a great thing because they both compliment each other very well. I hope there is a sequel in the works for both the graphic novel and the movie.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1940's Film Noir Superhero/Comic Book Movie May 11 2014
By michael - Published on Amazon.com
Graphic novels are perfect source material for film making; they feel like storyboards, after all. While reading the Graphic novel this movie was based on I knew it had to become a film. The noir sensibility was spot on; dark, red and shocking dread. I needed to see it on "film". There is always some trepidation when someone translates from a comic book (or any book) to the screen. So, with my expectations deliberately held in check, I went to the screening... Boom! Man, I was so happy with what the director(s) did. No spoilers here, but if you read the novel (which I highly recommend) you won't be disappointed. Ashley Bell is beautiful and perfect for her role. Bil Katt is spot on and tough. Chase Williamson is the only person who could have balanced the title character's role. What can you say about Clancy Brown? Any movie he's in automatically jumps up several notches in my book. Note to the film's makers: Thanks for not screwing up the book! Job well done.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great noir superhero story - worth your time to see! March 14 2014
By Jason - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
So here's the deal. If you like comics, superheroes, noir, good actors, Watchmen, 300, occasional violence, good story, cool characters, and just an entertaining movie, see Sparks, period. It's unlike anything you've seen up, I'd bet. It is rare for independent films to have more than one or two well known actors...that speaks to the strength of the story. The cast for a film like this is remarkable, and to me says a lot about the film by itself. I really loved it, and simply put, I recommend it to anyone who falls into the first sentence...

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