The Five Worst (and Four Best) Scooby-Doo Knock Offs

I guess because it’s written in blood in a contract with some demonic force that every single year, Scooby Doo has to have a new movie released on or around the Halloween season. Truth be told, the movies sell well and Scooby Do around Halloween just makes sense. The long running series from Hanna Barbera has been one of the most influential franchises of all time, even bringing with is a wave of goofy, silly, god awful copy cats. They tried everything to duplicate the success of Scooby from talking mopeds, goofy ghosts, and even miniature detectives.

These are five of the worst Scooby Doo Knock Offs, and Four of the Best.

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Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

Director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” movie series has been very good so far. What’s kept the series from being great is the films’ lack of really interesting super villains that can make Diana’s heroic quest difficult. “Wonder Woman 1984” is a very good movie that has its sights set on paying tribute to the iconic heroine, and in those respects it’s a very good follow up to the original film—save for some glaring flaws that keep it from being a great follow up.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

After relentless caterwauling from fans for four years, director Zack Snyder is allowed to return to the DCEU once again to offer his original vision (or a very close facsimile) of what he had planned for the “Justice League” and the DCEU. While I don’t miss Snyder and his involvement with the DC movies (the man loves his slow motion), his “Justice League” is, shocking enough, an infinitely superior adaptation than the 2017 Joss Whedon lemon. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but if pushed in to a corner, I’d happily rewatch the “Snyder Cut” again, with warts and all.

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Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

Superman’s legend is constantly being re-invented for a new generation and it’s always retrofitted for a new sensibility and new crowd of potential comic book buffs. Thankfully while DC has rebooted Superman a few times in their animated universe they’ve managed to stick to what makes the man and the myth so exciting and awe inspiring. Even in the rare misfires, Superman is almost always Superman and it’s great to see him return yet again in this re-invention of the character’s lore.

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Superman: Red Son (2020) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

Like most elseworlds tales involving Superman and most DC superheroes, “Red Son” examines what the world would look like with a small alteration in mythology. And it’s also a look in to what would happen if Superman was on a different side of history. It’s a history in the controversial albeit acclaimed graphic novel where America loses the Cold War, Russia is the dominant force and Superman is a being whose own personal hell was paved with good intentions. The problem is that with “Red Son,” we’ve basically seen it all before.

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Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

For folks that loved the original 2009 “Wonder Woman” animated DC movie, Warner and DC have rebooted “Wonder Woman” in to the New 52 mold with a refresher on her origin and a twist on her relationship with Steve Trevor. I can’t say that I liked “Bloodlines” as much as I did “Wonder Woman,” but it’s a pretty good piece of action filler until the live action sequel arrives in theaters very soon. “Bloodlines” is interested in expanding on Wonder Woman’s world and that’s what it excels in, most of the time.

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The Death and Return of Superman (2019): The Complete Film Collection – Limited Edition Gift Set [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

After the polarizing “adaptation” from 2007, DC and Warner take another crack at the taking one of the most controversial and news making comic book storylines of the nineties and bring it to the big screen. With a little tweaks, of course. The whole of “The Death and Return of Superman” is compact, but it takes a good effort in streamlining the entire arc for a movie. The whole epic storyline spanned a ton of DC titles from Supergirl, Green Lantern, and Justice League, so Jake Castorena and Sam Liu have to squeeze it in to two whole movies, and they do a pretty great job of it, save for glaring flaws here and there.

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Justice League vs. The Fatal Five (2019) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

After years of delivering a new style of animation for a new generation of DC and Warner fans, the DC animation department is going back to the well and reviving the classic Bruce Timm animation style for some brand new films. While they all haven’t been slam dunks, “Justice League vs. The Fatal Five” is a fine return to form for a part of DC Comics Entertainment that almost always delivers. It’s certainly better than the junky 2017 “Batman and Harley Quinn” movie, and even takes the time out to delve in to important overtones about PTSD, Mental illness, and overcoming our fears.

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