Manion not only captures Power Girl's... buxomness, but provides wit and charm while Kara seeks to fill her life with a mundane nine to five.
Platforms: online movie
Multimedia: Power Girl
Subtitle: The Classifieds
US release date: 1969-12
You will believe a girl can temp
Ah, the Internet. Home to the ever-growing trend of viral videos, spreading images of drunken party girls, geeky fanboys singing to their favorite cartoons, and at least one unintentionally popular young padawan.
In the midst of all this are diamonds in the rough. Films that, although produced by nonprofessionals, are worth more than some big-budget movies on sheer entertainment value. Power Girl: The Classifieds by Chris .R. Notarile (he adds the extra period for some reason) strives to be just such a film.
First a quick note. Power Girl: The Classifieds is a fan film, and as such involves concepts and images that fall under the copyright of the Time Warner subsidiary DC Comics. I'm not going to comment on the legality of the concept here, that's for another time and place. This is just a review of Power Girl: The Classifieds.
Disclaimer out of the way, let's jump into the nitty gritty. Power Girl is, for the uninitiated, one of DC's superheroes. To be specific, she's Superman's cousin. Or was. Or maybe she is again. Or maybe the DC bigwigs aren't even sure, so you can just forget that and accept that she's really powerful and is a slightly more grown-up version of Supergirl. Kara, as her friends call her, also falls somewhere between the "good" and "bad girl" styles: she shows a lot of cleavage while fighting the good fight, but doesn't flaunt her sexuality by dressing like a tramp. (Think Wonder Woman, but in white.)
Notarile's Blinky Productions took the idea of a beautiful, powerful hero without a sense of direction, and threw her into a never-ending battle: real world job hunting. A fun concept made all the more entertaining by actress Tawnya Manion. She not only captures Power Girl's... buxomness, but provides wit and charm while Kara seeks to fill her life with a mundane nine to five (as suggested over the phone by cousin Clark).
In fact, much of the acting is topnotch. I'm going to single out the parts of Shlomoh Sherman and Dwayne Thomas, who play Power Girl's employers. Like Manion did with the titular character, both take very one-dimensional roles and add just enough personality to them to make them believable people -- at least as far as fan films are concerned.
Which brings me to my next point: in no way should this short be held to the same high standard as Spider-Man 2, Batman Begins, Sin City, and other favorably reviewed comic book adaptations. But as fan films go, it's alright. Certainly this is one of Notarile's better works (although the ambitious Escape Big Trouble in New Jersey is fun on title and concept alone). He uses clever concepts and topnotch cinematography to draw the audience through.
Compared to Sandy Collora's Batman: Dead End or Superman/Batman, the standards by which most DC Comics fan films are judged, this adventure of Power Girl is not the best of the genre, but definitely fun.
The title seems to be an offhand reference to JSA Classified, the new series recently spotlighting the young heroine and tackling her convoluted origins (and why she wears such a low-cut costume). Aside from the fact that, according to the director's website, the film takes place between issues three and four of that series, it also makes passing references to other bits of DC continuity. Justice League comedy duo Booster Gold (Brandon Goins) and Blue Beetle (Notarile himself) make brief cameos, as do a few other heroes named only in the credits (including wife of the director, Niki Notarile, reprising her Catwoman role from previous fan films). Booster even mentions his superhero-themed restaurant Planet Krypton; although the reference might be lost on casual viewers, random bits of comic book lore aren't needed to enjoy the film. Accept it as a lovingly crafted film about someone who's between jobs, and we can all relate. Superman's cousin or not.