COMIC BOOK HEROES Programme At TIFF Bell Lightbox Promises To Be Super

Spring Break is just around the corner here in Toronto. And with the icy cold grip of Old Man Winter still lingering and threatening to ruin a perfectly good week off from school, families will want to consider taking in a matinee screening during TIFF's Comic Book Heroes programme. 

From spandex-clad superheroes to square-jawed cops and cowlicked kid reporters, TIFF's Comic Book Heroes series celebrates those figures heroic enough to fight crime and injustice wherever it may live, and do it while wearing colourful tights. Running from March 9 to 24, this family-focused March Break matinee series looks at some of the best comic book adaptations in cinema history, as well some screen superheroes who live beyond the pages.


If I had spawned younglings I would definitely consider taking them to see some of these films; some of which were definitely favorites from my own childhood and child-like years. 

Superman dir. Richard Donner | 1978 | USA | 143 min. | G

The Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve) battles the diabolical Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) in the first and still one of the best mammoth-budgeted superhero epics.

Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.


Superman II dir. Richard Lester | 1980 | USA | 127 min. | PG

Superman (Christopher Reeve) battles three equally superpowered Kryptonian villains in this darker and even more spectacular sequel to the original blockbuster.

Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m.


Dick Tracy dir. Warren Beatty | 1990 | USA | 101 min. | PG

Producer-director-star Warren Beatty brings the square-jawed comic-strip cop to big-screen life in this spectacularly stylized adventure.

Monday, March 11 at 1 p.m.


The Adventures of Tintin (3D) dir. Steven Spielberg | 2011 | USA/New Zealand | 107 min. | PG

The intrepid boy reporter and his perpetually soused companion Captain Haddock take off in pursuit of pirate treasure in Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's dazzling computer-animated adventure epic.

Tuesday, March 12 at 1 p.m.


The Powerpuff Girls Movie dir. Craig McCracken | 2002 | USA | 73 min. | PG

Three superpowered pre-teens battle to save their city in this big-screen spinoff of the phenomenally popular animated TV series.

Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m.


Megamind (3D) dir. Tom McGrath | 2010 | USA | 95 min. | PG

Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Ben Stiller lend their voices to this animated tale of a bulbous-headed supervillain who has to become the good guy when his even more evil creation threatens to take over the world.

Thursday, March 14 at 1 p.m.


Sky High dir. Mike Mitchell | 2005 | USA | 100 min. | G

Teenage superheroes in training learn their trade at a floating high school in this witty and cheerful spoof of comic book clichés.

Friday, March 15 at 1 p.m.


Monsters vs. Aliens (3D) dirs. Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon | 2009 | USA | 94 min. | PG

A secret government monster squad bands together to defend Earth from extraterrestrial invasion in this animated sci-fi comedy that features the voice talents of Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellwegger, Stephen Colbert, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and many more. Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m. -- this is a free screening as part of Bell Free Weekend


Astro Boy dir. David Bowers | 2009 | USA/Hong Kong/Japan | 94 min. | PG

Nicolas Cage and Donald Sutherland lend their voices to this slick CG update of the classic anime series.

Monday, March 18 at 1 p.m.


The Mask dir. Chuck Russell | 1994 | USA | 100 min. | PG

Jim Carrey confirmed his big-screen stardom as the green-faced, zoot-suited, superpowered party animal in this megahit special-effects comedy.

Tuesday, March 19 at 1 p.m.


Speed Racer dirs. Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski | 2008 | USA | 135 min. | PG

The Wachowski siblings' mega-budgeted CG update of the 1960s anime series is a dazzlingly artificial, candy-coloured retinal explosion of a movie.

Wednesday, March 20 at 1 p.m.


The Iron Giant dir. Brad Bird | 1999 | USA | 86 min. | PG

Acclaimed Pixar director Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles) made his feature directorial debut with this gorgeously animated adventure about a boy in '50s small-town America who befriends an enormous, metal-eating alien robot.

Thursday, March 21 at 1 p.m.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dir. Steve Barron | 1990 | USA/Hong Kong | 94 min. | PG

The pizza-loving reptiles made their big-screen, live-action debut in this massive box-office hit that cemented the TMNT multimedia empire.

Friday, March 22 at 1 p.m.


Batman: Mask of the Phantasm dirs. Eric Radomski and Bruce W. Timm | 1993 | USA | 76 min. | PG

The Caped Crusader battles a mysterious new vigilante and his old nemesis The Joker in this remarkably gritty cinematic spinoff of the critically acclaimed animated series.

Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m.


The Rocketeer dir. Joe Johnston | 1991 | USA | 108 min. | PG

A barnstorming 1930s pilot becomes a high-flying hero with the aid of a super-advanced jet pack in this thrilling homage to the adventure serials of the '30s and '40s.

Sunday, March 24 at 1 p.m.

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