12 Films of Christmas 2018 (Part 4)

What? Did you think all these would be made-for-tv schlock? Wrong. Sometimes I do old stuff too.

As you could probably guess from the header image, today we are talking about Rankin/Bass’ beloved 1964 classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. And you guys already know the story. Even if you haven’t seen this thing, then you’ve absolutely heard that song. And if not, then I wonder what cave you’ve been living in for the past millennium. But to recap, there’s this reindeer, his name’s Rudolph, he has a red nose with the watt count of a fucking spotlight (and it apparently also has a dimming option). This little thing makes the other reindeer mock him, despite it doing no actual harm to anyone. So we follow him as he tries to fit in. That’s basically it. All I wonder is how in the shit they stretch this out to a 50-minute runtime. I mean, the inclusion of snow monsters, an elf that wants to become a dentist, and a prospector packing heat certainly might help in extending it a bit. But this is also the aspect that drags this special down a bit… that runtime feels dragged out. 25 – 30 minutes would have sufficed, but somehow it’s 51 minutes long. Yes, this special has a ton of charm and some really catchy tunes… but it all feels a bit dragged out. I mean, it’s good… I’m just not in love like those who grew up watching this.

On the fourth day of christmas, Markus decided to pick, a thing telling you not to be a dick.

Series Review: Castlevania – Season 2 (2018)

I am so excited to write about this. Partly because it’s another Month of Spooks review, and partly because I’ve been looking forward to season 2 of this show for over a year. And now we’re here, ready to talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Castlevania” season 2!

Picking up very shortly after the end of season 1, we once again follow Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage) on his quest to find and take down Dracula (Graham McTavish). But this time he’s not alone, as he’s joined on this quest by sorceress Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso), as well as Dracula’s own son, Alucard (James Callis). So now we have our vampiric plot. And I thought the plot here was great. The first season already set up a good enough plot/foundation, but it was a bit on the short side with only four episodes. This time we have eight episodes, which means you can let things develop a bit more, which works very well for the show as I found this plot entertaining, compelling, exciting, and just overall really well told. It even managed to tug at my heartstrings a bit. Great stuff.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, really interesting, and also pretty entertaining. First up we have Richard Armitage returning as Trevor Belmont, the last member of the legendary Belmont clan. He’s kind of a sarcastic asshole, but not to a degree where I utterly dislike him, as you can tell that a lot of this comes from his broken life. Also, it’s just entertaining to see him play off of the other characters a bit. And Armitage does a great job with the role. Alejandra Reynoso returns as Sypha, a scholar and sorceress that has joined Trevor on his quest. She’s a tough-as-nails lady that is also smart, charming, and just generally interesting. And despite an accent that is weird and inconsistent, Reynoso does a really good job in the role. Next we have James Callis as Alucard, the half-vampire son of Dracula. He had a good life that then turned to shit after something happened that, and now years later he of course wants to take down his own father. Alucard is a clever, badass, fun, and just overall interesting character that I love seeing at the forefront like this. And Callis is great in the role. And finally have Graham McTavish returning as Dracula, this time having a much more prominent role than in season 1. He’s a tragic figure who has understandable motivations, but extreme methods, and I think he’s one of the most interesting villains in recent years. And McTavish is fantastic in the role. We also get some supporting performances from people like Theo James, Peter Stormare, Adetokumboh M’Cormack, Emily Swallow, Matt Frewer, Jaime Murray, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

As with season 1, the score here was composed by Trevor Morris, and it is utterly fantastic. It’s big and bombastic, but it’s also subtle and contemplative. Badass, but also emotional. His score, which utilizes brass, strings, choirs, and sometimes even synth, perfectly fits into each scene and elevates it all to a whole different level.

Based on the classic video game franchise of the same name, and written by Warren Ellis, this might be the most well crafted video game adaptation of all time. It has a lot of fun nods to the games, while still working on its own if you haven’t played them. The animation here is great. The designs look great, and everything just has a crisp quality to them that I like.  And holy shit, the action scenes in this are utterly fantastic, being fast-paced, fun, badass, and brutal as all hell… so much blood. What I was a bit surprised by this season is just how funny it was. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a comedy series in the slightest, but there’s a fair bit of humor spread throughout the season, and I found it all to be really funny without taking away from the darker and more dramatic parts of the show.

The season just came out, and doesn’t have so much data on my usual sites. It exists on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but has no score as of writing this review. But on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

Season 2 of “Castlevania” takes what was good about the first season and ramps it up to fucking 11. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic writing/directing/animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Castlevania” season 2 is a 9,90/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Castlevania” season 2 is now completed.

Best video game adaptation ever? Damn right, it is.

Movie Review: Batman Ninja (2018)

I like Batman. I like anime. I like DC animated features (if you didn’t already know that from all the DC animation reviews I’ve done). So hopefully this’ll be something pretty good. Let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman Ninja”.

After he tries to stop an experiment by the villainous Gorilla Grodd (Fred Tatasciore), Batman (Roger Craig Smith) finds himself transported to feudal Japan. He soon finds also finds out that multiple of his allies and enemies have been transported there too. So we follow him as he tries to find a way back home, while also having to deal with the villains who infest Japan. So this plot is batshit (pun intended) insane. I’m okay with doing different things with established characters, it can lead to some really cool stuff. And at first I thought the ninja Batman thing sounded kind neat. And at times it is. But the plot has a really weird pace, often feeling very start-stop in it’s approach. When a part of it gains momentum, we cut into the next part, with no natural transition. It’s not a bad plot, as it has some fun ideas to it, but overall it’s kinda messy.

The characters in this I will not rally go into, as they are all just as you know them. There’s established Batman heroes/villains here, and only like one new character. And the already established ones act as you would expect ’em too. Roger Craig Smith plays the caped crusader. It’s his second time in the role after the underrated “Arkham Origins” video game, and I think he’s a great Batman. He does sound a bit like a younger version of Kevin Conroy, and that is just awesome. And the fact that he still makes the role his own is even cooler. So yeah, he’s great. Next up we have Tony Hale as the Joker… yes, really. At first I was unsure about him, as he just sounded like some high-pitched goofball. But as the movie went on something happened. I started enjoying his performance, which starting sounding a bit more sinister and more like the god damn Joker. So yeah… he’s pretty good. Then we have Grey Griffin as Catwoman, doing the same sexy and confident performance she has given the character in other things. And she’s great. Then in other roles we get people like Eric Bauza, Adam Croasdell, Will Friedle, Fred Tatasciore, Tara Strong, Yuri Lowenthal, and Matthew Yang King, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Yugo Kanno and it was good. I like how it blends the typical superhero brass with some more Japanese sounds to create something that gives the movie a more unique feel. Not gonna say that it’s one of the best scores I’ve ever heard, and it’s not one of the most memorable, but it certainly works well for the movie.

The movie was directed by Junpei Mizusaki and I have mixed feelings. The movie takes on a cel-shaded 3D animation style, and I don’t like that style. It looked bad in “Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters”, it looked bad in the trailer for this, and in this finished product it’s a mixed bag. When it’s mostly talking or slow walking or just generally “calm”, it doesn’t look great. It’s a weird style that doesn’t quite work, especially since it is quite jittery. But when we get to the action scenes, it looks kinda cool. Fast-paced fights between characters in this look interesting and they are are fairly enjoyable. Then there’s a scene with a sudden and weird shift in art style that I didn’t like too much. So I’m not sure what to say… Good action, meh everything else? Sure, let’s go with that.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception (based on the limited data I go by). On Rotten Tomatoes it has no critic rating, but the audience score is at 55%. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist at all. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

“Batman Ninja” is a fucking weird movie that has a few good things going for it. It has a meh plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, mixed direction/animation, and good action. Flaws (as previously mentioned) come in the form of a messy plot and the animation being weird. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Batman Ninja” is a 6,45/10. So while very flawed, I’d say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “Batman Ninja” is now completed.

Why do they keep insisting that they should use cel-shaded CGI? Stop it.

Series Review: Young Justice (2010 – 2013)

I wanna preface this review by saying, I’ve watched this show before. It’s just that after it was announced that it would finally get a third season, I really wanted to talk about this show before the third season was released. So now that I’ve gone through it again (slightly biased), I am ready to talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Young Justice”!

The story of the show follows the sidekicks of famous DC superheroes as they form their own team (creatively known as “The Team”), and have to learn to come into their own as they face major threats while also learning to work as a team. So now we have our superhero story. And as you probably sort of gathered from some mild clues in the intro, I think the plot here is fantastic. Yes, at first it’s more of a “villain of the week” type format, but there is also an overarching plot involving some shadowy organization that lurks in the background of it all. The story is compelling, because they take their time in setting things up, rather than rushing through them like some would. It’s a layered and nuanced story filled with twists and turns, as well as compelling drama, all without sacrificing the fun superhero part of the plot. It’s a highly creative and engaging plot that I loved following

Like the plot, the characters here have a surprising amount of depth to them. Across the show’s two seasons we see the characters go through some major development that gives them so many layers. In the cast we see characters like Robin (Jesse McCartney) , Kid Flash (Jason Spisak), Aqualad (Khary Payton), Superboy (Nolan North), Artemis (Stephanie Lemelin), and Miss Martian (Danica McKellar) go through a lot of things together, developing their relationships with each other while also growing as individuals. It also helps that the actors for each of the characters do very well in their respective roles, no one felt out of place). And yes, there are more characters in the show than those mentioned, but those are the central ones for the first season, and I don’t wanna say too much since a lot of characters are best left experienced. But I can say that there’s a lot of good main characters in this show, and a lot of great supporting characters and cameos. Great characters, great actors.

The score for the show was composed by DC regulars Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion. And I think it’s fantastic. Of course it contains a lot of big and epic tunes for the cool superhero fight scenes as expected, but it does also have some tunes for the quieter moments or when they need something a bit more emotional. All the tracks in this show are well composed, and they fit their respective scenes perfectly.

Based on a shit-ton of characters from DC comics history, this show was created by Greg Weisman & Brandon Vietti (and written by those two and a bunch of other talented people). And what they’ve done is take a lot of well known DC characters and tropes, and created their own, fully realized world, featuring some familiar characters. And the animation here is fantastic, with fluid movements, and plenty of detail throughout. This helps in getting the viewer invested… and also makes action scenes a lot more awesome. Seriously, they’re fantastic.

This show has been well received (though barely exists on my usual sites). On Rotten Tomatoes it exists, but has no rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #103 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

Did I make this review just so I could talk about “Young Justice”? Yes. But I feel like it’s also worth talking about since it’s such a great show. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/writing/animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Young Justice” is a 9,94/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of the first two seasons of “Young Justice” is completed.

I am really excited for season 3, which should be released later this year.

Movie Review: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)

This is exciting. First new DC animated movie of 2018. Even though there have been a few less than stellar ones over the years, I will always be excited for them. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight”.

Set in an alternate, Victorian era Gotham city, we follow Bruce Wayne (Bruce Greenwood) as he is stopping crimes in Gotham. And soon he has to find and stop a very dangerous serial killer known simply as… Jack the Ripper. So now we have our steampunk/Victorian era mystery starring Batman. And is this plot any good? Yes and no. On one hand you have this really cool idea of a steampunk Batman chasing after a killer, that’s a really cool idea. The execution here however is kind of average. They never let moments sink in, and I never felt fully invested in what was going on. There is a pretty good twist near the end of the movie that I won’t spoil, but let it be known that aside from that twist and also the overall idea, there isn’t too much about this plot that says “That’s actually really cool”. I wouldn’t call it bad, just kind of… okay.

The characters here do get some moments that make them a bit more interesting, but overall they don’t do too much to make us care too much about them. First up we of course have Bruce Wayne, rich playboy/philanthropist who at night dresses up like  grumpy bat-person and beats up criminals. He’s the same here as in most mediums, they do nothing new aside from the change of era. But I still enjoyed following him as he is decently likable. And Bruce Greenwood (Sidenote: His third time voicing the character) is great in the role. Then we have Selina Kyle, a sexy and charming yet tough woman. In this she’s an actress/entertainer rather than a cat burglar, and the stuff that she gets to do in this movie is pretty interesting. And Jennifer Carpenter does a really good job voicing her. Then we have James Gordon, still the commissioner of Gotham PD, still a very respectable man. They do some interesting stuff with him throughout the plot. Scott Patterson does a good job voicing him. As for the rest of the characters, they do nothing too noteworthy with them, but they work in this I guess. The cast, consisting of people like Anthony Stewart Head, Yuri Lowenthal, Grey DeLisle, John DiMaggio, William Slayers, and more, all do quite well in their roles.

As with most DC animated movies these days, the score was composed by Frederik Wiedmann. And once again he has composed a score that is exciting, tense, emotional, and just overall very fun to listen to throughout the movie. There was a scene in the movie that I only was somewhat invested in because of Wiedmann’s score. Dude’s really talented.

DC animation regular Sam Liu directed this, and I think he did a pretty good job. The animation looks pretty good, the action is pretty well handled and quite fun to watch at times. What I have a problem with most about the animation/direction are the designs of the characters. I haven’t read the comic that this is based on, but looking up panels and pages from this on google makes me think that they kind of missed something here. The characters stand out quite a bit here as they are quite cartoony, compared to some of the darker and more grimy backgrounds. Also, this of course doesn’t hold a candle to Mike Mignola’s art, but they could’ve at least tried a bit more in recreating the comic’s style. Oh well, I guess the animation/direction still works.

This has been decently received (I guess, data’s pretty limited). On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” isn’t one of DC animation’s strongest outings, but it’s still an entertaining little adventure. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, great music, and good direction/animation. It is of course dragged down a little bit by a not very engaging plot and some characters not being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *I’m Batman!*. My final score for “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is a 7,34/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is now completed.

Nananananananana Steampunk!

My Most Anticipated Movies 2018

Hello there, my friends! It is that time of the year again where I talk about my most anticipated movies of 2018. And I am aware that we’re already a week into 2018, but the movie year hasn’t really begun for me. So I am still safe in making this list. So here we go.

Just a couple of rules first.

Rule #1: My list. These are my most anticipated movies of the year. If you’re not excited for any of these or I didn’t include any that you’re excited about, then make your own list. These are MY most anticipated movies of the year. Not necessarily the ones I think will be the best, just the ones I am interested in seeing. In no particular order.

Rule #2: I will not include any late releases here. You know, those that have a limited release in like December and then come to other countries in the first quarter of the next year. So stuff like “Wind River”, “Three Billboards”, and “Shape of Water” are not included on this list (though I am excited for those too).

That’s it for rules this time. Here are my most anticipated movies of 2018.

Number 1: The Commuter.

First up we have “The Commuter”, the latest collaboration between Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra. I’ve enjoyed all of their previous collaboration, I find them to be enjoyable little thrillers. None of them are genuinely great movies, but I find them to be entertaining, good ways to kill two hours. And this looks to be another entertaining one form the duo. And with people like Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in the cast it’s sure to get some great acting in it.

Number 2: Deadpool 2.

I love “Deadpool”. It’s one of those movies that I was worried about, since FOX haven’t always been the kindest to the X-Movies. But I saw it and I had a blast. And “Deadpool 2” seems to be continuing what the first movie started. It looks like it will be as (if not more) insane as the first movie, while also introducing classic Deadpool allies Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz). But yeah, I’m excited.

Number 3: Black Panther.

After his awesome debut in “Captain America: Civil War”, I was excited to see Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) getting his own solo movie. Then the trailer came out, and I got even more excited because it looked badass. and with it coming out now in February, the hype is growing more and more. And even if it doesn’t turn out to be some fantastic movie, I am more than certain that it will be another cool and fun entry in the Marvel Cinematic universe.

Number 4: Avengers: Infinity War.

Yeah, I decided to go straight for the throat on this entry. The culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The big war featuring most if not all the heroes against the mighty Thanos (Josh Brolin). This looks like it will be a big and awesome action movie, but I also feel like there will be some great character moments in it, based on what came before and what this is. The hype is real.

Number 5: Ready Player One.

Here we have an interesting entry. Based on a book by Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” tells the story of Wade (Tye Sheridan), a young man using a virtual reality world to try to win a competition that would grant him a lot of money. I love the book, and was scared when I heard that they were adapting it. But Spielberg has proven himself before, so I will try to be optimistic. It looks interesting, and features tons of fun easter eggs in it. So yeah, player one is ready.

Number 6: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

While “Jurassic World” wasn’t anywhere near as great as “Jurassic Park” (contrary to what my original review more or less said), it was still a fun action-adventure featuring dinosaurs. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” looks to be that, but bigger, more explosive, and not as good. Not saying it will be bad (it’s on this list for a reason), but it has revealed a lot in the trailer… and a lot of it looks just… fine. Will I go see it opening week? You bet your ass, I am. But I will go in with restrained expectations.

Number 7: The Incredibles 2.

“The Incredibles” is a great movie, one of my favorites from Pixar. And Brad Bird is a good director. So I have a lot of faith that this will be good. By the way, why in the flying fuck did we get TWO “Cars” sequels before we even got ONE “Incredibles” sequel? Makes no god damn sense. But yeah, “Incredibles” is one I’m quite excited for.

Number 8: Annihilation.

Alex Garland has written some great movies. He also wrote and directed the excellent “Ex Machina”. And now we’re getting another movie that was written and directed by him. It stars Natalie Portman and is about some scientists going into some strange zone. And it looks good. I like me a solid sci-fi-thriller, and this looks like it could be such a thing.

Number 8: Pacific Rim: Uprising.

I really like “Pacific Rim”. I wouldn’t exactly call it Guillermo Del Toro’s greatest movie, but it has some interesting concepts and some damn entertaining action scenes. And while this doesn’t look like it will be as good as the first, it still looks like it could be a dumb and fun popcorn movie. And instead of Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi we seem to get John Boyega (Woo!) and Scott Eastwood (okay?). *gulp*. Please be good.

Number 9: X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

No trailer. Unproven director. Sequel to generally disliked movie. So how could I be excited for this? Honestly, I love “X-Men”. I love this franchise and I’m always excited to see new movies for this series. The X-Movies have given me hours upon hours of entertainment and I am always happy to get more.

Number 10: The New Mutants.

A horror movie set in the “X-Men” universe? Sure, why the fuck not. Could be fun. Looks like fun. Has a good cast. Yeah, I’m on board. Still confused about why horror with these mutants, and why there’s Pink Floyd in the trailer. Oh well, I’m intrigued.

Number 11: Soldado.

“Sicario” is one of my favorite movies of the last few years, so when they announced a sequel I got worried. Would they butcher it? How could they continue such a tight story? Sure, Brolin and Benicio are back, and so is the original writer… but Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins aren’t, so that had me worried. Then the trailer came out and I thought it looked okay. After some thinking, I am now even more excited about it. Do I think it’ll be better than the first? Hell no. But I think it could be a good movie.

Number 12: The Predator.

A sequel to “Predator”, written and directed by Shane Black? Hell yeah. Not only is Shane Black a damn fine writer/director, but his involvement with the original movie (he played the character Hawkins) gives him a bit more insight into this shit. And I’m just excited to see a new movie from Shane Black. He’s great.

Number 13: Ant-Man and The Wasp.

I like “Ant-Man”, it’s a really fun movie. I’m excited for the sequel. Has a good director, great cast, it’s part of the MCU… yeah, I’m excited. Moving on.

Number 14: Aquaman.

The DCEU has been… problematic to say the least. But “Wonder Woman” has proven that there can be good movies in it. And with an awesome cast and a solid director I am pretty excited for this movie. I feel like it could be fun. Did I say fun? Oh no, the DC fanboys will come after me now.

Number 15: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Sony. Sony, Sony, Sony, you unreliable idiots. Needing help from Marvel to make a good “Spider-Man” movies. What’s this? An animated “Spider-Verse” movie? Okay, I’m intrigued. It has a cool style to it (though body/facial animation looks a bit jittery). I am intrigued to see them make this. I love me a bit of superhero animation.

And that’s it for my list. There will be interesting movies that I will find out about later this year, but these are some of the ones I’m a bit more interested in right now… a lot of superhero and sci-fi stuff. I am one predictable person. But I want to hear from you, what are some of your most anticipated titles this year? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.

Movie Review: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)

The final movie review of 2017. The final post of 2017 in general. It’s been a fun year filled with cool stuff. So let’s end on a predictable note. Once again, I’m reviewing a DC animated movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract”.

Nightwing (Sean Maher) rejoins the Teen Titans to help track down villainous cult leader Brother Blood (Gregg Henry) who seemingly has some sinister plan for the Titans. All while the loyalties of newest Titan member Tara (Christina Ricci) come into question. And that’s the best way I can explain the plot without spoiling stuff. But is this any good? Well, it’s not bad. They have some decent dramatic story bits, but I never got invested in any of it. There are interesting-ish twists, and there are some parts that made me go “yeah, that’s some good drama”. But when it comes to the whole picture I never found myself truly invested in it.

The characters here are decently interesting and entertaining. Sean Maher returns as Nightwing, the more fun version of Batman. He’s a cool, charming, and heroic badass that I enjoy following. And Maher is once again really good in the role. Kari Wahlgren returns as Starfire, the alien woman who also happens to be the leader of the Titans.  She’s fun, cool, and is just overall pretty interesting. And Wahlgren is really good in the role. Stuart Allan returns as Damian Wayne/Robin, son of Batman and former assassin apprentice. He’s come a long way since his total brat days, and he’s actually an endearing and interesting character. And Allan once again does a really good job in the role. Jake T. Austin is back as Blue Beetle, who gets a bit more development this time around since we learn more about his family relations and such, and it’s quite interesting. And Austin is really good in the role. Brandon Soo Hoo returns as Beast Boy, the shape-shifting fun guy of the group. And while he’s still mostly played as the slightly over-confident comic relief, he does get some decent dramatic moments here. And Soo Hoo is great in the role. Taissa Farmiga returns as Raven, the dark and quiet daughter of a demon. She doesn’t get as much to do as last time, but she’s still fairly interesting. And Farmiga is really good in the role. Then making her debut in these movies, we have Christina Ricci as Tara Markov/Terra, a young woman with a mysterious past (she can also control rocks, which is neat). She probably gets the most development in this movie, and it’s pretty interesting to follow. And Ricci is great in the role. Then we have Miguel Ferrer (may he rest in peace) as fan favorite character Deathstroke. Ferrer has such a commanding voice, so even when he has slightly less serious lines they come off as badass. Yeah, he’s great. Then you get a bunch of solid supporting performances from people like Gregg Henry, Maria Canals-Barrera, Meg Foster, Crispin Freeman, and more! Yeah, this is a well acted movie.

DC animation regular Frederik Wiedmann composed the score for this. And while it’s not his best, it’s still good. It’s fun and exciting and works quite well for all the scenes in the movie. Not much else I can say here.

Sam Liu is the director of this movie and I’d say the direction here is fine. There’s something about the animation here that makes it seem a little less good than usual. It’s not bad, but it seems to lack some of the detail and energy that previous movies have had. The action scenes are of course the best thing since they flow very well and are generally fun to watch. There’s also a lot of attempts at humor in this movie. Some land, some really don’t. For example, there’s a running gag in this movie that Beast Boy uses social media a lot (despite there being no indication of that in the previous movie he was in). It’s not the only out of place joke(s) in this movie, but it’s one of the more notable ones.

This movie (despite limited data on it) has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” isn’t really one of the best DC animated movies, but it’s still fairly enjoyable. It has an okay plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and okay directing/animation. My flaws (as previously mentioned) are that the plot isn’t the most engaging, the animation isn’t as good as usual, and some of the humor doesn’t land. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” is a 7,78/10. While flawed, it’s still definitely worth renting.

My review of “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” is now completed.

I’ll give the movie this: It’s the first movie in this DC animated timeline to not feature Batman in any capacity. Oh, and happy new year… I guess.

Movie Review: Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)

It feels good to be back. Sure, it wasn’t long ago since my last post, but I haven’t done a normal review since like Wednesday last week. And what do you know, this review is of another DC animated movie… one of those things I always talk about here. So let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League vs. Teen Titans”.

After Robin (Stuart Allan) does something really dangerous during a mission with the Justice League, he gets sent to train with the Teen Titans to learn how to be part of a team. And soon the Titans have to truly prove themselves when the dangerous demon Trigon (Jon Bernthal) emerges to destroy the world. So now we have our plot. And I have to start out with mentioning that the title is quite misleading. Yes, there is a part of this movie that features the Justice League and the Teen Titans being at odds, but it’s quite a brief sequence. Misleading title aside, I thought this was a good plot. The main focus on this plot lies in Robin trying to be part of the team and also Raven (Taissa Farmiga) struggling with her own demons. And it’s actually pretty engaging. Now, there is a scene that doesn’t have much purpose here and actually feels both out of place and like it slows the pacing down a bit. But it doesn’t ruin the overall experience for me, and I do still think this is a really good plot.

The characters here are fun, cool, interesting, and entertaining. Stuart Allan reprises his role as Damien Wayne/Robin from the previous DC animated movies, and Damien is still a bit of a brat, but not to an annoying length. He is actually decently compelling. And Allan is great in the role. Taissa Farmiga plays Raven, the closed-off and mysterious young woman with dark magical powers. And while Farmiga seems like she might be a bit bored at first, you can quickly gather that she’s just pulling off the quiet, closed-off style of Raven quite well. So yeah, she’s good. Then we have Kari Wahlgren as Starfire, the leader of the Titans. She’s tough, slightly naive, brave, and kind. And Wahlgren is great in the role. Then we have Jake T. Austin as Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle, a young man with some strange alien tech fused to his spine. He’s funny, he’s tough, and he’s just really interesting. And Austin does a really good job in the role. Then we have Brandon Soo Hoo as Garfield Logan/Beast Boy, a young man with the ability to transform into a whole bunch of animals. He’s used mainly for funny moments and cool action beats throughout, but I think that also works well for the character. And Brandon Soo Hoo is good in the role. Then we have Jon Bernthal as Trigon, the demonic antagonist of the movie. He doesn’t talk too much in the movie, and he does have some modifications to his voice. But you can still hear that it is Bernthal, and he is intimidating in the role. Then we have Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Jerry O’Connell, Shemar Moore, Christopher Gorham, and Sean Maher reprising their roles from previous animated movies (to a more supporting capacity), and they all do very well in their roles. Overall, this is a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by DC animation regular Frederik Wiedmann. And once again he has composed a score that is fun, dramatic, interesting, and just generally exciting. It works quite well for the movie, often elevating certain scenes. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used in a couple scenes in the movie, and they work fine I guess.

This movie was directed by Sam Liu, and he did a really good job here. His direction here is fast and energized without sacrificing any of the smaller, more quiet moments. And the animation in general here looks great (for such a small budget), with it being very fluent and just overall good looking. And the action scenes are a lot of fun. They’re fast, badass, fun, cool, and quit epic. There’s also a decent amount of humor in this movie, and for the most part it landed.

There’s barely any data on the sites I usually use for this. On Rotten Tomatoes it exists but has no rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist at all. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

Misleading title aside, “Justice League vs. Teen Titans” is a damn good DC animated movie. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing/animation/humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Justice League vs. Teen Titans” is a 9,64/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Justice League vs. Teen Titans” is now completed.

Why not just call it “Teen Titans: Terror of Trigon”? Would’ve made more sense.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 9)

Holy shit, we’re already nine part into this silly series. That means there are only three parts left… damn, time sure does fly.

Out of all the movies I’ve done for this so far, this is the only one I had set from the start since it’s a yearly tradition for me to do on the 21st of December every year. The movie (if you didn’t know from the image, you cave dweller) is “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) is the pumpkin king, the very face of this magical place called Halloween Town. He has however gotten quite tired of Halloween and want something new in (after)life. Then one day while walking through the woods he stumbles upon a portal that leads him to Christmas Town, and this gives him the idea to take on christmas. And as you probably gathered from the opening of this paragraph, I love this movie, it’s one of my favorites. It has a fun story, fantastic animation from Henry Selick and his team, catchy songs, and some of the most memorable character designs in any movie ever. From the second I hear the opening notes to “This is Halloween”, it sucks me right into it and I am happy that it does. Out of every christmas movie available out there, this is my personal favorite.

What do you think about “The Nightmare Before Christmas”? And what’s your favorite Tim Burton movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one!

12 Films of Christmas (Part 8)

Only a couple of days left until christmas, which means only a couple more of these left. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these posts so far, because I’ve had fun making them. Anyway, enough of that semi-sentimental crap, time to talk about a movie.

Today we’re not talking about your typical single-narrative movie, but rather an anthology. Today we are talking about “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas”. The stories in this don’t really have anything in common other than being about christmas and starring various Disney characters. Other than that, the only thing stringing them together is some narration by Kelsey Grammer. That’s right, Frasier doing the typical whimsy and inspiring holiday movie narration… just the idea of that makes me laugh. But he does a good job of it. Anyhow, what are these about then.

The first story is about Huey, Dewey, and Louie (all voiced by Russi Taylor) being all excited about christmas, and at the end of the day making a wish about wanting christmas every day… and that wish comes true. Every consecutive day after that is now December 25th, with the same chain of events. As expected, they soon learn that this gets a bit dull after a while, which makes them try to shake things up and that’s all you get for plot. It’s a simple plot with a simple lesson. But there’s enough decent jokes and scenes here to keep you, or at least a child entertained. I think my favorite part about it might’ve been hearing the great Alan Young (may he rest in peace) as Scrooge. He doesn’t really get any great lines, but that voice just makes everything he says something amazing. The other cast members also do well and help make this a fun little story.

The second part is about Goofy (Bill Farmer) and his son Max (Shaun Fleming) waiting for Santa Claus and being really excited for his arrival. But their excitement gets halted a bit when Pete (Jim Cummings) tells Max that there is no Santa. And this is a good short. It features the typical Goofy humor (some great, some meh), and a surprising amount of heart. There are scenes that really tugged on my heartstrings, and really made me feel for the characters and their situations. The end of the story is a bit of a cop-out since it gives a definitive answer to the “is there a Santa Claus” question. I’d have preferred a bit more ambiguity in that sense, but this is still a good short. And admittedly it has a really good joke in there that made me laugh quite hard. Funny, heartfelt, charming, this is a good short.

The third and final short is a Disney version of “The Gift of the Magi”. In this we have Mickey (Wayne Allwine, R.I.P) and Minnie (Russi Taylor) wanting to buy each other something really special for christmas, but neither of them have any money. So they try to find some way to get these gifts for each other and I won’t spoil the rest. It’s a cute story with some heartfelt moments to it. It has some okay humor in it, and the drama did suck me in a little bit. Overall it is good.

“Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas” is a fun and charming collection of shorts that may not bring much for an adult viewer, but it’s still fun and perfect for younger audience members. I’ll give it this: They have put a surprising amount of effort/money into this for a direct-to-video christmas thing. They didn’t have to do that, but they did, and we got some really good animation thanks to that. Really, this is good.

What are your thoughts on “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas”? And who’s your favorite Disney character? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.