Movie Review: Reign of the Supermen (2019)

As has been made clear many times on this here blog, I like watching animated adaptations of DC Comics properties. Yes, there’s been a few less than stellar ones through the years, but I always root for them, because of my nearly lifelong love of these characters. So with this said, let’s talk about one.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Reign of the Supermen”.

Set six months after “The Death of Superman“, the world is still trying to recover after one of its biggest heroes died at the hands of the monster known as Doomsday. And in the wake of the Man of Steel’s demise, several new and mysterious Supermen start revealing themselves, all trying to be the new hero of Metropolis. While the movie at times suffers from trying to cram a lot of plot into 80 minutes, I still found myself enjoying the hell out of proceedings. The creative team really know how to squeeze genuine emotion and clever storytelling out of this admittedly silly premise. There were times where I really felt something more than just “Yay, superheroes!”. Again, it’s not perfect as it has a lot of plot to dish out in a very short runtime, but for the most part the story holds up, even providing a surprising amount of nuance.

Like with the story, the crew managed to give a surprising amount of nuance to the characters in here, giving them interesting motivations and entertaining arcs. I won’t go too much into details about them, as it would risk spoiling stuff, so I’ll just leave it on all characters having something interesting to them. Also, holy crap this cast. Rebecca Romijn, Cameron Monaghan, Cress Williams, Jerry O’Connell, Rainn Wilson, Charles Halford, Rosario Dawson, and so many more… it’s an incredible cast, with everyone giving their A-game.

As with a lot of these DC animations, the score for “Reign of the Supermen” was composed by Frederik Wiedmann, and as per usual, it is terrific. This man brings us terrific tunes every time he composes the score for one of these movies. It’s big and epic, but also low-key and intimate. My man brought his A-game once again.

Based on the 90s comic storyline of the same name, “Reign of the Supermen” was directed by DC animation regular Sam Liu. And if you’re somewhat unfamiliar with that name, let’s just say that he’s one of the most reliable hands in the DC/WB animation department. The man knows how to infuse properties with a certain energy that is quite engaging to experience. When scenes need to slow down and be more emotional, his direction is great. And when action happens, his direction is great. The man knows how to deliver on animated comic book goodness. Speaking of which, the animation here is great. It has a decent amount of detail, and it has a nice fluidity to it that really shines during action scenes.

This has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“Reign of the Supermen” may buckle slightly under the weight of too much plot in too little time, but it still manages to be a damn fine animated feature. It has engaging plot, it has really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good animation/direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Reign of the Supermen” is an 8,87/10. So while flawed, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Reign of the Supermen” is now completed.

Fun fact: As I was writing this, I put on some music. And one of the songs that came on was “Land of Confusion” by Genesis, which has the oddly fitting lyric “Oh Superman, where are you now?

Movie Review: The Death of Superman (2018)

One of the most recurring things on this here blog (except for lame jokes and personal opinions) is my constant support of animated movies based on DC Comics. And while it’s been a while since my last post on one, my adoration for the franchise hasn’t faded in the slightest. So seeing as this will be my last review of the year, we might as well make it one about this recurring theme.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Death of Superman”.

When a mysterious new threat arrives on earth, Superman (Jerry O’Connell), as well as the other Justice League members), as to step up to stop it before it can destroy us all. I thought the plot was good here. It’s straightforward, yet somewhat nuanced. I wouldn’t call it the deepest plot in this franchise, but there’s enough little details to keep it from just being another “Let’s beat up the bad guy plot”. It’s about Supes coming to terms with his relationship with Lois (Rebecca Romijn) and if he should come out of the closet, in regards to his dual identity. And the stuff around this new threat (who we all know is Doomsday, but I digress) has a natural sense of escalation that also works well enough for the plot.

The characters in this are fine, they are all enjoyable and work pretty well in the story. Jerry O’Connell reprises his role as Clark Kent/Superman. He’s charming, he’s likable, and he’s just generally a good guy (as Superman should be), while still struggling with some minor conflicts while also having to deal with the bigger conflict of a giant murder-alien from who knows where. And it made me care about him a bit more. And O’Connell does a really good job voicing him. Rebecca Romijn plays Lois Lane, the tough, but believable reporter who seems to have some relationship issues with Clark. And I think she’s a pretty interesting character here. And Romijn does a really good job voicing her. Next we have Rainn Wilson (yes, really) as Lex Luthor (I’m serious), the brilliant businessman with a great intellect, but a bit of an arrogance problem. Not saying much more there, you know who Lex is. But what I will say is that Wilson is really good in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Jason O’Mara, Christopher Gorham, Shemar Moore, Matt Lanter, Nyambi Nyambi, Rocky Carroll, Patrick Fabian, Paul Eiding, Jennifer Hale, Charles Halford, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

As with the majority of these DC animated features, the score was composed by Frederik Wiedmann, and as per usual, it is pretty great. It is grandiose, it is epic, but it is also emotional and intimate, creating a sound that perfectly complements the life of Clark Kent. This guy never disappoints.

The movie was directed by Jake Castorena and DC animation veteran Sam Liu. And the direction here is fine, there is a decent flow to the scenes, nothing feels too rushed or too slow. And the animation here is pretty good. In quiet dialog-driven scenes, it looks fine, not much to write home about. But it’s in the action scenes where the animation comes to life and shows just how talented the people working on these movies are. These are fast, brutal, and at one point even kinda breathtaking. So yeah, the animation here is good.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

While not my favorite movie in this current line of DC animated movies, “The Death of Superman” is still a highly enjoyable and somewhat touching superhero romp. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing/animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Death of Superman” is an 8,80/10. So it’s definitely worth buying.

My review of “The Death of Superman” is now completed.

And that’s that for 2018. See ya next 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!

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.

Movie Review: Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)

This is a bit of a bittersweet one. As I hav stated way too many times on this blog, I am a longtime fan of DC animation, and I love talking about it. However, today I talk about this movie with a little bit of sorrow behind my words. This was the last movie/show/thing where Adam West plays Batman. So that’s it. After this, we can no longer look forward to any further appearances from him. So here’s to you, Mr. West, you awesome man.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman vs. Two-Face”.

After a horrible accident leaves him disfigured, district attorney Harvey Dent (William Shatner) takes on the alter ego of Two-Face and then starts wreaking havoc on Gotham. So it’s up to Batman (Adam West, R.I.P) and Robin (Burt Ward) to get out there and stop Two-Face. So is this plot any good? Yeah. It isn’t just a straight forward “take the villain down” story, as it has some pretty interesting twists throughout, while still keeping it relatively simple and fun. What I also like about this plot is that it’s a lot more tonally consistent than the previous movie, “Return of the Caped Crusaders”. And while I liked this plot, it’s nothing special. It’s good, but ultimately kind of forgettable.

The characters here are fun and really interesting. As said in the intro of this review, this was the last appearance of Adam West (may he rest in peace) as the Caped Crusader. And while he sounds old, his voice still has a lot of energy to it, which makes it so much more enjoyable. And really, he’s good as Batman. Burt Ward returns s Robin and he still has the childlike naivety that made his Robin so enjoyable. And Ward is jsut really good as Robin. Julie Newmar returns as Catwoman. While not as energized in her performance as Adam West, she still clearly gives it her all and she manages to do a pretty good Catwoman (even if she does sound a bit on the older side). Then we have Steven Weber, reprising his role as Alfred from “Return of the Caped Crusaders”. And if I didn’t already know that it was Steven Weber voicing Alfred, I could never guess that it was him. So yeah, he’s great. Thomas Lennon returns s the voice of police chief O’Hara, and he’s fine. Let’s talk about the newcomer here, William Shatner as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Firstly, I really liked what they did with the character here, they really managed to reinvent him in a clever way for the Westian Bat-world. As Harvey Dent he just sounded like William Shatner being nice. But as Two-Face his voice was unrecognizable, downright sinister. So yeah, Shatner was great here. Then there are a bunch of supporting actors in here that I won’t go in-depth with because I don’t want to drag this out too much. But I can say that they were really good in their roles.

The score for the movie was composed by DC regulars Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, & Michael McCuistion. And it’s very jazzy and fun, fitting the 60s “Batman” series style perfectly. And admittedly I did enjoy just listening to it in general. So yeah, it’s really good.

Rick Morales who directed “Return of the Caped Crusaders” returned to direct this, and he did a good job. The directing/animation here flows very well and feels energized enough to never feel dull. There’s plenty of goofy and fun action stuff here. And since it’s animation they are allowed to do more crazy things than the 60s live action series, and they come up with some fun, fast, and exciting action scenes that still feel like they fit this goofy world.

Since this is a small direct to video movie, there’s not a lot of data on my usual sites. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,1/10.

“Batman vs. Two-Face” is a fun little movie and a great sendoff for Adam West. It has a good plot, great characters, really good performances, really good music, and solid directing/animation. My only flaw with it is that it’s not the most memorable in terms of plot… just kind of scoots by. Time for my final score. Holy review, Batman! My final score for “Batman vs. Two-Face” is an 8,76/10. While flawed, I’d say that it is worth buying.

My review of “Batman vs. Two-Face” is now completed.

Rest in peace, Mr. West. We miss you.

Movie Review: Batman: Bad Blood (2016)

Name: Markus. Likes: DC animation. Has he stated this fact many times before: Yes. Shall we move on to the review: Yes.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Bad Blood”.

After a tough battle with a new enemy, Batman (Jason O’Mara) goes missing. So Dick Grayson (Sean Maher) has to take up the mantle to keep Gotham’s criminals at bay while also trying to find out what the hell happened to Bruce. All of this while a mysterious woman calling herself Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) enters the scene to take on the city’s criminals. So now we have our plot. And is it any good? Sure. While not as intimate and interesting as the previous movie, “Batman vs. Robin”, or as dark and layered as “Mask of the Phantasm”, it is a functional plot. For the most part I just followed along, finding the journey of Dick and Damien (Stuart Allan) interesting, while the big mystery plot to be just fine. It isn’t quite as focused as I would’ve wanted it, but I also didn’t dislike it. It’s pretty good.

The characters here are for the most part fun and interesting. For the first time in this cinematic universe, Dick Grayson gets to take center stage. He’s like a more fun version of Batman, and I enjoy the levity that he brings to the table without sacrificing any emotion that exists with the character and his relationship to Batman. And Sean Maher is once again great in the role. Stuart Allan once again does the voice of Damien Wayne/Robin, the bastard son of Batman. And I have to say, he’s really grown on me as he’s been given time to develop. His relationship with Dick is one of my favorite parts of these movies. And Allan is great in the role. Jason O’Mara of course once again plays Bruce Wayne/Batman (briefly) in the movie, and he’s of course great. Alfred of course also returns, but this time he’s voiced by James Garrett instead of David McCallum. And while it’s a bit weird to have a different voice for him, I think Garrett does a really good job voicing Alfred. Yvonne Stranhovski plays Batwoman, a mysterious new vigilante that we get to know through the movie. And she’s a pretty interesting character. She’s like Batman but a woman… and she uses guns… yeah, she’s pretty cool. And Strahovski does a really good job in the role. Then without getting too in-depth/spoiler-y with more characters/actors here, we get some realy solid supporting performances from people like Steve Blum, Gaius Charles, Ernie Hudson, Morena Baccarin, Robin Atkin Downes, Matthew Mercer, John DiMaggio, and more. ’tis a well acted movie.

As with a lot of DC animated movies these days, the score for “Batman: Bad Blood” was composed by Frederik Wiedmann (who I’ve had some pleasant interactions with on twitter. Just thought I’d mention that for fun). And he did a really good job with his score here. It’s fun, cool, exciting, badass, and just overall helps in making certain scenes a bit better. Not saying that it’s his best DC score (that still goes to “Flashpoint Paradox), but the music here is still really good.

Jay Oliva is the director for this one, and he did a good job. The directing/animation has a lot of energy, keeping it from feeling dull. As for the animation itself, it’s fine. In action scenes it flows very nicely and is a ton of fun to watch. In slower, more talky scenes it is just fine. Seen better, seen worse. It’s fine.

This has been decently well received (despite having barely any data on my usual sites). 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 6,8/10.

“Batman: Bad Blood” isn’t one of the best DC animated movies ever, but it’s still an entertaining little action flick. It has an okay plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and good directing/animation. My main flaw comes in the form of the plot feeling a bit unfocused. Time for my final score. *I am the night*. My final score for “Batman: Bad Blood” is an 8,76/10. While flawed, I’d say it’s worth buying.

My review of “Batman: Bad Blood” is now completed.

This has put me in the mood to rewatch “Mystery of the Batwoman”…

Movie Review: Batman vs. Robin (2015)

Hi. I’m Markus. I like DC animated movies. And now I’m gonna talk about one. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman vs. Robin”.

It’s been a while since Batman (Jason O’Mara) found out that he has a mildly homicidal son (Stuart Allan), and he’s having some trouble trying to raise him while also trying to save Gotham. And not only does he have trouble with his son, but his life is made even more difficult when a mysterious organization called The Court of Owls comes to town to cause trouble. So now we have our Batman story. And I’m not gonna lie, I thought that the story was really good. For the most part it’s a drama focusing on the struggling relationship between Bruce and Damien, and I found myself quite engaged in that stuff as the plot went along. I was a bit afraid that the Court of Owls part of the plot would make it all feel overstuffed or unfocused, but it was integrated into the plot really well, even being woven into the family drama part quite well. Yeah, this is a really solid plot.

What I like about (most of) the characters here is that the plot made them interesting and worth caring about. Jason O’Mara of course returns as Batman and he still kills it as the voice of our favorite Nocturnal Rodent Person. Just like in “Son of Batman”, Stuart Allan voices Damien Wayne, the dangerous son of Bruce Wayne. And while Damien could be a bit of mixed bag in the other movie, I really liked him in this. He’s still a bit of a brat, but they’ve done enough to make him feel a bit more layered. And Stuart Allan is really good as Damien. Then we have Sean Maher who returns as Nightwing, and he’s still a lot of fun compared to the moody Bruce. But he’s not just there for laughs as he plays a vital part in it. And Maher is great as Nightwing. David McCallum returns as Alfred, and he’s still the butler that we all know and love. But seriously, this Alfred is great and McCallum is great as the voice. Then we have Jeremy Sisto (who once voice Batman) as Talon, the Court of Owls member get to know the most throughout the movie. He’s a fairly interesting character that we get to learn some interesting stuff about. And Sisto is really good in the role. And the final one I want to mention is that we get Kevin Conroy (motherfucking Batman) in a flashback as Thomas Wayne. If that isn’t an awesome casting, then I don’t know what is. Anyway, I just wanted to mention that. Oh, and Weird Al Yankovic voices The Dollmaker, and I didn’t recognize his voice at all (yeah, he’s great). Overall, this is a great cast.

The score for the movie was composed by DC animation regular Frederik Wiedmann who once again gave us a really solid score. Sure, some tracks are your typical bombastic, heroic, action-y tunes that just sort of pass through. But then we have a couple of other tracks that take a more dramatic approach to make an attempt at elevating the emotion of certain scenes, and for the most part he succeeds pretty well. There’s also one track (can’t find it) heard early on that sounds like something right out of a horror movie, and it’s awesome. So yeah, the score is great.

The movie was directed by Jay Oliva and his directing here has a lot of energy to it, but he still let’s the quieter moments sink in a bit too. Which is probably why this is 80 minutes, compared to the usual 75. As for the animation, it’s good. Not the best that DC has pumped out, but it still looks pretty good. It especially comes alive during the action scenes where movement is fast, fluid, and just looks really cool. And the action here is overall a lot of fun.

This movie barely has any data on my usual sites. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating (based on only 5 reviews). On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

My expectation weren’t the highest for “Batman vs. Robin”, but I can happily say that it is a really good entry in the DC animated movie universe. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing/animation. Time for my final score. *I’m Batman*. My final score for “Batman vs. Robin” is a 9,55/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Batman vs. Robin” is now completed.

Batman as Batman’s dad… clever.

Movie Review: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)

Bla bla bla, Markus likes DC animation, bla bla bla, moving on.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis”.

After the death of their king, the Atlantean troops get coaxed by Ocean Master (Sam Witwer) into attacking the surface. This brings queen Atlanna (Sirena Irwin) to try to get help from the Justice League to find her son Arthur (Matt Lanter) and stop Ocean Master’s crusade. So now we have our Aquaman origin/Justice League sequel story. And is it any good? For the most part, sure. It tries to do a lot of things at the same time. On one hand it is a sequel to “Justice League: War”, showing the team still having some mild struggles to come together and help each other. And on the other hand you have Aquaman having to become Aquaman because the DC universe needs Aquaman… Aquaman. And while I’m used to the relatively short runtime of these animated features, I feel like they could’ve added a couple minutes to it, because a couple of the more dramatic/important moments feel a bit rushed through. I’d like to see those moments be held for just a little bit longer. But I was never bored and I wouldn’t call any of it bad, just slightly lacking. The plot is fine.

The characters returning from “Justice League: War” are the fun and colorful characters that we know and love. But since this is mainly an Aquaman movie, let’s talk about the titular fishman. He’s portrayed in this as a broken man, not yet aware of who/what he is and what legacy he has to follow, and it’s interesting seeing him having to come to terms with all this craziness. He’s voiced by Matt Lanter who does a really good job in the role. He gives a very likable performance. Next we have Orm/Ocean Master, the entitled asshole half-brother of Aquaman. He’s kind of a brat and maniacal dick, but that also makes him an interesting foe for Aquaman. He’s voiced by Sam Witwer who gives a pretty hammy performance… but you can tell that he’s having a blast with it, which made me enjoy it. We also got Sumalee Montano as Mera, protector of Atlantis and love interest of Aquaman. She’s a fun character and Montano does a good job in the role. We also got Harry Lennix as Black Manta, the shady Atlantean wearing a weird helmet. He’s clearly up to no good, but he’s still decently interesting. And Lennix does a good job voicing him. And we see the returns of of Jason O’Mara as Batman, Jerry O’Connell as Superman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Christopher Gorman as Flash, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, and Sean Astin as Shazam, all doing really frickin’ well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Frederik Wiedmann, a man who has composed the scores of multiple modern DC animated movies. And once again he has created something pretty damn good. His score here is exciting, emotional, dramatic, and even manages to be awe-inspiring at times. So yeah, it was quite good.

This movie was directed by Ethan Spaulding and it is fairly well directed. And since it’s an animated feature, we should talk about the animation. It is pretty damn good (for a low budget direct-to-video movie). The animation here flows very well and there’s a decent amount of detail in it. The action scenes are especially well animated. You can really see it all coming more alive in those times, with plenty of fluency in the animation making for a lot of entertaining moments.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 40% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Justice League: Throne of Atlantis” is not one of the greatest DC animated movies ever, but it’s a really enjoyable movie. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing/animation. My main flaw of course being that several moments throughout the plot felt a bit rushed. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis” is an 8,78/10. While flawed, I’d say that it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis” is now completed.

This was fun.

Movie Review: Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

I absolutely love DC animation. Whether it is their direct-to-video movies or their shows, the DC animated stuff will always have a place in my heart. But sometimes even great people make mistakes.

Ladies and gents… “Batman and Harley Quinn”.

When plant-based villains Poison Ivy (Paget Brewster) and the Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson) team up to try to turn everything into plants, Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (Loren Lester) are forced to team up with Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch) to try and stop the shrubby scoundrels. And while this could be a fun plot on paper, in execution it is quite bad. It’s awkward and is filled with weird tonal shifts. For the most part it is meant as a screwball comedy (which doesn’t work), but then at times it tries to be a serious and dramatic continuation of “Batman: The Animated Series” (hence the weird tonal shifts). And none of it works. Not on their own, and not together. It’s all awkward, dull, and not fun. It’s a bad plot.

The characters are for the most part portrayed as they should be and on a purely surface level work just fine. But in the long run they feel off. And that has nothing to do with the actors, but more with the writing. Kevin Conroy of course does an excellent job voicing Batman (because he IS Batman). He works for the most part, because he’s portrayed as Batman should, but then there are moments that feel weirdly out of character. Melissa Rauch voices Harley Quinn in this, and her general delivery is good, she makes a fine Harley Quinn. Problem is that the lines she’s given are awful and cringe-worthy. They try to make her funny and charming and relatable, but she just comes off as annoying. Loren Lester does a good job as Nightwing, being the more lighthearted side of the Batfamily coin. But like with Harley (and the other characters in this movie), the writing for him is foten bad and quite off. Paget Brewster as Posion Ivy, she was good, but writing was off. Kevin Michael Richardson was of course great as Floronic Man, but his writing was quite off (you notice a pattern here?). And that’s really the theme here. Good performances, bad writing.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, and Kristopher Carter. And it was… okay. While some tracks here were okay and even catchy, they often felt off. They clearly wanted to emulate the old animated “Batman” series with most things here, but the score here never really captured that. It just felt off. Though I have to admit, hearing voice actor Rob Paulsen sing “Don’t Pull Your Love” was quite fun. Weird, but fun.

This movie was directed by DC animation veteran Sam Liu, and meeeeeeh. The animation here looks kind of bad. It looks cheap(er than usual) and often looks stiff and awkward. It also lacks a lot of the detail from the old animated series. If you’re going to emulate that old style, make sure you get a lot of the detail and nuance that was featured in that art style. This looks kind of bad. Action scenes flow okay though, looking fine. And let’s talk about the humor since this is intended in large part as a comedy… it’s so unfunny. I think I chuckled at one point, but other than that I didn’t laugh at all. It was cringey and awkward and bad. Christ…

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 57% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

Like I said in the beginning, I love DC animation… But “Batman and Harley Quinn” is bad, and I can’t really justify any aspect of it. It has a bad plot, meh characters, good performances, okay music, meh animation/direction, and unfunny humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Batman and Harley Quinn” is a 4,22/10. So yeah, it’s bad. Skip it.

My review of “Batman and Harley Quinn” is now done.

Having to say bad things about DC animation hurts my soul.

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2009)

With WB/DC very recently having released their new DCEU movie “Wonder Woman”, and with my often proclaimed love for DC animation I thought it was a good time to go back a few years and review the last movie that had “Wonder Woman” in the title. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen, she is… “Wonder Woman”!

After having crashed on the mysterious island of Themyscira, U.S. army pilot Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) finds himself at the mercy of the island’s inhabitants, the Amazons. And when they deem him a non-hostile, they aim to bring him back to modern civilization. The one who gets tasked with this is none other than the island’s princess, Diana (Keri Russell). But it quickly becomes more than just a delivery mission as Ares (Alfred Molina), the god of war escapes from Themyscira’s prison. Which means that Diana and Steve have to team up to stop Ares from creating neverending chaos and destruction. And yeah, this plot is really good. While not the deepest, as a matter of fact it’s quite shallow, it still gives us a good insight into Diana’s origin and into the mythology of her world. There are also a few okay twists throughout the plot, giving it a little extra meat on the bone so to speak. Yeah, it’s a good plot.

The characters here are all entertaining and get a surprising amount of depth. Diana is portrayed as this young and brave woman that wants to see the world and see what’s beyond Themyscira, to learn what is out there. And Keri Russell does a really good job voicing her. Steve Trevor, as he’s presented here, is a bit of a pig. He’s not necessarily a bad person, he’s just kind of a womanizer. But he does get a decent amount of character development throughout the movie as he works with Diana, and Nathan Fillion is just great in the role. Ares is portrayed as a kind of mad but still intelligent warrior who wants nothing but war and hate, and Alfred Molina is great in the role. Hyppolita, Queen of the Amazons. A badass woman who wants the best for her daughter, while also trying to be a good leader. She’s voiced by Virginia Madesen who does a great job in the role. Next up we have Artemis, the right hand woman of the queen, and she’s just a badass. She’s voiced by Rosario Dawson who’s Rosario Awesome in the role. Really, this is just an overall well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Christopher Drake and it was pretty great. It was big, dramatic, epic, exciting, and just overall fit the movie very well. Definitely one of the best scores I’ve heard from one of these direct-to-video DC movies.

This movie was directed by Lauren Montgomery and she did a great job here. The scenes flow very well and none of them feel out of place or like they overstay their welcome. And since this is an animated movie, how is the animation? It’s quite good. Remember, we’re judging this based on direct-to-video animations, since they (this included) don’t get the same budget big animated features do. But yeah, overall the animation here is quite good. Everything flows nicely and just looks overall good. Especially the action scenes which are just fun and exciting and badass.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Wonder Woman” is another great DC animated movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Wonder Woman” is a 9,78/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Wonder Woman” (the animated one) is now completed.

If you’re wondering if I will review the new live action movie, I might. Not sure exactly when, but it will probably happen in the near-ish future.