Movie Review: Batman: Hush (2019)

Once again I shall take a look at an animated feature based on characters from DC Comics. If you’ve followed my blog for some amount of time, you know that I tend to do this every now and then. So let’s have a look at their latest output.

Catwomen and Batmen… “Batman: Hush”.

Batman (Jason O’Mara) has to face one of his toughest challenges yet when a mysterious new villain starts causing mayhem from the shadows. All the while forming a relationship with Catwoman (Jennifer Morrison). Now, I haven’t read the comic that this story was adapted from, so I can’t say how it stacks up compared to that. So looking at it from an outsider perspective, it’s kind of a mess. It’s weirdly undercooked. There are a bunch of moments that could work really well in a Batman story, but the complete package here feels weirdly like it’s stitched together with scotch tape and the occasional nail. And there’s a revelation in the story that doesn’t work too well for me. I’m not saying what it is, in case you want to see this movie, but let’s just say that it didn’t entirely work for me on multiple levels. There is some good material throughout the plot, but overall it’s not too well held together.

The characters in this are enjoyable and interesting. Jason O’Mara returns as Batman/Bruce Wayne, as gruff as ever, but given a bit more nuance as his various relationships develop across the movie. And O’Mara is really good. Jennifer Morrison plays Catwoman, the thief/femme fatale and former enemy of Batman that now is a bit of a love interest. She’s tough, she’s capable, she has a good bit of sass, and she is an interesting foil to Batman’s self-seriousness here. And Morrison is… okay in the role. Sean Maher returns as Nightwing, and he’s as fun as ever in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Peyton List, Peyton List (apparently there are two of them, what the fuck?), Adam Gifford, Geoffrey Arend, Stuart Allan, Jason Spisak, Chris Cox, Maury Sterling, Bruce Thomas, Hynden Walch, and more, all doing pretty well in their respective roles.

The score was composed by DC Animation regular Frederik Wiedmann, who as per usual fucking killed it with his music. It’s big and epic, but also knows when to get a bit more quiet and emotional. The occasional inclusion of a cello certainly also helps it out, as it adds another layer to Wiedmann’s compositions. This guy somehow always one-ups himself.

Based on the acclaimed comic by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, this movie was directed by Justin Copeland, and he did a good job with it. Sure, the narrative stitching wasn’t great, but the way he leads on animation and action is fucking spectacular. The detailing is stellar and the fluency of it all is some of the best we’ve seen from any of these movies. And man, those fights are brutal. Not just because there’s blood used, but also because of the way the animation and sounds design really conveys how hard the characters hit their opponents in this.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

While it may be a bit of a mixed bag, “Batman: Hush” is still an enjoyable action film. It has a meh plot, okay characters, really good performances, great music, and great direction/animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Batman: Hush” is a 6,86/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Batman: Hush” is now completed.

I was a little disappointed that they never let Batman sing any Deep Purple in this movie.

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: 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.

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: Justice League Dark (2017)

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I have stated my love for the DC animated movies a whole bunch of times on this blog, so I’m not gonna annoy you with that again. Instead I’m just gonna say this: First review of a 2017 release on this blog… exciting!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League Dark”!

People are going crazy and killing each other because of some supposedly supernatural threat. So Batman (Jason O’Mara) travels to various places to recruit some magic heroes such as John Constantine (Matt Ryan), Zatanna (Camilla Luddington), and Deadman (Nicholas Turturro) to find out what the hell is going on and then find a way to stop it. And from that we get very well paced and entertaining plot. The main plot is a bit standard, but it’s not bad at all, it is in fact very entertaining. My biggest problem comes in the form of a few exposition dump scenes. I get that some of these characters aren’t the most well known and because of that need some establishing, but the ways that they get established contain a lot of exposition, and that brought it down just a bit. Again, the plot overall was good, but those few infodump scenes knocked it down a little for me.

The characters are interesting and really entertaining. Jason O’Mara has in previous projects established himself to be a pretty solid Batman, and in this one it’s no different, he did a really good job. Matt Ryan was awesome as Constantine, but that is something I knew already from the “Constantine” TV show and from his one-episode appearance on “Arrow”. But it was so great having him reprise the role because he is so great as the character. Nicholas Turturro (Sidenote: Brother of John Turturro) was really good as Deadman. Though to be honest, I really knew nothing of the character prior to this. But the performance itself was fun and good. Next we have Camilla Luddington as Zatanna, and she did a really solid job. And I also feel like mentioning that Ray Chase was really good as Etrigan… not much else I can add there. There are also some really good supporting performances from poeple like Jeremy Davies, Rosario Dawson, Jerry O’Connell, Roger Cross, and Enrico Colantoni.

The original score for the movie was composed by Robert J. Kral and I think that what he composed for the movie was good. Nothing mindblowing or even great, but definitely good, fitting the scenes very well.

This movie was directed by Jay Oliva, a DC animation regular. And since this is an animated movie… how is the animation? It’s actually really good, I mean… for a DC animated direct-to-video budget. But while the animation isn’t the most detailed, it flows very well and looks really good, especially in the action scenes. Especially the last big action scene, that stuff looks pretty great. Also, there’s some violent imagery in this movie. I mean, there’s blood, there’s some slightly brutal stuff going on. Not as brutal as maybe “Dredd”, but still pretty violent for this type of movie. So I’d actually argue that the R-rating on this movie is pretty justified, compared to “The Killing Joke”. The language is still PG-13, but the imagery and such is R.

Since this movie just came out and is a direct-to-video feature, it barely has any reception to look at. You know, at least from the sites I use. But I can at least say that on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Justice League Dark” is another solid DC animated movie that I had a lot of fun with. It has a good plot, good characters, great voice acting, good music, really good animation, and some great action. However, I will bring it down a notch because of those infodump scenes… could have been handled a bit smoother. Time for my final score. *Uses magic spell to summon envelope*. My final score for “Justice League Dark” is a 9,12/10. So even though it’s not perfect, I’d still say that it’s worth buying!
worth-buying

My review of “Justice League Dark” is now completed.

Can we just have Matt Ryan playing every incarnation of John Constantine? Please.