Movie Review: Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)

If you’ve followed my blog for an extended amount of time, then you’re probably aware that I have a certain fondness for animated movies based on DC superhero comics. I tend to watch them all, and review a lot of them. And today we’re doing just that. So here we go!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War”!

After the Justice League fails to defeat the alien despot Darkseid (Tony Todd), the world turns into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And with the League basically gone at this point, it’s up to a ragtag gang of remaining heroes and villains to team up to make one final attempt at stopping the alien dictator. So this is basically the big, “everything looks dire” finale to this specific universe of animated films. And you can really feel that the crew of this movie are taking a big swing at giving us an emotionally satisfying finale to this universe that they’ve kept going since 2014. And I think they succeeded quite well. For only having a 90 minute runtime, they manage to get a lot of stuff in there without making any of it feel forced. As the title implies, we get to see a little more of the Dark League, especially since John Constantine (Matt Ryan) more or less acts as the main character here. We get the Suicide Squad involved, we get payoffs from the Teen Titans stuff from other movies. They somehow manage to involve payoffs from pretty much all branches of this movie universe, and it all works marvelously… for me as a fan who’s followed these films for years, at least. I felt satisfied with this wrap-up. It’s dark, it’s exciting, it’s fun, and it even got me a little emotional. It’s just a solid narrative.

The characters in this are colorful, fun, and surprisingly nuanced. We both get to see the personalities we’ve come to know (and mostly love) over the years as they are, but we also get to see a surprising amount of nuance and character development throughout that really made me care for them all much more. And since this is the big finale, they bring in the big guns on the cast. A lot of recognizable names, and all giving top notch voice performances. Matt Ryan, Jason O’Mara, Roger Cross, Tony Todd, Camilla Luddington, Jerry O’Connell, Taissa Farmiga, Stuart Allan, Ray Chase,Liam McIntyre, Rainn Wilson, and more all deliver their talents wonderfully.

As with a lot of the previous DC animated movies, the score for this one was composed by Frederik Wiedmann. And as per usual he knocked it out of the park. Of course he gives us the familiar superhero brass, but he also gives us a fair bit of somber pieces as well to really show how desperate the entire situation is for our heroes. And really, Wiedmann has never failed before, but this is still somehow his best work for this series.

Based on various comics from DC, “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War” was directed by Matt Peters and Christina Sotta. And I think they did a terrific job. As with the story, you can tell that they were going all out on the directiong/animation on this one. Because out of all the movies in this animated universe, this is the best looking one. The animation is crisp, and everything flows beautifully. And this makes action scenes an absolute blast to watch. They also went all out on violence in this. People die… and not in nice ways. And that helps add some extra impact to fights. So yeah, the crew killed it.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.8/10.

I know some of you don’t care for these movies, but for me “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War” was a satisfying and exciting finale to this specific run of DC animated features. It has a really good story, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War” is a 9.78/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

I’m really gonna miss looking forward to new movies in this series.

Movie Review: Justice League Dark (2017)

jld12

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.

 

 

 

Movies I’m looking forward to in 2017

Hi there guys, and welcome to this little post of mine. New year, new movies! I know that we’re a bit over a week into the new year, but I can justify this post by saying that no movies I’m looking forward to have come out yet. So this list still works. Ha!

Rule #1: My list, not yours, so no bitching allowed. We’ve gone through this time and time again, so it should be burnt into your god damn heads by now. Cool? Cool.

Rule #2: This will not be a ranked list of my most anticipated movies of the year. There are so many movies I’m looking forward to this year that it will be impossible for me to rank them. I’m just listing the ones that I’m looking forward to, nothing else.

Rule #3: I am not including any of the movies that were limited in 2016 and got full releases in early 2017. I’m just not going to, including them would be cheating.

I only have one honorable mention for this, and that is “The Dark Tower”. I am a big fan of the book series, and I am cautiously optimistic about the film adaptation set to be released later this year. But we haven’t seen any footage yet, so it’s impossible for me to be genuinely excited about it.

With that out of the way, here are my most anticipated movies of 2017.

Justice League Dark.

Kicking off this list is an upcoming DC animated, direct-to-video feature about Batman (Jason O’Mara) gathering up some mystic/supernatural heroes to stop an overwhelming supernatural threat. These animated movies can be very hit-or-miss for many, but I am always looking forward to them. It’ll be nice seeing the DC animation team tackel the more supernatural side of the DC universe. Also, Matt Ryan came back to voice John Constantine… and that makes me all kinds of happy.

Logan.

Here we have possibly my most anticipated movie of the year. The trailer is great, and we already know that Hugh Jackman is fantastic as Wolverine. And James Mangold has proven himself as a very capable director, so I am sure that this will be a great film. I just know that I will cry in the cinema when I go see this. If not for a well made/sad scene, then at least because I know that this will be the last time I’ll see Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in their iconic “X-Men” roles.

War for the Planet of the Apes.

I am a big fan of the last two “Planet of the Apes” movies, I thought they both brought a lot to the franchise. “Rise” was great, and then “Dawn” came out and turned out to be even better. Matt Reeves did such a fantastic job with that movie that I have no real worries for this new one.

Justice League.

The DCEU hasn’t faired the best in terms of critical reception. As for my opinions: I thought “Man of Steel” was really good, I thought “Batman v Superman” was okay, and I haven’t seen “Suicide Squad” yet. Now, despite the mixed reception of these movies, I am still looking forward to this movie. I am a little bit reserved, but it still seems like it could be a somewhat entertaining action movie. Plus, you can’t deny the excitement of seeing all these characters come together on the big screen for the first time.

John Wick: Chapter 2.

The first “John Wick” was such a big surprise. It was a fantastic action movie that just came out of fucking nowhere. It also featured the best performance we’ve ever seen from Keanu Reeves. So I am super excited for the sequel, which we’re not gonna have to wait too long for. Also, I am really excited about seeing Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne reuniting… I just love “The Matrix”, okay.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The first “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a pretty big surprise in terms of both quality and profits. Not only did it make a shit-ton of money, but it also became my favorite MCU movie. It had everything I needed: Action, humor, interesting characters… space. So I am of course incredibly excited about this sequel which looks prettty great.

Baby Driver.
This movie has no trailer yet, but I am still very excited about it. Why? Firstly, the cast is pretty great. And secondly, it’s written and directed by Edgar Wright. Yeah, this is some exciting stuff.

Star Wars Episode 8.
dd2136507ee67d7a5e6494796e514f1b73f89d4ed7f861ffd5f1d4fe04d78a27

No title, no trailer, no nothin’. But it’s motherfucking “Star Wars”, so of course I’m excited. “Star Wars”!

Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spidey’s (Tom Holland) appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” was one of my favorite things in any movie of 2016. Which of course made interested in seeing this version of the character in his own movie. Then a whole bunch of months later the first trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” drops and yeah, I’m on board. If anything, it looks fun. And Michael Keaton seems like he will make a pretty intimidating Vulture. Yeah, this is pretty exciting.

Wonder Woman.

Another DCEU movie coming to us this year, and it looks really interesting. Even though the character of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) felt very shoehorned into “Batman v Superman”, she was very entertaining (her entrance into the final battle being a standout moment). So I am interested to see what she’ll do in ehr very own movie, set during World War 1, and getting acquainted with the only Chris that Marvel hadn’t already snagged yet. I’m at least hoping for some badass action scenes featuring this badass woman.

Kong: Skull Island.

I am a fan of monster movies. I am also one of the few people that legitimately liked 2014’s “Godzilla”. So I was already excited for another “King Kong” movie. Then this trailer came out and it was pretty cool. Also, Tom Hiddleston looks a lot like Leon Kennedy from “Resident Evil 4” in this trailer. Long story short, I want to see a giant gorilla wreck some shit!

The Fate of the Furious.

Wait, this stupid franchise actually became good!? Yeah, it kind of did. “Fast Five” was great, “Fast & Furious 6” was good, and “Furious 7” was really good. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are. From “Point Break” with cars to really big, loud, and stupid action fests that actually entertained me and also somehow gave a touching send-off to one of it’s primary castmates… Yeah, this franchise is full of surprises. And this movie looks just as stupid and fun as the last few.

Alien: Covenant.

I love “Alien”. I think I love “Aliens”. Three and four we don’t talk about. We also don’t talk about the “AvP” movies. And I liked “Prometheus”. And this movie looks like it can get tesne and scary… like “Alien”. There’s not much else to say… I’m excited.

Resident Evil: Vendetta.

No, not the stupid fucking live action bullshit. This is the third part in the animated “Resident Evil” movie franchise. I actually reviewed the previous two movies if you wanna know my thoughts on them, you just have to search “Resident Evil” to find them (#ShamelessPlug). But long story short, they are enjoyable and I am really excited for this third installment which looks stupid and really fun.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
The first “Kingsman” was a giant surprise. It was a January movie that actually turned out to be great… yeah, who would have thought. It was a terrific action movie that also kind of parodied the spy genre without actually mocking it. And with the director and star of that movie returning for the sequel… yeah, I am really excited.

Mute.
c1f6iucuqaarkwn

“What?”, I hear you asking. “Mute” is an upcoming Netflix original science fiction movie directed by Duncan Jones. You know, the very talented director that made “Moon”, “Source Code”, and “Warcraft” who also happens to be the son of David Bowie. The movie will star Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd (pictured above with a glorious mustache), and Justin Theroux. I am a big fan of Jones’ previous movies, so this is a no-brainer for me to put on this list. Also, my love for science fiction is a factor in my excitement. Duncan Jones has stated that this is set in the same universe/timeline as “Moon”, so I am interested in seeing how the two movies tie together.

The Shape of Water.
cp7rintw8ay2mc1

This, my friends, is an upcoming fantasy movie by Guillermo Del Toro… and that’s really all I need. I am always excited about new Guillermo Del Toro movies. Sure, “Crimson Peak” wasn’t the best, but it was still not bad. I’ve enjoyed every Del Toro movie I’ve seen, so I am excited for this movie, especially since it has such a great cast.

Blade Runner 2049.

I was incredibly skeptical about this movie for the longest time. Sure, it had a terrific cast and a fantastic director, but a sequel to “Blade Runner”, released over 30 years later? Come on… no. Then this trailer came out and I am on board. It shows just hte right amount of stuff. It sets up the tone, it sets up some mystery and intrigue… it’s perfect. Yeah, I’m on board.

The Commuter.
The only reason why this is on the list is because it’s another action-thriller from director Jaume Collet-Serra and actor Liam Neeson. That’s it. I am a fan of their previous three movies, so I am just excited for this. I don’t expect a mindblowing thriller, just an entertaining action-thriller.

Dunkirk.

It’s a war movie directed by Christopher Nolan… how the fuck could you not be excited?

So those were a whole bunch of movies I’m excited for this year. What are you guys excited for? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one!

“Constantine” is back (sort of)!

constantine_1

Good evening guys, I hope you’re all doing well. Let’s talk about an interesting announcement!

So it has been announced by DC/the CW that “Constantine” will get his glorious return… sort of. What the hell am I talking about? “Constantine” was a short-lived series on NBC, and it was based on the comic book character of John Constantine (Matt Ryan), an exorcist/demonologist with a devil-may-care attitude and a troubled past. The show was canceled after only 13 episodes, probably due to low(ish) ratings. Despite that failure it garnered a pretty solid fanbase. And to be completely honest, I am part of that fanbase. I loved “Constantine”, it was a very entertaining and engaging fantasy-thriller show that unfortunately ended with quite the twist/cliffhanger. Matt Ryan was fantastic in the role of John Constantine, and I wanted to see more of him in that role! So you can imagine how happy I was when he popped up in an episode of “Arrow” season 4, because not only did it give me more of Ryan as Constantine, but it also meant that there was a possibility of him popping up even more in the CW’s “Arrow-verse”. And now we finally got the announcement that he would get his own show… sort of. Instead of a live action series that you could watch weeknights on the television, it will be an animated series on CW seed, the channel’s online streaming service where you can also watch “Vixen”, another CW animated series that ties into the “Arrow-verse”. But hey, it at least means we’re getting more of our favorite DC demonologist. Even better, Matt Ryan will be back to voice the character… which he also did for the upcoming DC animated movie “Justice League Dark”, which I am really excited for! While no official release date has been set, the animated “Constantine” series will most likely air in the later parts of this year.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited for this new “Constantine” animated series? And what are your thoughts on the short-lived NBC series? And while we’re at it, what are your thoughts on the Keanu Reeves “Constantine” movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one!