Movie Review: Constantine: City of Demons (2018)

Two animations in a row? I know, fucking insanity up in this joint. But hey, it’s my blog and my Month of Spooks, so I can do whatever I want. Besides, why wouldn’t I wanna talk about DC’s arguably most well known horror character?

Ladies and gents… “Constantine: City of Demons”.

When his daughter is thrown into a supernaturally induced coma, Chas Chandler (Damien O’Hare) enlists the help of his old mate, John Constantine (Matt Ryan), to hopefully fix this whole situation. And as they look further into the situation, they not only get into new troubles, but old wounds get opened back up too. I thought the story here was good. Leans a bit too heavily on exposition during the first act, but as soon as we get into act two, things aren’t quite so info-dumpy. And I have to admit that I didn’t fully see where this story was going, it managed to throw me for a loop multiple times, telling a narrative that understands the “Hellblazer” mythos and themes, while still making it accessible to anyone unfamiliar with the material. That latter point might be somewhat related to the info-dumping in the first act, which makes it kind of a double-edged sword, but that’s just how shit ends up some times. But yeah… the story’s good, if a bit flawed.

The characters in this are flawed, colorful, and overall quite interesting. Constantine in this is more like in the comics rather than how he’s portrayed in the Keanu Reeves movie. He’s British, snarky, and a bit aloof. And while he’s not quite as morally flexible as he is in the comics, they do nod towards that idea a fair bit throughout this movie, which makes him a bit more interesting. And Matt Ryan (in his fourth appearance) is great in the role. Damien O’Hare as John’s trusted friend Chas Chandler does a great job as the committed and brave, yet slightly impulsive type. And in the supporting cat we got people like Laura Baily, Robin Atkin Downes, Jim Meskimen, Rachel Kimsey, Rick Wasserman, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Kevin Riepl, and it was alright. It is overall a well composed score that worked fine for the movie, but I felt that it might’ve been a little bit on the bland-ish side. It does have some cool chorals that make it stand out a little bit, but for the most part it’s your typical orchestral stuff with occasional synthesizers for effect. Again, not bad, pretty good, but a little bland.

Of course based on the legendary DC/Vertigo Character, “Constantine: City of Demons” was directed by Doug Murphy, who I think did a good job with it. He doesn’t force a lot of needless action or an unnecessarily rapid pace, instead opting for a decent bit of downtime, letting characters breathe and letting the audience take in what’s going on a bit. And even when there is action, it isn’t typical action-action with fists flying all about the place or flashy spells pew-pewing all day long, which I think is a fun change of pace. And the animation carrying it all, I think is good (based on the standards of these lower budget DC animated flicks). There are some minor things that distracted in it, like some of the blood splatter effects, but for the most part the animation looks nice and wonderfully brings out some of the nastier stuff in the DC universe.

This movie has been decently well received. On imdb.com (which is the only site with a clear number), it has a score of 7,4/10.

While it isn’t perfect, “Constantine: City of Demons” is still a very enjoyable take on the titular Hellblazer. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, okay music, and really good directing/animation. Though it is unfortunately brought down a bit by a little too much exposition dumping, and some minor animations niggles. Time for my final score. *Bollocks*. My final score for “Constantine: City of Demons” is an 8,77/10. So while flawed, I’d say it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Constantine: City of Demons” is now completed.

“Abraka-fooking-dabra” – John Constantine.

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: Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)

re_degeneration

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen… and welcome to the first official post for the Month of Spooks! I know that it’s October 2nd today, but I’m at least starting way earlier than I did last year when I half-assed everything. Anyway, this is the first of *insert amount* posts that will be released by me and some of the poor souls who decided to take part in this. So far, there are three people involved. And if you feel left out, don’t worry, since it’s so early in the month you can still enter by messaging me on twitter and then we’ll talk about it. Anyway, done with that clumsy intro… let’s get into the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Resident Evil: Degeneration”.

Set between the events of “Resident Evil 4” and “Resident Evil 5”, this movie tells the story of returning characters Leon S. Kennedy (Paul Mercier) and Claire Redfield (Alyson Court) as they after a zombie outbreak at an airport have to stop an angry man looking for revenge from causing a lot of destruction and death. And that’s basically all I can say there without getting into spoilers. With that said, this is a pretty interesting plot. Sure, it is relatively predictable, especially if you’re a “Resident Evil” fan (like I am), but it’s not bad. I enjoyed seeing where the plot went throughout the movie. The only real problem I have with it is that towards the middle of the movie it slowed down and slightly ruined the pacing. I felt like the movie came to a halt. Luckily it picked up again a few minutes later, but I still felt that slower bit. So overall the plot is pretty good, with that slower stuff near the middle.

The characters in the movie are all fitting pretty snugly into their respective roles. Leon Kennedy has always been a capable guy, and it still shows here. First time we saw him he was a police officer, first day on the job. Second time, he was a bit more cocky and confident. And here we have someone who is a lot more calm, hardened, and overall cool. Paul Mercier who voiced him in “Resident Evil 4” (AKA the best one) returned to do the voice in this movie and he is great in the role. His vocal performance is really good and fits the character perfectly. Alyson Court as Claire was really good, playing this character who knows what she’s doing, but isn’t perfect in every way. And then we also get a lot of other supporting voice performances from various veteran voice actors. And they all do a good job.

The original score for the movie was composed by Tetsuya Takahashi and it is pretty good. It’s not something that will stick out in my mind long after the movie is done, but it’s also not bad. It’s an orchestral score that works for the various scenes in the movie to help elevate the scenes to a minor extent.

Seeing as this is an animated feature, we have to talk about the animation. And it is really good. Sure, there are stiff character movements and facial expressions throughout. But for a 100% CG movie that aims for a more realistic feel, it looks great. Not as great as a movie like “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children”, but still really good. I mean, when I was watching the movie I didn’t go “Yeah, that looks like shit”. The animation is really good, if a bit stiff at times. That said, the action in the movie looks great, I was really entertained by it. Especially towards the second half, where the movie goes full-on “Resi-Cheese”. Also, it’s not really scary, but it’s at least decently tense at a few points.

It’s difficult to find what people think about this movie, since it barely exists on the movie sites I usually utilize. Oh well, at least imdb properly has it. On that site it has a score of 6,6/10.

“Resident Evil: Degeneration” is a pretty interesting movie. It has a pretty interesting plot (with a slow part near the middle), good characters, good voice acting, good music, and really good animation. So now it’s time for my final score. *Zombie moan*. My final score for “Resident Evil: Degeneration” is an 8,99/10. I’d say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Resident Evil: Degeneration” is now completed.

You’re probably gonna get more enjoyment out of this if you’re a fan of the games. But if you’re just a normal person looking for a good movie… yeah, you might get some entertainment here. Also… let the Month of Spooks officially commence!