Series Review: Transformers Prime – Season 2 (2012)

There are probably those in the world who would say “You’re 23, stop watching cartoons!”. And to that I say “Be quiet, fool, I’m trying to watch a cartoon”. Oh, and there will be spoilers for the end of season 1, just so you don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Ladies and gents… “Transformers Prime” season 2.

At the end of the previous season, we saw Optimus (Peter Cullen) defeat the mighty Unicron. But that doesn’t mean him and his fellow Autobots get any time to rest, since they find themselves in a race against Megatron (Frank Welker) and his Decepticons to find and gather up mighty Cybertronian artifacts, all scattered across Earth. Yes, most of this season is a MacGuffin hunt, but so are all the “Indiana Jones” movies, and those are great. And “Transformers Prime” does it really well too by throwing in a lot of enjoyable character development, some clever twists, and genuinely fun sci-fi concepts. It also continues the show’s exploration of “Transformers” lore in really nuanced ways. The narrative manages to be a lot more compelling than a lot of contemporary cartoons… and a lot more compelling than the live action movies… what I’m saying is that the story here is great.

The characters here are flawed, layered, colorful, and just in general great. In season 1, they kinda started out one way, kind of being a cliche. But by the end of it, they had developed further. And they kept that going here in season 2. A lot of cartoons return to the status quo every now and then, just to make syndication easier. But none of that’s here. Character development sticks, and even gets furthered throughout the season. And the voice cast is great too. Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jeffrey Combs, Sumalee Montano, Josh Keaton, Tania Gunadi, Steve Blum, Ernie Hudson, and a few more all return from the previous season, all delivering damn good voice performances. And some of the newer additions, including the likes of Tony Todd, David Kaye, and Nolan North, are also great great.

As with the previous outing, the music for season 2 was composed by Brian Tyler, and he once again did a good job with it. It’s a big, bold, badass, brass-based score that fits the tone of the show really well while adding an extra layer of emotion to certain scenes throughout.

In my review of season 1, I praised the show’s animation for being fluid and dynamic without sacrificing much in terms of detail. Well, I can happily say that it’s still the case here. The animation is beautiful. Sure, the human characters look a bit like putty, but that’s an acceptable compromise for the titular robots. My god, they look amazing. The amount of detail on them, from parts, to shine, to wear and tear in their paint… you can tell that the crew really cared to make them look amazing. And the good animation carries over to the action too, which has plenty of exciting fights, shootouts, and chases. It’s all fluid and super fun, without compromising on any of the detail.

On imdb.com the show has a score of 7,8/10.

The crazy bastards did it. They somehow managed to give “Transformers Prime” another terrific season. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and excellent animation/direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Transformers Prime” season 2 is a 9,82/10. Which does mean that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Transformers Prime” season 2 is now completed.

Roll out…

Series Review: Young Justice (2010 – 2013)

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

Ladies and gentlemen… “Young Justice”!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Movie Review: Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

batman-the-killing-joke-2016-hd-wallpaper-1366x768

I am one of those people that has a soft spot for DC’s animated movies. I’m not saying that I think all of them are great, but when a new one is announced I get a little excited. And this year we officially got one announced that is based on one of the most beloved graphic novels of all time. So… how is this adaptation? Well, I can’t speak for what you think… but we can get into the review and find out what I think. So let’s go!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: The Killing Joke”.

The Joker (Mark Hamill) has once again escaped from Arkham Asylum, this time with a plan to terrorize the Gordon family to prove a certain point. So it’s up to Batman (Kevin Conroy) to find him and bring him to justice. And the stuff we get here is really solid. It is a dramatic, tense, and almsot disturbing plot where we get to see Joker do these horrible things, while also giving us a glimpse into his past. And all that stuff is great. However, the plot-based stuff isn’t 100% perfect. There’s a 30 minute period at the beginning of the film that has nothing to do with the actual “Killing Joke” stuff, instead having some plot focusing on Batman and Batgirl (Tara Strong) chasing some criminals. I understand what they tried to do here, adding some runtime to the movie while also trying to give us more of a reason to care about Batgirl. But I never felt that it really added anything worthwhile to the plot, instead just adding 30 minutes of average(ish) entertainment. Seriously, you can skip the first 30 minutes of the movie and not miss a single important thing. So the “Killing Joke” stuff is great, but it takes a while to get there.

The characters featured in this movie are ones that all know and love… except for like several in that opening 30 minutes. But the ones we came to see, they are very well represented. Kevin Conroy once again did the voice of Batman (I don’t think he will ever quit, #SteadyPaycheck). And really, I don’t have to say anything. He is as phenomenal as ever, he really is the Batman. Mark Hamill as the Joker… Yeah, he’s fuckin’ masterful. Let me put it like this: Nicholson and Ledger were both really great as the character, but Mark Hamill really is THE JOKER. His voice is iconic and simply perfect for the character (#HesMyJoker). We also got Tara Strong, returning to her role as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. And she was really good. We also got Ray Wise (not a returning Bat-cast member) as Commissioner Jim Gordon. And he was really good in the role. Not as good as Gary Oldman or even Jonathan Banks, but still really good. Then the rest of the supporting cast was rounded out by a lot of other voice actors. All of them are very talented, but I don’t want to sit here and write all of them down here. But let it be known that they did a great job!

The score for the movie was composed by Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and Kristopher Carter. And it is a very exciting and very well composed score, perfectly fitting this type of action movie. I will also mention that there is an actual song in there too (as in a song with lyrics) and it is pretty amazing. And the scene where it’s featured is nothing short of a masterpiece.

DC animation regular Sam Liu stands as director of this movie, and I’d say it is for the most part a well directed movie. Scenes play out at a decent pace. However… the animation leaves a little bit to be desired. And I know that can be the thing with these DC animated movies, but you’d think they’d up the ante a bit with such an iconic story combined with the fact that this played in theaters. But here’s also the thing: Some scenes look great, with a decent amount of detail in them and overall really good flow of animation. But then some bits look kind of bad. Some movements look stiff and kind of jittery.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 48% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even have a score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Guys, in the end, “Batman: The Killing Joke” disappointed me a bit. Is it as bad as some say? No. But it’s also not among the best DC animated features. It as a good plot, good characters, great voice acting, really good music, and some decent animation. howeer it is bogged down a bit by those first 30 minutes and the animation being as inconsistent as I mentioned. Time for my final score. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! My final score for “Batman: The Killing Joke” is an 8,51/10. So it is flawed, but I think that it can still be worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Batman: The Killing Joke” is now completed.

And for those asking: No, I have not read the graphic novel. I know, shame on me!

Cartoon/Movie Review: Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

Batman Assault On Arkham Wallpapers

 

You may not know this, but I am a big fan of Batman (rhyming is fun). Whether it is the animated series, Christopher Nolan’s movies, the “Arkham” games or any of the original animated movies (Under the Red Hood, Year One, etc.). Sure, “Batman & Robin” was a big fucking miss and I am not a fan of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”…but there are a lot of great Batman things. And you’re probably asking about my thoughts on the comics. Well the thing is, comics aren’t that big in Sweden and therefore they are incredibly difficult to get. But enough about that! Today we are taking a look at an animated Batman movie that is set within the “Arkham” timeline/universe.

Men and women, prepare yourselves…for this is “Batman: Assault on Arkham”!

The fun thing is, this Batman movie doesn’t use Batman (Kevin Conroy) as the main character really. He is only put in a sort of side story about him trying to find a bomb planted somewhere in Gotham by the Joker (Troy Baker). Instead this movie focuses more on a special group of criminals put together by the established Batman character Amanda Waller (CCH Pounder). This group is only consisting of big and dangerous criminals who are so called “expendable” (call Sylvester Stallone). This group is “The Suicide Squad”. Consisting of Deadshot (Neal McDonough), Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch), King Shark (John DiMaggio), Black Spider (Giancarlo Esposito), Killer Frost (Jennifer Hale) and Captain Boomerang (Christian Lanz, also fucking seriously?). What is their mission exactly? To break into Arkham Asylum to find a sort computer-chip-thing that is in the Riddler’s (Matthew Gray Gubler) cane. Also, they are gonna kill Riddler. And then twist and turns and action and Batman coming in to do shit. While the premise is kind of interesting, we know there are a bunch of things we can’t ignore that are kind of obvious. Especially since this movie is set between “Batman: Arkham Origins” and “Batman: Arkham Asylum”. But even though a few elements of the story were fairly predictable, I still had a hell of a great time with the storyline of “Assault on Arkham”. This movie had a plot that was really well executed…and within only 75 minutes. That’s right, this movie is THAT short. So yeah, really good story.

The characters are very fleshed out for being confined to a 75 minute time space. But still, if you are not familiar with the Batman mythos, you might get confused with who some of these are. For example, I had no fucking clue who “King Shark” or “Captain Boomerang” (Again, fucking seriously?) were before I watched this. But I still enjoyed watching them on screen, they had good chemistry and their writing was excellent as well.

The music was what you’d expect…epic and awesome. It was something you’d expect from a Batman movie. I found it to be perfect for the action scenes and othe scenes in this movie. So music was kinda easy to explain, but how is the rest of the sound design. I know I usually address this in my movie reviews, but since this is an animated feature, it might be good to cover. The use of sound effects and placement of said effects (how the sound travels and changes depending on where on the screen it is) was honestly really well done. The use of the sound was used in such a way where it did sound pretty realistic (as realistic as you can get an animated Batman film). And of course…the voice acting. The voice acting was no surprise to me. I expected greatness…and I got greatness. That is never really a problem in DC animated films. And it was fun hearing a few of the actors from the “Arkham” games return as their respective characters (Kevin Conroy, Troy Baker and Nolan North who I forgot to address earlier even though he voiced Penguin). But in general, the voice acting was excellent. I was especially pleased with Neal McDonough as Deadshot, he really brought life to the character. I was also happily surprised with Matthew Gray Gubler as Riddler…who knew he could do justice to the classic character. In general, everything involving sound was great.

Next up is animation, and boy is it good. Not saying it is as great as in maybe “Attack on Titan”, but it is still good. Again, something that is never a problem with DC animated features. It is nice to look at, the animators really gave this movie life…especially during the fight scenes.

I have nothing more to say here. And I usually have something to say in my “General stuff” area. This comes as a shock to me.

Since this movie just came out, it has barely gotten any reception. But there is a little in fact. As of the time of this review the movie has 7,4/10 based on 315 votes on imdb.com. And that’s about it. If you want more reviews, look up some yourself.

I have given this movie some positive feedback. And now for my score! My final score for “Batman: Assault on Arkham” that Batman beat out of me is a 9,54/10. It is worth picking up when it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. It just had a digital release. The physical release of the movie is set for 11th of august 2014. I suggest you pick it up. Oh yeah, almost forgot the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
49920178

“Batman: Assault on Arkham” is now reviewed.

Thank god the assault was only on Arkham Asylum and not…OH GOD! DEADSHOT! NOOOO!