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: Serenity (2005)

Once upon a time, there was a tv show called “Firefly”. It was this well-written genre-bending sci-fi show about a group of space cowboys and the adventures they went on. It was beloved by many, but was unfortunately canceled after only 14 episodes. Fans were devastated. But two years after it got canceled, fans saw something shiny in the distance. Was it a continuation of the show? Yes it was. And today we’re taking a look at it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Serenity”.

Set after the events of the show, we once again follow the crew of the ship Serenity, led by Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), as they are hunted down by a mysterious assassin (Chiwetel Ejiofor) hellbent on getting to a specific member of the crew. So now we have our space opera featuring cowboys. And I found this to be a really good plot. It feels like an extended episode of the show, giving us the fun space adventure we wanted while also further evolving the universe. And I also think it works the perspective of someone who hasn’t seen the show before. Sure, people might be slightly lost on a few aspects, but it’s not so ingrained in the show’s plotlines that it would alienate general audiences. And I do in think this is a fun, suspenseful, emotional, and overall well told story.

The characters in this are layered, unique, interesting, and overall entertaining. While I’m sure there are those of you here who are unfamiliar with these characters, I will not go in-depth with those returning from the show as it would make this post last far too long. But in that group we have Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, and Ron Glass, all giving great performances throughout, and most getting some good development throughout. Let’s talk about Chiwetel Ejiofor as the film’s villain, simply known as The Operative. He’s a calm, well-spoken, and generally diplomatic guy who is a highly capable killer. And that makes him quite an interesting villain, making him a good foe for our beloved heroes. And Ejiofor is really good in the role. We also get some supporting performances from people like David Krumholtz, Michael Hitchcock, Sarah Paulson, Yan Feldman, Rafael Feldman, Tamara Taylor, and more, all giving solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by David Newman, and I think he did a really good job with it. As expected from something that is about cowboys, it of course takes a lot of inspiration from western and country, with various string-based instruments used throughout to give off that cowboy-ish vibe. But there are also some tracks implementing the sort of percussion and brass one can expect from a lot of sci-fi. And it all comes together to create a fun, engaging, and emotional score.

As previously mentioned, “Serenity” is a follow-up to the tv show “Firefly”, which was created by Joss Whedon. And this movie is written and directed by Whedon as well, who does a great job bringing the stuff I love about the show to a larger scale. The fast-paced action, the intimate conversations between characters, and the overall fun vibe that the show always had. And yes, the snappy dialogue of course makes a return, and it’s just as funny and enjoyable as it was in the show. And the cinematography by Jack Green was really good, giving us a lot of cool shots. The visual effects can be hit or miss, but I don’t mind too much, especially since I know that this was a lower budget production (compared to a lot of contemporary movies). Overall the technical stuff just comes together nicely.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Serenity” is not only a good continuation of the “Firefly” universe, but it’s also an overall enjoyable sci-fi romp. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography/effects/humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Serenity” is a 9,82/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Serenity” is now completed.

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me

Movie Review: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)

The final movie review of 2017. The final post of 2017 in general. It’s been a fun year filled with cool stuff. So let’s end on a predictable note. Once again, I’m reviewing a DC animated movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract”.

Nightwing (Sean Maher) rejoins the Teen Titans to help track down villainous cult leader Brother Blood (Gregg Henry) who seemingly has some sinister plan for the Titans. All while the loyalties of newest Titan member Tara (Christina Ricci) come into question. And that’s the best way I can explain the plot without spoiling stuff. But is this any good? Well, it’s not bad. They have some decent dramatic story bits, but I never got invested in any of it. There are interesting-ish twists, and there are some parts that made me go “yeah, that’s some good drama”. But when it comes to the whole picture I never found myself truly invested in it.

The characters here are decently interesting and entertaining. Sean Maher returns as Nightwing, the more fun version of Batman. He’s a cool, charming, and heroic badass that I enjoy following. And Maher is once again really good in the role. Kari Wahlgren returns as Starfire, the alien woman who also happens to be the leader of the Titans.  She’s fun, cool, and is just overall pretty interesting. And Wahlgren is really good in the role. Stuart Allan returns as Damian Wayne/Robin, son of Batman and former assassin apprentice. He’s come a long way since his total brat days, and he’s actually an endearing and interesting character. And Allan once again does a really good job in the role. Jake T. Austin is back as Blue Beetle, who gets a bit more development this time around since we learn more about his family relations and such, and it’s quite interesting. And Austin is really good in the role. Brandon Soo Hoo returns as Beast Boy, the shape-shifting fun guy of the group. And while he’s still mostly played as the slightly over-confident comic relief, he does get some decent dramatic moments here. And Soo Hoo is great in the role. Taissa Farmiga returns as Raven, the dark and quiet daughter of a demon. She doesn’t get as much to do as last time, but she’s still fairly interesting. And Farmiga is really good in the role. Then making her debut in these movies, we have Christina Ricci as Tara Markov/Terra, a young woman with a mysterious past (she can also control rocks, which is neat). She probably gets the most development in this movie, and it’s pretty interesting to follow. And Ricci is great in the role. Then we have Miguel Ferrer (may he rest in peace) as fan favorite character Deathstroke. Ferrer has such a commanding voice, so even when he has slightly less serious lines they come off as badass. Yeah, he’s great. Then you get a bunch of solid supporting performances from people like Gregg Henry, Maria Canals-Barrera, Meg Foster, Crispin Freeman, and more! Yeah, this is a well acted movie.

DC animation regular Frederik Wiedmann composed the score for this. And while it’s not his best, it’s still good. It’s fun and exciting and works quite well for all the scenes in the movie. Not much else I can say here.

Sam Liu is the director of this movie and I’d say the direction here is fine. There’s something about the animation here that makes it seem a little less good than usual. It’s not bad, but it seems to lack some of the detail and energy that previous movies have had. The action scenes are of course the best thing since they flow very well and are generally fun to watch. There’s also a lot of attempts at humor in this movie. Some land, some really don’t. For example, there’s a running gag in this movie that Beast Boy uses social media a lot (despite there being no indication of that in the previous movie he was in). It’s not the only out of place joke(s) in this movie, but it’s one of the more notable ones.

This movie (despite limited data on it) has been decently well received. 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 7,0/10.

“Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” isn’t really one of the best DC animated movies, but it’s still fairly enjoyable. It has an okay plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and okay directing/animation. My flaws (as previously mentioned) are that the plot isn’t the most engaging, the animation isn’t as good as usual, and some of the humor doesn’t land. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” is a 7,78/10. While flawed, it’s still definitely worth renting.

My review of “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” is now completed.

I’ll give the movie this: It’s the first movie in this DC animated timeline to not feature Batman in any capacity. Oh, and happy new year… I guess.

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: 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: Son of Batman (2014)

I’ve told you how I love watching DC animated movies so many times before, so let’s just jump into the review.

Ladies and gents… “Son of Batman”.

On a night like any other, Batman (Jason O’Mara) gets a visit from Talia al Ghul (Morena Baccarin) who tells him that he has a son named Damian (Stuart Allan). So now Batman has to take care of his troublesome son while also looking into a case that seems to involve Kirk Langstrom (Xander Berkeley) and possibly even Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson). And this plot was… fine. While I like the idea of Batman finding out he has a bloodthirsty son that he has to take care of, I never really felt that invested in the plot. It was entertaining and I never thought it was poorly told, but it wasn’t as investing as it could have been.

The characters in this, while not the deepest, were pretty interesting and really entertaining. I’ve said it before and I’m gonna say it again, Jason O’Mara is great as Batman… not much else I can say there, he’s great. Stuart Allan plays Damian in this movie and I think he did a really good job. Firstly, he’s actually young, so he actually sounds like a kid. And secondly, he portrayed the vengeful, entitled, and angry feel of the character very well. Morena Baccarin was really good as Talia al Ghul. David McCallum did a really good job voicing Alfred. Xander Berkeley was really good as Kirk Langstrom. Thomas Gibson did a pretty good job as Deathstroke. He wasn’t bad per se, but I feel like his voice didn’t fit the character too well. Nightwing also pops up in the movie, voiced by Sean Maher. And I think he did a really good job as the character. So overall I’d say that the cast is really solid.

The score for the movie was composed by Fredrik Wiedmann, the same man that did the score for the awesome “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox”. And I think the stuff he composed for this movie was really good. It was tense, exciting, and just overall worked very well within the movie.

So since this is a direct-to-video DC animated movie, we should talk about the animation. So how is it? The animation here is good. During scenes where characters just walk around and talk it looks fine, not great, not bad. But during action scenes it looks really good. The action in this movie is fast, fun, and surprisingly brutal. Especially during the last fight of the movie, that part was awesome!

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 70% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Son of Batman” is a fun addition to the DC animated universe. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, good performances, great music, and good animation. However like I said, I wasn’t exactly that invested in the plot and the animation wasn’t always the best. Time for my final score. *Throws Batarang*. My final score for “Son of Batman” is an 8,89/10. So while it’s flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Son of Batman” is now completed.

There’s a scene in Arkham Asylum in the movie and it shows how you do cameos the right way… Just saying.