As DC continues to go from bad decision to bad decision and they scramble around to do something about it, going from hiring a guy who thinks they should just do Watchmen to a guy who thinks they should make Watchmen official. So while all this is going on they do the one thing they have left going for them, nostalgia. This is ……………………………………………………………
In perhaps the best timing in the world ever Bruce Timm has returned to DC, in slightly worse timing he has decided that the best way to announce his return is by giving us a grim dark Justice League, ‘cos yeah that’s what DC needs right now more darkness.
The movie begins by dragging the Batman mythos into the modern age by Riddler meeting his match not to the encyclopedic knowledge of the world’s greatest detective but in the same old way that everyone answers any question, by google. However before Chekmate can be rewarded for their google-fu Batman sweeps in via a hectic fight scene powered by the righteous fury of all people who had to go and learn things the old fashioned way instead of installing the latest app. This sees him triumph and take the Riddle in for a good long stay at hotel Arkham, the mad house for all of Batman’s most dangerous foes.
Unfortunately for Batman he’s not dealing with some ninja bats this time but instead must contend with CCH Pounder back as Amanda Waller, perhaps the only woman who can properly portray her both inside and outside of animation and certainly not say Oprah who couldn’t portray her in a flash youtube video. Amanda Waller who has a fury for anyone who hasn’t learnt the lesson about capes and with the attitude that the ends can and often do justify the means thus she uses the power of montage to acquire a team of villains and mercenaries such as Dum Dum Dungan, Starfire, Aquaman, Dan Dare, Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring, Commander Shepard and Nolan North. Their job is to break their way into Arkham, claim the flash drive in Riddler’s cane and get out before Waller blows the bombs at the base of their necks for taking too long.
Comic books are currently dominating the movies and they have gone into every field imaginable. So far we’ve had spy movies, fantasy epics, war films and of course soon we will be watching a space opera. Yet despite all this we haven’t yet had a movie starring a woman, oh sure we’re had women knock around the back of movies balancing out the sausage fest of team ups and we’ve had damsels needing to be saved by cool leading men because they’ve given out their home address to well-known terrorists. Now at this point I’m sure people out there will try and point out the unlikeliness of female superheroes what with them lacking the upper body strength of the men and being able to think about anything outside of flowers and shoes. See unfortunately that argument falls down slightly when Marvel is prepared to base one of their movies around a comic nobody knows about which stars a talking raccoon and his partner an Ent. Not only that, we’re pretty much already had Wonder Woman’s origin story; outdated religious structure turning out to be true, the gods sending their emissary to the modern world. Of course with talk about Wonder Woman coming to the world of Batman vs Superman perhaps all this is wrote in vain. Well not if it turns out to be true that she’s going to be from a tribe of lost Kyptonians. So even though Thor has pretty much already done it I’m going to ask the question of can a movie do Diana of Themyscira? Heck can a superhero movie do a female lead? Continue reading
Son of Batman is the latest DC animated feature and follows on tangentially from the last outing Justice League: War, by which I mean it shares one actor and the same art style. By all accounts this is part of the new shared universe that DC is trying to build with its animated movies but seen as how the next will be set in the Arkham Asylum universe, acting as a prequel to the games, let’s not read too much into this. In fact the movie stands well enough on its own and personally stands better as a random Batman movie than as part of this new universe for much the same reason as the idea of Damian does in the comics. Now normally I would apply the same rules to this review as to the last and focus only on the movie at hand instead of blathering on about reams and reams of back issues and annuals but I think this one is relevant and prevalent of much bigger issues in the new 52.
For those who don’t know the whole “new 52” thing was DC’s idea to reinvent their whole line. Every hero and villain was taken back and launched fresh with the idea being that the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and so forth have been operating for a maximum of five years. Now this was fine for DC’s less popular lines as they could be wiped away without too much worry. However the Green Lantern books had just undergone a massive, very popular, storyline that reworked a lot of what we knew about the Lanterns and Batman is well Batman so both of those lines were untouched for fear of disturbing the pair of golden geese. Brining that back to this movie, this means that Batman who has been around for five years tops at this point now has a twelve year old son born by one of his enemies. These kind of temporal and logical inconsistencies are still being ironed out in the comics but it shall be interesting to see what is done in the movies in future if anything. Continue reading
This week marked William Shakespeare’s birthday and were he alive today we would be trying to fit a whopping 450 candles on his cake. In that time we have seen numerous versions of his plays. We’ve seen furry Hamlets, white Othello’s and Macbeths on motorcycles but today I’m going to be talking about one of the more unusual ones, an animated version kids movie with a score by Elton John. I guess they figured it worked out quite well last time.
Gnomeo and Juliet transposes the classic love story to modern English life and centres around two gardens of gnomes, lovingly animated in cgi, who come to life when humans aren’t around. If this sounds a bit Disney Pixar to you then it should be noted that they held the rights to this movie until they were pretty much tossed out in 2007. I imagine the scene was similar to when you wake up after a night out and look through your amazon order list to find out you’ve just purchased a boat. Continue reading
Justice League War is the newest animated movie from DC and based on the new Justice league origins the first storyline from the new Justice league series set in the new 52 continuity. As can be gathered from my review thus far this is new, brand new, so new you’re liable to cut yourself on the plastic wrapping and yet just like buying that new set of scissors and launching into it with teeth and claws it feels somewhat old. Just to clarify before we continue I will be focusing on the movie here and not the comic but of course some commentary on the new 52 is to be expected.
While DC has had a rather lousy run in live action the animated department has so far been quite good with a mix of adaptations of old graphic novels and brand new stories. However this one marks a change in the proceedings. Like in the comics this movie follows on from the flashpoint storyline where the universe was rewritten and already there are promises for a follow up with the throne of Atlantis storyline. In fact even the upcoming son of batman movie will carry Jason O’Mara over as Bruce Wayne so if we’re going to be putting up with this League of Justice for a while let’s see what they’re like. Continue reading