Posts tagged "animated"

Superman: Unbound (Review)

Superman: Unbound

Superman Unbound
Screenplay by Bob Goodman
Based on Superman: Brainiac by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
Directed by James Tucker

Superman Unbound

“You can’t control a living thing without destroying what’s alive about it” — Zor-El

That quote is key for Superman Unbound, as Superman deals with a new threat to Earth, a threat from Krypton’s past that threatens the galaxy at large in addition to his adoptive home. Brainiac travels the universe capturing cities in bottles and then destroying their planet of origin, in an attempt to absorb all the knowledge in the universe. In order to prevent new knowledge from existing, Brainiac keeps the cities in the same state they were when they were captured. No one ages, everything stays the same, they are trapped in purgatory. As you can imagine, Superman is not okay with this fate befalling Earth, nor is he fine with leaving the lost Kryptonian capital of Krandor as a bottle decoration in Brainiac’s ship.
Superman Unbound supergirl
Superman: Unbound is based on Superman: Brainiac by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Brainiac presented here is a cold, calculating monster that is an unstoppable force in the galaxy. He’s been at it for decades, adding city after city to his collection and leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake. Brainiac brings up echo of the Borg, as he arrives in a lone ship (though his is shaped like a black skull), his robot troops adapt to the local defenses and absorb the knowledge of his victims. They both carve out cities from the ground, and Brainiac is more machine parts than organic at this point. But he’s also just one guy, as opposed to a collective consciousness. The motivations are similar but also different.

We begin with seemingly normal situations on Earth, massive violence in Metropolis (committed, they say, because Superman will obviously be busy with an earthquake in South America that happened a bit ago!) The heavily armed thugs manage the best the surprisingly militarized Metropolis police, but what they don’t bank on is Supergirl showing up to ruin their fun. Lois Lane (who volunteered to be their hostage) provides the snark as Supergirl rips through their defenses, joined by Superman, who faster than a speeding bulleted his way back to the US in time to take out the last of the bad dudes.
Superman Unbound finger
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 8, 2014 at 7:09 am

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Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (Review)

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

Justice League Flashpoint Paradox
Written by James Krieg
Based on Flashpoint by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert
Directed by Jay Oliva

Justice League Flashpoint Paradox
Flashpoint became the even that subsequently rebooted the DC universe into The New 52!, as the covers say. Basically, everything got rebooted, and was done so with less of a notice than you would like to wrap up storylines in dozens of comic books. This resulted in some things being a bit more rebooted than others, but all that continuity you knew and loved was once again thrown out the window by the latest DC reboot. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox doesn’t get into the continuity situation (except a brief costume change at the end), but deals with the storyline that causes it, leaving the actual fallout for the eventual sequels like Justice League: War. It lacks the excitement and fun of some of the animated DC flicks, though does have a few bright points to offer.

Flash is a character that, like Batman, is overshadowed by his villains. I say this not because I don’t really care for Flash, but because I find the dynamics of his villains far more interesting. Captain Cold and the Rogues are a cool team dynamic, working together for profit while avoiding excess casualties, even if they occasionally get sucked into more bloody affairs simply because they walk in the criminal underworld. Flash is potentially one of the most powerful heroes on the planet, and they regularly do battle with him. They even fight against other super-villain teams that try to control them. However, Professor Zoom/Reverse Flash/Eobard Thawne is simply an Evil Flash from the future who is a jerk. Sadly, the tale here turns the Rogues into petty thugs easily tricked by Professor Zoom, who then orchestrates manipulating Flash into altering history and continues to taunt Flash even as the future Professor Zoom comes from ceases to exist. C. Thomas Howell puts in a good performance letting the creepy sociopath shine through, but he’s stuck with what is there in the script to deliver, and Professor Zoom never becomes a classic villain.
Justice League Flashpoint Paradox
The biggest problem with Flashpoint is that it was never really that good to begin with. The series wasn’t terrible, but it never really turned into a classic story that will survived through the ages. The only real continual allure is the alternate reality itself, and even some of that is a bit corny. We already had alternate versions of the Justice League members not that long ago with Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, and despite the limited screen times, many of those characters felt more developed than the inhabitants of the Flashpoint world.

The fact the event was used to justify the rebooting of all of DC continuity makes it a lightning point of controversy, as some of the rebooting caused arguments of their own (Superman’s marriage went kaput, many dead characters sprung back to life, a few established female characters suddenly became giant slores) in addition to the general idea of everything getting reset yet again in DC. One theory was the resetting was a ploy to gain new readers, though if that was true, it didn’t seem to pan out too well, but much digital ink was spilt as various factions argued throughout the internet.
Justice League Flashpoint Paradox
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - November 20, 2014 at 7:08 am

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Justice League: Doom (Review)

Justice League: Doom

Justice League Doom
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Based on JLA: Tower of Babel by Mark Waid
Directed by Lauren Montgomery

Justice League Doom cheetah
The Justice League is under attack, except this time it’s by one of their own! Okay, not really by one of their own, but by the very plans Batman developed to deal with members of the Justice League.

Justice League: Doom is based loosely on the JLA: Tower of Babel storyline by Mark Waid, Justice League: Doom changes things up enough to be a different take while providing a nice adaptation of the overall themes. The main villain is changed (from Ra’s al Ghul to Vangal Savage) and some of the Justice League’s lineup is different, but the feelings of betrayal by a paranoid Batman remain.

Doom is not direct sequel to Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, but follows it with very similar character designs and voices. Many of the DC Animated films are their own shards of a loose continuity that exists purely to tell that exact tale. It’s a perfectly fine way to operate, allowing the general mythology of the heroes to exist and leaving toom for the specifics needed to make the stories work and be unique. The return of many of the familiar voice actors helps sell the loose familiarity and provides a comfort to longtime fans so they aren’t put off by Batman sounding weird or something.
Justice League Doom space station
Justice League: Doom is one of the better DC Animated films, dividing enough characterization between the different members to give each of them their own take, while still keeping a focus on Batman. Switching the villain to Vandal Savage helps push a more minor villain into focus and provides an excuse to make the full range of the plans make more sense than eliminating reading and talking.
Justice League Doom mirror master
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - November 17, 2014 at 7:48 am

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Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (Review)

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Justice League Crisis on Two Earths
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery

Justice League Crisis on Two Earths
A popular science fiction trope is heroes who are evil, villains who are good. From alternate universe to just same universe doubles, this phenomenon appears again and again, often involving goatees. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths continues the tradition, by utilizing the long-lived Crime Syndicate that has survived several decades of DC comics reboots and remixes. Instead of getting caught up in having characters face their dark side, the evil twins are just the setting for a tale of good versus evil that accelerates into the ultimate stakes, thanks to Owlman’s secret plan.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is an Easter egg hunter’s dream. There are so many alternate versions of DC Comics characters that you need a flow chart to figure them all out. Add to that several of them being not only evil mirrors, but references to other non-comic characters and you will spend each viewing discovering something new. It’s one of the better DC animated films, getting the characters correct The setting in the alternate Earth allows for much more crazy stuff
Justice League Crisis on Two Earths
We open with Lex Luthor and the Joker breaking into a secure vault. But hey, Joker is called Jester, and the two are breaking into the vault of murderous criminals. One sacrifice later, and Lex Luthor is the only hero left in a world of villains. So he warps away to our world (I’ll be referring to the DC Universe as our world, because it’s just easier), with is stuffed full of heroes like an overripe pinata.

On their planet, the Crime Syndicate is free to do whatever they want, due to a combination of fear and bribes. They only don’t kill the leaders and take over the planet due to fears of retaliatory nuclear strikes. But they’re working on their own bomb that can potentially destroy anywhere on the planet, which will tip the balance in their favor. Only a few brave souls stand up to them, as most who try don’t live to stand again.
Justice League Crisis on Two Earths
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 13, 2014 at 7:33 am

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Ich Bin Ein Gummibär Film!

In wake of finding out there is a live-action/CGI Rescue Rangers film on the way, the announcement of an animated Gummy Bear movie sounds cool…until you realize it isn’t Disney’s Gummi Bears, but is something called Gummibär. Gummibär/Gummy Bear is a computer generated viral singer in the same vein as Crazy Frog, which I know almost exclusively because of that Crazy Frog Brothers viral video. But this stuff is big in Europe, and studios are hot to trot on investing in global brands that give maximum overseas returns, so when Gummibär/Gummy Bear hit the big time, a cartoon movie deal becomes inevitable.

Gummibär/Gummy Bear looks ridiculous, a crazed green bear in undies and in need of a shave. But that’s the least weird thing about the Gummy Bear movie. John Travolta has been signed on to voice Gummy Bear, because Travolta has long been associated with gummy. Or grease. G-word, they’re all the same! Hopefully this means we’ll have us some Gummy disco dancing action. And yet, this isn’t the weird thing.

The script to Gummibär/Gummy Bear is being written by George Gallo, who also wrote the action film Bad Boys. In that tradition, Gummibär will team up with his friends – a vegetarian vampire bat, a cat and a chameleon – as they battle to save an alien planet from destruction. Exactly the plot you figure a Eurodance sensation would tackle!

As someone not from Europe, I have no idea if Gummy Bear is considered cool or ridiculously annoying, nor which countries are Gummy-infected and which are Gummy-free. But I do know that for a few seconds I thought there would be a cool Gummi Bears movie, and was all set to drink some gummy berry juice and start bouncing. Maybe one day….maybe one day…

I know some of you TRUE GREEN GUMMY BEAR FANS are saying “Hey, Gummy Bear already had his first movie, The Yummy Gummy Search For Santa!” And you are right, that movie exists, and Gummy Bear battles aliens to save Santa. Perhaps these will be the same aliens? Someone go rent The Yummy Gummy Search For Santa and let me know, because otherwise I have to watch it and that would be bad. For me. Probably not you, as the review would probably be a bunch of entertaining blabbering of nonsense. I do hope there is a gummy Venus De Milo, because there needs to be. Because references.

Watching the video lets me realize I’ve seen this video at some point and somehow blanked it out of my memories. But the pain comes rushing back as the green nightmare insists he’s a gummy bear.

Via ComingSoon


We’re coming for YOU, America!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm

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Sherlock Gnomes will soon solve your garden mysteries

Sherlock Gnomes is the sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet, which I haven’t bothered to watch, but I did see a gigantic poster for it at the mall that was like two stories tall. So I got that going for me, and that pretty much makes me a Gnomeo and Juliet expert. So I can safely say that Sherlock Gnomes will be more of the same Gnomeo and Juliet niche. If you liked the original, you’ll like this sequel. If you didn’t, then there is always that killer garden gnome film that is in the works. The real question is what would David the Gnome think of all this? Had he not died and turned into a tree, that is. I cried. We all cried.

Writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil return, and the new director will be John Stevenson, who is best known for Kung Fu Panda. Elton John’s company is producing again and he’ll be writing more music. The plot involves Gnomeo and Juliet hiring Sherlock Gnomes to help them sole the mystery of disappearing gnomes from across England.

via Deadline
Buy the Gnome at This Etsy Shop!

Flamethrower Gnome

Elementary is how easily your flesh burns, my dear Watson!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

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