Tag Archives: animation

Review: Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice-League-Gods-and-Monsters-2015-movie-posterAnimation legend Bruce Timm returns to the popular DC Universe Original Movies with his unique new vision of a Justice League you’ve never seen before. Justice League: Gods & Monsters features a Superman born of General Zod’s blood, a Batman with a healthy dose of bat in the man, and a Wonder Woman rising from the ranks of the New Gods. This ain’t your daddy’s Justice League. They are as likely the world’s saviors as Earth’s despotic rulers. When a group of famed scientists experience untimely “accidents,” a government task force follows the trail of clues to the Justice League — and into a high stakes game of intrigue, mystery and action that asks the question: How do you serve justice to those above the law?

This newest animated movie based on DC Comic characters is a fascinating one in that it really puts a lot of interesting new takes on characters, and while it goes far in some points, it also doesn’t go far enough and explore others. The concept of a Superman not only of Zod’s blood, but raised by immigrant parents is potentially amazing, and worthy of a film all to itself. However to socio and political impact of such a change is only handled by a few sentences or some words in Spanish.

jlgm-group06jpg-806cceChanges for Wonder Woman and Batman too are interesting, and while they get a bit more of a focus on their past, more so than Superman, that is more to really show us what is different in their origin, or provide the reasoning behind something that matters in the film.

The movie reminds me of the classic DC Elseworlds line of comics, spinning out different versions of characters we know. The movie is entertaining, it’s also not super deep other than different versions of characters we know. The murder mystery story is interesting, and gives us a threat that isn’t just another super villain to punch.

The voice acting is solid, I liked the cast, featuring Michael C. Hall as Batman, Benjamin Bratt as Superman, Tamara Taylor as Wonder Woman, and many more who you’d recognize. It’s rare that I’ve had issues with Warner Bros.’ voice casting for their films, and this is no exception there.

I think overall, the movie screams potential for me. There’s tons here to mine and dive deeper in to, I want to see more of it. What we get is very entertaining, but shallow in some ways. I will say, the spin on classic characters, with so many nods for long time fans, will keep DC Comic fans entertained throughout.

Overall rating: 8

Warner Bros./DC Comics provided a FREE copy for review

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s First Promo

Check out the first footage from the new Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy animated series, coming to Disney XD September 26th!

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Animated Short by F. Gary Gray

Ubisoft debuted its animated short inspired by Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, directed by F. Gary Gray, at San Diego Comic-Con. The animated short was released during the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate panel in which Gray participated.

There’s also a behind the scenes video.

Batman Vs. Joker Stop Motion Battle

It’s Batman vs. the Joker in stop motion courtesy of Counter 656. Things get a bit out of hand.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles – “Big”

The latest in the collaboration between Machinima and DC Comics, set in an alternate universe where Wonder Woman is actually the New God Bekka, the warrior goddess must take on a horde of Kobra soldiers to save her friend with benefits, Steve Trevor.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles – “Bomb”

Machinima and DC Comics are back with a new episode of Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles.

Set in an alternate universe where Superman is the son of General Zod, President Amanda Waller turns to the man of steel when a weapon malfunctions and threatens to destroy a city. That weapon’s name… is Brainiac.

The series is produced by Bruce Timm.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles – “Twisted”

The first episode of Machinima and DC ComicsJustice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles has been released. This isn’t the happy go-lucky DC Universe you’ve known. It’s a rather dark take on classic characters reminiscent of an Elseworlds tale.

This episode is set in an alternate universe where Batman is actually Kirk Langstrom, the dark knight pursues a new, more unhinged Harley Quinn.

The series is produced by Bruce Timm.

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem this August

1000518597BRDLEFOOPT_78d653The Dark Knight isn’t seeking tricks or treats when Gotham City’s most lethal villains take to the streets on Halloween night in the newest DC Comics animated film – Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem.  Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the original movie arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 18, 2015 for a $19.98 SRP, and via Digital HD on August 4.

It’s Halloween night in Gotham City and Scarecrow, Clayface, Silver Banshee and Solomon Grundy have hit the streets to stir up trouble! Batman is on the trail of the city’s spookiest villains while, further complicating matters, the clown prince of crime himself, The Joker, is ruling over this mysterious crew of misfit criminals. It’s up to the Dark Knight to stop this gruesome gang before they unleash “digital laughter,” a computer virus that’s part of a diabolical plan to jeopardize all of Gotham City’s vital technology. Batman, Green Arrow, Cyborg, Nightwing and Red Robin must combine forces to battle these baddies and save the city.

The stellar voice cast features Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins) as Batman, Troy Baker (Batman: Assault on Arkham) as Joker, Khary Payton (Teen Titans Go!) as Cyborg, Chris Diamantopoulos (Episodes, Silicon Valley) as Green Arrow, Will Friedle (Batman Beyond, Boy Meets World) as Nightwing, Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10) as Red Robin, Kari Wuhrer (Sharknado 2, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) as Silver Banshee, Fred Tatasciore (LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham) as Solomon Grundy, Brian T. Delaney (Mad, Halo 3 & 4) as Scarecrow, Dave B. Mitchell (World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor) as Clayface, Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) as Gogo Shoto, and Alastair Duncan (Mass Effect games, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) reprising his The Batman TV series role as Alfred.

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem DVD contains the following special features:

  • GOTHAM 2030: Designing a Future World – The artistic team responsible for bringing this future Gotham City to life will take you on an exploration of their creative process, from their earliest concept sketches through the final eye-popping landscapes. Welcome to a Gotham City of tomorrow!
  • Ten shorts from the popular DC Nation collection, including “SHAZAM! Courage,” “SHAZAM! Wisdom,” “SHAZAM! Stamina,” “Green Arrow: Onomotopoeia-Bot,” “Green Arrow: Brick,” “Green Arrow: Cupid,” “Deadman: Deadman Catch,” “Animal Man vs. Captain Cold,” “Animal Man vs. Black Manta” and “Riddler: Riddle Me This!”

Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders

maxresdefaultDo you like 80’s music? 80’s American Music? Well Hirohiko Araki sure does! And that’s what helped inspire his manga that started in 1982 and is still ongoing. Now, as the title suggests, we’re talking about part 3, ignoring Part 1: Phantom Blood and Part 2: Battle Tendency, and this is merely because the recently released David’s Production of Part 3 is ending soon. It also, at times, appears to be the most popular arc, or at least the most well-known. This part consists of volumes 12 to 28.

So the plot of Jojo’s all happens around the Joestar family, part three centers around Jotaro Kujo, lovingly called Jojo by those around him, grandson to part 2 Joseph Joestar. He’s a delinquent in high school whose story opens with him in jail, saying that his is possessed by an evil spirit. Holly Kujo, his mother, calls for her father, Joseph, to come and help get Jotaro to his senses. Through the altercation, with the help of Joseph’s friend Abdul and his STAND, they are able to make Jotaro understand there is something bigger going on. The evil spirit is actually Jotaro’s stand Star Platinum and it is best known for its screams of ORA! When tragedy hits, he and his crew must travel to Egypt to find and stop the evil Dio! On the way they must fight other stand users hired by Dio to stop them and this leads to both wacky and sad adventures.

The characters, minus a select few, all have Stands.

Jotaro Kujo as stated above is a delinquent who all the girls love. He has a bad attitude, but really he cares a lot. His stand is Star Platinum, named after the Star taro card. Jotaro is a hulking 17 year old who looks like he’s 30. Still he is a pretty stoic great guy, who is crazy strong. Underneath his touch demeanor he really loves his friends and really grows into himself through the journey.

Joseph Joestar is Jotaro’s grandfather and actually the main character of Part 2. His stand is called Hermit Purple which allows him to create vines that he can use to create phantom photos through cameras and also swing from building to building. He is easy going and just a general blast. He has a robot hand and also has the power of Hamon, which is controlled through breathing, it’s also called a Ripple. Altogether though, Joseph is a personal favorite of mine.

Mohammed Avodol, referred to as Abdul, is our calm and centered character from Cairo. His stand is called Magician’s Red. He is also the first character we meet who was born with his stand. He’s pretty cool, though he probably stands out much more later on the more he interacts with characters like Polnareff.

Noriaki Kakyoin is, probably, the character people have seen before. If anyone here has heard of this specific anime, they definitely know of the scene of this guy rolling a cherry in his mouth, rerorerorero echoing in your ears. Besides that he is the same age as Jotaro and actually a schoolmate of his. He is the second person we meet born with a stand, his being Hierophant Green. Kakyoin is also best known for being a bit of a know it all. He joins the group with no real intention, but perhaps to get back at Dio.

Jean Pierre Polnareff is also a familiar character, with his straight pole of a hair style he hails from France. His stand is called Silver Chariot, which fights with a rapier. Polnareff though is serious comic relief, like toilet jokes and ‘I’m better than all of you’ jokes. He joins the team to search for the man who killed his sister, a man with two right hands who may be employed by Dio.

There is one more character but we don’t really meet him till later in the series.

In terms of art style, Hirohiko Araki is very well known for his exaggerated art style and ridiculous ‘Jojo’ poses, however this creates a very nice staple for each new installment. Currently in part three you can already see a dramatic change in art style that continues to adapt with each new Jojo. However in terms of anime animation we have two different sources to look at both a 1993 OVA and the current 2014-2015 David’s Production two season anime. I would say, considering both have drastically different animation styles, that both are good. While the OVA sometimes leaves something to be desired, its monotone colors really speak to me for some reason. It also over exaggerates in a way that isn’t as jarring as the David’s Production. However the new anime has everything in terms of better color and just really works well with Araki’s own style.

So in terms of sound I’m going to mainly focus on the new anime, as there isn’t a whole lot that shines in terms of the OVA. Daiskue Ono voices Jotaro and if you don’t know who that is well, Erwin Smith in Shingeki no Kyojin. We also have Daisuke Hirakawa as Kakyoin, currently known for his role as Rei in Free! We also have Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles as the ending theme, which really enforced the importance as well as the fun for this anime. The opening theme is Stand Proud by Jin Hasimoto. Later on in the second season things do change, but the only music that really stands out is Last Train Home by Pat Metheny Group for the ending theme. For the English dub, which is currently in the works from what I’ve seen last, I would say go to the subtitles. This anime, at least personally, only seems to work in its native language. A lot of the dialogue becomes stunted in English that really flows in the Japanese.

This anime is very popular and continues to be one of the most popular ongoing mangas to date. It is violent and has some childish humor, but doesn’t lose its overall story. While completely silly at times, when taking into account Araki’s inspiration, I can’t help but say that this series is a lot of fun. And that’s what it needs to be, fun. Without that this series would be too serious and hard to get through, but it has the right amount of light and dark moments that we as viewers don’t lose track of the meaning. I hope that with the success of Part Three that we will get anime adaptations of the next few parts, as we do have 26 episodes dedicated to the first two parts of the series. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems, there are art issues as well as just general things that weren’t needed in a series like this, and however it doesn’t fully detract from an overall enjoyment level.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders: 8.5/10

Batman v Superman Trailer – Animated Style

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gets done up in the style of the DC Animated Universe. Very cool!

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