Tag Archives: animation

Movie Review : Home (2015)

Home-Banner2Synopsis - Oh, an alien on the run from his own people, lands on Earth and makes friends with the adventurous Tip, who is on a quest of her own.

My Take - Dreamworks Animation has been in a downfall for a while now, sparing How to Train Your Dragon series, every film from the studio have failed in exciting the audience & the critics alike. Frankly, compared to what Disney has been churning out (except Frozen of course), Dreamworks have been providing us quality films especially the unfairly rejected  Rise of the Guardians (2012) and Turbo (2013). Even the much anticipated Penguins of Madagascar (2014) couldn’t repeat the magic of the trilogy, OK I agree that movie wasn’t good. Between all this commotion, they have another film releasing with literally no hype or hullah, despite the presence of some known stars in it. The story follows Oh (Jim Parsons best known as Sheldon from The Big Bank Theory) – a disastrously clumsy member of the Boov race led by Smek (Steve Martin), who come to earth and displace its human population in order to make the planet their own hiding place. The Boov, best known for their cowardly attributes, are on the run from a formidable-looking enemy, but when Oh invites everyone to his house-warming party, he accidentally sends the E-Invite to the entire galaxy. Becoming public enemy #1, Oh goes on the run from his own people, hoping to find escape in Antarctica, after fantasizing about a group hug with a bunch of penguins! However, Oh bumps into Tip (Rihanna), a young girl who has managed to elude the Boov invaders whilst searching for her mother (Jennifer Lopez).

H9NQKThe two social misfits team up, and through their amazing adventures, discover the meaning of finding Home. The opening ten minutes of Home promise a fantastic premise which is utterly engrossing – the idea that the human population could so easily be ejected from their own home into a land of ice cream and picket fences, whilst the invading alien force sets up shop is genius. A truly sci-fi animation caper would be greatly appreciated across all ages, and the scope for imagination is enormous. However, where the story journeys to is a little flat in comparison, relying on a typical buddy-road-trip formula with added modifications – such as a car completely transformed by items you would find in a grocery story (there is even a lottery-ticket dispenser, how awesome would that be?). I was fortunate enough to see a early screening of this film and I was quite surprised! The film is a delight to watch! There were so many laugh out loud moments thanks to the slapstick comedy which is just pitch-perfect! Some of the characters are excellently developed – in particular Captain Smek (voiced by the legend Steve Martin), whose firm leadership of the Boov people is undermined by his ridiculous fascination with human artifacts (such as bubble-wrap and a wheel-barrow). Jim Parsons delivers a wonderful vocal-performance as Oh, in particular a scene where he involuntarily dances along to human pop-music, which proves Dreamworks can still provide animated gold. Color is used with splendid ferociousness, especially the Boov who change color when feeling different emotions.

vihdoinkotonaThe visual depth is not only great to watch, it also adds pathos to their characters in an ingenious way.The music will appeal to the younger generations, and acts as a sales pitch for both Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, whose songs populate the movie like an everlasting bubble machine of pop-tastic ooze. Although, on balance, the original music which is provided by Lorne Balfe creates some entrancing and moving moments in the film, with its enriched emotive score. The voice acting is overall great; Parsons is as geeky here as he is as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, while Steve Martin is hilarious. What surprised me most, is Rihanna; I hope she gets more voice acting rolls in the future. This is one big name star with a lot of promise in this field. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t have much to do. I think everyone with a family and even adults need to get up and see this movie. The morals are good; there is such a thing about being too positive or negative, you have to balance the two, take a chance and have some faith and hope. I learned a thing or two from this film, you could too. On the whole, Home is a wonderfully imaginative and genuinely funny film which proves Dreamworks can still compete in the razor-sharp leagues of animation. While the plot may at times seem cliched, this is still a hugely enjoyable family film that lands a lot of laughs, and boasts a bunch of bubbly & colorful brilliance.

Overall Rating – 7.5/10

Director - Tim Johnson
Starring (voice of) - Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin
Rated -  PG
Run Time  - 94 minutes

Review: Dangan Ronpa the Animation

Featured image

Kids killing kids? A crazy talking bear that wants you to feel… Disbear? Well count me in. Now if you didn’t know, a game series called Dangan Ronpa (Trigger Happy Havoc, Goodbye Despair, etc.), that soon got a first game anime adaptation. Trigger Happy Havoc was turned into an animated series that took what was probably 30 hours of gameplay into 12 episode of very sort of cardboard cutout characters. The anime was produced by Lerche and directed by Seiji Kishi, who is perhaps best known for his other game to anime adaptation Persona 4.

So the basic story plot is that Naegi Makoto has been accepted to Hope’s Peak Academy, where only those of Super Duper High school Level citizens may go, and he has been accepted under Super Duper High school Level Luckster. There you can truly succeed, but only if you’re a SDHL When he goes to the school entrance he enters and then promptly passes out. When he awakens he is within a classroom and told to go to the school auditorium where he is greeted with the irritated and equally confused faces of his classmates. They are then confronted by a talking stuffed bear, Monokuma, who wants them to proceed into a life of mutual killing and despair. At first all the students disagree and refuse to partake, but slowly murder begins to stain the halls of Hope’s Peak.

The characters we meet are all with a Super Duper title that makes them different from the others, from Super Duper High school Heir to S.D.H.L. Oracle. This makes for an interesting dynamic because all have vastly different backgrounds that sort of all get left out in the anime comparatively to the game. So I’m only going to focus on three of the characters, two protagonists, a jerk, and our antagonist.

First of is Naegi Makoto, SDHL Lucky student. He describes himself as pretty average and he pretty much is. He has a good heart and wants to get to know the people he’s stuck with, as well as conquer over despair. Thought the show he remains a vigilant reminder that there is still good within the ruined world. Nagei also serves to solve a majority of the cases as he’s the only one who ‘connects’ with everyone and is able to see all sides of things.

Kyoko Kirigiri is our SDHL ????. Yes, I know, what does that mean? Well, it’s a wait and find out tactic that the writers used for us to care for our calm collected character. She is mysterious and doesn’t even recall what her talent is, but she knows she has one. Kirigiri trusts Naegi to make the right choice, often realizing that he is solving the cases. She also is attempting to unravel the mystery behind Hope’s Peak and why they’ve all been trapped there.

Next is Byakuya Togami, SDHL Heir, who will take over the Togami business and essentially run the world. He literally is a huge jerk to everyone because they’re like peasants to him. He’s sort of just there to be a douche and being a minor support for Naegi, who he thinks will be of use to him later on. I’m only including him because… Well every anime needs a sort of mean and pointless character. He derails a lot to be like ‘look at me and my money’ but also helps in the possible future for the rest of the cast.

Then finally there’s Monokuma! Our antagonist who wants to bring despair to every living creature and also bring about the tragedy or The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident in the History of Mankind. It’s insinuated that this incident would cause despair to ravage the land. He acts as the principle of Hope’s Peak and hopes to bring the students mutual life of killings to a start. He makes sure that all the students follow the rules as well as sets up bribes to get what he wants started.

The animation in comparison to the game is, well I suppose, and upgrade? There isn’t any actual animation as they only have sort of cardboard cut outs of the characters, so it was nice to see them move fluidly in the anime. While it does lose a lot of the harsher lines that the game had in terms of design for each individual character it isn’t that bothersome either? Honestly, it’s a clean animation that doesn’t really amaze or detract from the source material. There is also the still strange choice to this day from both game and animation, which is making all of the blood a very annoying pink, which in terms of like censorship it’d make some sense, but it just felt hokey and out of place to me as a viewer.

Sound wise considering there is no current dub of the animation the sub is actually quite good. All the Japanese voice actors returned for the animation and that includes Megumi Ogata, best known for her role as Shinji Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Akira Ishida, best known for Kaworu Nagisa from NGE as well. The music was composed by Masafumi Takada, best known for his work in the video game No More Heroes. The opening theme is called Never Say Never by TKDzZb and is a pretty alright track but not really outstanding. There are currently dubs of the first two games released for the PS Vita, if you’d prefer to go to the source game material, and it’s alright. The dubbed games has mostly newcomers with far and few veterans. Still the dub is possibly a good place to start if the game is more what you’d want to try.

While this anime was a pretty popular subject little less than a year ago, it’s a pretty okay show. It’s not outstanding and doesn’t really breakdown a lot of barriers or do anything necessarily new in terms of storytelling or animation, but it doesn’t go overboard and alienate the viewers. I found it to be a pretty fun anime to pass the time with, but overall still preferred the games in term of overall content. It’s worth a watch if you’re just looking to have a pretty easy going time. I may have a different reaction to some of the topics within the anime, so it may not be for everyone, but I found it to be pretty approachable. We are also still receiving sequels to the game which currently means there will be more content out, as well as possibly more anime adaptions.

Dangan Ronpa: 6.5/10

Stranger Comics’ The Untamed Lands Sean Bean

The StrangerBased on the graphic novel, Stranger Comics has posted a pitch animatic done by Film Roman for The Untamed Animated TV series. The piece is not final animation, but a rough sketch which gives an idea of the cinematic mood that the series will have and it features voiceover by actor Sean Bean. The story, a dark vengeance saga set within a brutal fantasy world is about a dead man who makes a deal with the devil to harvest the seven souls of his betrayers, and is based on the seven issue comic book series by Stranger Comics president Sebastian A. Jones and illustrated by Peter Bergting.

The show will be directed by Alex Soto and produced by Film Roman’s general manger Dana Booton alongside Lloyd Levin and Andrew Cosby with Andrew Sugerman and creator Jones. Tomm Coker provided the concept art for the show, which can be seen in the animatic, keeping the gritty “Frazetta Western” mood and tone of the comic series.

Bean always seems to die in brilliant fashion, in this series he actually gets a chance to come back and settle the score.

For those unfamiliar with the story:

Would you damn yourself to save the ones you love? Hidden within the Desert of the Dying Tree lies a town run by ruthless killers, a growing cancer upon the vast and volatile fantasy world of Asunda. Some say it’s a watering hole for the devil. For one man, it’s a second chance at revenge… and a last chance at redemption.

A man with no name has returned to the brutal Town of Oasis. A mysterious Stranger whose violent past haunts his every footstep. It’s been ten years since his wife and child were on the verge of turning him from wickedness, but they were murdered and so was he. Now, the Stranger has been released from Hell to reap the seven souls responsible. But having little recollection of his former life, the Stranger is lost in a sea of faded memories, glimpses of the life that was taken from him coming back in broken shards as he leaves a bloody trail.

Conflict arises when lust for his lover steers him from his path of vengeance, and hate is tempered by the young orphan Niobe, who reminds him of his daughter. She acts as his conscience and ultimately his only hope for salvation.

Check out the animation below!

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts Trailer. Out May 12, 2015.

Batman Unlimited-Animal InstinctsBatman and his team of fellow heroes are tasked with taming an altogether different form of beasts in Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts.  Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the latest animated DC Comics film to hit shelves from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment arrives May 12, 2015 on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. The Blu-Ray Combo Pack and DVD will include an exclusive Firebat figurine, while supplies last.

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.98 SRP and on DVD for $19.98 SRP.  The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts in Digital HD on May 12 via purchase from digital retailers.

Another storm is brewing in Gotham and it’s not only raining cats and dogs but evil Cyber Animals! When the city is plagued by a slew of bizarre crimes committed by an animal-inspired villain squad known as the Animilitia – comprised of Silverback, Cheetah, Killer Croc and Man-Bat – Batman must swing into action to investigate. These animalistic villains bring new and exciting challenges for the hero of Gotham, and Batman must find a way to bring these criminal creatures to a halt! But could the Animilitia be working for powerful businessman Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. The Penguin? How does The Penguin’s new invention of robotic Cyber Animals fit into the mix? In the end, it’ll the combined forces of Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, Nightwing and Red Robin to combat these Animal Instincts.

Movie Review: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

1000427919BRDLEFO_14cd592In Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Cyborg discovers an imminent threat in the depths of the oceans so powerful that it rallies together the newly formed Justice League. Meanwhile, wandering thousands of feet above the ocean floor is drifter Arthur Curry, a man with strange powers who may be the last chance to bridge the ancient Atlantean world with our own. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League must band together as they face off against warmongering Orm, an army of sea creatures, otherworldly weapons and perilous odds. In this all-new epic adventure from the DC Universe, mankind’s only hope of escaping from the darkness lies with the guiding light of a man – Aquaman!

The celebrity laden cast features primetime television stars Matt Lanter as Aquaman, Sam Witwer as Orm, Jason O’Mara as Batman, Christopher Gorham as Flash, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell as Superman, Sean Astin as Shazam, Sumalee Montano as Mera, Sirena Irwin as Queen Atlanna, and Harry Lennix as Manta.

frame-048147The latest DC Comics animated movie is an adaptation of the storyline that ran within the Justice League comic and Aquaman, with a lot of liberties taken as far as the details, and a much more condensed storyline. The result is an entertaining version, missing some of the “soul” of its source material, and just enough loose ends to make some irritated.

If you’ve watched any of the previous DC Comics animated films, this one follows much of the same style, formula, and the end results are similar. The acting at times is stiff, animation really cool, characterization a bit stilted, but for some reason it’s still very fun and entertaining. A nice fill in between big budget live action movies. It fills an itch not met by the television shows, or upcoming movie slate. It adapts popular stories, and gives us characters we might not see otherwise.

There’s issues here. Arthur accepts the fact he’s royalty and an Atlantean a bit too easy. Manta’s character is really changed So is Mera. But, it continues the nice thread of stories that began with Justice League: War and brings together the Batman series of movies into one cohesive animated universe.

Overall, the movie is a fun time, a bit violent with some swearing, earning its PG-13 rating, but good for young teens to check out and enjoy, or die-hard DC fans who are willing to overlook the various changes.

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis might not be perfect, but it’s entertaining, and that’s what matters. Overall, it’s a welcome addition to the ever growing DC line-up of animated films and I’m looking forward to the next one, Batman vs. Robin.

Overall rating: 7.5

 

A trailer for Batman vs. Robin

Batman vs Robin 3D box artThe world is turned upside down when one of the world’s greatest super heroes – Batman – finds himself under attack by his own son in the newest DC Universe Original Movie – Batman vs. Robin. This all-new original film arrives April 14, 2015 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray Deluxe Edition, Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. The deluxe edition also includes a Batman figurine in a gift set.

The shadows of Gotham City are no place for a child but Damian Wayne is no ordinary child. Now bearing the mantle of Robin, he blazes a headstrong and sometimes reckless trail alongside his father, Batman. While investigating a crime scene, Robin encounters a mysterious figure, Talon, who leads him on a life-altering course through the depths of Gotham’s secret society, known as The Court of Owls. It’s a dangerous journey that will force Batman and Robin to face their most dangerous adversary, each other! Based on the #1 best-selling graphic novel, Batman: The Court of Owls, this action-packed caper is one that fans won’t want to miss!

Jason O’Mara and Stuart Allan reprise their roles as the voices of Batman/Bruce Wayne and Robin/Damian, respectively. Adding to the celebrity-laden voice cast is Jeremy Sisto as Talon, singer/songwriter/comedian Al Yankovic as The Dollmaker, David McCallum as Alfred, Grey Griffin as Samantha, Sean Maher as Nightwing, and Kevin Conroy as Thomas Wayne.

Blu-ray special features include:

  • Gotham’s City Secret: The Mythic Court of Owls – The Court of Owls is the secret society that directly connects the past of Gotham to the current city. Are they silent guardians that are the noble benefactors or are they the malevolent force that manipulates a city toward their grand design?
  • Talons of the Owl – If the Owls are the masterminds, their instruments of destruction are their assassins. Appropriately called The Talons, these warriors are designed to carry out the will of the Owls.
  • Batman Vs. Robin Audio Commentary
  • A Sneak Peak at Justice League: Gods & Monsters – An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators and cast.
  • Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vau

The DVD includes the Justice League: Gods & Monsters sneak peak.

 

Batman vs. Robin will also be available for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on their favorite devices from select digital retailers including Amazon, CinemaNow, Flixster, iTunes, PlayStation, Target Ticket, Vudu, Xbox and others as well as video on demand.

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Box Art Revealed

1000427919BRDLEFO_14cd592Warner Bros. has revealed the box art for January’s Justice League Throne of Atlantis. The movie sees The newly formed Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman discover another super hero on the planet – Aquaman – and the group must band together to prevent a war between the inhabitants of land and sea.

In Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Cyborg discovers an imminent threat in the depths of the oceans so powerful that it rallies together the newly formed Justice League. Meanwhile, wandering thousands of feet above the ocean floor is drifter Arthur Curry, a man with strange powers who may be the last chance to bridge the ancient Atlantean world with our own. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League must band together as they face off against warmongering Orm, an army of sea creatures, otherworldly weapons and perilous odds. In this all-new epic adventure from the DC Universe, mankind’s only hope of escaping from the darkness lies with the guiding light of a man – Aquaman!

Check out the trailer below and box art above left and you can click it to get a better look!

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League coming in February

Lego_JL_vs_Bizarro_League_ONLINE_CTM_07In the follow-up to LEGO Batman, The Movie: DC Super Heroes Unite, the Justice League is newly solidified yet faces a peculiar set of villains when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and The LEGO Group release LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on February 10, 2015. The Blu-ray and DVD releases will include an exclusive Batzarro LEGO Minifigure on-pack, while supplies last.

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.98 SRP and on DVD for $19.98 SRP. The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League in Digital HD on February 10 via purchase from digital retailers.

Batman has joined the newly formed Justice League in order to keep tabs on Superman, a mistrust that is complicated by Superman’s clumsy – but well-meaning – clone, Bizarro. Bizarro’s creation of the Bizarro League has caused confusion amongst the world’s greatest Super Heroes, but an even greater and mysterious threat may force the Justice League and Bizarro League to band together to defeat evil.

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League Special Features include:

  • LEGO® DC COMICS SUPER HEROES: BATMAN: BE-LEAGUERED TV SPECIAL – Approximately 22 minutes
  • BIZARRO! – FEATURETTE – One part oddity, one part comedic curiosity, Bizarro is a favorite among the characters within Superman’s universe. Take a look at the Man of Steel’s potent, backwards nemesis.
  • BE-LEAGUERED BLOOPERS

Godkiller animated film trilogy starts production at Black Mask

godkiller 1 second printingPublishing and production company Black Mask Studios has announced its first major in-house production: three animated features based on the comic book Godkiller by Black Mask co-founder Matt Pizzolo, Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk, and Ben Templesmith.

Black Mask acquired the film/TV/transmedia rights earlier this year from Pizzolo’s film company Halo-8, who produced an animated series of the property in 2010.

Black Mask will re-release the animated series Godkiller: Walk Among Us in 2015 as a fully re-mastered feature with new voice talent. This will be followed by two brand-new animated features Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes in 2016 and Godkiller: The Trouble You Took From Her Eyes in 2017.

The features will utilize different animation styles for the various dimensions the characters travel through. They will be produced by Black Mask Studios, co-founded last year by Pizzolo, Brett Gurewitz, and Steve Niles.

Godkiller, about a teenage orphan and an escaped slavegirl journeying through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, debuted as a self-published underground comic and was launched in stores as a new ongoing comic book series from Black Mask on October 29. It was recently announced that Godkiller’s debut issue on Black Mask sold through its print run and would be the label’s first comic to receive a second printing based on outsized demand.

Black Mask is co-producing the Syfy series Fiver Ghosts with UCP and BenderSpink, based on the comic by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham. Evan Daugherty is writing the pilot. Black Mask is also developing a transmedia adaptation of the same comic in-house.

ThunderCats Ho! coming to Blu-ray November 11

ThunderCats Ho! Warner Archive Collection is proud to offer an all-new Blu-ray edition of ThunderCats: The Complete Series, the 2011 reimagining of the classic 1980s animation action series. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, ThunderCats: The Complete Series will street on November 11, 2014 with pre-orders now available.

A generation after becoming beloved animation icons, the mighty survivors of Thundera returned in 2011 for a bold re-imagining that mixed the best of the past with the boldness of the new. And in ThunderCats: The Complete Series, fans get Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Snarf, Cheetara, Wily Kit and Wily Kat bringing the battle cry of “ThunderCats Ho!” for all 26 episodes in “sight beyond sight” 1080p HD on Blu-ray Disc – as they were meant to be seen.

After the destruction of the cat civilization of Thundera by the evil Mumm-Ra, young Prince Lion-O (voiced by Will Friedle) leads a small band of survivors to safety. As the threats of Mumm-Ra ring in their ears, these determined cats know what they must do: find the Book of Omens. Using his powerful Sword of Omens, Lion-O guides his friends, facing vicious foes and making fantastic new allies while racing towards a showdown with Mumm-Ra (Robin Atkin Downes).

TCats_Ep9_Still_4

 

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