Tag Archives: animation

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!

Movie Review: Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts

batman-unlimited-logoSynopsis – Batman, with the help of the Flash, Green Arrow, Nightwing, and Red Robin, has to try to get to the bottom of the mysterious robotic animals attacking Gotham.

My Take – Just when you thought Batman was getting a bit too grim for kids, DC has come out with a much more family friendly version reminding you at time the 70s Super friends animated show. Luckily for us, the film strikes that perfect balance between being kid friendly yet still accessible & enjoyable to adults. It’s a sign of relieve as recent animated films from DC were so extra violent (which I don’t mind most of the times) that this toned down version still retains the fun element. DC has become increasingly more successful at gearing their content towards adults. Whether it is the gritty world of live action The Dark Knight or the even grittier CW show Arrow, it has all been for the grown ups. We ask though, what about the children? We forget that our favorite heroes are essentially adults wearing tights who admittedly don’t always have to be so dark. We were all kids at some point and were enamored with these fictional characters at one point or another. The ensemble cast chosen for this film can be considered to be a strange pairing.

BatmanUnlimited02For the good guys, you got Batman, Red Robin, Night Wing, Flash, and Green Arrow–who, we’d like to point out, is now referred to as Arrow. Two of those characters aren’t exactly straight from the streets of Gotham. It seems that DC is trying to bring these heroes together in different yet interesting ways, maybe even attempting to match Marvel’s ability to mix it up with no one batting an eye. Another pretty obvious reason to include Flash and Arrow is they both have popular television shows currently airing. Add Batman to the mix and you have DC’s most popular characters at the moment. If there is one thing that the shows have made apparent, it is that crossing into each others worlds is possible and will be occurring more often. It also makes sense that Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen would be at the same social gatherings since we all know they are both DC’s resident rich guys. The story is pretty simple, not great; it gives everyone something to do but don’t expect any sort of epic – when Gotham is plagued by mysterious crimes committed by an animal-themed villain squad composed of Silverback, Cheetah, Killer Croc and Man-Bat. Batman and other heroes including, Red Robin, Nightwing, Green Arrow and The Flash must band together to stop The Penguin from unveiling his evil plans. Like most of these animated films, the story is very much self-contained. The story plays out like a mystery that is simple enough for kids but at the same time still complicated enough that you won’t know the end game until, well the end. Each villain here is a good foil for our heroes, offering enough of a push back to be considered threats and having a cybernetic animal army is most certainly helpful. Backtracking to the kid-friendly and adult-enjoyable, it has plenty of laughs in there as well. It focuses on things that should be funny for all fans of these characters. Topped off by the running joke that Nightwing isn’t too fond of the Flash’s shenanigans.

Batman-Unlimited-Animal-Instincts940x400It is very smart in that way, if the Flash and Nightwing actually met, it realistically shows how the duo would react to each other. They are both roughly the same age in the film but are polar opposites in terms of personality. These small interactions between the cast stay true to the characters, thus creating a fun romp that doesn’t feel forced. There is also a lot of action, with very little violence. Now, that is something hard to accomplish, but necessary when trying to create a family friendly Batman film. Each one of our heroes has a specialty that is used in some way like Flash’s speed or Arrow’s archery skills to complete the task at hand. As he himself will let you know, Batman is Batman, so he is a bad ass, which is really nothing new. We older fans have been spoiled by getting so much content constantly geared toward us, with most of the DC animated films being more mature and serious in nature, so I’m happy to see content being created that embraces the fact there are fans of all ages who deserve content they can watch. These characters are versatile enough for lots of different unique approaches that respect them and provide great storytelling while appealing to different sorts of fans and sensibilities — and if you think Batman just can’t be done exceptionally well in a family friendly way and with more sense of humor, then I suggest you take a gander at Batman: The Brave and the Bold and even the old 1960s live-action TV show. On the whole, ‘Batman Unlimited:  Animal Instincts’ is fun-filled watch which aims to excite the child inside you yet respecting your adult age! Another flag of success for DC animated films.

Overall Rating: 8.2

Director – Butch Lukic
Starring (voices of) – Chris Diamantopoulos, Roger Craig Smith, Travis Willingham
Rated – PG
Run Time – 87 minutes

Spider-Man Gets Animated in 2018

The_Amazing_Spider-ManThe I received notification of a release, the release isn’t exactly working, but it’s being reported all over that Spider-Man will be getting the animated treatment in 2018 courtesy of Sony. The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will be writing the treatment for the film.

The film will co-exist with the live-action Spider-Man film that Sony is currently working on with Marvel. Spider-Man franchise vets Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach will produce, along with former Sony Pictures Chairperson Amy Pascal, who will also produce the new live-action Spider-Man film.

The film will reportedly debut July 20, 2018. The live-action reboot will premiere July 28, 2017.

 

Justice League: Gods & Monsters Coming July 28

1000563530BRDBEAUTY_c81d1a96Witness a divergent reality where the Justice League protects the planet – but answers to no one but themselves. Employing methods of intimidation and fear, this Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman deal brute force in the name of justice. From the creative genius of executive producer Bruce Timm and co-producer Alan Burnett comes an original story where the world’s greatest triumvirate of super heroes has distinctly different origins. Superman was not raised by the Kents in Smallville, the Caped Crusader is not Bruce Wayne, and Wonder Woman is not an Amazon warrior of Themyscira. 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 – but is there a more powerful player operating from the shadows? It’s a high stakes game of intrigue, mystery and action that asks the question: How do you serve justice to those above the law?

With a twist on your favorite Justice League characters, this film is full of thrilling new adventures and jam-packed with a celebrity voice cast which includes Michael C. Hall (Dexter) as Batman, Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order, 24) as Superman, Tamara Taylor (Bones) as Wonder Woman, Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) as Lois Lane, Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter films, Dig) as Lex Luthor and C. Thomas Howell (E.T., Southland) as Dr. Will Magnus.

Sam Liu (Batman: Year One) directed Justice League: Gods & Monsters from an original story by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and Co-Producer Alan Burnett (The Batman), who also wrote the screenplay. Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Co-Executive Producers.

Justice League: Gods & Monsters is out July 28 on video and digitally.

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