Tag Archives: animation

Batman vs. Two-Face Trailer. Out this October.

Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment bring together two of pop culture’s all-time heroes – TV’s original Batman and Captain Kirk, Adam West and William Shatner, respectively – to voice the title characters in the full-length, animated feature film, Batman vs. Two-Face. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will make the all-new movie available October 10, 2017 on Digital and October 17, 2017 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP).

As the sequel to the 2016 hit animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, the all-new Batman vs. Two-Face finds Batman and Robin back in classic 1960s action, protecting Gotham City from some of the most nefarious villains in comics history. But when the mutilated master of multiplicity, Two-Face, begins staging a daring crime wave across Gotham, the Caped Crusaders must work double-time to discover his mysterious secret identity before they can halt his evil-doing – all the while combating the likes of Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Bookworm, Hugo Strange and King Tut!

The late Adam West leads the star-studded cast in his final performance as Batman. The beloved actor delivers an inspired turn opposite fellow pop culture icon William Shatner (Star Trek) as the criminally conflicted Harvey Dent/Two-Face. This is only the second production of any kind to feature the two titans of the fanboy realm together. West and Shatner first teamed in the 1963 “Alexander The Great” television series that never made it past the pilot.

The cast also boasts two more pop culture icons of the 1960s. Burt Ward is back for more “holy” fun as the Boy Wonder himself, Robin, and Tony Award winner Julie Newmar reprises her role as the fiendish feline, Catwoman.

The voice cast includes Jeff Bergman (Joker, Bookworm, Desmond Dumas), Sirena Irwin (Dr. Quinzel), Thomas Lennon (Chief O’Hara), Lee Meriwether (Lucilee Diamond), William Salyers (Penguin), Lynne Marie Stewart (Aunt Harriet), Jim Ward (Hugo Strange, Commissioner Gordon), Steven Weber (Alfred, Two-Face henchmen) and Wally Wingert (Riddler, King Tut).

The core Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders filmmaking team reprises their roles for Batman vs. Two-Face.  Rick Morales (LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash) directs from a script by Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) and James Tucker (Teen Titans: The Judas Contract). Tucker and Jelenic and also Supervising Producer and Producer, respectively. Sam Register is Executive Producer. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers.

Special Features for Batman vs. Two-Face include:

  • “The Wonderful World of Burt Ward” (featurette) – Spotlighting Burt Ward’s life away from acting – particularly his many benevolent activities, and his lifelong devotion to the health and welfare of dogs.
  • Adam West Tribute Panel/2017 Comic-Con International 2017 – At the 2017 Comic-Con International in San Diego, a panel celebrated the life and times of the late Adam West, the legendary “Bright Knight.” Fans laughed, cried and cheered as actress Lee Meriwether (Catwoman from the 1966 Batman movie), director/writer/actor Kevin Smith, actor/radio personality Ralph Garman, producer James Tucker and moderator Gary Miereanu captivated the audience with anecdotes and tales about Adam West.
  • Actors Burt Ward and Julie Newmar discussing various aspects of their lives, ambitions and inspirations.

Movie Review: The Emoji Movie

emoji_movie_posterJust how bad is it? It’s really, really, really bad.

💩 💩 💩 💩 💩 out of 5 🌟

But were we really expecting anything less from this? The very idea of it sounded terrible from the outset. No one in 1975 decided to make a kids film about the pet rock. There’s no 90’s-tastic The Slap Bracelet Movie or Pogs! The Movie! (We do have Space Jam, but that’s not all that terrible.) The biggest problem is that huge amount of legitimate talent they must have had kompromat Russian dossiers on in order to blackmail them to make this.

TJ Miller is a “Meh” emoji 😒 living inside high school freshman Alex’s phone, where every app is its own city. And on his first day on the job he messes up the face he’s supposed to pull– and emoji aren’t supposed to be able to have more than one emotion. So he goes on a quest with Hi5 ✋ (James Corden) to find a hacker (Anna Faris) who can upload them onto the cloud where he can fix his code. Sound dumb? It is. And so much worse.

Literally the only moment of joy in this entire film is when they wander through YouTube and are momentarily mesmerized by a cat video.

There. You’ve now experienced 100% of what is good and entertaining in The Emoji Movie.

Mentioning YouTube, this film is chock-full of internet product placement. Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Crackle — they all make cameos. And the worst is a sequence in the Just Dance app introducing The Emoji Dance, which is one of the most cringeworthy moments in a movie chock full of them.

SmilerAnd then there’s the film’s purported antagonist– Maya Rudolph as a smiley emoji whose presence is nails on a chalkboard  in a movie that is a swimming pool full of glass shards, razorblades, and lemon juice.

When a movie like The Lego Movie works, it’s partially because its villain Lord Business delivers a greater meaning about the dangers of conformity. But Smiler is just an awful generic discount store brand version.  So while a positive message about being yourself and it being ok to have other emotions might have been intended, it’s so lost in an incredibly uninspired and dumb script.

It’s a shame because Rudolph is incredibly talented. So are Miller, Faris, Corden and the rest of the cast. To a person — up to and especially including Sir Patrick Stewart who has a brief cameo as the poo emoji — the entire cast are talented people who deserve better material. Indeed, the first trailer and the cast led me to believe this might not be awful. But it wastes their talents like gold-plating a toilet does. Just because it’s covered in gold doesn’t make what’s in the bowl stink any less. This movie is a gold-plated commode filled with a mountain of filth like you’d find on one of those episodes of Hoarders.

For another perspective, this is how my 11 year old daughter — the target demographic for this “film” — responded: halfway through, she got up to leave the theater to text her friends how bad it was:

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1- Imminently proud that my daughter knows NOT to text in the theater.

2- Even more proud that she can recognize how terrible this abomination is.

It’s sometimes the case where a critic sees a movie and it doesn’t resonate, because, well, it just wasn’t made for them. I get that. This is not one of those cases. This is a case of where the movie doesn’t understand itself.

One needn’t be 13 to understand the appeal of emoji. But the people who made this movie obviously don’t. And they also don’t understand how smartphones and apps work, either.

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It’s also not clear any of them know or regularly interact with any teen or tween of any sort. As much of a creative wasteland as Hollywood movie studios can be, this is the absolute most uninspired and creative nadir of not only the year, but perhaps the decade.

This was made by the same out of touch corporate groupthink that gave us Poochie, the Edsel, and New Coke.

So, yes. The Emoji Movie is truly that bad. And, unfortunately, according to box office figures and how it beat the vastly superior Atomic Blondethis is a sign of why in America we can’t have nice things.

ZERO stars out of 5

Movie Review: Despicable Me 3: Family, Fun, and Hollywood’s Sequel Obsession

The only thing more inevitable in Hollywood than a sequel to a popular franchise is a sequel to a popular children’s franchise. And so we have the fourth movie surrounding supervillain Gru (Steve Carell), his Minions, and his rapidly expanding family. Despicable Me 3 finds Gru fired from his job at the Anti-Villain League for failing in to bring in 80’s obsessed former child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), whose schemes involve him acting out the tv show he starred in as a child as. . . a child supervillain.

Down on his luck, he is contacted by a long-long and mega-rich twin brother Dru (also Carell), who wants him to rejoin the family legacy of supervillainy. Meanwhile, his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiigis trying to bond with their adopted daughters and become as much of a super mom as she is a super spy.

Sibling rivalry, daddy issues, mommy issues. . . they’re all in there. Oh, and plenty of the Minions doing their typical schtick for everyone who loves that.

It’s not a perfect film, or anything really groundbreaking, but it’s enjoyable and will make children squeal with laughter while not annoying or boring parents. Indeed, many of the 80’s throwback jokes seem tailor-made for adults, though broad enough that it doesn’t completely go over kids’ heads.

But where these films have always succeeded is in having a great heart. This has always come from the three little girls who stole Gru’s heart in the first film, and they continue to do the same here. A specific highlight comes from Agnes and her search for a supposed real-life unicorn. Even better comes from the emotional payoff of Lucy finally bonding with her adopted girls. If your heart doesn’t cry just a little bit, you may be a supervillain yourself.

The film all ends with a spectacular action sequence of Balthazar Bratt literally attacking Hollywood in a giant robot in a re-enactment of one of his classic tv episodes. You can’t help but feel there is a little bit of commentary here about Hollywood’s lack of creativity and insistence on recycling and rebooting everything coming to destroy the city, a literal robot covering it in literal sticky-sweet bubble gum. Or maybe it’s just a fun action sequence: one which other big budget directors could take some cues from in terms of pacing, excitement, and–most of all–fun.

There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but given your others choices in theaters right now (shudder. . .  Transformers. And the snoozefest cashgrab that is Cars 3) you could do much worse. And if you liked the previous movies, there is a nearly perfect probability you will enjoy this one, too.

3 out of 5 stars

Check Out the New Ant-Man Animated Disney XD Shorts

We’ll be getting a bunch of Ant-Man shorts courtesy of Disney XD. Check out three of them.

Despite Hank Pym’s warning, Ant-Man manages to spill soup on his suit, sending him into a size-changing frenzy while trying to defeat the nefarious Egghead!

Scott helps his daughter Cassie at her school science fair but he forgets one key ingredient. Not only does he have to fix her volcano, but fend off Yellowjacket too…as Ant-Man!

Ant-Man and The Wasp are in Hank Pym’s lab when they are attacked by an army of tiny alien invaders seeking Pym’s growth technology.

DC Super Hero Girls Gets an All New Animated Series in 2018

Production has begun on DC Super Hero Girls, an all-new animated action-comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation and based on characters from DC Entertainment. Featuring fresh character designs and storytelling from Emmy Award–winning producer Lauren Faust, DC Super Hero Girls will be coming to Cartoon Network in 2018.

The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe. After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life. . But add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated.

Sure, gal pals Bumblebee, Zatanna and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz are always there to lend an ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a fist to punch with, and their bros in the Justice League amp up the fun whether they’re at a concert or taking down a crime ring. But what happens when Diana and her favorite study buddy and fencing partner, Tatsu, can’t agree on how to dole out justice as Wonder Woman and Katana? Or when Barbara finds out her Gotham-Con bestie is teen-fiend Harley Quinn? Along with all their friends, foes and frenemies, this squad of super teens navigates the unique growing pains that come when you’re a teenager trying to fight the battles of the world and the battles of growing up at the same time.

The new series is a global initiative with Cartoon Network and builds on the successful DC Super Hero Girls direct-to-video movies as well as digital webisodes launched in 2015 and viewed by millions of fans on the DC Super Hero Girls YouTube channel, as well as the DC Super Hero Girls mobile app.

Sam Register serves as executive producer.

Young Justice is Returning for a Third Season

After a lot of fan demand it looks like the social pressure has paid off as it has been announced that the much beloved animated series Young Justice will be getting a third season.

It’s unknown exactly where/how/when/what platform the series will be returning, but you better believe we’re excited!

Check out the full press release below.

The Team is back and it’s “business as usual.” Warner Bros. Animation has begun production on a third season of all-new episodes of the acclaimed hit, action-animated series “Young Justice,” based on the characters from DC Entertainment. Season three promises new twists, turns and dangerous new threats for the team, but most importantly, the opportunity for fans to finally continue the adventures of some of their favorite Super Heroes. Further details about the new season — including premiere date and network partner — will be announced at a later time.

Heralded by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “9 Best Animated TV Series Drawn from Comics,” “Young Justice” has been equally praised by critics and viewers for its impressive visuals and rich storytelling. The series reached more than 25 million unique viewers in each of its two seasons on Cartoon Network.

“The affection that fans have had for ‘Young Justice,’ and their rallying cry for more episodes, has always resonated with us,” said Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series. “We are excited to bring the show back for this loyal fanbase and to provide an opportunity for new viewers to discover this excellent series.”

Producers Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman: Doomsday) and Greg Weisman (Star Wars Rebels, Gargoyles) will be returning to the series.

In “Young Justice,” the teenage Super Heroes of the DC Universe come of age in a world of super powers, Super-Villains and super secrets. Used strategically as the secret covert weapon of the Justice League, Nightwing, Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and a host of others strive to prove to their legendary mentors, as well as to themselves, that they have what it takes to be heroes.

For more information or to sign up for updates, visit YJS3.com.

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Big Hero 6 Disney XD Series Gets it Voice Cast

Disney XD’s upcoming animated series Big Hero 6, based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning feature film inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, will reunite much of the original cast for its 2017 debut. Reprising their roles are: Maya Rudolph as Aunt Cass; Jamie Chung as no-nonsense, speed genius Go Go; Scott Adsit as huggable robot Baymax; Alan Tudyk as tech guru Alistair Krei; Ryan Potter as tech genius Hiro; Genesis Rodriguez as quirky scientist Honey Lemon; David Shaughnessy as the butler Heathcliff; and Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee as Fred’s dad.

Also joining the main voice cast are Khary Payton as control freak Wasabi and Brooks Wheelan as fanboy Fred.

The film, from Walt Disney Animation Studios, was inspired by the Marvel comic created by Man of Action.

The series picks up immediately following the events of the feature film and continues the adventures and friendship of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro and his compassionate, cutting-edge robot Baymax. Along with their friends Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go and Fred, they form the legendary superhero team Big Hero 6 and embark on high-tech adventures as they protect their city from an array of scientifically enhanced villains. In his normal day-to-day life, Hiro faces daunting academic challenges and social trials as the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.

Additional guest cast includes: Jenifer Lewis as strict Professor Granville; Andrew Scott as villain Obake; comedian Andy Richter as Globby; Diedrich Bader as Bluff Dunder; Susan Sullivan as Fred’s mother; Sean Giambrone as Richardson Mole; John Ross Bowie as Mel; and Haley Tju as classmate Karmi.

Emmy Award winners Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley and Nick Filippi, the team behind the global hit Disney Channel series “Kim Possible,” serve as executive producers. Filippi also serves as supervising director. Big Hero 6 is a production of Disney Television Animation.

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Review: Chrono Crusade

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I’m about to get nostalgic here. This was one of the first series I ever watched, I rented the DVDs from Blockbuster, and have a lot of love for it. Except, recently, I re-watched it. Chrono Crusade is that anime. It was written and illustrated by Daisuke Moriyama also known for his work on World Embryo. Published in Comic Dragon and Monthly Dragon Age from November 1998- June 2004. It was then adapted into a 24-episode series by Gonzo, where it ran on Fuji TV, it’s run was from November 2003-June 2004. The anime, as most go, did not follow the original manga, which hurts its story immensely.

The story follows Sister Rosette Christopher and her assistant Chrono in the 1920s as they search for her long lost sibling. As well as deal with Chrono’s shadowy past as a demon/devil, which becomes more crucial as the plot advances. It also shows the Order of Magdalene which Rosette works for, a holy group made in order to fight the growing demon problem in the world, especially with the elusive group of demons called Sinners. Who may have something to do with Chrono? Along the way they gain new allies and enemies, while dealing with the issues at hand, such as finding the Apostles of God and stopping the end of the world.

Rosette Christopher is the protagonist of the series and is an elite exorcist of the order. Though she is impulsive and selfish, she genuinely tries her best. She has a mysterious past with Chrono, which is pretty much cleared up in the second volume. Rosette is also a contractor. Which means her life is slowly being drained by a demon. But that’s beside the point, she’s trying to make the most out of her short lifespan, often saying that despite her short life she’ll live longer than anyone ever believed she would. She often gets in trouble and is actually, in hindsight, sort of an annoying character that can grow on you the longer you read or watch. She’s to be the bright light of hope at the end of the tunnel who knows how short and precious life is in actuality.

Chrono is Rosette’s assistant and contractor. Surprise! It’s sort of revealed right away, so no worries. Yes, Chrono is a demon, but he’s trying to be a good person. This is because he owes Rosette his life and more, but also because he’s tired of hurting people. When compared to Rosette, he’s a much quieter, almost stoic. He plays the part of the mild young boy perfectly, though he is constantly plagued by everything he’s done and the continuing guilt in what has happened to Rosette because of him. His past continues to become more and more important as the plot grows, especially as it intertwines with Rosette’s. He’s the more endearing character of the series and this is because he’s the character that probably goes through the most character growth next to Rosette.

Azmaria Hendirch is the Songtress of Vegas, a twelve-year-old with the gift of healing through song. She’s soft spoken and easily shaken due to low self-worth. Rosette and Chrono save her and she begins tagging along on their adventures as a junior member of the Order. She looks up to Rosette, even if everyone questions it. Unfortunately, Azmaria doesn’t get a lot of actual growth till the last three volumes of the manga. Which, doesn’t make up for her being a tool to further Rosette’s storyline. She merely there for Rosette to see herself in and for sad comical relief.

There’s a lot more characters, but really to keep this as spoiler free as I can, I’ll cut it short here. It will also make the story seem complicated and contrived, which it really, really can be.

So, upfront, the manga is far prettier than the anime. Though, even that is dated. I can’t be too harsh though, because it was good at the time. Still, the anime was too bright at times and had uneven eye to face ratio. Just poor anatomy in general at times. It also really like fanservice, which was basically non-existent in the manga, at least overt fanservice wasn’t. It had a direction it was going for that was very much a part of its time, it wanted to appeal to a certain audience. In doing so, it made it have no appeal in the current times. The animation was done by Gonzo studio, better known for their work on Samurai 7 or Full Metal Panic! It also was just unkind to hair and the details that became so beautiful in the manga. On the subject of the manga, as I said, it is dated now, but holds up far better than the anime. It had far more attention to detail on the characters and really shined in the way hair moved on the pages or mouths were shaped. Like many series it became beautiful the longer it went on as a manga.

The sound of the series is a lot different, considering that the opening and ending themes are pretty beautiful and the stand out sounds of the series. Tsubasa wa Pleasure Line by Minami Kuribayashi was the theme and had an uplifting sound that showed the hopeful side of the series. Saeko Chiba’s Sayonara Solitaire was the ending them and acted as a literal building goodbye for the series and characters, the artist also was the voice of Azmaria in the Japanese release. The rest of the sound is nothing to really make a note, but was composed by Masumi Ito, known for her work on Azumanga Daioh and Scrapped Princess. The series, both English and Japanese, is not the prettiest to listen to and I would much rather recommend reading the manga. It’s actually pretty cringe worthy, considering that a majority of Rosette’s lines are fast and… Screechy. Hilary Haag voiced Rosette and is better known for her work as Satsuki Miyanoshita from Ghost Stories or Hermia from Princess Tutu. Greg Ayres played Chrono, but is better known for his voice as Kaoru Hitachiin from Ouran High School Host Club or Nagisa Hazuki from Free! Both of them worked hard and it’s clear, but the series is just very dated by the changes made to dialogue and how the characters just sound in general. Which isn’t to say the Japanese is much better, because it’s not. This is definitely a series that works best as a manga, where you can read things rather than listen.

This is a good series, I swear, just in a specific form. I fully endorse the manga where you’re going to get the original story, which frankly was much better when compared to the anime, and see it’s progression. It’s also a short read, only 8 volumes! While it’s a definitely a dated series it’s worth a look into. I’m not sure if it was popular or not, but it’s one of those series that I frequently tell people about and not many people know about it. At least not from what I’ve seen.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

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