Monday, January 27, 2014

"JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time" MOVIE REVIEW


"Get ready for a battle of the ages when the Justice League faces off against its archenemies, the Legion of Doom, in an all-new movie from DC Comics. A mysterious being known as the Time Trapper arises, and a sinister plan led by Lex Luthor sends the Legion of Doom back in time to eliminate Superman before he becomes a hero and inspires others to do the same. For [members of the Justice League], along with teen super heroes Karate Kid and Dawnstar, the stakes have never been higher, the rescue mission never deadlier. So join the fight for the future as the Justice League confronts its ultimate challenge… the threat of having never existed!"

The Review

To be quiet honest, I thought this was going to suck horribly. You look at the cover art, read the title (I'll get to that later) and just skim through the synopsis, there's no way this movie is going to see the day it will have a much more wider release. After seeing the movie, the final product is quite surprising. 

The film opens up with a big battle between the Justice League vs. the Legion of Doom, it's very entertaining, action-packed and surprisingly engaging. The only things that could probably pull you off the experience is the terrible character designs and the terrible animation. You also have the very campy portrayal to the characters; design and dialogues wise. Jump into the introduction to the two REAL main characters of this movie: Karate Kid and Dawnstar. Karate Kid is your generic hot-head teenage metahuman with the powers of you-guessed-it and Dawnstar is your generic naive soon to be super heroine with pretty inconsistent powers that we can consider as quick-fix for certain plot points (you'll know what I mean when you see the movie). So these two are Legion of Superheroes-rejects for reasons so obvious and their crave for an unforgettable adventure came to be because you-guessed-it. The villains, damn those villains aren't they just as campy as the heroes? 

To be quite honest, the movie does have an interesting plot and a well written script. but for its short time frame limited the movie's potential for character development and escalation. It's either campy in a very good way or campy in a very bad way. which was unnecessary since they're trying to tone this down for younger audience. Also, some characters are terribly side-lined to the point that they're useless. For that matter, the entire Justice League is side-lined, Karate Kid and Dawnstar are the real stars of this flick, and that is not a good sign. Which makes the title very misleading, it's a JLA movie with the JLA barely in it, plus it's called Trapped In Time but NO ONE is really trapped in time, which makes it even more confusing.  

The Final Verdict

I don't really have that much to say for this film. It clearly has a target audience, the young ones and the young at hearts. The best way to describe this is that this is a Super Friends episode made for today. If you're not in for that kind of stuff, then this flick is not for you. Maybe if they take this more seriously, maybe you'll like it or have more interest of seeing it. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Justice League: War" MOVIE REVIEW


When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes -- misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities -- discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet.

The Review

For all its faults and short comings, you can't deny the fact that this is the most action-packed DC Animated Original Movie ever crafted. Director Jay Olivia, director of this movie, also happens to be the storyboard artist in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. And if you didn't know, that movie almost had 40-plus minutes of non-stop fight scenes, onslaughts, the unsettling visualization of urban terrorism that goes on and on and on... for 40-plus minutes, but damn they do have iconic shots and moments of its own. War has something similar, but less haunting and more entertaining. It also takes its time to stop and let the viewers breathe and it delivers when asked for more. But what really makes the action sequences work was to see our heroes giving almost everything they've got to take down the bad guys. I guess the animation department didn't want to go to the extreme violence though. You know Batman should have been dead with that strike, you know Wonder Woman should bleed a lot after that attack and somehow looks like everyone doesn't have a single scratch on them. 

The story itself is pretty basic. Like the source material, you can just simply look at the cover and predict almost 85% of the story. Alien invasion, heroes come together to stop the invasion, heroes saves the world, been there, done that. Though it does invest the viewers that 7 superheroes can fit in one movie. The group had excellent chemistry, surprisingly not everyone acted immature against the each other. Divided with their own tandems, everyone was given the chance to shine. My two favorite tandems would probably be Shazam/Cyborg and Batman/Green Lantern, the latter being the strongest one, character and story wise. There's also a few missed opportunities that you can spot here and there, when it comes to character interaction and development. Practically, the build up was enough but could have been more, but it somehow pave way to the forthcoming non-stop action sequences after sequences, in which in all honesty is what everyone will be looking for. Individually, everyone seems to be just as similar as how they were written in the source material, except for Shazam who was never in the comics. The dialogue though is a hit and miss. Sometimes it's powerful, others is flat and powerless and the rest is plain cheese. It's also good to point out the almost perfect portrayal of the main antagonist of the film, Darkseid, his enormous size, his threatening presence and his insane strenght and power has pushed everyone to their limits in terms of brute force. Somehow, you wished he would have pushed them more, like in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse where he was also portrayed as very malevolent towards his opponents.   

Not much to say at the other departments. The musical score is passable, not memorable though. The voice cast is superb, but wasn't given enough chance to stand out mostly because of the hit and miss dialogue. The film is bright and colorful and definitely less gruesome than Flashpoint Paradox, a film you can't just show to kids. But still be mindful of the violence at hand, and a few colorful dialogues as well. Adding up to the experience was the superb animation, though the ridiculous cell-shaded 3D objects and a few errors are still present.

The Final Verdict

This is basically the eye-candy of the DC Animated Original Movies. It's action packed, the characters had good chemistry on them, some iconic shots taken directly from the pages. Though the story plot is pretty simple and basic and the dialogue feels lukewarm. But still, this is a flick worth definitely checking out, highly recommend to pick this up on Blu-Ray when it's out.

Also, if I can get invested with 7 superheroes coming together on the screen and have an action packed, well written story on an hour and a half animated film, I could msot definitely had something better with a 2-plus hour long live action flick and add more improvements than the animated flick. So here's message for you guys...

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