Tag Archives: justice league

Justice League

jlcoverOh boy. I actually had high hopes for this movie. High hopes, that I foolishly clung to, even when people around me started putting the movie down. “Everything will be ok,” I said to myself. “It has Batman in it. It can’t be all bad.” So, when the flu struck me this weekend, I finally had the time to sit down and watch it. And, like I said: Oh boy. No fever could prepare me for the feast of crap I was about to dine on…

Readers with an elephant-like memory might recall I actually liked Batman v Superman. The movie that started all the backlash against Snyder and Batfleck. The one movie seemingly no-one liked.
I liked that.
Me.
But this one… Wow. Totally different league.

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That story, for instance. Steppenwolf coming to earth to claim the motherboxes for himself after a previous alliance of Atlanteans, Man and Amazons robbed him of them?

“That sounds truly epic, go on!”
What do you mean, go on?
“Go on, what terrible things will he do with the motherboxes? Bring on an invading army from beyond the galaxy? Summon Darkseid?”
Nope, none of that. Apparently, all he wants the boxes for is to reshape earth in the image of his homeworld.
“Cool! With flames and stuff?”
Nope. With pink plant tentacles.

And I’m not kidding. That’s really all there is plotwise. Steppenwolf proves to be a giant badass, but is more concerned with bringing pink plantlife to Earth. Yawn.

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The heroes then? Surely they can’t be all that bad? I really like Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot seems a perfect fit for the role, and handles herself with grace. Same goes for Cavill as Superman and Mamoa as Aquaman. Really liked those three. It’s the other three that kinda grinded my gears. Where Batfleck had first won me over in Batman v Superman, here Ben Affleck is doing everything in his power to sway me over to the other side. Lackluster acting, wooden delivery… It’s as if he’s already tired of Batman and threw in the towel even before filming started. I love what they did with the character visually, but Ben, come on man. Put your back into it! And the Flash… I get they wanted to write him as this inexperienced young guy/comic relief, but everyone of his damn lines is a gag! Talk about overstating/overusing something. And the exact opposite award goes to Cyborg. The man/machine with a million uses under the hood, but he’s only using like three of his abilities in this film. Also, CG was just wonky on this one.

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So yes… Giant stinker. Only thing I liked was its running time. Clocking just under 119 minutes, It’s the shortest DC film to boot. And that’s a good thing.

Jan

Justice League: Dark

jldWhen the Justice League is confronted with a crime spree in which seemingly law abiding citizens suddenly turn into murderers, they are stumped. All cases have one thing in common: the people commiting them seem convinced they were battling demons… While the Justice League tries to maintain order, Batman enlists the help of Zatanna, Deadman, the Demon Etrigan and John Constantine. Together they form an impromptu Justice League with a penchant for the dark arts.

Reading the plot for Justice League: Dark, I was instantly hooked. Superheroes? The occult? Constantine and Batman?
Nerd-gasm!
But whenever I’m overly excited for something, disappointment always looms dangerously closeby. Not in this case however!

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Justice League: Dark scored big time in my book jst because of that dark. Allow me to elaborate. Dark doesn’t just mean the animators used a darker colour palette. It means occult stuff. It means space for more mature subject matter. More blood, more gore. R-rated dialogue. Yes, even some risqué jokes! (I’m pretty sure I heard a oneliner concerning someone’s nuts.)

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Fellow geeks will surely appreciate the new take on the Justice League, even when sometimes, the shadow of certain Hellboy looms close. ’cause let’s face it: Constantine is Dark Horse’s Hellboy, without the horns and tail, and pink instead of red. Or was it the other way round? I forget.

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Anyways, as we’ve come to expect from WB Animation, Justice League Dark features top notch animation and voiceacting. I’ve yet to see a WB production score poorly in these departments. I’ve enjoyed it massively, and I expect any comic book nutter or fellow enthousiast to do so too.

Jan

Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash

lego_dc_superheroes_cosmic_clash_keyartSomehow I knew this was going to happen.  Last review I said “Batman animated features seem to crop up faster than I can review them” and Boom!

New Batman animated feature lands on my desk.

Although, technically, this isn’t a Batman-feature.  It’s the Justice League: Cosmic Clash!

When Brainiac decides to add Earth to his mint collection of planets, the Justice League steps up.  Together, they thwart Brainiac’s plan.  They deranged robot isn’t about to give up that easily though, and zaps half of the Justice League back in time.  It’s up to remaining members Flash and Batman to go back in time and save their friends.

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I’ve reviewed Lego animated features before.  I’ve always given them thumbs up. I marveled at the humor, praised the voice-actors and was really into the story.  Things are no different with this one.  I can easily check the boxes next to humor, animation, voiceacting and story. Lego once again proves that it’s a quality brand, not just for its toys, but in everything it partakes in.

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The one thing that puzzled me most this time around is how they keep it fresh.  Because, sure, it was entertaining and well-written, but deep down it’s just the umpteenth Lego movie, that relies heavily on the same old staples.  Why am I not yet bored by this?

The answer is very simple.  It’s because at heart, I’m still a kid.  A small eight year old, that’s easily impressed by cool stuff.  And animated Lego definitely falls into the cool stuff category, as does the Justice League.

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So yes, I continue to like the Lego movies. I hope Lego keeps on producing them and by golly, I now have a craving for opening a fresh box of mint Lego. Just so I can experience the joy of building something and hear that distinct plastic clatter.

Jan

Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom

ljlpackWhat do you get when you mix Batman with Lego bricks?
What? Highly enjoyable playtime? Well… yes that too, but what else? A videogame-series? Yes, well… I guess you’re right… But what else? Bat-bricks? Batman with an extremely sore foot?

Let’s just stop it, shall we?

What you get (for the purpose of this review anyway) is an animated feature that had me giggling like a six year-old in a candy store. In Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, the Lego Justice League faces off against Luthor and his cronies. The league with fresh member Cyborg must try and overcome Luthor’s newest addition to the team: Martian Manhunter.

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When I said I giggled throughout, I was serious. There’s so much humor in this feature. You get the overtly, not-so-subtle jokes aimed at the young target audience obviously, but there are a lot of more subtle jokes, aimed at parents and comic book geeks. What’s not to like here?

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The answer is nothing. The animation couldn’t be better. Writing is great and voiceacting nails it. It’s always fun to hear Mark Hammil speak, even when he’s not being the Joker.

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So would I recommend this one? Abso-brickin’-lutely! Kids will go love it, parents will like it too, and comic book enthousiast will most certainly appreciate this fresh take. Go watch it, now!

Jan

Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice-League-Gods-and-Monsters-2015-movie-posterA new animated Justice League feature? Yes please. Especially when it puts a new twist on old classics. But does it deliver? By Jove, it does!  (What an appaling intro. Sometimes I even amaze myself…  Anyway, on to the review at hand.)

In Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the DC universe is put through a “What if?” filter. Superman is now the son of Zod, and upon his arrival on earth does not get adopted by the Clarks but by Mexican immigrants.  Batman is now Kirk Langstrom, a scientists turned vampire by a botched experiment.  Wonder Woman now wields a sword, not a lasso, and she puts it to deadly use.

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Yep, purists will be shocked by this one. It’s really a whole new take on the Justice League. And on the animated DC features. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman do not shy away from using deadly force. Bad guys die on screen, in various bloody ways. Harsh language is used and swear words are thrown around regularly. I love it!

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All in all, Justice League: Gods and Monsters is truly magnificent.  I dig the new origin stories, I loved the story, and Bruce Timm-animation is always a win in my book.  Go get this one, even if the new take made you cringe initially.  You’ll be won over soon enough!

Jan

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

(The following review contains many puns and “funny” references to water and/or fish.  First-time readers are advised that the quality of jokes in the rest of the posts on this site is nowhere near as low as this.  Thank you. –editor)

toacoverWhen it rains, it pours.  Meaning: when we review one superhero movie, another one is bound to follow.  Case in point: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis.  This newest fish is the superhero animated sea deals with Arthur Curry discovering his true nature as Aquaman, heir to the throne of Atlantis.  Arthur’s half-brother Orn seizes the throne and launches a fullblown offensive on the surface, claiming the surfacedwellers are a threat to Atlantis.  Obviously, the Justice League cannot stand by idly, and are forced to act.

I can’t say I loved the overall story, but I liked it enough to keep watching.  Animation was flawless as per usual, and I dug the events happening on the side.  The troubles of a newly-formed league, Cyborg’s struggle in keeping his humanity, the ego’s of several team members clashing…  Lovely executed.  The main storyline on the other hand…

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Don’t get me wrong.  I did enjoy this new take on Aquaman’s origin.  What bothered me was half-brother Orn.  Orn is a typical powerhungry spoiled brat, so it came as no surprise when he’s revealed as the villain.  His character is flat and onesided, his hatred for the surface explained ever so briefly.  When he finally gets to fight the Justice League, we’re near the end of the movie and everything just feels rushed.  A little more action wold’ve been nice.

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And that ending.  By Neptune, there’s a run-of-the-mill cliché for you.  I won’t spoil it, I’ll just say that Atlanteans are an easily persuaded bunch.  One minute they’re hell-bent for war, the next they’re as docile and friendly as dolphins.  And the inclusion of Shazam?  He really feels like a fish out of the water here.  We see him in action just twice, really briefly.  I suspect he was added only as comic relief, and even as that, he gets little to no screentime.

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All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this one.  The main story is just a little too lazily written.  But then again, comic book fans might enjoy this for the characters and the new origin story.  And come on, it has Batman in it!  We all love Batman don’t we?  How can you not score when your movie has Batman in it?  It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Jan

Justice League vs Bizarro League

bizarrocoverAnother day, another animated superhero feature.  Don’t get me wrong though.  I love superhero features.  Animated or live, it don’t matter to me.   And when you add Lego in the mix, you’ve got a guaranteed winner.

In Justice League vs Bizarro League the Justice league finds itself facing off against Bizarro.  Superman’s alternate clone duplicates the Justice league members and thus creates the Bizarro league.  Lego films usually have me in stiches, and when the Bizarro league is added to the mix…  Well, someone needed to pick me up from the floor afterwards.  I mean come on…  Batzarro, the world’s worst detective?  Greenzarro, the Lantern who’s afraid of everything and uses his ring to project a comfort teddy bear?  Bizarra, who is essentially Wonder Woman sans the grace? Cy-zarro, the lo-fi rusted cyborg?  Why aren’t you laughing already?

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All humour aside, the story still stands on its own.  With minimal rewriting I could see this as a storyline for the comics.  Score another point for “Movies-for-kids-that-are-actually-enjoyable-for-the-geek-parent-too”.

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I just couldn’t get enough from the blocky lego-league.  And on that front, the DVD delivers: a bonus 22 minute long adventure, a bonus blooper reel and a making of featurette. Hours (actually minutes – ed.) of fun!  In short: this was the perfect followup to Lego Batman 3.  It fills up the void of superhero bricks left after completing that game quite nicely.

Jan