You’d never tell judging from the scores I’ve awarded the various entries into the Bruce Timm-shepherded DC Animated Originals catalogue, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: They’re starting to get a bit tedious.
This might be because I’ve watched a significant number of them back-to-back, only taking a brief hiatus to completely upend my life and relocate somewhere else – an endeavour I briefly detailed here – which clearly isn’t the intended way to consume films which are released 6-8 months apart. I once decided I was going to read Chuck Palahniuk’s entire bibliography, and after the second book, Survivor, an extraordinarily cynical meditation on isolated religious cults and fervent media frenzy, I felt so aggressively fed-up with contemporary society that I was tempted to disappear into the wilderness myself.
Continue reading Review – Justice League: War
As I’ve noted before in this very series, the idea of alternate timelines and universes and all their attendant paradoxes is largely what has prohibited me from becoming what one might describe as a “fan” of comic books, which some would consider a rather egregious oversight given my line of work. When I reviewed Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, another direct-to-DVD feature courtesy of Warner Bros. and DC, which also concerned a superhero team who ventured into a mirrored dimension to battle their doppelgangers, I expressed concerns about the futility of the endeavour, which I still hold. That movie surprised me, though, and it must be said that this one, which is based on the 2011 comic book crossover event “Flashpoint”, by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, surprised me just as much, if not more so.
A couple of reasons. The first, rather obvious one is that a standalone feature-film is a very different proposition from a concerted effort to mangle and merge a dozen characters’ established continuities. In comic books, these events are permanent – until, that is, the next one happens, or the whole line is arbitrarily rebooted, though even then the ostensibly clean slate still contains the sticky residue of versions past. It’s a nightmare. Something like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox has the distinct advantage of having no obligation to a broader continuity. You can enjoy its hypothetical rearranging of DC’s stalwarts secure in the knowledge that by the time the credits roll, none of it will have mattered.
The second reason is that, unwieldy title notwithstanding, it isn’t a movie about the Justice League.
Continue reading Review – Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
The motion picture version of Mark Waid’s Justice League of America arc, JLA: Tower of Babel, from 2000, adapted for the screen by the late Dwayne McDuffie, who died shortly after finishing the script. It’s also a sort-of sequel to the rather good Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, retaining the same character designs, being set, I think, in the same universe, and providing another iteration of the tried-and-true team vs. team structure.
It is, I guess, but if Justice League: Doom accomplishes something tangible among the usual large-scale action these films are known for, it’s a darker treatment of the Justice League that pushes each member to their physical and emotional limits (and the film to the very brink of its PG-13 classification.) Ever wanted to see Batman get buried alive with his father’s bones, or Martian Manhunter perpetually immolate as he sweats flaming magnesium? Well, this is the movie for you.
Continue reading Review – Justice League: Doom
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This is Episode 40 of the Ready, Steady, Cut! Podcast. On this episode, we do our reviews round-up and discuss movie releases from the first half of June. The headline review for this round-up is the well-celebrated DC’s Wonder Woman. All films that we review in this episode are spoiler-free. All the movies that we review are listed below.
Continue reading Ready Steady Cut EP40 – Reviews Round-Up – Wonder Woman
And… relax. It’s fine.
Don’t let the overwhelmingly positive critical reaction fool you, though. It isn’t great – or, at the very least, it isn’t quite great enough to constitute any kind of modern genre classic. On balance, Wonder Woman is about as good as one of the better Phase 1 Marvel movies. It doesn’t manage to occupy the coveted space alongside things like The Dark Knight or the recent Logan, but then again it occupies a space all its own: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first legitimately good DCEU movie. Rejoice.
Continue reading Review – Wonder Woman
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This is Episode 37 of the Ready, Steady, Cut! Podcast. On this episode, we do our reviews round-up and discuss movie releases from the second half of May. The headline review for this episode is the heavily debated Alien: Covenant. All films that we review in this episode are spoiler-free. All the movies that we review are listed below.
Continue reading Ready Steady Cut EP37 – Reviews Round-Up – Alien: Covenant
[As this is an analysis post, please be aware that this will contain spoilers. If you have not watched the film, and you do not want to know what happens in the story, then please do not continue reading.]
Christopher Nolan spoiled us with his take on Batman. Throughout the Dark Knight trilogy, the public was provided with clear character development, a complex but deep narrative, and a story worth caring about. I think that’s where the problem stems.
As soon as BvS DoJ rolls, you are given a rushed introduction into how Batman came to be. The rest of the film clearly shows an older, bitter and tired Bruce Wayne. Was the start necessary? I felt the young Bruce Wayne was entirely irrelevant to this story. The story is years ahead of that time. Bruce has grown up, took on Gotham, experienced failure and success. Why try merging the two together? Oh yes, I guess his mother’s name does play a part, but I’m highlighting the problem of this film right from the start, and it felt disjointed immediately.
Continue reading Analysis – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice