Saturday, November 30, 2013

Movie Talk - Direct-to-DVD Justice League Movies

Well, it's been a pretty short month. Today's post will be talking about the direct-to-DVD movies that featured the Justice League. Unlike some that I still haven't seen (Wonder Woman...I know I still need to), I've seen all four of these movies in one form or another. I own JL: New Frontier and rented JL: Flashpoint Paradox when they came out. I saw Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths... on YouTube. "I should be ashamed," I sarcastically say. Justice League: Doom is available on Netflix, so I was able to view that there.

Justice League: The New Frontier
Justice League: The New Frontier came out in 2008. It was the second movie that was released by Warner Bros. It's basically a close adaptation of DC: The New Frontier, a six-issue miniseries that came out back in 2004. The story takes place between the 1950's and 1960's. It's supposed to bridge the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics together. We see the origins and beginnings of the Silver Age Flash, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter. We end up see them and other heroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman team up against an evil force called the Centre. The mini-series also delved into other areas of DC and even touched upon the social issues of the era like racism, war, and McCarthyism.

Hal Jordan: All right, guys! This is the promo shot for the trailer! Suck those guts in!

Since these movies can are mandated to last 75 minutes long, a lot of the story that revolved around things not related to superheroes got cut out. The movie primarily focused on Hal Jordan, J'onn J'onnzz, and Barry Allen with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman only for supporting cast. I will go on and say that I really enjoyed this movie when it came out. It's probably one of my favorite from the line. There really isn't much that's bad about it. The only thing that could be negative about it is that so much of the story from the books  is cut out.

The voice-casting is all-around good. We have David Boreanez as Hal Jordan, Miguel Ferrer as the Martian Manhunter, Neil Patrick Harris as Barry Allen, Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, and Brooke Shields as Carol Ferris. The one shock of them all of is that they got Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman. Now that's cool. The animation is pretty good and fits the tone the story set. The action is pretty awesome and not held back. This was also one movie that made me want to go out and find the mini-series based on it. It's that good.

Favorite Quotes:
Batman: And one other thing, I'm not sure what you are or where you come from. But my instincts tell me you're to be trusted. Make no mistake, I have a $70,000 sliver of a radioactive meteor to stop the one from Metropolis. All I need for you is a penny for a book of matches.
J'onn J'onzz: The last time I appeared without warning in this form someone died of fright. Perhaps I should take a friendlier appearance.
King Faraday: Suit yourself.
J'onn J'onzz: Well?
King Faraday: It's okay. But real men wear pants.
Superman: I see I have your attention. We face a threat big enough to wipe us off the Earth. And still we bicker about a mask or a uniform. My best friend is lying upstairs right now. She would have given her life for this country and I could hardly look her in the eye. America was founded on the notion that a person should be free to follow his or her own destiny. But we can't do that if we're living in fear of our own government. We need to reclaim this country for free men and women everywhere.
The Flash: What about your government friends?
King Faraday: That's a fair question. Superman's right! The persecution and paranoia have to stop. From here on, we work together as free Americans.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths came out in early 2010. It was loosely based on Grant Morison's and Frank Quietly's story JLA: Earth 2  and the JLA's first encounter with the Crime Syndicate. I also heard that the script (by Dwayne Macduffie) was supposed to be used in the Justice League animated series in order to bridge Justice League and JLU. In the movie, a Lex Luthor from an alternate Earth travels to the Justice League's Earth in order to get help to deal with the Crime Syndicate. As the League fights the Syndicate on the other Earth, it's revealed that Owlman (played by James Woods) has a plot to destroy the Multiverse... of course! Only James Woods could think of such a thing!

Batman in daylight??? This really must be another Earth...

While it does have a couple of things holding it back, I do like it. The animation was pretty good as usual. The overall story was well-told. I also liked the different nods we got with other Syndicate members. I think I saw versions of Black Lightning, Vibe, Vixen, and the Marvel Family. The cast is full of stars like James Woods, Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin, and Mark Harmon. While some of the voices worked, not all of them did. The voices that really didn't work were Baldwin as Batman and Harmon as Superman. I also thought the relationship between the Martian Manhunter and Alt.Earth Rose Wilson came off a little weird. Overall, it's good action-romp on another Earth.

Favorite Quotes:
Flash: (after seeing Lex naked) Oh, and they call me The Flash.
Owlman: From what I gather, we are very much alike. Everything about you tells the tale. Your attitude, your costume, your tactics... they all scream of outrage, despair, vengeance. What terrible wrong was done to set you on this path? It doesn't really matter. Nothing matters.
Batman: What are you planning to do, talk me to death?
Owlman: Actually... I thought I'd beat you to death.
Lex Luthor: No need to make a scene. I want you to call the Justice League for me.
Police Officer: Or else?
Lex Luthor: Oh, I don't know. I'll destroy the world? Is that sufficient?

Justice League: Doom
Justice League: Doom was released in 2012. It was loosely based off the JLA storyline "Tower of Babel." In that story, Ra's al Gul had gotten hold of JLA countermeasures created by Batman and used them on the JLA. Dwayne Macduffie wrote the script and it was the last script he worked on before he passed away. In the movie, Vandal Savage finds the JLA's countermeasures and uses their own villains (The Legion of Doom) to carry them out. The League is eventually able to beat the countermeasures mostly because of some help from Cyborg. The movie ends with a massive fight between the League and Legion.

An example of  an android having a bad day.

This movie was pretty good as a whole. The animation and action is on par with the previous movie. The plot's good, but I didn't like how some of the League got taken down especially Hal. I thought the ways Superman and Flash got taken out were interesting. J'onn's was pretty freaky. I also liked that we got to see villains like Bane, Star Sapphire, and Vandal Savage as the main baddies. The voice-cast  is awesome and is full of alumni from the Justice League animated series. A lot of the main cast is back and we also have Nathan Fillion playing Hal Jordan. Overall, it's one of the better movies that been done.

Favorite Quotes:
Batman: I've carefully studied every Justice Leaguer, past and present and created contingency plans to neutralize you should that become necessary.
The Flash: You've gotta be kidding me.
Batman: Neutralize, not kill. Whoever implemented my plans altered them.
Wonder Woman: It's still a completely unacceptable breach of our trust.
Batman: The members of the Justice League are among the most powerful and potentially dangerous people on the planet.
The Flash: You think one of us would go over to the other side?
Batman: Or succumb to mind control. Yes, it's impossible. That's why I developed plans for containing any of all members of the JLA should the need ever arise.
Superman: None of us would ever do that to you.
Batman: Then you're damned fools.
Bane: Hello, Bruce. Sorry I couldn't be there for this, but I have a rather large check to pick up. Payment for dealing with you. Oh, you were concerned about where I put your parents. Don't be. They're very close. Rest in peace.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
The last movie for this post was just released a couple of months ago. As the title suggests, it was adapted from the 2011 crossover, Flashpoint. In the story, a mishap in time causes a lot of things to change for the DC Universe. For example, Bruce dies instead of his parents and Clark is raised and imprisoned by the military. The biggest threat is that Atlantis and Themyiscara  are at war and it's wrecking the whole world. Barry Allen is the only one who remembers the original universe and he is the only one who can fix everything. This is also the storyline that shifted the DC universe into its "New 52" phase. While a couple of things are changed, a lot of the plot and story is virtually the same. This movie was also the most violent movie they have done.

Flash: Dang, Superman! Lay off those steroids!

The movie is pretty good, but there were some things I didn't like about it. The plot was fine and I liked that it focused on a character like the Flash. It was action-packed and provided a couple of twists. While the animation was good, I really wasn't a fan of most of the character designs. I thought the designs for characters like Superman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman were way off. I also thought some of the voices weren't that good. The main culprits were the voices of Alt-Batman and Alt-Cyborg. Lastly, I thought that some of the hardcore violence was a little too much. Overall, it's not their best, but it has its good qualities.

Favorite Quotes:
Nora Allen: When I was a little girl, Grandma taught me a prayer: Accept the things you cannot change. Have the courage to change the things you can... and have the wisdom to know the difference.
Barry Allen: Your bedside manners sucks. If I didn't have the Speed Force helping me heal, I'd find another doctor.
The Flash: Why aren't you telling him about me and the timeline?
Batman: I'm not lying.
The Flash: You're misleading him. He has a right to know what our real plan is.
Batman: Don't preach to me. I got enough misplaced morality to handle the big metal Boy Scout on our hands. He wants to stop the war. So do we. That's all he needs to know.


Overall, the Justice League films have been pretty good. They all are at least better than Batman: Gotham Nights (may get to those one day...). Next year, we'll be seeing another JL movie come called Justice League: War. It's based on Justice League: Origin which is something I just looked at. Here's hoping that it's at least good as the rest have been. Well, I'm done for the night. I have one last post to do and I'll be done with this themed month. Peace, God Bless, and "JLA Lambaste!"

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