Tag Archives: DC Animated Movie

iReview | JUSTICE LEAGUE vs. THE FATAL FIVE

The present is in great peril from an invading threat from the future and the Justice League’s newest members may find themselves paralyzed and unable to stop The Fatal Five from destroying the future.

The future’s most dangerous villains are facing off against the World’s Greatest Heroes in a fight for the fate of all time. The latest DC Entertainment/Warner Bros Animation full-length animated adventure Justice League vs. The Fatal Five takes us back to the much-beloved heroes of the popular Justice League Unlimited television series. Executive produced by Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett this unique exploit introduces several new characters into the ranks of the Justice League roster and further establishes the heroes and villains that populate the 31st Century.

The Legion of Super-Heroes, a team of young people from all across the galaxy that has united to defend their present era in the 31st Century, are facing off against the vile Fatal Five and have succeeded in immobilizing two of their most powerful members. In order to keep the Emerald Empress and the mindless monster Validus prisoner, the Legion decides to imprison them in the only place that can hold them — the past! The remaining members of the Fatal Five travel back to the present day, but they aren’t alone — the villains are followed by the legionnaire Star Boy.

It doesn’t take the Fatal Five’s Mano, The Persuader and Tharok long to exact their reign of terror on the 21st Century, fortunately for us we have the Justice League, but it appears that these invaders are almost as powerful as Superman (voiced by George Newbern) and they are seeking someone the call “Limelight”. Batman (Kevin Conroy) stumbles upon the mysterious Star Boy (Elyse Gabel) who may hold the key to stopping these new enemies, but not even the alien Miss Martian (Daniela Bobadilla) can penetrate the legionnaires fractured memories.

With the help of Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero) a reluctant Green Lantern, and one of the league’s newest recruits, our heroes may be able to stop the Fatal Five from releasing their captured accomplices and exacting their plan to destroy the league preventing the modern day heroes from inspiring the Legion of the future, ensuring their dominance of the 31st Century! Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is a time-traveling escapade with the excitement of a summer blockbuster, while nostalgically reminding us of what made Justice League one of the best animated series ever.

The feature-length animated movie reunites some of our favorite voice actors from Justice League including Kevin Conroy who has voiced Batman since the days of the Emmy® Award Winning Batman: The Animated Series Susan Eisenberg who has become, for many, the most ideal Wonder Woman ever, and joining them in the cast are Diane Guerrero who voices the role of Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern, as well as pulling double duty as a regular cast member on the DC Universe Original Series Doom Patrol playing Jane.

Tackling Bigger Issues

Recently the heroes of the DC Comics Universe had been facing bigger problems than just the nefarious deeds brought upon by their archenemy. Currently playing out in the DC comics event Heroes in Crisis a nine-issue limited series written by Tom King, the revelation of a “sanctuary” a place of respite the heroes use to seek support from the trials of their experiences and emotional support has shaken the perception of how the public perceives its masked defenders. When Sanctuary is compromised a mystery unfolds that has everyone feeling vulnerable.

The idea that even superheroes require special attention to deal with daily stresses is a fairly new idea, and perhaps among some of the most recent characters to have come out of the closet to reveal their emotional instabilities include the time-traveling Booster Gold, the Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn, and the newest Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz, who came about her role as a ring bearer rather reluctantly. Cruz was initially seduced into taking the ring from the alternate-earth villain Power Ring, but after standing up to its corruption was made an official Green Lantern.

Left traumatized after a terrifying experience, Cruz was very easy prey from the Ring of Volthoom which feeds off of fear. When it makes Jessica Cruz its new host, it doesn’t bargain with the young woman’s own strength of will. With the help of The Flash, and the other members of the Justice League, Jessica perceivers, using her newfound powers to rise up against Darkseid and the imminent threat of the Anti-Monitor during “The Darkseid War”. Battling through her own fear, Jessica proved herself worthy of wielding one a Green Lantern’s ring.

The inclusion of the character in Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is a welcome examination of the heroine’s journey and goes deeper inside her psyche then has ever been explored in the books. There’s a magnificent dimensionality that is revealed of the newest Green Lantern in this animated adventure that makes her magnificently worthy to wear the ring. Hopefully, this isn’t the last time audiences will be given the chance to revisit the animated exploits of the Justice League especially given how much the heroes have evolved.

Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is available now across Digital Platform and will be released by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation wide across all additional platforms on April 16 with a running time of 87 minutes.

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iReview | JUSTICE LEAGUE: Throne Of Atlantis (Commemorative Edition)

The original animated DC Universe Movie is rereleased in 4K Ultra HD just in time to coincide with the blockbuster big screen adventure featuring the King of the Seven Seas! 

Soon the legend of Aquaman will be known the world over, when the feature length film starring Jason Momoa reprising his role as Arthur Curry, the water-breathing, tough brawling Aquaman that won all of our hearts in Justice League is internationally released. The action flick is the next in line marking the expansion of the “DC Cinematic Universe” — or is it? After the lukewarm reception the aforementioned JL received (though it made a modest box office dent) the future of the film franchises has appeared to hang in the balance.

Arthur Curry takes his place among the world’s greatest heroes as the Justice League defends the earth to save the seat of Atlantis from falling into the hands of a tyrant.

That hasn’t prevented the continuing growth of the animated films. With Aquaman’s star rising, it appeared a prime opportunity to reissue the DC Universe Movie JUSTICE LEAGUE: Throne of Atlantis Commemorative Edition the feature-length animated feature is an adaptation of the ground-breaking graphic novel of the same name.

When DC radically altered its publishing line-up in 2011 with “The New 52”, Geoff Johns took it upon himself to reboot the origins of Aquaman and elevated him to a more formidable level worthy of the seat of Atlantis, after all three-fourth of the planet are covered in water. If that doesn’t make Arthur Curry perhaps the most powerful person on the planet — then you’re a man of steel. The feature places a despondent Arthur Curry (Matt Lanter) mourning the loss of his father, not understanding these strange super powers he is possessed with, or the secret of his royal blood.

Hidden in the darkest depths of the sea is a magical and fable city! A coup of Atlantis’ queen Atlanna is in the works, lead by Arthur’s treacherous half-brother Orm, the Ocean Master (voiced by Sam Witwer) and his henchman Black Manta. The pair are plotting to bring the full force of Atlantis’ army to the surface world! Unless the assembled might of the Justice League and their new allies Aquaman and Mera can stop them, the oceans will engulf the coastal cities! Will Arthur accept his rightful place as Atlantis’ rightful leader and bridge the two worlds?

Sibling rivalry! Aquaman battles the Ocean Master for control of the power of the Seven Seas themselves.

Leagues Under the Sea

The animated film ambitiously captures the heart of the multi-issue adventure that crossed over issues of the published Justice League and Aquaman comic books, and not only elevated Aquaman’s profile but brought the hero into his proper place among the greatest DC heroes as one of the more powerful among the pantheon. At the conclusion of the film, Arthur takes his place among the peacekeeping force and becomes a member of the Justice League, balancing his duties as a leaguer with ruling Atlantis.

The reissue features the 4K Ultra HD transfer of the film with a more high dynamic range for an incredible picture full of detail and amazing color. It also features a new bonus featurette spotlighting Aquaman: The New King which includes a histrionic look at the character from his first appearance in the Golden Age of comics, up to his current reinterpretation and appearance as portrayed by Momoa on the big screen. 

JUSTICE LEAGUE: Throne of Atlantis Commemorative Edition an animated DC Universe Movie available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital (reissue; originally released in 2015 with all-new additionally produced bonus features).

iReview | DC Universe Movie SUICIDE SQUAD: Hell To Pay

The latest full-length animated DC film puts the spotlight on the comics universe biggest bad asses when the unruly SUICIDE SQUAD find themselves with Hell To Pay!

The most unlikeliest of heroes find themselves on a road trip when ARGUS national security director Amanda Waller (voiced by Vanessa Williams) puts another mission together for her Task Force X that spans the near entirety of continuity established in the animated DC Universe Movie Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay. From the safety of her perch within Belle Reve maximum security prison, Waller coordinates to send incarcerated felons Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Captain Boomerang under the watchful eye of the mercenary Bronze Tiger into the field to retrieve an article of arcane origins before it falls into the hands of the terrorist Vandal Savage.

A word of caution, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay is not family friendly and earns its R Rating. That’s right this DC animated feature pulls no punches and properly positions the ragtag band of bad guys, who find themselves in over their heads when they are sent to retrieve a mysterious item from the vaults of Dr. Fate himself. Unfortunately Waller isn’t the only one interested in Fate’s “Get Out of Hell” card. The treacherous Zoom (voiced by C. Thomas Howell) is also looking for the item and has assembled his own legion of doom consisting of Silver Banshee and Blockbuster. It’s up to Deadshot (voiced by Christian Slater) to lead the team against all the odds and save the day.

Unlike the previous animated adventure that featured the squad, this one is devoid of The Batman and makes its mark by starring Task Force X, and establishes the group in-continuity of the other DCU movies that have been released since Justice League: The FlashPoint Paradox in fact it goes one further by integrating Vandal Savage (voiced by Jim Pirri) who was first introduced in Justice League: Doom. The addition of some familiar faces among the Suicide Squad’s ranks including the multi-talented Kristin Bauer van Straten as Killer Frost and Billy Brown as fan-favorite Bronze Tiger, are nearly upstaged by Gideon Emery who brings the deadly Copperhead to life.

This is veteran actor Christian Slater’s first outing as Deadshot, but the master marksman is in good company joined on this run by Captain Boomerang (voiced by Liam McIntyre) and Harley Quinn (voiced by Tara Strong). So the squad ranks certainly look and feel very familiar especially to the avid comic book reader, and under the watchful eye of Waller voiced by Vanessa Williams, fans can only hope that Wes Gleason is able to pull this crew together for a follow-up adventure. Under the direction of Sam Liu the DCU animated movies have reached new heights of unique entertainment never pandering to an audience.

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay patterns itself after a road trip, caper flick. The script escapes the contraption of its predecessors (adapting storylines) by working in several key character and plot devices from other films in the series, including cameos from Deathstroke, the Terminator (from the Batman films) and Zoom, who last appeared in JL: The FlashPoint Paradox. The classic Flash rogue is outstandingly played into the narrative, and given that this is a Suicide Squad movie there are several serious casualties — but the plot is not one!

The DC villains are presented in their most violent; this is not for the faint of heart of the purest who prefers their cartoons to remain kid-friendly. You really can’t tell a Suicide Squad story without any blood and guts. What they do is dirty and it is a narrative best told when the punches aren’t pulled.

Bonus Features

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay is boxed with only a smattering of bonus features but includes some very interesting profiles on Deadshot and Captain Boomerang and their evolution from rogues gallery to major players, and the creators take on the interesting perspective these animated features give them as they develop plot devices. The package also includes a look at the upcoming big event movie The Death of Superman which is promising to adapt the classic comic event. Doomsday was the first film in the line of DC Universe Movies released a decade ago.

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay directed by Sam Liu is available now in 4K Ultra-HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD Download from Warner Bros. Animation.

iReview ◦ BATMAN: Mask of the Phantasm in Hi-Def!

Available now on Blu-ray the very first full-length animated theatrical adventure starring the Caped Crusader! Batman – Mask of the Phantasm may be a classic, but it stands the test of time especially in Hi-Def!

 

Though there have been many cartoon interpretations of the Batman. From his Saturday morning days, to his time as a member of the Super Friends. The Dynamic Duo have even on several occasions teamed-up with Scooby Doo and the gang to solve a ghoulish mystery or two, but after his blockbuster makeover by Tim Burton in the 1989 big screen Batman, the next time audiences got a whim of the Dark Knight detective Batman – The Animated Series had reimagined the hero in a stunning new way!

Using the film as a template, the Batman’s new animated adventures would more broadly appeal to a new audience. Gotham City was modeled in an art deco darkness and decadence that translated beautifully, it’s arched spires reaching into a limitless sky and providing the caped wonder with endless avenues to impose his brand of justice. Produced by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett and Eric Radomski the Animated Series would be awarded for its originality and groundbreaking storytelling!

Behind the Mask

Riding on the success of the Batman on the big screen, the DC Comics hero was enjoying a new wave of popularity, and The Animated Series was a hit in syndication! In 1993, the show’s producers readied themselves for the most ambitious story yet, but in order to tell it, they would require a larger canvas. Batman – Mask of the Phantasm (The Animated Movie) was released in theaters at Christmas time and it provided the necessary canvas to tell a story of this scope and scale.

So much of the Dark Knight’s origin story has itself become the stuff of legends. The publishing imprint, after its best-selling prestige release of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 reignited an interest in Batman that was nearly unprecedented in the genre. After the 12-issue maxi series Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted much of the DC Comics continuity, creatives had great license to explore and reinvent many of the classic characters backgrounds. Batman and his menagerie of villains proved a fertile garden in which to play.

With Tim Burton’s feature film drawing from so many of these sources and the syndicated animated cartoon expanding the mythos even further, the creators brilliantly decided to add an entire new layer elaborating on the Batman’s earliest days as a crimefighter and mixing in a potentially new adversary that is as merciless as any he’s ever faced. Largely adapted from Batman: Year Two a multi-issue narrative that appeared in the comics and was written by Mike W. Barr, Mask of the Phantasm carves a very special place in the lengthy animated storyline.

Presented In Hi-Definition

Now in its latest hi-definition release Batman – Mask of the Phantasm the film proves the test of time and surpasses any expectations. It is still one of the most dramatically provocative tales in the legend of the Dark Knight, and is expertly directed by Eric Radomski. The feature’s screenwriters have created a genuinely captivating villain in Phantasm (similar styled after the comic book character Barr introduced named The Reaper), a vigilante on a vendetta to destroy Gotham City’s underworld.

There’s a deeply seeded connection to the Batman himself as well as one to his arch-nemesis, the maniacal Joker. Both are voiced by veteran actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill who became infamously known for his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime, with Dana Delany voicing a love interest from Bruce Wayne’s past before she took on the role of Lois Lane in the spin-off series Superman: The Animated Series.

If you’ve been missing the classic feel of the Animated Series fear not, we’ll all be nostalgically walking back down that road when the new full-length feature Batman and Harley Quinn is released later this month. The new film reunites many of the creatives behind the animated series, but in the meantime, go hi-def and get reacquainted with Mask of the Phantasm — get a glimpse of how it all began, including our fandom for the Dark Knight’s animated adventures.

Batman – Mask of the Phantasm (The Animated Movie) directed by Eric Radomski and starring the voice talents of Kevin Conroy, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner and Mark Hamill and is now available on Blu-ray and Digital HD in its full widescreen presentation as well as the original “made for TV” format with bonus features.

In The Meantime :: The Animated WONDER WOMAN DC Universe Original Movie (Commemorate Edition) is available on Blu-ray and Digital HD

Topping the box office this weekend and you just can’t get enough of this princess of power you may want to check out the recently re-released animated adventure that reexamines Wonder Woman’s origins and will satisfy everyone who loved the new film and wants more!

With Wonder Woman blazing a trail across the blockbuster box office and winning an all-new generation of fans with a big-screen adventure that has been a long time coming, it’s a good time to get caught up on what made the Amazing Amazon such an indelible icon for 76 years. The DC Comics super heroine stands as part of a pillar, the trinity above the rest of the pantheon, of which all others are measured up to. While Superman, Batman and the rest of the members of the Justice League represent our modern mythologies, Wonder Woman’s — Princess Diana of the Amazons — origins are deeply rooted in those mythic legends.

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The current blockbuster film’s director Patty Jenkins has said she’d been waiting a long time to make her Wonder Woman movie and it’s evident in the care to the exploration of Diana (realized on screen by Gal Gadot) as a fully realized individual on her own very definite heroic journey. It makes for an intense origin story especially with Diana’s own connectivity to Greek mythologies. That same excitement of adventure is captured in the animated DC Universe Original Movie Wonder Woman now re-released in a special “Commemorative Edition” in time to celebrate the character’s 75 year history.

This animated film was first released in 2009 and stands up very well, especially given the number of films in the series that DC Entertainment has continued to produce since then, many of which have presented rebooted versions of the heroes to connect with their current comic book interpretations. This “Commemorative Edition” release includes the 74 minute full-length feature as well as an all-new special feature that explores the topic “What Makes a Wonder Woman”. The animated feature, like the current blockbuster, borrows heavily from the most popular era of the heroine’s backstory written by George Pérez.

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The big bad introduced in the animated feature is also Ares (voiced by Alfred Molina) who is the burden of the Amazons to keep watch over less the God of War escape and unleashes his brand of evil on the world. We know how the story unfolds, and a champion must be selected to escort Air Force pilot, Steve Trevor (fan favorite Nathan Fillion) back to Man’s World after his aircraft crashes on Paradise Island. A willful Diana (voiced by Keri Russell) requests the duty of being that envoy, but is kept from participating in the trials of selection, but when one of her Amazon sisters insists that Diana compete but not reveal her identity, a series of events are set in motion!

Diana of course proves herself the fierciest warrior among them, and her mother Queen Hippolyta has no choice but abide by their traditions, but while the Amazons were engaged in the competition, the God of War has seized on the opportunity to make haste with his escape! The world now needs a wonder woman more than ever! Though set in a very contemporary time, many of the same allusions to the desparitites between the sexes exist as well in the animated Wonder Woman. Diana can not understand why Trevor’s secretary plays helpless to attract his attention, and proves her own capability immediately.

The film’s climax, a glorious battle on Washington D.C.’s most historic monunets and the Capital is epic in scale, even if director Lauren Montgomery may have felt she needed more soldiers, more Amazons, more monsters and tanks — it just plays wonderfully and will resonate deeply with fans who just experienced the new blockbuster. The take away is simple, Wonder Woman is a figure that works in any media with a story that captures the imagination and generates an feeling of great hope. After all that is the character’s greatest strength — her ability to inspire across all sections. Wonder Woman’s time has arrived and it only took 75 years for the rest of us to catch up.

Check out the animated DC Universe Original Movie Wonder Woman Commemorative Edition available now in Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD for $19.99 is rated PG-13 and released through Warner Bros. Animation. The package features an all-new documentary with commentary from Patty Jenkins and scenes from the new blocknuster feature film in theaters now, along with some of comics greatest creators connected to the Wonder Woman legacy.