Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Review

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“Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

That quote, which is said early on in the feature, generally sets the tone for the remainder of the movie. It’s a pretty powerful one and to my knowledge isn’t one often explored in the comic medium unless it’s a time travel story. Luckily for us it’s that and a lot more.

The Flash is someone who is well known character to the DC universe and this story shows us why. Being able to break the time barrier similar to how back to the Future does with speed. One of, if not, the defining moment for The Flash is that he ran too slowly to save his mother and then later carried that guilt to become the hero he needed to be. In the movie, it’s clear that he is being a hero by saving her. I think any child would do anything to save their mom from impending danger if even by means of time disruption. The interesting side of all this that the villain of this story begs the question the how much of a hero are you really when all you did was save your mother. You didn’t try and stop 9-11, you didn’t make Hitler stay in art school, instead, and you took personal happiness instead of greater good. Not to cross brands here but, that is exactly the point to “with great power comes greater responsibility”. You have to wonder, especially if you are of the total of people who believe in a higher power… Do bad things happen to us as individuals and as a whole people for the betterment of each and every one of us?

FlashPoint-e1368306709117The story of the characters aside, the theme story is where it’s worth watching and it’s great for both young and old alike. The violence however… That’s for teens and up. One thing I will always say about DC’s direct to video collection, they aren’t afraid to show some blood, have a little cursing and do it to compliment the story overall. This isn’t any different. Given that the core of the story is surrounded by an impending Armageddon war, everything is a little more dire than normal for the characters to succeed. So in a way a lot of characters do need to “die” so that they can bring an extra level of emotion. And the emotion really is brought to the next level. All I will say is Batman steals the show at the end.

The animation felt very much like the Batman year one in the way they moved but maybe a little more fluent than the former. I don’t know much about animation, but I noticed whenever there’s a fight… They always seem to have a fight in a circle. Nit picking sure, but as I thought about it, it kind of took me out of the story… Or at least the full enjoyment of this thing.

Bottom line: If there’s ever really going to be a Flash movie or show they should take some tips from this(which they sort of did in the Arrow episodes before the holiday break). It’s a great Flash story, it’s a great for anyone new to the character and or familiar with him and or the other heroes featured, but don’t expect great great things past “The Flash“. I would love to see that final moment with Flash before the credits in a movie though. It’s a great addition to the collection of DC direct videos. Above all else, blame the Flash for the “New 52″

Final moments with Flash

Rating :

The rating system is as follows. The 1st rating is what you really want, the rest is just what I thought of each other category as it’s listed (art/animation is how the movie translates the art from the book in animation).

  • Overall: 4.6 /5
  • Art/Animation: 5 /5
  • Voiceover Work: 4.6 /5
  • True to the Source Material: 3 /5

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Superman vs the Elite Review

300px-Action_Comics_775Based on the DC comics story : “What’s so funny about truth justice and the American way” by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke with Lee Bermelo. This is a great story with the post 9/11 world we live in that mirrors the Superman Earth one Vol. 2 story/theme of power.

Superman Vs The EliteSuperman is a character that has become known as the Boy Scout, the do-gooder, the guy who doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. He’s been one of the characters who symbolize the best of what we’re all capable of. This story tests what he is and the strength of his morale by asking if the Superman of old can still hold up in the world we live today.

“Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul, I swear… until my dream of a world where dignity, honour and justice become the reality we all share — I’ll never stop fighting”

Off the bat, I will say that the animation/art style is terrible. But after it’s all said and done, I think the reason for the design of each character, in particular Superman, was to mirror a character that is child friendly and furthermore, to mimic the Dave Fleischer animated series from 1942. As the story progresses however, the animation does get better especially towards the end the climactic battle on the moon.

The  voice acting in this picture, is actually pretty well done they brought back Superman’s long time voice actor, George Newbern, and it is helpful to have a familiar voice, but the actor they chose for Manchester Black was actually the best acted. He really captured the essence of a “punk rocker” fresh from the mother country. Surprisingly there are a lot of female actresses to play the younger roles in this feature.

The content itself, is pretty adult themed. Light enough for children, I’d say from 10 and up, not for younger ones. It’s not a convoluted story where you need to think a lot about what is going on. It’s pretty fast paced and easy to follow which is very helpful, because not everybody is a political science expert. If you care about life or even the neighbour beside you, then this story make sense.  One thing I’ve always appreciated about the DC animated stories, is that they’re not afraid to have a little bit of cursing in the movies. They don’t overdo it to the point where it’s childish and offensive but one here and there, never hurt anybody.2401740-superman_mad_3

As I’m writing this I have to say that this is probably my most favourite Superman animated feature to date. It has a lot of the stuff that should be in the Superman story and leaves you wanting more. The theme is even more relevant today with recent news stories like the Boston bombings and the guy who kidnapped and held captive the women in Ohio for a decade. These are the kind of people we want to see suffer slowly for their crimes, and rightfully so, but who really wants that kind of blood on their hands? Once a person breaks that barrier what is to stop them from killing someone who steals for a noble reason like feeding his child. This is not to say that stealing is right but is killing for safety just as acceptable? This is the type of stuff that should be in a Superman story.

Rating :

The rating system is as follows. The 1st rating is what you really want, the rest is just what I thought of each other category as it’s listed (art/animation is how the movie translates the art from the book in animation).

  • Overall: 3.5
  • Art/Animation: 3.3
  • Voiceover Work: 4
  • True to the Source Material: 3

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2

The second chapter to the “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” saga concludes with this story and it’s all kinds of amazing (see what I did there?) Loaded with great themes and even a poster to Christopher Reeves Superman.

Dark Knight Returns

Batman sure can take a beating at the old age of 55. Starting out right where the last left off with the Joker now becoming aware of his surroundings, he gets the Batman to lose control in the eyes of the public… To which point Superman is brought in to stop him.

The themes from the last one are reintroduced, and then put into practice. One being the story of Pearl Harbour as told by Jim Gordon to Ellen Yindel of how that event sparked a nation to get behind sending troops to World War 2. That’s probably the most paramount theme in this half story. It has the most weight to it aside from the propaganda that may be in the book/movie.

This one, I remembered more, and loved that I either registered more scenes from the comic or the animators used more. The joker scenes were the best, (see above) whereas the ones that seemed to be flat were the Superman scenes right after the nuke explosion. I think that scene was better in the comic whereas you get to read it versus seeing it without the narration.

One thing I didn’t mention in my part 1 review was the actors. Peter Weller as Batman for 99% of this movie is incredible. The breakthrough performance however was the Joker. Just for the way that he was drawn in the book and how he is known to act was superbly presented through the work of Michael Emerson. Andrea Romano, the voice director, is way past “infinity and beyond” in terms of greatness (if I’m ever so lucky to work with her, I will have to first not act like a crazed fan) the only one I felt could have used more, was Oliver Queen’s actor: Robin Atkin Downes.

Another thing I didn’t mention in part was the use of music. In the Nolan directed Batman saga, Hans Zimmer was the man who made everything seem even more epic in those films, notably the best batman movie, T.D.K. Here, the work of Christopher Drake captures a great essence to carry you through the hour 15min motion picture. It’s very close to T.D.K. in terms of how to explain it, especially with the Joker scenes. A lot of the reasons why I like this one, is because of the music.

The rating system is as follows. The 1st rating is what you really want, the rest is just what I thought of each other category as it’s listed (art/animation is how the movie translates the art from the book in animation).

  • Overall: 4.5
  • Art/Animation: 4.8
  • Voiceover Work: 5
  • True to the Source Material: 4.8

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Batman: The Dark knight Returns Part 1 Review

Dark_knight_returnsSo a little while ago, I had tweeted that I was going to review all the animated movies from both Marvel and DC. Since this is the latest one I figured I’d start here.

Now, I will say that I roughly remember the events of the famed (and I mean really famed) graphic novel, but from what I do remember, this animated feature is pretty dead on in terms of how it is depicted. I do believe that the opening race car scene was added however, but I could be wrong. The first 15 minutes is really a catch up to the moment where Bruce realizes that he cant take the city destroying itself anymore. The iconic cover of the series (Above) happens at 17m43s in, and it’s beautifully done. It’s also another one of those moments where I don’t remember if it was done in the comics or not. From there on to the climatic, cliffhanging ending, it does feel a little rushed which is sometimes a fault to these stories I feel.

There are a lot of interesting concepts and themes introduced to the character, which gives the movie depth in terms of relatability. One being: Does the Batman create his adversaries? In a way yes, he does. BATMAN IS JUST AS CRAZY as his villains, just with a better moral compass. He wears a bat costume and fights crime against impossible odds. As cool as that is, it’s crazy. If Bruce had gotten the psychiatric therapy he needed after his parents murder, we wouldn’t have Batman (as a comic nerd/geek, lets just all be happy he didn’t). I did enjoy the fact that Miller used the death of Jason Todd as part of the reason he stopped being Batman. I never understood how you become the legal guardian of this child, he gets killed, and seemingly, you do nothing. Didn’t try to avenge him, nothing. Just replaced him with Tim Drake and then Damian, his son. Those and many other elements are present in the book, and translate well here to make the cartoon accessible to adults and children alike.

Two of the BEST things about DC’s direct to dvd animated features, is how they try to recreate the artists work from the source material to screen, and how faithful to the book the movie is. Outside of cutting things down to fit time constraints or expanding the story to really give you the scope of the story, if memory serves right, it is about 98% accurate to the book (I’ve said above where I think it deviates). The original limited series was “coloured” by/with water colours by Lynn Varley  (Inked by Klaus Janson, Penciled by Writer: Frank Miller). Why that style was chosen, I don’t know, but for whatever reason, it works and it works in this movie. Though I’m sure it wasn’t water colour they used, vs just using “lighter colours, hues, and contrasts”. The overall animation is great, since Superman: Doomsday, the animation has just been getting progressively better.

The rating system is as follows. The 1st rating is what you really want, the rest is just what I thought of each other category as it’s listed (art/animation is how the movie translates the art from the book in animation).

  • Overall: 4.8
  • Art/Animation: 4.8
  • Voiceover Work: 5
  • True to the Source Material: 5

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW