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Blog Archives

Batman and Harley Quinn

Batman and Harley Quinn 2017

When this movie was first announced, I was actually quite excited for it. I would consider Harley Quinn to be my favorite comic book character. I love her aesthetic and her unpredictability, but when the first trailer came out I sensed trouble despite the fact that it was clearly modeled after the designs of the 90’s Batman the Animated Series. And while the animation style and several of the voice actors are from that series the tone and content of the movie is much more adult than the original series ever was. Unfortunately the idea of more adult is just plenty of jokes and references to sex and some blood including a character death. It just felt completely out of place and while a few of the jokes did make me laugh quite a bit, it never really felt right and never came together as a whole.

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Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom

Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom 2017

Last year I decided to take a chance on the first Howard Lovecraft movie. At the time, I thought it was just a low budget knock off film that somehow was trying to trade in on the HP Lovecraft lore and was also based on an indie comic. This year I did a little bit more digging and discovered Arcana Studio spun off of Arcana Comics. They do seem to be a low budget animation studio, but the majority of their films are adaptations of their comics which I think is a great concept. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Howard Lovecraft film, it seemed like a fascinating world, but there wasn’t much of a character arc and the tone seemed like a weird childish goth with mediocre voice actors except a couple token cameos. The sequel works much better with an overall darker tone with less kid-centric humor, bigger roles for the notable voice actors, and more of a character arc for Howard himself. I actually quite enjoyed this one and am curious to see where things end up in the third movie coming out in a couple weeks.

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Vixen: The Movie

Vixen: The Movie 2017

One of the last shows that I actively covered over on my sister site Channel: Superhero was the first season of an animated series set in the Arrowverse and airing on the CW app/website CW Seed. One of my biggest issues in the webseries is that it felt more like a movie/full episode that was chopped up into episodes rather than an actual webseries. And while I didn’t continue in on watching the second season, they were cut together with a few extra scenes into this animated movie that falls right alongside the typical DC Animated movies. I do find that it’s somewhat appropriate that I’ve waited this long to review this film as it is Black History Month and in general, that’s where I’ve reviewed most Black superhero movies. I will also be updating my top Black superhero movies of all time list once I’ve watched Black Panther in just a couple week’s time. But as for the actual quality of this movie, it falls somewhere in the midrange of the average DC Animated movie. Vixen is an interesting character, but the movie itself doesn’t really do anything to make itself stand out as anything other than just another superhero origin story, just with a little African folklore flair to it.
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Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues

Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues 2016

There’s a few reasons why I haven’t covered any motion comics on this site before now. The biggest reason is that every motion comic that I’ve looked into is presented more like a TV season, with each issue of the comic that it’s adapting is its own episode and there tends to be a half dozen to a dozen episodes. Queen of Plagues is presented as a single movie that runs just over an hour, but the animation style is still much more like the typical motion comic style where the comic book art is translated almost exactly to screen with only minor changes to remove text boxes and animation based on moving and stretching the original art elements. While the voice work and animation – specifically the lip synch – fall in line with my limited experience with motion comics, it is much better than some of the lower budget ones that I’ve heard about with only a single voice actor and no lip synch animation at all. The film itself was a nice story even though it took a little while to get going.
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Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract 2017

It actually feels like a fairly light year for DC animated movies when compared to last year when there were quite a few movies from various different DC properties while this is only the fourth animated movie counting the theatrical Lego Batman movie and the latest DC Superhero Girls movie. Even so, I feel like I’ve fallen behind on these as this came out a couple months ago and I’m only just now getting around to watching and reviewing it. I did quite enjoy Teen Titans vs the Justice League and this movie does feel like a step up from that one. This also seems to do a good job of including more social relationships within the story instead of just focusing on the plot and action which helps differentiate itself from other superhero stories to a certain extent. There were a few too many attempts at maturing the story by including sex jokes, but overall this was an enjoyable continuation of the animated Teen Titans storyline. And as usual with all my reviews and especially recent releases, I will be discussing the movie in full including any potential plot spoilers.
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Gantz: O

Gantz: O 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to keep up with anime. There was a time when I was a big fan and would keep track of every new release and would follow certain series releases on DVD. Nowadays, there’s too many for me to keep track of, but every once in a while something comes my way that piques my interest. Gantz was one of those series that I followed on DVD. It’s a bizarre series about people who have died and are then resurrected by a giant black orb and sent out on missions slash games to kill aliens with high tech weaponry where they will most likely die. After the anime series came a few live action movies, and this most recent film is a CGI rendered anime that follows likely a few months to a year after the series left off. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the original anime and even a while since I watched the first live action movie (and haven’t gotten around to the live actions sequels), but while this was so different that it barely felt like it was still Gantz, it’s still a bizarrely enjoyable ride.
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Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom

Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom 2016

I’ve never been a huge HP Lovecraft fan, essentially the only things I know about his writing are that it involves a lot of madness and tentacle creatures and gave some inspiration to the first Hellboy movie and In the Mouth of Madness. It seemed quite unusual that these kinds of stories would translate to a comic book made for kids and that comic would then be turned into an animated movie complete with the voice of Hellboy in a small role even. When I initially saw the box art for the film several months ago, I dismissed it as one of those cheap knock-off movies that tend to mimic a popular movie from a few years earlier like Karate Panda or Dragon Flight School. And to a certain extent, that’s exactly what this is only there’s not really any movie that it’s trying to cash in on, it’s just a lower budget animated film that managed to get a few medium profile actors to lend their voices. It wasn’t a horrible experience by any means, but there also wasn’t much enjoyment to be had outside of a couple brief laughs.
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Monkeybone

Monkeybone 2001

While I did put up another poll on Twitter for the movie that I should watch & review next, I haven’t had time to fit in the 3 hour cut of Batman v Superman just yet. So in the meantime, I had a little bit of time the other night and decided to toss on this film which is currently streaming on Netflix. It’s a movie that I had watched many years ago because I’m a fan of weird animation and dark fantasy movies. I remember generally liking this film, but never had a real desire to revisit it or own it. Watching it again now, I really appreciate plenty of the visuals and designs on the fantasy world, but the overarching story that drives the plot forward leaves a lot to be desired, especially everything that happens in the real world.
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Graphic Horror: Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell

Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell 2016

This might be a little bit of a stretch to call this a horror movie, but it’s a brand new, straight to home video animated movie from Marvel. They seem to be continuing the holiday theme that they started with last year’s Christmas themed Frost Fight and now continue with this year’s Where Monsters Dwell which is quite obviously a Halloween themed movie featuring Hulk, Dr. Strange, and a few other Halloween-themed heroes that most people won’t really be aware of. Similar to Frost Fight and the Heroes United movies before that, this is more of a kid-friendly film with less focus on any real scares or any complicated plot. Just a harmless little romp with a few monsters and a little bit of a lesson to it.
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Hero of the Year

DC Superhero Girls: Hero of the Year 2016

This is the first feature length movie based on the initiative that DC has started about a year ago that combines toys, a webseries, and comics that are targeted towards girls rather than boys. And since there isn’t a large enough roster of notable women superheroes in the DC universe, they add in a handful of villains into the mix to make up the full slate. One of the biggest issues that I had with the webseries was that it focused too much on the girly aspects of the concept and not enough of the superheroism, this film is much closer to the right balance with a fair amount of action, humor, and friendship without spending too much time on makeovers and costume designing.
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