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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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Zoom

Zoom 2016

This year has been an interesting one, I’ve discovered and watched more films in the past month or two than I ever anticipated coming out this year with a few more to come. This film is one of the few that found its way to me via the PR department which suggested that I watch the film via the site We Are Colony. This film is one of the few where I do stretch the definition of a “comic book movie” to include movies about comic books themselves. The comic book in question is written by Allison Pill’s character and also plays a large part of the movie via animation. I wasn’t exactly sure where this film was going, and there is one major component of the story that’s easily spoiled, and is in much of the advertising for the film but is actually better if you’re unaware of it for the first watch. There’s a lot of humor, a lot of sex and nudity without having a lot of actual nudity, and it has an interesting concept that can be surprising, but I will be spoiling in this review. One final note about We Are Colony’s site, it unfortunately wasn’t a great experience for actually watching the movie without a solid high speed internet connection, there’s very little buffering allowed and there’s no option to lower the video quality – or if there is, it’s not easily found. So trying to watch this movie with a spotty internet was more of a pain than it should have been.
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Batman Unlimited: Mechs Vs Mutants

Batman Unlimited: Mechs Vs Mutants 2016

Within a month of me finishing all of the animated comic book movies out there, they went and released two more already. Starting off with the latest entry in the Batman Unlimited series, something that I tend to think of as the “toy series” as it coincided with the release of a new toy line and overall is more kid friendly than the current Warner Premier animated movies that tend towards PG-13 to R for a more adult audience. Even when just looking at this comparatively to the other two Batman Unlimited movies that came before this one, there was a level of inconsistency with many of the characters like Penguin and even Killer Croc. But while it did take a while to win me over, the level of humor across the third act made up for a lot of nothing in the first two. At least a little.
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Top 10 (Non-DC) Animated Comic Book Movies

After finishing up a full month of animated movies, I managed to complete one of my mini-goals. I have finished watching every animated movie that’s currently on my list, as well as a couple that weren’t. So with that in mind, I thought it was time to share my top 10 list of animated comic book movies. There are a couple conditions here – one is that I decided to exclude DC Animated films just because their output is so massive that they literally make up half the total list of films that I’m choosing from, and also because I’ve already done a top 10 list of just DC Animated films so I’m not looking to repeat myself. I considered also excluding Marvel in fairness, but their animated output is still quite small, and much of it is quite lacking. I also decided to exclude superhero movies that weren’t based on a comic i.e. no Incredibles. Spoiler alert, it would be at the top of the list. But with those conditions out of the way, let’s get to the list! And FYI, you can click any of the titles to check out my original full reviews on the movies.

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