DC Spotlight: Shazam! 2019
When I went to watch Batman Hush on DC Universe, there was another 2019 title listed right next to it called DC Spotlight: Shazam! I hadn’t heard about this title and when I checked it out, I noticed that it was 52 minutes which qualifies for my definition of feature length, it was a DC Universe Original, and the opening logo made it seem like the first in a possible series of these comic book documentaries. I’ve reviewed a handful of these types of documentaries in the past and it’s becoming more and more difficult just because they are all so similar to each other. They’re all varying degrees of interesting, as this one was, but there’s rarely enough to make it stand out as more than just another comic book documentary.Read the rest of this entry
Batman: Hush 2019
The DC Animated universe continues to deliver animated movies based on some of the most celebrated story arcs across their comics. I had heard about Hush here and there though I never really knew what it was about until I watched it for the first time just the other day. There were plenty of good elements, but there was one big change that I had heard inklings of and didn’t really think worked. This also follows the current animated continuity after Reign of the Superman which had a couple nice moments that connected the stories. It was good, but there were some serious issues the more I thought about this movie. And as there is a bit of a mystery surrounding the identity of Hush, I will be discussing it in full so here’s your spoiler warning.Read the rest of this entry
Freedom Fighters: The Ray 2017
This is the second Arrowverse connected series that originally premiered on CW Seed after Vixen over the course of two seasons of short webseries episodes. Unlike the other two CW Seed properties, this primarily takes place on Earth X with a lesser focus on the Arrowverse at large aside from some Earth X versions of the characters as well as a couple brief camoes from the series. They also don’t get the entire cast to reprise their voices, only Melissa Benoist for the alternate Supergirl and Carlos Valdez as Cisco. The movie is a decent distraction and does have its own unique take on pride, but there’s not really anything too special about it.Read the rest of this entry
Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2019
I’ve seen every animated Batman movie that they’ve made so far and I grew up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and live action movies. And while I haven’t followed up with many of the later series, the original Turtles cartoon still has a place in my heart and plenty of others so that the references often feel like they’re coming from the original rather than the later iterations. And while I was expecting this to be more of a younger skewed film where the Turtles would kid up the Batman, instead it actually seemed to go the other direction where Batman made the Turtles story a bit darker than usual. There was still a bit of meeting in the middle where the teenage comedy of the Turtles lightened up the Batman story and villains and made this an overall enjoyable watch. And as this is still a relatively new release, there will be spoilers from here on out so be warned.Read the rest of this entry
Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight 2008
This is the second to last documentary style special that’s available to watch on the DC Universe streaming app, two of them were connected to Superman Returns and this was the second one that was attached to the Dark Knight. One of the interesting things that I noticed about the three that I’ve watched so far, and I believe it continues onto the last one, is how differently they handle their source material. In the Superman special, it embraced all sorts of different variations of Superman across movies and television. But the two Dark Knight specials seemingly prefer to completely ignore Batman’s past outside of the comic books and only show clips from Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. Just like the previous two specials, this has a mix of interviews, clips from the first two Nolan movies, and comic book style graphics as they discuss different aspects of Batman’s personality as well as some of his villains and how they relate to psychology. It’s fun, but similar to Batman Tech, it felt less like a stand alone documentary, and more like just promotion for the Dark Knight.
The Science of Superman 2006
One of the shows that I used to enjoy when I was a kid was the early programming of the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel back before they became the go-to channel for reality TV freak shows. There were plenty of shows on those two channels that were full of cutting edge technology and the like and in a way, this special follows that format. And while it does remind me of the Batman Tech special that I watched on the DC Universe app a couple weeks ago, where that felt very much like the promotional material for the Dark Knight that it was, while this was released in a similar way as Batman Tech, being shown on the National Geographic channel the day after the theatrical release, it really spread out the clips used between all sorts of Superman shows and cartoons alongside a fair amount of Superman Returns clips. It also helps that it was inspired by an actual book of the same name and they included the author alongside several of those interviewed for the special. Overall, it was a pretty good doc with a lot of interesting information and theories backed up by the shows and comic books of Superman that weren’t just Superman Returns.
Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics 2010
There’s still a few more DC comics based documentaries on the DC Universe streaming app that I haven’t watched yet so I did a quick little Twitter poll to see which one I should check out next and this one won. I didn’t really know anything about this specific documentary but I pretty much assumed that it would cover the history of DC comics, which it did in a much better way than I anticipated. It was full of comics artwork, film and TV clips, and interviews and archival footage with many different important personalities in comics. The story that the film told was mixed with information that I already knew about sprinkled with some that I didn’t. It was interesting, informative, and entertaining. And even though it specifically calls him out on the poster, I didn’t realize that Ryan Reynolds narrated the doc until I saw his name on the end credits, and this film would be right around the time where he was filming Green Lantern.
DC Superhero Girls: Legends of Atlantis 2018
If you like what I’m doing here, please take a moment and consider joining my Patreon so I can find more lesser known superhero and comic book movies to review here. I’m almost done with my month of Aquaman with the last official DC movie featuring the underwater hero. There is one more indie Aquaman-like movie, at least it appears to be based on the synopsis. But besides all that, this is yet another DC Superhero Girls movie and likely the last one before they switched styles yet again for the new Cartoon Network series. They have all been on the same level of quality with a large number of women heroes along with an overall message of friendship and acceptance. This one is no different and it includes Mera and her sister Siren for an underwater battle with a mere cameo from a teenaged Aquaman.
Justice League vs the Fatal Five
I’m a couple weeks into my 5-week trial of DC Universe and it’s a nice benefit that at least some of their home video releases are also being released on their streaming app the same day as their physical release date. I was a big fan of the Batman animated series as well as Superman the animated series but I fell out of cartoons before I was able to follow them to Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. And it was nice as it always is despite repeated assurances that he will retire the voice to see Kevin Conroy back as the voice of Batman along with the Justice League animated series voices for Superman and Wonder Woman. I had a few doubts considering that the last time they redid this style of animation was the disappointing Batman and Harley Quinn, but I’m pleased to say that they got things right this time around. There was still just a slight disconnect because they moved away from the kids series tone and brought it into a much harder PG-13 in terms of the violence and language, but it also just felt like a slightly more grown up version of the animated series, serieses, series’s, the multiple series. And as with every film I review, I will be discussing it in full so here is your spoiler warning.
#47: The Killing Joke
The Day The Clown Died?
We’re back and ready to review another superhero film. And we’ve already covered 3 Bat-related movies, so naturally we’re on to another one! But this one is the first animated film we’ve covered, so let’s see if it holds up to the others (not a particularly high bar, but still)! And this, more than any we’ve covered so far, will have SPOILERS. So fair warning.
I knew a bit about this story before I hit play. I’ve gained a fair bit of comic knowledge through general osmosis, be it from friends or the inter-webs. So I came into this film already knowing the ending. I also know that the backstory that we get for The Joker in this film has been one of many woven throughout the years, and as such is not definitive canon. However, for the critique of this film, we shall assume that what we were shown is what the directors intended to be the truth for their characters. So, let’s see what’s what.Read the rest of this entry