Starting with the 2014 direct-to-video animated movie Justice League War, Warner Bros. Animation has slowly, but surely, been crafting their DC Animated Universe. Each of the films since then has been introducing new elements of the Justice League and Batman continuities while utilizing the same voice actors, directors, and storyboard teams. The latest and, in my opinion, best entry to this series is Justice League vs. Teen Titans. This film ties together the stories of the newly formed Justice league as well as the continuing saga of Batman’s son and new Robin, Damian Wayne. The film follows Damian as he joins the Teen Titans and must learn what it means to be a part of a team and a family as dark secrets of Raven’s past threaten to tear the Titans apart.
What do you do when you have a compulsive need to catalog and collect all the planets in the universe, and the slot on your alphabetized shelf between “Db” and “Ea” is woefully empty? You head for Earth, of course. And, if you are a super-intelligent (albeit insane) extraterrestrial android named Brainiac, you won’t expect anyone or anything to be able to stop you.
The DC Animated films have long been praised among geeks as some of the best representations of the DCU ever brought from page to screen, and their latest release, Batman: Bad Blood, is another example of the craft and care put into these high-quality adaptations and original adventures. Batman: Bad Blood is also one more rock-solid chapter in DC Animated’s episodic film installments set in a New 52-esque universe. Bringing the conflicted Nightwing front and center and expanding the Bat Family in new and exciting ways, Batman: Bad Blood is sure to please Batman fans with no only its action-packed plot, but the future potential it builds and bestows upon future releases.
Every eve, of every hallow.
From the hilariously twisted mind of James Roday (Shawn Spencer, Psych) comes Gravy, a movie about a trio of costumed misfits with very special dietary requirements who seize a Mexican cantina and force the staff to engage in a late night of gaming, food, and libations. The only caveat is what's on the menu.
It’s Halloween in Gotham, and there’s been a breakout at Arkham Asylum. I think the Gotham news agencies can just go ahead and save that headline for use every Halloween . . . and most every other day, as well. This particular breakout involves Silver Banshee and Solomon Grundy, who immediately take to the streets to wreak . . . yep, you guessed it . . . mayhem. It soon becomes clear, however, that these two have been set free with a purpose in mind, and it comes as little shock (SLIGHT SPOILER, but only if you’ve never seen any kind of Batman anything ever) that someone whose name rhymes with “The Croaker” is orchestrating things from behind the scenes.
A good LEGO movie is composed of a never-ending stream of puns, physical gags, hidden references, and fun for both kids and adults. I recently tested out all of these elements in a family viewing of Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom with my 8-year-old son and (age redacted) husband.
Dark, alternate universes are nothing new to the comic book genre, but there does always seem to be something exciting about a new, dark, alternate universe featuring your favorite superheroes. That type of Elseworlds thrill is exactly what Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and the rest of the cast and crew have crafted with the latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Justice League: Gods and Monsters. Featuring an impressively talented cast and completely new takes on the iconic characters of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and many others, Gods and Monsters continues the “winning streak” of quality superhero stories that DC Animated seems destined to deliver.
After hearing about the animated film, Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery, my initial reaction was to wonder how it has taken 40 years for this team-up to happen. One is a group of colorful characters who have been entertaining children of all ages for generations, and the other is a marketing juggernaut that has become one of the most iconic brands around . . . I will let you decide which one is which.
"Hello, my name is Frank. I have Tourette’s.” This is the nametag that Frank (Garrett M. Brown) wears constantly in the film of the same name to explain to strangers why he sporadically bursts into profanity and occasionally barks like a dog. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work very well, and he’s still frequently ostracized for something that he can’t help.
How do you find happiness? What do you do about regret? What would you do if you had a chance to change a single mistake in your life? These are some of the questions explored in the quirky and fun Welcome to Happiness, which screened at Dances With Films on Sunday.