I’ve always been fascinated by the Justice Society of America. The precursor to the Justice League, it featured a number of heroes who have since fallen by the wayside—or taken wildly different forms. Not to mention superheroes against the background of World War II. This film gives us a glimpse into that world, from a modern perspective. It also includes time travel, so, of course, I was excited to review it.
batinthesun is no stranger to the fan film community. Founders Aaron and Sean Shoenke have spent two decades gaining a vast audience who appreciates the wide range of Marvel and DC-themed films, both their serious entries like City of Scars and their comedic series like The Waiting Room. Based in Los Angeles, their access to the entertainment industry has given them the tools that has allowed their work to shine. The production value is top-notch. The character suits authentic. And a familiar face pops up every now and then.
Making an animated Kung Fu movie is a difficult proposition. Martial arts sequences aren’t necessarily as impressive when the participants are drawn instead of real. Therefore, the filmmakers really have to work hard to make sure that those scenes are still compelling, and the film as a whole still keeps the audience engaged. I’m happy to report that Batman: Soul of the Dragon succeeds on that front in spades.
With the final days of this year's virtual HollyShorts Film Festival upon us, it's time to take a look at the top films of the year, as decided by the festival's judges. This is not a comprehensive list of the entire festival, as opinion is subjective, but these were some of the most praised and beloved films of the year. Before I get to the winners category, I want to highlight a few of the films I thought were truly special this year. While many of these films have been mentioned in previous coverage, since it's awards time, I want to give my own awards, too.
There's a lot to love about this year's HollyShorts festival, even in light of its virtual setting. One of the more interesting blocks of this year's festival takes things just a bit further, with multi-genre entries from all over the world. My personal favorites from this block of stunning films will be listed first, with the other entries listed after. All entries were excellent and worth a look.
This year's HollyShorts film festival is massive, with over four hundred entries. In a time when the pandemic is preventing in-person film viewings, the digital festival has something to offer all moviegoers. This year's Thriller block is full of suspense, drama, and plenty of incredible films from all over the globe. As with all of my coverage of the festival, my personal favorites of this block will be listed first, with the others listed bleow. Every film here is worth a look, but my personal favorites really spoke to me in one way or another.
Every year, the technology of filmmaking gets better and better, with visual effects creating incredible landscapes and creatures and exploring all forms of life. As it has progressed, creators have been able to utilize it more and more, perpetuating further developments of the craft. This year's entries for HollyShorts create some stunning work, bringing to life some of the most dazzling creations in modern film. My favorites of the block will be listed first, with the others coming later in this round-up of the Best of VFX.
This year's HollyShorts festival is full of incredible films by many talented creators. While the festival has gone virtual this year, it's an impressive sight to see how many skilled artists brought their work to the world for this year's show. Science fiction is one of the more difficult genres to write for, as the endless possibilities of the future and the fantastical ways things can develop can make it almost too much of a blank slate to capture properly. Thankfully, this year's filmmakers managed to capture the far-fetched, the fantastical, and the emotional in these entries, making this one of the more impressive sets of films at this year's HollyShorts.