Superman: Man of Tomorrow Review

Superman: Man of Tomorrow opens a new chapter for the DC animated universe, telling the character’s all familiar origin story but with a fresh spin throwing in some badass villains.

This movie doesn’t focus too much on Clark’s early years and instead practically throws us straight into the action. Darren Criss voices the man of steel and his talents give us a fresh faced, younger hero than we may have seen before. We see him experience pivotal moments such as starting work at The Daily Planet, meeting Lois Lane and being presented with his super suit, which was one of the highlights of the movie. We definitely need more Darren as Superman!

As much as we all love Superman, the villains really compliment each other well, all bringing something different for Superman to battle. The arrival of bounty hunter, Lobo (Ryan Hurst) gives Superman a chance to explore his powers. Lobo is a fantastic character and as big as the threat he poses when he arrives on Earth, the humour he brings almost has you willing him to succeed. Ryan Hurst does a truly fantastic job. The evolution of Parasite (Brett Dalton) plays out so well and really does convey the aspect that villains aren’t always ALL bad. What I especially liked about having Parasite in this movie is that it introduced an element of horror to it. Of course it wouldn’t be a Superman movie without Lex Luthor. Zachary Quinto does a great job in portraying a sneaky, scheming, slithering Lex.

As action packed as Man of Tomorrow is, there are some emotionally fuelled moments thrown in. Superman’s relationship with Martian Manhunter (Ike Amadi) is another real highlight of the movie and there’s a big moment which will have you gasping and maybe even shedding a tear. The initial sparks between Superman/ Clark and Lois Lane (Alexandra Daddario) are captured brilliantly too.

Overall, Man of Tomorrow is really enjoyable. It has heart, humour, hijinks and even a little nudity which will keep you entertained and the vocal talent really is superb. More importantly it leaves you feeling like Superman really is the man of tomorrow.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow, available on digital download Now and Blu-ray™, DVD & Limited-Edition Blu-ray™ with Mini-Figure September 7th.

Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons Review

So, the first things that needs to be said is Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons is most definitely not for children, of course the 15 rating points towards that but sometimes that’s not enough when something is animated, so I will take the moment to say this movie is NOT FOR KIDS!! It is super bloody, gory and a bit sweary and i’ll be honest, it needs to be!

Deathstroke/Slade Wilson is a brutal character, a mercenary, a killer for hire, someone who will do anything to get the job done and this movie shows it in all its blood covered glory! But thats not really what this movie is about, its just the red icing on the cake if you wish!

I loved this movie, I like it when a DC film focuses on one character and delves deep into the character, while Deathstroke may be a long time rival of the Teen Titans and then Batman, none of these characters make an appearance, this is Slade’s film and its all the better for it. Deathstroke is your classic Anti-hero rather than out and out villain and even tho he may have no remorse in killing people in his way he still tries to do what he believes is right, like he’ll cut your arm off but only if you’re a really bad dude otherwise you might just get a little bit of a stabbing.

Knights & Dragons focuses on Slade Wilson, his family and how becoming Deathstroke impacts his life and the decisions he makes, it’s a great story and really opens up who he is and more importantly, who he should be. Knowing a lot about Deathstroke’s background gave me an idea of where things were going in this film but also took them in a new direction and I really enjoy that in these films, you think you know everything then they throw you a curve ball and you go ohhhhhhh! But also you can come into this not knowing anything and by the end of it you know exactly who Deathstroke The Terminator is.

The art style in this movie is lush, it feels very Batman The Animated Series but on another level and there’s this really cool effect where in some scenes with like a lot of sky or block of colour it has dots across it like it would be if it were a comic book and I really like that touch. Michael Chiklis as Slade Wilson is great, his gruff voice really matches that old worn face and is quite threatening coming from behind a mask and its awesome having DC Alumni Colin Salmon as Wintergreen, Colin was also Walter Steele on Arrow and Zod on Krypton!

All in all Deathstroke Knights & Dragons is a great addition to the DC Animated Universe and I hope we get more of these character focused films going forward!

Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons is available on Digital Download now, and Blu-Ray™ & DVD on August 17th Pre-Order it here at the WB Store

Also we are giving away 2 copies of it on Blu-Ray™ for your chance to WIN check out our post here

 

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Review

Magic can be such a bitch.. – John Constantine

So here we are, the final film in the DCAU series that started with Flashpoint Paradox, challenged for the Throne of Atlantis, dealt with some Bad Blood, survived a Judas contract and went through a Reign of Supermen is here in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. Its been 7 years and 15 films in the series building to this epic finale and I promise you this film is EPIC!!

There will be no spoilers in this review because I think you need to watch this film, so just a quick synopsis of where we’re at, Darkseid is coming, his plan to take over the universe is in full affect and his parademons have been upgraded! The Justice League with help from all their new members including John Constantine are planning an all out attack on War World to end Darkseid’s reign of terror for good, but are they jumping in at the deep end without a rope and what happens when you attack someone who knows every move you’re about to make…..

So this being a Justice League Dark movie this doesn’t exactly focus on the main Justice League as such, like the first Justice League Dark movie (find our recap of that movie here) Constantine is the main character for this movie once again voiced by the amazing Matt Ryan reprising his role from previous films and of course playing Constantine in the Arrowverse’s Legends of Tomorrow, Matt just gets this character and you can tell he enjoys every minute of it and in these films there’s always a little more crazy magic than you can expect on a TV show and he just revels in it, along with Constantine is Etrigan The Demon and Zatanna as expected in the magical realm of the JLA Dark but due to enormity of the challenge they face they are joined by a whole slew of other characters from across the DC Universe, that’s one thing I really love about these films, you get to see how all these different characters that you wouldn’t normally put together interact with each other. Things happen in this film that blew me away, totally came out of left field and floored me, I had no idea what was going to happen next and that’s what made me love it.

The voice acting in this as usual is phenomenal I’ve already mention Matt Ryan as Constantine but others reprise their roles like Jerry O’Connel as Superman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Jason O’Mara as Batman and of course Tony Todd as Darkseid, who already has DC cred as the voice of Zoom in The CWs The Flash. But that’s not all of the heavy hitters you have Nathan Fillion, Rainn Wilson, Rebecca Romijn and Sean Astin to name a few, this film is stacked with star voice power and they all do it so very well. Also shout-out to John DiMaggio as King Shark who is a shark…

If you’re like me and you’ve kept up with this film series you’ll know how amazing they’ve been and how DC and Warner Bros have just been knocking them out the park and this film is no different, the level of insanity is ramped up so much that so many times while watching this i kept saying ‘Holy crap!!!’ I loved every minute of it. So m I happy with this finale? Absolutely! it was a suitably epic finish to an incredible story and journey! Am I happy its over? No I wish they could continue this universe but I get they want to go to different places, do different things and I’m all for that too, as long as DC and WB keep making animated movies I’m going to keep enjoying each and every one!

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is out now to own on Digital and on Blu-ray/DVD on Monday (18th May) Pre-Order here at Warner Bros Store UK

 

 

The Many Deaths Of Superman

Note: this isn’t a straight up review of the animated movie, but a more casual editorial that bridges between watching this movie, and my regular column for Superman: The Animated Series.

I have been struggling with wider comic book culture this past year. We have seen some pretty monumental and culturally significant adaptations hit various screens lately, whether it be a big movie blockbuster, small screen serial cartoon, or the comic books you likely read on your tablet or phone. This is amazing, because finally, validation, but I have also learned in the past year, that I have largely outgrown comic book adaptations. Now please, don’t get me wrong; I’m not being critical of the genres or the finished products, I’m being critical of myself as a fan.

Increasingly I find myself critiquing television and movies from the point of storytelling and writing. Scripted television I barely watch, so when I do, it’s something exceptional, but it’s exceptional in how it tells the story, builds its universes and develops its characters.

To bring this idea back to comic books, this continual universe building and character development is what makes me love this genre as much as I do. It has more flexibility than movies or television in terms of what it can show us and how, but also in ways better than fiction prose; if you don’t get to it in this 22 page issue, you have the next one. Comic books are almost nearly unique in manner, in today’s media.

However, when you start tweaking what you’ve already done, I seem to have a problem with it. Yes, I’m a purist. I want a literal interpretation from print to screen, if you’re going to do it. And I know that automatically sets me up for failure, because I may or may not give the final product the artistic credit it deserves, because literal interpretations are… literally impossible to do on the large or small screen.

My editor and friend, Jim, convinced me last year that I really needed to watch the “new” Death and Return of Superman animated movie. I say “new”, because for those who like to forget that it exists, DC tried an adaptation back in 2007 with Superman: Doomsday.

Here’s the thing; I liked that original adaptation a lot. Still do. And this is why: it took the essence of the storyline and made something new out of it entirely. This I can respect, even if I don’t like the finished product. Did I want a direct adaptation of the mega storyline? Of course I did! It was 2007. I had zero hopes of ever seeing a live action slug-out between Superman and Doomsday. Ironically, the only thing I will ever credit Zack Snyder for doing. Okay, that and casting Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and finally giving Amy Adams a shot at Lois Lane (but then giving her nothing to do). Superman: Doomsday may not be a perfect comic book adaptation or even animated movie, but it tried.

The more recent Death and Return of Superman is something I have in fact watched! Jim successfully convinced me to watch it… well, got the idea in my head, with my procrastination levels, it took me another nine months to get around watching it. What are my thoughts about it? Superb! Voice acting is fantastic, the visuals are out of this world and from a storytelling point of view, clings a bit closer to the the source material. Do I have problems with it? Sure do! The member’s of the Justice League, the handling go the Lois/Clark “relationship”, and well… the entire ending (but in their defence… maybe that creative license was needed). Despite my gripes towards it, it is a solid adaptation, and one I do recommend watching. My favourite? Far from it. Better than Superman: Doomsday? No, but that is because I recognize them as two different entities, products of their time.

Watching this movie has helped me figure out how to come back for Superman: The Animated Series season two. It’s truly made me appreciate what the Timmverse is, from Batman: The Animated Series all the way to movies like Superman: Doomsday… because remember, Superman: Doomsday is a Bruce Timm produced film, while Death and Return of Superman is branded under the DC Animated Movie Universe (but there is known overlap between the two groups).

Stay tuned for a wrap-up of Superman: The Animated Series season one (finally!), before we get right into season two!

Superman Red Son Review

Superman Red Son is an amazing Elseworlds story, these are stories that take place outside of the normal comic continuity so lots of different scenarios can be played out, where you can change just one thing and the entire DC Universe is turned on its head, in this instance its ‘What would happen if Superman landed in Russia instead of Smallville in 1946? The answer is a Superman controlled by Stalin with the interests of Mother Russia at his forefront and the US with Lex Luthor as their President married to Lois Lane, throw in Wonder Woman and Batman but not as you know them and you have an incredible animated movie!

I’m a big fan of the original comic it’s up there with Kingdom Come and Superman: The Dark Side as my favourite Elseworlds stories, so when I heard they were making it into an animated movie I was super excited, then when I heard the cast list I was intrigued even more so, Jason Isaacs as Superman, Amy Acker as Lois Lane and Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor this is a departure from the norm for the DC animated movies and it makes perfect sense, this isn’t the main canon of animated movies, this is set outside of that in a completely different time and it’s awesome!

This movie, kind of like the adaptation of Batman: Hush, takes a detour from the original comic throwing in different story elements and removing other parts and I really like it for that, it means that for people like me that have read the comic a ton something new still, something interesting, so you genuinely don’t know where its going and likewise anyone who then goes to read the comic after seeing this get another experience.

I love the DC animated movies and this is another smash hit, well written, incredibly animated and this one in particular is very thought provoking!

In my eyes Sam Liu, Director of Red Son, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, Death of Superman, Teen Titans: Judas Contract among many others, can do no wrong, he just gets it, he gets these characters and he gets the worlds they inhabit and I’m a big fan, more of the same please Sam, thank you!

The next animated movie has been announced as Justice League Dark: Apokolips War which will continue the current continuity and it looks awesome! Maybe after that that could do another Elseworlds story, animated Kingdom Come anyone?? Come on WB you know it makes sense 😀

Superman Red Son is out now (16th March) to own on Digital and Blu-ray/DVD pick up your copy here at Warner Bros Store UK