Thursday, February 13, 2014

Justice League War
Released on DVD & Blu Ray February 4th, 2014


Jay Oliva

Sean Astin as Shazam (Captain Marvel)
Zach Callison as Billy Batson
Christopher Gorham as Flash / Barry Allen
Justin Kirk as Green Lantern / Hal Jordan
Michelle Monaghan as Wonder Woman
Shemar Moore as Cyborg / Victor Stone
Jason O'Mara as Batman
Alan Tudyk as Superman
Steven Blum as Darkseid / Cyborg's Armor (uncredited) / Ocean Master (uncredited)
Dee Bradley Baker as Parademons / Secret Service Guard (uncredited)
Melique Berger as Sarah Charles
Kimberly Brooks as Darla
Rocky Carroll as Silas Stone
Ioan Gruffudd as Thomas Morrow
Georgie Kidder as Freddy Freeman
John Mariano as Ice Cream Vendor
Richard McGonagle as President of the United States
Matthew Mercer as Guard
George Newbern as Steve Trevor
Andrea Romano as Green Lantern's Ring
Roger Rose as Pinstriped Loudmouth
Gary Sturgis as Teammate #2
Bruce Thomas as Desaad
Hynden Walch as Hannah Grace

Review by Stephen M.

When DC Comics rebooted the DC universe with their new 52, I was a bit skeptical and still am.  I initially read some of the Justice League comic books and a few other DC comics like Batman.  It was not bad per se but I never really got into it.  This new movie just released on DVD, Justice League War is based on the new Justice League of the new 52 back in 2011.  The biggest differences I would say between the new and old is that to start the world population is not as trusting with super heroes.  And in addition, many of the heroes we're used to are relatively new to their powers and abilities like Superman and Cyborg.

In Justice League War, we have the pieces of the Justice League each meeting each other for the first time, fighting together against a common enemy which is Darkseid and his Parademons.  The biggest difference from the comic books is the use of Shazam over Aquaman.  Attending a panel at New York Comic Con in 2013, the reason given is that DC has something big in store for Aquaman coming up which is hinted at in the end of Justice League War.

So what did I think of the movie?  I was not blown away.  I thought it was an underwhelming response, a continue decline in their films that started with their last project Flashpoint.  The animation designs of the characters were good in keeping up with the comic book.  However, the actual animation itself, the motions of the characters and powers like the Flash could have been much better.  In addition, some of the characters just seemed so out of place, like Hal Jordan as the jokester of the group as suppose to the Flash.

My biggest gripe with the film however is when Wonder Woman is called a "whore", and when Green Lantern says "shit."  They may be going for a more mature audience but those alone makes it unwatchable for my seven year old daughter which is a shame because she loves the DC super heroes.  Sure there are more possible worst words they could have used like the F word.  But add that to the countless mundane banter between Hal and Bruce in the movie and it makes it not fun for even adults to watch.  Usually when you have banter like that between opposite personality heroes, it's usually of the comical kind.  But most of the dialogue here, just falls flat.

The saving grace is the amazing fight scene between the five least likely Justice League members to beat Darkseid, actually holding their own against him as a team.  Not counting any of the Justice League of America members from the Detroit team from the comic books of course.  But while fun to watch, I still can't help but gripe that this version of Darkseid is considerably weaker than what comic book fans are used to.  Shazam being able to stand a direct hit from Darkseid's Omega Beam?

Overall, I would still recommend this film, but not to children and not too picky DC fans like me.  It is about the only way to see the super heroes together until they can come out with a live action Justice League that everyone has been clamoring for.  While I hated the banter between GL and Batman, I did like the relationship between Victor and Billy Batson.  What I am really waiting for however is the next installment of DC Animations which is Son of Batman.  The trailers for that look good with Jason O'Mara continuing his role voice actor as Batman.


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