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|Index||19 reviews in total|
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are finally seeing actual story and art
continuity in the DC animated movies! Yes SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE
was the follow-up to SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES, but they looked
so different that you would think they were unrelated. JUSTICE LEAGUE:
DOOM feels and looks like an actual "episode 2" following "JUSTICE
LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS". Same writer, same voices, same art
style, same music, same character we used to know and love. Loved by
all, except their enemies.
The enemies of the Justice League, led by the immortal Vandal Savage have formulated a clandestine plan to eliminate the superheroes. One by one, they manage to turn the heroes' strengths against themselves, prey on their physical and psychological weaknesses, and effectively put them out of commission. Even worse is the revelation that this plan was initially concocted by one of the League's own members. It does not stop here however. Vandal Savage, convinced that humanity is its own virus, intends to wipe out half the population of earth and return the world to a new stone age. He and his allies would then rule the survivors and bring order to the planet. But nobody counted on the last minute intervention by Cyborg, an up and coming superhero most would remember as one of the Teen Titans.
Loosely adapted from Mark Waid's "JLA: Tower of Babel" story arc, JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM really gets into the minds of our favorite heroes. In its short run time, we get to experience our heroes' insecurities, weaknesses, fears, but also get to see how they overcome those limitations individually and as a team. That is what separates heroes from just people with superpowers! Voice acting is awesome as usual and as always it is a treat to hear most of the cast of the Justice League animated series in their respective roles again. So memorable are the performances of Kevin Conroy, Tim Daley, Susan Eisenberg, Carl Lumbly and Michael rosenbaum that whenever most people open a comic book, it is their voices they hear as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter and Flash respectively. Nathan Fillon reprises his Green Lantern role from Emerald Knights, another refreshing attempt at a continuity nod. One funny thing though, Tim Daley's voice seems to have deepened to the level of Kevin Conroy's 90s era Batman voice.
Snappy, naturally flowing dialogue complements the terrific cast chemistry. With a brisk pace that never lets up on the tension, Justice League: Doom could have been a near perfect score. Something HAS to ruin that and sadly in this case, it is the art and animation.
Animation is a little bit disappointing, looking more like a high budget TV series than a movie standard. Aside from a few outstanding scenes, particularly the battle sequences, the animation is nowhere near the fluidity of, say, Batman Year One or All Star Superman. The Japanese anime-ish style is strongest now more thanks to Telecom Animation Film, a Japanese anime company who's credits include BRAVE STORY, TIDE LINE BLUE and, believe it or not, later episodes of INUYASHA.
Not that its bad, in fact it is good. The characters look really hot but sometimes you get anime-styled facial expressions creeping in and that just looks..........weird. Designs aside, the level of detail in the artwork is just one big let down. Other than tights, there is no reason why civilian clothing or even capes have no folds in them at all. Even worse is how weapons and cybernetics are drawn. Many of Cyborg's robot parts, particularly his face plating, looks like face paint.
One gets the feeling that most time and effort went into this year's BATMAN YEAR ONE and JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM was produced merely as a "side project" since they had Dwayne McDuffie's exceptional script lying around. No point of it going to waste. Anyhow, should Warner Premiere decide to create an entire Justice League movie series, pumping just a bit more money and effort into the animation production would help things a lot. They already have top notch writing and acting talent, veteran producers and directors who respect the DC comics. No point mucking things up with mediocre technicalities.
Justice League: Doom, could as well be tagged Justice League:
Contingency plan, because literally that was what it was all about.
What justice league is complete without the Bat, being totally involved? This wasn't an exception as it was all based on the contingency plan of the Bat falling into the wrong hands.
Mark Waid-penned JLA story arc, "JLA: Tower of Babel" where the Legion of Doom is formed to eliminate the Justice League using protocols created by Batman to take down the group should any member ever go rogue.
The movie was adapted and written by Dwayne McDuffie whose notably works include Ben 10, Static Shock, writing and producing the animated series Justice League Unlimited. Dwayne wrote this adaptation shortly before his death in February 2011 at age 48.
Directed by Lauren Montgomery, who also directed the animated version of Wonder woman, Green Lantern: First Flight, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.
Lauren took the Dwayne adaptation of tower of Babel, and brought about JL: Doom, which I have to add is one of the best, Direct to DVD movies DC has released (behind Superman and Batman: Public Enemies of course).
But what else can I add without spoiling the movie for you, let's see ..
The voice actors were from the old series (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights) all reprising their roles, from Tim Daly as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman but to say a few, this made you feel at home and comfortable. By DC using former voice actors you don't feel alienated by any of the characters.
I believe DC went all the way to make sure the movie was perfect.
Phil Morris played the voice acting for the villain Vandal Savage, who was tired of the world and her ways and decided to end it all, and be the ruler of what is remaining. Wonder when villains will try something else other than take over the world. But no matter how much they try, it never gets old to see the Bat and Sup, take them down.
The animation and art style is, exquisite and you get to enjoy it.
All in all in this short review, all I can say is buy and watch this whether you are a fan of the DC comics or not, a fan of cartoons or not, this is a movie made for everyone. it gets my 7.
'Tower of Babel' was one of the earliest JLA story arcs I'd read and as
such I was especially interested in how this story would translate to
animation. The premise of the story is both simple and yet intriguing-
Batman has secretly devised stratagems to neutralize his fellow Justice
League members in case any of them turned rogue. When his files are
stolen however and used against his teammates, the League is forced to
confront the fact that the architect of their near-destruction is in
fact one of their own...It's a compelling story which has serious
ethical dimensions to it as well (not to mention some great action and
While 'JL:Doom' is a loose adaptation, it remains faithful to the spirit of the story. Replacing Ras al Ghul with Vandal Savage, as the main villain, was a great move IMO, as I think Ras works much better as a purely Batman villain. The Legion of Doom was a great nod to the old Superfriends cartoons (kudos to them for including an arch-nemesis to Martian Manhunter, who normally gets left it in this particular area!) I was also glad they found a way to include Cyborg without making it seem contrived or making him feel like a token minority character! The other characterisations were all great (Flash came across far too much like Wally West, than like Barry Allen...but I guess than can be excused given that the voice actor is the one who played Wally in JLU). If there is one gripe I had, its that I felt there could have been more discussion of the ethical implications of Batman's actions among the League, but I guess that wouldn't have fit within the alloted run- time...
On the whole, a great addition to the animated DTV's stable...looking forward to the next one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
PROS 1.Voice Acting 2.Emotional resonance 3.The Villains 4.Cyborg CONS
1.The plans 2.How they 'saved the day' 3.You need to know the back
**Read on for more details and SPOILERS **
First of, this is an adaption of Mark Waid's famous 'Tower of Babel' storyline in which Ra's Al Ghul, Extremist nature lover, desires to destroy humanity or at least most of it so that the world is a better place.In this movie, Vandal Savage( I think they wanted this to tie in with Young Justice where he is the primary antagonist for season 1) wan't to destroy 2/3rds of humanity with a solar flare so he can rule over the rest.
Problem: The Justice League
Solution: Steal Batman's files on how to deal with the Justice League.
Now the main plot is out of the way, I'll get straight to the pros and cons.
1.Yes, they're back.Conroy is THE BATMAN and Fillion has made Hal Jordan his own.The rest are good enough but the Flash sound more like wally than Barry.Overall,it's great.The villains are also done well with special mention to Bane and Savage.
2.Batman's love for his dead parents, Superman's desire to help others, Martian Manhunter's need to socialize, Flash's need to protect his family, Wonder Woman's fighting instinct and Green Lantern's concern over wielding the most powerful weapon in the galaxy all come through naturally enough to be their downfall. Through Lantern's plan was the most confusing, Fillion made it the most poignant of them all.
3.Bane for Batman(with a little of Knightfall 'I broke the bat' put in), Metallo with Superman and Star Saphire/ Carol Ferris for Green Lantern - all great choices. I think Circe may have been a better match for Wonder Woman. But all in all, if you read comics and know your heroes, you will love the pairings.
4.Cyborg was a great addition. Someone with technological knowledge better than batman is always welcome and I loved how he was the flaw in the plans along with batman being alive. An he seemed to be fitting in nicely with the story, and did not stick out like a sore thumb.
1.The plans: While Batman's and Martian Manhunter's were copied, the rest left me somewhat flummoxed. Especially Green Lantern's. Yes it all sounded great in Batman's mouth, but how could all that had happened be orchestrated?Why use robots?And those rebels and hostages - were they robots or real people who died?AARGH!Wonder woman ripping off Cyborg's arm was nice though. And who made the modifications to the plans? Some seemed Savage's and some seemed like the respective villains(You demoralize Green Lantern and bury Batman?YOU DON'T KILL THEM).Real confusing. Flash's bomb goes off if you slow down and Wonder Woman's hallucinations to keep her fighting were both derived from the comics.
2.Ra's plans in the book involved robbing speech and using germ warfare. That was stoppable. Here? The sun kills the earth! HOW THE HELL CAN U STOP THAT?Easy make the earth transparent.Huh?In 8 minutes, they managed to power up the villains transparent layer using the WatchTower and rendered the earth transparent.Huh?Earth saved?A resolution for resolution's sake.
3.Now the major problem.YOU WILL NOT GET THE MOVIE IF YOU DON'T READ THE COMICS.The pairings are the major points of this movie.If you know the heroes and the villains, you will enjoy almost 90% of the movie. And if you know nothing or are a basic reader, you will be lost for the majority of the film. Only Savage is given a back story. For the rest, read the comics and then watch.
In all, a good solid DC movie that could have been better, given the great source material.
Bottom line, this is an workhorse story and animation with great voice
acting. Kids will enjoy it, adults might if they shut their brain off a
Andrea Romano once again assembles the A-list of voice actors - most of the original Justice League cast is back, and for that I'm thankful - the exception is a Nathan Fillion voiced Green Lantern (probably trying to tie in with the recent movie spin offs). He does a good job. Also, Cyborg is added to the mix (perhaps to promote his new role in the comic?).
The character design is solid, unlike some of the other DCAU entries (I'm looking at you Death of Superman).
Unless I am mistaken, they reused the theme from "Crisis on 2 Earths" for the opening sequence - this is kind of a quibble, as I'd say it's the most epic theme ever written for any of the DCAU titles - but seriously, give this composer more work, he is awesome.
I hesitate to call this "bad" but the story is a bit "meh". The Legion of Doom is assembled of mostly C-list villains, headed by Vandal Savage. I don't have a problem with pulling some of the more obscure DC characters out, but none of these villains is particularly well characterized (this is a criticism of the script NOT the voice acting, which is well done). The strength of the story comes in the grudging relationship between Batman and the Justice League and also his relationship with Superman. It is a bit weak in the transition to the 3rd act, making the villains look remarkably short sighted, this could have been handled better. It seems a bit dumb to make these DCAU titles PG 13, having the villains threaten and kill people occasionally, but have their evil plans strictly G rated.
I'm not sure if it's a function of the story-boarding or direction, but the scenes are kind of workhorse, lacking the incredible dynamism demonstrated in "Shazam and Superman: Return of Black Adam" and the accompanying shorts, directed by Joaquim Dos Santos It would be nice if these animated "movies" felt more like movies - bigger, better action than we get from typical animated TV shows. Bruce Timm and company set a pretty high bar years ago, if all else fails, get Dos Santos to consult.
While this is not horrible, a similar story was done before in the Justice League TV show, and I would say it was done better in Season 1, "Injustice for All" and especially in Season 2, "Secret Society", which I think was also written better, with better action.
Overall, it's great to hear the original (perfect) voice cast back, just wish this entry brought a little more "boom" with them.
I'm not a massive fan of comic books but I have found myself reading
more of those considered "classics" as I have had more access to them
than before and it has made me more interested in the genre. This has
also led to occasionally checking out some of the animated films
featuring the characters and brought me to this film. I don't think
I've read much featuring the Justice League together as an entity and
when I started watching I was a little bit put off that it included
characters that I didn't particularly care for (mostly, in fairness,
because I've never given them much of a chance, don't know them or have
decided that based on rubbish film versions of them).
Once it got going though the film was actually pretty enjoyable. It spread the load across all the characters, giving each enough action and time to fill but not too much to overload anyone or make any of them stand out as the lead. The plot is relatively straightforward but it does produce plenty of events and action and I found it pretty entertaining for what it was. The animation is colorful and accessible personally I prefer it darker and with more menace, but again it worked for what it was. The voice cast are strong throughout Conroy as ever but I really enjoyed Fillion, Lumby, Rosenbaum, Black, Blackthorne and many others in there, not only are they good nods to other things but they are good here.
This is still an animated superhero film though and as such it is bright, full of action and fairly simple in terms of plotting and delivery; it does work though and I found it entertaining and enjoyable throughout the short running time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i was a fan of the crisis in two earths, it was kind of stupid in some
parts but i thought it was brilliant (spoilers OWLMAN WAS AWESOME).
This movie was good but i thought it could have been much better. The
villains could have killed the whole league and i would have liked to
see the plans done better. The plan to kill the league was good but
very poor executed. It would have been awesome to see the league
fighting a real real threat. anyway I'm just nitpicking, it was good
fun. but i want to see more under the red hood material, not just
because of the dark theme, but the writing was better too. thats it
Spoilers!!! The legion of doom sucks, bane was a pussy, what did he expected when he chose not to kill batman? star fire could have killed green lantern but she pussied out, cheetah didn't wait to see if wonder woman died? NOBODY waited to see what happened to the members of the league, only mirror master did good but he could have done it better...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*****Spoiler****** Instead of describing the whole pros and cons, I
just wanted to ask if anybody noted a technical error in the movie.
In the final phase of the movie, it was said that the destroyer rays would come to earth with a speed of light so it would take 8 minutes for it to reach earth and definitely so(Light takes 8 min to reach Earth from Sun). But, how in this world did Superman reached earth(from Sun) in just 1 min and informed everybody that they have 7 minutes? Not unless he flies 8 times faster than speed of light.
Another point that I want to make is: you can never see anything that is coming at the speed of light towards yourself(there is a logical reason), still everybody was easily able to see the beam of light coming towards them(this is impossible in real life).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
plot is simple enough. Vandal Savage wants to take over the world, but
needs to eliminate the Justice League to do it. So he hacks into the
contingency plans Batman came up with in case any of them ever went
rogue. The film is full of some great fight scenes and a bit of over
the top goodness.
Back are the voice actors from the original DC Justice League series, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman, with Nathan Fillion playing the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Oddly, the Barry Allen Flash has the same voice as Wally West. Some of the villain voicework is quite good as well, definitely worth watching.
The animation was done in Japan, but it isn't really over the top with that "anime" style.
The villain choices were interesting enough. Cheetah against Wonder Woman, and Star Sapphire against GL. Okay, I get those picks. Metallo and Bane? Meh, not so much. Although I guess they couldn't have thrown in Joker and Lex Luthor without it being real obvious.
Right away, I will admit it makes the same conceits as all superhero
narratives. It's a bit convoluted, the plot loops around the same
megalomania and way-too-huge everything. In general, the visuals are
pleasing in pretty much every aspect. The backgrounds fantastic, the
character designs are sharp and fun to watch, from background schmoes
to heroes, even the villains. The fight scenes are dynamic, fluid, and
feel... fighty. Claudia Black's voice on that Cheetah? Nathan Fillion
as Hal Jordan? I've never been one for cheesecake but oh my god, yes.
Yes! I'd go into more detail but that'd be creepy.
On a lighter side of the same note, the voice actors/actresses are the same ones from the series, which more or less defined these heroes in my young life, at least in an auditory context. Kevin Conroy shaped my idea of what Batman sounds like, and the parts are acted to a tee- Batman is that not-totally-sinister that we love, Susan Eisenberg is feminine and strong, Carl Lumbly does a good job of being not-quite-human, Michael Rosenbaum... Even the new additions are hitting the mark on every note. Blackthorne, d'Abo, and Denisof aren't instantly recognizable, but that's okay because the bar for dialog isn't set too high (I'll get to that later). Bumper Robinson was never in JL per se, but he was Cyborg in other series (I think) and he's familiar and comfortable. Phil Morris voices Savage kinda like he did Jet Black, but for lack of a better word, more evil. He strips out the more humanizing inflections, adds a dash of entitlement, bam, evil conqueror. After that, anyone who isn't doesn't have a history or get glossed over is kinda typecast. Fillion as a wisecracking yet secretly warmhearted hero? Claudia Black as an alluring and violent femme fatale? Carlos Alazraqui as *anyone Hispanic*- c'mon. It's fun, but no one's out to bust convention.
Writing is... hit or miss. As with all comic book stories, it takes suspension of belief as far as it can run with it. Soft science at best, flimsy logic, motivations that are either simple or petty or both. Superman is the omni-altruist, Wonder Woman is woman warrior, Cyborg as genius bruiser, Flash is cocksure nice guy, Green Lantern is the same with far fewer qualms, Vandal Savage wants power, and any villain can be characterized as "personal vendetta and rhymes with 'glass hole'." There are a couple bright points. Dialogue has its moments of clarity, and Batman. It can't pack much characterization into that little time, it just can't be done- so the best you get is a couple choice snippets.
Star Sapphire is clearly motivated, if simply. Mirror Master has some of the same smartass charm as Flash, if not more. He comes off as a guy who has fun with his job. Cheetah is sharp, but arrogant, and really the only appeal is sex appeal. I'm a young man, so sue me. I saw 99% of all dialog coming a mile away, even Batman's, but they make me squeak with joy because they are that cool. Cheesiness and all.
tl;dr Cheetah's hot, Lantern's hot, everything's cheesy and if you set the bar low it's fun. Don't expect Citizen Kane. If this were any other genre I'd give it a 3/10.
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