TRAILERS- Superman: Man of Tomorrow & Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

So far, it’s been a fantastic year for DC Animated Movies. First, we got the excellent adaptation of the classic Superman graphic novel, Superman: Red Son. Which is one of the best movies DC Animation has put out in years. Then just a few months ago with the release of Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, which was a bleak, bloody, action packed, funny, thrill ride, that utterly destroyed the interconnected DC Animated Universe that has been spread over 11 or 12 movies. DC Animation was doing their own version of the MCU with some (but not all) of their films. and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War was the final film in that series and it was pretty fucking great. Now, we have two more DC Animated Movies to look forward to this summer and they both seem Seri promising in completely different ways. First up, we have our first look at the next DC Animated Movie, Superman: Man of Tomorrow! Take a look at the trailer right here and then I’ll give you a few of my thoughts below…

I’m really digging the vibe of this one. First of all I really like how the animation seems unique from other styles we’ve seen from DC in the past. Also, even though they say this is an original story, this is clearly an adaptation of the excellent, recent Superman miniseries, Superman: American Alien. American Alien is a fantastic graphic novel, so if this is even a loose adaptation, I’m all for it! Plus, I love seeing Superman fight villains like Lobo and Parasite. Bottom line: I’ll be buying a digital copy of this movie it hits iTunes in July. If it’s anywhere near as good as Superman: Red Son and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, I’m sure I’ll buy the Blu-Ray, too.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow will available for digital download on 8/23 and 4K/Blu-Ray on 9/8

The second DC Animated film we can look forward to in the near future, is Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons. This originally appeared as a series of animated shorts on The CW seed app. DC Animation expanded the content and decided to release it as a feature length film, focusing on the DC Universe’s most famous and deadly assassin. Similar successful and entertaining projects have been done with John Constantine and Vixen. It looks damn pretty cool and It certainly is a sharp contrast to Superman a man of tomorrow, it certainly is a sharp contrast to Superman: Man of Tomorrow, take a look at the trailer below:

Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons will be available digitally on 8/4/20 and on 4K/Blu-Ray on 8/18/20

Thanks for reading!

PODCAST: Is Michael Keaton Returning To Play Batman?!!!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Big Paul Sr. returns to the show for a sobering reminder of how aging can lead to a steep cognitive decline! More importantly, we cover the big news of the week: Michael Keaton may be returning to play Batman alongside Ezra Miller’s Flash, in the upcoming Flashpoint movie? The man who many people think is still the best to ever wear the cape and the cowl, returning to the role of The Dark Knight is extremely exciting!

Getting a Flash movie to the big screen has been an enormous struggle for DC and Warner Brothers. The film has already gone through multiple writers/directors and was originally scheduled for release more than two years ago. Barring anymore disasters, The Flash is going to be helmed by Andy Muschietti, who directed the recent hit horror films, IT and IT: Chapter Two. Despite all the drama behind the scenes, one thing has remain constant: The Flash film will be an adaptation of the seminal Flash storyline, Flashpoint.

Written by Geoff Johns with art by Andy Kubert, Flashpoint told the story of Barry Allen (The Flash) going back in time to prevent his mothers murder. However, changing this one event has dire and far reaching consequences that Barry never could have foreseen. Barry finds himself in a much darker and dangerous version of the DCU that he knows. Kind of like Back To The Future II. However, one of the most significant and interesting changes is revealed when Barry heads to Wayne Manor to seek out the help of his friend and fellow JL member, Batman. When Barry enters The Batcave, a nearly psychotic Batman attacks him. At which point Barry makes a horrifying discovery, the man underneath the bat cowl is actually Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father! As a result of Barry‘s manipulation of the timeline, one of the major changes effected the creation of The Dark Knight on that fateful night in Crime Alley, in Gotham City all those years ago when The Wayne’s were attacked by a mugger. Bruce was now the one shot and killed, instead of his parents. So Thomas Wayne became Batman. A much more violent and unhinged Batman. Working together, Barry and Thomas Wayne set out to fix the timeline. That’s the set up.

This is just speculation on my part, but like a lot of comic book adaptations of specific stories, I think a lot of liberties will be taken with the source material with this Flashpoint film. A good example is Captain America: Civil War, that story was based on the miniseries Civil War and is vastly different from the source material. So what I think will happen is, maybe instead of an alternate timeline, Barry will enter an alternate universe, like the universe of Tim Burton’s Batman and that’s where he’ll meet and team up with Michael Keaton‘s Dark Knight. Maybe he travels to another alternate universe with Barry, I don’t know how it will work. But you can definitely see how they could fit Michael Keaton’s Batman into a story like this. 

I know DC also wants to use Keaton in a role similar to Nick fury in the MCU, one example that’s been rumored suggests Keaton’s Batman showing up in a Batgirl movie. However, I think if DC and Warner Bros. want to do a film about a young Bat-themed hero, they would be crazy not to adapt Batman Beyond. It works perfectly, an older Bruce Wayne played by Keaton, training Terry McGinnis as the next Batman in futuristic Gotham City. It was a phenomenal TV series and it could be a phenomenal film series, as well. 

Bottom line is, there a lot of thrilling possibilities with Michael Keaton returning to play Batman and all of them are exciting! We get into in all on this episode so, enjoy!

The Flash or Flashpoint (whatever they end up calling it) is currently set to hit theaters on June 3, 2022  

Lastly, DC Animation did an adaptation of Flashpoint, called Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Not only is it one of their best animated films, it’s also one of my favorite superhero movies of all time, period. I highly recommend you checking it out, you can find it on iTunes and other streaming services and I have included a link where you can purchase Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (for pretty damn cheap) on Blu-ray: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/justice-league-the-flashpoint-paradox-blu-ray-2013/9343093.p?skuId=9343093&ref=212&loc=1&ref=212&loc=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3Nv3BRC8ARIsAPh8hgLwh_kLVKQR71iVmaxPM7yK8_G8RZxXtQSCwppslGvgdcOhDdynn2MaAjyHEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/33382238   Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000479658504

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

PODCASTS: DC’s Stargirl (TV Series) Review & Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Review!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

We’ve had a lot of great content on the site lately, so I wasn’t in a rush to post individual pages for the last couple of episodes of The World’s Best Podcast. Regardless, I still wanted to make sure I posted something about the latest episodes of the show. The first episode is my review of the DC Animated Movie, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. The 2nd and latest podcast is my review for the great new DC live-action superhero series, Stargirl. We have the links for both podcasts posted below. I like to go out of my way to create a webpage for each of the episodes of The World’s Best Podcast, so I can add some cool new content, some additional insight into the episode, or bonus material. I have trailers for Justice League Dark: Apokolips War and DC’s Stargirl posted below, along with some interesting stills, photos, and concept images to give you a closer look at the projects I’m reviewing in these 2 episodes. You can check out that content right here.

First up, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War…





Justice League Dark: Apokolips War! Superman and the Justice League decide to take the fight to Darkseid and lose… badly. 2 years later, with many of the heroes dead and Earth decimated by Darkseid’s forces, a desperate and de-powered Clark Kent turns to John Constantine for help with a suicidal plan to end the threat of Darkseid once and for all.

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/28915924 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000476577055

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Next, our latest episode reviewing the new series, DC’s Stargirl!

The new series based on the DC Comics hero, Stargirl created by Geoff Johns, will be airing on The CW and the DC UNIVERSE Streaming Service. The new show stars Brec Bassinger and Luke Wilson, the series also heavily features the heroes and villains from the classic DC comic book, JSA. Over the course of the first season, High School student Courtney Whitmore takes up the mantle of superhero, Stargirl with the help of her stepfather Pat (Luke Wilson), formally an unofficial member of the JSA who wears a giant robot super suit that he built, called S.T.R.I.P.E.

Together they’ll form a new generation of The JSA since the original JSA were killed by The Injustice Society. The society includes villains like Icicle, Solomon Grundy, Sportsmaster, Tigress, Brainwave, and The Dragon King.

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/29775621 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000477050333

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

NEW TRAILERS: Marvel’s Black Widow & Justice League Dark: Apokolips War!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

It’s Movie Trailer Tuesday here at World’s Best Media! We have some new trailers and featurettes from 2 very different, but very cool upcoming superhero movies: Marvel’s Black Widow and the new film from DC Animation, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War!

First up, we have the final trailer for Marvel’s Black Widow, opening May 1st. Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow movie for years and early projections have this film doing big numbers for Marvel.

Personally, I’m most excited to see Taskmaster make his big screen debut. Taskmaster is a mercenary and assassin who can perfectly mimic the fighting style and ability of any combatant he encounters. It was especially cool to see Taskmaster studying the surveillance videos of Natasha’s big fight with the guards at Hammer Industries during the climax of Iron Man 2 (her first appearance in The MCU). We also see Taskmaster breakout moves mimicking the some of the best hand to hand fighters in The MCU, like Captain America, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. I think this is going to be a blast, but check out the trailer for yourself right here…

    DC Animation just released their adaptation of Superman: Red Son, arguably one of the most beloved Superman stories ever told. I loved the film, it was a return to the glory days of fantastic DC Animated Movies. Even though I love the DCAU, lately they have not been on par with the amazing work they’ve done in the past. However, it looks like they may be back on track. While Red Son was excellent, I found myself even more excited by the sneak peek at the next DC Animated film, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. 

      This is the culmination of at least a dozen or more movies that began with Justice League: War, which was about how the Justice League was formed to repel the forces of Darkseid and his invading armies. DCA puts out at least 3 or 4 movies every year and at least 1 or 2 of these films have taken place in this shared DC Animated Universe that started with Justice League: War (The other films released each year tend to be their own standalone stories like Superman: Red Son, Batman Gotham by Gaslight, or The Killing Joke). This new film looks like the DCAU version of Avengers: Endgame. This video was previewed as a feturette on the special features of Superman: Red Son, just give it a watch and you’ll see how cool this movie looks…

If that wasn’t enough, DC Animation also released a trailer for the new film as well which you can watch right here…

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be available digitally on iTunes on May 5th and on Blu-Ray/4K on May 19th.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul,

Paul’s Pick’s: New Years Eve Edition!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

  Another year has come to an end, but before we ring in the New Year, I wanted to leave you all with one more entry in my recommendation series: Paul’s Picks! Let’s dive in…

House of X/Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman 

This is by far the best superhero graphic novel of the year, if not the last several years. Jonathan Hickman has delivered one of the most wildly unique superhero comics I’ve read in a long time. Something about the X-Men allows for new creators to come into that world and wildly shake things up. They put their unique brand on the characters and the story, all the while always feeling like an X-Men tale. Chris Claremont did it with Giant Size X-Men #1, Grant Morrison did it with New X-Men, Joss Whedon did it with Astonishing X-Men, and now Jonathan Hickman has done it again with House of X/Powers of X.

The best part is you don’t have to be familiar with recent X-Men comics understand the story, you just need a basic knowledge of who the X-Men are. The hardcover volume I have is a special edition that actually came with a lithograph signed by Jonathan Hickman, which is pretty cool, but don’t expect it to be come with every edition (this was a special order).

Lithograph signed by Jonathan Hickman

Most other editions of this hardcore graphic novel have a different, but still beautiful wrap around cover. If you’ve ever been interested in superhero comics or if you wanted to get back into comic books, this is a must read.

Get it here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/House-X-Powers-Jonathan-Hickman/dp/1302915703/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3VUY2NZLQC7NW&keywords=house+of+x+powers+of+x+hardcover&qid=1578004057&sprefix=House+of+x%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-1

The Death and Return of Superman Blu-Ray/4K

    As I’ve talked about on this website many times, I love the DC animated movies that come out every year. One of the better ones in recent memory has been The Death of Superman storyline which was broken into two different films. The first, The Death of Superman focuses on Clark Kent’s growing romantic relationship with Lois Lane and ultimately Superman’s fight to the death with the vicious monster, Doomsday. While Reign of The Supermen is about how the World, The Justice League, Lois Lane, and even Lex Luthor all deal with the loss of Earth’s greatest hero. Now this excellent story can be watched seamlessly as one beautiful animated film: The Death and Return of Superman. Much like their adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, which was split into two separate film releases and then eventually released as one film under The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition, The Death and Return of Superman is best enjoyed as one movie.

Get it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Return-Superman-Complete-Collection/dp/B07RVHGJBX/ref=sr_1_2?crid=22A49P5SASHTS&keywords=the+death+and+return+of+superman&qid=1578004170&sprefix=the+Death+and+ret%2Caps%2C147&sr=8-2

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Steelbook Blu-ray 

 My last pick is Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. I’m a huge Tarantino fan, but to be honest I was disappointed with his most recent directorial effort. Don’t get me wrong, DiCaprio and Pitt are great and there’s a lot to like in this movie, but it just didn’t wow me like Tarantino’s movies usually do. I know I’m in the minority on this one, the film was a huge critical success and most of my friends loved it as well, including World’s Best Media’s own Ryan McDonald. However, just because I wasn’t blown away doesn’t mean I didn’t want to add the film to my Blu-Ray collection. My personal selection was the Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook Blu-Ray/4K edition. I love me some steelbook Blu-rays!

Get at Best Buy right here: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-steelbookdig-copy4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-blu-ray-only–best-buy-4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-blu-ray-2019/6383000.p?skuId=6383000

So that’s it for my picks in 2019! Look for me to continue this article series more frequently in the coming year. Have a safe and Happy New Year! See you in 2020!

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

FIRST LOOK – Wonder Woman: Bloodlines TRAILER!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

After the surprisingly solid Batman: Hush, it looks like we’ll be getting one more DC Animated Movie before the end of 2019: Wonder Woman: Bloodlines. You can check out the first trailer posted below. I am more excited for this one than I thought I would be. I really like seeing how the film is using many of the classic Wonder Woman villains that we don’t often get to see in projects like this. DC has been putting out some strong animated films lately after a few years of some mediocre entries, hopefully Wonder Woman: Bloodlines continues the trend of increasingly good DC Animated Movies. The movie will be released digitally on 10/5 and on Blu-Ray and 4K on 10/22. One of the bonus features included with the movie will be a short film about the character Death, one of The Endless from Neil Gaiman‘s The Sandman comic book series. Watch the trailer here:

Thanks for reading!

-Paul

MOVIE REVIEW – Batman: Hush

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the direct to Blu-Ray and Digital DC Animated Movies. There’ve been some real classics to come out of these projects. Movies like Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns: The Deluxe Edition, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and Batman: Under The Red Hood, just to name a few. While there have been some enjoyable standouts, there hasn’t been a real homerun from these films in a while. Though Batman: Hush may not knock it out of the park, it comes damn near close. Based on the classic Batman run by writer Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween) with art by the legendary Jim Lee (Justice League, X-Men), Batman: Hush does a great job of adapting this seminal Batman tale while still fitting the movie into the animated continuity (or DCAU) that DC created beginning with Justice League: War. The result is a pretty damn good movie that is less of a mystery and more of a tragic romance. Which may irk some fans, but I’ll get into more of that in a moment.

  I’ve heard some people complain about the animation in these films lately. Critics say that copying the general aesthetic of The New 52 and attempting to adhere to a visual continuity, makes each of these movies feel overly similar and blocky. Well, that issue isn’t completely absent from this film, but there are some notable efforts to step up to quality of the animation. Some shots feature fantastic little details that immediately draw your eyes. How someone’s eyes and face move before something dramatic is about to happen, the way a fight move is pulled off, small moments scattered throughout the film that make it feel as if the animators were going the extra mile and it shows.

   The real highlight of the movie is the relationship between Batman and Catwoman. It’s so rare to see Batman in a successful and a functioning relationship. I should mention that Selina doesn’t know that Bruce is Batman at the beginning of the story.

It’s only when things begin to get serious that he reveals himself to be Bruce Wayne. In fact, there is a funny scene when he brings her to the Batcave for the first time and she’s enthusiastically greeted by Dick in the Nightwing uniform without his mask and Alfred attempting to serve her tea. When she‘s surprised to realize that Dick and Alfred know that she’s Selina Kyle. She even half jokingly asks “Does everyone know who I am?“ Dick blurts out “No, just us and Damian.” Selena asks “Who’s Damian?”, “Oh he’s Bruce’s son… He’s Robin.” Replies Dick with an awkward look on his face. It’s easy to see how being an intimate part of Bruce’s life isn’t so simple, which is why he and Selena are so perfect for one another. He is drawn to Selina as both Batman and Bruce Wayne and that’s where the key to their success of the relationship lies. 

     If Bruce and Selina are out on a date and The Bat Signal appears in the sky, Bruce doesn’t have to make up some bullshit excuse. She’s more than capable of coming along with him to stop whatever threat he’s facing and it even feels like a natural part of their “date night” that they both seem to get off on. Catwoman may have been staying on the straight and narrow, but she loves this world, she loves being part of a good fight. In fact, I think if she was dating Bruce and he didn’t have the Batman aspect to his life, the relationship wouldn’t work. Selina needs those kind of thrills.The film is mature enough to acknowledge that this relationship wouldn’t have worked if it began when they were younger. Maybe there would’ve been an intense fling, but nothing more. They’ve both matured, changed, and they both want different things than they did years before. It’s at this point in their lives that they’re ready to be together as both Bruce Wayne/Batman and Selina Kyle/Catwoman.

   When comparing the graphic novel to the film, it’s important to remember that the  Batman: Hush graphic novel is a mystery at it’s heart. Who is Hush? Why are they doing this? Well the movie managed to do a great job with staying relatively faithful to the source material, while still managing to surprising fans of the graphic novel. Love it or hate it. Many of the iconic moments from the comic book are present in the film. Some are even slightly improved upon. However, there is one classic scene from Batman: Hush that was adapted to the film, but (without going into SPOILERS) the scene felt like it needed to be a little bit longer. I was impressed how Hush managed to both surprise those of us who’ve read the comic book, while still being faithful to the source material in a unique way. To say much more would be a SPOILER, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. You may think you know where the story is going, you may think you know the identity of Hush (and maybe you’re right), but things play out just different enough to make things fun, interesting, and surprising.

   The final fight between Batman and Hush is particularly well animated, well choreographed, and thrilling. The animation of the fight has a very dynamic quality. Batman employs one of my favorite tactics of his, that we’ve seen in animation and comics many times, but almost never in live-action: He gets in the villains head to gain the upper hand. He plays mind games with his opponents and that’s used here to great effect. Batman use his genius, his ability to manipulate the psychosis of the villain he’s facing, to exploit their fears, insecurities, and weaknesses to give him that extra edge for the win. Batman’s greatest weapon is his intellect. 

       The combination of the surprising reveal of Hush’s identity, the fantastic animation, and Batman using his intellect to exploit the mental and emotional weaknesses of his opponent, make this for a pretty memorable final battle.

   It should be noted that Selina Kyle/Catwoman is a notorious criminal and accomplished superhero in her own right. However, Batman can be such a larger than life figure, that it would be easy to make even the strongest of women look like a damsel in distress in one of his stories. The film does a great job of avoiding problems like this. Selina is her own woman. Her choices are not defined by Bruce’s choices. She doesn’t necessarily need his help to get out of some of the most serious jams she finds herself in throughout the movie. Particularly in the climax of the film, Selina finds herself in a very precarious life and death situation. I’m fairly certain she would’ve been fine, whether Batman showed up or not. The storytellers did a phenomenal job making her an interesting capable character.

    At the end of the day this is still a love story between Batman and Catwoman. The sad realization of how, at least in this point in their lives, that love story is also a tragedy. Bruce lets Selina in, in a way we rarely see from this character. There comes a point in the story, when Bruce makes a decision that looks like madness to Selina. In fact, it would look like madness too many of us in the audience. Once the threat has been neutralized and the villain dealt with, Selina has an epiphany. She realizes that no matter how much she loves Bruce, no matter how much she changes for him, no matter how much more she’s willingto change for him, he won’t change himself.

     There are things he will not become. There are lines he cannot cross. Because of that Selina will always come in second place to Bruce. She willing to let herself evolve with this relationship, but she realizes that in the end, Bruce is an immovable object she’ll break herself against. It’s profound, it’s sad, and it’s veryBatman.

  Batman: Hush is a flawed, but solid Batman mystery/adventure with a fantastic romance story, great fight scenes, some stand out bits of animation, and some surprisingly thought-provoking character and story elements. Some things land better than others and I think the film may have benefited from another 20 minutes or so of storytelling to help flesh out some of it’s more interesting ideas. The climax in particular feels like it comes out of nowhere, when there should’ve been a bit more tension and build up to Batman‘s final confrontation with Hush. Whether you’ve read the original graphic novel or not, this movie will still keep you guessing. 

      While not the complete return to form I was hoping for from Warner Bros/DC Animation after the strong combination of The Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen, I’d say this is still a MUST WATCH for any Batman fan!

Thanks for reading!

Batman: Hush – 8/10

Reviewed by Paul J. Wright

MOVIE REVIEW: The Death of Superman

AA9D987F-BDF8-4B21-B6C4-786ABF25FFD3I’ve always been a big fan of the DC Animated movies that come out each year. For those of you that aren’t familiar, they’re animated adaptations of DC Comics stories that go directly to iTunes and Blu Ray. They usually release three a year, around January, April, and July. They’re PG-13 or R-Rated films marketed to adult and teenage DC superhero fans. They’re hit or miss, in terms of quality. They run the spectrum from “Ok” or “Fine” to “One Of The Best Superhero Movies I’ve Ever seen”.

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Their latest release is “The Death of Superman” and you may be thinking: “Wait, didn’t they do this one already?” The answer is: Kind of. Way back in 2007, the very first DC Animated Movie was Superman: Doomsday, a very loose adaptation of the classic death of Superman story. So, as far as THIS movie is concerned, this current film I’m reviewing is a much more faithful adaptation. The Death of Superman is the first part of a 2 movie story.With Part 2 titled, Reign of The Supermen, premiering in January or February 2019.

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DC Animation’s first direct to Blu-Ray feature length film, 2007’s Superman: Doomsday. This movie basically told a very different (and inferior) version of The Death of Superman story.

Like I said before, they usually release three of these a year. Starting with 2013’s Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and 2014’s “Justice League: War” (A JL origin film FAR superior to the live action one we got in November 2017), 2 out of the 3 animated movies they released each year were part of an ongoing cinematic universe, like the MCU or whatever the fuck DC is trying to do in live action at the moment. Including Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, 11 movies that take place in this DC Animated Movie Universe have been released. The other stories are cool one offs, like the recent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, for example. Which is a what if? tale that imagines a steampunk, Victorian era Batman hunting Jack The Ripper in late-19th Century Gotham. Most of these have been pretty solid across the board. It probably doesn’t say much about the overall quality of this Animated Movie Universe that there isn’t a sense that we got to know these characters over an 11 film continuity. Or that the movies had been leading to something like this.

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A stand alone movie, not part of the DC Animated Movie contiuty.

At nearly an hour and half, this movie is slightly longer the most of the recent DC Animated Movies. However, it’s a smart move because the running time allows for a much deeper film that I was expecting. Going into this, I expected the whole thing to one big superhero punch up. Great animation, cool fights, but at the end of the day just a fun piece of entertainment. So, I was delighted when at least half of the film is about Clark and Lois and the issues that arise in their still relatively new romance. The movie is well paced considering all of the characters in play. Because this movie is about his death, everyone in Clark Kent’s life is in this film and they all get their moment to shine. The Justice League, The Daily Planet staff, Ma and Pa Kent, Lex Luthor, and few other local Metropolis citizens with ties to Superman all pop up in the movie. It’s a credit to the film that even with all these characters, it never feels over stuffed or loses it’s focus on Lois and Clark.

You don’t need to have seen any of the other DC Animated Movies to enjoy this wonderful film. All of the great character work and storytelling come straight from THIS movie. Real life husband and wife Jerry O’Connel and Rebecca Romijn are perfect as Clark and Lois. O’Connel has voiced Superman to good effect before in other animated movies and Romijn makes a solid debut as Lois Lane. They’re real life chemistry definitely translates into the film. We have all the usual suspects from the other films back to play their respective roles in the Justice League, as well as other returning supporting characters.

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Before getting into the movie there’s one other bit of voice casting I want to touch on. Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) voices Luthor and is surprisingly effective as the character. Lex is an interesting presence in this film. He’s not that dissimilar to the Lex we’ve seen in the comics over the past few years. He’s undeniably despicable, arrogant, and cold, but there’s a glimmer of something more underneath. Inside him’s the shadow of a man who could be better than he is. He adds a little something special to the overall film.

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I’m going to make a bold statement here. I think this is the best film about Clark Kent that I’ve ever seen. This movie is Clark Kent’s story. Lois is very important, but this is Clark’s tale. This man’s death shows us who he is. This was just one more reason I loved this movie. Outside of the fights with Doomsday, I deliberately refer to the character as Clark, not Superman, throughout this review. This is one of the better onscreen portrayals of Superman I’ve seen and that’s because they understand who Clark Kent is. The kid who grew up on a farm in Kansas, that’s the real character. Not Kal-El, not Christopher Reeves’ mask of Clark Kent as pathetic buffoon, not Superman. He’s Clark Joseph Kent. Jonathan and Martha’s son. Even when he’s in costume at the beginning of the movie, interacting with the League or stopping bad guys with high tech weapons. He seems more man than god. He’s happy to stop and take a picture with a man he’s gotten to know, because he’s saved the guys life so many damn times. In these scenes before the fight with Doomsday, while he’s in costume as Superman, he feels like a citizen of Metropolis. Not a distant god, but more like a cop on his beat that gives you a nod and smile. Superman knows these people and they know him. It’s a brilliant way to humanize the character in a way live action films always struggle with.

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Long time Metropolis crime boss Bruno Mannheim, robbing a bank and taking the Mayor hostage, with some unusually high tech weapons.

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“Bibbo” (his nickname), a man saved by Superman so many times that they’ve become friendly acquaintances. 

At the heart of Clark’s story here is his romance with Lois. Unlike other takes on the Lois and Clark/Superman dynamic, Lois is into Clark, NOT Superman. She wants their relationship to move forward but she knows something’s holding them back. She knows there’s more going on with Clark, but doesn’t quite know what it is. She’s a little taken aback when, while asking Clark to dinner, he tells her he cant because his parents are in town and he’s having dinner with them. Lois is understandably a little insulted when Clark didn’t even mention the possibility of meeting his parents. It’s clear that they’ve been dating for at least several months if not more. But what she perceives as Clark being aloof and having an emotional wall up, is actually Clark wrestling with the idea that he’s falling in love with her and that he should tell her he’s Superman. He’s afraid that his parents will accidentally let something slip before he has a chance to tell Lois the truth about this part of his life. After all, besides a few fun DC Easter Eggs mentioned by Ma and Pa Kent, Clark’s ex- girlfriend knew had superpowers from the jump, this the first time Clark has been in a relationship like this. Not just with a normal person, but someone he’s falling in love with.

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Should Clak “let Lois in” to every part of his life? That’s the central, emotional question Clark struggles with thoughout the movie.

The movie does an excellent job of showing the audience exactly what an unstoppable, terrifying force Doomsday is. We’ve seen Doomsday in live action and animation before, but the threat he represents is much more impactful here. This is a creature that kills every single living thing it sees.

3FEC383A-3F59-4D16-9342-06DC4E0DB651         The Justice League faces Doomsday before Superman gets into the fight and they have some pretty heavy hitters. We see Doomsday go up against Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Cyborg, and Batman all before the Monster’s fateful Confrontations with The Man of Steel. Even with out Superman, that’s a fucking stacked roster. Despite how powerful the Justice League is, they’re simply not up to facing Doomsday. They’re completely helpless to stop him.

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So, when the fight between Clark and Doomsday finally goes down, there’s no backup or cavalry coming. Superman is the “last watcher on the wall”. If he doesn’t stop this Monster there and then, there will be no end to the death and destruction Doomsday will unleash. There’s an inevitability to Doomsday. As he slowly kills his way to Superman. We all slowly march towards death and this story shows us The Man of Steel is no different, but for him Death comes in the form of Doomsday.

D7E8CFE2-14CB-4D0E-9B8C-C628369780CDThe fight between Superman and Doomsday is easily the most brutal and bloody Superman fight I’ve seen in any medium. I found myself wincing or exclaiming “Jesus..”, as conflict went on. At a certain point, it stops being a fight. You realize you’re watch Superman slowly be beaten to death with each blow and it’s hard to watch. The fact that there’s such emotional heft shows that the storytellers did their job with this film. The movie is called The Death of Superman, OF COURSE HE’S GOING TO DIE! But the movie magic was that the filmmakers had me so engrossed in the story onscreen, I almost forget that there was no question to the outcome of this fight. The battle’s hard to watch not just because of the level of violence, but because you really care about Clark Kent and it’s heartbreaking seeing this man die in front of us.

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The animation in this film is top notch. When the action goes full tilt there’s a level of detail that comes close to resembling anime, without completely going over into that style. Every once and awhile a western animation superhero project will use anime influenced sequences, Justice League Unlimited comes to mind for example. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s used well here and only adds to the already visceral fight scenes. For those of you who aren’t fans of that animation style, It’s not so noticeable that it takes you out of the story.

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I think its was smart that DC decided if they were going to tell this story, it should be a 2-Parter, like they did with their fantastic adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. As impactful as the death of Superman is, the story of how the world, his friends, his enemies, his family, and his fellow superheroes react to his death is arguably more compelling . Who or what will step up to fill the void left by The Last Son of Krypton? Considering how well this story was told, I can’t wait to see what the filmmakers do in Reign of The Supermen. If you’re a DC Comics fan, there are some Easter Eggs in the movie that hint at some of the story and characters elements that’ll be used in Part 2. Make sure you stay for the end credits, there are multiple mid credit tags setting up the next movie.

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I didn’t want to end this review without mentioning something I noticed that the writers chose to add to the story. As I said before, this movie is part of a DC Animated Movie Universe, this story doesn’t exist in a bubble. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but pay attention to EXACTLY how Doomsday comes out of space, ultimately crashing on Earth. Also be sure to pay attention to the details when STAR Labs examines the high tech weapons Superman takes off the thugs at the beginning of the movie. None of these story elements are from the comics, so the writers deliberately chose to add them in. I have my own theory about what’s going on, but I wont spoil the fun here.

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This is top notch superhero story telling from DC Animation. This movie is the best DC Animated Movie since Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (which is high praise). This a surprisingly moving story about love, death, family, friendship, and sacrifice. No DC fan worth their salt should miss this one. I know I cant wait to see Part 2, when Reign of The Supermen comes out early next year. The Death of Superman is an excellent film, the best DC Animated Movie in years, and a must watch. Don’t miss it.

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The Death of Superman:  9/10

FILM REVIEW BY Paul Wright

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