Tag Archives: apocalypse

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse My Reviews 28 OCT 2010

Lex Luthor is president no more, Batman has saved the world from the impact of an arriving meteor, and a strange young woman has made her appearance, confused, unable to comprehend our language and most important of all, wreaking devastating havoc with her uncontrollable powers – which are very similar to those of Superman!

But this girl’s arrival has sparked the interest of another, eager to replace the captain of his honor guard now that Big Barda has defected – Beware. Darkseid is coming.

I’m a big fan of the recent spate of DC and Warner Bros. Animation animated films released directly to DVD, and up until now, the DC line has been particularly strong, with major hits like Wonder Woman, Superman: Doomsday and Batman: Under the Red Hood to name but a few.

However, the 2010 released Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is certainly not one of their best attempts I’m afraid.

Superman and Batman. As if you couldn't tell.

The story revolves around the introduction of Supergirl to our world and the forming of her relationship with her adult cousin, Clark Kent, better known as Superman to us. Although Kara Zor-El was older than her cousin Kal-El when they were both ejected from the dying Krypton, her escape pod ran off course, resulting her being lost at space and thus remaining in suspended animation for a far longer period of time than her now adult cousin.

After being initially corralled by this world’s heroes, she gets taken in under Superman’s wing and is soon learning to adapt and survive in our world – as well as getting to grips with her slightly stronger than Superman’s power set.

However, her unheralded arrival and amazing potential does not go completely unnoticed for long, and Darkseid of Apokolips soon finds himself hatching a plan for her capture and eventual transformation into his loyal puppet – though his end goal might be a little more sinister than just that!

Directed by Lauren Montgomery, a rising superstar in the world of animated feature directors, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is based on Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman arc “The Supergirl from Krypton”, with the script being handled by Tab Murphy. Unfortunately, its at this point that the first major flaw for this film hits you – its pacing is just absolutely horrible. The story has enough decent elements to work with, but unfortunately the pace at which events unfold or rather bang together is just too unrelenting and comes across as too hurried, compressing far too much time into the space that viewers are meant to fill in with their imagination. This is a bit jarring and at times you feel that the film is basically just hurtling between all the important bits, hurrying so that it can arrive at the all important battle sequences (of which there are quite a number by the way).

This poor pacing means that emotional connections with characters never really truly form and thus lots of the more emotional moments are simply lost as the film unfolds.

And then we have the art. Based in part on the late Michael Turner’s uber sexy style which presents us with cute girls with very elongated and slim waists, this style unfortunately doesn’t translate quite as well to the male characters and the faces for Batman and Superman really do leave a lot to be desired at times. Also, the particularly poorly CG animated boom tube battle sequence also leaves one gritting one’s teeth as you can’t help but spot the glaring animation errors and lack of fluidity in places.

Needless to say, no love lost between these two!

But it isn’t all bad news mind you. As I mentioned, the female characters are all drawn particularly well and are a feast for the eye, and for the most part, the plentiful fight scenes are all well choreographed and fantastic to behold. And despite my grumblings over story pacing, there is no denying that there is a story in there and most important of all, it contains a major surprise moment which should catch most of you completely by surprise when it finally comes knocking!

In terms of voices, it is nice to see they kept all the voice actors from the previous Superman/Batman: Public Enemies outing (of which this is the sequel by the way), and both Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy are perfect in their roles as Superman and Batman respectively. Also, Summer Glau is a welcome addition in the form of Supergirl’s voice, though Andre Braugher didn’t quite work for me as Darkseid, with his voice simply not having that menacing and overwhelming presence one would expect from the omnipotent overlord.

So in summary, this is a competent, good looking animated film, well worth watching by any comic book fan. That said, it is definitely one of the weaker ones in the current direct to DVD animated film line-up and is perhaps one of the least emotionally enjoyable ones to watch out of the bunch.

In other words, don’t recommend it to anyone looking for the opportunity to rip into animated films and declare just how bad they are. Fans only then.

You had better buy this or the Amazonians will get you!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_superman_apocalypse

2012… An Opinion My Reviews 11 DEC 2009

2012-theatrical-posterWe were warned.

Chantelle and I went to watch 2012 yesterday evening, and walking into it knowing that it was a disaster, end of the world movie, we got exactly what we were expecting – which is a great start as any movie that meets your expectations usually is. However, that still doesn’t mean I’m about to sing its praises just yet.

German director Roland Emmerich is certainly no stranger to big budget and disaster movies, having previously directed Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and Godzilla, and as per usual he brings his usual penchant for big budget CGI effects to the game and in so doing, brings some of the best visualized apocalypse sequences ever produced to the big screen for our viewing pleasure.

The movie is rooted in the Mayan belief that the end of world is to come about in 2012, and with the help of the ever popular Solar Flares and Earth’s Crust Displacement Theory science to back the prophecy, we soon find Earth teetering on the brink of total disaster. Although a secret held only be an elite few, science fiction author Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) manages to find out about the impending Doomsday scenario and soon finds himself in a mad race against time and Mother Nature herself in order to rescue his family and attempt to survive the end of the World… if that’s even possible.

In terms of acting performances, the always underrated John Cusack once again puts in a thoroughly likeable and believable performance as the optimistic Jackson and his performance is nicely balanced out with some gripping stuff from actors like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Danny Glover. Also included in the talented cast list backing the big guns up, you’ll find the names Amanda Peet, Thomas McCarthy, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson (he’s brilliantly funny as always!) and Zlatko Burić as the big comedic but dangerous Russian billionaire, Yuri Karpov.

As a disaster movie, 2012 certainly gets the tone and action right, featuring some of the best Doomsday scenario scenes you’ll ever witness, particularly when it comes to some of the low flying plane antics (a subway train falling from the sky!? How brilliant is that!) and cracked Earth scenes. It also manages to tie in its main theme of asking the question, given a life or death situation, would you make a selfless decision even if it means that you WILL die, pretty much throughout the entire length of the film, and in addition to this, lumps in a nice broken family interaction subplot to deal with as well, playing itself out nicely as the film hurtles steadily along.

However, there is a problem at this point. The movie screens for a ridiculously long 158 minutes and despite the breakneck pace of the story telling and the constant flipping between the two main story lines, the film begins to come across as tedious and long towards the end… in fact, make that VERY long. Which is obviously not a good thing because by the end of the movie you are fairly worn out, don’t care that much any more and simply put, have lost any kind of emotional attachment to the movie that you might have started developing in the first half of it. Sure it blends its action, drama and laughs well enough, but by the time the credits start rolling you are pretty much in a rush to get out, and quite frankly, will dismiss the film as not being particularly worth anything apart from its seriously cool special effects.

The music and sound effects are pretty awesome though.

So what does this mean for 2012 then? Well it certainly is a blockbuster worthy of seeing on the big screen at least once, pretty much the same as Transformers 2 was. However, that’s about it. There’s certainly no reason to see it again, or watch it on the silver screen when it does eventually appear on TV, and I’m pretty certain that people aren’t exactly going to be rushing out to buy it once it hits the DVD market. The film is a competent disaster flick with some amazing special effects and great acting performances, but its unnecessary bulky length cuts away at its hamstrings and brings the whole thing crashing down, turning it basically into one of those “that movie with the awesome special effects” type of movie.

Pity really, Emmerich got it right much better with The Day After Tomorrow I’d say…

2012-movie-still

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_%28film%29