Tag Archives: Curt Geda

Review: Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006) My Reviews 20 JUL 2012

Embittered by Superman’s heroic successes and soaring popularity, Lex Luthor forms a dangerous alliance with the powerful computer/villain Brainiac. Using advanced weaponry and a special strain of Kryptonite harvested from the far reaches of outer space, Luthor specifically redesigns Brainiac to defeat the Man of Steel. But when Brainiac betrays Luthor and reveals its sinister plans for world domination, Superman must brave the mysterious Phantom Zone to find the strength to survive this deadly showdown – and save the life of his beloved Lois Lane!

Superman: Brainiac Attacks is a 2006 direct-to-video animated film directed by Curt Geda for Warner Bros. Animation, based on a script by Duane Capizzi and Christopher Simmons.

In terms of story, Superman: Brainiac Attacks delivers knockout action from start to finish, mixing a touch of humor here and there and tempered by plenty of drama, just as was done in the original Superman: The Animated Series run. On top of the whole Brainiac and Lex Luthor plot, the film also weaves in a subtle inner turmoil as Clark Kent continues to pine for Lois and toys with the idea of letting her in on his secret identity. However, whilst the build-up to the big finale is pretty well handled, I must say that the film kind of loses it two thirds of the way in, where it rushes the whole Phantom Zone scenario, provides a rather silly golden liquid solution to the problem at hand, before end off with a rather cheesy “kiss saves her life” routine, which feels rather out of place amongst all the action going on in the background.

Nevertheless, the film isn’t all bad and the heavy hitting action it delivers is pretty top notch (even if the design of the Brainiac robot isn’t exactly the most menacing around) – in other words, certainly doing enough to satisfy most fans of the Man of Steel.

Animation is done in the same visual style as what was used in the original Superman: The Animated Series television franchise, which does mean fairly simple lines, but also means immediate familiarity for anyone who grew up watching the revival of the Man of Steel on the Silver Screen. That said, there are moments where the animation is spotty, particularly in terms of proportions and face layouts, but for the most part the animation is solid, complemented by some great choreography, especially during the many explosive fight scenes.

The soundtrack by Thomas Chase Jones is top-notch, and the voice cast sees the welcome return of many of the voices who did Superman: The Animated Series, including Tim Daly who had been absent from the character during the Justice League animation run. However, the choice of franchise newcomer Powers Boothe is a bit of a mistake, as the character of Lex Luthor is completely off, coming across as more of a Joker from the Batman universe than anything else, detracting from what is normally quite a menacing figure in the Superman universe.

Overall, Superman: Brainiac Attacks is a competent animated superhero movie, though it did feel a little more cheesy than normal. Nevertheless, it does pack in quite a lot of walloping Superman action, so fans of the Man of Steel will probably enjoy catching this one.

I personally can’t really see myself bothering to watch it again though, truth be told.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman:_Brainiac_Attacks

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman Comic Books | My Reviews 14 AUG 2008

BatmanThere is a new bat in town and she’s wreaking havoc amongst Gotham’s criminal element – the only problem is that she isn’t associated with the real Batman or even Bruce Wayne in any way whatsoever.

Her methods increasingly violent and with scant regard for human life, it is up to Batman to try and figure out her identity and stop her before things get to far out of hand and she ends up hurting him and his identity in the process. However, suspects as to her identity are plenty and it is going to take some time to solve this mystery, time that Batman and the GCPD may just not have available to them – but time that playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne might.

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is a 2004, straight to DVD, animated film based on the DC Comics character Batman and is the third film set in the same universe as Batman: The Animated Series. The movie is written by long time Batman Animated scribes Alan Burnett and Michael Reaves and is directed by Curt Geda.

On the story front, Alan Burnett crafts a multi-layered story that happens to build up quite a nice mystery that keeps the details nicely hidden right until the end of the movie where everything finally gets revealed. As a viewer you are kept on the edge of your seat trying to guess what is going to happen and at the same time you get entertained as Batman presses on to solve the mystery surrounding the identity of Batwoman while Batwoman continues her crusade against villainy and the team-up of Penguin, Thorne and Carlton Duquesne try their best to stay ahead of the vigilante pair in order to get their weapons shipped off before things go down the toilet.

Combined in with all these story elements is a hint of romance for Bruce Wayne and this adds a further element to what is already quite a, enjoyable story. And if all of the above still isn’t enough, all the trademark action, quips, gadgets and adventure is stuffed in as well, resulting in what can only be described as a thoroughly entertaining movie for both young and old alike.

Visually, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman sticks very closely to the overly simplified, extremely stylish look that was first made famous in the Batman: The Animated Series cartoon and then refined over the years as the various DC Animated Universe series’ took off. The look carries extremely simple lines that are often more angular than not and combine with simple colour palettes to produce a very clear and pleasing on the eye image that gets the job done and gets it done well.

The animation itself is very smooth and the choreography, particularly the fighting scenes, all look pretty spectacular. As per usual there is a host of explosions and punch ups, and all of these end up looking pretty great on screen.

If there is one thing that has become synonymous with the animated Batman world then it is without a doubt the voice of Kevin Conroy as Batman and thank goodness this movie sticks to its source material and brings back all the familiar voices that fans have come to know and enjoy over the years. Included amongst the voice acting cast appears quite a large acting and television personality contingent, including names like Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Tara Strong, Bob Hastings, David Ogden Stiers, John Vernon, Héctor Elizondo, Kevin Michael Richardson, Kyra Sedgwick and even TV presenter Kelly Ripa herself!

Lolita Ritmantis is responsible for the score and produces some brilliant moody compositions that captures the feel of the movie perfectly, and this combines well with the great material provided by French pop and dance music artist, Cherie.

In summary, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is a great new addition to the line of animated Batman movies set in the Batman: The Animated Series universe. The story is well-written, intriguing and will keep you guessing all the way until the end, while the visuals capture that great, clean and ever so stylish look that the original animated series made so popular in the first place.

A more than worthy addition to any animated feature lover’s collection and it will certainly appeal to both old and young alike! :)

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Mystery_of_the_Batwoman

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie My Reviews 20 JUL 2008

Ultimate AvengersTowards the end of World War II, America’s greatest hero in the form of the US super soldier Captain America was lost at sea as he battled to prevent a Nazi nuclear missile launch – but only after he had discovered that the real threat was in fact not the Nazis…

…but rather an alien life form that we now call the Chitauri!

Present day and the body of Captain America has finally been located, seemingly alive and in a cryogenically frozen state. S.H.I.E.L.D director General Nick Fury needs this living legend up and running as soon as possible as the scramble is on to set up a meta human task force (Project Avenger) in order to deal with the rising threat of the Chitauri aliens who are now coming out of their long dormant state and threatening the world as we know it.

Nick Fury is targeting Iron Man, Giant-Man, Wasp, Thor and the Black Widow to form part of the team under Captain America’s leadership, but assembling this kind of super-powered team is certainly easier said than done. And then of course there is the ever present threat of the dormant savage Hulk lurking within the obsessed scientist Bruce Banner – who happens to be leading the team in charge of resurrecting Captain America’s Super Soldier Serum project!

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie is a 2006 direct-to-DVD animated film based on the Marvel comic book The Ultimates and is directed by Curt Geda, Steven E. Gordon and Bob Richardson. It is produced and distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment and Marvel Studios.

Ultimate Avengers assumes that you at least have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to Marvel characters and pretty much jumps straight into the story without hashing character origins too much. Of course, familiarity with the normal Marvel universe isn’t paramount, as The Ultimates pretty much rebooted the original character origins anyway, and you would be better off being familiar with that comic run so as not to be to annoyed at the ‘different’ way in which some of your favourite characters may be depicted.

The story isn’t too complex and pretty much follows three separate storylines, namely Captain America waking up and finding himself in a completely foreign time, the battle against the powerful Chitauri aliens and Bruce Banner’s losing battle with sanity as the Hulk remains trapped within him. Of course, the Avengers being about a team dynamic means that story attention pretty much has to be spread over everyone, and this does take away any depth that you might liked to have seen with regards to any one particular character – with the exception perhaps of Captain America and Bruce Banner as they admittedly do manage to steal a large chunk of the screen time in the end.

The story is pretty formulaic, straightforward and ends off on a nice action high, so youngsters should get a good bit of enjoyment out of the movie as a whole, though it should be noted that it doesn’t follow the usual norm of cartoon violence – bystanders do actually die for a change and not everyone gets saved at the last minute.

Visually, the animation and backgrounds aren’t quite as nicely detailed as one would have hoped for considering this is Marvel and Lions Gate production, but it is solid and smooth and manages to be pretty easy on the eye in the end. Colouring feels a little dull in places, but this is easily explained away as most sequences tend to take place at night anyway. I guess that one could sum up the visuals on Ultimate Avengers as being pretty much standard American cartoon fare.

This being an direct-to-DVD production means that no big name actors or actresses were brought in for the voice acting duties, but the production staff have made sure to include a lot of established voice actors from the industry with the result that Ultimate Avengers ends up sounding pretty good – even the goofy sounding Thor!

British composer Guy Michelmore is the current favourite for Marvel’s animated releases, and produces a pretty good sounding score for this movie that manages to convey that feel good heroic tone that is so essential for these types of super hero movies in the first place.

In summary, Ultimate Avengers: The Movie is a solid, action-packed and enjoyable movie for fans of the Marvel universe but doesn’t try and do anything special and ends up feeling pretty much ordinary. Your kids may pull a bit of entertainment value from it, but don’t expect it to sit on the top of anyone’s DVD pile just yet.

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Related link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0491703/