Category Archives: nathan fillion

Justice League Doom

Justice League Doom ~ This straight-to-DVD animated movie is the latest and quite possibly the final chapter in the “Justice League” series. With the death of guiding force Dwayne McDuffie, the Animated DC Universe that began with “Batman The Animated Series” in the early 1990s may be drawing to a close. If nothing else, it’s the most recent reunion of the voice cast we all know and love.

This edition, based on the comic story “Tower of Babel” by Mark Waid, is a good note to end on, as it’s one of the League’s greatest adventures, and this animated version also includes a new version of the Legion of Doom, bringing things full circle in several ways. McDuffie takes Waid’s tale of Batman at his most paranoid – building a contingency plan should the League go rogue which of course the bad guys get hold of, and spins it with the magic of the old animated series.

The new Legion of Doom, led by Vandal Savage holds few surprises – Metallo, Cheetah, Star Sapphire, but a new Mirror Master and especially Ma’alefa’ak are surprises, but Bane is a no-brainer as the baddie in this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises. Despite the massive scale of this sinister plot, it’s still a rather lame Legion of Doom in my eyes. I would have rather had more villains, especially for a final hurrah, and villains who would have done something more interesting than simply punch back.

The inclusion of Cyborg into the Justice League is an intriguing one, and copying the same move from the comics. I realize it’s done for the sake of political correctness, with John Stewart out in favor of movie Lantern Hal Jordan, but really, are we now taking cues from the Super Friends cartoons of decades gone by? And there are other young heroes more deserving to graduate to the League before Cyborg in my opinion.

Justice League Doom is not a great animated feature, but it’s not a bad one either. Kevin Conroy and Nathan Fillian are the voice standouts, and there are lots of special features. Good to own, better to rent.

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Wonder Woman Animated Sneak Preview

On the first night of the 2009 New York Comic Con, folks got a very special treat – a sneak preview of the new animated Wonder Woman film. My day had been crazed and I didn’t think I would make it but I did, just in time to see it – and I’m damn glad I did.

Before Wonder Woman there were a couple previews, and the one that drew the most response from the building audience was Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li starring “Smallville”’s Kristen Kreuk. Loud booing roared throughout the theatre. Wow, Lana Lang is not well liked at all.

Next up was a Dark Knight action figure commercial, a la Mego from the 1970s, that just kept getting more and more gruesome. Luckily it was a joke. And yeah, the kids saying, “Holy s-” and the Harvey Dent figure half-melting were both pretty sick, but also dead on and damned funny too. heck, Christopher Nolan should’ve made action figures…

And then the real movie started. It begins with the Amazons fighting against the forces of Ares, and specifically Hippolyta vs. Ares. It’s an interesting rewrite of history and continuity. Apparently Polly and Ares were at one time lovers and had a son, one that she slays in battle now. She then turns on the father. When Zeus forbids her from killing Ares, Hera gives her an island to protect her people from man, and a child of her own. When the little baby of clay starts crying and titles roll, the crowd cheers.

We jump to the present, and Artemis and Princess Diana sparring. There is a lot being done to individualize the Amazons here, which is a nice change of pace. We learn about Artemis and Alexa and others. There are tidbits shown that are terrific, like the Magic Sphere. When I saw that I was hoping for the Mental Radio, but I guess that’s asking too much. We do get a nice redesign of the Robot Plane/invisible jet/Wonderdome (what is it called these days anyway?) later on though that rocks.

There’s no war going on as this is present day, but Steve Trevor’s introduction is nearly intact, voiced by Captain Hammer himself, Nathan Fillion, who also intro-ed the showing of the film itself. The entire voice cast is phenomenal, but his humor as Trevor comes through loud and clear. Trevor caught in the grip of the golden lasso is like a perfectly timed and damn hilarious Abbott and Costello routine. You’ll never think of the word ‘crap’ the same way again.

The interaction between Steve and Diana jumps back and forth like dueling Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. This is a light-hearted battle of the sexes done smart for today’s generation. If anything I am reminded of the equality of the sexes argument between Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood at the end of The Great Race. And speaking of sex, and violence for that matter, and a zombie or two or three – this is not for the kiddies, but the grown-ups will love it.

A few closing observations – Dian can kick serious butt in her bare feet, and she’s invulnerable to tequila. The only fault I can find is that toward the end a statement is made that the Amazon lifestyle itself may be inherently flawed. Wtf? Let’s just throw the whole mythos of the character in the trash, shall we?

In summation, holy crap, pun unintended, this has been the best so far of the DC animated films. I really mean that, and yes, I’m including New Frontier. I can’t wait ‘til this comes out and I can buy my own copy. How long until March 3rd?

Dr. Horrible on DVD

Now finally on DVD, you can watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog anytime on your TV. For those of you living under a rock for the last year or so, Dr. Horrible is quite possibly the best entertainment to come out in and around 2008. While not exactly a movie or a TV show, it’s a new form of entertainment that is – up until the DVD release – was dependent on the internet.

Available in iTunes, this metahuman drama/musical/online vlog tells the tale of Billy aka Dr. Horrible, a wannabe mad scientist/super-villain out to join the Evil League of Evil, and get the attention of Penny, a girl at the Laundromat he crushing badly on.

Former Dougie Howser and current star of “How I Met Your Mother,” Neil Patrick Harris brilliantly fills the title role, with Felicia Day as Penny, and Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” as Horrible’s arch-nemesis superhero Captain Hammer. Speaking of “Firefly,” the whole shebang is the brainchild of Joss Whedon. If you liked his work with that short-lived series or his “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” you’ll love this. I think this is the best thing Whedon has ever done, and that’s saying a lot.

See it here, with, as they say, ‘limited commercial interruption.’ See it, buy the DVD, live the blog – you’ll love it.