Archive for Jeremy Sisto

Batman vs. Robin

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

When Batman finds himself under attack by his own son, Damian (Robin), he at first suspects the hand of Ra’s Al Ghul behind the treachery, but then comes to see that the boy may be controlled by a mysterious and murderous society known as the Court of Owls.

What people are saying:

“More a mash-up of two of the most highly regarded Batman stories in the last 20 years than its title implies it stands alongside the best efforts of Warner Bros. Animated.” 4 1/2 stars

“This could of been the next red hood movie, if they would of stuck to just one story, but instead they shove all these storys all together instead of focusing on batman and the owls. Court of owls /night of the owls was a great stoty and would of been fine on its own, but they just shoved all these other plots in and it just didn’t work. They even took some of the best scenes from the book and cheapened them, like making that intense amazing maze part of the story and turning into a quick drugged dream thing.” 1 star

“The story itself was good, not the best but not the worst I’ve seen. The kid was just annoying at first, but it got better as the story progressed. I do think it could have been a lot better, the storyline they used had more potential but it wasn’t bad. As far as content. Definitely not for kids, I wouldn’t even say 13 and up, i’d say older. Lots of blood, violence, even a straight up massacre. Some of the language and the sexual content was unnecessary so be aware of that if you are looking at this for children. ” 3 stars

“The anticipation of the eventual fight between Batman and Robin is palpable. With all the talented voice actors bringing in realism of the character’s conflicts, it’s hard not to enjoy.” 4 stars

“Not good, this is actually a terrible adaptation of the court of owls comic storyline. The way they reworked it with Damian Wayne was just terrible, and the story line goes out of its way to make batman seem incompetent. It would have been better if they had just straight up done a court of owls animated movie and skipped out the son of batman stuff for two reasons. The first being the aforementioned batman incompetence like batman sending a ten year old boy into the wilderness on his own, stupid, or robin solving the doll maker crime before batman, lame. Then of course the second being that Damien is the most annoyingly pig headed, and truly unsavory robins ever created, plainly put he’s just unlikable and really petulant through the whole film. Spent the hour and twenty minutes on count down waiting for the torture to end.” 1 star

Revisited: Clueless

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is a good-natured but superficial girl who is attractive, popular, and extremely wealthy. A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, she has risen to the top of the high-school social scene, and is happy and self-assured in her insular, fashion-obsessed world. She lives in a Beverly Hills mansion with her father Melvin (Dan Hedaya), a ferocious $500-an-hour litigator; her mother has long since died, having succumbed to complications while undergoing liposuction surgery. Cher’s best friend is Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash), who is also rich, pretty, and hip, and understands what it’s like to be envied.

Among the few people to find much fault with Cher is Josh (Paul Rudd), her socially conscious ex-stepbrother who visits during a break from college. Josh and Cher spar continually but without malice; she refers to him as “granola breath” and mocks his scruffy idealism, while he teases her for being selfish, vain, and superficial, and says that her only direction in life is “toward the mall.”

Illustrating that Cher’s selfishness is usually innocent and relatively harmless, Cher plays matchmaker for two lonely, nerdy, hard-grading teachers, Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn) and Miss Geist (Twink Caplan). She achieves her ostensible purpose—to make them relax their grading standards so she can renegotiate a bad report card—but when she sees their newfound happiness, she realizes she actually enjoys doing good deeds. Cher now decides that the ultimate way she can give back to the community would be to “adopt” a “tragically unhip” new girl at school, Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy). Cher and Dionne give Tai a makeover and initiate her into the mysteries of popularity. Cher also tries to extinguish the strong mutual attraction between Tai and Travis Birkenstock (Breckin Meyer), an amiable skateboarding slacker, and to steer her toward Elton (Jeremy Sisto), a rich snob whose father is a music-industry executive.

Her second matchmaking scheme backfires when Elton rejects Tai and makes a play for Cher. Matters worsen when Cher’s “project” works a bit too well and Tai’s popularity begins to surpass Cher’s, especially after Tai has a “near-death” misadventure at the mall that helps to skyrocket her to fame at school. Other classmates, including Dionne’s and Cher’s longtime rival Amber (Elisa Donovan), soon gravitate toward Tai, and Cher finds herself demoted from queen to courtier at high school.

Events reach crisis stage after Cher fails her driver’s test and can’t “renegotiate” the result. When Cher returns home, crushed, Tai confides that she’s taken a fancy to Josh and wants Cher to help her “get” him. Cher says she doesn’t think Josh is right for Tai, and they quarrel. Cher, left all alone, begins to think she has created a monster in her own image. Feeling “totally clueless,” she reflects on her priorities and her repeated failures to understand or appreciate the people in her life. Most of all, she keeps thinking about Josh and Tai, and wonders why she cares so much.

After much soul searching (which includes a solo shopping spree around various Beverly Hills boutiques), Cher realizes she has fallen in love with Josh. She begins making awkward but sincere efforts to live a more purposeful life, even captaining the school’s Pismo Beach disaster relief effort. A scene near the end of the film finds Cher and Josh stumbling over how to admit their mutual feelings for one another, culminating in a tender kiss on the stairs of her home.

The film has a happy Hollywood ending for Cher: Mr. Hall and Miss Geist get married; her friendships with Tai and Dionne are reaffirmed and solidified; Tai and Travis are in love; and now, in Josh’s arms, she too has finally found love.

REVIEW:

Every decade has that film that embodies everything (good or bad) about that time. For the 90s, it was Clueless, although some people have made the case for Mallrats and a handful of other flicks. You have to make the decision for yourself what your quintessential 90s films is.

What is this about?

Director Amy Heckerling’s fresh adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma follows the misadventures of meddlesome Beverly Hills high schooler Cher, who gets more than she bargained for when she gives a fashion-challenged student a makeover.

What did I like?

Slinging the slang. Many of the terms that we used in the 90s were popularized in this films. Terms such as “as if”, “jeeping”, etc. Also, terms that we, at least I, wasn’t familiar with were brought to the forefront, such as “Baldwin”, “surfin’ the crimson wave”, etc. The fact that one little film can have such a profound effect on the culture of the time and, for the most part, stay relevant today is dumbfounding, especially considering how many films of this nature are now nothing more than trips down nostalgia.

Emma. The plot of this film is very loosely based on the Jane Austen novel, Emma. Now, my only knowledge of that literary work is that it exists and was a film from around this same time, give or take a couple of years. So, after a brief conversation with one of more well-read friends, it turns out that some of the characters are obvious references to the literary counterparts and not too far removed, in terms of personality and fitting into modern day society. Be not fooled, though, similar is not the same. Still, the fact that they do have some roots in their origin and didn’t totally throw it out the window is something to be acknowledged, if you ask me.

Ageless. Much like the slang in this film, the music takes you back to this era. I myself have an urge right now to go put on a flannel shirt and doc martens and listen to some grunge. Yeah, I was one of those kids back in high school. Speaking of high school. Next year, this film will be 20 yrs old and 3 of its stars, Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, and especially Stacey Dash must be bathing in the fountain of youth because they don’t look much different than they did when they were filming this.

What didn’t I like?

Consequences. Taking into account that there is nothing serious about this very bright film, Alicia Silverstone’s character is attacked by her ride home after the party. Well, not really attacked, but he did try something with her. What bothers me about this is that it is never brought up. They see him again at another party and nothing is said and when Brittany Murphy’s character is infatuated with him (one of the many boys she goes through, might I add), nothing is said. I don’t know, to me it just seems like there should have been a warning that he might do that, or someone getting informed, etc.

Tai. Ok, so a wide-eyed girl white girl from Detroit is named Tai. How is this possible. I wonder if this wasn’t just a case of the casting directors liking Brittany Murphy’s innocent look. Personally, I prefer in this than to anything else she did in her career. Damn her becoming a skeleton like the rest of Hollywood. R.I.P. Brittany. On to my point, she goes through this rather weird, and somewhat forced for time purposes, personality change. It would seem that it was spurred on by the near death experience she has in the mall. Out of nowhere, in the final scenes, she’s back to where she was when we first met her, even apparently with the guy she was crushing on when she first got to the school. I just felt her character could have and did deserve better than to be rushed into what can almost be called mood swings.

Hot for teacher. Early on in the film, there is a pretty big emphasis on getting two teachers hooked up. After that, we see them a couple of times, and the female teacher has a line in the final scenes, but that’s it. I bring this up, because I recall them being a bigger part of the TV version, but here they just seem like an afterthought once they get together (excluding the wedding).

Anyone who was not an old fogey in the 90s has seen Clueless. As I have already said, this is one of the go-to quintessential flicks of that time. This is quite the fun and funny film complete with great characters, bright colors, and a short runtime. Do I recommend this fine film? With an emphatic yes! There is no reason to not check this out, unless you’re just some eternally depressed goth kid that hates any and everything, otherwise I highly recommend this as a film to check out before you die!

5 out of 5 stars

Waitress

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Drama, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Keri Russell plays Jenna, a waitress living in the American South, who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with the abusive Earl (Jeremy Sisto). She works in Joe’s Pie Diner, where her job includes creating inventive pies with unusual titles inspired by her life, such as the “Bad Baby Pie” she invents after her unwanted pregnancy is confirmed. Jenna longs to run away from her dismal marriage, and is slowly accumulating money to do so. She pins her hopes for escape on a pie contest in a nearby town, which offers a $25,000 grand prize, but her husband won’t let her go. Her only friends are coworkers Becky and Dawn (Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelly), and Joe (Andy Griffith), the curmudgeonly owner of the diner and several other local businesses, who encourages her to begin a new life elsewhere.

Jenna’s life changes after she meets her new physician, Jim Pomatter (Nathan Fillion). He has moved to the small town to accommodate his wife, who is completing her residency at the local hospital, and is filling in for the woman who has been Jenna’s doctor since childhood. The two are attracted to each other, and over the course of several pre-natal appointments the attraction grows. After Dr. Pomatter invites her into the office under a quickly exposed pretext, she impulsively initiates a passionate (and secret) affair.

Prompted by the gift of a baby journal, Jenna begins to keep a diary, ostensibly for her unborn child, with voiceovers giving the viewer access to her thoughts about that future child and her own plans. Between these entries, her relationship with Dr. Pomatter, and the thoughts she reveals as she describes the various pies she creates, the audience gets to know her evolving hopes and dreams, concerns and fears, and slowly growing attachment to the baby she at first didn’t want.

After giving birth, Jenna bonds immediately with the baby girl she names Lulu. Earl, clearly disappointed it’s a girl and witnessing that bonding, reminds Jenna of a promise he had forced her to make earlier not to love the baby more than she does him. That comment, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, wipes away any concerns she has about her lack of money and her fear of her husband. With determined frankness she tells him bluntly she hasn’t loved him in years, will no longer put up with his possessiveness and abuse, and wants a divorce. Later, while Becky and Dawn are helping her prepare to leave the hospital and letting her know that Joe had collapsed and died, Jenna remembers an envelope Joe had brought to her before the birth, when she finds out he had been admitted as a patient in the same hospital. In the envelope she finds a handmade card with a sketch of her, a check for $270,450, and a message of friendship that urges her to start her life anew. While leaving the hospital, Dr. Pomatter wants to have a word with her in private regarding their affair and what is to happen now. She promptly breaks it off, handing him a chocolate Moon Pie and asks her friends to wheel her out. On the way out they ask her what that was all about, to which she coolly replies that she was having an affair with him and just ended it.

An epilogue depicts Jenna winning the pie contest, and becoming the new owner of the diner where she worked, now called Lulu’s Pies, serving brightly colored pies to her customers and friends. The final shot shows her walking home hand-in-hand with the now toddler-aged Lulu (played by Shelly’s actual daughter, Sophie).

REVIEW:

Last week, we lost a true legend in Andy Griffith. I loved watching The Andy Griffith Show, and still do, as a matter of fact, but it came to my realization that I have only seen him in one film, one of my favorites, No Time for Sergeants. At the same time, with the lack of Castle episodes on the air right now, certain people in this house are having Nathan Fillion withdrawals. Waitress fills both of those needs, but is the film as a whole worthwhile?

What did I like?

Andy. One thing that can be said about Andy Griffith is that he played that southern schtick his entire career. Later on, he added the grumpy old man to it, but for some reason it works just as well as it did when he was the loveable Sheriff Taylor. The thing is, you can sort of tell that this character wasn’t meant to be loved at first, but he grows on you.

Pies. As a fan of desserts, I have to say that some of the pies that were made in this film made my stomach growl, even though I was eating dinner at the same time! What is even better is the fact that some of these recipes are available on the movie’s website. Go check it out…http://www.foxsearchlight.com/waitress.

Strength. This film has many strengths such as the story and performances, but what stuck out the most to me was the chemistry between Keri Russell and the entire cast, but most notably Andy Griffith and Nathan Fillion. There is this nice father figure thing going on between her and Griffith which really warms your heart, especially when you consider how her life is going. With Fillion the love affair almost seems genuine and makes you wonder if there was something really there. Someone liked the two of them together, because a couple of years later they lent their voices to the leads in the direct to DVD film, Wonder Woman.

What didn’t I like?

Feelings? There is no love between Keri Russell and her husband. It makes you wonder how he suckered her into marrying her, let alone keeping her married this whole time, aside from beating her.

Honker. When I was growing up and my mom would come home from grocery shopping, she’d honk the car horn like a banshee. Jeremy Sisto does the same thing whenever he is coming to pick up Keri Russell. I found this very annoying, and from reading other comments and reviews, I’m not the only one. Initially, it made sense, but after the second or third time, it just got old.

Tonal shift. In the first half of the film, after everything even that happens, the next thing we see is Keri Russell in the kitchen making a pie and narrating what is in it, and how she came about the name for it. Somewhere around the halfway point, though, this stopped. We still see her making pies, but it is just like we would see any other person in any other film making them.

Waitress will go down as one of the surprises of the year for me. I thought this was going to be some sappy romantic dramedy, but instead it was one of those films that was truly entertaining. It is such a shame that the director, Adrienne Shelly (she also plays one of the waitresses), had her life cut short. If this film was any indication, she was on her way to great things. I highly recommend this film. It is as good as piece of good ol’ warm apple pie!

4 out of 5 stars

Justice League: The New Frontier

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film begins with an unknown entity explaining how it has witnessed the evolution of life on Earth:

Like all things on this hurtling sphere, I emerged from the molten center of creation. But mine has been a unique path. Isolated, I developed attributes beyond those of lesser beings. Then the sphere was struck by a vast celestial stone. Black chunks of death filled the skies and the world became a chaotic garden of doom. Soon the sphere began to nurture new kinds of life. And there was one that stood above the rest. Its fragile shell belied its vicious nature. And in what seemed like a heartbeat, these things proliferated in both number and destructive needs. Now they have harnessed the most destructive force. And I, The Centre, have concluded that the sphere must be cleansed of them.

This explanation is shown being written and illustrated under the title “The Last Story” by a mysterious person who then shoots himself.

The film cuts to the end of the Korean War, where United States Air Force pilot Hal Jordan and his wingman, Kyle “Ace” Morgan, are attacked by enemy pilots not yet informed of the cease-fire. Hal is shot down in the ensuing conflict, and forced to kill a Korean soldier after ejecting to safety. The trauma of this event leads Halto a mentalward within a hospital for two years.

Elsewhere, at Gotham Observatory, the last survivor of the Green Martian race, J’onn J’onzz, is inadvertently teleported to Earth by a scientist, Dr. Saul Erdel. The shock of J’onn’s appearance causes Erdel to succumb to a heart attack, though not before he apologizes for stranding the Martian. Unable to return to Mars, he disguises himself as Dr. Erdel.

The following year, Superman meets Wonder Woman in Indochina, where she celebrates with a group of women she rescued from political rebels. The Amazon allowed them to exact their own brand of fatal justice upon their captors, which Superman is horrified to learn. He reminds Diana that the government is distrustful at best of the heroes, which has led to the Justice Society’s disbanding and Hourman’sdeath, as well as Batman’s branding as a fugitive vigilante. Superman also tries to remind her that mitigating the general public’sfear is why they signed loyalty oaths to the United States government (presumably at the behest of Senator Joseph McCarthy). Diana, however, resolves that she must do what she feels is right. The two part at odds, and Diana later leaves America to return to Paradise Island. Superman later confides in Lois about Wonder Woman and Batman, neither of whom, he says, would sacrifice their principles for each other.

In Gotham, J’onn J’onzzhas been living quietly under the guise of Dr. Erdel, while learning what he can about humans and Earth society through television. He shape-shifts into different guises during his nightly viewing, such as Groucho Marx and Bugs Bunny, before settling on the form of a film noir detective.

In Las Vegas, reporter Iris West is on assignment to interview singer Buddy Blake, at the same casino where HalJordan and Ace Morgan are enjoying themselves. While Iris is on the phone with her boyfriend Barry Allen, Captain Cold arrives to rob the casino. Hearing the events on the phone, Barry races to Vegas from Central City as The Flash and confronts Cold, who tells him he’s hidden six cryogenic bombs around Vegas set to go off in ninety seconds. Flash zips around the city and locates five of the bombs, but deduces the sixth is a decoy, and captures Cold before he can escape by helicopter. Before being subdued, Cold is possessed by the unknown entity from the prologue, who asks Flash why he is faster than “the other lesser beings” before leaving the Rogue.

Hal and Ace leave the casino and head into the desert. Hal is unclear about their destination, which Ace keeps a surprise. Ace notices Hal has been acting differently, and Jordan confesses things haven’t been the same since the war and his time in the hospital. He also admits his past hospitalization has kept him from getting a job with a top aircraft company. It’s after Hal confides in Ace that the two arrive at Ferris Aircraft, where an opening as a test pilot is indeed waiting for Hal, thanks to a recommendation from his friend.

Back in Gotham, J’onn joins the Gotham City Police Department under the name “John Jones,” and with his integrity, cunning analyticalskill, and telepathy, quickly rises to the ranks of detective in just two years. After investigating a kidnapping of a child which was later discovered to be part of a sacrificial ritual for a cult that worships something called “The Centre,” J’onn and his partner Slam Bradley meet Batman for the first time as he is also investigating the kidnapping. The two cops join Batman in battle against the cult, but a fire is started during the fight, rendering J’onn powerless until Slam extinguishes it. Afterward, when Batman attempts to free the boy from his bonds, the child is terrified at the sight of him. J’onnarrives to calm the boy down and then he and his partner free the child themselves. The entity which possessed Captain Cold speaks through the incapacitated cult leader, identifying itself as “The Centre” and warning of an impending judgment.

Hal Jordan begins training exercises under Col. Rick Flaggat Ferris Industries. His joking, devil-may-care attitude rubs Flag the wrong way, but Carol Ferris is understanding and recognizes Hal’s natural ability. Carol also recognizes that Halneeds to know the true nature of his training, which she soon reveals to him: the government has commissioned Ferris Aircraft to build a spacecraft capable of travel to Mars. Specialagent King Faraday is assigned to oversee the project, which is in response to Dr. Erdel’s contact with Mars and J’onn’s arrival.

Back in Gotham, the Dark Knight reveals his knowledge of J’onn’s true nature in his apartment, as he is able to find a way to shield his mind from J’onn’s telepathy, and suggests that they should form an alliance as they are both investigating the cult that is rising throughout the world–a cult that worships the Centre. J’onn’s demonstration of kindness toward the boy led Batman to believe that he can be a trusted ally. However, he warns J’onn that should he betray him, he is fully aware of and willing to use the Martian’s vulnerability to fire against him.

In Central City, The Flash defeats Gorilla Grodd (or, rather, a robotic duplicate), but is targeted by government agents, as they attempt to capture him in an effort to learn the secret of his powers. Though he narrowly escapes, the experience leads the Flash to consider retiring from his crimefighting career.

J’onn J’onzz interrogates Harry Leiter, a former Ferris employee apprehended for murder while under the influence of the Center. During the questioning, Harry lets word slip about the launch to Mars. Leiter’s ramblings are confirmed when Faraday arrives to take him into custody. J’onnbriefly glimpses into the agent’s mind and learns the truth. After watching the Flash announce his retirement on live television, and seeing the public contemptuous response, a disheartened J’onn attempts to stow away on the rocket so that he may return home. Before leaving, he arrives in Batman’s headquarters, the Batcave, revealing that he’s been aware of Batman’s secrets for quite some time (using his cunning detective skills instead of his telepathy), and gives him the last of his research on The Centre. J’onnreveals to Batman that he’s losing faith in humanity, as he sees that there’s too much hatred, ignorance, and conformity within the people around him, which made him decide to leave Earth. Batman’s response is cold and brief, as he tells J’onn some people don’t have the luxury of leaving Earth.

While attempting to board the ship, J’onn is seen on camera by Faraday, who confronts J’onn and fights him on the launchpad. J’onn is able to beat Faraday, but saves him from the rocket exhaust by flying him to a platform before collapsing. The rocket is damaged and malfunctions shortly after exiting the atmosphere. Hal wants to attempt a landing, but his co-pilot, Col. Rick Flagg, reveals that the rocket is loaded with weapons of mass destruction, and as such he won’t risk it. After a brief struggle, Hal is ejected from the cockpit. Though he is saved by Superman, the distraction allows Flagg to detonate the rocket.

J’onn J’onzz is held as a prisoner by Faraday. Superman blasts Faraday for treating J’onn differently from him (a Kryptonianand thus also an alien), just because J’onn looks radically different. He also points out the captivity is entirely J’onn’sdecision because he can escape at any time using his powers.

On Paradise Island, Wonder Woman trains with Fury, and tells her of how America has changed since the war. Her training partner says the island has changed as well, and that many Amazons desire a change in leadership. Though Diana quickly fends off a challenge from her fellow Amazon, the two of them are soon beset upon by the approaching Center.

Hal Jordan is later found by Abin Sur, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. The destruction of the rocket badly wounds him as he enters Earth’s atmosphere, so he instructs his ring to find a worthy replacement. He leaves his ring with Hal, and tells him of The Centre, which he describes as a “monstrous creature” that fears humans and seeks their destruction.

In the Batcave, Superman reviews J’onn’sresearch with Batman and meets Robin for the first time. Batman has altered the design of his suit so it won’t frighten an innocent, but is still able to strike terror in the heart of a criminal. As they discuss the Centre, they hear Lois reporting on the attack of a giant pterodactyl at Cape Canaveral. Superman arrives at the scene and quickly defeats the creature. Almost immediately afterwards, Wonder Woman’s invisible jet makes a crash landing, its cockpit smeared with blood. Before losing consciousness, Wonder Woman warns Superman that the Centre is coming.

Faraday eventually befriends J’onn who saved his life, and occasionally plays chess with him. J’onnreveals to Faraday that he decided to remain at the agent’s basewillingly because of the upcoming battle with The Centre, and had telepathically looked into the agent’s mind during their battle at the platform. J’onn found that Faraday believes that one day the world won’t be living in fear and hate. Finding that within Faraday, J’onn has renewed hope for humanity and decides to participate in the battle to save Earth. Before leaving with Faraday, J’onn adopts a new Martian/human superheroic hybrid form as the Martian Manhunter, believing it is honest to his heritage with a friendly appearance to human perception.

Following this, the Centre begins its attack in earnest at the coast of Florida, finally revealed as a massive flying island, with an army of mutated dinosaurs to guard it. The threat draws heroes such as Flash (whom Iris talks into coming out of retirement), Green Arrow, Adam Strange, the Challengers of the Unknown, and the Blackhawks, who clash with the soldiers on base. The conflict is stopped by Superman, who advocates cooperation between the two sides. He is unexpectedly seconded by Faraday, accompanied by J’onn, who agrees that the government and the heroes must work together for freedom. With that, Superman heads out to do reconnaissance on the Centre, but is swiftly and shockingly defeated.

Moved by his effort, the rest of Earth’s superheroes and military forces band together to defeat the Centre. Batman interrupts a meeting between Faraday, J’onn, Will Magnus and the Challengers, bringing with him Ray Palmer, a scientist known for his work with matter reduction. When one of the Challengers argues the technology is too unreliable, destabilizing anything it shrinks, Batman replies that’s exactly the point, and a plan is formed to use Palmer’s reduction ray to destabilize the island. The heroes will distract the Centre with a frontal assault (while Hal and Ace fly a bombing mission into the creature), leaving Flash to quickly crisscross the island with the ray.

While the aerial assault (including Batman and Green Arrow as pilots) is nearly outmatched before the intervention of the Blackhawks, Faraday’s ground forces are ambushed by a herd of rampaging mutant dinosaurs. J’onn is overwhelmed by the psychic impact from The Centre and is rescued by Faraday, who is shortly thereafter captured by a dinosaur. As he is about to be eaten by a tyrannosaurus, Faraday grabs two hand grenades and pulls the pins. The dinosaur swallows Faraday and immediately afterwards its head explodes from the grenade detonation, killing both it and Faraday. The shock of his friend’s death helps J’onn shake off the Centre’s hold, and he and a recovered Wonder Woman help turn the tide of the ground battle.

HalJordan and Ace Morgan manage to shoot their way into the core of the creature, but are disoriented at first by its hallucinogenic effects. The creature secretes a thick red fluid that jams their weapons and almost suffocates them. It is then that Hal’s ring activates, relaying instructions from the Guardians of the Universe as to its use. Ace manages to detonate his payload, and is rescued by Hal–now dressed in a costume identical to Abin Sur’s–just before his plane explodes.

The explosion gives the ground crew their opening as they prepare to send Flash to finish the creature. The speedster is struck by the gravity of the situation and his role in it, but J’onn reassures him that everyone will be behind him. Flash races across the ocean and leaps onto the Centre’s surface, covering the entire surface on foot before leaping into the ocean. The Centre begins to shrink, but realizing its imminent destruction, it heads toward land to destroy the humans along with it. Hal realizes what he must do, and envelops the island in green energy, then tows it into space where it explodes.

The entire world celebrates the Centre’s defeat. As many participants in the battle attend a ceremony, Hal celebrates the victory his own way by pursuing his lifelong dream: flying through space with the aid of his new power ring. During the celebration, Superman is revealed to be injured but still alive, saved by a man named Arthur, claiming to be from an underwater kingdom. He and his subjects treated Superman’s wounds during the battle with the Centre. Superman is reunited with Lois and the rest of the heroes, who are touted so on the front page of the Daily Planet.

This monumental victory and display of teamwork changes public opinion about superheroes, and a montage of various heroes and villains (with cameos by the Teen Titans, Black Manta, Brainiac, Captain Marvel, Darkseid, Black Canary, Doctor Light, Doctor Sivana, Gentleman Ghost, Harley Quinn, Joker, Key, Lex Luthor, Monocle, Plastic Man, Ra’s al Ghul, Riddler, Robin, Star Sapphire, Two-Face, and Ultra-Humanite) as well as the birth of the world’s second generation superhero team: Justice League, set to the titular John F. Kennedy speech, is shown just before the film ends.

REVIEW:

I was a fan of each incarnation of the Justice League as an animated series, and this direct to DVD release hasn’t swayed my interest.

The film seems to focus on Hal Jordan, the original Green Lantern with appearances by other members of the league in their early forms. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but this is supposed to be a film about the Justice League, not Green Lantern.

Speaking of the Green Lantern, he is supposed to be getting an animated direct to to DVD treatment soon, as well as a feature film due out in theaters in 2010. David Boreanaz really brings him to  life in this film, though. I remember an episode of  Bones where he was a reading a Green Lantern comic. I wonder if that was just something he placed there, or a slight way to plug this film.

Neil Patrick Harris as the Flash surprised me. I mean, the Flash has always been one of the lighter characters, similar to Spider Man in the Marvel Universe, and Harris seems to capture that essence.

Who better to give Wonder Woman a voice than Lucy Lawless. I personally think that Wonder Woman has some ties to Xena, but that’s just me.

I didn’t care for Jeremy Sisto as Batman, but I’m sure there are those that thought he did a good job. For me, though, he wasn’t convincing. Same goes for Kyle McLachlan as Superman.

The action in this film is very stylized and fits the time frame that they seem to be going for, but make no mistake the version of the league is not something you’ll be seeing on Cartoon Network during the day. There are many violent points, such as Hal Jordan shooting a bullet through a Russians head.

For fans of comic books and superheroes, this is a must see. For evryone else, this is a really good animated film with a decent storyline that you can get into, whether you know anything about the characters or not.

4 out of 5 stars