VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: EVIEW: Iron Man: Rise Of Technovore (2013)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Jesse: ??
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.2/10 IMDB.

An animated Iron Man movie is something to look forward to. Unfortunately, this was very anime-ish, which meant storytelling flaws — like most anime. Things seemed to happen a little too conveniently, with so much of a lack of an explanation for why a situation-solving event would happen that it may as well be a deus ex machina.

You’re probably better off watching the Avengers and Iron Man cartoon series than this… However, this has some blood and death, and is a full length movie, and is starring one of the Walking Dead cast members as The Punisher, who plays a fairly prominent role in this movie. These are some of the good aspects. The first act is the strongest, and the movie gets weaker through the deus ex machina-ish ending.

There is still value in this movie, though.

Directed by Hiroshi Hamazaki. Written by Kengo Kaji.

Starring Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead, Boondock Saints movies, Pandorum, Mimic) as Frank Castle / The Punisher.
Matthew Mercer (Tygra in the new Thundercats, Resident Evil: Damnation, some video games such as Soul Calibur 5, Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat 9) as Tony Stark / Iron Man.
Eric Bauza (Lord Stingray in Superjail!, Stimpy in Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, 4 eps of Adventure Time, 3 eps of Gravity Falls, 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 1 ep of Black Dynamite-TAS) as Ezekiel Stane / Technovore.
Kate Higgins (Scarlet Witch in Wolverine And The X-Men, Yukio in the Wolverine anime, 1 ep of The Legend Of Korra, Barbie in Barbie: Life In The Dreamhouse) as Pepper Potts.
John Eric Bentley (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, 3 eps of Tron: Uprising) as Nick Fury.
James C. Mathis III (Black Panther in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 4 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine.
Kari Wahlgren (Gladys in The Life & Times Of Tim, Milan in Good Vibes, 14 eps of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 5 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Tigress in Kung Fu Panda: Legends Of Awesomeness, 5 eps of Sym-Bionic Titan) as Maria Hill.
Clare Grant (5 eps of Mad, 4 eps of Robot Chicken, 3 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 1 ep of Warren The Ape) as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow.
Troy Baker (Hawkeye in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Yellowjacket in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Loki and Hawkeye in Ultimate Spider-Man, 6 eps of the X-Men anime, and 1 ep of the Wolverine anime) as Clint Barton / Hawkeye / J.A.R.V.I.S..
JB Blanc (Barry Goodman in Breaking Bad, 8 eps of the Wolverine anime, 2 eps of the Iron Man anime, 3 eps of Black Panther, 5 eps of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) as Obadiah Stane.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2654124/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Superman: Unbound (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This one was still good, but it didn’t seem as good as the last movies. This wasn’t Bruce Timm’s work.

But it’s still pretty damn good, because we love us some superhero cartoons! Especially ones not made for TV.

That being said… How many times do we have to watch Superman fight off Braniac? It seems to have happened like 5 times now. I’m getting a bit tired of it.

This was still pretty solid, though.

Directed by James Tucker (5 eps of Batman Beyond, 5 eps of Static Shock, 4 eps of Legion Of Super Heroes).
Written by Bob Goodman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1&2, 51 eps of Batman Beyond, 51 eps of Superman, 2 eps of The Batman, 4 eps of Justice League, 8 eps of The Zeta Project)

Matt Bomer (In Time) as Superman / Clark Kent.
Stana Katic (3 eps of 24, 2 eps of Heroes) as Lois Lane.
John Noble (The Dragon Spirit in The Last Airbender movie, 100 eps of Fringe, 3 eps of Transformers Prime, 3 eps of 24) as Brainiac.
Molly C. Quinn (105 eps of Castle, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as Supergirl / Kara Zor-El.
Diedrich Bader (Batman in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Guy Gardner in The Green Lantern-TAS, Kraven The Hunter in Ultimate Spider-Man, 2 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of King Of The Hill) as Steve Lombard.
Jason Beghe (X-Men: First Class, Thelma & Louise, Maid To Order) as Terrorist Leader.
Frances Conroy (the mom from Six Feet Under, The Wicker Man remake) as Ma Kent.
Melissa Disney (Blade in Batman Beyond) as Thara.
Alexander Gould (Shane Botwin from Weeds, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Jimmy Olsen.
Sirena Irwin (Persephone in Striperella, 3 eps of Adventure Time, 80 eps of Spongebob Squarepants, 3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Alura.
Andrea Romano (voice actress casting director) as News Anchor #2 / Superman‘s Ship.
Stephen Root (Bill Dauterive in King Of The Hill, Office Space, NewsRadio, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Penguin in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 4 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Zor-El.
Wade Williams (Harvey Dent in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, Black Mask in Batman: Under The Red Hood, The Dark Knight Rises) as Perry White.
Michael-Leon Wooley (Twayne Boneraper in Ugly Americans, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Delocated) as Ron Troupe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2617456/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: SHOWS: REVIEW: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.6/10 IMDB.

We forgot to watch the pilot movie to The Clone Wars cartoon series! For the uninformed, Clone Wars is the the CGI animated TV series that’s been airing since 2008. It chronicles the period of time between Episode 2 and Episode 3 of the Star Wars movies. We recently finished the last season of Clone Wars, and decided to go ahead and watch the introductory movie — since apparently we are doing things backwards. (And no, we haven’t seen the Clone Wars animated shorts by Dexter’s Lab/Samurai Jack animator Genndy Tartakovsky, which precede this movie that precedes the series we watched. Maybe we’ll do that next.)

This was a great introduction to the show. This seemed better than the 1st season of the actual show. We didn’t really like the first season all that much, and the “roger roger” droids were really annoying and juvenile. We barely slogged through the 2nd season. By the 3rd season we were begrudgingly admitting this series’s awesomeness, but we still were into it at a lower level than most other shows, procrastinating so much that when we watched Season 4, season 5 started a mere week after we finished. But here’s the kicker: We watched Season 4 in like a week. A season at a time, this series goes down MUCH better. It got totally worth it. The ending of season 5 is a shocker. We’ve also gotten to enjoy many side episodes, for example an episode about only the droids. There are some pretty epic lightsabre battles in the series, like watching Dooku go toe to toe with Darth Maul.

As bad as the first season is, I strongly recommend any Star Wars fan to slog through and watch all 5 seasons of The Clone Wars — plus the remaining bits that are still to be released. (New animation has stopped, but they’re still going to release some stuff to wrap it all up.)

But perhaps, unlike us, you should watch this movie/pilot first.

Starring Matt Lanter (Harry Osborn in Ultimate Spider-Man, Brody Mitchum in Heroes) as Anakin Skywalker (voice).
Ashley Eckstein (8 episodes of That’s So Raven) as Ahsoka Tano (voice).
James Arnold Taylor (Wooldoor Sockbat in Drawn Together, Green Arrow in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, 4 eps of Young Justice) as Obi-Wan Kenobi / 4-A7 / Medical Droid (voice).
Dee Bradley Baker (The new Thundercats, Adventure Time, Avatar The Last Airbender, Ultimate Spider-Man, Waddles the pig in Gravity Falls, and many more) as Clone Troopers / Captain Rex / Cody / Fox (voice).
Tom Kane (Professor Utonium in The Powerpuff Girls, Magneto in Wolverine And The X-Men, and much more) as Yoda / Narrator / Admiral Yularen (voice).
Ian Abercrombie (Mr. Pitt in Seinfeld, Green Lantern-TAS) as Chancellor Palpatine / Darth Sidious (voice).
Kevin Michael Richardson as Jabba the Hutt (voice).
Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury in the Marvel movies, Django Unchained, Snakes On A Plane) as Mace Windu (voice).
Christopher Lee (Saruman in the Lord Of The Rings movies, Death in The Color Of Magic, The Golden Compass) as Count Dooku (voice).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1185834/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: The Lorax (2012)

Clio: 2.8/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Based on the Dr. Suess book. Very generic. Too many songs. It’d probably be more enjoyable for a young kid, but didn’t have nearly as much to offer to adults.

Worth it to be able to visually explore a CGI instance of a Seuss-inspired world. For a lot of these Seuss movies, that’s really the sole point: Seeing what it looks like a grander scale.

Worth it, but I’d like more.

Directed by:
Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda.
written by: Ken Daurio (Despicable Me, Horton Hears A Who, College Road Trip, The Santa Clause 2).

Starring Danny DeVito (Taxi, Penguin in Batman Returns, Twins, The War Of The Roses, Man On The Moon, Mars Attacks!, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as The Lorax.
Ed Helms (Andy Bernard in The Office, The Hangover movies, 3 eps of Arrested Development, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) as The Once-ler.
Zac Efron (Anakin Skywalker in Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, 17 Again, High School Musical, 1 ep of Firefly) as Ted.
Taylor Swift (the singer) as Audrey.
Betty White as Grammy Norma.
Rob Riggle (P.O.T.N. in NTSF:SD:SUV, 4 eps of American Dad, The Hangover, Step Brothers, Human Giant, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby) as Mr. O’Hare.
Jenny Slate (2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Ugly Americans, Saturday Night Live) as Ted’s Mom.
Nasim Pedrad (87 eps of Saturday Night Live, The Dictator, 7 eps of Allen Gregory) as Once-ler’s Mom.
Elmarie Wendel (Mrs. Dubcek in 3rd Rock From The Sun, 1 ep of American Dad, 5 eps of General Hospital) as Aunt Grizelda.
Danny Cooksey (5 eps of Invader Zim, Kung Fu Panda, 2 eps of G.I. Joe Renegades, Tiny Toon Adventures, Terminator 2, Static Shock, Dave The Barbarian) as Brett / Chet.
Stephen Tobolowsky (Bob Bishop in Heroes, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Boxboarders!, Buried) as Uncle Ubb.
Chris Renaud (he’s the director of The Lorax, Despicable Me) as Forest Animals.

 

Christie: Agreed. Liked it, but too many songs.

 

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1482459/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Queer Duck: The Movie (2006) [NOT the 1999 TV series]

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

That was a pretty funny gay-oriented adult cartoon series-cum-movie. It felt more like a tv show than a movie… But it just kept going. Actually, that feeling is probably explained by the fact that this apparently *was* a series in the past (1999).

There was definitely some good voice acting here. Queer Duck‘s voice actor was Prince Valium from Spaceballs, and also in National Lampoon’s One, Two, Many. The woman he was with played Dilmom in Dilbert:TAS, and was Dora In A Dirty Shame. Both of them were in Kissing Jessica Stein.

We also have Kevin Michael Richardson, Billy West, Estelle Harris, Mark Hamil, Tim Curry, Andy Dick, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Jeff Bennet… And Conan O’Brien & David Duchovyny (as tiny Jesus).

So it sounded great. It was mature, adult, edgy… With songs. And pretty gay. This  is the gayest cartoon we’ve seen since we watched all 13 episodes of Rick & Steve:The Happiest Gay Couple In The World.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485288/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: VIDEO GAMES: REVIEW: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDB.

I defer to Carolyn’s rating for this one. I kept falling asleep. I definitely still followed everything that happened in the movie, but it lost it’s potential for full effect on me. I could tell it was awesome, but I just wasn’t SURE it was awesome. I’m not even going to rate it because I don’t even know how I feel about it.

But hey! Carolyn loved it! A lot of people loved it! I’ll be watching this again someday, 7 years from now.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772341/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES/COMIC BOOKS/CARTOONS: REVIEW: Astonishing X-Men: Gifted (2010)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Did I mention this was written by Joss Whedon?

Very interesting animation… It looks like it’s going to be motion-comic-style with hardly any real movement and no lip-moving, but then it turns out to be almost fully animated. Still more “comic-book-y” than any “real” animation… But I think this really meets the halfway point between the two, in a way that I’ve never seen done better in my life. However, the strange warping they did to simulate 3D-ness kind of wigged me out. But I get it: This is a motion comic, they take shortcuts, lower budget means higher ability for more releases. Works for me. You just gotta accept it.

My one problem with this was that there was no steadfast conclusion to all the various stories spinning up (and down). In that respect, yes, it was very comic-book-y. Almost too much! Though… If something like this came out once a month for the rest of my life, it’d be frickin’ awesome.

Also, the voices weren’t top-notch… Beast’s voice especially threw me off as being so different from what I’m accustomed to that it was actually distracting. But again, that’s kind of something you have to accept when doing with motion-comic type releases (Even though this is the most motion-y motion comic I’ve ever seen.)

But other than that? That was pretty fucking awesome. It took place in the current chronology: The Legacy Virus is long gone… Beast had his secondary cat mutation… Colossus is dead…Jean is long dead [again, but this time for real]… Cyclops is dating Emma Frost The White Queen now….  [Which, if you read the wiki on Jean… Her spirit actually basically rose from her grave to tell Scott it was okay to hook up with Emma…]

WAIT WAIT WAIT.. THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST OF FOUR “MOVIES” (some call them seasons, but they are analagous to Whedon’s graphic novels)?!?! WTF!!! WELP.. I’M OFF TO GET THE REST! CYA!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2047677/combined