“Spoiler-Free” Justice League Review

DC fans rejoice, the team up movie we’ve been waiting for has finally come. Well, rejoice might be a strong word. It’s no secret that I am not s Zac Snyder fan. I think his movies have an interesting look, but the editing is always choppy and the movies tend to be longer than they need to be. While Justice League suffers from some of the same choppiness as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, one of things the movie doesn’t suffer from is its length. At just under 2 hours, Justice League is a movie you can sit through without worrying about having to take a few bathroom breaks throughout. Justice League has some pacing issues, but I felt that the story was more solid than anything Snyder did with Man of Steel or Batman v Superman.

The cast was great. I was worried that the studio would make Flash a darker character in order to fit him more into this cinematic universe that DC and Warner Bros have created. Luckily, they chose to have a closer to comic version of Barry Allen. Ezra Miller did a fantastic job as the scarlet speedster. Batfleck did a great job and still holds his spot close to the top of my favorite Batman portrayals. Ray Fisher was a good choice for the cinematic version of Cyborg, I was hoping for more of a Khary Payton “Teen Titans” Cyborg, but that would not have fit this universe. Gal Gadot did a fantastic job reprising her role as Wonder Woman, although I wish Patty Jenkins would have directed Gal Gadot’s scenes. Then there was Aquaman. What can I say about Jason Momoa’s Aquaman? It was a fresh take on the King of Atlantis, and I loved it! Because of Momoa’s performance, I have a new found respect for Aquaman.

I think all that I can say without getting into spoiler territory is that Justice League is a good movie that people should see in theaters at least one time. If you were a fan of Snyder’s previous DC films, you will love Justice League. For everyone else, I think that Justice League is enjoyable. If you are thinking about taking your kids, just know that there are scenes that might scare the young ones. There are also long scenes that might bore younger children. If your kids were able to sit through Man of Steel or Batman v Superman, they should be able to sit through and enjoy Justice League.

Keep your eyes peeled, there are quite a few easter eggs that will make all the DC fans smile from ear to ear. Be prepared to sit through the credits because you get a mid credit and an end credit scene that you do not want to miss. Because of the choppiness of film, I would say Justice League sits at a “B-” from me. There were scenes that I personally thought could have been shorter and some that even seemed unnecessary.

Let me know what you think about Justice League. Comment here or on any of our social media pages.

Justice League is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

Advertisements

The LEGO Batman Review

If you are a fan of Batman, or The LEGO Movie then you will absolutely love The LEGO Batman Movie!! The LEGO Batman Movie is definitely a movie that entire families will enjoy together. The jokes are solid, the main storyline tugs at the heart strings, and the voice acting was on point. Be prepared to get your geek on because there are so many non-Batman LEGO cameos that you might feel like you are watching a LEGO Dimensions movie.  The one thing I will say is that I think The LEGO Batman Movie could have been a little shorter. It is 1hr 45min but they could have taken out a few jokes to get it down to the 1hr 30min mark. I am going to leave this review short and sweet so I don’t spoil anything for you readers. We give the LEGO Batman movie 4 1/2 LEGO figures and recommend that everyone with or without children go see this movie. You will not regret seeing it!!

image1-3

The Future of Comic Book Movies

With the success of Deadpool and with the announcement of an R-rated cut of Batman V Superman, there are many parents out there who are worried that all movies based on comic books will bear the R rating. I personally don’t think that this is something that will happen. Comic book movies make so much of their money from parents taking their younger kids, that it would likely be financially irresponsible for studios to only make R-rated movies.

Something else to think about is that Batman V Superman is not the first Comic Book movie to get an alternate rated dvd/blu-ray release. If you go back three years to The Wolverine (I know it was terrible, but it was the last comic book movie to get an unrated cut after it’s PG-13 theatrical release), you will see that it really doesn’t take much to get an R rating. The theatrical release of the Wolverine had one “F-Bomb”, quite a bit of action, a little blood here and there, while the Unrated release had three “F-Bombs” (more than one is an automatic R), more action, and blood EVERYWHERE!

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, “An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually oriented nudity, drug abuse…” Before we continue, I want to break down a few of these guidelines just a little more:

Language: Movies are getting pretty lax these days, and it seems like they can pretty much get away with saying pretty much whatever they want. But as I mentioned before, more than one “F-bomb” can get you an R rating, unless there is a two-thirds majority of the board who believe the language is justified by context or use.

Violence: Movies based on comic books will usually have some kind of violence, but when it is intense or persistent, you are tiptoeing the line between PG-13 and R.

Nudity: Along with the guidelines about sexually oriented nudity, in 2010 the MPAA added that “male nudity” will likely get you an R rating.

Back to the issue at hand. Everyone behind Deadpool was doing everything in their power to push the R boundary as close as possible to the NC-17 line. With 84 “F-bombs”, violence and blood out the wazoo, a multiple minute sex montage, and a view of Deadpool’s penis, Deadpool was lucky to premiere with their R rating.

The news that Batman V Superman is getting an R-rated cut shouldn’t scare anyone, it should excite people. Where Deadpool can be seen as a model for future characters who don’t have established storylines in a cinematic universe, Batman V Superman can be seen as the new model for the PG-13 theatrical/dual rated dvd/blu-ray release. I’m not saying every comic book movie should follow either model just for the sake of following the model, but that the studios should just be focusing on who the character is via the source material.

The future of comic book movies is not going to be based on the success of Deadpool, Marvel will keep doing what they are doing with the MCU with their PG-13 films, their ABC crime style dramas, and their mature Netflix content, and DC will continue to play catch up with their cinematic universe while dominating in the animation department. The only change that we will most likely see from Deadpool’s success will hopefully be more movies/online series starring more of the anti-heroes of the comic book world.   

The bottom line is that no matter what a movie is rated, it is our job as parents to view questionable content before letting our kids watch it. If I am wrong and all comic book movies go the way of Deadpool, then you can always wait for the FX release.

Comicbook Wednesday 02-10-15

Itty Bitty Mask #4

Mask

©Dark Horse Comics

Aliens from the Moon have declared war on Big City. The Mask has already caused problems in Big City by turning a grandmother into a pancake making, cookie baking machine, by turning the zoo animals into artists who made Zoo Con, and started the alien invasion by taking a bite out of the moon as Mayor Mask, can the Mask make up for those mistakes by helping rid the Earth of the Moon aliens? Guess we will find out at 11:00 AM. Side note, J adores anything by Art Baltazar and Franco. I recommend this series and anything else done by the Aw Yeah! Comics crew for your kids.

Arrow Season 2.5 #5

Arrow

©DC Comics

Felicity has been captured by Brother Blood’s followers. Sara is in town to help Team Arrow defeat this new incarnation of Brother Blood. If you wanted to know what happened between the season 2 finale and the season 3 premiere, you need to be reading this series!! If your kids are fans of the show, this is a must have for their collection. If they are younger, you should probably read ahead so you can do some “creative reading”.

All New Captain America: Fear Him #2

Cap2

©Marvel Comics

Nomad has been captured by the Scarecrow, most likely to be tortured by the things that he fears the most. Will Cap get to Nomad before it’s too late? This 6 issue series looks like it’s going to be one that is not for the faint of heart. I would say you should skip this one for the smaller kids, but pick it up for yourself.

Thor #5

Thor5

©Marvel Comics

This storyline is so amazing not only did we see a woman take the on the power and name of Thor, but we got to see Thor and the Odinson do battle. I am so excited to see what lies ahead for this new, amazing Thor. PS, J loves this series. You will definitely want to peek through the issues before reading them with your younger kids.

Darth Vader #1

Vader

©Marvel Comics

You’ve seen what the Rebels were up to immediately following ‘A New Hope’, now let’s see what the “Baddest Man in the Land” Lord Vader is up to in Darth Vader #1. Also make sure you check out the Skottie Young variant. J is a huge Star Wars fan and even a bigger Vader fan. He is so excited to make our weekly trip to the comicbook shop later today.

Vader variant

©Marvel Comics

 

How to Choose the Right Comic for Your Kids

Marvel

©Marvel

As a lover of comics, I have always wondered how I would integrate this love into my parenting. “Small child friendly” comics have been around since the dawn of comics. Disney got into the game super early (around 1933) with books staring their beloved characters. If you think about it, almost every children’s show made an attempt at comic books.Today, illustrations and story lines have evolved with it’s readers. Comics have darker story lines and “graphic” illustrations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look and story lines of today’s comics/graphic novels. The biggest concern I had was trying to find a comic that had a story line and illustrations that I could share with my toddler. I put together a small list of requirements for the best series for my son and I to read together and to plant the seed of awesomeness.
1. Is the storyline child friendly?
By child friendly I mean no swearing, sexual themes…etc. (those comics are for later, like around 8…just kidding…but they  are for later in life.)
2. Is there an abundance of violence?
Preferably no violence, but I am okay with a little superhero vs alien super-villain violence.
3. Are the illustrations too “graphic”?
This is mainly a blood and gore thing. Are there tons of pages with lots of blood and broken bodies all over the place? Are there images depict sex acts? I understand how sexual relationships can further a character’s story arch, but children should learn about sex from the parents not a comic.
4.  Are the illustrations “cartoony”?

Tiny31-640x333

Tiny Titans by Art Baltazar and Franco ©DC Comics

When I say cartoony, I don’t mean in a campy way. I mean is it cartoony in a way that looks like a cartoon that children would enjoy watching. This usually involves bright colors, big heads, and small bodies. You know something that looks like  your child.

And my last and probably most important question is…
5. Is it something you can enjoy together?
This was the whole reason I started my journey into finding a comic for J. I wanted to find something that not only he  would enjoy looking at, but that I would enjoy reading to him. These questions eventually lead me to what became my post “J’s First Comic”.

In all honesty the most important thing is that you take the time to read with your child. I chose to find a comic that J and I could read together because in all honesty comic books are the only kinds of books that I enjoy reading (besides Dr. Seuss books). Basically find something that you and your child can enjoy and spend some time reading together.

capstone_contest

©DC Comics

J’s First Comic

Js comic

On Friday J and I went to our local comic shop (for those in the SLC area it was Black Cat Comics in the Sugarhouse neighborhood). I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what kinds of comics to get J’s collection started. We’ve read the “children’s comic books” from the library but the artwork and story lines in those books are a little too advanced for him. Don’t get me wrong, he loves seeing his favorite characters fight the villains, but like I said, it’s a little advanced for him.

While at the shop, we came across the series Superman Family Adventures by Art Baltazar and Franco. The story lines and illustrations are fun and exciting yet simple enough that J can follow and enjoy. J really enjoyed the brightness and cartoony feel that Baltazar and Franco books have. The story follows the adventures of Superman and his cousins Kon-El and Kara-El, and the super pet. There are also cameos from other DC favorites, both heroes and villains. I really enjoyed reading with J and I can’t wait until our next reading time so we can see what happens next. If you are looking for a book to start your young ones off with, I would highly recommend Superman Family Adventures, or the other Baltazar/Franco series Tiny Titans.

superman family adventurestiny titans

Batman…a Dad?

It’s not uncommon for superheroes to, at some point, have children take up the hero mantle. The Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow comes to mind. Even Superman Returns gives you a glimpse of what Superman’s son can do. This Spring, DC Universe and Warner Bros. Animation will be releasing a new animated feature inspired by the 2006 Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert graphic novel Batman and Son titled Son of Batman. That’s right people, Batman is a dad. And actually since he doesn’t really have a day job, you could argue that he is actually an at-home dad.

In the graphic novel, major crime is at an all time low and Bruce Wayne decides he should take a well deserved vacation away from Gotham. While on his vacation he is greeted with a problem that only Batman can fix. Bruce suits up and battles an army of ninja man/bat hybrids. After the battle Bruce discovers that Talia al Ghul is behind the attack, but that is not all that he discovers. Talia has a surprise for Bruce. A 10 year old son named Damian. Talia tells Bruce that she has “allowed Bruce to evade his responsibilities,” so Damian could be trained by the League of Assassins. She also tells Bruce that Damian is out of control, and that he lacks the discipline that only Bruce(technically she says a good man) could teach him.

The rest of the graphic novel follows Bruce’s journey in training Damian in a way that would counteract the League of Assassins training, mainly that Batman does not kill his enemies. In my opinion the graphic novel shows the hardships in Damian’s journey, and I really hope they portray that in the upcoming animated feature.

I would recommend that people read ‘Batman and Son‘ before seeing the animated feature so you have an understanding of the Damian character. You can check your local library or comic book shop for the graphic novel and for the 4 part continuation of the Damian Wayne storyline called Damian:Son of Batman.

Here is the trailer for Son of Batman, set to release on May 6, 2014.

What are your thoughts on the Son of Batman, or any other story lines that involve the children of superheroes?