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Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Feb 26, 2008.
Speaking of old guard...does not this make Superman, Batman, and Wonder Women fifty or so years old?
Well, I just saw the movie tonight... on the big screen with my projector
I thought it was great. But maybe that's not saying much. I really liked the voice cast, i thought they all did a great job. I was actually surprised about Jeremy Sisto as Batman. I thought he was really good in the role... but for me (or for most) Kevin Conroy is still Batman.
And I'm so happy they got Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman... I have to admit, I was hoping to hear that Xena yell... oh well.
Gotta love Aquaman's cameo
I personally thought Batman's voice just didn't work. This incarnation of Batman is the skinniest of any other animated Batman...yet he gets the most huskiest and mysterious voice. It would make a little more sense if the voice was coming out of BTAS Batman's mouth.
As for the movie, I thought the Flash and MM stole the show. Hal Jordan seemed like he was being pushed to be the main hero of the story. The movie also seemed more theaterical and epic compared to Doomsday. I personally like the scene where MM transforms into Bugs Bunny.
I disagree. He's a rich and handsome playboy whose primary inspiration is Zorro. I'd say he's sounds exactly like you would expect him to. Also, we never hear him speak to criminals. I imagine he has a completely different voice for interrogations.
I also gotta add that I did not care for this film at all. I've read the books and loved them, so I understand I may be biased. Even so, this film felt so rushed it's ridiculous. Outside of a few scenes (Hal's dogfight and Batman taking on an entire cult) the animation is stiff and looks as though frames are missing. The flash movies at the beginning and end of the film are especially distracting.
The music? Not at all inspiring, and really just grating. It felt like they were trying to build up suspense and the sense of paranoia by borrowing from the "Catch Me If You Can" soundtrack. This might have worked if the film had spent a little more time on the paranoia and fear that drove the JSA out and suppressed the heroes of the silver age. Also, this is NOT a caper film.
What's really missing here is the emotional impact of what's going on on-screen. This is the problem of trying to squeeze hundreds of pages of story into a 75-minute film. I applaud Darwyn Cooke for trying to get everything in that he could, but the result is that the audience has no time to react or even process what's going on before the story moves on to the next thing. Given the break-neck pacing, I'd say the big name voice talents are wasted on the film. If there's only a few lines of dialogs for each character, why shell out the big bucks?
Ultimately, the source of all these problems seems to come from a budget that's too small and a production schedule that's too short for the task of telling the story properly. I can't help but feel that if the film had been allowed a 120-minute running time, or hell even a 90 minute running time, the film would be much improved. Instead, what I see is a wreck that makes me like I was conned out of my money.
Here's a tip DC: I understand that you're trying to compete with Marvel. In a short time they've put out 4 DTV's. But in case you haven't noticed, they kinda suck. Ultimate Avengers? Horrible animation and a great story sanitized for a younger demographic. Iron Man? Bad story. Bad CG. Doctor Strange? Okay, that one was pretty good.
My point is, if you have a great story like this, and you put proven talent behind it like Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano, don't kill it with any budget or schedule less than that of JLU. That should be the bar for quality. Don't hire eye-catching names like Lucy Lawless, David Boreanaz, and Neil Patrick Harris, then tell them they have to deliver their handful of lines at a racing pace because you've restricted the running time to the bare minimum for a feature film. That's just wasting money. If you've got a big story to tell, then tell it big. It's worked before and it will work again.
The giant clock near the end, was that a ref to Zero Hour?
I enjoyed the film. Yes, 70-something is sadly too short for such a tale but what are you going to do? It was great to see the Bob Kane Batman design in action against the Centre's cult. And later, the Dick Sprang design. We saw that design in TNBA "LOTDK" but this time he remained the hard ass in costume.
It's also nice to get a full-on Hal Jordan story.
I suppose I'll have to schedule a double-feature night and watch Doomsday and New Frontier back-to-back.
The Gotham Knight DTV will likely be more well-received because it's a series of vignettes, better exploiting the short run time.
edit: something I noticed. When they do the villain panover, Harvey Dent's right-half is disfigured. I suppose the pan shot was flipped.
Nope. Real world history reference to the Doomsday Clock.
Loved the noir atmophere of this film, and while it did feel rushed, I definitely felt captured by the film. It was a great throw-back style that suffered from being 50 minutes too short.
I thought the movie was OK. Considering the format of how long the movie was going to be, there were some tough decisions to be made in cutting up the original story. I have read TNF and it is my #1 favorite comic book story of all time, so I did have high expectations.
It was well animated and well executed, but because so much of the original story was cut it was difficult to get into without thinking back to what originally happened in the book.
I thought this was very good and stylish movie, It was cool to see what all the DC superheroes whould be like if they lived in the real world of 1950s. The only major flaws in this were that it could have been longer and the Center was more of a plot device to get everyone united than a real villain.
I think as both an adaptation of a huge graphic novel and a sort-of follow-up to Superman Doomsday (talkback) it did a really good job. I can understand why they sort of sold Batman Superman and Wonder Woman front and center for this movie. But I like it also gives people a chance to get a really good look at the other DC Comics characters. They are completely different in the comics for the most part but I think it's great. I've rewatched it a few times already and much like Superman Doomsday the flaws do stick out more. While I didn't mind the running time the first time I watched it, it does stick out a bit more now and the main villain is somewhat a generic villain. In fact he reminds me of the generic alien threat from Justice League "Secret Origins" (talkback). I suppose it is difficult to write these bad guys but I supose Doomsday was written the same way in Superman Doomsday as well. Just a plot device like The Centre. I still think The Center was an good adversary mostly thanks to Keith David's great vocal work.
Seems I agree with the general consensus that it should have been longer. Aside from that, though, it was brilliant. I thought the characterization for Hal Jordan was incredible (I never got into the cheesy Super-Friends version), plus there were just so many cool moments.
Don't laugh, but I think I got a tear in my eye when I saw President Kennedy awarding a medal to the Flash.
Finally got to see this movie. I thought it was pretty good. Even though this movie felt too short, I thought they did a good job considering the time limit. I did not read the original book, so it didn't taint my viewing of this movie.
The story was lacking, but I liked the stylized look of the movie. Also, unlike Superman: Doomsday, the blood and violence, along with the adult content, didn't seem as gratitous and unnecessary (save for the final battle). The only thing I didn't like was the score. It was pretty bland.
The first sign for me that all was not as it should be came reasonably late in New Frontier when Hal Jordan, on a mission with Rick Flagg, needs to prevent him from pushing a spacecraft's self-destruct button. So he punches Flagg in the stomach. With his fist. In zero-G. With Flagg wearing a thick, padded spacesuit. And this single blow, the Batman/Guy Gardner of punches to the solar plexus, sufficiently incapacitates Flagg long enough for Hal to have a dramatic conversation with King Faraday, quip that Flagg's indisposed, and finish his business in time for Flagg to get over his Glass Joe stomach and come back for Round 2.
And at that point, I was ready to throttle whoever greenlighted that sequence.
Why? Because it's lazy storytelling. It's the visuals not supporting the plot. It's relying on the viewer to say "it's just a cartoon, folks (wink)" and letting things slide. The problem with New Frontier is that the story is just good enough and epic enough that the little things that take you out of the story bothered me about ten times more than, say, something like "how come Superman knows how to make a katana?" in the Justice League episode "Hereafter". New Frontier plays on a different level than Justice League; unfortunately those higher dramatic stakes demand higher dramatic standards.
I should have seen it earlier. I should have seen it in the "tell not show" conversation between Lois and Superman where they talk about Joe McCarthy, that this was a movie that was going to rely on a lot of exposition to advance the plot. New Frontier advertises itself as a very skillful exercise in dramatic parallelism, with early superheroes fighting their way through the paranoid politics of the 1950s and eventually broke into full Silver Age flower when Kennedy, proclaiming a contrasting message of hope and responsibility, broke through the tenor of the dark times and allowed heroes -- and America -- to experience a renaissance.
Those of a more conservative bent may (and have) taken issue with the parallelism. I don't, but I'll admit that it demands more than shorthand references like a couple of sentences on Joe McCarthy to credibly build. Like the gut punch, references to McCarthy have become such a shorthand for the conflicts of the era that they don't have the impact they did when Wild Cards first drew into that thematic well. They've become as trivial as a Godwin's lawbreaking reference in an Internet argument. Even so, it's a compelling metaphor with a lot of potential power.
When New Frontier takes the time to build itself, particularly in the showcase story of how Hal Jordan became Green Lantern, it's very good. When it jumps from point to point, particularly with the Center, the villain of the piece (who has a magnificent opening sequence and then gets backburnered until he shows up almost out of nowhere at the end), it's muddled, unfocused storytelling.
The fault is the running time, which is partially a budgetary concern, and partially an artifact of kid's television and chopping up programs into neat segments for television airings. Given that this show that justifiably earns a PG-13 rating, compressing it for kids' attention spans makes absolutely no sense. It's as nonsensical as… a stomach punch onto a padded spacesuit that takes a man out for an extended period of time. I've never read the original comic, but I didn't have to see that they were trying to shoehorn an epic. Epics are underappreciated in an era that holds Hemmingway as the Only True Way of Storytelling. To those acolytes I'd counter with this question: would Lawrence of Arabia have been a better film if it were compressed down to eighty minutes?
New Frontier is by no means a failure. Unfortunately, the promise of its exceptional, mature, first half is let down by a choppy second half, and while its voice talent, animation, storyboards and music are great, ultimately it's far less than the sum of its parts.
Well after multiple viewings with friends and family members, I must say I really enjoyed this movie, as did they. It's funny that both my father and best friend commented, at different times, that some of the action scenes were very weak, most noticeably the fight with Batman and the cult. What really brought that home was seeing the fight choreography on Task Force X just after the film. When you compare that scene with Deadshot, Flag, and the gang versus the cowboy, knight, and bruiser to the scene with Batman fighting the cult, it is really bland and lacks impact. Was [SIZE=-1]Joaquim Dos Santos[/SIZE] not available during the production of this movie? So far he seems to be of the very few directors/storyboard artists who can do dynamic action really well throughout the DCAU.
Other than that and the short running time, I'm really happy to own this movie.
Joaquim is working on season 3 of Avatar, where he's doing some absolutely amazing work.
[SIZE=-1]I agree completely that Joaquim Dos Santos is doing some amazing work on Avatar. That is a series that relies on action and he has shown us time an time again with the JLU that he is awesome at storyboarding dynamic hand-to-hand combat.
Apparently, I was wrong. Joaquim did do some storyboards on JL:tNF, according to the commentary with Cooke, he did the Batman, Robin, and Superman scene.
Also according to the commentary, it was Butch Lukic who storyboarded the fight scene in the church.
If they intentionally assigned a veteran BTAS artist to capture the feel of an "old school" Batman fight scene, that's exactly what they got. Unfortunately for the movie, DCAU fight scenes have come a long way since 1992. Considering the high octane Batman-specific fights that audiences have grown accustomed to regularly watching on The Batman and JLU (and almost definitely the upcoming Gotham Knight project), I was a little surprised that the creative team would settle for such a lackluster brawl.
(It's really too bad, as I thought the scene started out very impressively, and it's one of my favorite moments from the original book.)
I may be in the minority, but I only thought this movie was ok. It wasn't terrible by any stretch. It was better than Superman/Doomsday, which I thought was a disaster.
This didn't even come close to the impact and excitement of Timm and crew's best work. I guess when I watch a new product, I want the level of ROTJ or Apokolops Now. I want to get into it. When the heroes throw punches, I want to feel the excitement. I want to hate the villains.
I guess the source material may have been an issue for me here. The villain reminded me of the Justice League pilot. Just a lot of goop for the heroes to fight.
And similar to that first season of Justice League, I was felt feeling that Superman was too wimpy.
I realize this was GL's story, but I don't like downplaying Superman to pump up other heroes.
Something just felt off. I didn't like how Abin Sur's death was caused by a simple investigation gone bad.
I've been reading some key Hal Jordan stories in the comics since Rebirth. I like that Hal Jordan better. He was a good character, but I didn't feel the story did him the justice he deserved. I haven't read the graphic novel, so maybe that's the source material. And I would have liked to see Green Lantern MUCH sooner than that.
The visuals were outstanding.
Loved that they expanded the DCU, and weren't limited by some of the things that JLU were limited by. For example, we saw Robin, and the traditional Supergirl, even briefly.
The story wasn't that bad, but Timm and crew have done better.