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"Teen Titans: The Judas Contract" Animated Release Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Apr 4, 2017.

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"Teen Titans: The Judas Contract" - Discuss the animated movie and leave a rating!

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  1. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    I'd have been infinitely harder on The Judas Contract if it was a beat-for-beat adaptation like Batman: Year One since I didn't really like Batman: Year One for that specific reason. I don't see the point of doing a beat-for-beat adaptation. Just read the comic again. As I point out in nauseating detail in that review, there are things that work better on a page than they do on screen and vice-versa, and following the exact beats simply does not yield the same payload.

    Then again, I'm already going against the grain of many of the hardcore fans in questioning whether they should have done The Judas Contract at all. But maybe I'm just getting too crusty in my old age.
     
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  2. Greg91

    Greg91 Member
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    Home Media Magazine has an interesting article on Teen Titans: The Judas Contract including Marv Wolfman's brief thoughts on the movie.

    I found some details were pretty revealing such as the studio's desire for Batman or the Justice League to play a role in The Judas Contract.

    It seems like being in continuity and a follow-up to Justice League vs Teen Titans was pretty necessary for the crew to make The Judas Contract.

    I guess any non-Batman/Justice League movies need to be spin-offs/follow-ups to Batman or Justice League movies.
    I feel like when people think of adaptations, they think of the story brought to life on screen. The exact same story they read, they want to see in motion, which I totally understand. Seeing a comic in fluid animation and very faithful to fantastic source material can be wonderful to watch.

    At the same time, I see where you're coming from in terms of the adaptation. However, I think they already made enough changes and I most certainly don't question them doing The Judas Contract. I'm very happy a movie that was supposed to be made a decade ago actually happened. I hope future adaptations don't rub you the wrong way for your own enjoyment.

    In the article I linked above, James Tucker did address adapting the story.

    “It’s a classic story. It’s so massive and really changed the trajectory of DC comics when it came out so there’s a lot of history that we had to honor when we adapted it,” Tucker said during the film’s premiere at WonderCon March 31 in Anaheim, Calif. “It may not have all the different twists and turns that two years of continuing comics do, but I think it stays true to the core of what that story was.”
     
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  3. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Was a pretty good movie. The characters all were interesting and had time to shine, the plot/story was what I expected but well done with Terra/Slade's dynamic and betrayal. Although Brother Blood absorbing all the powers of the Titans is beyond corny and cliche, I know it was expected.

    I really like this new shared Teen Titan universe, it's the better aspect of these New 52 movies. Unlike the Justice League Dark film where all the main characters were a bore and it made the movie difficult to watch, here everyone was likeable and on point.

    More like this. I expect future movies to adapt Raven/Trigon and Blue Beetle/The Reach, even though I've seen those before in the cartoons, etc...it'll be nice for more movie adaptions.
     
  4. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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  5. Harlequinn

    Harlequinn Joker's Henchman

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    It'll be interesting to see how close this is to Donna's design when she inevitably appears in YJ considering that the Kid Flash design for this film is essentially's Bart's KF costume in YJ:O
     
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  6. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    Phil Bourassa posted the design of Brother Blood's mutated form from the end of the movie. He cites Mumra as inspiration with some subconscious Nightstalkers influence as well.
     
  7. ABrown

    ABrown Active Member

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    I never commented on this film? I really enjoyed it. I absolutely love this version of the Teen Titans. I would take another one of these Teen Titans movies over a season of Young Justice ANY day.
     
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  8. Fone Bone

    Fone Bone Matt Zimmer

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    Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

    I have never read a Teen Titans comic book. I am familiar with the animated series and HAVE read some of their comic tie-ins, but as to the actual DC Universe Teen Titans, I'm a novice. But from what I've gathered about their most famous story, The Judas Contract, it has three famous (and at times controversial) beats.

    1. Robin becomes Nightwing.

    2. Terra and Slade boink.

    3. Terra turns out to be industrial strength crazy and irredeemable.

    I won't fault them for not doing the Robin into Nightwing arc. Dick is already Nightwing in this continuity, so no, harm no foul. But having Slade be a "gentleman", and Terra showing remorse at the end shows that this is an extremely watered down adaptation. Do you know what other Titans project did this story without Robin turning into Nightwing, underage sex, or an evil Terra? The Teen Titans TV show. You know, the TV-Y7 one, that was geared towards grade-schoolers. At least they had a ready made excuse to water things down (it was a kids show) but this movie could have done all three of these things had it chosen to and kept the PG-13 rating. What is alarming about that is that this means this project is no more hardcore than the Original Series, s-bombs or no.

    It's not technically a bad movie, but as its based on the comics most controversial and memorable story, it would do better to be more controversial and memorable.

    I love Slade Wilson though. He's funny and I miss Miguel Ferrer already. I love him having to redo Damian's text because he's all "Oh, right. You're a[...]," and telling the other Titans they probably had the urge to beat the [snot] out of Damian for being mouthy too. I also love that after Terra's rant that he has the meta sounding line, "Not a lot of gray area there". Which of course the movie stupidly buys back by making Terra gray by the end. If he had time to properly break Damian he's have him fetching his pipe and calling him "Papa".

    Not all of Slade was great. I feel especially jarred to hear the word "Esse" come out of Miguel Ferrer's lips as an ironic racial slur. It doesn't matter if it's a Latino actor delivering the line, it's still racist. Even saying he is going to eat waffles after he's dead doesn't undercut it. And as far as this franchise is concerned, waffles undercuts everything. Also him telling Starfire they should be lovers because they are both newly single is beyond creepy.

    Also, I kind of feel like Slade would have had more plausible deniability for betraying Terra at the end had he not said that. So it was stupid too.

    He asks Robin if he thought he was a stooge in a B movie. And Robin's all, "Well, that costume...". But honestly, Slade saying that to Starfire in front of Terra shows he IS in fact, a stooge.

    Speaking of creeps, Beast Boy definitely is one. Turning into a monkey to steal kisses is not cute, nor is turning into a python to squeeze Terra threateningly to force one. Her PTSD kicks in at that point, which is good.

    I love "What's wrong with you people?" Partly because it shows Terra's dysfunction in being shocked at being treated so decently to people she just hurt, and partly because she's right that there is something wrong about that reaction. I would get Beast Boy being embarrassed and apologetic. Were I Robin or Blue Beetle though, I'd be outright [mad] at her.

    I am annoyed that Beast Boy says "Mama" like he does on Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls. The messed up thing is that he never said that on The Original Series. And I don't really think it sounds right for anyone else but Greg Cipes.

    Speaking of Beast Boy, where does Beast Boy's costume go when he changes into animals? I might not have even realized I should be asking this question if the last movie hadn't brought it up. Has Raven imbued his costume with magic? But then why can he change into a seal in his civvies at the end? Hmmm.

    I like that the way to defeat Beast Boy is to lead him to a button that says "Do not press". Dick's reaction is the right one: "Oh, come on, Gar."

    I like the dog Raven gave Damian at the end. I also loved seeing Wonder Girl. I know nothing about the character, and look forward to learning more.

    Speaking of looking forward to learning more, we sort of overlooked the fact that Slade learned Batman's identity in an earlier movie because he died at the end, and it didn't matter. Now that he's back to life, and clearly knows the identities of Damian and Dick. I can't wait to see what that will mean for Batman's identity in the future. I think they played a little too fast and loose with the identities in the movie, but we'll get to that later.

    I think the thing I dislike most is Kevin Smith. Were I Smith, I would have turned the project down, or at least given them writing tips about making the project sounds authentic. Smith DOES interview these comic types for podcasts and the like. And Beast Boy's interview sounds entirely fake and overwritten, and not a conversation real people would have. Nobody ever says "Too soon?" on these things. And since Smith seems to always be sort of braggy that he gets how real people talk in his movies, I would think that he would want to make sure that any time he was playing himself doing a professional interview, it didn't sound like it could have been written by the writers of Webra Walters for the 1987 version of DuckTales. That should not be too much to ask.

    For the record, even if the interview hadn't sounded completely phony, I find Smith personally obnoxious, so I might not have enjoyed it either way. But I could at least see the merit to the cameo if it was plausible.

    Starfire seems entirely too comfortable discussing her and Dick's sex life with teenagers. I personally think he's being kind of prudish about it, but it's not something she should be talking about with young kids either.

    I love Dick telling Damian to quit complimenting the bad guys. I also like that he's quite a bit put out that Damian approves of him and Kori. Ummm, thanks? Damian can make anything weird.

    I had to look up online to find out the guy in the tag is called Jericho.

    I cringed at the dead black reporter being strung up. I am the type of person who believes that every time you show a death in fiction, you are making a statement, and that you might want to think about what statement you could be making if you show it. I wish not only that the writers of this movie would do that, but the rest of Hollywood too. It's not just this project that does thoughtless [things] like that. And that fact bums me out.

    For the record, the kissing to learn languages thing is the biggest punchline about Starfire, and the precise reason I will never be able to take the character seriously. Dumb miscalculation to set it up for a character they want us to see in a leadership role. Her first costume in the flashback is beyond tacky too. I suppose it's funny that Kid Flash and Speedy start talking about what languages they learned in school, but that's why I don't like the plot point. It's ridiculous and make Starfire look slutty, when she is not. It's annoying.

    On the plus side, it's sort of interesting to see that the Titans have been around for awhile, and have a rotating roster. Although if five years have passed, that would make Beast Boy 17 at the youngest. Which does not seem at all credible to me. Present Day Beast Boy acts like he's 11, and had his first big boy dream yesterday.

    Love that Dick knows how to pick locks. Mr. Youthful Offender.

    Jaime must literally have the worst classroom erections ever. That scene was funny, but I wound up feeling far more bad for Jaime than the writers were probably intending me to.

    I loved hearing David Zayas voice Jaime's father. Moroni was literally the best part of Gotham (which now sucks) and they killed him off for no good reason whatsoever. Always good to see that guy getting work.

    As I've been rewatching the film and going through it, I kind of think there are more plot oversights and holes than usual. Because there are a LOT.

    The Titans have been active for at five years and fighting alien threats? That does not track with Justice League: War, which said that was the first alien invasion Earth went through, and the first teaming up of the heroes. But if Batman and Flash's sidekicks are already on a first name basis with each other, it sort of undercuts the idea that the formation of the Justice League was a game changer on this Earth. It should have been and now it's not anymore.

    Also I question why Blue Beetle is trying to hide his identity at the soup kitchen. He walks in with Beast Boy, green as can be, and the only person who looks like that on planet Earth, so if he feels comfortable enough doing that in his civvies, he was never that concerned about protecting the identity anyways.

    Similarly, why is Dick publicly moving in with the only Tamaranian on Earth? He's using their real names on their answering machine, as if every Batman villain ever isn't currently salivating over putting the pieces together. And the worst thing is that he's practically finished the center of the puzzle, and is only asking the villains to put in the corners last. He's pretty much doing the hard work for them.

    And finally, Dick and Kori should have immediately suspected Terra upon finding the pictures. Scratch that. Not suspected. Known. Figured out. Caught her red-handed. Because not only were they intimate, and taken inside the tower, but she wasn't in any of them. Which logically meant she was the one taking them. I really shudder to think of the idea that Dick Grayson learned on the knee of the World Greatest Detective. Maybe Damian, skeptical of Terra from the get-go, IS actually the proper son of Batman. Dick is doing his reputation no favors by saying Terra needs understanding instead of surveilence.

    Cool that they got Crispen Freeman, Masasa Moyo, and Jason Spisak to reprise their Young Justice roles as Speedy, Bumblebee, and Kid Flash, respectively.

    I like that Starfire is a little bit threatened that the team went to Dick with their concerns first. But I'm going to go there. It's not because Dick is a great leader (as Starfire thinks). It's because he's a man, and that [stuff] is deeply ingrained into every level of society, men, and women like Raven alike. I don't fault Starfire for being disappointed. But if she was a little more aware of Earth misogyny, she also wouldn't be surprised.

    No dedication to Miguel Ferrer at the end? Great, now I dread Batman Vs. Two-Face.

    This was a very safe adaptation of a story that did NOT play it safe. I'm not saying I wanted all of the horrible things that happened in the story to happen, but for NONE of them to happen just means the adaptation is ultimately gutless. **1/2.

    Titanic Minds: Reuniting Wolfman And Perez:

    At first I think Wolfman sounds like the jerk of the year for calling some of Perez's old artwork bad, but it turns out that's just how they make each other better. I would feel much harsher against it were Wolfman not so supportive of Perez's writing. Raven was originally supposed to be black, but Wolfman decided against it, because he thinks black superheroes with their races in their name are dumb. I believe that was a shot across the bow at Black Panther and Black Lightning. Not to mention Black Manta. The biggest deal these two made before The Judas Contract, was to make sure they never changed their mind about Terra. And that happens to writers all the time when they fall in love with their characters. But they were determined to stand strong about this. Wish the movie had had the same nerve. I love the story about them being amazed they plotted Terra's 15 year old death in a New York City diner, and nobody called the cops because they heard what they were saying out of context. Only in New York. Deathstroke had only one eye, partly because the design looked cool, and partly because the idea of an assassin with no depth perception made him seem extra bad. Don't you wish Gene Roddenberry had that same sort of mindset when he envisioned the original navigator (Geordi La Forge) of the Enterprise as being blind? It seems kind of obvious in hindsight that if you are going to make a joke like that, you should make the character extra awesome to back it up. George La Forge being a complete buttmunch loser stings especially badly for that reason. Great interview. ****1/2.

    Villain Rising: Deathstroke:

    Couple of observations. Deathstroke has a really interesting backstory. What bothers me is that he doesn't have an interesting backstory in these movies. Beats the Slade from Teen Titans though who didn't have a backstory at all. Speaking of TAS Slade, the idea that Deathstroke is a noble, honorable, honest man, is completely inconsistent with the Ron Perlman version. In fact, upon seeing this idea articulated, it really makes me think a LOT less of Wolfman and Perez. Why? Because they turned the young teenage girl he was statutory raping into a psychopath, and acted like this pedophile was her victim, and held the high ground after molesting her. Am I the only one who sees that disturbing subtext? I can't be, right? Say what you will about the repenting Terra on the cartoon. She is legitimately portrayed as Slade's victim, which is how I think it should be, even if they aren't sleeping together. Why wasn't this obvious to Wolfman and Perez? I do not have the problem that some people would have of Slade and Terra having sex to show their dysfunction. Because that IS dysfunctional. My problem is saying the dysfunction is one-sided, and belongs mainly to the kid being molested. And if you say Slade is an honorable, noble, honest man, that's what is happening. I much prefer my Deathstrokes to be total creeps in this scenario. **1/2.

    A Sneak Peek At Batman And Harley Quinn:

    Not on-board a DCAU project with swearing and sexual innuendo. The producers seem to be hedging their bets whether this is DCAU though. Perhaps they were lowering expectations in case it sucked. After seeing it, I'm still 50/50 to be honest. They say that Bruce Timm was the one person who could do the project right because of both his familiarity with the character, and the fact that he has the professional distance to her that someone like Paul Dini does not. And I think the movie could use less professional distance and more people concerned with keeping the integrity of this version of the character. They mention that the movie was structured like Harliquinade. Then don't you think the Blu-Ray should have had that episode as one of the bonus cartoons? It's seems like an oversight they included Harley's Holiday with Harley And Ivy instead. ****.

    Trailers:

    Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition: This refers to the awful Keri Russell animated abortion as a Masterpiece! Bwa ha ha ha ha! Is this a freaking joke? I think Disney has more of a legit claim to call The Black Cauldron a masterpiece than WHV does of calling that piece of garbage one. And that's saying something. Be thankful they didn't call the David E Kelly trainwreck TV pilot a masterpiece. But just based on this ad, I bet that's coming. *.

    Justice League Dark: This trailer seems great but it is absolutely insane that they neglected the movie's biggest selling point: the return of Matt Ryan as John Constantine. That's the entire reason to see the movie and it isn't even mentioned. That's an outright weird business decision from Warner Home Video. ***.

    Injustice 2: I cannot tell what the frak is happening in this videogame trailer. So I am annoyed instead of intrigued. It's not like I play modern videogames anyways, but if I did, this would be an easy pass. *.
     
    #68 Fone Bone, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2017
  9. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    What we saw in the flashback was not a full scale alien invasion. It was a few aliens chasing an exile for a brief amount of time. The rest of your critiques I have to get back to later.
     
    #69 Yojimbo, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  10. Fone Bone

    Fone Bone Matt Zimmer

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    That's the argument, isn't it? And yet, the world was supposedly new to the idea of aliens, and Starfire has been around for five years. I'm not saying it doesn't fit without a lot of "Yeah buts" and "Wells...".. I'm just saying it doesn't seem very credible to me. I am well aware there are some stretchy rationalizations you can make to make it fit. I just don't think Earth's first contact with aliens, or the first superhero team, is something that should be rationalized. They should have just kept that idea from Justice League: War on rock-solid footing. This is practically a brand new continuity. We shouldn't be involved in retcons already.
     
  11. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    I'd probably have to listen to War again before I continue. It's been awhile.

    9/17: Some more thoughts
    Not everyone matures at the same rate. He's that sheltered kid that thinks everything he says is cool and funny but gets a rude awakening later in life, imo.

    Before I go further, I did go into similar War vs. TJC thing in a previous post so take a look at it first.

    I haven't found any instance they 100% unequivocally stated it's the first alien invasion, first contact, nor the first time heroes teamed up. If you have, let me know.

    I admit I am off put by people getting stuck on Teen Titans existing before the Justice League. Then again, I'm not a purist with how the order should be just like in the comics.

    I like the idea that Batman doesn't really bat an eye at the reveal of Parademons in War since he's been keeping tabs on Superman for x amount of time and knew of Starfire for years already.

    Yeah, I get into that in the previous post. In addition, I thought of the Titans as local heroes in the still unnamed city where the Titans Tower is and never did anything on the national or global level like the League did.

    Hmm, I don't think it's hiding his identity as much as it was his insecurity about being able to control the Scarab in public situations.

    Anymore obvious than when he lived with Bruce in the manor. Any hero is always one or two steps away from giving themselves away. Sure, a villain will find out but somehow it gets rectified, not really worth on dwelling on it, imo.

    What did the message say, again? If it was "Dick and Kori", meh. "Dick Grayson, former ward of Bruce Wayne, and Kori'and'r, exiled princess of Tamaran"? Another scene I'd have to rewatch.
     
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