"Justice League: The New Frontier" Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Feb 26, 2008.

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Rate and Comment on This Feature - [i]Justice League: The New Frontier[/i]

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  1. ShadowStar

    ShadowStar Member

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    Difficult decision. I was slightly distanced from it because of the lack of development of that plot in the movie. In the graphic novel it felt universal and all-encompassing. The film didn't quite achieve that effect, making the combination of bloodshed with American values feel a little heavy-handed IMO.
     
  2. Mister Miracle

    Mister Miracle The Best Kept Secret

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    Great Movie

    Loved the movie! they did a good job! ill continue to support them! I cant wait for the Batman Movie!

    I loved all the action and blood they got to show :D
     
  3. Wolf Boy2

    Wolf Boy2 Active Member

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    I can't see why foreigners would be offended by American patriotism in an American movie (unless they were motivated by a deep, underlying dislike of America in general).

    Do I care that Braveheart is full of Scottish patriotism? Nope. Do I care that Exodus is full of Israeli patriotism? Nope. Do I care that Gladiator is full of ancient Roman patriotism? Nope. Do I care that Casablanca is full of French patriotism? Nope. And these films top the list of my favorite movies.

    I'm certainly not French, but even a Virginia good ol' boy like me got a rise of of that scene in Casablanca where they sing the French anthem. Every country, every culture, has its core values and a vision of what it ought to be. People draw on these values as part of their personal and national identity, it's human nature.

    Upon second veiwing, I really found Superman's speech appropriate, as he was addressing US citizens, US soldiers and US government agents. What the UN or NATO or the Communist Block or whoever else was doing at that time didn't matter a jot. He was addressing American people and calling them on the carpet for betraying their national values.

    Much like Caesar Marcus Arelius in Gladiator, speaking of "the dream that was Rome." Sure, at that time Rome was a conquering empire and throwing Christians to the lions. Marcus Arelius (and later Maximus) were talking about the founding values of Rome which had been lost, not unlike the founding values of America which Superman spoke of.

    All of us have national identities and nothing will change that, no matter how globalized the world becomes. There are even regional identities within nations. Like in the US, what does it mean to be a "Southern Gentleman" or to have "Yankee ingenuity?" There are certain ideals ascribed to us by default of where we were born, raised or imigrated to. Tolerance and equality are core American values, and if the government and millitary are going to fly that flag, they should abide by its values or they are traitors to the very people they represent. No matter what country the story takes place in, these are VERY universal themes.

    A totally unrelated question (as it's been a long time since I read the book and I don't have a copy), did anyone smoke cigarettes in the comic? Becuase I thought a smoke-free 1950s (except for the "smoke 'em if you got 'em" line and a brief glimpse of Luthor's cigar at the end) was absurd and reeked of censorship. Or was the book also smoke free?
     
  4. Toddman

    Toddman Hulk not good with words.

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    I'd like to go back and double check my copy of the book so I can compare that shot w/the movie, just to help me be sure,

    But I'm pretty sure the following were depicted:

    Captain Cold
    Kalibak
    Riddler
    Darkseid
    Ra's Al Ghul
    Brainiac
    Dr. Sivana
    Two-Face
    Black Manta
    Mxyzptlk
    Gorilla Grodd
    The Dummy
    Dr. Light
    Star Sapphire
    Cheetah
    Gentleman Ghost
    Harley Quinn
    Joker
    Mantis

    So in addition to adding Kalibak and Mxyzptlk to your list, it looks like you may have confused Grodd for the Ultra-Humanite, Dummy for Monocle, and Mantis for the Key.

    But again, I'll probably check out the comic to be sure.

    Like in my post above, I'll have to check out my copy of the book to be more specific, but I know for sure that Farady and Flagg smoked cigarettes in the comic version. And other characters, including Ace Morgan, can be seen puffing on cigars also. There's probably quite a lot of it on the comic, but it's so incidental that I can't even remember it.

    With some movie studios opting to reduce the amount of smoking in regular live action productions, I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was a strict studio policy "no-no" for smoking scenes in any animated features.


    Toddman
     
  5. Wolf Boy2

    Wolf Boy2 Active Member

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    For modern times, sure. But damn, whatever happened to "historical context"? Like it or not, cigarettes were as much an integral part of 1950s society as Coca Cola. It would be like setting a movie in the modern day without Starbucks or Red Bull.

    Bars, casinos and other "seedy" situations just look stupid when smoke-free. Modern times is one thing (as places like Maryland and DC have banned indoor smoking), but in the 1950s ... come on.

    Aren't these supposed to be an adult series of DTVs? Mask of the Phantasm had smoking and it was only PG. And yes, the smoking DID make a difference. The mob bosses just seemed more seedy and threatening, and it seperated MOTP from the average, censored BTAS mafia story. Though, personally I'd rather see no smoking at all than the unlit cigarettes and cigars we sometimes saw in BTAS.
     
  6. DerekPowers

    DerekPowers Ruler of Gotham City, 2049

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    Interesting. After watching the movie I did wonder how the comic handled that whole side of things.

    True enough, although I wasnt asking if it "offended" him, I was asking what his reactoin to it was. Like I could not only see it being off-putting to some, but it could also be idealized for others. Like, when I watch Japanese anime, theres a lot of aspects of Japanese life that I kind of idealize or see as really cool, mainly because I dont live there. So I was just wondering what non-Americans thought about a movie with such an American message.

    Plus, I mean, I could also see how some in other countries might find the touting of "Amercian values" as hypocritical, given the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, and all the lies and propaganda coming from the government. I dont mean to get political, but this was a political movie, and its no secret that a lot of the world thinks very poorly of us after the last 5 or 6 years. As an American, I get put off by such touting, because I see it as being out of touch with reality, to an extent. And the movie does raise the issue of dissent, to it's credit, but I still found the overall message to be way too complacent.

    Plus given the fact the Korean War was a big part of the movie, and that the JLA bascially joins forces with the government shortly before the start of the Vietnam war, also makes one more apt to look at it through a contemporary lens. I found it almost impossible to watch this movie without thinking about our current government, and if I would really feel comfortable with the freakin Justice League (my heros!!) joining forces with them. And many would argue that times havent changed that much, and the the government was just as corrupt back then as it is now (and if you look at not only Nam, but segregation, oppression of other minorities, one might agree).

    For me, the best part of the film was Hal's war story. HE was pretty heroic and patriotic if you ask me, and if his story is more fully developed in the comic, maybe I would actually like to read it...

    I really dont want to get into a political debate, these are my opinions and views, but I feel given the political nature of the movie, these kinds of comparisons and critiques are natural.

    I still am interested in non-American views of this movie. Im not saying they should be negative or positive, I'm just interested in hearing non-American view-points, whatever they may be (and i'm ofcourse interested in hearing the American view-point too).
     
    #106 DerekPowers, Mar 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2008
  7. ShadowStar

    ShadowStar Member

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    A few more quick notes... Was anyone else disappointed that the music from the official site didn't make it into the movie? :( None of the music in the movie could compare. Though the music over Martian Manhunter's entrance was very, very nice (starting from when the stars appear over Hal's blood-smeared face). It was bland in places, particularly the moments with the Flash. Though the music over the Kennedy speech was great. But most of the time it just echoed the theme in the main titles.

    Animation was mostly very strong. Brooke Shields was the best among the VAs IMO. While the others were good (Kyle McLachlan springs to mind), they felt like they needed the on-screen presence of actors to back them up (Lucy Lawless and Jeremy Sisto even fell prey to this). They weren't distinctive, if you know what I mean.
     
  8. Toddman

    Toddman Hulk not good with words.

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    That's not really a very good comparison. Mainly because there aren't that many modern movies that show their characters constantly chugging Starbucks and Red Bull. Furthermore, the other "integral" staple of 1950's society that you mentioned (Coca-Cola) is also completely absent from NF. There is some bourbon in it, though...

    While I agree that cigarette smoke would have heightened the atmosphere of the Vegas casino and Gotham bar scenes in NF, I have to confess that I personally never even noticed its absence until you mentioned it.

    Well, they're rated 'PG-13', not 'R', and they're sold in mainstream retail outlets like Target and Wal-Mart (in the kids and family DVD section no less), so I think labeling them "adult" would be fairly inaccurate.

    And yes, MOTP featured characters lighting up, but there are two points to keep in mind regarding that:

    First, that movie was released 15 years ago, and like I mentioned before, the pressure on studios to reduce the number of instances in films where characters are seen smoking is fairly recent. I'm sure that policy is especially scrutinized in animated features, PG-13 or not. And even in 1993, MOTP still carried a subtle message that "smoking is bad for you" as the audience sees that Sal Valestra eventually developed emphysema. If MOTP were released today however, there probably wouldn't be any smoking in it all.

    Toddman
     
  9. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Hero Fan
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    There didn't seem to be a problem showing alcohol use in these ( Perry White in Doomsday, Hal Jordan in New Frontier). I wonder why theres a need for a stricter policy on depictions of cigarette use.

    I guess its something cultural, like how there are liquors on tv but cigarette ads are banned.
     
  10. Wolf Boy2

    Wolf Boy2 Active Member

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    There was soda in the old-style (pop top) bottles with a bogus label clearly meant to evoke a beverage such as Coke or Pepsi. There was no product placement for a specific brand, but bottled soda made an appearance. Besides, I'm from the South. It's all "Cokes" in the south, even Pepsi and root beer. One person will say, "want a coke?" and the other will ask "what kind?" We still remember the "new" coke and the clear Pepsi. New Coke is hated worse in the south than Sherman, Grant and Abraham Lincoln combined. But REAL Cokes ... why I bet Jesus and Robert E. Lee are toasting real Cokes in the halls of Heaven right now.

    BTW, the "Starbucks and Red Bull" comment was tongue-in-cheek. I wasn't saying that they were in movies, but referencing how our society has just replaced one bad thing with others instead of genually changing (though personally I find Starbucks, Red Bull, Coke and cigarettes more effective when all used at the same time, especially when I'm up late studying). ;-)
     
  11. maxnugget

    maxnugget Avenger of evil and ignorance

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    I like how James throws up the gigantic superman image to help make his point.
     
  12. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Guest

    I might be biased but I thought the voice actor for Superman was really good. He really did have a quality in his voice that made Superman really sound from that era. I thought his voice matched the character design really nice.

    And if anyone is wondering, in the comic I'd say a good half the cast is smoking but like what was pointed out earlier that was a part of culture back then.
     
  13. MattThomasM2B

    MattThomasM2B The End Is Here.

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    This movie makes fawning over how much the Justice League and certain DTVs pushed the limits seem so trite.

    Loved it. Then again, I didn't read the comic so I've no preconceptions to spoil my opinion.
     
  14. Donomark

    Donomark Member

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    I just got it and the only complaint I have is that 75 minutes was not enough to fully tell the story. I don't mind cutting some parts out, but the movie went at such a break-neck speed that it dives into a lot of things. It was especially jarring for me, having read the book months before the movie. Otherwise, it was a fine adaptation and very well animated.
     
  15. Sue

    Sue Hawk Groupie

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    I finally got to reading the book and buying the DVD this week, and while the latter is a good, solid movie, it felt like something was missing. I guess that's the nature of the beast when adapting from a book. Many details have to get cut for time constraints. It was still a good piece nonetheless.

    Other observations:
    -It was nice seeing characters that were never animated previously, like Iris West (Wally's aunt) and cameos like Adam Strange and the Challengers of the Unknown.

    -I liked how certain scenes from the book were used, like the JSA and Hourman segments, Hal's bar scene (which was handled much differently in the book)

    -Being so used to the DCAU, it was interesting seeing Batman, Wondy, J'onn, and even King Faraday voiced by different people.
     
  16. Nightwing

    Nightwing WF Old Man

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    I don't quite follow that. I don't need to know the thoughts in someone's head to know if they're worthy of wearing a Ring, and neither do the Guardians. The story and the character development is what shows us that (which the Guardians obviously already know).

    HAHAAA! It's like Lewis Black and his misfortune with trying Candy Corn!! I love it! Nah you're right though. It's a supurb and artistic idea.

    Gladiator is one of MY favorite movies and it was the first comparison I thought of. Therefore, your post kinda freaks me out, in a good way.

    I couldn't agree more! I thought that message was shown in th emovie very well, although I could understand if the graphic novel did it better, as some opinions have said. We all have our core values that make us who we are, and we always have to make sure we're respecting them, because they are the core general values of loyalty, honesty, and compasion that everyone can appreciate AND benefit from.

    Wanna see MINE:

    .....Boo ya.

    A motive of gaining more information and reflection is never unjust. But if these events created a New Frontier for the mentality of Americans and Superheroes, which it very much did, then I'm sure that coupled with their JL responsibilities and the passage of time would allow for them not to help American Government decisions in the Vietnam War. I mean this doesn't mean that the Justice League is completely at the command of the American Government. It's just a reminder that we're supposed to stand for those same core values.

    Surely having to deal with a brush with Mordru or Ra's Al Ghul is reason enough for the League to have to decline help/focus to any military conflicts. The League has its own To-Do List.

    "I'm saying we can't always expect ONE GUY to save our sorry butts!! Even if he IS Superman!"
     
  17. Donomark

    Donomark Member

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    I think the movie should have included more smoking, only to follow the book better. In the original comic, Faraday, Ace Morgan and Carol Ferris were smoking in nearly every scene they had. I think there are some rules in animation about portraying people smoking, even in a PG-13 DTV. The Simpsons commentary on the 7th season joke about not being able to show people smoking at one point, and I always thought that was weird.
     
  18. A.J

    A.J Active Member

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    Guys, since I havent read the book, could somebody please tell me what are the differences between the movie version and the book Please? :)
     
  19. Peter Svensson

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    The book opens with the Losers (military group) stranded on Dinosaur Island. There is death, and someone leaping into a T-Rex with explosives. We see the last stand of Hourman, former JSA member as he is shot by police for being a vigilante. There's a running plot about John Henry, black man who becomes a masked hero and his tragic plight. The origin of the Challengers of the Unknown, regular men united by a tragedy that should have killed them. Um, lots more characterization for everyone. A LOT was removed for the DTV.
     
  20. Wolf Boy2

    Wolf Boy2 Active Member

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    I agree in the case if New Frontier, as it is a period piece. Though I don't think Terra should smoke (like her comic counterpart) in the upcoming Judas Contract. There's a difference between a film noir mob boss (Mask of the Phantasm) or shady 1950s G-man (NF comic) and an attractive teenage girl. I don't think any kids watched MOTP and wanted to be like Sal Valestra or Buzz Bronski. I only say this because kids will watch New Frontier and be looking for role models. In the case of anime like Cowboy Bebop, I really don't care who smokes.

    Did Hal smoke in the book? I read it two years ago and don't remember the details.
     

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