Is Warner Brothers Trying to Sneak the “Justice League” Past Us?

Is Warner Brothers secretly planning the greatest Fanboy surprise of all time? If you believe television’s “Arrow” star Stephen Amell, the answer could be…maybe?

In a rush of excitement earlier this morning, popular sites like Fandango quoted Amell as saying “All we have to do for something like that to happen, or even be a possibility, is continue to take care of business with our show and then we put ourselves in a position – but the important thing is our show. I have had discussions, but I think the gestation process for this project is a lot slower than most people think. I mean, they haven’t even shot the next one. They haven’t even shot a frame of the movie before the movie everyone thinks is the Justice League movie!”

Later in the day, on his Facebook page, Amell downplayed his comments, stating “… I’m not the smartest dude in the world. (After all… I picked a career in acting.) But would I really just casually subvert a process cloaked in secrecy? A process – by the way – being run by the company who currently employs me. C’MON!”

Confused? Don’t be. The powers that be at Warner Brothers have been sitting in silence since 2008 when “Iron Man” hit theatres, becoming the first salvo in a box office battle that would culminate in “The Avengers” four years later. Even with the success of the Christopher Nolan-directed “Dark Knight” trilogy, Warner Brothers could not find a suitable DC Comics character to combine with Batman. Or, rather, a suitable film to inspire such a combination. Though he seemed perfect for the role (and actually did a good job), Ryan Reynolds left some fans cold in “Green Lantern.” 2006’s “Superman Returns,” despite grossing almost $400 million, was judged a failure by both the studio and fans. Enter last summer’s “Man of Steel.” As filming progressed the rumor spread that, at the end of the film, Joseph Gordon Levitt was to show up after the credits as Batman. Didn’t happen. Then came word that Ben Affleck (once an unsuccessful Marvel movie character himself – Daredevil) would take the cowl from Christian Bale and join Henry Cavill in “Batman vs Superman.” As the year ended we were informed that Israeli actress Gal Gadot would appear in the new film as Wonder Woman.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers announced that they had pushed back the opening of “Batman vs Superman” from July 17,2015 to May 6, 2016. Speculation is that the studio wants nothing to do with the arrival of Disney’s “Star Wars: Episode VII,” also due in theatres in 2015. But what if there’s more? If I had an official press invite (email being sent) I would gladly drive 5 hours east to Cape Girardeau, Missouri where Ben Affleck is currently filming “Gone Girl” and ask the new Bruce Wayne to his face. But in lieu of that, I can hope. And do my own casting. Sticking with the original Justice League of America members I’m casting Jon Hamm as the Flash, Faran Tahir as the Martian Manhunter and I’m giving Ryan Reynolds a second chance as Green Lantern. After all, even Josh Whedon finally got Marvels’ green hero (the Hulk) right. As for Aquaman….I think I’ll just let “Entourage’s” Vincent Chase carry that mantle in his upcoming James Cameron-directed version!

Blu-ray Review “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox”

Actors: Nathan Fillion, Ron Perlman, Cary Elwes, C. Thomas Howell, Kevin McKidd
Directors: Jay Oliva
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Run Time: 81 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox” is the latest DCU original animated movie and one hell of a dark and fun ride. If it is not apparent in the title, The Flash gets a chance to strut his stuff in this film. The film packs some seriously impressive animation, courtesy of Studio 4°C. Like most DCU animation films, there is no shortage of amazing voice actors. This time around we get some serious talent including Nathan Fillion, Ron Perlman, Cary Elwes, Michael B. Jordan, C. Thomas Howell and many more. If you are a comic cook nut you will enjoy how they adapated Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert’s “Flashpoint” comic crossover. Just be worked it is definitely not for little kids since it is easier the most violent DCU animated film that I have seen to date. With all the buzz surrounding the recently released Superman meets Batman crossover in “Man of Steel 2”, this should be hot on the radar.

Official Premise: We all wish for the chance to go back in time and change the things, for The Flash, that coveted chance is within reach. He traverses time to right a violent, decades-past crime against his mother, but the ripples of his good intentions prove disastrous, as a fractured, alternate reality now exists in place of the familiar one. Stumbling through this twisted reality where even Superman is nowhere to be found, The Flash seeks the trusted wisdom of Batman, only to find a grittier, more violent Dark Knight in his place. Together with the help of Cyborg, they race to restore the continuity of Flash’s original timeline while this new world is ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and the Atlanteans, led by a battle hardened Aquaman.

Warner (like usual) takes care of it’s DCU releases. This comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet. We get all the basis and options covered with this release. The 1080p transfer really shines for this releases, especially with the animation. I thought the colors really popped and looks very sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 worked perfectly representing the voice talent, as well as the kick-ass action throughout.

The special features are pretty freaking awesome as well. There is an audio commentary track from Producer James Tucker, director Jay Olivia, screenwriter Jim Krieg and comic writer Geoff Johns. A lot of great minds here discussing the production. “A Flash in Time: Time Travel in the Flash Universe” is an timeline about the manipulation of time in the film. “My Favorite Villain! The Flash Bad Guys” takes a look at baddies in the film. There is a sneak peek at for the next DCU animated film “Justice League: War” set to arrive on Blu-ray in early 2014. There are four animated TV series episodes including “Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!” from “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and “Flash and Substance” from “Justice League: Season Two” and “Legends, Parts 1 & 2” from Justice League Unlimited. Lastly there is an 8-page digital copy excerpt of “Flashpoint #1” included.

 

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Blu-ray Review “Seeking Justice”

Directed by: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce, Harold Perrineau
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Running Time: 105 minutes

Film Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras Score: 1 out of 5 stars

I am a life-long fan of Nicolas Cage, I believe he can do no wrong, even with his not some amazing films (cough cough “Season of the Witch”). This film is a quaint little film that flew by the waste-side missing a theatrical release. It is backed by a great supporting cast of January Jones (“X-Men: First Class), Guy Pearce (“Lockout”), Harold Perrineau (TV’s “Lost”). Everybody really pulled their weight in this film and delivered a great ensemble. The film itself is thrilling and grabs your attention from the moment it starts.

Nicolas Cage stars as a high school teacher whose wife (January Jones) becomes the victim of a brutal rape. Following her recovery, her husband enlists the services of a vigilante group, when approached by stranger (Guy Pearce). The strange man offers him a way to get the person responsible and settle the score. Of course, there is more involved and the husband finds himself in deep trouble and needs to get to the bottom of it fast.

This film is released a two-disc set with a Blu-ray disc and DVD of the film. The video resolution looks sharp with its 1080p transfer and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The audio included is a very potent Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. It works well with the action and worked to add suspense. Sadly the special features are not as impressive only including a short Behind the Scenes featurette.

DVD Review “Young Justice: Season One, Volume Three”

Created by: Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti
Voices of: Bruce Greenwood, Crispin Freeman, Stephanie Lemelin, Jesse McCartney
Danica McKellar, Nolan North, Khary Payton, Jason Spisak
4 episodes
Running Time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Join Robin, Miss Martian, Superboy, Aqualad and Kid Flash on their adventures to fight the bad guys. This DVD comes packed with four episodes from the first season. This release lands in the series between from episode 9 through 12.  There are 26 episodes in season one so expect at least another 4 volumes for this season. The series is really fun and exciting but these episodes have started to get a little more darker and intense. If you are a fan of shows like “Justice League” and “Teen Titans”, this is a good mix of both.

The episodes includes are “Befret”, “Targets”, “Terror”, “Home Front”. “Befret” deals with the team trying to recover their memories after their mission in Bialya. In “Targets” puts the team in between an assassinate plot against Lex Luthor. “Terror” focuses on Superboy and Miss Martian planning to infiltrate Belle Reve. Lastly, “Home Front” brings forward the attack from Red Inferno and Red Torpedo on Mount Justice. Definitely some of the best episodes in the series to date.  I will look forward to see what comes next especially with the cliffhanger it leaves off on.

Available on DVD 2/21 at http://bit.ly/xA7kld
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Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis have become YOUNG JUSTICE – The Justice League’s secret weapon against the forces of evil. The teen heroes will take on under-the-radar missions that would be impossible for the Justice League to handle covertly. Red Tornado will be their supervisor; Black Canary will be in charge of their training and Batman will hand out their assignments.

DVD Review “Young Justice: Season One, Volume Two”

Created by: Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti
Voices of: Bruce Greenwood, Crispin Freeman, Stephanie Lemelin, Jesse McCartney
Danica McKellar, Nolan North, Khary Payton, Jason Spisak
4 episodes
Running Time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Anything with anything related to Batman or Superman, or DC comics in general…count me in. I loved “Teen Titans” and this show reminds me so much of it. It is a little less slapstick and instead packs some great action. This DVD comes packed with four episodes from the first season. The DVD lands in the series between from episode 5 through 8. Overall this series is really fun and exciting. Since watching these four episodes, I have setup a season pass for the rest of season one, which is currently airing on Cartoon Network.

The episodes includes are “Schooled”, “Infiltrator”, “Denial”, “Downtime”. “Schooled” is centered around Super Boy and his relationship with Superman. He goes off on his own. The team faces Professor Ivo’s Amazo. In “Infiltrator” focuses on Artemis as she prove herself to the team while protecting Dr. Roquette from the League of Shadows. “Denial” is when the team is sent by Red Tornado to the Tower of Fate to prevent the helmet of Doctor Fate from getting in the wrong hands. “Downtime” focuses on Aqualad and his travels home to Atlantis after he gets blamed for letting the rest of Young Justice get taken down in battle.

Synopsis: Animated DC Universe cartoon series for a new generation starring ROBIN, AQUALAD, KID FLASH, SUPERBOY, MISS MARTIAN and ARTEMIS . Combined these six teenage heroes are YOUNG JUSTICE the JUSTICE LEAGUE?s secret weapon against the forces of evil. Based out of THE CAVE, the teen heroes will take on under-the-radar missions that would be impossible for the League proper (with its incandescent star-power) to handle covertly. In addition, these kids are in constant training to take their place alongside the great heroes. RED TORNADO will be their supervisor; BLACK CANARY will be in charge of their training, and BATMAN will hand out their assignments. And of course, Young Justice will push their missions, often turning a simple assignment from Batman into something much larger, often discovering that what they?ve been tasked to do is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now available on DVD at http://bit.ly/oWEcyF
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ANVIL “Juggernaut of Justice” CD Review

ANVIL
Juggernaut of Justice
The End Records
Producer: Bob Marlette
Tracks: 12
Run Time: 43 min 35 seconds

Our Score: 4 out of 5

“Juggernaut of Justice” is  Canadian metal band Anvil’s 14th studio album and is the follow up to the bands 2008 release “This is Thirteen” which was documented in the band acclaimed film “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”. “Juggernaut of Justice” was produced by Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Slayer) and recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 Studios in Los Angeles.

“Juggernaut of Justice” is a much more streamlined and accessible album than the bands previous release.  With most tracks clocking in at around 4 minutes the album is very straight forward and in your face from start to finish. Even with the new streamlined approach the album is classic Anvil all the way. Each member of the band in my opinion is at the top of their game and “Juggernaut of Justice” proves that. Tracks such as “New Orleans Voodoo”, “Fukeneh”, and “Conspiracy” do a great job of blending the classic Anvil sound with Marlette’s clean production style. The real high light of the album which singer and guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow discussed in a recent interview with moviemikes.com is the track “Swing Thing”. This track breaks new ground by combining swing jazz and classic heavy metal.

“Juggernaut of Justice” has something for both new and old school Anvil followers. Even if you aren’t a dedicated Metal Pounder do yourself a favor and pick up this album!

Track Listing:
1.)    Juggernaut of Justice
2.)    When All Hell Breaks Loose
3.)    New Orleans Voodoo
4.)    On Fire
5.)    Fukeneh!
6.)    Turn it Up
7.)    The Ride
8.)    Not Afraid
9.)    Conspiracy
10.)  Running
11.)  Paranormal
12.)  Swing Thing

To read Steve “Lips” Kudlows interview with moviemikes.com go to http://moviemikes.com/2011/01/interview-with-anvils-steve-“lips”-kudlow/