Also known as: Omoide poro poro (original Japanese title), Memories of Teardrops, Memories of Yesterday (alternative titles) Release Date: July 20th, 1991 (Japan) Directed by: Isao Takahata Written by: Isao Takahata Based on:Omoide Poro Poro by Hotaru Okamoto, Yuko Tone Music by: Katz Hoshi Cast: Japanese Language: Yoko Honna, Miki Imai, Toshiro Yanagiba; English Language: Daisy Ridley, Alison Fernandez, Dev Patel, Grey DeLisle, Tara Strong
Nippon Television Network, Studiopolis, Studio Ghibli, 118 Minutes
“Rainy days, cloudy days, sunny days… which do you like?” – Hirota, “…cloudy days.” – Taeko, “Oh, then we’re alike.” – Hirota
I would have to consider this my least favorite Studio Ghibli film, up to this point in their history.
Honestly, it just didn’t connect with me in the ways that their other movies have. It’s just okay and pretty dry. It moves at a snail’s pace.
The story is about an unmarried woman being fixated on memories of her childhood. She does what we all do, looks back, overanalyzes the moments that shaped her, and questions where she is in life now.
I watched the English dubbed version, as the most modern English dubs of Studio Ghibli films are typically top notch. However, I found Daisy Ridley’s performance to be really underwhelming, compared to the performances by voice leads in other films.
It sounded as if Ridley was just reading lines and putting just a bit of inflection in her voice. She felt like a teacher reading a book out loud to a classroom of elementary school kids.
I know that this movie has its audience and that many people love it. I’m just not one of them.
Still, it’s visually and technically sound as far as the animation and production goes.
Original Run: June 9th, 2021 – current Created by: Michael Waldron Directed by: Kate Herron Written by: various Based on: Marvel Comics Music by: Natalie Holt Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Sasha Lane, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong (voice), Jack Veal, DeObia Oparei, Richard E. Grant, Jonathan Majors, Jaimie Alexander (cameo), Chris Hemsworth (cameo, voice)
I’ll start this by saying that I mostly liked Loki but it was really a very mixed bag with a lot of wasted time on unimportant shit but it also established a kind of cool and interesting new pocket of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will have much larger implications on the rest of the franchise going forward.
With that, Loki seems like it actually effected the larger MCU in a way that other Disney+ shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Solider tried to do but failed at. Or I should say that they did make some changes but they seem a lot less meaningful in regards to what fans will actually care about in the future.
Loki‘s changes to the larger landscape appear to be pretty f’n major. Plus, it looks like we’re getting Kang the Conqueror and have already met a version of him in the finale. Considering that Kang is one of my all-time favorite Marvel villains, I’m glad that he is now being introduced and in a way that doesn’t just waste him like other major baddies such as Red Skull and The Mandarin.
I do have to point out one major flaw, though, and that’s the fact that Loki often times felt like a side character in his own show. Maybe calling the show “Loki” was a mistake and they could’ve used a more creative title while letting it be known that he was heavily featured in it. But marketing is marketing, I guess.
For the most part, I enjoyed the cast in this. I loved the chemistry between Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, which had to carry the first two episodes. Additionally, I enjoyed Sophia Di Martino as the female variant of Loki. Granted, this show felt much more about establishing her going forward, as Disney (no surprise) is pushing really hard for diversity in the future of the MCU, regardless of the source material they’re pulling from.
While it’s true that there have been female Lokis in the comics, those stories are very different, as are those characters. However, the way that they introduced this change in this show, works for this universe and honestly, I’m not opposed to it and in the end, I like this variant of Loki. I also like that she choses to be referred to as Sylvie, as she wants to distance herself from her past.
The biggest issue I have with this show is that it wasted a lot of time and had way too much filler. If all that stuff was whittled down and condensed, this could’ve just been a movie and maybe it should have been and I think Hiddleston’s Loki probably deserved his own film by this point.
Still, I liked some of the concepts and ideas explored in this. The biggest high point for me was the fifth of the six episodes, which showed a bunch of Loki variants, one of which featured veteran actor Richard E. Grant in the original comic book costume from the ’60s. As a true Florida Man, I also enjoyed the alligator Loki.
The final episode was too drawn out, like the show, but I like how things ended, how the future of the MCU is sort of a clean slate and the fact that Kang has been pulling some major strings throughout its history. It’s sort of the reset the franchise needs following Avengers: Endgame.
However, even with a clean slate, I’m pretty sure that the future of the MCU is going to be massively disappointing. But honestly, Endgame is sort of where my brain jumped off of the train. I’m going to take everything with a grain of salt in this phase and beyond.
Release Date: July 19th, 2019 (SDCC) Directed by: Justin Copeland Written by: Ernie Altbacker Based on:Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee Music by: Frederik Wiedmann Cast: Jason O’Mara, Jennifer Morrsion, Geoffrey Arend, Jerry O’Connell, Maury Sterling, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Sean Maher, Peyton List (I), Peyton List (II), Vanessa Williams, Tara Strong
Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment, 81 Minutes
“Riddle me this – “The less of me you have, the more I am worth”… what am I? Answer – A Friend.” – The Riddler
The DC Comics animated films are really hit or miss for me.
Mostly, I enjoy them but there are usually things that don’t click in the right way or the films claim to be adaptations of a famous story but then take tremendous liberties and are really only those stories in name only. Look at Gotham by Gaslight for an example of that.
For the most part, this takes a lot of liberties while still holding on to the spirit of the original Hush story.
The biggest difference here, is that Hush is not Thomas Elliot like in the comics but is actually someone else. Thomas Elliot appears in this film but he’s just a red herring. I won’t spoil the plot and tell you who Hush is though but I thought it was worth mentioning for those who would prefer a beat-by-beat adaptation.
I thought that the animation was some of the best DC has had, thus far. A lot of care was given to the character design, the actual motion in the film, as well as the visual tone.
The film also benefits, in my opinion, by not being cast with more well-known stars. Sometimes famous voices can be distracting in these films. Here, the main characters weren’t played by famous distinct voices. The more famous actors who were in this actually just blended in nicely and didn’t detract from the proceedings.
Overall, this is in the upper echelon of DC’s animated features. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely got a lot more positives than negatives.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with: other recent DC Comics animated movies.
Release Date: September 25th, 2012 (Part I) and January 29th, 2013 (Part II) Directed by: Jay Oliva Written by: Bob Goodman Based on:Batman by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson Music by: Christopher Drake Cast: Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, David Selby, Wade Williams, Michael Emerson, Mark Valley, Paget Brewster, Grey DeLisle, Michael McKean, Bruce Timm, Frank Welker, Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Tara Strong
DC Entertainment, Warner Bros., 76 Minutes (Part I), 76 Minutes (Part II), 148 Minutes (Deluxe Edition)
“You don’t get it, son. This isn’t a mud hole. It’s an operating table. And I’m the surgeon.” – Batman
When I see that there is a new DC Comics animated adaptation of a famous comic book story coming out, I usually don’t get too excited. The reason being, most of them take tremendous liberties and just sort of do their own thing, ignoring the story they’re “based” on and making the whole thing nothing more than a bullshit marketing scheme to sell more Blu-rays.
I guess that’s why I was pleasantly surprised by this film, a true adaptation that really captured the spirit of Frank Miller’s most famous Batman story.
I put off watching this for a very long time and I only gave it a shot because a friend of mine that actually reads comics told me it was definitely worth my time. He wasn’t wrong.
This film does a fine job of capturing the magic of Miller’s story and it also has some solid homages to the imagery of the famous comic.
I guess my biggest gripe is that even though the animation is really good, it sort of just looks like the other DC Comics animated features. DC has a specific style to its animated films and this falls in line with it. For what this project is and what it represents, I fell as if the art should have been closer to the style and tone of the actual comic. This took a big step forward from a narrative standpoint but the visual style really should have been unique, grittier and more in line with Frank Miller’s art.
I also wasn’t crazy about the length of this but that’s really my own problem, as I start to tune out when watching animation for too long. I don’t really know how this could have been edited down and because it adapts a very rich story in a really great way, I’d leave it alone. It fills the time well and there really isn’t a dull moment.
The voice actors were all superb. Peter Weller was perfect as an old Batman and Ariel Winter, who had to have been really young when this was made, was very convincing as the Carrie Kelley version of Robin.
I’ve watched a lot of DC Comics animated stuff since the ’90s and this is certainly in the upper echelon of the things they’ve put out.
If you love The Dark Knight Returns in comic book form, this shouldn’t disappoint.
Rating: 9/10 Pairs well with: the other recent DC animated Batman and Justice League films.
Release Date: March 24th, 2018 (Anaheim premiere) Directed by: Junpei Mizusaki Written by: Kazuki Nakashima Based on:Batman by Bob Kane, Bill Finger Music by: Yugo Kanno Cast: Tony Hale (English dub), Tara Strong (English dub), Kōichi Yamadera, Wataru Takagi, Ai Kakuma, Rie Kugimiya, Hōchū Ōtsuka
DC Entertainment, Kamikaze Douga, Yamatoworks, Barnum Studio, Warner Bros., 85 Minutes
“This is madness.” – Batman
Yes… yes it is, Batman.
The only reason I checked this out is that it’s on the DC Universe app, which I now have and am trying out. Other than that, I didn’t have much interest in this.
However, some of the character designs looked cool and I thought that this might just be bonkers enough to be enjoyable. The problem is that I only made it about twenty minutes into the film before I regretted hitting the play button.
Cool and interesting character designs don’t mean much outside of a sketchbook of conceptual art. You have to apply these cool looking characters in an engaging and dynamic way and this anime fails to do just that.
This movie is a clusterfuck of biblical proportions and I’m pretty sure that the creators behind this had no idea what the hell they wanted to do apart from throwing a bunch of cool looking shit on screen just for the sake of throwing a bunch of cool looking shit on screen.
The story is all over the place, makes little sense, I can’t tell what the hell is happening through most of the film and there’s a big mecha battle because this is Japanese and it can’t exist without a big mecha battle.
This is a bunch of cool, unrelated shit thrown into a blender without little care as to whether or not it would blend well and be enjoyable, let alone remotely palatable. I had an uncle that had throat cancer and for awhile, he had to blend up every meal. His face while drinking his meals was similar to mine while trying to drink in this movie.
Batman Ninja is abhorrent and it should not have been made. It’s existence reminds me of the most famous of all of Dr. Ian Malcolm’s quotes: “Your scientists creators were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Rating: 3.75/10 Pairs well with: terrible to subpar anime.
Release Date: March 23rd, 2018 (Anaheim premiere) Directed by: Sam Liu Written by: Alan Burnett Based on:Suicide Squad by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru, John Ostrander Music by: Robert J. Kral Cast: Christian Slater, Billy Brown, Liam McIntyre, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Gideon Emery, Tara Strong, Vanessa Williams, C. Thomas Howell, Greg Grunberg
DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, DR Movie, 86 Minutes
“I know I’m going to Heaven – anyone who can put up with Mr. J deserves a break.” – Harley Quinn
It seems as if these DC Comics animated movies are getting better and better. Pretty much most of the stuff that Sam Liu produces and directs is top notch. Also, I love that these are for an adult audience.
While I pretty much hated the live action Suicide Squad movie, I’ve been a fan of the comics for some time. This animated feature does a pretty good job of capturing that magic in a way that the live action film completely missed.
The voice cast in this was really good too and I especially enjoyed Christian Slater as Deadshot. I hope he plays the character more in the future and if this spawned its own series, I’d watch the followups.
This movie is violent but it works, as this film is presented in a grindhouse style. Now the look of it is crisp and clean like other DC animated films but it has that modern grindhouse edge to it in it’s credits sequences, editing style and musical score. While the modern grindhouse thing really peaked with Tarantino and Rodriguez’s Grindhouse movie over ten years ago, it’s interesting seeing that style in this format.
The story is also good and it sets up a situation where these characters have a sort of loophole to work around the protocols the government has in order to control these villains forced to do good. There is a lot of back stabbing, twists and turns.
This also features a ton of villains whether they are members of the Suicide Squad or not. And while a lot of characters are crammed into this 86 minute picture, everything flows well.
This is solid. It’s one of the better DC Comics animated features to come out.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with: other recent DC animated features for adult audiences.
Release Date: January 12th, 2018 (Newseum premiere) Directed by: Sam Liu Written by: Jim Krieg Based on:Gotham by Gaslight by Brian Augustyn, Mike Mignola Music by: Frederik Wiedmann Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Jennifer Carpenter, Anthony Head, Tara Strong, Bruce Timm, Kari Wuhrer
DC Entertainment, Warner Bros., 78 Minutes
“[faces the Ripper] Well, I won’t beg. And I won’t get hysterical. I won’t give you the satisfaction. Know this: I forgive you.” – Sister Leslie
I was a big fan of the old Gotham by Gaslight story, which came out when I was just really getting into Batman circa 1989. It was also the first Elseworlds Tale, which has become a big imprint under the DC Comics banner. Strangely, although this shares the title, the time frame and the villain, it is it’s own story and not an animated adaptation of the famous comic.
At first, I was caught off guard by the alterations and didn’t think I’d like the film but by the time it got to the end, I was digging it.
Reinventions aren’t necessarily a bad thing, sometimes they work quite well and with this film version of Gotham by Gaslight, it was cool going into familiar but really under explored territory in the DC mythos and seeing someone else give their own take on it. Had that take been bad, I’m sure I wouldn’t feel the same but the end result and the story were really good.
The one things that really stuck out for me was the animation. I wasn’t super keen on the character designs but when we got to those high octane action parts, this film really came alive. The big finale, which features a vacant World’s Fair setting and a massive burning Ferris wheel was spectacular. Also, the scenes where Batman was riding through the streets of Gotham on a steam powered motorcycle, looked fantastic.
Ultimately, this film didn’t blow my socks off but it was worth a watch. The animated DC stuff has been really good the last few years, especially the Batman movies. This one is a bit better than their recent average and it was a welcome change to just having another straight up, modern Batman adaptation.
Rating: 7/10 Pairs well with: Other Batman animated films.
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