REVIEW: Lego DC: Shazam!: Magic and Monsters

Starring

Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Zach Callison (Steven Universe)
Troy Baker (Shin Chan)
Nolan North (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Grey Griffin (The Fairly OddParents)
Cristina Milizia (DC Super Hero Girls)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Imari Williams (Predator at Large)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Ralph Garman (Jay and Silent Bob Reboot)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Jennifer Hale (Totally Spies!)
Tom Kenny (The Powerpuff Girls)
Josh Keaton (Justice League Action)

Lego DC: Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (2020)A new hero known as Shazam has made his debut and is attracting the attention of the media for his sudden arrival and polite mannerisms. Unbeknownst to the public, he is actually a young orphan boy named Billy Batson. When Superman begins to grow jealous of Shazam, his hope is restored when he gets the chance to fend off the Monster Society of Evil when they attempt to steal food for their master Mister Mind, though he is eventually forced to call upon Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern for help. Witnessing this, Shazam decides to aid the Justice League, demonstrating his powers to them in the process and forcing the Monster Society to retreat. Impressed by Shazam’s capabilities, the League invite him to the Hall of Justice where they offer Shazam membership. Shazam dismisses their offer, believing that they will reject him if they discover his true age.Lego DC: Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (2020)Consulting The Wizard who gave him his powers for advice, Shazam is told that relationships are built on trust and that he should be more open to the Justice League. Sensing a disturbance, the Wizard then tells Shazam to go help the Justice League when they follow the Monster Society to their warehouse hideout, which Shazam agrees to do.Unfortunately, Mister Mind manages to capture the Justice League and, using a chemical concocted by Doctor Sivana, transforms them into children, making them more susceptible to his mind control. Although de-aged, Batman manages to avoid being mind-controlled and escapes to the Batcave with Shazam’s help. Learning that Batman is reluctant to trust him, Shazam reveals his secret identity to Batman while also recounting his origin story to him: After aiding Batman in a duel with Two-Face, Billy Batson continued to go about his daily routine, while also generously helping out others in need (whom, unbeknownst to him, are the Wizard in disguise). Billy is eventually led into a subway station, where he boards a bizarre-looking train that takes him to the Rock of Eternity, where he meets the wizard in person. The wizard explains that he disguised himself as ordinary citizens to test Billy’s purity of heart and see if he was worthy of becoming his new champion after the previous champion, Black Adam became corrupted by his power and was sealed away. Accepting the Wizard’s offer, Billy is gifted his new powers and proceeds to spend his days as Shazam, while also enjoying the perks of being an adult. Billy then explains that despite everything, he still longs for a family of his own. Relating to Billy’s status as an orphan, Batman reveals his secret identity to Billy and explains that he too is an orphan and becomes more trusting of Billy.lego-dc-shazam-magic-and-monstersAcross the world, the mind-controlled Justice Leaguers proceed to steal large quantities of food for Mister Mind, but one by one they are located by Batman and Shazam and freed from Mister Mind’s control. Reunited, the Justice League devise a plan to infiltrate the Monster Society’s lair by pretending to capture Batman and Shazam and bring them to Mister Mind. Unfortunately, they are swiftly exposed and forced to fight their way to Mister Mind, ultimately defeating the Monster Society. When Shazam and the Justice League encounter Mister Mind, they discover that he has undergone metamorphosis and grown into a giant moth. The group attempt to escape to the Rock of Eternity to gain help from the Wizard, but Mister Mind follows them and proceeds to devour the Rock, resulting in him increasing in size and freeing Black Adam from his imprisonment. Black Adam betrays Mister Mind by using his powers to reduce Mister Mind to his caterpillar form and send him hurtling through space.pink panther-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000Seeking vengeance against the Wizard, Black Adam attacks the Rock and the Justice League is overwhelmed by him. The Wizard attempts to hold Black Adam back long enough for Shazam and the Justice League to escape back to Earth, while reminding Shazam about the power of Zeus. Returning to Earth, knowing Black Adam will be coming for them, the Justice League make preparations and rebuild their vehicles to account for their reduced stature. Arriving on Earth, Black Adam announces his intentions to rule over it with an iron fist. The Justice League and Shazam arrive and face him, but he still proves to be too much for them to handle and destroys their vehicles. Remembering the Wizard’s advice and how Black Adam was able to depower Mr Mind, Shazam shares his power among the Justice League, enhancing their abilities and returning them to their normal age, while revealing his secret identity to them in the process.shazamthumb-1586204677951The Justice Leaguers are not upset by Billy’s true age and tell him that the age of a hero doesn’t matter as long as they do the right thing. Using their enhanced abilities, the Justice League is able to defeat Black Adam. Billy then reabsorbs his powers from the League and Black Adam, restoring his Shazam powers, while Black Adam’s powers are taken in the process, reducing him to a mortal man.With Black Adam arrested and their adulthood restored, the Justice League show their gratitude by reuniting Billy with his sister Mary and their Uncle Dudley. In a mid-credit scene, Lobo manages to apprehend Mister Mind and plans to collect a $1,000,000,000,000 bounty placed on his head, much to Mister Mind’s dismay.UntitledOverall this is a decent lego DC film, but it lacks the teeth of some of the other DC animated or lego movies, a great watch for the family though.

REVIEW: LEGO DC BATMAN: FAMILY MATTERS

Starring

Troy Baker (Marvel Anime)
Alyson Stoner (Step Up 3D)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Jason Spisak (Batman: Hush)
Steve Blum (Wolverine & The X-Men)
Zach Callison (Justice League: War)
Gary Anthony Williams (TMNT: OFTS)
Cam Clarke (He-Man and The Masters of The Universe)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Ralph Garman (Ted)
Josh Keaton (The Spectacular Spider-man)
Tom Kenny (Catdog)
Nolan North (Ultimate Avengers)
André Sogliuzzo (Family Guy)
Tara Strong (Sabrina Goes to Rome)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk vs)
Christian Lanz (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters (2019)After being bored with a board meeting after stopping Solomon Grundy from stealing a magic staff, Bruce Wayne puts a new machine, Brother Eye, in charge, as he proceeds to sell Wayne Tech. However, this leads to Two-Face buying the company, and plotting to use Brother Eye to take other Gotham and destroy both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Also, Red Hood has arrived to challenge the Bat Family.LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters (2019)While some people may not like this, this is actually a good film for kids who are not yet ready for films like the ones in the DCEU or the Dark Knight Trilogy. As a result of this being a Lego DC movie, they did change Red Hood’s origin story to be more kid-friendly, however, seeing as the Lego DC films are part of their own continuity, it should not be a problem. Also, the movie has some good references to classic Batman shows and cartoons (one scene has the bat poles from the 1966 Batman series, complete with automatic suit up, and another scene has a Grey Ghost playing as Batman and Two-Face duel with swords, a neat reference to the episode from Batman: The Animated Series).LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters (2019)However, there can be some annoying things (Nightwing and Batgirl keep bringing up a missed text that got them on non-speaking terms, which they never shut up about), but this is a good DTV movie and one that is perfect for younger kids or anyone into Lego or superheroes.LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters (2019)

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: APOKOLIPS WAR

Starring

Matt Ryan (Legends of Tomorrow)
Jerry O’Connell (Piranha 3D)
Taissa Farmiga (The Nun)
Stuart Allan (Rise of The Guardians)
Tony Todd (Candyman)
Ray Chase (Your Name)
Jason O’Mara (One For The Money)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Rebecca Romijn (Satanic Panic)
Camilla Luddington (The Pact 2)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly betty)
Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T.)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Liam McIntyre (Spartacus)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Sachie Alessio (The Lost One)
Roger R. Cross (First Wave)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)

Shemar Moore, Jason O'Mara, Matt Ryan, and Camilla Luddington in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)Following two failed attempts to destroy Earth, Darkseid and his Furies have conquered countless worlds. At the Watchtower, the Justice League, joined by new members John Constantine and his lover Zatanna, plan a counter-attack to Darkseid’s conquest but unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by Darkseid through Cyborg. The League travel to Apokolips while the Teen Titans remain on Earth as a “home-guard”. Upon arrival, the League are attacked by “Paradooms”; genetic hybrids of Parademons and Doomsday. Several heroes are killed during the attack while Darkseid dismantles Cyborg and replaces his parts with Apokoliptian technology, depowers Superman by injecting liquid kryptonite into his body, enslaves Batman into his mind control with the Mobius Chair, imprisons Barry Allen to eternally run on a treadmill powering the planet, and turns the remaining heroes into mechanical Furies. Elsewhere, Zatanna is killed by Paradooms as John hesitantly flees back to Earth.Hynden Walch in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)Two years later, Darkseid has successfully taken over Earth with Lex Luthor being a New God representative, reporting to Batman on progress of the devices called “Reapers” being sent to mine Earth’s core. The surviving heroes blame Clark Kent, Superman’s human identity, for their failure. Clark rescues a depressed Raven in search for John for a locator spell to track Damian Wayne, so that they can use him to free Batman. After locating Damian, Raven teleports the group there which severely weakens her due to her father Trigon’s attempts to escape Raven’s magical borne prison. After recruiting Damian, they then teleport to Metropolis where Lois Lane has recruited former members of the Suicide Squad, now led by Harley Quinn following Amanda Waller’s death from cancer. With the team gathered, Lois plans to use the Boom Tube gate from LexCorp to return to Apokolips to free Batman after Darkseid leaves to conquer the planet Oa. At the building, they are confronted by Lex who reveals he was just working undercover. Lex then teleports Clark’s team to Apokolips, while Lois, Lex and the Suicide Squad stay behind to guard the portal.Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)Having discovered Lex’s betrayal, Batman informs Darkseid who sends his Furies to Apokolips while Batman sends Paradooms to LexCorp. On Apokolips, Clark’s team finds Barry and breaks him free from the treadmill. John also sees into Barry’s mind and discovers he was the one who caused the Flashpoint,[d] leading into the present-day’s events. They then discover Cyborg also under Darkseid’s mind control but are confronted by the Furies. John frees Diana using her Lasso of Truth, and she stays behind to fend off the Furies. He then performs a techno spell on Cyborg to free him as well just as Batman and Darkseid return. Darkseid orders Batman to kill Damian but hesitates after remembering the night his parents were killed, thus freeing Batman but at the cost of Damian’s life. This angers Raven, which releases Trigon with John offering himself as a host, but the demon possesses Clark instead and kills John.Jerry O'Connell and Rosario Dawson in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)Back at LexCorp, Lois’ team become surrounded by Paradooms. Before blowing up the building and sacrificing herself, Lois transmits a goodbye message to Apokolips. This triggers Clark to break free of Trigon’s control and regain his powers. Meanwhile, John is briefly taken to the afterlife where Zatanna reveals that Batman wanted John as a backup plan should the original assault fail, she therefore made him flee using her magic in the beginning. Now free of his guilt for running, John is revived by Zatanna as Raven also revives Damian. Raven and John give Trigon his physical body back to fight Darkseid as a distraction. Cyborg teleports the Paradooms back to Apokolips and the heroes to Earth before creating a black hole that drags Darkseid, Trigon, and Apokolips into oblivion, sacrificing himself.Jason O'Mara and Tony Todd in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)Despite their victory, Batman reveals that 31% of the Earth’s molten core has been lost, dooming the planet as the Earth’s rotation will be affected. To prevent this, John convinces Barry to erase this timeline and create a second Flashpoint, despite Barry’s promise to his wife Iris to not do it again. As he does so, the heroes watch their timeline being reset while Damian and Raven kiss. This erases everything prior to the events of the movie with Barry informing everyone of what is to come, leaving their new upcoming fate in the war with Darkseid unknown, but, as John told Barry, would be better than where they were at now.Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)This is the greatest dc movie to ever been done it’s shocking, sad and incredibly entertaining and the best thing about it, it’s an original dc story.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: SHAZAM

Starring

Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Asher Angel (Andi Mack)
Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes)
Jack Dylan Grazer (IT)
Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body)
Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Faithe Herman (This Is Us)
Meagan Good (Saw V)
Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation)
Michelle Borth (Wonderland)
Ian Chen (A Dog’s Journey)
Ross Butler (13 Reasons Why)
Jovan Armand (The Middle)
D. J. Cotrona (G.I. Joe: Retalliation)
Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead)
John Glover (Smallville)
Martin Roach (Cube Zero)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)

Mark Strong and Zachary Levi in Shazam! (2019)In 1974 Upstate New York, young Thaddeus Sivana is arguing with his father and older brother during a car trip when he is transported to the Rock of Eternity, a magical temple hidden in another dimension. He meets the ancient wizard Shazam, last of the Council of Wizards, who has spent centuries searching for a new champion who is “pure of heart” after the previous champion, driven by revenge, released the Seven Deadly Sins upon the world. Thaddeus is tempted by the Sins, entrapped in statues, and is deemed unworthy and returned to Earth.Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in Shazam! (2019)In present-day Philadelphia, foster child Billy Batson runs afoul of the law while searching for his birth mother and is placed in a group home run by Victor and Rosa Vasquez with five other foster children: Mary Bromfield, Pedro Peña, Eugene Choi, Darla Dudley and superhero enthusiast Freddy Freeman. Meanwhile, an embittered adult Sivana discovers a way to return to the Rock of Eternity. There, he steals the Eye of Sin, becoming the Sins’ vessel and besting the Wizard before returning to Earth and using the Sins to murder his brother, father and Sivana Industries’ board of directors.Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in Shazam! (2019)At school, Billy saves Freddy from bullies and is chased into a subway, where Shazam summons Billy, chosen as the new champion. By calling Shazam’s name, Billy is transformed into an adult superhero endowed with the wizard’s name; thanking Billy, the Wizard turns to dust, leaving behind his staff. At home, Freddy helps Billy explore his newfound powers: electricity manipulation, near-invulnerability, super-strength, speed, and flight. Freddy’s videos of Shazam testing his powers become a viral sensation, and Billy begins skipping school to use his powers as Shazam for money and fame. Seeing Shazam save a bus on the news, Sivana challenges and easily defeats him, demanding he surrender his powers, but Shazam transforms back into Billy and escapes into a crowd. From the news, Sivana deduces Billy’s identity and abducts Freddy to find Billy. At the Vasquez home, the other children also infer Billy’s secret and tell him they have found his mother, who lives nearby.Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in Shazam! (2019)Billy reunites with his mother, but discovers she had abandoned him on purpose, feeling unqualified as a single teenage mother. Billy returns the compass she gave him as a toddler and leaves, telling her he needs to return to his real family. Sivana calls Billy, having taken his foster siblings hostage, and Billy as Shazam agrees to give Sivana his powers in exchange for the family’s safety. Sivana and Shazam travel to the Rock of Eternity where Sivana takes the wizard’s staff, but the siblings follow and attack Sivana. Shazam realizes that Sivana loses his powers when all seven Sins leave his body.Mark Strong and Zachary Levi in Shazam! (2019)Sivana pursues Shazam and his siblings to a winter carnival, unleashing the Sins upon the crowd. As Wrath battles Shazam, the other Sins capture his siblings, demanding his powers. When Sivana recalls the Sins, Shazam uses the opportunity to take the staff and stuns Sivana. Remembering the Wizard’s words, Billy uses the staff to share his powers, transforming his siblings into adult superheroes like him. Shazam breaks the staff and battles Sivana while his siblings distract the Sins. Shazam baits Envy out of Sivana’s body, leaving him powerless, and takes back the Eye of Sin which recaptures all the Sins. Billy and his siblings are hailed as heroes. Returning the Eye and the Sins to their prison, Billy and his siblings realize the Rock of Eternity can be their new lair. Later, Billy arrives at school as Shazam to have lunch with his siblings, revealing he has also invited Superman, to Freddy’s shock and joy.Zachary Levi in Shazam! (2019)In a mid-credits scene, an imprisoned Sivana is approached by a talking caterpillar, who proposes an alliance. In a post-credits scene, Shazam and Freddy test if the former can telepathically communicate with fish.Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in Shazam! (2019)Shazam was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. If you either a comic book fan or not regardless you will enjoy it from start to end. Although Shazam doesn’t contain as much fighting scenes you would see in movies these days it still leaves you with a fully polished story and character development. Shazam shows a teenage kid that gets powers and what he uses it for and obviously its typical things teenage kids would do. If you are plotting on whether or not to see it, the obvious answer is YES!

REVIEW: TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES

TEEN TITANS GO

Starring

Scott Menville (Paranorman)
Greg Cipes (The Lego Movie)
Khary Payton (Khumba)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Will Arnett (The Lego Movie)
Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Jimmy Kimmel (The Smurfs 2)
Halsey (A Star Is Born)
Lil Yachty (How High 2)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory)
Patton Oswalt (Keepin Up With The Joneses)
Eric Bauza (Batman Ninja)
Greg Davies (Cuckoo)
Meredith Salenger (Race To With Mountain)
David Kaye (Beast Wars)
Michael Bolton (Two and a Half Men)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Tom Kenny (Super Hero Sqad)
Vanessa Marshall (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Alexander Polinsky (Krampus)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)In Jump City, the Teen Titans arrive to stop the Balloon Man. When he cannot figure out who they are, the Teen Titans jump into a rap song to introduce themselves and become distracted, forcing the Justice League to intervene. They criticize the Titans for being childish, not taking anything seriously, and bring up the fact that they do not have a movie of their own to prove their legitimacy.Tara Strong, Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, and Khary Payton in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)While at the premiere of Batman Again after Raven sent the Challengers of the Unknown to another dimension, Robin humiliates himself, after assuming that there will be a movie about him, and is laughed out by the audience. At the rest of the team’s suggestion, Robin resolves that in order to get a movie made about him and the Titans, they need an arch-nemesis.Nicolas Cage, Halsey, and Lil Yachty in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)Nearby, Slade breaks into S.T.A.R. Labs to steal a crystal. The Titans arrive and attempt to stop him, but he swiftly defeats and insults them. The next day, Beast Boy, Starfire, Cyborg and Raven create a movie to cheer up Robin, but he turns it off prematurely declaring that they will go to Hollywood to have a movie made about them. Upon arriving, they encounter director Jade Wilson, who is responsible for all the superhero movies being made. She turns down the Titans’ request to be in a movie, but explains that the only way she would make one about them is if they were the only superheroes in the world. The Titans take her words literally by going back in time to prevent the origins of the other superheroes, but only end up ruining the present, forcing them to go and undo their blunder.Tara Strong, Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, and Khary Payton in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)Slade next arrives at Wayne Tech to infuse the crystal’s power and the Titans arrive to stop him, this time putting up an actual fight. They secure the crystal, but Slade escapes, resolving to split Robin from his teammates. The next day, Jade invites the Titans back to Hollywood and announces that she will make a movie about them due to their recent fight with Slade. While Robin is given a tour of the premises, Raven, Beast Boy, Starfire and Cyborg venture out and cause mischief. They find a Doomsday Machine that is heavily guarded by the heroes and try to destroy it, but Jade arrives and reveals that D.O.O.M.S.D.A.Y., is just a terrible acronym for a new streaming service for the new movie she is making. She resolves to drop the rest of the Titans from the film and make it solely about Robin, which he happily accepts, much to the consternation of his team, who wish him luck.Tara Strong, Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, and Khary Payton in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)Robin finishes making the movie, but during a scene where he interacts with a prop version of the Titan Tower door panel, a light falls and knocks him out. He awakens and finishes the scene where Jade reveals that they are now in the tower for real, and that she is actually Slade himself in disguise. He gets the crystal back, restrains Robin, and tells Robin that his making so many superhero movies was a plan to keep the heroes busy while he invaded their cities to build his D.O.O.M.S.D.A.Y. Device to take over the world. Robin escapes from the shackles with his baby hands, and runs out of the exploding tower. The next morning in the wreckage, Robin calls his friends back, who join him with open arms.Tara Strong, Jimmy Kimmel, Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, Khary Payton, and Halsey in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)At the premiere of Robin: The Movie, the Titans arrive and unmask Slade, but Slade unleashes the crystal’s power to control the other heroes and sends them after the Titans. Robin goes after Slade while the rest of the team leads off the heroes. However, Slade uses his new power to control Robin, and tells him to attack his friends, who show him the rest of the movie they made for him. Robin comes to his senses. Using one of their songs, the team takes out Slade together, defeating him and his giant robot, which also destroys the crystal, snapping the heroes out of their trance.Scott Menville in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)The heroes all congratulate the Titans for their heroic efforts with Robin admitting that he has learned to be himself. When he tries to go on, everyone demands that they cut to the credits immediately with Robin attempting to stall so that “kids can ask their parents questions.” Starfire breaks the fourth wall to say to go right to the credits, but Robin stops just before the film ends telling kids to “ask [their] parents where babies come from.” In a mid-credits scene, the Teen Titans from the 2003-2006 series show up on a distorted screen telling the viewers that they “found a way back.” In a post-credits scene, the Challengers of the Unknown are still trapped with their leader postulating that they missed the movie.Will Arnett, Tara Strong, Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, and Khary Payton in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)At first glance, This movie looked a little grim from the teaser. But as i saw the whole movie, It made more sense. Surprisingly, this movie was really hilarious and very-well structured. This movie actually had a plot!!!!!! Well, a good plot that actually made sense. Also, Every thirty seconds there would either be a superhero joke or a song. In my opinion, this movie was more of a mini-musical.  However, One of the biggest surprises is during the end credits that has to do with the original Teen Titans!!! So being a 90’s kid, That really made me excited and hyped out to see what happens next!
But if you’re a fan of TTG and looking for a movie to watch then definitely watch this movie! Even if you’re not a fan of TTG, This movie will open your eyes to what the newest generation of kids have created!!!!

 

REVIEW: SUPERMAN/SHAZAM: THE RETURN OF BLACK ADAM

 

 

CAST

George Newborn (Justice League)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)
Zach Callison (Steven Universe)
James Garner (The Notebook)
Josh Keaton (Justice Legaue Action)
Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

The film opens with a young couple sitting in their car on a hillside outside of the city as an apparent meteor streaks across the sky and smashes into the couple’s car. It is revealed that that meteorite is actually Black Adam, returning to Earth after a long exile. The film then cuts to young Billy Batson living in a rundown slum, with very little food and rats for pets. He gets out of bed wearing a t-shirt with the Superman crest. He goes to the kitchen to find food, but discovers he only has potato chips, which he ends up feeding to the rats.

On his way to meet with Clark Kent in a nearby diner, he sees some bullies mugging a homeless man. After attempting to defend the man, Billy himself receives a black eye. The homeless man thanks Billy for his intervention, calling him “The Captain”. Billy tells him that he always tries to do the right thing. Billy gives him the only thing of value he has – a subway token.

At the diner, Clark buys the boy three breakfasts, and tells him he wants to write a story to bring his plight, and those in his same situation, to public light. He tells Mr. Kent that he tries to be good no matter what. As the conversation continues, neither notice that Black Adam has appeared, hovering outside the diner. He claps his hands together, blowing a hole in the side of the diner. Clark attempts to protect the boy, but a blow from Black Adam sends him through several walls. He emerges from beneath the rubble and quickly changes into Superman. Adam stalks young Billy through the streets stating his surprise over the Wizard’s choice to become the next Marvel, but Billy does not know what he means. Black Adam picks up a fire engine to smash Billy, but Superman intervenes and blocks the blow. While Billy makes good his escape, Superman gets a blast of electricity from Black Adam. After recovering he realizes Adam’s powers are magically based, and he is vulnerable. This vulnerability puts Superman and Adam at an equal footing. Black Adam uses magic to his advantage, but Superman responds with powers the magical being doesn’t have – i.e. heat vision. After briefly getting Superman out of the way, Black Adam continues his pursuit of Billy, who runs into the subway, again encountering the homeless man he helped earlier. The man gives him a subway token, telling him he would be paid back. Billy runs out onto the tracks, with Black Adam still in pursuit. Billy is caught on the tracks when a train apparently runs Billy over, causing Adam to leave. Billy awakens to find he is on an empty subway car. The token begins to glow and he begins to crackle with lightning. In the lightning, Billy sees flashes of his life, including his parents’ headstone, the orphanage, and his foster parents who throw him out, leaving him on the streets.

He gets off of the subway car at the next stop, but finds himself in a gigantic cave with statues of the Seven Deadly Sins. Billy finds his way to the Wizard Shazam who tells the boy that he is the next Chosen One. He explains that Black Adam had been his champion 5000 years ago, but Teth-Adam had used his power for personal gain and corrupted the gift. He was then banished to the farthest star in the sky, and now Black Adam has returned seeking vengeance. The Wizard then causes a cave in, telling him that he wishes to atone for the mistake of creating Black Adam, but tells Billy that should he need him, he has only to speak the Wizard’s name. Billy narrowly escapes the cave as it collapses.  Outside, the battle rages between Superman and Black Adam. Superman is barely able to hold his own against the magic used. Superman is again knocked unconscious. Billy confronts Black Adam and defiantly tells Adam to leave Superman alone. He tries to hit an amused Black Adam. Billy anxiously shouts “I need a little help here, Shazam”, which transforms Billy into Captain Marvel. He quickly counters Adam’s attacks with his newfound abilities. Billy has only a few minutes to discover his powers; i.e. speed, strength and flight. He also discovers that randomly saying the Wizard’s name takes the powers away just as quickly.

A recovered Superman is unsure of what to make of this new superhuman, but they soon discover they are on the same side. Black Adam resorts to destroying a dam which threatens to flood Fawcett City. Landing, Black Adam stops a passing car, removing its female driver to hold as a hostage. He tells Billy he must surrender himself in his mortal form, and he will release the woman. Billy complies, and Black Adam throws the hostage into the sky. But before Billy can say his magic word, Black Adam covers his mouth to silence him. From out of nowhere, Adam is blasted by Superman’s heat vision. He stopped the potential flooding after quickly freezing the water with his super cold breath. Superman and Black Adam begin fighting again, but Billy is now able to utter the magic word. Adam is beaten by Marvel who stomps him into a crater in the street. Superman talks the Captain out of murdering Adam to prevent further acts of evil. Adam declares that only death will stop him. The homeless man appears once again and reveals himself to be the boy’s guardian angel Tawky Tawny. Tawky reverts to his true form as a tiger and tells Superman and Captain Marvel that he will make sure the Wizard will send Black Adam far across the universe this time; it will take ten thousand years to return. To keep from being banished even farther from Earth, Black Adam shouts “Shazam” which turns him back into the mortal Teth-Adam, whose body has aged during the thousands years he has been gone. He turns to dust in front of the two superheroes. It was an apparent bluff, as Tawny admits the Wizard is indeed dead. As Tawny walks away, Superman looks at Captain Marvel and says “You have some unusual friends.” Billy finds himself encountering the bullies again in the alley as before. The bullies push Billy against a wall, and defiantly dare him to talk back; daring him to say “…just one word.” To which, it is implied through the appearance of lightning, Billy replies “Shazam…”.This movie was animated very well and the character models were very good. The overall appearance, especially the backgrounds, had a slightly hazy, washed-out look to them at times, giving it an almost anime-style look. They do some really cool animation during the fights between Superman/Marvel and Black Adam, such as some slow motion effects during a couple of the really hard hits, that really punctuate the impact. The voice acting and choices of the actors were quite good (especially Arnold Vosloo as Black Adam),  I’ve always thought Black Adam was a really cool bad guy, and his personality and voice were pretty much as I’ve always envisioned them to be, and I thought the ending was particularly interesting and surprising.

 

REVIEW: HERO HIGH

CAST (VOICES)

John Berwick (Goliath Awaits)
Jere Fields (Aesop’s Fables)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Alan Oppenheimer (Transformers)
Erika Scheimer (She-Ra)

ds9-cast-1200x786I remember very little about Hero High when it ran on broadcast television on Saturday mornings back in 1981. Presumably my attention was simply devoted to a rival network. However, my love for both Filmation and anything BCI/ Ink & Paint puts out led me to ordering the Hero High box set and I’m quite glad that I did. For starters the set includes all 26 animated episodes of the series (each episode runs about 8 minutes long) with writer commentary on a couple of them. Disc 1 contains the first 14 while disc 2 contains the remaining 12 and a host of interesting special features including interviews with many of the show’s actors and producers. We even hear from producer Lou Scheimer in several of the interviews.MV5BMDcyMGE5NGEtOTMyNC00NDJmLTllY2UtZjUzMWIxMTY3MmI2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTEwODg2MDY@._V1_The show (for those who have not yet had a chance to enjoy it) is surprisingly well done and clearly provided the source material for more recent super hero spoofs such as Sky High and The Incredibles. Rather than compete directly with the campy superhero animation out at the time (Hanna Barbara’s Superfriends for example), Hero High knew not to take itself too seriously instead choosing to poke fun at both itself and comic action in general.cvbcbThe episodes are fairly short romps in a tradition of good clean fun rather than epic good versus evil and to be completely honest, some of the humor contained within is on par with the type of material one would expect in sitcoms from the era. Additionally the second disc contains an episode of the live action skit that came packaged in the Kid Super Power Hour at the time. This, too, can be viewed with writer and actor commentary, which really adds to the value of reliving the experience. The package itself is in a league of its own (as all BCI/ Ink & Paint sets tend to be) with colorful sleeve art and a book that not only lists all of the episodes but also provides color photographs, a synopsis of each one and a trivia pertaining to the episode! Talk about going above and beyond to deliver quality. The picture quality is quite crisp and clean (showing no indication of the era) as are the audio tracks. Once again Ink & Paint have provided a masterpiece compilation worthy of shelf space on any collector’s entertainment center.

REVIEW: THE SECRETS OF ISIS

 MAIN CAST

Joanna Cameron (B.S. I Love You)
Brian Cutler (The Incredible Hulk 70s)
Joanna Pang (The Patchwork Family)
Ronaldo Douglas (The New Odd Couple)
Albert Reed (Good Times)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Charles Cyphers (Halloween)
Laurette Spang (Battlestar Galactica)
John Davey (Shazam)

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Oh my Queen!” said the royal sorcerer to Hatshepsup, “With this amulet, you and your decedents are endowed by the goddess Isis with the powers of the animals and the elements. You will soar as the falcon soars. Run with the speed of gazelles. And command the elements of sky and earth!”. 3,000 years later, a young science teacher dug up this lost treasure and found she was heir to: The Secrets of Isis. And so, unknown to even her closest friends Rick Mason and Cindy Lee, she became a dual person: Andrea Thomas, teacher, and Isis, dedicated foe of evil, defender of the weak, champion of truth and justice.

Flat-out one of the most beloved Saturday morning TV shows ever produced, no kid who grew up during the mid-seventies/eighties ever forgot Joanna Cameron as the lithe, confident, serene super-heroine Isis. Introduced along with the already popular Shazam! live-action series, Filmation Studios teamed up Captain Marvel with Isis in 1975 for The Shazam!/Isis Hour on CBS, and the ratings went through the roof. Week after week, each episode of Isis opened with the same prologue (that’s the dialogue quoted above), setting the backstory of the series. On an archaeological dig in Egypt, high school science teacher Andrea Thomas unearthed a small box that contained an amulet that when worn, gave her powers delivered by the spirit of the goddess Isis. When her powers were needed, Joanna simply exposed the amulet, put out her arms in supplication (sometime held up, sometimes down) and calmly called, “Oh Mighty Isis!”. Instantly transformed into a cross between Nefertiti and a tennis pro, Joanna became Isis, holder of super powers that enabled her to fly (“Oh zephyr winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly!”), perform telekinesis, see into the future, and possess super strength and speed.isis3With these powers, Isis could figuratively crush the world like a tin can, but instead, she chose to help teens (usually students of hers) who got into trouble with the law, see the errors of their ways. Most episodes of Isis found a student reluctantly falling in with mobsters or gangsters or evil businessmen or scientists, aiding their plans to defraud or steal from someone. Just prior to Isis’ arrival, the young adult would start to have second thoughts about their deeds, and as Isis moved in for the collar, they would start spilling their guts and singing like canaries, gently guided by Isis’ requests to look inside themselves, to see if they were acting the way they should act. In keeping with a society that hadn’t yet solidified the “I’m okay, you’re okay” mentality that rewards so-called “honesty” by doling out clemency, the students didn’t get off scott-free here for just owning up to their mistakes – they still expected to be punished, and for the most part, they were punished. But Isis smiled, because she knew that deep down, they had learned a valuable lesson; one they that they wouldn’t likely repeat.

When there were no 24-hour cable networks devoted solely to kids programming. The Big Three’s Saturday morning kids line-up was the only significant block of hours aimed at us. So when a show like The Secrets of Isis  came on the scene, kids took notice. Playing like mini-movies every week, these fantasy-based, limited budget, live-action morality plays really connected with kids.b12d51f1a3503cbbda001463628d1f9b--saturday-morning-wonder-womanAnd while most kids couldn’t have cared less about learning a “lesson” while watching these shows, the deeply moralistic nature of Isis didn’t seem to grate on us – perhaps because they were delivered in a cool, direct manner by the unnaturally gorgeous Joanna Cameron. Within each storyline of the Isis episodes, issues of honesty, integrity and personal responsibility were relentlessly explored, and to further hammer home the point, Cameron, still in her Isis outfit, looked directly into the camera, with that disarming suggestion of a smile at her lips, and restated what we the viewers were supposed to have just learned from the stories (criminally, these famous “morals” were eliminated from the film masters in the 1990s — not a good time for morals, I guess; a few have been gathered together for this DVD).secrets_of_isis_isis2.png

But The Secrets of Isis wasn’t just about lecturing kids; it had plenty of action, albeit rather laid-back, California-styled action, that served the point of the story, and not the other way around. Watching Isis today, it’s easy to laugh at the chintzy blue-screen flying sequences and goof on the dopes who bought this stuff decades ago, but don’t feel too superior; we knew they looked cheap and unconvincing, too. We just didn’t care about that stuff as much as technologically-savvy kids do today. We didn’t care if Isis looked like she was hanging from wires, or that they never showed her except from the waist up when she lifted off to fly. It just wasn’t that important an issue. We knew it was a goof, so we just got on with it and didn’t worry about mattes and blue screens and process shots. Besides, who really was paying attention to all of that when Cameron was either walking around in her polyester-only outfits or her sexy tennis dress tunic?MV5BYzBmZjM1MzItNzU2Ny00MzcxLTg2YWYtZmM1NWQ4NzExMmE0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_It’s amazing to go back and watch these shows and see how relatively calm and sedate they appear. And despite the budget limitations, the series maintained a professional tone due to the solid TV directors who worked on it, including those old pros Hollingsworth Morse, Earl Bellamy, Arnold Laven, and Arthur H. Nadel. Isis also benefits from a well-chosen supporting cast, with Brian Cutler just fine as the second banana to Cameron’s Isis. Joanna Pang, cute and spunky as Cindy Lee, gets the “gee whiz” tone of her character just right; it’s too bad she didn’t come back for the second season (although Ronalda Douglas is good as student Renee Carroll).

REVIEW: ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (1941)

CAST

Tom Tyler (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon)
Frank Coghlan Jr. (Hell’s House)
William Benedict (The Sting)
Louise Currie (The Ape Man)
Robert Strange (Captain America 1944)
Nigel De Brulier (Zorro Rides Again)
John Davidson (The Devil Bat)

The Adventures of Captain Marvel, Tom Tyler, (Serial), 1941 Photo

Modern fans might assume the first comic-book superhero to get the movie treatment would have been Superman or Batman. In fact, one of their biggest rivals throughout the 1940s beat both of them to the screen by several years. According to Wikipedia, Republic Pictures did try to make a Superman serial first, but National Periodicals (which later became DC Comics) turned them down. The studio then approached Fawcett Comics, publishers of Captain Marvel, who was introduced shortly after the Man of Steel and quickly became one of the Golden Age’s most popular heroes.


The concept that kids flocked to was simple. Orphaned 12-year-old newsboy Billy Batson is selected by a wizard named Shazam to replace him as Earth’s protector. When Billy says the Wizard’s name—an acronym of the assorted gods and heroes who were the source of his power (Solomon’s wisdom, Hercules’ strength, Atlas’ stamina, Zeus’ power, Achilles’ courage, and Mercury’s speed)—he’s transformed by a magic bolt of lightning into Captain Marvel.


The movie version is somewhat faithful to the comics. In a cave somewhere in Thailand, a Billy Batson who looks to be somewhere in his mid-to-late 20s (Frank Coghlan Jr.) is granted the powers of Captain Marvel (Tom Tyler) by the old Wizard (Nigel De Brulier). This Billy works as the radio operator for an expedition into “The Valley of Tombs,” where a bunch of American archaeologists break into an ancient tomb over the objections of the local natives. While Billy finds Shazam and gets his superhero identity, the explorers discover “The Scorpion,” a bug-shaped device that functions as a “solar atom smasher,” concentrating the sun’s rays through a series of lenses into a powerful beam that can destroy human life or turn ordinary objects into gold. The Scorpion, which is placed in a heavily fortified tomb, is one of the local culture’s most sacred objects, so naturally, the white archaeologists just take it for themselves. That draws the ire of a mysterious evildoer also named “The Scorpion,” who is the serial’s villain.He sets out to reclaim the atom smasher, while the archaeologists divide its many lenses amongst themselves in order to protect it; over the course of the 12 chapters, the Scorpion sends his henchman to retrieve each crucial piece while Billy and Captain Marvel try to thwart his progress. Serials like ‘Adventures of Captain Marvel’ were originally programmed to run in weekly installments at theaters around the country. They weren’t meant to be watched in one sitting—and frankly it shows. The episodes all rely on a handful of tropes (chase scenes, fist fights, cliffhangers) that begin to get awful repetitive over the course of more than three hours of action. If you’re going to watch ‘Captain Marvel,’ your best bet is to do it the way it was intended; in small chunks before other feature presentations. That’ll keep things from getting too stale, and let you bask in the film’s pleasures in smaller, more manageable doses.


Those pleasures are mostly of the two-fisted action variety. ‘Captain Marvel’ was directed by John English and William Witney, who were well-known in their day for their thrilling, stunt-laden serials. This one is no different, and even on a relatively limited budget (and with some bargain basement special effects) they do a very respectable job of conjuring Captain Marvel to life. Some of the stunts are dodgy, but a lot of them still work, like Captain Marvel bursting through walls like they were made out of cardboard (probably because they were made out of cardboard) or breaking rifles over his knee like they’re made out of wax (probably because they were made out of wax). And the fight scenes, which rely on the actors’ and their doubles’ athleticism instead of frenetic editing and shaky camerawork, are fantastic. The centerpiece battle in Chapter 10 between Billy Batson and the Scorpion’s goons, for example, is more fun than anything in ‘Taken 3.’ And there’s at least half a dozen more fights just like it.tom-tyler-shazam-the-adventures-of-captain-marvel-serialThere’s less to recommend about the story itself, which is mostly about Billy trying to track down the true identity of the Scorpion. Before too long, he realizes the Scorpion is actually one of the archeologists attempting to subvert the group from within, but he guesses incorrectly several times before the real bad guy reveals himself in the final chapter. (And this guy’s supposed to have the “wisdom” of Solomon? Yeah, no.) There are no clues or any real sense of mystery; it’s mostly just a process-of-elimination guessing game. Again, part of this is the nature of the beast; a serial is meant to be so simple that each chapter can be understood on in its own, in case a viewer happened to catch, say, Chapter 3, at the theater without seeing the first two. It’s easy to see why Republic wanted comic-book heroes for their serials; they’re well-suited to the format. Not only were comics loaded with the sort of action and intrigue that were the serials’ bread-and-butter, but the construct of a hero and his secret identity also served as an effective cost-cutting measure. Most of the film could follow the human alter ego sleuthing or romancing his leading lady, while reserving his costumed personality.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED – SEASON 1

Main Cast

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
George Newbern (Law & Order: SVU)
Susan Eisenberg (Lego aquaman)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Maria Canals (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Kin Shriner (Manhunter)
George Eads (CSI)
Eric Robert (The Finder)
Dana Delany (Tombstone)
Mike Farrell (Patch Adams)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games)
Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore)
Dakota Fanning (War of The Worlds)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Sheryl Lee Ralph (Fam)
Fred Savage (The Princess Diaries)
Jason Hervey (Back To The Future)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Michael York (Logan’s Run)
Patrick Bauchau (Panic Room)
Rachel York (One Fine Day)
Jack Carter (McCloud)
Jeffrey Combs (Re-Annimator)
Robert Foxworth (Transformers)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Sam McMurray (Raising Arizona)
Cree Summer (Voltron)
Tom Everett Scott (Because I Said So)
Billy West (Futurama)
Lori Loughlin (Full House)
Jeremy Piven (Old School)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
John C. McGinley (Scrubs)
Oded Fehr (V)
Scott Rummell (Six)
Tim Matheson (The West Wing)
Grey Griffin (The Book of Life)
CCH Pounder (Avatar)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Michael Beach (Aquaman)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Peter MacNicol (Veep)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Nestor Carbonell (Bates Motel)
Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers)
Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina: TTW)
Dennis Farina (Get Shorty)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Virginia Madsen (Better Watch Out)
Ioan Gruffudd (Ringer)
Farrah Forke (Lois & Clark)
Michael Dorn (Star Trek: TNG)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Michael Jai White (Arrow)
Armin Shimerman (Buffy: TVS)
Juliet Landau (Ed Wood)
Alan Rachins (Showgirls)
Robert Englund (2001 Maniacs)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Jason Bateman (Office Christmas Party)
Susan Sullivan (Castle)
Michael T. Weiss (The Pretender)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Glenn Shadix (Beetlejuice)
Steve Schirripa (Must Love Dogs)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Nathan Fillion (Serenity)
Elizabeth Peña (The Incredibles)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Robert Forster (Jackie Brown)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)

MV5BMTk4NTc5Mzg3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTc5ODM2MjE@._V1_Fantasy now runs your life? Comic books become your vice? And your best friends still have their virginities? Then look no farther, friends, because this collection of episodes is so good you don’t need friends, significant others, or a single reason to emerge from your Geekdrome. But you know what the best part is? It’s not just for geeks – Justice League Unlimited stands tall as the best collection of American action/adventure animation you’re likely to find. While there is, of course, a certain geek charge some may get out of seeing characters like Powergirl and Green Arrow in action (not to mention an episode featuring Nathan Fillion voicing Vigilante and Gina Torres voicing Vixen – come on, how cool is that?), these episodes will entertain because of good characters, good humor, and good storytelling, even if you don’t know your Booster Golds from your Blue Beetles.MV5BMTA3OTAzMDYwMjdeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDMzMDkzNjIx._V1_While the first two seasons of Justice League nicely expanded upon the world first established in the early ’90s with Batman: The Animated Series, it wasn’t until this, the show’s third season (or first, depending on how you look at it) that the format and structure was perfected for the genre. It was an interesting experiment having the previous seasons’ episodes run for one-hour, but with JLU the format is scaled back to stand-alone half-hour stories and, ironically, it fits like a bat-glove. It’s strange, but these shorter episodes actually manage to pack in more than the double-length ones. A lot more. And what a roster of characters to fill a show with! You’ll see everyone from The Atom to Elongated Man. Because this is a full-blown, all-star take on these characters, each character can shine their brightest. When you get Superman, you get the best of Superman. Wonder Woman? The best of Wonder Woman. B’wana Beast? Uh… well, I guess this is the best he’s ever been.MV5BMjIwOTMxMzk2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTU5ODM2MjE@._V1_The surplus of great characters is fun, but what really sells the show are the stories. Or, more specifically, story. No doubt borrowing a page from the work of Joss Whedon – showrunner Bruce Timm admits in a commentary that Whedon was a big influence – these episodes highlight a large and complex season-spanning plot that actually has meaning in today’s world. This is certainly the most mature and thoughtful storytelling you’re likely to get from a cartoon of this type. What elevates the show from great to brilliant is its ability to tell stories that are exciting and also manage to propel the larger narrative forward. For example, Dark Heart – penned by famous comic book scribe Warren Ellis – manages to mix a great science fiction plot (a self-replicating AI) with humor (Wonder Woman, needing both hands to fight, rests The Atom in a very interesting holding place) and its plot still manages to play a part later on down the road in the season’s climax.MV5BMjAwMTU4NDI0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzIwOTM2MjE@._V1_The writing is the best the show has ever seen, no doubt a result of staff writer Dwayne McDuffie coming into his own; his versatility with the characters is fantastic. Comic book writers Warren Ellis and J.M. DeMatteis join in on the fun, and new series director Joaquim Dos Santos infuses the episodes with a dynamic energy that allows the show to compete with the best of today’s cutting-edge, anime-inspired programming. It’s like the entire DC animated universe has been supercharged in the best way possible.MV5BMTk3NjM3NzI3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQwOTM2MjE@._V1_This collection contains two seasons, and both season finales are just fantastic. The Once and Future Thing is an exciting time romp (with a great Western segment) and Divided We Fall is a showstopper of epic proportions. Either finale would make for a better DVD movie than any of what has been released thus far. Then there’s Epilogue – just brilliant. It manages to tie in the entire DC animated universe – including films Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker! – and still say something meaningful about a very important character. The episode isn’t just great animation, it’s great television.MV5BMTk1MDgzMTYzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTUwOTM2MjE@._V1_There really is nothing bad to say about these episodes. The new rock-inspired opening credits do ring a bit too much of cheesy ’80s electronica, but you get used to it, and, after a while, it fits. Of course, the fact remains that if you aren’t into cartoons in the first place you probably won’t be willing to hop on the bandwagon no matter how cool a series is. But if you consider animation to be a legitimate and respectable medium, then this is the pinnacle of the form.  While there are bigger and more influential cartoon shows out there – namely, comedies like The Simpsons – Justice League Unlimited is still one of the best American animated programs you’ll find. With this show the genre has been perfected – it’s fun, exciting, and thoughtful. In other words, this is exactly what superheroes should be.