REVIEW: MAN ON A LEDGE

CAST

Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Jamie Bell (King Kong)
Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Génesis Rodríguez (Hours)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Woodsman)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Titus Welliver (Gone Baby Gone)
Felix Solis (The West Wing)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)

In New York City, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) checks into the Roosevelt Hotel under the false name of Walker, goes to his hotel room on the 21st floor, and climbs on the ledge, ready to commit suicide. The crowd below calls the police, with Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) controlling the crowd, while Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) tries to talk with Nick. However, Nick will only speak to negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), who is on a leave of absence, after failing to save a suicidal policeman. Lydia arrives at the hotel room and manages to acquire Nick’s fingerprints from a cigarette they share. Dougherty has them analyzed and discovers that Nick is an ex-policeman, arrested for stealing the $40 million Monarch diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick was given a 25-year sentence but escaped from the Sing Sing Correctional Facility one month earlier, after being allowed to attend his father’s funeral. Nick, however, maintains his innocence and accuses Englander of framing him for the theft of the diamond, as Englander lost his fortune and was too proud to sell the diamond.Unknown to the police, Nick is merely distracting them while his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and Joey’s girlfriend, Angie (Génesis Rodríguez), break into Englander’s vault across the street, to steal the diamond and prove Nick’s innocence. Meanwhile, Dougherty informs Marcus of Nick’s identity, and Marcus orders the jewelry store’s security to check the vault. Joey and Angie are able to evade them but do not find the diamond. They set off the alarms, tricking Englander into retrieving the diamond and ambush him, stealing the diamond at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Nick’s ex-partner, Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie), arrives at the hotel with evidence that Nick is planning something and demands to be allowed into the hotel room. Lydia does not trust him, and Dougherty backs her up. Ackerman claims he has found bomb schematics in a storage unit Nick rented and is convinced that he will detonate an explosive somewhere. While the crowd is evacuated by the bomb squad, Lydia, believing in Nick’s innocence, calls Internal Affairs and discovers that three of the cops employed by Englander were suspected of being corrupt: Ackerman, Marcus and a deceased officer called Walker.Joey and Angie enter the hotel and hand the bag containing the diamond to the hotel concierge (William Sadler). The concierge pockets the diamond. Englander calls Marcus, one of the men who helped him frame Nick, and has him capture Joey and Angie. Nick begins to make his escape through the hotel, at one point being aided by the concierge who tells him “everyone is rooting for you, kid,” while handing him a disguise (and the diamond). Marcus chases Nick to the roof, where he has Lydia arrested for obstruction. Englander brings Joey and Angie, threatening to throw Joey off the roof, if Nick does not give him the diamond. Nick turns it over, and Englander leaves. Meanwhile, Lydia escapes custody and rushes back to the roof. Marcus attempts to force Nick to jump off the roof, but Ackerman arrives and shoots Marcus, who wounds Ackerman. Nick rushes to Ackerman’s side, who apologizes and reveals that he had no idea that Englander would frame Nick for stealing the diamond. Marcus survives, as he is wearing a bulletproof vest, and is preparing to kill Nick, when Lydia shoots him, but does not kill him. Nick jumps from the roof onto an airbag set up earlier by the police, catches up to Englander, beats him and pulls the diamond he had only just recently given him from his jacket, proving Nick’s innocence in front of both the police and public, resulting in Englander being arrested.Later, Nick is cleared of all charges and released from custody and meets Joey, Angie, and Lydia at a bar. There it is revealed that the hotel concierge is in fact Nick and Joey’s father, Frank Cassidy, who had faked his own death in order to help Nick break out of prison and prove his innocence. Joey proposes to Angie with a diamond ring presumably stolen from Englander’s vault. She accepts and they all celebrate together.Man on a ledge is a good film, and if you stick with it & follow it’s threads you will find it worthy of your time.

REVIEW: KILL YOUR DARLINGS

Starring

Daniel Radcliffe (Horns)
David Cross (Alvin and The Chipmunks)
Dane DeHaan (Life After Beth)
Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Jack Huston (Ben-Hur)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House)
John Cullum (The Prodigal)
David Rasche (Ugly Betty)
Kyra Sedgwick (Cop Car)
Zach Appelman (Sleepy Hollow)

Jack Huston and Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings (2013)As a young man in the 1940s, poet Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) wins a place at Columbia University in New York City. He arrives as a very inexperienced freshman, but soon runs into Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), who is very anti-establishment and rowdy. After a while, Ginsberg discovers that Carr only manages to stay at Columbia thanks to a somewhat older man, a professor, David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), who writes all of his term papers for him, and has a predatory relationship with Carr. It appears that Kammerer is still in love with Carr, and is revealed to be pressuring Carr for sexual favors, in exchange for assuring that he cannot be expelled.David Cross and Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings (2013)Ginsberg soon meets, through Carr, William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster), already far into drug experimentation. The writer Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), who was a sailor at that time and expelled from Columbia, also meets and spends time with them. Carr eventually tells Kammerer he is done with him, and recruits Ginsberg (who has a crush on him) to write his term papers instead. After a while, Kerouac and Carr attempt to run off and join the merchant marine together, hoping to go to Paris.Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings (2013)There is a confrontation between Carr and Kammerer, during which Kammerer is killed by stabbing (and perhaps also by drowning). Carr is arrested, and asks Ginsberg to write his deposition for him. Ginsberg is at first reluctant to help the unstable Carr, but after digging up more crucial evidence on Kammerer and his past relationship, he writes a piece entitled “The Night in Question”. The piece describes a more emotional event, in which Carr kills Kammerer who outright tells him to after being threatened with the knife, devastated by this final rejection. Carr rejects the “fictional” story, and begs a determined Ginsberg not to reveal it to anybody, afraid that it will ruin him in the ensuing trial.Michael C. Hall and Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings (2013)We learn from Carr’s mother that Kammerer was the first person to seduce Carr, when he was much younger and lived in Chicago. After the trial we find out that Carr testified that the attack took place only because Kammerer was a sexual predator, and that Carr killed him in self-defense. Carr is not convicted of murder and receives only a short sentence for manslaughter.Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings (2013)Ginsberg then submits “The Night in Question” as his final term paper. On the basis of that shocking piece of prose, Ginsberg is faced with possible expulsion from Columbia. Either he must be expelled or he must embrace establishment values. He chooses the former, but is forced to leave his typescript behind. A week or two later he receives the typescript in the mail with an encouraging letter from his professor telling him to pursue his writing.Ben Foster, Daniel Radcliffe, and Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings (2013)All in all, Kill Your Darlings marks an impressive debut for Krokidas. Shaken and stirred with a gloriously jazzy soundtrack and a colour palette that shifts from light to murky in a heartbeat, the film practically radiates tension both sexual and intellectual. It might have a little trouble with the facts of the matter, but, taken on its own merits, this is a smart, intoxicating look at how adolescent dreams must necessarily give way to the chilling bite of reality.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE POSSESSION

Starring

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead)
Kyra Sedgwick (Man On A Ledge)
Madison Davenport (Sharp Objects)
Natasha Calis (Daydream Nation)
Grant Show (Born To Race)
Matisyahu (A Buddy Story)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Rob LaBelle (Jack Frost)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
Ned Bellamy (Terminator: TSCC)

A newly separated couple Clyde Brenek (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) live in different homes. After Clyde picks up their two children, Emily “Em” (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport), for the weekend, they stop at a yard sale where Em becomes intrigued by an old wooden box that has Hebrew letters engraved on it. Clyde buys the box for Em, and they later find that there seems no way to open it. That night, Em hears whispering coming from the box. She is able to open it, and finds a tooth, a dead moth, a wooden figurine, and a ring, which she begins to wear. Em becomes solitary, and her behavior becomes increasingly sinister; she stabs her father in the hand with a fork during breakfast. That night, the house, especially Em’s bedroom, becomes infested with moths.Kyra Sedgwick and Madison Davenport in The Possession (2012)At school, Em violently attacks a classmate when he takes her box, resulting in a meeting with Clyde, Stephanie, the principal and the teacher. Em’s teacher recommends that she spend time away from the box, so it is left in the classroom. That night, curious about the mysterious noises from the box, the teacher tries to open it, but a malevolent force, the dybbuk, murders her by violently throwing her out a window. Em tells Clyde about an invisible hag who lives in her box who says that Em is “special”. Alarmed by her behavior, Clyde attempts to dispose of the box. During their next weekend at Clyde’s, Emily gets progressively more upset with the disappearance of the box. She begins yelling at Clyde in the hall with Hannah watching in the back. The dybbuk seems to slap Em across the face. She begins yelling, asking why she’s hitting her, from Hannah’s perspective it looks like her father actually does. Em flees the house, recovers the box and the dybbuk begins conversing with her in a strange language.Natasha Calis in The Possession (2012)Clyde takes the box to a university professor who tells him that it is a dybbuk box that dates back to the 1920s; it was used to contain a dybbuk, a dislocated spirit as powerful as a devil. Clyde enters Em’s room and reads Psalm 91; a dark but invisible force throws the Tanakh across the room. Clyde then travels to a Hasidic community in Brooklyn and learns from a Jewish priest named Tzadok (Matisyahu) that the possession has three main stages; in the third stage, the dybbuk latches onto its human host, becoming one entity with it. The only way to defeat the dybbuk is to lock it back inside the box via a forced ritual. Upon further examination on the box, Tzadok learns that the dybbuk’s name is “Abyzou”, or the “Taker of Children”.Em has a seizure and is taken to the hospital for an MRI. During the procedure, Stephanie and Hannah are horrified when they see the dybbuk’s face in the MRI scans next to Em’s heart. Clyde and Tzadok join the family at the hospital and attempt to conduct an exorcism. Where Em is taken to a room that has a tub full of water and a stretcher to keep Em stable during the exorcism. During the exorcism, the possessed Em attacks Tzadok. Clyde grabs Em from him, and Em runs out of the room. Clyde follows her out and finally finds her in the morgue where the lights are off. As he nears her, she starts to attack him. Clyde survives the attack, but the dybbuk is passed from Em to him. Tzadok performs a successful exorcism; Abyzou emerges from Clyde and crawls back into the box. The family is reunited, with Clyde and Stephanie’s love rekindled. Tzadok drives away with the box in Clyde’s vehicle. The car is hit by a truck, killing him. The box lands safely from the wreckage, and Abyzou’s whispering is heard from it, the same Polish rhyme heard at the beginning of the film.Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Matisyahu, and Natasha Calis in The Possession (2012)It is a well written, acted, and executed movie that while it may seem slow moving is well worth the watch.

REVIEW: BATMAN: MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN

CAST (VOICES)

Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series)
Kimberly Brooks (Justice Legaue: War)
Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith)
Elisa Gabrielli (South Park)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
David Ogden Stiers (Two Guys, A Girl and a PIzza Place)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
John Vernon (Dirty Harry)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)
Eli Marienthal (American Pie)
Tara Strong (Teen Titans)
Bob Hastings (Wonder Woman)
Robert Costanzo (Die Hard 2)

batman-mystery-of-the-batwoman-1-1A new heroine has arrived in Gotham whose identity is a mystery—even to Batman. During patrol, the Dynamic Duo spots her trying to stop one of Penguin’s shipments on Gotham’s interstate, using a plasma rifle to send the Penguin’s truck with its driver off the bridge. Batman and Robin save the driver from falling to his death. Batman must figure out who Batwoman is and stop familiar enemies, the Penguin and Rupert Thorne, from selling illegal weapons to the fictional nation of Kasnia. The two employ Carlton Duquesne, a gangster, to provide protection.

Batwoman’s main focus is on illegal activity by the Penguin, Thorne, and Duquesne. Despite taking the symbol of the Bat as a sign of justice, Batwoman sullies the Bat prefix by taking out criminals with ruthless and dangerous techniques. She seems uninterested in sparing the lives of her adversaries.
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Batman, with Robin, sets out to stop the Batwoman from making mistakes as she tries to take out the villains, and as he encounters numerous twists, setbacks, and apparent false leads in determining her true identity. The newest gadget on display is a wind glider used by Batwoman that utilizes some of the most advanced technology ever seen in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, also becomes involved with a new lady in his life: Kathy Duquesne, the crime boss’s daughter.

In addition to Kathy Duquesne, Bruce is introduced to two other women who, as his investigation into the Batwoman’s true identity continues, seem to fall well into suspicion: Dr. Roxanne “Rocky” Ballantine, a new employee of Wayne Tech whose technology development is used by the Batwoman against the Penguin; and Detective Bullock’s new partner Sonia Alcana, whose knowledge of the weapons being smuggled by the Penguin and Carlton Dunquesne is much greater than the detective should know. With Carlton Duquesne unable to stop Batwoman’s raids on the facilities used to hold the various weapons, the Penguin calls Bane for additional support to ensure that there are no more losses as a result of the Batwoman.

Not long after Bane’s arrival in Gotham, it is revealed that there is not one but three Batwomen, all of whom were the women suspected by Batman; Kathy and Sonia met taking art classes at college and Sonia and Rocky were roommates. They had taken turns to remove suspicion on any one of the three, while using Roxanne’s technological genius and contempt for the Penguin (who had framed her long-time fiancé Kevin), Kathy’s money and access to several key aspects of her father’s organization (Kathy wants to end her father’s criminal career as it led to her mother being killed), and Sonia’s physical and police skills to ensure that Thorne’s operation is thwarted (as the crime lord previously left her family in financial ruin after arsonists who worked for him burned down her parents’ shop and were not punished due to the lack of sufficient evidence). Alcana was also saved by Batman nine years prior, the event giving the detective the original inspiration for the costumed identity she now shares with her friends.

In the final confrontation, a ship taking the weapons into international waters for the exchange is destroyed by a bomb planted by Kathy. But not before she is unmasked by Bane. Kathy and Batman narrowly escape the explosion despite the efforts of Bane, who falls into the Gotham River and vanishes. At the conclusion, the GCPD are left to assume that Sonia is the only Batwoman after she helps rescue Batman from the ship. Sonia resigns from the police due to the potential problems her presence could cause and decides to leave the city. Batman gives Sonia evidence he discovered which helps clear Rocky’s fiancé. Carlton agrees to testify against Thorne and the Penguin after saving Kathy’s life during the ship’s destruction. After she reconciles with her father, Kathy drives off with Bruce.This is a wonderful video that should keep young and old Batman fans happy, a fresh story featuring characters who’ve not appeared in a feature length adventre before. The voices are all spot on, and I like the young Robin, Tim Drake, he adds a little light relief at times. Looks wise everything is as it should be. The women all look beautiful, and the city is as atmospheric as ever. This was a really entertaining film which had an excellent twist which keeps you guessing for some time, and will probably keep younger viewers in even more suspense. I was also impressed by how grown up some of the themes in the film were, WB definitely know how to keep the grown ups happy too. If you liked any of the previous Batman Animated releases I recommend this.

 

REVIEW: GAMER

CAST

Gerard Butler (300)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Amber Valletta (The Spy Next Door)
Logan Lerman (Fury)
Terry Crews (Scary Movie 5)
Kyra Sedgwick (Man on a Ledge)
Alison Lohman (Drag Me to Hell)
Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Aaron Yoo (Friday the 13th)
John Leguizamo (Spawn)
Zoë Bell (The Hateful Eight)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)
Jonathan Chase  (Egale Eye)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Johnny Whitworth (Ghost Rider 2)
Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men)
Sam Witwer (Smallville)
Lloyd Kaufman (Terror Firmer)
Michael Weston (Home Before Dark)
Noel Gugliemi (Street Kings)
Jarvis W. George (Stargate SG.1)
Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men)

In 2034, inventor and professional computer programmer Ken Castle unveils self-replicating nanites that, by acting like brain cells, allow one person to completely sense the environment and interact with it using another person’s body. Castle’s first application of this technology, dubbed Nanex, is a game called Society, which allows gamers to control a real person in a pseudo community (much like The Sims or Second Life). This allows players to engage in all manner of debauchery, such as deliberately injuring their “characters” and engaging in rough sex with random people. People who work as “characters” in Society (having nanites in their brain) are very well compensated.
Castle amasses a fortune that surpasses that of Bill Gates virtually over-night, and soon follows up his success with Slayers, a first-person shooter where the “characters” in this game are death-row or life imprisoned inmates, who use real weapons to fight televised battles on specially created arenas. Any inmate who survives 30 matches earns his freedom. The player controls the character’s movement, while the character decides when to shoot, and no communication is allowed between the two. The game is known for a lag problem, called the “ping”, a small but dangerous delay between the player’s command and character’s action. John “Kable” Tillman is the crowd’s favorite, having survived a record 27 matches, where all others have only managed to survive ten matches at most. He is exclusively controlled by Simon, a seventeen-year-old superstar gamer from a wealthy family. The technology and the games are not without controversies, and an activist organization called “Humanz” claims that Castle will one day use Nanex to control people against their will. During a talk-show interview, Castle is confronted with questions about a potentially rigged vote which gave Castle control over the U.S prison system and allowed him to operate the Slayers game. In the middle of the broadcast, the network is hacked by the Humanz, which Castle finds amusing. Later, Society is also hacked and gameplay is interrupted, which costs Castle millions, but even then Castle sees it as trivial. However, Castle feels threatened by Kable’s pending release, and introduces a new “character” into Slayers named Hackman, who committed several murders and then surrendered in order to be able to participate in Slayers, in the hopes he will get rid of Kable and become the new fan champion of Slayers.
Meanwhile, Kable’s wife Angie is working as an “actress” (someone who voluntarily becomes a “character”), and attempts to gain custody of their daughter Delia, but is denied and informed that she has been placed with a wealthy family. Hackman taunts Kable, saying he has no player to control him, and threatens to kill Kable’s wife and daughter once he is freed. Kable is warned by a Humanz activist that Castle has no intention of letting him survive his last match, and that escaping is the only option. The activist takes a sample of his blood. Meanwhile, Simon is contacted by the activist, who provides him with illegal mods allowing him to talk to Kable during the game and to relinquish control over his character. In Kable’s 30th game, he convinces Simon to let him control himself, and escapes the arena. News outlets report that Kable has been fragged, which puts Simon in a difficult position: he is labelled a “cheater”, locked out of his bank account, and under police investigation for helping Kable escape.
Tillman is found by Humanz activist Trace, the person contacting him in prison. She takes him to the Humanz leader Brother and Dude. They explain to him the danger of Castle’s technology, as acceptance of the Nanex technology will eventually grant Castle unlimited power over the populace. Tillman refuses to aide them in their fight against Castle, but Brother informs him of his wife Angie’s location as a character in Society. Tillman goes to rescue Angie and becomes involved in a fire-fight with Hackman and Society’s security forces. At the last minute Tillman and Angie are rescued by Gina, a talk-show host/reporter who wishes for Tillman and the Humanz reveal the truth about Castle. They return to the Humanz who deactivate the nanites in Angie’s brain as well as Tillman’s. It is then revealed that Tillman was part of the original Nanex experiments while in the military, being told it was to replace brain matter with synthetic tissue to improve mental function. Using experimental technology to view Tillman’s memories, they learn that in a session designed to test Nanex’s capacity for control, Tillman (controlled by Castle) fatally shot his friend and ended up on death row. Tillman volunteered for “Slayers”, hoping to earn his freedom.
Upon learning that Castle adopted Delia, Tillman infiltrates his mansion to get her back. He locates Castle, who taunts him and reveals that his henchmen have killed Trace, Brother and Dude. He then controls several inmates to attack Tillman, who kills them all. Castle reveals that he replaced 90% of his own brain with Nanex, but his allows him to control others who are “wired” as long as they are within the range of his control. He plans to release an air-borne version of Nanex which will infect the entire population within six months, giving him ultimate control. Tillman then faces Hackman, now under Castle’s control, and easily kills him. However, Castle explains his men have reactivated both his and Angie’s Nanex, and savagely beats him while Tillman forced to remain defenseless. Angie and Delia are brought in to witness the scene. Castle tries to force Tillman to kill his own daughter, but he resists the command. Unbeknownst to Castle, Trace and Gina escaped his henchmen, and broadcasts their confrontation across the country, exposing Castle and his plans. Simon witnesses the broadcast and his control over Tillman is returned. At the last second, Simon forces Tillman to drive his knife into the floor before trying to attack Castle. Castle wrestles for control over Tillman, but Tillman tells Castle to imagine the knife going into his own stomach. Castle unconsciously does so, and it allows Tillman to kill him. Before they leave, Tillman convinces Castle’s men to deactivate Nanex, one of them commenting “Well played, Kable”. The film closes with the Tillman family taking a trip down a country road, ending with the words “Game Over”.The effects are decent, the acting is pretty cheesy and the story is utterly implausible. And I don’t care, because this film is great fun. It’s mindless entertainment, and sometimes that’s what were all in the mood for.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER

CAST
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Neil Patrick Harris (The Smurfs)
John Heard (Home Alone)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Kyle MacLachlan (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Lex Lang (Constantine TV)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong turn)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Joe Mantegna (The Simpsons)
Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014)
Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
Darwyn Cooke entered the comic book world via an animation career that included a stint on the staff of Batman: The Animated Series. He quickly impressed fans with his clean, classic illustration style, using old ideas as fodder for fresh visions. It’s kind of fitting, then, that things have come full circle, and now his old animation cohorts are adapting one of his comic books into a movie. Justice League: The New Frontier is directed by frequent Cooke collaborator David Bullock, and it is based on the 2004 comic book miniseries The New Frontier. In that drawn adventure novel, the writer/artist used his love of 1950s comics and culture to weave a complex tapestry using a host of genres, characters, and real world political touchstones. It is a gorgeous book, and for the most part, massively entertaining.

A 75-minute film is actually a far more compact means of expression than a sprawling comic book miniseries. Bullock, working with Cooke as a creative consultant, has dropped a lot of the backstory, relegating subplots on Monster Island with the Losers and the original Suicide Squad to quick mentions. This leaves the full running time devoted to the superhero mission and the rise of two new heroes.

Justice League: The New Frontier starts just at the end of the Korean War, putting America in the middle of the space race and the Red Scare. Superheroes have been swept up in the xenophobic hysteria, with the public being convinced that men hiding their identities behind masks are no better than the communists who plan revolutions behind closed doors. Superman (voiced by Kyle MacLachlan) is still functioning above board, having signed a loyalty oath to America. So does Wonder Woman (Lucy Lawless), though she is less enamored with the American Way the more paranoid and oppressive it gets. Other heroes, like Batman (Jeremy Sisto) and the Flash (Neil Patrick Harris), are still serving the public, but they risk arrest with every good deed they do. In the midst of all this fear and loathing, a primordial psychic force that has watched from the shadows as mankind has grown more dangerous and self-destructive over the centuries has begun shoring up its power to put an end to the human scourge. Calling itself “the Center” (as in “of all things”), this creature has become the stuff of cults and legends, controlling the minds of men and monsters alike.

Also coming to the fore at this time are two new super beings, and they are ostensibly the leads of the ensemble cast. Hal Jordan (David Boreanaz) is a veteran and a test pilot who many believe to be a coward due to his refusal to fire his guns in battle. His nobility will eventually lead to him being chosen as the Green Lantern, a cosmic defender assigned to protect Earth. The other hero is J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter (Miguel Ferrer), who through a quirk of science was teleported to and stranded on our planet. He is the most representative of the “other,” the things we fear because they are different. Jordan’s political ideas make him like the communists, whereas J’onzz’ green skin gives the storytellers room to tie his plight into race.

Justice League: The New Frontier is an entertaining animated adventure. Based on a multi-leveled comic book by Darwyn Cooke, it features the greatest heroes of the DC Comics universe banding together in the 1950s to fight a villain who is feeding on the hatred and paranoia of the times to rid the Earth of the human scourge. The movie is more streamlined and has a solid story that fits well into the new Warner Bros. effort to bring slightly more adult cartoons directly to DVD. The animation is mostly clean and dynamic, and as a whole, it’s an impressive two-disc release filled with lots of extras.