REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS

CAST (VOICES)

William Baldwin (Backdraft)
Mark Harmon (NCIS)
Chris Noth (Sex and The City)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
James Woods (Family Guy)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Brian Bloom (The A-Team)
Bruce Davison (High Crimes)
Josh Keaton (Transformers Prime)
Vanessa Marshall (STar Wars Rebels)
Nolan North (Ultimate Spider-Man)

In an alternate universe where evil usually triumphs over good and where the roles of the heroes and villains are reversed from their counterparts in the mainstream DC Universe, heroic analogues of Lex Luthor and the Joker (called the Jester) are attempting to steal a device, the “Quantum Trigger”, from the headquarters of the Crime Syndicate. The pair trip an alarm but manage to secure the device. The Jester sacrifices himself to allow Luthor to escape and kills J’edd J’arkus and Angelique (alternate versions of Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl respectively) with a radioactive bomb. Luthor is confronted by the remaining Syndicate members (Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick and Owlman) but escapes to the Earth of the heroic Justice League by activating a dimensional travel device.

Luthor locates a police station and is mistaken for the evil Luthor where he ends up strip-searched. The Justice League is summoned and Superman’s x-ray vision confirms Luthor’s reversed organs indicate that he is from a parallel Earth and that the evil Luthor is still incarcerated at Stryker’s Island. The Justice League take the alternate Luthor to the Watchtower, where they learn of the Syndicate threat. As the Justice League debates the matter, Luthor hides the Quantum Trigger on the satellite. With the exception of Batman, the rest of the Justice League (Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Martian Manhunter) travel to Luthor’s Earth. Arriving at the parallel Justice League’s base, the heroes begin to attack Syndicate targets. After a successful series of raids in which they capture Ultraman, the League confront United States President Slade Wilson, who releases Ultraman and explains that acceding to the Syndicate’s demands saves millions of lives. His daughter, Rose, however, regards him as a coward. Martian Manhunter inadvertently reads her mind and explains that as a military man her father actually holds life more dear than others. Martian Manhunter foils an assassination attempt on Rose and the pair fall in love.

Owlman constructs a weapon, the Quantum Eigenstate Device or Q.E.D., which the Syndicate intend to use as the equalizer to the threat of a nuclear reprisal. When pressed by Superwoman, Owlman admits the weapon can destroy entire worlds. Believing there are many parallel Earths, and that each one develops from the choices that each person makes, Owlman becomes obsessed with the idea that nothing he does can possibly matter, as there will always be parallel worlds where he explored another option. As a result, he begins fervently seeking Earth-Prime, the very first Earth from which all other universes originated, intending to use the Q.E.D. to destroy it and spark a chain reaction that would erase the entire multiverse, as it is the only action that would not result in the creation of another universe. He then sends Superwoman with three of her lieutenants to the League’s dimension, and on the Watchtower they battle Batman, Aquaman, Black Canary, Black Lightning, Firestorm, and Red Tornado. Superwoman and one of her lieutenants escape with the Quantum Trigger, but are followed by Batman.

Batman tricks and defeats Superwoman, and summons the League. J’onn and Rose bond, and Rose decides to learn the location of the Syndicate base to allow the Justice League to confront them. The League arrive at the Crime Syndicate’s moon-base with the captive Superwoman, and eventually battle the Syndicate. Owlman fights off Batman and takes the Q.E.D. bomb to Earth-Prime, finding it to be uninhabited and lifeless, having suffered an unknown cataclysm that caused it to leave solar orbit. Luthor speculates that a speedster might be able to vibrate and match the temporal vibration of the teleported Q.E.D. device and open a portal. Flash volunteers but Batman states that he isn’t fast enough, only Johnny Quick is. Johnny agrees and opens a portal.

Batman pursues Owlman to Earth-Prime and defeats him. He then teleports Owlman and the Q.E.D. device to another lifeless, uninhabited Earth. Although Owlman is able to abort the countdown and save himself, he realizes an alternate version of himself would make the opposite choice regardless, stating “It doesn’t matter.”, and allows the bomb to detonate and destroy that alternate Earth, killing himself in the process. Batman returns to discover that the strain of acting as a vibratory conduit has aged Johnny Quick to near death. Before dying, Johnny correctly deduces that Batman had lied about Flash not being fast enough and knew what would happen to him. Despite this, he shows no ill will toward Batman, dying with a smile. Martian Manhunter returns, accompanied by President Wilson and the U.S. Marines, and together they arrest Ultraman, Superwoman, and Power Ring. Wilson thanks the heroes, and although Rose asks Martian Manhunter to remain with her, the group return to their dimension. Batman and Superman later discuss a membership drive, with the five heroes summoned previously greeting the League.

This movie is smart, interesting, and grabs you from the get-go. The action is top notch, the animation is ultra sweet, and if these direct-to-video DC Universe movies have proven anything, it’s that they know how to make a good Justice League flick.

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REVIEW: FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL

CAST

Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Mila Kunis (That 70s Show)
Russell Brand (Hop)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Liz Cackowski (Bad Neighbours)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Jason Bateman (The Ex)
William Baldwin (Budworth)
Kristen Wiig (Paul)
Branscombe Richmond (Power Rangers Wild Force)
June Diane Raphael (New Girl)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Cynthia LaMontagne (That 70s Show)

Composer Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is in a five-year relationship with actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), who stars in a CSI-like television show titled Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime. One day, as Peter stands stark naked in their apartment, Sarah announces that she is breaking up with him. Devastated, and unable to banish his grief through one-night stands, Peter takes a trip to Hawaii. However, the vacation is ruined when he learns that Sarah and her new rock star boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) are also guests of the resort. Taking pity on him, hotel concierge Rachel (Mila Kunis) offers him an expensive suite for free in exchange for cleaning up the room himself.
Peter begins spending time with Rachel and starts to develop feelings for her. Meanwhile, the relationship between Sarah and Aldous begins to falter. Much of the discord is triggered by the news that Sarah’s TV show has been canceled and that Aldous is about to embark on a world tour with his group, Infant Sorrow, for 18 months. During a day of surf and sand Aldous and Peter run into each other and begin talking. Inadvertently, Aldous informs Peter that he and Sarah began having sex a full year before she broke up with Peter. When Peter confronts Sarah, she tells him she began feeling disconnected emotionally from him and she couldn’t do anything to make their relationship work. Further exacerbating the situation is Sarah’s obvious jealousy of the budding relationship between Peter and Rachel, while Peter (through observing Sarah’s relationship with Aldous) begins to realize that his relationship with her wasn’t as great as he remembered.
Sarah, Aldous, Peter, and Rachel later share an awkward dinner together. After the dinner, Peter takes Rachel back to his hotel room and they begin to have sex. Sarah hears them through the wall and initiates sex with Aldous, moaning loudly for the benefit of the couple next door, and Rachel and Peter turn the situation into a competition and become even louder. When Aldous realizes Sarah is clearly putting on a performance to provoke a reaction from Peter, he stops the sex and tells her the trip was a mistake as she’s clearly not over Peter. They bicker furiously, prompting Aldous to announce that the relationship is over. The next day Peter encounters Aldous, and learns that he and Sarah have broken up and that he is flying back to England. Peter goes to Sarah’s room to console her where she admits she still loves him and tries to rekindle their romance. The two start to engage in sexual activity, but Peter abruptly cuts it off because of his feelings for Rachel, and his now ambivalent feelings towards Sarah. Peter immediately goes to Rachel to confess what happened, but she is hurt and demands that he leave and never contact her again. Before leaving, Peter takes down a naked picture of Rachel from a local bar despite enduring a beat-down from the owner.
He flies back to Los Angeles and after a period of sadness and self-loathing, he begins working on his Dracula puppet comedy-rock opera, A Taste for Love. He sends an invitation to Rachel for the opening night performance. Although extremely hesitant at first, Rachel eventually decides to attend. After the performance Rachel congratulates Peter and tells him she’s looking into attending school in the area. She leaves so Peter can bask in the success of his show, but quickly returns to Peter’s dressing room to tell him she misses him. Peter tells her that he has missed her too. The film ends as they embrace and kiss.
Great movie, wonderful cast. Unlike most rom coms, it was funny, romantic and all the characters had a fair degree of development!