Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two quick movie reviews

Justice League: The New Frontier
"This isn't Ultimate Avengers"
It's worth checking out this direct-to-video animated feature based on the graphic novel, "DC The New Frontier." The voice acting is pretty decent, and the animation style departs from the house style that Warner Bros had been using for a while. This story tops the previously released "Death of Superman" feature and makes me think that they could do some fun adaptations of stories like Dark Knight Returns or Batman: Year One if they so desired. It's not as deep as the book, but the feature is quite good. One thing that confuses me - why are animated features constantly 70 minutes long? This movie is definitely targeted towards older audiences, so it's not lack of attention span. Is it budget? Does it really cost that much more to put in 10-20 more minutes of story and animation?

Ghost Rider
"As bad as expected"

Supernatural and horror movies generally aren't up my alley. Since Ghost Rider is based on a comic book, I figured I would give it a try. Mark Steven Johnson, of Daredevil fame, wrote and directed this one. I remember the Ghost Rider comic, and thinking he looked cool, but didn't have much interest beyond that. In the case of this movie, the effects look great, but that's about all there is to the movie. The concept is not well executed. There's strange logic: why does the devil have a Ghost Rider who has the power to make evil-doers suffer? Why can't Ghost Rider go out in the sunlight? You can see attempts to make this a sort of Jekyll and Hyde or vampire type movie, but it just doesn't work. Add to it a weak script full of cliche shots and humor, and bad performances from Eva Mendes and Nicholas Cage, and it's a mediocre film at best. As a side note, I have begun to find Nicholas Cage really annoying. Not sure why.

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