DTV Wonders: Justice League vs. Fatal Five

The basic premise of Justice LEague Unlimited was every hero in the DC Universe. This movie focuses mostly on two that were either hardly used or not around when the show ended in 2006. Shortly after was the storyline “Thy Kingdom Come” by Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham, and Alex Ross which made Thom Kallor/Starboy/Starman famous (why do I keep talking about Star people being written by Geoff Johns). Jessica Cruz (Green Lantern VII/ Power Ring II) was made in 2014 by Geoff Johns and… There is a big debate on what artist should get credit. I presume the creators were on a Johns marathon, and they wanted to use these popular characters (at least to the comic reading fanbase) and give them some mainstream recognition.

Starboy has paranoid schizophrenia, and Green Lantern has anxiety. The mental health focus was handled well, and it seems to have been universally praised.

It starts with Starboy and a few other members of The Legion of Superheroes trying to stop the Fatal Five from going back in time. The three present members break into a time machine, but Starboy chases in hot pursuit. He succeeds in trapping them inside of it, and Superman recovers it for The Justice League. Unfortunately, he breaks the last of his medicine in the process. He then tries to get more at a pharmacy, which panics the worker since it is a strange costumed man (since this is Gotham a supervillain is most certainly the case), and he is demanding an unknown drug. He thinks the costume is the problem and becomes naked.

In Crisis on two Earths I criticized the nude scene, but here it works much better. The reactions are bigger, and there is some valid reason for both him to do it, and it adding to the plot. It simply works here. Panicked he attacks the police, and then he literally runs into Batman who uses knock out gas on him. Before falling unconscious she says he is looking for “21 Bridges, count them, and the Lime Light.”

After this black comedy about our drugs being useless. the next scene is a murder in the woods. Three people on hike come across a killer burying a victim he shot in the head. He kills two of them, and the third, Jessica Cruz, escapes by falling off a cliff. Most of what makes this so scary is not what I can easily translate to paper. The previous scenes were colorful, plenty of talking, plenty of comedy, and it is vey much superhero fiction. This has much darker light, the pacing is very slow, there is hardly any noise other than some screaming, low music, and most notably gunshots. In addition there is so much false hope in a short period of time. Instead of being attacked they are first on their knees like they have been there for some time. Maybe the killer is trying to find a way around it without killing anyone else (or about attracting noise with his gun). After Jessica escapes there are multiple pauses making it look like the guy did not chase her, only then for the gun or bullets to be visible. There are plenty of scary scenes in Justice League Unlimited, but not ones like this piece of realistic fiction.

She wakes up from the nightmare reliving this moment, and through some exposition from talking to her therapist, visuals, and internal monologue we see and here she is basically stuck in the apartment with its three locks, is trying to find a drug to fix everything while knowing she must find a way to cope, and that she is now a Green Lantern. This is comics accurate except for the part where The First Lantern possessed her and Batman brought her into the Justice League (long story). Wonder woman shows up to say they need work from a Green Lantern with John Stewart fighting a war on Rann (the home of Adam Strange). Jessica looks at her arriving and says “Terrific” which I presume is a reference to some DC fans wanting more content outside of the trinity. That was actually how the series normally worked. Get viewers to come for the original seven member but stay for obscure heroes like Question, Vigilante, and Atom Smasher.

Wonder Woman attacks her to get her actually use the ring. Green Lantern looks like she does in the comics minus the green around her eye and her hair being shorter. After Woman Woman gives some unsuccessful encouragement Green Lantern and the ring have some banter like they do in the comics and walks off.

Next scene Batman and Miss Martian rescue some reporters from a terrorist that I presume is the role model of Mad Stan (a villain in Batman Beyond). I am overall not a fan of Miss Martian in this, but I love this next part. Bats expresses his dislike of working with teenagers only for her to shape shift into Jason (Robin II) disproving him. In addition Bats spends so much time with her it is clear he really does love working with teenagers and trying to make them his surrogate children. While not good, she is at least better than she is in Young Justice. My main problem is the cursing. I figured they would just make Green Lantern curse to separate her dialogue from everyone else, but both of them curse too much to make me think that now.

Where is she from? It is established in “Secret Origins Part II” that J’onn is the last Martian, so where did she come from? My theory is she is a Cadmus clone like Galatea. She was not ready in time for the events in the show, but Cadmus still finished her, and then let her live her life. Naturally she decided to try and join the Justice League.

From left to right, Persuader, Mono, Tharok.

I regularly hear that compared to the other two trinity members Superman got the worst focus, but I think he got the best of it; it is just more subtle. Case in point is Superman discovers why they cannot access the time machine. Mr. Terrific calls him his father’s son, and Clark responds with “my father was a farmer.” This is for one an acknowledgement of how smart farmers are, and that their knowledge of weather, nature, and food is more important than scientists’ theories, which are literally useless without the stable food source only farmers bring. I think Wonder Woman got the least service, since all she does is beat Persuader. Unlike Batman and Clark she could just be replaced by say Atom Smasher or Aquaman with really no difference.

The three members of The Fatal Five break out, and The Persuader cuts Clark up.

Next is a scene at Arkham. Starboy has befriended Two Face. This actually makes sense. Two-Face has dual personality disorder and frequent mood swings, but he has a side that wants to fight Evil. Starboy has constant mood swings, and he is a hero who struggles with his identity due to his memory issues. I really like Two-Face seemingly being at peace with himself. Starboy sees Mono of the Fatal Five on the news, and breaks out.

The Emerald Empress, leader of The Fatal Five and girl friend to Mono, calls out to Mono. He is trying to find the key to their prison, and I think they really do like each other. That is what I like about The Fatal Five. They are unapologetic, sadisitc monsters, but they truly care for each other. They just care for nobody else.

The League compares notes. With both the second and third smartest men in the world there they deduce 21 Bridges is Portland and Limelight is Green Lantern. Meanwhile The Five attack citizens in Portland forcing Green Lantern out, but Starboy arrives. They flee, and I enjoy their banter between Starboy’s motor mouth and her sarcastic questions. The rest of the League minus injured Superman arrives to the tune of the Justice League Unlimited theme song.

Tharok of the Fatal Five knocks Green Lantern out, and Persuader fleis off with her. They battle over her until Clark arrives and the Five retreat. It is a good fight thanks to the constantly shifting scenery.

I have said before how much I love superhero scenes where they just hang out in full costume, and as expected I love this eating scene. It starts with Miss Martian’s horrible attempts to be good cop, just for Green Lantern to easily relate to his mental issues and how to cope with him. She tells him “You can’t just force your mind to do something it doesn’t want to.” It is a great way of explaining the issues I have with Autism at times, and it does not sound rehearsed like the lines in most movies about mental illness. It calms him down, and he tells her everyone knows of how great she was in the future, where she is an iconic superhero. I can tell from Starboy’s dialogue the creators really loved him in “Thy Kingdom Come.”

Nobody believes Starboy when he says he is a superhero, and Bats tells Martian to take them and Green Lantern into his head. They go to a few places, and that includes the Justice League Museum with the original theme song playing, and I am tearing up. Amidst all my crying Batman stares at his statue and says “nothing like me.” Haahahhahahahaha!

Green Lantern sees her statue with the other Green Lanterns (where are Alan and Simon?) She is saddened to hear the corps is now destroyed, but she is amazed at her statue. They see a memory of a battle between The Legion and the entire Five. I do not know who most of these people are, but I love seeing Mon-El get tossed around. Go Emerald Empress! Show that filthy Daximite who is boss!

Brainiac 5 captures the Empress and the other missing member forcing the others to flee. Since no prison can hold them they take her back in time to be held by the Green Lanterns, and Saturn Girl reminds Starboy of his inability to get better or think if he forgets his medicine, and that he cannot be in the Legion then. They never mention this in the movie but in the comics he was kicked out for killing somebody, and based on his reaction I think that happened after this flashback. He breaks down, and they have to leave the memory.

Tharok creates bombs everywhere, and they set them off to occupy the Justice League. Bats insists Green Lantern stay behind due to being the target and Starboy stay behind due to his instability and nobody considers him to be a superhero. This action scene is underwhelming compared to the flashback one, but it then goes back to Green Lantern and Starboy. She blows up at him due to the stress of not being able to help and the constant targeting of her. Tharok contacts her to go to the forest from earlier to stop the bombs and killings.

This is a great idea by them. A Green Lantern is weakened by their own fear, so being here theoretically greatly reduces her power. The music from when she saw the killer earlier is played, and she looks scared in a closeup. Then the music goes away and it changes to a look of determination, exactly what a Green Lantern is supposed to do and why the ring chose her. To stop the bombs she surrenders. She takes them to Oa where the the other two are held. I love the villainous dialogue. Persuader hopes he is the reason the corps is only a legend in a thousand years and Mono calls them “The Green Facist Corps.”

Green Lantern gives the corps the in distress code. They make her open the prisons, but then Kilowag and Salaak arrive. I do not know why Kilowag has his Green Lantern: The Animated Series look, but I think it makes sense that is canon to the DCAU. It is 3 vs 5, Kilowag gets stabbed through the chest, Salaak is knocked out, and Persuader chops Jessica’s ring in two.

So Green Lantern is buried under rubble, the Justice League is now going to rescue the time machine from The Fatal Five who have murdered the guards, and the Eye has taken power from the central battery. The Emerald Empress gives her plan, and I love it. She is going to destroy the sun, and end all superheroes before the 31st century when they go home. I love how they question it like it is based on morality until they instead ponder about the logistics. These guys are so evil, and that is why I love them. They do not even wonder if this makes their home unrecognizable and ends their own existence, as they are in it for the evulz.

The Justice League minus Green Lantern battles the Fatal Five. Wonder woman insists Starboy not help, as she has a very good battle with Persuader. Persuader has been the clear MVP, but Wonder Woman has been his kryptonite. She keeps evading his attacks due to her superior reaction time. Normally watching her beat him over and over would get dull, but Wonder Woman keeps beating him in different ways. If the Five just put the giant pink gu agains ther I think they win easily. My favorite is when they adapt a battle from The Dark Knight Returns with Batman vs. Mono. Mr. Terrific and Batman apparently get fed up with Miss Marian and let Tharok take her out. I have to say that my main flaw is how inconsistent the Fatal Five’s durability is. One minute Tharok and Mono are taking hit after hit. The next the non powered guys one punch them. They take out 4 of the five, but then The Emerald Empress wipes them all out.

As this has been going on Green Lantern wills her ring to fix itself, heal her injured eye, saves Kilowag and Salaak, and tells the ring to bring her home, which is literally does. She wakes up, breaks through the door, and completes her costume.

The Eye is sent to destory the sun, and the five go to their time machine, only for Green Lantern to destroy it. She battles the five. It is not a smartly written fight, but it has plenty of cool moments like when Mono accidently burns his girlfriend’s face, and I can hear the genuine concern in his voice.

Then it is a plot Bruce Timm used once in Justice League episode “Eclipsed”, in Justice League Doom, and here. The sun is being destroyed, and Clark fails to save it. Green Lantern (a different one each time) and another hero then save it. Starboy convinces her that he is the only one that cans save the sun, as his name indicates he has star based powers. Green Lantern knows that makes perfect sense in a world where she has green light based powers that makes perfect sense and flies him to the sun. He earlier flew in space, so I presume she flies considerably faster than he does.

In most of the DCAU shows Clark cannot survive in space without a space suit, but he did it in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Flashpoint” so apparently he learned at some point. Needless to say he fails to save the sun (again).

Starboy and Green Lantern arrive, and the pacing gets much slower. Starboy declares that it can only be pulled back together by gravity, so he flies into it despite Green Lantern’s protests. He again declarers himself to be a superhero and then proves it. Other than Long Shadow (which was purely off screen) the show never killed one of its heroes. Granted Dan Turpin died in Superman The Animated Series, but that was a completely different tone. That was very shockingly fast, while this is a slow scene designed to slowly make the viewer cry, and it worked at least on me. It works even better after I read a few comics with him (I can relate to my fellow night workers).

Green Lantern is comforted by Clark. It is a common myth that Clark must be a symbol of hope, but here he is something else, just a helping hand. He normally fails to fight evil this movie, but I can see his worth in how he helps Green Lantern cope with the hardships of being a hero.

The ending scene wraps up a few details. Bats tells Miss Martian she is on the team, and he implies voting against it. It is amazing that he is the funniest guy in the movie. At Starboy’s funeral the Legion arrives to mourn him, and it is admittedly an underwhelming ending scene compared to the penultimate scene.

I love this movie. It is the best Justice League movie I have seen (Out of the 18 I have seen 13. 4 of the ones I have not seen are lego films). The fights are very varied and fun to watch. The drama was very sad and had the serious mood it needed. It gives the trinity time to shine despite focusing on lesser used characters. The villains are a call back to an older time making them very unique in today’s animated films. They seem to be an intentional take that at all the modern twist villains. As anybody who read my DCAOM rankings knows this gets five Tree Stars.

Next time on April 27th. Time for a list. I mostly talk about animation, but many live-action films have affected me, thus coming up is my favorite live-action movies.

Bye Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios made 13 films in 18 years as part of 20Th Century Fox. Disney bought Fox, and recently shut blue Sky Down. Blue Sky was never this really popular brand, but I loved them for years am sad to see them go.

I have only seen 8.5 of their 13 movies, but I did not see any of the last three (I heard the last two were really good). Of the eight I saw I at least liked 6, and had a great time watching 3.

Their first, most important, and second best film is Ice Age. It was the eight highest grossing film at the time and by leaps and bounds the highest grossing animated film of 2002. It showed that someone other than Dreamworks and Pixar could make hit CGI films. It has a dark plot, but many comedic moments sprinkled in, and it has no real romance. Seeing just a buddy-buddy film is very rare and highly appreciated.

Afterwards they had a trend of very odd numbered movie being a sequel. These nominated their reputation. They made two hated Ice age sequels, one loved, one divisive, and one hated Rio sequel. Obviously I have no problem with sequels, and I like 2 Ice Age sequels.

Their best movie is The Peanuts Movie. Ina a world full of forced PG rated animated films this wholesome film was so refreshing. In a world where so many reboots seem like the creators never watched the originals this showed real passion and care for it, and I loved it.

Their worst movie is Rio 2. Yikes, plenty of plot time was spent on some comic relief villains with no impact, and those are the only remotely good parts.

Blue Sky is never going to be a beloved defunct studio like Sullivan-Bluth studios, but I will miss them.

DTV Wonders: Batman and Harley Quinn

Anybody remember the old days of being a Harley Quinn fan? Back when you watched a “Top Ten Batman Villains” video, and it was exciting if she even made the list, and we were always hoping she would become more popular. Well it happened by turning her into probably the worst Batman character due to the creators listening to the fans too much. Many fans bought her act as an innocent victim instead of seeing the murderous psychopath she is. This has resulted in them trying to turn a killer into a fan service filled, bisexual icon, anti-hero who saves the day despite being a murderer who is “not a bad guy.” This film is also co-creator Bruce Timm’s attempt at a comeback after The Killing Joke, and she is returning to her original (and superior in every way) costume. Unfortunately this movie despite some funny scenes has some really head scratching mistakes.

In the opening Poison Ivy and Floronic Man steal some information about Dr. Alec Holland to make a formula that will turn all life into plants to force humans to care about the environment. I like this change of pace by portraying tree huggers as wrong, and its counter to Ivy being a hero (she is a murderer who claims to be a hero), but it really messes with the theory that metahuman Ivy is a clone, as real Ivy left after “House and Garden.

Batman and Nightwing show up later and their actor reunion makes me happy. Once again Kevin Conroy is back as Batman, but for the first time in around 15 years Loren Lester is back as Dick Grayson. Even better he actually comes off as human here. Normally Nightwing is written in two extremes.

  1. Constantly be an outlet for the writer to attack Batman like an ungrateful twerp.
  2. Be this boring nice guy.

Here he is fallible, close to Bats, and their is a mild issue with Bats viewing him as a son compared to Dick viewing him as the weird uncle.

Moving on they decide they need Harley Quinn to find them quick enough leading to some very good stylized credits. So far so good, but the problems come quick.

Dick finds her working at “Super Babes” as a waitress and gets attacked by her. It bothers me that she effortlessly picks up a wooden pallet with one very bony hand, because I work with them and know how heavy those things are. Batman has a dull conversation with ARGUS that adds nothing, and then we get to the dreaded Quinn/Dick scene. Quinn says she is rejected by every clinic due to her criminal past, and is sick of being told what she is. Allow me then to say it. You are a murderous criminal who should be locked up. That is why you used to be a great character, and would be horrible to deal with in real life. It does not help that it takes a while to get used to Melissa Rauch’s voice. Why do they keep hiring The Big Bang Theory alumni to voice her? Then she… undresses and…

What the heck am I watching? Who thought this should be played for comedy. Another clip plays meaning for 101 seconds the viewers are made to believe Quinn raped Dick until it reveals they happily kissed and made out. How was this made by the same guy who did Justice League Unlimited?

They team up, and then we repeat a problem from Lilo and Stitch 2. This is the same plot as “Harlequinade,” a much better and shorter episode. Word of advice, if you think this movie sounds interesting just watch the much superior episode instead. Seriously it is one of the best episodes in the entire show.

After a few trailer shots we have more hijinks that just slow the plot down. The next joke is Quinn farting in the Batmobile (Bats’s reaction was funny but not worth the scene).

Then we get to by far the best part of the movie, the hench bar.

I love trying to tell who everyone is, and there are several good gags. The twins (I thought they died in “Two-Face Part 2”) sing a song that shows how Quinn feels about Joker (why is he not in this movie?), and Rob Paulsen does a great job singing despite his throat cancer issues he had.

Paulsen, you really are an unsung hero.

Unfortunately I find the next gag, Quinn singing a song to just be an incredibly pale imitation of when she did this in “Harlequinade.” It is not helped that the song is regularly played at work, and I really dislike hearing it. After that the henchmen go to beat them up, but they lose to the three in an Adam West-esque fight. Ubu, Rhino, and Captain Clown are not as tough as they used to be.

After that is the next funny scene where Booster Gold offers the help of several Z listers and they rudely refuse their help. I guess the world ending is not worth putting up with Black Condor (the world’s lamest superhero ever).

After some pretty dull science talk from mind controlled Dr. Goldblum, Floronic Man, and Ivy they decide they need to go to my home state, Louisiana, and they are attacked by the protagonists (I doubt “Heroes” is the right word). They fight, and Ivy decides to try and kill Quinn. Instead they escape as it kills Goldblum, and it is a good scene where Quinn comforts him in his dying moment.

I know I am skipping several scenes, but this movie is really padded, and none of the scenes I am skipping are good. In fact, most of what I am bringing up so far could easily be cut, but they give me something to write about. The other scenes are just boring and make this too slow paced for a wacky comedy road trip movie. This is why the word count will be very short, but I promise next review will be different.

They go to the swamp, which is a cool setting. They find out that if Ivy and Floronic Man’s formula is off at all it will end all life, but Quinn betrays them to try and talk sense into Ivy. It fails resulting in Quinn flipping like a seesaw, Ivy and Quinn battling, while Flornic Man dominates everyone else who for some reason brought no fire power (did Dick never play Pokémon?). That fight is pretty good, but the Quinn-Ivy fight is irritating. Eventually Quinn convinces Ivy that the risk is not worth it, and Floronic Man beats her up too.

This fight has a problem of lasting too long. Then Swamp Thing shows up. Surely this will be important and… He just shows up to leave with no impact at all. The pacing really needs to be faster, and the DCAOM films almost never have that problem. With him gone Quinn convinces them to finally try matches. This results in a surprisingly satisfying shot of them preparing to beat him off screen (there is a mid credits scene of Floronic Man screaming while on fire). I really was worried they would force Ivy into a major role at the end since compared to these three she really has no impact, and could have also been cut from the movie.

On paper this is a terrible movie, and it works horrible as clips, but it can actually come together as a whole film. I previously gave this a low two Tree Star rating, but it was better on the second watch. Still it is a 2 Tree Star movie with many problems, but it has two scenes I really like rewatching(Booster Gold and Hench bar scenes), so that saves it from what would otherwise be a 1 Tree Star Rating.

The comedy and drama are very hit or miss, but that is not the issue. This is a great example of pacing killing a film. It is just too slow.

Hopefully the next return to the DCAU is better. Coming April 13th is Justice League vs. fatal Five.

DT-TV Wonders: Pokemon Origins

Pokémon Origins debuted in Fall 2013 all together in four acts as a truer to the game version. I did not get into Pokémon until I was 20 years old, so I can actually review this without any nostalgia lenses. It is heavily contested.

Pokemon Origins Title

Video game movies are known for sucking especially compared to TV show adaptations. There are two main reasons for this. Video games are typically very episodic. In Pokémon you have different parts like Rock Tunnel, Mt. Moon, and Viridian Forest in addition to gyms to divide the game. That makes easy episode adaptations, but it is disastrous for a movie. Video games have garbage villains normally, and the show uses that to its advantage. Video games almost always have mary sue protagonists. The Pokémon show has the exact opposite of one in Ash Ketchum. This movie has Red for a protagonist.

Pokemon Origins, Oak

The opening to the game is with Oak explaining Pokemon, so the movie does the same thing. It is faithful, but Oak sounds way too serious for me. He is also a terrible professor who has no idea Pokémon have sexes or reproduce. It is very good until a few minutes when Red talks.  He not only talks but has very pointless monologues. His actor has very limited range, and it is so grating.

Pokemon Origins, Red Sucks
This is a really long introduction

To give him flaws the creators make him trip once to give him the clumsy flaw. This will never be seen again. To make it worse this is a badly done trip that looks stiff. I often hear the animation is good (for the first part at least), but I see the opposite. The fighting animation is good, but human animation looks stiff.  Like many comic book movies I keep noticing them just pausing in poses from the game.  It worked in the game, but it just looks bad in animation. 

Red arrives at Oak’s place where Blue is posing and insulting him. First problem that should have easily been addressed, the names. The games are not serious, the show (with normal names) is not serious. This is taking itself very seriously, so your names cannot be “Red” and “Blue.” In fact Red has a default name of “Jack” you could have used.

Pokemon Origins, Blue

Red is supposed to be a player avatar except for being very calm.  He is the calm blue oni to Blue’s emotional red oni (ironic).  This makes them both hot headed and pushy (that is a Silver thing, not a Blue thing).  His literal only personality trait is gone. Oak gives lots more exposition (pick up the pace!), and they get to pick a starter. Red picks Charmander, because marketing told him to. Red’s Pokémon is supposed to be Bulbasaur, and he grabbed the middle pokeball (Squirtle).  Admittedly without game knowledge it makes sense to pick Charmander, the toughest one to win the game with. He refuses to give him a nickname because… Should have given a nickname.  I names my Charmander “Rusty.” 

Pokemon Origins, Holding Starters
Admittedly I really like how they hold them.

Blue runs off with his Squirtle to win some battles. Oak wants them to gather all Pokémon, and he gives this important job to free child labor (cheap stake), and mentions being a Pokémon trainer. Red responds with “Pokemon Trainer?” 

How do you not know what that is in a world full of superpowered animals? Well, we know this guy is an imbecile. He also does not know to not steal somebody else’s Pokémon or that you can heal them until Pewter City. How did he make it through Viridian Forest without healing with only one Pokémon. Unless you have Bulbasaur that is impossible.

Pokemon Origins, Use Bite

Red and Blue meet in Pewter City, and Blue mocks him into battling. If someone did that to me I would walk away to smite them. Blue dominates due to better moves, superior speed, and type advantage. It includes the most iconic part of the movie where Charmander screams in pain and Red just watches helplessly until surrendering. Contrary to what Brock says later there was no strategy, just Squirtle using brute force.

Brock scolds Red for not knowing what Pokémon is about and tells him to be in sync but nothing about to how to do it.  They fight at the gym for a badge, and this is really bad. The lesson is to see Pokémon as partners.  Too bad he only learns this with Charmander.  Red only won because of 6 to 2 advantage, which makes this very underwhelming, and Brock’s lieutenants are very annoying and inconsistent.  Sadly this is still the best of the four acts.

Act II is the one everyone hates, and I see why. The animation is very bad, and it is just mildly confusing. It adapts the beloved Pokémon Tower segment of the game, but what made it work was the spooky and slow atmosphere. Here it is just rushed after wasting hordes of time with exposition. Red beats one Team Rocket Pokémon and they just surrender like useless idiots. To make it worse one of Red’s recaps (all would make better episodes) includes beating their boss so this is not interesting as his first encounter, and it is already established he beat their boss. Other than killing Marowak (likely an accident) there is nothing evil they do that Red does not do. They both participate in buying and selling Pokémon (Red bought Magikarp in a recap) and capturing them. In fact I see them having much more care and love to their Pokémon than Red does who clearly sees everyone but Charmander as just a weapon. It does not help that unless they use music from the games the score sucks.

Enough with the boring part time for act III. In a long recap it is revealed Charmander is now a Charizard and… Just quit torturing us by showing the good stuff you skip. Just do not bother. I hate this format.

A company called Silph Co. has been conquered by Team Rocket so Red breaks in to save their president. In the game this is a thrilling slow build up where you battle team rocket minions (who stupidly let you heal in between each fight) until you get to your rival for an epic battle and then get an easy win over Giovanni. In the film they apparently are blind, as Red just skips all the way to Giovanni. Giovanni is more emotional than ever because… Red is a mary sue. He pulls out a Nidoran. This is actually an advantage to Charizard since he is immune to ground attacks, but he still loses. His flamethrower does nothing to Nidoran, but it kills the President (Red does not care like the evil animal abuser he is).

Pokemon Origins, Silph Co.

He whines about Giovanni being mean after carelessly killing somebody, as Giovanni nicely does not steal his unconscious Charizard or rob him of his other five Pokémon. Why are we rooting for red again?

After this Red goes to face the last gym leader, and he happens to be Giovanni. Red again makes him mad by sayign he is evil (how thin skinned is her?) and he pulls out only two pokeballs.

Time for a problem that is not original to this- Giovanni sucks. In the games he is (With the possible exception of Brock) the weakest gym leader. My Charizard swept his whole team. Gyarados easily crushes him. In the show he cosntantly makes dumb plans and blames everyone else. Here he is just thin skinned.

Pokemon Origins, Health Bars

they actually use health bars showing that they think robots are accurate (I work at Wal-Mart. I know that is false), and they think this is not a real battle but a video game. Again Red has a 6-2 advantage making this victory feel unearned. It takes five Pokémon to beat Rhyhorn, despite it wasting a move on its garbage special attack. Just use Earthquake and a rock move. It is Rhydon vs Red’s last Pokémon. He declares a victory is … Useless without Charizard and pulls him out.

Venusaur was my fist Pokémon, but I sat him occasionally. You supposedly embody friendship with Pokémon, yet you send them to their defeats where they now have to hear you declare that their victories are meaningless because they are not Charizard. This is not a celebration of Pokemon, but a mockery of it. Taking a lighthearted franchise and, taking it too seriously, and being completely unaware that makes it dog fighting, and then supporting animal abuse. I thought this would be a two Tree Star film before I rewatched it, but it this even a one Tree Star film?

Instead of fire moves Red uses normal moves that are… Garbage against a Rhydon (fire attacks are actually better than normal attacks from a Charizard due to mechanics), and then he somehow wins with a Seismic Toss. Should have made him sound smart by discussing special vs physical attack and defense or something.

Giovanni is amazed he lost and now heaps praise on Red that makes… him sound like a gay pedophile. This happy moment is just uncomfortable, as we are supposed to relate to him as a man regaining his childhood sense of wonder. He disbands Team Rocket (that does not mean your minions all quit crime you imbecile), and Red is off to the Pokémon League with the ability to win thanks to 3-1 odds in his favor.

Congratulations. You made “Challenge of the Samurai” look like a masterpiece.

ACT IV and thankfully no Giovanni. Red wipes out everyone through The Elite Four and now has to battle the Champion, Blue. It is quite faithful to the game, but the lines I picture Blue saying quietly here are loud.  The lines I pictured being loud are quiet here. 

What we see is Lapras beats Rhydon.  Arcanine beats Lapras.  Exegutor beats Dodrio(?).  Persian beats Exegutor.  Blastoise beats Persian and Jolteon.  Hardly any of this is shown., and how does Blastoise still have full HP?  It is way slower than both the ones it beat. 

Pokemon Origins, Blastoise

Now it is Charizard vs Blastoise for a far less cool version of their fight in The Silver League. Fire spin makes Blastoise flinch (not how it works) giving Charizard the win. 

Next Oak comes, and he is a horrible grandfather. He insults Blue for not being the very best (your 11 year old grandson is the second best trainer in the world you ungrateful man!) There is no evidence Blue does not love his Pokémon, as he is not reckless with them like Red. 

Next scene show Red finishing the pokedex through mostly narration, and he comes back to find Blue is terribly injured. Despite that Oak still cares more for his Red doing the pokedex instead of Blue’s injuries.  This guy makes Brainwave look like a caring parental figure. There are then some bad inconsistencies with the number of Pokémon in the exposition about Blue being injured by a super unknown psychic type, Mewtwo.

Pokemon Origins, Masterball
Interesting fact- I actually caught Mewtwo with one Ultraball after Raichu paralyzed it with Thunder.

Red gets clobbered by it in what is actually a very good fight despite the stupid deus ex mahcina of Charizard out of nowhere mega evolving. This is the only way to make the “realistic” style of Pokémon are animals work without it being dog fighting. Red is trying to catch and work with a dangerous animal instead of using his “beloved” pets to fight in sports competitions. Only the Pokémon fanbase calls saving the world “filler” and a sports competition “the real plot.”

Red sucks. He is stupid, terrible with pokemon, reckless, yet the film is completely unaware. It thinks he is a god and just makes him come off as the luckiest kid alive. Red sucks, the villain sucks, the supporting characters minus Blue sucks, all but one fight sucks, the moral is atrocious, and the animation is subpar compared to the cheaper TV show.

When I planned on rewatching this I expected to give it two Tree Stars, but I later realized I had to consider giving it zero (making this part of the bottom 3 movies I have ever seen). It was saved by 3 reasons. 1) Zero Tree Stars are exceptionally rare. 2) That last fight had some real redeeming qualities. 3) I was furious when writing about Act 3. When actually watching it the mood failed so bad at me taking it seriously I was bored instead of angry. Meaning I was not angry when actually watching it disqualifying it from zero Tree Star ranking.

Still it is a very low one Tree Star movie. (double checks list). Congratulations Dragonheart II; you are off the ten worst movies’ I have reviewed list. This is now number 2.

I am taking a break so 3 weeks until next review. I am returning to the beloved DCAU where they make a movie about breakout character that I love/hate (it is complicated. Coming March 30th is Batman and Harley Quinn

Batman and Nightwing kiss Harley Quinn

Brief Review Of Infinite Frontier #0

Frame story- pretty bad. It was way too much of Spectre is wrong and then Diana is right. Put some ambiguity into it. Then I was pumped for the villain reveal just for it to be another case of Darkseid. I am so tired of him.

Justice League- Mildly interested, but the Shazadam name is just wrong. Call him Black Adam.

Batman- Very confusing with too many characters, but the ending got me excited, and I enjoyed it.

Wonder Woman- Definetly not my cup of tea. No interest from me.

Superboy- Badly handled, but I think it shows big potential.

Obsidian- Great to see him again. I have never liked adaptational sexuality, but their family dynamic is so great.

Teen Titans- Just some fan service to a franchise I never enjoyed. I hope its fans enjoy it.

Green Arrow- This was really good mostly for the banter. My third favorite.

Stargirl- I think STRIPE was more useful here than in all of Stars and STRIPE combined. I see Star is making more jokes than usual indicating they are heading more in a direction of being more comfortable as a superhero than a teenager, Principal Sherman is Black Now (or did Dragon King make an android that got the race wrong and nobody noticed. I am going with the second one, because it makes me smile). My second favorite.

Here is a nice call back. In Stars and STRIPE Pat said it was Vigilante who kept trying to reach out to him and get the remaining soldiers back together. Here Pat finally picks up the phone, as Vigilante is the one again trying to bring them back together.

The Flash- My favorite. Just a sweet scene of them.

Stargirl: All Season One Episodes Ranked

13.          Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite (5)

I do not dislike this episode.  I was simply disappointed, and it is great that the bottom episode is this good.  The best summary is its ending.  It is intense, but it is not an ending. 

Held up better on a rewatch than number 12 due to its Henry scenes and some solid character interactions, but it was dominantly set up.  It even felt like it just ended because the runtime was over, and it is the only episode that left me disappointed when I first saw it.  It even had me worried the show was just a wonder for the first few episodes.  I knew the next episode better be good after that.

I still give this episode a 3 Stargirl rating due to its good character moments, but I expect more from an episode. I find it kind of funny that both the comic and show’s worst episode/issue is number 5 with the exact same strengths and weaknesses.

12.          Wildcat (4)

Too much set up for later episodes.  The best part was seeing two superheroes talk in full costume.  In live-action they normally remove the costumes for that. 

11.          Shining Knight (11)

A very popular episode that I did not care for.  It was very close to the comic, and that made it too familiar to me.  I also prefer the comic’s quicker pace, more focused storyline, and its place as the last issue rather than penultimate storyline.  It is the only episode I have not rewatched.

It is one of two episodes without fights, and I think it was a mistake placing it only two episodes after the first one.

10.          Stars and STRIPE Part 1 (12)

Had a very good opening, but too much of it was build up (some of which I presume is season 2 material), and the episode itself felt lacking as a result despite keeping me pumped for episode 13.  Nice job at both adapting and subverting the plot of “Stars vs STRIPE.”

9.            Shiv Part 1 (7)

Stargirl and Shiv/Cindy

Again a predictable episode.  The best parts were the Stargirl/Shiv scenes in chemistry class, and I appreciated the lengths to adapt the setting and look of issue 7 while reversing the ending. In addition it had a great atmosphere and character moments between Star and her step-family. In contrast it showed how different the villains are as parents to their children.

Fun fact: In the show Shiv beat Stargirl on her first try. In the comics she has lost every single fight with Stargirl.

Stargirl beats Shiv

8.            Stargirl (1)

Cliched and predictable, but it had good comedy, a terrific opening, and a great mood at finding the positive in a bad situation.

7.            Shiv Part 2 (8)

Obviously the best parts are the two bedroom scenes.  In addition, we got more Henry scenes and information on Dragon King. It really added to the mystery of what the villains are doing, and Hourman finally got to be useful.

6.            Stars and STRIPE Part 2 (13)

Stargirl Destroys Project New America

Action packed final episode.  Sure the very last fight had a disappointing ending but everything else (especially action in the light) was great with some especially nice Hourman scenes.  I am pumped for the hints at season 2’s plot and villains, and I especially loved the ending scene.

5.            STRIPE (2)

Stargirl Vs. Brainwave
Good job at hiding actually.

Not the most original costumed hero reveal, but it was very well done, and I loved the fight.  Pinar Toprak really did a great job with the score, and the school characters get to show their personalities.

4.            Icicle (3)

Until this point I would describe the show as “predictable, but well done.”  The first two episodes were not exactly surprising, and this episode starts with the usual time to defeat another ISA member in a two vs one fight and a love interest has been introduced…  That was surprising, and it was great to see a fight in the light. This is probably the episode I have seen the most.

3.            Justice Society (6)

Stargirl vs. Tigress and Sportsmaster
Most fans forget Star won this fight.

Probably the most consistently loved episode and would probably win a fan poll as the top episode mainly due to its fight and inner team conflict.

2.            Brainwave (9)

Got some more focus on my favorite villain and hero in one.  There were no real fight scenes, but it was extremely dramatic and tense making a special episode.

It continues with showing the huge contrast to how the villains are parents. It has Dragon King being a cruel widower (anyone else notice why he put Shiv to sleep) with no consistency on whether he wants to let his daughter in on the family business or not. Icicle refuses to let his son in on anything, but is a loving and devoted dad. Brainwave comes off as a caring but distant parent corrupted by his peers. Shade and Eclipso have huge shoes to fill next season.

1.            Brainwave Jr. (10)

The best fight, character development, reveal, drama, initiative, internal team conflict, and villainy all in one episode.  The show overall struggles with predictability, but this was the exact opposite.

Stargirl Glomps Henry

The focus of the episode is resolving family conflict. There is a contrast in how the characters successfully or unsuccessfully resolve it all culminating in the final scenes except for Shiv and Dragon King. Their bridge got burnt last episode.

Here is to a hopefully even better season 2.

Just a side note. I kept thinking I was about to find a perfect shot of Stargirl vs. Brainwave but the dark lighting and the blurry iamgery used for it kept resulting in shots like this.

Stargirl Vs. Brainwave

It looked great in real time but horrible in frame by frame.

Everything this year has currently been great or horrible, so why not now do something everyone loves or hate it. Coming Tuesday March 9th- Pokemon Origins

Charmander vs. Squirtle

In addition I plan on writing a mini review on the Stargirl storyline in Infinite Frontier since I am a Stargirl fan (I know, what a shocker).

DTV Wonders: Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry

Tom and Jerry do not have a good rap with films. First was 1992’s Tom and Jerry the Movie. It bombed in theaters, and is generally despised. Then they went DTV with 2002s Tom and Jerry and the Magic Ring. I never saw it. Then Bill Kopp took over. I cannot find anything else he did, but he made two Tom and Jerry films. Blast off to Mars has many good scenes, but I think the love story and a few other elements holds it back. His second work is our focus and it is often called the best Tom and Jerry movie. As it is the only one I regularly watch anymore I have to agree.

So how does this break from the horror of Scooby-Doo in Where’s My Mummy start? With… a commercial for Scooby-Doo in Where’s My Mummy. It still haunts me.

In the actual opening Tom and Jerry have their slapstick in the house with the theme being them using toy vehicles like cars and a plane. It is not that great of slapstick, but it is perfectly adequate. It does get funnier and funnier when they move away from vehicles (I guess the best stuff was saved for later), and it results in the entire house being destroyed.

I love how everything but the candles go up in flames

Spike (the dog) flees to Borneo, and the owner understandably kicks them out. The old bunny ears TV still works, and Tom and Jerry see a commercial for The Fabulous Super Race. The prize is a giant mansion.

It is a race, so Tom and Jerry quickly make cars, and I love several of the gags especially with Tom. Their cars are key characters. Jerry has a simply done car with little gadgetry other than size. Tom (the unquestioned star of the movie) has a car that looks barely functionable, but it easy for him to repair with anything and hordes of hidden weaponry.

They race over to the studio causing a giant flood and all sorts of chaos to introduce us to the corporates. They make fun of Hollywood for making violent media, but this is different from Return to Zombie Island. That film just mocked Hollywood, but this points out what gets great ratings. The real source of mockery is the audience for putting stuff like this on top. The executives are just giving the people what they want (and making a clown work with a feral grizzly bear, but that is minor).

The executive refuses until the Pharaoh themed president of Hollywood (sadly not Hawkman) loves the idea nd puts them in, because people love animal violence and villains.

Biff Buzzard and Buzz Blister are back as the hosts, and they are so awful a t geography and this job, that I really enjoy them. It also makes me wonder if they re told to do stuff like this to make more ratings.

Time for the rest of the contestants. Get that pause button ready, because the little captions are hilarious. There is the arrogant pretty boy, Steed Dirkley, crazy Sharp shooting Granny, Gorthram Destroyer of Light, and Soccer Mom (the last two have the same favorite song). My favorite is Gorthram for his soft spot for the environment (his car is powered by tortured soul, and his camera shyness.

They then go to Dr. Professor (voiced by Honest John himself), and they… murder him. That is actually very Tom and Jerry.

The race starts with the regular order being-

1.Steed

2. Granny

3. Gorthram

4. Soccer Mom

5 and 6- Tom and Jerry

It regularly happens that something bad happens to somebody (normally Tom) that makes it how he/she should be way behind but he/she quickly catches up. Like how Soccer Mom just waits through he hundreds of cars in comaprison to steed who just runs them all over. From here on most of the plot is just explaining funny gags, since this is really good slapstick constantly.

The crowd loves it mostly for Tom’s antics, and the executives increase the race from Mexico the Amazon. The contestants are furious, but have to continue. Steed gets there first, but now it is back to driving.

The main focus is going over a bridge which Granny and Steed mostly destroy. The best part is Gorthram. He puts out his thinking candle and summons a hell bird to help. Meanwhile Tom reverses a sign causing Soccer Mom to get stuck in quicksand. Thanks to her customer service being so ridiculously slow her car is destroyed, and she gets eaten by bugs. This is a children’s movie.

This leads to why would they confirm all the other racers die. This is the most evil I have seen Tom, but oddly the show never tells us to root against him. If anything it encourages us to root for him. I think it is again them making fun of the viewers for loving the villain. It definitely hits me as a Survivor fan. Where would our show be without iconic villains like Rob, Russell, Sandra, and Parvati?

Afterwards Tom somehow escapes piranhas, and Steed again is the first one to the finish, but the executives chose to move the finish to Antarctica by throwing darts on a map of the world.

1st-Steed

2nd-Granny

3rd-Jerry

4th-Tom

5th-Gorthram (what took him so long).

They modify their boats for water. Steed has been the clear favorite, but it turns out he stinks at modifying his boat (he probably just bought a great car), and he gets eaten by a mermaid.

Then Buzz and Biff… murder Gorthram Destroyer of Light. Announcers should now be allowed to murder players. It would really raise views for the Super Bowl.

After Gorthram dies it is a three way tie by the remaining contestants. Granny’s dog attacks Tom and as retaliation he feeds them both to a whale and happily takes off after he and Jerry modify their cars for the Antarctic.

The Antarctic portion is great. The slapstick is hilarious due to the crazy pain, and this surprisingly relatable part about waiting for a train to pass.

Jerry finishes first, and he actually gets a head start on going underwater to Australia. The segments just keep getting funnier, as they pass Atlantis and sunken treasure ships. My favorite part is that Tom just dominates those sharks. This movie really does show how resilient he is.

Tom gets wrecked by falling debris, but sicne he is the msot popular the executives save him. Obviosuly Jerry arrives at Australia first, the whale spits up granny, and the executives drop off Tom there with his wrecked car.

I have to credit them for showing the Southern Hemisphere. I was certain the writers would focus on the Northern hemisphere.

Now Tom is way behind, and he has to rebuild his car. The only way to catch up is something highly unlikely like saw the continent in half…

He literally destroys the Southwestern quarter of it. I think that means he killed around 3 million people.

They start to fly to Borneo, and Tom again uses his ingenuity to kill Granny, but her ghost sabotages him. He finally gets some good luck, as he and Jerry tie to the line. The public is getting bored of the race, so it is time to wrap it up. They must use nuclear powered flying machines to make it back to the finish line in California in five minutes.

They start by taking off and destroying Borneo (16 million people dead).

They destroy The Taj Mahal, decimate Mt. Everest…

… end The Great Wall, Crush The Kremlin, End the Colleseum, Stagger Stonehenge, straighten The Leaning Tower of Pisa…

So much joy to the public

…Fix The Grand Canyon and are back in California for the great finish.

Their vehicles stop right before.Now it looks over, but Tom forces the vehicle ahead, and Jerry follows suit.

“Biffaroni” is speechless.

They tie to the end. the executive says they must now do the race all over again, but now it is his turn for cartoony slapstick. This changes him into declaring that now Hollywood is for wholesome and clean family entertainment. Outraged the President of Hollywood vaporizes him.

I love that in all this cartoony slapstick Tom briefly just fights like a normal cat.

Tom and Jerry get he mansion, but the owner is not happy and makes them chase each other again, and they start to destroy the mansion.

This is not some life changing movie or going to change anyone’s thoughts on life. It is one of my favorite comedies (probably second favorite behind only Clue). If the live action film is nearly this good I am sold.

Four tree stars.

I am working on a long term project that is an obituary for Blue Sky Studios. In the meantime only one week until my next regularly scheduled article. All 13 episodes of Stargirl ranked.

Coming Tuesday February 23rd.

Stargirl: Who is the 8th Soldier of Victory

A new Stargirl one shot by Geoff Johns and Todd Nauck has just been announced that will be set in Africa, involve a reunion of The Seven Soldeirs of Victory, and show and “unearth the secret eighth soldier of victory.” This somehow jeopardizes her role as Stargirl.

Not too much to go on, but there are not many candidates on who the 8th one is assuming Johns is not just adding somebody.

As the Feature image shows the seven are Stargirl, The Crimson Avenger, Speedy, Vigilante, STRIPE, Shining Knight, and Green Arrow. The last four were members of the original lineup, and the first three are legacies of the original. The membership has wavered with both The Crimson Avenger and Vigilante having a sidekick (Chinatown Kid and Wing respectively) occasionally being members. There have been occasional lesser known members like TNT. But it is time to think through the length, one 48 page issue.

They do not have time for a crazy twist, but one shots by Johns are normally character focused. If only he made a cliffhanger all the way back in April 2000 about a common member of the team.

The Spider is Back?
Art by Scott Kolins

Post Crisis replaced Green Arrow with the Spider. He betrayed the team to Nebula Man, and Johns hinted that he was going after the surviving members of the team (all four of them) but never got around to writing it. With the upcoming Infinite Frontier all past continuities are canon, and it seems like a logical time to deal with him.

The Spider fits as a member of the team, mysterious, past connection, and it ties up old loose ends. How does he connect to Stargirl’s origins? I am going to guess it is their shared history as a replacement. He replaced Green Arrow, and she replaced Sylvester.

DTV Wonders: Scoob-Doo in Where’s my Mummy

There is a reason this killed my brother and I’s interest in the franchise. We would pick up every new movie at Blockbuster as soon as we could, and this ended it. This review is going to hurt and that is why I put it off for so long. I love Scooby-Doo, but boy have they made many sucky movies. Part of it is that the Scooby formula works best for TV, not movies. Many of the movies are padded, and that is one of this movie’s many problems. The real main problem is the ending. It is stupid, stupid, stupid. I have never just thought no at a movie like this. It does not help that this is in the What’s New Era. I like the TV show from it, but the movies from it are known for being bad (I have seen 3). This film is completely built on the biggest flaw of the show, awful “heroic” villains.

Velma is the villain. What’s New‘s biggest problem was occasionally an episode would try to portray the masked villain as heroic in an attempt to cash in on Zombie Island. The problem is simple when watching Zombie Island. On a rewatch all of the Zombie’s non evil actions make sense, and actually work better on a rewatch. In contrast take the villain from the camp episode. She wants to kick out an industrializer. She (and all the “heroic” villains) always say nobody was supposed to get hurt, but they are always clearly trying to kill the gang constantly. Meanwhile the industrializer just removes a few trees. Why are we supposed to root for this 2nd degree attempted murder at best? It makes a group of terrible episodes that meshes with an otherwise fun show. This is not something to build a movie around.

Velma’s plan is to scare away some messy treasure hunters. With all the ways this can go wrong you are risking many, many lives, when threat of force should do the job.

I have not seen this movie since… 15 years ago, so it is time to see if it is as bad as I remember.

Scooby-Doo, Cleopatra

It starts with a flashback to Cleopatra fleeing to hide Egypt’s treasures after Rome takes over. Her journal calls it the year 41 B.C.E.  How does she know they will change the calendar like that?  I need to point this out- contrary to what you were likely told Cleopatra was white (Greek), so they did not get this detail wrong.  As a kid I liked seeing the brief battle, but as an adult it is underwhelming. The whole tomb and curse of Cleopatra opening is dumb, but the score makes it interesting. Then bad score for opening credits. 

Scooby-Doo, Prince Omar

Velma and some bland guy names Prince Omar find an “ancient Egyptian necklace” and this seemingly activates Cleopatra’s curse to guard her tomb or something. Next scene introduces the other four gang members, but the next part is just padding.  I have reviewed plenty of padding that I love, but Shaggy and Scooby swimming in a mirage is just boring.  The only important thing is that the Nile River is gone.  Those Ethiopians really are out to get Egypt.  Seriously that could cause a huge war in the future.  (The Ethiopians are damming up The Nile).

After that it is time to introduce some suspects. Remember how I complained that Return to Zombie Island did not have suspects.  Well this movie proves that the movie had a high bar to reach with that.  After introducing “Triple A” we meet Rock Rivers.  He is the host of a show trying to prove the supernatural.  On par for What’s New Scooby- Doo Fred is a hysteric fan of his.  He is trying to bring It back after it got cancelled for faking footage.  A show like that would not get cancelled.  Trust me, many of the viewers would want to and expect to see faked footage.  Amelia, the main villain is introduced. She is a treasure hunter, which is later revealed to mean she blows up tombs to get inside. Why is she impersonating Cruella De’ Vil’s voice? She wants the treasure of “The greatest woman to ever rule?” There is no way Cleopatra has that tile.

She finds a marked symbol. Daphne is really dumb and points out the symbol looks like Velma’s necklace… Should Velma be just wearing an artifact? It seems hypocritical. Why do Scooby-Doo movies keep getting Velma so bad?

Amelia and her crew blow more stuff up and a swarm of locusts attack. Omar and his sucky accent are turned to stone and nothing significant is lost. Velma begs everyone else to leave for some reason thinking they will not try to help. Why not just fill them in and get their actual help? You gain very valuable help and remove a huge wildcard. Just fill them in you idiot.

Velma, Daphne, and Fred are separated from Scooby and Shaggy. They all have their What’s New actors. I normally love these four, but their performances seem uninterested. First following Fred, Daphne, and Velma, the evil mastermind gets turned to stone. If her clothes are turned to stone why not turn the necklace and journal to stone?  She wants them to leave, so why leave the journal and necklace for them to stay?  This whole turned to stone just guarantees they will stay to save her.  Learn to improvise. In addition those mummies suck and are getting clobbered by Amelia. Eventually Daphne and Fred escape after a few long and dull scenes. They are chased down by Amelia who steals the necklace and journal only to lose them when she is somehow captured by useless Omar off screen so the writers do not even know what happened.

Scooby and Shaggy’s plot is good and should have been the main focus. It is not complex enough to carry a movie, but it could be the A plot or an episode. They find themselves stuck with this Civil Engineer who is secretly draining the Nile to fund his criminal Empire and pretending to be a priest, and his people mistake Scooby for a reincarnated Egyptian Pharaoh. (The dog version of Hawkman when you think about it). The plot is very stupid, but very entertaining like the direct to-TV-movies. Sure it clashes with the tone, but this is actually fun to watch when they are attacked by a giant evil robot and commandeer a chariot. Why not just focus on evil civil engineer plot?  That was way better. 

Scooby-Doo, Chariot
There is a reason this image was in the trailer

Sadly this has to end, as they go back to the main plot. Amelia is captured and to defeat Cleopatra they have Daphne disguise herself. Wait, what was Velma planning on doing to Amelia? Kill her? Seriously Velma you are not good at thinking on your feet, so why did you turn down help from people who are?

The others disguise Daphne as Cleopatra and this results in a decent battle with the fake undead army, and we get what is actually a good climax until the stupid reveal that Velma is the villain.

Is this supposed to be happy? your friend is seriously psychotic.

It was her, Omar, Rock Rivers (for effects), and the workers, and yikes is the explanation for the Locusts dumb. “The Swarm of locusts.  I learned to breed them last year in Science class.”  Where were these during the last few mysteries.  Even worse it sounds like she says “breath” instead of “breed” and this really confused me.   Velma is almost as bad here as in Return to Zombie Island, almost.

Meanwhile I am just bored and all this Egypt imagery makes me think of more entertaining Egyptian stories, like Hawkman.

Meanwhile Amelia is begging and whining like crazy, and she is just such a pathetic villain. She actually had a really cool introduction, but it was all downhill from there.

I hate this movie. Some good action scenes are enough to give it one Tree Star, so it is at least not a zero.  

What is the worst Scooby-Doo movie I have reviewed? Arabian Knights is the third worst due to its entertaining Sinbad/Magilla story. This movie is stupid, but I see an actual plan. Return to Zombie Island is funnier, but it goes out of its way to spit in the original so much that I give it the crown for worst Scooby movie.

Next time on February 16th in honor of the upcoming Tom and Jerry movie. The Fast and the Furry time.

Tom and Jerry Race

Spoiler Free Review- Batman: Soul of the Dragon

A very mixed bag.

The beginning is way too predictable. Too little Batman. He is the most interesting character and I think a Batman/Dragon team up would have been the best route. The biggest problem is Kobra was just unintimidating. Jeffrey is creepy, but the only one who comes off as a threat is King Snake.

For good stuff most of the action scenes are very good. Sure Shiva’s methods get very repetitive, but the settings are all different, and everyone else has a range of fighting techniques. This is the best movie depiction of Batman on screen since Scooby-Doo and Batman the Brave and the Bold.

I liked it and will likely do a DTV Wonders on it in the future

On a hardly related note I finally got around to watching The Flight of Dragons. It will come in May at absolute earliest (and knowing me way later) but I will give it a DTV Wonders review.