The film that I chose for today I have to admit was a choice that I made because of how much I loved the game show television series Legends Of The Hidden Temple which originally aired on Nickelodeon in the early to mid-1990’s. Now some 21 years later, the series is now a film and I chose it for today. All Noah (Colin Critchley) cares about on this family vacation is to prove to them that the Legend Of The Hidden Temple is a real thing. After receiving a map from the tour guide (The TV series host Kirk Fogg), he decides to enter the temple along with his two siblings. The only problem is that they have awoken the legendary Olmec (Dee Bradley Baker) who sends them on a mission to find both sides of the amulet or they are stuck in the temple forever. The film also stars Jet Jurgensmeyer (The Little Rascals Save The Day) as Dudley, Isabela Moner (Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life) as Sadie, Michael Benyaer (Deadpool) as Human version of Olmec, Daniel Cudmore (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Thak, Ioan Sebastian Tirlui (The Birth Of Venus) as Zuma, Catia Ojeda (30 Rock) as Mom, David Michie (Halloween) as Dad, and the film was directed by Joe Menendez (12 Monkeys).
The film is only an hour and five minutes long which is kind of an ode to the old days of film that was like that, but it’s an enjoyable film. The film kind of reminds me of The Goonies, but with Aztec stories and adventure. I wasn’t sure how they were going to handle a film version considering that it was a game show before, but the writing department deserves some kudos because they pulled it off. The only thing is that at times they stop too much to explain every little thing, but it’s not too big of an issue. It kind of helps as far as driving the story forward. One thing that I think could have been better is this dramatic scene between Noah and his sister Sadie in the shrine of the silver monkey. It was just a little too over-dramatic for my tastes. One thing that was funny about that sequence is that everyone had a hard time putting the silver monkey together on the game show and everyone does in the film as well. A funny nod to the struggles of putting that darn thing together. If you ever watched the TV series then you know the set design was going to be off the hook which it definitely was. The costumes for the ancient warriors were great and I love the odes to the series they throw in there like the T-shirt Noah wears once he is in the temple. I also loved the fact that they had the original voice of Olmec and the host himself Kirk Fogg in the film to give it that nostalgic feeling. This is definitely one that the kids should enjoy and if you get a chance, make them familiar with the TV series as well. The film is available on Nick.com and obviously on-demand. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
For today’s film, I was in the mood for some superheroes and there are some films that I haven’t seen yet. Also, with the announcement of Justice League Dark, I figured there was some Justice League films out there I haven’t seen which is why I chose Justice League: War for today. A strange alien lifeform is planting some sort of bomb or device in Gotham, Central City, Metropolis, etc. This raises alarms for the Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) as he travels to Gotham to investigate with Batman (Jason O’Mara). With the help of Cyborg (Shemar Moore) they discover that Darkseid (Steve Blum) has a plan to take over Earth and use up all of it’s resources. They’ll need everyone’s help from the Justice League to defeat Darkseid and prevent him from taking over. The film also stars Sean Astin (Encino Man) as Shazam, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as The Flash, Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) as Wonder Woman, Alan Tudyk (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) as Superman, Rocky Carroll (Crimson Tide) as Silas Stone, Dee Bradley Baker (Legends Of The Hidden Temple) as Parademon, Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) as Thomas Morrow, Zach Callison (Steven Universe) as Billy Batson, and the film was directed by Jay Oliva (Deadpool).
I do want to make something clear about the film and that the Justice League isn’t official in this film. They all begin to meet each other as they are forced to band together to fight Darkseid. Darkseid for those who don’t know is basically Marvel’s Apocalypse, but he is an alien life form who can shoot lasers out of his eyes just like Superman. The film had me excited to see that he was the villain of the film because I am a huge fan of Darkseid, but I was also excited to see Shazam in a film as well. I definitely like how they introduced him in the film and even though he looks like an adult, he still acts childish. We also get to see Cyborg’s origin in the film as he is created right before our very eyes. One of the things I enjoyed about the film was the story itself because it was a take on how they came together, but it showed how people were still afraid of them before they could rescue everyone. The film also features some language in it so I would be careful showing it to the kids (or at least use some caution) and there is definitely some violence in the film as well. This definitely isn’t my favorite DC Animated film, but it’s up there. You have to check out Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, but if you want an origin story then check this one out. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
In the war between DC and Marvel Comics, I would go as far as saying that DC had the upper hand in the animated film market. That is why for today’s film, I decided to check out the animated film Son Of Batman which came out in 2014. Ra’s al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito), the leader of the League of Assassins, is training his heir to the league when the compound comes under attack by an old disciple by the name of Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson). After escaping the attack, Talia al Ghul ( Morena Baccarin) brings her son to Gotham and reveals to Batman (Jason O’Mara) that Damian (Stuart Allen) is their son. Batman quickly learns that Damien is an unruly and violent teen with a thirst for vengeance. No matter, he will try his best to mold him to become the new Robin while they try and track down Deathstroke. The film also stars Dee Bradley Baker (Legends Of The Hidden Temple) as Man-Bat, Xander Berkeley (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) as Dr. Kirk Langstrom, Sean Maher (Much Ado About Nothing) as Dick Grayson, David McCallum (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Michelle (Happy Feet) as Francine Langstrom, Fred Tatasciore (Avengers Assemble) as Killer Croc, Bruce Thomas (Kyle XY) as James Gordon, and the film was directed by Ethan Spaulding (Batman: Assault On Arkham).
The one thing I really enjoyed about this film is that there was a different enemy for the film than the usual suspects that we are always given. First you get Killer Croc with Batman and then Deathstroke towards the end. I had been waiting a long time for something to feature Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson and we got it with this one. The only thing that bothers me a little is that he gets his ass kicked by a teenager with anger and control issues. For the whole entire film, he is an unruly teenager, but at one precise moment in the film he changes his tune and clearly wants to learn from his dad. That was the only issue I had with that, but for the most part this was an enjoyable film to watch. The thing that gets me about DC Animated films is that you don’t realize how much realistic violence is placed into their films. There is a scene where Deathstroke literally has Damien Wayne crucified with a sword through one arm and a knife through another I believe. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that, but I enjoyed it. So as I was saying, I think that is why DC dominates the animated game because their films are not cheesy. This probably isn’t going to be the last animated film from DC that will be featured on here because there is a whole lot more to see. I am going to give Son Of Batman an B+ for a final grade.