Justice League Dark is the next instalment of the long running animated DC movies; the first one being released in 2007 with 28 following releases. My history with these movies are treasured, DC cartoons were apart of my life since I could remember and the animated movies are the soul of that feeling. They offer some really great stories and a nice Saturday morning cartoon vibe. Then my happy world came crashing down in 2014 when the studio released Justice League: War. This was the movie that followed DC comic’s rebirth of all of their properties. It took the treasured movies I loved and started a trend of mediocre bullshit. I do not use that word lightly; the new movies lacked what made the movies special. With new voice actors, a changed art style, and subpar stories these were echoes of the majesty that came before. With eight releases after Justice League: War, the movies seemed to be getting worse. I pretty much gave up on the animated movies ever being good again, but would still watch in hope that one day they would return to their former glory. Then, along comes Justice League Dark.
No, this movie was not perfect and was not mind blowing. It also does not instill confidence in me that DC animation has learned how to make a proper DC animated movie again. But it does not follow the sewage that it was born from. The Justice League Dark title and premise was originally a comic that came to fruition from DC comic’s Rebirth and all of the horrendous movies they spawned. I have no quarrel with the comics since I don’t read them, but as I said before, the movies were lacking. This movie however is not an utter waste of time like the others from this new era are. It still follows through with the new art style, the new voice actors, and the subpar storytelling, but it was just better. I guess I have gotten used to the new artstyle and the new voice actors, but I always never get over a script. But this movie played out with less problems that the other. It was not as impactful as the ones from the “heyday” or as exciting, but it was definitely more entertaining that the newer ones.
The movie follows the newly formed magic section of the Justice League to protect the world, cause what else does the Justice League do? There was little room to mess up characters, from my knowledge of the ones being featured, and had a simple story to follow. In other newer movies, character’s personalities and traits were changed to fit the new Rebirth, but here it was nonexistent for me. This movie played out like one of the older movies so it was easier to enjoy. It was filled with action and magic, making it more interesting to watch. Plus Batman was there, and they kept him cool but not really knowledgeable about anything. To me Batman is a character that probably knows something about everything, but they just make him not care to understand, because here, he’s more “realistic” and I bought it.
Is this movie worth its price? Yea it is, if you get the physical version where you get a Blu-ray, a DVD, and a digital copy. If you are going to watch it on Google Play or itunes, then make sure to just rent it at around $3. It was an enjoyable movie to watch surprisingly and was a good time waster. Not too bad for my first movie for 2017, could have been worse like the director’s other DC animated movie, Batman: Bad Blood. Their Batman vs. Robin was okay but this is their best work.
All in all, this is the first DC animated movie since 2014 that I could sit back and watch without cringing every other second, so it is definitely a step in the right direction.
7/10 DC is making a live action version, will it be better?
I was expecting very little from Sing. That might be a weird way to start, but it’s true. After Illumination Entertainment’s horribly underwhelming secret life of pets I was not sure the studio could do more than minions and despicable me. The through line for illumination is comedy, all of there movies are comedies and they all do it differently. While minions was pretty innovative I found secret life of pets to be unoriginal. So it was a delightful surprise to find that this movie was not comedy at all.
Sing has a message that is easy to understand and screams intent. It almost seems to be a passion project about when hitting rock bottom the only way to go is up. The story is structurally sound and does a good job weaving all of the side stories together. You would think that so many stories to tell would detract from the overall story arc, but the way that the movie unfolds lends itself to a good viewing experience. Instead of doing a story about a rising star that fits one stereotype, this movie allows for all of them to be represented. You have the underappreciated, the shy, the over confident, the has been, and the one that doesn’t fit in with their family. It checks all of the boxes and even throw in the main show runner in for another perspective.
So with a clear intent, many characters to relate to, and not being a comedy, Sing was shaping up to be a pretty great movie. Now for the most part movies where people sing, apart from Disney movies, use covers of songs and this movie is no exception. One of the most successful movies that use covers is the Pitch Perfect series, and I really don’t like those movies. This brings me to another delight in that the songs sung in this movie are really nice. Since the actors did the singing themselves it also makes the display slightly more impressive as well. The effort that Matthew McConaughey puts in his performance is what champions this movie. He might not be loved now after his Lincoln commercials, but he really does a great job in his part here. There really isn’t much to say about this movie other than it’s really good.
In comparison to other animated movies that have come out this year, this is a close second place to my favorite all year. Since both movies have similar messages to a point, but the other wins out in a deeper message and more production value. This movie on the other hand might actually be more fun to rewatch than the other one though.
All in all, Sing was a really good movie that made me feel like this was someone’s dream project. I would definitely watch it again and it doesn’t rely on any story surprises that would diminish that experience.