The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 [2012]

~or~

Clash of the Hoodies (the revenge)!

Twilight_Breaking_Dawn_Bella_Edward_Forest_Run_Hunt

A showdown five years in the making. It took 3000 words and four movies. But we finally experienced the epic, battle of destinies set up since Underworld came out in 2003. Did we say “experienced?” Okay, well, sort-of…

Featuring the goofy expressions of Michael Sheen's Aro; volume one!

Featuring the goofy expressions of Michael Sheen’s Aro; volume one!

Breaking Dawn Part 2 in a sentence! Bella’s a vampire— but its okay, she has superpowers now and cannot stop gushing about how great it is (to lose your soul…ugh) while meanwhile, her child is growing freakishly fast, and the Volturi gather the entire brotherhood of evil mutants to cleanse her and the entire Cullen clan from the face of the monster infested Pacific Northwest… well, kinda, but not really.

CLASH OF THE HOODIES!

CLASH OF THE HOODIES!

Dakota Fanning as Jane? You're in this movie? I think she has one line. Nice Yu-Gi-Oh! make-up by the way.

Dakota Fanning as Jane? You’re in this movie? We think she has like one line. Nice Yu-Gi-Oh! make-up by the way.

It’s been a long time since the quirky little low budget film, Twilight (2008) came out and we thought it an interesting take. Since then we have been assaulted by dull, self absorbed movies, crazed teens, crazed moms, Team Jacob, Team Edward, Twilight backpacks, neck-biting parties, and perhaps a long list of dissatisfied women. No ladies, vampires are not real. “Edward” is not coming to sweep you from your diaper-laden mundane life and dote over you incessantly.

Alice is back, with hair that seems to be getting more scary and severe by the movie.

Alice is back, with hair that seems to be getting more scary and severe by the movie.

Bella has experienced many a fantasy, and now tops it off with:

  1. Youth forever
  2. Never tiring
  3. A grown little girl, without all those annoying diaper changes and feedings. Instant family.
  4. A new house!
  5. Superpowers!
We're not seeing a lot of sparklin' here...

We’re not seeing a lot of sparklin’ here…

The new home thing was laid on pretty thick. Likely a fantasy for many a female. A cute little honeymoon cottage in the woods, seen at night. Soft lighting, ready nursery, A CLOSET STOCKED WITH CLOTHES, etc.

Why so sad Charlie? You had two lines this movie instead of the usual one!

Why so sad Charlie? You had two lines this movie instead of the usual one!

"This is what all Euro effete super snobs wear. You are impressed, no?"

“This is what all Euro effete super snobs are wearing this spring (and every spring). You are impressed, no?”

We have to hand one thing to Kristen Stewart, though. Whether she’s grown as an actress or the script called for it, she tried a new acting method that calls for more than one facial expression.

Uh... We didn't say she did it successfully...

Uh… We will leave you to judge the results for yourself… Yes, the character Bella goes from the most uninteresting girl in the world to the most unlikeable.

The werewolves pretty much were a no-show in the film, not that there weren’t a few computer-generated wolves in the so-called final battle scene. Rather any of the actors who play them were non-factors, and even Jacob seemed reduced to a few bit scenes, and a rather gratuitous stripping in front of Charlie. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed, the series still goes out of its way to show Taylor Lautner’s 18 abs.

"Yeah, whatever. I'm just glad to finally eat something other that Slim Fast and Nutri-System.

“Yeah, whatever. I’m just glad to finally get to eat something other than Slim Fast and Nutri-System. I’m hungry!”

And is it just us, or are the euro effete Volturi, who seem so obsessed with vampire secrecy, rather cavalier with using their powers. Cavalier about marching a company of vampires across a frozen tundra wearing robes out of the ninth century?

You will FEAR the POWER OF THE HOOD!

You will FEAR the POWER OF THE HOOD!

Remember when I used to be the strongest vampire?

“Remember when I used to be the strongest vampire?”

What about the final showdown? Did it happen? Well, no. The movie abused an old technique, showing a massive and consequential fight scene. They killed off main characters and dramatically showed many things. But was it cheap? Yes, because it never really happened. “Oh, it was just a vision…” Ugh.

"I'm glad to have a cool pose. What? I'm about to die? Uh, again?"

“I’m glad to have a cool pose. What? I’m about to die? Uh, again?”

ddd

The goofy expressions of Michael Sheen’s Aro; volume two!

Vampires are evil. Twilight tried to change that with the introduction of a ‘good’ clan. When you see the attempt at morality displayed by characters like Carlisle and Edward, you might say they were doing as best as they could without a soul. But Bella? She was NOT the kind of person that should have been turned into a vampire. She already seemed to have little core, and now she seems ripe to be corrupted by power. Maybe there’s a lesson in here after all…

Kellan Lutz rocked some cool shots. We are glad he was played well in this scene.

Kellan Lutz rocked some cool shots. We were glad he was played well in this scene.

________________________________

The Twilight Saga:

Twilight 2008

New Moon 2009

Eclipse 2010

Breaking Dawn – part 1 – 2011

Breaking Dawn – part 2 – 2012

Advertisements

Superman vs. The Elite [2012]

The “S” Goes Bad

(okay, not really, but it is the feature’s hook)

Maybe the producers over at DC are bored with depictions of their heroes and feel the need to resort to kooky one-off features. Often they choose an out of the mainstream but critically acclaimed comic run or graphic novel as inspiration. But many of us out here are just looking for a good Superman movie… We thought Supes vs the Elite was going to fall in the too edgy for its own good category. It did stumble a bit in that regard, but overall was a decent piece.

Heroes permanently taking out murderous super villains is not an unheard-of topic. It might be more believable in characters like Batman or Wolverine. Putting Superman in that conundrum was understandably against type, and moved the plot. However involving the UN, already a dysfunctional collection of thugs and despots, just seemed too close to the daily frustrations lovers of freedom already experience with the misguided body.

“Atomic Skull?” Really DC?

Super lantern jaw!

Our patented synopsis in a sentence: In a politically correct stretch, murderous supervillains doing what they do best is linked to the bad actions of rogue nations, and people cry out for permanent justice, a tenant obviously against Superman’s way, when a group of superpowered British punks start offing baddies and Superman has to (seemingly) adopt their dark ways to put a stop to their strangely unchallenged-by-the-rest-of-the-DC-universe ways.

Hmmm… Yeah, I wonder if any other hero might notice this…

The United Nations, perhaps started with good intentions, has devolved into an anti-American, anti-first world, anti-freedom body. It is a Star Wars bar scene of corruption. “A wretched hive of scum and villainy,” as Obi Wan Kenobi said. Most countries are not international law-abiding democracies. Earth is not Krypton. The plot link to the UN seemed tenuous and self-important.

See Superman get kissed by a… girl… thing.

With that said, there is a difference between rogue nations at war and murderous psychos like Atomic Skull. Would we like to see rogue nations turned into first-world democracies that raise the standard of living for all inhabitants? Yes. Do we want to imbue unaccountable entities like the UN or superheroes with the power to determine the actions of any nation? That is a dangerous can of worms. We appreciate the, “Can’t we all just get along?” message, through it was a bit forced.

“Truth, justice, and the American way. It ain’t broke, so don’t fix it,” Pa Kent reminded Supes. (He forgot to mention the virtue of pie.).

An artist’s rendering of Fortress Takes’ secret base.

The art style was a little strange, but not bad.They tried a little too hard to be hip in the opening credits. And the purposely juvenile Superman cartoon in the beginning was an over-the-top way of emphasizing the Kryptonian’s boy scout demeanor.

The voice portrayals were good, although Lois Lane and her Demi Moore-wannabe husky voice sounded more like a teenager. Still, we liked the banter and portrayal of a mature relationship between her and Supes.

Lois Lane also sings alto in her high school chorus.

So “the Elite” wanted to kill Supes, and threatened the entire world and its other Superheroes if they got in the way of their new rule. Really? Look, the new punks were pretty strong together, but did they really think they could stand up to the amassed power of the Justice League? Or Dr. Fate by himself even? Not a chance. That was one area in which believability faltered. It was a one-hero world.

This feature is worth checking out. It is a complete story, not a disjointed collection like Justice League: The New Frontier. Just go in with your expectations adjusted accordingly.

Read more Fortress Takes or Superman may just punch you in the face!

Check out our other DC Comics takes:

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 part 1

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 part 2

Batman: The Brave and the Bold  Season 2

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 3

Batman: Under the Red Hood [2010]

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman [2003]

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse [2010]

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies [2009]

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights [2011]

Green Lantern: First Flight [2009]

All-Star Superman [2011]

Superman vs. The Elite [2012]

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [2010]

Justice League: The New Frontier [2008]

Young Justice [2010] Season 1

Wonder Woman [2009]


Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens [2012]

A Step Backwards

(…then a trip and fall.)

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens is without the doubt the weakest entry in the growing library of the franchise. And when we say “weakest,” we are being generous. It was terrible. A true disappointment. Perhaps this is even more so because we have come to expect and mostly gotten better from Man of Action’s series.

Evil Way Big rages! Rages against Destroy All Aliens!

Our patented one-sentence synopsis will save you the headache of this dog: Extra annoying prepubescent Ben and Gwen experience an untold adventure (which should have remained untold) shoehorned into the first series continuity but with little regard to the characters or fun-factor in which Ben and company have a series of the most boring action scenes only to discover the boring secret behind the miserable encounters, oh, and along the way Ben learns the politically correct meaning of schoolwork (this message brought to you by the National Government School Ass.).

In an incredible twist, homework is more enjoyable than Destroy All Aliens.

Ben and Gwen were more unlikeable than ever depicted. Their banter, which we suppose was to be the family squabble type, was more of the “these two really hate each other” type. Each of their encounters made them more unsympathetic than the last.

Abuse of power. Try not to let this depiction cloud your fine memories of Ben 10. (Maybe it is all a dream, like that season of Dallas. -Look it up, true believers.)

Gwen; too powerful (and liberal with those powers) than originally depicted Ben 10, had abilities more akin to the Alien Force era. Unfitting on such an annoying child. Grandpa Max, a character we used to like a lot more, had his lines and contribution reduced to about five versions of, “Hey, cut it out you two.”

Max Tennyson: World’s toughest babysitter.

The character treated the worst was Azmuth, the long-lived, venerable, sometimes wise, scientific, and reclusive father figure of the show. Normally a great and fun character in his rare appearances. Here, he was voiced awfully. He was whiny instead of his detached cantankerousness we have come to expect. A horrid depiction topped off with the inexplicable decision to introduce HIS father… Huh? Really? Why? (There is no good answer.)

It was more like Azmuth’s son than Azmuth… What was with this outfit? Why is he smiling? Why is he wearing swim fins?

The computer generated animation was awful. Not stylized simple, just simple. Not flat colored for the cartoony look, shaded simple for rendering on the intern’s netbook they borrowed for this “feature.”

We could say something snarky here about the computer graphics… but we just do not have the heart… We will just say they could have done better.

The only bright spot was the returning alien, Tetrax. He is a fun and sympathetic character. His race forms the template of the omnitrix Diamondhead transformation. He was well voiced, though his part and lines did not make much sense. His cool iceman styled travel method was the only entertaining visual in the feature.

Actual quote by Tetrax to Gwen: “Is this what you’re like with Ben? I can see why he complains about you.”

Destroy all Aliens crams five minutes of confusing plot into one hour and nine minutes of paradoxically boring action. Pointless dream-like sequences in empty environments that were not rooted even in the reality of the feature. You know what action sequences are like when you do not care who wins? Its gets old fast.

The one bright spot, Tetrax, could not illuminate the plot. Additionally his crystal composition and shards were, uh, very un-crystal-looking.

It was just weird, too, how after comments from Gwen, we were supposed to just accept that Azmuth’s father was of a whole different race, and a non-biological one at that. Look, unless you have been forced to babysit horridly unruly kids, or have your own children that need to be punished, skip this sub-par entertainment.

For those who are fans of the franchise and have followed it from the start, this pointless feature should stay below your notice. In our opinion it adds nothing good to the Ben 10 universe. If you have a four-year-old whom you would like to experience this franchise for the first time, watch season one of Ben 10 and not this confusing, befuddling, and boring piece.

“Why are we here!?”

(PS – The Wildmutts were awful.)

Check out our Ben 10 franchise takes:

Alien Force Season 1

Alien Force Season 2

Alien Force Season 3

Ultimate Alien Season 1

Ultimate Alien Season 2 (part 1)

Ultimate Alien Season 2 (Conclusion)

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens

Wing Commander [1999]

Okay, something does not blow up every other second, but it does make for an exciting take introduction.

Wing Commander is an under-appreciated science-fiction film with slick effects and solid production values. It tried to accomplish much, and like most movies, did not hit everything aimed for. At times it touches upon poignant themes that resonate with the nature of mankind. Occasionally, it lapses into derivative moments not worthy of these higher concepts.

“What are you doing Admiral Towlyn?” — “Ruminating on poignant themes that resonate with the nature of mankind.”

It also stars Freddie Prinze Jr., who we enjoyed in the role. However, he did use this expression an awful lot.

Our patented synopsis in a sentence: Humanity, still recovering from a civil war, now face an alien cat-like (and poorly realized) enemy who after conspiring with a traitor (cut from the movie) are on the verge of destroying Earth not realizing they are about to be stopped by a fresh faced young band of hip (and good-looking)  heroes with attitude, flying skinny fighters, getting oppressed by “the man,” squeezing in some smooching, and occasionally breaking the laws of physics.

“Look Ma! I’m breakin’ the laws of physics!”

“I’m your wing commander. What? Not what you were expecting? We’re just as fabulous looking as movie archeologists.” (See Jack Hunter & Librarian takes.)

Chris Roberts, the father of the popular Wing Commander games of the 1990s, got a rare chance to realize his vision on the big screen. Did he get enough time and money to realize it fully? No. But was he bold enough, and perhaps new enough to Hollywood to include uncommon, worthwhile themes? Yes.

Chris Roberts does his cameo. (Don’t think it’s easy performing a salute in a skinny little fighter.)

Chris Roberts: “Hey, I’m gonna grab a beer, you direct this scene yourself.”

Dedication, selflessness, (occasional stupidity,) and duty are exemplified by our endangered heroes. While none of them are exactly Audie Murphy (the most decorated United States soldier of World War II), they do personify the brash, indestructibility of youth. They play off veterans of varying character and temperament who put up with their juvenile notions of fighter jock-ism.

Some early Wing Commander test footage.

Jürgen Prochnow plays a veteran of one temperament: Puckered.

Yup. Freddie Prinze Jr. really liked this expression…

There is also a Pilgrim subplot highlighting heritage and faith. This is quite the departure from modern era, faithless, counterculture garbage Hollywood often upchucks (believe us, we know). We found it to be a most pleasing foundation which gives the movie depth beyond that provided by hipster actors and quick action.

“I am not a hipster.” Tcheky Karyo (don’t ask us to pronounce it , we speak Kryptonian) did a fine job with an interesting character.

“Physics dead ahead captain!” — “Prepare to break the law!”

Young Christopher Blair, the part made famous by Mark Hamil in the later Wing Commander games, was portrayed by Freddie Prinze Jr. He was pleasantly likable.

… uh… It’s a good thing we liked Freddie Prinze Jr.’s (over)use of this expression. Now what does it remind us of. . .

Tcheky Karyo played the grizzled mentor with the mysterious past (classic; like Obi Wan Kenobi, but with 70% more grizzle). His role, like Prinze’s, was not one that pushed acting to its very experimental limit. But both hit solid notes within the material they were given, and bettered the movie.

“You young whipper snappers and your fancy armor. When I was young, all we took into battle were these cool-looking camouflage pajamas.”

Perhaps mistakenly, the movie tried to reinvent the Wing Commander franchise. This may have alienated and disappointed those familiar with it. Additionally, 20th Century Fox gave the film a bum deal, poorly marketing it because they were only its distributor, not its producer. They also bungled the release date. All these factors contributed to a rough box-office run.

Hmm. You don’t think they literally meant that it was only in theaters that one day… It would explain a lot.

Buy the toy now! Oh, wait. Never mind.

The production design was instructed to make World War II in space; they largely succeeded in an entertaining, occasionally silly way. Digital Anvil’s computer graphics and pilot displays added interesting, distinctive spice. However one area in which the visuals fell flat was the alien Kilrathi. Ugh.

Matthew Lillard takes it to the Axis powers!

Zany expressions for everyone! It’s the new rage in space.

The Kilrathi were brought to life well in the filmed game scenes, and at reasonable (though not cheap) cost. The “expensive” movie versions, however, did not even live up to that, looking horribly plastic. The producers knew it too, cutting scenes which featured them and reducing their shots to quarter-second flash cuts.

“No pictures! No pictures!”

The flight deck was a big set made from some old industrial facility. (It was later converted into a sweatshop for Twilight merchandise.)

You will enjoy computer-generated space scenes that look as good as model work, huge sets, full-sized fighter mockups, and lots of goofy expressions from likable actors.

Don’t let this happen to your Rapier.

David Arnold’s music is excellent background to scenes which often showcase the wonder and majesty of nebula colored space.

If you like science fiction, and like action, and are capable of tuning out the fair in order to enjoy the good, we suggest you try Wing Commander. Go in with no expectations, and just enjoy yourself.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 [2011]

Breaking Dawn highlights the difference between a plot about serious things, and taking yourself too seriously. Of course an author wants people to be emotionally invested in the characters they create. However that investment should come naturally and not be forced upon us through maudlin trudging.

Why so angry…uh, what’s your name again? Oh, Rosalie. You actually had a part for the first time!

“If it’s not too late Bella, I’d like to ask you to play for Team Jacob again. Please, think of all the Slim Fast this part has forced down my throat.”

Breaking down Breaking Dawn in one sentence: Edward the vampire does very little for an hour and a half and yet comes across less pathetic than the previous series entry while self absorbed Jacob finally carries a plot-line, and matures to 8th grade level while the world’s least desirable girl, Bella Swan, continues an unbroken streak of insecure and awkward dealings with everyone she knows- oh and the werewolves and vampires fight over a demon child for about 90 seconds.

Just whose fantasy wedding is this, Stephenie Meyer? Hmmm?

Sorry Charlie, even your acting prowess cannot out “awkward look” Stewart’s Bella Swan. The most uncomfortable wedding ever.

When it comes to creating an entertaining movie, book, play… anything, one is often in modern times counseled to start things off with a bang. Something to interest and draw and an audience wider than just diehard… er, twihards. The opening scene of this movie- our first glimpse in quite some time into the fascinating world of vampires and werewolves, is a pointless scene about high heels. It’s followed by a nearly as pointless scene about Edwards past, which as far as we can tell has nothing to do with anything.

Greene’s Alice has not looked this good since the first film (though we miss the flirty hair wings). Too bad they turned her character into a one-dimensional fashionista.

If you thought the Twilight series could not get more insular and niche, you were wrong. We suppose self-centered, self indulgent content should be expected in the fourth book of the series. After all, who’s going to be reading it if they are not very interested in the thinning plot. However this does not make for an exciting or well-rounded movie.

“Would you three move closer together. I can fit all our insignificant parts into this tiny little box.”

“Oh Edward, the moon’s beautiful.” “Really? I think it’s a special effect.”

The Breaking Dawn formula:

  1. Three parts continuous awkward shots of Bella and everyone she knows
  2. One part low-budget super-speed blur effect borrowed from Smallville
  3. One part uninteresting, normal looking computer-generated wolves
  4. Mix liberally (but without action) and coat with white pancake makeup

“I’d like to propose a toast: To the first lines I’ve had in two movies. Cheers!”

Smooth move Edward, bringing Bella to have a private wedding night dance with Jacob by the woods. Isn’t that some sort of faux pas- or should we say faux PAW. (We know. Our humor is beyond belief.) Oh, and it is interesting to note that everyone is more excited about Bella’s wedding then Bella. The way they were giving standing ovations you would think she was a British Princess. That is literally the first half hour. Oh, not a word from our favorite character Carlisle… *sad*

“I have bad news. This is my only scene.”

Bella Swan’s wide range of expressions on display…

The producers spice up the next drawn out, awkward honeymoon scenes with emo ballads. Sadly, as many have found out cooking, not all spices are good for the dish. It finally ends with Bella throwing up, realizing she is pregnant. It is a shock to everyone (who has not read the book or had the plot ruined in any of a million other ways). Did not Carlisle have that little “birds and bees” talk with Edward? And so ends the second half hour. Two down, one to go.

There are far worse honeymoon pastimes.

Imagine coming home from your honeymoon and seeing your new wife in… a more realistic light.

Stephenie Meyer’s writing style may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe she made sense on those book pages. The movie tried to convey a lot of it with voiceovers, cross dissolves, jump cuts and imagery ridden montages. What is “imprinting” exactly?

“Hey, look it’s me again. I didn’t get to say much but I got a lot of cool shots this time.”

Breaking Dawn is one of those times where moviemakers decide to split a profitable franchise book into two movies-  and it doesn’t work (except to make money). Okay, we admit we were not expecting much at all. However, even if you are fan of this franchise you have to admit this three act movie was thin on action, answers, plot… and entertainment value. Very thin.

“Where should we use our effects dollars? Fight scenes or computer generated vampire death venom flowing through Bella’s veins?”

Epilogue: The Euro effete loser Volturi apparently and literally do nothing more than sit on these chairs all day… every day. Their mannerisms were so over the top that this scene could be dropped unchanged into a spoof.

________________________________

The Twilight Saga:

Twilight 2008

New Moon 2009

Eclipse 2010

Breaking Dawn – part 1 – 2011

Breaking Dawn – part 2 – 2012

Batman: Year One [2011 – video]

“Look at my new scooter Mommy. No training wheels!”

What is it that draws us to superheroes? They represent the good and noble. Batman: Year One (B:YO) on the other hand was a one hour and four minute parade of all that is wrong about humanity. You will not find any that are good in this somber, morose and dragging release. That includes Jim Gordon and even Batman himself.

Okay, maybe not Alfred. But he’s the exception.

We are going to liven up this take on a boring, depressing feature with fun pictures of Adam West’s Batman!

Is B:YO based on a comic book of the same name? Probably. We do not know for sure, nor do we care. What may have made for a good comic book -MAY HAVE, certainly did not make for a satisfying video release. However, if you have just filled a prescription for your antidepressant of choice, we have just the picture for you! Perhaps it would have been more aptly named:

Jim Gordon: The Hardscrabble Early Police Years

Detective Flass is 100% the selfish, good looking, jock stereotype. You know he is bad because he bullies Hare Krishnas. What’s next? Nuns?

Oh yeah. How about a pointless fight between pre-Batman Bruce Wayne and pre-Catwoman Selena Kyle. (She’s been hitting the weights…)

Our synopsis in a sentence: Troubled billionaire Bruce Wayne returns to Beirut -er, Gotham City where he finds everything and everyone corrupt from the ubiquitous criminal scum to even the Mos Eisley Spaceport Police Force which are a wretched hive of scum and villainy -wait, we meant the Gotham City Police Force against which a whiny, indecisive and amateurish new Batman tries to right the wrongs along with the depressing drama’s real star, gun toting, bat wielding tough guy Jim Gordon who of course is also morally flawed.

Batman pushed to the limit by three teens with a TV.

Batman and Robin pushed to the limit by using the Bat-run to accomplish a 4 minute mile. (Really!)

Yes, Jim Gordon spends more time combating evil than Bruce Wayne. The latter spends most of this dolorous movie agonizing in dark rooms in Wayne Manor, or whining mournful dirges out in the snow in front of gravestones.

Oh Flass, you are so bad. To keep up with his stereotype here he beats up a teen and tosses him in a locker- er, dumpster.

Lest you think we are exaggerating about the stereotype, here is Flass wearing… a varsity jacket.

It seems few even want to clean up Gotham City. You are given the impression it has been corrupt for a long time, and that the city has accepted its deplorable state of moral decay. And honestly by the end of the picture, the woeful state has hardly changed. Nor do you really end up caring. That city as depicted deserves what it gets.

“News flash: Gotham City sucks.”

How will Batman get out of this one?

There really is no overarching story. Bruce Wayne meanders his way to becoming Batman, but there is little time devoted to it. Most of the time is spent on amazingly buff Jim Gordon, ex-kick butt commando. Jim Gordon who takes a bat to a corrupt police officer. Jim Gordon who wants to clean up the mess that has become Gotham City. And of course in keeping with this perfidious production, an adulterer behind the back of his pregnant wife.

Jim Gordon about to smooch with Katee Sackhoff voiced Det. Essen.

Is Commissioner Loeb really (stereotypically) bad? Go down the checklist: Overweight? Check. Bow-tie? Check. Super smarmy grin? Oh yeah, he’s bad.

If you are a hard-core comic book fan who just loved the comic this production was based upon (or Nolan’s The Dark Knight), you may have some curiosity about seeing B:YO. If you are looking for an entertaining and (even mildly) uplifting story about fighting evil, this is most certainly not for you. There is bad in the world, and evil. However we do not have to, nor should we make it our continual focus.

Check out our other Batman and DC Comics takes:

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 part 1

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 part 2

Batman: The Brave and the Bold  Season 2

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 3

Batman: Under the Red Hood [2010]

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman [2003]

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse [2010]

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies [2009]

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights [2011]

Green Lantern: First Flight [2009]

All-Star Superman [2011]

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [2010]

Justice League: The New Frontier [2008]

Young Justice [2010] Season 1

Wonder Woman [2009]

Thor: Tales of Asgard [2011]

This production is not for young kids. We are not saying it is as monotone, adult and unappealing as The Dark Knight [2008]. However it deals with adult themes, diplomacy, betrayal, bitter feminism, some womanizing and a few atomizations.

Why so grim Hogun? Lighten up.

That description may be at odds to an art direction more reminiscent of The Next Avengers. Cutesy Thor and Loki have skinny legs and big feet, not having grown into full manhood. Of course that does not stop them from causing man sized trouble.

Odin fights the demon Sutur. Note the size difference. Yes, that is Odin in the circle. And he won this match too.

The opening credits were pleasingly classy and interesting (especially for a direct to home market release). Though to us they clashed a bit with the stylized, less detailed animation. They also seemed somewhat at odds with Thor’s teenage angst and naïveté.

Could Loki's brooding expression foretell a future path of evil? ...nah.

Is the enchanting Enchantress Amora teaching Loki sign language? We know the question you might be asking, "Why did Thor never go for her?"

How about a one sentence synopsis? Teenaged Thor thinks he’s a man but is really a weenie, so he tries to prove otherwise by stowing away on a mission with his younger brother Loki easily finding a legendary blade no one for generations seemed able to find and causing a chain reaction of events leading to some fried frost giants, war amongst the Asgardian lands, interruption of feminist Valkyrie river bathing, some pointless battles and an ending which leaves you saying, “eh”.

Uh... very inconvenient. Unless you can teleport or fly. Great view though.

Could this innocent looking dark elf possibly be holding in resentment, rage and a hunger for vengeance? ...nah.

This tired story really did not have to star Thor. The spoiled prince, some womanizing knights, the fiery attitude filled girlfriend denied being a warrior in a male-dominated society, kingdoms separated by a fragile truce… Yes you have heard it all before. Thor did not do a thing normally associated with the character. He did not use his hammer, call down lightning, or even utter, “I say the nay!” It is not even “Thor Year One”. It is more like “Thor Year Minus One” (because at least in year one he would get his hammer.)

Sure Sif, train with the Valkyries. That will help your anger issues. (Although we are partial to archers...)

Tales of Asgard was not bad. It had interesting moments and is worth watching. However it carries no surprises, earth shattering moments or a very satisfying ending. And some of the teen angst between Thor and his father Odin was ripped almost line for line from “The Little Mermaid”.

  • Thor/Ariel: “But father I want to see the outside world.”
  • Odin/King Triton: “I forbid it.”
  • Thor/Ariel: “I’m grown up, you can’t keep me here!”
  • Odin/King Triton: “I am your king and your father and you will obey me!”

How did this picture get in here? Wrong undersea king.

Asgard itself was a little hard to pin down in regards to its technology and even era. Sometimes it was ancient Greek, other times medieval England. We are not sure what exactly they were going for. However at least the depictions of the Frost Giants was adequate. Unlike the live-action Thor movie, Frost Giants were actually… well, giant.

Flaming swords and frost giants... No, don't try to make it make sense. Just be pleased they were actually big.

The depiction of the Warriors Three was well done. But they are easy and fun stereotypes to work with.

One of the least fun depictions was the Valkyries. Led by Brunhilde, they were male hating, cold hearted, duplicitous, murderous wenches. That is no exaggeration for the sake of humor or wit. Yet another island of bitter females who “throw off male subjugation” with ill temper and stifled aggression. A sect not satisfied until every female who ever experienced a bump on their romantic highway joins their unhappy enclave. Misery truly loves company.

"See how happy I look? Join us Sif and you will be this happy too."

If you go into this production with no expectations you may get one hour and 13 minutes worth of mild entertainment. Even if some of the characterizations are a little much, the overall plot stayed rather safe, although perhaps a little staid.

It was pretty much nothing like this. Talk about violating truth in advertising laws.

Check out related takes:

Hulk Vs Thor [2009]

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow [2008]

Iron Man: Armored Adventures Season 1 [2008]

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 1 [2010]