Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Media Consumed


Ghostbusters 2
The Bourne Ultimatum
Justice League: The New Frontier

TV Shows

Modern Marvels: Milk
The Family Guy 608
The Colbert Report 01/09/2008
The Colbert Report 01/10/2008
What the Romans Did For Us 102
Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles 101

January 16, 2008 - The Jungle Cruise

The Jungle Cruise, originally uploaded by Jeremy ES.

"[Walt} Disney himself spent a great deal of time on the attractions, not only checking them but also monitoring the performance levels of his own staff, a task he performed rigorously. Dick Nunis, who by now had become responsible for managing Adventureland, got a "battle scar" from Disney. "Walt came running down to the Jungle Cruise, got on a boat and took a trip, returning with both eyebrows raised." (His eyebrows were a Disney barometer-one raised was bad, two raised meant deep trouble.)
"What's the trip time supposed to be?" asked Disney.
"Well, sir, it's seven minutes," replied Nunis.
"I just had a four-and-a-half-minute trip and went through the hippo pool so fast, I couldn't tell if they were hippos or rhinos! How would you feel if you paid to go to the movies and they cut the center reel out of the picture?"
For the next three weeks, Nunis spent so much time on the jungle boats training the crew that he almost became seasick. Then Disney arrived again, riding the first boat, then the second, and so on, through the last available boat. He was determined that Nunis would not "stack the deck" with his best speaker on the first boat (a ploy that Nunis admits he had tried). On each ride, the timing of the trip was perfect. After this experience, everyone realized that Disney was very serious about giving the guests the best show possible."

-Disneyland: Inside Story

Justice League: The New Frontier: Early Review

I'm not planning on doing too many reviews here, but since I got an early look at this direct-to-video movie, and enjoyed it, I want to encourage others to get excited about the upcoming release. There are some mild spoilers, as in any review, so stop reading if you want to remain unspoiled.

The New Frontier (available in 2 soft cover volumes and a deluxe Absolute edition) is a six-issue mini-series, written and drawn by Darwyn Coooke, which overlays the genesis of the classic DC Universe heroes (focusing on Hal Jordan / Green Lantern) on top of the McCarthy era of distrust in the 1950s. The best description (which has been used plenty of times) is the creation of the Justice League meets the Right Stuff.

The movie (slightly retitled to include Justice League) is the second in the series of animated adaptations of DC Comic stories, and is worlds more accurate than the first movie, Superman / Doomsday. Basically, like Sin City, comic panels served as the direct inspiration for many of the scenes, and it is easy to freeze frame the movie to match the comic.

Pre-credit scene from The New Frontier

The movie runs an hour and twelve minutes, which meant subplots were removed, but not forgotten. Because these excised events are mentioned in the story, whether on a newspaper clipping, or a tombstone, it felt as the events still occurred, only off screen. Sticking to the source material was a welcome change to Superman / Doomsday, where all but the basic story was altered to make it a more standalone story.

Superman versus the End of the World

Nothing about the story was toned down from the source, nothing was altered to make this more palatable for a wider audience. Characters kill, blood is spilled, and the PG-13 rating is justly earned. The movie assumes its audience understands the basics of the heroes, and does not weigh down the story with unnecessary exposition. While there were slight moments I did not like, these take nothing away from a masterful adaptation of one of the best pure superhero books in the last ten years.

The voice work was good, the cast matched the characters well enough that no voice was distracting. The animation fit the comic art, while I prefer a more fluid style, I cannot fault them for the choice. The nicest part of the art style were the background scene paintings, which reminded me of concept art paintings done for Disney theme parks. I have high hopes for the high definition version to look flawless.

Villains to come...

The biggest disappoint with this movie is how excellent it is, because once it ends, you'll want more. With only one more title announced (Teen Titans: The Judas Contract), it would be a shame if these did not sell well enough to continue faithful adaptations in the future. Justice League: The New Frontier will be released on February 26 in standard definition and on Blu-ray disc, with a HD-DVD release following three weeks later on March 18. What ever format you prefer, I recommend this title to anyone who loves a pure superhero story.

The Justice League in action.

(All images copyright their respective owners. All rights reserved.)