Thursday, January 26, 2017

ANI-MOVIES, Batman Unlimited: Mechs Vs. Mutants

After taking off a whole year between chapters in the Batman Unlimited universe, Mechs Vs. Mutants brings together some elements from the previous two movies, while introducing some new characters and plots to the mix. This was created mostly to incorporate the recent additions of giant robots the Unlimited toy line had added in.

Penguin is still hanging out in the South Pole from the end of the Animal Instincts, and is rooming with Mr. Freeze, who has come up with a special formula to turn creatures into kaiju monsters. Penguin convinces Freeze to take his formula to Gotham to use some of the resident villains as test subjects. Freeze and Penguin break into Arkham and bust out Bane, Clayface, Killer Croc, and Chemo(whose not really an insane criminal but a living organic weapon). Freeze then turns Croc and Chemo into ice-shooting giants with plans to turn Gotham into the capitol of his snowy takeover of the world. Penguin however has other plans, and uses Freeze's formula on Bane and Clayface to have his own giant henchmen. Batman meanwhile has been breaking in the new Robin, who as we know here is a slightly older but less a-hole Damian Wayne, and teams up with Nightwing, Flash and Green Arrow to stop the Gotham version of Destroy All Monsters. Bat's main defense against this is his own giant mecha designed by Kirk Langstrom(aka: Man-Bat), who also made a robot for Green Arrow, and the heroes use their new big toys and combined efforts to stop the kaiju stomp fest.

This was kind of a spin on the JLA: Cold Steel comic book mini-series from a few years ago, or even Marvel's Mega Morphs toyline/comic where heroes who don't normally use giant robots like Power Rangers. God knows, being an expert archer qualifies you to be a Gundam pilot! Besides the outrageous-ness of the movie, it does have some decent animation, and brilliant voice acting. This makes for a good enough toy commercial for boys, but its worth seeing Batman with his own Megazord! Heck, if the 70s Japanese Spider-Man can have a giant robot, then why can't Green Arrow?!

Friday, January 13, 2017

ANI-MOVIES, *Silent Mobius: The Motion Picture

With the manga being one of the first big cyberpunk hit titles among Japanese comics, an anime adaptation was a sure bet, largely due to the success of the Akira movie and the Bubblegum Crisis OVA. Being Kia Asamiya's first big hit, this "cyber/psychic movie"(as it was billed)caught on with fans of Blade Runner and the early 90s dawn of anime as it was spreading through America. It was first released out in America through Streamline Pictures on dubbed VHS, as well as getting a limited theatrical released double-feature with Neo Tokyo. The film was later re-dubbed and reformatted for DVD by Bandai Entertainment.

First starting in 2028, interdimensional creatures known as Lucifer-Hawks have been periodically attacking the city of Tokyo, and the main defense against this is a special police team of cyborgs and psychics named the Attacked Mystification Police, or "AMP". Their best soldier is Katsumi Liqueur, a high-level psychic armed with a living Witchblade-like weapon. As Katsumi is about to fight what is thought to be the main Lucifer-Hawk, the story then cuts ahead to 2024, and the majority of the film shows how Katsumi first became familiar with AMP and the threat the Lucifer-Hawks pose as her mother sacrifices her life to seal the monster away. Flash-forward back to 2028, Katsumi concludes with her getting revenge on the revived Lucifer-Hawk.

The movie gained enough fame to get a sequel, which was in fact a midquel taking place after the flashback majority of the first flick. It became a sleeper hit among American otaku, although it was about a decade until another anime series was made based on the manga. When you break it all down, Silent Mobius is what an all-female Ghostbusters movie should be, while mixed in with Ghost In The Shell!

Friday, January 6, 2017

ANI-MOVIES, *Zootopia

For their next original animated film after Big Hero 6, Disney decided to make an all-anthropomorphic animal film several months before the recent Sing theatrical release. Helmed by Disney regular Bryan Howard, and Simpsons alumni Rich Moore, Zootopia is similar Disney's regular habit of making the entire cast be talking animals, but this is one of the first ones where the entire cast is sentient mammals living in a modern day society.

Judy Hopps is an energetic young rabbit from the country who becomes the first bunny to join the police force of the capitol city of Zootopia, which is in a world where animals have "evolved" to the point where predators and prey can live together in harmony. On her first day, Judy is assigned with being a meter maid, but comes across a con artist fox Nick. This is shoved aside though as the police chief gets railroaded into giving her the task of finding one of several predators that have gone missing, but Judy has to solve it in 2 days or give up her badge. Judy cons Nick into helping her find the missing predators, and their investigation leads to them meeting with the local mafia, along with several other comedic misadventures. The unlikely duo seemingly find that the whole scheme was fronted by the mayor, and Judy is praised for her work, but she ultimately quits as she thinks there is something more sinister going on. After spending some time with her family back in the country, Judy realizes what the real cause behind the crimes was, and heads back to Zootopia to team up with Nick to catch the true culprits.

Disney seriously went out of there way to make this a diverse cast and metropolitan background with all the eclectic animal characters. The 3-D animation really works incredibly well, and provides a tangible amount of realism for the otherwise cartoonish critters. Very similar to the Blacksad European comics, but set in present day. Magnificent fun for kids and anthro-enthusiasts alike!