Tagged: John DiMaggio

Summary: A deadly threat from Earth’s history reappears, and a hunt for a lost artifact takes place between Autobots and Decepticons, while Optimus Prime encounters his creator in space.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st June 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: 4th October 2017

Country: United States, China, Canada

Director: Michael Bay

Screenwriter: Matt Holloway, Art Marcum, Ken Nolan, Akiva Goldsman (story)

Cast: Erik Adahl (Bumblebee voice)), Daniel Adegboyega (Saebert), Gil Birmingham (Chief Sherman), Steve Buscemi (Daytrader voice)), Santiago Cabrera (Santos), Jerrod Carmichael (Jimmy), Jim Carter (Cogman voice)), Gemma Chan (Quintessa), Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime (voice)), John DiMaggio (Nitro Zeus/Crosshairs voice)), Josh Duhamel (Colonel William Lennox), Dino Fazzini (Alden), Marcus Fraser (Gawain), Rebecca Front (Aunt Marie), Liam Garrigan (Arthur), John Goodman (Hound voice)), Minti Gorne (Young Viviane), Laura Haddock (Vivian Wembley), Jess Harnell (Barricade voice)), Richard Hills Jnr. (Cheldric), John Hollingworth (Tristan), Sir Anthony Hopkins (Sir Edmund Barton), Tom Kenny (Wheels voice)), Jason Matthewson (Spenser), Martin McCreadie (Lancelot), Isabela Moner (Izabella), Glenn Morshower (General Morshower), Phoebe Nicholls (Aunt Helen), Allen Phoenix (Luke Reynolds), Jade Quon (Cogman), Trent Seven (Hengist), Omar Sy (Hot Rod voice)),  Stanley Tucci (Merlin), John Turturro (Agent Simmons), Mark Wahlberg (Cade Yaeger), Ken Watanabe (Drift voice)), Frank Welker (Megatron voice)), Reno Wilson (Mohawk/Sqweeks voice)), Rob Witcomb (Percival)

Runtime: 154 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Kyle McGrath’s Transformers: The Last Knight Review:

Despite his negative reputation as a filmmaker I consider myself to be a fan of a lot of Michael Bay’s films. Bad Boys, Pain & Gain, The Rock, 13 Hours and even Armageddon are all films I have enjoyed. He’s drawn the ire of some film fans however with films like Pearl Harbour (which I’ve not seen) and the incredibly popular Transformers franchise.

Transformers The Last Knight is the fifth film in the live action Transformers film series. Continuing on with new series protagonist from the previous film, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), this film sees the good autobots still lumped together with the villainous decepticons and outlawed by mankind in the wake of collateral damage which they seem to have brought to earth. Leader of the autobots, Optimus Prime, upon completing his long journey back to the Transformer’s home planet of Cybertron is captured by a new enemy with plans to use him in her plan to destroy earth.

The film proceeds more or less as anyone who has seen any the previous 4 films might expect. Having not fully enjoyed the series up til now I found myself once again disappointed in the development of the story, characters and the comedic relief which still comes off as inappropriate either in timing or in content (although perhaps not quite as bad this time as cutaway shots to dogs humping or John Turturro talking about robot testicles as we saw in the franchise’s second instalment).

The over the top action which Bay and this series are both known for of course returns as well. I must say that the mixing of CGI and live action which has always been impressive still excels if you stop to appreciate the movie on such a technical level.

That is if you can actually keep track of what is going on. I’m not sure if this has something to do with the film having 6 different editors but I felt like I was inside the head of a schizophrenic at times with how the movie is shot, edited and jumps from one plot thread to another.

Something I’ve noticed with the story of each of these films is that every single one of them presents a new revelation on how long Transformers have actually been on earth. They were here building the pyramids, they were the true reason for man walking on the moon, they were here with the dinosaurs and now they were instrumental in the legend of King Arthur. I believe these revelations are to make the audience not think that the world would be a much better place, and avoid periodical catastrophic events killing thousands, if the Transformers would simply leave. Each film needs a new reason for them to be here and after a while they’re starting to pile up on each other and conflict.

On top of that it means every film feels too heavy with exposition as this new reason needs to be explained though in such a way which won’t completely bore the fans who are there for the action. This is where the inappropriate timing of humour comes in as the movie can’t go too long without the equivalent of a pie in the face gag.

Characters both human and robotic are introduced and dropped frequently. Rather than focusing more on key players we’re aquatinted with more supporting characters who don’t appear to serve much of a purpose and disappear from the film before they do. John Turturro & Josh Duhamel both series regulars who were absent from the previous film round out the cast but again don’t do much.

This wouldn’t be too much of an issue but as a result the role of major characters like Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) seem rushed or are flat out absent from most of the film in the case of Optimus Prime or the leader of the decepticons, Megatron.

Optimus in particular whom I’ve never thought was handled well in any of the films barely makes an appearance til past the halfway mark then 10 minutes later he’s back to making these forced rallying speeches to motivate the troops to go into the final battle when he hasn’t earned the right to take on that leader role.

I think a problem with the Transformers film franchise for a lot of people has been the lack of genuine passion for what was going on. The films are visually stunning and often exhausting to watch as the staggering amount of man hours which have gone into creating them is clear to see. But at the same time they can feel hollow and boring.

When the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action films, themselves produced by Michael Bay, were announced the details of changes to the established ideas of the property caused an uproar. In time this led to the decision to shift gears and so the sequel from the ground up was crafted with die hard fans of TMNT in mind. Familiar villains, heroes, monsters and even the theme song which any fan would know off by heart were included and I believe this made a much more enjoyable film in the process.

The Transformers films have never had this reinvention because they never really needed to being the franchise was always so popular despite negativity from some audiences. This sums up my thoughts on Transformers The Last Knight. If you have enjoyed the franchise up till now then you will definitely enjoy this latest addition. However, unlike with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, I can’t think of a reason to recommend this sequel to anyone who has felt let down by the series up till now.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:  

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Transformers: The Last Knight Reviews: N/A

 

Trailer:

Batman The Killing Joke

Summary: As Batman hunts for the escaped Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime attacks the Gordon family to prove a diabolical point mirroring his own fall into madness.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd July 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: 3rd August 2016

Country: USA

Director: Sam Liu

Screenwriter: Brian Azzarello, Bob Kane (characters), Bill Finger (characters), Jerry Robinson (characters), Brian Bolland (graphic novel), Alan Moore (graphic novel)

Cast: Kevin Conroy (Batman/Bruce Wayne (voice)), John DiMaggio (Francesco (voice)), Robin Atkin Downes (Detective Bullock (voice)), Brian George (Alfred (voice)), Mark Hamill (The Joker (voice)), JP Karliak (Reese (voice)), Andrew Kishino (Murray (voice)), Nolan North (Mitch (voice)), Maury Sterling (Paris (voice)), Tara Strong (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (voice)), Anna Vocino (Jeannie (voice)), Rick D. Wasserman (Maroni (voice)), Ray Wise (Commissioner Gordon (voice)),

Runtime: 76 mins

Classification: MA15+

 

OUR BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Few movie/television franchises have evolved as much as Batman has over the years. For those of us older enough we grew up watching the campy Adam West led series that saw Batman’s violence limited to ‘POW’ and ‘KAPOW’ being placed on the screen as Batman almost playfully put down his enemies. For anyone that had never read the original Batman comics and graphic novels there was no hint at all at just how dark this series could be. Tim Burton touched on it with ‘Batman’ and ‘Batman Returns’ while Christopher Nolan fully embraced with his Batman trilogy. Now however comes what is possibly the darkest ‘Batman’ adaption to ever grace our screens – the animated cinematic event that is ‘Batman: The Killing Joke.’

Loosely based on the Brian Bolland/Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ sees the successful duo of Batman/Bruce Wayne (voiced by Kevin Conroy – ‘The Office’) and Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (Tara Strong – ‘Ice Age’) pretty much keeping Gotham City crime free. But things sour when their relationship turns sexual and it seems to Barbara that Bruce still wants to treat her like a child. As she decides to quit the Batgirl role both her and her father, Commissioner Gordon (Ray Wise – ‘RoboCop’), are attacked by The Joker (Mark Hamill – ‘Star Wars’) who is determined to prove that anyone can break the way he did.

Anyone who is expecting that ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ is aimed at children because of the fact that it is animated is in for a very rude shock indeed. I say that because those have read the graphic novel know that the treatment that Barbara and Commissioner Gordon receives from The Joker is extremely violent and adult orientated and here director Sam Liu (‘Green Lantern: The Animated Series’) doesn’t hold back. And while Liu doesn’t tone things done ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ is far from the perfect film.

Liu and his screenwriter, Brian Azzarello (‘Batman: Gotham Knight’) actually do a pretty good job making this a Joker origins story and while they produce a great insight into how the Joker ended up the way he did and what he is capable of doing there are also weaknesses in the plot. The opening scenes which show Batgirl and Batman trying to bring down Paris Franz (Maury Sterling – ‘The A-Team’) are massively too long. As a film this should be a Joker origins story but having a whole early sub-plot of having Paris develop a crush on Batgirl before the Joker is even properly introduced makes the film feel clumsy and awkward as it suddenly switches from being a Batgirl movie to a Joker movie… not a great move when you know what the Joker does to her here. It’s also a weird thing to say about a film that only runs for 76 minutes but that added Batgirl story makes the film seem over-long.

Perhaps the worst crime though that ‘Batman: The Killing’ commits though is its rushed ending. Liu does a great job setting up what appears like it is going to be an epic battle between Batman and The Joker after Joker has tortured Commissioner Gordon in an old fairground. But alas the battle is never as epic as you expect it to be and the ending is just ever awkward as you see Batman and Joker laughing together… something you would never expect to see when you know what Joker has just done to Batgirl. Anyone that knows Batman would know that this would never be his response to such an act and it feels dangerously out of place here.

The darkness of ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ does ring out the best in its voice cast. Anyway who says that Mark Hamill has had a ‘nothing’ career since ‘Star Wars’ will be silenced by his eerie and manic portrayal of The Joker while Kevin Conroy is his typical smooth self voicing Batman. The other star here is Tara Strong who gets the benefit from the added Batgirl storyline and she reveals herself to be one voice artist who really knows how to get emotion out of her voice.

‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ does have its weaknesses but they are somewhat overcome by the fact that this is one of the darkest Batman stories that we have ever seen on the big screen. While it may be animated it certainly doesn’t lessen the impact of the darker scenes and the filmmakers behind it need to be congratulated for not toning it down. Well worth a look if you are a hardened Batman fan.

Stars(3)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):   Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Batman: The Killing Joke reviews: Nil.

 

Trailer:

Wreck-It Ralph

Summary: Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game’s perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes… so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness.

He sneaks into the game with a simple plan—win a medal—but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking “glitch” from a candy-coated cart racing game, might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it’s “Game Over” for the entire arcade?

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 25th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 24th March, 2013

Country: USA

Director: Rich Moore

Screenwriter: Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee, Rich Moore, Jim Reardon

Cast: Skylar Astin (Roy (voice)), Adam Carolla (Wynnchel (voice)), Kevin Deters (Clyde (voice)), John DiMaggio (Bear Papa (voice)), Jamie Elman (Rancis Fluggerbutter (voice)), Jess Harnell (Don (voice)), Rachael Harris (Deanna (voice)), Dennis Haysbert (General Hologram), Kyle Hebert (Ryu (voice)), Martin Jarvis (Saitine (voice)), Mindy Kaling (Taffyta Muttonfudge (voice)), Maurice LaMarche (Root Beer Tapper (voice)), Rueben Langdon (Ken (voice)), Kate Lowes (Candlehead (voice)), Jane Lynch (Calhoun (voice)), Jack McBrayer (Felix (voice)), Edie McClurg (Mary (voice)), Tim Mertens (Brad (voice)), Rich Moore (Sour Bill/Zanigef ((voice)), Ed O’Neill (Mr. Litwak), Raymond S. Persi (Gene/Zombie ((voice)), John C. Reilly (Ralph (voice)), Gerald C. Rivers (M. Bison (voice)), Horatio Sanz (Duncan (voice)), Brandon Scott (Kohut (voice)), Stefanie Scott (Moppet Girl (voice)), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope (voice)), Roger Craig Smith (Sonic The Hedgehog (voice)), Josie Trinidad (Jubileena Bing Bing (voice)), Joe Lo Truglio (Markowski), Alan Tudyk (King Candy (voice)), Cymbre Walk (Crumbelina De Caramello (voice))

Runtime: 108 mins

Classification:PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Review:

According to cinema experts in the good ol’ United States ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ is supposed to be a film that bridges the gap between those who love video games and those who love cinema… ridiculous if you ask me as I don’t believe such a gap actually exists, or if it ever did then it would have been bridged about the time films like ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ first surfaced.

‘Wreck-It Ralph‘s’ central character is Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly – The Dictator, Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie), a character who through no fault of his own has become one of the gaming world’s bad guys. In the fictional game he calls home he destroys things and it is up to ‘the good guy’ Felix (Jack McBrayer – Movie 43, The Campaign) to fix it. But when the game celebrates its anniversary and the characters don’t invite Ralph he realizes how tired he is of being seen as the bad guy and decides things need to change.

When the characters decide that if Ralph wins a medal (something he can’t do in his own game) they’ll accept him into their homes and he immediately decides to game jump (a risky thing to do) in a bid to achieve his goal. He arrives in a first-person shooter game in a bid to get his medal but to the dismay of the aggressive Calhoun (Jane Lynch – Dino Time, TV’S Glee) he unleashes the game’s evil into other arcade games including a candy-coated go-kart racing game when he befriends a glitch by the name of Vanellope (Sarah Silverman – TV’S Bob’s Burgers & The Simpsons) who is an outcast in her world thanks to the evil King Candy (Alan Tudyk – TV’S Suburgatory & Robot Chicken).

When you first hear that ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ is going to celebrate video games of old you can’t help but feel a little excited, especially if you’re an old gamer at heart. But it really does seem that director, Rich Moore (TV’S Sit Down Shut Up & Drawn Together) only promises that as a way to tease audiences out there.

Yes ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ does contain so brief appearance from some characters from ‘Street Fighter’ and Sonic The Hedgehog pops up once but any references of games of old are quickly forgotten when the characters land in Vanellope’s game, a game so annoying that you can’t help but feel any serious gamer would give it a wide berth. The game is so crappy that you can’t even find yourself feeling for Vanellope, a problem considering that is something the filmmakers need you to do to make it work.

‘Wreck-It Ralph’ really falls in a hole. The references/appearance of the old-school characters are too minimal for old school gamers to love the film while you feel that modern gamers will be turned off by the ‘babyish’ game that Vanellope calls home.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Wreck-It Ralph′: Please check Dave’s review of ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel. Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Wreck-It Ralph’.

Rating: 2/5

IMDB Rating:Wreck-It Ralph (2012) on IMDb