Sunday, August 02, 2009

DVD reviews!

OK, so I rented the Wonder Woman and Green Lantern DVD animated features this weekend and was pleasantly surprised by both efforts, with very few caveats.

Of the two, Wonder Woman has vastly superior voice casting - with every character getting a pitch-perfect portrayal. Nathan Fillion owns the Steve Trevor role, and so many of the laughs I had were down to his delivery of the material. Rosario Dawson's Artemis was a pure delight - completely deadpan and snarky and exactly everything you should expect from the take-no-prisoners badass Amazon, and Alfred Molina brings exactly the right combination of menace and charisma to his portrayal of Ares. Honestly, every bit of voice acting in Wonder Woman is beautiful and perfect as is. Green Lantern does a satisfactory portrayal, but only Victor Garber's Sinestro really stands out.

In terms of animation quality, both films are absolutely stellar and bring a degree of life and vitality into their settings and character depictions - no real complaints there. My only surprise was with the level of violence and the high body counts of these features - with GL's body count being shockingly high. I knew that these features aren't being marketed towards little kids, but it was still quite a bit to get past.

In terms of plot, story and characterization, both features succeed in telling a "definitive origin epic" that would be worthy of a multi-million Hollywood blockbuster. Green Lantern takes the approach of a cop thriller (Training Day is an obvious influence) and mixes it with cosmic opera. There's quite a few fun little twists and at least one genuine surprise. Wonder Woman, in contrast, isn't much of a surprise, but was a well-done, solidly constructed epic fantasy adventure. Both of these are worth a look, especially for the fans.

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