DEATH SENTENCES 4: New Frontier Review

new frontier DVD

Death here again. Yeah okay, so you may be wondering “Why the Hell is ol’ DD reviewing a Justice League cartoon on a generally Star Wars related blog?” To which my answer would be “Sod off, this is my freakin’ blog and I can do what ever the f*ck I want! Now shut up and learn something!”

Previously on Death Sentences, I’ve banged on about my fears for the upcoming live action JUSTICE LEAGUE movie being directed by George Miller. And I think I made my feelings pretty clear on the matter. Well here’s a message for Mr. Miller: Pack up and go home because a great JUSTICE LEAGUE film has just been released and I can’t see you coming anywhere near this you over-rated hack.

Its sad really. You’ll only find this sweet little gem of a film tucked away in the ‘Kids’ section of your local DVD store. Weird really considering its rated ‘M’. A small tidbit no doubt missed by the cretins who stock the shelves of my nearest JB HiFi.

Justice League: The New Frontier has arrived without any kind of marketing which means it will forever remain a relative secret to the select few who seek it out. And seek it out they should because this film shows how Superhero movies should be done.

To those who don’t know, (and that’ll be most of you) The New Frontier is based on the highly acclaimed comic book mini series of the same name. The series, written and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke, re-tells the early days of the Justice League in the 1950s at the height of the Cold War. Cooke explores aspects of characters such as Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and the Flash that had previously not been seen. We get to see what Hal Jordan was like before he became Green Lantern. How J’onn J’onzz adapted to his new home before becoming the Martian Manhunter, what the relationship was like between Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman and how each sought different ways in which to deliver what they considered ‘Justice’. Its a great read and highly recommended.

The direct-to-DVD New Frontier movie is the second film from DC’s animation studios. Visually, the style is lifted straight from Cooke’s artwork. So from the first frame you feel like you’re watching the comic and in many ways, something that was produced in the 60s.

As is always the case with novel to film adaptations, many sub-plots have been omitted but that by no means detracts from the story which, for the sake of clarity, the producers have chosen to focus on Hal Jordan and J’onn J’onzz.

The action and pace of the story move incredibly fast so attention to detail is required throughout. It is clear that Producer Bruce Timm has great fondness for the subject matter as the narrative and directorial style is handled incredibly well.

Part of me wishes that all Superhero films were animated. There always seems to be some magic lost in the translation to live action. Like the original comic series, this is no kids film. Unfortunately, the uneducated will treat it as such and it will be sadly overlooked by many, purely because it is animation.

I don’t wish to give too much of the story away in this review. Suffice it to say that if you’re sick of coughing up cash time and time again to see yet another Superhero film fail to deliver, then do yourself a favour and get to your nearest DVD shop. Pick this up, sit back and enjoy what a Superhero movie should be.

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