Thursday, July 21, 2016

shorts SHORT Review: Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles; Big

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles 

Written by Alan Burnett
Directed by Bruce Timm
Distributed by Warner Brothers Animation and Machinima

Tamara Taylor voiced Bekka
Tahmoh Penikett voiced Steve Trevor
Bruce Thomas voiced the Mysterious Mustached Man, or Kobra.

Take a moment and enjoy the short Big
<--- Also check out the first review of the feature film here
Then there's the first short review of Twisted over here --->

The best of the three, this is the one that I feel was pulp perfected. I love everything about this short, since it's a Spicy story from a dime novel. I'm bias for these types of films especially in animation. This is another short written by Bruce Timm, it's honestly a love letter to Spicy Pulp Fiction. And back in the day anything with the word Spicy on it was like the word Adult in the 90's, though not quite ten cents, but there was a lot of situations that needed two minds that knew what they were doing (or at the very least are told they know what they're doing). Though there was another element that made it Adult or Spicy, it was the Pulp or Action! Yes, tales and observations were detailed in these adventures of those that were of age and could take a licking and keep thrusting their way across exotic and dangerous scenery. That was always a subtle element to a lot of these pulp classics, the nudity. Most of the time implied and some of the time shown, it matters the market and the amount of people that want to read, watch, or see pictures of folks in these escapades into the relative unknown. On this day we jump into the known unknown and take a dip into the adventures of Wonder Woman aka Bekka in this world, since she's never formally introduced as the Trinity associate.

We open to a door (open the door and your story will start), it's more like a vault, though there's no clear way of opening this portal into this metal asylum. Then it opens to many snake dressed men, all wearing the same outfit (you wouldn't believe the sale if I told you). They're dragging a blonde man into the main room, where a device is the consumed attention. As the establish shot of the … um … alarm clock? Is finished we join our male lead as we speak with our exposition spewing villain. Like the others in the room he has snake clothes, though he's sporting a lip warmer, I guess his codename is "Snake Charmer" with that stache. Anyhow, there's a little banter, each trying to outwit the other and for Trevor to elongate the time so backup can arrive or blow this place up before whatever evil these Snake people have stored here can be destroyed.

Then that second part of the plan is cut short with a handgun pointed squarely at the square jawed lead's forehead. Though the next action is a little different for something so readied, since a Boomtube cuts the distance between the projectile weapon and our ivory clade heroine bashes the face of our hairy lipped villain.

With sable sword in hand the amazonian New God rushes off saving and freeing the shackled prisoner of the Snake Men. The announcement of the Motherbox made clear to the audience and Trevor a verbal thanks is graced and machine gun returned to his hands in reply. As the attacking Snake Men close in on their location. This event would be horrible, if this wasn't a more violent World, well I guest the vocabulary word for the evening would be aggressive. Not violent, just forward in actions and speech. As seen in the short with an exclamation, in a toss of her beautiful sword into the belly of one of the Snake Men, a fist in the nose for another, and a slash to the torso for the fool that stood too near the blade of our heroine.

Though our male lead isn't without his own toys, really he brought marbles, they explode, but still… Anyhow they get back to the plot, he's after a weapon and she's quipping about their intimate relations after hours, enjoying each other's company in the fashion that lovers only know. Then we see our mustachioed Snake fiend as the sable blade pins him to a machine, unable to move and no other choice than to give more plot.

Behold Giganta!
Wait isn't that a Japanese show? (Gigantor, you were close)

Oona Kulte playing the role of Giganta, the giant woman and Tea Steeping taking her role as Bekka a little too real, very glad this was a camera trick... I hope this was a camera trick.

Oh, no wait that's a Wonder Woman villain, she used to be an ape that's able to change size. Yeah, if I didn't make it clear the silver age of comics was a weird time to have superpowers. We see our heroes consume the last words of "Snake Charmer" as he pushes the button to release the Macguffin! And nothing happens, well Bekka's amazing sword flies back to her, so I only worry about the mess off screen, but nothing else triggers the wrath of the Monumental-Macguffin!

The large alarm clock starts to move, with a biff and a pow to its egg-like container, releasing the cobalt automaton she walks free from her birthing place. Bekka soaks in the moment, allowing the prideful Trevor to take down the giantess and claim the victory of the evening. Then as a punctuation the azure robot slaps the ground. A monstrous hit that turns violent as it gropes for beings to attack. Trevor loses a bit of his shirt, but this doesn't stop him as he dons a RPG and fires at the slow moving horror. The reply seems to have a greater impact than the man made weapon, her large fists miss, though slam him back to the walls. Bekka on the other hand is allowing Trevor to make his own decisions and encourages his efforts.  They trade banter that's witty and sharp, it's nice to see people that know how to create a sense of pacing and organic motion. Trevor's back on his feet, this time with two machine guns, tenacious to see if tiny bullets will this time work, it's a different gun, it should totally have a different effect (No, no it doesn't work, it never looked like it worked).

Anyhow, this doesn't stop her at all and Giganta grabs the hubris soldier, slowly crushing and squeezing his soft form. Then he breaks, but not his bones just yet, his conceit and asks Bekka for help, which she demands to be heard louder. He complies and with sword in hand she helps gain his freedom once more. Slicing off the hand of the cyan gynoid. Though this isn't unnoticed, the colossal robot then strikes the ivory savior into the mountain side, above the metal, above the lab, above this mountainous automaton's birth place, then again a fist is plunged into the body of our heroine.

After the mighty bent fingers of the giantess released its clenched balled up metal, this hand grabs Bekka and tosses her to the ground. Bekka's sword drifts off to another section of the battlefield as Trevor stares with horror. The giant gynoid grapples with a wall, ripping it from it's careful placement and slamming it down like a wagged up magazine, stomping it as if to kill a pest.  Though before villain had a chance to complete this task our heroine commanded her sable blade to her hand, with smoke and a foot the size of a bus on top of our last image of Bekka, well only grotesque thoughts come to mind. Then as no other champion stands in the wake of Giganta she give her focus back to Trevor, a minor nuisance. Though with trembling fear Trevor backs away from the stomping mountain, as a great Boom crashes into the cranium of the cobalt menace. It's Bekka! Sword in hands and striking with great strength and slashing with amazing speed. The giant being is no match for her and her wire pulling ways, yep that's kind of anticlimactic, there with a handful of wires in Giganta's head that took her down all together. Bekka Boomtubes to Trevor as he sees the death of the giantess gynoid, falling to his feet, they both stand before the corpse of their enemy. And with the battle won and blood still flowing through the veins of our warrior women she demands the physical attention of our now bare chested male lead. With the lifeless stare of Giganta we lose sight of our fighting leads, a new battle of stamina and passion fill the ground below as the screen fades to black.

In short if you like pulp stories and action, giving homage to the past and more enjoyable that it's animated. Again I'm super bias about cartoons and with there being heroes in the pulp genre, another series that made an amazing splash into the field was Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher which was a beautiful short film. And that's the personal point I'm going to make, Pulp fits best in a short subject film, if there's a translation from one media to the other. Anthologies of Pulp feels more like the energy and plot wrap around the center of what's to be understood from the character and the world. Another example would be the segments in Batman: Brave and Bold before the featured episode, it takes on a short adventure and brings a spotlight to a character or villain that embodies the episode's theme. Though that's why I like Pulp in a short format, it takes the elements that make it what it is, action and adventure, keeping alive that sense of thrill, but only for a few minutes at a time. Pulp can have more than just conflict and combat, but with a kinetic format it pays to have something that needs this visual. Overall, if you're like me you wanted another ten of these shorts with Bekka jumping into a pit of furies or duking it out with another villain that matches her either in mind or body. Though keep an eye out this Fall (Autumn 2016), since they've announced that there will be more shorts coming soon.

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