Monday, July 24, 2017

I just saw the Teen Titans Judas Contract animated movie.

It was enjoyable, the films in this New52 series seem to get better as they go along.  Much of it in this case however is drawing on the original Judas Contract story, more so then the 2000s Cartoon did.

The lack of Jericho I expected.  They tried to make Damien's history with Drathstroke in this universe relevant to the story even though it really still wasn't.

The biggest disappointment for me was them flat out not showing the battle between Terra and Raven.  That was one of the few things I enjoyed about the 2000s show's version of the story.  And the main moment in this particular film where I thought "if only it wasn't limited to 70 minutes" again.  But then I noticed this run-time is 84 minutes, so they are letting them get a little longer now, but still I think at least a full 90 is necessary for a story like this.

But I have to talk about Terra's characterization, once again we have an adaptation of the story trying to make her less unrepentantly evil.  Now it's weird of me to complain about this since I in-general like depth in character, and like when villains can be redeemed.  In fact that came up in a recent Reblog I did on Tumblr.  However it only bothers me when a story goes out of it's way to send an anti-redemption message.  Terra was a character who never sought redemption, and that really made her stand out compared to other mole/traitor stories in this genre.

However what really makes their characterization of Terra odd here is how they are throwing this aspect into it, even though some moments they want to have play out exactly like in the original Comic.  And so that makes some of Terra's inconsistencies seem less like she's conflicted and more like two different writing philosophies where behind this character.

We got a tease of Donna Troy at the end, I'll watch another of these Teen Titans films if it means we get more of her.

And that leads me to the subject of casting.  None of the main cast of this film, protagonists or antagonists, really wowed me.

Now with these New52 films I don't know how much of the problem is hiring people who don't specialize in voice acting, since I mostly don't even know who these actors are.  It may just as much be my personal preference for the voice acting done in Anime dubs.  And this is a great film to return to that subject on because....

Crispan Freeman was in it, as two characters.  I recognized him immediately as "Scientist" a character who spoke in only one scene he was in.  That moment was the most my ears perked up listening to this, and it was all wasted.  In the credits I noticed he was also Speedy in the 5 years earlier flashback at the beginning.  In that role he showed he had more range then even I thought.  Still it was another small role.  To WB/DC the cream of the crop of Anime Dub actors is merely a filler actor for roles you won't waste an expensive star on.

Crispan Freeman should have been Brother Blood, just think about how awesome he is as roles like Kotomine Kirei, he'd have been perfect for Brother Blood.  Instead we got the lamest most uninspired cult leader I've ever heard.

This Slade had his moments, but I still prefer Ron Pearlman, an opinion that arguably goes against the general philosophy I've expressed here.

All of the Titans themselves could have been improved by Anime actors.  This Raven in particular is such a disappointment to me, and not like for others who are nostalgic for Terra Strong's Raven.  Tara Strong is great but Raven was not her best role.  In my opinion we still don't have an ideal Raven voice.  There are several Anime Dub actresses who could make a great Raven.

Now if Warner does want to take advice for the future.  Get Kari Walgren for Donna Troy, a voice similar to what she does for Saber/Artoria could be great for Troia.

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