+ Wolverine: Complete Marvel Animated
Series Animes (2011/Sony DVD Sets)/The
Dark Knight Rises Novelization By Greg Cox (2012 Paperback/Titan Books/Softcover)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C Episodes: C+ Novel: C+
some of the latest superhero releases to consider, but not what you might
normally think of.
something different with their characters, Marvel has decided to make Anime
versions of two of their more cutting-edge characters. Both Blade
and Wolverine have been given
limited series Complete Marvel Animated
Series Animes that are now on DVD.
Debuting in 2011, they offer slightly different versions of the
characters. Blade is even more steeped
in his martial arts than usual, while Wolverine is more on his own than usual,
but both have their new challenges ahead and are given situations more
challenging than they might find in English-market animated variations.
some origins ideas surface in both, it is the new, different angle that makes
seeing both of these worth a look. Blade
hunts down Deacon Frost in Southeast Asia and Wolverine takes on members of the
Yakuza because his newest girlfriend is from Japan and he is not just going to
abandon her. Both work much better in
their Japanese language track versions than the surprisingly flat English
dubs. They are not to be taken as normal
installments of their main storylines, yet they are not so divorced form them
as to be too different.
offer nice alternate storylines that are a nice change of pace from their last
feature film appearances and fans in particular will want to try out each of
them in their entirety, though some choices did not work as well as others.
both cases include two featurettes on the making of the respective shows. Ill be curious to see if more Marvel
characters get this unique and interesting treatment.
The Dark Knight Rises Novelization
By Greg Cox (2012)
attempts to make the 2 hour, 45 minutes conclusion to the Christopher
Nolan/Christian Bale trilogy into a readable novel and it is readable, but like
most such tie-ins, it also lacks some of the visual impact of actually seeing
the film and can read more like a screenplay.
Especially since the motion picture (which I have seen and liked very
much) is so visual and speaks its own visual language, the novel can only play
as secondary to the film, but it is not bad and still pretty detailed at 413
pages as Batman has disappeared for 8 years after capturing The Joker. Now he must take on the threat of a radical
Bane and uncertainty of a dangerous other opponent in Catwoman.
is missing some detail from the final film and should only be read after seeing
it, though a few will read the book first for whatever reasons. Some of these tie-ins have been thin and
others infamous (like Christopher Wood turning his screenplay to the 1979 James
Bond film Moonraker and somehow
making it a long book while the original Ian Fleming novel went out of print
for a long time starting then). AT least
this is not flimsy and cheap.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both Marvel/Sony DVD sets look good,
but they have the styled-down Anime look which wants to use slightly bleaching
white to soften the look throughout, so this affects playback and likely would do
the same if these were Blu-rays.
Otherwise, they look just fine and are in the style of the genre. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixed on both are
good in Japanese, but do not always have consistent surrounds. The English dub versions are not as good and
again, the readings and translation are disappointing, especially when compared
to the English subtitles.
- Nicholas Sheffo