• Tag Archives Greg Johnson
  • Canister X Movie Review #89: Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther (2006)

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    Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther (2006)
    Written by Greg Johnson
    Directed by Will Meugniot and Richard Sebast
    Runtime 73 min.
    4 out of 5

    Picking up pretty much right where Ultimate Avengers left off, Ultimate Avengers 2 starts off in Wakanda and the kingdom falls under attack from Herr Kleiser, who kills the king and sends the prince, T’Challa, into action by taking up the mantle of the Black Panther. Black Panther then heads to the city to find Captain America. The Avengers are assembled and head to Wakanda to stop the Chitauri threat, resuming their battle from the first movie.


    I liked the first movie a bit better, but probably because it was the birth of the Avengers vs them in full swing but that’s just me: I like origin stuff. Ultimate Avengers 2, however, is still a solid flick and falls right in line with its predecessor. (Always recommend watching these two back-to-back if you have the time, and with a little-over-an-hour runtime each, that’s definitely doable.)

    The battles in this flick are awesome and showcase some all-out superhero-vs-alien mayhem. Like the first, each character gets their moment to shine and it’s like being reacquainted with old friends.

    I love the depiction of the Avengers in this. Everyone is their stereotypical selves, something that they captured in the live action movie, but, to me, got even more right in this flick. Totally adds to it.

    Like the first, the art direction is top notch. Everyone matches the way they looked in the first movie, giving it that sense of continuity. They had the same voice talent as the first for this as well. I love it when animated flicks keep the cast consistent outing-to-outing.

    Watching this flick along with the first makes it a good final act to a stellar movie, but can also stand just fine on its own.

    Glad I have it as part of my superhero movie collection.


  • Canister X Movie Review #88: Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (2006)

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    Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (2006)
    Written by Greg Johnson
    Directed by Curt Geda and Steven E. Gordon
    Runtime 71 min.
    4 out of 5

    In World War II, the Nazis tried to launch an intercontinental missile and was thwarted by Captain America, but at great cost: Captain America fell into icy waters and was presumed dead. Some sixty years later, he was found and revived by S.H.I.E.L.D., who ends up convincing him to join their fight against the alien Chitauri. When the Chitauri attack, S.H.I.E.L.D. implements Project Avenger and begins assembling together Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to take on the Chitauri and put a stop to them once and for all.


    This ensemble flick is one of the greats and is a solid introduction for the uninitiated to the Avengers—Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Giant Man, Wasp and Hulk—all led by Nick Fury.

    It’s evenly paced, exciting, and gives each member of the team enough screen time to give them a chance to lock in with the viewer and make that viewer-character connection before moving on to the next guy.

    Marvel’s direct-to-video efforts have been lacking and haven’t been that great because they’ve been very busy—albeit very successfully—focusing their efforts on bringing their heroes to the big screen. Ultimate Avengers and its sequel are the major exceptions to their animated shortcomings and this movie is every bit as good as their live action counterparts. I also think that’s the secret to making a good animated movie: treat it with the same care and seriousness as a live action film and you’ll hit it out of the ballpark every time. It works in Japanese animation. No reason why it wouldn’t work here in the West.

    This movie was good start to finish. Had a story that spanned decades, and made you care about what was going on from first frame to last.

    You have multiple plotlines going on, ranging from the Avengers dealing with the Chitauri to Bruce Banner trying to find a cure for the Hulk, to Captain America trying to find his place in the world. The amazing thing is they fit all these plotlines into a very short runtime (just over an hour).

    The art direction was superb and I enjoyed how everyone looked in this, especially Hulk. (For me, he’s one of those guys that don’t always come out well.)

    While there’s a pretty good dose of violence in this movie, it’s much more kid-friendly than the majority of DC’s animated features and is safe for kids (depending on your household rules for this sort of thing). Personally, I let my kids watch it but don’t let them watch the DC movies.

    Whether a Marvel fan, an Avengers fan, or a superhero fan in general, Ultimate Avengers is a fantastic flick worth watching many times over. What’s cool is it’s basically part one of two and goes right into its sequel, Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther, without missing a beat, so if you have both, you’re in for a doubly-good time.


  • Canister X Movie Review #63: Planet Hulk (2010)

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    Planet Hulk (2010)
    Written by Greg Johnson
    Directed by Sam Liu
    Runtime 81 min.
    3 out of 5

    An ancient prophecy. An exiled hero. One battle after another.

    Hulk has been banished into space by the Illuminati. The reason? He’s simply too dangerous, too powerful and too unpredictable. Upon landing on the planet Sakaar, Hulk is taken captive and is forced to compete as a gladiator for the people’s entertainment. With no choice but to fight, Hulk must battle his way free, and not only for himself, but for an entire kingdom under the rule of an unpleasant emperor. Is Hulk the one foretold to come to usher in an era of peace?


    I don’t know, man. This flick wasn’t really my thing, to be honest. It was a kind of Star Wars meets superhero thing that, while kind of interesting, didn’t really thrill me as a superhero fan.

    But first, the pluses:

    Loads of action. Hulk is fighting people pretty much all the time in this movie, and not only simply fighting them, but having to struggle against those nearly as powerful as himself. You don’t often see him doing that.

    The sci-fi aspect was different and by having the story not take place on Earth, you got to see something that isn’t presented all too often in superhero flicks and/or cartoons.

    The minuses (for me):

    Hulk was the smart Hulk in this movie. Not the genius-level one, but he formed complete sentences, had genuine feelings, and wasn’t a big ball of rage like in Hulk vs. I’m a fan of the latter. I like the Hulk-smash Hulk. Not quite stupid, but certainly simple-minded, and an all-out force of meta-nature. Seeing him pretty much be a big green human wasn’t really my thing. I know others like that version of Hulk, which is fine, but I like the other one better.

    The pacing was slow as well, with flashbacks that seemed to bog it down versus add to it. I know why they had them, but they didn’t really add to the tale and those scenes could’ve been simply mentioned versus shown.

    Art’s subjective, but the cartooning style of this flick wasn’t up my alley. Whatever. It’s a minor point.

    Wish I could say more about it, but this Hulk outing didn’t grab me like The Incredible Hulk or Hulk vs.

    However, if you’re a Hulk fan, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it for that reason, and if you like the more intelligent Hulk, you’ll have a good time for sure.

  • Canister X Movie Review #44: The Invincible Iron Man (2007)

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    The Invincible Iron Man (2007)
    Written by Greg Johnson
    Directed by Patrick Archibald, Jay Oliva and Frank D. Paur
    Runtime 83 min.
    2.5 out of 5

    When billionaire Tony Stark accidentally awakens an ancient evil while raising an old Chinese city, he must develop the means to stop it. Creating an exoskeleton armored suit, Tony becomes Iron Man and faces off against the Elementals, four supernatural beings that can control earth, fire, wind and water. Not only that, but he must face the evil emperor, the Mandarin. Can Iron Man stop the foe he inadvertently helped create?


    You know, I might be in the minority, but I just couldn’t get into this flick. I found it really slow, had not much Iron Man, and wasn’t big on the animation.

    From a story standpoint, the what-it-was-about, it was fine. It showed Tony’s origin in creating the Iron Man armor, had him go up against one of his biggest villains, and had high stakes. Just wasn’t really my thing. I like Iron Man, don’t get me wrong, and am a fan of the live action movies, namely the first two, but this one wasn’t really my thing. To each their own.

    If you’re an Iron Man and/or a Marvel junkie, I’m sure you’d really enjoy this or at least like it more than I did.

    Wish I had more to add, but there’s really nothing more to say.