Side Order of Ninjas

   Index  -  Reviews  -  Rants  -  Links
Latest Reviews

Top 5 Reviews



Justice League of America Pilot (1997)



Cast:

Miguel "Desperate to escape these movies like Jurgen Prochnow" Ferrier is Doctor Eno
David Ogden Stiers is J'onn J'onzz AKA Martian Manhunter
Kim "I was on Son of the Beach" Oja is Tori Olasdotter AKA ICE
Kenny Johnston is Barry Allen AKA the FLASH
Matthew Settle is Gut Gardner AKA the GREEN LANTERN
Michelle "Wish I was still on Law & Order: SVU" Ward is B.B. DaCosta AKA FIRE
John Kassir is Ray Palmer AKA the ATOM


What the box says:

Another comic book movie that never was released to the public. This was supposed to be a pilot for CBS.


Plot:

Tori Olafsdotter is being interviewed about being a superhero.

We get to see the large city of New Metro with ominous clouds on the horizon and, this could be foreshadowing.

At the Eno Meteorological Institute, Doctor Eno is studying the weather front thatís moving into the city, when he bumps into the easily babbling and flustered Tori.

Barry Allen, the Flash, is being interviewed. He lost his job and, his landlord is evicting him by throwing his stuff on the yard. And, Barryís beeper goes off and, he leaves.

Guy Gardner, the Green Lantern, is being interviewed. In one of those restaurants that real people couldnít afford, heís preparing a romantic lunch for his girlfriend to make up for ditching her earlier.

Tori is being interviewed again. Back at the Eno Institute, Arliss, another meteorologist, wants Tori to talk to Eno about his project. The first reported hurricane is approaching New Metro and, on TV, the so-called Weatherman, the super villain for our piece, is predicting the hurricane. Eno wants Tori to investigate.

Back at the fancy restaurant, Guy is serenading his girlfriend if caterwauling is considered serenading, but, his beeper goes off and, Guy leaves.

B.B, DaCosta, Fire, is being interviewed. Sheís an actress if dancing fruit is considered acting. Can you guess her beeper goes off and she leaves? I thought you could...

Ray Palmer, science teacher, is lecturing. The beeper goes off and he leaves. Do you sense something is going on yet?

At the Eno institute, Eno and Tori are watching the hurricane.

In the park, a power line is about to fall onto a kid until Green Lantern uses his magically cheesy green computer generated beams to save the kid.


Form of lame green energy effect...

A wall collapses on some construction workers, but, Fire melts a hole in the wall for the guys to escape through.

An old lady is trying to get her cat that is under the porch. While the other members of the Justice League are saving people, Atom shrinks and gets the cat from under the porch.

The Flash is running around the hurricane. Heís matching speeds with it but going in the opposite direction to counteract the force of the hurricane.


My series shouldn't have been cancelled.

Has there ever been a super villain who after his first plan failed gave up? If so, itís not the Weatherman who vows to strike again.


Dr. Doom isn't anywhere as frightening as I am.

Barry is being interviewed again. Flash meets with the rest of the team and, he mentions how he needs a place to crash since losing his apartment. Strangely, the rest of the team leaves pretty quickly.

B.B. checks back at the audition to see if itís still going on. The production assistant, Martin, is the only one there and, he asks her out and is shot down.

Guy and Ray are at their apartment they share. Ray let Barry stay until he gets back on his feet. Barry has cleaned the place and fixed dinner which he eats before anyone gets a bite.

At the Eno Institute, Tori runs into the ever creepy Arliss.

B.B. lives in the same place with Ray and Guy, too. Well, Guyís girlfriend is giving him the cold shoulder. From the charming banter, B.B. went out with Guy a while back.

Tori is at work and knocks something over and finds a metal case and, a device pops out of it. Some freak accident occurs and a beam hits Tori, when she touches some things which freeze after she leaves. In the park, sheís leaving a trail of frozen sidewalk behind her. A skateboarder slips and falls into the lake and, Tori tries to help him when she freezes the lake.

Ray is being interviewed. He tries to fix the TV set and winds up getting fried. A repairman fixes the set in time for the mysterious lake freezing that saved the skateboarder. Tori is seen in the background leaving.

That night, Tori is drugged. She awakens to a man questioning her about how the lake was frozen. He wants to test her powers, but, she is still in denial about her powers.

The Justice League is there. Atom believes she doesnít have anything to do with the Weatherman. The others think she is hiding something and, they need her to talk.

Tori awakens from what she thought was a nightmare.

Barry gets job at the Post Office.

Tori is distracted. Eno is talking with her about the Weatherman and, she mentions that Arliss has been acting awfully strange lately. He leaves but we see Eno coming in the building, but, the Eno that has met with Tori has a green hand.

B.B.ís agent is talking with her about a big role. Martin finds her and, she realizes there is no big role. She agrees to call him sometime, out of pity.

Guy is being interviewed again and, heís talking with his girlfriend. Suddenly, the Weatherman is on a giant video screen promising to strike now. Guy leaves the extremely mad girlfriend. A terrible hail storm strikes the plaza and, Green Lantern saves her. Atom, Flash, and Fire take care of things. Lantern convinces her to give Guy another chance.

Ray, B.B., Barry, and Guy are receiving orders to follow Arliss and checks the computer files.

A fundraiser is being held at the Eno Institute. Guy, B.B., and Barry get inside the place, with Ray in B.B.ís purse.

Eno is talking with Tori about promoting her if the funding for the institute is increased.

The Justice League is mingling around.

We get another Tori interview. She bumps into Ray ands starts babbling to him. Guy hauls Ray off and, Ray goes to check on the files. Guy bumps into his girlfriend.

Ray is snooping and, he bypasses the laser alarms by limboing under them. He starts searching the computer files. Guy finds the girlfriend with a date. It looks like a train wreck in slow motion when it looks like Guy is dateless until B.B. comes to save him.

Arliss wants to unveil his project. Eno is pretty uninterested in it.

Tori heads for the restricted area, hearing a computer. She finds Ray who shows her the files. She gets so interested in them as to forget about Ray who escapes.

We get another Ray interview. Tori is intently studying the files. The security guards find her and think she tripped the alarm. Arliss takes some box to his car and drives away and, the Flash follows him. Arliss goes to Enoís house, but, the box contains some weather forecasting device.

At the Eno Institute, Tori looks for the metal case again and finds it gone. She heads for the satellite dish and finds that Eno is actually the Weatherman. Needles to say, she runs and he follows her.

Ray, Guy, and Barry are awake the next morning and, Tori is at the door. Ray lets her in and tells her heís working with law enforcement. She starts babbling on and eventually reveals that Eno is the Weatherman and, she has the location of his next target.

Ray and Tori are interviewed together.

B.B.ís favorite stalker Martin finds her again. He has the entire day planned. He gives her some earrings. Plot point has just been delivered. Her beeper sounds and, she heads off.

We see a news report about a freak rainstorm on the bluffs would have created a massive mudslide which Fire Stopped and, sheís being interviewed. Green Lantern and Atom are there, too. Tori is on the scene, but, Eno is gone. The Justice League receives Orders to bring Tori to the base.

The Justice League and the blindfolded Tori head to a bridge


Don't laugh, we got this base awfully cheap.
that hides a secret elevator that takes them to the spaceship which serves as their base. They get out of the elevator, and Eno is there who shape shifts into a green guy with gut. This is Jíonn Jíonzz. I have to refer to him as the Martian Manhunter instead.

We aren't the second stringers compared to Superman and Batman!!!
He came to Earth to protect it and keep it free. They want Tori to join the Justice League, Martian Manhunter volunteers to help her learn to control her powers.

Next interview, Guy, B.B., and Barry are talking about the Martian Manhunter.

Martin spots the news report and sees Fire wearing the earrings that he gave B.B. Oddly enough, he figures out that B.B. is Fire.

Tori is contemplating what to do. Atom talks with her about what happened when he got his powers and, he reveals his secret identity to her.

Ray and Tori are being interviewed. Tori is practicing, but, sheís not too good. Martian Manhunter is doing a fairly good Yoda impression. Slowly, she improves. Fire leaves. Weatherman delivers another forecast, pay 20 million or die.

B.B. finds Martin who knows her secret identity. She claims that Fire borrowed the earrings. In the Justice League base, The Manhunter leaves, when, Fire walks in where B.B. and Martin are. He believes that she isnít Fire. B.B. gives the earrings back to him. Martin leaves. We learn that Martian Manhunter is impersonating Fire.

Tori is at her house, when Eno comes by. The funding is going to be cut, thatís why he did what he did. Eno wants her to join him. Tori freezes him and takes the case containing the weather manipulator.

Back at the Justice League base, the team hears the Weatherman promising to destroy the city with a tidal wave. Tori brings the weather manipulator, but, it's really a tracking device. Some heat ray strikes the ship, but, Tori is unable to do anything. The team leaves the ship, but Martian Manhunter stays behind.

Outside of the bridge, the team splits up and leaves Tori behind.

Eno is at a massive satellite dish and, Green Lantern catches him. Eno activates the tidal wave.

Flash is trying to evacuate a group of kids.

Eno destroys the weather manipulator, but, Green Lantern canít stop the tidal wave.

Tori heads near the tidal wave and freezing the thing.

Eno tries to escape but is caught by Green Lantern.

Everything is good.

Ray, B.B., Barry, and Guy are at her door. They want her to join and are sorry about the way they treated her. Tori joins.

Guy, Barry, and B.B. head out to do various things. Ray and Tori head out for some lunch.

Eno is being hauled off to prison and is last seen melting his handcuffs off.

At the spaceship, Tori takes the pledge as the newest member of the Justice League.


Evil doers beware!!!


What I say:

I remember back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and all Marvel movies sucked like a Hoover. I heard of how CBS was making a pilot for a live-action Justice League movie. And, then I heard no more news about it. But, with patience and high speed internet, the things you can find are amazing or painful.

Letís talk about some of the continuity problems. In the mid 80s Barry Allen was killed when DC tried simplifying their continuity and, he stayed dead, too. Kid Flash, Wally West, Barryís sidekick took up the mantle ever since. Guy Gardner is a like a redneck with a power ring in the comics. This movieís version appears to be given Guyís name and Kyle Raynerís appearance. Atom was never portrayed as a nerdy science teacher from what I remember. Fire and Ice are the hardest to describe. Theyíre the ones I know the least about. The names are right. In the comics, they like to have them play off each other which is only logical.

They play everything for laughs. A few years before this, we had the dark Flash TV show which was more faithful to the Barry Allen character and his roots. Flash also seems more like the Wally West loser personality. Barry was a smart guy and not this whiny loser, either. I'm thankful, we didn't see David Ogden "I'm Reverend Purty on the Dead Zone" Stiers in the traditional comic costume. Large gutted man in tights would be bad. At least the cape covered most of him and he wasn't running around in his underwear, either...

Actually, this seems to be taking the late 80s and early 90s Justice League International comic book into the movie. But, that had plenty of humor. The Martian Manhunter loved Oreo cookies. I donít want to discuss the issue where they fought the killer penguins because itís just too funny. Find it yourself and enjoy....

Iíve heard Justice League of America described as Friends with superpowers. And that is too close to the truth for me. Most of them live in the same apartment. The crappy relationship stuff is painful to watch. When you want to smack Green Lantern and scream at least your girlfriend wasnít killed and stuffed into a refrigerator. Which what happened to Green Lantern right after he got his power ring.

The acting wasn't great. They came across as mostly bland and uninteresting. Green Lantern keeps trying to win back his girlfriend. Any self-respecting Green Lantern would have the lanterns to tell her where to go.

This isnít a movie for the masses. Itís a movie for the fan boys or the B-movie fans who take pride in uncovering copies of bizarre movies. Like an archeologist, we root through stores bins of clearance DVDs and in dark corners hoping to find the lost treasures. And, unlike movies that should be lost, we sometimes find them. Not everything that is found will be from King Tut's tomb. For every world shaking discovery, we have a 100 sites of some ancient guy named "Jerry" or the local equivalent thereof who just buried his trash. For every Dead Alive, there are 100 Fist of Fear Touch of Death. This isn't that bad. But, this movie is for the fan boys. And, Fantastic Four is better and more faithful to its source than Justice League of America.

Updated 3-23-2005

I wasn't planning on retouching this review. Well, the best laid plans of mice and men. First, I was just going to add a few pictures of the movie. Unfortunately, that couldn't be enough for me after I started looking over it again. I needed to do more for the unacknowledged SPECIAL EDITION REVIEW of the Justice League America pilot which is my most popular review for the past year.

Do you remember how DC couldn't seem to do no wrong in the early 90s? The world had seen Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns. It was years before Joel Schumacher desecrated the Dark Knight. The world has been kept from a Batman movie for nearly 8 years. I will admit Batman Begins sounds sweet enough to break the infamous DC Curse. Really, as the Batman movies got goofier, the best DC superhero action was in the Batman: Animated Series. Most of the 90s had the infamous Nicholas Cage Superman movie hanging like a sword of Damocles over us.

The past couple of years have had a few truly excellent comic book movies come out. Unfortunately, for DC Comics, the popular ones have been Marvel movies even with a few that tanked or weren't hugely popular like: Hulk, Daredevil, Blade Trinity, and Elektra. Marvel has been putting out quite a few movies that seem to have removed the stigma from the Albert Pyun Captain America.

Marvel spent most of the 90s unable to do anything but the X-Men and Spiderman cartoons. Yes, I'm neglecting Hulk, Fantastic Four, and Silver Surfer. Spiderman spent years in courts trying to determine who had the filming rights with James Cameron wanting to do it. Funny, Marvel had a couple of bombs in the early 90s: Captain America and Fantastic Four. It wasn't until a third or at best a second rate character had a movie that was hugely popular: Blade. And the floodgates slowly inched opened to release Spiderman, X-Men, X-Men 2, and Spiderman 2.

DC was trying to desperate get Superman or a new franchise with Batman off the ground. They eventually settled for Catwoman that only has one person thankful for it. Ashley Judd was signed to portray Catwoman but dropped out of it. A pleather clad Ashley Judd sounds like a winner to me. Eventually, many rewrites later, Halle "I wanted Storm to actually do something in the X-Men movies" Berry was given a role that won her a Razzie. In fairness to DC, that movie had no connection whatsoever to the leather clad bullwhip cracking Selina Kyle.

I am not sure why these heroes were chosen for the Justice League. By 1997, the comic version had all of DC's big guns like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc on the team. That incarnation included Flash, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter, too. I can see the rights to the more known characters would have been harder to get. For that matter, the special effects for Superman and Wonder Woman with flight and super strength would have been harder to stage.

Let me do the comic book roll call compare and contrast. Fire was a South American chick with green hair. Actually, her powers got augmented to the point she would turn into a green flame being sort of like Johnny Storm's Human Torch. Next heroine, Ice was from a northern European country. However, her costume in the comics didn't look like Glacier's from WCW as her movie version had for a whole 20 seconds. Lets discuss the might mite. Atom was a scientist and not a nerdy high school science teacher. He never really used his powers. Rescuing a cat from under a porch and limboing under a laser beam aren't really noble causes. More than, couldn't there have been one bank robbery that was foiled by the Justice League? One robber then could act like he was being attacked by a hornet. Atom may be small but still had his normal sized strength. What about the worthless bum? Flash is the fastest man alive. With that much speed, you should be able to do a lot more than this movie shows. If nothing else, a guy running at 200 miles per hour hitting you would cause a good amount of damage. What about the Emerald Avenger? Or is that Green Arrow? Anyways, Green Lantern was really bumped down in power. Yes, in the comics, it is easier to show how powerful you are. The movie had him hardly doing anything. The oreo loving martian is our last member even if he doesn't leave his spaceship to really defend humanity. Martian Manhunter is a pretty powerful character despite what is shown here. When you're a shapeshifter, telepath, super strong, and can fly, that's a pretty wide variety of powers.

If the superhero lineup is confusing, the choise of a villain is even harder to grasp. The Weatherman can control the weather. DC has enough of weather-altering villains without coming up with a way to humilitate Miguel Ferrier. Captain Cold and the Weather Wizard are a couple that come to mind.

I know that others truly despise this movie, and there are plenty of faults with it. I guess my inner comic book geek can't loathe this movie like other B-Movie reviewers can. No matter how goofy it is, it is less ridiculous than Batman and Robin. In fact, it is more serious than the 60s Batman even with the pathetic pseudo-Friends relationships. Yes, that is small praise. DC was probably afraid of how goofy and lame it portrayed its characters and were truly grateful this pilot was put down like the rabid Old Yeller



Readjusted Comic Geek Scale
3 NINJAS

Remove a Ninja for an "Ordinary Person" one that has no idea what TPB stands for.


Quotable Dialogue

"Iím talking to a raisin, arenít I?"
"What would New Metro do without the Justice League?"
"Fewer people snooping around."
"Donít tell me you used the sorry bunny."
"I could be the hard guy."
"I met Leonard Nimoy once."
"Doesnít that chafe your thighs?"


Morals of the Story

Bursting into opera at a restaurant wonít get you tossed out of said eatery.
Dancing fruit are strangely boringÖ.
22 year old guys are excellent stalkers.
Science teachers really are nerdy guys.
Large gutted green guys talking like Yoda doesnít disturb people.


 -  Index  -  Reviews  -  Rants  -  Links