Justice League: War (2014)

IMDB plot:

The world’s finest heroes found the Justice League in order to stop an alien invasion of Earth.

Heroic spoilers ahead.

Seriously, it’s pretty hard to talk about this animation without spoiling the hell out of it. So, you’re doubly warned now.

So for Justice League you have a bunch of DC characters that work together to save the planet from the evil forces of evil. But how did they finally get together? That’s what you find out.

You also find out who’s the most awesome evil character of all comics.

The whole story revolves around Batman (still being marked as a random viligant), Superman (still seen as some alien that doesn’t care about anything and nobody cares about him), Green Lantern (in hotheaded Hal Jordan), Wonder Woman (which I think came directly from the animation with her name), Cyborg (in its origin story), Flash and Shazam (yup, Shazam, not John Johns).

The story is basically: Lantern is doing his round finding something weird in Gotham and clashes with Batman. They find an alien artifact and decided to ask the resident alien for answers: Superman. Meanwhile, Cyborg’s (still not a cyborg) father is working on the same device, which apparently was found by Flash and Wonder Woman is in a diplomatic mission with the US president. Then hell breaks lose when the devices active, bring a bunch of aliens, the airplane with the president is attacked and it’s saved by Wonder Woman and Superman, while Cyborg (still not a cyborg) is caught in the activation of one of the devices and suddenly mixes with some experimental technology (THEN becoming the cyborg). Meanwhile, Billy Batson (Shazam) finds something weird in his house, turns in Shazam and, chasing the alien, finds the rest of the group.

And then, when things seems to start to work out… DARKSEID.

(By the way, I think this is the proper place to point the most awesome line in any animation ever: Shazam approaches Darkseid and them proclaims “Hey, Blackheart the Deatheater or whatever your World of Warcraft name is… SUCK ON THIS!” which I think embodies exactly Shazam personality.)

The style is mostly the same classic hero animation. There is nothing impressive but at least there is nothing that brings it down.

But, as usual, animations are mostly about voice acting and this one does not disappoints. Jason O’Mara does an awesome Batman (and I mean it); Michelle Monaghan does sound like Wonder Woman (by the way, Jack Snider: Is there still time to replace Gal Gadot with Michelle Monaghan?); Alan Tudyk is mostly ok as Superman, but still doesn’t disappoint; Christopher Gorham does a perfect Flash (“Sorryneedthistosavetheworldthanksforyourhelp”).

In the end, it seems a very good point of reference for what expect for the real-life “Justice League” which should appear… somewhere in the future. I’d give it 5 out of 7 masked vigilantes.

Why 3.3.1 is the best thing what happened recently

The IT industry is in turmoil over a change Apple did in their iPod/iPhone/iPad license:

Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Basically, what they are saying is “you will use our SDK and that’s it!” I’m not going to expand the point that about 90% of the people complaining about this change did not and wouldn’t ever write an App for the Apple store.

The good thing about this all is that Adobe thought it was a direct attack to their Flash platform (which I kinda don’t agree because I have my own conspiracy theories, but I can see their point) and decided to bash Apple. Apple (Steve Jobs, actually) decided to write a long response to Adobe. Yes, there are a lot of wrong points on it and I’ll let you read Thom Holwerda article about this.

If there is a lot of bashing around, why I think this whole mess is any good?

Well, first of all, Jobs is right about Flash: I’m tired of closing Firefox ’cause a Flash applet is burning my CPU just to show a small game of two guys trying to beat each other in eating bananas or because, apparently, the runtime is still running, eating memory and making Firefox slow. Flash is not accelerated in anyway in OS X or Linux, even if the technology is around for years. And Jobs claims about Flash will (or, at least, I hope it will) force Adobe to produce a decent runtime for Flash very soon. The more Jobs bash them, the better.

Second, we finally have a good discussion about the open platform of the future: the web. I can’t recall so many discussions about HTML 4.0 or XHTML 1.0 before this. And now we have a lot of people discussion the merits and weakness of HTML 5. “Can it do that?” “Can it replace this?” and such will only improve the draft even further. The “can’t”s is actually the best point of this all: If the W3C keeps an eye on it, who knows what new features HTML 5.1 will have?

As a side note to the HTML 5 discussion, it seems that some companies are already aiming products that will use HTML 5 features (Google seems to be pushing better features for HTML5-capable browsers, although the look and feel is still the same) and I expect that in a few months, some sites will display the dreaded “this page requires [browser X] or superior” what we saw in the 90s. But it will be for a good thing: old, bug ridden browsers will not display things properly and people will be force to drop that in favor of newer, better browsers. And not only that, but the hidden “you need that browser because we put something that only that browser supports” will be replaced by “you need that browser because we put something that only the new, open standard supports it”.

Third, still part of the HTML 5 discussion, we have the h264 codec discussion (which is the codec used to transmit videos on the web in HTML 5.) Jobs position of the “open web” pointing h264 is just bringing more and more discussion about the patent encumbered codec. The more Jobs hits the point about this, the more people will point that h264 is not an open codec and that, sooner or later, some company may screw the whole internet because they got angry with someone and decided to revoke all licenses.

The whole Adobe vs Apple discussion is awesome for the open web, because both companies are pointing exactly what’s wrong with the current situation.