Richard’s Year of Movies — The New Frontier

I love Netflix, but one of the problems of having no due date is procrastination.  I get two movies out at a time, and I think sometime Netflix must think I’ve kidnapped them or something, because I’ll either put of watching them until I have time to watch them uninterrupted, or forget I have them.  Mostly the second one.

So I’ve had The New Frontier sitting around for a while, and since Hannah went out last night, I decided to finally watch it.  It’s an animated adaptation of the DC Comics miniseries that basically uses the change from the Eisenhower years to the Kennedy years to mirror the change from the Golden Age of Comics to the Silver Age.  Which was probably a compelling and nuanced story in the six issues the miniseries had, but which feels somewhat lost when the story is compressed down to 75 minutes.  I’m not very familiar with the comic, having never read it myself, but there was so much in the movie that felt like it needed more to give it weight.  This kind of story feels like the kind where the main plot — a menace called The Center threatening to wipe out mankind with hordes of monsters — isn’t as important as the details.  But with only a little over an hour in which to adapt the comic, things almost by necessity focus on the main plot.  So there doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of depth here.

There are a couple of cool moments if you know DC Comics history — seeing the Blackhawks, for example, and Ray Palmer showing up to somewhat save the day — but as a whole, it just felt like there was something missing.  It’s certainly not on par with some of the feature length Batman and Superman films they’ve produced in the past (especially World’s Finest, which, for my money, remains the best film version of either character ever done).

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