Opening August 16, 2018
Directed by Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail
Writing credits: Michael Jelenic, Aaron Horvath
Principal actors: animation with Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton
Teen Titans are young super heroes: Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire, who, share various special powers. They can change into different animals, enter into any space, expel others out of any space, fly, travel through time cycles, and fight to save the world. The film opens with them combatting a huge red giant. They like balloons and rap songs, which sometimes also serve as a sort of weapon at the right moment, especially one song called "Offbeat." Still, Robin is dissatisfied; he has noticed that there are lots of films about super heroes such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and Super Girl, but none about him. The team goes to Hollywood to set that straight. Film director Jade Wilson tells him, "If you keep playing the fool, you'll never be seen as real heroes and there will never be a movie about you." They have to prove themselves by supplying an "arch nemesis" – a real antagonist. This turns out to be Slade who specializes in "mind manipulation."
These DC comic heroes have been around since about 2003 in form of comics, videos, TV series, one TV film, and video games. Now we have the first film to come to the big screen. It features startling bright primary colors, a true on-screen comic book. The text is fast and funny. We saw it in the original English and it gives the impression that the makers had much fun in the creation process. And, after 88 minutes of ups and downs, we have a moral to the story, "You don't need to be super to be a super hero; you just need to be yourself." The 15 songs carry the story along, some by well-known composers such as Huey Lewis or AHA, but especially eight excellent songs by Jared Faber, who was responsible for the music in general. (Becky T.)