Batman: The Killing Joke Movie Review

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After much debate, the highly controversial story created by Alan Moore has finally been brought to the silver screen, for better or worse. It is one of the most infamous Batman storylines, as it attempts to create an origin story for the hero’s greatest villain, the Joker. This was the first DC Animated movie to receive an R-rating, since the story has many dark undertones and themes.  

untitled1The first act of the film follows the duo Batman and Batgirl as their relationship develops prior to the events of The Killing Joke. In an interesting, if anything, turn of events, this story displays a Batgirl who has developed romantic feelings for the Dark Knight, although he is closer to her father’s age. At any rate, this story is used to convey who Batgirl is and to get the audience invested in her character before her crippling by the Joker. We see a smart, ambitious, funny, and bright young woman who still does this for “fun”, as Bruce puts it. She hasn’t seen the abyss yet and had to come back from experiencing a dark and personal enemy. She soon encounters that in Paris Franz and understands more about Batman and job in the process. Ultimately, she decides to hang up the cape and cowl, after she becomes romantically involved with Batman and her dangerous battle with Paris.

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The story then follows the TKJ arc and we see the panels come to life on screen. At first glance, it’s another story following the Joker’s escape from Arkham and Batman’s hunt to find him before he does anything too bad. Batman realizes the path that they’re on will only lead to his or the Joker’s death. They complement each other and represent two sides of a coin. Batman knows this dance can only truly end when one of the dies so he makes one last effort to avert that outcome. However, Joker takes it to another level this time, hoping to prove that anyone can go insane after one bad day. Choosing one of the Gotham’s finest, Jim Gordon, the Clown Prince pays the Commissioner a visit, shoots and cripples Barbara, sexually assaults her, and later tortures Gordon with the slideshow of events. All the while, Batman is searching for clues and making the rounds to discover what the Joker is planning and where he’s located. In the end, the Joker fails, as Gordon remains sane and Batman brings the Joker in by the book, proving that they can overcome the tragedy one can experience in a day.

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Mark Hamill does a great job balancing the present day chaotic Joker with his failed comedian persona of the past. Kevin Conroy is excellent as the Dark Knight once again and the familiarity of his voice along with Tara Strong, really make this film worth watching. Bruce Timm and Sam Liu make use of the R-rating and show everything from drug use, prostitutes, city corruption, brutal deaths, and pretty explicit sexual innuendos. Some have gripes with the dialogue, which was torn straight from the page. It can come off as cheesy and comical and the ending with Batman laughing maniacally with the Joker is just plain odd to hear. Many still have issues with Barbara being objectified and only serving as a plot device to motivate Batman, regardless of how much they tried to develop her character in the prologue. 

Batman: The Killing Joke is available now digitally and will be on DVD August 2nd.

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Is Batman v Superman Bad?

It’s been over a week since BvS Dawn of Justice was released and the reception has been less than super. Rotten Tomatoes has given the superhero flick a whopping 29%. There have been many critics who’ve shared their disdain for the film and some have even called it a flop. But is wasn’t a flop. I mean, it opened with 166 million its first weekend and ranked fourth of all time with a worldwide debut of $422.5 million. Surely that must mean something? Hey, this negativity may even add to the sales as people will want to see what the hype is about.

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I know with a title like “Batman versus Superman” a crowd will be drawn, but the numbers don’t lie and the audience had a very mixed reception as well. A major issue people had with it was that it was “too dark and wasn’t fun”. Director Zack Snyder and company were trying to ground the film and touched on many deeper themes, while going for a particular tone. One of the major influences was The Dark Knight Returns, which created a very dark and chaotic world with an aged Batman and a government controlled Superman. So, it make sense that this film adaptation would follow suit.

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DC has had a bad run for its take on characters for the big screen and while this film is different stylistically and tonally from those of the Marvel Universe, it works for what it is. Batfleck was amazing and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was far better than anything I could have hoped for. Now, the bigger stage for the DC Universe has been set as the Justice League begins to form and take on bigger threats. As Lex proclaimed, “The bell has been rung.

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Maybe it’s the fanboy in me who was just excited to see his favorite characters on the big screen or maybe it was a different but decent film. Either way, Dawn of Justice is worth a watch to decide for yourself.

 

The Walking Dead: “Thank You” Review

Can I just start of by saying, wow? This season has been almost completely not stop excitement. There is no down time to mourn and I think it’s great since the zombie apocalypse doesn’t really allow for that. “Thank You” was chock full of some great character moments for those outside the wall when the horn sounded back in Alexandria. Let’s dive right in and pray: “please don’t be true”.

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So we fast back sideways(?) to Rick’s team as they try to make their way back to Alexandria to see what the hell that horn was coming from and why. Rick is still in super realist survivor mode and tells Michonne and Glenn to get everyone else back but if slowed down, to leave the group. He goes on with the mission along with Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl as they lead the Guinness Book of World Record’s Longest Walker Cha-Cha Line away from Alexandria. Side note: I didn’t realize exactly how many fucking walkers there were still following the route. A large, large amount broke off and was heading towards Alexandria and it’s hard to fathom that that was the smaller group of roamers.

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Glenn and Michonne have shown a lot of growth throughout the seasons and it’s really shown as they try to hold together the Bad News Bears of the apocalypse. Heath throws constant jabs at Rick and crew’s team and consistently berates Michonne, who is one of the few who cares if these people live or die. Unfortunately, the Alexandrians really weren’t ready to face this threat and haven’t had to with their situation so most don’t survive. We get a great parallel between David of Alexandria and Glenn, who both shared similar stories involving the women they found after shit hit the fan. David is desperately trying to get back to Alexandria to reach his love and say goodbye since he suffered a zombie back scratch. Glenn similarly, had grown and became a better, stronger person after meeting Maggie.

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There were some good moments in the town where scumbag Nicholas had previously abandoned former runners to their doom. As he had been there before, it was up to him to guide the group back to Alexandria but man, was he shell shocked. The whole episode we saw how those events slowly got worse all the way to the end. Glenn decided to try for a distraction to stop the walkers from reaching the town while Michonne, Heath, and two injured Alexandrians were forced to wait for an opening to make a break for it. The break never happens, of course, and they are forced to make a run for anywhere else before they became completely trapped. Naturally, someone trips and bites the dust. My biggest issue with the whole episode was the lack of humane endings for those that were being torn apart. Why not put them out of their misery with a bullet to the head? Save your friends the agony and pain of seeing their entrails ripped from their bodies instead of stopping and staring.

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I really enjoyed how everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Glenn and Nicholas becoming trapped in an alley with no exit, Michonne and company being forced to lose one as they attempted to jump over a fence to safety, and even Rick’s situation, which I will get into. But the BIGGEST event of this episode was Glenn and Nicholas. Trapped with seemingly no way of escape the surrounding horde, Nicholas finally loses it and commits suicide. No redemption for him even though Glenn gave him chance after chance. The blast forced Nicholas to knock Glenn off of the dumpster as the dead body seemed to land on top of our favorite. We next see what appears to be the insides of Glenn be ripped apart by walkers and Glenn becomes covered in all types of blood. It was such a powerfully sad moment as I felt as if I had lost a friend. We as viewers can only hope that was Nicholas’ body being ripped open and Glenn’s scent is masked by the blood of the dead.

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Rick had some interesting moments where he is seen lashing out at walkers, which led to his injured hand. Oh yeah, he did a lot of running. After returning in the RV to I’m assuming was a rendezvous point of some sort, he encounters the same wolves who Morgan decided to let go. Great job, Morgan. Your actions will always have consequences. But to no surprise, Ricky G make short work of the wolves, blasting two in the head and shooting the remainder through the RV. Talk about bad ass! We’re left at the RV then stalling as the walkers edge closer to Rick who apparently doesn’t think shutting doors, even after the Wolves walked right in, isn’t a good idea. We also caught Daryl in an internal conflict, as he wanted to immediately abandon his mission to go help his friends. He is more of a cowboy and not the herder he needed to be for the mission. Ultimately, he returns to continue on the route with Sasha and Abraham but we got some cool shots of him riding his bike into the sunset.

Some of the best moments once again came from the little interactions and call backs to previous episodes. Glenn call Rick a dumbass brought us all the way back to Season One when the two first spoke and that was touching. Glenn also pulled out the watch given to him by Herschel way back, which was nice to see he still carries it around. Michonne completely Mich-owning Heath after an entire day of disrespect reminded us of what our favorites have been through and that Heath and the Alexandrians really haven’t.

Next week’s episode will be 90 minutes and looks to dive into Morgan’s long road to D.C. Hopefully we’ll gain some form of closure on Glenn’s storyline since it was semi-ambiguous. Please don’t be true.

 

 

The Walking Dead: “First Time Again” Review

The Walking Dead is back! Finally! Our favorite characters have returned in Alexandria and the stakes are high this season. Thing pick up in a nonlinear fashion, shifting from flashback scenes in black and white, to the present timeline. It was refreshing to see the TWD in black and white and was a great nod to the first season’s episodes without color. This 90 minute episode was chock full of action and things going wrong so let’s dive right in.

We get a lot of rehash in the flashbacks, which provide some nice moments between Rick and Morgan. I think that worked best to refresh the audience on what’s happened while getting Morgan up to speed. Morgan quickly sees that Rick is no longer the risk-taking second chance kind of guy of the past and realizes how ruthless he is becoming. Rick was quick to kill Pete, although he could have jailed him, as Morgan suggested. He didn’t want to bury him either and would have quickly killed the conspiring Carter in that moment (for a second, I thought he was). Morgan may serve as the “moral guideline” or antithesis of Rick this season and one could guess that since the trailers leading up to the season heavily hinted at a conflict. My guess is Morgan will die. The moral symbol always dies. RIP Dale, Hershel, and Tyrese.

In the flashbacks, we see how things are still very unsettled as Deanna is still grieving and the town is semi-fearful of Rick and his plan. Carol said it best noting that while Deanna is in charge, Rick is in charge. He is running the show and she’s just following his orders essentially. Rick actually had a great plan of diffusing the shit ton of Walkers that were found in the quarry. By the way, what was up with all of those Walkers?! You had to think that there was something holding the zombies back from overrunning Alexandria and that was a great explanation. My only gripe with that is who positioned the trucks to block the zombies off?

While that many walkers being present was one of my favorite parts of the episode, the best thing had to be the interpersonal relationships and fun dynamics between partners. The aforementioned Rick and Morgan dynamic is a great contrast. Rick was more humane and Morgan was at one point crazy, so the two being around each other echoes remnants of the past. Now, they almost switched rules, being that the former has almost given up on humanity and the latter hasn’t. Glenn and scumbag Nicholas is also another interesting dynamic, since Nicholas got Noah killed, left Glenn for Dead, and flat out tried to kill Glenn. Glenn being the good guy that he is, is trying to reform Nicholas but is weary of letting him help in important situations. It’ll be interesting to see if Nicholas gains his redemption of some kind. The car ride between Sasha and Abraham (“We’ll do it live!”) was great. Abraham is, well, Abraham. He does make note of Sasha’s previous suicidal tendencies of the last season.

Let’s wrap with the Walker Parade failing thanks to a well-timed horn. Who sounded the alarm? Who ruined the almost flawless execution of Rick’s plan? Was it one of Rick’s conspirers? The Wolves? I guess we’ll find out next week.

Last Points:

  •   Daryl is a complete badass.
  •   Morgan, Michonne did eat your last protein bar!
  •   Glenn’s pizza line= Perfect

Walking Dead #141 Review

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This issue picks up with Rick finishing up his route between the communities and heading back to Alexandria to some unwarranted news. Let’s check out what happened in our favorite zombie themed comic.

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So right off the bat, Rick has a surprise meeting with Dwight who’s been having concerns regarding his role as leader. He doesn’t want the position anymore as head honcho of the Sanctuary. This interaction between Rick and Dwight already creates a major difference in the characters. While Dwight assumed power following Negan and now wanted Rick to choose the next leader, Rick thought what most good leaders would, and proposed an election. This whole issue focused a lot on how Rick has to be better or as he puts it, more capable than the rest. He has to make the higher decisions. The tough ones that may not be the popular opinion but the overall right thing to do to keep society going. We also go to see that the people of the Sanctuary are still not liked. I suppose it makes sense but you’d think the time and changes would affect their incorporation into society.

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The highlight of this issue however was the payoff of for the big reveal of last issue: Negan was free from his cell. What would he do? How many would he murder in Rick’s absence? Would he try to escape or take a hostage? Short answer is no, none of the above. When Rick finds Negan calmly waiting in his unlocked cell, he immediately assumes the worst and this is where we get to see Negan at his finest. You can’t help but love Negan’s style and attitude. While he explains he did nothing to begin building trust between the two, Rick still destroys any hope Negan has of establishing that and the age old question arises once again. Why is Negan alive?

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Of course Rick gives Olivia, who was responsible, a tongue lashing and is entirely upset with the situation but why not kill Negan so this can never happen? His conversation with Andrea, which was very soap boxy, explains how he has to be more capable than others to keep things together essentially. While Andrea sees and understands that for Rick’s just reasoning, Negan thinks otherwise, describing Rick’s decision as a means to justify that he is not the monster he may believe himself to be. I thought those to contrasts were great points and both just as valid when looking back throughout the series.


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While Rick is taking the high road to keep the community from destroying itself from the inside out, Maggie does quite the opposite. I’m sure her decision to execute her inept assassin will have lasting consequences at the Hilltop. People are already starting to distrust her and her actions and this will only cause more chaos as the story unfolds.

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Look for Issue #142 to continue following the events of Rick and company and of course, updates from Negan’s Cock Fan Club.

 

 

Your Favorite Mothers from Game of Thrones

Mother’s are so vital to a child’s upbringing. They nurture, protect, and love those near and dear. In the world of Game of Thrones, those ladies do that and then something.

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the very loving and not so loving mothers of Westeros.

 

Lioness of Lannisport

Chronic Bitchface

 

Cersei Lannister can be called many things but at her core, she is a strong mother who only wants the best for her kids. Sure she allows her maniacal murderous child to do as he pleased but that wasn’t her fault! Joffrey took was a special child that only a Mother like Cersei could love and she sure did.

She was always about making sure her family was okay and protecting their right to the throne. This season’s arc for her character makes that clear as she attempts to keep Tommen close and out of the clutches of those Flowers from Highgarden and other threats.

While she may be a megalomaniac, crazy, bitter former Queen, she’ll always be a lioness trying to protect her cubs.

Catelyn Stark

The Stark family is almost unanimously loved because of Ned, Arya, and Jon but we can’t forget about Catelyn. She is a devoted mother and is extremely protective of her children. When Bran was pushed out of the tower, she never left his side. I mean, she’s all about her family. Roughing the King’s Road to warn Ned, taking Tyrion hostage to await trial in the Eerie, practically raising Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy, Catelyn is a great matriarch figure.

In the first three seasons, she plays a pivotal role in not only urging Ned(RIP) to Kings Landing but easing tensions between the Freys and Starks. She is a key council member for Robb as he battles in the Riverlands, offering advice, strategy, and anything else. Although her pleas and words were left unheard in the end, she still did all she could to protect and save her family. The North Remembers as does Lady Stoneheart.

 

Mother of Dragons

Daenerys Targaryen may not be a biological mother to her children, except, say, her dragons, but that does not change the fact that she is a mother to all who are subjugated.

“Leave me alone Mom!”

She is known for her kind yet fierce nature from the very beginning of the show. She quickly owns the role of Queen of the Khalasar and protects the innocent, young, old, and needy. This may have backfired with the old Maegi but Khaleesi is always looking out for those in need.

Mhysa

Maybe it is because she can no longer birth children but mother-like love for all those in bondage in Essos makes her a standout mother figure. She literally goes to war for her children and those children love their Mhysa for that. The Targ Queen may be having a tough time this season dealing with the Sons of the Harpy but she will always have the love of her freed sons and daughters. Hopefully.

 

 

Geek News of the Week

It’s been a great week for geeks since we received a lot of cool news and trailers. Let’s check out some of the best from the week.

Movies

Jurassic World

The long awaited fourth Jurassic Park film is finally upon us. We were treated to the trailer two days earlier than expected and it was interesting to say the least. This time around, Chris Pratt stars in what looks to be an exciting tale. Jurassic World has been open to the public and is a booming theme park but when the scientists create a hybrid dinosaur which gets loose, things take a turn for the worse.

The film hits theaters June 12th.

 

Star Wars: Episode VII

Star Wars fans rejoice, or, well depending on who’s asked, cry because the first trailer for Episode VII is here. While many fans are terrified of what Disney may make of the series, others are hopeful for anything better than Episode I. (Just no more Jar Jar, please.) Titled “The Force Awakens”, the next step in the franchise gave us a lot to look at. New lightsabers, droids, and the beloved Millennium Falcon.

Look for “The Force Awakens” next December.

 

Television

Legend of Korra

I’m back.

LOK will be returning to television as Nickelodeon plans to air the remaining episodes on Nicktoons and online. This is big news since Korra fans have had to watch new episodes exclusively online after LOK was pulled midway through Book 3. You can catch new episodes Friday nights at 9PM (EST). The series wraps up December 19th so catch up if you haven’t because the conclusion to the series will be epic.

Supergirl

Could a network crossover be in the near future?

Looks like we will have another addition to DC television universe as we received word that DC’s next project, Supergirl, will in fact be a part of the same universe as Arrow and The Flash. There will be potential crossovers in the near future and this is especially big news since Supergirl will air on CBS and not the CW. This will not be the first time Kara El, Oliver Queen, and Barry Allen team up on the silver screen as they have all appeared on Smallville in the past.

 

That wraps things up for this week’s notable news. Check back here next week for more news, reviews, and previews!