Batman: The Killing Joke Movie Review

batman-the-killing-joke-2016-movie-poster

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.

batman-the-killing-joke

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.

batman-killing-joke-movie-dvd-blu-ray

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.

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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 10.07.20 AM.png

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.

batman-v-superman-the-complete-guide-to-frank-miller-dark-knight

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.

batman-v-superman-trinity
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.

 

New Superhero Movie Trailers Released

If the Superbowl did anything to entertain most people, it was during the commercials. We saw a new Marvel Phase 2 movie trailer, Amazing Spiderman, and a short Transformers spot as well. Take a look below!

 Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

 

The film looks pretty good! Marvel continues to reel out top notch films for the Marvel Universe.

 

 

The Amazing Spiderman 2

 

A pretty lengthy trailer with what appears to be a great performance from Jamie Foxx.

 

Transformers: Age of Extinction

 

 

Mark Walhberg stars in the fourth installment of the Transformers series.

 

Eisenberg Cast as Lex Luthor in MOS Sequel

When I first got word that Lex Luthor had been casted in the upcoming MOS sequel I hoped I misread the text. While many were hoping for Heisenberg (Bryan Cranston) the news came as a shocker when Jesse Eisenberg was reported to have the role. Talk about odd casting. 

Eisenberg, 30, is known for playing Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, roles in Adventureland, and Now You See Me. Director Zack Snyder definitely has pitted a young Lex Luthor to play opposite of Henry Cavill’s inexperienced Superman.

Zack Snyder had this to say about the casting:

“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

The Next Lex Luthor

The internet is raging once again as the casting options for Batman vs. Superman become stranger and stranger. Of course, there is an expected initial backlash but Eisenberg, really? While he has played “devilish geniuses with god complexes” before, I don’t think that’s what Lex Luthor ultimately is. Luthor is egotistical, highly intelligent, and xenophobic but he does also want the success of mankind by mankind. (He being the savior of mankind by ridding the world of Superman) Lex is a complicated character who isn’t the typical villain and I hope Eisenberg can handle the complexities of the character and the relationship he holds with Superman.

Jeremy Irons has been cast as Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Irons, 65, is an Oscar Winner and is remembered for such roles in Reversal of Fortune, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, and Dead Ringers. I can picture Irons portraying a seasoned Alfred. He may in fact live up to Michael Caine’s portrayal of the butler in Nolan’s Bat Trilogy.

Batman vs. Superman is slated to release May 6, 2016 and has already begun production. Check back for more updates on the film and casting news!

 

Will Wonder Woman Origin Story Change in Batman vs Superman?

In the latest rumor about the Man of Steel sequel, Wonder Woman may have a change in her origin story. Wonder Woman comes from Themyscira, a hidden island full of Amazons, and was discovered after Steve Trevor crash landed on that island. Her origin is infused with Greek mythology and a lot of her villains are demigods and gods. But would that origin fit into a more grounded Man of Steel universe? The direction looks to continue along the path of unrealistic but semi plausible so there has been recent speculation that her origin may change. I repeat speculation ensues.

galwonder

Batman-on-film, site with reliable sources, believes Gal Godot may play Wonder Woman who is a descendant of Krypton. BOF proprietor Jeff Ramey was asked about Wonder Woman’s role in the sequel and her origin story.

“I’d bet a year’s pay – in MONOPOLY money, of course – that the ‘Amazons’ of this cinematic DCU will be descendants of those ‘ancient Kryptonians’ who attempted to set up Kryptonian outposts throughout spacedom thousands and thousands of years ago. Furthermore, I say that Wonder Woman will be powered-down, if you will, relative to Superman because these Amazons have evolved and adapted to living on Earth for hundreds of centuries. And since Kryptonians are produced without any “He’n and She’n” – Jor El and Lara excluded – couldn’t this original Kryptonian on Earth have used this reproductive science to create an all-female race? I say yes!”

So you're Kryptonian too?

So you’re Kryptonian too?

Once again speculation, but is it possible that that will be the direction things go towards? I would like to have her origin explained some other way. Her being a powered down Kryptonian has upset some fans already. The first live action film adaptation of a major character in the DC universe shouldn’t have the origin butchered and altered completely. Hasn’t Wonder Woman suffered enough? Failed TV show. Underrated Animated Film. There’s already a lot of pressure to do things right for a character who means so much to the fans. Batman was redeemed with the Nolan Trilogy. Supe’s reboot was an improvement. Make WW origin/adapted cameo role something to be proud of, people!!

wonder-woman-being-cast-for-batman-vs-superman-header

Now although things could change, that doesn’t mean it can’t work. IT does make sense that WW could be a descendant of Krypton. The magic element may be removed or replace with “science”. Ancient civilizations may perceive the super humans to be demigods so that could work. Wonder Woman could explain how the matrix bred only female offspring which then went on to be known as Amazons.  The path of realism has already been set and although WW origin is full of mythos and magic, some of it may need to change to fit into this universe.

Girls Only

Girls Only

While the speculation circles the web, we’ll have to wait for future updates and news on Batman vs. Superman. The film has a scheduled release date of July 17th 2015.

Batman vs Superman Wonder Woman Gal Gadot

Superman vs. Batman Casting Rumors

Recently the Rock was asked a question on Twitter regarding his involvement in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel, Batman vs Superman.

The-Rock-DC-Superhero-Lobo

rock_as_loboInitial casting rumors discuss The Rock playing a bounty hunter named Lobo. Lobo is known for his tough guy mentality and has a bit of humor in him. The Rock has the size and attitude to play a character like Lobo but I’m hesitant to say whether or not that would be who he gets cast to play. (If at all considering his tweet is vague) The Rock has been rumored for many other villains and some heroes as well for the MOS sequel.

Doomsday, an abomination with superhuman strength that killed Superman, is also rumored to be a character the Rock may portray. Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa has been rumored for that character and Martian Manhunter as well. Both could be good fits if Doomsday appears in the film. Maybe Lex Luthor is working along with Cadmus and that involves Doomsday’s release? Who knows.

Doomsdaymomoa

The Rock has been thrown around with the iconic villain Lex Luthor as well. Others tied with the Lexicorp President are Joaquin Phoenix and  Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston. I would love to see Cranston take on this role. He has played villainous but likable characters in the past and he would portray a character with legitimate fears (reliance on superheroes to survive) that takes measures to “protect humanity”.

cranston

The film being known has “Batman vs. Superman” has a much more expanded cast already as more and more people are cast to play superheroes. It may be better fit to entitle the film something involving the Justice League. As we know, Gal Godot will be playing Wonder Woman. There has already been some backlash because of the casting but it will be interesting to see how she will fit into this universe and film.gal-gadot-wonder-woman-slice

To many fans horrors, Batman will be portrayed by Ben Affleck. He could be a good fit in this universe, you never know. Plus, Dare Devil was ten years ago and Affleck has proven he is a capable actor and writer/director.

Exactly

Exactly

The appearance of a Green Lantern in the film has surfaced around the web. Denzel Washington is rumored to play John Stewart. I’d rather see Idris Elba play the third Green Lantern from Earth. Fans have made posters with Elba as the character and he has expressed interest in playing the part.

Make this Happen!!

Make this Happen!!

With the Trinity already cast and rumors on numerous villains and heroes alike, the film definitely looks to establish some sort of team to match Marvel’s Avengers. The film is slated to release July 15th 2015. man-of-steel-2-superman-vs-batman