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.

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.

AMC

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.

via AMC

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.

RIP?

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

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.

 

 

Legend of Korra “Remembrances” Review

With the epic buildup to the final confrontation between Korra and Kuvira brewing, last week’s episode brings us one step, no, two steps backwards and frankly, completely away from the season’s clash. Remembrances was a sort of clip show essentially bringing us back up to speed. The episode mainly focused on retelling the past seasons through the point of views of Mako, Korra and Asami, and Varrick and Bolin.

 

Mako and Wu

“Wu down!!”

While teaching Wu how to protect himself in the event that he is attacked again, Mako makes note of how Wu knows very little of him so story time ensues. It was enjoyable to here Mako’s telling of his relationships with Korra and Asami respectively and even more enjoyable hearing Wu chime in. Wu was hitting many points the audience thought watching the previous seasons which I though was nice of the creators to take a jab at themselves with the audience’s feedback. The cartoony aspect of the segment made things a little more lighthearted in a more serious, darker season arc.

 

Korra and Asami

The episode then shifts to the two strong female leads of the show and fizzles here. Korra expresses her uncertainty and fear which she has fed us time and time again. It was redundant to hear her relay the same feelings. She has grown tremendously but her mindset has been stagnant in that sense.

 

Varrick and Bolin

“Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, kid!”

My favorite duo to watch so far throughout the season and episode would have to be Varrick and Bolin! While on the boat with the rebels heading North, the group is telling stories and Varrick pitches his new mover idea. The telling of Bolin’s life through the eyes of Varrick was hilarious! Bolin as Nuktuk or Nuktuk playing Bolin fighting Korra’s enemies was pretty funny and the tweaked animation and dialogue added some freshness to the flashbacks. The dialogue between Varrick and Bolin throughout definitely generated a few laughs and the fact that everyone loved the story except Bolin was pretty good too.

 

Overall

Co-creator Bryan Konietzko did release a statement via Tumblr explaining the reason for the oddly placed episode:

“We got the news from the higher-ups that our Book Four budget was getting slashed, almost to the tune of an entire episode’s budget,” he wrote. “We had two options: 1) let go a significant number of crew members several weeks early, or 2) make a clips episode. We never considered the first option.”

While the episode shifted focus completely, it did have its moments. We saw a lot of recap and the plot was not advanced much but there were many times that kept us laughing and interested.

 

7/10 Wu’s

Fall Television Lineup Preview

This fall will have some great new seasons for some of our favorite shows and promising premieres as well. Check out some of the shows I’ll be looking out for!

Gotham

With Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy complete and Zack Snyder’s take on the Dark Knight a ways off, we’ll have to pass the time with this version of Bruce Wayne and Gotham. The show follows a Gotham before the time of the Batman and will focus mainly on a young Jim Gordon. This era in the Batman mythos has rarely been depicted across any medium so it’s exciting that we will get a look at some of the major characters before they become who they’re known as. “Gotham” stars Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, and Jada Pinkett Smith as a character known as Fish Mooney.

 

“Gotham” premieres September 22nd on FOX.

 

The Legend of Korra Book Four: Balance

Recently, the title of Book Four was released for the hit Nickelodeon show. What surprised fans most was how soon the new season would be airing since Book Three just finished a few weeks ago. Book Three featured some of the best bending, story lines, and character development throughout the entire series and the season finale was nothing but spectacular. Korra looks to restore balance to the world which was left in a chaotic state after Zaheer and the Red Lotus sought to end the world’s order.

 

You can find the new season of “The Legend of Korra” on nick.com and the first episode will air October 3rd.

 

The Flash

The CW seems to have replicated the formula used on “Arrow” and looks to start their fall lineup strong with the spinoff series “The Flash”. The show will follow one of the most popular Flash characters, Barry Allen as he defends Central City against evil. After a short stint on “Arrow”, Grant Gustin returns to the role as the speedster once again and will be given the chance to really shine in the role.

 

“The Flash” premieres October 7th on the CW.

 

Arrow Season 3

The fan favorite will be returning with this third much anticipated season. Oliver Queen looks to rebuild Starling City in the aftermath of Deathstroke’s attack. Stephen Amell returns as the Green Arrow and continues his crusade as the city’s infamous vigilante. We’ll also be introduced to the likes of Ra’s al Ghul and many other villains.

 

Catch “Arrow” on October 8th on the CW.

 

The Walking Dead Season 5

“The Walking Dead” has drawn quite the audience over the years for its action, character development, and well, zombies. The fifth season picks up right where the last left off. Rick and company are still being held in the mysterious Terminus. This season will definitely be entertaining as the group is no longer safe and are now at the mercy of these deadly people. Will everyone make it out alive?

 

You can catch “The Walking Dead” on AMC and the season five will premiere October 12th.

The Legend of Korra “The Ultimatum” Review

As Ba Sing Se falls into chaos after the Earth Queen’s demise, Mako and Bolin must find Korra to deliver a message from Zaheer.

Zaheer removed the Earth Queen from power in a pretty brutal way last episode and the aftermath resulted in the city rioting. Guards and citizens alike can be seen looting everywhere as Mako and Bolin search for a way out of Ba Sing Se. The duo makes a short stop to retrieve their family and head off to find Korra. Bolin is known for his humor and lightheartedness but relays some insight into what makes a home a home. It was a nice switch from his usual jokes.

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The gang reunites and heads to the Metal City to warn the Northern Air Temple that Zaheer is on his way. I thought it was cool how everyone contributed something to help stop Zaheer. Korra’s trip to the Spirit World was not what she intended but she did meet a special friend who pointed her in the right direction. Lord Zuko and Korra’s discussion on what Aang would do didn’t prove too helpful to me. He pretty much played both sides of the coin in his response. I really like that Korra is without her former lives advice. It makes all her decisions her decisions. She has to use her own judgment to solve the world’s problems. Once the Northern Air Temple was reached, Tenzin relays that it’s too late. Now the episode really gets good.

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Zaheer rounds up the Air Benders but Tenzin does everything in his power to save the day. There are some beautiful action sequences which really display the movements of each Bender. Tenzin moves like a leaf on the wind while battling Zaheer, who sort of airjumps from spot to spot. Kya and Boomi both try to hold their own against Zaheer’s companions but both prove outmatched.

Kai tries to distract Combustion Woman so the Air Bender could reach the bison but is unable to distract her long enough. I wondered who was steering the Air Ship since she was near the hangar door. Also, why didn’t the Air benders air bend to safety? They could have air jumped to the bison or split up to confuse her. At any rate, everyone is defeated but Tenzin, who had Zaheer on the ropes. If he wasn’t jumped, I think Tenzin would have been able to hold off Zaheer long enough, if not defeat him. He truly is an Air bending master although in the past I’ve questioned his abilities. I really enjoyed Tenzin’s “Til the last breath mentality”. He had no intentions of standing down.

Korra and Team Avatar will be heading to meet Zaheer in the Northern Air Temple and I can’t wait to see what Zaheer has in store for Korra.

 

Overall Points:

  • Some great dialogue from Bolin
  • Tenzin really proves his mastery of Air Bending
  • Beautiful fight scenes

 

8.5/10 Flying Bison