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.

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.

 

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!

Injustice: Gods Among Us #18 Review

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After significantly weakening the Sinestro Corps., Batman and the Resistance look to push the ground assault into full effect.

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The Green Lanterns had a great plan to draw out the Sinestro Corps and Superman’s forces to meet on the outskirts of Earth. It served a great attack and distract as the ground forces moved into position. Commissioner Gordon’s team quickly gets into position to execute the next part of their plan. Harley Quinn really serves as a wild card who could make or break the operation. Luckily her actions didn’t foil their plans.

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I like that Luthor is always helping out the resistance. If it wasn’t for him, the resistance would have been defeated from the start. He secretly tries to manipulate Cyborg and influence the league members throughout the story and I love seeing Luthor doing something good for humanity’s sake.

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There was a great interaction between Robin and Catwoman as the two are finally reunited after Nightwing’s death. Robin tries to get into Catwoman’s head after she takes out the Flash but she responds well. Damian never truly was a good complimentary partner for Batman.

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After Luthor surrenders, He speaks with Gordon and reveals that he is the inside man along with his knowledge of Oracle’s identity. Gordon prepares for the Air Assault as he pretends to hold Luthor hostage to get aboard the watchtower. I’m really going to enjoy what happens next as Gordon looks to push the fight onto their home territory.

 

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Overall Highlights:

  • Nice consistent artwork
  • Luthor being the good guy!
  • Catwoman punishing Robin

 

8/10 Super Pills

Injustice Year Two #5 Review

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Chapter 5 entitled Confrontation first displays Superman’s backstory as the first half of the chapter focuses on Krypton’s impending doom. I wasn’t a fan of the artwork but  you can really see the emotions of Jor-El and Lara-El before Krypton is destroyed.

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The latter half of the issue focused on the confrontation foreshadowed up until this point. Although the Guardians seek to advise Superman to cease his reign, it’s clear he is well beyond stopping voluntarily. Superman is no longer the beacon of light and morality of his previous years. I like how Superman notes that the Guardians choose to intervene some times while letting things run their course other times. The Guardians could have intervened and possibly saved Krypton but let their leaders do what they thought best. While that could happen on Earth eventually, that is up to the people of Earth to decide. Without Superman.

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Sinestro’s alliance with Superman is clever since he also decided to rule his own planet but was hindered by the Guardians. Sinestro is obviously seeks to display the Guardians in utter most negative light and it works when Superman realizes his planet could have lived. Although Superman mistrusts the Yellow Lantern, he will need him and Superman and Sinestro could be rid of the Guardians in the forthcoming conflict.

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This arc is greatly centered around the heroes outside of Earth with Batman out of commission and will mostly likely lead to a battle between the Guardians/Green Lanterns and Superman. But where will Hal Jordan side? In Issue Four, Jordan lectures Congress on doing their duty and notes how he does his but his allegiance to the Guardians may be diminishing. At the end of the issue, he does leave with the Guardians but I’m not convinced he’s siding against Superman. While sympathizing with former teammates and allies, he’s been leaning with Superman in the end. We’ll see where his allegiance is in the next issue as the GL’s head back to Oa to discuss their course of action.

 

Overall

  • (+) Ganthet being Bad Ass
  • (+) Superman noting flawed logic of the Guardians
  • (-) Decent artwork

6.5/10 GL’s

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!

 

5 DC Animated Films That Should Happen

With Justice League: War releasing on DVD and Bluray February 4th, a new era of DC Animated movies will begin. War is an adaptation of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Origin arc of the Justice League’s formation and battle against Darkseid. The New 52 has had other great story lines that would be great as animated movies. Here are five comic arcs I’d love to see as future animated films!

Court of Owls/City of Owls- Batman

Written by Scott Snyder & Drawn by Greg Capullo

The New 52 launched Batman fighting different villains aside from the Usual Joker, Riddler, or Penguin. The Court of Owls, a secret society that has been around as long as Gotham, was once a children’s tale but Batman soon comes to realize how real they are. When Bruce Wayne and numerous prominent city officials are attacked the Court’s assassinators, the Talons, it takes everything Batman has in him to stop them and save Gotham.

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What makes these arcs great, which could be made into a two part movie deal, is that Batman is tested in every way possible. The sheer number of Talon’s and the Court’s grasp on the city make Batman’s task that much more difficult. The arc also crosses over into the various Bat titles and we even find out a certain Boy Wonder was supposed to be a Talon.

The First Born- Wonder Woman 

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Written by Brian Azzarello & Drawn by

The New 52’s Wonder Woman has been brilliant. It’s an independent comic book with one great story arc essentially. The writing is humorous and you come to care about the characters and the mythology behind them.

Shortly after we see Zeus’ last born child, we find out the God is dead and there is a battle for the throne of Olympus. Wonder Woman is charged with protecting the baby and his mother Zola from harm since the Gods fear a prophecy which states the child would be the demise of Olympus. IF that wasn’t difficult enough, the First Born child of Zeus escapes and WW has to battle him!

What’s Great about the series

  • Wonder Woman battling Hades, Poseidon, Apollo, the First Born
  • The Greek Mythology
  • Strong Female Character

Death of the Family- Batman

Written by Scott Snyder & Drawn by Greg Capullo

The return of the Joker in the New 52 is nothing short of spectacular. The prelude begins with the Joker being imprisoned, escaping, and a present being left in his cell, his face. After a year long absence, the Joker is just as twisted as ever, if not more and returns to Gotham reliving memorable battles against Batman. The events that ensue involve everyone Batman cares about as the Joker tries to eliminate what he deems Batman’s weakness.

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The whole Bat Family is in danger with Joker loose and scheming. This would be a very adult story but great none the less. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you get to it so you can see how brilliant yet sick the Joker truly is.

Death of a King- Aquaman

Initially I was going to put Throne of Atlantis but I believe that will be made or is being made into the next DCA film. The arc that follows is just as good so it substitutes well. At any rate, the Death of a King explains the origin of Atlantis, the first king, and Aquaman’s true affiliation with the throne. The First King comes back to claim what is his and Arthur learns the truth hidden from all of Atlantis.

Geoff Johns run on Aquaman was amazing and really gave the character the respect he deserves. Most have a new found appreciation for Aquaman and that is a big reason why Arthur Curry should get the movie treatment DC’s Trinity has.

Forever Evil

With the appearance of the Crime Syndicate, Earth 3’s evil Justice League counterparts, and the subsequent disappearance of the Justice League, the world spirals into chaos. An unlikely team of surviving heroes and villains band together to end the Crime Syndicate’s reign.

Earth’s Hope

What’s Great about the Series

  • Lex Luthor, Batman, and other villains battling for Earth’s Survival
  • Forever Evil Tie ins: A.R.G.U.S., Arkham War, and Rogues Rebellion
  • Legitimate Consequences

I think this would be a great animated movie since it doesn’t focus on the usual popular characters as much. It would be refreshing for the focus to be less on the main members of the Justice League and more towards antiheroes like Lex Luthor and company.