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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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

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

Legend of Korra: “The Stakeout” Review

After leaving the Metal City, the group is hot on the trails of Aiwei as they look to understand why Zaheer is after Korra.

The team follows Aiwei to a small village called, Misty Palms Oasis. They learn of a planned meeting with Zaheer so they decide to tail Aiwei until Zaheer appears at the meeting. Mako’s police skills were in full effect as he quickly organized the group into teams and continued with plans accordingly. He and Korra have an interesting dynamic as she prefers to be direct and blunt while he is more reserved and patient.

 

Ting Ting

I love how Bolin always provides the comic relief throughout the episode. The undercover identities (Ting Ting), Pai Sho games with Assami, and signing autographs with fans make a less interesting plot bearable. Bolin said it best, “I thought stakeouts were supposed to be fun?” When the group discovers the meeting takes place in the Spirit World, Korra heads in to intercept.

After Zaheer disposes of the loose end, Aiwei, he tells Korra everything she wants to know. We find out Zaheer and his team, along with Unalaq are members of the Red Lotus, a rogue faction broken off from the White Lotus order. In cliche fashion, we learn the Red Lotus and Zaheer are out to restore the world to its natural state, chaos. While that is sort of cheesy, I was very impressed with Zaheer’s ability to not only navigate the Spirit World, but communicate in the Physical World simultaneously. Korra has much to learn if she wishes to combat such a skilled threat.

Zaheer sends “Lava Guy” and “Water Arms” to capture Korra as he distracts her. This provided the only action in the episode as we see Bolin and Mako go toe to toe with the Red Lotus members. They were clearly outmatched as the brothers were quickly knocked unconscious or incapacitated. Why would Bolin jump in a pool of water while battling a Water bender?! Assami appeared to escape with Korra’s body but they are captured by the Earth Queen’s men while Mako and Bolin are being held captive by Zaheer. Looks like the gang is heading back to Ba Sing Se.

Overall, the episode served as a means to push forth the plot. We learned a lot about Zaheer and the Red Lotus and what their plans are. I can’t wait for the next episode to be released!

 

7/10 Bolin Dolls

Legend of Korra “Old Wounds” Review

“Old Wounds” picks up right where things left off in the Metal City. This episode really focused on Chief Beifong and what caused the strain in her relationship with her sister, Suyin.

We get many glimpses in the past through Beifong’s acupuncture therapy. I really enjoyed seeing the effects of Toph’s parenting style on the kids. Lin, seeking attention and acceptance from her mother, follows a similar path and heads into law enforcement. Contrastingly, her sister, Suyin, seeks attention by acting out, which leads to her skipping school and hanging out with criminals. As time progressed, they ended up meeting on opposites sides of the law in Republic City. We find out how Lin gets her scar and why Suyin ended up traveling the world.

Young Lin

 

Back in the present, we see the effects the therapy is having on Lin as she tries to fight her past’s emergence and bury her feelings. Her delusional state causes her to have hallucinations and eventually leads to a sister-sister fight we’ve been waiting for. I loved seeing Beifong pushed over the edge. (Pulled the Tenzin bit out which was a low blow!) There was a lot of great action between the metalbending and earthbending in the courtyard. After it was stopped by the voice of reason, Opal, and Beifong rests for 16 hours(!!) she comes to her senses and squashes her issues with Suyin. It was a nice heart to heart moment and now they’re almost BFF’s.

Round One: FIGHT

Another highlight of the episode was Korra learning to metalbend. THE first Avatar to metalbend! Maybe she’ll learn to bloodbend or the lightning technique. Anyway, she picked it up extremely fast, which really bothered Bolin, who’s tried many times before with no success. I like how Opal and Bolin’s relationship arc is improving as they grow closer and reveal deeper aspirations. I’m sure Bolin will master the techniques soon enough.

 

Achievement unlocked

 

ALSO HOW DID ZAHEER LOCATE KORRA? He knows a lot more than he appears and is capable of a great deal. Can’t wait to find out how!

Highlights

  • Korra Metalbending
  • Sister Sister Fight
  • Bolin and Opal being all cute
  • Zaheer Zen Abilities

 

9/10 Metalbenders

Legend of Korra Book 3 Trailer

Today, a trailer was released for the third season of The Legend of Korra. Let’s take a look!!

 

 

Highlights

Change

This book is titled “Change” and there seems to be so much of that! The new Airbending community seems to be coming along. There were a lot of new characters we haven’t seen before! I’m very curious as to who these new benders are. There were also many shots of bending being used in new ways and one involving molten lava, which looked amazing.

Zuko

We finally got our first glimpse at Firelord Zuko who looks a lot like Avatar Roku, might I add. He still seems to be kicking and pretty spry, bending like he did in TLA.

Boomi

It looks like Boomi is finally joining the bending family!!! OR is it too good to be true?