Movie Review: Batman vs. Robin (2015)

Hi. I’m Markus. I like DC animated movies. And now I’m gonna talk about one. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman vs. Robin”.

It’s been a while since Batman (Jason O’Mara) found out that he has a mildly homicidal son (Stuart Allan), and he’s having some trouble trying to raise him while also trying to save Gotham. And not only does he have trouble with his son, but his life is made even more difficult when a mysterious organization called The Court of Owls comes to town to cause trouble. So now we have our Batman story. And I’m not gonna lie, I thought that the story was really good. For the most part it’s a drama focusing on the struggling relationship between Bruce and Damien, and I found myself quite engaged in that stuff as the plot went along. I was a bit afraid that the Court of Owls part of the plot would make it all feel overstuffed or unfocused, but it was integrated into the plot really well, even being woven into the family drama part quite well. Yeah, this is a really solid plot.

What I like about (most of) the characters here is that the plot made them interesting and worth caring about. Jason O’Mara of course returns as Batman and he still kills it as the voice of our favorite Nocturnal Rodent Person. Just like in “Son of Batman”, Stuart Allan voices Damien Wayne, the dangerous son of Bruce Wayne. And while Damien could be a bit of mixed bag in the other movie, I really liked him in this. He’s still a bit of a brat, but they’ve done enough to make him feel a bit more layered. And Stuart Allan is really good as Damien. Then we have Sean Maher who returns as Nightwing, and he’s still a lot of fun compared to the moody Bruce. But he’s not just there for laughs as he plays a vital part in it. And Maher is great as Nightwing. David McCallum returns as Alfred, and he’s still the butler that we all know and love. But seriously, this Alfred is great and McCallum is great as the voice. Then we have Jeremy Sisto (who once voice Batman) as Talon, the Court of Owls member get to know the most throughout the movie. He’s a fairly interesting character that we get to learn some interesting stuff about. And Sisto is really good in the role. And the final one I want to mention is that we get Kevin Conroy (motherfucking Batman) in a flashback as Thomas Wayne. If that isn’t an awesome casting, then I don’t know what is. Anyway, I just wanted to mention that. Oh, and Weird Al Yankovic voices The Dollmaker, and I didn’t recognize his voice at all (yeah, he’s great). Overall, this is a great cast.

The score for the movie was composed by DC animation regular Frederik Wiedmann who once again gave us a really solid score. Sure, some tracks are your typical bombastic, heroic, action-y tunes that just sort of pass through. But then we have a couple of other tracks that take a more dramatic approach to make an attempt at elevating the emotion of certain scenes, and for the most part he succeeds pretty well. There’s also one track (can’t find it) heard early on that sounds like something right out of a horror movie, and it’s awesome. So yeah, the score is great.

The movie was directed by Jay Oliva and his directing here has a lot of energy to it, but he still let’s the quieter moments sink in a bit too. Which is probably why this is 80 minutes, compared to the usual 75. As for the animation, it’s good. Not the best that DC has pumped out, but it still looks pretty good. It especially comes alive during the action scenes where movement is fast, fluid, and just looks really cool. And the action here is overall a lot of fun.

This movie barely has any data on my usual sites. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating (based on only 5 reviews). On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

My expectation weren’t the highest for “Batman vs. Robin”, but I can happily say that it is a really good entry in the DC animated movie universe. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing/animation. Time for my final score. *I’m Batman*. My final score for “Batman vs. Robin” is a 9,55/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Batman vs. Robin” is now completed.

Batman as Batman’s dad… clever.

Movie Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

I guess now was a good a time as any to watch this movie and review it as I didn’t last year when it came out. And I mean, I could technically use this as a sort of lead-up to “Justice League” later this month. Fuck it, moving onto the review.

Ladies and gents, what are we, some kind of… “Suicide Squad”.

When a supernatural entity threatens to wipe a lot of stuff out, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides to put together a team of criminals to try to stop the evil shit. So now we have our action movie plot. So is it any good? Difficult to give a hard answer. On the one hand, unlike “BvS”, it doesn’t have a thousand plot threads that get all tangled up, making it feel a bit more streamlined. And there are some decent ideas throughout the plot, but the overall execution feels a bit weak. I was interested enough to keep watching, but I never felt truly invested in the plot in any way. The stakes were high(ish), but it never felt like that. The plot here was… eh.

The characters in this range from interesting to duller than dishwater. Will Smith plays Deadshot, the most accurate marksman in the DC universe. Out of all the characters in this, he’s given the most development, and I found myself actually kind of caring about him. And Will Smith is really good in the role. Margot Robbie plays Harley Quinn, psychiatrist turned crazy person. She’s given some decent development, and she’s pretty enjoyable. And Robbie is really good in the role. Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, the take-no-shit-from-no-one woman who puts together this squad. And like her comic/cartoon counterparts, she’s tougher than tough and kind of badass even if some things involving her in the movie are kinda dumb. But David was great in the role. Then we have Joel Kinnaman as Colonel Rick Flag, the non-criminal member of the squad. And while they try to give him some emotional weight in this, he is quite bland and I didn’t care about him. And Kinnaman is just… fine here. Jared Leto as the god damn Joker… I see the potential in him, there are bright spots in his performance, showing that he could be a good Joker. But his rather brief appearance and less than stellar writing doesn’t exactly help him out. But overall I guess he’s fine… could’a cut him out of the movie. Jay Hernandez (who should return to “The Expanse”, please and thank you) plays Diablo, a troubled man with fire powers. He is given a decent emotional core and I thought his character was pretty interesting. And Hernandez was good in the role. Then we have Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. One of my least favorite actors as a character I have a hard time taking seriously. And somehow, against all odds, I actually enjoyed his appearance in this movie. He was a less serious character than some of the others, and I thought he was entertaining. So yeah, Courtney is surprisingly good in this (who’da thought?). Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays Killer Croc, and he gets sidelined for most of the movie… he does almost nothing here. And he’s… meh in the role, mainly due to writing/sidelining. Cara Delevingne plays Enchantress, the villain of the movie (there, I said it). She is clearly supposed to be a somewhat complex and interesting villain, but she just comes off as a dancing idiot. And Delevingne is… okay in the role. Then we have Karen Fukuhara as Katana, she’s got my back, I would advice not getting killed by her, her sword traps the souls of it’s victims. That is an actual exposition dump from this movie. And while she sounds kind of badass, she’s sidelined here. Does jack fucking shit in the grand scheme of things. So I can’t exactly comment on Fukuhara’s performance here other than saying that I think she was fine… I guess. Also, this movie waste’s a couple good actors. David Harbour, Common, Scott Eastwood, Kenneth Choi… wasted. But overall the movie is pretty well acted.

The score for the movie was composed by Steven Price and it was fine. Typical orchestral stuff with some mild electronic sounds thrown in every now and then. Not bad, not great… good. Worked decently well in some scenes, didn’t do much for others. They also used a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout the movie, from The Animals to Skrillex. Some tracks were used pretty well throughout, actually kind of fitting the scene. Other times it feels like they chose some random tracks to throw in… strangely enough it is the tracks pertaining to my music tastes that mainly felt out of place. So overall this movie has some good music.

This movie was written and directed by David Ayer, but edited by Warner Bros. I say this because I can tell that David Ayer directed a tight(ish) and interesting action movie, and then some WB people came in and edited a lot of it. Parts feel like they’ve been cut to pieces, missing key parts. And then during certain scenes there are these weird edits thrown in that the execs probably thought were “cool”, but just came off as obnoxious and annoying. As for the action in this action movie, it’s not bad… mostly. The battle(s) in the streets aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re still pretty entertaining. The action in dark, close quarters offices were… okay, I guess. The final encounter… not very good, could barely see what was going on. So the action here ranges from good to… shit. As for humor (since they wanted to attempt that here), it is okay. Some jokes land, some don’t. The CGI in this movie is also like that. Some of it looks awesome, and some wasn’t good.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 25% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10. The movie won 1 Oscar (wut?) in the category of Best makeup and hair. 

“Suicide Squad” is… fine. It has a meh plot, okay characters, good performances, good music, good(ish) directing, weird editing, and okay humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Suicide Squad” is a 6,22/10. While heavily flawed, I’d say that it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Suicide Squad” is now completed.

Since I’m in the middle, will both sides of the argument hate me now?

Movie Review: Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

I absolutely love DC animation. Whether it is their direct-to-video movies or their shows, the DC animated stuff will always have a place in my heart. But sometimes even great people make mistakes.

Ladies and gents… “Batman and Harley Quinn”.

When plant-based villains Poison Ivy (Paget Brewster) and the Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson) team up to try to turn everything into plants, Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (Loren Lester) are forced to team up with Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch) to try and stop the shrubby scoundrels. And while this could be a fun plot on paper, in execution it is quite bad. It’s awkward and is filled with weird tonal shifts. For the most part it is meant as a screwball comedy (which doesn’t work), but then at times it tries to be a serious and dramatic continuation of “Batman: The Animated Series” (hence the weird tonal shifts). And none of it works. Not on their own, and not together. It’s all awkward, dull, and not fun. It’s a bad plot.

The characters are for the most part portrayed as they should be and on a purely surface level work just fine. But in the long run they feel off. And that has nothing to do with the actors, but more with the writing. Kevin Conroy of course does an excellent job voicing Batman (because he IS Batman). He works for the most part, because he’s portrayed as Batman should, but then there are moments that feel weirdly out of character. Melissa Rauch voices Harley Quinn in this, and her general delivery is good, she makes a fine Harley Quinn. Problem is that the lines she’s given are awful and cringe-worthy. They try to make her funny and charming and relatable, but she just comes off as annoying. Loren Lester does a good job as Nightwing, being the more lighthearted side of the Batfamily coin. But like with Harley (and the other characters in this movie), the writing for him is foten bad and quite off. Paget Brewster as Posion Ivy, she was good, but writing was off. Kevin Michael Richardson was of course great as Floronic Man, but his writing was quite off (you notice a pattern here?). And that’s really the theme here. Good performances, bad writing.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, and Kristopher Carter. And it was… okay. While some tracks here were okay and even catchy, they often felt off. They clearly wanted to emulate the old animated “Batman” series with most things here, but the score here never really captured that. It just felt off. Though I have to admit, hearing voice actor Rob Paulsen sing “Don’t Pull Your Love” was quite fun. Weird, but fun.

This movie was directed by DC animation veteran Sam Liu, and meeeeeeh. The animation here looks kind of bad. It looks cheap(er than usual) and often looks stiff and awkward. It also lacks a lot of the detail from the old animated series. If you’re going to emulate that old style, make sure you get a lot of the detail and nuance that was featured in that art style. This looks kind of bad. Action scenes flow okay though, looking fine. And let’s talk about the humor since this is intended in large part as a comedy… it’s so unfunny. I think I chuckled at one point, but other than that I didn’t laugh at all. It was cringey and awkward and bad. Christ…

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 57% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

Like I said in the beginning, I love DC animation… But “Batman and Harley Quinn” is bad, and I can’t really justify any aspect of it. It has a bad plot, meh characters, good performances, okay music, meh animation/direction, and unfunny humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Batman and Harley Quinn” is a 4,22/10. So yeah, it’s bad. Skip it.

My review of “Batman and Harley Quinn” is now done.

Having to say bad things about DC animation hurts my soul.

Movie Review: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

“The Lego Movie” is one of the most surprising movies ever. The idea of having a feature length movie about Lego just sounds like the most blatant piece of product placement ever… which it still technically was. But it actually had great writing, direction, and acting, so it turned out to be kind of awesome. So let’s see if the second movie in the (not officially titled) Lego Cinematic Universe is any good.

Ladies and gents… “The Lego Batman Movie”.

The many villains of Gotham are out to once again wreak havoc, and it’s up to Batman (Will Arnett) to stop them! But it’s not just another “Bats stopping bad guys” story, as we also follow him as he goes through some family issues after he accidentally adopts Dick Grayson (Michael Cera). So now we have our family-friendly adventure. And the plot here wasn’t just a silly and fun adventure, as it shows a surprising emotional core in the Batman family issues side of things. Because of what happened to Bruce in the past, he is afraid to get attached to anyone in case of him potentially losing them, but he’s too proud to show it. So you get a fun and fast-paced Batventure combined with a surprisingly investing family story, filled with lots of heart.

The characters in this are fun, entertaining, and relaly interesting. Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne from “The Lego Movie” and he just kills it! This version of Batman is very self-centered, with an ego the size of Norta Dakota. He always talks about how awesome he is, but he also goes through a pretty surprising character arc. And really, I just can’t stress enough how awesome Will Arnett is as Batman. Michael Cera plays Robin in this movie, and from the trailers he almsot seemed like he could get a little too much based on how energetic and excitable he was. But he was actually a really fun and endearing character that I found myself caring about, and Cera was great in the role. Ralph Fiennes plays Alfred in this, and he jsut nails it as the character. There’s nothing unique about him compared to other Alfred’s we’ve seen before, but the lines he’s given and his deadpan delivery is just great. Rosario Dawson plays Barbara Gordon and what is there to say, really? She’s tough, she’s smart, she’s Rosario Awesome. Zach Galifianakis plays Joker in this and I think he’s good in the role. The character has a fun and important role in the story, and he was overall fun, but it’s mainly his voice that didn’t sit that well with me. I like Galifianakis, and I get that there’s only one Mark Hamill, but I feel like the voice here was a bit too… normal to work for the Joker. Again, Galifianakis was overall good in the role. And then there’s… I don’t exactly want to spoil it, and I can’t sit here and list every character that pops up, so I’m just gonna list some of the people doing voices here, because there are plenty of great names here. Though I will mention, Two-Face is played by Billy Dee Williams, and if you don’t get the significance of that… then you should go back and watch the 1989 “Batman” movie. Anyway, here’s the cast list: Zoë Kravitz, Conan O’Brien, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Eddie Izzard, Doug Benson, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindholme, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Hector Elizondo… and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Lorne Balfe and it was great. It was big, bombastic, epic, and just badass. It’s the perfect type of music for a “Batman” movie as it takes elements of the scores from various “Batman” movies. And I liked that. There’s also some new songs created for this movie that were quite fun. None as catchy as “Everything is Awesome”, but I feel like none of them would get on my nerves as easily as that one. Then there’s also a bunch of licensed tracks that are used very well throughout.

This movie, unlike “The Lego Movie”, was not directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Instead it was directed by Chris McKay who is currently slated to direct the live action “Nightwing” movie. And I think McKay did an excellent job with the direction. This movie is so fast-paced and filled with energy that I never felt bored or out of it at any point. There was something interesting happening every second, and that kept me invested and energized. And the animation, mother of god, it is fucking amazing. It is of course done in the same stop motion-esque style that “The Lego Movie” was done in, and it is just so fun to look at. The animation especially shines in the action scenes, something there’s plenty of, keeping any kiddos watching interested. And seeing as this is a comedy, let’s talk about the humor. I laughed a lot in this movie, there’s joke after joke after joke here, rarely giving you time to breathe between them. For the most part it uses the humor to oke fun at Batman’s history, but not in a “HA, this is dumb!” kind of way. It’s a sort of loving tribute to the Caped Crusader and his many iterations, done in the way of satire/spoof. And it’s all funny, at various levels of laughter. There are also references to other pieces of pop culture, and those are really fun too.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 75/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Lego Batman” movie is an incredibly fun animated movie with loads of heart. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, fantastic directing/animation, and great humor. Time for my final score. *I’M BATMAN!*. My final score for “The Lego Batman Movie” is a 9,78/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Lego Batman Movie” is now completed.

DARKNESS, NO PARENTS, CONTINUED DARKNESS.

Movie Review: Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)

As most, if not all of you probably know, Adam West sadly passed away last week at the age of 88. Whether you knew him from “Batman”, “Family Guy”, “The Detectives”, or something else, you can’t deny the impact he’s had on pop culture. So to commemorate this great man, I want to talk about the last thing he did as the Caped Crusader… other than the upcoming animated movie “Batman vs. Two-Face”, but that is not important right now.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders”.

Bruce Wayne (Adam West, R.I.P) and Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) have to suit up once again to stop their enemies who have teamed up to do villain stuff. So now Batman and Robin will have to once again stop the fiends. And this is basically a continuation of the 1960s “Batman” series. Especially the first half which is exactly like an animated version of a classic “Batman” episode, but with more action. Then during the second hald they do something quite interesting that plays around a bit more with the plot. Without spoiling too much, Batman starts going through some changes during the second half which becomes the primary plot thing during that part. And I’m not really sure what to say about it. There is fun to be had there, especially with some of the visuals and lines, but overall it’s quite a weird shift from that first part. So really I’d say that the overall plot in this movie is fine. It’s entertaining enough, and the pacing is good, but something just feels a bit off about it.

The characters are just as cartoony (HA!) as in the 60s show and they’re simply entertaining and for the most part well performed. Adam West (may he rest in peace), while sounding quite old, knocks it out of the park, you can tell that he still had that energy that he had back in the 60s, which makes his performance so enjoyable. Burt Ward once gain brings a sense of fun to Robin, which I quite enjoyed. Julie Newmar, yeah, she was okay. She didn’t sound quite like she used to, and overall her performance wasn’t great… it was fine. Since Cesar Romero has been dead for years, Jeff Bergman had to take over Joker duties, and he just nails it. William Salyers did the voice of Penguin in this and he was great. Riddler was played by… Wally Wingert? Huh, I guess that since he was a great Riddler in the “Arkham” gams he got to do it here… and he was great here. Jim Ward did the voice of Commissioner Gordon in this and he’s great. Alfred in this was voiced by Steven Weber, and I didn’t recognize his voice here… yeah, he was quite good. Thomas Lennon as chief O’Hara, he was good. Lynne Marie Stewart as Aunt Harriet, she was good. Overall, it’s well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion, with some of the tracks of course being new arrangements of Neal Hefti’s classic tracks… and this music is just classic “Batman”. It has that fun and jazzy feel of the 60s show, and it’s just awesome to hear. It just perfectly captures the feel of the 1966 series.

This movie was directed by Rick Morales and it’s overall very well handled. Everything has a nice flow to it and the animation (direct-to-video budget standards) is good. Everything design-wise is just straight up the 1960s show. And since this is animated and not live action, they have a lot more freedom with what they can do and it shows that they decided to have as much fun as possible with this version of Bats. There are plenty of fun visuals done here, both in the sense of just normal fun, and some as references/jokes. Speaking of which, this is quite funny. Lovingly poking fun at the old show and even a little bit at some of the newer and darker iterations of the character. It has the campy style of the old show while still being self-aware enough to have some fun with it.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating. On Metacritic it does exist, but it has no score to it. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” is a lot of fun, at least if you enjoy the classic show to some extent. It has a good plot, great characters, really good performances, great music, and really good animation. The only problem is that something feels off about the plot from that weird shift in the second half. Time for my final score. *Nana nana nana nana*. My final score for “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” is an 8,99/10. While flawed, I’d say that it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” is now completed.

As fun as it is seeing those comic book hit things (wham, bonk, bam, etc.), nothing will ever beat this classic.

Movie Review: Son of Batman (2014)

I’ve told you how I love watching DC animated movies so many times before, so let’s just jump into the review.

Ladies and gents… “Son of Batman”.

On a night like any other, Batman (Jason O’Mara) gets a visit from Talia al Ghul (Morena Baccarin) who tells him that he has a son named Damian (Stuart Allan). So now Batman has to take care of his troublesome son while also looking into a case that seems to involve Kirk Langstrom (Xander Berkeley) and possibly even Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson). And this plot was… fine. While I like the idea of Batman finding out he has a bloodthirsty son that he has to take care of, I never really felt that invested in the plot. It was entertaining and I never thought it was poorly told, but it wasn’t as investing as it could have been.

The characters in this, while not the deepest, were pretty interesting and really entertaining. I’ve said it before and I’m gonna say it again, Jason O’Mara is great as Batman… not much else I can say there, he’s great. Stuart Allan plays Damian in this movie and I think he did a really good job. Firstly, he’s actually young, so he actually sounds like a kid. And secondly, he portrayed the vengeful, entitled, and angry feel of the character very well. Morena Baccarin was really good as Talia al Ghul. David McCallum did a really good job voicing Alfred. Xander Berkeley was really good as Kirk Langstrom. Thomas Gibson did a pretty good job as Deathstroke. He wasn’t bad per se, but I feel like his voice didn’t fit the character too well. Nightwing also pops up in the movie, voiced by Sean Maher. And I think he did a really good job as the character. So overall I’d say that the cast is really solid.

The score for the movie was composed by Fredrik Wiedmann, the same man that did the score for the awesome “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox”. And I think the stuff he composed for this movie was really good. It was tense, exciting, and just overall worked very well within the movie.

So since this is a direct-to-video DC animated movie, we should talk about the animation. So how is it? The animation here is good. During scenes where characters just walk around and talk it looks fine, not great, not bad. But during action scenes it looks really good. The action in this movie is fast, fun, and surprisingly brutal. Especially during the last fight of the movie, that part was awesome!

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 70% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Son of Batman” is a fun addition to the DC animated universe. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, good performances, great music, and good animation. However like I said, I wasn’t exactly that invested in the plot and the animation wasn’t always the best. Time for my final score. *Throws Batarang*. My final score for “Son of Batman” is an 8,89/10. So while it’s flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Son of Batman” is now completed.

There’s a scene in Arkham Asylum in the movie and it shows how you do cameos the right way… Just saying.

My Favorite Scenes: Batman Begins – I’m Batman

Hello and welcome to this corpse of a series. For anyone new, “My Favorite Scenes” is the series where I take a look at scenes I like from movies and TV shows and share my thoughts on why I like them. Kind of self-explanatory. So let’s get into it!

So today, as you read in the title of the post, we are taking a look at a scene from a movie about the greatest superhero of all… Arm-Fall-Off Boy! I’m of course kidding, we’re actually talking about the god damn Batman. Though I will add that Arm-Fall-Off Boy is a very real superhero, feel free to google it if you don’t believe me.
“Batman Begins”, the 2005 reboot movie directed by Christoher Nolan that was a modest hit at the box office, and spawned two sequels, one of which earned an Oscar win for best supporting actor. Who knew a franchise about a grumpy billionaire dressing up like a crazy bat-person could be so beloved? Jokes aside, I love these movies. And to be quite honest, “Begins” is my favorite in the trilogy. Anyway, what scene are we talking about today? Well, it’s the scene in the movie where Batman (Christian Bale) officially comes to life. Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) is at this place filled with containers, overseeing his henchmen prepare drugs for transportation. Then suddenly, somethign happens. His henchmen start getting picked off, one by one. And finally, this weird entity pulls Falcone out of the car and utters the phrase “I’m Batman”. Yeah, I fucking love this scene. Not only because of the bit where Bale says “I’m Batman”, though that is amazing. This entire scene is actually really tense. The way Batman stalks the goons, taking them all out, it’s all very tense and almost a little scary. Say what you want about Nolan and his philosophical stuff, the dude knows how to build tension. And this scene proves it. From the tense stalking to the badass final “I’m Batman”, this scene is amazing.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: Justice League Dark (2017)

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I have stated my love for the DC animated movies a whole bunch of times on this blog, so I’m not gonna annoy you with that again. Instead I’m just gonna say this: First review of a 2017 release on this blog… exciting!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League Dark”!

People are going crazy and killing each other because of some supposedly supernatural threat. So Batman (Jason O’Mara) travels to various places to recruit some magic heroes such as John Constantine (Matt Ryan), Zatanna (Camilla Luddington), and Deadman (Nicholas Turturro) to find out what the hell is going on and then find a way to stop it. And from that we get very well paced and entertaining plot. The main plot is a bit standard, but it’s not bad at all, it is in fact very entertaining. My biggest problem comes in the form of a few exposition dump scenes. I get that some of these characters aren’t the most well known and because of that need some establishing, but the ways that they get established contain a lot of exposition, and that brought it down just a bit. Again, the plot overall was good, but those few infodump scenes knocked it down a little for me.

The characters are interesting and really entertaining. Jason O’Mara has in previous projects established himself to be a pretty solid Batman, and in this one it’s no different, he did a really good job. Matt Ryan was awesome as Constantine, but that is something I knew already from the “Constantine” TV show and from his one-episode appearance on “Arrow”. But it was so great having him reprise the role because he is so great as the character. Nicholas Turturro (Sidenote: Brother of John Turturro) was really good as Deadman. Though to be honest, I really knew nothing of the character prior to this. But the performance itself was fun and good. Next we have Camilla Luddington as Zatanna, and she did a really solid job. And I also feel like mentioning that Ray Chase was really good as Etrigan… not much else I can add there. There are also some really good supporting performances from poeple like Jeremy Davies, Rosario Dawson, Jerry O’Connell, Roger Cross, and Enrico Colantoni.

The original score for the movie was composed by Robert J. Kral and I think that what he composed for the movie was good. Nothing mindblowing or even great, but definitely good, fitting the scenes very well.

This movie was directed by Jay Oliva, a DC animation regular. And since this is an animated movie… how is the animation? It’s actually really good, I mean… for a DC animated direct-to-video budget. But while the animation isn’t the most detailed, it flows very well and looks really good, especially in the action scenes. Especially the last big action scene, that stuff looks pretty great. Also, there’s some violent imagery in this movie. I mean, there’s blood, there’s some slightly brutal stuff going on. Not as brutal as maybe “Dredd”, but still pretty violent for this type of movie. So I’d actually argue that the R-rating on this movie is pretty justified, compared to “The Killing Joke”. The language is still PG-13, but the imagery and such is R.

Since this movie just came out and is a direct-to-video feature, it barely has any reception to look at. You know, at least from the sites I use. But I can at least say that on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Justice League Dark” is another solid DC animated movie that I had a lot of fun with. It has a good plot, good characters, great voice acting, good music, really good animation, and some great action. However, I will bring it down a notch because of those infodump scenes… could have been handled a bit smoother. Time for my final score. *Uses magic spell to summon envelope*. My final score for “Justice League Dark” is a 9,12/10. So even though it’s not perfect, I’d still say that it’s worth buying!
worth-buying

My review of “Justice League Dark” is now completed.

Can we just have Matt Ryan playing every incarnation of John Constantine? Please.

 

 

 

Movie Review: Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

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I am one of those people that has a soft spot for DC’s animated movies. I’m not saying that I think all of them are great, but when a new one is announced I get a little excited. And this year we officially got one announced that is based on one of the most beloved graphic novels of all time. So… how is this adaptation? Well, I can’t speak for what you think… but we can get into the review and find out what I think. So let’s go!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: The Killing Joke”.

The Joker (Mark Hamill) has once again escaped from Arkham Asylum, this time with a plan to terrorize the Gordon family to prove a certain point. So it’s up to Batman (Kevin Conroy) to find him and bring him to justice. And the stuff we get here is really solid. It is a dramatic, tense, and almsot disturbing plot where we get to see Joker do these horrible things, while also giving us a glimpse into his past. And all that stuff is great. However, the plot-based stuff isn’t 100% perfect. There’s a 30 minute period at the beginning of the film that has nothing to do with the actual “Killing Joke” stuff, instead having some plot focusing on Batman and Batgirl (Tara Strong) chasing some criminals. I understand what they tried to do here, adding some runtime to the movie while also trying to give us more of a reason to care about Batgirl. But I never felt that it really added anything worthwhile to the plot, instead just adding 30 minutes of average(ish) entertainment. Seriously, you can skip the first 30 minutes of the movie and not miss a single important thing. So the “Killing Joke” stuff is great, but it takes a while to get there.

The characters featured in this movie are ones that all know and love… except for like several in that opening 30 minutes. But the ones we came to see, they are very well represented. Kevin Conroy once again did the voice of Batman (I don’t think he will ever quit, #SteadyPaycheck). And really, I don’t have to say anything. He is as phenomenal as ever, he really is the Batman. Mark Hamill as the Joker… Yeah, he’s fuckin’ masterful. Let me put it like this: Nicholson and Ledger were both really great as the character, but Mark Hamill really is THE JOKER. His voice is iconic and simply perfect for the character (#HesMyJoker). We also got Tara Strong, returning to her role as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. And she was really good. We also got Ray Wise (not a returning Bat-cast member) as Commissioner Jim Gordon. And he was really good in the role. Not as good as Gary Oldman or even Jonathan Banks, but still really good. Then the rest of the supporting cast was rounded out by a lot of other voice actors. All of them are very talented, but I don’t want to sit here and write all of them down here. But let it be known that they did a great job!

The score for the movie was composed by Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and Kristopher Carter. And it is a very exciting and very well composed score, perfectly fitting this type of action movie. I will also mention that there is an actual song in there too (as in a song with lyrics) and it is pretty amazing. And the scene where it’s featured is nothing short of a masterpiece.

DC animation regular Sam Liu stands as director of this movie, and I’d say it is for the most part a well directed movie. Scenes play out at a decent pace. However… the animation leaves a little bit to be desired. And I know that can be the thing with these DC animated movies, but you’d think they’d up the ante a bit with such an iconic story combined with the fact that this played in theaters. But here’s also the thing: Some scenes look great, with a decent amount of detail in them and overall really good flow of animation. But then some bits look kind of bad. Some movements look stiff and kind of jittery.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 48% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even have a score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Guys, in the end, “Batman: The Killing Joke” disappointed me a bit. Is it as bad as some say? No. But it’s also not among the best DC animated features. It as a good plot, good characters, great voice acting, really good music, and some decent animation. howeer it is bogged down a bit by those first 30 minutes and the animation being as inconsistent as I mentioned. Time for my final score. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! My final score for “Batman: The Killing Joke” is an 8,51/10. So it is flawed, but I think that it can still be worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Batman: The Killing Joke” is now completed.

And for those asking: No, I have not read the graphic novel. I know, shame on me!

Joe Manganiello confirmed as Deathstroke

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Some things can both be awesome and disappointing at the same time. Hi guys, Markus here as usual (who else did you expect, Manu fucking Bennett?). So we got some interesting movie news here… so let’s go.

So we seem to finally have a confirmed casting for Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in the upcoming “Batman” solo film directed by Ben Affleck, written by Affleck and DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns, and starring Ben Affleck. You might remember that a little over a week ago, Ben Affleck released a video on his Facebook page that featured the character of Deathstroke. Well, now it’s been confirmed that he will be a central character in the upcoming “Batman” movie. We’ve also (more or less) gotten confirmed who will play him. And if you didn’t read the title of this post or looked at the pictures above or been on the internet at all… then what the hell is your deal, man? Joke’s aside, American actor Joe Manganiello, known for playing Flash Thompson in the Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” movie, and for being in the “Magic Mike” films and also “True Blood” has been confirmed for Deathstroke. My thoughts on this? I honestly don’t really have anything to say about this since I haven’t seen him in many things, and can therefore not judge his acting talents. I can say however that he’s been a fan favorite for quite some time, even before the character was confirmed to appear in the DCEU. This was officially revealed in an interview with Geoff Johns that you can read a little about in the Wall Street Journal (will be linked at the end of this). And I have to say that Manganiello wasn’t really my first choice to play the awesome character. I mean, for fuck’s sake, I’ve been trying to get #FrankGrilloForDeathstroke trending for over a month. But it’s too late now and Manganiello is our new Deathstroke. And you know what, good for him. I wish him the best and I hope he turns out to be a fucking awesome Deathstroke!

So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think Manganiello will turn out to be an awesome Deathstroke? And to add a little more fun to this… If Manganiello would’ve turned down the role, who would you want to see as Deathstroke? Leave any and all answers in the comments.
Have a good one.

Wall Street Journal post: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2016/09/08/joe-manganiello-will-play-deathstroke-in-ben-afflecks-batman-movie/