Movie Review: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2001)

Well this is a first for the Month of Spooks… animation. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust”.

When a girl (Wendee Lee) is kidnapped by a vampire, her family hires a legendary bounty hunter (Andrew Phlipot) to get her back. The setup is an old school one, but the way they handle it feels fresh. For one, it’s set in the distant future… but it also looks like the old west. This blend of different styles makes for a fun and unique universe. But it’s not just the world building that works about this movie. “Bloodlust” really takes time to weave a surprising amount of nuance throughout, making me really care about what really happens throughout the story, be it larger, epic moments or smaller, intimate drama.

Like with story before them, the characters in this movie have a bit more nuance than expected. At first they can seem like stereotypes. Broody, stern, Hannibal from “A-Team”, asshat. But if one sticks around, the characters get fleshed out quite a bit, making them a hell of a lot more compelling. First up we have D(E,F,G), the titular character at the center of the story. He’s the broody fucker I mentioned before… but he’s also a compassionate, strong-willed, and endearing guy who works to stay on the side of good. And I think Andrew Philpot does a great job with the voice work. Next we have Leila (cue Derek and the Dominos), another bounty hunter searching for the kidnapped girl. Tough, determined, stern, and also has a good heart. And she grows quite a fun rapport with D. She’s voiced by Pamela Adlon, who I think does a damn fine job with it. Wendee Lee does a good job as the kidnapped girl, who we meet multiple times throughout. And the vampire that did said kidnapping, played wonderfully by John Rafter Lee, is quite an interesting antagonist. Again, all the characters are pretty interesting. And the supporting cast is great.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco D’Ambrosio, who did a wonderful job with it. It’s moody and atmospheric, but also big and epic, as well as emotionally charged. It perfectly helps create the vibe the movie is going for, which is has a familiar sense of gothic brood, while still feeling fresh and unique for this movie.

Based on a manga series by Hideyuki Kikuchi, “Bloodlust” was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who I think did a wonderful job with it. His direction manages to keep the energy and pacing up throughout, without making it feel like he’s rushing things. He will let quiet moments simmer a bit, but without accidentally slipping into boredom. And holy fucking shit, the animation is stunning, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the fact that Madhouse was the studio behind it (they make well animated stuff, yo). Combining Kawajiri’s meticulous direction with the animation talents at Madhouse was clever, as it makes for not only some gorgeously detailed wide shots, but also some insanely entertaining action scenes. It also makes it so the few pure horror bits we get become genuinely creepy. So well done, crew.

This movie has been generally well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” isn’t just a highly entertaining vampire action movie, but it’s also a surprisingly nuance movie that subverts a fair bit of expectations. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/animation. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” is a 9,67/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” is now completed.

Any time you have a character with single-letter names, I just wanna continue the alphabet after referring to them.
“So what’s the character’s name?”
“D”
“Interesting”
“E, F, G, H, I… “

Movie Review: Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)

Yes. This is a real movie. And I watched it. And now I’m gonna talk about it.

Dudes and chicks… “Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.

When Ra’s Al Ghul (Cas Anvar) teams up with the Shredder (Andrew Kishino), the Turtles (Eric Bauza, Darren Criss, Kyle Mooney, Baron Vaughn) find themselves following the villains to Gotham City, where they run into Batman (Troy Baker). Aaaand cue the crossover craziness. Is this a masterpiece of storytelling? No. Is this high art? No. But is it a well written and fun crossover that never takes itself too seriously? Yes. For the most part, the plot here is lighthearted comic book action. But there are also moments where it actually dares to go a little darker, but it never feels like it clashes with the more fun and ridiculous scenes. It balances its tone perfectly, giving us one of the most unique and enjoyable plots in recent DC animations.

The characters are colorful, fun, charming, memorable, and pretty interesting. Troy Baker plays Batman, and he’s the ever serious Batman… you know who Batman is, there’s nothing new done to him as a character. But Baker’s voice work is solid here. Then we have Eric Bauza, Darren Criss, Kyle Mooney, and Baron Vaughn as the four Ninja Turtles Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello. And they are exactly as one expects the frickin’ Turtles to be (if you’re familiar with them). And the four actors voicing them are great in their respective roles. While there isn’t much in terms of actual development here, what makes the characters stand out here is how well they play off of each other. It’s their chemistry that makes them so enjoyable to follow… good stuff. We also get supporting work from people like Cas Anvar, Carlos Alazraqui, Rachel Bloom, Andrew Kishino, Tara Strong, Ben Giroux, Brian George, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Kevin Riepl, and it was good. Some orchestrations, some synthesizers, some guitar, a lot of fun percussion, it’s the right kind of score to add an extra bit of fun to the insanity of the movie. I really enjoyed hearing it throughout the movie, and it worked well in the various scenes.

Based on a comic by James Tynion IV & Freddie Williams II (fancy lads and their numbered names), this movie was directed by Jake Castorena, and I think it is a well directed movie. The animation flows nicely and has a really good sense of energy to it. Some of the character designs could maybe be a little hit or miss (mainly Donatello for me), there was nothing I’d call bad here. Especially not the action scenes, which I found to be great. Brutal, fluent, and well directed, the various fight scenes throughout are an absolute joy to behold. There’s also a really fun chase here that was a blast to watch. So yeah, there’s a ton of well animated, absolutely ridiculous action scenes throughout the movie… which makes me very happy. There are also a lot of jokes in this movie, and they made me laugh very hard. Some really clever, some incredibly dumb, all funny.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

So “Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is absolutely insane, and I loved every minute of it. It has a really fun plot, really good characters, great performances, good music, really good animation/direction/action, and hilarious humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is a 9,84/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is now completed.

That was… BATshit insane.

Movie Review: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)

This is exciting. First new DC animated movie of 2018. Even though there have been a few less than stellar ones over the years, I will always be excited for them. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight”.

Set in an alternate, Victorian era Gotham city, we follow Bruce Wayne (Bruce Greenwood) as he is stopping crimes in Gotham. And soon he has to find and stop a very dangerous serial killer known simply as… Jack the Ripper. So now we have our steampunk/Victorian era mystery starring Batman. And is this plot any good? Yes and no. On one hand you have this really cool idea of a steampunk Batman chasing after a killer, that’s a really cool idea. The execution here however is kind of average. They never let moments sink in, and I never felt fully invested in what was going on. There is a pretty good twist near the end of the movie that I won’t spoil, but let it be known that aside from that twist and also the overall idea, there isn’t too much about this plot that says “That’s actually really cool”. I wouldn’t call it bad, just kind of… okay.

The characters here do get some moments that make them a bit more interesting, but overall they don’t do too much to make us care too much about them. First up we of course have Bruce Wayne, rich playboy/philanthropist who at night dresses up like  grumpy bat-person and beats up criminals. He’s the same here as in most mediums, they do nothing new aside from the change of era. But I still enjoyed following him as he is decently likable. And Bruce Greenwood (Sidenote: His third time voicing the character) is great in the role. Then we have Selina Kyle, a sexy and charming yet tough woman. In this she’s an actress/entertainer rather than a cat burglar, and the stuff that she gets to do in this movie is pretty interesting. And Jennifer Carpenter does a really good job voicing her. Then we have James Gordon, still the commissioner of Gotham PD, still a very respectable man. They do some interesting stuff with him throughout the plot. Scott Patterson does a good job voicing him. As for the rest of the characters, they do nothing too noteworthy with them, but they work in this I guess. The cast, consisting of people like Anthony Stewart Head, Yuri Lowenthal, Grey DeLisle, John DiMaggio, William Slayers, and more, all do quite well in their roles.

As with most DC animated movies these days, the score was composed by Frederik Wiedmann. And once again he has composed a score that is exciting, tense, emotional, and just overall very fun to listen to throughout the movie. There was a scene in the movie that I only was somewhat invested in because of Wiedmann’s score. Dude’s really talented.

DC animation regular Sam Liu directed this, and I think he did a pretty good job. The animation looks pretty good, the action is pretty well handled and quite fun to watch at times. What I have a problem with most about the animation/direction are the designs of the characters. I haven’t read the comic that this is based on, but looking up panels and pages from this on google makes me think that they kind of missed something here. The characters stand out quite a bit here as they are quite cartoony, compared to some of the darker and more grimy backgrounds. Also, this of course doesn’t hold a candle to Mike Mignola’s art, but they could’ve at least tried a bit more in recreating the comic’s style. Oh well, I guess the animation/direction still works.

This has been decently received (I guess, data’s pretty limited). On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” isn’t one of DC animation’s strongest outings, but it’s still an entertaining little adventure. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, great music, and good direction/animation. It is of course dragged down a little bit by a not very engaging plot and some characters not being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *I’m Batman!*. My final score for “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is a 7,34/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is now completed.

Nananananananana Steampunk!

Movie Review: Batman: Bad Blood (2016)

Name: Markus. Likes: DC animation. Has he stated this fact many times before: Yes. Shall we move on to the review: Yes.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Bad Blood”.

After a tough battle with a new enemy, Batman (Jason O’Mara) goes missing. So Dick Grayson (Sean Maher) has to take up the mantle to keep Gotham’s criminals at bay while also trying to find out what the hell happened to Bruce. All of this while a mysterious woman calling herself Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) enters the scene to take on the city’s criminals. So now we have our plot. And is it any good? Sure. While not as intimate and interesting as the previous movie, “Batman vs. Robin”, or as dark and layered as “Mask of the Phantasm”, it is a functional plot. For the most part I just followed along, finding the journey of Dick and Damien (Stuart Allan) interesting, while the big mystery plot to be just fine. It isn’t quite as focused as I would’ve wanted it, but I also didn’t dislike it. It’s pretty good.

The characters here are for the most part fun and interesting. For the first time in this cinematic universe, Dick Grayson gets to take center stage. He’s like a more fun version of Batman, and I enjoy the levity that he brings to the table without sacrificing any emotion that exists with the character and his relationship to Batman. And Sean Maher is once again great in the role. Stuart Allan once again does the voice of Damien Wayne/Robin, the bastard son of Batman. And I have to say, he’s really grown on me as he’s been given time to develop. His relationship with Dick is one of my favorite parts of these movies. And Allan is great in the role. Jason O’Mara of course once again plays Bruce Wayne/Batman (briefly) in the movie, and he’s of course great. Alfred of course also returns, but this time he’s voiced by James Garrett instead of David McCallum. And while it’s a bit weird to have a different voice for him, I think Garrett does a really good job voicing Alfred. Yvonne Stranhovski plays Batwoman, a mysterious new vigilante that we get to know through the movie. And she’s a pretty interesting character. She’s like Batman but a woman… and she uses guns… yeah, she’s pretty cool. And Strahovski does a really good job in the role. Then without getting too in-depth/spoiler-y with more characters/actors here, we get some realy solid supporting performances from people like Steve Blum, Gaius Charles, Ernie Hudson, Morena Baccarin, Robin Atkin Downes, Matthew Mercer, John DiMaggio, and more. ’tis a well acted movie.

As with a lot of DC animated movies these days, the score for “Batman: Bad Blood” was composed by Frederik Wiedmann (who I’ve had some pleasant interactions with on twitter. Just thought I’d mention that for fun). And he did a really good job with his score here. It’s fun, cool, exciting, badass, and just overall helps in making certain scenes a bit better. Not saying that it’s his best DC score (that still goes to “Flashpoint Paradox), but the music here is still really good.

Jay Oliva is the director for this one, and he did a good job. The directing/animation has a lot of energy, keeping it from feeling dull. As for the animation itself, it’s fine. In action scenes it flows very nicely and is a ton of fun to watch. In slower, more talky scenes it is just fine. Seen better, seen worse. It’s fine.

This has been decently well received (despite having barely any data on my usual sites). On Rotten Tomatoes it exists but has no rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist at all. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“Batman: Bad Blood” isn’t one of the best DC animated movies ever, but it’s still an entertaining little action flick. It has an okay plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and good directing/animation. My main flaw comes in the form of the plot feeling a bit unfocused. Time for my final score. *I am the night*. My final score for “Batman: Bad Blood” is an 8,76/10. While flawed, I’d say it’s worth buying.

My review of “Batman: Bad Blood” is now completed.

This has put me in the mood to rewatch “Mystery of the Batwoman”…

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.

Series Review: Comrade Detective – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t know what kind of intro to make for this. Just the idea and existence of this is a riddle to me. So let’s just get into the review and see if this is any good.

Comrades… “Comrade Detective” season 1.

“Comrade Detective” is set in 1983 and is about Romanian police detective Gregor Anghel (Channing Tatum/Florin Piersic Jr.), a man sworn to stop crime and uphold the communist way of life. But tragedy strikes as his partner one day gets killed during an operation to catch some bad dudes. So Anghel, together with a new partner named Iosif Bacio (Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Corneliu Ulici), starts investigating the case of his former partner’s murder. And as they keep investigating they stumble upon a conspiracy that could endanger not only them, but also their communist way of life. So now we have this weird thing. But it’s not just a cop show randomly set in 1980s Romania, as it’s actually kind of a metanarrative. The show is presented as this really old communist propaganda show that had seemingly been lost forever, until it was found and then dubbed by Americans. So we’re working with a metanarrative cop drama that is also a satire of society and capitalism/communism. Yeah, it’s weird. That said, I found it to quite an interesting narrative. The cop side of things, while not always the most engaging, is actually fairly solid, filled with twists and turns. Then you have the satirical elements of it which adds a bit of a fun edge to it. Then you also have the dubbed aspect of it which is just a fun idea to add to it. So yeah, the plot here is… good.

What is interesting about this whole thing is that on the screen we see some actors, but the voices that come out of their mouths are clearly dubbed over, like in ye olde foreign films. Poorly dubbed with no sync between voice and mouth, which is clearly deliberate and also quite fun. So when you have Florin Piersic Jr. moving around and “talking”, you hear the voice of Channing Tatum come out of him. It’s a little weird at first, but I quickly got used to it and thought it was fun. And Tatum delivered his lines very well, and Piersic Jr. did well with the physical parts. Joseph Gordon-Levitt voiced the partner, Baciu, and he did very well. And Corneliu Ulici was good in the physical role. I don’t have the patience to write down every pairing and giving comments here, so I will just list some of the voice actors you hear in the show, but I will list the physical actors in the tags so I don’t get shit on too much. *Inhale* Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Chloë Sevigny, Jake Johnson, John DiMaggio, Bobby Cannavale, Beck Bennett, Daniel Craig. There are more, but again… I don’t have the time or patience to write every single one. That said, it’s a well acted show.

The score for the show was composed by Joe Kraemer and he did a pretty good job. Some of it is the typical cop drama stuff, which is fine because it works well within the show. There is also some synth pop in here too, because of course there will be synth pop in a show set in the 80s. And alls the music in this show works very well for it.

This show was created by Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka, with the directing being done by Rhys Thomas, who I think did a good job. Nothing feels overly flashy or too current (for lack of a better word). It feels like an 80s cop show, only shot with better cameras. The period detail and directing style is what makes it feels genuinely 1980s. It is a well directed show that flows pretty well. The action scenes especially, they’re quite fun.

This show has been pretty well received (based on few reviews). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Amazon’s “Comrade Detective” is fucking weird, and I’m okay with that. It has a good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. The only flaw I have with it is that the plot wasn’t always the most engaging. Time for my final score. *Comrades*. My final score for “Comrade Detective” is an 8,88/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it is worth watching.

My review of “Comrade Detective” is now completed.

I have questions… I don’t know what questions, but I have them.

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2009)

With WB/DC very recently having released their new DCEU movie “Wonder Woman”, and with my often proclaimed love for DC animation I thought it was a good time to go back a few years and review the last movie that had “Wonder Woman” in the title. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen, she is… “Wonder Woman”!

After having crashed on the mysterious island of Themyscira, U.S. army pilot Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) finds himself at the mercy of the island’s inhabitants, the Amazons. And when they deem him a non-hostile, they aim to bring him back to modern civilization. The one who gets tasked with this is none other than the island’s princess, Diana (Keri Russell). But it quickly becomes more than just a delivery mission as Ares (Alfred Molina), the god of war escapes from Themyscira’s prison. Which means that Diana and Steve have to team up to stop Ares from creating neverending chaos and destruction. And yeah, this plot is really good. While not the deepest, as a matter of fact it’s quite shallow, it still gives us a good insight into Diana’s origin and into the mythology of her world. There are also a few okay twists throughout the plot, giving it a little extra meat on the bone so to speak. Yeah, it’s a good plot.

The characters here are all entertaining and get a surprising amount of depth. Diana is portrayed as this young and brave woman that wants to see the world and see what’s beyond Themyscira, to learn what is out there. And Keri Russell does a really good job voicing her. Steve Trevor, as he’s presented here, is a bit of a pig. He’s not necessarily a bad person, he’s just kind of a womanizer. But he does get a decent amount of character development throughout the movie as he works with Diana, and Nathan Fillion is just great in the role. Ares is portrayed as a kind of mad but still intelligent warrior who wants nothing but war and hate, and Alfred Molina is great in the role. Hyppolita, Queen of the Amazons. A badass woman who wants the best for her daughter, while also trying to be a good leader. She’s voiced by Virginia Madesen who does a great job in the role. Next up we have Artemis, the right hand woman of the queen, and she’s just a badass. She’s voiced by Rosario Dawson who’s Rosario Awesome in the role. Really, this is just an overall well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Christopher Drake and it was pretty great. It was big, dramatic, epic, exciting, and just overall fit the movie very well. Definitely one of the best scores I’ve heard from one of these direct-to-video DC movies.

This movie was directed by Lauren Montgomery and she did a great job here. The scenes flow very well and none of them feel out of place or like they overstay their welcome. And since this is an animated movie, how is the animation? It’s quite good. Remember, we’re judging this based on direct-to-video animations, since they (this included) don’t get the same budget big animated features do. But yeah, overall the animation here is quite good. Everything flows nicely and just looks overall good. Especially the action scenes which are just fun and exciting and badass.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Wonder Woman” is another great DC animated movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Wonder Woman” is a 9,78/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Wonder Woman” (the animated one) is now completed.

If you’re wondering if I will review the new live action movie, I might. Not sure exactly when, but it will probably happen in the near-ish future.

 

Movie Review: Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

batman-the-killing-joke-2016-hd-wallpaper-1366x768

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!

Cartoon/Movie Review: Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

Batman Assault On Arkham Wallpapers

 

You may not know this, but I am a big fan of Batman (rhyming is fun). Whether it is the animated series, Christopher Nolan’s movies, the “Arkham” games or any of the original animated movies (Under the Red Hood, Year One, etc.). Sure, “Batman & Robin” was a big fucking miss and I am not a fan of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”…but there are a lot of great Batman things. And you’re probably asking about my thoughts on the comics. Well the thing is, comics aren’t that big in Sweden and therefore they are incredibly difficult to get. But enough about that! Today we are taking a look at an animated Batman movie that is set within the “Arkham” timeline/universe.

Men and women, prepare yourselves…for this is “Batman: Assault on Arkham”!

The fun thing is, this Batman movie doesn’t use Batman (Kevin Conroy) as the main character really. He is only put in a sort of side story about him trying to find a bomb planted somewhere in Gotham by the Joker (Troy Baker). Instead this movie focuses more on a special group of criminals put together by the established Batman character Amanda Waller (CCH Pounder). This group is only consisting of big and dangerous criminals who are so called “expendable” (call Sylvester Stallone). This group is “The Suicide Squad”. Consisting of Deadshot (Neal McDonough), Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch), King Shark (John DiMaggio), Black Spider (Giancarlo Esposito), Killer Frost (Jennifer Hale) and Captain Boomerang (Christian Lanz, also fucking seriously?). What is their mission exactly? To break into Arkham Asylum to find a sort computer-chip-thing that is in the Riddler’s (Matthew Gray Gubler) cane. Also, they are gonna kill Riddler. And then twist and turns and action and Batman coming in to do shit. While the premise is kind of interesting, we know there are a bunch of things we can’t ignore that are kind of obvious. Especially since this movie is set between “Batman: Arkham Origins” and “Batman: Arkham Asylum”. But even though a few elements of the story were fairly predictable, I still had a hell of a great time with the storyline of “Assault on Arkham”. This movie had a plot that was really well executed…and within only 75 minutes. That’s right, this movie is THAT short. So yeah, really good story.

The characters are very fleshed out for being confined to a 75 minute time space. But still, if you are not familiar with the Batman mythos, you might get confused with who some of these are. For example, I had no fucking clue who “King Shark” or “Captain Boomerang” (Again, fucking seriously?) were before I watched this. But I still enjoyed watching them on screen, they had good chemistry and their writing was excellent as well.

The music was what you’d expect…epic and awesome. It was something you’d expect from a Batman movie. I found it to be perfect for the action scenes and othe scenes in this movie. So music was kinda easy to explain, but how is the rest of the sound design. I know I usually address this in my movie reviews, but since this is an animated feature, it might be good to cover. The use of sound effects and placement of said effects (how the sound travels and changes depending on where on the screen it is) was honestly really well done. The use of the sound was used in such a way where it did sound pretty realistic (as realistic as you can get an animated Batman film). And of course…the voice acting. The voice acting was no surprise to me. I expected greatness…and I got greatness. That is never really a problem in DC animated films. And it was fun hearing a few of the actors from the “Arkham” games return as their respective characters (Kevin Conroy, Troy Baker and Nolan North who I forgot to address earlier even though he voiced Penguin). But in general, the voice acting was excellent. I was especially pleased with Neal McDonough as Deadshot, he really brought life to the character. I was also happily surprised with Matthew Gray Gubler as Riddler…who knew he could do justice to the classic character. In general, everything involving sound was great.

Next up is animation, and boy is it good. Not saying it is as great as in maybe “Attack on Titan”, but it is still good. Again, something that is never a problem with DC animated features. It is nice to look at, the animators really gave this movie life…especially during the fight scenes.

I have nothing more to say here. And I usually have something to say in my “General stuff” area. This comes as a shock to me.

Since this movie just came out, it has barely gotten any reception. But there is a little in fact. As of the time of this review the movie has 7,4/10 based on 315 votes on imdb.com. And that’s about it. If you want more reviews, look up some yourself.

I have given this movie some positive feedback. And now for my score! My final score for “Batman: Assault on Arkham” that Batman beat out of me is a 9,54/10. It is worth picking up when it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. It just had a digital release. The physical release of the movie is set for 11th of august 2014. I suggest you pick it up. Oh yeah, almost forgot the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“Batman: Assault on Arkham” is now reviewed.

Thank god the assault was only on Arkham Asylum and not…OH GOD! DEADSHOT! NOOOO!