Movie Review: Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)

This is a bit of a bittersweet one. As I hav stated way too many times on this blog, I am a longtime fan of DC animation, and I love talking about it. However, today I talk about this movie with a little bit of sorrow behind my words. This was the last movie/show/thing where Adam West plays Batman. So that’s it. After this, we can no longer look forward to any further appearances from him. So here’s to you, Mr. West, you awesome man.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman vs. Two-Face”.

After a horrible accident leaves him disfigured, district attorney Harvey Dent (William Shatner) takes on the alter ego of Two-Face and then starts wreaking havoc on Gotham. So it’s up to Batman (Adam West, R.I.P) and Robin (Burt Ward) to get out there and stop Two-Face. So is this plot any good? Yeah. It isn’t just a straight forward “take the villain down” story, as it has some pretty interesting twists throughout, while still keeping it relatively simple and fun. What I also like about this plot is that it’s a lot more tonally consistent than the previous movie, “Return of the Caped Crusaders”. And while I liked this plot, it’s nothing special. It’s good, but ultimately kind of forgettable.

The characters here are fun and really interesting. As said in the intro of this review, this was the last appearance of Adam West (may he rest in peace) as the Caped Crusader. And while he sounds old, his voice still has a lot of energy to it, which makes it so much more enjoyable. And really, he’s good as Batman. Burt Ward returns s Robin and he still has the childlike naivety that made his Robin so enjoyable. And Ward is jsut really good as Robin. Julie Newmar returns as Catwoman. While not as energized in her performance as Adam West, she still clearly gives it her all and she manages to do a pretty good Catwoman (even if she does sound a bit on the older side). Then we have Steven Weber, reprising his role as Alfred from “Return of the Caped Crusaders”. And if I didn’t already know that it was Steven Weber voicing Alfred, I could never guess that it was him. So yeah, he’s great. Thomas Lennon returns s the voice of police chief O’Hara, and he’s fine. Let’s talk about the newcomer here, William Shatner as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Firstly, I really liked what they did with the character here, they really managed to reinvent him in a clever way for the Westian Bat-world. As Harvey Dent he just sounded like William Shatner being nice. But as Two-Face his voice was unrecognizable, downright sinister. So yeah, Shatner was great here. Then there are a bunch of supporting actors in here that I won’t go in-depth with because I don’t want to drag this out too much. But I can say that they were really good in their roles.

The score for the movie was composed by DC regulars Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, & Michael McCuistion. And it’s very jazzy and fun, fitting the 60s “Batman” series style perfectly. And admittedly I did enjoy just listening to it in general. So yeah, it’s really good.

Rick Morales who directed “Return of the Caped Crusaders” returned to direct this, and he did a good job. The directing/animation here flows very well and feels energized enough to never feel dull. There’s plenty of goofy and fun action stuff here. And since it’s animation they are allowed to do more crazy things than the 60s live action series, and they come up with some fun, fast, and exciting action scenes that still feel like they fit this goofy world.

Since this is a small direct to video movie, there’s not a lot of data on my usual sites. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,1/10.

“Batman vs. Two-Face” is a fun little movie and a great sendoff for Adam West. It has a good plot, great characters, really good performances, really good music, and solid directing/animation. My only flaw with it is that it’s not the most memorable in terms of plot… just kind of scoots by. Time for my final score. Holy review, Batman! My final score for “Batman vs. Two-Face” is an 8,76/10. While flawed, I’d say that it is worth buying.

My review of “Batman vs. Two-Face” is now completed.

Rest in peace, Mr. West. We miss you.

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.