The following is a review of Joker — Directed by Todd Phillips.
It has felt almost impossible to drown out the noise surrounding Todd Phillips’ Joker. Any film even tangentially related to Batman has a gigantic spotlight on it at all times, but the drama surrounding the release of this standalone origin story has been different. Though the film has won numerous film festival awards, including the coveted Golden Lion-award from the Venice Film Festival, even select critics who liked the film have seemingly been apprehensive about recommending it. Continue reading “REVIEW: Joker (2019)”→
The following is a review of The LEGO Batman Movie – Directed by Chris McKay.
Everything, indeed, was awesome about Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s fantastic The LEGO Movie. It was one of the biggest surprise hits of 2014, and so, obviously, we were going to get more big LEGO films. The first of these is a spin-off of The LEGO Movie, in which Will Arnett’s take on Batman was one of the highlights.
It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday. Actually, it’s finally time to crown the top 10 movie villains of all-time. Do note that these characters aren’t solely ranked on how villainous or catastrophic their actions are. This list is all about memorable villainy. Without further ado, here are the top ten movie villains of all-time.
The following is a review of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.
The DC Cinematic Universe needs a hit right now. Man of Steel was polarizing. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was critically panned and it needed an extended cut to fix some of its many problems. Now, Warner Bros. and DC have released a film about bad guys teaming up to do ‘good.’ It may be a bit of a risk, but they are going for a Guardians of the Galaxy-like surprise hit. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad doesn’t hold a candle to the aforementioned Marvel Studios hit. David Ayer’s film is an almost incoherent mess of a film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Suicide Squad (2016)”→
The following spoiler-filled retro review of The Dark Knight was written in August 2016
I saw this film in a movie theater, but I don’t quite remember how I felt after I first saw it. What I do remember, quite clearly actually, was that my sister bought the Blu-Ray for me as a Christmas gift. I think The Dark Knight is a haunting superhero movie masterpiece, but, for a specific reason, I don’t often sit down to watch it.
I’ve always thought Heath Ledger was an exceptionally entertaining actor, and it was tough for me to hear that the world had lost him when we did. Although he was brilliant in Brokeback Mountain and while I was never worried about what he would do with the Joker character, this performance remains one of the most surprisingly magnificent performances that I’ve ever seen. The Dark Knight wouldn’t be a masterpiece without Heath Ledger’s performance. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: The Dark Knight (2008)”→
The following is a review of the DC Universe Original Movie ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’.
Whether you love it or hate it, you cannot deny that Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke-graphic novel is a controversial but iconic graphic novel. Personally, I get all of the controversy revolving around Barbara Gordon, I don’t like the scenes. But I cannot help but really like some parts of that disturbing graphic novel. Therefore, I was pretty damn excited for the release of this animated DC film, but – and I really hate to say this – Batman: The Killing Joke is a really poor animated movie. Continue reading “REVIEW: Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)”→
The following is a full written review of Batman (Vol. 2) #39 – Written by Scott Snyder, with art by Greg Capullo – Release: February 25th 2015.
The Endgame story of the New 52 Batman-run has been extremely entertaining, and we’re almost at the very end of it. Last month’s issue was great, and today we’ll go into Endgame Part 5 – as Batman seeks out a group from his past to clear his head, and make him understand just what the Joker is up to.
Let’s talk about the cover. I really like it this month. I wasn’t a big fan of the cover in #38, but I like the Joker-centric cover for #39. The chair of victims is extremely morbid, and befitting of the situation the Joker is in. Some may argue that this is another cover that is too simplistic, with not enough going on in the background – but I think that’s a very subjective issue to have with a comic book cover.
Warning – the following plot-summary contains spoilers.
Endgame Part 5 opens with the Caped Crusader having a chat with the Court of Owls, looking for their cooperation in finding this Dionesium and finding answers. Sadly, they refuse to cooperate – and an ancient Talon attacks The Dark Knight. He asks if the Talon remembers the Pale Man being around 400 years ago. We are not explicitly told the answer at this point. At this point we learn that the Joker has infiltrated the armory, and Alfred has taken him on – but is unsuccesful and his right hand is cut off. The World’s Greatest Detective finds out that the only way to get a cure, is to retrieve it from the Joker’s spine, and he seeks out help from the Bat-family…. and the antagonists of Gotham. As Wayne’s plan is set in motion, the A-Story for Batman #39 concludes.
If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the issue, it is how suddenly it ends. Just like that. Sure, I get that there’s one more issue – but for a monthly series, this issue isn’t really chock-full of things we’ll remember, and answers we need. We don’t get the answer about the Pale Man, we don’t see Alfred following his encounter with the Joker, and the story ends just before ‘the big bang’ of Endgame. This isn’t a filler story, this is an important one, but we find no answers in Batman #39.
The artwork in Batman #39’s A-story is spot-on as always. This issue is very graphic, there’s a lot of blood – and it’s not for everyone – but darn it, Capullo and the rest of the art team just does a perfect job once again. I would like to mention how perfect the final image in the A-story is. The Joker looks very much like Two-face here. See how on one side his hair is perfect, his face is clean – but on the other side his hair is gone, and his face looks rotten. Perhaps this is a hint. Perhaps the Joker is rotting right before our eyes – and maybe, just maybe, he eyed this as his very last trick. Maybe he knows that he, the Pale Man, is about to die, maybe that’s why he’s going all out this time.
The B-Story The Last Smile by James Tynion IV & Dustin Nguyen is very interesting. The Doctor we’ve been following tells the inmates the story she’s uncovered. The man she thinks the Joker is – a mere mortal. The convicts don’t like the sound of that. Then our Doctor meets the Joker who reveals he had let her to the story – a story designed by him. Fake. As the convicts break through, she is gifted with a gun and six bullets – as the Joker wanders off. The Joker had fabricated her story. And we don’t know who he is.
The artwork of the B-story is actually very good – probably the best it’s been in the Endgame B-stories. I only thought the Joker wasn’t as scary as he should be, but all in all the artwork was great in the B-story.
Final Grade: B+ – Beautiful artwork is the key for Batman #39, and some might argue that the A-story is too secretive. We don’t learn anything new, really, and the concluding part of Endgame will reveal all. The B-story is excellent, the best B-story yet. For full list of Comic Book Review grades gohere.
The following is a full written review of Batman (Vol. 2) #38 – Written by Scott Snyder, with art by Greg Capullo – Release: January 28th 2015.
The New 52 version of Batman is currently doing Scott Snyder’s Endgame storyline. This issue is part 4 of the storyline revolving around a toxin being released by Batman’s greatest foe. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s run on Batman singlehandedly made me read DC again, and it’s my very favorite DC comic book-series of all-time.
Warning – the following brief plot-summary might contain spoilers.
Endgame Part 4 opens with the Caped Crusader going across town, in search for Jim Gordon – who we last saw staring down, and even gunning down, The Joker one-on-one. As the toxin takes hold of Gordon the Dark Knight is almost blindsided, but, thankfully, Julia Pennyworth shoots a couple of tranquilizers into Gordon’s neck. The World’s Greatest Detective consults with Dick ‘Birdwatcher’ Grayson – trying to figure out what exactly is in the toxin. They eventually decide on a specific Doctor. The Doctor reveals that he believes in the stories we’ve heard – that the Joker is superhuman, or rather, (greek-) God-like. I’ll leave here, so that the very final pages aren’t spoiled – but I’ll say this – Snyder masterfully ties the story into his very beginning with Batman… The greater history of Gotham.
It’s very difficult to critique the story in a Snyder comic book, and the only little note I have is that the dialogue seemed way too fabricated when Dr. Dekker calmly chats about greek Gods ‘outside’. Which isn’t to say that I disliked the dialogue, I loved it – but I don’t think it worked right in that moment. The thing is – Snyder’s one of my favorite comic book writers, and even in what may be interpreted as a filler-issue his story is captivating.
Capullo is equally great, I’ve grown accustomed to his style – and his last page is so strong, so good. Kudos, as well, to FCO Plascencia – in my opinion one of his better issues. I loved the colouring.
While I usually like the stories by James Tynion IV, I wasn’t fascinated by the back-up story this month. I think my biggest problem here is that the art was too different from the rest of the issue. Sam Keith definitely has his art-style, but I’ve grown accustomed to Capullo’s style, and Keith’s doesn’t come close to his. Not saying it’s worse, I’m just not a fan of the art-style by Sam Keith. You win some, you lose some.
Final Grade: B+ – Another great story by Scott Snyder featuring Capullo’s amazing art-style, and equally fantastic colouring by FCO Plascencia. Some might call this a filler-issue, but it’s perfect in keeping with the lore of Snyder’s Batman-story. The back-up story is fine, but the art-style will be polarizing. For full list of Comic Book Review grades go here.