In the battle between DC Comics and Marvel, DC has always had Marvel beat on the animated movie front with the superior titles. One of the most anticpated films based off one of the all time best selling graphic novels in Batman: The Killing Joke came out and I didn’t hesitate to make it today’s film. In the setting of the film, Batgirl (Tara Strong) a.k.a. Barbara Gordon has been working with Batman (Kevin Conroy), but after a case almost went too far, she quit the crime fighting business. In the meantime, the diabolical Joker (Mark Hamill) has escaped from Arkham to prove the ultimate point. He wants to prove that with enough tragedy, he can drive a man to insanity the same way he was years before by attacking the Gordon family. The film also stars Ray Wise (Jeepers Creepers 2) as commissioner Gordon, John DiMaggio (Adventure Time) as Francesco, Robin Atkin Downes (Suicide Squad) as Detective Bullock, Brian George (Hotel Transylvania) as Alfred, Maury Sterling (Kung Fu Panda 2) as Paris, JP Karliak (Sanjay And Craig) as Reese, Nolan North (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Mitch, Anna Vocino (Free Radio) as Jeannie, Rick D. Wasserman (Planet Hulk) as Maroni, and the film was directed by Sam Liu (Batman: Year One).
Now you are probably wondering what I am thinking about when it comes to Batman: The Killing Joke. Well, first I want to give all of you out there a Spoiler Alert just in case there is any info that is said that you didn’t want to know. So, Proceed with caution or turn away right this instance (just in case). The film just about everything you would expect especially if you had read the graphic novel. I thought it was a little daring for them to have the sex scene between Batgirl and Batman (you don’t see anything so don’t worry). I know the film got an R rating, but other than some language, some violence, there really wasn’t much to it that in my opinion suggested an R rating. Nevertheless, I am not saying that it was a bad film cause it’s up there with some of my favorites and it was great to see Mark Hamill return as The Joker because he is the ony voice I enjoy. The thing I really enjoyed were the flashback scenes that The Joker had explaining his origins. He’s a failing comedian who just needs one job to save his new family from poverty, but when tragedy strikes it drives him to the brink of insanity. Thus explaining why he became The Joker to satisfy our need to know who he is. The one thing that you’ll find in the film that is very interesting is the end of the film. There is one final scene between Batman and The Joker that you have to see for yourself because it’s just poetic justice in my opinion. I loved the action in the film, it was very well written, and truly a film everyone should check out. Suicide Squad comes out this week hence the reason I chose to watch this now. I am going to give Batman: The Killing Joke an A for a final grade.
There are so many different spy movies in the world today and the question always remains what makes them different than any Bond film ever released. In 2015, they finally released Kingsman: The Secret Service worldwide and I didn’t see it until now. For Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), there is much point to be a good ole boy when you come from the wrong side of town. That is until you are bailed out of jail by a man (Colin Firth) who claims to have known your father (that you never got to know). Eggsy is recruited to join a very secretive spy organization known as the Kingsmen, a group modeled after King Arthur and his round table. The organization needs a new recruit when one of their own is killed by a mad man named Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) looking to rid the world of humans because of global warming. Now it’s up to them to save the world before it’s too late. The film also stars Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) as Merlin, Jack Davenport (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl) as Lancelot, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur, Sofia Boutella (Monsters: Dark Continent) as Gazelle, Mark Hamill (Star Wars: A New Hope) as Professor Arnold, and the film was directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass).
The only thing I regret about this movie is that I didn’t see it earlier than this, but better late than never. This is yet another film that I truly enjoyed watching this month and that is kind of the point of this blog. The film has tons of action in it, plenty of that dry British humor that we all love, and a really cool villain. He’s not your stereotypical villain with his lisp, but he has a bad ass hench-woman by his side. The woman has prosthetic’s with swords or blades on the ends of them and she can slice dudes up with them. Kingsman is actually a breath of fresh air for the spy genre for people looking for something different. If the film is a spoof like people say it is then I’ll gladly take another serving of the film from the franchise. If they play their cards right this is definitely a series that could be around for quite some time as long as the writing is good. One of my favorite scenes in the film is definitely when Colin Firth’s character goes into the church and it’s a bloody massacre in there. That is such a cool action sequence that just blew me away. Some of the special effects in the film are very good especially with a head exploding sequence at the end that is very colorful. Oh and Hanna Alström has an amazing asset that she shows off at the end of the film. This is definitely another favorite of mine that is going to make picking a clear and concise top 25 very difficult at the end of the month. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A-/A because it lies somewhere between those two.
I was inspired today by a simple conversation and there was an animated film that I had never seen that I wanted to. I chose to watch the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm which featured the voice of Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman. In the film, a mysterious figure is murdering all of the crime bosses of Gotham City and it’s getting blamed on Batman. All of these things are starting to happen as soon as an old flame (Dana Delany) from Batman’s past re-enters his life. Now it’s up to Batman to find out just who is killing these men before anyone else is taken out for good, but he’ll have to dig deep to figure it out. The film also stars Mark Hamill (Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope) as The Joker, Hart Bochner (Die Hard) as Arthur Reeves, Stacey Keach (American History X) as Phantasm, Abe Vigoda (The Godfather) as Sal Valestra, Dick Miller (Gremlins) as Chuckie Sol, Efrem Zimbalist Jr (Hot Shots!) as Alfred, Bob Hastings (General Hospital) as Commissioner Gordon, John P. Ryan (It’s Alive) as Buzz Bronski, and the film was directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce W. Timm.
I want to start this by saying that I absolutely loved this film and if you were a fan of that Batman: The Animated Series (which was the best) then you will love this one. You can’t have a Batman film without The Joker and he makes an appearance in this one. Mark Hamill created an iconic voice for The Joker that is absolutely untouchable in my opinion. The great thing is that both Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are returning for the rated R animated film The Killing Joke and that has me excited. The film has all the aesthetics that you loved about the animated series where it’s dark and it takes place in the 50’s so the clothing and styles are amazing. The film kind of goes an explains a little about Batman’s past through some flashbacks that we get about his relationship with Andrea and how he got started as Batman. I also love the hints of comedy that they throw into the film as well with Alfred and his untimely entrances into a room when Bruce is busy with the ladies. The film is amazing, the story is great, and the kids can certainly watch it and I suggest you educate them on this series as it’s still untouchable in my opinion. I am going to give Batman: The Mask Of Phantasm an A- for a final grade.