Late to the party: The Killing Joke – NO SPOILER – review

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I was ecstatic, when I heard The Killing Joke was going to be made into an animated feature. It is easily one of the best Batman stories ever written and one of my favorites. To say that I was happy when I heard that Mark Hamill was going to play The Joker would’ve been an understatement. The DVD/Blu-ray release is set for August 2nd . My excitement was increased exponentially when I found out that there would be a theatrical release of The Killing Joke and it would be a week earlier than its release. I invited a few friends to see the movie with me, but they didn’t see the point in spending the money when it would be out next week. Seeing The Killing Joke in the theatre while eating raisinettes added another level of enjoyment to the experience for me. Not to mention, The Killing Joke isn’t a kid friendly story, and as a nerd dad, I would have to wait until I could watch it without the kids.

The flick seemed to stick close to the source material. Without spoiling anything, there are some other story elements involving Batgirl that starts off the film. I purposely avoided the internet speak about The Killing Joke so I could watch it without any preconceived notions. I enjoyed the Batgirl “backstory”. It addressed an issue that was a loose end in the Batman mythos. Still, while some were shocked and others were hit with a touch of internet nerd rage, I viewed the story as it was. As far as I’m concerned, it is one version of events, simply an adaptation and/or interpretation of a good story.

The animation was good. There were a few points that it could’ve been a little sharper. I thought the translation of the story was handled honorably. The story is a dark one and it’s kept that way. Conversely, the colors reflect the themes of the story, for instance sometimes getting brighter when focusing on the Joker. Voice acting was flawless. I’m delighted that the legendary Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, and Kevin Conroy returned to the roles of The Joker, Batgirl, and Batman respectively. I think they were born to play these roles. The music fit the mood through the story. The score put me in the mind of the Tim Burton Batman film regarding the quality of the music. Hamill’s contribution to the score was eerie and frenzied. I felt the madness trickle through each verse.

There were two featurettes that were also including in the viewing. Before the flick, we got a short reflection from Mark Hamill about playing the Joker. He spoke about how it he first got the role and how it would play out against his identity as Luke Skywalker. This didn’t take long and I didn’t feel like unnecessary stalling before the main attraction began. After the story, there was another featurette about the music of the movie. It was also interesting and I enjoyed hearing from the different professionals that added their expertise to the production.

I give The Killing Joke a solid A. It is a necessary part of any Batman fans DVD/Blu-ray library. I believe that fans of the graphic novel will get a charge out of the movie.

Batman vs Superman – no spoiler reaction

If you’ve read a few of my articles, Facebook posts, or tweets, you know at least two things about me. First, I’m a nerd dad and second, I love superheroes. The latter being the most important part for this article. I’m calling this article a reaction rather than a review of Batman vs. Superman. There are enough reviews floating around so i thought I’d try something a little different. Still, watch for a review for the movie soon. But I digress…

If I said Batman vs Superman was disappointing, I think my buddy Loose would probably punch me in the teeth. He and I have had long discussions about how I liked the Fantastic Four reboot film by Fox. Yes you heard me right, I found some merit in that trainwreck of a film. To say that Batman vs Superman disappointed me almost seems like hypocrisy. Check out my article, “What the Fantastic Four Remake Taught Me,” for more details. Let me be clear though, I am in no way saying that I liked Fantastic Four better than Batman vs Superman!

Excited about this film for some time, I went into Batman vs Superman expecting DC’s A-game. My excitement caused me to mistakenly buy extra tickets online. The film was like begrudgingly giving an A student a C+ grade on an exam. That is what the student earned, but not what the teacher expected.  Batman vs Superman had all the tools it needed to be great movie, bankable actors, big budget, compelling characters, great costumes, and excellent effects; everything it needed to reach the top, and it fell short.

I will not say that Batman vs Superman was a bad movie. There was an valiant effort on my part to see the movie before reading any of the many negative reviews.  My first reaction on Facebook after watching the movie…”not sure how I feel about it.” The film had let me down on several levels which left me a little numb.  Much to my chagrin, there were points in the film that were frustrating; There were other points to the movie that were awesome. I’ll stay away from specifics for now to keep the spoilers out of this. Bad reviews or not, I don’t think that this film is a deal breaker for DC. Suicide Squad is on the horizon and a Wonder Woman film is in the works as well.

Batman vs Superman, Dawn of Justice was not anything special, and that’s too bad because it should’ve been.

How did you feel about the Batman vs Superman? Leave a comment, but no spoilers please.