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

killing joke2

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.

5 reasons why you should be with Team IronMan for Civil War

In May, Captain America 3 is going to be war… Civil War. On one side you have Captain America and on the other you have Ironman.

Well if we’re going from what we know about the film so far, you should be with Team Ironman.
Let’s do a headcount:
There’s the King (Black Panther), the Master Assassin (Black Widow), the Robot (Vision), the Tin Soldier (War Machine), and the Shellhead (Iron Man).
.. and here’s five reasons why you should be with #TeamIronMan:
  1. TECHNOLOGICAL SUPERIORITY. Team Ironman has not only the Ironman and War Machine armors but then there’s Vision. The synthetic being who currently is sporting the bling known as the Mind Infinity Stone. Black Panther is also sporting a unique suit with untold technological advances from Wakanda.
  2.  MY GUNS ARE BIGGER THAN YOURS. Team Ironman has the most firepower! Between shoulder cannons, chest beams, wrist launchers, and many other devices hidden in the TWO armors, how is Team Cap going to match that? Vision has fired beams from the Mind Gem also.
  3. SHOW ME THE MONEY. Between having the resources of Tony Stark, the nation of Wakanda, and the United States government, Team Ironman has the biggest budget. This team isn’t hiding in some dive motel or eating scraps, we’re eatting good and sleeping well.
  4. I AM THE LAW. While rebellion is sometimes necessary (American Revolution, American Civil War, Star Wars), but in this case the law is on the side of Team Ironman. The US government, possibly the UN are supporting Team Ironman.
  5. ACE IN THE HOLE. We got the webhead! Spidey is a part of Team Ironman. With a great team, comes great responsibility.
These are only a few reasons, but there are many more.
So which team are you on #TeamIronman or TeamCap ? What are your reasons?

Pros & Cons: Marvel Miniature Game by Knight Models

Avengers starter
Avengers starter

This week Knight Models released its first run of Marvel Universe Miniature Game. As this game involves superheroes, I rushed to check it out. Actually, as a nerd dad, I had to ask my wife’s permission to get it. After a lengthy bargaining process, I rushed out to get the game. Because I’m a nerd dad, I plan to play the game in a day or so as the models that come in the started are not painted and need to be assembled. I did however read the rule book and look over the figures and their associated cards. Here are my first impressions for Knight Models’ Marvel game from those observations.

PROS

20160404_221758

    • The figure sculpts are well done and are free of the unnecessary flash you see on inferior models. Details like the individual plates of Thor’s armor or the disks in Black Widow’s belt confirm the quality of the models is impressive.

 

    • The rulebook looked to be well edited and concise. I liked the format of the rulebook.

 

    • As far as the rules go, the use of colors, symbols, keywords as well as numbered stats allow for thought-provoking ways to bring a superhero to life.

      20160404_222301

 

    • The folding character cards hold a lot of information and give an interesting take on keeping track of your character.

 

    • The price-point of $55 – $60 dollars is acceptable for 4 figures, 4 character stat cards, and a rulebook.

 

    • You can customize your battlefield scenery with ready-made objects or make your own.

CONS



    • 20160404_222314It’s nice to have a miniature rulebook with a miniature game, but the small print made it hard to read. There were several times I had to read a section twice.







    • cap cardThe character card uses a color scheme that might be hard to read.
    • I was planning to purchase a DEADPOOL and a BLACK PANTHER figure along with the Avengers starter, but the $25 price tag for a single figure made me reconsider.  

 

    • This first run only included hero figures. There aren’t any villains to purchase.20160403_163814

 

    • Scenery is an added expense.




 

The game seems similar to Warhammer or Hordes. What are your thoughts? Are you enthusiastic about a new tabletop version of superhero warfare? Leave a comment. Watch for my upcoming full review of the game.

ANT-MAN a no spoilers review

NO SPOILERS

I had to make a deal with my wife to see Ant-Man on the Thursday before its official release. But alas that is the life of a nerd dad. Ok, maybe I’m laying it on a bit thick, but the deal was way worth it…Still I digress.
If you are a super hero fanatic like myself, you’ll enjoy this movie. The special effects are well done. The shrinking and growing scenes are cool and believable. The CGI ants were also cool. My wife was actually surprised by the number of ants in the ANT-MAN movie…lol. There were a few times that the shrinking scenes were a little hard to follow, but I’m sure it’ll be fine the second time I see it.
Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd do a good job of portraying our heroes. The torch passing between the two works well on screen. Former Lost hottie Evangline Lilly was cool as Hope. At first I thought her character was too rigid, but she warms up later. As expected with a Marvel movie, the weakest part of the film is the villain. While Corey Stoll is ok, it’s like he can’t make up his mind whether he was nefarious, psychotic, or simply misunderstood. While that might work with say the Joker, it makes Stoll’s motives seem more manufactured. Besides Rudds’ wisecracks and humor, there is the “plucky comedy relief” from what equates to sidekicks; in the form of Michael Pena, T.I., and David Dastmalchian. Their roles are funny and well placed. Pena is especially fun with his unique method of explaining things to our hero.
What makes this film especially good for me is the reason that I have a soft spot for all the Disney/Marvel super hero films…the Marvel Cinematic Universe! The fact that the films are connected and you get cameos and mentions of events from other films tickles my super hero loving bones. Some of the things they mentioned (nods and connections to other Marvel characters and movies) in the film almost gave me a nerdgasm. Then there are the cameos, and those actually did give me a several nerdgasms.
There are TWO post credit scenes, so make sure you stay for both.

Ant-Man is a must see for the super hero/comic lover, the Disney film lover, and everyone in between.
I give Ant-Man a B+