Showing posts with label batman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label batman. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2022

PodCast 199: "The Batman" (2022)- a Kryptonian Thought Beast Episode w/ JAL and Ryan




Watched:  05/01/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing: First
Decade: 2020's
Director:  Matt Reeves




It's no riddle which flying rodent-enthusiast had a blockbuster in 2022. The Dynamic Duo of JAL and Ryan get back to the Batcave to talk all about the latest take on the Dark Knight Detective. It's time to get broody as we go batty talking how this one fits in with the big picture, and what makes it unique.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
The Batman - Michael Giacchino, The Batman OST 
Batman - Neal Helfi
Something In the Way - Nirvana, Nevermind 

DC Movies Playlist

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Catwoman (2004)




Watched:  04/15/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  first complete, end-to-end viewing
Decade:  2000's
Director:  some asshole who goes by "Pitof"

If I were teaching a class on superhero film, I would make Catwoman (2004) the half-way point of the class.  Chronologically, the movie arrives after Fox successfully put out two X-Men movies and Sony has delivered some Spider-Mans.  Warner Bros has shut down its Bat-franchise and will sometimes think about making a superhero movie, but everything you read in the press that WB is considering is still stuck in the idea that superheroes are campy and should be comedic, or is a reimagining where they'll use the name but everything else will be so changed, it will bear no resemblance to the comics.  

Friday, October 8, 2021

DCU Animated Watch: Batman - The Long Halloween (2021)




Watched:  Part 1 - 10/02, Part 2 - 10/03
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Chris Palmer

I've not kept it a secret that I haven't thought all that much of the narratives of DC Animated films in several years.  There's been some winners, and some mediocre stuff, and a certain bit of leaning in to the "edge-tacular" stuff that was kicked off by Flashpoint.  

Hence, I haven't really wanted to give anyone any money to watch any of the animated features.  I've paid for a Superman and Wonder Woman movie here and there, and I know I caught a Bat-film or two, but none of it knocked my socks off.  Including some adaptations of some favorite stories straight from the comics.

More out of curiosity than anything, Jamie and I decided to check out Batman: The Long Halloween (2021) on HBOmax.  She also read the comic maybe 15 years ago, so we both had a bit of knowledge about what to expect.  

Frankly, for me, it's probably also been 15 years since I read the book, and so my memory of it, while extremely positive, is wound up with Dark Victory and I don't know what happened in what anymore (ie:  was Dick Grayson in Long Halloween or no?).

Monday, October 4, 2021

DCU Animated Bat-Watch: The Killing Joke (2016)




Watched:  10/03/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Sam Liu

Look.  This... should never have been a movie.  I know what DC/ WB Animation was thinking, but I have no idea what DC/ WB Animation was thinking.

Winding it way back, in 1988 I would have been about 13 when I stumbled across The Killing Joke as a comic book.  And, yes, at one point I had a first printing of the comic, which rises and falls in value on a regular basis.  

It's worth noting - Moore and Bolland were commissioned to do the comic en route to the Keaton-starring Batman movie.  Moore now distances himself from the comic as he has all things DC.  It was, I assume meant to be something of the moment and to give people curious about Batman and the Joker and modern comics something they could pick up as a "graphic novel" at B. Dalton Booksellers.  

This was the era just before 1989's Batman movie, and DC was pushing occasional random things out there and making sure to have collections on the shelf of Year One, Year Two, Dark Knight Returns and the ever popular Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told.  A beautifully crafted story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland was a slam dunk - focusing on Batman and the Joker to give it synergy - what could go wrong?

Your answers are multiple choice.

Monday, February 10, 2020

DC Watch: Birds of Prey (2020)


Watched:  02/09/2020
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's

Uh.  Look.  I wasn't really planning to see this movie.  I wasn't a fan of Suicide Squad or even Margot Robbie's take on Harley Quinn in the movie, which many found winning.  She's kind of a perky Mary Sue for fans of My Chemical Romance.  I get it.

Friday, the movie was, at one point, tracking over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has settled in at a comfortable 80% as of this writing.  Filmmakers I like vouched for it, and Jamie expressed some interest, and I have an Alamo Season Pass, so money is already sunk for tickets, so we went.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

TL;DR: In 1989 I was 14, and I saw "Batman"



The kids are never going to know that there is, literally, in the public consciousness, a world before Tim Burton's Batman from back in '89, and a world that came into being after that movie.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Batman, the Michael Keaton/ Kim Basinger/ Jack Nicholson-starring gothic caricature that changed the public's perception of superheroes in general.  This isn't hyperbole - nothing was ever the same after this movie came out.  You don't get an Iron Man or Avengers without Batman.  You really don't get the idea out to the general public that comics have moved to a teens-and-up audience until you get breathless write-ups about the Batmania phenomenon.  You also don't have piles of merchandise for adults with a superhero logo on it until Batman, or comics movie-related toys flying off the shelf.

But, mostly, you finally got people to stop thinking "Bam! Whap! Pow!" when they thought about superheroes.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Animation Watch: Justice League vs The Fatal Five (2019)



Watched:  04/25/2019
Format:  DCUniverse
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Aside from Justice League Action and Young Justice, I have a hard time getting excited for the DC animation films or shows.  While a country mile better than Marvel's cartoons and their paceless plotting (but kudos as their animation has finally caught up), with the end of Brave and the Bold and the hard pivot with Flashpoint, DC decided the only thing to do was aim squarely at 22 year olds and everyone else could go @#$% themselves.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Batman at 80


They tell me Batman is now 80 years old.  Happy Anniversary/ Birthday, Bruce. 

This week, DC Comics released Detective Comics #1000, a big event book as it well should be.  I'll pick up my copy at my local comics shoppe (I asked for the Steve Rude cover - we'll see what I wind up with, because I genuinely don't care  All the covers were terrific, imho).  What happens in #1000 matters less than the stunning achievement of 80 years of Batman, a character dreamed up in the wake of Superman's overnight success, and whose most outstanding achievement is the ability to fit into any tone or version of the character you want and still remain, fundamentally, Batman. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Super Reading! Action Comics #1003 (2018)


The Invisible Mafia - Part 3


Script - Brian Michael Bendis
Art - Yanick Paquette
Colors - Nathan Fairbank
Letters - Josh Reed
Cover (main) - Patrick Gleason & Brad Anderson/ Cover (variant) - Francis Manapul
Associate Editor - Jessica Chen
Editor - Michael Cotton
Group Editor -  Brian Cunningham

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Artist Norm Breyfogle Merges With the Infinite


Comics artist Norm Breyfogle has passed.  Reported here by The Washington Post

When I got into comics, like any 10 or eleven year-old, I didn't really know how they worked.  I had no guidance, and no one was around to explain them to me.  We had spinner racks at the grocery, shelves at drugs stores and 7-11, and however B. Dalton and Waldenbooks wrangled their comics that week.

Pretty quickly I went from just grabbing random comics to gravitating to Uncanny X-Men and Batman comics, especially once I figured out that I could get two Batman comics every month with Batman and the oddly named Detective Comics

It was a hell of a time to get into comics.  What was okay to do in art was changing fast.




Tuesday, June 19, 2018

PODCAST: Jamie and I Talk "Justice League" (2017)!!!


Jamie humored me - and we watched Justice League (2017) and then she agreed to do a podcast.



Ryan welcomes a very special guest - Jamie, the light of his life - as they talk DC Entertainment's "Justice League", and Jamie works through her feelings about the movie. And Ryan maybe goes on a Kirby tangent.

Also available on
Stitcher
iTunes
PocketCast

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bat Watch: Gotham By Gaslight (2018)


Watched: 02/23/2018
Viewing: First
Format: Amazon Streaming
Decade: 2010's


Way, way back in - I think - early high school, the slim, prestige format comic Gotham By Gaslight arrived in comic shops, and as a good little comics-kid, I picked up my copy, read it, loved it, and it was probably in a longbox until the great purge a few years ago.  I am 95% certain I have it in a collection somewhere amongst the Batbooks, but its been two decades since I've read the thing.

Like everyone else, I was batty for Gotham by Gaslight upon arrival.  It featured art by Mike Mignola and a pretty decent story by Brian Augustyn, and I think it took off much better than DC figured.  This put the idea of Elseworlds into DC's head, and for the next two decades we got endless versions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and sometimes others, in various periods, geographies and genres.  It took a concept like "but what if Superman emerged in conjunction with, say, War of the Worlds!?" or "Batman, but a pirate" and sold a couple of prestige-formatted issues.  Or, you got some "what if?" sort of story, like "what if Krypton never exploded?"

Some of it was great, some of it serviceable or bad.  Some of it got way overhyped (everyone needs to relax about @#$%ing Red Son.  It's not that good.).  But Gotham By Gaslight started it all, and - for my money - though I haven't actually re-read it in two decades - was among the very best.

The movie is okay.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Wild Ride of Joys and Disappointments of "Justice League" in a 3 minute clip



Superman actually *acts* like Superman, but because the movie needed reshoots and Cavill was legally required to keep his mustache for Mission Impossible 64 (or whatever), they had to digitally remove the facial fuzz.  And it looks terrible.  So, like all of Justice League, you get some really good stuff, but you have to take it on the chin a little, too.

And, hey, that is JUST like Batman from the comics!  It's just... kind of a not-great scene.  I dunno.  How he fights the guy doesn't even make a lot of sense, really.  He has him on the ground, and then he lets him get back to the gun while he runs away to scurry up a water tower?  And it's the last we'll see of him in Batman-mode in quite this way. 

This is kind of Justice League in a nutshell.  Has stuff you really want to see, but the delivery vehicle is terribly messy.  Still, worth a watch.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

DC Movies Watch: Justice League (2017)



I had no intention of seeing Justice League (2017).

It's not that I don't like the Justice League as characters or concept - I'm a comics guy who tilts toward DC Comics, and once had a complete run of everything from Morrison's JLA run in the 90's to 2011 (I sold if off during the purging of longboxes about two years ago*).  My bonfides include significant runs of Wonder Woman, Superman and Flash comics, reasonable Batman-cred, and having had watched the respective movies and TV shows featuring the JLA characters in a wide variety of live-action and animated incarnations (with exceptions which I can discuss but won't do here). I will happily test my DC Comics-Fu against any of you nerds (but not Mark Waid).

I'm on record regarding Man of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman.  One of these films was much, much better than the other three.  Let's just say 2017 was much better for DC than prior years.

It's no secret those first three movies left me a broken, bitter man.  The very ethos of the films was so far afield from the DCU I knew and loved, and the take on Superman so fundamentally broken (and at the end of the day, I'm a Superman guy), that I just didn't want to do it again.  I'd watch it on cable or when JimD sent me the BluRay against my protestations.

Then, as of Thursday I guess, trusted sources, such as creators Mark Waid, Gail Simone, Sterling Gates and our own readers including Stuart and JimD saw the movie, and weren't furious at it.  They had some nice things to say.  So, I got my tickets and I went to a 10:45 PM show on Friday evening.

Let's be honest:  Justice League has massive plotting issues, bizarrely genericizes and changes Kirby's Fourth World mythology in a way that makes it feel one-note to audiences who don't know their Granny Goodness from their Mister Rogers while also ruining the epic world building for fans of The New Gods (one of the most important ideas in superhero comics and comics in general).**  It has some terrible CGI, I hate the Flash's costume (a TV show should not be kicking your butt in this arena), and not nearly enough Amy Adams for my dollar. ***

But...

After three narrative and character misfires and one absolute gem of a superhero movie (you're my hero, Patty Jenkins), shake-ups in management at DC, a switch of directors, reshoots, a slashing of runtime by nearly an hour...  Some combo of people and factors finally seemed to care a bit about, at least, Superman.  If nothing else, they got Superman right.  And I cannot tell you how much of a difference that made to me as a viewer and what I was willing to deal with and what I wasn't in my superhero epic.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Great Andrea Romano, Voice Director for Animation, is Retiring


Like every other DC Comics nerd, I know Andrea Romano's name from watching my Batman, Superman and Justice league cartoons a little too closely.  And, of course, the extras on the DVD sets.

It seems she's hanging up her... headset?  microphone?  and passing off her duties as she heads into well-earned retirement.

It's hard to say how one measures the skill of a voice director for cartoons, but here's a sample of shows she's worked on:


  • Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers
  • Duck Tales
  • Tiny Toon Adventures
  • Animaniacs
  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • Freakazoid
  • Superman
  • Batman Beyond
  • Static Shock
  • Justice League
  • Teen Titans
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • The Boondocks


and a whole lot more

I know the folks 10 or 15 years younger than me will disagree because they've got nostalgia on their side, but I couldn't ever figure out what was wrong with the acting in the Marvel cartoons of the 1990's (or, heck, today).  The voice acting always sounded rushed, like people just shouting lines into a mic.  But DC's work always sounded natural, like a radio show or movie, just animated.  Her characters were distinct, had their own cadences and personalities.

And when you think of shows like Animaniacs or Tiny Toons - those voices were so specific and as much a part of the characters as any cell animation - you can't really separate the two.  Hell, the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) still bounce around in my head in perfect pitch.

Yeah, that's because WB has a great stable of voice actors, but they've also been working under Romano for decades now.   She brought in name talent like Clancy Brown for Superman, and she found a fellow by the name of Kevin Conroy and made him "the" Batman for two or three generations of fans, no matter who was putting on the cowl in the feature films.

Back when I was still buying DVDs and BluRays of DC movies and series, I'd always jump immediately to the extras and hope they'd have an interview with Romano, who was casual but a total pro every time she was on camera.  Her feel for the characters and, really, how to work with actors was superb, and it played out in every story, in every series and movie and arc.  And even though she's not associated with Justice League Action - which all of you should be watching - the show's production carries so much of her stamp, such is her legacy at at WB Animation.

I'm sad she's retiring, because it means less of her work, but it's important to say a big thanks to Ms. Romano, who has been such a huge part of so many hours of entertainment we've all been able to enjoy, and who's amazing abilities elevated an artform that many thought of hokey kid stuff.

Here's to you, ma'am.





Saturday, June 10, 2017

Adam West, the "Bright Knight" Batman, Merges With The Infinite



This one hurts.

Adam West has passed at the age of 88.

Literally my earliest memories include watching Batman starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin.  Steans-family lore states that my first words were "Batman" as I ran around our home with my security blanket around my neck.

The story is that I was toddler-ish and Jason was two years older, and my mom, The Karebear, had to make us dinner before my Dad got home from work (dude worked hard and late).  In order to wrangle me, her ADD wunderkind, she figured out that I'd sit perfectly still for Batman, which happened to be on in syndication right when she needed to fire up the stove.

When the Michael Keaton-starring "serious" Batman was released, in 1989, when I was 14, the show came back on cable, and I totally got what they were up to.  Somehow, inbetween, like many of my generation, there'd been some confusion about the show being a drama that was kind of stupid and something you grew out of.  But, nope, the show had been winking to the older crowd all along.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

BatLego Watch: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)


Y'all have already seen this one, so no lengthy post here.  But that was a really fun movie, and maybe the best intro to the full range of Bat-dorkiness from DC Comics, the movies, the TV shows...

That was just a blast.

And, now I need a lot of white and crystal Lego, because I really want to build a Lego Fortress of Solitude.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bat-Christmas Watch: Batman Returns (1992)



So, I was at work and I DM'd Jamie.

Me:  You want to watch a Christmas movie tonight?
Jamie:  Yeah.  "Batman Returns"?
Me:  *a single tear of joy rolling down my cheek, certain I married the right woman*

I didn't immediately get to see Batman Returns (1992) upon its release.  I was at a (sigh) 7 week drama camp for high schoolers that was well worth the money as, in week 2, I realized I absolutely did not want to major in drama when I did go to college.  So when I got home and more or less immediately drove to go see the movie, I was aware it was "weird", "not as good as the first one" and the other things people were saying at the time.  My memory of seeing the movie that first time was primarily of (a) Catwoman and (b) my girlfriend at the time laughing at me as my 40 oz of soda spilled all down the floor of the theater.  Great girl.

It's been a long, long time since I watched this movie.  It's nowhere near one of my favorite films, superhero or otherwise, and it's always been a bit of a mess.  Sure, it features things I love in theory - a Circus of Crime, penguins loaded down with missiles and helmets, the Batmobile, Michelle Pfieffer...  but it also feels like too many cooks were in the kitchen deciding what this movie would be.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)



Had this movie not been released the week of the election, I expect this movie would have made a bit bigger splash in the media, maybe even gaining some mainstream media attention.

If you're looking for some pure, escapist fun to watch with the kids* (and you want to guarantee they'll enjoy the action while you enjoy the jokes), I really can't recommend the newly released Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) enough.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Happy Birthday, Adam West


Happy Birthday to the great Adam West.

You can have your Ben Afflecks and Christian Bales or even your Michael Keatons.  I'll take Adam West.  My guess is - if you had to pick to have dinner with any of them, you, too, would want to dine with Mr. West.

Today Mr. West is 88 years old, still does tours and whatnot with comic-cons, and in November will see his voice applied to a cartoon version of Batman.

I don't know what to say except in, in the cowl or out - Mr. West is a hero.  Let's salute the man and wish him the best of birthdays.