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Heart of Ice - My Review, 7 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Out of all Batman TAS Episodes written by Paul Dini, I think this is the most well known and praised episode.

It does have some good points. For Example, I thought Animation by Spectrum Animation Studio was absolutely brilliant. I consider this episode as the beginning of Joker in Batman TAS.

Mark Hamill played Ferris Boyle in this episode. After playing Ferris Boyle, Mark Hamill expressed his interest in playing villain roles in Batman TAS. Mark Hamill expressed interest in playing Joker. But they already hired Tim Curry for playing Joker. Later, they decided that they need someone else to play Joker. That's when they remembered Mark Hamill expressing his enthusiasm in playing Joker. So they hired Mark Hamill for Joker and he played Joker throughout Batman TAS.

Aside from the good points mentioned above, I do think it is very overrated. Let me state my reasons why.

I didn't feel sorry for Mr. Freeze (Victor Fries). I can understand that he was trying to save his wife. But Victor Fries was using the money and the equipments of Ferris Boyle and his company for his personal reasons.

Boyle points out how Fries' experiment was an unauthorized experiment. Ferris Boyle also tells Fries how he ordered funding suspended weeks ago. But Fries continued with experiments even after Ferris ordered funding suspended weeks ago. Ferris points out that he is already 3 million in debt thanks to Victor Fries. Ferris points out how Victor Fries was using his money and his equipments for his personal reasons while talking to Bruce Wayne.

It must be noted that Ferris attacks Victor Fries only after Fries takes the gun and points at him. So when Fries pointed the gun at him, Ferris realizes that Victor Fries is now his enemy who can kill him. So he tricks Fries and attacks Fries which drives Victor Fries to become Mr. Freeze.

After becoming Mr. Freeze, Mr. Freeze's inconsiderate mind can also be seen when he abandons one of his henchmen with a frozen leg and moves on with his "personal" plans to destroy Ferris Boyle. Later, Batman saves the henchman.

People will say that Victor Fries lacks feelings after become Mr. Freeze and that's why he refused to save his henchman. But he still has romantic feelings for his wife even after becoming Mr. Freeze.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, I found Mr. Freeze to be a selfish and an uninteresting character.

With me, I consider Mad as a Hatter as Paul Dini's best episode. I rate Heart of Ice as 7 out of 10.

128 out of 307 people found the following review useful:
The finest documentary I have ever seen!, 30 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This documentary focuses on the facts that many people don't know about Adolf Hitler and his beloved Germany.

This documentary has 26 parts and a bonus feature called Babylon before Adolf Hitler. Part 23 is called Berlin Wall. Part 24 is called "What if Germany would have won." Part 25 (final part) is called "We defeated the Wrong enemy", and Part 26 is Sources.

Dennis Wise did an excellent job in making this documentary. I highly recommend this documentary to everyone who wants to know the actual facts about Adolf Hitler. I don't want to provide more details about this documentary. You can watch the documentary and decide for yourself after watching factual information. I rate the documentary 10 out of 10.

The Cat and the Claw Part 2, 28 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Compared to Part 1, I found Part 2 disappointing due to the poor animation by Akom. Sunrise did the animation for The Cat and the Claw Part 1. But I still give 10 out of 10, because of the wonderful script. I thought Story Editor Sean Catherine Derek, Laren Bright, Jules Dennis, and Richard Mueller did wonderful jobs with the story and the script for The Cat and the Claw Part 1 and this episode.

I think The Cat and the Claw (Part 1 & 2) has lots of brilliant touches in it. One of the brilliant touches is threatening portrayal of Batman to the criminals of Gotham. Let me give some examples.

In the beginning of this episode, We see the sudden appearance of Batman and Mob boss sweating due to the sudden and threatening appearance of Batman. When Mob boss tells Batman to lay off the Southside, Batman lifts Mob boss and says "Keep this up and I will be on you from all sides - NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, AND WEST." In Part 1, We see Batman lifting up the same mob boss and says "If you think, I have been bad news before." These are some great moments of how threatening Batman really is to the criminals of Gotham.

In this episode, we see that Bruce Wayne is also willing to take risks like Batman. But only in extreme danger. It is the scene where Bruce Waynes turns his car at the Red Claw's men after they tried to crash his car. Another interesting touch in The Cat and the Claw (Part 1 and Part 2) is the mission of one villain (Catwoman) is Preservation (Preserving the land for Mountain Lions) and the mission of the other villain (The Red Claw) is to cause destruction. Batman has to handle 2 female villains with opposite missions.

I also love how the dialogue is written in The Cat and the Claw Part 1 and Part 2. One of my favorite parts is the last scene where Catwoman says "So you do care." We see handcuffs on her hands and Batman says "More than you will ever know." Batman does care about Catwoman. But there is one thing that separates them - the law. I also love the conversations between Commissioner Gordon and Batman. It was very different compared to other episodes. Another interesting thing is the threatening side of The Red Claw is present in Part 1 (from the moment she appears) and throughout Part 2, because her thugs are causing danger to Bruce Wayne, Selena Kyle, and Maven. Red Claw's Virus is also causing trouble to Commission Gordon and the entire city of Gotham. Compared to other episodes, there is a feeling that lots of people are in danger at the same time through this episode.

Although this episode has a weak animation, still I rate the episode 10 out of 10 due to efforts of all the writers (Sean Catherine Derek, Laren Bright, Jules Dennis, and Richard Mueller) who worked on this episode.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
One of the best scripts to be destroyed by BS&P!, 28 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was one of the earliest scripts written for Batman Animated Series. Tom Ruegger (Executive Producer/Writer) of this show created the story of this episode with Sean Catherine Derek as the story editor.

Sean Catherine Derek brought in writers Jules Dennis and Richard Mueller to write the script of this episode. Sean Catherine Derek also worked on the script as story editor. Unfortunately, BS&P (Broadcasting Standards and Practices) didn't approve the script. They took a lot out of this episode. Producer Bruce W. Timm was extremely upset about the changes made by BS&P. BS&P added several "silly" scenes and (For Example, Chicken scene in the beginning, crocodile fight, etc.) to the episode. That is a disgrace to the original effort done by the writers of this episode. But some brilliant scenes written by Jules Dennis and Richard Mueller did end up in the episode. This includes from the scene where Batman finds the secret door to the scene where he brings young boy to the batcave and final scene with Batman and Sewer King.

It is the scene when Sewer King says "Why? Why?" and Batman replies "I don't pass sentence. That's for the courts. But this time - THIS TIME - I am sorely tempted to do the job myself." Batman's extreme anger towards Sewer King in this scene is brilliant, because of Sewer King's extreme cruelty towards innocent children. The suffering of these innocent children reminded Batman of his misery in his childhood when he lost his parents. Through this, we the audience explore into the emotional depth of Bruce Wayne. Despite the "silly" changes made by BS&P against the wishes of the writers, I give 10 out of 10 due to the brilliant final scene written by Jules Dennis and Richard Mueller with Story Editor Sean Derek.

The writers (Jules Dennis, Richard Mueller, and Story Editor Sean Catherine Derek) of this episode are the same writers who wrote Episode "The Forgotten." Through "My family" sequence Episode "The Forgotten", we can see the misery that Bruce Wayne went through his childhood. Like the episode "The Underdwellers", several changes were made to Episode "The Forgotten." This was also against the wishes of the writers. Fortunately, "My Family" sequence written by the writers did end up in the released version which allows to explore into the true vision of the writers. Only the scripts written by Jules Dennis, Richard Mueller, and Sean Derek that properly ended up on the screen were "The Cat and the Claw part 1" and "The Cat and the Claw part 2." So we can disregard the silly moments in this episode, because those moments weren't part of the intentions of the writers of this episode. I also love the animation of this episode. This was the first episode to be animated by Studio Junio. Studio Junio went on to animate episodes like Dreams in Darkness, Mudslide, Blind as a Bat, Avatar, Baby Doll.

I also love how batmobile was hidden inside a trash bin so that his enemies won't find where his batmobile is.

Due to the original efforts by writers, animation done by Studio Junio, and Music by Stuart Balcomb & Lars Cutterham, I rate the episode 10 out of 10.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Crying Turtle, 3 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review contains spoilers for both Mad as a Hatter and episode "Perchance to Dream." When I think of this episode, it reminds me of the crying turtle at the end of the episode. I felt sorry for Jervis Tetch (a.k.a Mad Hatter). Paul Dini's episode Mad as a Hatter was loosely based on a real tragic story that happened in Silicon Valley.

Jervis Tetch is a quiet and a lonely man who feels that he hasn't accomplished anything until his mind controlling device. Jervis Tetch is a man who is in love with his coworker Alice. But Alice treats him as a friend. Alice has a boyfriend named Billy. But Jervis is jealous that Alice is in love with Billy. Later, Jervis hears Alice crying and learns that after a fight, Billy broke up with her.

Jervis decides to take Alice on a date. But he doesn't know how to impress her. He feels that he is not a man with any physical beauty to impress her. After that, he decides to use mind controlling device to impress her. After that, we know what happened in this episode.

But this is the real tragedy to me with this episode - "We see that the quiet & lonely Mad Hatter has transformed into a man who is sociable, happy, and wishing his coworkers pleasant things after that wonderful night with Alice. Through this scene, we realize that his life would have been truly happy if he had Alice. These were few moments where Jervis was truly happy." This tragedy was used again in the episode "Perchance to Dream." You can read this in my IMDb review for for "Perchance to dream" about this.

When he realizes that he is going to lose Alice forever to Billy, he becomes very angry and uses all of his skills to get Alice. I felt very sorry for Jervis, because we see how much he has changed due to that one night with Alice. Her "handsome" boyfriend Billy is the one who got angry and broke up with Alice. When Billy apologizes and offers just "one flower" to Alice, Alice falls for him. But Jervis ended spending "all of his efforts and lot of time during that night" so that Alice can feel happy and also understand his romantic feelings for her. But Alice only saw Jervis as "a sweet funny man." After spending all of his efforts and time, Jervis realizes in the next morning that his efforts amounted to nothing. That's another reason why he becomes angry. We know what happens after that. I think the depth of Jervis Tetch's sadness is explored much more when we see the episode "Perchance to Dream." This is because we can compare his tragedy with the tragedy of Bruce Wayne in that episode. But this episode contributed a lot to that episode. This is one of the best animated episodes with real human emotion in it. Akom's animation for this episode turned out to be good. This was a surprise for me. The end of both Mad as a Hatter and Perchance to Dream remind me of crying turtle in this episode, because of the tragedy Jervis Tetch faces at the end of this episode after a quiet and lonely life.

Wonderful script by Paul Dini, Wonderful score by Shirley Walker, and Wonderful direction by Frank Paur. I rate this episode 10 out of 10.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Perchance to Dream - Dream within a reality or a reality within a dream?, 17 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


When I watched the episode, it made me think for a while. For me, this episode explores into the dreams that really exists in our everyday lives and the reality that exists in our dreams. Let me explain.

Bruce Wayne has a dream and Mad Hatter has a dream. Through his dream machine, Mad Hatter gives the dream that Bruce always wanted in his real life. At first, Bruce denies it by believing that it isn't real. But after discussing with Leslie, Bruce completely believes that the nightmare is over. He completely accepts the dream as "reality." After that, we see few "true" moments of reality within a dream. A moment where Bruce Wayne is truly happy in his heart. A moment where Bruce hugs his father and asks him if he and mom could join their son and Selina at the opera. A moment where he "truly" saw Selina as Selina. The woman of his life. And not as catwoman. This moment is powerful, because of contribution from writers, Boyd Kirkland, and Shirley Walker. Walker's music not only gives the moment of happiness in this scene, but also a moment of comfort where Bruce feels that all of his nightmares are over.

When Bruce realizes that everything is nothing but a dream, he becomes totally angry. He realizes that he "never" can lead a normal life like others do.

He goes to find Batman. In Episode Mad as a Hatter, there are few moments where Mad Hatter is truly happy. The scene where Mad Hatter dances with Alice and the scene where he comes to the office as a new man. We see that the quiet & lonely Mad Hatter has transformed into a man who is sociable, happy, and wishing his coworkers pleasant things. We see flowers in his hands for Alice. Alice is the woman of his dream. When he realizes that he is losing Alice, he becomes very angry. In the end, he loses Alice.

This is where both Bruce Wayne and Mad Hatter are in common. They both lost what they loved the most. Bruce lost his family. Mad Hatter lost Alice, the woman of his life.

So Mad Hatter makes the dream machine to give what Bruce Wayne wants so that he can get what he wants. We all have dreams in our lives. We wants "some" of our dreams very badly. But when we realize that we "never" can get them, this leads us to anger. Through Mad Hatter's dream machine, we realize that Bruce Wayne would have been truly happy if his parents were alive.

Through Episode "Mad as a Hatter", we see that the quiet & lonely Mad Hatter has transformed into a man who is sociable, happy, and wishing his coworkers pleasant things after that wonderful night with Alice. Through this scene, we realize that his life would have been really happy if he had Alice.

Just like Bruce Wayne is angry, we see Mad Hatter very angry at the end, because of what he lost. Moments like these make Perchance to Dream a memorable episode.

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The Walking Stick (1970) - A woman's lonely world, 13 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I watched the film, I thought the story of the film was just OK. Nothing special. I have seen older films with similar ideas.

But what made me like the film wasn't the story. I liked the film, because of the strong performance from Samantha Eggar and wonderful score by Stanley Myers.

David Hemmings did a fine job playing his role. But Eggar's performance was able to capture the true feelings of a woman who is physically and emotionally wounded. That's why Deborah Dainton (Samantha Eggar) is one of my favorite characters. And Stanley Myer's great cavatina music makes the scenes memorable by capturing the lonely world of Deborah Dainton (Samantha Eggar).

But I think the script would have been far better if it was given to a director like Alfred Hitchcock. I still rate the film 7 out of 10, because of its strong points.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Here comes Mr. Jordan (1941) - A Soul that Shines, 3 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I watched this film for the first time, I liked it a lot. But I only considered the film as an enjoyable comedy. When I watched the second time, I realized so many interesting things we don't notice throughout the movie. When we look into Sidney Buchman and Seton Miller's wonderful screenplay, then we see that there are several interesting dialogue and ideas in the film.

Here is an example of an interesting dialogue. Mr. Jordan says to Joe "Finance is merely a matter of heart being in the right place." Mr. Jordan also says to Joe "But eventually, she will see the soul of Joe Pendleton, because that is never lost. That will always shine through Joe. No matter what overcoat you put on." I think this dialogue covers the main message of the movie. Many people becomes sad about the ending, because they think Joe no longer exists.

I think this is because they are confused about the message of the film. When I watched the film for the first time, I got a little confused too. But after the second viewing, I understood the film much more. Although Mr. Jordan gave the body of Murdock and his memory, still the soul belongs to Joe. Only Joe exists. Murdock is dead. The body of Murdock and Murdock's memory is nothing but an overcoat for the soul of Joe to live for the rest of his life. In the end, we see that the soul of Joe Pendleton shining through the overcoat of Murdock. That's one of the reasons why Betty was attracted to him in the end. And this is also one of the reasons why Max Corkle becomes his coach in the end. Through the saxophone, we realize that it is Joe's soul inside Murdock's body. In the end, we see nothing but the beauty of the message left for us.

We also have to appreciate what Screenwriter Sidney Buchman did to this project. Harry Cohn wanted to make this film as a low budget. But Sidney Buchman pushed Harry Cohn to give a high budget for this film. And Buchman also insisted Harry Cohn to get Robert Montgomery for the leading role. Just like Joe Pendleton's Soul, Sidney Buchman's love and true dedication makes this film shine. And I thought Alexander Hall's direction was great. His direction especially at the ending scenes and Frederick Hollander's score makes this film even more special. I thought everyone did a great job playing their roles. I rate this film 10 out of 10.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The Browning Version (1951) - A successful film about failure, 18 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I watched the film for the first time, I thought it was a great film. But after repeated viewings, I only found the film to be getting better and better. Anthony Asquith's direction is absolutely brilliant. I don't know if anyone noticed this - The film has music only in the beginning credits and in the end of the film. Asquith used little or no music throughout the film with the exception of the song at the chapel scenes and the music outside the chapel.

He was able to involve the audience as closely as possible. Asquith was able to take Terrence Rattigan's great screenplay into a much more higher level. Asquith's attention to little details make the film much more stronger. For Example, he shows the importance of lesser characters like Wilson and Brian. Through their viewpoints about Crocker Harris (Michael Redgrave), we can generally understand what the class feels about Crocker Harris. As for the performance, I thought everyone was great in it especially Michael Redgrave and Nigel Patrick.

Through Nigel Patrick (Frank Hunter) and Brian Smith (Taplow), We study what kind of a man Andrew Crocker Harris really is? When he started his teaching career, he had good intentions. But he lost his way during his 18 years of teaching. Unlike Fletcher, He was never appreciated for his contributions. For Example, We find out that Crocker Harris drafted time tables for ten years. But they were issued under Headmaster's signature. And Frank Hunter (Nigel Patrick) tells that he didn't know that Crocker Harris drafted time tables of the school. Crocker Harris is a man who wants to express his interests and his ideas. And he asks Frank about his opinion on his new time table. And he also invites his wife Milly (Jean Kent) to see the new time table. But she replies "You know it bores me to death."

Crocker Harris expresses his ideas to the people who are very close to him. For Example, He explains to Taplow about his attachment to the play "Agamemnon." Taplow understood Crocker Harris and presented the book of the play "Agamemnon" to him. Through this charity, we see the slow rebirth of an almost dead character inside. Unlike Taplow, Milly didn't care for the interests and ideas of Crocker Harris. She expressed her disinterest and this tarnished the confidence of Crocker Harris. What I didn't like about Milly is her cruelty towards Crocker Harris. This is where I admire the Nigel Patrick's character Frank Hunter.

He ends his relationship with Milly, because of her cruel attitude towards her husband. And he tries to help Crocker Harris through kindness and respect. And Frank tells Crocker Harris that he is not going to ask Crocker Harris to forgive him for his affair with Milly, because Frank find it so hard to forgive himself.

Although Crocker Harris failed to give the love Milly wanted, still he tried to express love by giving her the complete freedom to do whatever she liked. Through this freedom, she tried to destroy Crocker Harris psychologically. And this led to his persistent ill health. This is where I completely dislike Milly. Due to his persistent ill health, Crocker expressed his students the reflection of his illness. This is why almost all of his students (except Taplow) disliked him.

But through his slow rebirth, Andrew Crocker Harris was able to admit his failures. And through admitting his failures, the students and everyone invited Crocker Harris to the world of Success. And in the end, we can conclude that Crocker Harris will survive and will finish the unfinished work, because of Taplow's appreciation.

I rate this film 10 out of 10, because of strong performances, Rattigan's great screenplay, and Asquith's brilliant direction. I also recommend everyone to watch The Winslow Boy (1948). I think that's another great film from Anthony Asquith.

6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Hitchcock's only Musical and a great one, 3 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A Great Musical Film by Hitchcock. He made this film when he was at the lowest point of his career. But he put all of his efforts into this project.

I love the humor used in this film. I love the scenes where Esmond Knight develops his music by watching workers arrange the bread and other food.

"Fear" is one of the major elements in a Hitchcock film. In this film, we see the fear of being ignored, fear of failure, fear of losing someone you love." Edmund Gwenn was brilliant as Johann Strauss Sr. We can really see his fear through his actions and emotions. He is a man who is dedicated to the world of music. But he is getting old. And he is afraid that his career as a composer is almost over. And he is also afraid that he will be forgotten in the future years as a great composer who put all his great efforts for the world of music. For Example, Johann Strauss says to his son Young Strauss "You think I am already at a standstill. Perhaps even a back number." This is mentioned before Young Strauss plays his music in front of his father and other composers in the middle of the film. This is connected to Hitchcock's life during that time.

When Hitchcock was making this film, his career was in trouble. Like Gwenn's character Johann Strauss Sr, Hitchcock did think about his future years as a filmmaker. But I heard through Truffaut/Hitchcock audio interview that it didn't fortunately reach to a point where he "believed" his career was over. But he didn't have any projects for thriller genre during that time. So he ended up picking this musical project so that there will be some hope for him in the future as a great filmmaker.

With the help of his wife Alma Reville, he puts his fear into the character of Johann Strauss Sr. and his son Young Strauss. His wife Alma Reville co-wrote the screenplay.

Young Johann Strauss Jr. is afraid that he will never become a successful composer in the future. During that time, Hitchcock was concerned about his future career. Hitchcock's 2 previous films (Rich and Strange, No. 17) before this film were failures.

Jessie Matthews (Rasi) fears that she may lose Young Strauss to Countess Helga (Fay Compton). That's why she is jealous of Countess Helga. Fear can lead a human into becoming a cruel person. That's what see in character Johann Strauss Sr (Gwenn). In Hitchcock's film Saboteur (1942), Blind Man (Vaughan Glaser) asks his niece Patricia Martin (Priscilla Lane) a question "Are you frightened, Pat? Is that what makes you so cruel?" We see this through the character of Strauss Sr too. Gustav (Frank Vosper) fears that his wife is having affair with another man. Hitchcock puts some of the film's humor through Gustav.

Hitchcock used lengthy shots in this film. Hitchcock used long take technique for the first time in Juno and Paycock. Here we see some lengthy shots in the film.

This film also shows Hitchcock's ability to make a film outside thriller genre.

Although this film is ignored, still I think it is a great film from Alfred Hitchcock. Even though Hitchcock wasn't really interested in this project, still he put a great deal of effort into this film through the script and the direction.

Like I mentioned before, another thing I love about this film is the personal elements applied by Hitchcock. For Example, the scene where Rasi's father comes and talks to Rasi about Johann Strauss Jr (Esmond Knight). Rasi's father says this to Rasi - "He (Strauss Jr.) will never make a baker. He hasn't his heart in it." This is like Hitchcock saying "I am not interested in making musicals. I am interested in making films in the thriller genre." I think these elements make this film stronger, because Hitchcock is giving his personal statements to the audience through this film in a subtle way.

In a way, I "thought" Countess Helga was a cunning lady villain. Countess Helga "really" did want Strauss Jr. to become a successful musician. But she cunningly used the idea of providing a successful music career to Strauss Jr. so that she could eliminate the love relationship between Strauss Jr. and Rasi. She was interested in Strauss Jr. romantically and she also knew that Rasi was jealous. But the love Strauss Jr. and Rasi have for each other comes from the bottom of their hearts.

When Rasi tries to leave Strauss Jr. in the middle of the film, Strauss Jr. comes to her and tells her that he loves her and he sacrifices his whole music career for her by becoming a baker. Even after Rasi tries to end the romantic relationship, she comes to save her beloved Strauss Jr. when she finds out that he is in danger. It must be noted that Strauss Jr. becomes a successful music career "mainly" because of Rasi. Strauss Jr.'s musical work comes to "fruition" only after Rasi gets involved in his work. It was Rasi who gives the "music tune" of success to Strauss Jr. Not Countess Helga. Through Rasi, Strauss Jr. succeeded with his musical work. Although Strauss Jr. gets his great success as a composer, still he reveals to Rasi that he is nothing without Rasi. Despite all the conflicts, the deep romantic feelings they (Strauss Jr. and Rasi) have for each other brings them back together in the end.

I liked performances especially from Jessie Matthews, Esmond Knight, and Edmund Gwenn. My request is give this film a second chance. Afterall, it is a film from Hitchcock. I rate this film 10 out of 10.

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