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And The Batman is back
I loved Gotham Knight. I thought it was very unique and equally well-written. They made Batman mythical again. Which needed to be done frankly; after the Nolan movies (Which I also enjoyed.) I liked Batman: Under the Red Hood because it was more traditionally produced but it also had just the right amount of darkness to make it accessible for Adults and children to enjoy it and get fulfillment from it. It was a little difficult to get over the absence of Kevin Conroy, but I was quickly convinced and accepting of a new voice for Batman. It was great. I thought Batman: Year One was beautiful for its rawness and it's ability to completely rebuild not only Commissioner Gordon's and Batman's relationship as a crime-fighting network but also the characters individually while making both sides evenly poignant.
Then this animated mini-series is released. I love the Frank Miller graphic novels of which it was based; and I've been very intrigued and enthusiastic about Batman's now-progressive plunge into his darker topics and more adult themes. Sometimes Batman has to grow up into well Batman. I was a little apprehensive, because although the animated movies were heading into Batman's dark side, they still hadn't reached the adult level of Batman lore that I had been waiting for.
I quickly reveled in it's glorious success in executing not only a darkness that has not been so openly demonstrated through The Bat's many mediums of late. Frankly, unless you frequent the comic book land of Batman (which isn't nearly everyone), you're not going to witness how dark and psychologically thrilling Batman myth can be. But this landed Batman right on the middle of edgy. Miller's creation which was brilliant in it's original form is now intriguingly and wonderfully executed. They not only produced an achievement in being just a well constructed Batman animated movie but they also managed to completely live up to Miller's edgy, dry, darkness and creating the particularly specific creation of Miller's Gotham. The style was perfect. The tone was spot on. The animation was very representative of the graphic novel. By this point, I'm very well used to the idea of Kevin Conroy not being the only voice talent that can successfully dawn the voice of Batman so the casting was easy to receive as Miller's 80's-style. Batman's struggle with his very-aged body and the evermore youthful villains that he now faces is brilliantly presented. The combat isn't
just a few shots in this anymore. It is brutal and relentless and delightful to witness. The music was well crafted to bring the specific emotional level of a Miller novel surrounding such a profound accomplishment in Batman's animated cinema. to be continued....
The Batman is back again....again.
This was an excellent translation of Miller's piece of the same name. Animation and the overall attitude of the movie was perfectly executed like the first part. This Batman mini-series is so satiating for Miller's fans; but it is also very satisfying to Dark Knight patrons unfamiliar with his work. I remember reading the description before reading the graphic novel; and then kind-of begrudgingly read them because I wasn't anticipating a Batman/Superman story would be as gritty and raw as Miller typically does and I was inevitably still in awe of the beauty of that entire side of the story. I didn't begrudgingly watch this series but my excited meant reestablished. Absolutely bloody-well done!
I saw this movie quite some time ago and never went into the IMDb user reviews to see what other people thought about it. I finally did a moment ago and I am baffled by the good reviews. This movie was AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress to you how awful it was. I saw affects designs that I recognized from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer T.V. series. It exploits every stereotype of the vampire lore and it doesn't do this well at all. I cannot believe the positive feedback. "Finally, an intelligent vampire movie"? Are you freaking kidding me!? This movie was terrible right down to the last crappily executed line of dialog. The acting was terrible. Willem Dafoe's character is a joke and the plot is a major rip off of Blade. Does anyone remember the blade movies? If so, I don't know how this could receive such high recommendations. It was horrific. I was honestly surprised of how terrible it was. Solid vamp movie-not in the slightest. Terrible vamp movie? Absolutely. It sucked so much I'm surprised it didn't implode into itself.
Harry Brown (2009)
Not Sure How to Rate This One
I wasn't sure how to rate this review because of how I was affected by the movie's content and I'm not sure if it just hit too close to home or it was just a frame of mind thing or whatever. So thats why I gave it a seven.
I will say that the reason that it bothered me so intensely was because of how unmainstream it was. It was by far the most gritty and intense movie I think I've ever watched. I was completely startlingly surprised. I've tried to discuss the movie with my friends that have not seen it yet; and, typically, I do the normal "describe a scene to see if it interests them" thing. However; I made the mistake of telling them how very disturbing I found it so they were more interested in knowing why I found it to be so disturbing. So I gave them the same routine but no one has let me finish describing those scenes. I don't exaggerate when describing something. I told them what was going on in one of those particularly unsettling scenes and every time I'm stopped before I'm even half way through the description. And thats what I'm talking about here. The movie is good and its well-made but I was caught completely off-guard; and its seriously like a punch in the face, as the feeling that feeling you get when you see something uncomfortably bad develops. That tingling in your stomach that leaves you shaken and thinking about it long after. The feeling that makes you appreciate your warm safe world.
THIS IS NOT A MOVIE FOR A FAINT HEART.
There is some dirty, awful things in this movie. Its the underground stuff that we know, in the back of our mind, is going on; because we hear things about these things in the news every so often or we see subtle things that might trip that discomforting trigger in your mind briefly and then we choose to forget it.
Prepare yourself to be hit with a baseball bat with the things that you've kept tucked away nice and secure in your nice little world because there is nothing that Barber holds back. No reservations he tried to accommodate.
In a world with movies like SAW, HOSTEL, LAST HOUSE on the LEFT, etc; it should be expected that the progression would reach certain levels of horror.
I tried listing movies that were, over a general audience, received as disturbing and Effed up. I also listed them because they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on this movie. Nothing I've seen does. Thankfully, I was watching it on my laptop so I could pause every so often to take a "This is REALLY just a movie remember. That guy from The Muppets Christmas Carol is in it. Its NOT real, its NOT real" breather. Its not disturbing gory (although there's plenty of that too), its the fact that its so realistically shot. If that says anything.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Not just a normal comic book movie.
It is a very rare occasion for myself to anticipate a movie and have those already-high standards to still be exceeded by the actual movie. However, this was the case with The Dark Knight.
This movie was excellent on so many levels. For the dork in me, I love the Batman thing. Christopher Nolan did an excellent job leaning more on a realistic point of view with the Cape Crusader's back story in Batman Begins and he keeps in with the same themes in this one. This one, however, becomes a bit more desperate. It naturally adds to the tempo of the movie without being distracting.
The acting in this movie was impeccable. Maggie Gylenhaal replaced Katie Holmes which I thought was a good trade. In my opinion, Maggie is a far superior actress. But the person that stole the show was Heath Ledger. Heath was almost completely unrecognizable in his role as the Joker. I could barely tell that it was him sometimes. His timing, his voice modification, the makeup, everything about the character really took it to a whole new level with the story. Christopher Nolan did such a great job with the Joker story that the movie almost became a different kind of movie.
That is why it worked so well. It didn't feel like a comic book movie. It had the intensity of heat and with the acting of The Departed. It was not just a Batman movie. It was a crime drama with Batman undertones. No one thus far has succeeded so brilliantly with making such an animated character seem so possible and at times real. The only problem I see with the second was being able to top it when the third one comes out.