Tagged: Bob Kane

Batman The Killing Joke

Summary: As Batman hunts for the escaped Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime attacks the Gordon family to prove a diabolical point mirroring his own fall into madness.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd July 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: 3rd August 2016

Country: USA

Director: Sam Liu

Screenwriter: Brian Azzarello, Bob Kane (characters), Bill Finger (characters), Jerry Robinson (characters), Brian Bolland (graphic novel), Alan Moore (graphic novel)

Cast: Kevin Conroy (Batman/Bruce Wayne (voice)), John DiMaggio (Francesco (voice)), Robin Atkin Downes (Detective Bullock (voice)), Brian George (Alfred (voice)), Mark Hamill (The Joker (voice)), JP Karliak (Reese (voice)), Andrew Kishino (Murray (voice)), Nolan North (Mitch (voice)), Maury Sterling (Paris (voice)), Tara Strong (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (voice)), Anna Vocino (Jeannie (voice)), Rick D. Wasserman (Maroni (voice)), Ray Wise (Commissioner Gordon (voice)),

Runtime: 76 mins

Classification: MA15+

 

OUR BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Few movie/television franchises have evolved as much as Batman has over the years. For those of us older enough we grew up watching the campy Adam West led series that saw Batman’s violence limited to ‘POW’ and ‘KAPOW’ being placed on the screen as Batman almost playfully put down his enemies. For anyone that had never read the original Batman comics and graphic novels there was no hint at all at just how dark this series could be. Tim Burton touched on it with ‘Batman’ and ‘Batman Returns’ while Christopher Nolan fully embraced with his Batman trilogy. Now however comes what is possibly the darkest ‘Batman’ adaption to ever grace our screens – the animated cinematic event that is ‘Batman: The Killing Joke.’

Loosely based on the Brian Bolland/Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ sees the successful duo of Batman/Bruce Wayne (voiced by Kevin Conroy – ‘The Office’) and Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (Tara Strong – ‘Ice Age’) pretty much keeping Gotham City crime free. But things sour when their relationship turns sexual and it seems to Barbara that Bruce still wants to treat her like a child. As she decides to quit the Batgirl role both her and her father, Commissioner Gordon (Ray Wise – ‘RoboCop’), are attacked by The Joker (Mark Hamill – ‘Star Wars’) who is determined to prove that anyone can break the way he did.

Anyone who is expecting that ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ is aimed at children because of the fact that it is animated is in for a very rude shock indeed. I say that because those have read the graphic novel know that the treatment that Barbara and Commissioner Gordon receives from The Joker is extremely violent and adult orientated and here director Sam Liu (‘Green Lantern: The Animated Series’) doesn’t hold back. And while Liu doesn’t tone things done ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ is far from the perfect film.

Liu and his screenwriter, Brian Azzarello (‘Batman: Gotham Knight’) actually do a pretty good job making this a Joker origins story and while they produce a great insight into how the Joker ended up the way he did and what he is capable of doing there are also weaknesses in the plot. The opening scenes which show Batgirl and Batman trying to bring down Paris Franz (Maury Sterling – ‘The A-Team’) are massively too long. As a film this should be a Joker origins story but having a whole early sub-plot of having Paris develop a crush on Batgirl before the Joker is even properly introduced makes the film feel clumsy and awkward as it suddenly switches from being a Batgirl movie to a Joker movie… not a great move when you know what the Joker does to her here. It’s also a weird thing to say about a film that only runs for 76 minutes but that added Batgirl story makes the film seem over-long.

Perhaps the worst crime though that ‘Batman: The Killing’ commits though is its rushed ending. Liu does a great job setting up what appears like it is going to be an epic battle between Batman and The Joker after Joker has tortured Commissioner Gordon in an old fairground. But alas the battle is never as epic as you expect it to be and the ending is just ever awkward as you see Batman and Joker laughing together… something you would never expect to see when you know what Joker has just done to Batgirl. Anyone that knows Batman would know that this would never be his response to such an act and it feels dangerously out of place here.

The darkness of ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ does ring out the best in its voice cast. Anyway who says that Mark Hamill has had a ‘nothing’ career since ‘Star Wars’ will be silenced by his eerie and manic portrayal of The Joker while Kevin Conroy is his typical smooth self voicing Batman. The other star here is Tara Strong who gets the benefit from the added Batgirl storyline and she reveals herself to be one voice artist who really knows how to get emotion out of her voice.

‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ does have its weaknesses but they are somewhat overcome by the fact that this is one of the darkest Batman stories that we have ever seen on the big screen. While it may be animated it certainly doesn’t lessen the impact of the darker scenes and the filmmakers behind it need to be congratulated for not toning it down. Well worth a look if you are a hardened Batman fan.

Stars(3)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):   Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Batman: The Killing Joke reviews: Nil.

 

Trailer:

"To Rome With Love" World Premiere

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The dual announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

The director added, “As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Eisenberg received Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award® and BAFTA Award nominations for his starring role as Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” He also starred in Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” and Louis Letterier’s “Now You See Me.” He next appears in “The Double” and “Night Moves.”

Irons won the Academy Award® for his portrayal of Claus von Bülow in “Reversal of Fortune.” His work in the film also garnered him a Golden Globe Award. He won an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® for his performance in the TV miniseries “Elizabeth I,” opposite Helen Mirren, and recently starred on the small screen as Rodrigo Borgia in Neil Jordan’s highly acclaimed Showtime series “The Borgias,” for which Irons earned a Golden Globe nomination. He was recently nominated for a SAG Award® for the PBS Great Performances television miniseries “The Hollow Crown,” for his performance as Henry IV.

The film is set to open in Australian cinemas May 5, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.

Batman Superman

Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been  set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Last month’s surprise announcement of the new movie featuring both Superman and Batman created a wave of excitement and immediately fueled discussion and debate—among fans as well as in the media—about who would put on the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.

Snyder successfully re-imagined the origin of Clark Kent/Superman in the worldwide blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, and climbing. The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.

Affleck will star opposite Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

In the announcement, Silverman stated, “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he
and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”

Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned
crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

Kroll added, “We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.”

Affleck recently starred in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” which he also directed and produced, earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. In 2010, he starred in and directed the hit crime thriller “The Town.” His recent acting work also includes “The Company Men,” “State of Play,” and “Hollywoodland,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Earlier in his career, Affleck starred in and co-wrote (with Matt Damon) “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay.

The new Super Hero film is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Zack Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers.

Production is expected to begin in 2014.

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.

Summary: Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th July, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th November, 2012

Country: United States/United Kingdom

Director: Christopher Nolan

Screenwriter: David S. Goyer, Bob Kane (characters), Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan

Cast: Alon Aboutboul (Dr. Pavel), Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Rob Brown (Allen), Michael Caine (Alfred), Marion Cotillard (Miranda), Marvin Duerkholz (Logan), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent), Chris Ellis (Fr. Reilly), Will Estes (Officer Simon Jansen), Tyler Dean Flores (Mark), Morgan Freeman (Fox), Gus Lewis (Bruce Wayne Age 8), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Blake), Burn Gorman (Stryver), Tom Hardy (Bane), Anne Hathaway (Selina), Reggie Lee (Ross), Ben Mendelsohn (Daggett), Matthew Modine (Foley), Cillian Murphy (Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow), Liam Neeson (Ra’s Al Ghul), John Nolan (Fredericks), Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon), Josh Pence (Young Ra’s Al Ghul), Daniel Sunjata (Captain Jones), Juno Temple (Jen)

Runtime: 165 mins

Classification: M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Review:

Let’s be honest when director Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) created The Dark Knight he set the bar pretty high for his Batman trilogy. How do you put together a finale when the second film of the trilogy is globally described as a cinematic masterpiece? With The Dark Knight Rises Nolan had his work cut out for him, but so talented is he that he yet again manages to create a film that is a serious contender film of the year.

The Dark Knight Rises is set eight years after the finale of The Dark Knight. While Gotham remembers Harvey Dent as a hero Batman (Christian Bale – The Flowers Of War, The Fighter) is remembered as a murderer and is still considered an outlaw. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman – Lawless, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) knows the truth but doesn’t have the courage to speak out.

Meanwhile Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has hidden himself away from the public, the only person he allows to see him is the trusty butler, Alfred (Michael Caine – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Car 2). Bruce is unaware that he still has supporters out there though, people like young police officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 50/50, Inception) who are just waiting for the day for their hero to rise.

Bruce’s interest in the world returns when he meets a cat burglar, Selina (Anne Hathaway – One Day, Rio) who seems to be a small part of a scheme put together by the extremely dangerous Bane (Tom Hardy – Lawless, This Means War).

Nolan brings an entirely different feeling to The Dark Knight Rises then what he allowed to come through in The Dark Knight or Batman Begins. While The Dark Knight focused on the psychological (like its ‘bad guy’ The Joker) The Dark Knight rises mirrors Bane with its focus on violence mixed with a sensationally creative storyline that has its audience guessing at every turn.

Like he did with Inception Nolan also allows the visuals of The Dark Knight Rises to visually stimulate his audience. The early shots from the plane look amazing, as does many of his cityscape shots. As a director/screenwriter he really is someone he has realised that even action movies need to have substance if they are to be taken seriously.

Christian Bale, as usual, puts in a dominant performance as Bruce/Batman, but even he is overshadowed by a brilliant performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Despite his performance in Inception he is still underrated, yet here he once again shows the world just how good he really is.

The actor you have to feel sorry for is Tom Hardy. He is seriously held back by his character, Bane. He looks physically intimidating but a lot of his characterization is ripped away by the fact that the mask he has to wear completely denies him the opportunity to use his voice or facial expressions to show emotions.

Of course many eyes are on Anne Hathaway as Selina/Catwoman. She does an okay job but you can only wonder whether someone like Angelina Jolie would have done a better job. Michael Caine also does some wonderfully emotional acting but poor old Morgan Freeman (The Magic Of Belle Isle) and Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone, Contagion) seems underused in their roles.

The Dark Knight Rises is a film that must be seen on the big screen, once again Christopher Nolan has delivered a film that can instantly be filed under film classics.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’: http://www.helium.com/items/2350626-movie-reviews-the-dark-knight-rises-2012.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) on IMDb