Showing 1 - 10 of 149 posts found matching keyword: batman

Speaking of movies I don't know why anyone would make: Batman: Hush. That's the latest direct-to-video animated Batman film from the factory at Warner Bros Home Entertainment.

The movie is based on 12 issues of the Batman comic released in 2002/03. Jeph Loeb — the pen behind Commando — was credited with "writing" the story, although he admitted that most of what he did was create ad hoc justifications for what Jim Lee wanted to draw. Jim Lee, you see, is one of the true superstars of the comic world. Back in 2002 he has just been bought out by DC Comics and they wanted to get their money's worth. That meant putting Lee on the best-selling comic, Batman, and letting him do his thing.

As you might guess, the result was that "Hush" is a series of cool looking images hanging from a story frame that barely makes sense. ("Barely" is probably too generous a word.) Few cared at the time because of Jim Lee, and the collected comics continues to be best sellers because of Jim Lee. Creating a movie from that story while subtracting Lee's distinctive personal visual style is like reading War and Peace translated from the original Russian into pig latin.

So why would Warner Bros bother with such a doomed exercise? I'm guessing because people have heard of "Hush" and don't realize (or care) that it is based more on visual art than story. And Warner Bros is only interested in squeezing as much cash from each extant property as possible forever and ever. Their corporate motto: Diminishing returns are still returns!

If you're really interested in who/what "Hush" is, do yourself a favor. Go buy a comic instead.

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Friend Chad recently asked me if I had any interest in the upcoming Joker movie. You know the one. It just won the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival. My answer, in short, was no. In long, it was *hell* no.

As a longtime reader of comics, I have a well-established mental image of what I expect from Batman and his rogues gallery. As a general rule, I don't enjoy films about gangsters (which Joker was in the 40s) or films about serial killers (which Joker has been since the 80s). I've seen both Bonnie and Clyde and Natural Born Killers exactly once, and that's each one time too many.

My biggest problem with the film is that the Joker is unequivocally a villain. Pure capital-E Evil. However, a story's protagonist has to be relatable to its audience. Just as the short-lived Joker comic series of the mid-70s focused on its eponymous star's zany antics (and minimized the collateral damage), to put the character at the center of a film it becomes necessary to humanize him, to turn him from villain to anti-hero. No, thank you.

Call me a prude, but I don't see any reason to make a film exploring how someone becomes a narcissistic, mass-murdering sociopath on the scale of the Joker. In fiction, the Joker has beaten a child to death with a crowbar, slaughtered an entire talk show audience on camera, and gassed the United Nations General Assembly. All for giggles. If such a monster existed in the real world — an Osama bin Laden-squared — would you pay to see that person's biography on the big screen?

Joker works best in comics as a larger-than-life malevolent force of nature, the personification of the chaos that Batman strives to eliminate from the world. That's exactly how "Why so serious" Heath Ledger played him (and "This town needs an enema" Jack Nicholson before that). If you insist on reinventing the character, I'd say making him mortal is the wrong direction to go. Forget realism for a character that is inherently unreal. Give us a film about how Cesar Romero's wacky Joker earned his place as Gotham City's Clown Prince of Crime with a painted-over mustache (the anti-Groucho Marx!). Or choose to elaborate on any random Joker entry from silly The Super Dictionary.

Joker is a liar! Beets are NOT good to eat.

But don't try to remake Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy with a super-villain behind the greasepaint. Once was enough for that one, too.

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I don't think this means what you think it means

The Super Dictionary has a well-deserved reputation for, shall we say, unusual definitions of words, but the above is not really a page in the Super Dictionary. It's a poster by artist Marco D'Alfonso currently for sale on m7781.storeenvy.com.

I still have my original Super Dictionary on the shelf right in front of me, and I'm sure that its actual definition for "happy" is much less warped.

I don't think this means what you think it means either

Never mind. Super Dictionary, you win again!

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Today is the start of the 14th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month! Yesterday was a busy day on and off the gridiron, so let's get straight to the news.

Yesterday, the Georgia Bulldogs opened the season on the road against Vanderbilt and won easily. Theirs was the only game played between SEC opponents, so Georgia's win puts them in first place in the conference!

Speaking of the conference, winning the SEC East might be easier than usual for the Bulldogs this year. South Carolina fell to North Carolina of the ACC (2-10 in 2018), and Missouri was beaten by Wyoming of the Mountain West (6-6 in 2018). Wyoming had been winless against teams from Power Five conferences since 2014, but that's nothing compared to Georgia State of the Sun Belt Conference. They were also 2-10 in 2018 and hadn't beaten a Power Five team ever... until they ruined Tennessee's season with a 34-30 win. That's not strong competition.

Speaking of winning, the Miami Dolphins won't. One week ahead of the start of the season, the Dolphins have traded their starting left tackle for multiple picks in next year's drafts. Dolphins' management had already telegraphed their intention to tank 2019, but I don't have high hopes for their ability to ever convert all the draft picks they're banking into a winning team. Number One overall picks are no panacea for a team full of mediocre talent and an ownership with no idea what a winning team looks like.

Meanwhile, Batman is still Batman.

'I’m Batman' Uncle Sam poster style by Marco D’Alfonso
Poster by Marco D'Alfonso

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Not everyone loves Superman month, especially not that fickle Lois Lane.

(By the way, in case you were unaware, Tom Peyer is the writer and editor-in-chief of Ahoy Comics, and has been making some great comics lately. I whole-heartedly recommend The Wrong Earth to anyone who enjoyed Adam West's Batman.)

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Spoiler warning: I like movies.

58. (1497.) Trafic (1971)
While not as charming as Tati's earlier works — a result of fewer characters and the more anonymous "modern" setting — his commentary on the transportation industry of the early 70s has plenty of well-earned chuckles.

60. (1499.) Happy Death Day (2017)
The only genre of horror film that I enjoy is the old-fashioned, gore-filled slasher flick, especially ones where the hero gets in the last licks. Happy Death Day delivers all that plus some great character development and romance (with an overt nod and wink to the classic Groundhog Day). It figures that it was written by an established comic book author. It's a lot of fun.

61. (1500.) The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
I remember reviewers panning this film for being a shallow example of style over substance. That's true. But there's plenty of room in the market for stylish spy movies in the mold of the Sean Connery James Bond films of the 60s. (Not coincidentally, Ian Fleming played a role in the creation of the original U.N.C.L.E. television series.) I liked it.

62. (1501.) It Started with a Kiss (1959)
The highlight of this silly romantic comedy is the prominence of the Lincoln Futura, the concept car that Chuck Barris would repaint into the 1966 Batmobile. Awesome to see it rolling through Europe.

63. (1502.) Sing (2016)
I thought this movie would be a crass exercise in corporate synergy, Universal using its movie arm to promote its music catalog... and I was right. It's okay, but ultimately hollow and unsatisfying bit of pop music fluff (especially because most songs are limited to short snippets).

66. (1505.) Lady Street Fighter (1981)
I watched this whole thing, and I can't tell you what it was all about. I can say that the title is very literal: some woman with a bad accent got into a lot of fights on streets. So bad it's good. Man, I love TCM Underground.

More to come.

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"I haven't been very good about updating the 'work' section of this site lately (so much of what I've done in the recent past is app coding, which doesn't show off very well)" is what I wrote in 2013 as introduction to a post promoting the first postcard design I'd made to promote a local Halloween event.

Well, I've still got that job.

Zombie Day, Saturday, October 13, 2018

As you can see, zombies are taking a bit of a back seat to super heroes these days. As well they should.

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Fred Rogers would have HATED this joke

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Damn. It appears that Batman's dick (now selling for $80 on eBay) killed Norm Breyfogle, who died on Monday.

Breyfogle was THE Batman artist of the early 90s, and as you might expect, is therefore one of the artists I most associate with the character. I especially enjoyed the way he made the villains both colorful and psychologically threatening.

Joker can't even kill a real bat. Scarecrow is most afraid of... Peeping Toms! Once upon a time, Killer Croc was just a human with a bad case of eczema. Kill me before I throw my voice again!

That was some good stuff. So long, Norm.

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From Late Night with Seth Meyers broadcast on September 19. Batman's dick jokes start at 2:28:

IGN.com reported that Batman's penis was removed from digital copies of Batman: Damned #1 because "because it wasn't additive to the story." Well, it added something.

For reference, here's one of several panels containing Li'l Batman after the redaction. Click to toggle the "original" version.

Batman's black hole

If Batman has been packing hardware like this, no wonder he wears a second pair of trunks over the outside of his pants.

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To be continued...

 

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