Showing 1 - 6 of 6 posts found matching keyword: two face

Last week a friend complained that he couldn't search my blog to see if I'd seen a particular movie. That's because at the time, the Wriphe.com search function only checked against keywords. I've since upgraded the search function so you can now look to see if I've ever posted about, say, my favorite Batman villain Harvey Dent (aka Two-Face) or my favorite food group, chocolate. And, naturally, I've left the old keyword search in place as well, if you just want to click on a keyword below a post to find related posts.

That movie he was checking on? The Seven Voyages of Sinbad, which I have seen before but have never mentioned on the blog. In recent years, I've only been posting reviews of new-to-me movies, so if I saw something before 2012, it's likely not mentioned here unless I either loved it or hated it, in which case it might have its own keyword.

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The annual Superman Celebration kicks off today in Metropolis, Illinois. This year attendees will be dazzled by Special Guests Dean Cain and Billy Dee Williams. Cain played Superman on television's Lois and Clark. Billy Dee played Superman... wait a second.

The closest that Williams has ever come to appearing on a Superman project was in voicing Lando Calrissian in The Lego Movie where Channing Tatum voiced Superman. We should probably expect to see Tatum at future Celebrations.

Celebration organizers justify the inclusion of Williams because he played Harvey Dent in 1989's Batman which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. (Damn, I'm getting old.) The role was famously recast for Tommy Lee Jones in 1995's Batman Forever. Will he show up for autographs at the 2020 Celebration?

Listen, Metropilis, I have as much affinity for the voice of Colt 45 as the next guy, but I don't care to see Batman horn in on Superman's celebration. It's bad enough that Batman outsells Superman at the newsstand, the box office, and the toy aisle, but now Batman is crowding his hangers-on into Superman's festival? That Dark Knight is a jerk.

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Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (based on the comic book story of the same name) will be released to DVD later this month. To promote the video, Warner Home Video is offering "virtual collectors cards" on Facebook to fans who waste their time hunt them down by following the daily updates at the video's official site and Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages. I find this promotional strategy strangely fascinating.

First of all, the public's interest in collectible cards collapsed nearly 15 years ago. What were once common collectibles are nowadays recognized as just more garbage to clutter your desk. (I should know; there's a Billy Dee Williams as "D. A. Harvey Dent" card from Tim Burton's 1989 Batman starring at me right now.) Since that time, no one on this planet has given two shits about collectible cards except the poor suckers who were stuck with them before humanity abandoned them in favor of Star Wars Prequel figures. However, the Warner Brothers would have me believe that it would be super exciting to visit multiple sites daily to gather codes which can be entered into their Facebook app to unlock "virtual" cards (from this point forward we're going to call them what they are: jpgs). I'm left wondering what's exciting about a picture stuck in a shockwave document that I can't download?

Prepared for my cynicism, Warner has gone so far as to turn the whole mess into a data mining operation contest. That's right, by registering for the opportunity to see pictures taken directly from the video that they're planning to sell me, I'd also be eligible to win a Playstation 3 or an HDTV on which to watch the Blu-Ray version of the movie. This sweepstakes is open to anyone older than 13 and a registered Facebook user. I shudder to think that this "contest" of trolling corporate sites daily for codes to unlock advertising would appeal to anyone who was older than 13, but I've learned to keep expectations very low when dealing with anyone associated with any social networking site. I'm sure they're looking forward to the next WB contest in which they can call a special 1-800 number and tell the operator where they live and what appliances they have for the opportunity for someone to come take them away from them.

The ultimate question is whether this unique strategy will pay off in increased sales of the direct-to-video movie. I don't see how it could. How could anyone fall for such a pointless promotion? Who would spend so much time traveling between sites to collect cards whose sole purpose is to create a buzz for a marketable product? Who would get so excited about the upcoming release of a movie such as, say, 1995's Judge Dredd that they'd go hours out of their way on multiple visits to hunt down an entire 90 card set of trading cards one $5.99 pack at a time at Oxford Comics located inside Oxford Books in Atlanta, GA? Only a fool, I'm sure.

Does anyone have card 78 in the set? I've looked everywhere?

On a completely unrelated note, I promise that I don't have any Judge Dredd cards. (Anymore.) So stop looking at me like that.

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At long last, I've seen it.

As promised, the producers didn't get a cent out of me, as I watched The Dark Knight when my brother rented it to watch with his girl.

And as much as I'd like to say that it was the worst movie I've ever seen, I can't. Which is not the same as saying that it was good. It wasn't. I won't ever watch it again unless I'm in traction and have weeks of laying immobile in bed to kill. In fact, it was only made watchable the first time through by the magnetic performances of Heath Ledger ("if you've got to go, go with a smile") and Aaron Echkart. (Two-Face was fucking awesome! Two thumbs up, so to speak.)

But Batman sucked. Regarding the disparity of respect shown by director/screenwriter/all-around-terrible-filmmaker Christopher Nolan for the principle three characters, note specifically that in the scene following the energetic and dangerous Joker's dramatic first meeting with Gotham's hoods, Batman appears as a short, stiff midget in his first group meeting with the more heroic Harvey Dent and Captain Gordon. >sigh<. Couldn't someone have at least gotten Bale a box to stand on? One of the first rules of cinema is that heroes are tall, not hunchbacks wearing Phantom-of-the-Opera cloaks with the mobility of Frankenstein.

You want realism in comics why again?Once again, Batman is squeezed into a suit that makes his chin look like toothpaste oozing from the mouth of an extraterrestrial. He is involved in choppy fight scenes where the action is merely suggested between camera blurs. And, capital of sins, he performs with almost no moral responsibility. Refusing to unmask and letting someone else take the fall in an attempt to continue the mission is one thing, but firing missiles into the cars of civilians with no concern for property damage or the possibility of collateral damage -- such as the two children specifically shown witnessing the event -- is another thing altogether. For all of Hollywood's attempts to place superheroes in a "gritty," real-world scenario, I'm quite sure that the citizens of a real-world city would would not tolerate a vigilante who spread such a wide-swath of destruction as Batman has in two films. (And no, "but the Joker was doing it, too" is NOT a valid argument against this complaint.)

And that doesn't even begin to cover the terrible technology Batman uses. I'm just going to gloss over the suit here other than to mention that a Bat-Suit with no Bat-Symbol is pretty darn pointless, if you ask me. Sure, it was there, but a matte black symbol on a matte-black suit is about the worst branding ever. If I were a crook, I'd aim for the mouth, as it's the most visible target on his entire suit. That's good costume design.

In addition, he's got a motorcycle hidden in a murderous ATV (don't think I'm going to let the assassination of that garbage truck driver pass without a mention) that requires a 60-second mechanical release reconfiguration in the event of a "damage catastrophic" situation. (It may be stupid, but at least it's slow!) And then his little motorcycle-thing doesn't have any equipment to deal with the scenario of a human standing in the street in front of it. Really? Batman, if you're inclined to play high-speed games of chicken with pedestrians, I recommend that in addition to engineering for such commonplace events as flipping tractor trailers or driving up walls, you spend some time on what to do in the far-fetched scenario of children crossing the street.

At least in comics, the Joker isn't the only one with style.But the secret failure of this movie is that its two principle characters don't follow their own stated principle philosophies. The Joker, who claims to the world to be an agent of Chaos, doesn't just opportunistically out-think, but seriously out-plans every other character in the film, including the stupidest police force outside of Keystone (which is coincidentally the home city of the Flash who is actually capable of being everywhere at once: Batman's most grievous limitation in this film). And don't think for a minute that I didn't notice that the film borrows heavily from Alan Moore's brilliant The Killing Joke comic while managing to twist events to provide exactly the opposite philosophy with which the comic concluded. In comics, the Joker loses, failing to corrupt James Gordon. In the movies he succeeds in throwing the city into chaos, turning the citizens against themselves and their heroes, corrupting the police force, corrupting Harvey Dent, corrupting Batman, and proving that in the end, it does take just one bad day. I'd call that a win. (But I guess he still doesn't get Gordon, who fakes his death to save his family only to have his family come into jeopardy anyway. Now that's irony! And a pointless way to add another 10 minutes to an already too-long film.)

Meanwhile, the Batman, who vows never to break his "one rule" of never taking a human life, kills Two-Face. Although, in his defense, Newtonian physics don't seem to consistantly apply to Gotham City, where it's demonstrated that a human body falling 3-stories will generate only enough force to sprain the ankle of an adult human, and no fall from any height apparently harms Batman or damsels in distress, as he clearly follows the advice presented in The Batman Handbook, "Chapter 3: How to Jump Out of a Tall Building" [ISBN1-59474-023-2]. So maybe Batman didn't realize that a six-story fall would be fatal to most people when he throws Two-Face off that building. And heck, taking credit for killing a few guys only gives you better street cred, right? I swear, the ending is just plain retarded: make the world a better place by letting well-funded vigilante DA killers loose on the streets? Only in Hollywood does that make sense.

That'a way to put Batman in his place, Christopher Nolan!

Lest you think that these two were the only culprits of idiocy in a movie filled with ugly bullshit (and I'm not specifically referring to Maggie Gyllenhaal, who, while being a decent-enough actress trapped in the part of a whining, hypocritical bitch, is about as attractive as Eleanor Roosevelt -- I swear the only actual joke that the Joker tells in the movie is when he calls her character "truly beautiful"), I refer you to the blackmail scene in which a Wayne-employed accountant tries to squeeze Lucious Fox for $10 million under threat of revealing Wayne Enterprises association with the Batman. Having uncovered only a direct link between Wayne Enterprises technology and the Batman, the blackmailer doesn't have any evidence to suggest that Bruce Wayne is the Batman until Fox directly tells him so. Damn, Lucious, for a guy who has a problem with Batman using your technology for what you designed your technology to be used for, you sure don't have a problem with spilling his secrets, do you?

As our DVD drew to a close after nearly 3 long hours, we were treated to a disclaimer note that proclaimed that Warner Brothers does not support cigarette use. Since no major character in the film smokes (even Gordon, long presented as a pipe smoker in the comics, goes without), we could only assume that the filmmakers were warning us not to take up a 10-pack a day habit in hopes of emulating the Batman's voice. (To say that the voice is gravelly would be to do a grave disservice to rock quarries everywhere.) Well, Warner Brothers, I accept your disclaimer, and you have my word that I will never intentionally emulate anything I've seen in this movie.

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I need some help. I'm trying to identify the character in the bottom right of this panel from DC's Invasion Book 3, page 40, published in 1989. If you know, please tell me. Not knowing is slowly killing me.

Name that villain! (Who's in the bottom right?)

Top left is Booster Gold, who is descending from the Blue Beetle's Bug ship alongside Beetle himself. At the bottom left is Two-Face, one of Batman's many villains. Next to Two-Face is the mystery character. I assume from his reaction to the arrival of two Justice Leaguers that he is a villain, but for all I know he's just surprised to see a flying bug. It is the only appearance of either Two-Face or the unknown mystery fellow in the entire Invasion event, and though it is not expressly stated, I believe that it is supposed to take place in New York City since in previous panels Oberon mentions that Blue & Gold are "battling villains" in NYC.

But who, oh who, is in the foreground bottom right? I've been pouring over issues of DC's Who's Who from 1985, but with little luck so far. (It would probably go faster if I could stop reading every single entry. I mean, I know that there is no way that this is the Legion of Substitute Super-Heroes Color Kid or the original Doom Patrol ally Mento, but I just can't stop myself from reading about them. It's yet another one of my character flaws.)

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I know that in some situations you have little choice but to turn to crime. For example, there's Jean Valjean from Les Misérables who is forced to steal bread or starve to death. But I'm pretty sure that color-blindness isn't a very good reason to go stealing from people.

This here is the Rainbow Raider. His birth name, as you can see, is Roy G. Bivolo. And yes, he's been colorblind since birth, so he has no idea how bad his costume looks. A reason to be bitter? Sure. A reason to dress like a gay flag and steal paintings? No, probably not.

Um, no, thank you.

Comic books have always supported the "nurture over nature" theory of psychological development. I mean, giving your colorblind child a name like Roy G. Bivolo, you have to know that he's going to end up in a nuthouse. (Why can't you name him Dave? You probably need to stay away from Robert, though, because Bobby Bivolo is not a huge improvement.) If villains were intrinsically genetically bad and couldn't be cured, then heroes would have to come up with a better solution than catching them and locking them in cages, now wouldn't they? Comic book heroes love to give villains second, third, even fourth or more chances in order to learn their lesson. I mean, I've lost count of the number of times that Harvey Dent has had plastic surgery and yet he ALWAYS returns to a life of split personalities and Evil with a capital "E." It's never really his fault, of course. He wants to be good. But comic book writers are just conspiring against him.

There are dozens of characters like poor old Roy who feel they got a short end of the stick. I think most of them are probably Flash villains. (Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Mirror Master, Pied Piper, Weather Wizard... and those are just the ones with the alliterative names! For a man who claims to be the fastest man alive, he sure has a lot of crap hanging on to him.) And they all just want revenge on the world for having their ridiculous theories, names, physical appearance, or whatever laughed at. What they really need is a hug.

In hindsight, I suppose that makes comics much superior to the real world, where those same people climb clock towers with rifles or run for political office.

Why do I mention this now? I don't need a reason, that's why.

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To be continued...

 

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