Posts Tagged ‘batman’

So I’m doing a comic book story arc today so I can review Agent Carter later (because I love Peggy, so, so, so, much… just letting you know) and there is absolutely no way I am missing the 2 hour premiere.  So without further adieu:

I had been planning on reviewing this, it’s just been a hard week or so.  The thing about holidays is that they’re supposed to be fun but they really just become completely exhausting.  Couple that with having no life during the school semester – and suddenly wanting to have a life if not for a week or two – and you have a complete exhaustive disaster.

Now the premise of the story is that Catwoman – Selina Kyle – heads to Rome to find her roots in the mafia, and brings along The Riddler who actually isn’t as honest as he says.  Then they find this blonde guy hitman and he helps them.  More or less, that is the synopsis.

But actually, I wasn’t as impressed with When In Rome as I thought I would be.  It felt a little bit like a maze but then at the end of it, it was like, cheese?  That’s it?  It felt actually kind of predictable to me.  I didn’t actually like how Selina Kyle was portrayed this time around all that much – she kinda just came off as a total bitch, as opposed to a strong woman with an occasional bitchy attitude with something always up her sleeve.  She kinda just felt one dimensional to me.  You can tell me I’m way off here, I just didn’t like her this time around.  I just… I just didn’t.  Selina also reminded me of Wonder Woman; she didn’t feel sleek, she felt like thunder thighs. I mean, sometimes it was funny, but, really, most of the time it just felt a little ridiculous and kinda overdone with some parts that were meant to be humorous. I liked the aspect of her wanting to avoid Batman at all costs so she could do her thing, but then the other guy is constantly showing up and saving her ass.. and it’s like, this is why we didn’t want Batman around, and then we just get… a Batman… without the batsuit… Not named Bruce.. Um..

I found the ending kinda anti-climatic.  I expected the whole thing with (spoilers now) Louisa to be intriguing, but it really just dove after that for me.  I couldn’t actually find The Riddler’s actions remotely surprising in the end, either.  Some things about it were surprising (like his motive  – or the fight that ensued with a certain someone’s ice gun), but he’s the Riddler, people.  You couldn’t have honestly expected anything different from him; “riddle” is in the guy’s nickname, what makes you think he’s honest?  There were parts that got me thinking, but as I said, the ending was like,  that’s it?  Just cheese?  It wraps up nicely with what it has, but I just think it could’ve used better wrapping paper.  It does give you a glimpse into the window of Catwoman, but by no means do I consider this the entire window.  I like her constant self-battle over being involved with Batman romantically/her nightmares, just because I consider that a part of Catwoman and Batman both.

And Catwoman’s suit.. I’m sorry, but, that just wasn’t it for me.  It looked kind of ridiculous.  I know both Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are kind of big people and this might be a big deal that I’m criticizing them both, but… really, it was not it for me.  Those ears make you wonder if she was receiving satellite dish tv or something, especially with the accompanying whiskers.  Some of the anatomy drove me fucking crazy, and I kept looking at Catwoman’s legs and wondering why they were hyperextending.  The art was good, the coloring was good, but some of the anatomy – YES I KNOW IT’S A COMIC BOOK! – drove me to Rome.

Overall, if I were to tell you a comic book that embodied Catwoman to me:  As of now, it wouldn’t be this.  It’d be Hush.

Special:  Agent Carter review tomorrow.

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In lieu of a movie review for tonight, I have decided to post this.  For some reason, this week has been particularly rough with getting things out, probably because I didn’t have a set plan as I normally do.  I normally meticulously plan what I’m writing about, and I think my courseload is getting to me a bit.  Without further adieu, you can expect a movie review tomorrow.  This blog is very new, and I’m trying to get an exact footing as to when I will publish and what I will publish and when.  Movie review posts take 2 hours to write without the movie:  If I watch the movie, you can figure 2-3 additional hours for a grand total of 4-5 hours.  There are other movies I want to review other than superhero movies, but my courseload from college has been a bit rough.  Also, watching Big Hero 6 is in the plans as well.

After reading Batman: Hush, I really got into the actual comic Joker.  Joker is definitely one of the more known Batman villains.

Such a nice guy.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Joker, for me, is his lack of a backstory – in both respects.  Joker was originally penned and created in the 1940s.  But, not only does he have multiple versions of his fictional backstory, but his actual creation.  According to Wikipedia, who exactly created Joker remains a dispute – one man says he wrote contributions and another man says he designed him.  If there’s more I’m missing, please feel free to let me know.

I got my first taste of Joker in The Dark Knight, which was obviously not true to the real Joker, at least physically.  But, really, I love Joker for different reasons than other villains.  I don’t love Joker because he is brutal.  I don’t love Joker because he’s vague or the epitome of the fears of childhood.  (Oh, god, a clown)

I love Joker because of how much he utilizes psychology.

Batman as a whole is very psychological.  But the Joker takes it to the next level.  He is constantly trying to break Batman.  He is constantly putting his psychology to the test.

And I wanted to make a larger point with this post.  Many of our heroes are relevant to society, but he is through psychology: there isn’t anyone running around in a clown suit killing people.  He pretty much exhibits sociopathic type behavior.  Killing Robin, paralyzing Barbara Gordon – there isn’t anything he won’t do.  Even in the books, there is never anything we truly know about the Joker – he’s portrayed as sexual and asexual in between his like toward Harley.  The Joker is very abusive to Harley – another thing that rings true in society.  Joker is the criminal you can’t get rid of – he cares not for money or power – just making you just as crazy as he is.  He feels no love, no fear, no remorse.  Psychology is still a misunderstood topic – just like the psychological, misunderstood Joker. Society still places a stigma on mental illness, believing them to all be like Joker.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth, but he still highlights how important psychology is in comic books.  He is so different from us – normal humans.

And yet, we love Joker.

He’s so distant to us, he’s so different from us.  Love him or hate him, he managed to develop without a backstory.  He managed to confuse us.  He managed to keep us guessing throughout the time we’ve known him.

So my question to you:  Despite his apparent lack of  humanity, why do you love Joker?  Why do you hate him, if you do hate him?  Who do you think should get more spotlight?

Batman: Hush.

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Comic Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

So this is my first comic book review.  A bit late in the day, but good nonetheless I hope for you!

So a little story for you first.

This is the first comic book I am reviewing.  I have been hesitant and this is going to be shorter than my normal reviews because it’s my first.  But, you can expect a movie review tomorrow because I didn’t publish Sunday and I published late today.  A treat.  I haven’t decided on the movie…

Regardless, here it goes:

I read “Batman: Hush” in one shot.  I read like 150 pages a night, so, I sort of quadrupled up what is considered normal.  And as this is the first comic book I am reviewing, I purposely made it so that this would be the first book I review.

Yeah.

I had always known about Hush, and I always liked it for one reason:  The dynamic between Batman and Catwoman.  To me, there is no better book that embodies that dynamic.  We see their ups and downs in this book alone without even needing to get into other books to see how complicated it is.  I love them as a couple, so, naturally, I freaked out when I saw them getting all cutesy together.  I just think they’re one of the greatest couples of DC, partly because of how evasive they both are.  Catwoman sort of flips and flops what she wants from Batman and if she’s interested, and then if she doesn’t she doesn’t make it too easy.  Batman is a pile of paranoia, distrust and pessimism (sidenote:  I still love Batman).  So seeing these two hit it off throughout the entire book?  I couldn’t.  I also enjoyed seeing some tension between Talia and Catwoman because of Batman and Batman finally being a little bit vulnerable.  He is protecting Catwoman. The other thing I enjoyed was seeing some tension – I don’t know if people reading read Hush (trying to keep this spoiler free) but Robin and Catwoman – hilarious.

The book definitely kept me interested for reading 150 pages a pop.  I am the type to get bored easily:  I automatically know if a movie has too long of a fight scene if I am starting to count how many tiles the ceiling has.  I never once lost interest.  In fact, the occasional confusion enhanced the book.  It was like, wait, Tommy who?  Who the hell is Tommy?  Even more surprising, Batman had a childhood friend? (No, seriously).

And I loved that.  It managed to incorporate a lot of the cornerstone villains of Batman, and some not so commonly heard ones (I knew of Killer Croc, but, I never knew he was that hideous).

Seriously, though, I expected this guy.

We see Joker, the Riddler, Poison Ivy (couldn’t deal with those scenes, I could not), and some other ones are evading me.  Poison Ivy just proved to me how powerful she really is, I have to say.  She’s tough.. she got Superman under her control.  She was intense. I liked seeing them work together in the end, and with the upcoming Batman V. Superman movie I couldn’t help but be a little pleased I saw them work together.  We see Batman shit himself as he realizes he needs to fight Superman, as well.

We jump to conclusions, we think we know what is happening, but then it’s turned on us all.

I love good detective work.  I love a good detective story.  And it managed to wrap around all the villains, courtesy of the fantabulous writing done by Jeph Loeb.  The only thing I took issue with a little bit was the Robin part, but, I mean, I guess it worked.  I’m not particularly a fan of bringing back the dead in a zombie esque manner, but it needed to be done right and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it was.  It’s paced quickly, but I think I would’ve gotten bored if it wasn’t.  I kept just flipping the pages eager to know what the hell was going on, exactly.  The only time that really stopped was when Robin showed up, and I was like… alright, guys, this is such a gimmick.. Seriously, you couldn’t think of anything else?

I was surprised in the end, though.

But okay, it worked.  I can’t rag it too much because I enjoyed Hush, a lot, and some of that is because of Jim Lee’s artwork.  Jim Lee is my drawing idol.  I love the way he draws.  I can only dream of drawing how he does, even if I am practicing as much as I can.  (Sidenote: all the characters I own I have drawn).  So I sort of love his art style even if he does sometimes go a little overboard with the muscles.

Overall, I mean, I feel like this is so short in comparison to my movie reviews, especially for reading the entire thing.  But I don’t exactly feel as though there’s too much to say yet – this is my first review, and I’ll obviously get better as times goes on.  I loved the story, I loved the wrap around, and they even managed to get the ridiculous things to work.  I liked seeing all the characters’ dynamics and pasts develop.  It gave me an understanding of Batman I haven’t yet had, mostly because it shows everyone’s relationships with everyone else and their individual personalities perfectly.

I also own this.

Just so you know how much I love them.

The villains fit their respective profiles, Batman was different and the same, the story and art amazing, and we see dynamics between characters not seen very often or see those dynamics get developed: What’s not to love?

The Dark Knight Rises.. you aren’t kidding.  He rose, man.

But a little story for you first, as always.  This movie, when I first heard about it, was especially close to my heart.  Why?

*hyperventilation*

As you may or may not know, I love Catwoman.  I have always loved Catwoman.  Like, as I said in the QA, I wanted to find a Catwoman costume for Halloween, and I was consistently pissed off that I couldn’t.  And like a good little Catwoman fangirl, my parents never knew this.  I kept it hidden (not joking).  I used to just casually scour the Halloween costume pickings looking for a girl superhero costume, but I wanted Catwoman in particular.  Why?  I don’t know.  I don’t know what led me to Catwoman to begin with, but that is what I settled on, probably because she was stealthy, sneaky, and just amazing at her job.  I liked she didn’t have a good or bad vibe about her, she just did things and decided what she wanted to be that day.  And I never found it.  But, that entire time, they weren’t aware of my wanted Catwoman costume.  They were unaware of this for years on end.  I just told them of this 4 months ago or something, and I stopped trick or treating a rather long time ago.

And, just, I saw her to be in this movie, and my life was complete.  Until a few other things made it less complete, but still complete nonetheless.  The premise of the movie is that basically Bane wants to expose Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon, and Batman comes out of retirement for it.

So when the movie opens, we get a feel for Bane, but it’s pretty apparent it’s not true to the comics.  First of all, Tom Hardy is a shawty (I may as well make him seem cool in the process).  And, I mean, in comparison to comic book bane, he is really.. different.  I mean, I know Tom Hardy got buff, but when you compare the two of them side by side, you know which one is more imposing.  Granted, yes, that is always the case because comic books aren’t drawn realistically per say, but you can still be as imposing or translate over into real life.  It felt like when they translated Bane, they forgot a few crucial characteristics about him.  Bane sort of seems very one dimensional.  We don’t really know that much about him as a villain-person.  And, I mean, in the movie, he just seems so… pissed off, for no reason.  I mean, yes, we get the plot and all, but I read his wikipedia article and my heart is aching for Bane (not too much, just a little).  Osito the bear, for instance.  The fact also is, in the comics, Bane seems a little bit more “crazy”, for a lack of a better term. But here’s the problem:  His mask is different.  His Nolan mask is used for a constant supply of medication while his comic mask is because he’s addicted to venom.  I like Nolan’s better (I’m so, so sorry, right now).  The reason why is because we missed out on that Bane Meet and Greet in the movie.  There is only so much shit you can cram into a 3 hour long movie (some of it really being shit, and I will get to that).  So, Nolan didn’t do all the “feel bad for Bane”, but he did make him able to be related to by making that mask supply him with medication in the most ironic way.  Bane is physically strong, but then you just… crack his mask and he turns into a puppydog?  It’s a really ironic weakness for Bane to have, and I don’t think Nolan would be able to do both.  It was either psychotic addict or sympathetic villain.  There was no way to do both, and given Batman is already maxed out in depression, if we got psychotic Bane…

Coming out of retirement?  Fuck that.

I just don’t think Batman could’ve needed antidepressants because of Rachel and then had a massive steroided-out Bane.  It’d just be like, nevermind, Gotham, burn.

But we get something else with Bane.  Granted, he’s different from the comics, but I can’t hate on it too much because he’s a stark contrast to the Joker.  I think if we used his psychotic episodes it’d be too similar and it’d just be a different film.  Bane is the epitome of terrorism.  Bane is a terrorist.

This movie has so many political undertones I can’t even list them all (and I’m not going to try).  But, a few themes I noticed are the obvious corruption, police issues, jail ethics, government documents/ethics of secrecy, and Bane being a terrorist.  That is what I’m going to talk about, because I could write a 10 page paper on this movie and it’s political undertones.  Given my blog posts are in the 1k-2k word range, you know I am capable of doing it, so I am honing in on one issue and talking about it that way you don’t need to read this post over a small lifetime.

Bane is scary despite all of those things I noted about him.  Yes, he’s short, yes, he need stilts, and yes, he is not as big as comic book Bane.  But he is still scary.  I found those scenes with the stock exchange horrifying.  I found that stadium scene so powerful that it got me physically uncomfortable.  Bane himself is a political statement, and frankly, it’s amazing.  The Joker is a political statement sort of, but the Joker is more of a psychological perspective and using the world as his mental playground for Batman and himself.  Nonetheless, Bane takes that a step further and basically does what people try to do. People with bad intentions focus on large gatherings (Boston Marathon bombing), and the stock exchange in New York City because they know what it will do… Bane did all of that.  And you can tell me it’s fake, and it’s fiction, and to not look into it that far.  But.. what he did was enough to give me goosebumps.  I can’t say anything in the superhero universe embodied terrorism quite as well as Bane, despite the fact they want to blow up a city somewhere just about every ten minutes (and within Marvel, it’s pretty much always New York City).  We very rarely see the actual citizens and something being done to the actual citizens we can relate to.  I mean, even with Superman and Zod, odds are we aren’t ever going to find a guy from an alien planet attacking us in some weird space suit.  (Disclaimer:  Terrorism is not to be glorified, do not use this blog post as inspiration for it or terrorist acts.  In no way am I endorsing those acts, I am merely relating the movie to present day events and issues.)

I can continue breathing now.

Even so, Bane could’ve been developed just a tad more.  Speaking of developing..

John Blake should not have happened.

Yeah. You read that right.

John Blake felt pointless.  John Blake felt like the Batman version of Coulson: the dude is a total fanboy.  If he could find Batman cards to collect, he totally would.  I get where they were going with it with the orphanage and everything, but how many times do we need to be reminded Batman is an orphan?  We got it.  Seriously. This is only the 600th time you’ve reminded us, amid seeing Batman’s parents die another 2,000 times.  We got it.  It was nice with the orphanage, but nice doesn’t mean good.   All the time they spent on a character that really isn’t… going anywhere (at least at first glance, because it’s like: Is he Nightwing?! Or is he Robin?!) because Nolan is done with superhero movies for now.  In addition, they could’ve totally made more of a point with not honing on John Blake so much: if they didn’t focus on him so much, they could’ve made more of a point about the police force.  The police force could’ve been used to make up a statement about Batman, especially with the end of The Dark Knight being considered.  Batman at the end of that movie is an outcast.  They could’ve used the police force to sort of buffer that and have society be like, damn, you’re not so bad – even if they didn’t do it directly.  It just felt like something that could’ve been made a little less to develop Bane a bit more and also develop someone else… You should know who by now, come on.

Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, was wonderful as her cat-burglar self.  She was her snarky, sneaky self, but she could’ve been utilized more.  It felt lacking with her because of Blake.  Considering the ending of the film, they totally could’ve gone a little bit more of the Hush route which I am reading right now (just minus Batman going “nevermind”).  The dynamic between them in that comic is wonderful.  The dynamic between them is good, but Hush really manages to capture it.  I think Catwoman could’ve been a little bit more of a badass while being in love, especially toward the end.  I still loved her manipulation, I still loved her kicking ass, but they could’ve done more.  Without Blake, she could have been used more.  She could have essentially taken on the role of Blake without the feeling of being a sidekick – because she’s not a sidekick.  She’s Batman’s equal in many senses, and the movie makes her come off a little less independent of him.  Either way, she was the best catwoman portrayal on a screen to date.  For the most part, they didn’t let her get snarky enough.  They didn’t let her get sneaky enough.  In my opinion that was due to Blake and how many characters they were trying to develop.  I know her costume wasn’t true to the comics, and I can see why people take issue with it but I cannot.  I think they missed a few things in the translation, but I don’t consider it such a bad suit.

Also worthy of note are the two love interests we constantly see throughout the movie… you know, Talia and Catwoman.

You made the right decision, Bats.

It was just interesting to see that mental battle happening on screen.  It was like in between Bane and Batman physically fighting we had that going on.  It wasn’t too obvious, but it just added a certain element to see Batman pick Catwoman, which is a couple that seems to captivate comic fans in general.  Talia being there and gaining his interest just needed to happen.  She’s rich and could rescue his company, but still Catwoman comes out on top.

Overall, I generally like the plot; it did itself justice and wrapped up nicely. At times it dragged a little bit, but the plot, music, and effects just all came together.  And those car chases were absolutely epic.  I love a good car chase in a movie and this movie delivered it.   But like I said, I admit, sometimes the action and plot dragged a little, and there wasn’t too much Batman at times.  This movie has a lot to live up to being the movie after The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger.  Sometimes the plot wasn’t entirely clear, and I admit the fist fight was probably not the best way to get Bane to go out.  It’s jsut that he’s doing all these grand things, and then they’re fighting like schoolchildren when they’re done?

It was a good ending to a great trilogy.  Frankly, if it ended too strong, we’d be itching for more Batman Nolan movies.  I think, although this movie is not as strong as The Dark Knight, it was a perfect bell-curve like ending.  It was a perfect U shape in quality.  Good, Great, Good.  And to keep it from feeling like no more movies is wasted potential, that’s truly how it should be.  I think if we did see a lot of Batman, we wouldn’t be itching to see him in movies.

And that is how a Dark Knight remains one.