The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Sick Joke


Um... it's awful and don't watch it. Mark Hamill is great but, seriously, don't watch it.

Anything I could say has already been said by others. So I'll just link to a few reviews that I recommend.

* Batman the Killing Joke Animated Movie Review by Reaf

* The Killing Joke Movie Is a Disaster, Right Down To Its Comic-Con Panel

* The Killing Joke Movie Is Stuck in the Worst Parts of the Past



I could post more, but you get the idea. It wasn't well done. The only one that gave it any effort was Mark Hamill, who has been wanting to do this for years. Even Kevin Conroy sounded like he was phoning it in.

So yeah, to quote Brad Jones: "It's not the worst Batman movie I've seen this year." But this was still a pile of garbage that included a festering, cracked, molding kitchen sink.

Grade: D-. The only reason it's not a full F is because of Mark Hamill.

15 comments:

  1. May I ask what your thoughts are on the Killing Joke comic, Greg?

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    1. Yeah, I feel the same way. There are parts of the Killing Joke comic that I do like, but what happens to Barbara really brings the story down, if not kills it entirely for me. I was on the fence about seeing the animated movie adaptation, but after hearing about the additions to the story, I no longer felt that I could support the project. The people behind the film managed to make Barbara even more of a plot device than she was in the original comic, and that's incredibly disrespectful to both the character and her fans. I would also add this article to the list of sources worth checking out about this whole subject: http://comicsalliance.com/killing-joke-barbara-gordon-oracle/.

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  2. I figured you were just being your usual melodramatic self, Greg. Then I watched Movie Bob's review. Bruce and Barbara have sex. No. Just no on every level.

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  3. THis movie was poor. Kevin and Mark's performances were good, but they've played the characters for so long it's not special anymore.

    Tim must hate batgirl, or just doesn't understand her character very well. Because she would never have sex with batman and then quit being batgirl later on. It's bad enough Dc won't let anyone else be batgirl but the treatment of barb in this film is disgusting. In fact, the story it disgusting for the character on a whole. Joker could have still abducted jim and try to drive him mad, no need to cripple barb in a graphic manner. ALan moore admitted that scene was made for shock value, and nothing more. He still wrote but at least he admitted it was bad. The only positive that came from this story is barb becoming oracle (thank you John Ostrander and Kim Yale). The final scene with bruce and joker really shows how little barb actually matters in the grand scheme of things. Just from watching clips of this film (I have avoid the abt-sex and the shooting scene) reminds me why I have drop batman as my fav hero. He has become stagnant and hollow. Batman in TAS was brooding, but he showed other emotions (fear, anger and happiness), but batman nowadays is just vengeance and pain and am sick of it. Dark and brooding went out of style years ago Warner. Please get with the times. If anyone still likes batman, that's fine, but this story just isn't for me. With the exception of batman TAS, Batman on a whole just isn't for me anymore.

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  4. To think Mark Hamill came out of "retirement" to do this. I wouldn't be surprised if Justice League Action ended up being a better use of Conroy and Hamill's talents.

    I honestly don't like the DC animated movies too much, and have only enjoyed a handful. But they went out of their way to be offensively bad in this one.

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  5. I was on the fence about this movie, especially since I think the source material is overrated. But hearing this, I've decided not to watch it.

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  6. I have the same problems with the first 30 minutes of The Killing Joke that I had with Maleficent, it labels itself as progressive and then actively contradicts its own message with worse stereotypes.

    I think the problem with both is that Bruce Timm and Linda Woolverton, the screenwriter of Maleficent and the Alice in Tim Burtonland films were at their peak in the 90's, obviously we all know Timm's part in Batman: The Animated Series and Woolverton was the screenwriter behind Beauty and the Beast, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and The Lion King. For the most part, the female characters in their works were well written and arguably set the standards for how they were written in their respective genres, but their writing styles haven't evolved and adapted with the times, The Killing Joke and Maleficent use tropes that might have passed for progressive in the 90's, but are old hat now, such as "being defined by a male character" or "making other female characters look ineffectual to make the lead look good."

    For better or worse, feminism is a hot button topic, so if you're going to write about it, I think one needs to have some awareness of other stereotypes, from the standpoints of gender, race, sexuality and so on, so that one doesn't look like a moron when you put the 'progressive' label on it.

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    1. Timm definitely has culpability in this crime, but he shares it with Brian Azzarello, who should have never been allowed near anything Joker-related to start with after that rancid "Joker" comic he wrote.

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  7. I'm waiting for someone to take all of Mark Hamill's Joker scenes and put them on Youtube so that good audio tapes can be made from his lines - you can listen to them while you read the comic panels with said lines. That's quite literally all this movie version is good for. 'Cause otherwise SWEET BAT-JESUS, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???

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  8. Bummer. After all the problems I heard it had I REALLY wanted to see you this a new one. But I loved the reviews you linked (Sans Movie Bob, he isnt for me) and they were quite awesome. And I do like that you hate this so much you wont even give it the time of day.

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  9. I really don't like any of these DC comic book animated movies. They all feel gimmicky and over the top and really underwhelming.

    I think in this case... it was probably one of their better adaptations (sadly). And the stuff that's actually adapting the comic they set out to do is fine. Even good at times.

    But their attempts to 'fix' the comic book, and make it so Barbara's role isn't just to be stuffed in a refrigerator (which I believe Timm said in interviews was one of his goals with the adaptation) is just so underwhelming and lame. Even if I do admire their sentiment.

    You listen to haphazard, awkward lines like "It was just sex!" and then 20 minutes later the Joker is doing a lovely Alan Moore monologue about the wonders of memory and madness and it doesn't even gel properly. Why is this Batman and Joker story introduced with a 30 minute raunchy romantic comedy about Barbara? It's so degrading to every character in the story.

    If they'd just done a 30-40 minute adaptation of the Killing Joke as is with maybe that tail-end scene where Barbara becomes Oracle -- which I honestly believe accomplished their 'flesh out Barbara' goal more than 30 minutes of girl talk with her gay BFF and having sexy banter with that creepy mobster did -- I think it would have been a really solid piece of art.

    Longer is not always better. And longer is not always necessary.

    On the upside, this made me re-watch Mad Love with a friend. And it's amazing how much better that story works as a "Joker origin" -- it just explains so much about the character.

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    1. Exactly! If I began watching the movie at the 28 minute mark (when the actual source material starts getting adapted), I'd find it, while not exactly *good*, to be an average and perfectly serviceable short film. There were some weak additions from Azzarello (the prostitutes bit and all the needless, add-on scenes of Batman beating people up that weren't in the comic) but it was overall true to the original story (which, let's be honest, barely even had a story to start with - it's all a character study of the Joker.) It's those first 27 minutes of crap that killed the movie for myself and everyone else, and as a result your mind is disoriented and distracted from the great Joker stuff, making it kind of fly by and end without fanfare.

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  10. Movie Bob is kinda a wanker (I tried reading brick by brick, which was downright pathetic.) Oh well a stopped clock is right twice a day.

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  11. Christmas in July in September:

    - Honest Trailer review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSYZekLljpg

    - And the more recent "Everything wrong with TKJ": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyk7UWupEHk

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