News

Where Does WB and DC Go From Here?

Who did it better? Answer is pretty simple.

94 million dollars. That’s what Justice League made its opening weekend at the domestic box-office. Avengers on the other hand made 208 million all the way back in 2008. It’s one of the most successful movies ever made, and highly regarded as one of the best CBM ever made. Fans alike are in an uproar over Justice League as word has been spreading about WB studios completely and utterly destroying Zack Snyder’s original cut and vision. So all in all, not a good weekend for WB and the DCEU. Now is it time for them to seriously consider hitting the panic button and rebooting all of this? Personally I don’t think so, that would be a terrible move on their part because if you take fragments from Justice League and other DCEU you definitely have something there. Yes it’s not as concrete as the MCU, but that is WB’s problem. It’s time for them to stop trying to “catch up” with Marvel and just do their own thing. That’s how we got into this whole mess in the first place…..

The Success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy

Remember back in 1997 when Batman & Robin was released and people said it ruined comic book movies (for the time being) it was a simpler time then, no shared universes, no big summer blockbusters, in 1997 comic book movies just weren’t all the rage they are today. Superman was still dormant after the successful run of the Christopher Reeves movies and Tim Burton’s Batman’s were the talk of the town in the early 90s. When Nolan decided it was time to bring back the Bat in 2005 with Batman Begins, people didn’t really know what to think. Myself included, but I was young and stupid back then and it wowed critics and audiences alike. The new grittier, darker, grounded take on the Caped Crusader really resonated with people and the start of a trilogy was born. At this time there were no big Superhero franchises really occurring other than the Spider-Man trilogy which fell flat towards the end, and the X-Men trilogy that met the same fate. People didn’t think too much of comic book movies during this time. Teasing us with the Joker at the end of Batman Begins well three years later we got him in what I regard as the greatest sequel ever made, The Dark Knight. It made over a billion dollars at the box-office and Heath Ledger even won an Oscar for his portrayal as the Clown Prince of Crime. This trilogy finally finished in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises which was another smash hit, these movies were met with the highest praise from fans and critics. So WB decided it was time to cash in on other DC Superheroes. They attached Zack Snyder to bring to life a Superman story in Man of Steel. They thought it would be reasonable to build their own universe and bring the same tone and themes from The Dark Knight trilogy and cast it upon these other DC heroes. Questions loomed whether Christian Bale would come back to play Batman for this universe and when he was out, they decided that Man of Steel would be their jumping off point for the DCEU, and that’s where it all began…..

The Success of The MCU

“Tony Stark, I’m hear to talk to you about the Avengers initiative…..” Are words that I and countless others will never forget. Those words were uttered back in 2008, a time when audiences weren’t too sure what a “post-credits scene” meant. We were unfamiliar with comic book universes, hell most of us were unfamiliar with Iron Man himself. But still this started the MCU, and well the rest is as you know is history. Billions of dollars and 17 movies later the MCU is stronger than ever and is still going full steam ahead. In the first four years, they released five movies, all leading up the the highly anticipated Avengers. They had built a solid foundation for their shared cinematic universe, something us fans were not accustomed too. Meanwhile over at DC, they were still going strong with the Batman Nolan trilogy, but they had ZERO plans of following suit, and starting a cinematic universe for their heroes. The Nolan Batman trilogy ended the same year the Avengers came out, and once the Avengers dropped, people realized, that all their movie going experience over the last 4 years had finally payed off! They got too see a real Superhero team up movie, and not only that, it was quite the spectacle. In that moment, WB knew they needed to follow suit and even other Hollywood studios knew that a “shared universe” was the way of the future. This is where things get messy for DC and Warner Brothers. because well Marvel was already six movies deep, built this incredible vast shared universe, and well DC was at ground zero. Even today, as I’m writing this, the DCEU has only put out FIVE movies, and most of those movies have been met with mixed reactions. The biggest problem with DC is they kind of want to be like Marvel, well here’s the thing, don’t be. Do it your own way, you have so many incredible characters and stories to tell, that you don’t need to follow Marvels plan. Just put out great movies, with great directors and tell us those amazing stories we have been reading our entire lives. DC feels the need to play “catch up” well you can’t. When the Avengers came out, WB had no plans for a Justice League movie, that was not on anyones mind, no Batman was planned, no Green Lantern and not even Wonder Woman. The only movie they had coming out of the DC pipeline was Man of Steel. That being said they were so far behind from the get-go that attempting to even do that was so nonsensical and studio heads should have known better. Which leads me into my next segment.

The Reaction To The DCEU Movies So Far

The year is 2013, Nolan’s TDK trilogy is no longer with us, and DC is using Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel has the launching point for the new DC world. I remember at the time, I wasn’t the biggest of Superman fan, I really didn’t know a whole lot about the character except for what I had read in some comics. The trailers started pouring i n and I was hooked instantly. I was intrigued with the new outlook and take on the classic character. Don’t get me wrong, Superman is a very difficult character to bring to life on the big screen. His essentially unstoppable so anyone you pin against him, is no match, his powers are unlimited. Henry Cahill was tapped to play the Man of Steel and he looked like he was literally ripped from the comic books. The rest of the cast was incredible with Michael Shannon, Amy Adams Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. They were trying a new take, and it wasn’t met with the best reactions. They went with TDK template, and they changed his mythos and overall character and it was met with some serious backlash. They wanted to ground his character is philosophy and Snyder certainly had a vision for him. Man of Steel just kind of fell short of expectations and more importantly didn’t do what Iron Man did all the way back in 2008, which was begin a “shared universe.” Personally I loved Man of Steel, from the cinematography to Hans Simmer’s epic score, I fell in love with this Superman, just it wasn’t the start to the new DC universe WB wanted. After the slow start with Man of Steel, WB decided to kick things into high gear, and announced Batman v. Superman and everyone lost their goddamn minds. I remember it was at Comic-Con and they gave the Batman speech to Superman at the end of The Dark Knight Returns, and I thought to myself, “if they pull this thing off in live action, it will be the greatest thing ever made.” Shortly after, they pinned Ben Affleck to play the Caped Crusader, and the internet was very torn. From the get go, I have always believed Affleck would kill it has Batman, and he has honestly been the best thing in the DCEU so far. Later they grabbed Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman, and no one was on board with that decision. Only being in a few Fast and Furious movies, people didn’t know if she had the acting chops to play this role. That’s all in the past now, because Gal was born to play the warrior princess. Everything behind Batman v Superman, from the trailers, the ads, posters, seemed like this was going to be a home run. Then it was released………..

Shortly after the release of Batman v Superman fans were divided, critics were firmly set in place and executives over at WB were dumbfounded about their situation. They just released a movie with both Batman and Superman and even Wonder Woman, and boy it was not met with a positive reaction. I think this was the start of the downfall for the DCEU, they had this “masterpiece” and they just really blew it. They tried to cram 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag. Essentially they tried to tell, “The Dark Knight Returns” “Introduction to Wonder Woman” and “The Death of Superman” all in one movie. The last 40 minutes of BvS is just a straight up cluster you know what. The movie needed to be Batman vs. Superman, you have so much source material for this epic showdown and I think they really blew it. It wasn’t a great fight, nor lived up to the hype. That could have honestly been 15 of the greatest minutes in cinematic history. I personally think they let us fans down with this movie, I know there are a ton of people out there that love this movie, that love Zack Snyder’s vision. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just think we deserved a much better showdown between Batman and Superman. Not to mention they shoehorned Wonder Woman into this movie, because again WB was trying to play “catch up.”

Now we had another DCEU movie coming out in 2016, Suicide Squad, which was put together with duck tape and glue. Script was written in 6 weeks, and this movie ended up being a complete and utter disaster. The trailers for this movie were incredible, I couldn’t wait and I haven’t watched Suicide Squad since opening night. Biggest take away, was obviously reintroducing The Joker, making Jared Leto a soccer hooligan. Stick to what you know, don’t drastically change this iconic character, especially after what Heath Ledger did in TDK. Leto was just okay, there wasn’t enough of him, and now his future in the DCEU is up in the air. Harley Quinn was the best part of the movie, Margot Robbie was born to play her, and I really hope she comes back, because I think in a better movie, under better direction, she could probably give a Ledger type performance in a future DCEU movie. So 3 movies in a row for WB and the DCEU and three strikes. You’re out right? Well thank the lord for Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman, because they were up next. We waited almost a year for the next DCEU movie to hit theatres and it was worth the wait. Wonder Woman, the most successful film of the year (so far), 92 percent of Rotten Tomatoes, the highest prior to that was 55% for Man of Steel. People thought this could be the turn around WB needed, Wonder Woman felt fresh, felt like Patty Jenkins had passion behind this project, that is wasn’t rushed and it was just a simple origin story movie. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered. The DCEU was saved! Or so we thought. Well then the marketing campaign started for Justice League and well we all know how this turned out. I already wrote a ton of Justice League, I’ll say this, it’s a bummer what happened to Zack’s movie, that isn’t right, I hope we see his cut of the movie because it does sound amazing. But other than that, it’s honestly just water under the bridge at this point, nothing us fans can do, except bicker and complain on the internet.

What I think WB Needs To Do Going Forward

Batfleck is out, it sucks, but I have come to terms with it. Worst part is, I think Matt Reeves is going to make a special Batman solo movie and only Ben Affleck should star in it. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he will stick this thing out for one last movie, his solo movie, and if that day comes and he’s in the Matt Reeves solo Batman movie. MY GOD.

Warner Brothers. here’s the thing. STOP, stop trying to be like Marvel. Stop trying to play catch up, just go out your own pace. Stop trying to force these things on us. Great stories take time to tell, just like in the comics. The best comic writers didn’t pile so much shit into each issue, they took their time and flushed great stories out over many issues. It’s time to shift focus not on team ups but solo movies. We have Aquaman coming out next December. Let James Wan do his thing with this movie. Don’t mettle, don’t interfere, you don’t bring on a brilliant film maker like Wan and then make him follow a strict guideline. Maybe sprinkle in a cameo of some sorts. Cyborg? Here’s my thing with Cyborg, he was great, I wanted to see more. Does he need his own solo movie? No! But he can be the League member who pops up in everyone else’s solo flicks. Ray Fisher is the least famous cast member and probably the least expensive, so use that to your advantage. Cyborg is the jack of all trades, he can do so much, so why not have him come help everyone out. That makes so much sense to me. If he sticks with fans and the audiences after a few cameos then yes, green light that solo movie. Find directors and people that are super passionate about these characters and want to tell their stories, that want to bring these characters to life in a grand fashion. You have one year to figure all this out, because you are back at square one. There are so many great stories out there about these characters, more stories than you could imagine, pick one and adapt it, it’s not rocket science. Personally base most of these solo movies off the New 52 comic book run. Geoff Johns wrote a ton of it and he’s the man over looking the DCEU, this isn’t hard to figure out. Don’t make a Joker origin story movie, we don’t need that. We don’t need a Suicide Squad 2, or Batgirl film. Stick to the basics, stick to the basics, stick to the basics. Also call in the big guns, and I mean Dwayne Johnson. Get that man in the Shazam movie, make him badass, and make him a big part of Justice League 2. He dines’t need a solo movie. Black Adam and  Shazam are like peas and carrots, they belong together. The Rock saves franchise, use him while you can and before he bails. I would rather wait a little longer and get great stories, incredible movies and successful ones, then have WB rush all of this out and make the DCEU as forgettable as it’s slowly becoming. DC fans deserve much better than what has transpired thus far, I know and I think deep down WB knows it.

Check ya later.

Reviews

‘Justice League’ Looks Promising 

Christmas in July, is the best kind of Christmas.

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You know a trailer is pretty dope, when you have to watch it on your phone a few times and it still tickles your fancy. Been waiting a long time for the newest Justice League trailer to drop, and it didn’t disappoint. Pretty much perfect if you ask me, and ever since the colossal disaster that was BvS & Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. and the DCEU have been turning this ship around.

First things first, the past few days, it’s been rumoured that my boy the Batfleck is leaving the cape and cowl. He’s got some serious personal problems, so at the end of the day, it’s just a movie and fans should understand if he wanted to step away. But today at San Dieg Comic Con, he nipped those claims in the butt himself and promised fans that he isn’t going anyway. That’s a huge sigh of relief for me anyways. He’s the best part of the DCEU, and it really needs him to stick around.

Back to the trailer, everything about it was really well done. I’m glad they didn’t show too much, or ruin any big surprises. Still no Superman, and they haven’t really shown off the villain Steppenwolf either. The less we know going into this movie the better. The Flash is hilarious, the little gag at the end of the trailer about everyone just vanishing was fantastic and it’s so true. He’s got a great sense of comedic timing, and will give the DCEU a much needed comedic boost. Aquaman continues to be a rock-star, he actually came on stage today at SDCC playing his trident like a guitar, so Jason Mamoa remains to be a beauty. Like he surfed on a Parademon, what more do you want from the man.  Even Cyborg looked way better than he did in the first trailer. So hopefully that will shut some people up that were complaining about the CGI months ago.

Happy we got to see Alfred in this. He seems to be playing a vital role in the movie and well I’m going to come out and say this, he’s the best Alfred we’ve ever had. He didn’t nearly have enough screen time in BvS. His Penguin reference was also interesting, that’s two Batman villains the DCEU has teased now, with The Riddler and now The Penguin. Commissioner Gordon appears again, in what seems like his only scene of the movie, but it’s shaping up to be one hell of a scene.

Listen WB has a ton riding on this movie. But it feels and looks so much different than anything that has come before it. I mean that in the best way possible. I think Zack Synder and company really listened to fans and changed up not only the tone of the movie, but added in some colour as well. I’m sure we will get one last trailer in the up coming months, but I’m sold on this movie and I’m sure everyone else is too. Let’s just hope Ben Affleck isn’t pulling a fast one on us, because I need the Batfleck in my life.

Check ya later.

Reviews

Ranking Every ‘Batman The Animated Series’ Episode Part 3/5

“Sometimes, old friend, I wonder if I’m really doing any good out there”

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Lets keep this party going! We’re almost in the top 50 here folks! Hopefully you have enjoyed reading this so far, and are coming back to each part! Here are numbers 62-43!

62 – The Last Laugh. Season 1, Episode 4. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Carl Swenson

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It’s April Fools Day in Gotham, and you know what that means. Joker is going to try and kill a bunch of people, by making them laugh to death! Talk about a punch line! It’s got one of the greatest April Fools jokes ever, remember when Alfred “drew Batman a bath” and shows him a picture of a bathtub, classic Alfie! But when poor old Alfie gets infected by this laughing gas, Batman has a little more incentive to stop Joker. It’s weird, but I really dig the background music in this episode, it’s pretty catchy, and overall it’s a great Joker story. It’s got a giant clown robot that Batman fights, and just a boatload of puns, and who doesn’t enjoy a good pun. It’s even got Batman smiling and cracking jokes, and that is a super rare thing to come across. Seriously though, look at Batman in that picture, isn’t it adorable!!! Grade C+

“Oh, that’s a joke, right? Batman finally told a joke!” – The Joker 

61 – Lock Up. Season 3, Episode 26. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini

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Lyle Bolton is his name, get it BOLT-ON, and his alter ego is Lock Up. Wow, I don’t know if that’s extremely clever or corny. This guy is a grade A psycho, I’ll tell you that much. See Lyle was a prison guard, one of the best, but he wanted more, he wanted the prisoners to fear him, and he felt like they were all the scum of the Earth. When the inmates complained, they get Lyle fired, and boy does he not take that lying down. Some time passes and he is now, Lock Up, and is kidnapping some of Gotham’s finest (Summer Gleeson, Commissioner Gordon, Mayor Hill) and wants to punish them for creating a poor justice system. He’s even got some cool lock gadgets that are pretty handy. I kind of wish this guy was in more episodes, he’s huge and pretty damn smart, but when he gets stopped by Batman in the end, since he’s so psychotic, he can now watch all the criminals inside Arkham. Maybe this guy is just a pure genius who knows! Grade C+

“Just what this town needs, another psycho in a Halloween costume.” – Harvey Bullock 

60 – Fire From Olympus. Season 3, Episode 7. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

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Maxie Zeus, just another wack job in Gotham. See he believes he is the reincarnation of Zeus himself, and thinks he can wield thunder bolts. When he wants to steal an experimental weapon from Gotham and use it to destroy the city. I’ll admit, if I did these rankings years ago, this might be a bottom 10 episode, but there’s something about it. It grows on me with each new watch, and I don’t know if its because I’ve come to know the character more, or because I’m realizing it’s actually just a great episode. The ending of this one, when Zeus is being taken through Arkham and he’s comparing all the rogues to well know Greek Mythology characters is actually so brilliant, and it’s just a really cool scene. Grade C+

“To the depths of Tartarus with you!” – Maxie Zeus 

59 – Deep Freeze. Season 3, Episode 28. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Paul Dini

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Awe, imagine if Walt Disney, had gone batshit crazy and wanted to be immortal. Well I guess, he did freeze himself, and I don’t know if this episode has anything to do with that, but it reminds me of that, so back off! Grant Walker a billionaire with way to much free time on his hands, breaks Mr. Freeze out of Arkham, so he can help him become just like him. Not only that, Walker wants to turn the world into a skating rink, and start the next ice age, man Gotham really has some sick people in it. Maybe I’m to hard on this episode, but anything that’s not Heart of Ice, has a lot to live up too. This episode just doesn’t really do it for me, and to be perfectly honest, I was always so pissed they waited like 60 episodes to bring Mr.Freeze back. So in the end Freeze helps Batman and Robin, so he can help get his wife back. I just wish we would have gotten a few more Mr. Freeze episodes, but there’s just something about this episode that doesn’t feel right to me. Grade C+

“She’ll wake up in a dead frozen world, that you helped destroy. She’ll hate you for that!” Batman 

58 – You Scratch My Back. Season 4, Episode 5. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Hilary J. Bader

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Boy, is there an awful lot of sexual tension in this episode. Hilary wasn’t holding back on this one. Nightwing wants to get out of Batman’s shadow, so he decides to take down a smuggling ring all by himself. Or so he thought, because Catwoman joins in on the fun, and wants to help the boy wonder. She also seems to want to make Batman jealous by having a somewhat of a sensual relationship with Dick (see what I did there). Meanwhile Batgirl and Nightwing got their own thing going on, and it’s just a cluster of emotions going on. Being the double crosser Catwoman is, she is just using Nightwing, to get to some rare antique. He ends up double crossing her, by secretly working with Batman the whole time, he even pulled one over on me the first time I watched it. Pretty mature episode for being a kids cartoon, so I’ll give it props for that. It’s also just an enjoyable episode! Grade C+

“The only cucumbers in there are .38 caliber” Nightwing 

57 – The Cat & The Claw. Season 1, Episode 15/16 Director: Kevin Altieri, Dick Sebast, Story: Sean Catherine Derek

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We made it, to the first two-part episode! It happens to be Catwoman’s origin, and it happens to feature Red Claw (BOOOOO). If I’m not mistaken these were the first two episodes ever aired, but I go by the box sets, but that’s a fun little fact! So Batman is dealing with this new cat burglar in town. And it just so happens Bruce Wayne has been swept off his feet by the new gal in town, Selina Kyle. Coincidence, I think not! So Selina is pretty pissed because this mountain lion exhibit is being destroyed, by The Red Claw, so both Catwoman and Selina are doing everything they can to stop it from happening. Bruce Wayne is falling for Selina, and Catwoman is falling for Batman, it really is quite the conundrum. When things start to go wrong for Selina, Bruce is there to help, and Batman is also trying to protect Catwoman. When Red Claw steals a deadly plaque on a military train, it’s up to Batman and Catwoman to stop her. Once Batman finds out who Catwoman really is, he has a hard time controlling his emotions and knowing what the right thing to do is. The Catwoman origin stuff, and her arc with Batman in these two episodes are so fantastic, but they get penalized because of the Red Claw. She’s such a horrible villain, and she just was such a buzz kill for these two episodes. The dynamic between Batman and Catwoman is compelling to say the least, and they arguably have the most intriguing relationship in the show, it’s just to bad they couldn’t of had a better baddie to go up against in their first episodes together. Grade B-

“I’m an equal opportunity crime fighter!” Batman 

56 – Christmas With The Joker. Season 1, Episode 2. Director: Kent Butterworth, Story: Eddie Gorodetsky

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One of my all time favourite traditions. Watch this episode on Christmas Eve! This episode gives us a lot of good moments, I feel like I’m screwing up majorly by putting it this low on my list. We get the Joker rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’, which is an all time classic. Him riding through the roof of Arkham on top of that christmas tree is something special. But overall it’s just not the best of episodes. So it’s Christmas Eve, and Batman is not satisfied with his nightly patrol with Robin. When Robin finally convinces him to head home and put on “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Joker interrupts the broadcast, to declare madness on Gotham! He has capture some people, and it’s up to the dynamic duo to stop him. I feel like if it were December this would be higher on my list, I don’t know what it is, I think I’ll regret putting this episode here. Grade C+

“They don’t call ya Batman for nothing!” Robin 

55 – Zatanna. Season 2, Episode 26. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Paul Dini

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Talk about a little sex pot. Zatanna and Batman have all sorts of tension and chemistry between them. When Bruce Wayne visits with Zatanna’s father to learn the ways of illusion and to become a great escape artist, he meets his daughter Zatanna. When he learns all that he can, he leaves and never sees Zatanna again. Until she comes to Gotham, as she grew up to become a great magician. When the final act goes horribly wrong, and she is framed for stealing a lot of money, Batman will stop at nothing to prove her innocence. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that Batman is “John Smith” the man from her past, when he uses an old nickname. They work together to bring down an evil illusionist Montague Kane. I like Zatanna, she’s a great character and I thought she was well portrayed in this episode. I just wanted a little more from the episode. She’s another character they bring into the show and never come back to, which was a total bummer. Batman also cares deeply for this girl and cared for her father, and I love the bond they share, and how close they still are, despite being away from one another for so long! Grade B- 

“What do you care about some leggy dame in nylons- or have I just answered my own question?” Zatanna 

54 – Appointment In Crime Alley. Season 1, Episode 26. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Gerry Conway

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One of the more emotional episodes of the entire series. Batman’s yearly tradition of visiting the site of his parents tragic murder. Crime Alley, a place that Batman hates, yet holds so close to his heart. Well it’s that time of the year, but Roland Daggett is doing everything he can to stop Batman from making that appointment. Daggett is planning on burning Crime Alley to the ground, with or without its residents still living there. He needs the land to build his empire even greater, and will stop at nothing to do so. Batman is also getting held up with various other crimes going on around Gotham, and his head and his heart are not in the right mind frame. The ending to this episode is just so powerful, they really don’t have cartoons like this any more. Like not even close. Once the day is saved, finally Batman and Leslie Thompkins head to Crime Alley, so he can deliver his roses to his parents. He kneels over and Leslie puts her arms around him and it’s just such a powerful scene, that sometimes even Batman is vulnerable and needs compassion every so often.

“Good people still live in Crime Alley” Batman 

53 – Blind As A Bat. Season 3, Episode 3. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Mike Underwood

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Imagine Batman was like blind. Bats are blind, so why shouldn’t Batman be blind. Well in this episode, that’s exactly what you get. Penguin steals some military badass helicopter from the Gotham airshow, and Bruce Wayne happens to become blind, when he gets caught up in some cross fire. But you know Batman, he never quits, so he uses some sweet technology to give himself sight, but it has a few problems. Watching Batman be completely blind and trying to fight people, is actually hilarious, and I can’t help but laugh every time he falls into those barrels! His glowing red eyes, actually make him look more terrifying and menacing as The Dark Knight. Just kind of a meh episode for me, obviously he gets his vision back….. Grade C

“You’re blind as a bat. Sightless and helpless.” Penguin 

52 – Heart of Steel. Season 2. Episode 10/11. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Brynne Stephens

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Seriously, Bruce Wayne really knows how to pick em. Imagine going on a date with a woman, to only find out she’s a robot, and wants to kill you. Robots! Lots and lots of robots. So these episodes are kind of all over the place. So there are a ton of robberies going on around Gotham, and Batman discovers it to be a mechanical briefcase (I’m not kidding). So he tracks down his old pal Karl Rossum, who is an expert in robotics and has lived a sheltered life, after his daughter was killed in a car crash. There he meets the lovely lady/robot assistant Randa Duane. He doesn’t know she’s a robot, and now that I’m thinking about it, why would Karl even let that go on for a second? He must be a sick guy.  Any who, he also shows Batman his most prized possession, H.A.R.D.A.C a super computer capable of incredible things. Things that even Rossum doesn’t know. Like make robotic duplicates of some of Gotham’s most important people! I almost forgot, we get introduced to Barbara Gordon in these two episodes, and she’s awesome. When her Dad gets taken away and replaced with a duplicate, she knows something is wrong right away, there’s also a moment when she thinks she has killed Bullock, but it turns out to be a duplicate also. Imagine that wasn’t the case though, and she straight up just killed a guy! So when Bruce Wayne goes on a date with a robot lady, she sneaks into the batcave and tampers with the bat-computer. When Batman investigates he gets attacked, and realizes something is severely wrong in Gotham. With the help of Barbara, they head back to Rossum, to confront him, but he doesn’t even realize what’s happening, and together they free all the kidnapped citizens, and destroy H.A.R.D.A.C once and for all. This is a two parter that I find myself disliking with each viewing, I’m not sure why, so that’s why its so low on the list! Grade B- 

“His human imperfection endangers the plan. He must be improved upon.” H.A.R.D.A.C

51 – A Bullet For Bullock. Season 3, Episode 11. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Michael Reaves

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Thee Harvey Bullock episode! Finally, one of my favourite characters from the whole show. A tortured soul, a good cop, but simply misunderstood. He believes we don’t need Batman, and in this episode, Bullock finally comes around to the idea of Batman, and hell even thanks the man. Someone is trying to kill Bullock, and wants him dead bad, and well he doesn’t have the slightest of clue as to who it is. So like any desperate man, he turns to Batman for help. This is a really character driven episode, and us as the audience and even Bullock himself learn a lot about this guy. He realizes that his demeanour and his behaviour has created some of the unlikeliest of enemies. He becomes self aware of how he treats people, and maybe realizes it’s time for a change. They scour Gotham, and pinpoint someone from his past as the culprit. That wasn’t the case, it was Bullock’s landlord who wanted him dead, and even pulls a gun on him at the end of the episode. He had driven this poor guy mad, and you just learn to really love the guy by the end of the episode. I really want to see this guy in The Batman movie. Grade B

“You wanted my apartment? You mean, this whole thing was about rent control?” Bullock 

50 – It’s Never Too Late. Season 1, Episode 12. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Tom Rugger

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There’s a crime war going on in Gotham, between Rupert Thorne and old timer Arnold Stromewell, and it is sweeping through the city. When Thorne wants a “truce” Stromwell shows up thinking that this is really happening, meanwhile it’s a trap! You gotta know better old man, but Batman is on the case and saves Stromwell from an exploding building. He needs Stronwell’s help, and needs him to testify against Thorn. He pulls out all the stops, Batman tracks down his son, who is a drug addict but is getting the attention he needs. See Arnold had a trouble upbringing, when he was a boy, is brother lost his leg, when the pair of them were playing on the train tracks and he’s never forgiven himself for it. Now a priest, with the help from his brother and Batman, Arnold swears off crime and even helps bring down Thorne. This is another emotional episode, with all sorts of emotional baggage and layered story telling. Dealing with some serious subject matter for being a kids cartoon. An episode that honestly only gets better with time. Grade B-

“Stay away, Michael! The last time you tried to help me, you lost your leg!” – Arnold Stromwell

49 – Never Fear. Season 4, Episode 6. Director: Kenji Hachizaki, Story: Stan Berkowitz

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Imagine Batman without fear. His deepest fear is becoming what fights every night in Gotham. He never wants to cross that line, and become one of them. Well we kind of get that in this episode, when Scarecrow makes a new toxin that eliminates fear as we know it. So when Batman gets exposed to the gas, he thinks nothing of it. Until he starts acting radically and is being more dangerous and reckless. Sensing this, Robin decides he must do this on his own. Knowing Batman is a threat to not only Gotham city, but to himself as well. Probably the weakest Scarecrow story, but the idea behind Batman losing control is a really neat idea, and something that should be taken seriously. Doing this again, but making it a little more edgy could be awesome to see, because Batman without limits, is a scary man to think about. There is a great exchange between Robin and Batman in this episode. Where Robin knows, that Batman is now such a threat that he needs to stop Scarecrow alone, it’s just a really powerful scene between the two. Considering Tim Drake is just a kid, and he’s not afraid of Batman, even when he is unhinged. Grade C+ 

“Untie me, you little… UNTIE ME!” – Batman

48 – House And Garden. Season 3, Episode 14. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini – 

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This episode is just straight up creepy. Poison Ivy is a broken woman in this one. We see her “building a new life” becoming free of crime and Batman is in shock. She’s turned a new leaf (plant pun!) and decided it’s time to settle down and start a family. She meets a nice professor that teaches at Dick’s school and together they raise his two sons. Batman at first is skeptical, and starts to spy on Ivy, but when he comes away with nothing, he even feels bad for pressuring her so much. Meanwhile, a giant plant like man is terrorizing Gotham, and it would appear that all fingers lead to Ivy, but Batman simply can’t connect the two. At one point in the episode Ivy tells Batman “She’s the happiest, she’s ever been”, and Batman tells her that he believes it. When it turns out, that Ivy is in fact making “people” and that her family isn’t real, Batman and Robin are able to put a stop to her insane plot. She eventually flees Gotham and is seen on an airplane, looking through photographs of her family, with tears in her eyes. Just an emotional episode, showcasing that even though her family and life weren’t real, it was in fact the happiest she’s ever been. Sad stuff. Grade C+

“She’s done nothing more incriminating than return an overdue video – even paid the late fee.” Batman

47 – If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? Season 2, Episode 12. Director: Eric Radomski, Story: David Wise

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The Riddler! One of my all time favourite Batman villains, and guess what? They do him such proper justice in this show! The episodes before the revamp that The Riddler is in, are just quality stuff. His origin story episode however, is my least favourite. The way he looks, speaks and intellect are all so on the money, it’s not even fair. So kudos to the guys for really nailing this character. So Edward Nygma creates a world famous game called “The Riddle of The Minotaur,” and is on top of the world. But when his boss, Daniel Mockridge fires him, so he can keep all the profits of the game for himself, Nygma vows revenge as he leaves the building. Fast forward two years, and Mockridge is getting riddles all across Gotham, and he knows it can only be one man. The Riddler ends up kidnapping Mockridge, and swears to put an end to Mockridge. Batman even feels a little for Nygma, knowing he was the creator of the game, and got screwed over. But they have to stop him from killing Mockridge, who he has hidden in the middle of a life size replica of the game he created. This is where the episode takes a downturn for me, I’m not a fan of the life sized game, it just seems so unrealistic (I know it’s Batman, but you know what I mean). It feels so out of place, and this is when we learn that Batman is a terrific riddle solver, and it damn near pisses Riddler off every time. Mockridge is saved, but he ultimately ends up living in fear for the rest of his life. Side note: I love how they got a guy who’s last name is Wise to write this episode…… Grade B

“My, my, my, can we actually have a brain beneath that pointy cowl of ours?” The Riddler 

46 – Mad As A Hatter. Season 1, Episode 27. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Paul Dini

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Jervis Tetch, a Wayne Enterprises scientist, is madly in love with one of his secretaries Alice. You know where this is going, he eventually snaps, and becomes his alter ego Mad Hatter. I like this character, I enjoy the play on the whole Alice in Wonderland thing. Jervis is a broken man, who just wants to be loved. When he can’t have that, he makes it happen, by mind controlling those around him. He can actually be a pretty worthy advisory to Batman, with his mind controlling devices, seeing how anyone can be targeted. So when Alice gets engaged to her boyfriend, Jervis doesn’t like that one bit, and sets off on a rampage to win her back. I’m a big fan of the end to this episode, with all the characters from Alice in Wonderland being involved, and I just think Mad Hatter is a really interesting and unique Batman character. Just an overall, really well done episode in my mind. Grade B

“You’re mighty in Gotham, Batman, but in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter reigns supreme.” Mad Hatter

45 – Fear of Victory. Season 1, Episode 24. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Samuel Warren Joseph

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Imagine being afraid of just about everything and anything. Well Scarecrow’s newest toxin does just that. When he’s intoxicating star Gotham athletes and making a fortune off their poor performances, he thinks he has it made. He even gets Robin’s roommate, quarterback of their universities football team, and at the same time Robin becomes infected. He doesn’t know until he’s on patrol with Batman, and finds himself, afraid of heights all of a sudden. This episode is all about facing your fears, and being master of your own mind. In the first season, Scarecrow is involved in 3 incredible episodes, and I really wish they didn’t go away from that character in later seasons. He is always testing Batman’s limits, and in this episode, Robin feels like he is a burden to Batman. Once Batman finds the connection between the athletes and Robin, he knows it’s the professor of fear behind it, and when he goes to confront him in Arkham, well guess who broke out. There’s a great part, when it appears he’s in his cell, just rocking back and forth on his rocking chair, but it’s just an actual Scarecrow. Like just how bad is security at this place? Grade B-

I need the money, Batman. You know the cost of chemicals these days.” Scarecrow 


44 – Night of The Ninja. Season 2, Episode 7. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Steve Perry 

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Kyodai Ken, man this guy was so cool! For being a lesser known rival to Bruce Wayne and later Batman, this guy was pretty badass! He’s only in two episodes of the show, but honestly they are two of my favourites. The reason I have it only at number 48, is well, remember what show we are talking about here. So when Bruce Wayne goes to Japan to learn the ways of a samurai, he meets Ken, who is a formidable foe. He is better than Bruce in the dojo, but he has his heart on a rare sword, and tries to steal it. When he is stopped by Bruce and their master, Kyodai Ken swear revenge. Some years later, robberies are happening all over Gotham, and to Wayne Enterprises subsidiaries, he comes face to face with a worthy opponent. When trying to get away, he notices a back tattoo, the same one that Kyodai Ken has. Fearing that he might not be able to beat him, like he could never do in the past, Batman is a little on edge. One of the reasons I love this episode so much, is there’s also a great Robin story in here too. That Robin sometimes feels like Batman isn’t proud of him, or that he isn’t grateful to have him around. Towards the end of the episode, it is Bruce Wayne that defeats Ken, but needs the aid of Robin, due to the fact that he’s fighting him in front of Summer Gleeson. He can’t defeat him with her watching, because it might start to raise unwanted questions. I think I’m really screwing up by making this episode 48, but the truth is, the next time Kyodai Ken comes around, it’s even better! Grade B+

“I have to be the best there is, no matter what it takes!” – Batman

43 – See No Evil. Season 1, Episode 17. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Martin Pasko

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This episode for me at least, has it all. A great story, animation and a really good character. Lloyd Ventrix is a fresh out of jail father, who can no longer see his daughter. So he makes a suit, that’s made up of a special plastic that can bend light. He’s therefore invisible, and when he’s invisible he can see his daughter. See she thinks it’s her new best friend Mojo, and there’s something about this, that’s both sweet and creepy. He’s also using the suit to commit various crimes around Gotham, and when Batman goes up against him, and realizes what exactly he is going up against, he digs deeper into this matter. When he finds out the plastic is toxic and will eventually kill Ventrix, he tries to console him about losing his daughter. All the animation with him being invisible is incredible for the 90’s and they have some stellar fight sequences in this as well. Towards the end when Batman uses a dripping water tank to see Ventrix, and it’s just really well done. He’s only ever in one episode but man I just love that character, it’s a real mature story for a kids show. It really only gets better with each viewing in my opinion. Grade B

“See you ’round, Batman! Too bad you can’t say the same!” – Lloyd Ventrix 

Three parts down, two to go!

Check ya later.

News

Matthew Vaughn Come Save Superman

The DCEU is looking for someone to take over the Superman franchise. Matthew Vaughn is the perfect choice

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Warner Bros. is going ahead with a Man of Steel sequel, and they’re eyeing their man for the directing job. Back in 2013 the DCEU officially launched with the release of Man of Steel, and it was met with mixed reviews by both fans and critics. Helmed by Zack Snyder, the “godfather” of the DCEU as some would put it, is taking a back seat for the sequel, and Warner Bros. have been in hot pursuit to find his replacement. They might have found the man for the job and his name is Matthew Vaughn.

Matthew Vaughn, is on a little bit of a role lately, with hits such as; Kick-Ass, Kingsmen: The Secret Service and X-Men First Class, he knows his way around a comic book franchise. He even pitched a Superman movie to WB back in the day, and had this to say about the titled character. “I think that’s the one thing not to do with Superman, trying to do the serious ‘The Dark Knight’ version. Superman is about color and fun, or it should be, for me.”

His movies are all colorful and fun, and he’s no stranger to approaching a comic book movie, with already 3 hits on his resume. This seems like a match made in heaven, but the problem with WB is, they like to meddle in peoples work, and that has showed in their last few movie releases.

Now this approach would seem the polar opposite of the Superman the DCEU fans have come to know in Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman. Their Superman is brooding and a sad character, and maybe Vaughn could breathe some new light into this iconic hero. If that’s the case, this could be the best thing that could happen to Superman, bring back the character to its original roots in the Christopher Reeves era, and making him a fun hero to root for once again.

With the DCEU universe stumbling out of the gate with their first 3 movie releases, some fresh blood might be the best thing for it. With the sizeable hit that was Batman v. Superman, but not meeting the fans expectations and having serious tone problems. Following that up with the lackluster Suicide Squad, WB is praying that Wonder Woman this summer can finally turn this sinking ship around. Justice League is set to hit theatres this coming November, and with the apparent death of Superman in Batman v. Superman, he is looking to make a serious comeback in Justice League, and hopefully he might have awoke with a new and improved funny bone.

I’ve been a fan of all of Vaughn’s work, and super stoked about the Kingsmen sequel, that I could only get excited of the news that WB might be bringing in another fantastic director for one of their projects. Patty Jenkins who’s doing Wonder Woman, everything we have seen so far makes it look promising, and adding James Wan, and Matt Reeves into the mix, could make for some serious blockbusters down the line for Warner Bros.

So I’m on board with this potential hiring of Matthew Vaughn, I really hope he doesn’t want to bring back the underwear over the pants. That can stay with the Christopher Reeves era.

Check ya later.

News

Is the DCEU in Trouble?

You wanna get nuts? Lets get nuts! – Batman

You know who couldn’t wait for 2016 to end? WB studios that’s who, boy could they not wait for the year to end. Last year wasn’t great for WB and their DCEU, well maybe financially, but in terms of how critics and fans alike felt about their movies is a whole other story. Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad both failed to earn a ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and BvS led all other movies in Razzie nominations (these are awards for the worst movies of the year).

WB always had one trump card up their sleeve though. Ben Affleck, the goddamn Batfleck, was set to direct his very own standalone Batman movie, and boy was it going to be glorious. Starting in early 2017, right around the time Ben’s latest movie (Live By Night) was set to premier, it sounded like Ben was getting cold feet. He kept saying things like “the scripts not ready,” “I’m not doing this, until things are perfect,” and finally early this week news broke that Ben was no longer going to direct Batman. When this news broke the world LOST ITS MIND. Honestly that is the one-thing DC fans had over Marvel, that unlike Marvel, DC was going to have the Oscar winner Ben Affleck directing a standalone Batman movie.  Not only is he not directing, there are whispers that he may be out all together as the caped crusader. If that happens, honestly I’m not sure what WB should do about their already fragile DCEU. The standalone Flash movie has already lost three directors (THREE!!!!), and now is getting a page one rewrite. What the hell is going on? These characters and their movies should pretty much write themselves. How much source material do you really need to write a good script? The thing that the DCEU needs is a godfather, Marvel has Kevin Feige and the WB TV division has Greg Berlanti. Both of these guys care about not only the characters, but also the fans. They have a vision of where things should go, and the DCEU is missing that. I don’t know if it should be Geoff Johns, Zack Snyder, but they need to get someone in there fast, and clean this mess up. Someone who cares and loves these characters, and that has some idea of where they would like to see this universe go.

Here’s the thing, Man of Steel was a great movie, I personally think it was a solid way to kick of this new DCEU, but ever since, WB has tried to play catch up to Marvel. Shoveling so much crap down our throats in BvS. Rome was not built in a day, and neither should comic book universes. They had the new Batman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, Doomsday, and small little cameos from Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg ALL IN THE SAME MOVIE!? They really rushed it, not to mention throwing in the greatest comic book showdown ever between Batman and Superman, which again you had so much source material for and as Billy Madison would say, “YOU BLEW IT”! Oh, and to top it all off, they decided to put in the death of Superman at the end of the movie, just for shits and giggles I guess.

Next up Suicide Squad, which WB promised would be lighter in tone and fun. The trailers made this movie look awesome, but my god towards the end of the movie, it was really hard to sit through. To this day I have only seen it once. Back to back stinkers in a span of 4 months, meanwhile Marvel is crushing it.

Do I think Affleck leaving the directors chair is the end of the world? No. What I think is, he’s got a lot going on not only in his work life but in his personal life as well. Maybe he feels that WB is rushing this process and he doesn’t want all the blame going onto his shoulders if this thing falls apart. This could actually be a blessing in disguise for the movie. WB is going to hire an A+ director for this project (please god let it be either David Fincher or George Miller) and they could really work well with Ben (who is still writing, producing and starring in this thing by the way). WB just needs to make some fast moves here and replace Ben as director as fast as possible. There is just too much stink on this movie right now, and it could use a dose of good news, before things somehow get even worse. So not all hope can be lost, just because Ben isn’t directing anymore. In a year from now, when this movie is ready to released, we all might look back on this and have a nice Joker power laugh about it.

Another reason why I don’t think the DCEU is doomed quite yet. That reason is Aquaman, the savior of the DCEU people! Look the cast is fantastic (Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman), James Wan is directing and he did wonders for the Fast and Furious franchise, and I feel pretty confident that he is going to pull this thing off. Aquaman is no joke; he’s actually one of the coolest, most badass superheroes in comics today. Read Geoff Johns New 52 comic book run if you don’t believe me. Also another amazing thing about Aquaman, we will get to see Black Manta, one of my favorite DC villains of all time. That’s right, fish bowl head is awesome and I don’t care who knows it. Just look at a photo if you have no clue what I’m talking about.

Look, this could all really fall apart, if Wonder Woman and Justice League don’t finally turn this ship around. There is immense pressure on both of these movies, not only to succeed financially but critically as well. I pray one of the reasons Ben didn’t drop out is because he knows deep down, that the DCEU is already doomed. If they are both great, this will all be a thing of the past, and no one will care. I have faith in both of these movies, especially Wonder Woman. Zack Snyder is so hit or miss, that I can be supremely confident about Justice League until I have sat in a theatre and watched it. I guess we will all know the answers November 18th.

So take a deep breath people, relax. Remember at the end of the day, these are just movies, I know we all want them to kickass and blow our minds, and theres potential for this to happen. All we can do in the mean time is sit back, and enjoy all the great movies coming out in 2017!

Until then, you’ll be seeing more posts about the DCEU!

Check ya later.