Reviews

Looking Back At ‘Batman v Superman’

We are mere days away from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, so once again take a trip down memory lane with the birth of the expanded DCEU with Batman v Superman.

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice review (2016) | Sight & Sound | BFIFearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.

Remember this little indie flick that came into the zeitgeist back in 2016? Batman v Superman, arguably the most talked-about piece of pop culture this century. One of the most polarizing, divided, and controversial movies I can ever really remember seeing, it finally introduced us to the possibilities of the Justice League.

After the semi-success of Man of Steel, Warner Brothers knew they needed to go big for their next movie. Zack Snyder decided to bring in the big guns, which was Oscar Winner Ben Affleck, coming off winning best picture at the Oscars. He was going to be suiting up and taking on the Son of Krypton. Ben Affleck was at the height of his power, he had more juice than almost anyone in Hollywood at the time and Zack Snyder convinced this guy to come play Batman for him.

Warner Brothers had just wrapped up the monumental Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, proving that Batman was essentially box-office gold. How could this fail? Once production got underway, Zack Snyder and his team rolled out one of the most impressive marketing campaigns in history. Everything was a homerun, casting, posters, and more importantly the trailers. Fans couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into this movie and the world was waiting to see what Zack Snyder had in store.

When reviews came pouring in, it wasn’t what WB was expecting, arriving at 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and now that isn’t an important marker for every movie, but it can sink a movie in terms of box-office success. Not even eclipsing 1 billion dollars at the box-office, things didn’t seem the same once BvS was released.

Again, the problem with the movie for a lot of fans, they felt it had too many holes and some of the pieces of the puzzle seemed to be missing. Then came along the Ultimate Edition of the movie that proved the intended version that Zack Snyder had for the world was the superior one. It changed how a lot of people viewed the movie and made a stronger case for as to why Zack Snyder should be the one leading the charge on the future of the DCEU.

Personally, I remember being disappointed when I walked out of the theatre after seeing BvS. I waited over 700 days for the movie and it didn’t live up to my expectations. Until I realized I had set the highest of expectations that could never be reached. Like most fans, I didn’t really fall in love with this movie until I watched the Ultimate Edition. Now with every passing viewing, I find myself enjoying this thing just so much more. Mostly due to the fact, that there is just so much more to enjoy, and the movie just feels complete to me.

The movie serves as a launching pad for the future team-up movie, introducing us to Ben Afflecks’ dark and lost Batman. As he tries to find himself again and is eventually inspired by Superman. This is a Batman who has broken free from his golden rule and has lost all sense of what made him such a strong figure for Gotham City. We never quite got to see this kind of Dark Knight, someone who lives inside a world with super-powered beings all while having 20 years of crime-fighting experience. Without a doubt as of right now he is the definitive Batman because he fills out the suit to perfection and his relationship with Alfred is the best part of his entire character. Making his Bruce Wayne just as valuable on the screen as his alter-ego.

We also get introduced to the last piece of the Trinity, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Obviously not as flushed out as Batman, but we knew she would be getting her own solo flick in the near future. Gal steals the last third of the movie, having one of the best entrances for a superhero ever. She looks fierce and has only gained confidence on-screen as time has gone on. She’s a much better actor today than she was when she was first cast as Diana. Not to mention a quick glimpse at Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman, Snyder was trying to tell us a much larger threat was on the horizon and these heroes would need to come together in order to save the world.

This is just so different from anything that was going on in the comic-book world at that time. It was serious and dealt with our heroes in a very thematic and layered way. In the MCU it was mostly ordinary people trying to be Gods, where Snyder was displaying our DC heroes as Gods that just wanted to be like everyone else. Superman is a flawed character, for good reasons and his story arc through the first two DCEU movies was a unique take.

Fron the beautiful score, that hits right from the very get-go as we watch the Waynes get gunned down once again in Crime Alley. Leading all the way until the very last moments of our film. The action isn’t what propels this movie forward. When it hits, of course, it’s great, that’s one thing you never really have to worry about with Snyder (warehouse scene anyone), and his visuals are always on the highest of peaks. These characters have never looked better in a movie. Jesse Eisenberg who gives a more Mark Zuckerberg rather than Jeff Bezos kind of Lex Luthor portrayal was met with such criticism, but for me, it’s one of the things that works so well. It’s interesting that as the movie goes forward we see Batman and Lex go on opposite paths, Batman gliding towards the light, while Lex slips deeper into the dark. His rooftop sequence with both Superman and Lois Lane is his crowning achievement.

Over time I think more people have come around to this movie, but it’s still highly discussed and has polarized a fanbase. It will leave a mark on the comic-book industry no doubt, even more so with the events that played out after its release.

Batman v Superman may be flawed in some areas but overall, I truly believe it is one of the best comic-book movies ever made. It’s rich in context and in texture and it is more than just heroes punching one another. Zack looks at our heroes through a certain lens that leaves you wondering what he had in store for the future. In less than a week, we will finally get to see that vision and I don’t think the world is ready.

Batman v Superman – 92/100

News

It’s happening. Ben Affleck is Putting On The Cowl Again.

He was known as the Batfleck and now he literally is back-fleck.

Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League

Well the internet was kind of broken today. It’s finally confirmed. It’s actually happening, something personally I thought couldn’t happen is taking place. Ben Affleck is going to play Batman in another movie. No it’s not in his own standalone movie or in a sequel to Justice League. But rather in the up-coming Flash movie. Director Andy Muschietti announced it today that Affleck would return in a “cameo” type role for his upcoming superhero flick.

It’s already been reported that none other than Michael Keaton himself is also reprising his role as the Cape Crusader, but this is just shaping up to be something special. Affleck is back in a positive place, and feels like he’s up for playing this character again. We will see more of him once Zack Snyder’s Justice League is released but this could be the farewell that he wants to give fans. Or it’s a door that will remain open for him to continue to wear the cowl in other projects.

There is an iconic scene that takes place between Barry and Bruce and I believe this is the exact scene that Ben will comeback for and it will be very bittersweet.

This all came before the big day ahead on Saturday when DC Fandome takes place. Expect more news and plenty of other goodies!

Feels good to be blogging again.

Reviews

‘The Way Back’ Review

Ben Affleck shines in this powerful drama that almost hits too close to home. It feels like his most personal performance to date and the first time in a long time that he’s done something he’s truly passionate about. The Way Back is an emotional journey that to this day is Afflecks greatest performance.

the-way-back-2020-ben-affleck-warner-bros.-picturesJack Cunningham was a HS basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption.

 


“It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, cause that’s going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get back up.” Truer words have never been spoken by one person explaining themselves. Ben Affleck has had one hell of a career in Hollywood since he came into our lives in the ’90s. His storied journey is one for the record books, with all sorts of incredible highs, winning Best Picture for Argo and winning Best Screenplay

This brings us to now, and his newest project, The Way Back. Which follows an ex-basketball star turned alcoholic, turned basketball coach. It’s a touching manner for Ben, seeing how he himself has battled addiction of all sorts and has been in the public eye for alcohol abuse. It has changed his life forever and shaped part of his saga in Hollywood. This movie is a comeback story, a story that we have seen time and time again play out with Affleck, and that is why this just feels like the most important thing he has ever been apart of.

Sports movies can usually be described with one word, “cliche.” So whenever a new teen sports movie comes around its tough not to go in thinking you know the exact recipe that’s about to be cooked up. The Way Back delivers some of the normal tropes, the montage, the coming together as a team, the best player realizing that he is, in fact, the best player on the team. What separates this from every other sports movie that I can remember watching, is how this detours in the 3rd act. Everything in life doesn’t always have a happy ending, and sometimes these are the stories that need to be told. The Way Back unlike most sports movies doesn’t have the classic “Hollywood” ending, which is almost the best part of the film. This is a movie that deals with real-life problems, real-life issues, that when they come to the surface, they will have serious consequences. So when alcoholism and trying to mentor young boys, these can become messy. Gavin O’Connor who is no stranger to sports movies, he’s responsible for Miracle and Warrior, isn’t afraid to hit home on serious issues that pack an emotional punch.

Ben Affleck had pretty big shoulders when he was suiting up and fighting crime as Batman. Here, however, it feels like he has the weight of the entire world on his broad bulky shoulders. He was big and buff as Batman, but in The Way Back he’s big and messy and covered in beer sweats. Affleck will break you down, he chips away at you slowly, until he himself breaks. His performance is best described by his character Jack Cunningham, a once-renowned high-school superstar turned boozehound. He always tells his team to chip away little by little whenever they find themselves in a hole. You find yourself wondering how he turned into the man we see before us, and what drove him to the point of drinking a case of beer every day. The more you chip away at his past the more you realize what can break a man. Affleck himself has battled many demons and at certain moments in the film, it’s almost like he’s not even acting anymore. It’s so raw and emotional you can’t help but get choked up yourself. Affleck dishes out a triple-double performance and this is without question the best of his career. 

As for the basketball aspect of the film. I’d say it’s the most realistic stuff we’ve ever seen. With how it’s shot, the language spoken and how modern it all feels. The kids are fantastic and have terrific chemistry. The team has all the classic characters, the loudmouth, the hype man, the outcast and so on. I wish they spent a little more time with the team and building up their stories. Then again this isn’t really a basketball movie at its core. It’s a character study showing how someone broken can little by little get back to being themselves and the insane hardships that come along the way.

It’s hard not to root for Affleck and you want him to find his way back. Seeing him do the press tour and all sorts of interviews and seeing how happy and healthy he looks just brings a smile to my face. Even better is the fact that this movie is not just good but great and critics even think so too.

Bring your tissues folks.

The Way Back = 84/100

News

‘The Way Back’ Trailer

Ben Affleck + Basketball = recipe for success

Well, that a gut punch early on in the morning. Art imitating life. Ben Affleck is losing the cape and cowl for good and substituting it for a clip board. We all know about his own personal struggles with alcohol abuse and that’s why this movie has a real shot of being nothing short of spectacular, at least his performance.

Who would be Ben Affleck’s basketball comparison? What a question, because in The Way Back he was once a high school star and I haven’t stopped thinking about that. Ben re-teams with Gavin O’Connor director of Warrior and The Accountant, and you already know this will pack a serious emotional punch. Ben Affleck in a sports movie, love to see it. A mix between Coach Carter and Half Nelson perhaps, this overall just looks really good. The world hasn’t had a great quote on quote sports movie in a long time and hopefully this can break that streak.

You know this role probably means a lot to Affleck and him playing it close to his own chest, and I’m excited to see what he does with this material. It doesn’t look like just another cliche sports movie, because of the serious weight the trailer carries. It’s great to see Ben branching out and trying new things and more importantly being in a movie. He didn’t have a theatrical release in all of 2019.

It’s always great to have this man back in our lives, such a talent.

News

Some DCEU News

Matt Reeves The Batman will drop June 25th, 2021. Only problem is, he’s going to have to find another Caped Crusader

Well this is the definition of bittersweet. It was just announced that after what feels like a lifetime, we will he getting another Batman solo flick. Here’s the catch, it will be without the greatest person to ever dawn the cape and cowl…..

That’s right. Ben Affleck after about 8 months of speculation is finally stepping away from the DCEU and that role will be going to a much younger man. After all the hype and the great moments we got with Bat-fleck, it’s a crying shame that we will never get to see him in his very own movie. It’s preposterous if you ask me. I’m not saying it was a waste, but what a major misstep by the people over at WB. I’m sad to see him go, I even made “Team Bat-fleck” shirts.

But when god closes a door, he opens a window. Or something like that. We are still getting a Batman solo flick in a little over 2 years. Now THIS NEXT PART IS VERY IMPORTANT. Get a man who is committed to the role. Who can take the criticism, who wants to be the Batman we all deserve. I have no clue who they want, who they are eyeing. We just know that they want someone younger. Some many choices, I’m not even going to name any people, because who knows which direction they will go in. Okay, I will. Oscar Isaac, would be a terrific Batman. He wouldn’t be as buff, but Batman doesn’t need to be that big, just look at the comics. He’s a fantastic actor who is used to be part of a large franchise and universe. I’m excited, Reeves wants to pull out the Rogues Gallery for this one, so expect to see many Batman foes. I pray we get to see, The Riddler, Two-Face and maybe Clayface. It’s just a depressing ass day. The DCEU, after trending upwards for so long, falters big time here.


In other news. James Gunn, the man behind Guardians of The Galaxy is making The Suicide Squad, also slated for 2021. A reboot of sorts, I dunno. I don’t care.

News

‘Triple Frontier’ Trailer

This is either going to be incredible or a pile of crap. There is no in between.

Well regardless of the outcome, I guess it’s got one thing going for it, that’s a whole lot of hunk. My god, what a cast. When this trailer dropped yesterday I was shocked, shocked to see a movie with a cast like this be a Netflix release. In my opinion that means that it’s either a pile of absolute shit or they have truly something special on their hands. I can’t decide where it’s going to fall, even after watching the trailer multiple times.

Army boys get together to plan a good old heist. So we all know how much I love a good heist movies. You know the recipe, betrayal, backstabbing and tons of action. I want this all in every movie I see, but that can’t happen. I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing Ben Affleck in another role another thank a superhero flick. It’s about time to see him in another project, I feel like it’s been ages since we have seen him in just a straight up action film, probably since The Town. J.C Chandor is directing and he doesn’t have any real credentials to his name, so that worries me. But if Netflix picked him, he must be the man for the job.

Joining Ben is Oscar Issac, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal and my boy Garrett Hedlum. That is so much talent on the screen at one time. That’s why I’m leaning on the side of this being really good! All these guys didn’t sign up for a shitty project, there’s just no way. It’s also dropping sooner rather than later in March, so we won’t have to wait that long. Check out the trailer below.

https://youtu.be/Fo3yRLLrXQA

Reviews

‘Justice League’ Final Trailer

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ben Affleck was born to play Batman.

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Warner Brothers. really saved the best for last didn’t they? Has any comic book movie been under more pressure, and had more going on behind the scenes than any that have come before it. There is a TON of pressure on Justice League, from fans, critics, box-office success, and just over-all people being happy and this finally leading the DCEU in the right direction. All I want is for this movie to be successful, I love all of these characters, we deserve a great Justice League movie, and I think this was a really fantastic last trailer. Things are finally taking shape and really coming together for this movie, and this trailer showed us that, and I think the die hard fans will be pleased, but I also think those that were on the fence about this movie will come back around and be intrigued enough to be in the theatre opening weekend.

There is a ton of new footage here and plenty of stuff we have already seen. I feel like we got the Joss Whedon effect in the trailer, in terms of everyone seems to be happy and smiling and even The Dark Knight himself was cracking jokes. It feels a little lighter in tone, but it does remain to have that dark presence, and this still feels like a Zack Snyder movie and that is totally okay with me. This will still be his movie, but Joss came on just to like decorate the cake. Zack baked it, but now it just needs its finishing touches. 40 more days until we all finally get to sit down and experience this for ourselves, and I’m just pretty nervous for everyone involved, like I said above, there is just a lot riding on the success of this movie.

Once again I think Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller were the highlights, they seem to really stand out from everyone else in the league. Aquaman might already be the coolest superhero we have ever seen in a comic book movie. The man is a rock star and everything we have seen so far of him has just blown me away. Ezra Miller will truly be the comic relief for this film, and he’s just got some great comedic timing. The visuals are simply stunning, the shot of Batman standing in front of the Batwing was so badass. We all knew the visuals would be top notch, it is a Zack Snyder movie after all, but now with 3 trailers, I think they just got this right. The trailer proved to us, and it was Warner Brothers. telling us that, it’s okay fans, we got this. I couldn’t be happier we didn’t get to see Superman, and the dream sequence was the perfect way to tease him. We don’t need that big reveal in the trailers, that was really well done by the marketing team.

So buckle up because this movie is going to be a roller coasting and November 17th needs to just get here already, because this wait has been killing me.

Check ya later.

News

What’s Going On With The DCEU?

I really have no idea what is going on with Warner Brothers and the DCEU anymore, makes me sad.

 

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Seriously? What in the bloody hell is going on over at Warner Brothers? Just when you think they finally got it figured out, especially after the recent success of Wonder Woman. Which is now the highest-grossing movie of the summer. The last 24 hours have been kind of a cluster. First, we get word of a stand-alone Joker movie, that will not only not take place within the DCEU, but it turns out will cast a new lead??? Now we get word about The Batman, not being part of the DCEU either. Matt Reeves wants to make it his own thing, and tell his own story.

Honestly, have they learned nothing from Marvel? Do they not realize with the success of Wonder Woman, that this universe was finally heading in the right direction. Yes, I understand Justice League is going through MASSIVE reshoots, but I still have very high hopes for that movie. Why are they letting this news come out before it gets released? Ride this Wonder Woman wave all the way up to the release of Justice League. Why are you making the fans doubt the stability of the DCEU at this point in time? We do not need a Joker stand-alone movie, even if the legendary Martin Scorsese is on board to be a producer. I’m sorry it’s just not something that needs to happen right now. Todd Phillips (the guy behind The Hangover movies) is apparently directing, and he is certainly hit or miss. Like focus on what’s in front of you right now WB, and that’s getting Justice League out, without the entire world hating it. How about making two good movies in a row, before announcing about 15 upcoming projects, that quite frankly WE DON’T NEED. Jared Leto was a fine Joker, but we really don’t need another Joker cast. This is entering Spider-Man territory.

As for Matt Reeves and his standalone Batman movie. Having that be separate from the DCEU is actually kind of fine by me. What that probably means is, it will take place before the events of BvS, we will still get Affleck in the role, and that way, they feel ZERO pressure to add in any of the other Justice League members. Just let him tell a great Batman story, without having to worry about connecting it to all the other movies that are in the works over at WB for the DCEU. As long as Ben Affleck is still Batman, in these upcoming standalone Batman movies, I’m totally on board for whatever they want to do. In fact, I think it’s best if it’s completely different from the DCEU, maybe that’s just what this character needs.

Get your act together Warner Bros.

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. a

First things first, the past few days, it’s been rumored 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 Diego 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 upcoming 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 4/5

“Well that was fun, who’s for Chinese?”

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You know the drill by now, here are episodes 42-23!!

42 – Trial. Season 3, Episode 12. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini

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So many of Batman’s villains, all in one place! Batman is on trial people, after the new district attorney feels that he is actually a burden on Gotham. He promotes more crime and ends up doing more harm than good. It’s really awesome seeing his entire rogues gallery interacting with one another, and almost working together. They all want one thing, to see Batman go down, but not before finding out his true identity. One thing about this episode is, it sort of feels rushed. Having all these great charters together, you could have maybe stretched this out to be a two-parter. A few episodes in this section suffer from that same fate. Joker playing the judge is actually hilarious, and it turns out that Batman is responsible for a lot of the villains in Gotham. I hope that the writers of The Batman live-action take a few notes from this episode, seeing how they want a lot of his rouges gallery to appear in the up-coming live-action movie! Grade B

“I just wanna say, if there was no Batman, there’d be no Joker, and I’d have never met my Puddin’. Thank you, Batman.” – Harley Quinn 

41 – Catwalk. Season 3, Episode 18. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini

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Selina Kyle is bored, she’s got nothing going on in her life. No longer dressing up like a cat and robbing people, Catwoman is no longer a part of her life. Until the Ventriloquist wonders if she still had an itch to suit up. Well guess, she does. So when he asks her to steal something from Gotham socialite Veronica Vreeland, Scarface ends up double crossing her. When she’s stealing one thing, they are doing another job. I just love the interaction between these two villains, and I enjoy watching a vulnerable Catwoman, as she is trying to decide what’s the best life for her. It’s always interesting with the Ventriloquist, because when Scarface usually goes bye bye, it’s a weird and emotional bit. He’s just a puppet, but he’s more than that to his creator. Always found that intriguing. Grade B 

“Now we’re gonna found out if there really is more than one way to skin a cat.” – Scarface 

40 – What Is Reality? Season 2, Episode 20. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Marty Isenberg

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Another great Riddler story! This time he sends Gotham PD a nice little present. A virtual reality video game, and when the commish gets stuck inside, it’s up to Batman to save him. This is a fantastic episode and one that really showcases Riddler’s intellectual side and his passion for riddles. Watching Batman battle wits with The Riddler is always a pleasure to watch, people can forget just how smart Batman is, he’s more than just a brawler. I always thought this episode would make for a great live action bit, and would be a great way to showcase The Riddler on the big screen. With the Riddler Easter egg we got in BvS, he might show up sooner rather than later! Grade B

“Careful, vigilante, you know what they say. Curiosity killed the Bat”. – The Riddler 

39 – The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne. Season 2, Episode 9. Director: Frank Paur, Story: David Wise

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Man, they really screwed the pooch on this one. This would have made the best two part episode, but instead, sadly they crammed it all into one. Dr. Hugo Strange has built a machine that sees people’s thoughts. When Bruce Wayne goes to visit, well the good doctor finds out his secret identity. I love Hugo Strange, he was so incredible in Batman: Arkham City, and he’s only ever in this one episode, which is another failure on its own. When he ransoms off the video tape to The Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin, they are licking their chops to get their hands on this tape. That’s right, these three villains are in this episode, together, sharing scenes and it’s great. Another reason why I felt that this episode was rushed. You can’t have these three guys come together for only 5 minutes, it’s just a tease. At one point Two-Face and Penguin pull out guns and the Joker pulls out flowers and it’s so funny. In the end, Batman is able to pull one over on Strange, in a really clever way. It’s just a shame we really only get one episode like this, honestly it’s one of my favourites. Grade B+ 

“That’s absurd! I know Bruce Wayne. If he’s Batman, I’m the King of England.” – Two-Face

38 – Sideshow. Season 3, Episode 10. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Michael Reaves

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The start of this episode!!! Croc on a train, chained up and the guards are laughing at him. Well until he tells them, that crocodiles have the strongest jaw and boom he’s free! Batman shows up and it’s pretty awesome how he hunts and tracks Croc through the woods, and well almost gets smashed by a giant rock (hopefully you get that reference). Croc stumbles across a band of misfit circus freaks, and they welcome him in with open arms. Obviously he lies about who he is and what he is doing in their neck of the woods. When Batman shows up, they think he’s the bad guy, until Croc shows his true colours. I remember this episode clear as day from my childhood, the fight on the water wheel at the end is something I’ll always remember from this show. It’s one of the very few episodes I actually remember watching as a child, so it holds a special place in my heart. Doesn’t hurt that it’s also a great episode. Grade B

“You said you could be yourself out here, remember? I guess that’s what I was doing. Being myself.” – Killer Croc

37 – Growing Pains. Season 4, Episode 8. Director: Atsuko Tanaka, Story: Paul Dini

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The final appearance of Clay Face, is also his saddest episode. Such a troubled soul, and has some of the most emotional episodes this show has to offer. This is also a incredible character building episode for Tim Drake’s Robin. The run down is this, Robin meets a girl, who can’t seem to really remember to much about herself. Robin begins to develop feelings for her. But something is off with her, and he can’t seem to figure out what it is. She’s looking for someone, and her “father” is looking for her. Turns out it’s Clayface, and she’s just a part of him. When we last saw Clayface he fell into the water, but managed to create this girl to go off and find a cure. Robin is devastated when he finds out, that not only is she not real, that he can’t save her. It’s just really sad and emotional to see him find out that sometimes in life, things just don’t work out. The quote I attached to his episode sums it up perfectly. Batman knows all too well about being broken, and he can see the pain that Robin is going through, but he can’t do anything to ease his pain. One of the episodes I wish took place during the first three seasons. It’s a shame really.

“Sometimes there are no happy endings.” – Batman

36 – Sins of The Father. Season 4, Episode 2. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Rich Fogel

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Tim Drake’s origin story. As we find ourselves without Dick Grayson being Batman’s sidekick. For the new Robin, they blended both Tim Drake and Jason Todd, both having unique characteristics, and compelling backstories. So the writers decided to go with the name Tim Drake, but he has parts of Jason Todd inside of him. When Tim’s dad goes missing and Two-Face is looking for him, Batman gets tangled up in this mess as well. I loved how they took a Batman villain and made him be a part of Robin’s origin. Am I fan of Robin being a little kid, absouletly not. It just made the show feel more childish, something I didn’t like about the revamp. But this is a great episode none the less, and one of the better episodes from the final season. Grade B

“Yeah, my dad used to work for old puke-face” Tim Drake 

35 – On Leather Wings. Season 1, Episode 1. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Mitch Brian

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There’s no better feeling, than when I put in season 1, disc 1, and the theme for ‘On Leather Wings’ starts playing. The start of the journey, and it’s a kick ass start. This is an all around fantastic episode. It certainly feels like the first episode also, with everyone out to get Batman, even Commissioner Gordon is unsure of the Cape Crusader at this point in the show. Harvey Dent is just the DA, and shows no signs of his alter ego, and even Batman feels like the new guy in town. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Man-Bat and they do him serious justice in his first episode. This is a rare episode that almost feels like it could be adaptive to live-action quite easily, just the way it looks and feels. It feels like such a classic Batman story, and there’s honestly no better way to start the show off. From Harvey and his S.W.A.T team attempting to take down Batman, from even the interactions between Batman and Alfred, I just love this episode so much. It’s honestly one of the Batman stories I’ll never forget. Grade B+

“I gather you’ve been reading, How to Make Friends and Influence People”. – Alfred 

34 – Pretty Poison. Season 1, Episode 5. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Paul Dini

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Harvey, Harvey, Harvey Dent. Was totally getting it on with Poison Ivy!!! What a dirty dog. These are the little things I love about this show. Poison Ivy’s first appearance in the show and I just really love this episode. She’s pissed because well Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent destroyed a ecosystem to make room for well a prison. A little ironic if you ask me. But when they did this, they destroyed a very rare plant. So rare that Poison Ivy now holds the remaining one and she’s used it to create a deadly toxin. When she kisses Harvey after a date, he slips into a coma, and it’s up to his pal Bruce/Batman to save him! A few things I love. It shows just how close Bruce and Harvey were before his “accident” and just how good of a person he truly was. The whole Poison Ivy kiss thing too, well that craptastic Batman & Robin movie totally stole that move! I always get a kick out of Bullock interrogating the chef and asking him what he put in the chocolate mousse. Batman also fights a giant Venus Fly Trap, and that’s totally badass! I was always a huge fan of Poison Ivy in this show, they portrayed her so well and this just happens to be her best episode. Grade B+

“Batman. A late night rendezvous? To what do I owe the honour?” – Poison Ivy 

33 – Legends of The Dark Knight. Season 4, Episode 19. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Robert Goodman

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Three different Batman stories in one episode! Different animation styles and voices! This is a very special and unique episode to say the least. It takes all sorts of different elelments from the 80s and the 50s, as we see kids telling their take on the Dark Knight. We they are confronted by Firefly, it’s up to Batman to stop him. My favourite part is by far the Dark Knight Returns part. Seeing how that’s one of the greatest Batman stories of all time. I love his fight with the Mutant Leader. And love the actual animated two part movie that came out a few years ago. They tried hard to make that happen in BvS, but that didn’t turn out too well. Grade B

“Batman! I call you coward! Come out and face your death like a man! I kill you! I eat your heart! I show you who rules Gotham City!” Mutant Leader 

32 – Vendetta. Season 1, Episode 23. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Michael Reaves

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Killer Croc’s first episode! And let me tell you, it’s a real doozy. I can never say enough good things about this character, especially when he’s done right. His appearances in the first three seasons are nothing short of spectacular, and well, they straight up RUINED him in the revamp. So Bullock has been framed for doing a lot of shady things, and no one seems to believe him. Until Batman gets on the case, and starts putting together the pieces to this puzzle. One thing I’ll never forget with this episode, will be the actual introduction to Croc. When Batman finds his underwater cave lair, which is so badass by the way, and hell of scary. When he appears from the water, it was actually really frightening as a child. He wasn’t always the brightest crayon in the box, but physically, he was always a lot for Batman to handle. This is another great Bullock episode, that deals with his past and how he just has so many enemies. That mixed with a great Croc story, makes for one hell of an episode. The fight in the sewer at the end, is one of the best action/fights, this show has to offer. This is the incarnation of Killer Croc I would love to see in live action, because I think it is simply perfect. Grade B+

“Terrific. Just what I need now. The freak job in the cape.” – Killer Croc

31 – Read My Lips. Season 3, Episode 8. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Alan Burnett

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Honestly, this show really waited a long time to introduce this awesome villain. I know, it’s a doll, I know the concept seems so stupid. But this show did this character right. This is such a fascinating and complex episode, and it’s such a shame it takes so long to introduce this guy. The Ventriloquist is actually quite the badass, and honestly one of the more impressive villains the show has to offer. He’s smart, has the best muscle, Rhino is the biggest goon this show has to offer. When Batman finally understands what is going on, it’s so cool for him to be kind of impressed with a bad guy, and Arnold’s ventriloquism skills. He’s the best he’s ever seen, and he was once trained by one of the greatest. It’s just such an interesting concept, the audience never really knows who is fully in control, is it Arnold Wesker or is it Scarface? When Batman uses some ventriloquism of his own, Scarface points a gun at Arnold’s head, when he thinks he is the rat among their group. It’s one of the most intense scenes, that ends with one of the more violent acts the show ever produces. Scarface gets riddled with bullets, and I know it’s just a doll, but it’s very violent and it symbolizes a ton. The back and forth between Scarface and his creator is incredible, and the vote acting is so perfect. It also has a very dark ending, with Arnold supposedly healed in prison, but when he is crafting another doll head, and stabs a knife into its wooden face, and starts dragging the knife down its face, makes for a very haunting moment. This episode really has everything I want in a Batman animated cartoon, it’s damn near perfect. Grade B+

“Now, Mr. Scarface, remember your blood pressure!” – Ventriloquist 

30 – Time Out of Joint. Season 3, Episode 17. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Alan Burnett

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Temple Fugate, what a name. Actually in Latin it means ‘time flies’ now that’s pretty neat.  This should be a stupid, terrible, hilariously bad Batman villain, but guess what? He’s actually a smart, sophisticated and worthy opponent. Again, I can’t say this enough about certain characters, that just never got enough screen time in this show, and the Clock King is one of them. This is his second and last appearance in the show, and it’s a really fun and interesting episode. Time obsessed, Clock King is back on the scene, but this time, he literally has the power of time on his side. Stealing a device from a scientist, he is now able to manipulate time itself, and he is committing crimes using this very device. He’s full of hatred for Mayor Hill, but I’ll save that for his other episode! He wants to kill the Mayor this time around, and well, lets just say he wants him to go out with a bang. There’s an awesome part in this episode, where Clock King attaches one of these time devices to the bat-mobile, and Batman and Robin get stuck in time for a brief moment, and when they are able to break free a few days have past, and I just always thought that was really cool. Batman gets to show off his brains in this episode too, because well the show always did a great job, showing us that he’s more than just a brawler. I just never would have expected to enjoy this villain as much as I do, so I give tons of credit to the writing staff of this show, for making this guy interesting and giving us great stories, for who is honestly, a C level bad guy. Grade B+

“A trial run, and it went like clockwork!” – The Clock King 

29 – Mudslide. Season 2, Episode 24. Director: Eric Radomski, Story: Alan Burnett

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Its a shame he wasn’t in more episodes, but before the revamp apparently Clayface was super expensive to animate and thats why he wasn’t in more episodes. Sad episode, about love and wanting to be loved. Stella, who once worked with Hagen on set, is misguided and loves Matt Hagan, not Clayface. She knew him before the accident and even still watches his movies (creepy, right!) she wants him to return to normal so they can be together once more. A lot of movie and popular culture references in this one. Batman wants to help Clayface, but he’s deranged and insane, so he assumes the worst of him, but he wants to give him the same treatment the Stella is using. Always loved when Clayface absorbed Batman and tried to suffocate him to death, and when Batman bursts out of his body, it makes for an awesome moment. The ending is really sad, when Clayface falls to his apparent death, he was such a tortured character. It’s just a poetic episode, with a  lot of meaning behind it, I’ve always had a soft spot for Clayface, he’s a fantastic character, I really loved his appearance in Arkham City, again he was used to perfection. He’s one of those villains that deep down you are somewhat rooting for. He never asked to be Clayface, and now he just wants to go back to his normal ways, he just has a misguided way of going about it.  Grade B+

“Too late, curtains going down” – Clayface 

28 – Perchance To Dream. Season 2, Episode 2. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Laren Bright

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Bruce Wayne vs. Batman! Honestly what more can a Batman fan ask for? This episode is a rollercoaster of emotion, with so much going on. Batman is in pursuit of a few petty criminals, and all of a sudden he sees a bright light. When he wakes up, well lets just say there are a few changes to his life. The biggest one being that well his parents are alive, and oh yeah, he’s no longer Batman. Shocked by this revelation, Bruce Wayne can’t really explain what is going on. He is thrilled to have his parents back in his life, but he is confused. When he goes to see Leslie Thompkins, she tells them that he has created an alternate reality, one in which he is Batman and his parents were murdered that fateful night. He’s even set to marry Selina Kyle, who is no longer Catwoman. Bruce couldn’t be happier with his new life, and he believes that his nightmare is finally over. Until he tries to read the newspaper and well can’t make out a single word. When he realizes he is in a fantasy world, and this is not real, he is full of rage and anger. When he discovers that Mad Hatter is behind all of this, because of how he ruined his chance with Alice, Bruce Wayne is so full of rage and anger he does the only thing he can do. He kills himself inside this dream world so he can awake in real time. This episode for me asks so many questions. What if his parents never died, would he still become Batman? What does he truly want out of his life? What makes him happiest, having his parents or being Batman and protecting people. But Batman decides he would rather have his parents be dead, then live in a world that is a lie, no matter how attractive that lie or dream may be. It’s a really powerful episode, that leaves Batman and Bruce Wayne searching for answers, and you realize just how much being Batman means to Bruce Wayne. Grade A-

“Oh, but it is! It’s a beautiful story! You have love, wealth, a family, all you ever wanted! Your own private Wonderland!” – Mad Hatter

27 – Bane. Season 3, Episode 19. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Mitch Brian

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BANE!!!! Remember when they tried to make Bane cool in Batman & Robin? Remember how they failed miserably, but at the same time, they kind of had the right idea? Then The Dark Knight Rises came around, and they grounded the shit out of the character? Both time, they just couldn’t find a common medium for Bane, one of my all time favourite Batman villains. But you know who did? The creators and writers of this show, because in my personal opinion, Bane from BTAS is the best representation of the character outside the comic books. Sadly, like usual, he really only appears in one episode. Until the revamp and they change his look so much, that he kind of looks like a dominatrix. Bane shows up to Gotham, after Rupert Thorn pays him to kill the Bat. He wants to get his attention first, and there’s a great scene when he crosses paths with Killer Croc in the sewer, you don’t see anything go down, just the shadow of Bane becoming bigger after his venom injection. It’s a really great scene, but I would have loved to see, Batman’s two biggest physical foes go toe-to-toe. The way he looks, the way he talks, his accent is perfect, and for me, they made Bane the perfect size. He’s not so big, that it looks fake, and he’s not so small, that he doesn’t tower over Batman. They have a great fight scene, and there’s actually a pretty scary part when Bane chases down Robin. Can’t say enough good things about how they represented Bane in this show! Grade B+

“You can’t do this to me, I am invincible, I am Bane!” – Bane 

26 – The Clock King. Season 1, Episode 25. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: David Wise

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The Clock King is back! This time around, it’s his origin story. See Temple Fugate was a simple man, and he kept a very strict schedule. One day he just so happens to be sitting beside the soon to be Mayor Hill. When Hill tells him to change up his schedule and not be so tight, Fugate listens. When that backfires on him, and he loses everything, he goes into hiding. Resurfacing as the Clock King, out for revenge on the Mayor. He’s such a simple villain, but like I said during his previous episode, he actually is a challenge for Batman. Time obsessed can really come in handy, and he just always knows what he is doing, and always seems to be one step ahead. The battle at the end between him and Batman, in Gothams clock tower is pretty awesome, and actually Kevin Conroy gives one of his best Batman war-cries during this encounter. I also really enjoy Batman having a great MacGyver moment, when he’s stuck inside the bank vault and somehow is able to escape using only a cassette tape, pretty awesome Batman moment. It seems like Fugate goes out like a boss, and crumbles with the tower itself, but we all know that’s not the case. One of the best origin episodes for any villain in this show, big fan of the Clock King! Grade B+ 

“The 9:15, is always 6 minutes early” – The Clock King 

25 – His Silicon Soul. Season 3, Episode 7. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Marty Isenberg

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Imagine Batman mixed with The Terminator. Because that’s pretty much what this episode is about. Remember H.A.R.D.A.C? The giant computer that made robot copies of the important people of Gotham? Well right before it got blown sky-high, it made one last copy, of Batman. The start of this episode is pretty awesome, as we see some petty thugs inside a warehouse, where they are trying to steal some goods. When they come across a box and open it, it appears Batman has come to save the day. You don’t really know what’s going on because they make such good use of shadows and the lightning that’s occurring outside. But when Batman is shot, well turns out he’s a robot. There’s a pretty deep emotional message with this episode, see this robot Batman as programmed so well, that it thinks its real. It has memories, and feelings and knows people, but when Rossum tells him it’s only data, well he flips the hell out. It’s also been programmed so well, that just like the real Batman, it cannot take a life. It has a soul, so when Batman is fighting the robot Batman, and it appears the real Batman falls to his death, the robot is so disgusted with itself, it blows itself up essentially. All the robot wanted was to be human, but that was an impossible task, but it also couldn’t tell the difference between certain human emotions. Here’s a great interaction between Batman and the robot Batman. Grade A-

BD: Why do you resist? HARDAC’s goals are identical to your own.
Batman: How do you figure that?
BD: Picture a world completely free of crime, free of suffering, free of frailty.
Batman: You mean free of choice, compassion, free of humanity?
BD: Yes.

“Could it be it had a soul, Alfred? A soul of silicon, but a soul nonetheless.” Bruce Wayne

24 – The Cape and The Cowl Conspiracy. Season 2, Episode 3. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Elliot S. Maggin

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For those of you, who are still reading, did I rank this episode way to high? I feel like people dislike this episode a lot, but I think it’s genius, and one that continues to grow on me. It’s got no great villain, none from his famous rogues gallery, but it just has a really great story, and Batman just being a straight up boss. So Wormwood is a guy who is pretty much Jigsaw from the Saw movies, except like not so extreme. He uses death traps to get information out of people, so when Batman is on his trail, Batman sets out on a mission to take this guy down. Wormwood has also been hired to get Batman’s cape and cowl from him. So there is a ton of back and forth between the two, and Wormwood actually ends up getting his cape and cowl. In a really awesome trap I might add. But here’s the kicker, the guy who hires Wormwood to get it, WAS FREAKING BATMAN HIMSELF. Talk about a mindfuck, am I right? Batman was playing him for a fool the entire time, and it’s just such a great reveal at the end, and then they even have a awesome fight involving workout equipment, which is cool. The cherry on top of the sundae is Batman mails Wormwood his cape and cowl when he’s locked up in Arkham, with a little riddle attached to it, freaking awesome stuff! Grade A

This is an episode I feel like people hate, but i think its genius and one of the greats.

Kind of like a toned down Jigsaw, less blood and death, more just fear of dying

“Alright. I’ll get you the Batman’s cape and cowl. That won’t be difficult. He is only human, after all.” – Wormwood

23 – Day of The Samurai. Season 2, Episode 16. Director: Bruce W. Timm, Story: Steve Perry

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Without doubt, this episode has the most intense moment in the show. Bruce Wayne’s and Batman’s enemy Kyodai Ken is back and this time he means serious business. He’s pissed at what transpired the first time they had an encounter, so he sets off to find some legendary scroll, that teaches you “the death touch”. He kidnaps a student at the dojo that they once trained at, so Batman must travel overseas to help. The ending to this episode is just so incredible and that moment I talked about, well actually now that I think about it, it really has two of these moments. The first is when Ken successfully applies the death touch to Batman, and it appears that he has died, but then you realize that, well he’s Batman so that’s not going to happen. But as a kid, you are more than likely freaking out. Secondly, and I just love this moment so much, after Ken realizes Batman is okay, they fight some more, and well they are fighting on an active volcano, I know, so badass! When Ken is corner and standing on a rock with no where to go, Batman throws him a rope so he can jump across to safety, and this fucking guy just kicks the rope away like a boss and goes down with the ship. There’s no way he survives this, not a chance and it’s just so a real moment for a cartoon, and something that really sticks with me as a Batman fan. Batman could not save him, and that really crushes him, but Ken did not want to be saved, and it’s just the look on his face before he literally goes up in smoke, that makes you realize just how incredible this show truly way. Grade A

Ken goes out like a champ, but Batman feels like its another death that must rest on his shoulders. He feels the burden of his actions.

“Kyodai, the rope!” – Batman.