The first trip to the movies in 2020 was not ideal. Turns out the Birds of Prey doesn’t have much wind beneath their wings, as DC continues to find their footing.
After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.
People will do drastic things to fit in with the popular crowd. Change their hair, wear different clothes, even adapt to a new speech. The same can be said for the movie industry. Dating all the way back to the beginning of the DCEU, and even at that time, WB didn’t really know what they were doing. It wasn’t until they decided to go ahead with BvS and I truly believe that was never their original plan before the release of Man of Steel. Since then it’s been a rollercoaster, to say the least. Sure, they’ve made plenty of money, but the reception from not only critics but fans has been divided. There were a few standouts, mostly surrounding the casting of key characters in this rich and diverse universe. One, in particular, was none other than Harley Quinn herself, with the casting of Margot Robbie. So after Suicide Squad came and went it was only a matter of time before she got her own solo flick, and I’m going to be perfectly honest, WB once again dropped the ball.
Birds of Prey. Say that to any random moviegoer, and they will shake their head with curiosity and slight confusion. Unless you are a major DC fan or know the deep lure of the comics, it’s hard to put people in seats, when the average ticket buyer doesn’t know who the Birds of Prey really are. Sure they were marketing the shit out of Harley Quinn, but the movie was about so much more, and I thought they did a poor job at executing a well-put-together game plan on how to market this film. Harley Quinn has big as she is, well, she’s not Batman, or Superman or even Wonder Woman, DC’s biggest star at the moment. So if you’re going to center a film around a team of female super-heroes, why not let us all know who exactly we will be rooting for when we go purchase our tickets.
I’ll admit, BOP can be a ton of fun in moments, and the chemistry between all of the ladies is terrific. Quinn (Margot Robbie) Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) Black Canary (Jurnee Smollet-Bell) Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). When they are all finally teaming up and kicking some butt, it’s entertaining, but it’s certainly not enough to save the entire film. One of the big issues I had with this film, is the lack of backstory we get for any of our characters. Mostly Black Mask (Ewen McGregor) and Black Canary. This movie just expects you to know who these people are and give us very little insight into how they arrived at their place in Gotham. For instance, Black Mask is a pretty great Batman villain, and McGregor is a terrific actor, but they give us no explanation to his name, or why he likes to wear masks, and most importantly, why he dawns his iconic “black mask.” That is a little scene they needed to shuffle into the film. Much like Black Canary, who does, in fact, have a superpower, and when she finally uses it, they don’t explain how or why she is able to do that. fans that know the character, sure, but for the people meeting her for the first time, might be a little confused. It’s just things like that, for me, that bogged down the film.
The film takes a while to get going. Slowly introducing our new female heroes. Huntress really steals the show, and she’s barely even in the thing, which shocked me, to be honest. It just feels all over the place, where random circumstances are leading all these ladies to finally meet up. This wanted to be Deadpool so badly, they decided to go with an R-Rating, which was a massive mistake in my mind. This is a film that wants to be hardcore but doesn’t need to be. That wants to drop ‘F-Bombs’ throughout and they didn’t have to. Harley is breaking the 4th wall, and that’s fine, but the cursing was so forced and just felt awkward at times. It could have benefited more with a lesser rating and kept the action pretty much the same. There is one sequence inside of Gotham Police Headquarters that was the highlight of the film, featuring a really cool fight in one of the cell blocks with Harley.
This just wasn’t the proper next movie for this important character and not having Joker involved was weird. I know Jared Leto might be done, but you got to slip him in for one scene. Because if he doesn’t exist anymore in the DCEU, then I’m not sure why this movie needed to be made? The whole concept and idea behind the film are based on the fact that she and Mr. J just broke up.
I’ll leave it with this. It’s fantastic that a movie like this gets to be made in 2020. An all-female lead comic book movie. Directed by a woman (Cathy Yan) who crafted a pretty unique experience and written by a woman (Christina Hodson). That doesn’t mean it gets a free pass and shouldn’t be criticized. I just didn’t really like the direction that they took Harley in. This for me isn’t the Harley I want to see in live-action. There’s no reason for her to be foul-mouthed the way she’s portrayed here. Again, I think WB thought the R-Rating would benefit this character, wherein all reality, I think it just dumbed her down. For me, go back and watch Batman The Animated Series, where it all began with this character. That’s the true Harley Quinn and the one we deserve on the big screen. Can we get her in the traditional Jester outfit already?
The thing about Shazam is, DC once again proves that their solo flicks are all stellar and I could see this becoming one of the most rewatchable comic book movies ever made . Zachary Levi is perfect in this homage to movies like Elf and BIG.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.
Nowadays it feels too cliche to sit here and write the word “fun” when it comes to a movie review for a DC Comics property. But here’s the thing, Shazam is a ton of fun, and it’s fun in all the right ways. People shake their heads, but this sudden drastic change in tone from the dark and gloomy days of Zack Snyder, which I will admit, at times I find myself missing. It’s this change of pace that makes this feel so refreshing, another word that gets tossed around like a Juul at a college party these days. These are the elements that make this movie so damn loveable, and something I feel like fans that want that change will instantly appreciate.
When the DCEU started and we got our first glimpse at the new Superman and Batman, it would’ve been hard to imagine Shazam getting his first solo flick before The Dark Knight got us, and we got a sequel to the fantastic Man of Steel. But here we are, and Billy Batson is now a household name, and I really couldn’t be happier. He’s such an interesting and unique character with a great story to tell. We all wonder what it would be like to gain superpowers, but what happens when that wish is granted and we’re merely 14 years old? Toss in the fact, your body transforms into a 30 something god-like figure, it could become really complicated for our young hero. How would someone who is not even old enough to drive a car or purchase alcohol handle becoming one of the most powerful superheroes in all of DC comic book lure? Billy Batson (Asher Angel) has been trying to find his mother all of his life. It’s his driving force and what motivates him the most. Bouncing around group homes, he has a hard time letting anyone get close, let alone consider anyone to be family. At the heart of Shazam, and one of the main reasons why the movie works so well is the theme of what it means to be a family. What family means to different people, and how to ultimately let go of the past. When Billy enters his new group home he quickly meets Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) his new foster brother and his new foster parents Rosa (Marta Milans) and Victor (Cooper Andrews). Now Jack Dylan Grazer is becoming one of the best all-around young actors today. His quick-nipped comedy and chemistry with both Zach Levi and Asher Angel is truly a bright spot for the film. Billy has problems staying in group homes and letting people get attached to him, but deep down he has a pure heart and knows what it means to do right by people. So when the old Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) picks him to be his next champion, it’s up to Billy and his newfound powers to help track down the 7 deadly sins. Billy alongside Freddy and the rest of their foster home siblings, Mary, Darla, Eugene, and Pedro help him discover what it means to be the hero the world deserves and what it means to act and be a superhero. The way director David F. Sandberg was able to pace the movie, and blend all these different genres together was quite impressive. Known for his horror movies, Shazam was darker than I thought it would be, and in some parts, you could get a sense of David’s horror background. Transitioning from comedy to horror and mixing in action is a tall task to ask of a director who hasn’t done something like that before, but David really proved his worth to WB here, and I hope they get a sequel out with him attached real soon.
Not all are pure of heart and when Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) was hand-picked when he was a young boy to become the champion, he was turned away due to his evil heart. When he grows into an adult he makes it his purpose to find this wizard again and take the power that he believes is rightfully his. Mark Strong plays a solid villain, it’s very much in his wheelhouse, this is now comic book villain number 3 for him. Another strong outing, no pun intended. One of the things I really liked about Shazam was how grounded it felt. There was no giant laser in the sky, or some wormhole opening up, it was a small story, about a group of people coming together to find out what it means to be a family and what it takes to be a hero. They borrow a ton from movies like Elf and BIG, and there’s even a moment where Shazam and Dr. Sivana are fighting on a giant piano. They weren’t afraid to steer in the direction of the movies they took inspiration from. All the scenes of Shazam and Freddy goofing around, figuring out what sort of powers Shazam possesses was so cute and heartfelt to watch. Zachary Levi captures the spirit and essence of a child to a tee. He was so well cast, I can’t wait to watch him interact with other DC heroes, he certainly will be a worthy addition to the Justice League.
Speaking of other Justice League members, I don’t want to spoil anything about this movie, because there is a lot of fun stuff within this movie, that I forgot was going to happen when I was watching. The final scene of Shazam is so much fun and it really is one of the coolest comic book scenes ever, but it could have been pushed over the threshold if DC didn’t wimp out. If you are going to do what they did, you have to go all-in on it. You can’t hold back and you can’t go half-assed with it. That’s just my opinion, you’ll understand what I’m talking about once you see the film. Overall, Shazam is so much fun and the best DC movie since Wonder Woman. At times I even liked it more than Wonder Woman because of how much fun I was having. It was a nice new origin story take, and I just wanted more when I left. Unlike Aquaman, I have seen him interact with other heroes, I just really need to see that with Shazam, sooner rather than later. But the motherload for this franchise is the fact that Dwayne Johnson will be showing up as Black Adam. His arch-nemesis and that will be the best thing to happen for the DCEU in a long time. They need to push this sequel ahead real fast because the world is ready for that showdown now, not 3 or 4 years from now.
Funny world we live in. Finally after what feels like an insane amount of time waiting for something, anything really for the much anticipated Todd Phillips Joker movie, we have a trailer. I’ve fully been in the camp of, how can there be a Joker movie without Batman? How on Earth can that possibly work? How can you have one without the other, it just doesn’t make any sense. So I was so curious to see some sort of footage.
I already know, we will have the DC fan boys raving that, well since this is Joaquin Phoenix that this is already better than Nicholson and Leto. Some might even say it’s better than Ledger, I’m serious there will be people that think this will be the second coming of Jesus. I’m sure this can be a great film, but I don’t think a Joker movie without Batman can surpass any Joker performance that has had that, that’s just my opinion. The biggest concern I have going into Joker is the director. Phillips really isn’t known for any sort of visual style really, he’s made a few great comedies but that’s it. So it will be interesting to say the least
So, what are my thoughts on the trailer. I get a Taxi Driver meets The King of Comedy vibe. Interesting, that was interesting to say the least. It’s more of a character study then trailer. This looks dark, twisted and pretty creepy. Phoenix is going full tilt here, he’s all in and it he looks great. Again it’s weird he won’t be battling The Dark Knight, but this is a good first trailer. With Aquaman and the upcoming Shazam, DC seems to be going back in the darker direction, which is fine with me. As long as it’s handled right, that’s how I would want a Joker film. Hope this turns out great. If you’re going to follow up Heath, you need to find your own spin on this character. Phoenix has done just that. An interesting psychological, gritty thriller. Who knew we needed this.
The world will finally now see Aquaman can more than just talk to fish. Also Black Manta for the win.
Everyone. Say hello to Black Manta. The coolest villain not named Joker in the DC universe. Get use to him because he’s going to be around for a long time to come. Just so we are clear. You will learn to love him as much as I do, and you’ll soon understand why he’s one of the biggest badasses in all of comics.
Just needed to get that out of the way first. HOLY SHIT!!! James Wan, just when you thought the DCEU was down and out. Boom Shazam trailer than this breathtaking, underwater spectacle gets dropped in our laps. The world has been waiting for this, it’s finally here and I have water in my eyes. Aquaman truly doesn’t deserve us. Years of insults, and thinking he’s weak. Now the world will know.
Again Geoff Johns reinvented this character in the New 52. Currently rereading his masterpiece and boy this movie looks like his story ripped from the comics. Aquaman, Mera, Orm, Black Manta. All the big players are here and it’s time for Aquaman to take back his throne. Orm played by Patrick Wilson is Aquaman’s half brother and he wants to take the surface by storm. It will be up to Aquaman and Mera to take back Atlantis and make sure all is right in the seven seas.
Star Wars under water? Something along those lines right? It’s just incredible. So happy for everyone involved and more importantly us fans. We never gave up on you DC!
This is something I didn’t think I needed in my life, but something I totally need in my life.
People HATE Michael Bay movies. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really love his work, but he’s made some pretty damn entraining movies in his life. Now, I go to his movies because they are a guilty pleasure. The last few Transformers have almost been unbearable to sit through in the theatres. Incoherent, and mass destruction everywhere, Michael Bay loves his explosions.
News broke today that Warner Brothers. is eyeing him to direct a Lobo movie. Well fans everywhere were losing their minds, and not in a good way. They don’t want to see him anywhere near a DC property and I guess there’s some merit to their complaints. He really hasn’t made a good movie in a long time, and the DCEU is already on thin ice as it is. Why bring in a guy to direct that most movie goers already despise and loath? Here’s the thing, Michael Bay is a ridiculous and bonkers director, and guess what? Lobo is a ridiculously crazy and bonkers character that this could actually be a match made in heaven. If there’s one person that could tap into Lobo, it could be Michael Bay. He knows how to make a big blockbuster, and if WB cracks down on him just a little bit, this could turn out okay. Another thing, this needs to be rated R. If this movie happens, Lobo is a rated R kind of guy. He swears, and kills and enjoys his pleasure. So again Michael Bay is perfect for the job.
This thing could also turn out to be one of the worst comic book movies ever made, but again this is just “in talks” so even if it happens we are looking at a 2021 release date, at the earliest. I’m all for it, because like I said, I go to every single Michael Bay movie, I loved Pain and Gain, and I’m not afraid to say it. This will most likely end up being a complete and utter disaster but I stand by my guilty pleasures and so should you. The biggest make or break for the movie, who they cast as the titled character. Maybe Mark Wahlberg? Probably not because Lobo is 6’4, so that wouldn’t exactly work out. Who on Earth could play Lobo?
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.
Something I’ve learned recently, don’t listen to anyone, if you want to see a movie go see it and form your own opinion about it, but clearly still read my review.
This is something I need to say before I get into the review!
Ever since Nick Fury was waiting inside Tony Starks condo at the end credits of IronMan, all the way back in 2008, I knew I wanted nothing more than a Justice League movie in my life. Weird starting a Justice League review with an insight at Marvel, but well they certainly had a game plan all the way back in 2008 and here we are 9 years later, and their plan is still in motion. The DCEU on the other hand, hasn’t had the same luck, the financial success or the critics appraise as we have come accustomed to in the MCU. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the MCU movies as much as the next person, but when it comes to the heroes over at DC, well I know more about those characters and who they are and what they stand for, then most people on planet Earth. I love each and everyone of the heroes for DC and do so in a unique way for each one. So when it was announced a few years ago that we would FINALLY be seeing all these people come together one the big screen I was a little more than excited. Even with the mixed reviews with BvS, which I have come to grips with. Overall I just don’t like it, not the manner in which the movie was made, I think Zack Snyder has a very creative and stylish way of doing his movies, but they just tried way to hard to keep up with Marvel, it ended up diluting the product. I put that all behind me, because I knew the people over at WB heard what the complaints from both the fans and the critics were and tried a little bit of “course correction.” Which is something that was needed, I’m all for a bare knuckle boxer Batman, but he doesn’t need to hate the entire world, because that isn’t who Batman is as character, and they certainly needed to adjust Superman’s character arc, because he is suppose to stand for hope and kind of be the ultimate good guy/good person, and they haven’t really shown that to date. They hit a grand slam this summer with Wonder Woman, and it appeared that DC was once again King of the castle, even if only for a short period of time. Going into Justice League, I knew a few things; first, I knew this movie would get ripped apart by critics and it would divide fans alike. There are “DC Fanboys” and there are “Marvel Fanboys” who love to prick and pry on every little detail about each others movies. Critics just kind of don’t like Zack Snyder, his style, the way he shoots movies. The fact he kind of likes grittiness and brooding and things to be maybe a little more complex then they have to be. That being said, for the most part, everyone knew that half way through production, he had to leave Justice League because of the tragic events, that was his daughters suicide. It happened before the movie began production, and he thought he could work through it, but he couldn’t. So now hearing people shitting on this guy, who went through the hardest thing a parent can go through, just isn’t right. The guy is a genius and brilliant film maker, and if you don’t happen to like his style, then so be it, but don’t ostracize the man. Clearly from the get go, his heart was never fully on board with Justice League, even though Zack himself is such a fan boy and loves this stuff probably more than the majority of people sitting in the theatres this weekend to watch his movie. I don’t always agree with his work, and I would have taken Batman v. Superman in a million other directions but that’s all in the past, and from everything that I saw up to his departure looked so promising for this movie. Not to mention after BvS came out and the script and pre-production was already in full force for Justice League, the execs at Warner Bros realized that something needed to be done, and things needed to change. Imagine this big of a blockbuster weeks before shooting, that the script needs to be lighter, the movie needs to be shorter, and pretty much whatever you had done so far, may or may not be thrown out. At one point this movie was rumoured to be almost 3 hours, it’s actually 1 hour 59 minutes, so where the fuck is the other 40 minutes of this movie? In steps in Joss Whedon to finish off the movie, do a little rewriting and could they have picked a guy who is pretty much the polar opposite of Zack Snyder? Like come on WB, that was not going to mesh well at all. Pretty much like vinegar and oil at this point, it’s pretty apparent in the movie as well, if you know these kinds of things, and of course geeks like me do. I’m not going to say Joss ruined the movie, because he didn’t, I’ll get more into that in my actual review, but that was never going to work. I thought it could, I think I even wrote a blog post about it. I was wrong and when I think about it, I should have known back then, but I guess I had Avengers on my mind, because Joss is responsible for directing the first two Avengers movies. I just honestly feel bad for Zack Snyder at this point, he’s gone through enough, and I would have loved to see his full version and vision for this thing, maybe we will on the directors cut. The next big sore thumb going on during production. The Batfleck saga. Imagine your star just wanted nothing to do with the franchise and wants out more than anything. I love the Batfleck, Ben is the definitive Batman, I know people love Christian Bale, but if you read enough Batman comics like I have, you’ll realized that he is the Batman. The Nolan movies are so incredible and The Dark Knight is truly a wonder that will forever stand the test of time, but Ben Affleck is Batman. So it breaks my heart to know we will never see him wear the cape and cowl ever again, because it’s just not happening, and I understand why he wants out, he has a lot of outside stuff going on in his life. He is battling demons and I think when he signed on, Zack Snyder might have pitched “The Dark Knight Returns” to him and who wouldn’t want to be the Batman for that movie, and the final product certainly was not it. Then came the backlash and the awful reviews for BvS, the Sadfleck meme and everything else in between. His own movie ‘Live By Night’ completely bombed and I think that really broke him. He puts so much into his work, especially when it’s his own work, and I just know in my heart, he ain’t coming back. Which sucks because I can’t wait to see what Matt Reeves brings to the table for the Batman franchise, so that must have been awkward and just over putting on the set. Ben is a professional and he’s really good in Justice League, he certainly didn’t mail it in or take a back seat, but still at the same time, there as just constant bad press and bad behind the scenes things going on mainly because of Affleck over the past year. It’s warranted but that would never happen over at Marvel, I’ll just say that. So like I said going in, I knew this movie would have problems, because it’s been having problems since the very beginning, and if you didn’t realize that, you just don’t pay attention to this stuff so it won’t even affect your judgement on the film, or you did and you can’t allow to affect your judgement. I’ve never seen another film this grande in scale switch directors half way through, the amount of re-shoots was record breaking, and not to mention moustache gate involving Henry Cavill. Justice League was simply doomed from the get go, no matter what, everyone has a bad taste in their mouth still from BvS, it’s like a bad fart that just won’t go away. I have no idea what WB is going to do next, I know I’m excited to see more of these characters and now I want to share my thoughts on Justice League!
First things first, I saw this movie 3 times in a 36-hour span. Does that tell you anything about how I feel about this movie? I’ll start the review by saying I totally understand where the critics and some fans are coming from with this film. JusticeLeague is a flawed one, but all in all I think the good (which there is a lot of) totally outweighs the bad of the movie. Like I mentioned above, if you bothered reading it, some critics and a lot of fans were skeptical going in JusticeLeague, because of the track record of the DCEU this far, especially those films made by Zack Snyder. I waited till the end of the weekend to write the review, because I wanted to see box-office numbers, and it’s being reported that Justice League is going to make less than 100 million dollars at the box-office this weekend. Pulling in 96 million, is a total and complete disaster for the studio, and we are about to see a major shake up. The next DC movie is slated to be released in 13 months when Aquaman comes to theatres next December. I have no idea what kind of changes are coming, but I know for certain Justice League will be Affleck’s final time wearing the cape and cowl. I just wanted to get that off my chest before I dive into the movie.
So after the events of Batman v. Superman, everyone knows Superman is dead and Batman is trying to come to grips with his guilt and try to turn a new leaf. When it appears that a threat from far away is on the horizon, he takes it on himself to recruit a group of “warriors” to defend the human race from extinction. We got our first taste of Wonder Woman in BvS and we got our full dose this summer with her solo flick. One thing this movie does really well is the characters, their introductions, the banter and chemistry between the team is really special. I knew that would be the case the entire cast of the League is great, Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). People give DC a hard time, because unlike the Avengers who all had their own solo flicks before teaming up to save the world, we got a good taste of who these characters were, and became very familiar with them. I didn’t mind the whole no solo flicks before the team up, as long as they did a good enough job introducing the three new members of the league in this movie. I would say they did a pretty good job, and now rumblings are coming out of all the scenes that were cut from the film, including a bunch of Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg stuff, which is super disheartening. They all get their own “hero” moment, which was incredible to see, there’s one scene involving Aquaman, it’s kind of like his true introduction, when we get to see Atlantis, which just makes me laugh and smile overtime it comes on the screen. James Wan is going to direct the hell out of his solo movie. I want to see more from all of these characters, and that should have been one of the big goals going into production. Jason Mamoa kind of looks like he isn’t from this world to begin with, so I thought it made sense for him to play Aquaman. This kind of reminded me of a little Oceans 11, you know going around recruiting a team, different characters, witty banter, it all work really well. Whenever all of these characters were on screen together, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. What they do next is beyond me at this point, I expect in the next few weeks a lot of information will be coming out about future plans and future movies, even maybe new cast members. Everyone kills it in their roles, they did such a great job casting the League. Ray Fisher was my favourite I think, he really had a great character arc from start to finish in this, and I really love the character of Cyborg. Flash and Aquaman are also so cool, and they need solo movies like now.
Now lets start with some of the mess that is Justice League. This movie certainly has its problems, but several re-writes, two directors, changing the landscape and the tone of the DCEU as a whole. The CGI in this movie is not great, especially in certain places and certain characters. The big baddie of Justice League, Steppenwolf, is 100 percent CGI. They did not have anyone do motion capture for his character, which I thought was a massive mistake. So essentially he’s never in the movie, he is rendered in afterwards, and in some parts of the movie, he just looks awful. Like this is the Justice League movie, you can’t have your villain not even appear physically on the screen at least once. Ciara Hinds who voices him does an excellent job, like his voice is menacing and he has some pretty badass moments. This was just another serviceable bad guy, for our heroes to punch and he only talks in depositions, and this just wasn’t who I wanted our heroes to take on, especially in the Justice League movie. This is suppose to be big, and grande in size and scale, like this is the kind of movie some people have been waiting their whole lives for, and it just didn’t feel like the Avengers. This feels like the movie before the “movie” you know. The build up, we didn’t even get to see the big-baddie Darkseid, who I wanted to see so badly. Overall, they really dropped the ball for the villain in this movie, you can’t have him be 100 CGI, especially with how far motion-capture has come recently. I just have a problem, with looking at a scene and just know NOTHING is there, just like Steppenwolf, he’s not actually in the scene, the actors are looking at nothing. There’s a few shots of our heroes, and you just know its a green screen behind them, and it was just bothering me a lot. Because it was so noticeable. All movies, especially comic book movies have CGI, so it’s difficult to talk about it, because they all the do the same thing, but the CGI in Justice League in certain moments was just really bad. And that upsets me because this is your most important movie, and it felt like they just said “fuck it” in certain scenes, and that isn’t right. This is your baby and should have been cared for, like this was the end of the world. There was so much riding on this movie and it came up short.
I’m not going to go into any spoilers or easter eggs because that’s not fair, but there are quite a few, and some are pretty wicked. The two post credit scenes are two of the best ever, but after the third time I walked out of the theatre I realized, they might not even matter. Because I have no idea what is in store for the DCEU and all of these characters. I don’t think they will hit the panic button the be exact, but my god someones hand is hovering over it. I had a lot of fun with this movie, regardless of what I have written above, I think it’s just more frustration at this point. Part of me doesn’t believe it deserves a 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes but another part of me does. I’m very conflicted, but I love all of these characters so much that seeing them together on screen, I think outweighs the bad. I want too see them team up again, and I want the Justice League movie we the fans deserve, we deserve the big, grande spectacle that is the Justice League, this was suppose to be a really big deal, and this movie should have made 150 million dollars this past weekend, but it didn’t. WB needs to take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves, if they want to continue with this. If so, they need to find the right people to anchor this ship, because it looks like Zack Snyder is out the door, and thats a shame, because I wanted to see his vision for this movie. He may be a flawed film-maker, but he’s a great visionary film-maker. One of the best to be working today, I have no clue who can step in and right this ship, but something needs to be done quickly, before even the die hard fans like myself, finally just give up. Avengers Infinity War comes out in May, if I’m WB I’m taking a long hard look at that movie and telling myself, this is how you do a team up movie, and you need to start doing what they are doing. DC has all the best characters, their heroes and villains are vastly superior to that over at Marvel, we need to start getting the movies and the stories told that we deserve. It’s that simple. I’m just exhausted at this point, but in conclusion, I’m standing behind this movie, I hope and pray we get Zack Snyder’s cut, and we see the 40 minutes that was essentially cut from the movie. Ben Affleck it was fun my man, you did your best and I hope you had fun, you will always be my Batman, it’s a shame we will never get a solo Batfleck movie. Justice League isn’t as bad as some are making it out to be, but at the same time, this movie is not for everyone, plain and simple.
Check ya later,
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Justice League = 80/100 – That hurts me
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ben Affleck was born to play Batman.
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.
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 JusticeLeague trailer to drop, and it didn’t disappoint. Pretty much perfect if you ask me, and ever since the colossal disaster that was BvS & SuicideSquad, 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.
You know the drill by now, here are episodes 42-23!!
42 – Trial. Season 3, Episode 12. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini
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 rogues 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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. GradeB+
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
“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
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
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.