Reviews

‘Wonder Woman’ Review 

No surprise here, women can make incredible movies and it needs to happen more often. Wonder Woman is simply delightful.

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Well it only took 75 years, but the world finally got a Wonder Woman movie and boy it didn’t disappoint. Wonder Woman has so many things to be proud of. It’s the first superhero movie with a female lead in almost a decade (but we really shouldn’t count Catwoman), it’s the first ever superhero film directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins) who is a goddamn rock star, and it’s the first movie to gross over 100 million dollars in its first weekend with a female director! It took awhile, longer than it should have and this was a momentous and important weekend for woman and their role in the film industry. Along with the fact, it’s the first funny, and overall one of the best DCEU movie to date, with a staggering 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and universally loved by critics and fans alike – this movie was a grand slam for Warner Bros. The financial and critical success is wonderful, it’s exactly what the DCEU needed, but it shouldn’t over shadow the significant cultural impact this movie will have on the world. Wonder Woman has breathed new life into the superhero genre and certainly into the universe where she comes from. After last years Batman v Superman when the world got introduced to Gal Gadot and her portrayal of Diana Prince, I honestly knew then and there that this was a casting decision made in heaven. I had a blast watching this movie and when I left the theatre I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, “why don’t more women get the opportunity to make great movies.”

First things first, THIS MOVIE IS COLOURFUL PEOPLE! Holy moly, I was blown away by the entire thing, but the DCEU is kind of known to be dark and very “doom and gloom.” This movie had that stuff in it, but so much more, and some of the colors, and visuals throughout Wonder Woman are breathtaking. The movie opens up with a young Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in Themyscira as she watches over the other Amazonian warriors train, and she is mimicking their movements, she is determined to be the greatest warrior ever. When her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) forbids her from becoming the warrior princess she wants to be so badly, it’s up to her Aunt Antiope the fiercest Amazonian ever (Robin Wright) to secretly train her. Themyscira looks stunning, it has a real Troy vibe to it, dealing with the Greek Mythology background. The set pieces and on set locations are terrific and the first action sequence takes place on a beach and it’s epic. Robin Wright steals the show during this scene, showing an acting side we’ve never seen before. She also has one of the coolest moments on the movie during this scene where she shoots three arrows at once, at three different German soldiers. Before this epic battle, we have our male hero, Colonel Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash land in the waters of Themyscira. Now this place was hidden from the outside world, but not anymore, and the Amazonian’s are in fear, that everything they love and protect could be in danger. When Steve Trevor tells them exactly what’s going on in the outside world, that the ‘war, to end all wars” is going on, Diana feels the need to help. I should mention that the reason why they have been hiding all this time is due to the God of War himself, Ares. Now with this war going on, they believe it’s Ares behind it, and he needs to be stopped. I just want to talk about Chris Pine for a second here, and just how good he was in this movie. Without a doubt, this has the best love interest/relationship I think I’ve seen in a superhero movie. The chemistry between Gal and Chris was incredible, and even though this was a war movie, it had a lot of rom-com feels to it, and they played off one another extremely well. There are a few scenes that feel like they are straight out of a rom-com and when I say that, I mean the best of what a rom-com has to offer. The last scene of the movie between these two characters was so well done, and so brilliant and just nothing seemed forced between these two. You know that they will fall in love, but it’s really special how they go about doing it. These movies always have a love interest who is always finding themselves getting into trouble and need to be saved or it’s just cheesy and doesn’t really make sense, but with Chris Pine’s character none of that happens, and he’s a big part of the movie, he’s almost the driving force for the whole thing. So shout out to Chris Pine, who just continues to give really good performances, and I hope he returns to the DCEU.

So when Diana decides she is the only one who can stop Ares, she leaves with Colonel Trevor and heads for jolly old London. This is where the movie really opens up, and we get to see the side of Diana that’s very naive and innocent. One of the things the movie does so well, and Patty Jenkins did such an amazing job, at capturing the spirit and essence of the character. Diana is such a strong, independent and passionate woman, but now that she’s in the real world, she quickly realizes just how little women are appreciated or respected. She just wants to explore the world, and she loves the simplest things. There are a few great moments, one involving a baby and she just falls in love immediately, and another is actually taken from one of the animated movies, where she eats ice cream for the first time and her reaction is priceless. It makes sense, imagine going your whole life without ice cream and just think of what your reaction would be. It was just little things, and little moments like this, that truly made this movie special. Gal Gadot was born to play this role, and I know she might not be the greatest actress working in Hollywood today, but she owned this role, and has come a long way in such a short period of time. Usually when people get casted as a superhero, you spend some of the movie thinking if someone else could do better or someone that is more suited to play the character. That never happened once for me, at times, I felt like Gadot was ripped straight from the pages of a Wonder Woman comic book. Zack Snyder has really casted the DCEU perfectly, when you think about it. She owned this movie, and I really hope that puts all the haters and doubters of Gal to sleep, because she really gave it her all and it showed in her performance.

Once they arrive in London, they meet Sir Patrick Morgan/Ares (Professor Lupin!), and three of Trevor’s running mates, Charlie (Ewen Brenner), Sameer (Said Taghamoui) and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock). We also get to meet Steve’s secretary, Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) who was really funny in her role. From the little screen time she had, she did the best with it. She makes a routine shopping trip, into one of the funniest scenes in the movie. All the side characters work in Wonder Woman, just another reason why this movie worked so well. Honestly they all had something to do, and they are given just enough background and development that you end up caring about them. So when all of them arrive at the front lines of the war, known, as “No Man’s Land” which I thought was clever and smart. Diana wants to stay and help, but Steve insists they keep going, and that no man has ever crossed these lines and made it back alive. She tells him that ‘she’s no man’ and we have the best moment of the movie. When she walks out of the trenches in her Wonder Woman outfit, I had some goose bumps. This is where the colors of her suit shine and it’s just a really beautiful moment. Which leads into one of the best action sequences, it’s Wonder Woman’s warehouse scene (from BvS). Not only that, but from this scene I got a little Saving Private Ryan vibe, and whenever you can compare a movie to that one, well you’re only singing praises at that point. The whole second action sequence is something I will want to watch over and over again, it’s perfectly done, and they really show off just what Diana can do in combat. I loved how the lasso of truth looked, and how she used it throughout the movie.

With every great hero comes a villain, and in Wonder Woman we get a few bad guys. Not the greatest of villains but they were okay. Danny Hutson plays Erich Ludendorff; he’s a German general who does not want to see the war end. I got a Red Skull comparison in mind from Captain America, and he was hopped up on some sort of gas the entire time, but his character felt a little stale to me. His sidekick was actually a side chick, a chemist, Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) who is creating some horrible toxic gas, which looks to end the war and kill millions of people. I actually really liked this character, I just think they didn’t fully utilize her, and she had some layers to her, and I wish they had explored her just a little bit more. It’s really hard to have a great villain these days, but they all did the trick. Now for Ares. He was okay, but he comes at the end of the movie, and really my only problem with this entire thing was the ending. Wonder Woman was doing such a great job at not being like every other superhero movie, and then it becomes just like every other superhero movie in the end. You know, the big CGI-filled fight scene with the big bad guy at the end. They didn’t need to do that, I understand why they did, but they had something really special going on, and it just takes you out of the movie. I also just found the fight scene to be really dark, and I had a hard time figuring out what exactly was going on. Honestly though, that was really my only nitpick of the entire thing.

A lot of movies in the past few months have been very forgetful, and I don’t really think about them too much a few days after I have seen them. This isn’t the case for Wonder Woman. I’m just amazed how this thing turned out; obviously going into it I had my doubts. The DCEU hasn’t been on the best of tracks lately, and the last movie they released was Suicide Squad, and well I’m just not going to go there. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine did their thing, they were the stars of the movie, but Patty Jenkins needs to get a lot of credit for this. I really hope executives from movie studios take note, and start to let women direct bigger budget movies. I just felt happy the entire time watching it, there are so many laughs and great moments throughout the movie, and I’m just really happy for her, because this is a really big deal, and I hope people can understand that. This isn’t like a top 5-superhero movie, but it’s the second best DCEU movie, but I have a feeling I will end up liking this more than Man of Steel in the long run, but it’s just a really good/well made movie. Wonder Woman is such an incredible character with great morals, and values and I’m glad that we finally got to see all this on the big screen. I don’t know if she becomes the driving force of the DCEU going forward, or can be the Captain America for the Justice League. I know I’m much more excited for the Justice League movie now, I just hope they can continue with this great momentum they have built. All I’m going to say, is this movie is way above average.

Also I’m fan casting Sofia Boutella as Cheetah for Wonder Woman 2.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Wonder Woman = 90/100

 

 

Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Good people still live in Crime Alley” Batman 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Three parts down, two to go!

Check ya later.

News

Matthew Vaughn Come Save Superman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check ya later.