Reviews

Ranking Every ‘Batman The Animated Series’ Episode Part 4/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sometimes there are no happy endings.” – Batman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Too late, curtains going down” – Clayface 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Kyodai, the rope!” – Batman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Good people still live in Crime Alley” Batman 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Three parts down, two to go!

Check ya later.

News, Reviews

Ranking Every ‘Batman The Animated Series’ Episode – Part 1/5

I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!

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Everyone has their favorite television show; they can be a great place of escapism and can bring hoards of people together. I have fallen in love with many great shows throughout my life; Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Wire but for me one show trumps them all. Batman: The Animated Series, created in 1992 by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski who at the time were working on Tiny Toones for FOX, Warner Bros. Animation decided it was time to venture into an animated Batman series due to the success of Tim Burton’s Batman movie. They pegged these two to shoot a short pilot episode, which ultimately ended up becoming the opening credits for the show. From the get go this show was praised for its quality of animation, which to this day is still considered to be top notch. The darker tones and overall thematic complexity of the show, which again dealt with some mature situations and subjects for being a kid’s show. It had a very film noir look to it, bullets fly (but they never hit anyone, terrible aim those bad guys!) the villains are out for blood, and in certain episodes a lot is at stake. I know people may think, this is just a cartoon, how can that be? For being a kids cartoon, it certainly has an adult feel to it and it’s one of the main reasons I fell in love with it from the very start. All of that makes the show feel timeless, and again the show was praised for its modernization of its titled character. For me, the thing I love most about this show, aside from the storytelling has to be the cast. The voice acting is some of the best to ever be in animation, and as the casting director Andrea Romano put it, they wanted to cast voices with character. Not just people doing cartoon voices. Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) for me will always be those two iconic characters, and have been providing their voices in animation and video games for almost 30 years now! The show works so well, because in the end it wasn’t made with a younger audience in mind and I think that’s the main reason why I think the show still holds up so well today. Considered to be one of the greatest cartoons ever produced, actually only The Simpsons is held in higher regard. They produced 109 episodes, all unique and special in their own way. This show is responsible for some of the best Batman stories ever told, which is quite the feat, considering you are working with almost 80 years of Batman mythos and history. Batman: The Animated Series is actually responsible for the creation of Harley Quinn, and we can thank one of the shows writers Paul Dini for that. My only gripe with this show was how they changed the animation up after season 3. It never resonated with me, and when I stop and think about it, it honestly makes me angry. I understand why they did it, they wanted to have a more kid friendly show, but it almost ruins the experience. That’s the only problem I’ve ever had with Batman The Animated Series. I have a yearly tradition where I sit back and watch every episode, and I thought this time, I would rank every single one. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do, all the two part episodes will be considered as one, so in total I’ll be ranking 102! This show has a special place in my heart and I consider it to be the greatest representation of The Dark Knight outside of the comic books. So sit back, relax and enjoy this, because I know I’m going to enjoy writing it. I’m going to break it down into 5 parts! Here are the numbers 102-83! The grades don’t reflect the rankings; they are just there so you can get a better sense of the episodes

102- Prophecy of Doom. Season 1, Episode 19 – Director: Frank Paur, Story: Dennis Marks

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This guy was the villain of the episode need I say more? Starting off the list was the very forgetful episode, in which we see Batman take down a cult. The Brotherhood is run by the mystic Nostromos who has the ability to “predict the future.” Turns out he’s just a con artist who rigs near fatal accidents so he can warm up to Gotham’s elite and later take their money. One of the few episodes I will actually skip in my yearly run through, it’s just that bad. Grade F 

“Do not apologize. She will believe. They all will believe….after the great fall” – Nostromos

101 – The Underdwellers. Season 1, Episode 6 – Director: Frank Paur, Story: Tom Ruegger

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Batman wrestles a few alligators in this one, and that’s the only highlight or memorable moment. Premise on the other hand, it deals with some wackjob taking kids underground and essentially make them his servants. They go up to the streets of Gotham at night and rob its citizens, when one of them gets taken away by Batman, he brings him home to Alfred to care for the boy. Early on in the series, the show was still trying to get its feet wet. I just can’t take an episode seriously when the episodes villain was the Sewer King… Grade F

“You play chicken long enough, you fry” – Batman

100 – Critters. Season 4 , Episode 14. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Steve Gerber

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So when a farmer goes crazy, I guess it’s up to Batman to stop him. Farmer Brown is his name, and after his failed attempt at creating bigger livestock, he becomes the laughing stock of Gotham, which leads to him losing all of his money. A year later, Gotham City is terrorized by giant animals and bugs. Farmer Brown plans to fire a rocket with all these “critters” into Gotham and watch it fall apart. All I can really do is shake my head at this episode, like this isn’t Batman, not at all. Just one of the many horrible episodes from season 4. Batman vs. a couple of hillbillies, come on Warner Bros. you can do better. Grade F

“That’s a lot of bull” – Tim Drake

99 – Mean Seasons: Season 4, Episode 13. Director: Hiroyuki Aoyama, Story: Rich Fogel

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Honestly, it’s like they weren’t even trying for parts of season 4. Look out folks, Calender Girl is on the loose!! Some has been actress is kidnapping the people responsible for her apparent “botched” surgeries. Turning the dirty 30, once the brightest star of the film industry, now just a thing of the past. These botched surgeries aren’t true, she’s still the same beautiful woman she’s always been, but she cannot see that anymore. She just sees her flaws. Another painful episode to sit all the way through, because there’s just nothing exciting happening what’s so ever. Like one of her henchmen is a knock off Fabio, give me a break…. Grade F

“Beware the Ides of March!” – Calender Girl

98 -Cat Scratch Fever: Season 2. Episode  8. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Sean Catharine Derek

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Stray cats, this episode is about stray cats…. I might as well just end this review right now. Roland Dagget is planning on using the stray cats of Gotham and infecting them with a new viral plague. He will be the only person with the means to cure this new disease, for a quick and easy money grab. So When Isis goes missing (not that Isis, Catwoman’s cat) she investigates the matter and stumbles upon his scheme. When she becomes infected herself, it’s up to her beau Batman to save the day. Grade F

“Tonight on the news they called you a hero. You keep this up and they’ll start making Catwoman dolls” – Maven

97 – Beware The Creeper: Season 4, Episode 23. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Rich Fogel.

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A knockoff Joker, in an episode with the Joker. News reporter Jack Ryder, falls into the same vat of chemicals that made the Joker who he is. But Jack was also covered in Joker’s laughing gas, makes for a weird combination. We get The Creeper out of it, all I can say is wow. Pretty much just a horny Joker, I’m not even kidding. They leave the episode open-ended and that’s the worst part, because as an audience we never get to see The Creeper again. So that makes it even worse, just another terrible villain season 4 managed to pump out. Grade D

“They call me, Yellow-Skinned Wacky Man!” – The Creeper 

96 -Birds of A Feather. Season 2, Episode 19. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Chuck Menville

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I feel like people might enjoy this episode much more than I do. Penguin gets out of the slammer and still thinks he’s high society.  Until no one comes to pick him up or throw him an extravagant party for his return. Veronica Vreeland is also feeling the heat with her recent struggles to throw a great party. So she whips up the idea to invite the Peguin to her next bash. It works to perfection, actually too good, because the bird starts to fall for Ms. Vreeland. It’s not until he overhears her telling someone she’s just using him, that everything goes to complete crap. The Peguin is usually involved in great episodes, but this is by far the worst. Just rich snobs being rich snobs. Grade D+

“I guess what they say is true: society is to blame. High society” – The Penguin.

95 – Showdown. Season 3, Episode 22. Director: Kevin Altieri, Story: Kevin Altieri.

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Again another episode that I think would be higher on other people’s lists. It involves Jonah Hex, and this episode just never clicked with me. I’ve never liked it, maybe it’s because I’m salty about this being the last episode we get to see Ra’s Al Ghul and he is completely WASTED! One of my favourite villains from the whole show, and this was his swan song, honestly it’s somewhat heart breaking when you think about it. He tells this story to Batman about Jonah Hex and how his son, who is part of the story as well is still alive today. He was also exposed to the Lazarus Pits and is very old. So when Batman finds him at a retirement home and they chase them to the nearby airport, Batman actually lets him walk free. Shows that deep down Batman actually has some feelings. Fun fact about his episode though, Robin straight up dick punches a guy, the one and only punch of its kind in the show! Grade D

“Come now detective, I still have a few good years left. We will cross swords another day” – Ra’s Al Ghul

94 – Love Is A Croc. Season 4, Episode 9. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Steve Gerber.

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Okay, quick rant before I breifly talk about this episode. How bad does Croc look in the new animation style? My god, it’s painful, he looks so bad and they even changed his voice and the new guy just sucks. He was so good in the first three seasons and they completely ruined him and made him be involved in this putrid episode. Baby Doll is back (yay – that’s sarcasm) she feels for Croc for being an outsider, as she’s always felt that way. So they team up and become a common law couple and live in the sewers and the whole thing is just a disaster and it turns out chicks dig guys who look like crocodiles, who knew. Just the weirdest pairing of two rogues from Batman’s famous gallery that I can remember and truthfully it just didn’t work out. Croc straight up beats Baby Doll also, which I found to be a little disturbing. Grade F

“Ordinarily, I don’t approve of spanking but in her case…” – Batgirl

93 – The Demon Within. Season 4, Episode 18. Director: Atsuko Tanaka, Story: Rusti Bjornhoel

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Without question one of the weirdest most out of place episodes. When you compare it to all other episodes, it just feels so out of place, so far from the realm of what the original feel of the show was. Also they have the creepiest villain, Klarion the Witch Boy, who possesses Jason Blood’s alter ego Etrigan the Demon. I know that was a mouthful to take in. I don’t even know what I’m talking about when it comes to this episode. It’s weird and certainly not the BTAS I grew to love. Grade D

“Whoa! So all of this is what I think it is, right? Magic? Sorcery?” – Tim Drake.

92 – The Lion and The Unicorn. Season 3, Episode 21. Director: Boyd Kirkland, Story: Diane Duane

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A call back to British spy films – this episode focuses on Alfred. When he gets a mysterious phone call from his “cousin” Alfred drops everything at Wayne Manor and heads across the pond to London.  I really try to like this episode but I can never really get into it. The one thing, I do enjoy though, is how they dive into Alfred’s past. Even Dick doesn’t know about how much of a badass Alfred used to be back in the day working as a British government spy. His cousin, who turns out to be his old partner and Alfred have the secret launch codes for a nuclear mission silo. They showcase his skills throughout the episode, but it’s biggest downfall has to be having Red Claw. She’s a terrible villain and we never really get to understand why she’s a terrorist or why she does the things she does. Her voice is also incredibly annoying. Grade D-

“There’s only one London Master Bruce” – Alfred

91 – Moon of The Wolf. Season 2, Episode 15. Director: Dick Sebast, Story: Len Wein

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So this episode is hilariously bad, but I don’t hate it as strongly now as the first few times I watched it. It kind of grows on you to be honest, but that doesn’t excuse it from being laughable. Batman is suppose to be the worlds greatest detective, yet he thinks this werewolf is just a mugger in a mask. I don’t like when the writing dumbs down our Batman and makes it appear that he’s not so smart. Anthony Romulus was a star athlete, but wanted to be the very best. So he’s offered a chance of a lifetime, to experiment with a new drug provided by Dr. Milo. Turns out that there’s some timber wolf estrogen in the steroids, so it ultimately turns him into this wolf man. Just a classic filler episode, with little to no story, and just making Batman seem weak and stupid at times. Bruce Tinm once said that it was a “Tuesday” episode. Whatever that means. Grade D 

“Do me a favour, Shaggy!” – Batman

90 – Tyger, Tyger. Season 2, Episode 14. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Michael Reaves

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I don’t know what the producers of this show were thinking when it comes to Catwomans story arc. She’s such an incredible character, yet she’s apart of some of the most bizarre and quite frankly some of the worst episodes. Like she gets turned into a cat this episode… that’s right. Dr. Dorian has other pet projects, a giant ape like man, and Tygrus. Another giant cat, Tygrus serves as another love interest for Selina Kyle in this episode, and it makes the whole thing even stranger.  She has such a complex relationship with our hero, and that’s kind of explored, but she’s just always part of some half-assed story. We just never get that great Batman/Catwoman story, like again SHE GETS TURNED INTO AN ACTUAL CAT.  Grade D+

“Tyger, Tyger, burning bright. In the forests of the night. What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” – Batman

89 – Chemisty. Season 4, Episode 22. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Stan Berkowitz

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Another fine example of the writers making our Caped Crusader look kind of stupid. Bruce magically falls for a women and decides pretty easily that it’s time to hang up the cape and cowl for good. Really Batman? Just like that, regardless if she is the one, something seems off and Batman really doesn’t take notice, until it’s almost too late.  Susan is her name, well that’s the name Poison Ivy gives her, see she’s one of her newest creations. Where she makes the perfect match for the wealthy of Gotham and poor Bruce can do nothing to stop the affection he has for dear old Susan. I just could never believe Bruce Wayne would fall that hard for someone, even if it’s out of his control somehow. He’s Batman, his mind control is like no other, and the fact that they just make him seem pretty weak and stupid in this episode bothers me a bit. Grade D + 

“Everything’s changed for me in the past few weeks. The pain of my parents deaths…it’s still there, but it seems smaller” – Bruce Wayne

88 – The Cult of The Cat. Season 4, Episode 15. Director: Butch Lukic, Story: Stan Berkowitz

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Another episode involving cats….I get it, she’s Catwoman and all but come on. Some original ideas would be nice. Here we find Selina stealing a rare cat statue from a cult, to only find out she has a lot in common with these people. Like a lot of episodes in the final season, we see Batman square off against larger than life animals, this time around it’s a saber-toothed cat. For this being the last time we ever get to see her in the animated series, it was just overall a lacklustre episode to say the least. In the end we realize that no matter how much Selina loves Batman, her true loves lies with her cats and well stolen jewellery. As we see her living in Paris, with those two things I just mentioned. Grade D+

“You can’t get rid of them. They are like old boyfriends. Or warts.” – Catwoman.

87 – Cold Comfort. Season 4, Episode 3. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Hilary J. Bader

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Remember when Paul Dini came up with the idea that Mr. Freeze shouldn’t be a joke anymore. That they created one of the best Batman stories ever told with “Heart of Ice” which we will get too later. Mr. Freeze is one of the more sympathetic characters in the animated series, he’s lost all emotion, and you feel for the guy after he loses his wife to a rare disease (Well she’s frozen, but you knew that already!). That being said, this character probably gets the biggest change in the animation revamp and I HATE IT. He was literally perfect in the few episodes he appeared in with the old animation style, and now he just looks stupid. On top of that, he’s just a head, just a human head now, with a robot body, are you kidding me? They ruined his character completely, and the only saving grace is that they didn’t change his voice actor (Michael Ansara) who does such a terrific job at portraying this heart broken and completely loss man. This episode deals with Freeze being pissed off after his now cured wife has moved on with her life and she has remarried, so he’s going around Gotham destroying a bunch of things. Move on buddy and find another gal, I guess that’s hard to do though, when you are just a head I guess. He’s even got two stupid lady sidekicks and the whole thing makes me mad, so I’m going to stop writing now. Grade D

“You don’t have to do this. Wayne Enterprises helped save your wife’s life, and we can help you” – Bruce Wayne 

86 -Animal Act. Season 4, Episode 16. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Hilary J. Bader

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Man I don’t know who Mad Hatter pissed off, but wow, just wow. Mad Hatter is a terrific villain, and is feature in some of the best episodes this show has to offer. Why on Earth is this his last appearance? Why did they make him take control of circus animals as his final insane plot? So Robin’s old circus is back in town, and just like that, crazy robberies involving animals is going on in Gotham. This is straight up one of the more childish episodes we ever see. Not a single dark tone, or adult vibe to it, and that was the big concern for the revamp. I hate to throw people under the bus, but Hilary J. Bader is responsible for writing some of the worst and more immature episodes ever. For having Dick Grayson re-visit the place where he lost everything, you would think this episode would pack a little bit more of an emotional punch, No! Talk about a missed opportunity, and for a life long Batman fan, thats something us fans want to see. Grade D-

“You sure it’s locked this time? We’ve got enough yahoos running around this city without having to deal with Yogi and Boo-Boo too.” – Harvey Bullock

 

85 – Double Talk. Season 4, Episode 4. Director: Curt Geda, Story: Robert Goodman

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The good old Ventriloquist, another great villain ruined by the revamp. Yes, he’s a little strange, but that’s the best part about him. I don’t mind that its a puppet, and to be honest it’s kind of scary that a man can get to be that insane. So Arnold Wesker is out of jail and got a sweet hook up by Bruce Wayne himself to start working at Wayne Enterprises. He’s “cured” of his aliment of being control by his other half Scarface. Well little does he know that’s not the case, and he plans a little robbery at his newly acquired workplace. Just not a great episode, they made Arnold look like a low budget grown up Charlie Brown. They even made Scarface look worse and he’s a puppet, just so not cool Warner Bros. animation. Grade D

“He’s not coming back! He’s gone!” – Arnold Wesker

84 – The Worry Men. Season 3, Episode 9. Director: Frank Paur, Story: Paul Dini

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Veronica Vreeland, one of Gotham’s rich girls heads overseas for a vacation and comes back with some little dolls. These dolls are suppose to take away all of your worries. When she was in Central America, these dolls according to legend were put under your pillow at night, they would take away your worries for you. Little did she know, each doll had a tiny microchip placed inside by the Mad Hatter, and he was making the wealthy give him all of their money. Sneaky guy that Mad Hatter, I’ll give him props for the genius scheme, but the episode just kind of falls flat, and I want to like this episode every time I watch it, I just can’t AND I DON’T KNOW WHY!!!! Grade C-

“As the great Lewis Carrol himself once said, ‘One, two, one, two, through and through. And then the rope went snicker-snack. He left it dead and with its head, he went galloping back!” – Dr. Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter 

83 – Baby Doll. Season 3, Episode 20. Director: Dan Riba, Story: Paul Dini

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I need to say this first. I don’t hate this episode, any episode written by Paul Dini isn’t bad. I understand the meaning behind it and why some people think this episode is freaking genius and really good. I feel that way about it too. The emotional punch and baggage that come along with this episode is pretty haunting. It’s different and unique and I totally understand that part. For me, it always boils down to the fact, that I just can’t ever picture Batman running around Gotham chasing a little girl. Yes I know, she’s actually 30 and she’s born with a rare disease that makes her not age or grow. But there’s something about Batman, the freaking Dark Knight chasing this little girl and I just laugh, because that just doesn’t happen, or maybe that’s just me? Baby Doll a once bright star, had herself a hit TV show, until well someone stole the spotlight from her, and when that happened, Baby Doll got super upset. She tried other methods of acting, but nothing worked, so her career ended pretty quickly. 10 years later she’s out for revenge, and starts kidnapping all her ex cast-mates, and well essentially wants to kill them all. I’ll admit the last few minutes of this episode are spectacular but that can’t justify putting it higher on the list. Baby Doll just never clicked with me as a villain. Grade C+

“Remember that time when Poison Ivy nearly smothered us in those vines?” – Robin

 

Well there you have it, the first 20 episodes are in the books! That took a lot longer than I expected, so hopefully the next part will be ready in the next week! Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you feel about my rankings!

News

Let’s Talk About This Justice League Trailer 

What’s your super power again? I’m rich…

(Warner Bros.)

So that was awesome right! Today is a tough day for me, well for most of us. It’s the one year anniversary of the release of Batman v. Superman, and obviously that movie wasn’t met with the greatest praise from fans or critics. But a lot can change in a year and here we are exactly one year later and Zack Snyder, that dirty dog drops this badass trailer for us to see. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m extremely nervous for the Justice League movie, the DCEU hasn’t really gotten off to a flying start, well they really haven’t even gotten off the ground yet. But that could all change with one simple trailer. I was absolutely blown away by this trailer, and maybe things could finally be turning around for Warner Bros. and the DCEU!

Now for the trailer itself, they did a fantastic job giving us fans a little bit of everything here. You can’t expect them to change their formula completely so the darker tone is still present in the trailer, but that’s okay because it does seem a little bit lighter and certainly more fun and humorous. It’s a great thing that they are clearly addressing certain problems from previous films and taking the fans and what they not only have to say, but what they want to heart. Ezra Miller who will be suiting up as the fastest man alive, The Flash, looks like the comedy pillar of the movie, and not only does it suit the character, he seems to be pulling it off with ease. Even Ben Affleck’s Batman looks like he’s having a lot more fun in this trailer, yeah we don’t need our Batman to be cracking jokes every scene, but a little light hearted Caped Crusader will go along way for fan service. 

Ray Fisher the new comer who’s playing the football star turned half-man half-machine Cyborg looks pretty damn cool if I say so myself. He’s such a lesser known character but being the nerd I am, I know him for the badass character he truly is. He acts as a pseudo leader of the group and takes control usually when Batman isn’t around. I’m excited for the world to see this character come to life because he simply is awesome. Gal Gadot again looks great as Wonder Woman and the more I see her portray this character the more I like her. Time will tell, when her solo movie hits theatres June 3rd. She’s the strong and powerful female superhero this world needs, because right now there aren’t too many of those in the movies. 

Now let’s chat about the stand out of the trailer, Mr. Jason Momoa himself who’s playing the King of Atlantis Aquaman. For myself, the fish talking, trident wielding, hero is my second favourite in all of comics. He’s never taken seriously because of some old school jokes that are made, but this guy knows how to throw down, and it shows in the trailer. He’s just such a cool character with great mythology and backstory and he’s got insane powers, and I can’t wait to finally see him on the big screen come November.

I had to watch this trailer twice, on my phone and I was still blown away and that’s not even me going through it with a fine tooth comb to find every little Easter egg and timbit that’s probably inside. The Parademons, those flying bug like creatures look so cool, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the League squash them. This is just a teaser too, so they didn’t really given away anything important plot wise, just little snip-its here and there. Aquaman and Batman look to have a serious bromance going on, and that will be a sweet dynamic to see. My two favourite superheroes best friends in the Justice League movie, brings tears to my eyes. Batman is also looking like a somewhat of a father figure for The Flash which is also neat, so I’m looking forward to going home and putting this bad boy up on my Apple TV, and watching it over and over again. November can’t get here soon enough. 

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.

Reviews

Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017! At last, the year from hell is over! 2016 in many people’s eyes will go down to be an all-timer, in the worst way possible. For popular culture junkies like myself, I will never forget it. We saw so many influential people leave us, and movies disappoint us (I’m looking at you Batman V. Superman) that when the clock struck 12 on December 31st, we all rejoiced that it was officially the start of a new year. That being said it wasn’t all-bad in 2016; if you’re reading this, you probably love movies as much as I do. Movies are a great way to escape for a few short hours and be reminded just how extraordinary something can truly be. While there were many disappointments in 2016, I’d just like to thank certain films such as; La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, and Nocturnal Animals for restoring my faith in Hollywood, after what was a lackluster summer, to say the least. That’s all behind us now, and I’d like to share the ten films I’m most anticipated to see in the year 2017!


10 Stephen Kings IT director/ Andres Muschietti

Beep beep Richie! Are words that haunted me as a young child. The 1990 made for TV movie adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel brought the terrifying Pennywise the clown to life. Personally, I think the original still stands up today, and I’ve come to appreciate it more as I’ve grown older. Andres Muschietti is coming off a stellar directorial debut with Mama and hopes Bill Skarsgard who’s playing the infamous clown will bring the same magic as Tim Curry did in the 1990 version. I’m not usually one for horror movies, as I believe they have shifted in a weird direction, but there’s just something about this movie that feels right. Boasting a great young cast especially Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) and Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) makes this seem even more promising. I’ll admit that I was a little turned off from the photos of Pennywise so far, but I can’t let a few pictures determined how excited I am to finally see this movie on the big screen. My goal for this movie is for it to be successful enough that we get the adult sequel and that I don’t regret putting it on my list.

9 Power Rangers director/Dean Israelite

Nostalgia, Nostalgia, Nostalgia. Don’t judge me on this one; the original had a lot of my firsts. First toy I can remember, and certainly my first crush (thank you, Kimberly). When I first heard they were remaking the Power Rangers into a feature film I didn’t think much of it. The 90’s TV show can be summarized as a poppy, cheesy afterschool kids show. So it was hard to fathom how they were going to translate that onto the big screen. Lionsgate has really flipped Power Rangers a complete 180 degrees, with it looking very dark and gritty from everything we have seen thus far. For some, this is the biggest criticism of the movie, but I think it’s the perfect direction to take this franchise. The trailer gives off a very breakfast club meets Chronicle vibe and I’ve been intrigued ever since. The folks behind the new movie have been rolling out promotional images of the movie here and there and the new look Alpha 5, Zords, and even the rangers who are looking a little too Iron Man-ish have me thinking that they are taking Power Rangers in a whole new direction. The biggest surprise for me would have to be the casting of Bryan Cranston as the giant floating head Zordon. Why on Earth would he choose to be in this movie? Does it make me believe there’s a chance this movie could be good, well maybe but sometimes actors just need a payday? The thing I’m most excited about is without question is Elizabeth Banks playing the villain Rita Repulsa. At least from the trailer and all the images we have seen it looks like she’s all in on this role and I couldn’t be happier about it. This has all the makings of being a horrible crapfest, but that’s not the point of the list. I’m excited to see what this movie could be, and I’m even more excited to see just how bad this movie could truly be. IT’S MORPHIN TIME!!

8 War for the Planet of the Apes director/Matt Reeves

“The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since”.

First, it was just apes, then apes on horses and now you’re telling me apes on tanks?????! The apes are back baby, and this time it means war! This movie is going to be bittersweet for a lot of us, seeing how it will certainly be the last time we get to watch the great Andy Serkis do his thing as Caesar. This franchise has done so much for motion capture performances; it’s taken them to a whole other level. The first Apes was a great movie, the second was extraordinary and this could be the cherry on top of the trilogy sundae. This has all the makings to be a great trilogy, maybe even one of the best ever. Matt Reeves is back in the directors’ chair for the second time for this franchise and this time around he’s bringing Woody Harrelson. Who looks menacing as hell as the villain along for the ride. I loved what I saw in the first trailer and visually these movies just keep getting better and better. The apes look breathtaking and I just can’t say enough about what Andy Serkis has accomplished for the motion capture industry. These movies have done wonders for the lure of the planet of the apes, and with some rumors that this final installment might have some ties into the original movie, it intrigues me even more. I’m going to miss Caesar and I hope this movie will be the sendoff he deserves. Side note: I really hope they bring back Koba, that guy was awesome!

7 Kingsman: The Golden Circle director/Matthew Vaughn

I remember back in 2014 walking into Kingsman and not thinking too much about it. I heard it was a fun time at the movies and was based on a graphic novel, so I said to hell with it and gave it a shot. As soon as the opening credits hit and Money for Nothing, Chicks for Free by Dire Straights came on, I knew then in my heart I was going to love this movie. Kingsman was fun, full of incredible action (YouTube the church scene and you can thank me later) and it didn’t take itself too seriously. I love being surprised by movies when they go beyond your expectations; it’s just a really great feeling to have when walking out of the theatre. Now 3 years later, here comes Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and I couldn’t leave it off my list. Matthew Vaughn is returning and he’s on a little bit of a role with, Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class, and Kingsman respectfully. The entire cast is back but you’re telling me Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, and Channing Tatum are being added?! This only wets my beak even more. Not a whole lot of information is known about the plot or whom the new cast members are playing, with things being very tight-lipped around the project. What I expect from this sequel is more of the same, great laughs, really good action, and most importantly a great story and awesome new characters being thrown into the mix. This has serious potential to be one of my favorite films of 2017!

6 Dunkirk director/Christopher Nolan

In the latest Christopher Nolan movie, he will be heading to World War 2 to tackle the historic battle of Dunkirk. Let’s face it, when Nolan steps up to the plate it’s an event at the movies. He’s a filmmaker through and through and what you are watching is a spectacle you have to go see to believe. Whether it was the Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, or his latest film Interstellar the man knows how to make a movie. If you know history, well you know Dunkirk does not end well (spoilers) so I’m curious to see how Nolan is going to pull this one-off. We got a great war movie in 2016 with Hacksaw Ridge, but Dunkirk will be packing a little more of an emotional punch, seeing how brutal and violent that battle was. There’s just not much more to say about this movie, visually it will be stunning, tremendous acting and it’s going to be an emotional time at the movies. In the end, it’s Christopher Nolan doing a war epic, I’ll be there opening night.

5 Alien: Covenant director/ Ridley Scott

In space, no one can hear you scream, but they might have heard me yelling in the theatre as I sat and watched Prometheus. What was there not to be excited about, it was Ridley freaking Scott back directing an Alien movie, and boy did it not sit well with me.

The poster alone got me excited for this movie, because as a huge alien fan, it told me everything I needed to know about this movie. I think it was the best movie poster of 2016. Then early Christmas morning FOX decided to drop the trailer for the next installment in this franchise and OMG this movie is going to be bananas. It’s everything I wanted Prometheus to be, it looks like Ridley Scott is taking it back to what made Alien so successful, suspense, gore, horror, and most important of all ALIENS. The trailer is so well put together that I don’t need to see anything else to know that I’m going to enjoy the crap out of this movie. I want to be on the edge of my seat when watching an Alien movie. I want to be a little scared and this looks like it’s going to fulfill those needs. The cast alone is just out of the charts with talent, but the person who I think is going to steal the show is none other than Kenny Powers himself Danny McBride. Actually, James Franco is in this too, so maybe this is just some crazy high and it’s somehow a Pineapple Express sequel, there’s only one way to find out. Fun fact, Terry Hall from The Mighty Ducks is in this, I honestly thought he made one movie in his life. Who knew?

4 Logan director/James Mangold

First off, props to Ryan Reynolds for leaking that Deadpool footage, because without doing so Deadpool is never made and without Deadpool, the world wouldn’t be getting a rated R Wolverine movie. This isn’t your grandma’s Wolverine here folks; it’s a whole new ballgame. This will be the most brutal, violent Wolverine yet, something we really haven’t seen since the mansion scene in X2. If watching that trailer synced to Johnny Cash’s Hurt didn’t get you fired up for this movie then something is wrong with you and you should see a doctor immediately. The trailer gave me all the feels and made me realize just how much I’m going to miss Hugh Jackman playing this role. This trailer really knocked me on my ass, and it’s something as a Wolverine fan I’ve always wanted to see. This is it for Hugh Jackman as the beloved character, it’s his kitchen sink performance you could say, he’s going to be throwing everything he’s got at this one, and for some, it’s going to be an emotional ride. He’s been playing this character for almost 20 years now (that’s insane), and this movie is going to be is swan song. I’m excited to see where this movie takes the X-men lure, and how it’s all going to play out in the end. Based loosely on the Old Man Logan story from the comics, this movie finds Wolverine teaming up with Professor X one last time to save a young mutant much like Wolverine from falling into the wrong hands. One thing that intrigues me about this movie is the Professor X storyline part, part of me thinks he will just be in Wolverine’s mind the entire time, and I can’t wait to find out if I’m right or not.

3 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol: 2 director/James Gunn

“Showtime A-holes”

The gang is back! Marvel’s misfits are returning after the 2014 smash hit that up until this year’s Civil War I considered to be the best all-around Marvel movie. This time around Star-Lord is finally getting over his daddy issues and is in search to hunt down the man. Fully loaded with another awesome mixtape, the whole gang is returning but this time we are getting the ever so cute Baby Groot!. James Gunn is back directing (duhhhh) and he cares so much about these characters and franchise that I don’t think anyone else could direct this movie. The trailer alone sold me on this movie, it looks tailor-made for me, and with Chris Pratt promising this would be the biggest most epic scale movie we’ve ever seen on the big screen. I can only hope they follow through on that promise. The humor seems to be back, and the dynamic between the Guardians is something that’s almost rare in movies these days. It’s a massive science fiction, fantasy blockbuster that just feels right. Everything from the trailer looks like it’s popped right off the pages of a comic book and it just looks fantastic. I only have one concern about this movie, and it’s a little thing but I just don’t want them shoving Baby Groot down our throats for the entire movie.

2 Star Wars: Episode VIII director/Rian Johson

The force will be strong with this movie. The Force Awakens did a great job bringing back Star Wars into our lives, all the beloved characters that people hold so dear in their hearts. It was the perfect way to set up this new universe with all the new characters and immersing them with the old. Everyone knows that this movie will be pulling on heartstrings whenever Carrie Fisher graces the screen, regardless of how much she will be in the movie. The Force Awakens did exactly what Disney and JJ Abrams wanted it to do, and that got everyone excited again about Star Wars. Now the real fun can begin with Episode VIII, and this movie is going to take Star Wars in a new direction, one that people really haven’t seen before. People are going to want this movie to be the Empire Strikes Back of the new trilogy, for me I just want it to be something new and fresh. Let Rian Johnson take this franchise to places it’s never been before and do things we aren’t accustomed to when it comes to the Star Wars universe. The director Rian Johnson knows how to make a great science fiction movie, Looper was such a unique and original story that I don’t think I would be as excited for this if he wasn’t sitting in the director’s chair. Obviously, everything is very hush-hush about this movie, but one thing is for certain and that is the return of Luke Skywalker, and I’m pumped to see Mark Hamill back on the screen playing the role that made him famous. I’m curious to know where they will take his character and ultimately just who has Luke become.

1 Justice League director/Zack Snyder

OHHHHHH BABY!!!! Here we go folks; it really is due or die time for WB and the DCEU. Just like Eminem said, “if you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment, would you capture it,
or just let it slip”?
If I were to say no other DCEU movie had come out, and this picture of the Justice League was released and this was the first thing we ever got to see from WB, people would lose their minds. That’s not the case, we have gotten three stinkers in a row now and time is running out for them to turn this ship around. There is so much riding on the success of this movie, and I’m just not talking about financial success here people. Let’s try to get a DCEU movie fresh on rotten tomatoes, shall we! Saying all that, we can all agree that Batfleck crushed it as the Caped Crusader. Now they are introducing the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg into the mix and from the trailer, it at least looks like they are on the right path. I just can’t be walking into Justice League a super confident person, because I have seen the three previous DCEU movies and I just don’t know which Zack Snyder will be stepping up to bat (pun attended). The Justice League is the greatest superhero team-up of all time, and we are finally going to get to see that on the big screen, something some people have been waiting to see their whole lives. A nice change in tone, shifting away from the gloominess of BvS will do wonders for this movie. People need to care about these characters and want to see more of them when they are done watching Justice League and have people talking about whether they will be more excited for the next DC or Marvel movie. For the love of god please don’t screw this up Zack Snyder that’s all I ask of you, sincerely the entire world.


Well, there you have it, my most anticipated movies of 2017. I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a tremendous year for movies. If I did this list for 2016 all of my favorite movies from the year wouldn’t have even made the list and that’s what I love so much about movies. You just never know what you are going to love and which ones you are going to hate until you see them.

Check ya later.