Friday, August 5, 2016

Double Review: BvS: Ultimate Edition & Batman: The Killing Joke

                Hello, everyone and welcome to another entry of Coffee With The Cynic’s movie reviews!  Originally this was going to be a video but Windows 8.1 isn’t cooperating and won’t let me open Movie Maker to edit the raw footage so I will provide you with a transcript here.  Sadly, this will probably be the case until we get upgraded to Windows 10 but we hope to get that done as soon as humanly possible.  Now, on with the show…article…whatever.

                Tonight we’re going to be doing a double bill review, starting off with the Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition, or as I like to call it, Batman vs Superman: Bat-Ass Edition as well as the animated film Batman: The Killing Joke.

                Batman vs Superman: Bat-Ass Edition

                Okay, so if you’ve been watching my videos, you’ll know that I really did not care for the theatrical cut of BvS and up until I watched Gods Of Egypt, BvS was actually the worst movie I had seen all year (so far).  When I heard that the Blu-Ray was going to feature an extended, “R” rated cut, I figured, “Alright, we never got to see the complete picture.  I’ll give the director’s cut a chance, maybe those extra thirty minutes will add something and who knows, maybe even knock it down a few spots on my ‘Worst Of 2016’ list.”  So I got around to watching it and I gotta say, “My eyes!  Ze thirty minutes, they do nothing!”
                The only thing I really noticed that the director’s cut “improved” the theatrical version was how it made it more coherent, dare say obvious, that someone was framing Superman.  Sadly, that was about it.  What was good about was still really good (Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons) and what was bad about the movie was still really bad (still way too many plots that would’ve been better as their own films, Jessie Eisenberg, the title fight comes in too late and ends too quickly).
                As for the “R” rating?  This movie didn’t need it.  Oh, you drop two “fucks” throughout the film?  Fuck-a-doodle-doo.  Extra CGI blood thrown in?  Wasn’t that intense, even when the thug’s head leaves a streak of blood on the way down after getting smacked by a crate.  This was a waste of an “R” rating.
                I was hoping that the extra thirty minutes would clear a few things up, that it would make the movie better and I would sit there like, “Okay, yeah, that’s a step in the right direction, guys!”  Sadly, my opinion of BvS still has not changed.  How can a movie add so much to the runtime without adding anything to the story?  It’s still a jumbled clusterfuck of a mess, focusing too much on catching up with other and more successful competitors rather than on being a good movie in its own right.  It’s still the second worst movie I’ve seen this year and it’s still a Throwaway.

Get the fuck outta here!

GOD, this is disappointing.  Like I said, I liked things about this movie but the things I didn’t like did so much damage that this just leaves me frustrated and hurt!  This hurts!  These characters deserved better.

Batman: The Killing Joke

The Killing Joke is the long-awaited animated adaptation of the famous comic written by Watchmen scribe, Alan Moore.  Prior to watching this film, I had only read the comic once and thought, “Yeah, it was alright.”  I didn’t get really attached to it or fall in love with it the way that it seems almost everyone else did but I was up for reading it again.
What got me interested in this one was the casting with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill returning to reprise their roles as Batman and The Joker, respectively.  In our household, Kevin Conroy is Batman and Mark Hamill is the best Joker.  Period.  I gotta say that these guys still got it as they are both amazing in their roles, be it Conroy’s powerful yet stoic voice or Hamill’s ability to sound both amusing and chilling at the same time (a couple of parts actually did make me shudder a little).  It never fails to amaze me how these two have been playing these roles for over twenty years and they still truly love being in these characters’ shoes.
A lot of people seem to have issue with the first half an hour of this movie involving Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (voiced by Tara Strong), whether it be they found her annoying or just because it wasn’t in the original Killing Joke comic.  I can understand why they feel this way but it didn’t bother me so much because, like I said before, I’m not strongly attached to the original comic and the film did need to flesh her out before the events of The Killing Joke so that she can be a full-fledged character instead of just a plot device.  That being said, I would be outright lying if I said I didn’t think it went on a little too long or if I didn’t say it felt like another movie added to the beginning of The Killing Joke but good things come to those who wait.
As far as adapting the comic goes, once it actually starts into The Killing Joke, it is pretty much the comic word for word and somewhat frame for frame.  It was like the executives were wondering, “Okay, how do we adapt this comic to animation,” and one of them flipped open the book, showed it to them and said, “Do this.”  Granted, the color scheme of the film is closer to the rerelease of the comic where the color palette was more modern as opposed to the flashy, carnival color palette of the original comic.
As for the rating?  This is DC’s first animated “R” rated feature so that was exciting in its own right and I will say this: this film earned its “R” rating more than BvS: Bat-Ass Edition did.  That being said, it isn’t a hard “R” like Heavy Metal or anything like that.  Probably closer to a 14A, if we’re being entirely honest.
I really like the DC Animated Universe and the movies and series released therein so I was interested to see how the animation in this one fared against the animation from previous entries.  The animation by no means is terrible but I did find it a bit stiff in some areas when a character would turn their head or one shot in particular when the CGI animation blended poorly with the 2D stuff.  It’s not a deal breaker but don’t expect animation as smooth as Batman: The Animated Series here.

Final Verdict: Basically, if you like the comic, you’ll probably like the movie or at least once the movie gets to the comic’s story.  I personally didn’t mind the extra stuff at the beginning but I can get why others might.  My feelings for the movie mirror my feelings for its source material: I liked it, I’m not head-over-heels in love with it the way many others are but after watching this movie, I read the comic again and watched the movie again, putting them both at two views and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the idea of revisiting either in the future.  I love watching Conroy and Hamill reprise these roles and I had fun and felt good watching The Killing Joke (which is kind of morbid, I know) and in the end, I will say that Batman: The Killing Joke is A Fun Ride and I would recommend checking it out.


So folks, let me know in the comments: what did you think of either of these movies, for better or worse?  Also, keep your ears to the ground on this blog as we are seeing Suicide Squad tomorrow and will be doing a review of that, as well as a review of a film I never got to see as a kid, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm.

Thanks for your time and if you like what you see on this blog, you be sure to nudge that “Follow” button and stay cynical!

-The Cynic
-The Cynic

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