Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight 2008
This is the second to last documentary style special that’s available to watch on the DC Universe streaming app, two of them were connected to Superman Returns and this was the second one that was attached to the Dark Knight. One of the interesting things that I noticed about the three that I’ve watched so far, and I believe it continues onto the last one, is how differently they handle their source material. In the Superman special, it embraced all sorts of different variations of Superman across movies and television. But the two Dark Knight specials seemingly prefer to completely ignore Batman’s past outside of the comic books and only show clips from Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. Just like the previous two specials, this has a mix of interviews, clips from the first two Nolan movies, and comic book style graphics as they discuss different aspects of Batman’s personality as well as some of his villains and how they relate to psychology. It’s fun, but similar to Batman Tech, it felt less like a stand alone documentary, and more like just promotion for the Dark Knight.
The Science of Superman 2006
One of the shows that I used to enjoy when I was a kid was the early programming of the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel back before they became the go-to channel for reality TV freak shows. There were plenty of shows on those two channels that were full of cutting edge technology and the like and in a way, this special follows that format. And while it does remind me of the Batman Tech special that I watched on the DC Universe app a couple weeks ago, where that felt very much like the promotional material for the Dark Knight that it was, while this was released in a similar way as Batman Tech, being shown on the National Geographic channel the day after the theatrical release, it really spread out the clips used between all sorts of Superman shows and cartoons alongside a fair amount of Superman Returns clips. It also helps that it was inspired by an actual book of the same name and they included the author alongside several of those interviewed for the special. Overall, it was a pretty good doc with a lot of interesting information and theories backed up by the shows and comic books of Superman that weren’t just Superman Returns.
Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics 2010
There’s still a few more DC comics based documentaries on the DC Universe streaming app that I haven’t watched yet so I did a quick little Twitter poll to see which one I should check out next and this one won. I didn’t really know anything about this specific documentary but I pretty much assumed that it would cover the history of DC comics, which it did in a much better way than I anticipated. It was full of comics artwork, film and TV clips, and interviews and archival footage with many different important personalities in comics. The story that the film told was mixed with information that I already knew about sprinkled with some that I didn’t. It was interesting, informative, and entertaining. And even though it specifically calls him out on the poster, I didn’t realize that Ryan Reynolds narrated the doc until I saw his name on the end credits, and this film would be right around the time where he was filming Green Lantern.
DC Superhero Girls: Legends of Atlantis 2018
If you like what I’m doing here, please take a moment and consider joining my Patreon so I can find more lesser known superhero and comic book movies to review here. I’m almost done with my month of Aquaman with the last official DC movie featuring the underwater hero. There is one more indie Aquaman-like movie, at least it appears to be based on the synopsis. But besides all that, this is yet another DC Superhero Girls movie and likely the last one before they switched styles yet again for the new Cartoon Network series. They have all been on the same level of quality with a large number of women heroes along with an overall message of friendship and acceptance. This one is no different and it includes Mera and her sister Siren for an underwater battle with a mere cameo from a teenaged Aquaman.
Justice League vs the Fatal Five
I’m a couple weeks into my 5-week trial of DC Universe and it’s a nice benefit that at least some of their home video releases are also being released on their streaming app the same day as their physical release date. I was a big fan of the Batman animated series as well as Superman the animated series but I fell out of cartoons before I was able to follow them to Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. And it was nice as it always is despite repeated assurances that he will retire the voice to see Kevin Conroy back as the voice of Batman along with the Justice League animated series voices for Superman and Wonder Woman. I had a few doubts considering that the last time they redid this style of animation was the disappointing Batman and Harley Quinn, but I’m pleased to say that they got things right this time around. There was still just a slight disconnect because they moved away from the kids series tone and brought it into a much harder PG-13 in terms of the violence and language, but it also just felt like a slightly more grown up version of the animated series, serieses, series’s, the multiple series. And as with every film I review, I will be discussing it in full so here is your spoiler warning.
#47: The Killing Joke
The Day The Clown Died?
We’re back and ready to review another superhero film. And we’ve already covered 3 Bat-related movies, so naturally we’re on to another one! But this one is the first animated film we’ve covered, so let’s see if it holds up to the others (not a particularly high bar, but still)! And this, more than any we’ve covered so far, will have SPOILERS. So fair warning.
I knew a bit about this story before I hit play. I’ve gained a fair bit of comic knowledge through general osmosis, be it from friends or the inter-webs. So I came into this film already knowing the ending. I also know that the backstory that we get for The Joker in this film has been one of many woven throughout the years, and as such is not definitive canon. However, for the critique of this film, we shall assume that what we were shown is what the directors intended to be the truth for their characters. So, let’s see what’s what.Read the rest of this entry
LEGO DC Superheroes: Aquaman Rage of Atlantis 2018
I’m continuing my Aquaman month here by watching yet another Aquaman movie, this time around I’m watching the animated LEGO movie that featured Aquaman last year. I’ve seen several of these animated LEGO movies and they’re all pretty similar to each other. They’re not quite as funny or impressive as the theatrical LEGO movies, but they have a similar humor and they also seem to introduce a fair number of lesser known DC comics characters which is always fun for someone like me who doesn’t have an in depth knowledge of the comics. This movie also starts off with the premise that Aquaman is a pretty useless superhero but by the end, the team accepts him. It’s pretty much the same quality as the other LEGO home video releases. It’s fun, but it’s not extraordinary.
As I continue my trial period for DC Universe, I noticed that they had the Aquaman pilot pseudo-spinoff from Smallville available to watch on there. And I also realized that even though it wasn’t a double length pilot movie, it does pass the 40+ minutes for my feature length requirement. And considering I recently watched the new Aquaman, I figured that I’d give it a shot. I was a fan of Smallville and watched it regularly through the first 7 or 8 seasons before dropping off just before the end. I remember hearing about this pilot when it was in the works but I never looked it up until just now. It has a surprisingly good cast in some of the minor roles and it also has someone who seems to be superhero pilot bad luck as Adrianne Palicki was in this failed pilot, the Wonder Woman failed pilot, and the Marvel’s Most Wanted Mockingbird failed pilot spinoff of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As far as the actual Aquaman pilot goes, it’s a fairly standard origin setup for a monster-of-the-week first season. It doesn’t really do anything special or interesting. It’s just the same old format with an underwater theme to it.
I’ve finally gotten around to the last big movie from last year that I hadn’t watched yet. The only ones I have left are some foreign, some indies, and still a few of the lesser marketed DC Animated movies. I wanted to see this one in theaters but it just didn’t quite work out for me. Despite that, I had high hopes for this as it has become the highest grossing DC movie ever, and from the word of mouth, I heard it was a lot of fun. It brought the color and humor back to the forefront of the DC movies. It’s also interesting as it’s more or less an origin story, but we’ve already seen this character in two different movies beforehand, one where he played a significant role. I had a lot of fun with it and I’m glad that I finally got around to watching it.
Legends of the Superheroes 1979
Batman’s 80th anniversary just passed yesterday and in celebration I finally gave in and signed up for DC Universe’s new streaming app with their 80 cents for the first month sale. The main reason why I wanted to get the app was to watch this DC oddity that I had heard about but never got around to watching until now. It’s not quite a movie, not quite a miniseries, but it’s a two-part TV special that honestly feels like DC’s answer to the Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s ultra-low budget, it feels like a sketch comedy show with superheroes, and it’s difficult to tell what they really wanted to do with this property. It’s one of the very few Hanna Barbera live action properties and was tied into the Superfriends cartoon, but they couldn’t use Superman or Wonder Woman due to their rights being tied up in other places at the time. It’s pretty much one of those so-bad-it’s-good, but it did catch a couple genuine laughs out of me.Read the rest of this entry