Monday, August 1, 2016

The Killing Joke

This really kills me but I did not like The Killing Joke.

Oh, not the graphic novel which is excellent, not the whole movie, In advance I'd like to apologize for my rants and anger, but I take issue with this movie. Now this is an R rated movie and I think subject material like The Killing Joke deserves an R rating, so be advised it is not for anybody under the age of at least 17. But that is not the issue, the issue is the first half, or at least I'm pretty damn sure the first half because I didn't time it but whatever, has nothing to do with the graphic novel. It's backstory to make the events of The Killing Joke more impactful and disturbing to view, and in the book no such thing existed and it was for the better! I hate this backstory bullcrap! It kinda pisses on the lore but also is actually part of the lore, so basically Batman and Batgirl are the only superheroes in Gotham, there's no Robin but they fight crime together...but are also in a relationship. I do not hate the idea but the film takes it too far for me, you hear about it in the Batman Beyond series where Barbara talks about dating Bruce for a short period and I rolled with that! But they ruined it for me, I saw so much coming ahead even though I have never seen this material before in this movie, it's so God dang predictable and stock! The backstory didn't need to be this long damn it, it should have been 10 to 15 minutes of pretty much a montage of how good a team Bruce and Babs were together, and that they loved and cared about each other. But instead they drag it out to about 30 minutes of crap, where they bicker, and argue, and fight only to have makeup sex on a fraking rooftop!!! I hate this. I hate it with a passion. It's so contrived and it just feels wrong in so many places. Why did it have to be this long?! Just set up a bit of character arc and move on with the damn story! But once the REAL Killing Joke goes underway, shock of all shocks, it's great! Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill nail it, it may not be their absolute best performances in the Batman universe but damn does it do justice to the story. The animation style is kind of hard to explain, it doesn't look like any other Batman animated movie or series. It looks good but looks a bit too cartoony in some places. The music is very Bernard Hermann-esque with heavy strings and moody and tension filled pieces, so I enjoyed that. There's one scene I absolutely have to mention, that's pretty much like one great big easter egg with Batman in the Batcave and he pulls up the Joker's file which includes several pictures, all of which are taken from the decades of potrayals of the character. You see the comic version from the 1940s, you see Cesar Romero's Joker disguised as Pagliacci just like in the Adam West series, and even Heath Ledger's Joker when he's in the jail cell at GCPD! I friggin' loved that with one tiny issue. The last picture is a picture of a toy factory used as a hideout by the Joker, and it is a straight up screenshot of his hideout in the Batman Beyond movie Return Of The Joker. No difference. How does he have that? Unless it's a repeat hideout for him, I ain't buying it Bruce! That doesn't happen until you're like 80 or something like that. Jesus Christ, I am so torn between this movie. I am borderline schizophrenic over it, the first half is garbage with a few good parts, and the second half is great with a few bad parts. I don't even know if I would buy it. I want you to think about that for a second! Me, the Dark Knight nerd that would, should, and could ever be is seriously considering NOT buying this. I am not even honestly sure if I can recommend it! What is this?? This mess of garbage and greatness, teaming fanfiction a 16 year old would write with Alan fraking Moore!!! I'm gonna need a minute. To tell you the truth, the best part of the entire movie is literally the last scene. You know how sometimes you watch an animated something or other and you say to yourself, "These are people talking in a recording booth." and I cannot ever say that about the last scene. It is perfect. Perfect animation, perfect voice acting, just perfect everything. It is like the characters from the book leaped onto the screen. Sheer perfection. And I would recommend the movie just for that very last scene, but I beg of you please, please do not watch the first half. Skip to the actual Killing Joke segment. I implore you, I beg of you, do not watch that flashback trash because if you see it, it will taint you forever. I made a promise in that theater. Never again. Watch the movie if you like, but I don't think I can go back. Not to this anyway. And it's something I have to live with for the rest of my life. There is no going back, and it drives one to madness.

Until next time...

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