So, these come on 2 discs in separate clamshell cases, 5 movies crammed onto each at about VHS quality, but, hey, for 5 bucks, what the hell, right?
Well, I dunno how "classic", you could call some of these, or how big their cult is, but...eh, let's go over 'em.
Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
Okay, this really is a classic, and if all the others had been home movies of dogs taking a shit, I still would have grabbed the whole set to get just this for 5 bucks.
Still a bargain.
My prime motivating factor for getting the thing.
Prequel to "Dawn Of The Dead", and great-grandpappy of the zombie genre that still goes strong today.
Video quality is watchable, original film quality is scratchy, but the audio sync is a helluva lot better than the torrented* and burned one I made on my old laptop, so, I consider it an upgrade. (*Gimme a break, NOTLD is public domain).
Little Shop Of Horrors (1960)
A Roger Corman classic, the inspiration for the musical, and Jack Nicholson's first film.
The second one I got the whole set for.
This one saddened me the most, I dig the film, but it was clearly transferred from a shitty VHS copy with repeated watery tracking errors.
Watchable, but only because I'm fucking stubborn.
Carnival Of Souls (1962)
I've always heard the name floating around, and it's got a strong cult, including a lot of famous directors that were inspired by it.
I'm....not in that cult.
It's interesting as hell to look at, but....can't say it had me hopping around in my chair with glee or nothin.
Dreamy, and pretentious.
That's my quickie assessment.
Oh, of course, this one played perfectly.
As crisp as arctic air.
No, not the 80's one with Tom Savini getting his face blown off, and the cameo by Sharon Mitchell.
I was hoping it was that one too.
No, this is this weird mess from the 30's, and it has gore and tits!
A guy eats a cat's eyeball, some broads get fondled, it's like Sean S. Cunnigham hopped into a time machine!
Alternate title is/was "Sex Maniac".
Even with the historical curiosity factor, goofy and cheesey as hell though.
If MST3K never did this one, they're slipping.
Nope, not the classic 1978 one that the new 3-D reboots owe their lineage to.
This is some other fuckin' mess.
More so-bad-it's-funny stuff, and the only one of the set that's in color.
A wilderness guide turns out to be a psychopath, and he keeps fucking winning.
Burns houses, rapes the heroine, murders, and oh....you never really see the fucking piranha!
One already-killed good-guy gets fed to them, and you just see the water get all stirred up.
That's it, one scene.
No actual piranha onscreen.
It's really about the loony guide.
Um, amusing once, don't think I'll be watching it again.
The inspiration for "Night Of The Living Dead", therefore, the great-great-grandpappy of the zombie genre.
Fortuitous that they were both in this set.
The third reason I grabbed the set.
House On Haunted Hill (1959)
A William Castle classic, and another Vincent Price!
The fourth reason I grabbed the set!
You've got Vincent Price being all Vincent-y and Price-y, and, you've got an acid bath in the finale.
What's not to love?
The Bat (1959)
Another Price one, but pretty cheesey.
Some corny thing off of 50's TV, it kinda plays like an ancestor to "Murder She Wrote".
The killer, "The Bat", is interesting though, a guy with a clawed glove, kinda the prototype for Freddy.
Wonder if Wes Craven ever saw this as a kid.
White Zombie (1932)
The first zombie movie period.
First to have zombies, first to use the word, first to have the word in the title.
So, before "Night Of The Living Dead", before "Last Man On Earth", this is the great-great-great-grandpappy of zombies.
And, of course, it's the flick Ed Wood and Lugosi watch together in "Ed Wood".
Finally, it's the fifth reason I got the set.
The Devil Bat (1940)
Another Lugosi, and so bad, it's hilarious.
Lugosi tinkers with the chemistry of bats, so that they grow to eagle sized proportions, then makes a pheromone aftershave lotion that attracts the bats to his intended victim's necks.
We spend the rest of the flick waiting impatiently for the dopey detectives to figure this out.
Also, the giant bat is the fakest fuckin' thing you ever saw.
Horror flicks took a long time to get bats right.
Even in the 70's and 80's they still didn't have it worked out.
Anyway, a pleasant surprise.
So, that's those.
I got quintuple my money's worth.
5 true gems, 2 ironic howlers, 2 curiosities, and only one sorta-dud.
Not bad at all.
You never get value like that these days.
I think I can go ahead, and call that a boon.
I'm not doing an episode-by-episode breakdown, cuz, well, it's all one continuing arc, so, it's all awesome.
Up there with Watchmen.
After I was done, I skimmed through the other seasons on Wikipedia, and yeah, they ruined everything immediately, stick to season 1.
Heh, finally caught the Stan Lee cameo this time around.
Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut
Took me about 3-4 days to chew through it all.
Has the director's cut with "Tales Of The Black Freighter", spliced in, 2 commentaries, all the documentaries, and "the complete motion comic".
Your brain will feel stuffed when you're done.
Mine came all mangled by a box cutter, or something.
Ah well, it's still pristine inside, and the movies play.
Reviewed the flick already.
Commentary was average.
Hero At Large
DVD was plain vanilla, just the flick.
Ditto "Hero At Large".
Plus, the case was lost, it came in a burner-CD case.
I have spare cases though, and printed the artwork, so, it's all good.
The Dark Knight Rises
Bonuses are sparse on the one I've got.
They're putting all the really good goodies on the Blu-Rays to force me to convert.
Kiss my ass.
Justice League episodes/telefilms.
Gotta watch these again.
Only bonuses are trailers for future flicks which are out by now.
Justice League video movies.
The live-action JLA movie is riding on the LOTR level success of "Man Of Steel".
What's with this conditional bullshit?
WB ain't broke, they've got all that fuckin' Harry Potter money.
Anyway, with or without, we've still got these babies.
Gotta watch "All-Star", again soon.
"Doomsday", has a scratch that scrambles the documentaries at the end.
Ah, well, at least the main flick and the commentary work okay.
Nothing new to report.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2
Bristling with bonuses.
This is how you do it.
Never got sick of it, I think I love it exactly as much as "Evil Dead 2".
Shit, I could watch it again right now.
Wow, these were cheesier than I remember.
Still fun though.
Plain vanilla DVD though.
Flicks like this scream out for a snarky/jokey commentary.
Donnie Darko/ S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale
Both of these were bursting with bonuses.
So, that's good.
However, "S. Darko", is as loathsome and soul-sapping as its reputation.
If you get it in a double-pack, burn it.
If you buy it on its own, you need your head examined.
The one plus, it it made me appreciate the original all the more.
I Spit On Your Grave
I spiraled into a pretty fevered foaming rant about it last time, so, the flick itself is damned well covered.
DVD has two commentaries, one by the director, one by Joe Bob Briggs which I really loved.
Also, a documentary, and the usual doo-dads like posters and trailers.
The one downer, they shove the trailer for the remake in your face at the beginning, and that damned thing spoils the whole plot, so, if you get this, pound the fucking menu button to get by it before it starts up.
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Sci-Fi.
Yep, this is a nice set, with nice bonuses.
Only "Soylent Green", and "2001", have commentary.
I already had "2001", from my Stanley Kubrick collection though.
Still need "Dr. Strangelove", to complete that.
Oh, yeah, and back then, I said next up was DKR 2....
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns- Part 2.
Took longer than expected to get my goddamned hands on it, but, I got it here, and reviewed it here along with the whole Miller Trilogy.
So, that journey's done.
DVD had some nice extras, but infuriatingly, not the "Batman: TAS", episode "Legends of the Dark Knight", that I fucking wanted (only on the fucking Blu-Ray wouldn't you know), and that was the whole point of waiting that extra fucking month.
Buuut, it's a first-world problem, and I oughtta be grateful for what I got.
Ralph Hinkley, a special ed schoolteacher, meets FBI agent Bill Maxwell on a field trip to the desert.
Then, they encounter a UFO which tasks them with a mission, and gives Ralph a superhero costume with real superpowers.
But, Ralph loses the instruction manual.
Great pilot, a nifty little every-man superhero movie the likes of "Super", and "Hero At Large", in its own right.
And holy CRAP is Connie Sellecca a little hottie.
I kept exclaiming this throughout the whole rest of the show.
Excellent job by the producers making her a regular cast member, rather than a one time guest.
Oh, and Robert Culp is great too.
I've said elsewhere, wanna see new adventures of aging Han Solo?
Bill Maxwell's the same guy.
Oh, hey, yeah, "Carrie", had the same casting session as "Star Wars", so, in an alternate universe, Billy Katt could have been Luke.
Well, there you go.
Guest stars- Richard Herd (everything ever).
"The hit car".
Ralph's class prepares to do a Shakespeare play, while Ralph and Bill protect a female FBI informant.
..didn't stick to my memory.
Must have been mediocre.
Oh, quick random tidbit, one of Ralph's students is Michael Pare (from "Eddie and The Cruisers", "Streets of Fire", and "The Philadelphia Experiment".), and another is Faye Grant (from "V", and the episode "Slaves", from Hulk).
They're even in the main credits of every episode.
Guest stars- No one that rings a bell.
"Here's Looking at You, Kid".
Ralph is helping Bill find a top-secret military aircraft (that we'd call a drone today), Ralph discovers his invisibility power, Ralph's students get one of their own to run for class president, and Pam's (Sellecca), parents fly in to meet Ralph.
FBI agents, and Russian killers are after this couple for convoluted reasons, Ralph's students are disillusioned, and thinking of dropping out, Bill is given a lie detector test that he fails due to his adventures with Ralph, causing him to be suspended, and Bill comes up with a plan to solve the big FBI case to get himself reinstated.
Ralph involves his class to build up their self-esteem.
Guest stars- Alexa Hamilton (Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike), Kai Wulff (see "Just another three ring circus").
Ralp and Pam's plans are put on hold when Rhonda's (Faye Grant, see "The hit Car"), mother is kidnapped by Russian agents.
Ralph hangs up the suit after causing a near-tragedy, and Bill desperately needs his help to stop a robbery planned by corrupt cops masterminded by his old war buddy.
Ralph's reminded of his heroic responsibilities by The Lone Ranger.
Season 1 overall- Tricky to do, because even the "average", episodes are great because of the main cast. This show is more character than plot based, much like "Firefly", or "Tenchi Muyo", so, once the cast found their rhythm, and you fall for them as a viewer, the show has its hooks in, and you're a fan. So, from that perspective, the show maintains a pretty even keel across the board. This applies to all three seasons, IMO. Anyhoo, standouts include "The Greatest American Hero", "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys", and "The Best Desk Scenario".
"The Two-Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Fast Ball".
Arms dealers hurt a star baseball player in order to bet against his team, and Ralph uses the suit to win the game, blatantly using his powers for fame and gain.
This radically contradicts the aliens taking the suit away in "Greatest American Heroine", under similar pretexts.
But, the least said of that mess, the better.
Anyway, actually a pretty good episode.
A better baseball episode than Hulk's "The Phenom", that's for sure.
Guest stars- Markie Post (Night Court, Hulk), Mike Douglas (as himself), Bruce Kirby (Stand By Me).
The aliens come back, and flat out tell Ralph and Bill they have to prevent WWIII.
So, yeah, none of this penny-ante stuff as far as the aliens are concerned, Ralph and Bill are supposed to go for the gusto, and land the big fish.
Anyway, a general has gone all "Dr. Strangelove", and they have to stop him blowing up the world.
The title comes from the name of the US's plan to rain death on everything if Russia ever wiped us out, the mentality being "if you win, you'll rule over a cinder", hence, "spoilsport".
It's the automated system that's supposed to do this that the nutty general has hacked.
Anyway, really good one.
Guest stars- John Anderson (TNG, Hulk), Robin Riker (Get A Life).
"Don't Mess Around with Jim".
Ralph and Bill are kidnapped, and brought to an old millionaire (who's supposed to be dead) who knows all about the aliens and the suit, and needs them to get his will back from his crooked doctor.
Later, he reveals he used to have a suit, and he and his confidant operated as a team much like Ralph and Bill, but the power corrupted him, and he used it for personal gain, amassing his fortune and destroying his enemies with it, until finally, the aliens took the suit back.
He could tell them exactly how the suit works, but he tells them that not knowing is probably what keeps Ralph honest, and from ending up like him, and he's probably better off.
The operator of a Vietnamese prison camp hypnotized prisoners there into sleeper agents like "The Manchurian Candidate", and now, he's the CEO of a chain of Thai restaurants, and he's re-activating the agents for...I dunno, hi-jinks.
Also, Bill is accidentally implanted with a suggestion by a stage hypnotist which causes shenanigans.
Guest stars- No one who rings a bell.
"Just Another Three Ring Circus".
Bill is looking for a missing circus clown, and Ralph infiltrates the circus as a human cannonball.
Guest stars- Tony Cox (Bad Santa), Kai Wulff (see "Saturday Night on Sunset Boulevard").
"The Shock Will Kill You".
While rescuing a space shuttle, Ralph is electrocuted, and hyper-magnetized.
He spends most of the rest of the episode attracting all metallic objects.
The source of the massive charge turns out to be this extraterrestrial squid-ish blob monster that they keep scary by never letting you see all of.
On the one hand, it dances the edge of how much you'll buy into with this show, but, on the other hand...Ralph is a superhero, and super powered comic book heroes always fight a monster.
I liked it.
A decent fun episode that temporarily broke the formula, like "The Beast In The Black".
You wouldn't want 'em to do episodes like this all the time, or It'd become a kiddie show, but a couple times a season, why not?
Guest stars- Soap and guest star folk.
"A chicken in every plot".
Ralph, Pam, Bill, and Ralph's students go to Haiti, and run afoul of voodoo!
Ralph, Bill, and Pam go to Bermuda, Bill is trying to get Ralph to help him with a case, and Ralph believes in sea monsters, and wants to use the suit to find them.
Of course, Billy Katt would go on to star in "Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend ", about a lost dinosaur.
Eh, kinda goofy, but the sea monster stuff never derails the rest of it.
A really crappy fake sea monster head pokes out of the water at the very end.
You can kinda pretend it didn't happen.
Although, if they had the alien blob in "the shock will kill you", how can I really bitch?
Bill needs Ralphs's help looking out for a parolee who wants revenge, and Ralph is busy trying to help the dreams of his coworkers come true, starting with a janitor getting his board game sold to a toy company.
A really sweet one, and I liked the song.
Guest stars- Nicholas Worth (again).
"There's just no accounting...".
Bill is suspended for losing a kidnapping ransom, Ralph is being audited, and everyone in sight is harassed by the IRS.
A good 'un.
Guest stars- Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat from DS9, three episodes of Hulk). James Whitmore Jr. (again), Jerry Douglas (Mommy Dearest, Hulk, The Young And The Restless).
Ralph is tired of just going after criminals, and decides to try helping people, starting with helping a man who's being forced out of his home.
A man who plays a superhero for a hamburger chain discovers the stores are a front for drug dealers, and calls on Ralph for help.
One of my all time favorites.
Love, love, love it.
Probably mostly for the guest star (see below), but I happen to think it's a fun episode even if you don't know who he is.
Just fucking great.
Guest stars- Chuck McCann (Blinky and Pinky in "Pac-Man", Leatherneck in "G.I. Joe", The Beagle Boys in "Ducktales", Duckworth in "Ducktales", Baron Von Clawdeitz in "Ring Raiders", various voices in "Gummi Bears", Mayor Grody in "Toxic Crusaders", Dumptruck in "Talespin", Beefsteak in "Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes", various voices in "King's Quest 6", Blizzard in "Iron Man", The Thing in "Fantastic Four", The Thing in "The Incredible Hulk", (90's), The Thing in "Silver Surfer", The Ameoba Boys in "The Powerpuff Girls", and countless others).
"Who's Woo in America".
Ralph's mother comes for a visit, and she's engaged to a much younger man with a shady past.
Also, Bill is kinda crushing on her a little.
Guerst stars- Barbara Hale (Perry Mason), Tom Hallick (a buncha famous stuff I never watched).
"Lilacs, Mr. Maxwell".
Bill breaks Ralph into the FBI archives, and use his holographic vision to solve a bunch of cold cases.
This puts him on the radar of a female KGB assassin.
Guest stars- Dixie Carter (Designing Women).
Season 2 overall- Same rant as season 1. Standouts include "Operation Spoilsport", "Don't Mess Around with Jim", "The beast in the black", "Now you see it", and "Captain Bellybuster and the Speed Factory".
"Divorce, Venusian style".
Ralph and Bill get into a big fight, and Ralph quits, and leaves the suit behind.
Neo-Nazis gain possession of the suit, and critically wound Ralph.
The aliens come back, and fix Ralph, and give him another chance.
We see the aliens face to face for the first time, and, we're left to assume Ralph has extra lives, theoretically unlimited, with their medical technology for backup.
Of course, they brought Bill's dead partner back to life in the pilot, so, this was always a possibility.
They also give Ralph a new instruction manual.
When everything's back to normal, Ralph tries the manual out, and gains a shrinking power, but leaves the manual behind on a speck of sand, and loses it again.
Pretty good episode.
Oh, what the Hell, let's say, above average.
Guest stars- Dick Butkus, Bob Hastings (third time).
"This Is the One the Suit Was Meant For".
Ralph and Pam's relationship is in trouble, so Ralph convinces Pam to go on a vacation without Bill, or the suit.
Bill shows up with the suit anyway.
Guest stars- Eh, nobody who rings a bell.
"The Resurrection of Carlini".
Carlini, a magician, is though to be dead, and Bill is summoned to his will reading.
Another magician turns up dead, and it's realized the killer is still on the loose.
Eh, come on, the title gives it away, it's Carlini.
Freaky scenes of Ralph holograph-ing in on Carlini's fucked up memories.
It almost has a "Red Dragon", flavor to it.
Pretty grim stuff for family-friendly 80's TV.
I dig it.
The day of Ralph and Pam's wedding approaches, when what appear to be government agents show up claiming to know about Ralph's suit.
Guest stars- June Lockhart (again).
"Heaven Is in Your Genes".
Bill is believed to be dead, but after the funeral, Ralph still sees visions of him, and tracks him down to Mexico, where he's been kidnapped by a mad scientist who wants to see what makes him such a successful agent.
André the Giant plays the "monster", the scientist created with his gene splicing efforts.
Ralph fighting André is the closest thing to a Ralph vs. Hulk fight as you're likely to get.
Needs more André.
They save him for the very last couple minutes or so.
While foiling a plutonium heist, Ralph is exposed, and gains the power to mentally influence people.
Shenanigans ensue when he gets hooked on using it on Pam.
Fun, above average episode.
The premise allows for great character interplay.
Guest stars- Eh, no one that jumps out.
A hacker going by the handle "Space Ranger", is poking around in Russian satellites, and giving the info to the CIA.
Now, the KGB wants his ass.
"Space Ranger", turns out to be one of Ralph's students who accidentally ended up in the wrong class.
Nice little 80's time capsule of the pre-Bill Gates era, before the titans were titans, and just the class dweebs.
Would be average, except I personally dig the nostalgic accidental hindsight peeks at the future, and the hindsight-less haplessness of the young boomers.
Guest star- William Zabka (Stock jock asshole stereotype in Karate Kid, European Vacation, Back To School, etc, he's only in this episode for like, 3 seconds).
"Thirty seconds over Little Tokyo".
Ralph and Bill have to protect a Japanese guy from the Yakuza who are after his...disintegration raygun.
All right, I can buy into the aliens, and the suit, but the Japanese mob having a frikkin' raygun?
While all this is going on, Bill tries to keep his job, and Ralph tries (and fails) to get tenure.
Below average, but still watchable, and kinda dumb-fun.
An Arab prince disappears from the US college he's attending, and Bill and Ralph learn he was playing a game called "Wizards and Warlocks", (an obvious ripoff of D&D), and Ralph and Pam have to decode the byzantine rules of the game to find clues of his whereabouts along with the creator of the game himself.
Basically, the same comments I gave on "Space Ranger", being an 80's generational time capsule, except here, instead of computer geeks, we've got D&D geeks.
Guest stars- Bob Saget (Full House, How I Met Your Mother, The Aristocrats), David Paymer (City Slickers, Mr. Saturday Night, Quiz Show, Nixon).
"It's Only Rock and Roll".
A bomb threat is called on a rock band's private jet, and Bill has to protect the lead singer from a biker gang that feels he owes them a slice of his fortune...pretty much forever.
Eh, despite being yet another neat 80's time warp, average.
Written and directed by Robert Culp, and featuring his son.
Bill is invited to a Latin-American country to be honored as Man Of The Year for helping them establish a democratic government years before.
But corrupt treasonous forces close to Bill's friends want to topple that democracy.
Above average, a good one to go out on.
A shame that it did go, though.
Guest stars- Joseph Culp.
"The Greatest American Heroine".
A failed pilot for a reboot, that got folded into some syndication packages as an extra episode.
It's not included in the DVD set, and I'm thankful.
You can watch it on Youtube....but I'd strongly advise against it.
I only include it for the purpose of warning you off it.
Guest stars- N/A
Season 3 overall- Same rant as season 1 again. Standouts include "Divorce, Venusian style", "The Resurrection of Carlini", "Live at Eleven", "Space Ranger", "Wizards and Warlocks", and "Vanity, Says the Preacher".
The series overall, well, pretty much my review of the pilot, and my recap rant of season 1.
All the standouts-
"The Greatest American Hero", "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys", "The Best Desk Scenario", "Operation Spoilsport", "Don't Mess Around with Jim", "The beast in the black", "Now you see it", "Captain Bellybuster and the Speed Factory", "Divorce, Venusian style", "The Resurrection of Carlini", "Live at Eleven", "Space Ranger", "Wizards and Warlocks", and "Vanity, Says the Preacher".
And, all the "average", and "decent", ones are great too, because the show maintains an above-average average.
Well, I've finally seen the only two on that list I hadn't.
So, here we go.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Long stretches of boring until the very end, and then the cannibal scenes are very obviously faked.
The animal deaths were real, and those bummed me out, cuz, I like animals, and don't give a fuck about people.
Also, the filmmaker characters are assholes, and you're glad they're dead.
But, so is everyone else in the film (glad, that is).
Nope, didn't care for this one.
I'd put it in the same neighborhood as "Faces Of Death".
A Serbian Film (2010)
Okay, I guess content wise, this is "the sickest film of all time", but...only because everyone else is such fucking pussies that hold back.
I imagined shit like this for my cartoons fer chrissake, it's not like this stuff was never done.
Just someone finally got the balls to put it all in one flick at once, and film it.
The people that made this really didn't give a shit.
I can respect that.
Yeah, it gave me the willies.
I won't lie.
The gore I'm dead to, this one fucks with you morally.
That's why the inured Fango fans I spoke of last time are freaked out by it, it gets under your skin a little.
It stays with you for awhile.
But, I just look at it as a Greek tragedy.
Humans have been telling these stories for centuries, just western culture got all soft, and got out of the habit.
Would I recommend it?
If you're an endurance tester like me, yeah, go for it.
If you're a normal person, no, give it a miss.
It'll bum you the fuck out.
Comparing it to other films...gore and filth wise...it's about even with "Human Centipede 2", actually.
Except HC2 has dark humor, and ASF is just fuckin' depressing.
The photography in this thing is beeaaauuutiful though.
There are scenes with long bits of talking on a deck of a fancy restaurant at sunset that are just mouth watering. If you've ever taken a single photo with even a cheapo camera, you can appreciate how hard that must have been to get.
So, these folks know what they're doing, and they shelled out for good equipment, it's not a cheesey fleabag project.
The artsy-fartsy crowd might dig this.
I'm glad I saw it the once, but I wouldn't add it to my collection, no.
I anxiously await Tom Six topping this one with "Human Centipede 3".
I think he can do it.
I believe in him.
Anyhoo, nothing from my long-form rants from last time changes at all.
Nothing changes my mind on that.
So, that's it, that's all of 'em.
Nothing left, but to make my own filth, I guess...
So, Post-Crisis, it was opened up for the flagship characters to have a fresh coat of paint, and this effort by Frank Miller has stuck around as the definitive origin of Batman for a helluva while. Even in the face of "Batman Begins", it's still pretty sweet. If you're not the reading type, it's even recently had the animated adaptation treatment. Check that out. Although...if you're not a big reader, why are you even fucking reading this?
A page-by-page adaptation of the graphic novel. Fucking perfect. If you love the book, you'll love this, and vice versa. Easily my fave of the Batmans of this batch. Next year, at long, long, last "The Dark Knight Returns". Yes, finally. Finally. *Wipes a tear*
So, to summarize, the book inspired "Batman Begins", and stills holds its own up against it.
The movie nailed the book perfectly, so, if you like "Batman Begins", and what geek doesn't, you'll definitely enjoy this alterni-verse take of the story.
This actually came out before "Year One", but...I wanted to be all chronological-like to try to make a little more sense out of all of this. This is, like, the "Moby Dick", of comic books. Story is simple, a 50 year old Batman comes out of retirement to tackle an even darker, and decayed Gotham. Along the way, he fights Superman. The Batman/Superman friendship was never the same after this in the mainline titles, even though it was one possible future, and a dystopia to boot. Frank says in "Superheroes Unmasked", he proudly takes credit for breaking that friendship up. Anyhoo, this one is next up for an animated adaptation. I can hardly fucking wait. Edit- It's here!
Excellent. Gorgeous. Goosebumps. Like "Batman: Year One", they nailed it, it is the book come to life. Surreal seeing it play out..and not have it be surreal...it's exactly how my brain animated it all these 25 years every time I read it. Can't wait to have the marathon of Y1, and DKR1 and DKR2. That's gonna be a sweet afternoon/night. Only minor nitpick, there are little teensy nips and tweaks over bits of language, and story pacing, and getting information out of internal monologues, and out in the open in the action, but...so minor, as to barely be worth mentioning. The story is all there, the scenes are all there. Second disk features a touching documentary on the life of Bob Kane that to my mind, anyway, is easily the Batman companion to "Look, up in the sky!". You MUST have this. It's not even a question.
So, in summary, the book is the Moby Dick epic of not just Batman, but graphic novels period that inspired everything Batman from cartoons to movies for the past...almost 30 years, so, it's THE one the fans have been salivating for.
The first half of the movie nailed it pretty well with some mild divergences, and no real cuts that I could see.
And now, finally "The Dark Knight Returns Part 2".
The book (see DKR part 1).
Still great, but more divergences than in part 1, and some noticeable cuts.
The bit with Joker killing children with poison cotton candy was cut, but the general subplot wasn't, so, Joker is just giving out harmless cotton candy, and it makes no sense.
Part of me hopes those scenes don't exist, so they won't be milking us for an unrated cut.
Cuz, I've really had it up to here with this double-dipping shit.
Conversely, the David Endocrine murder scene is more dragged out and disturbing, possibly to make up for the cotton candy death.
Issues 3 and 4 of the comic that are the basis for part 2 are far more intense, they're where everything really ratchets up, so, this is the one we were really crossing our fingers on.
Did they drop the ball?
Mmm....some say "yes".
Given the massive frustrating compromises they had to make for "Batman Beyond: The Return Of The Joker", and the slow, careful, tortured buildup to more adult fare they've had to go through the last 20 years to even get up to this point, I really tried to rein in my expectations.
I was pleasantly surprised how much they were able to get in there.
The cotton candy was about the only blatant cut I really missed.
Gone was most of the full-on profanity.
The talking android dolls were foul-mouths in the comic, I was hoping for some of that to get in, but they didn't talk at all (I think, I don't recall any doll dialog).
The Batman vs Superman fight was dragged out with some extra stuff.
I didn't mind that.
It is a movie, after all.
The final Batman vs Joker fight seemed sped up, but...it's only slower in comic book time where things are frozen, and you get to linger.
In real time, it's how it would really look.
I dearly miss Batman's inner dialog though.
That might have paced it out right.
They didn't use any inner dialog in this one.
They inserted some of it as outer dialog, sure, but...."Year One", had inner dialog as narration, so I don't know why they couldn't have had it.
The bit where Superman gets fried by a nuke really needed the inner monologue.
I can't play that bit out in my head without it.
A friend of mine said he was let down by the Joker's performance.
Eh, he wouldn't have been my choice, but I thought he was okay.
Although, you want more than "okay", for a masterpiece.
But, that's the trouble, everyone's got their own movie in their head.
I certainly had one.
My Mutant Leader was scarier, my Joker was crazier, my Carrie Kelly sounded different, and so on.
But, despite the flaws, it gets all the big stuff right IMHO.
Batman is still badass, and a little crazy, Joker is still twistedly evil, I still love Carrie Kelly as my favorite Robin, I still love Ellen Yindel even though she's effectively "a bad guy", and, I still pity this version of Superman.
And, it's still the book that taught me to hate the US government, and cowardly little conformists. ;-)
Oh, okay, I already hated the latter with a fuming passion, and had a healthy distrust for the former just from the news.
Anyway, this movie is still that story.
And if you play both parts back to back, it's still one of the best superhero movies ever.
Up there with the Iron Mans, and Zach Snyder's "Watchmen", and yeah, even "Super".
And all three together are fuckin' Star Wars.
Does it stack up against the whole Nolan trilogy though?
Oooh, that's a tough one.
For my money, Nolans are still the best, by a nose hair, but yeah.
But, it's really apples and oranges.