movies

Feeling cheated, robbed, and unsatisfied.

I was ready. I was the target audience. I have the disposable income. A life long Spider-Man fan, I own 606 of the 700 issues in this series and I named my daughter Parker Jane in tribute to the hero. Amazing Spider-Man was the last comic book series that I was buying faithfully. I wanted to love this issue and be excited for the next evolution. It was not to be. Marvel went deep into my pocket and left me unsatisfied.

What did I get for my $7.99? Let’s break it down and keep it spoiler free. The recent Doc Ock story was exciting and left me wondering how it would end in time for Superior Spider-Man to begin. The first chunk of the book is devoted to ending the Doc Ock thread but it was so slow and used the tired trope of “dead Ben talk” to push Peter back to life. This story also had multiple references regarding not hurting the cops. This was just crazy (even in a comic) considering the characters involved. The story moved and built to an enormous crescendo with no pay off. What is teed up instead is a year of stories with this new “Superior Spider-Man” being a jerk. Once the next movie is ready I am sure we will go back to Amazing Spider-Man and this nightmare will end.

The next feature in the oversized issue was very confusing. I kept going back and re-reading to see what I was missing. This made me frustrated and I didn’t care once the reveal came around. This story also made me realize that the Amazing Spider-Man I know will be back. Hey they kept Superman dead for over a year before bringing him back. The Black Cat feature was stylistically interesting but I felt it didn’t warrant a place in ASM #700. If it were Black Cat #700 then I would say yes, I want more Spider-Man for my Spider-Man dollars. The rest of the issue is filled with expanded house ads for the new Superior Spider-Man and an expanded letters page. In the end I felt like John Malkovich at the end of Rounders when he taunts Matt Damon. Save your $7.99 and pick up Avenging Spider-Man 15.1 for $2.99. You’ll get the same story without all the wasted paper.

Money Is The Best Super Power

Everyone knows the best super power is to be rich! These two box office stars can prove it. With all the Stark and Wayne money these two trust fund princes inherited, who do you think is the best super hero?

Comment below with who would win!

Don’t Fear Change: Embrace The Mouse

As the Lucasfilms purchase by Disney hit the various feeds I read, I was SHOCKED. This is the biggest entertainment news of the year, at the very least. Disney coupled the announcement of the sale with the release date for Star Wars Episode VII in 2015. At first, I couldn’t believe that George Lucas, whose issues with large corporate studios are well known, would make this deal. Had the film maker sold out one of our most scared cultural landmarks? Would these new owners “Disneyfy” something so important to so many? These were my gut reactions for the first few minutes. Then I came back to reality.

articles lucasfilms movies

The Emperor – Lucas

Lucas built Skywalker Ranch to stay away from the Corporate Hollywood movie making paradigm that he helped change. It didn’t take him too long, however, to create his own empire which closely matched the same level of control that the studios he left had. The only difference was that, this time, he was the Emperor. He’s never had a problem with the system; he just didn’t like answering to anyone else. Lucas and Lucasfilms have made huge impacts on the Entertainment industry with contributions beyond just films. Industrial Light and Magic alone is one of the most important institutions of the past half century to movie making. Don’t forget that Pixar started out of Lucasfilms before Steve Jobs picked it up and then sold it to Disney (more on that later). LucasArt, THX, and other subsidiaries all spun in different directions and flourished within the larger corporation of LucasFilms. Lucas has long been an empire builder but, without creative heirs, he had to make a decision.

disney princess movies

Jedi Council – Disney

If you look at what Walt Disney built in his lifetime it parallels George Lucas’s achievements considerably. Creating art away from the traditional studio system while maintaining an empire supported by the merchandising is both of their stories. Walt Disney’s legacy lives on today due in part to his heirs ability to shepherd projects and diversify their portfolio. They have the means to continue Lucas’s work indefinitely. For a creator, that is a very important trait. The wisdom of those running Disney of late is easily seen in how they have treated their recent transactions. Let’s touch upon a few:

Pixar - Three of Pixar’s films—Finding Nemo, Up, and Toy Story 3—are among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time. In addition to that, critical reaction to the majority of their films is also remarkably high.

Muppets - Before Disney was able to right the ship, this franchise was dieing. The extremely popular movie and integration of the characters back into the pop culture was big win.

Marvel - I was more afraid of what this purchase would do to the publishing end of Marvel when I first heard about this deal. 3 years later and there has yet to be any major impact to editorial. We were also treated to the MEGA hit Avengers movie with many more films scheduled to come.

Old Republic

Sure, we have no idea what new management will bring to Star Wars as well as the Indiana Jones Franchise (let’s not forget about that!). We can look at some of what would generally be considered missteps of Lucasfilms under the creator himself…

  1. Star Wars Holiday Special – Even Lucas won’t mention this one any more.
  2. Ewok Movies – Caravan of Courage and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor were made.
  3. Revisionist History – Everyone knows – HAN SHOT FIRST!
  4. Midiclorians – THIS should have been the point where Star Wars was forcibly taken away from Lucas.
  5. Shia Labeouf – HE gets to be Indy’s son? Come on!
  6. Aliens in Indiana Jones – I believe South Park described what Lucas did to us with this one.
  7. Digital Jabba – He looked terrible.
  8. JAR JAR BINKS – Nothing more needs said.

harrison ford indy movie

A New Hope

I believe the current Disney regime is owed the benefit of the doubt here. They have a history of buying things that already work and instead of trying to improve on the recipe, they just utilize their access to higher quality inrediants. This isn’t a small mom and pop indie film company being bought out by an evil corporate overlord looking to ruin what made it special. This is just the case of a large media machine being bought out by a larger one. Both companies operate very similarly and now they should have the best of both. I’m ready for new Star Wars movies just as long as they are treated as well as the other properties Disney has recently purchased. I’m going into this next movie with the optimism I went into the Phantom Menance with. There’s no way I could be that betrayed again…right?

Best of the Year, So Far

Every year at the theater I work at we start to dwell on the year and its hits and misses in the movie world. The best part about when we do this is each of us has are own taste that is unique to each other, sure we agree with each other on the obvious ones like The Avengers or we disagree with each other on something like Cabin in the Woods or The Dark Knight Rises. So I figured why not share my thoughts on this years hits and misses so far, plus also give you a look into what is still to come. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on the movies that I thought to be hits this year. Enjoy this short list of films to catch the rest of the year as well. I plan to redo this list at the end of the year so think of it more as my Oscar contenders list and thoughts.

The Good

1.The Avengers: This one should come as no surprise to anyone. I loved this movie so much I ended up seeing it 5 times in theaters. This was something I was looking forward to since I first saw the post credits clip at the end of Iron Man. When I first saw this I was just blown away by how well of a job Joss did on this. I’m happy he will be doing the sequel and working with Marvel on the rest of their projects. The main reason this is number 1, in my book, is I love how this film captures what I was reading on a strip a year ago with its near perfect capture of its characters. I can easily go on and on about how great this movie is, but I feel actions speak louder then words at times. With that said, if you have not seen this please do yourself a favor and go watch this ASAP.

 2.Moonrise Kingdom: I put this at number 2 because this is one of the best stories of the summer with all its quirkiness. It has it all: young love, a bit of action and great humor. This movie is Wes Anderson at his best. I foresee this movie making a run for the Oscars in a few areas. It should be included in the nominees for the best original screenplay and maybe a best supporting nod from many of the cast members. I place this at number 2 because it was one of the best stories this summer. I urge you all to catch it on DVD or, if you are lucky, at a theater that might still have it.

3.The Cabin in the Woods: Meta at its finest is about the best I can say about this film without giving much away. Directed by the man who wrote Cloverfield and co-wrote with Joss Whedon, these two make a great team and help deliver one of the better horror films of the year. Now some of you, who have seen this film, will claim it is not horror and that it is nothing but pure comedy. Well its both. I would love to share more about this but I would give away the twist that makes this movie great. The best I can say is if you are a fan of Joss and his writing then please check it ASAP.

4.The Hunger Games: It is very rare that when a book is made into a movie that stays true to its source material, or is even lucky to get the author of said book to work close with the making of the movie. I thought this film did a great job of sticking with the book while changing a few things in order to make it work on the big screen. This movie was great for Jennifer Lawrence who was already on my radar, I say this because it shows me she is going to have a bright long future in the industry. I hope everyone gives this a chance and does not call it a Battle Royal rip-off because there is a lot more going on in this movie and the book it comes from. When you do get around to watching this, give the book a go first, don’t worry the book is not Harry Potter size and you should be able to get it done with in a week or so.

 

5.Magic Mike: Yes that is right a movie about male strippers is my number 5. Now lets get on thing straight there is a lot more of a story here then one would think. Sure most women went to see this movie only for the enjoyment of seeing a man shake his ass half-naked. But in reality this movie is about a man who does not want to live this life any more and hopes to get more out of it by leaving and following his dreams. The best part of this movie is it showed me the Channing Tatum is a very talented actor and not just a face for women to look at on the screen.

6.The Grey: This one came out early in the year and I must say it was a pleasant surprise because that season is normally filled with nothing but crap. The Wolves might have been depicted in the wrong manner but that is not the point of this movie. The point of this movie is the struggle of man while alone and almost no chance of survival in the most extreme conditions. I highly recommended this based on the performance from Liam Neeson alone.

7.The Dark Knight Rises: I, personally, did not like this movie, but I will not knock great film work when I see it. I will not get into why I didn’t like this movie (f you would like to hold that talk with me , catch me on Skype). Now on to why this movie is at 7 and not higher on my list. When I was going into this movie I was like “Well how is Nolan going to top The Dark Knight and tackle the box office hulk that is The Avengers?” While I enjoyed his take on Bane and the whole occupy Gotham idea, I believe he was trying to put too much into the end. I feel the movie ran a tad too long and just had minor issues that kept holding it back. Plus it was also lacking that amazing performance of Heath Ledger. Fans of Batman or Nolan should check out this movie for yourself to make your own decision.

8.Judge Dredd: Just pure amazing fun. I know this came out only a few days ago… but dear god was it a blast to see! It had a very simple story with loads of action and gore right from the start and it did not let up except for two moments. This movie felt like an honest to god great 80′s action flick. Think Robocop in terms of the gore and action just not as excessive as when Murphy got blown to bits…but close. When you go to see this, I ask that you catch this in 3D. Why you ask? Well because its even more awesome in 3D! That’s why.

9.Ted: Do you like Family Guy? Did you find yourself saying yes to that question? If so that means you will most likely find yourself liking Ted. This movie is easily the best comedy of the summer and maybe the year (still waiting on “This is 40″). Seth MacFarlane’s first feature film just makes me want to see what he will do next. Mark Wahlberg still keeps amazing me with ability to thrive in comedy based roles. Please check this out if you want a good laugh or are just a fan of Seth and want to see what he did in his first film.

10.ParaNorman: This movie came and went at the theater I work at with a whimper , which is very sad for I found this to be a nice treat to end the summer on. The movie is a great coming of age story about a boy who is different then the people around him due to the fact he can speak to the dead. I would like to share more but that would go into spoiler territory. The most I can ask is when this hits DVD please pick it up or maybe rent it. I ask this because its a fun movie for both kids and adults so please check it out.

11.Expendables 2: Simple mindless fun, I really don’t think I need to say more then that about this film. Only issue this movie has is it struggles to find enough screen time for the massive cast that is in this movie. Check it out if you love anyone in the cast or you just want to turn your brain off for a bit.

12.Looper:  One of the best time travel movies I have seen in a very long time (since 12 Monkey to be exact). My praise goes to everyone involved in the movie for it seemed like everyone brought it in the acting department & director/writer did a great job with his story telling. The movie is very simple in terms of the story. It’s the meaning behind each look or movement that the actors give that helps sell this amazing story. I urge you to see this soon (seeing as it is the best movie out right now).

13.The Amazing Spider-Man: I enjoyed this for two reasons: 1. I love Spider-Man & 2. I LOVE Spider-Man! No one should be turned off of this movie because it’s a reboot. I say this because the movie did so many things right that the previous 3 missed out on. One gripe with the movie that I and others have is the re-telling of the origin story so soon. Another problem people have is how the Lizard looked. What did work was Emma Stone as Gwen & Andrew Garfield as Peter. I thought these two where perfect onscreen together. Also, let’s not forget the amazing job Martin Sheen did as Uncle Ben. While this movie was not near perfect; it showed a lot of promise and I cant wait to go see the sequel.

14.MIB3: It was better then the second but not nearly as good as the first. The most I will say about this movie is it has a fun simple story that ties all the other ones together in a fun way and makes you care a tad more about the characters as a whole. The best way to go about seeing this is to most likely rent if from Redbox or just barrow it from a friend or the Internet.

15 . Prometheus: I found this movie to be a tad long in a few areas and it took me two trips to the theater to actually find myself fully enjoying. What worked with the movie was the mystery about what was going to happen and the hints to Alien movies.  The best thing this movie had is it’s great cast who help pick the story up when it seems to be moving a bit slower then it should. I cant really tell you much about the story for that would go into heavy spoiler territory which I will not do unless otherwise stated. I say watch it only out of respect for both Mr. Scott & the Alien franchise. The one thing this movie did do for me is remind me that I truly miss fun space movies whether it is Star Wars or Aliens

Well this was my list of movies for the year so far. I hope you enjoyed it. Even if you didn’t, I’m still happy you took the time to read it. I should have Part 2 up shorty seeing as I have to sit and think about what was really trash and what was borderline (Example: Battleship was trash and John Carter was borderline). So keep an eye out for that and any other article I have up in the near future. As an added gift, I made a list of some upcoming movies people should see before the year is over.

The Upcoming

A quick list of movies coming out the rest of the year everyone should checkout.

  • Looper :9/28

  • Frankenweenie: 10/5

  • Taken 2: 10/5

  • Argo: 10/12

  • Seven Psychopaths: 10/12

  • Cloud Atlas: 10/26

  • Wreck-It-Ralph: 11/2

  • The Man with the Iron Fists: 11/2

  • Lincoln: 10/9

  • Red Dawn: 10/21

  • Silver Linings Playbook: 10/21

  • Killing Them Softly: 10/30

  • The Hobbit: 12/14

  • Zero Dark Thirty: 12/19

  • This is 40: 12/21

  • Django Unchained: 12/25

It’s the End Of The World As We Know It!

…and we feel fine. We talk about post apocalyptic movies, comic books, and TV shows this episode with guest, Mikey Wood. Some of our favorites are Kamandi, Y The Last Man, Planet of the Apes, The Walking Dead, event Waterworld…and a bunch more! What makes this genre so appealing? Why do WE like these stories?
You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out.

walking dead y the last man kamandi

We will have the show notes up for this episode soon. We’ll include links to the stories we reference and more.

Listen to us on iTunes

As always, it helps us a lot in the iTunes rankings when you rate, review, and subscribe to us. Help us grow this little community we started here.

Listen and/or download to the episode here

I Love SUPERMAN RETURNS.

I refuse to ever apologize for this love because it is a good and pure love.

It’s a passionate love, as well. The kind of love that causes me to be angered when people defile it. The kind that causes me to have to suppress my desire to take up arms and mount a full-on attack on those who dare say one harsh word.

See, for me, SUPERMAN RETURNS wasn’t just a movie. It was a lesson taught. Visual catharsis. Some movies, like the recent AVENGERS film, are meant to do one thing and one thing only: to entertain. And that’s fine, when it works (like the aforementioned AVENGERS) and awful when it doesn’t (like, oh, I dunno…BATTLESHIP). There’s nothing wrong with entertainment for entertainment’s sake and, in a way, even Michael Bay’s insipid TRANSFORMERS movies succeed on at least that level enough so that I own them on DVD (purchased used for under ten dollars. Don’t judge me.), and I dare say that AVENGERS is no more intelligent a film than Bay’s red-hot robot-on-robot ballets of property damage and it’s simply just that nerds like Joss Whedon more because, well, he doesn’t conduct himself like an utter d-bag. I’m digressing and, perhaps I’ll address that subject in a later piece.

Anyway…

I saw the original SUPERMAN with my father in 1979. This was one of the few times my father and I did…well…anything…together without butting heads. See, you need to understand something about my father: My father was an incredibly exhausted and unhappy man. He was exhausted because he worked two full-time jobs to keep a roof over his family’s heads (and, as we would find out after he passed away, to keep a handle on his well-kept secret gambling addiction) but as to why he was so unhappy, well…none of us really know. There are ideas: Mom wasn’t the kind of wife he wanted, life waasn’t the kind of life he wanted. I knew that I wasn’t the kind of son he wanted. He wanted a sporto and I was a comic book nerd. I tried the sports thing: Football, baseball, lacrosse, deck hockey. I was terrible at them. TERRIBLE. But I loved comic books. And I was GOOD at comic books.

But, in 1979, I wasn’t in as deep into the comics as I would eventually be. I had some ARCHIES and CASPER and LITTLE RED HOT. I had sneaked a peek at some of my Uncle Wayne’s copies of HEAVY METAL and FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS but I had yet to move on to the G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS comics that would be my introduction to the concept that comics were ‘periodicals’ and, furthermore, I had yet purchase the comic that would “change my life” (BATMAN SPECIAL #1 written by Mike Barr with art by Michael Golden which, again, I will discuss at a later date). But I loved Superman. I was addicted to the repeats of the 50′s ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN television series that would air during the day on New York’s WNEW-TV channel 5. I know exactly where I was when Elvis died in 1977: I was watching George Reeves’ Man of Steel in glorious black and white on a television screen the size of a microwave window. I know this because it was interrupted for the special news bulletin that the King of Rock n’ Roll had been found dead on his bathroom floor in Memphis. Even as a kid I loved Elvis but, hell, man, you couldn’t have waited TEN MINUTES until the end of the episode?

I was also addicted to Hanna-Barbera’s SUPERFRIENDS cartoons. Every Saturday morning I thrilled to the adventures of all of my favorite heroes (I have been and will always be much more of a DC fan than a Marvel fan) so when I learned that there was going to be a SUPERMAN movie, well, I was incredibly excited. I’ll never forget that day. It was late January, 1979. When we got to the theater, the early matinee show had been sold out (which, considering the movie was released about a month earlier, should tell you of its popularity) so we had to wait for the next but dad slipped the guy at the ticket booth some extra dough so we could sneak in and sit on the floor in the back of the theater. Back then movie theater floors were actually cleaned after every show so we didn’t end up with our asses in puddles of soda and discarded popcorn. And I didn’t mind not having an actual seat and I didn’t mind how crowded the theater was (both things which, today, would make me incredibly cranky). I loved my father and I loved Superman and to have them together was an incredible thing for six-year-old me. And it was so good. So, so good. I’m not going to go into detail about HOW good Richard Donner’s original SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (as it was called) is.You should know that. If you think otherwise, more power to ya’, but you’re wrong, you have no soul and I pity you.

No…This is about a film that would debut some twenty-seven years later…

I saw SUPERMAN RETURNS in San Francisco on June 28, 2006, four days after my 33rd birthday. Thirty-three. The age, if you believe in this sort of thing, of Christ’s death and resurrection. My father had been dead for nine years. I had harbored a lot of resentment toward my dad. Once I hit high-school we barely communicated at all. He was a conservative with prejudices against blacks, or Indians, or Asians or…well, anyone who wasn’t white, and I was a combat-boot wearing liberal U2 fan with long hair and black eyeliner. Once I hit college, though, he started to ease up and would actually get in his car after a day of work and drive out to Pittsburgh to visit me. He started to see people as people and not skin colors. He began to understand the way the world really worked just in time for Cancer to take him at the age of 49 in September of 1997. In short, he died just as he was getting interesting. I think I was angry at him for that. For dying just as we were getting to know each other.

As I sat in the theater and watched Bryan Singer’s beautiful film I was awed by how it was photographed, the music, the sets, the costumes…everything. While newcomer Brandon Routh’s portrayal does owe a lot to Christopher Reeve (which is fine, considering Reeve perfectly embodied the role) he managed to make the role his own. He was Superman. MY Superman. The one I loved so much as a child and continue to love today as an adult with a child of his own. I like my Clark Kent bumbling. I like my Man of Steel stoic and, in some ways, romantic.

As New York Press writer Matt Zoller Seitz recently discussed in his wonderful video essay “Deep Focus: Superman Returns – Angel of America” ) the story of SUPERMAN RETURNS is about ‘letting go’. Bryan Singer himself has said it’s about “what happens when old boyfriends come back into your life” and that makes a lot of sense when you watch the film. Superman comes back from years away (in space, searching for the remnants of his home planet) to find a Lois Lane that has moved on with her life, while still harboring hurt and anger at his leaving without an explanation. This detail seemed to rub people the wrong way. “Superman would never do that,” they say, “he would never abandon us.”

What they don’t understand is that Superman left because he needed to leave. Despite the fact that he’s as ‘American as apple pie”, Superman isn’t from here. He’s from Krypton. He is the only one (ignoring 1984′s truly dreadful SUPERGIRL film). He’s an orphan. If there were a chance, even slightly, that there remain more of his people left in the galaxy, it is his responsibility to find out for sure. Wouldn’t you?

As a film, I enjoyed SUPERMAN RETURNS quite a bit. I even teared up in some places. Is it perfect? Not at all. But it was so very truly…Superman. But, more to the point of this article, it helped me to let go. To let go of any anger I may have had toward my father and to understand that he left me not because he wanted to, because he had to. It helped me to remember that moment in ’79 when my dad looked over at me and said, “Hey…Let’s go see Superman.” and to hold that close to my heart and forget all the rest. It was also about fathers and sons and the legacy that you leave behind. It was unlike any ‘comic book movie’ we had seen and, probably, will ever see. And I loved it for that.

I, at my 33 years of age, died in that theater and was resurrected as someone who had learned to forgive and to let go, just as Superman symbolically died and was resurrected. The movie has heart and soul and, despite what naysayers decry, plenty of spectacle. But, sadly, too many people just simply didn’t ‘get it’. It was too “slow”. Too “emotional”. They said it was “boring” and “didn’t have enough action”. That’s fine. Let ‘em believe what they want. For me, and for many out there like me, it was wonderful.

I wish Snyder and company the best of luck on MAN OF STEEL. I look forward to it. But the chances of it having the heart and soul of SUPERMAN RETURNS and, more to the point, the chance of it having a deeply personal impact of THIS 39 year-old comic book nerd, are pretty slim.

Thanks for your time. My name is Mikey, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing again from me very soon.

Introducing Kyle Wells

Hope You Survive The Experience

polymath-anime-reviews

Polymath : a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable.

My name is Kyle Wells , I for a long time have like many things that span many different areas & cultures.  My strong suits would have to be anime, movies & TV, my knowledge of comics is OK and growing each day. I hope in the time to come writing for this website I can share with everyone the things I enjoy in life and hopefully things that you don’t even know about yet. The main area I hope to cover with everyone is anime & both cult film and current releases. I guess it helps I work at a theater which is nice because I hope to run a few contest and give away some of my posters that I have collected the past few years. Table top games like Magic The Gathering and Heroclix might make an appearance at some point not sure depends on if I have the time to focus on them more,

For my first article that will hopefully be done in the next week or so will be a anime piece that looks at the different terms & which one might suit you best, also look for a corresponding show with each one to. I then plan to review the new FMAB (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood) and it’s counterpart, the 2003 run of the show, which is vastly different . Something to else to look forward to: I plan on making a short 5-10 minute video showing off what ever DVD or Blu-Ray I might be looking at the time, same will go for video games. So here is nice quick list of things to come from me plus a look at myself and some closing words

  1. Anime terms & what they mean for you
  2. FMAB vs FMA(2003)
  3. FMAB Part 1 Blu-Ray Review
  4. Borderlands 2 CE un-boxing
  5. Top 10 summer movies & why
  6. Resident Evil: Retribution Review

A bit more on me as a person: The best I can say about me is that I love talking about the things I like with other people. So if you get me started on something good luck getting me to stop. I will just keep going till we switch to something else. Im currently going to CSU for journalism and communications, my goal is to be writing reviews for games or movies some where down the road. But till that happens I’m more then happy to share my thoughts on everything geeky with you guys. My personality is easy going, I’m apologizing in advanced I can be a sarcastic dick at times and I do not want anyone to take offense to that., other then that I’m easy going once I get to know people.

The final thing I wish to say is that I hope by sharing what I know with everyone they will be able to take just a bit of it and share it with someone else . I love the geek culture and the best way I can show it is writing so wish me luck . Big things come from small beginnings (that’s right I liked Prometheus).

To finish up Batman month here at Short Box Podcast, I want to talk about some Batman movies I really like, outside of the Christopher Nolan trilogy and some that I like that are just over looked.

Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero

Now I am sure by the title of this movie you can figure out who the antagonist is. In this movie from Batman: The Animated Series, Mr. Freeze is shown to have been living in the Arctic with his wife, Nora, who is still cryogenically frozen. He also has picked up a couple polar bears, but oddly enough he also found some small Inuit boy as well. When a submarine breaks through the icy floor, it breaks Nora’s containment causing here health to deteriorate. Freeze and his new family go to Gotham City where he is told by a doctor he enlists that Nora needs an organ transplant, but due to her rare blood type a donor is hard to find. When search for available donors, Victor learns that Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) share Nora’s blood type and if he can’t get a deceased donor, then he’ll take a live one instead.

This isn’t my favorite movie out of the Bruce Timm Batman Animated Series, but it isn’t bad. If it wasn’t for Batman the Animated Series, Mr. Freeze would just be a common super villain that just robs banks and freezes things. This shows you that Victor Fries is not just your ordinary super villain. Freeze doesn’t just want to cause trouble, he wants to do anything in his power to save his wife and he wont let anyone stand in his way. This movie does a great job in showing you the true Mister Freeze.

Batman

I have a good feeling that everyone has seen the 1989 film, Batman, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Knicholson, directed by Tim Burton. Just in case you haven’t, the plot is really pretty simple. Gotham City has this super hero named Batman. One day batman is fighting the mob and accidently knocks mobster Jack Napier into a vat of chemicals that dye his hair green and turn his skin white, turning him into…The Joker. The Joker takes over organized crime in Gotham and starts reeking havoc leaving Batman no choice but to stop him.

This movie is just classic. This movie has a lot for everyone to enjoy. It has the cheese ball, corny stuff that people that read silver age comics can enjoy, plus it has the fighting an action that the new Batman fans can enjoy.

Batman didn’t have to be an origin story, which seems to be a running theme presently with superhero movies. Batmans origin is told by flashbacks, which is really all you need sometimes.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

This is one of my all-time favorite animated movies from Batman: The Animated Series. It has such an original story, but also tries to tie an origin story into it. Basically, a “Phantasm” is killing mobsters in Gotham City and it up to Batman to figure out who the Phantasm is and stop them.

One of my favorite parts of this movie is the theme music. You can listen to it by clicking here. Basically it’s the theme to the cartoon show, but with a twist. This version of the song gets your blood pumping way before the movie ever starts. There are also a lot of twist and turns that I love. Mask of the Phantasm is just a fun, very original, Batman story that every Batman fan should see.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

Now I know that this is “technically” not “the” Batman, but this is a great movie. Return of the Joker takes place during the Batman Beyond cartoon series. If you aren’t familiar with Batman Beyond, it takes place in the future where Bruce Wayne has retired. Bruce employs teenager, Terry McGinnis, to be his assistant but to really be the new Batman.

At the beginning of the movie, Batman fights a gang of Jokerz (Jokerz are actually the name of a gang in future) who are stealing high-tech machinery. You later learn that the Jokerz are being lead by the Joker himself. The Joker public announces his return at a Wayne Enterprise press conference where Bruce is about to take full control over his company again. After you see the Joker, Bruce says that he doesn’t believe that it was really him because he saw the Joker die, but he still asks Terry to return the Batsuit.

This is actually a really “dark” movie. It’s funny, but I actually own an uncut version of Return of the Joker, but original saw the censored version. One of the darkest parts of the movie is when they show you how the Joker dies and why Tim Drake quits being Robin.

I highly recommend watching the Batman Beyond series first to understand the characters better, but do no pass this movie up. You’ll love it!

Well that’s a few Batman movies that I think everyone should watch. Some of these movies are not on BluRay yet, and I am not really sure if or when they will, but they shouldn’t be hard to find at all.

-Adam Russell