The Lego Batman Movie review

the-lego-batman-movie-posterBack in 2014, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller directed The Lego Movie.  While the movie’s main character was an original creation named Emmet, Batman was featured heavily.  Voiced by Will Arnet, this take on Batman was incredibly goofy, while still being incredibly serious.

It was this absurd seriousness that many, including myself, greatly enjoyed about the character.  The grim seriousness you would find in a Frank Miller comic, only in a PG movie.  He was the gosh darn Batman.  But could that version of Batman carry his own movie?  Could a new director and writers capture the same magic that was found in The Lego Movie?  I say yes.  Here we have a movie doing two distinct things, and doing them well.

First, in no particular order, we have a parody and celebration of the history of Batman.  The movie opens with a gigantic action sequence, in which the Joker has gathered most of Batman’s villains.  And by most, I really do mean most.  Sure, there were all of the well known ones represented, but they dug deep into Batman’s Rogues Gallery to fill out the roster.  Name a Batman villain, and they are likely in this movie.  (more…)

Kevin Smith announces another film he may or may not make!

Hey, remember back when Kevin Smith movies were THE thing to be into to seem like you had your smart-ass sh*t together?

No?  Maybe you aren’t from my post-GenX, pre-millennial era of coming up.  Right around the time I hit college, the fab-four of Kevin Smith movies – Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma – were the go-to movies for showing that you knew what fun and intelligent was.  Sure, looking back, they’re rough, stupid, unwatchable and brilliant (IN THAT ORDER), but back then?  Amazing.  And then Kevin Smith wrapped the whole thing up with Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back, and the whole thing faded into the sunset.

Until he dipped into the well again for Clerks II, which itself is…certainly something else.

It’s been a long time since the Kevin Smith heyday.  Since then, he’s become somewhat of a…mixed bag…when it comes to his writing/directing projects.  There’s certainly a specific audience for Kevin Smith stuff, and perhaps I’ve become a bit jaded for it since I decided to move past my “screw the man, never grow up, poop is funny” phase.  You know…like a decade ago.

Anyway, there is always a bit of excitement, if for the sheer nostalgia, when Kevin Smith pops back up and says he’s about ready to dip again into the View Askew well.  There’s nothing like a “hey, what are they up to now” rehash of an old franchise, so when he came up a while back and said one of his oddly reviewed movies had funded Clerks III, it was excitement time.

But then time passed and nothing ever really came of it.  So then he popped up and said that he was definitely making Mallrats II with all of the cast involved and that they were ready to go!  And then nothing happened.

So, now, when he once again pipes up and says “Ok, now I’m making a Jay & Silent Bob II and this time I’m really serious!”, you have to take it with a grain of salt.  Sure you are, old fat man.  That’s adorable.  You go make your movie and tell us when you want to, you know, make it.

So what happened to the other two?  Well, Clerks III didn’t happen because “one of the four leads opted out”.  Assuming that the four leads were himself, Jason Mewes, Brian O’Halloran and Jason Anderson, it was probably one of the latter two that said ‘enough is enough’ and you can’t have Clerks without both Dante and Randall.  And as for Mallrats?  Well, turns out Smith thought it would be better as a TV series, but unfortunately no one who actually makes or airs these things agreed with him.

So now it’s “I’ll make my own movie!  With Blackjack!  And hookers!”  And you know what?  If he does it, then kudos for him.  I’ll even slap down my money for a ticket.  But don’t try to sell me with your hype.  Like your movies and your comic plots, you’ve just gone to that well one too many times.  All you’ll get it a snarky post in a comic blog.

Superhero poses

There are certain poses you find repeated in comics.  From time to time, I will highlight some of them, and mention what I like and/or dislike about them.  This is going to be a comparison through the years of a pose, as that would take a lot of time and effort.

This first one is from Batgirl #4, written by Hope Larson and art by Rafael Albuquerque.

batgirl-4-superhero-pose

First, there is the pose itself.  I find it to be a fairly graceful pose.  It is not a speed or power pose with an outstretched body that you often find with Superman or Batman.  It is not an acrobatic pose like you often find with Nightwing, where the legs are at odd angles to show how agile and acrobatic he is.  This is pose showing Batgirl gracefully flying through the air.  She is not falling or gliding.  She is flying/swinging with a purpose.

Next, there’s the angle of the view.  By making it so that the reader’s perspective is below Batgirl, she appears as a goddess soaring above us.  If the perspective was from above Batgirl, this pose would not look nearly as majestic as it does.  Viewing her from above would make her seem like someone below us.  Someone we can look down on, because we the reader be literally looking down on her.  Instead, we are looking up, seeing her in the skies like we do with the other great heroes.

Then there is also the kids in the window.  They are side characters we can identify with.  The look of awe and adoration are evident on their faces.  They do not care that this is not Superman or Batman.  Instead, they are in awe of Batgirl.  They are in awe of seeing this hero before them.

This is why I really liked this page.  Yes, upon closer inspection, the placement of the rope does not make a lot of sense.  How does it go from being between her and her cape and then behind her cape.  But whatever.  Just enjoy the page.

Riverdale Pilot Review

riverdale-title

Let me start out by saying that I have never, ever read an Archie comic book before.  I have no idea what is contained within those pages.  I was always under the impression that Archie was a pretty lighthearted series, but have not seen any real evidence of that.  Sure, I am aware of the characters.  Could easily recognize them as they debuted in the show, but did not have any base of characterization to judge what I was seeing.

Adding to this lack of knowledge about the source material, I did not watch any previews for Riverdale.  So, I really had no idea what I was in for when I started this episode.  I give this info because I think context is important with reviews.  Someone that is an avid Archie fan may have a different opinion about this episode than myself.  But for myself, I was pretty surprised by what I saw.  Spoilers ahead.  (more…)