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I didn’t get around to reviewing these movies properly but had Thoughts so felt the need to share 🙂

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Yes, I know this was actually released last year and I did see it at the time but felt that there was so much noise on the interwebs that I would keep my own counsel for a while. Since then I have seen it a further two times and on every viewing it just gets better. I love the new characters, especially Rose though I may also have a serious girl crush on Vice Admiral Holdo. The only quibble I really had on first viewing was the storyline involving Poe & Holdo, but I’ve come to the conclusion that he would definitely have behaved in the same way if Holdo had been a man so in establishing his character development from hothead to leader I think it worked well. Can’t wait for Episode 9!

Isle of Dogs

I have a mixed response to Wes Anderson (admittedly based on a small number of his films that I have seen), veering from absolutely adoring The Grand Budapest Hotel to loathing Fantastic Mister Fox with a passion. Pleased to say that Isle of Dogs is very much in the Grand Budapest tradition. This is such a good film, with a quirky stop-motion animation style and a story that has real heart to it and can be interpreted in a number of different ways, always the mark of a goodie as far as I’m concerned. The voice cast is brilliant and distinctive and there is so much going on visual that it begs to be seen more than once. Loved loved loved it.

Free Fire

I really didn’t get this film at all. I think I could see what director Ben Wheatley was trying to do with Free Fire, set in Boston in 1978 where a gun deal goes wrong, but I couldn’t connect with it at all. And it’s such a shame, because it is so well made, and has such a brilliant cast, and has an intriguing premise but I couldn’t engage with the humour. I just felt that there was something missing. But 10/10 for the accurate facial hair.

Gotham by Gaslight

Gaslight was one of the first Batman graphic novels I ever bought (what can I say, I was a very late adopter in the world of comics) so I was very interested to see what director Sam Liu (he of The Killing Joke which I talked about here) would make of the story. Annoyingly, there are some major changes in this adaptation which I don’t really understand, but all in all it was an enjoyable take on Jack the Ripper.

 

 

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Batman-The_Killing_Joke_(film)What’s it all about?

As Batman hunts for the escaped Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime attacks the Gordon family to prove a diabolical point mirroring his own fall into madness.

Why did I want to see it?

Well, I read the graphic novel lo these many years ago and remember it being fairly iconic though not without its problems; as one critic put it (and sorry I have lost the reference for this) The Killing Joke is “an important comic book for many reasons, not all of them worth celebrating”. Even Alan Moore, who was the writer of the prigging ha effectively washed his hands of it.

I thought it would be interesting to see what they did with the animation for adults version, especially as the Book God had asked for it on DVD as a Christmas gift, so it really was time we got around to watching it.

What did I think about it?

So it’s well done in respect of the animation and especially the voice acting – Mark Hamill is and always will be the very best interpreter of the Joker, and Kevin Conroy’s Batman is equally iconic. The origin of the Joker is also very well done.

But the problems with the story are magnified in the film version, largely by the way the expanded story of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl is handled.

You are probably aware that there is has been a standard plot device in comics for some considerable time (which passed into mainstream movies a while back) that in order to give the male hero a justification for revenge a female character close to him is injured, killed or otherwise traumatised, often gratuitously. If you want to read more about this then Google “Women in Refrigerators” which tells you a lot more.

Some spoilers follow…..

So, in the original comic Batgirl is shot by the Joker and her father kidnapped in order to be driven mad a la the Joker himself, and Batman delivers the requisite avenging activity. In the movie, Batgirl’s backstory diminishes her autonomy and has her briefly intimate with the Dark Knight, therefore underlining the whole revenge thing.

And this is a shame because if they had to expand her story to beef out the plot then it was an opportunity to at least show her as capable and resourceful, caught unawares by the villain. Instead, she just falls into a trope which has been sadly overused.

Dazzling details: Directed by Sam Lui, this lasts 76 minutes and is rated 15 for strong violence

So earlier this year, over on my other blog, I reviewed The Dark Knight, which I thought was absolutely fantastic. And because I can be a bit of a completist, I thought I would watch Batman: Gotham Knight which apparently fills in the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in an Animatrix kind of way.

What I loved about this DVD = it’s Batman; it’s anime; it’s an interesting experiment; it has the voice of the great Kevin Conroy

What I didn’t like about this DVD = the lack of uniformity in the animation made it feel pretty bitty if I’m honest; not all of the visual styles appealed to me; I’ve never been a fan of Killer Croc

So all in all this was of more intellectual interest than anything else, but I’m glad I watched it.

Ratings stuff = contains images of bloody violence and injury (and so it should)

Tissue count = 0