Tag Archives: Batman

Capsule Reviews: Movies (Walk of Shame, The Love Punch, etc.) Animation | Live-Action | My Reviews 07 SEP 2014

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

Batman: Assault on Arkham is set in the universe of the Batman: Arkham video game franchise, and occurs after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins. The story focuses primarily on the Suicide Squad, particularly Batman villains Deadshot and Harley Quinn, with Batman in a supporting role. In the film, a Suicide Squad of six hardened, super-powered criminals is dispatched by Amanda Waller to break into Arkham Asylum and retrieve a specific item, where they must contend with the asylum’s inmates, including the dangerous as always Joker, and not to mention the ever present Batman, as they attempt to complete their mission.

When we first heard that the latest offering in the excellent DC Universe Animated Original Movies line was to be yet another Batman title, we sighed. But as it turns out, Batman isn’t exactly the star of this particular outing, making for quite the nice twist as we follow a rampaging group trying to achieve their goal and thus buy their freedom, against some pretty overwhelming odds. It is to date the most violent (and graphically so) outing in this great movie line, but ignoring that this genuinely isn’t a half bad attempt at doing something different and it certainly entertains from start to finish, with more than a few surprises hidden up its sleeve. It’s a solid, good looking animated film that is a great watch for any Batman comic book fans.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 85%

batman assault on arkham movie screenshot

Walk of Shame (2014)

Walk of Shame stars Elizabeth Banks as a resourceful reporter whose one-night stand with a handsome stranger (James Marsden) leaves her stranded the next morning in downtown Los Angeles without a phone, car, ID, or money – and only 8 hours before the most important job interview of her career.

This movie had me laughing out loud, and as such, is a genuinely laugh out loud comedy that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Elizabeth Banks is thoroughly entertaining in her role, and as a whole the movie is well put together and a proper polished comedy gem, despite the weirdly low Rotten Tomatoes rating. Both Chantelle and I loved it, making it well worth it as a date night watch!

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 12%

walk of shame movie screenshot

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

There is a new criminal mastermind at large-Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) – and not only is he Sherlock Holmes’ (Robert Downey Jr.) intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade, points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder – a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes and Watson as he spins a web of death and destruction – all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.

I enjoyed Guy Ritchie’s first stab at Sherlock Holmes very much, and as such, Holme’s second outing is equally as enjoyable. The second installment is as expected, louder, longer, and perhaps a little more action-orientated than the first (which is in truth a pity), but nevertheless remains a great action/mystery film watch with superb action, style, and filmography. Definitely worth picking up!

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 60%

sherlock holmes a game of shadows movie screenshot

The Love Punch (2013)

In a nutshell, a divorced couple of pensionable age (Pierce Brosnan as Richard Jones and Emma Thompson as Kate Jones), have their retirement nest egg wiped out when Richard’s investment firm is defrauded and the pension fund is siphoned away. Learning that the unscrupulous French financier behind the scheme has just purchased a $10 million diamond for his bride to be, the divorced duo grudgingly agree to set aside their differences, head over to France, and hatch a plot to gate-crash the wedding and steal the jewel.

Sadly, this movie just doesn’t work. Despite the talent and one or two chuckle-worthy moments, the whole plot is just too contrived and as a whole, The Love Punch comes across as a bungled attempt at classic caper cinema. Everything runs too smoothly, there are too many leaps in plot and as a whole, nothing feels believable behind the whole adventure. Not worth checking out to be honest.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 27%

the love punch movie screenshot

Legends of the Dark Knight Cosplay: Poison Ivy (Nadyasonika) Cosplay 20 MAY 2014

Mexican cosplayer and model Nadya Anton, AKA Nadyasonika goes green for this cosplay effort, bringing to life the sensual killer with a cause from the Batman mythos, Poison Ivy.

Legends of the Dark Knight Cosplay Poison Ivy by Mexican cosplayer Nadya Anton aka nadyasonika 1

Poison Ivy (Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley) is a fictional character, a DC Comics supervillainess who is primarily an enemy of Batman. Created by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff, she first appeared in Batman #181 (June 1966).

Poison Ivy is depicted as one of the world’s most prominent eco-terrorists. She is obsessed with plants, botany, and environmentalism. She uses toxins from plants and mind controlling pheromones for her criminal activities, which are usually aimed at protecting the natural environment. Fellow villain Harley Quinn became her recurring partner-in-crime and possibly her only human friend.

She has proven to be one of Batman’s more powerful foes, being one of the few members of his Rogues Gallery to display anything close to superpowers. Pamela Isley a.k.a. Poison Ivy has been portrayed as a love interest for Batman in some comics. In one comic, Ivy was robbing a charity gala Bruce Wayne was attending. Ivy’s first kiss was poison, the second its antidote. When they first meet, Ivy’s toxic lips planted a seed of toxic rapture in Bruce. But when she later kissed a dying Dark Knight, Ivy unknowingly cured her intended victim and established a budding romantic tension between them.

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Comic Book Art: Batman by Jason Fabok Comic Book Art 12 NOV 2013

The Batman saga takes place primarily in the fictional municipality of Gotham City, a city overrun with crime, graft, and corruption. Its citizens live in perpetual fear from the vast number of criminals, gangs and common thugs. In an effort to combat the cancerous infection of crime, billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne creates the costumed persona of the Batman to prey on the superstitious and cowardly criminals’ fears.

Wayne, a young socialite who witnessed his parents’ murder during a mugging when he was a small child, used his trauma and vast personal wealth to travel the world and gain the skills needed to wage his war on crime. Batman utilizes his keen analytical mind and sophisticated technology and gadgetry, as well as outstanding physical agility, power and stamina to ensure that criminals never feel safe in Gotham, and are always afraid of the dark at night.

In the eyes of the public, the Batman is believed to be both an urban legend and something more than human: an indeterminable black specter that represents terror. Wayne reasoned that fear was his weakness as a child, but as a man, it became his weapon.

Canadian comic book artist Jason Fabok brings us this particularly menacing take on the ever growling Dark Knight:

comic book art detective comics batman by jason fabok

Gaming Update: Batman: Arkham City | Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Games | My Reviews 02 OCT 2013

A quick round-up of the latest games to worm themselves onto my XBOX console.

Batman: Arkham City (2011)

Batman: Arkham City is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles. Based on the DC Comics superhero Batman, it is the sequel to the 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and the second installment in the Batman: Arkham series.

Written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini with Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill, Arkham City is based on the franchise’s long-running comic book mythos. In the game’s main storyline, Batman is incarcerated in Arkham City, a massive new super-prison enclosing the decaying urban slums of fictional Gotham City. He must uncover the secret behind the sinister scheme, “Protocol 10”, orchestrated by the facilities warden, Hugo Strange. The game’s leading characters are predominantly voiced by actors from the DC Animated Universe, with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively. The game is presented from the third-person perspective with a primary focus on Batman’s combat and stealth abilities, detective skills, and gadgets that can be used in both combat and exploration.

I bought Arkham City from the XBOX Online store for the ridiculously low price of R89 and seriously haven’t looked back since. I thoroughly enjoyed the original Arkham Asylum outing, and pleasingly this follow up does everything the original did, on a bigger scale, and in the process makes the experience even better than the first (plus, it doesn’t ask you to avoid daft plants – seriously, that was my only major gripe from the first game).

The visuals are outstanding, the voice acting superb, the story epic, but most important of all, the fantastically beautiful and rewarding free flow combat system continues to be as engaging as ever, despite the fact that when you look at it, fighting has been boiled down to a two button system! Incredible.

A definite recommendation to anyone who enjoys action games, and even more so if you are already a fan of the Bat!

batman arkham city game screenshot

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkham_City

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (2008)

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is an action-adventure/vehicle construction/platformer video game developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Game Studios.

The game takes place following the conclusion of Banjo-Tooie, in which Gruntilda’s body is destroyed by Banjo and Kazooie. Eight years have passed since Gruntilda’s defeat. While Banjo and Kazooie are eating pizza, playing video games and listening to the radio, they discover Gruntilda’s detached head returning to Spiral Mountain. They are about to fight when they are stopped by Lord of Games (L.O.G.). He attempts to settle the conflict between the two by devising a series of worlds and challenges. He uses his powers to give Gruntilda an artificial body and to restore the duo’s physical fitness, but not their moves from previous games.

L.O.G. transports the characters to Showdown Town, his headquarters, and starts the contest. The winner would be set to own Spiral Mountain; the loser must endure eternal hardship at L.O.G.’s video game factory. While Banjo and Kazooie seek to win by completing the challenges, Gruntilda uses her powers and abilities to try to stop the duo. An army of mechanical Gruntbots also assist the witch in her goal.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts landed up on my console courtesy of the curent Mirosoft XBOX Games for Gold promotion, and so I gave it a quick spin to see what it’s all about. Now if you were hoping for a traditional platformer adventure game in the spirit of the earlier games, then you would be sorely disappointed – instead the game is more of a tricky driving adventure game, awarding those more mechanically minded in the process. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and does make for a fairly engaging experience as you race around trying to collect parts to put together a vehicle you think will be able to access a particular area for you.

Lots of silly (if misplaced and often a little too adult for the intended child market) gags makes for a light-hearted, brain-teasing, colourful romp, but I have to say, I didn’t spend too much time behind the controller on this one – strictly for kids, or if you have to, for playing with your kids.

banjo kazooie nuts and bolts xbox game

Related Link: Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banjo-Kazooie:_Nuts_%26_Bolts

Comic Book Art: Batman and Black Mask by Eric Nguyen Comic Book Art | Comic Books 23 AUG 2013

Comic book art appreciation time, and today’s delectable piece of comic book art comes to us from the pencils of talented comic book artist Eric Nguyen, delivering both a particular sinister Black Mask as well as a rather brooding Batman!

comic book art batman - arkham unhinged black mask by eric nguyen

Animation Update: The Dark Knight Returns (Part 2) | Justice League: Starcrossed | Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Vol. 4) Animation | My Reviews 04 JUN 2013

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013)

Continuing from where the excellent Part 1 of this two part movie adaptation of the great Frank Miller story line left off, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 is an excellent addition to the DC Universe Animated Original Movies stable.

Batman, now once again active after years of retirement, finds his presence reawakening some very deadly, and deranged foes, and before long his dark and violent retaliation against these crimes results in the United States calling in their favourite Son to try and put a stop to what they see as out of control vigilantism.

But then there is also the problem of a Soviet nuclear strike to deal with, all of which culminates in probably the biggest hero showdown ever imagined!

Keeping close homage to Frank Miller’s unique style, the fluid, bulky animation is fantastic to look at, giving the characters more age, more presence, and almost certainly more impact. The stunning visuals are then mixed with a highly dramatic, edge of your seat story that will have you cringing with the violence and melodrama on display, not to mention the intense action sequences that litter the story.

Voice acting is superb and the musical soundtrack just phenomenal. This is a fantastic story which is expertly adapted and certainly serves as one of the more powerful pieces in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series.

Definitely worth picking up, especially for Frank Miller fanboys!

batman the dark knight returns part 2

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_The_Dark_Knight_Returns_(film)

Justice League: Starcrossed (2004)

Starcrossed was the 2004 3-part second season finale of the fantastic Justice League animated series, which later got bundled up and released as a standalone DVD. The story revolves around the appearance of a Thanagarian battle ship that arrives just in time to shoot down another alien vessel that started attacking a gathering of the world’s leaders, bringing with them a message of imminent danger and the promise of immediate assistance against this advancing threat.

At first the world’s leaders and the Justice League accept their new found allies with open arms, but it isn’t too long before the Thanagarian Justice League member Hawkgirl reveals some rather disturbing secrets of her own, with the end result being a potential cataclysmic event that threatens to end the very existence of our world itself!

The original Justice League animated series was one of the best animated super hero shows to hit the airwaves in the early ‘2000s, and Starcrossed goes a long way in showing exactly why. This is a top notch super hero yarn that has all the dramatic elements of love, betrayal and duty, masterfully blended in with loads of action as well as a twinge of humour, the perfect mix through and through. And although the familiar stylized animation of the series isn’t perhaps the best ever seen, its clean lines and fluid animation is more than entertaining enough. Combine all of this with a fantastic voice cast and an even better musical soundtrack, and you have an animated package just begging to be watched.

Very enjoyable for all the comic book fans out there!

justice league starcrossed screenshot

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starcrossed_(Justice_League_episode)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Volume 4) (2009)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Volume 4 packages four episodes from the first season into a DVD, featuring the tales “Mystery in Space!”, “Trials of the Demon!”, “Night of the Huntress!”, and “Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!”.

The first tells the tale of a depressed Aquaman that eventually joins Batman in battle on the planet Rann as they attempt to assist the space hero Adam Strange is his battle against the invading Gordanians. The second story sees Batman transported back in time where he assists Jason Blood (the Demon Etrigan) and Sherlock Holmes in solving a particularly gruesome murder mystery. The third tale has Blue Beetle and the Huntress joining Batman in a fight against the heavily armed Babyface and his recently escaped gang, whilst the fourth and final part sees the always amusing Booster Gold team up with an unwilling Batman to take on the immortal tyrant Kru’ll the Eternal (who happens to be a hyper intelligent caveman).

Batman: The Brave and the Bold has from the start divided the fans, being a very campy outing that serves up huge dollops of nostalgia and nods to the longtime comic book fan, but which is ultimately best suited for younger viewers given the colourful format and often simpler stories. That said, it does have its fair share of supporters as well, and in the end is probably not a completely unwatchable show for the older fanboy I suppose.

I can’t say that I love it, but it does feature an interesting, simple, fluid animation style that suits the campy nature of the show perfectly and the voice casting as per usual is top notch – made even better when you realize that Diedrich Bader of the Drew Carey Show fame is the voice behind the Bat for this particular outing. A fun soundtrack completes the package and this is certainly a show you could pull out and sit down to watch with your kids, much like say Teen Titans.

Worth pulling out if you have some kids to watch it with, though that said, I do own the first four volumes so it can’t be all that bad! ;)

batman brave and the bold volume 4 booster gold

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Brave_and_the_Bold