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Batman The Killing Joke


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It's gotta be something awesome to pull me into the theater and not just wait till it's on bluray - I hate the gamble of a shitty theater experience.

 

I'm not familiar with any DC animated stuff.

 

Dude, if you dug Batman the Animated Series n' Batman Beyond - there is great stuff you're missing out on! DC's animated universe is pretty great...it's got sum duds, but it's worth checking out.

 

I recommend: Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker, The Dark Knight Returns and Batman - Under the Red Hood. Oh, and Superman/Batman - Apocalypse. That one's good, too. Yeah, those 4 are can't miss - rent, borrow...whatever, but those are good starts.

 

Yeah, the animation here isn't spectacular. Seems like there's an 'Affleck-shaped' hole in WB's budget. But, I agree - shitty animation can end up being quite charming.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yeah, that was a very disappointing adaptation. Looked terrible, first 30 minutes were awful and the added stuff in the actual Killing Joke portion made me kind of pissed. That said, Mark Hammill gave a fucking amazing performance, I just wish it the stuff surrounding it wasn't as bad.

 

If you watch it, seriously skip the first 30 minutes unless you want to be upset/bored up until the Joker actually shows up.

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yeshrug.png i liked it

 

 

okay so the first half hour feels like almost a separate tale entirely, but there wasnt enough of the source material to fill a whole movie i guess...the big thing everyone's upset about was a bit jarring, but it's something Timm apparently wanted to do since forever - anyone who saw the later stuff in Batman Beyond knows this

 

after that point, it felt verbatim what i recall of the book - granted, it's been forever, and i totally forgot some of the joker intro stuff, but it's here. the darkness of the book is all about, and while the animation isn't always great, the bigger moments you could really see them going for Bolland's stuff.

 

i got Conroy & Hamill reprising their classic roles, and Tara Strong got to flesh out babs rather than her just showing up to be shot. if you liked Year One & DKR adaptations, there's not much reason to not dig this...but axels might be right about skipping to act 2 if that's what your'e after.

 

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yeshrug.png i liked it

 

 

okay so the first half hour feels like almost a separate tale entirely, but there wasnt enough of the source material to fill a whole movie i guess...the big thing everyone's upset about was a bit jarring, but it's something Timm apparently wanted to do since forever - anyone who saw the later stuff in Batman Beyond knows this

 

after that point, it felt verbatim what i recall of the book - granted, it's been forever, and i totally forgot some of the joker intro stuff, but it's here. the darkness of the book is all about, and while the animation isn't always great, the bigger moments you could really see them going for Bolland's stuff.

 

i got Conroy & Hamill reprising their classic roles, and Tara Strong got to flesh out babs rather than her just showing up to be shot. if you liked Year One & DKR adaptations, there's not much reason to not dig this...but axels might be right about skipping to act 2 if that's what your'e after.

 

^ I'm pretty much agreeing with this guy. I dug how they made this so it felt like it could fit into the B:TAS/Batman Beyond universe even though it's not. (Same voice actors for Bruce, Barbara, & Joker, same Batmobile design as B:TAS) It reminded me of Warren Ellis' GI Joe Resolute that put a lot of the 1980s characters in more adult/deadly situations. This felt like B:TAS goes PG-13 with cursing, "adult situations," and "strong sexual innuendo." Just with crappier animation.

 

That first half hour...

 

I thought this changed what the comic book was about at its core--which was Moore's explanation of the Batman and the Joker dynamic and it's inception and conclusion. The original comic was 46 pages of that and Barbara Gordon was just a piece in the Joker's grand plan. However, this half hour inserts Barbara as a key player and really sets up a nice "prequel" to the comic. It gives Batman an immediate motive to have "that talk" with the Joker in Arkham.

 

However, I felt like the promise of this additional motivation for Bats to cross the line and kill the Joker was wasted in the last half hour...

 

 

The Killing Joke (proper adaptation bit)

So I busted out the Deluxe Ed. of the comic that was released around 2009 (Which I highly recommend as it is basically a "director's cut" by artist Brian Bolland who redid all the colors himself and even changed some of the original artwork) and I read it before I watched the film and also referenced the comic during a second viewing of the last part of the film.

 

So the main gripe for me is the film's adaptation of the ending of the comic. The comic ends with the same image as it begins--a small panel close up of rain falling on a shallow, darkened layer of water covering the ground. The final page of the comic ends with laughter of Batman and Joker mixing in with the sound of oncoming police sirens, until the laughter stops, the sirens continue on briefly then stop, too. There is finally just the empty panel of rain falling on a darkened ground.

 

The film drops out the sirens completely and goes from both men laughing to just Bats laughing. The implication that Bats silently snapped Joker's neck that was in the comic did not translate in the film. In the comic there is a panel by panel "zoom" from the two men laughing to the silent rain. But in that zoom you can also see a beam of light from the oncoming cop cars reflected in the water at their feet. As the panels zoom in, the same beam of light is shown broken in two, then finally it zooms in so there is no light at all. For me this symbolizes the two men, one beam split in twain, then no light at all symbolizing the "death" of Batman as well as the Joker because he's finally become a murderer. Only darkness remains.

 

Now this is a subtle yet masterfully elegant ending the comic that the filmmakers outright omitted. The film begins with Barbara doing a voiceover about the moonlight over Gotham. Why not recreate this great effect from the comic with moonlight? It'd give the film a much truer ending to the comic. I don't mind the tacked on bit showing Barbara as Oracle in the film; it gives closure and a positive silver lining for her character. But why cheat the film of that powerful, impactful, titular ending of the comic? Disappointing.

 

Edited by Mr. Hakujin
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Alan Moore has said that Grant Morrison's "Batman kills the Joker" theory is bullshit. It's just an overcooked fan-theory based on a revisionist take on a popular work.

 

"And David, for the record, my intention at the end of that book was to have the two characters simply experiencing a brief moment of lucidity in their ongoing very weird and probably fatal relationship with each other, reaching a moment where they both perceive the hell that they are in, and can only laugh at their preposterous situation. A similar chuckle is shared by the doomed couple at the end of the remarkable Jim Thompson’s original novel, The Getaway."
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I had a good time with it!

 

 

I didn't mind the first 30 minutes, I found it entertaining enough. I thought it added a little humor, especially with our particular crowd cheering at Batsy being waaay harsh with poor Barbara. I think it helped in fleshing her out a bit more so you actually care when she does get shot. It also made Gordon and Batman's anger feel more real to me.

 

 

The animantion did feel kinda cheap at some points, but then other times (the important times) it was much more detailed, darker and more shadowy (clearly I'm not an artist!).

 

The featurettes before and after the screening were really cool too. Watching Hamill record his parts was a real treat. He gets SO into it, uses his entire body, emotes just like the Joker. It's so cool to see.

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Did not like.

 

I understand the necessity to add padding to make an adaptation of The Killing Joke feature length. I even think I understand what they were trying to go for with the first 30 minutes. I imagine they felt the need to add all that for the sake of casual viewers who might not be familiar with Barbara, so that her part in The Killing Joke proper resonates. Problem is, there were absolutely no ties (direct story or even thematic) to the main narrative.

 

Then there's the coda:

 

I get that it serves as a bookend for Barbara, but I feel like it totally undercuts the ending. I know TKJ had actual impact on DC canon (with Barbara becoming Oracle) but I've always viewed it as more of an elseworlds story/the last Batman-Joker story.

 

 

I remember TKJ feeling like a punch in the gut. Maybe it's just that I'm so familiar with the story now, but this just fell so flat for me....

 

That said, Conroy & Hamill forever! So glad they are both returning for Justice League Action!

Edited by C_U_SPACECOWBOY
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The featurettes before and after the screening were really cool too. Watching Hamill record his parts was a real treat. He gets SO into it, uses his entire body, emotes just like the Joker. It's so cool to see.

 

yeah, agreed - really glad we stayed! seeing him get crazy for the readings was just fantastic.

 

Moore agrees with you, he's not a fan of the story or what it did to comics as a whole.

 

ah, what all did he say about what it did ti comics? does he partly blame it for making things darker/etc, i can't imagine that'dve bothered him unless its the usual DKR/watchmen blaming that wizard/all did for making everything dark for a bit there

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Brian Bolland is the REAL genius behind The Killing Joke. There I said it.

 

Bold statement, but he is at least the MVP, Bollands art added so much weight to the book and nearly every page has an iconic image. It's brilliant.

 

 

Did not like.

 

I understand the necessity to add padding to make an adaptation of The Killing Joke feature length. I even think I understand what they were trying to go for with the first 30 minutes. I imagine they felt the need to add all that for the sake of casual viewers who might not be familiar with Barbara, so that her part in The Killing Joke proper resonates. Problem is, there were absolutely no ties (direct story or even thematic) to the main narrative.

 

Then there's the coda:

 

I get that it serves as a bookend for Barbara, but I feel like it totally undercuts the ending. I know TKJ had actual impact on DC canon (with Barbara becoming Oracle) but I've always viewed it as more of an elseworlds story/the last Batman-Joker story.

 

 

I remember TKJ feeling like a punch in the gut. Maybe it's just that I'm so familiar with the story now, but this just fell so flat for me....

 

That said, Conroy & Hamill forever! So glad they are both returning for Justice League Action!

 

I can't entirely disagree, though it didn't bother me that much. As it's own thing ,the prologue was fine, but as you said, it is not only tonally dissonant from the rest of the movie, but it adds very little if anything to the whole affair. If they needed to expand the running time, I think they honestly could have extended shots during certain sequences of the actual Killing Joke part, and given all the scenes a bit more weight. Still liked it, but it could have been better.

 

I think the biggest problem with the Barbara stuff is that it's trying to fix something that didn't really need it. TKJ just isn't ABOUT her, and she, like Gordon are just plot points to move along the story of Joker and Batman. I know what they were going for, and on its own I kinda like it s a 30 minute OAV, but the film would be no weaker for its removal.

Edited by bishopcruz
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ah, what all did he say about what it did ti comics? does he partly blame it for making things darker/etc, i can't imagine that'dve bothered him unless its the usual DKR/watchmen blaming that wizard/all did for making everything dark for a bit there

 

"I’ve never really liked my story in The Killing Joke. I think it put far too much melodramatic weight upon a character that was never designed to carry it. It was too nasty, it was too physically violent. There were some good things about it, but in terms of my writing, it’s not one of me favorite pieces. If, as I said, god forbid, I was ever writing a character like Batman again, I’d probably be setting it squarely in the kind of “smiley uncle period where Dick Sprang was drawing it, and where you had Ace the Bat-Hound and Bat-Mite, and the zebra Batman—when it was sillier. Because then, it was brimming with imagination and playful ideas. I don’t think that the world needs that many brooding psychopathic avengers. I don’t know that we need any. It was a disappointment to me, how Watchmen was absorbed into the mainstream. It had originally been meant as an indication of what people could do that was new. I’d originally thought that with works like Watchmen and Marvelman, I’d be able to say, “Look, this is what you can do with these stale old concepts. You can turn them on their heads. You can really wake them up. Don’t be so limited in your thinking. Use your imagination.” And, I was naively hoping that there’d be a rush of fresh and original work by people coming up with their own. But, as I said, it was meant to be something that would liberate comics. Instead, it became this massive stumbling block that comics can’t even really seem to get around to this day. They’ve lost a lot of their original innocence, and they can’t get that back. And, they’re stuck, it seems, in this kind of depressive ghetto of grimness and psychosis. I’m not too proud of being the author of that regrettable trend."
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damn, that reads like the older green goblin/venom archnemesis argument, or say avengers fans in bendis' childhood vs the spidey/x-men stuff of the 90's..just a generational divide.

 

i enjoy pulp Daredevil stuff but it's infinitely more interesting when Miller showed up.

 

i love the shit out of Moore, but man, pointing at what he did to Marvelman and then talking about the lack of innocence with fresh ideas...plays out pretty funny in my head

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