Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 – Review Jan31

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 – Review...

After months of waiting, it’s finally here, the conclusion to the animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s epic, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  Like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, the folks at DC’s animated division have once again created a movie worthy of the source material. When I first heard that DC was dividing The Dark Knight Returns into two movies, the cynic in me saw this as a cash grab. But now that I’ve seen both movies, I’m glad the decision was made to divide the story into two movies. Nothing feels rushed, nothing feels left out. Michael Emerson did a great job voicing the Joker. His Joker is not Mark Hamill’s Joker, but it is terrific in its own way. While I love Batman: The Animated Series, and hear Mark Hamill’s Joker and Kevin Conroy’s Batman when I read those characters, I like that Andrea Romano was tasked with finding all-new voice talent for the two Dark Knight Returns movies. The climatic fight scene between Superman and Batman was awesome, as was the scene where Superman is hit by the nuclear bomb. Both scenes were like seeing what my mind’s eye sees in the gutters of the comic brought to life. The producers did an amazing job with both. My only complaints about the movie are minor. The lighting seemed too bright for some of the street level action. I would have expected more shadows and murkier colors. The comic is full of a lot of blacks and  grays, but the animated movie has a more colorful overall palette. There were two character designs that stood out for me that seemed very off from their comic book counterparts. In The Dark Knight Returns comic, Bruno, the Joker’s swastika-adorned, Neo-Nazi goon always...

How They Rank: On the Couch 2010 Jan13

How They Rank: On the Couch 2010...

For posterity’s sake, I wanted to post a list of 52 movies I watched on the couch in 2010 with my thoughts on the my 5 and bottom 5 films of the year. 1. The Lives of Others (viewed 5/12/10): Rent this now. Don’t wait for the American remake. 2. Zombieland (viewed 3/19/10): BM FTW 3. Shades of Ray (viewed 12/21/10): Best romantic comedy I saw in 2010. 4. Rudy (viewed 12/18/10): This movie inspired me to finish the year at 52 and 52 despite being seriously under those numbers at the start of December. 5.The Iron Giant (viewed 12/19/10): This and Rudy are a 1-2 punch of tearjerkers 6. Inglourious Basterds (viewed 1/20/10) 7. Mystery Team (viewed 8/5/10) 8. Blood Diamond (viewed 6/27/10) 9. The Hurt Locker (viewed 3/7/10) 10. Food Inc. (viewed 3/4/10) 11. Shutter Island (viewed 10/15/10) 12. Taking Woodstock (viewed 9/23/10)13. She’s Out of My League (viewed 8/4/10) 14. Marathon Man (viwed 11/11/10) 15. First Blood (viewed 11/11/10) 16. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (viewed 3/14/10) 17. Fred Claus (viewed 12/18/10) 18. Brothers (viewed 6/4/10) 19. Batman: Under The Red Hood (viewed 11/15/10) 20. The Informant! (viewed 4/22/10) 21. Spies Like Us (viewed 6/29/10) 22. Charlie St. Cloud (viewed 12/19/10) 23. Top Gun (viewed 11/7/10) 24. An American Crime (viewed 5/29/10) 25. Raising Arizona (viewed 4/28/10) 26. The King of Kong (viewed 1/2/10) 27. The Incredible Hulk (viewed 5/24/10) 28. Funny People (viewed 2/4/10) 29. Braveheart (viewed 12/16/10)30. The Blind Side (viewed 8/21/10) 31. Dawn of the Dead (viewed 10/24/10)32. 28 Weeks Later (viewed 10/25/10)33. When in Rome (viewed 8/23/10) 34. The Men Who Stare at Goats (viewed 3/31/10) 35. The Proposal (viewed 12/25/10)36. Julie & Julia (viewed 2/14/10) 37. District 9 (viewed 3/3/10) 38. Risky Business (viewed 8/18/10) 39....

On The Couch #15: Bruno Apr12

On The Couch #15: Bruno...

Wow, this has been a really bad weekend for me and movies. Four days straight of watching movies, and the best of the bunch is Couple Retreat. Couples Retreat! I could not have predicted this going into the weekend. If you check the rankings to the left, you’ll see that the bottom movie on bost lists came from the past four days. If you judge a comedy based on how much you laugh, then Bruno is definitely a failure. I was shocked, and I mean shocked, by how unfunny the movie was based on how hilarious I thought the Borat movie was the first time I saw it. Is Sacha Baron Cohen resting on his laurels? Did he phone this one in? Like Borat, the best comedy in this movie comes when Cohen, in his Bruno character, interacts with people who don’t know they’re being put-on. Bruno goes on a daytime talk show with an entirely African-American audience, and plays show-and-tell with the African baby he traded for a limited edition iPod. Bruno interviews Paula Abdul (and in the deleted scenes, Pete Rose and LaToya Jackson) using Mexican gardeners for chairs. He even hosts an anti-gay rally full of rednecks that turns into a man-on-man sex show. But that’s maybe 12 minutes of good content in this hour and 21 minute movie. One of the few funny scenes in Bruno. Unfortunately, Cohen goes for more of the shock value comedy that made for a very funny scene in Borat, but largely falls flat here. In the naked wrestling scene in Borat, I thought a lot of the comedy came from the extremely large black rectangle they used to blot out Borat’s penis. Since the movie was “made” by Borat, it came across as the...

On The Couch #14: Couples Retreat Apr12

On The Couch #14: Couples Retreat...

Couples Retreat was the second movie I saw in a four movies over four days binge. If you asked me at the start if I thought Couples Retreat was going to be the best of the bunch, I would have laughed. But compared to Remember Me, Greenberg and Bruno, Couples Retreat seems like comedic gold. I don’t want to go overboard with my praise for Couple Retreat. At best, I could sum up the movie as “meh.” It’s the kind of movie that comes on TBS on a random Sunday afternoon and you keep it on because you’ve got no better options and it’s not that bad. Think of it like Milk Money, but with more bikinis. Looking at the cover, you might think that Couples Retreat is Forgetting Sarah Marshall for old people. Don’t make that mistake. Sure, both take place at gorgeous, tropical locales and both have Kristen Bell, but Forgetting Sarah Marshall is so much funnier. You would probably enjoy watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall a second time instead of watching Couples Retreat. This picture of Kristen Bell is here mainly to keep frequent commenter Bryan coming back to the blog. I have to hand it to Kristen Bell. That girl is smart when it comes to getting cast. Sure, this movie isn’t all that great, but as an actress she spent most of her time filming this in Hawaii. I’m surprised her other colleagues from Forgetting Sarah Marshall haven’t come to the same conclusion of “must get cast on all Hawaii shoots.” I’m also surprised Bell didn’t do everything she could to get in on the last season of Lost. “Come on, I’ve got sci-fi experience,” she’d say, “I could be your geologist. You don’t need the Tina Fey look-a-like.” But...