The LEGO Batman Movie

  • Year:  2017
  • Director:  Chris McKay
  • Series Rank:  #5
  • Batman Villains:  Joker (Zach Galifianakis), Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate)
  • Love Interest:  Batgirl (Rosario Dawson)
  • Batman Allies:  Robin (Michael Cera), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), Commissioner Gordon (Hector Elizondo)

The ongoing debate between myself and my Australian reader, F.T. is over the value and worth of camp.  I have never been a fan of camp while F.T. enjoys it.  I prefer my films to be good.  So, the question is, can something be silly, cheesy and yes, even campy, and yet still be good?  Well, I give you The LEGO Batman Movie, a film that willingly embraces every ridiculous thing that has ever been added to the Batman legend and does it with such humor, wit and quality that it is one of the funniest films of this past year. (more…)

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Batman: The Killing Joke

  • Year:  2016
  • Director:  Sam Liu
  • Series Rank:  #10
  • Year Rank:  #145
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Batman Villains:  Mark Hamill (Joker), Maury Sterling (Paris Franz)
  • Love Interest:  Tara Strong  (Batgirl)
  • Batman Allies:  Ray Wise (Commissioner Gordon), Brian George (Alfred)

“But my favorite comic book character is Batgirl.  My uncle has a lot of Batman comics and there’s a lot of Batgirl, and she’s cool and she reads (because she’s a librarian) and she kicks butt and she’s smart.  She’s awesome.”  That’s my character Kayce speaking, but in many ways she speaks for me there.  Batgirl is smart and cool and awesome.  What she is not, is a love interest for Batman.  That being said, writers are free to do what they want.  If you want to look at a good example at how to make her a love interest for Batman, just wait until tomorrow’s post.  For a primer on how to do it absolutely, completely wrong, I present to you Batman: The Killing Joke, a straight to DVD film made as part of DC’s Animated Universe but which earned a theatrical release and thus makes it into this series. (more…)

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

  • Year:  1993
  • Director:  Eric Radomski  /  Bruce W. Timm
  • Series Rank:  #7
  • Year Rank:  #38
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Batman Villains:  Mark Hamill (Joker), Hart Bochner (Arthur Reeves)
  • Love Interest:  Dana Delaney  (Andrea Beaumont)
  • Batman Allies:  Efrem Zimbalist, Jr (Alfred), Bob Hastings (Commissioner Gordon)

When I was in college, there was a successful wrestler at my school that I knew who was built oddly.  He had this enormous upper body and these scrawny little legs.  It is a look that a lot of animators like to give to their characters (which has roots in the comics themselves when drawn by such people as Rob Liefeld) and I’m not fond of it.  It is the look of Batman specifically in this film, as it was in the Batman Animated series which was critically acclaimed but I didn’t watch because I was in college and was watching hardly any television.  The show was a huge hit and given the noir feel of the show, that was understandable.  The film also has a lot of critical acclaim and I have a harder time understanding that.  It was thrown into theaters in the years between Keaton taking off the mask and Kilmer putting it on and most people didn’t seem to notice as it quickly died at the box office (it made just over $5 million when every Batman live-action film was taking in at least $40 million on opening weekend alone). (more…)

For someone whose entire pantry is filled with his childhood toys, this is a poignant moment to me about what you choose to let go.

The 83rd annual Academy Awards for the film year 2010.  The nominations were announced on 25 January 2011 and the awards were held on 27 February 2011.

Best Animated Film:  Toy Story 3

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist

Most Surprising Omission:  Despicable Me

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Tangled

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #5

Oscar Score:  69.2

Alternate Oscar Score:  95.5

Note:  If the Oscars had nominated five films and added Tangled and Despicable Me, this year would still be 5th.  But if you replace The Illusionist with Tangled and keep three nominees, this year leaps all the way to #1. (more…)

“I was hiding under your porch because I love you.” My favorite film dog of all-time.

The 82nd Academy Awards for the film year of 2009.  The nomination were announced on 2 February 2010 and the awards were held on 7 March 2010.

Best Animated Film:  Up

  • Coraline
  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Secret of Kells
  • The Princess and the Frog

Most Surprising Omission:  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Ponyo

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #8

Oscar Score:  87.5

Alternate Oscar Score:  97.2 (more…)

One of film’s most lovable couples.

The 81st annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2008.  The nominations were announced on 22 January 2009 and the awards were held on 22 February 2009.

Best Animated Film:  Wall-E

  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Bolt

Most Surprising Omission:  Waltz with Bashir

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Waltz with Bashir

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #11

Oscar Score:  81.8

Alternate Oscar Score:  91.8 (more…)

I so want to try that soup.

The 80th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2007.  The nominations were announced on 22 January, 2008 and the awards were held on 24 February, 2008.

Best Animated Film:  Ratatouille

  • Persepolis
  • Surf’s Up

Most Surprising Omission:  The Simpsons Movie

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Simpsons Movie

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #3

Oscar Score:  91.7

Alternate Oscar Score:  98.4 (more…)