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…)

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…)

Everybody's favorite librarian superhero gets her debut - drawn by Infantino.

Everybody’s favorite librarian superhero gets her debut – drawn by Infantino.

Yesterday, I rushed to put up a short piece on the death of Roger Ebert before I left work (I was in such a hurry that I initially got his year of birth wrong).  I never even got around to mentioning that in his autobiography he has a whole chapter on Steak & Shake (which I once read aloud to Veronica).  But what got lost in all the news of the death of Ebert (front page news everywhere, something written by so many people I read) was the death of Carmine Infantino, who was influencing me long before I ever knew who Roger Ebert was.

Carmine Infantino was a comic book artist – he began as an inker, eventually moving on to be the penciller and eventually became the publisher of DC Comics itself.  If you know comic books at all, he is one of the giants from its history.  And if you don’t know comic books at all, well you still probably have seen a lot of his work. (more…)