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( 20 Mar 2017 11:47 am)
Batman: The Killing Joke:
Batman: The Killing Joke is an animated movie based on the Batman comic story of the same name where The Joker decides to spend a day fucking with Commissioner Gordon.
Joker's mission is to try to teach Batman and the world that all it takes is one bad day to make an otherwise good man break bad and in the process he shoots Commissioner Gordon's daughter Batgirl in the spine paralyzing her.
normally i wouldn't dick around watching an animated movie that was released straight to video, but DC has a surprisingly good track record of making good animated movies.
the Batman Animated Series from the early 1990s was, like, one of the fiftieth best shows in the history of TV.

the first half hour or Batman: The Killing Joke takes a pretty big detour from the comic books.
to the point where, twenty minutes in i had to pause the movie and Google the plot to make sure i was watching what i thought i was watching and not just a torrent that had been mislabeled.
turns out, i was watching the correct thing, it just started out with a weird and totally unnecessary prologue in which Batman and Batgirl are trying to catch some mafioso's nephew who is making a play for his uncle's crime empire while also getting infatuated with Batgirl.
but, at the same time, Batgirl has a pretty huge boner for Batman and they end up having sex, which is totally inappropriate.
Batman does not have sex! he is too busy fighting crime and brooding.
and if Batman does have sex it would be to hate-fuck Catwoman or have a kid with Talia al Ghul.
Batman most definitely does not have sex with Batgirl or Robin or Alfred or Ace The Bat-Hound.
that would be a perversion somewhere between a teacher molesting a student and incest.

the second forty-five minutes track the comic book pretty closely.
the Joker shoots [and possibly-maybe rapes] Batgirl and kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, taking him to a fun house where he tortures him trying to break him.
we also get flashbacks to The Joker as a failed comedian whos wife and unborn baby get killed in a freak accident and, in an unrelated freak accident, Joker falls in a vat of acid, the culmination of which makes him decided to divorce himself from reality.
eventually Batman comes to save the day and rescues Commissioner Gordon who, despite everything, insists Batman bring in the Joker “by the book.”
which is retarded, i am of course of the school of thought that says Batman is putting more lives at risk by not just killing the Joker, but i like that Commissioner Gordon remained true to himself and unbroken, the end.

the second part of Batman: The Killing Joke was an enjoyable moving picture retelling of one of the best, most iconic Batman stories of all time
the first part of Batman: The Killing Joke is just bizarre.
i don't know why it was a part of the movie, it didn't have anything to do with the Killing Joke story and it just made everybody uncomfortable.
the fact that the movie decided to spend two-fifths of its story on this weird, uncomfortable departure from the main narrative was just weird.
for taking a good story and tethering it to a real stinker for reasons that i cannot understand, Batman: The Killing Joke earns a 3.8/10.

Gotham - Season Two:
Gotham is a show about what Gotham City was like before the Batman.
because i guess some idiot TV executive thought Batman was just too damned distracting from the Batman comics and wanted to see what Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya and Alfred were like when they were younger.
Gotham is supposed to be a police procedural featuring young Jim Gordon, which to a guy who takes Batman lore as seriously as i do is like turning the David into a mannequin at Old Navy.
i mean, i like Commissioner Gordon as much as anybody but do we really need another TV show about how in the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. ding ding.
Season Two of Gotham continues the series' aimless wandering, painfully trying to be interesting and bastardizing the Batman mythology in the process.
because a TV show about Harvey Bullock and Alfred and Jim Gordon fighting regular street-level crime in pre-Batman Gotham wouldn't be very interesting, the series has to introduce Batman's Rouge's gallery much earlier then they normally should appear, which fucks up the relationships between Batman and the villains and the pathology of animosity and codepandance that is the centerpiece of the psychology of the characters.
the whole series renders Batman ultimately unimportant, just another weirdo in a story about a city, no more important then any of the other characters that came before him.
which is pretty much sacrilege as far as i am concerned.

another problem with Gotham besides its entire premise, is that it runs for extra-long seasons of twenty-two episodes.
which used to be a normal for a TV season, but has become anachronistic in the Golden Age of Television where people realized telling good stories is more important then filling the airwaves pell-mell.
the first eleven episodes of Season Two are about Azrael, the assassin from some French ninja religious cult who ultimately takes over as Batman for a while after Bane breaks Bruce Wayne's back.
but, this wasn't that Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, they sadistic-but-ultimately-heroic character introduced in the Knightfall story-line back in the 1990s, this was some other dude with different motivations entirely that the series just made up.
this Azrael was just some asshole with a historic family blood feud with the Wayne family who, after three hundred years of grievance, returns to Gotham City to kill Bruce Wayne and steal his company out from under him.
you would think that after three hundred years this family would just learn to let shit go, that this family of super rich elites who got run out of Gotham City in the 1800s but were still super rich could just make a good life for themselves in Coast City or Midway City or Paris or wherever, become playboys and heiresses or whatever normal rich people do but, no, they decided to set up a religious death cult around the assassination of young Bruce Wayne for improbable reasons.
to advance his agenda, this not-Azrael decides to first bust a bunch of Season One's villains out of Arkham Asylum and then run for mayor.
he also decided to prostitute his teenage niece out to try to fuck Bruce Wayne because of reasons.
ultimately, despite murdering his political rivals, threatening city councilmen and quite flagrantly controlling organized crime in the city, not-Azrael is able to ascend to mayor of Gotham City.
ultimately Jim Gordon captures not-Azrael and shoots him in the head, execution style because the Jim Gordon that is the central character in Gotham is the complete fucking antithesis of the stand up man Commissioner Gordon we all know and respect.
the man who insisted Batman take the Joker in “by-the-book” even after the Joker crippled and probably raped his daughter.
but, who gives a shit about characterization, right?

the second eleven episodes of Gotham's Season Two were about Professor Strange and Arkham Asylum.
like in the comics, Professor Strange is the chief psychologist and administrator of Arkham Asylum and is using the prisoners in his experiments to advance the frontiers of psychology, which results in a slurry of super-villains being created.
only in Gotham, Professor Strange is Chinese for some reason.
youg Bruce Wayne gets it into his head that Chinese Professor Strange had his parents murdered because Bruce Wayne's dad was trying to shut down Professor Strange's experiments so Bruce Waye goes to investigate the goings on at Arkham, even though Bruce Wayne should just be in the 10th Grade.
i know Bruce Wayne is a driven and determined man of inviolate will and significant means but christ, for fuck's sake, there is shit that a 10th Grader shouldn't be able to do.
at some point when a high school sophomore and his butler show up to your insane asylum and demand to see what's going on, or when they show up to the police department and start ordering around police captains, or when they show up at some criminal hideout and start demanding information, somebody should probably just tell the little shit to go home.
but the central conceit of Gotham is that everybody takes young Bruce Wayne seriously for reasons that defy event the pretense of logic and they all do what he says, unquestioningly.
eventually Chinese Professor Strange gets captured or killed or something. i can't remember. the end.

for being a shitty premise for a show, for tarnishing the reputation of one of the most respectable men in comics, for making Bruce Wayne an insufferable little git, for making Professor Strange Chinese, and for being so fucking tedious that each forty-four minute episode feels overlong by half, Gotham Season Two earns a 2.9/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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