• Tag Archives Arkham Asylum
  • Canister X Movie Review #55: LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite! (2013)

    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite! (2013)
    Written by David A. Goodman
    Directed by Jon Burton
    Runtime 71 min.
    4.5 out of 5

    It’s time for the Man of the Year Awards in Gotham City. The contenders? Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. The winner? Well, you guessed it: Bruce Wayne. When the Joker crashes the party, Lex sees a potential ally in his fight not only against Superman, but against all superheroes. They forge an uneasy alliance and Lex uses Joker’s expertise in chemistry to create not only a gas that would make everyone vote for him in the upcoming Presidential election, but also Kryptonite. In exchange, Lex would provide Joker with a special brick dismantling device that is able to take apart shiny black objects, something Joker’s all too familiar with thanks to the Dark Knight.

    Meanwhile, Batman and Robin have their hands full with a breakout from Arkham Asylum. Superman shows up to help and eventually the Dynamic Duo and the Man of Steel discover Lex’s and Joker’s partnership. However, team ups aren’t Batman’s strong suit but after a little coaxing from Robin, he learns that sometimes you need outside help to come to victory.

    Just when Batman and Superman think they’ve got Joker and Lex right where they want them, the sinister duo unleash a powerful force that will take the entire Justice League of America to stop.

     

    If you’ve played LEGO Batman 2, then you’re familiar with this story. This movie even uses clips from the game, but then fills in the gaps with fresh animation. So while it’s kind of a rehash, it’s a well-done rehash and, hey, it’s LEGO. LEGO animated movies are few and far between and I hope LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite is the first in a move to bring more and more brick superheroes to the small screen. Perhaps even to the big one one day.

    The animation is crisp, flawless, and well-thought out. The graphics are amazing and convey a plausible world made of LEGO, every detail somehow made from LEGO bricks. No small feat from a design standpoint, creating something so believable yet so . . . LEGO-y.

    With a solid story filled with the right amount of action and humor, I’m glad I added LEGO Batman: The Movie to my superhero movie collection. Besides, the exclusive Clark-Kent-changing-into-Superman LEGO minifigure that comes with it is not too shabby either. Glad to have him as part of my Superman figure collection.

    LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite is recommended for all ages. I loved watching it with my kids and I know you will, too. And if you don’t have kids, then it’s still worth checking out. Again, LEGO? Batman? Superman? DC superheroes? Yes, please!


  • Canister X Movie Review #8: Batman Begins (2005)

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Batman Begins (2005)
    Written by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer
    Directed by Christopher Nolan
    Runtime 140 min.
    5 out of 5

    Bruce Wayne’s parents are brutally murdered right before his eyes. He is only eight years old. His father holds his hand. His mother lays in her own blood beside them. His father’s dying words: “Don’t be afraid.”

    Vowing vengeance, Bruce travels the world, learning all that he can to become a one-man army against crime. He leaves behind the life of a billionaire playboy and instead seeks to find the man rooted in pain and anger, the one inside him.

    Trained by a man named Ducard, a representative of Ra’s Al Ghul, Bruce learns how to harness his rage and use it to exact vengeance on those who would dare break the law.

    But to do so as Bruce Wayne would only put those he cares about in danger and would not be the symbol required to get the job done, and so is born . . . the Batman.

    Drugs are secretly being pumped into Gotham City’s waterways, the underground crime circuit somehow connected to a mysterious figure overseas who has big plans for Gotham. No one knows his face . . . until it’s too late.

    Jonathan Crane, aka the Scarecrow, uses his position in Arkham Asylum to get the inmates gathered for what’s to come, and when the moment finally arrives, all hell breaks loose on Gotham’s streets.

    The night grows dim, the knight grows dark.

    Batman is born.

     

    Wowser.

    This flick was amazing.

    After the disaster that was Batman & Robin, I was so scared about how this would turn out. Sure, the trailers looked cool, dark, and edgy, but studios always put the best bits in the trailers anyway. All we had were hopes and good-sounding quotes from those involved in the film’s production.

    And, man, did they deliver!

    This stuff was real. Real-real. Batman Begins was grounded in reality in a way I hadn’t seen since X-men. This stuff could really happen. It was that tone that brought a level of seriousness to the movie that the other Bat-flicks—except Batman in 1989—didn’t have. This wasn’t a superhero movie, but a story about a man lost in rage, darkness and needing a way out. It was about the very real contrast between revenge and justice, and making right what once went so terribly wrong.

    It’s a story about redemption, love, and fighting to protect strangers in a city where crime, filth and evil are the everyday norm.

    Christian Bale is Batman. Period. When the mask was on, you could tell Bruce was channeling pure rage and distaste for evil, focusing all that anger on the task before him. When the mask was off, he was the Bruce Wayne who was a spoiled rich boy, dumb, and no one took seriously. Excellent duality.

    Katie Holmes as Bruce’s childhood friend/love interest, Rachel Dawes, was a good thing. The other Bat-movies always had a girlfriend for him. Though there was romantic interest here, it was rooted in friendship, which was a nice change.

    Michael Caine as Alfred—brilliant. He was your loving father-figure, yet was stern with Bruce when the need arose, and even got behind him despite reservation when Bruce told him his grand plan for saving Gotham. Only the love of a friend would allow such a thing: to believe in an ideal and not necessarily the method.

    Cillian Murphy was downright creepy as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow. I only knew him from 28 Days Later so wasn’t sure how he’d play this. Let’s just say I was happy.

    Liam Neeson as Ducard/Ra’s Al Ghul was all right. As Ducard, sure, made sense. He did a great job as Bruce’s mentor. The two were the same at heart. Just chose different paths. As Ra’s—that twist didn’t surprise me (solely because I stumbled upon the script online before I saw the actual movie), but it did surprise me in the sense that Liam Neeson will always be Qui-Gon Jinn to me. It was hard to see him as a bad guy.

    Gary Oldman is James Gordon. He looked the part, acted the part, and I fully sympathized with him being pretty much the only good cop in a bad town.

    Batman Begins is the quintessential Bat-film.

    Very recommended. Ten times over.