Friday, September 30, 2011

Batman: Under The Red Hood

Today Pierre gives us a review of the Batman Under the Red Hood animated movie.

I can’t say that I am a fan of Judd Winick. I don’t hate him either; I just did not read much of what he wrote. I read part of his Green Arrow run, an issue or two of his Outsiders, and probably a couple of other comics that I can’t recall right now. And I did NOT read his Batman comics where he brought back Jason Todd. But as I mentioned in a previous Blog, I am a sucker for them direct to DVD movies that DC has been producing.

So when I saw the Batman: Under the Red Hood Blu-Ray, I figured that I would give it a chance. And it was not bad, but it was not very memorable either. Heck I had to watch it 3 times before writing this review because each time I could barely remember what was happening in this film.

Nothing really stands out; nothing is really memorable about this. The most memorable scenes have to be the scenes with young Robin/Jason Todd. The scenes themselves were fun. It was fun to see the light-hearted version of the character. And the battle vs Amazo was a fun scene as well.

It was a fun action sequence that also gave Nightwing/Dick Grayson some screen time. On a side note… as for the return of Jason Todd, I can’t help but feel that DC dropped the ball big time on that one.  Once they gave us the “fake” return of Jason Todd in Hush, It pretty much took away any impact that this “real” return could ever possibly have. If it had been done in Hush as planned, It would have been a cool return. But this time it felt like, “We chickened out the first time, let’s try again.” And it was not cool.

But back to the film - The design work usually was okay… although whatever bad design I thought there was… it was more a matter of personal preference then actually bad design. I was not too crazy for the Joker design, but it has more to do with the fact that the definitive Joker to me is the Jim Aparo version of the character.

And the Joker in this film is too far from that to really work for me. It felt to me like they had cast Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of the Joker as opposed to Heath Ledger. It felt like the wrong casting in my book.

The animation was competent. Nothing bad really stood out, but nothing to marvel at either. The worst part probably was the integration of 3D/CGI elements in the 2D film. It did not clash as badly as the 3D in the Batman: Sub-Zero film, But it was not integrated as well as it should have been. So whenever there are some 3D elements like cars in a scene… I could not help but find it distracting, because it did not really match with the rest of the film. That is probably just me being picky. I would not be surprised if most people did not even notice this.

In the extra section… you get a few documentaries about Robin/the Death of Jason Todd that I always find fun to watch. I always get a kick of seeing the likes of Denny O’Neil, Len Wein, Dan Didio, etc, even if I don’t always agree with what they are saying.

The Jonah Hex short was fun to watch. I did not find it as strong as the Spectre one, but to be honest… none of the shorts made by DC so far come even close to matching with what they did in the Spectre short. Although if all you want is to watch the Jonah Hex short, Get the Superman/Shazam DVD instead.

So is this worth buying?? If you are a fan of Jason Todd, I would say, Yes. But if you are NOT a fan of Jason Todd, especially if you are one of the thousands who called and paid 50 cents to get him killed in the first place, I doubt you will find much that will please you in this movie.

Until next time.



MattComix said...

DC has been dropping the ball with Jason Todd since day one. I found the whole 1-800 number thing to be really disgusting. It's basically telling people to vote to kill off a kid. A fictional kid granted, but still the whole thing didn't sit well with me despite my not being a fan of his. It's right up there with the infamous "Cripple the bitch." that gave Moore the okay for Killing Joke.

I agree with you about the whole Hush thing though. Much as I don't like death being a revolving door in comics, that could have worked. Also leave him as a villain rather than trying to go the lethal-protector route.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Matt; I was in Germany for 3 months when that whole nonsense with the 800 number to kill or not to kill Robin happened.

So I pretty much missed the whole thing.

When I came back... it was a "fait accompli".

Not that it would have really mattered... I would not have called.

But then there was Hush... and I had passed on Hush after Batman fell off a building. But at some point... the buzz on the Net was about the return of Jason Todd as Hush.... and the idea of a Dark Robin as Batman's new nemesis was a cool one. I thought that it could redeem the whole mess that was Hush so far.

But noooooo. It was Clayface after all.

Very dissapointing.


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