Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sakuga is ruining Anime.

That title is a bit of an attention grabbing exaggeration.  What I really mean is, Sakuga fixation is ruining Anime criticism.

Obviously Sakuga is a tool that should be used.  And if they ever make a Superman Anime I'd want to see some Sakuga flying and battle scenes, as well as him evading missiles in an Inato Circus.

But I'm tired of lack of Sakuga being an inherent criticism. And I'm also tired of Sakuga scenes being considered inherently good animation even if the art being Sakugaed is ugly as sin, like with Pokemon Sun and Moon.  I don't care how much motion that show has, if the character designs we're looking at are literally vaguely humanoid blobs of vomit, moving crap is still crap.

Remember that fraking Evangelion was a limited Animation show, and so I bet if Digibro re-watched it in the mindset he's been in lately he would now hate it.  I'm far from Evangelion's biggest fan, but I do like Supereyepatchwolf's defense of the elevator scene.

And on a related note, I'm tired of characters going "off model" being a criticism.  This is animation, I want to see things you can't do in real life, and in live action actors can't go off model.

The Pedantic Romantic has a pretty good informative video called Eromanga-Sensai: One Year Later.  What interests me here is how she talks about episode 22 of Fate/Apocrypha as having inherently better Animation because it had more "work" put into it.  I was enjoying Fate/Apocrypha from that start, and this episode while not bad was distracting to me with how different it was from the way the show was usually animated.

And I wasn't alone, this sentiment was also all over the KissAnime comments section for the episode (Subbed version).  You can say it makes those commenters look stupid since many thought this episodes was cheaper when it seems the opposite.  But the fact remains this attempt to change things for one episode to impress the Sakuga fanatics just annoyed the people who already liked what they were doing.  And I would simply say that Expensive Animation people thought was cheap was a waste of money.

Here is one particular comment I found interesting.
they tried to make fluent fights by decreasing details and adding frames, it worked with the effects of noble phantasms and explosions, while everything else looked like a failed attempt at copying studio Trigger!!
I'm not an expert on any of this, I just know my reaction to the episode was that it felt out of place.

My only criticism of Kyoto Animation recently is that I think they definitely over do the Sakuga, especially if it's just a High School show like Euphonium.  At one time Digi would have been inclined to agree, in his video Can Anime be too Pretty for it's own Good.  But lately he seems to have sold his soul to the Sakugists.

Make no mistake, I'm as annoyed by outright using Stills when there is no justification for it as much as the new guy.  But I also feel there isn't enough respect for the interesting things you can do with Animation that would never qualify as Sakuga.

Take these clips from episodes 4 and 5 of the criminally underrated Witch Hunter Robin.  Unfortunately since I don't know how to torrent I can't quite show you the highest quality versions of these.

As someone who does need glasses in real life, I can tell we do play around with them like that sometimes.  And to my limited knowledge this is the only time I've seen that depicted in a work of fiction, in any medium.  It might be impossible to do in Live Action, I'm not sure you can recreate it putting Glassed in front of a camera.

And then there is a my absolute favorite Anime, Noir.  I feel like the tone and vibe of that show would be ruined by extensive use of Skauga (I don't even know if I can say the show no Sakuga, but like all Bee Train Shots it's commonly accused of being amateurism and cheap for not looking like Akira).  To me it's animated in the perfect way to make it like an Anime version of a modern Film Noir (a topic I'll be returning to in a future post), the stillness of the show complements it.  Maybe it's that way partly because of a lack of Budget, but guess what, the same was true of many actual Film Noirs which people forget were mostly B movies.

That's not to say there isn't an equally valid way to capture a Film Noir feel using good Sakuga, Kara No Kyoukai is great at that.  But Noir took the route that worked for it and it worked perfectly.

And I think saying the show's Animation had no effort put into it would be offensive in light of this clip from episode 13.  Again the version provided here unfortunately doesn't look nearly as good as it does on my DVD, much less the newer BluRay release I still haven't gotten.

I'm sure it's not Sakuga since not everything is moving, but just showing cloths and hair blowing in the wind takes a lot of work when they could have just used stills again here (I will admit Noir is guilty of the Stills sin in at least it's first episode).

Sakuga is good, but it's not the only thing that matters.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Executive Meddling Bogey Man.

Technically Sam Raimi was the first to get to direct the third film of his Comic Book Superhero movie franchise.  But he might as well not have, he was forced to include two characters he didn't want to in Spider-Man 3, Gwen Stacey and Venom.

In fact Christopher Nolan was the first to direct a full "Trilogy" in this genre, and really is still the only one.  The MCU has let few even do two films.  And even their once worshiped Joss Whedon wasn't allowed to stay for the third film.  Meanwhile Snyder may be a credited director for three movies, but he had full artistic control of none of them.

Justice League and Suicide Squad are films being looked at as examples of dreaded executive meddling interfering with Directorial Artistic vision and ruining what the movie could have been.  And every time that happens a lot of fanboys go "why won't they realize meddling never turns out well?".

But there are plenty of films that went wrong for the opposite reason, because the Director had so much clout that he had no leash on him.  Peter Jackson's King Kong and the Hobbit movies are films where I myself agree, Jackson needed a leash.  However I'll disagree when it comes to say Batman Returns, I still love that movie.

This is a nuanced issue that I feel many want to over simplify.

I'll say this, if you're one of many right now saying the MCU deserves it's massive success, and their films of the last 2 or 3 years are mostly their best yet.  Then you don't think Executive Meddling is inherently bad, so stop pretending pure Directorial vision matters to you.  I have enjoyed all the MCU films so far, but I do wish Rangnorock had actually been a Thor movie and not GOTG 2.5.

Frankly we would have had a DCU sooner if Nolan hadn't become a god DC didn't want to piss off.  The Dark Knight Risses killed the ability for Nolan's franchise to ever lead into a Shared Universe, because explicitly didn't want that.  As a stand alone film I love The Dark Knight Rises, it's perfect.  But it's not how The Dark Knight should have been followed up.

Whether or not Executive Meddling ruins something depends on what the conflicting visions are.

When a Director wants no leash on their creative control, they should stick to creating original properties, or Public Domain ones.  If you're agreeing to direct a property for a Studio that owns it and has a vested interest in it's popularity beyond when you'll be done with it.  You don't get to just do whatever you want.

For me there still is no ideal Superman movie.

For Batman, The Dark Knight was perfect enough I could have been happy never getting another Batman film.  But Superman hasn't been so lucky.

I'm saying this even though I have ultimately settled on a relatively position opinion of Batman V Superman.  The film's takes on Batman and Superman are valid takes.  They're not the takes I prefer, but frankly they are closer to what I prefer then either Christopher Reeve of Michael Keaton.

We still don't have an ideal Superman movie, but Man of Steel is to my tastes much better then any of the Donner films, and the best characterization of Superman on the big screen so far is what we got in Justice League.

On YouTube, TheFear97, Twin Perfect and iamthatroby have some good video essays defending Snyder's Superman movies.  I know most in the Video Essay genre love to beat up on Snyder's films, from Folding Ideas to KyleKallgrenBHH to FilmJoy, all people who've done some work I really like.  So I wanted to point out that an alternate perspective does exist.

I don't have a problem with people disliking Man of Steel and BvS, but I have a problem with people saying things about those films that are provably false.  Like that Clark never smiles, or never does anything Heroic, or never tries to take the fights away from populated areas.

I don't even think there is a truly great Animated Superman movie.  Brainiac Unbound is the best Aniamted Superman movie so far, and Allstar Superman is a good love letter to the Silver Age Superman.  But nothing like Mask of The Phantasm is for Batman.

As far as Superman on TV goes, I like what we got in the first two episodes of season 2 of Supergirl.  I have have a complex relationship with Smallville, the first 3 season I think were perfect, season 4 remained pretty close with bringing Lois in too soon being the main issues, but regardless Commencement was the show's best episode, it was great.

The best adaptations of Superman stories that involve acting however I think are the BBC radio dramas.  I wans't fond of the Trail of Superman, but The Adventures of Superman which adapted John Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries, and then their adaptation of The Death and Return of Superman, are pretty darn great.

We now have two Batman Animes.  So it's a shame there seems to be no interest in doing an official Superman Anime.  Superman's been an influence on Anime, the Fleischer shorts influenced the Grandfather of Anime, in fact the second one in particular may be why the Mecha Genre exists.  And it's not a coincidence that Tetsuo puts on a Red Cape in Akira.

A long time ago, before I was that into Anime, I heard a claim that some 80s Japanese Cartoon was about a character who's Superman and Wonder Woman's daughter in the future which they somehow got away with even though it wasn't done with DC's approval.  I never remembered what it's name was.  Lately my mind wandered to that subject again and so I googled it, and it was an Anime called Project A-Ko, a movie I'd just recently heard Digibro mention a few times since he and May did a commentary for it.  Apparently it too has been a very influential Anime.

I watched the movie and it was a pretty fun, I could see it being the premise of one of those old Silver Age Imaginary Stories, except for what's uniquely Anime about it, which is arguably everything.  I also watched the Dub which I think was pretty good, sometimes it sounds silly but the movie itself is silly.

The character of B-Ko we are at one point told has a rich father, and then she starts creating Mechs and stuff.  I immediately thought, that must be Lex Luther's daughter.  But I knew this movie came out in 86, when the CEO Lex was just introduced in the Comics, it felt unlikely that could have influenced something in Japan that quickly pre-Internet.  And yet the nature of their rivalry had me thinking she must be the Luther in this scenario.

Then after finishing the movie I read on Wikipedia that she's supposed to be Tony Stark's daughter.  That took me by surprise, this is over 20 years before the MCU, why was Iron Man of all people the Marvel character they wanted to incorporate?

But I then watched the movie a second time along with Digi&May's commentary, this time Subbed.  And now I'm definitely seeing the Tony Stark in her.  It makes sense one would confuse an Iron Man based character with Lex when in a Superman context.  Because Tony Stark basically is Lex Luthor as a good guy.  I know the CEO Lex was originally compared to The Kingpin, but as time goes on fans came to prefer a Lex who can be both the Billionaire and the Mad Scientist at the same time, and that makes him into Tony Stark.

So this is basically a Fan Fiction about Superman & Wonder Woman and Iron Man having daughters who are Lesbian fighting over the same girl.  That actually got Animated.

Maybe next Disney will buy out Warner and then the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Cinematic Universe can merge together and create a live action Project A-Ko adaptation with cameos from Henry Cavil, Gal Gadot and Robert Downy Jr.

BTW, there was also a Wonder Woman anime in 1978 according to My Anime List.

Update: Apparently the Wonder Woman cartoon I mentioned above is actually South Korean, she looks like Wonder Woman but they make her an Alien.   I've found it online but not with Subs.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The MCU Formula

What the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been doing well that most people seem to think others haven't been for the last 2-5 years or so.  Is the ability to provide over the top Escapist Popcorn movie fun, while also having Heart and Thematic resonance.  Other films seem to be trying to pull off what Marvel is but failing.

I can't entirely disagree, but my takes on takes on these movies are more complicated.

Some people want to say Star Wars is being handled the same way the MCU films are because of both being Disney.  Yet ironically my overall reactions to the Disney Star Wars films so far (I won't be seeing Solo theatrically) have been the same as for the last three DC films.  Very high praise upon first leaving the theater, but the more I think about it the more what's disappointing about it kicks in.

I'm starting to feel like 2008 was an important transitional year in Cinema.  But do you know what 2008 movie anticipated the MCU formula in advance?  It's not the actual MCU films made that year, it took awhile the MCU to find it's footing and Josh Whedon as important to how it did so.  Iron Man I did and still think of as Batman Begins light.

It was Speed Racer, yes that film that mostly flopped at the time but has a lot of loyal fans now.  It anticipated the MCU formula by being more like a Comic Book then the Comic Book movies of that year.  And guess what, Speed Racer is how it is because it's an Anime adapted by fans of Anime.

That's the thing, in American Cinema it may be only the MCU that's been pulling this off recently.  Like the Nanoha franchise, the first two season are like MCU films but double the length.  I feel like maybe Reflection has succeeded at being similar, but due to the language barrier I may need to watch it a few more times to know for sure.  As welling as seeing Detonation which I probably won't be able to till a year from now.

But even getting into something more controversial to speak highly of.  Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale is basically an MCU film, in both formula and execution.  And I see it as purely hypocrisy to think that movie is trash but the MCU films deserve their success.

I've been enjoying the MCU films.  However they aren't the formula I want all films or Anime to have.  And so I enjoyed Jurassic World far more.  And now that I've seen Batman V Superman a third time I think I can firmly say my overall opinion of it is a positive one, I think in time it'll be vindicated by History.

Now Avenger Infinity War has broken from the standard MCU formula a bit.  And that factors into why I like it the best so far.  And there is Anime I could easily compare it too, Thanos Motivation makes him like a lot of Anime Anti-Villains.

About the ending of Infinity War.

I'm not falling in love with NEW Movies as easilly as I used to.

That I have been watching and liking so much Anime kind of makes up for that.  But as someone who choose to at the start of 2017 brag about how easy I am to please, I don't like that I haven't truly been able to be that enthusiastic about the Blockbuster movies I've watched.

Infinity War has possibly broken this trend.  So many past movies I've raved about on this Blog after first watching them I was already starting to sour on by this point since seeing it, whether I admitted that publicly or not.  So that I still feel the same as what I said about that movie two weeks ago, maybe even appreciating some aspects more, is important.  Before that the last Live Action film that I kept loving as much as when I first saw it in the theater was Jurassic World.

Even Wonder Woman, which because of my Feminism I actively refused to say anything negative about while it was still fresh, because we needed a Female lead Superhero film to be a hit.  The truth is it didn't take me long to realize that I think it's in the same place Superman The Movie and Batman 89 were, good enough that it'll be treated as perfect as long as there isn't another take on Wonder Woman to compare it to, but once there is, the conversation about it will change.

One factor might be I haven't been rewatching stuff as much I used to (that's true for both Anime and western Cinema).  Becoming a regular Anime follower has caused me to have a lot more to watch then I used to.  And in terms of Films, I used to make a point to always give a film I liked a second theatrical viewing.  But now with ticket prices going up while I have had a lot less money, I don't think I've done a repeat theatrical viewing since before I started this Blog.   There was a time when I would never fail to see a Comic Book Superhero film in theaters, but in 2017 I skipped out on all the Marvel movies till home video.

The Dark Knight I saw 10 times before 2008 was over, 6 times in theaters and 4 on DVD.  For the next few years I wouldn't go more then a 6 months without watching it.  But Batman V Superman I've still only seen twice and those viewing were not of the same edit.  Maybe if during the gestation period of my opinion on The Dark Knight I allowed myself to go over a month only thinking about it without watching it again my mind would have poked more holes in it.

Digibro likes to say the re-watch is the real watch of something.  In fact he's specifically said it can take till the third viewing to be certain what your opinion is, that the second viewing you'll notice more flaws then you did the first time but then the third viewing be back to loving it as much as the first.  That describes my relationship with The Force Awakens somewhat, I certainly enjoyed my third viewing of it more then I did the second.

But why have I watched TFA more times then BvS? When I care about that franchise less to start with and ultimately feel like I probably like BvS more?  Something about BvS has been making me afraid of coming to terms with it.

The lack of repeat viewings can't be the only explanation however.  Cause I've still only watched 2008's Speed Racer twice since I first saw it last year and I still love it and honestly think it might be able to compete with The Dark Knight as my favorite Western Movie period, being perhaps the opposite side of the same coin.

Now some of might say "dude it's because you like things so much you watch it more" even though I kind of already addressed that. Even with the Anime I've been watching, a decade ago something I enjoyed as much as I did In Another World With My Smartphone or Princess Principle I have have watched 3 or even 4 times by now.  But I simply have less viewing time available.

None of my issues with Batman V Superman are of it as a stand alone film. The complexity of my relationship with that film is on a purely Meta level.  (I'll be talking more about this in future post.)  As a complete film and a work of Art I still think it's the best the DCEU has made and will probably stand the test of time better then most MCU films.  I predict 20 years from now the general perceptions of it and Captain America: Civil War will have swapped places.

This post may make good context for a number of upcoming posts I want to make about DC and MCU films, and films in general that have come out since the start of 2015.  But those posts will be less personal exploration and more like actual points.

It might be this is a natural consequence of getting so into Anime, the Anime I've watched has raised my standards and perhaps spoiled me to even the best of what America has to offer.  Both for escapist popcorn fun and for deep philosophically challenging tragedies. After all some of what I may have to say about Infinity War in the near future is about comparing it to Anime.

Update:  Since first posting this I have seen Batman V Superman a third time.  Some of the Jump scares and explosions still make me Jump even though I knew they were coming.  That's something that's never happened with my home viewings of any MCU films.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Magical Girl Site, Transgender Representation and The Batman Question.

For the second week in a row Magical Girl Site is the only show I really want to comment on.  But I'm still enjoying all the shows I'm currently watching.

I mentioned in my Astolfo post how I don't use the term "Trap" to describe characters who are actually Trasngender.  The only problem with making that hard distinction is Japanese media doesn't always use the same terminology we use in the west, so it's not always clear what the writers are going for.  For example I'm still not sure what we're supposed to think of Ruka in Steins;Gate, I like that in the new series they seem more comfortable with their gender identity, but I'm still unsure what it's supposed to be.

Episode 7 of Magical Girl Site introduced the character of Kiyoharu Suirenji.  Going off what we see in this episode alone I would have to conclude she is a Transwoman and not merely a Crossdresser because of her using the girl's bathroom and that being an issue.  I don't think a CisMale Crossdresser would use the girl's bathroom.  However her seemingly not objecting to others calling her a boy complicates the matter, but it could be she's just someone who doesn't want to get confrontational about it.  But I also could have missed something there since I'm watching it Subbed because there is no Dub.

In the episode's MAL forum one user who's read the Manga says the character is definitely a Transwoman.  That user is defending using the proper terminology to refer to her.  However there is at least one user there being very blatantly Transphobic.

Most of what we see of the character in the episode I like.  However we are given a glimpse of the character having a dark side, with her saying she'll get revenge in the distant future.  Now this is a Dark Magical girl show where most characters have something dark about them.  But I'm still recovering from the disappointment of my favorite Western TV show of all time, Pretty Little Liars blowing it with it's handling of this issue.

People sometimes ask whether bad representation is better then no representation.  It is interesting that if this show had never brought the issue up I would probably have never singled it out to criticize for lack of Trans representation.  But as soon as they provide some representation it doesn't take long for me to start being on edge about her being mishandled.  I'd been praising the show for it's unsanitized depiction of Bullying, I should then be thrilled to see that theme expand to showing the bullying Trans Women endure.  But instead I'm worried about the implications of this character either turning evil or dying.

But I now realize that, yeah, I should be criticizing Magical Girl shows for failing to include trans representation (and even Sailor Moon fails to include any true Trans representation, the Starlights were simply a gender bending gimmick).  They frequently try to have very diverse casts allowing many different kinds of girls to be magical girls, representing many different forms of the adolescent female experience in Japan.  I think we're long overdue for a Trans Magical Girl and it's unfortunate that the Dark Magical Girl Genre people are back lashing against now was the first to do it.

This subject happened to be on my mind already before I saw episode 7.  You may have noticed I posted about a Batman movie that features The Riddler yesterday.  Well Batman and The Riddler being on my mind reminded me that back when I spent a lot of time trying to imagine what kinds of Batman films I'd make I had came up with a concept that re-imagined The Riddler as a Trans Woman.  But then decided that I wasn't comfortable casting a Trans character as a villain in our current climate.

Homosexual representation in media has reached the point where you can have Gay villains without it automatically reinforcing the same harmful stereotypes that used to keep Gays only as villains or victims in American fiction.  But Trans representation, especially for Trans Women, has not, as clearly shown by what happened with Pretty Little Liars.  I absolutely believe the writers of that show had the best of intentions, they wanted to say Transphobia is the ultimate cause of the tragedy, but regardless Charlotte being the only Trans representation the show had left the LGBT community who at one point loved the show deeply offended.

Ironically this Trans Woman Riddler idea had developed in my mind before season 6 of PLL happened.  And yet my vision for The Riddler was influenced by PLL before the Trans Woman aspect was a part of it.  PLL started airing back when Batfans were still hoping The Riddler would be in the third Nolan Batfilm.  And I from day one immediately felt how -A operated on PLL was a good reference point for how to "Nolanize" The Riddler.

So in hindsight Charlotte DiLaurentis kind of resembles the Trans Woman Riddler concept I'd been thinking of.  And how that whole controversy helped shape how I think about this issue is probably a factor in why I dropped the idea.  Still my envisioned backstory for her (which I don't entirely remember) was far from identical.  And of course I also regardless of the character's gender or ethnic identity prefer The Riddler to not be a murderer.  It would be admittedly hard to keep that in tact when making The Riddler the main antagonist of a big budget Hollywood blockbuster, but I do think it's workable. So in that sense my Riddler was closer to Mona then Charlotte.

But now I can't help but wonder if outright abandoning it was simply the Cowards way out (Realistically I'll probably never get to make a Batman film anyway, but this is hypothetical).  For example if I have good guys in the movie who are also Trans that could certainly help make it salvageable.

Part of what was so harmful about the Charlotte story-line was caused by the need for it to be a twist, that the character who turned out to be "Charles" had been posing as a Cis Woman.  And that's the main problem with my initial concept here.  The starting premise before any Gender issues factored into it was allowing a Batman movie that's actually a Mystery/Detective story by having us not know who The Riddler is.  But I now realize that the concept can be reworked so that whatever name She is using before the reveal she can still be openly Trans.  The thing is I'm kind of killing that mystery aspect for future use by giving it all away publicly now.  Only way it could work for someone who'd read this post is if multiple Trans Women are in it.  Oh wait, that happens to also help fix keep her from being the only representation.

The YouTube Channel FilmJoy did a video last year called The Batman Question which I watched today.
It was about the idea of allowing more then just CisHet White Men to play Batman and other major Batman characters.  Janelle Monae was a choice brought up a lot, and she responded that she'd rather play The Joker.

And that reminded me how members of Batman's Rouges Gallery are Pop Culture Icons and that almost every Actor wants an opportunity to play one.  And I personally would cast an actual Trans Woman to play the role (The Pedantic Romantic could make a good Riddler).  So perhaps we shouldn't exclude the Trans Community from being able to play those roles out of fear of how it can go wrong.  The Riddler is often viewed as Batman's smarted nemesis, his greatest intellectual threat.

After all Eartha Kitt wasn't counterproductive for Black Women.  KyleKallgrenBHH in his recent video on The Watermelon Woman talks about how for a long time Black Women weren't allowed to be Sex Symbols in America.  So in that context one getting to play the greatest Sex Symbol of American Pop Culture was downright revolutionary.  And so in today's climate maybe Catwoman should be the first Bat Rouge to consider allowing to be a Transwoman?

You may ask, why was it that my mind went there for The Riddler first?

Another question you may ask is, how would I handle naming this Transwoman reinterpretation of Edward Nygma?

Well the answers to those questions are kind of the same.

When I starting of thinking about what I'd do for a Nolanesque Riddler story.  I first decided "The Riddler" should be a name given to them.  They would identify themselves in their messages as simply -?  Again influenced by -A on PLL.

Then I first started thinking about the character's Gender as I was playing around with the inherent pun of E. Nygma, and the idea entered my head to use the name.....

....... Annie Nygma......................

And from there I thought first just of making The Riddler a woman, an idea which technically had done before at least by Cosplayers.  But I also thought about having her use multiple names and for the sake of Nolan style realism not having any Nygma name be her birth name.  Then I heard of this Edward Nashton name that had emerged as an alternate name for The Riddler, I don't know who used it first but I heard of it via The Riddler Blogs, a fan film project derivative of The Joker Blogs.

And then I thought about how Transmen and Transwomen naturally tend to change their names from what they were given at birth.  And so the idea popped in there to have Edward Nashton be the name assigned at birth, and Annie Nygma the name she chose when she accepted her Gender Identity, because she was into Riddles and Puzzles.

I'm not Trans, I can't actually relate to these issues.  So I simply don't know what the right answer is.  Perhaps it's a good idea for me to put this experience out there and let someone who is Trans use it for their own Fanwork if they see value in it.

Part of the reason I was ashamed of this for awhile is it didn't originate much from a place of caring about representation.  I've always been a believer in Trans rights, but it was in recent years I've become much more sensitive to this and other Social Justice issues.

The more recent ideas I've come up with for characters who are Trans have been making them heroes.  Like the idea of the Vordenberg who Carmilla had a romance with being a Transwoman.  Or my desire to tell a story about Lancelot as a Transwoman (using the name Lanzelet), as well as Perceval as a Transman.  And my idea for a fictionalized French Revolution shared cinematic universe innovated using Chevalier d'√Čon in the Captain America/Wonder Woman/King Kong role as the one who's origin story film is set in a previous era.  And interpreting d'Eon as a Noble Honorable and Heroic Transwoman, not doing weirder ideas like the Anime about her and Fate Grand Order do.  The only Fantastical aspect will be keeping the character young in the 1790s.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and The Bold

Is a very good and very fun Animated movie I highly recommend.

I'm a fan of both Dark Batman and Fun Batman, in theory I ultimately like Dark Batman more.  But lately it seems like it's only the people making Fun Batman who know how to get it right.  Basically once Nolan left the films things went downhill for the Dark Knight.

For Dark Batman we've had at best the misguided Snyder-Affleck take, entertaining but uninspired animated movies that awkwardly mix up Morrison's Batman and New52 Batman missing the point what worked about both, a botched adaptation of the massively overrated Killing Joke, and most recently the horribly insulting Gotham By Gaslight adaptation.

But for Fun Batman we have the underrated Batman Unlimited films, the perfect Adam West and Burt Ward animated movies, and now this wonderful film.  It shouldn't be inherently easier to get this version right, as reactions to the Shumacher films show there are ways to make jokes out of these characters that simply saying "It's like the Silver Age" doesn't forgive.  I've become much more accepting of those two films over the years, but even I still say they are not as well done as what these actual Cartoons have done in recent years.

My preference for the Dark Knight is what we had in the Comics of the first half of the 2000s and very late 90s, so my personal advice would be for people to use those Comics as their blueprint, there are things from this era I dislike, but mostly that's what I'm nostalgic for.  I don't want Batman to be like that from the start however, I want him to be like the O'Niel or Bronze Age Batman (or BTAS and Begins) to start with, but to become hardened by years of losing allies and seemingly failing to make any real progress in his mission.  And after that I do like Morrison's vision for bringing him back from that dark edge.

It's become trendy for the kinds of Batman fans who are hosting Podcasts to reject the Batman I like the most.  The takes on Batman that Michael Bailey and the Knigthcast podcast prefer are part of how I view the Dark Knight's biography.  But mostly what offends me is when My Batman is talked about as if he's the same as Frank Miller's Batman.  My Batman at even his Darkest point in War Games and the OMAC Project is not nearly as unstable as the DKR Batman, and he's certainly nothing like THE GODDAMN BATMAN or The Fixer.

Back to the main topic.  What I mainly want to talk here is an observation that is inherently a spoiler.  So if you haven't seen the movie and are planning to, don't read the rest.