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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Part 1)


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#1 of 14 Scott McGillivray

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Posted September 27 2012 - 05:38 AM

Hi Gang! Growing up, I was a big fan of comics. In my teens I was able to read the Frank Miller 4-part epic "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns". This was, for me, a defining story in my life. I have read those over and over again. The pacing, the mood, the philosophy and politics...it was all there and it was all engrossing. I tried to get others to read it and see what brilliance lay in these pages. So, when I saw that they were bringing it out as an animated feature, I was very excited...and nervous. I am happy to say that this is a very good adaptation, so far, of the books. They have taken the 4 books and made them into 2 movies. Part 1 really does nail the mood and effect of the graphic novels. The animation is spot-on. It looks very much like the comic, but enhanced enough to make it modern and very watchable. The script changes are minimal and I can see where they were necessary in transferring this to a movie. I really did miss hearing the inner monologue of Batman/Bruce. There is absolute gold in some of those and people that only watch the animated movie are missing out. My disappointment is in the voice acting. I dont have a problem with Peter Weller playing the part, but in how he and others deliver some of their lines. He still sounds "robotic" in some scenes. I half expected him to say "Dead or alive creep...your coming with me." Granted, that may be due to the fact that I KNOW it is Robocop saying the lines or it may just be that it doesnt match up to the voice I heard in my head as I read this book so many times. Still, I think several actors have been directed to REALLY over enunciate their lines. It just makes it come across too much like they are reading their script as opposed to being in the moment. Still, I highly recommend seeing this. It is a lot of fun. But if you havent read the graphic novels, do yourself the favour and run out to get a copy. Simply the best Batman material on the market. 4 out of 5 stars. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2313197/
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#2 of 14 Russell G

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Posted September 27 2012 - 06:03 AM

I'm looking forward to this one. Nearly picked it up, but thought I'd wait for a price drop when part 2 comes out so I can watch them back to back. It's a favourite book of mine as well.


I liked what they did with the Year One cartoon as well.


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#3 of 14 Jason_V

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Posted September 27 2012 - 05:20 PM

Picked it up the other night with a BB price match ($14.99).  While I enjoy the DC animated movies much more than the Marvel ones, I always get the sense the story is holding back, as if there are edits or scenes not animated for some reason.  In other words, incomplete or pulling its punches.


This is animation, after all.  There aren't practical sets to worry about or actors to hurt, so you can have the biggest and baddest smack downs ever filmed.  But we don't get them for some reason.  I do, however, still look forward to every animated movie that comes out.



#4 of 14 David Deeb

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Posted September 30 2012 - 01:21 PM

This is a great film, and I can heartily recommend it for any Batman or animation fan. I'm looking forward to Part 2. Watch it now & enjoy it. Don't wait for Part 2. I thought the acting and directing were top notch. The design was straight out of the 1980s series. I'm very happy they did not "update" it, but kept it faithful to the source. Jason, I'm not sure what would have been accomplished by not holding back. I for one am very happy that a balance was struck so that the movie can be enjoyed by families as well as fans. If by holding back you mean blood, language, violence or mature subject matter, then I would argue there was plenty of action and just making it a bloody animated film doesn't mean it would have been better. "Heavy Metal" was an animated film that seemed to hold nothing back (for its time). While many still enjoy it for the nostalgia, it's really not that great of a movie.

#5 of 14 Jason_V

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Posted September 30 2012 - 01:32 PM

Originally Posted by David Deeb 

Jason, I'm not sure what would have been accomplished by not holding back. I for one am very happy that a balance was struck so that the movie can be enjoyed by families as well as fans. If by holding back you mean blood, language, violence or mature subject matter, then I would argue there was plenty of action and just making it a bloody animated film doesn't mean it would have been better. "Heavy Metal" was an animated film that seemed to hold nothing back (for its time). While many still enjoy it for the nostalgia, it's really not that great of a movie.


I was primarily talking about other DC animated movies.  I have not seen Dark Knight Returns I yet (just got the TV and PS3 hooked up last night).  Agreed there is a lot of action and violence, but comic books have done a better job at "bringing the pain."  The movies just feel, to me, like they are slightly cut or censored to secure a PG-13 rating.  (And the stories feel a bit truncated, but again, that's all IMHO and others may not see the same thing.)



#6 of 14 TonyD

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Posted September 30 2012 - 03:07 PM

I'll be waiting for part two until I watch anyof this. Heavy Metal is a great movie for its time and still holds up now as well as it did thirty years ago.
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#7 of 14 Bryan^H

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Posted September 30 2012 - 04:54 PM

Well, this just didn't work for me at all. I read The Dark Knight Returns in 1987, when I was 13. I have read it numerous times since, and it holds up perfectly each and every time I re-visit it. My expectations weren't that high for this animated movie, it's just that much of the dialouge that Bruce Wayne thinks in the graphic novel is either omitted completely, or he speaks the lines out loud.....which ruins it for me. I also thought the voice acting was just a little flat in spots. I don't know. I showed some of it to my friend(never read the books) and he thought it seemed really cool. It is a decent enough production, but I won't be buying part 2.

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#8 of 14 Richard--W

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Posted September 30 2012 - 09:35 PM

I used to think Frank Miller went to far into depression with his graphic novel reboot until I saw the Christopher Nolan films. Anyhow, he breathed life back into Batman and had a positive impact on comic super heroes in general. When part 2 comes out I'll buy them both together and watch them one ofter another. Voices are important when casting an actor for a part, in live action as well as animation. Somehow I can't hear Peter Weller in the part. But I'll go along with it. The animated series remains the most articulate, truthful and fully realized Batman to me. Lately I've been watching episodes of the Adam West series. I obsessed over it when I was little. That first season was amazing. The program retains its virtues. Children do need good role models in television and in movies and the program provided that. It is sorely missing today. A pity the producer kept such a stranglehold on the tone of the thing. He wouldn't allow the program to grow creatively, so it died after three years.

#9 of 14 Colin Jacobson

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Posted October 01 2012 - 02:13 AM

I LOVED the graphic novel but was underwhelmed by the Blu-ray adaptation.  It just felt... cartoony, for lack of a better word.  It lacked the heft and power I got from the comics:


http://www.dvdmg.com...urnspart1.shtml


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#10 of 14 Bryan^H

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Posted October 01 2012 - 05:08 AM

  It lacked the heft and power I got from the comics:

Exactly. The comics were powerful, and perfect. This animated feature I feel is a great disservice to such a fantastic story. It did absolutely nothing for me.

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#11 of 14 Jason_V

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Posted October 01 2012 - 05:39 AM

Originally Posted by Bryan^H 


Exactly. The comics were powerful, and perfect. This animated feature I feel is a great disservice to such a fantastic story. It did absolutely nothing for me.



I know this was before the current line of movies, but Superman Doomsday was the biggest offender in this regard for me.  The movie was "safe" while the comic left it all on the page.



#12 of 14 MattAlbie60

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Posted October 01 2012 - 05:44 AM

None of these releases have been very good, in my opinion. They're all quick, "paint by numbers" adaptations of the original materials. Even the animation looks cheap. Once the novelty of "That thing I recognize is moving now where it didn't before! And I can HEAR it!" wears off, they don't have much to offer you.

#13 of 14 Colin Jacobson

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Posted October 01 2012 - 09:03 AM

Originally Posted by MattAlbie60 

None of these releases have been very good, in my opinion. They're all quick, "paint by numbers" adaptations of the original materials. Even the animation looks cheap.
Once the novelty of "That thing I recognize is moving now where it didn't before! And I can HEAR it!" wears off, they don't have much to offer you.


I actually really liked "Under the Red Hood" - that one was unusually good, IMO:


http://www.dvdmg.com...heredhood.shtml


Not wild about the "Year One" adaptation, though...


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#14 of 14 Brandon Conway

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Posted October 01 2012 - 11:49 AM

Originally Posted by Colin Jacobson 


I actually really liked "Under the Red Hood" - that one was unusually good, IMO:


http://www.dvdmg.com...heredhood.shtml


What made that one good is that it took the storyline of A Death in the Family and expanded upon it to be its own thing, with only the most generic relation to the Red Hood of the comics.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932





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