Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Viewed: 11:59:pm 6/14/05
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Garry Oldman, Ken Watanabe, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holms
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
I'm not even sure where to start.
We were blessed and cursed in our youth. Batman was a great movie. The sequels were? well they were what they were. But it's all changed. It doesn't even matter anymore. Christopher Nolan has delivered the grim dark epic that fans have been craving forever. A monstrous, complicated masterpiece that is everything you want it to be. Everything Batman deserves to be. This is the Batman, and it's perfect.
In the past Bat films, we were exposed to stylized versions of the caped crusader. Visions of a world that isn't the same as ours. That's the biggest separation here. We're served up a believable reality. No penguins with rockets strapped to their backs. No villains costumed with black light paint. Real world problems in real world atmospheres. The villains have an evil scheme and it's logically explained. This vision is raw and rugged. And real. I could defend the Burton and Shumacher versions, but they are what they are. Different version of Batman.
Story development was complicated, but worth it. We're exposed to every aspect of Batman's transformation. As we should be. Some may say that it's too much, too drawn out. But it's a complicated story that's crucial to who the character really is. It's important. He's not just a vigilantly in a costume. If it weren't handled so masterfully I may have complained myself but we jump back and forth throughout time, and before you know it Bruce Wayne is angry, trained, and off to protect his abandoned city. But even then we have to wait. We wait to see the suit.
You can feel it coming. Like when Eric Bana first transforms into the Hulk. You want it. You can't wait for it. But they hold you back. They show the development and make you want it even more. I'm glad they did. The man doesn't simply become Batman. It's a process that we see take place. They show what it's like the first time he jumps off a building. How do you think that would turn out? Adjustments are made. He evolves, and it's important to take that journey with him.
All the while the true meat of the story develops around you. City wide depression, crime, wide spread panic. There's a lot going on, and when a strange Wayne-tech device is mysteriously stolen from a cargo ship you'll start to feel overwhelmed by it all. "What could this possibly have to do with anything?" But hang in there. It all weaves together in a well crafted layered story centered on fear revenge and justice. I want to give nothing away but trust me, everything comes together beautifully. The man behind the screenplay David Goyer redeems his Blade Trinity disaster, by offering up a legendary adventure.
Performances. I have no idea how to start this. The cast on paper alone is outstanding. As the movie progresses you see them trade out turns being awesome. Every time someone comes on screen they become the coolest guy in the room. Neeson as Bruce's stern trainer. Caine as Bruce's stable partner in crime. Oldman as the weathered old honest cop. Even Holmes as Bruce's child hood friend Rachel, does a fine job. Rachel serves as the voice of reason to a man that is so obviously struggling with what's really right. She could easily have just been the hot girl that Batman saves. He saves her. She's hot. But it's never about them being together. She's an echo of better times. Of Bruce's old life. Holmes spends the movie fighting for those ideals, and all the while influences a very confused Bale to continue down the same path.
I feel a need to mention the performance of Linus Roache as Bruce's father. Although he's only briefly in the movie he had a huge impact on me. Much the way Stanley Tucci did in Robots. In such a short amount of time the father son connection is made and made precious. And I have to give the credit to Roache's performance. He was cool, and kind. The kind of father everyone has or dreams of having or actually has. Bruce looses his family and it really messes him up. It's pretty easy to see why.
Bale bleeds Batman. He's incredible. I think anyone that's seen him before new he could act. Now EVERYONE will. He so easily could have gotten lost behind the mask, or in this sea of amazing actors, but he carries this movie from start to finish on his back. Can you imagine what it would be like as an actor? Wake up today ? go do a scene with Michael Caine. Tomorrow, Morgan Freeman. Thursday ? Liam Neeson. Sure he'll have chronic back problems from those 4 days hanging upside down at the docks, but I'm sure it was worth it. I was worried about the costume, but it looks good. Darker then the last versions. My only questionable comment would be his voice as Batman. It's done in a growling whisper. Too much whisper, not enough growl.
The old Batman films used up the big players. The Riddler, The Joker, The Peguine, and Catwoman. They even used up the better B listers. Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Bane. All of them great characters with great potential. Some were used better then others but let's not get in to it. So when this film rolled around they had to break in some new blood.
Thousands of people this weekend will say "Whose the Scarecrow? Whose Ra's Al Ghul?" But as soon as the movies over it won't even matter. Murphy's Scarecrow comes out looking like the keyboard player in the latest brit glam band, but when he shows his other side. oh, it's so cool. Such a great villain that offers up so much to the Batman universe. He's portrayed so well here. Some might say he wasn't enough of a threat, but honestly he's as much a threat as he should be. Batman's got bigger fish to fry. Ra's on the other hand is one of the coolest Batman villains of all time. The Joker will always be Batman's ultimate arch nemesis but Ra's would be his closest true match. They work on the same plains. The think the same, and act the same. Beyond the way they were trained, both believe in fighting with honor and purpose. Just different versions of it. They're the same type of warrior with opposite perspectives. I couldn't be happier with the way Ra's and his clan of Shadow warriors (Liam Nesson included) were represented here.
Visually this movie is outstanding. The opening fight sequence where we first see Bruce's basic skills is not clear, and I was disappointed that this was the first thing we were presented with. Thankfully it's not a common theme. We get plenty of great action that's clear enough to enjoy. The tumbler chase scene is pretty damn cool. Bad mouth that new Batmobile all you want, but it rocks pretty hard. There are tons of other visuals from explosions, to Gotham from above, to a good look at a pretty serious bat infestation in Wayne manor that should probably be taken care of. All top notch.
It's a long story. There's a lot of story to tell. But it's done with such care and attention to detail that you can feel how much love went into it. Everyone involved treated this movie with the respect it deserves. Just this little comic book movie. Sure that's big money in Hollywood these days, but it's still a guy running around in a cape. The fact that the big names came out to play, and play so well, is a true testament to the quality of the material and the story of Batman. If it weren't good, do you think they would have bothered?
10 out of 10 No movie is perfect, but this is as close as it gets. It's the most fun I've had at the movies this year hands down. In terms of Batman films it's perfect. This is as good as it can be. It was hard to give the 10 though. Never done it before. Thinking back over movies I've seen before starting the comic, the only movie I could come up with that would have gotten a 10 is Fight Club. Giving Batman Begins the 10 hinged on so much though. So much beyond it being a great movie. This is the Batman that the world deserves. It's here. It exists. That's huge.
DVD worthy?: Absolutely. The only question is to wait for a super deluxe edition or not. I'm still waiting for a better version of Anchorman.
There were a couple of good trailers before the movie, but the best was the one for Serenity. That's the Joss Whedon sci-Fi western based on the failed TV show Fire Fly. Haven't seen the show but know enough to know I should see the show. I love sci-fi, and Whedon's story telling has impressed me enough in his run on Astonishing X-men, that I fandango'd some advanced screening tickets to see this next month.
From the trailer, the effects look solid and there appear to be a ton of one liners and laughs. I have nothing to complain about there.
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V