Gotham

Bad Movie Reviews: Batman & Robin (1997)

Bad Movie Reviews: Batman & Robin (1997)
Screen Heroes

 
 
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We return to our Bad Movie Reviews segment to discuss the 1997 film that ended the first live action Batman film franchise, Batman & Robin. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, yeah the villain got top billing, this George Clooney led Batman flick took things from Batman Forever even further with more toy-based set pieces, worse fighting, and more campy dialogue.

Plus, we talk MCU news including the return of Tony Stark, along with Nicolas Cage playing Nicolas Cage, our first look at a Kingdom Come Batman for Crisis on Infinite Earths, and more!

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

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Hosts: Rae Stewart | Derreck Mayer | Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor: Derreck Mayer

Music by Flying Killer Robots

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Bad Movie Reviews: Batman & Robin (1997)

Our DCEU – The Batman

Our DCEU continues with The Batman, our own vision for a Batman film that takes place within the Screen Heroes DCEU timeline. Remember, we’ve pitched and rewritten several films in the Our DCEU series so far. Go here for the full playlist: http://heroespodcasts.com/our-dceu-playlist

We also talk news including Aquaman 2 and The Trench, Batman casting news, and Liam Neeson, among other things.

Don’t forget ShazamGate with a brand new shirt design available right now on our TeePublic store. Get you Screen Heroes swag!

What do you think of our pitch for The Batman? Who do you want to see under the cowl next time?  We want to know! Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

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Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

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Flying Killer Robots

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Our DCEU – The Batman

Our DCEU: Batman v Superman

We continue our DCEU Re-Write with the second installment of the dark cinematic universe, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice! We started things off with a re-write of Man of Steel, the film that kicked off the DCEU. If you missed our Man of Steel re-write, please check out episode 119. We also talk news including Aquaman’s first poster, Shazam Gate 2018, Batwoman, and more in this DC-centric episode!

What did you think of our Batman v Superman rewrite? Did we improve the film? What would you have done differently? We want to know!

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

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Prefer to watch the episode? Catch the Twitch broadcast right here:

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

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Our DCEU: Batman v Superman

SH S3E08: Gotham City Sirens Casting

The Gotham City Sirens are coming thanks to Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn in the DCEU film Suicide Squad. So, we hang out with both of the Super Sirens to cast our own Gotham City Sirens movies. We cast Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Black Mask, Nightwing, Batgirl, and other classic DC Comics characters. So sit back, relax, and then let us know your thoughts on our casts plus who you think should fill these roles.

Be sure to head over to our Facebook page to let us know your thoughts on the Justice League Dark movie!

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Hillary Lewis

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S3E08: Gotham City Sirens Casting

SH S3E01: 2017 Predictions

We’re back with a whole new season in a whole new year! Screen Heroes returns for Season 3 to talk about our 2017 predictions for movies and TV shows! We provide our predictions for the following 13 questions:

  • What movie will make the most money in 2017?
  • What movie will be our personal favorite or best for 2017?
  • What movie will we dislike the most?
  • What movie do we think will surprise everyone (positive and negative)?
  • Which blockbuster film will bomb?
  • What will be the best comic book movie of the year?
  • What will be the worst comic book movie of the year?
  • What new TV are we most looking forward to?
  • What TV show will get canceled in 2017?\
  • What TV show will get a surprise renewal?
  • What long-running show will come to an end (min. 4 seasons)?
  • Which franchise do we think will get a reboot announcement in 2017?
  • What animated film will perform the best in 2017?

Make sure to comment with your 2017 predictions or hit us up on our Facebook page!

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

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Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

2017 Predictions Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S3E01: 2017 Predictions

SH S2E21: Ranking the Batman Villains

We return to the DC Comics world of Batman to rank his Top 20 villains including the big names like The Penguin and Catwoman plus some less-iconic characters including Phantasm and Killer Croc. In Episode 47 of the Heroes Podcast Network flagship series, we are joined by special guest and our #1 Patreon contributor, Jordan Seper! This was also his suggested topic, just another perk of being a Patreon contributor. Want to see what other cool stuff you can get? Head over to patreon.com\heroespodcasts to check out the perks.

Don’t forget that we have re-branded! The Grid Daily is now the Heroes Podcast Network and we have new homes across the Interwebs. So check out the updated links below and make sure you follow our brand new Twitch Channel at twitch.tv\heroespodcasts.

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Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv\heroespodcasts

Don’t forget to subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com\HeroesPodcasts

Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Jordan Seper

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Google Play Subscription Link
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SH S2E21: Ranking the Batman Villains

SH S2E14: Superhero Fall TV Prep

It’s that time of year again, time for the new TV season! With so much premiering in the months of September and October, we’ve decided just to focus on superhero themed TV series that premiere in those two months. This includes Marvel and DC related series. We’ll talk ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., FOX’s Gotham, Netflix’s Luke Cage, and The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. We’ll talk about where these shows left off last season, some expectations for this season, plus our hopes and dreams as these shows move forward, some in a positive direction and others on their way down.

Please be aware that we’ll be talking spoilers from these shows. Anything that happened prior to this season is fair game. We might talk last season’s finales, significant plot points, and where this season starts off. You have been warned.

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv\griddaily

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Screen Heroes podcast! The links to iTunes, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com\griddaily

Superhero Fall TV Prep Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Google Play Subscription Link
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SH S2E14: Superhero Fall TV Prep

SH S1E9: Batman, Through the Years

This week on Screen Heroes, Ryan and I are joined by our prop builder friend, Jon to talk about how the DC Comics iconic character, Batman has changed over the years in movies, TV, and video games. We hit on the classic Adam West version, Tim Burton’s take, as well as George Clooney. We also discuss the big Christopher Nolan trilogy and the highly anticipated Ben Affleck debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Outside of movies, we talk about the very popular Arkham video game franchise plus some of Batman’s better known animated works like The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: The Animated Series.

Before we jump into the Dark Knight, the three of us provide our initial thoughts on FOX’s new R-rate superhero film, Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds. We’ve all seen it, now we talk about it. We discuss what we liked about it plus some things they might have done better. It’s a short part of the episode but beware.

Batman Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Jon Czerwinski
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S1E9: Batman, Through the Years

Why Gotham’s Latest Twist Ending Was a Good Move

Fox’s relatively new Batman-themed show, Gotham, has certainly taken its viewers on some wild rides during its first season. Robin Lord Taylor’s performance as Penguin astonished viewers with his extremely dark but compelling take on the classic villain. Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) evolution from starting as a detective to beginning his quest to save the city of Gotham has been twisting and turning. Seeing the rise of the Dark Knight during his formative teenage years as young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), overseen by his ever faithful butler Alfred (Sean Pertwee), has provided viewers with insight into why Batman will eventually become a reality. One other aspect that Gotham has been fond of is teasing its viewers with cameos of Batman villains-in-the-making. From the reoccurring Cat/Selina Kyle/Not-Yet-Catwoman to the guest appearances of villains such as Scarecrow and a Bane-prototype, part of Gotham’s charm has been in showing how these iconic villains are coming into being. These villains don’t just decide to start a life of crime. They are a product of their reality and Gotham has done good in showing how all that will eventually come to be. However, there was one guest appearance that was less well received than others and if you have seen the first season, you probably know who I am talking about.

———————–Spoilers will follow——————————

I am, of course, referring to the Joker. While he is never explicitly referred to as the Joker, it is made quite clear that psychotic Jerome Valeska, portrayed rather well by Cameron Monaghan, is supposed to be the most iconic villain of all time and during his Season 1 appearance, it is safe to say that his reception was less than stellar. While Monaghan offered a new take on the Clown Prince of Crime, it simply didn’t work, I think, as well as the producers wished. Giving the Joker a lackluster backstory was their biggest problem. Instead of leaving the Joker’s backstory unknown as was done in the Dark Knight or giving him an enigmatic and cerebral reason for being as he is as was done in Alan Moore’s graphic novel, The Killing Joke, Gotham instead decided to make the Joker the abused son of circus performers. Not only is this backstory simply not that compelling, it seemed a bit insulting to make the Clown Prince an actual clown. The redeeming quality of this appearance truly did lie with Cameron Monaghan’s excellent performance in making the teenage Jerome/Joker come to life. He really did feel as pointlessly and deliciously insane as all Joker fans have come to know him. gotham_90137

However, this all changed in Season 2. Not only was Jerome’s role expanded, Monaghan was allowed to bring so much more to the role while not having to heavily reference the backstory established in Season 1. Episode 1 of Season 2 reintroduced Jerome as currently locked up in Arkham Asylum, serving his time for being behind the murder of his mother and her lover as was resolved in his Season 1 appearance. Jerome is eventually broken out by Theo Galavan, a villain whose true purpose hasn’t yet been revealed. Episode 2 of this season made good use of Monaghan’s acting talent in such scenes where he forces another villain into submission through a game of Russian Roulette and where Jerome so playfully and psychotically leads in the murder of many of Gotham’s police department. Episode 3, however, took a brilliant twist. Jerome’s sponsor, Theo Galavan, in his bid to gain a following among the citizens of Gotham, has Jerome terrorize a fundraiser at a children’s hospital and then kills Jerome to end the terror and name himself a hero. The audience had every reason to suspect that Jerome would be a reoccurring character for all of this season, if not the rest of the show, but this twist ended his Gotham tenure prematurely and brilliantly. Not only did it accelerate the arc of this season by moving forward with Theo’s as-yet-unknown plans, it gave Jerome’s character a proper ending. The Joker has always been about chaos and thus, Jerome’s death needed to be just as chaotic and out of the blue, which it succeeded. This also would avoid Jerome becoming an overused character whose quirks and insanity, done well by Monaghan, I will say, may work for some time, but it would be unavoidable that Jerome would have become annoying. By killing him off this early, Gotham’s writers have succeeded in two things, preserving the integrity of the character as well as moving the season’s story arc much further along, although we don’t know the ramifications of such yet.
knock-knock-jerome-gambles
Another interesting thing they did with Jerome’s death is how apparently the Joker has become an infectious entity. This episode ends with citizens seeing footage of Jerome’s actions and they begin using the infamous Joker laugh. One such group even kills a homeless man for no reason. This implies that the Joker is not just limited to one person. The Joker is the chaos inside of everyone, wanting to break free. As Gotham’s executive producer, Danny Cannon, said in regards to this episode: “I think the Joker isn’t so much a single person as he is an ideology. [He’s] an idea that we can all live without fear and we can all be free and we can all not live within the world’s restrictions and not live within the rules at all. This guy walks between the lines and I think that’s an ideology. It’s not a single person. It’s a way to live your life, and I think that’s what we explore.”

———————Spoilers End————————–

As for me, this episode, and specifically this twist, has me hooked onto Gotham all over again. I look forward to seeing how this season will unfold.

What did you think of the Joker twist? Are you caught up on Gotham? Comment below with your thoughts.

Why Gotham’s Latest Twist Ending Was a Good Move

Batman: Arkham Knight – Review

I just finished my first play through of Batman: Arkham Knight. To fully explain how I feel about the game, I have to start by describing how I felt about the other installments of the series. There will be no spoilers for Arkham Knight, but previous games in the series, as they are all old at this point, are fair game.

I enjoyed Arkham Asylum quite a bit. Arkham City was fun, though at times it was difficult to figure out where I needed to go or what I needed to do next.  And honestly I was really annoyed that Talia died before the story was over. But after two games with the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill in what I can only describe as an iconic performance) inserting himself as the main villain of the story, I was really quite ready to move on. Batman has other villains you know. How about allowing one of them to be the spotlight central villain for once?

 

Arkham Knight - Joker Which brings us to Batman: Arkham Origins, the one game in the series that I never purchased or played. Why not? Well, first off, because these days, I have a general dislike of prequels. I prefer to get to see what happens next, not how it all began, since I’ve already seen pieces of that, or enough to feel that there isn’t much of real interest there. Then I learned that the primary villain for Origins was Black Mask…except that it was really just Joker PRETENDING to be Black Mask. So that makes three games with Joker as the primary villain. Color me not interested.

Now we have Batman: Arkham Knight. The graphics are beautiful, the controls nice and clean. Driving the Batmobile around Gotham and generally causing mayhem with it is incredibly fun. But my first concern was that, despite the fact that the Joker died at the end of Arkham City, he would somehow come back and once again insert himself as the primary villain to the story. And while Joker does show up in the story, the way in which he participates is extremely different than previous installments of the series, and gave both Joker and Batman a new twist for us to enjoy the characters through.  And Mark Hamill once again delivers an amazing performance as Joker.  It’s going to be very difficult for me to accept someone else ever voicing that role again.

 

Arkham Knight - Female Characters

 

A conversation with some friends on Facebook brought up a post over at The Mary Sue (warning, the article contains spoilers for the game) bringing the game to task for its treatment of the female characters in the cast. But what it ultimately boils down to is that all three female characters in this game (Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Oracle/Barbara Gordon) seem to exist primarily so that Batman can save them. Poison Ivy and Oracle at least have a slight boost in that they also serve a very specific plot function, but Catwoman is literally restricted to a single building the entire game.

While I dislike how those characters are treated, the male supporting characters only seem to come across marginally better. The general sentiment I came away from the game with is, everyone is incompetent except for Batman. There was a moment during the game where I thought I would switch to playing Robin for a bit, while Batman recovered for a bit…but that didn’t happen. Instead, Batman runs off on his own again to prove how awesome he is… because he’s Batman!  With this being the last game in the series, and considering how the game ends (more on that in a minute), I was really hoping that some of the other characters, specifically Robin and Nightwing, would get more screen time or have more of an opportunity to shine.

Arkham Knight

Then there’s the Arkham Knight character himself, which I have a problem with. I’m going to try and not spoil who the character is, since the reveal itself was fairly well done… but by the point the reveal comes, it isn’t exactly a surprise anymore. It’s telegraphed fairly strongly about halfway through the game when Batman is seeing/hallucinating certain events that Joker was involved with regarding another character. As I’m watching that scene, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh that’s who the Arkham Knight is.”  The fact that it is telegraphed fairly early isn’t the problem. Who the Arkham Knight ended up being isn’t the problem. The problem is that, after finally being able to confront the Arkham Knight, the character essentially disappears. This is the character that this installment of the series is named after, and it was really disappointing that we didn’t get some kind of real resolution to the character.

Of course, given the way the game ends, that’s how I kind of feel about the conclusion to the game in general: disappointed with the lack of resolution. And since this is the last installment to the series (at least as far as developer Rocksteady is concerned), I have no hope of getting the resolution I’m looking for. We get nothing in the way of real parting words or last wishes from Batman to the people that he has trained to be the next generation of heroes. If you solve 100% of the puzzles and quests in the game prior to triggering the ending cinematic, you’re treated to an ever-so-slightly altered ending cinematic (that contains a few sentences of additional dialogue and one additional scene at the end) that leaves you with more questions than answers. For my money, that’s a rather distasteful way to close out a series.

All in all, the game is fun to play, but on days where I’m looking for a good story to experience, I’ll have to play something else. I guess this is what the Batman: Arkham series wants to be: a way for you to experience the thrill of being Batman and punching out the bad guys, without regard to how any kind of narrative connecting events together.  Perhaps Joker best sums up my feelings on the game, in one of the first lines he delivers in this game:

“Oh, Bats, how I’ve missed you. All the subtlety and nuance of a napalm enema…”

Batman: Arkham Knight – Review