Sunday, October 16, 2016

How I Would Have Adapted Batman: The Killing Joke

I think that the animated adaptation of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbon’s Batman: The Killing Joke (a comic book story roughly twice as long as a regular comic) was a decent effort but lacked the emotional punch it should have. Here’s how I would have done the story in animated form. Spoilers to both versions of the story of course.

The animated version has the right idea by having more scenes in the beginning with Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, so that what the Joker does to her has more of an emotional impact. However, by having that section completely disconnected from the rest of the movie, it mutes the impact. Plus, since this is a Joker story, the viewer gets a bit impatient waiting for the Joker to show up. But by the time he does the viewer has gotten invested enough in Batgirl’s story, told from her perspective that when the story that’s supported to be adapted finally turns up, it actually derails the movie that we’d been watching to this point. So to connect the stories more fully I’d do the following:

I’d establish that the Joker is so skilled at escaping that he more or less chooses when he leaves Arkham Asylum. The initial sequence would therefore also be a clash with the Joker, only involving Batgirl as well. As Batman and Batgirl tracked the Joker down, Batman would admit that despite having allies, he still tended to feel isolated and alone during his war on crime. Whenever he and Batgirl were alone, he’s noticeably let his guard down in his facial expressions, only to resume the stony face book whenever others were present. Also, Batgirl would observe that Batman keeps trying to put the Joker away and the Joker keeps escaping, and that the two of them were on a broken record. Meanwhile her father, Commissioner James Gordon would get into a debate with Batgirl as to whether or not the Joker was born evil (I think it works regardless of whether Gordon knows Batgirl is his daughter for this to work, but it might work better if it does, for reasons that will become apparent below).

Eventually Batman and Batgirl would capture the Joker. By this point Batgirl and her father’s debate would spill into the Joker overhearing them argue. The Joker would be motivated to not only escape sooner than usual but also try to drive Gordon mad to prove his evil was the result of a bad day and not his basic nature. Not realizing that the Joker had escaped, Batgirl, wanting to prove her own point, and stressing that the two of them were likely to get each other killed, would convince Batman to visit the Joker in Arkham. From there we’d head to the story of the comic version of the story with Batman learning of the Joker’s escape.

After the Joker killed the guy at the carnival he would remark that Batgirl was the only decent one among the do-gooders, thus emphasizing that he doesn’t know Batgirl is Barbara Gordon. This would have created further pathos when he shot and stripped Barbara and captured her father to try to drive James Gordon mad for what he said before.

The next bit would follow pretty closely the original story, with Joker remembering one possible version of his past as he subjects a stripped James Gordon to a mad carnival ride. He’d taunt Gordon with delight at watching the man who insulted him get dragged down by a bad day, just as he was, or at least how he remembers it that day.

When Batman was alone with Barbara, his face would soften and show his anguish, and he would promise to Barbara to really hurt the Joker for what he did to her. But Barbara would tell him no, because that way the Joker wins, by dragging them to his level. She’d tell him to try to redeem him one more time. Batman, touched by Barbara’s strength after the trauma she’d experienced, would promise to honour her wishes.

This promise would be strengthened further by him finding James Gordon, having survived the attempt by the Joker to drive him mad and having him tell Batman to do this by the book. Armed by the strength shown by both Gordons, he’d be able to first keep his cool and defeat the Joker, and then, at a point when he really just wants to hurt the Joker, offer to end their conflict just this once. The Joker would decline and tell his joke about being alone. Batman would laugh, but a bit uncertainly.

I’d end the story with Batman taking James to Barbara after James had been patched up. Batman would start to leave only to be asked to stay by his friends. Batman would think about how his friends, despite their trauma would heal and welcome him in their world, while the Joker was alone. Batman would finally realize that with such strong friends he could never be alone, so the Joker’s joke about being alone was no longer as funny. Having thus decided this, he’d realize that despite what they’d endured, this time the joke was on the Joker. The final shot would be of the Joker in Arkham, now completely broken with no energy to attempt an escape.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Justice League of America (1997 Pilot): Where are They Now?

Note: This was originally part of a blog entry on DC live action series of the 1980s and 1990s. It has been split into separate entries to allow for expanded coverage. Specific titles noted only for 2014-on. Information derived from the imdb. *=newly added name from earlier post. All known cast members noted.

Matthew Settle (Green Lantern): in Valentine (2016), Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (1 episode 2016), The Faith of Anna Waters (2016), Marshall the Miracle Dog (2015), Paper Angels (2014), Ouija (2014).
Kimberly Oja (Ice): last known acting role in 2008.
John Kassir (Atom): in Pete's Dragon (2016), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Smothered (2016), Two Minutes to Midnight (1 episode 2016), The Gunrunner Billy Kane (2016), Breadwinners (2 episodes 2015), Halo 5: Guardians (2015 video game), Skylanders: SuperChargers (2015 video game), Rick and Morty (1 episode 2015), Lego Jurassic World (2015 video game), Minions (2015), Hot in Cleveland (1 episode 2015), NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (1 episode 2015), Chance Manifest (2015), Minkow (2015), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1 episode 2014), Skylanders: Trap Team (2014 video game), Bayonetta 2 (2014 video game), The Prophet (2014), Bump and Grind (1 episode 2014), Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (1 episode 2014); The Taker (2016), And Then There Was Eve (2016), Mystic Cosmic Patrol (1 episode nd) in post-production; First Platoon (nd) in pre-production; Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars (2016 video game) announced; as Additional Voices, completed: Sing (2016); as Self: Dysfunctional with No Filter Paul and Denise (unknown episodes 2016), Bizarre Transmissions from the Bermuda Triangle (2 episodes 2015).
Michelle Hurd (Fire): in Blindspot (1 episode 2016), Hawaii Five-0 (5 episodes 2014-2016), Daredevil (6 episodes 2016), Search Engines (2016), Jessica Jones (1 episode 2015), It Had to Be You (2015), I Spit on Your Grave 3: Vengeance Is Mine (2015), Devious Maids (4 episodes 2015), How to Get Away with Murder (1 episode 2015), Bosch (1 episode 2015), The Mysteries of Laura (1 episode 2015), Beautiful & Twisted (2015), Witches of East End (2 episodes 2014), Pretty Little Liars (1 episode 2014); Within the Dark (2016), We Don't Belong Here (2016) completed.
Kenny Johnston (The Flash): in La regiĆ³n salvaje (2016), A Cannibal's Handshake (1 episode 2015), Liar (2015), Today's Temp! 2 (2014; also Writer/Co-Producer), General Hospital (1 episode 2014), Road to the Open (2014), Drop in Any Mailbox (2014); The Meanest Man in Texas (2016) in post-production; Where the Tulips Grow (2016), Lost Fare (2017) filming.
David Krumholtz (Martin): in All Hail King Julien (12 episodes 2015-2016), Casual Encounters (2016), Sausage Party (2016), Hail, Caesar! (2016), The Good Wife (7 episodes 2014-2016), Mom (5 episodes 2015-2016), Gigi Does It (8 episodes 2015; also Executive Producer; 3 as Writer), Master of None (1 episode 2015), I Saw the Light (2015), HitRECord on TV (1 episode 2015), Forever (1 episode 2015), What's Your Emergency (1 episode 2015), Ella (2015; also Executive Producer), Key and Peele (1 episode 2014), Newsreaders (1 episode 2014), The League (1 episode 2014), The Judge (2014), Murdered: Soul Suspect (2014 video game), Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (2014 video game), Men at Work (5 episodes 2014), Gigi's Bucket List (2014; also Writer/Executive Producer); The Interestings (2016), Ghost Team (2016) completed; The Deuce (4 episodes 2017) in pre-production; as Self: Hollywood Today Live (1 episode 2016), @midnight (1 episode 2016), Comedy Bang! Bang! (1 episode 2015), Last Call with Carson Daly (1 episode 2015).
Elisa Donovan (Cheryl): in HOARS (Home Owner Association Regency Supreme) (1 episode 2015), The Dog Who Saved Summer (2015; also Co-Producer), Cardinal X (2015), Melissa & Joey (1 episode 2014), The Dog Who Saved Easter (2014; also Co-Producer); as Self: Entertainment Tonight (2 episodes 2015), Dr. Drew on Call (1 episode 2014).
Ron Pearson (Dr. Arliss Hopke): in The Comedians (1 episode 2015), Liv and Maddie (1 episode 2014), Raising Hope (1 episode 2014).
David Ogden Stiers (Martian Manhunter): in Regular Show (9 episodes 2014-2016), Rizzoli & Isles (2 episodes 2015); Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time (2016) completed; The Joneses Unplugged (2016) in post-production; as Self: Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain (2016), My Music: Classical Rewind II (2015).
Miguel Ferrer (Weather Man): in NCIS: Los Angeles (91 episodes 2012-2016), Bald (2014), Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014), Adventure Time with Finn & Jake (2 episodes 2014), Rio 2 (2014); Twin Peaks (1 episode 2017) in post-production; as Self: RoboDoc: The Creation of Robocop (2017), NCIS: Los Angeles - Season 6: Too Close for Comfort (2015), NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 5 - Crafting Afghanistan (2014), NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 5 - Happy 100th (2014), NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 5 - Unexpected Developments (2014), Home & Family (1 episode 2014).
Robert Gallo (Landlord): in The Exes (1 episode 2015); Ascension (2017) in post-production.
* Nick DeMauro (TV Repairman):  in Ray Donovan (1 episode 2016), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1 episode 2014).
* Jason Weissbrod (Drazen): in Doobious Sources (2016; also Camera Operator); as Producer/Editor: Kharma Bums (2015).
* Brian Sampson (ENO Security Officer; uncredited): in Steve Jobs (2015; also Stand-In), Murder in the First (1 episode 2015; 6 2014-2015 as Stand-In); as Stand-In: Big Eyes (2014), Need for Speed (2014); as Photo Double: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014); as Stand-In, completed: Birth of the Dragon (2016); as Stand-In, post-production: Looking: The Movie (2016), The Etruscan Smile (2017; also Precision Driver); as Stand-In, pre-production: Chance (1 episode 2016, 1 as Precision Driver); as Precision Driver, pre-production: Cruel Intentions (nd).
* Mary Ann Schmidt (Blonde Biker; uncredited): last known acting role in 2004.

Human Target (1992): Where are They Now?

Note: This was originally part of a blog entry on DC live action series of the 1980s and 1990s. It has been split into separate entries to allow for expanded coverage. Specific titles noted only for 2014-on. Information derived from the imdb. *=newly added name from earlier post. Only actors in 2+ episodes noted.

Rick Springfield (Christopher Chance): in Supernatural (1 episode 2016), IHeart80s Party (2016), True Detective (3 episodes 2015), Ricki and the Flash (2015), Family Guy (1 episode 2014), CollegeHumor Originals (1 episode 2014), Drop Dead Diva (1 episode 2014); Traces (2016) completed; as Self: Greatest Hits (1 episode 2016), Rachael Ray (1 episode 2016), The Meredith Vieira Show (1 episode 2016), Entertainment Tonight (3 episodes 2015-2016), Today (2 episodes 2015-2016), Live! With Kelly and Michael (3 episodes 2014-2016), Ice & Coco (1 episode 2015), The Talk (1 episode 2015), Extra (1 episode 2015), Jimmy Kimmel Live! (1 episode 2015), The Eric Andre Show (1 episode 2015), Lennon or McCartney (2014), Rick Springfield: Stripped Down (2014), Chelsea Lately (1 episode 2014), The Chew (1 episode 2014), Oprah: Where Are They Now? (1 episode 2014).
Kirk Baltz (Philo Marsden): in Interior Night (2016), Wicked City (5 episodes 2015), Hush the Series (unknown episodes 2014); The Cutlass (2016) in post-production; Strange Ones (1 episode 2016) in pre-production.
Sami Chester (Jeff Carlyle): last known acting role in 1997.
Signy Coleman (Libby Page): last known acting role in 2012.
* Scott Paulin (Jay Palmer): in Castle (1 episode 2014), The Young and the Restless (4 episodes 2014); Napoleon (nd) announced; as Director: The Mop and Lucky Files (5 episodes 2016), The Mop and Lucky Files (2016), Namaste Bitches (6 episodes 2015); as Self: Retire My Room (1 episode 2014).
* Kathryn Dowling (Margaret Palmer): last known acting role in 1994.
* Luke Edwards (Sam):  in Little Paradise (2015; also Producer), True Detective (2 episodes 2015), 1st Date (2015), Stranglehold (2014); Quarries (nd), A Beginner's Guide to Snuff (2016; also Producer) completed; Serpent in the Bottle (nd), Here (2015), The Neighbor (2016) in post-production; A Deadly Affair (nd) filming; as Producer, completed: Big Bear (2016); as Producer, post-production: Desolation (2016); as Behind-the-Scenes Videography: Raised by Wolves (2014).
* Richard Belzer (Greene): in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2 episodes 2014-2016), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (1 episode 2015); as Self: Eccentric Eclectic (2015), National Lampoon: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead (2015), King Kill 63 (2015), Unsung Hollywood (1 episode 2014), Inside Comedy (1 episode 2014); as Self, post-production: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (2016); as Self, filming: Marilyn Monroe: Murder on Fifth Helena Drive (2014).
* Eloy Casados (Hector Vergara): in McFarland (2015), Castle (1 episode 2014), 50 to 1 (2014), Shameless (3 episodes 2014), As You Like It (2014); Primal Rage: The Legend of Oh-Mah (2016) in post-production.  
* Nick Angotti (Lieutenant): last known acting role in 1994.
* Gregg Daniel (Coach): in Grey's Anatomy (1 episode 2015), The Grinder (1 episode 2015), True Detective (1 episode 2015), True Blood (10 episodes 2014); Fat Ass Zombies (nd), Jerico (2016) in post-production; as Self: Q N' A with Mikki and Shay (1 episode 2015).
* Ricardo Gutierrez (Roberto): last known acting role in 2009.
* Sara Rose Johnson (Katie): last known acting role in 1994.