Monday, September 11, 2006

Batman Mask of the Phantasm

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I'd like to spend a little bit of time talking about the best Batman movie made so far. No I'm not talking about Batman Begins, or the Tim Burton movies, but Batman Mask of the Phantasm. Phantasm was the first movie made by the brilliant animators who worked on the Batman cartoon that started up in the early 90s. That series was, and still is, my favorite interpretation of the Batman character, and I have recently rediscovered that amazing show. Let my review of this movie guide you into this first, and best foray into Batman's animated adventures. (Don't even get me started on the Crap that is the newest animated incarnation of Batman.)

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First of all I must talk about the character designs for this movie, which were all based off of Bruce Timm's iconic art style. These designs are very unique, and as I said before iconic, many have hailed this series character designs, and animation for being very lush, and for providing alot of detail and movement. What I liked in particular about this movie was the use of shadows on Batman, and how characters would blend in and shroud themselves in them. In fact this movie is very dark with most of the scenes taking place at night. Overall all character designs are very nice, and attractive. This series has much more fluidity in it's animation, and it is refreshing to watch animation that was produced completely by hand, instead of today's mostly computer generated/aided animation.

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The voice acting in this movie is incredible, I remember reading someplace about how the casting agent Andrea Romano looked for actors with character in their voices, and that this series' voice actors often recorded their lines together to allow for greater chemistry between actors. First off I have to mention Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman, he provided an extra psychological layer to this movie by using two distinct voices when voicing Batman and Bruce Wayne. I should also mention that Conroy has been voicing Batman for the Past 14 years. (DAMN THAT NEW CARTOON FOR CASTING SOME OTHER JERK AS BATMAN!!!!! DAMN THEM!!!!!!) Dana Delany provides the voice for Bruce Wayne's love interest in this movie, and does an excellent job. I just have to say that I love just about every voice acting performance I have heard Delany in, she imbues any character she voices with instant respectability, and personality. Also Mark Hamil (yes Luke Skywalker) provides the most definitive take on the Joker ever, bar none, and his voice acting work is just incredible. In fact it is blasphemy that he isn't in that godforsaken new Batman cartoon either. The only voice actor that I didn't like was the guy who voiced the hot shot politician, I forget the politician's name and position, he just didn't have that "it" factor to his voice.

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Lastly the plot to this movie was very good, in the beginning I was just a little bored, with the flow of the story, but after about fifteen minutes I was completely hooked, and the ending more than made up for the slowness of the first fifteen minutes. I don't want to spoil much of the plot for you guys, so I'll just mention what other far more respectable, and renown critics have said about this movie. Ebert and Roeber gave this movie two thumbs up, the first Batman movie to recieve such an honor (and the only one up until Batman Begins came and tore down the house). Steve Parshall said it best when he hailed this version of Batman as, "Gotham City's savior the way he was meant to be". Some of my favorite scenes in this movie revolve around Bruce Wayne debating his vow to his parents, because he has found true love, and wants to settle down, but of course this is Batman, and well lets just say that things don't end happily for him. I just can't recommend this movie enough.

So I guess I should give this a numerical grade...Hmm I'll go with a 98.

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I Know this says comic book adaptation, but dammit it looks cool

9 Comments:

At September 15, 2006 10:47 PM, Blogger Aimless Anarchist said...

Incredible. Nice work Mr. man. Indeed.

Have you tried analyzing your interests with Freudian methodology?

 
At September 15, 2006 11:42 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Are you referring to that guy's big ass claw, because that is the only freudianish thing I can see in all this.
So please enlighten us with your freudian analysis of this mr. Anarchist

 
At September 15, 2006 11:51 PM, Blogger Aimless Anarchist said...

On the contrary, I see nothing.
I am not referring to the movie itself, but rather on Batman himself and his popualrity with fans all over the world. Freud may conclude that the vendetta that drives batman may have been a result of an incomplete and deranged Oedipus complex. thus, people that see this may unconsciously be attracted to this becuase they see their own frustrations in Batman.

What's your take on the claws?

 
At September 16, 2006 5:36 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Wait couldn't you just say that Batman is freudian because a childhood trauma has ruined his life. Also where is the incomplete Oedipus complex, he didn't kill his dad, and he didn't love his mom...............in the biblical sense.

Yes your comment is very appropriate, because one of the themes of this movie is batman's oath (not vendetta) to his parents that he will protect the city, and how he feels he must give up this oath in order to achieve happiness.

 
At September 16, 2006 5:37 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Also that bad guys claw looked kind of phalic. That was all I thought you were talking about.

 
At September 18, 2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Aimless Anarchist said...

The new thing you got going is bad ass!!!

 
At September 19, 2006 9:34 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Of course. Everything I do is badass, because I'm badass

 
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