"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two" Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Jan 29, 2013.

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Rate and Comment - "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two" Animated Feature

  1. *****

    33.3%
  2. ****1/2

    38.1%
  3. ****

    9.5%
  4. ***1/2

    9.5%
  5. ***

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. **1/2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. **

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. *1/2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. *

    4.8%
  10. 1/2

    4.8%
  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey Administrator

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    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two
    Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
    Release Date: January 29th, 2013

    Synopsis: The Dark Knight, along with new sidekick Robin, have finally reclaimed Gotham City and allowed a ray of hope to penetrate the reign of terror that The Mutants had cast upon his city. With Batman back in the spotlight, the extended media coverage has awoken a far worse evil at Arkham Asylum, The Joker! Forever destined to be mortal enemies, The Joker has a diabolical scheme that may pull Batman down to the darkest levels of insanity. While on the horizon, a global catastrophe races towards Gotham and with it comes a familiar face, The Man of Steel, though this time he has Batman in his sights. Witness as the aging Dark Knight wages a tireless war against crime while proving that courage and will are indeed timeless.

    Comments on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two?

    Please post all discussions concerning about the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two animated feature in this thread! Discussion for the home video release of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two can be found in the proper talkback linked below.

    Related Threads:
    -Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two Feature Review (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two Blu-Ray Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part One Blu-Ray Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part One Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Classic Comic Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again Classic Comic Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: Year One Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: Under the Red Hood Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: Gotham Knight Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Brave and The Bold "Battle of the Super-Heroes" Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Animated Series "The Man Who Killed Batman" Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Animated Series "The Last Laugh" Talkback (Spoilers)


    Note: Remember, this talkback thread is for discussion of the feature film. If you wish to talk about the home video release, please click on the appropriate link above. We appreciate and encourage discussion, but please keep your posts civil, relevant and insightful. Please do not post any improper or inflammatory material, as we will issue warnings if we believe it necessary. And remember to keep the discussion ON-TOPIC!
     
  2. Aaron

    Aaron New Member

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    Blech! I truly despise this story. Though I'll give it 1/2 a star as opposed to Zero stars (if that were an option) because changing a few minor details, glossing over certain elements, and presenting an improved recreation of the comics visual make it SLIGHTLY better than the comic it's based on.

    Even apart from the storyline, the film itself is mediocre at best. Convoluted, hate-filled, melodramatic, and still manages to be boring.
    The voice work is just as mediocre. I LOVE Peter Weller. And I was super excited when I heard he was cast. My first thoughts were "Wow! Peter Weller! I hate this story, but I'll give it a shot, because I love him!"
    He was awful. Sounded just terrible as Batman. And the same goes for Mark Valley. After watching him on Boston Legal and Human Target, I thought he'd have a great voice for Superman. NOPE.
    Both of these performances now rank as my least favorite voices for BOTH characters... EVER.
     
  3. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.

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    Thanks for bringing vitriol to the first post, it really helps the thread. You despise the story, yet you still watched it? Really?

    Then who would you cast, why, and how would have wanted them to portray both characters?

    What didn't you like in the story adaptation, how would you have made it palpable?
     
  4. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Member

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    There are places where I think that Peter Weller is pretty good in this. However, I think that his delivery largely falls a bit flat. I really wish that the powers-that-be had allowed Kevin Conroy to come back for this. Heck even Bruce Greenwood would have probably been better. I have no problem at all with Mark Valley's Superman. Ariel Winter voiced Carrie perfectly. Michael Emerson's Joker was certainly different from how I hear him in my head, but it was a valid interpretation. Even David Selby's Gordon was okay.
    The animation could have been smoother, but--on the whole--that was fine too. I'm glad that at least some of Bruce's internal monologue was able to be incorporated into dialogue. There are still many lines from it that I miss in this.
     
  5. Sarada

    Sarada Reporter

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    My review from the pre-release talkback with a few modifications.

    Michael Emerson is one of those stunt-castings that probably really could have come off really well were there a little more attention being paid by the director. There are some lines that work and others that really seemed like nobody listened to every performance to make sure the lines were done right. It's a shame, espicially considering how intense Emerson was on Lost that so many of his deliveries come off as being half-hearted table readings. Speaking of tables, Peter Weller continues to be as wooden as ever. You'd think having twice the amount of time to play a character than other previous newbies to voice acting would help, but nope, it's as wooden as many a table.

    Mark Valley was pretty good, certainly better than Emerson or Weller. Clark's character does come off as a bit more "It's not personal" than in the comic, but I never really felt Miller was throwing Clark under the bus as it is. As with the comic, 'Superman' is never used in the movie, although the credits only list Valley as playing Superman, so go figure.

    I did like the violence, though . Joker being allowed to be bloodied with a Batarang in his eye was nice to see after how weak the previous films have been on violence. I think sending these films to the MMPA for rating is pretty dumb (it's direct to video shelf fluff, after all), but I'm surprised the film got away with this much violence after how clean the previous PG-13 films have been. Now, if only the next Superman film had some real grit in the battles...

    I'm hoping we get more of these two-part movies. It allows for more breathing room and helps cover up the feeling of these simply being cheap cash-ins a little more.
     
  6. khuddle

    khuddle New Member

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    Dark Knight 2

    I liked the movie in that it was faithful to Millers inspired original story. The animation was great, and I really
    liked that they included the good, the bad and the ugly from the original story, including the scenes
    with the Joker's rather risque new female bodybuilder girlfriend, "Bruno". However, I have agree to with everyone
    mercilessly pummeling the voice acting. It was atrocious. Weller's Batman sounds like a Wilford Brimley who's
    smoked a pack a day for the last 50 years. Its the worst Batman I have ever heard and will likely ever hear. Micheal
    Emerson ain't nothin' special as the Joker either, though he isn't nearly as brutal as Weller. And they managed to screw
    up a lot of small voice parts too: the guy who does Reagan sounds nothing remotely like Reagan -- I did a better Reagan,
    back in my junior high days of the 1980s. And why replace David Letterman (who, for you kids out there, was actually pretty funny in his prime years of the 1980s) with the fictional "David Endochrine" as talk show host? That pretty much ruined the interview scene with the Joker, which was quite memorable in the original comic (Joker: "I'm going to kill everyone in the audience." Letterman: "Now thats just darn rude!").
    Yeah, the voice acting is so bad in this one its hard to believe its Andrea Romano production. Is the old woman slipping?
     
  7. Dusty

    Dusty Superman.

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    Okay so I had never read the actual book these two movies were based on. But I got a copy of the movie and watched it last night... and I kind of regret buying it. I really, really disliked this movie, it was no where near the level of awesomeness that was Part One. That movie had violence, but it wasn't enough to make me want to turn away. This movie though I found myself doing that quite a bit. It just seemed like nothing more than a personal view on politics and a major gore fest. (maybe that was Millers aim... I really don't know.)
    Questions though, what was...
    but truthfully, it wasn't that part of the movie that bothered me the most. It was just that it was so gory and overall it seemed rather pointless, like Frank Miller just wanted to show/write about all the strange and gory things he thinks about. I guess if I was born in the 70's instead of the 80's I would have been old enough to understand what was happening, and if I had read the books... maybe they would have made a little more sense or something. But I do know I still would have disliked the gore and other things.

    Truthfully, I am actually happy I never read the original comic, it quite possibly could have ruined my taste for comics altogether. I mean, I suppose I owe this comic a thanks though, as others enjoyed it and were inspired to make stuff like BTAS and The Dark Knight Films and whatnot. But I for sure will never read or watch a Miller comic or movie again, I knew Frank Miller was dark but I didn't know he was this dark. I think he needs a Jamba Juice with a pump of Vitamin C for "cheery" and a ticket to Disney Land. ;) Comic books and animated adaptions of those books shouldn't be quite this dark IMO.

    Part One gets 4 stars, Part Two gets 1.6

    Again this is all my opinion, I mean no offense to any, but I apologize if anyone was offended or anything. :)




    D.
     
  8. Sarada

    Sarada Reporter

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    The government was being made a mockery of by Batman's return, so Reagan sent in Superman to take care of the situation. Bruce, not particularly liking being told what to do, decided to send a message to the government by kicking Clark's butt. Clark, still being tuckered out from taking the nuke and not having enough sunlight to restore his strength, had a tougher time to fight. In the end, I'm pretty sure Miller simply wanted to pit the two together for funnsies and wrote the story to fit it.

    I think Miller was commenting on big government and possibly on the role an average man can play in inspiring others.
     
  9. Lord Sidious

    Lord Sidious New Member

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    The ending would have been a lot better if Batman REALLY dies at the end.


    And have GA and Robin train the new generation the ways of The Bat.

    Perfect ending to the whole legend of The Batman
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron New Member

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    Let's address this one issue at a time. Shall we?

    1) "Thanks for bringing vitriol to the first post, it really helps the thread." - What? I'm not allowed to be bitter? It's a Talkback thread. I express my opinion, and you jump on me with sarcasm? Real mature.

    2) "You despise the story, yet you still watched it? Really?" Yeah. 1) Did you miss the sentence: "Wow! Peter Weller! I hate this story, but I'll give it a shot, because I love him!" ? 2) You know those people who automatically hate on something without ever giving it a chance? I'm not one of them.

    3) "Then who would you cast, why, and how would have wanted them to portray both characters?" - Well the portrayal has to go along with the story, they're screwed from the get-go, since Batman is portrayed a hyper-violent, hateful, nutcase and Superman is a moron who gets duped by his government. But I would have cast someone more like Michael Ironside as Batman. The main thing is that I would have had Batman's voice deeper, and slightly gravely. More like Clint Eastwood's voice. And would have had Superman speaking with a voice that sounded older. Mark Valley sounded like he was in his 20s.

    4) You said "What didn't you like in the story adaptation". I said, and I quote, "changing a few minor details, glossing over certain elements, and presenting an improved recreation of the comics visual make it SLIGHTLY better than the comic it's based on." I actually stated that I enjoyed the film version more than the comic itself.
    "Palpable" - according to Merriam-Webster - capable of being touched or felt : tangible. 2. : easily perceptible : noticeable. 3. : easily perceptible by the mind : manifest.
    So, I think I understand what you're asking of me, but you're not asking it quite right? Maybe?
    Anyway...
    The only answer I can offer would be to drastically alter the film from it's source materal. Because having a Batman that quits, becomes suicidal (but is too proud and stubborn to actually kill himself, so he develops a moronic death-wish) and having a Superman who's a stooge and lackey is just plain unforgivable.
    But then, if I were to change things around, what would be the point of adapting it? I admire that this adaptation was so faithful. I hate when adaptations claim to be based on something and then arbitrarily start altering the material. I just wish that this film and it's source material didn't exist. I know, I know, I'm in the minority. But I find respite in knowing that I'm not alone. I've met plenty of people who feel as I do. I just hope in time, more people see the light.

    And DUSTY!!!
    Dusty, Dusty, Dusty!
    I love you!

    1) Yes! What WAS up with Superman? - More on this in a bit.

    2) Everything you said about Miller... 100% FACT. He wrote TDKR as a commentary on government, economics, Reaganomics, and mass-media consumption, and how much he hates all of it. So, everything you got out of it, was accurate. I was and is paranoid of his government. And he wrote a totally pointless, over the top, gory Batman story just to do it.

    3)"did/does Frank Miller hate Superman or something?" - YES! Yes he does. He's gone on record saying it more than once. He ALWAYS writes Superman as a moronic loser. In fact, he generally has little regard for any hero that isn't Batman. And he writes them all as pathetic characters. And he "builds up" his Batman by generally making him a horrible person. To Frank Miller, being a jerk means being awesome.

    4) "overall it seemed rather pointless, like Frank Miller just wanted to show/write about all the strange and gory things he thinks about" - You hit the nail right on the head! That's all he does. And when he writes about original characters, it's not so bad. "Sin City" and "Give Me Liberty" are perfect examples. But when he drastically alters great characters, like the ENTIRE DC Universe, just because he's mad about socio-political issues, you get the things you complained about.

    5) "But I for sure will never read or watch a Miller comic or movie again" - Again... I love you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2013
  11. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu Grumpy Gorilla

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    My review for Toonzone News is up now. I seem to have had a much more positive reaction than most so far, thinking it was even better than the first one, though I'm never really sure how much of that is because of the movie's own merits and how much is because of the knowledge I'm bringing to it by being intimately familiar with the comic book. While I'm sure I am filling in gaps with what happened in the book, the number of times the movie made me look at things differently from the source material makes me think it's more about the movie's own merits.

    re: What's up with Superman? As I mentioned in the review, if I have a complaint about the way the adaptation has to lose some of the depth and texture of the comic, it's that I didn't pick up on the conflicted nature of Superman quite as much. It's a lot clearer to me in the book that he's not a completely willing participant in what he's doing, and the government comes off as much less benign. I felt that the only moment in the movie that really carried that across was the wink at the funeral scene. Then again, maybe it's just my own general distaste for the sensibilities of the Reagan administration and the era as a whole, which was current events when the book was published. Some days, it seems like all that's become so institutionalized that we don't see the negatives as outside the norm any more.

    I think the loss of some of the more biting social commentary in the original book also doesn't help. The guy with glasses in the movie is presented as a totally selfish, me-first jerk (of a variety that was growing increasingly common at the time, it seemed) who is appropriately punished for it. He and the other bit players throughout the comic aren't exactly subtle, but they're all set up as explicit foils to characters like Jim Gordon, Batman, and Superman, who are all practicing self-sacrifice for the greater good in different ways. In the movie, glasses guy is a lot softer around the edges. In the movie, it's an accident that he pushes people onto a train track; in the book, he explicitly does it out of paranoia and then spits out a lame justification afterwards. I think there's something lost as a result.

    Other bits that didn't make it into the review: I liked how the movie made Jim Gordon more important in the back half of the story, since he disappears for most of it in the book. I definitely like the change that makes him a more pivotal player after the nuclear strike. in the book, he pulls the gun and gets people to start helping, which makes it seem like the only way to get people to act with self-interested altruism is through the threat of force. The way he just uses the gun to get attention and then convinces the crowd to do the right thing instead is a much more compelling image, and makes the parallels between him and Batman stronger. I also liked the new exchange between Gordon and Superman at the end, even if I think it's more ambiguous than it should be when it looks like Gordon either doesn't know who Clark is or what the relationship was between Clark and Bruce.

    I did like the way the movie expanded and tipped the scales of that big final fight between Batman and Superman. The book was one of the definitive "Bat-god" moments, where the two are really facing off as equals. While Superman gets walloped pretty good in the movie, it really seemed to me that the movie exploits the argument that says Superman would pound the stuffing out of Batman in a fight. All of Batman's tricks may be whittling away at Superman, and few if any of them would work if Superman were at full strength, but even then I feel like Superman's holding back and Batman's only trying (and, for that matter, only able) to keep him pinned down long enough for Ollie to show up with the kryptonite arrow. It makes that final victory (bitter as it is) more meaningful. Unfortunately, it also makes much of that fight kind of pointless -- since Ollie knows how important he is to the scheme of things, why isn't he more on-the-ball to begin with?

    One other thing that suddenly doesn't make sense any more: why did Batman "lose hours" when Superman interfered with Bruno? It's not like Batman was getting anything useful out of her anyway. It just makes Batman look petulant and like a big plot device rather than anything substantial. Minor, since the purpose of the scene is to introduce Superman, but it only struck me as odd now.

    I also really liked Michael Emerson's Joker, and if Peter Weller didn't ring true on occasion, it was more because he just didn't match the voice I've heard in my head all these years. Michael Emerson was exactly what I heard as the Joker and Ariel Winter did even better as Robin than I envisioned, so maybe some of that is on Weller's performance. However, he hits it enough times that I end up OK with his performance in the end. I'd have loved Kevin Conroy or even Jeremy Sisto in the role, but Weller did fine considering the expectations he was up against.
     
  12. Sarada

    Sarada Reporter

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    Oh, yeah. That guy in the glasses was a a lot more of an ass in the book. I wish they hadn't toned him down, it would've really carried with the flow of the movie. The mayor seemed a little less of an idiot, too, although that might just be that they weren't sticking to Miller's stylized depiction of him (which I assume was drawn with disgust).

    I figured the thing with Ollie was that Bruce had everything on a timetable. It seemed to me Bruce was trying to time his supposed death just right, throwing timed obstacles in Clark's way to distract him. Or maybe I'm forgetting a line where he's asking himself where the Hell Ollie is?

    As for Clark, I'd say he felt a bit more benign in the movie. Granted that might just be Valley's reading, but it ties in with your comment about him holding back during the fight. I think, from Clark's perspective, he's making the best of the cards he was dealt without causing a ruckus with the folks back home.
     
  13. Franny

    Franny New Member

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    My status is still on the "waiting to be shipped." Driving me crazy!!!
     
  14. Bobbywoodhogan

    Bobbywoodhogan I Will Find Him!

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    Saw this a while ago on Amazon, it's definitely the best film yet in my opinion. I also think that it improves the book in many ways. Especially where my favourite hero Superman is portrayed. He comes across far less douchie in this than he does in the book and the finest moments in the film I believe are his. His arrival in Gotham, including the epic train stopping scene, the beautiful scene where he almost dies and if course his epic final fight with the Bat. Mark Valley's performance as the Man of Steel completely steals the movie. Also Michael Emerson excels as the Joker, the epic scene with his final showdown with Batman was jaw dropping with its gore and violence. Of course the returning stars also do an amazing job, this is definitely the best one yet. 5 out of 5.
     
  15. The Dark Lord

    The Dark Lord New Member

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    Eh, when it comes to stuff like Frank Miller works, I kinda just switch my brain off and enjoy the action.

    That being said, I was really bored throughout the first half. Was it because of that topless chick that might have me scarred for life? Was it being sick of seeing Joker again (though I did like Michael Emerson's performance)? Was it just anticipation for the Batman v. Superman fight? IDK.

    Second half was a lot better. I liked seeing Batman leading the Sons of Batman, liked seeing people helping out Gotham, and, of course, loved seeing the Batman vs. Superman fight. Good stuff. :)
     
  16. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond New Member

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    Without getting into a big review or debating with others, I'll just say that I thoroughly enjoyed both parts and I am totally happy with the faithfulness it had with adapting the story and the art style and designs of the original comic books. I just wish more comic-to-screen adaptations were made like this.
     
  17. Dusty

    Dusty Superman.

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    ....I love you too... lol. ;) Seriously though, I am glad I am not the only one who saw the flaws in the movie. I was thinking I was going to get a bunch of posts saying how wrong I was and how cool the story was. I was also afraid of getting Tomatoes thrown at me, lol. But again I am glad someone else agrees that the movie had major issues, or rather the book did... the movie is just an adaptation of the "bleghh" source material. :)


    D.
     
  18. VictoryStar

    VictoryStar "Here is your first present~"

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    Well I saw the movie today on Blu Ray and it was a lot better than the first one (and considering this one covered the most exciting parts of the novel I don't see why not). The action was on point, character moments moving, and the animation was very fluid.

    I especially liked how they kept more of the internal monologue scenes in this one. Those pieces of dialogue were some of the best in the entire book and the fact that they found a way to incorporate at least some of them as spoken dialogue makes me happy.

    The one major complaint I have about the movie is how they changed Superman in this movie. The Dark Knight Returns featured one of the most idealist and hope filled versions of Superman to ever have been written almost as a mirror of Batman's beliefs and ideals(and considering how he writes him now it's surprising it was done by Frank Miller) . Even though most of the things he does is like in the book it just isn't the same without things like Superman getting the strength to throw a nuclear missile by thinking "1000's die by fire if I am weak." or him asking mother earth for energy rather than just taking it and then stating that "Your adopted son shall honor you" to finish it al off in a heartwarming fashion. They don't even keep any of the dialogue in for that latter scene because they don't even have the missile hit earth (it explodes in the sky). They don't even keep him telling them to commend Bruce's soul after his "death" only the "Don't touch him" part.

    It's just a little frustrating and saddening to see this version of the character changed so dramatically when it's my favorite version and a complaint for me about the movie.

    It doesn't make it any less of a good movie however I just wish they had kept that.

    8.5/10 All around.
     
  19. Sarada

    Sarada Reporter

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    A lot of those inner monologues are awful, so I'm glad they're cut. Comics are a visual medium, so I've never liked how they bogged them down (espicially during battles) with awfully written monologues. The film did good to remove the dialogue and I would offer would've done better to use more of silence to allow for the visuals to tell the story during the nuke scene.
     
  20. VictoryStar

    VictoryStar "Here is your first present~"

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    Well I guess we all have our own likes because like I said the inner monologues are some of my favorite parts of the story because it allowed us to get into each of the characters heads and learn what they were thinking...
     

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