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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: DC Animation: comic adaptations!  (Read 28106 times)
TheMidnighter

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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #90 on: Oct 27th, 2011, 03:47am »

Bruce Timm talks about Batman: Year One


In this video, Timm mentions that the running time was indeed short. He decided against adding material to it because he doesn't want to screw up the source material. This was the reason for the Catwoman short. It added minutes to the DVD without adding to Miller and Mazzucchelli's story.

Also, regarding Batman talking to the statute of his father. Here is a young man who has witnessed his parents' murder, got it in his head to train his body and mind for ten, fifteen years all over the world to fight crime in the city where his parents were murdered and, after his first night out, everything goes to hell.

He already wasn't one hundred percent sane (the trauma of his parents' murder scarred him for life) but now he's also desperate. He's trained all he can train, he's learned all he can learn, he has the dedication and the skills. He's ready to give up. He's ready to bleed to death. He calls upon his dead father: "What do I do? I thought this was supposed to work? I've done everything right." Then the bat flies in the window -- by coincidence -- and Bruce sees this as a sign to strike fear into the hearts of criminals by becoming a bat. The bat is the one component that was missing, that he didn't train for all those years. The ability to become more menacing than a mere man and a criminal at that.

EDIT: Completely forgot. Great to see you again, JTurner!
« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2011, 04:14am by TheMidnighter » User IP Logged

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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #91 on: Oct 27th, 2011, 06:58am »

As a proponent of Year Once as one of the better modern Batman stories, the descriptions make me wonder whether this is an animated Sin City or Watchmen.

The former is too close to the material from the page, not particularly working as a film. And the latter is a condensed piece of work that manages to fit in the mainline of the book's narrative, without any of its intelligence, wit or soul.

To me the question with this project is not *what* they managed to fit in, but *how* they presented it.

I suppose I will just buy a copy so I can answer my own question.
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BaronVonAwesome

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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #92 on: Oct 27th, 2011, 08:28am »

on Oct 27th, 2011, 06:58am, Will wrote:
The former is too close to the material from the page, not particularly working as a film. And the latter is a condensed piece of work that manages to fit in the mainline of the book's narrative, without any of its intelligence, wit or soul.



That's what I was worried about too. Although I felt All-Star Superman was an amazing adaptation, I felt it boring just because I had read the absolute edition like days before, which was a mistake, but nonetheless a great DTV movie. I liked Year One just a little bit more, maybe because I haven't read the story in a while. My biggest praises for the movie are the voices. Brian Cranston as Gordon, which I felt was phenomenal. I think it was Bret Mckenzie(?) as Batman, and he didn't do a bad job but he didn't exactly blow me away though. Also I always like hearing Alex Rocco's voice too wink
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #93 on: Oct 31st, 2011, 06:56am »

on Oct 27th, 2011, 08:28am, BaronVonAwesome wrote:
That's what I was worried about too. Although I felt All-Star Superman was an amazing adaptation, I felt it boring just because I had read the absolute edition like days before, which was a mistake, but nonetheless a great DTV movie. I liked Year One just a little bit more, maybe because I haven't read the story in a while. My biggest praises for the movie are the voices. Brian Cranston as Gordon, which I felt was phenomenal.


It's not just being a direct translation, so much as it is whether that is even possible. Can you capture the nature and tonal value of a comic book by simply including all dialogue and looking at the panels as pure storyboard guides?

I don't know. But the utter simplification of the assumption, by Timm in the above video (though that may be a simplistic and, ultimately, untrue view on my part), is bothersome.

How does one know exactly what the length or cadence of a scene is on the page as opposed to on the screen?

When he talks about not padding it, I very much wonder why this is the assumption. Why the question isn't one of adding material, but instead of just how the material that is present should be *presented*.

It's almost as simple as the difference between Ron Howard and Sergio Leone.
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #94 on: Dec 1st, 2011, 06:16am »

Watched it.

Unimpressive would be both the most delicate way of putting it and the most honest.

Just really dull. Something I didn't think was possible with a prime Frank Miller Batman script, but Timm and his team outdid themselves with the animated aquarium/sleeping pill ad.

The voice acting is certainly of the piece. McKenzie is an uninspired, insipid bit of nothing: the voice actor version of Billy Crudup. It's telling that the only time he sounds passable is when he's playing the playboy fop. Frank Miller's Batman as an inoffensive, "serious" young man. Where's the primal desperation? Where's the anger that must find an outlet?

Someone confused 'insanity' with 'inanity'.

And he's not that much worse than Cranston. Cue card reading evidently takes talent: Marlon Brando certainly did it much better. There's a decided lack of texture to the performance. Gordon's goodness, and his underlying flaws, have no feeling because the voice acting has no more depth than the too-clean animation it plays with.

I understand the idea of world weary burnout. But there's the idea, and then there's execution. Where's the soul?

Go listen to a Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum VO, then tell me this is a quality portrayal of a flawed cop in an even worse town. Hell, Elliot Gould did it better.

I'm not asking for Cranston or whatshisname to be as good as icons, really. In fact, Gordon's lack on that scale is part of the point: he's an average man, as much as a flawed man. But there needs to be some sense of texture from cliche. This is just monotonous.

It sounds like a Japanese video game cut scene; the type where they hire porno actresses and waiters for scale to overdub dialogue written for another language and patois. In other words, Eliza Dushku's never been better.

Texture -- the lack of filth and depravity -- in the red light sequencing is a microcosm for this low-level effort: there isn't any. The streets are clean. The background characters look like college fratboys rather than transients and cokeheads. And even a twelve year old selling sex has a vacant tone: not because of the dehumanizing circumstances in-narrative, but because the entire piece feels dead.

Post-Guiliani Times Square has more of an underbelly.

I knew that there was little effort altogether, matched to piss-poor understanding of Miller's scripts, when I heard the pimp's dialogue. Instead of the having a street-slang cadence and structure to his words, he sounds completely generic. If you can't even get that right, well, it's an embarrassment even if you're doing this with a lone computer and a basement office, let alone so-called professionals.

This is the type of no-effort product that shames the Disneys and Fleishers that came before.

Pacing is shit. Just like I knew it would be. The action is over-played, dragged out from what Miller provided, while the dramatic scenes are rushed through, both as far as overall breadth and the speed of dialogue delivery.

The best moment, if not scene, was the bat breaking through the window. It's quite good, and brilliant compared to what follows. I was really taken by how they brought, for one instant, the Jungian madness of the title character to life.

It actually managed to better-literalize the internal oddness through the bat-as-avatar.

When it hisses at Wayne, then starts to somehow laugh at him, the movie hits on what is missing: natural idiosincracies, tonal understanding and soul. The care taken to concentrate on the little things, and the bravery to present an iconic character in an avant garde, even subversive way.

The bat is, appropriately, the only creature present that feels truly alive.

I was hoping that this would be a transitional scene, and thereafter we'd at least see a real change in Wayne.

But it was just a mirage.

I dread the Dark Knight Returns adaptation.

Making Frank Miller's characters and ideas consistently boring. I'm amazed, Timm. Just stunned.
« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2011, 06:28am by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #95 on: Feb 28th, 2012, 3:57pm »

Anyone else see Justice League: Doom? It was ok. It really is sad that it's Dwayne McDuffie's last movie, it really wasn't as good as it could have been. But it wasn't the worst and I still kind of enjoyed it. Looks like the next one is Superman vs. The Elite based on the Superman #775 "What's so funny about Truth Justice and The American Way". Could be good, I haven't read the source material, but it looks like its got pretty good talent behind it.

Speaking of movies, I've come around on the first Tim Burton Batman movie, but I still feel Batman Returns is pretty laughable. The writing and acting are absolutely horrendous in parts. Michael Keaton is a perfect Batman/Bruce Wayne from beginning to end but everyone else just blows. I don't know how anyone can like this as a serious Batman movie.
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #96 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 7:33pm »

I wanted to add some comments about Year One before I moved on to JL: Doom.

Even though I wasn't blown away by the movie itself, I was in love with the way it felt like watching a comic book come to life while still feeling like I'm reading the book. So it should come as no surprise that I was very pleased to see the special features focus on the story and the comic book business. While it may have been nice to see a behind the scenes making of Batman: Year One, I'm glad that it wasn't included.

I respect that Year One paved the way for the mood we've become accustomed to seeing from the Dark Knight to this day. Yet, it's still not enough for me to change the feelings from my original post.

BTW, I noticed that the trailer for Year One that plays before JL: Doom menu had absolutely no footage of Jim Gordon. Even the trailer reminds me of a comic book: The ones that have covers that have little or nothing to do with the content inside.

As far as Justice League: Doom goes, I liked it. I get the feeling lots of people are going to be angry over the roster they choose for the Legion of Doom (which, IIRC, they never mentioned by name yet they say "JLA") but this didn't bother me. I'm thinking this was a series of nerd/geek gasms for each confrontation if you follow each character's title (I did cheer when Bane mentioned "breaking the bat") even though I was lost with Star Sapphire and her connection to Hal.

I also enjoyed the "What if" story of how each member of the League could meet their end. I was genuinely freaked out when I saw how Bane buried Bruce.

The animation was not only good, but refreshing. Why? Because they got rid of that out of place CGI that the animators loved using more and more of as time went by. Superman looked quite young which was odd to see at first.

Questions:

1. How did Vandal Savage know Batman had a super computer?

2. After defeating Cheetah after Cheetah, don't you think Wonder Woman would be smart enough to know something wasn't right?

3. How come Flash isn't on the DVD/Blu Ray cover?

« Last Edit: Mar 3rd, 2012, 7:34pm by JTurner954 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #97 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 8:06pm »

on Mar 3rd, 2012, 7:33pm, JTurner954 wrote:
3. How come Flash isn't on the DVD/Blu Ray cover?



How come the Flash was Barry, but used the voice actor who portrayed Wally?
I wasn't wholly impressed with this. It wasn't bad, it just didn't grab me. I do like the way they used the voice cast from the animated series.
I also noticed Bane saying he'd broken the Bat a decade / ten years previous.
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #98 on: Mar 7th, 2012, 5:47pm »

I take it the "CSI" scene was the giveaway for Flash?

I don't recall both Allen and West appearing in any of the DCAU so that didn't bother me.

Noticed the next movie is Superman vs. the Elite. Is the story any good?
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #99 on: Mar 7th, 2012, 7:57pm »

on Mar 7th, 2012, 5:47pm, JTurner954 wrote:
I take it the "CSI" scene was the giveaway for Flash?


Yeah, one of the other cops specifically called him "Allen." Not a big deal, I just found it odd they'd use the same voice actor for both Flash characters.
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #100 on: Mar 8th, 2012, 02:30am »

on Mar 7th, 2012, 5:47pm, JTurner954 wrote:
Noticed the next movie is Superman vs. the Elite. Is the story any good?
They first appeared in Action Comics #775 'What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?' I read amazing reviews about this single issue and how it managed to show why 'true' heroes like Superman are just as, if not more, powerful than 'violent' heroes such as The Authority. (Violent heroes had been showing up more and more in years prior.) This issue supposedly managed to reaffirm Superman as the overall badass without resorting to violence and killing.

I do not know about any other BatSquad member reading this but I did not find the issue so good. Actually, I was particularly let down by the ay Superman 'beat' The Elite and the story let me down. It wasn't memorable at all to me, yet it was the best single issue written in 2001, #1 in Top Ten Comics of the Decade and Wizard called it the Greatest Superman Story of All Time.

Luckily, Comics Bulletin rated it #4 at the Top 10 Most Overrated Comic Books.
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #101 on: May 23rd, 2012, 3:37pm »

Robocop is Batman in the animated version of The Dark Knight Returns! cheesy
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #102 on: May 23rd, 2012, 4:15pm »

Yup, read it here.
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #103 on: Jun 10th, 2012, 04:30am »

I was initially excited at these. But their just not doing it for me anymore. I think the only three that genuinely excited me where JL: New Frontier, Batman: Under the Red Hood and All Star Superman. Everything else is respectable at the very least.

I'd much rather Timm and Co. use these as a sandbox to do whatever they desire rather than just xerox existing material.
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xx Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #104 on: Jul 6th, 2012, 1:18pm »

Under the Red Hood was underwhelming when it wasn't laughable. It's a bad idea for a story, and a story told badly. It felt uncomfortably hokey, with no real sense of how to tell an insular story.

And how could it? Why would it? The built-in audience assumption could help, instead it hinders. The fanservice -- including Nightwing, sadly (instead of a good son/bad son line of consequence, it just seems to be a guest spot that automatically triggers that thought) -- is a circular statement on lack of tonal investment and understanding. It's not serious. Rather, it's an effort that was made by people that think "serious" means more violence, period; a stunted notion that's about as complex as the aforementioned fanservice.

Why the fuck is Amazo in this? What?! And why are criminals mooning over Nightwing ("Who's the pretty boy?") as mind-numbing exposition to explain the character, and his presence? Oh, I guess I answered that one.

"Serious, cool, dark" dialogue that is so overwritten it sounds like it came from a twelve year old's latest diary entry about whether he's gay or just goth.

"It's dark, man". I thought it was embarrassing.

It's, yes, a bad idea. I've gone on about that, and some of its themes, elsewhere. But even as a bad idea for wider continuity, one would think that something interesting could be devised in a one-off narrative. But that's not the case.

The "emotional" climax is a fraud. It doesn't delve into Batman's psychology -- as it should or, rather, as it must (the only thing that could even marginally justify bringing Todd back) -- because no one involved is much interested in Batman/Wayne's psychology. That's obvious. They do like empty truisms that have been floated about Batman's motives in relation to the Joker, which we've heard over and over both in-narrative and in editorial interviews/justifications.

It makes me wonder if the material, as animated standard, doesn't work better in vignette structure.

Heart of Ice or the original Clayface two-parter are far more sophisticated as tonal pieces. Far more cinematic and inherently noirish. Under the Red Hood is prosaic schlock in the best moments.
« Last Edit: Jul 6th, 2012, 1:33pm by Will » User IP Logged

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