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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: B:TAS  (Read 8550 times)
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xx Re: B:TAS
« Reply #45 on: Dec 9th, 2005, 12:39am »

I did not like the new character designs at all, and why get rid of the dark deco for this season? Stupid decision... The drawings are just so simple its not really appealing...but I've only seen a few eps of Gotham Knights and they've been ok at best.
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« Reply #46 on: Dec 10th, 2005, 01:50am »

Picked up volume four. I've hardly watched any eps from the redsign but I wasn't that impressed with what I previously saw. Hopefully when I get a better sense of what was done I'll also appreciate it more.

Even the guy at the checkout counter was bitching about how they "dumbed down the show".
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xx Re: B:TAS
« Reply #47 on: Dec 11th, 2005, 12:40am »

who's gonna buy me B:TAS vol. 1-4?
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« Reply #48 on: Dec 14th, 2005, 08:13am »

After watching three chapters the verdict so far is that this is a step down. On one hand you could argue that, on the surface, the problem comes in the form of the show's narrative technique paralleling the course set by its simplified animation style. But while simplification (dumbing down) of plotting/characterization is a flaw that is undeniably present, this has as much or more to do with the fact that these episodes are as concerned with the sidekicks as they are Batman and whoever the villain is -- problem is that the sidekicks are side fodder that garner too much attention for wasteful moments and scenes meant solely to show them off as animated figures and/or personalities -- and that means that simply too much is going on.

We have an ensemble or team show that is at least as focused on the family unit's interaction as it is with the conflict between the titular hero and the villain of the piece. Too much emphasis is placed on Batman as teacher/mentor/father figure rather than grim creature of the night hunting criminals.

Holiday Knights' nicest vignette is that of its opening -- Harley Quinn and Ivy in a night on the town paid for by Bruce Wayne (worth it alone for the sixties-inspired fashion montage) -- but the Batgirl portion is as senseless and worthless as she tends to be as a character. And while it's refreshing to see the Joker's true malice partially unleashed (finally he can murder) this new-found content freedom is placed within a conflict that is as unimpressive in its own way as the previously constrained Joker eps were. Somewhat recalls the confrontation of Burton's first Batman, but whereas that film's crowd/parade scene was a clever comment on 80's excess and greed (people weren't there because they trusted the Joker, they were there for the cash) this gathering is one of disgusting stupidity that seems only to be driven by Gothamites insatiable holiday spirit. Spare me.

The Joker going to the trouble of all those masks, still easily outing himself due to his lust to be the center of attention was a nice (and convenient) touch, though. The episode is lite in tone and depth which seems to be a warning of things to come for the show.

Sins of the Father follows that same note, making the problem more explicit because a character origin for someone of Robin's importance would seem to call for more tonal gravity. As would the specific outline itself for this tale.

Underlines the problem I'm having with this revamp -- the lack of emotional intimacy and, from that, depth. Instead we have episodes that consistently lose focus of the main line in the damaging lust to have a cacophony of poorly-weaved together character moments. It feels more akin to a cleaned up Looney Toons affair than any type of a stab at reasonably mature drama. It all feels too bouncy, poppy -- light -- while so much of the original run found wonder in the quiet, small moments; moments that this iteration is lacking. After all, what household with children tends towards these qualities from the standpoint of caricatured abstraction?

Tragic elements as barely present window-dressing with characters that seem barely connected to these feelings. What then does the audience have to go on?

Characters no longer are explored; they're trotted out -- stuck in for their 30 seconds/five minutes of action and a witticism here and there.

Tim Drake (in name only, he's really as much a sanitized post-Crisis Todd if we're to be honest) is not given an interesting introduction in the least, so far as execution goes (which means the entire episode is shot). Everything we expect to happen, well, it happens -- usually exactly on cue -- with not one moment of poignance or dramatic heft to be found (again, execution). The cliff notes of this character's beginnings translated verbatim to the screen, so paint by numbers that you can't help but wonder what the point is other than the episode's end which dictates all the rest (get us a Robin, pronto). And that ending scene? For what's obviously supposed to be a "moment" it's notable only for its bizarre flatness (oh, there's Dick. Huh. Roll credits). Shockingly bland in its lack of style and pacing sensibility (how to draw lines and make incisive cuts).

The fate of Mr. Freeze in Cold Comfort has the makings of a tragic tale in the vein of -- if not on par with -- Heart of Ice. Instead it's overall as bland as Freeze's henchwomen.

It has some nice ideas but they're carried out poorly and buried under the sidekick obsession that the show is chained to. Even so, there are a few decent moments that involve those maligned tang alongs in this outing, such as the visual divisions between Freeze and Batman that are summed up in the console scenes -- one surrounded by his "family" the other surrounded by grunts so ill-defined that they're interchangeable (the cold as defined by color scheme in this empty blandness is a point considered and well-made when looking at the overall tableau of Freeze and these associates).

I wasn't too enamored of the Batgirl training scene or its later payoff (see! SEE! There was a point, people) but the one intimate moment with Bruce as a father to Tim was very nicely done.

There's also a deft touch as far as the implicit sexual crisis of Freeze's predicament by way of these female helpers surrounding him, all like his wife an impossibility to him. They even give his name a certain tragedy with this episode, don't they?

The bad comes in the form of wasted potential -- ideas that don't coalesce into a beautiful form brought to life through movement. The tragedy that the story is laced with is never given its due, as if creators that arguably gave this character one of the great tragic villain orgins are now afraid of dwelling in any way on that same pain; sure, it's provided as abstruse content, but it's never given an outlet through characterization.

And the ending? As much a misfire as the final moments of Sins of the Father. As with so much else, not enough time is given to make an impact. Ideas that seem as stultified and frozen in concept form as Freeze is in his iceberg during the 15 whole seconds given before we get the usual credit sequence.

This ep's similarities to Schumacher's B&R brings forth a thought already present and inescapable: Warner's clear mandates on the need for sidekicks, the show itself a vague tie-in just as TAS was to Burton's work years earlier.

The presence of the sidekicks (or a sidekick) in each story is tied to a job of overselling through forced justification -- it backfires because the idea that Batman so badly needs these characters by his side rings hollow while at the same time it's weakening him as a unique and impressive figure each and every time. They do the same to his rogues. The conflict is ripped apart, replaced by unfocused doodles.

They simply take up too much time and provide nothing that the story needs all too often, instead chewing huge bits out of what would have been the true meat of these stories. Now, of course, we're talking about a sidekick origin with one of these episodes, but that seems a victim of dispassion and at least one too many sidekicks itself.

Which leads me to a complaint that you must have seen coming: what is Batgirl's relevance? I can't find it. She's not an orphan, and the inference that she's a member of this family brings with it its own questions as to what that role is (I suppose an issue that BB would later have a bit of fun with). Of the sidekicks, she's the biggie of a misfit and problem.

Point of fact, minus Batgirl's training arc in Freeze's episode and you'd have enough time to squeeze some semblance of emotion into his plight, certainly the image at the end could be given far more impact with proper presentation. And what does she do other than detract from Tim's debut in Sins? Now Batman not only needs a Robin, he needs a team?

Batgirl is a sign of the apocalypse for Batman in any medium. TAS, though never to the extremes of the others, follows the same path as the comics and movies -- beginnings in darkness and endings in a sidekick-laden stupor intended to excite (in some ways) and pacify (in others) the younger audience.
« Last Edit: Dec 14th, 2005, 11:15am by Will » User IP Logged

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« Reply #49 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 10:01am »

A visual tractate on women as sex objects and the perversity of the always growing youth culture, Mean Seasons is a gem of an episode.

Statement made from the opening scene -- a runway show with a funny yet pointed bit of interplay between a man and an aged, overweight woman in the audience -- this story has great fun savaging the purveyors of this cultural illness, most especially Hollywood (always so full of strained logic, or plain illogic, from the side of focus groups and standards that veer wildly, as TAS had to deal with constantly) and the general sexism of males. The fall previews for Model Students and Teen Cop are hilariously on the mark, as is the casting couch scene.

Calendar Girl's mask is a nice bit of shorthand as to the frozen, expressionless face created through the pursuit of eternal beauty. The Chippendale's henchmen are used as an unsubtle reversal of the sexes, and how little we tend to see men put in the more degrading position being mere eye candy (can you find a more stark example of this than the entertainment business?).

A motif of what's new runs throughout: fashions, cars, tv shows (always with women sexualized as a part of the presentation). Callender Girl's weapons fall into the realm of statement as well -- Easter Eggs signifying new beginnings/youth/the ideal, fallen leaves being, of course, the opposite side of that coin , and the ep's big set piece showdown with an animatronic t-rex (the irony of literal dinosaurs seemingly always being "hot" while the word is used as a figurative putdown or death knell for significance of people within that same societal structure). And the image of the scythe could be no more appropriate -- what is agism about if not our true overwhelming fear of death?

Even Bruce Wayne and Batman are not free from guilt and self-worry on the subject -- Wayne checking for gray hairs and being responsible for the continuing policy of age discrimination within his own company, while Batman's sexism is rebuked by Batgirl in the Batcave sequence (Barbara this time put to good use rather than providing for unnecessary baggage that grows to dead weight, actually fitting and reaffirming thematic intent while not making a mess of the narrative that has to make that theme actually work).

The final scene/shots feel properly paced this time out as well.

Broken mirror, broken psyche. A fractured retelling of The Legend of Narcissus. In love with the image of what she was, hateful of what she now is, a victim and reaction to how she became this way. Like the best Batman villains (and often Batman himself), a flaw or tick that can be found somewhere inside of all of us that is expressed through the extremes of a psychotic rage spurred by inadequacy and/or loss.
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xx Re: B:TAS
« Reply #50 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 10:33am »

Old Wounds has been my favorite episode, but I haven't seen it in years. I'd love to hear your commentary on it.
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« Reply #51 on: Dec 15th, 2005, 10:34am »

on Dec 14th, 2005, 08:13am, Will wrote:
Tim Drake (in name only, he's really as much a sanitized post-Crisis Todd if we're to be honest) [...]


Right on. Have you had a chance yet to see Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker? They play this up much more.
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« Reply #52 on: Dec 17th, 2005, 10:22am »

on Dec 15th, 2005, 10:34am, snipe wrote:
Right on. Have you had a chance yet to see Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker? They play this up much more.


No. Beyond didn't interest me that much at all until recently. I'm interested in the storylines (backstories) for the characters from TAS but I still can't say that I find anything about Terry intriguing. And that's a big problem.

Or not. Depends on whether the show really goes with the idea of Terry only being a necessary evil; a cypher by itent that only exists as a means to an end for the elderly Wayne.
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« Reply #53 on: Dec 17th, 2005, 10:26am »

on Dec 15th, 2005, 10:33am, snipe wrote:
Old Wounds has been my favorite episode, but I haven't seen it in years. I'd love to hear your commentary on it.


I'm jumping around, working my way towards it (continuity's loose enough that there's little reason to watch in the numbered order). I'll have more to say -- and something specific on that ep -- in the semi-near future.
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« Reply #54 on: Dec 17th, 2005, 5:41pm »

Does anyone know how DVD's work on computers? Are they 'region free'? Let's say someone (e.g., me) am interested in some DVD's (e.g., B:TAS) but they are not available where that person lives (e.g., The Netherlands). Would that person then be able to watch them on a personal computer? Does anyone know if those DVD drives are region free?
Thanks for answering this question.
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« Reply #55 on: Dec 17th, 2005, 8:59pm »

on Dec 17th, 2005, 5:41pm, TheMidnighter wrote:
Does anyone know how DVD's work on computers? Are they 'region free'? Let's say someone (e.g., me) am interested in some DVD's (e.g., B:TAS) but they are not available where that person lives (e.g., The Netherlands). Would that person then be able to watch them on a personal computer? Does anyone know if those DVD drives are region free?
Thanks for answering this question.


There are some applications out there that break it. I have some European (Bowie releases everything over there first) dvds that I am able to play on my computer. Do a yahoo or google search for "region free."
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« Reply #56 on: Dec 22nd, 2005, 11:09am »

Dirk, what about a region 1 player? You can get one dirt cheap.

Or are you still lacking a tv set? That could be a problem.
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xx Re: B:TAS
« Reply #57 on: Dec 29th, 2005, 05:18am »

on Aug 28th, 2005, 10:19pm, Will wrote:
they're progressively dumbed down variations on the original dark deco brilliance of Dini/Timm some 10+ years ago.


I just bought Cinderella on DVD for my wife. It's done in that dark deco brilliance too, I think.
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xx Re: know
« Reply #58 on: Dec 29th, 2005, 4:43pm »

on Dec 17th, 2005, 5:41pm, TheMidnighter wrote:
Let's say someone [...] am interested in some DVD's [...]

I just noticed my horrible grammar mistake. Suck-a-licious sad.

Anyway, I don't have a television set yet, but I do have a brand new computer with DVD-rom! This should allow me to play those BTAS editions on it. Man, that would rock so much! I love those episodes.
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xx Re: B:TAS
« Reply #59 on: Apr 18th, 2006, 10:39am »

Batman: The Animated Series - I enjoyed watching it on Saturday mornings and watching them again on SE DVD I thought how the great is still and I thought of my childhood gain while watching on DVD.
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