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Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

It took twenty minutes for me to get into it, but once i got into it i was hooked, and by the end i came to the conclusion that this is probably the best Batman film made to date. The live-action Chris Nolan films have nothing on this.

for the first twenty minutes, my reaction was "the action scenes are nice and it's pretty, but the script writing and voice acting delivery isn't convincing." Of course, i had a very similar reaction to Inception, so now i wonder if it's just me.

Part of it was the casting of John DiMaggio as the Joker and his approach to it. The laugh was good, but the regular speaking voice was unconvincing. I blame that on having a strong association of voice style with the animated Joker based on how Mark Hamill did it for all of those years, and the voice acting of the Trickster in Crisis on Two Earths was similar to that. I got over it, but it struck a wrong chord with me at the beginning. It didn't help that a little bit of "Bender" crept into his voice style. I was ready for the Joker to pull a "kiss my shiny metal ass" line.

The very opening was terribly violent for the likes of me who didn't know the history of Jason Todd. The opening of Wonder Woman was pretty violent too, but that was in the context of a war battle where this was much more intimate, which ended up making it more disturbing. That's not a negative - it was *supposed* to be disturbing and it laid a good foundation for the mood and story of the film in addition to staying true to the comic story line in which this story is based, so it worked for me.

After the odd first twenty minutes, everything else about the film simply clicked. the pacing and mystery reveals, the character development, the logic in which the action scenes and plotlines progressed was all top-notch stuff. The level of depth that the story had mixed with surface level satisfaction of the action scenes and other aspects of the script is another shining example of Bruce Timm's masterfulness at bringing the stories and the mythos to life in a way that all of the live-action movies have failed to do. He topped his own game with this one too, set a new bar.

Which is vaguely annoying because this was clearly better than Green Lantern: First Flight. And i don't want it to be because green lantern is more of an underdog to the popular batman. but that's how it goes.

the one super annoying thing about the movie was that right at the climax there was a Countdown moment. It ended up being okay because of some of the stuff that happened during the countdown, but it still didn't make any sense to me why the antagonist would have employed a countdown. Maybe i'm the only one that can't suspend disbelief in situations like that. Oh well.

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