Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993, USA) A former love in Bruce Wayne’s life returns to Gotham just as a new threat causing a string of mob boss murders leaves Batman framed for the crimes.
As another film in Warner Bros’ much-maligned DC Comics movie universe arrived last weekend, here’s a much different DC adventure that didn’t involve too much behind the scenes chaos. Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Eric Radomski’s stylish animated vision of DC Comics’ caped crusader has been frequently debated by fans as one of the best interpretations - if not the best - of the character on film and TV. Equally as honored by fans is the series’ feature film, Mask of the Phantasm. Originally planned for a direct-to-video release but deemed strong enough by Warner Bros for a sudden and mostly ignored theatrical release, the studio granted the team a large amount of creative control allowing them to create a story with themes and visuals they would otherwise be denied by Standards and Practices had they done it for TV.
Mask of the Phantasm dissects Bruce Wayne and the consequences of his actions as does the series, but the film also explores Bruce at the end of his journey becoming Batman as he is offered with a risky but happy chance of a decent life beyond the caped persona he would arguably become regardless. As the story switches back and forth to the past and the present, it begs the question: does Bruce deserve it? Past and present is examined all the while an intriguing and ultimately rewarding mystery involving a new villain and soon the Joker is going on. Timm’s Batman was questioning the Batman years before Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy offered similar questions, and this kind of artistic sophistication was considered groundbreaking at the time for what could have been passed off as kids TV or kids movie. In fact the series originally ran prime-time like The Simpsons before going to Saturday mornings. Mask of the Phantasm’s success on video has since spawned an unending library of direct-to-video animated comic movies from Bruce Timm’s animation team at Warner Bros - with this August’s Batman and Harley Quinn reviving Timm’s series designs.
Can I find this? Sure. Even with the constant production of new DC Comics films, Mask of the Phantasm has only been occasionally circulated on DVD as of late. It’s been rumored that the prints and materials needed for a new release would require an extensive restoration.
I actually really hated Prometheus and thought it was clumsy and stupid, (and btw I am a huge fan of the franchise, even the much-maligned third movie) except for a few small aspects which I actually liked so much that I paid money to see that stupid movie twice in a theatre.
When I heard they were making a sequel, I vowed not to give Ridley Scott any more of my money, but after talking to you guys and reading an awful lot of spoilers info, it seems like they took the small aspects that I liked and ramped them up by 200% (while still being contained in a clumsy, derivative movie unfortunately) so. Here we are. Fuck you Ridley Scott.
I watched the promo video about the Walter android……. what did you guys think of it? I actually loved the Happy Birthday David promo, and I didn’t much care for this one. The style is so weird, but I suppose you could say it’s referencing the stupid aesthetic of commercials for extreme luxury products? But I dunno. The thing about the David promo was that it was really clever. It was set up like an informative advertising video and I always like extra in-universe content like that, it established an aesthetic for the Weyland company, and also quite effectively established David’s character, how he would fit into the narrative of the Prometheus movie, and hinting at the conflicts that his character would cause. This Walter promo… I mean it tells me almost literally nothing about Walter, about how he’s different from David, how his narrative is going to be different from David’s, it doesn’t tease any conflicts or information like the David promo did. It’s literally just all aesthetic.
And I mean whatever. That’s just a nitpick. I was hoping for another amazing short like the David promo was.
At the very least I guess I’m getting the movie with scene points, instead of paying cash to see it.
tajmahhallow said: Thanks for posting the screencaps! What did you personally think of the movie?
As far as Brad movies go, I think it was decent. Don’t really have the urge to watch it repeatedly - once was enough. It was certainly a step up from some of the things he’s done lately, but still just kinda meh overall. He did crack me up a couple times when he would go into one of his trademark over the top rages. At least he looked sexy as fuck in it and there was jacket and glove porn so that’s a bonus. lol