Hey folks, Valkor here. And I welcome you to TOV's "30 in 30", where I'll review 30 unique film and maybe some not so unique, all in 30 days. What's cool for most of the flicks, is that I know nothing about em. So this should be a real treat not just for you guys, but for me as well. Good or bad, this is gonna be a fun month. It all starts today July the 4th and ends on Aug the 3rd. Can I make it through? We'll know soon enough!
Finally something awesome to add into the mix. For review number 10, we give you the animated greatness of "Batman: Under The Red Hood"
Batman: Under The Red Hood is a film that revolves around Batman (Bruce Greenwood), trying to discover who is this mysterious figure, known as the Red Hood (Jensen Ackles), really is. It starts out following the Death in The Family storyline where Batman races to save Jason Todd (Vincent Martella) from the clutches of the Joker (Joe Dimaggio). And like the comic, the Joker literally kicks the shit of Jason, with explosive end results. Fast-forward 5 years and there's a new player in town who is not only gunning down the Gotham mob scene, but also gaining turf in their drug trade, forcing eight of Gotham's crime bosses to side with him and in return he'll protect them from Black Mask (voiced by Wade Williams), who is currently top dog, and Batman. But who is this new Red Hood? There have been many who have donned the guise in the past; one person who is at the top of Batman's list is none other than The Joker. But is the Joker really the threat? And if not, who is? That's what Bats has to find out and thankfully he's not alone as Nightwing (Neal Patrick Harris) steps in to lend his assistance and he'll need all the help to face this ultimate challenge.
You've got some great voice talent wrapped around great stories from the comics, so how could DC Entertainment fail?
The answer: They didn't! Not only have they not failed but Bruce Timm and co have gone above and beyond to reproduce the edginess of the Batman Begins and Dark Knight live-action films in animated form that, to my knowledge, has never been done on this level, in U.S. animated, comic to film form! (please correct me if I am wrong in the comment section). Gotham Knights was edgy, but Under the Red Hood surpasses even that! People die, the Joker kicks the shit out of Jason Todd with a crowbar, The Red Hood puts down anyone who gets in his way, and even one person is set on fire! That's what I'm talkin about! This is direct to video, why are the companies holding back on the violence, especially in a Batman film? The rules of TV don't apply here and in this round you see just that and it works! The storyline is great, following multiple plots of different comics that seamlessly tie together for the film. If you've read the Bat books then you'll probably know how this one will end, but stick around, it's worth the ride. If you're new to the scene, then you'll be quite pleased with the product.
As far as voice talent goes, there's not one miss in the crowd! First off if Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill have retired from voicing Batman and Joker, then Bruce Greenwood and Joe Dimaggio are excellent replacements! They have an air of the original voices, yet making the roles their own. We never get to truly see Greenwood as Bruce Wayne as he's always in costume and his voice stays low and raspy as it should, but I hope he takes on future roles and develops a Bruce Wayne voice to complete the package. Joe DiMaggio, Futurama's Bender? EXCELLENT CHOICE! And he fits so well, balancing out the terrorizing Joker with the hysterics – one minute he's low and serious and the next he's outrageous. I loved it. NPH!!! Neal Patrick Harris, fucking genius as NightWing; love the jokes and overall the voice just fits. Finally Jensen Ackles as Red Hood, I have no complaints whatsoever, you own the role and worked it perfectly. Finally the music in the film deserves mention because there's hit of the Batman Begins/ Dark Knight them throughout; it definitely works because the overall tone of the film matches that of the live-action films. I hate to make a comparison like that, but that's just how I see it.
I wasn't a fan with the relationship of Batman and Nightwing, because from the comics there has always been angst between the two ever since Dick Grayson left to become Nightwing, which carried over well after the Nightwing character had established his own Gotham of sorts. (Bludhaven if I am not mistaken).
Black Mask. Who is this guy and what happened to his face? On second thought? I don't wanna know.
Marvel may have a lock on the live-action films, but when it comes to the animate stuff – hands down DC just took the lead. And to any and all comic book geeks out there I say unto thee, go out and buy a copy of Batman: Under The Red Hood when it is released on 2 Disc DVD and Blu Ray unto the masses July 27th; explosive action, great store, awesome voice talent, and some serious edge that pushes the violence envelope in comic book animated films. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Batman: Under The Red Hood 5 stars, TOV perfect and it's been Valkor tested and TOV approved!
Lastly, before I forget, there are rumors that the next animated Bat-film will be an adapatation of Frank Miller's: Year One. If that pans out, I'm gonna bust!!