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Batman: The Killing Joke [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
Batman: The Killing Joke [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 19.99
3 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had Such High Hopes, Aug. 3 2016
**Warning, Spoilers Ahead**

When I first heard about this coming to film with a bit of extra time being devoted to developing Batgirl's character, I was interested. I remember the original comic and how dark and brutal it was. With the film being given an R rating and the voice talents of Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Tara Strong all reprising the roles that have unequivocally become the defining voices for these characters, to say I was eagerly anticipating this movie is an understatement. Given its nature of the source material, I thought this R rating would allow the production team to really bring the harsh grittiness of the story to life in a way that would truly drive home the original work's message and perhaps even add a little to it.

Unfortunately, what we ended up getting was essentially two Batman episodes mixed into one. The first 25 minutes focuses almost completely on Batgirl and how she can't seem to balance having fun crime fighting and her own personal feelings, especially towards Batman. I actually wasn't upset like so many others were when the two of them had sex. After all, both are human beings with natural urges and desires. What did upset me is that once Batgirl's story ended after 25 minutes it was almost as though it never happened. There was a tremendous opportunity that was missed here as the movie moved into the actual Killing Joke part of the film. The Killing Joke part of the film, as many have already said, was almost note for note the same as the comic. Here is where everything kind of falls flat. With the development of Batman and Batgirl's relationship, along with her quitting crime fighting, it presented the production team an opportunity to not only explore the psychological ramifications of Batgirl being crippled but to delve into Batman's psychology at his nemesis taking out yet another member of his "bat-family". I was truly hoping that we would get to see the turmoil he felt that a woman who had offered herself to him was her life ripped apart almost because of him. Additionally, I had hopes that the movie would also give more of a glimpse into just how badly the Joker tortured Commissioner Gordon when he kidnapped him. Again, I was disappointed in that the film pretty much just carbon-copied the comic with maybe a tiny scene here and there to fill the time. The ending in particular fell flat because it seemed like such a disconnect from the characters we know so well.

There was so much potential that feels wasted here. Between truly amazing voice actors and an R rating that pretty much gives WB cart blanche to really cut loose with dark storytelling, this should have been one of the best WB animations to date. Unfortunately, what we got was a very slightly racy Batman episode followed by a simple retelling of a comic.

Thankfully Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill will be returning for the Justice League Action series so hopefully they will once again be able to really elevate these characters to new heights.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (Extended Cut, 3 Disc, Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (Extended Cut, 3 Disc, Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Ben Affleck
Price: CDN$ 20.00
8 used & new from CDN$ 15.39

6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My Worst Fears Realized and More., May 2 2016
I'd seen and heard a few reviews on YouTube about this movie before I actually saw it, so I went in with a fair bit of knowledge knowing what to expect. Even with this mental preparation, I still couldn't help but be very disappointed in what I saw. Be forewarned, SPOILERS lie ahead.

First, the good:

While overall it was a grossly disappointing film, there are a few small nuggets of goodness in it. First and foremost, Ben Afleck as Batman. I know most people thought he would be terrible, and to an extent I was disappointed. However, it wasn't the actor's portrayal of Batman that disappointed me, but the way the writers handled Batman. On a whole, I thought Afleck did a rather good job capturing the spirit of Batman. He certainly was able to give us the best one to date when it came to showcasing his fighting ability. Up until this movie, there has not yet been a Batman movie that allowed for a film to show just what makes Batman one of the greatest warriors in the world. Granted, there was some fairly liberal use of CGI, but overall it felt rather well done. Plus, the character portrayals of Batman and Alfred by Afleck and Jeremy Irons were, in my opinion, very well done for the most part.
The fight scene between Batman and Superman was...ok. I was expecting and knock down-drag out and that's pretty much what I got with a tiny smattering of Batman's tactical edge. It didn't blow me away, but it was okay.

Now for the bad, and unfortunately, there is a lot of it:

First and foremost, everyone working on this movie did exactly what I was afraid they would do: Use the formula from The Dark Knight Rises. It is frustrating beyond belief when filmmakers take the cheap way out and instead of trying to come up with any kind of an original story, they take existing comic storylines and shove them into their movie. With Dark Knight Rises, they did it by taking the storylines from Dark Knight Returns, Knightfall, and No Man's Land and just smashed them together, creating a godawful mess.That is exactly what happens here. What's worse is that they're repeating themselves by once again taking the storyline from Dark Knight Returns (they even come spitting distance of flat out recreating scenes from it) and combining it with The Death of Superman. To me, that is just lazy screenwriting and is a disservice to fans of these two franchises who have been waiting for so many years for this movie to happen.
Secondly, the way Batman is portrayed in this movie. While they were obviously running with the Dark Knight Returns concept, they went WAY overboard with it. While the character in Frank Miller's comic had indeed become darker and even to a degree more violent and driven, he was not a homicidal psychopath. He also still absolutely abhorred the use of firearms and even snapped one in half in front of a group of people who have pledged to follow him. In this movie, Batman has been changed from a genius, calculating detective and multiple martial arts master into a trigger-happy maniac who has absolutely zero problem blowing people up or blowing them away with machine guns or branding them with a bat symbol whose butler seems to be a more capable detective than him. They've basically turned Batman from a detective and superhero into a psychopathic thug who is only a shadow of everything that has been established with his mythos.
When it comes to Superman, we're also treated to a rather strong departure from the character we know and love from hundreds of thousands of comics and cartoons. Instead of a polarizing symbol of peace and hope, we instead get this brooding figure who doesn't even seem to take any joy or pride in helping people. He looks like he's doing a job that he doesn't want to do. You barely even see him smile in the whole movie. Every scene depicting him saving someone or doing good, of which there are an upsetting few, he does it with a dead expression or even a hint of a scowl on his face, as though he feels contempt for the people he's helping. Not to mention the audience is still getting hammered over the head with the Jesus symbolism when he saves a girl from a burning building and scores of people surround him trying to simply touch him like he's the Messiah. Yes, I understand the filmmakers were trying to get a bit more realistic (as much as one can with a superhero movie) in that people would be questioning if he does more harm than good, but that should be tempered by the fact that Superman should WANT to help people, that he should be working to dispel these fears and not almost seem to justify them by his lack of kindness or empathy.

Lex Luthor. While the characterizations of Batman and Superman are bad, the setting and story can ALMOST justify such drastic changes in so well established characters. When it comes to Lex Luthor, or in this case Lex Luthor Jr. (shudder), this movie went completely off the mark and practically swan dived into the pool of trying to blend a character that should never be blended. In every other iteration of the character, be it comics or cartoons, Lex Luthor is a suave, genius, diabolical businessman who worked in a cold, calculated, and methodical manner. For whatever reason, this movie decided Luthor should be smart, but be so completely overridden by having a maniacal nature so obviously reminiscent of the Joker. I can't help but wonder if, during the beginning phases of this movie, they tried to convince DC to include the Joker in this film, only to be denied and decide they would just make Lex Luthor a mish-mash of Lex and Joker...with Joker being the dominant personality. After all, Lex has absolutely no reason to dislike Superman whatsoever, other than the fact that he's crazy and just wants to kill Superman for fun. That's Joker through and through, creating chaos and murder for fun. Superman hadn't done anything to disrupt and of Lex's business dealings, shady or not, and hadn't even encountered him before. Yet, we are supposed to believe Lex wants to frame, demoralize, and finally kill Superman (and Batman for that matter) pretty much because it amuses him? Once again, this completely goes against the established mythos of a very well known and long-lasting character and essentially turns him into a caricature of himself. And then, of course, there's the whole idea of him creating Doomsday for....reasons? Honestly, why create this monstrosity, especially when he had no way to control or stop it? He's already admitted that Superman could lay waste to the planet if he wanted to, and yet he creates a monster capable of killing Superman but has absolutely no way to control it or kill it should it go rogue? Again, this is not a Lex Luthor who plans and calculates to the smallest detail, this is a Lex/Joker hybrid who just wants to see chaos.

Doomsday. There's not much to say here other than I have to wonder how the filmmakers thought that this would be an accurate representation of the character. Are we supposed to believe that a mix of Kryptonian and human DNA would create this? Both species look nearly identical, so why would combining their DNA make Doomsday? Simple answer: it wouldn't. This was just an excuse to bring the character into play to have a huge fight scene that brings Wonder Woman into the fray and eventually kill Superman, that's it.

Wonder Woman. There's not much to say here either other than her presence during the big battle was fine and the actress portraying her did a fine job. Because of her low amounts of screen time there isn't too much to talk about so I'll just have to reserve judgement until her own movie comes out.

The story. I've already talked about how much I disliked the mashing together of two completely different comic storylines into this movie, so I'll leave that be. However, another part of the movie's story that really bothered me was it's flow. There is a constant scene change almost every two minutes, and most of these scenes are more sub plots to muddle the main storyline. Example: Lois is captured by terrorists, while her cameraman (who may or may not be Jimmy Olson) is a CIA spy and killed for having a tracer in his gear, and the terrorists hired guard suddenly mow down the terrorists (and maybe some citizens as well?) themselves using unique ammunition that was provided by Luthor for the purposes of making it look like Superman did it, while Superman actually does show up and saves Lois by tackling the terrorist holding a gun to her head through a wall. Aside from the ammunition issue, which they talk about through pretty much the rest of the film, all of this happened in ONE SCENE. The rest of the movie just continues like this. Two minute scene involving a sub plot, then jump to another scene involving a sub plot, rinse, repeat. It's just too much for people to follow when we're here to see a superhero movie that we're hoping will treat us like we're smart. I understand the desire to have people want to watch a movie over and over so they catch something new each time and it's a treat, but it shouldn't feel like you're grinding through studying for a test. Between the sub plots, dream sequences, and outrageous character developments, the movie itself is just an absolute mess.

So, the question is, why didn't I just give the film 1 star if I disliked it so much. Well, as I said earlier, there are a few good scenes in what was overall a bad movie. Some of the action scenes like the Batmobile chase scene and Batman fighting the man Luthor hired to kidnap Superman's mother were fairly enjoyable, and we do finally get a Batman that can actually fight instead of stiffly half-boxing his way through criminals. It's because of these few things that I didn't drop the rating down to 1 star. In all honesty, though, if you can wait for this time come out as a rental or stream it on Netflix or Amazon, do that instead of spending any extra money on this by buying it on DVD/Blue Ray.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2016 10:00 PM PDT

Idiocracy (Sous-titres français) [Import]
Idiocracy (Sous-titres français) [Import]
DVD ~ Luke Wilson
Price: CDN$ 16.98
26 used & new from CDN$ 6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good at warning us of what is to come, only so-so actual movie, Dec 13 2012
The basic idea of this movie is a good one, and if you are looking at the world around you a scary one as well. The idea of how our society reveres sad and pathetic movie, television, and music stars instead of the brave men and women who die in battle, scientists who seek to improve the quality of life through various scientific disciplines. From that very idea alone, I did have hopes that this movie would be as effective as Bobcat Goldthwait's "God Bless America". Unfortunately, this movie didn't have nearly the same effectiveness. While it was mildly entertaining, it was also a bit frustrating and times and even rather sad and pathetic. Perhaps that is what Mike Judge was attempting to achieve with this movie, to use it as a kind of wake-up call to the masses. Alas, I don't see his message being recieved by the majority of people out there that actually watch it.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
by E L James
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.74
316 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

245 of 264 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horribly disappointed and actually somewhat insulted, May 9 2012
I obtained this book under the advice of someone who just raved about it and told me how it was such a hot seller. After having read through 88% of, I just had to stop and question the sanity of the person who advised me to get this nonsense of a book. To say that this book was disappointing is a gross understatement. I went into this anticipating a nice little steamy/erotic book (the word "porn" was actually used when the book was recommended to me)that I could let myself be absorbed in for a brief time. What I ended up getting was not only an insult to those within the BDSM community but an insult to any adult reader. Many people have commented on how it seems like this novel, nay series, was written by a couple of teenage girls that sat down and decided to write some steamy books. I agree with that sentiment, except I'm not so sure even teenagers would write this badly. All the author seems to do is repeat the same thing over and over again throughout the entire book when it comes to gestures and expressions. I didn't bother doing an actual count, but several other reviewers have actually taken the time to count up how many times the author uses the same exclamations again and again. Still, if it were only this repetitiveness I could almost forgive the author and allow my immagination to pick up where the lack of writing left off.

Unfortunately, the repetitiveness is only the tip of the iceburg here. To be blunt, the characters have absolutely zero depth, and the attempts at depth make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The plot just drags you along kicking and screaming, and not in any kind of a good way. I deffinately got the sense early on that this author A) Looooooooves product placement, which has me wondering just who is signing her checks, and B)Has absolutely no idea how to properly write about the very products she's placing in the story. On what planet is this woman living on where the main character recieves an Apple Macbook Pro laptop that has 1 TERABYTE of hard drive space, 32 GIGABYTES of RAM, and an integrated SIM card/transmitter (that last part isn't actually said but when the delivery guy says she can use the laptop anywhere in the world it's pretty much a given). Add that to all of her references to Blackberry and Audi and you can practically see the company logos plastered all over the front of her book like a NASCAR racer.

I would also love to know where she got her reference material from in regard to the BDSM material. Other than the very basic fact that there is the presence of bondage, domination/submission, and physical punishment in BDSM, this author displayed that she has absolutely no idea how a BDSM relationship/partnership actually functions. The manner in which this author has the male lead "introduce" the female character is insulting to the BDSM community and the level of trust and respect that is actually present in a REAL BDSM relationship/partnership. One thing that truly stands out amongst a whole laundry list of issues that is just too long to go into is when the female character has essentially gone into "sub-space" (a euphoric state brought about by an intense release of endorphines in response to pain) during her first spanking. The author inadequately describes it as simply orgasmic and leaving the girl completely exhausted. What truly bothered me with this scene is that the male character, a supposedly experienced dominant, recognizes that his submissive has just been in "sub-space" and instead of simply holding her, keeping her warm to prevent her from going into shock, and replenishing her fluids, he tosses her onto the bed and has crazy sex with her again. The fact that this author makes the character out to be an experienced Dom and blatantly makes him anything but that is a grave insult to people actually involved in BDSM.

Honestly, I could probably write pages upon pages of material detailing just how badly written and organized this book is, how there is zero character development, how so many different aspects of the characters make absolutely no sense whatsoever, and so very much more. In the interest of saving time and page-space, I will simply make this strong reccomendation to anyone considering purchasing this book:


If I could, I would give this book a rating of zero stars and I would seriously call into question the motivations and competence of everyone who was involved in writing, editing, publishing, and promoting this book to the level it has grown to. If this is indeed what we the public can expect to recieve when a book is touted as being wonderful by the media, then it might be best if we just stuck to the free stuff you can find all over the internet written by actually talented authors who are passed over for publishing to give hack writers like E L James tons of money and publicity for something a sixteen-year-old could have written better.

Off the Chain [Blu-ray]
Off the Chain [Blu-ray]
Offered by vidco
Price: CDN$ 8.93
3 used & new from CDN$ 8.92

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sick and horrifying, but frighteningly educational, Jan. 5 2009
This review is from: Off the Chain [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First of all, let me just say: This movie does NOT promote dog fighting and does NOT encourage anyone to engage in this illegal activity. If you have not seen this film then please do not comment solely based upon the title and Amazon's description of the film.

I watched this video knowing fully what I was in for, i.e an education about the horrors of dog fighting. I watched it because at the time I was a police officer that very often dealt with animal abuse cases and I wanted to familiarize myself with signs of animal fighting for potential arrest and prosecution. There are very graphic scenes of dog fighting, the murder of the fighting dogs by losing owners, and actual interview accounts by fighting dog owners about this sick thing they have the audacity to call a "sport". What a lot of reviewers that bemoan this film neglect to say is that the movie is not only about dog fighting. A very large portion of the movie actually casts an incredibly positive light on the American Pit Bull dog breed and shows how brave, courageous, and loved this breed of dog has been throughout the years. Several examples of this are given such as the Pit Bull has been on the cover of Time magazine (I think it was Time) in a positive way seven times, more than any other dog breed let alone animals. It also talks about how the greatest border patrol K-9 is, in fact, a Pit Bull that had been rescued from a dog fighter/breeder.

Yes, this movie does bring to light the evil horrors of dog fighting, but it also talks in depth about the efforts being made to combat dog fighting and how the mass media has painted a very incorrect view of the American Pit Bull. I think that if you work in or volunteer with any humane society or SPCA or if you work in the law enforcement field that this video should be required viewing during training. It is not pretty and I'm not ashamed to say that I found myself crying at times, but it's a hard truth that people in these fields need to be confronted with if they are going to do their jobs without any disillusions.

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