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Josh Reviews the Animated Adaptation of Batman: Hush

September 11th, 2019
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Back in 2003, Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee produced a twelve episode story in DC’s Batman comic book called “Hush” that was a year-long mystery, introducing a new villain to the Batman pantheon.  The story was a big hit with fans and has remained one of the memorable Batman tales from the last few decades.  The latest DC Animated film, Batman: Hush, is an adaptation of that story.

It’s rather good!  This is one of the stronger DC animated films from the past few years.  I’m particularly pleased because I’m not a huge fan of the source material.  I think the original twelve-issue story was a fun tour through Batman’s rogues gallery; I like the idea of introducing new characters into the Batman rogues gallery; and Jim Lee’s art is amazing.  But I don’t think the mystery was that effective, and I thought the story was way too drawn out at twelve issues in length.

This animated adaptation has nicely condensed things, creating a story that zips along at a nice pace.  They’ve done a solid job of adapting most of the most memorable beats from the original story, while making changes to make the tale work in the continuity of these DC animated films.  (I enjoyed seeing the references they slipped in to other recent films in this continuity, from Lex Luthor mentioning the attack of Cyborg Superman to seeing Bruce talking to Damian on the car phone.)

It’s fun how many characters they have squeezed into the film.  We get to see many of Batman’s famous villains, just like in the original story.  We also get some brief but nice scenes with other characters from across the DC universe, such as Nightwing, Lady Shiva, and Lois Lane.

As I have commented before, I don’t like the character designs they’re using in these recent DC animated films; I think they’re bulky and awkward looking (the faces especially).  That being said, the animation in this film is very solid.  The fights in particular are very strong.  There are some great moments in the fight with Bane, and the Batman versus Superman fight is terrific.  Jim Lee’s artwork from the original comic book issues is so iconic; I was hoping they’d have adapted the style of animation to reflect a little more of Jim Lee’s original art.  That didn’t happen, but they did work in a few of the most famous images from the original series, such as the iconic image of Batman and Catwoman kissing under the full moon.

The voice cast is a mixed bag.  I’m still not sold on the voice they’ve been using for Commissioner Gordon, and I continue to think that Rainn Wilson is very miscast … [continued]

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Josh Reviews Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season Six

September 10th, 2019
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A little over a year ago, at the end of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s fifth season, the show was cancelled by FOX.  I was so sad to read that news!  For me, it was a wake-up call as to how much I’d grown to love this show.  I didn’t realize how much I loved Brooklyn Nine-Nine until, suddenly, it was gone.  But then, miraculously, it wasn’t!  NBC rescued the show, picking it up for an eighteen-episode sixth season.  These things don’t usually happen!  Despite fan outcries when their shows are cancelled, it’s very rare for a show to actually find another home after a cancellation.  So the simple fact of the existence of a sixth season of the show was quite a gift.  I’d have been happy with almost anything.  What we got, stunningly, was by far the best season of the show so far!

The season began by quickly resolving the season five cliffhanger over whether or not Captain Holt was promoted to commissioner.  The season-opener was good, but it was the second episode that really caught my attention.  “Hitchcock & Scully” gave the focus to the two oafish supporting characters, showing us a flashback to when they were young and effective detectives.  It was a genius concept — showing us that the dumb and lazy dup were once muscled eighties action-star officers — and executed marvelously.  From that point on, I thought this season was on fire.

We got fantastic continuations of many of the series’ annual traditions.  Craig Robinson returned as Doug Judy, the “Pontiac Bandit,” in “A Tale of Two Bandits,” in which Nicole Byer also appeared as Doug Judy’s sister, Trudy Judy.  Mrs. Beyer was so funny!  (She also killed on her one-off appearance on The Good Place last season, in an episode that aired only a few weeks before this one, as a very jovial lady in the Good Place.)  I hope she appears again in the future!  In “Cinco de Mayo,” the gang’s Halloween Heist competition was moved to Cinco de Mayo in order to take the stress off of Terry, who was preparing for his Lieutenant’s exam.  (Because this new season didn’t begin airing on NBC until well after Halloween, this was a clever way to continue this annual tradition!). In the season finale, “Suicide Squad,” we get to see an alliance of many of the show’s (villainous) guest stars, including the Vulture (Dean Winters), Madeline Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick), and C.J. Stentley (Ken Marino).

In recent years, the show has occasionally dipped its toes into more dramatic territory.  This season saw a few examples of that.  In “He Said She Said,” Amy reveals the harassment that she suffered coming up as a … [continued]