Friday, December 16, 2011

Year one


There was some controversy surrounding Frank Miller and his comments about Occupy Wall Street recently. You can read the basics at Occupy Frank Miller by Rich Johnston, if you missed it.

You can check Special Bonus Frank Miller Bun Toons Extra! YAY! YAY! by Ty Templeton and Miller Time-Out by Richard Pace for reactions that mirror mine, in both cases with a great deal more wit than I was able to produce upon reading it.

Suffice it to say, I wasn't impressed by Miller's comments, and it certainly contributed to a growing feeling of discontent I have about Miller as a whole, and certainly my feelings about him as a person. And yet I also felt about like Mark Millar in his post The Frank Miller Controversy or Devin Faraci in his Frank Miller Is An Asshole, But I Still Like His Work.

Which is why I didn't make a grand proclamation that I would boycott Miller's past or future work, and thus watched the animated Batman: Year One without any ethical concerns or hand wringing over my own potential hypocrisy.

The original comic story, Batman: Year One by Miller and David Mazzucchelli is one of the high points of that period in the '80s when superhero comics "grew up", if only briefly. For me, it towers above even Miller's much venerated Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

And with its film noir influenced story and cinematic imagery, it seems like a natural fit for cinematic adaptation, so seeing that DC Universe Animated, led by the likes of Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett, it seemed a natural that I'd love it.

But I didn't quite.

All of the material is there. The already classic images on display. A terrific voice cast handling the characters. The story of Lt. James Gordon and his struggle against corruption in the ranks of the Gotham City Police Department taking the lead with the shadowy Batman in the background, as it should be.

Somehow the more of the adaptation added up to just a little bit less.

Mind you, I very much expect it will grow on me. It's the first of the DC Universe Animated movie since Justice League: The New Frontier that I imagine I'll want to own at some point. Not to mention, the preview documentary for Justice League: Doom was very promising.


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