Author: Panzerkardinal

Nerd and wannabe rockstar.

Editorial: Batman Villains I’d Like To See On The Screen

by Arnór Hermannsson Wikström

Hey! We’re all nerds here at Raiders, and nerds have opinions on Batman. Sometimes those opinions differ. That’s okay. But when it comes to the Caped Crusader I’m always right! I have hundreds of Batman figures in a glass cabinet in my living room, I have a rough meter of Batman DVDs in my shelf, I have two Batman tattoos (yeah, one of them is Heath Ledger as the Joker, but I’m still not mainstream, goddamnit!), I’m a big ol’ Batman nerd, is my point! I love Back To The Future, Star Wars and I quite like Hellboy, but Batman is my motherloving jam!

So, now that Robert Pattinson is gonna play Batman (I’m fine with that by the way, all aboard the R-Batz… I’m quite alone here at Raiders), who do I want him to kick in the teeth of?

If you’re anything like me, you love the Joker to bits, but you wouldn’t really miss him if he disappeared for a decade.

Believe me, my feelings on this are strong, and important damnit!

Here we go; the 5 villains I’d most want R-Batz to beat the shit outta:

  1. Mr Freeze
250px-Mr._Freeze_Batman_Annual_Vol_2_1

Yeah, I know. Batman & Robin sucked and Arnold Schwarzenegger was terrible as Mr Freeze. The funny thing about that is that The Arnold would’ve actually been a perfect Freeze if he’d played him as he played one of the two title characters in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Hard, quiet and unfeeling, but with a growing heart on the inside.

Mr Freeze was already an established character by the nineties, but when Bruce Timm produced the Batman; The Animated Series double episode Heart Of Ice, he was re-established as one of the most endearing villains in the entire rouges gallery. Sadly, he was mauled to death in Schumacher’s toy commercial of a movie. But hey! Bane was also in that piece of shit, and he was freaking awesome in The Dark Knight Rises!

4. The Mad Monk

Monk-DC-Comics-Batman

The monk was one of Batman’s earliest enemies, but he hasn’t been a part of the rogues gallery since the forties. Originally he was a kind of cult leader, who pretended he was a vampire. In 2006, Batman comic writing wizard Matt Wagner reinvented the Monk as an actual vampire, but he doesn’t need to be supernatural to work.

He could easily be reinvented as a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who uses the dim-minded hicks who follow hi for his own hidden agendas.

But if they keep him as a vampire, R-Batz and the monk can sparkle each other to death… Damn, Twilight jokes are so old I wish someone would slap me to death for making one.

  1. The Phantasm/The Reaper
reaper

The Phantasm is an amazing villain. Introduced in the animated movie  Batman: The Mask Of The Phantasm, the Phantasm is a mysterious and dark figure. A bringer of melodramatic death.
Yeah, I know! All us fans already know who the Phantasm is, and the secret identity thing was a big thing about the Phantasm. Well, screw you for also being a dumb nerd, you goddamn sunnova…, I’ll kick your… wait— sorry. Where was I?

The Phantasm! Yes! Outdated.

Funny thing! The Phantasm is based on the main villain in the Batman: Year Two comic book story line. In that story Gotham was haunted by a masked vigilante called The Reaper. In Year Two, The Reaper eventually turned out to be Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend’s dad, and in The Mask Of The Phantasm, Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend’s dad was actually a red herring, because it turned out that The Phantasm was actually Batman’s girlfriend and not her dad!!!!! So if you base the movie character on both those villains, you still have a nice little mystery to unfold.

  1. Clayface
Clayface_(Basil_Karlo)_-_True_New_52

Officially, there have been a whole shitload of Clayfaces, but for a movie we could join all the best parts into one, to make an ultimate Clayface.

He could be an actor who wanted to be able to mould his face, but who ultimately made his entire physical being a malleable blob. He can turn into anyone he wants, but only for a limited time, and he can only maintain an erection for a second. But he can temporarily make his outer layer hard as rocks, and therefore make himself into mallets and axes, and he can also slurp through the sewers like a high tide. Batman’s gotta get new boots to step on this piece of trash.

  1. Two-Face
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Wait… what are you saying? Two-Face has already been the villain in two movies?
I know. Both versions were terrible. As much as I love both Batman Forever and The Dark Knight, both those films did Two-Face a great disservice.

In Batman Forever he has the Joker’s personality, and he is shown being able to ignore the outcome of his coin-toss, as he is seen, at one point, flipping the coin over and over until he gets a desired result, making that part of his personality completely unnecessary, so when Batman finally throws a bunch of coins into the air to confuse him, he should just as easily be able to shake that off since he clearly doesn’t need the coin.

In The Dark Knight, the character of Harvey Dent is written and played perfectly, Aaron Eckhardt is amazing in the role. He’s also great when he finally turns to Two-Face, although he looks like his burns should’ve left him at least mute and blind (how does a man lose his entire face on one side of the head without it impairing his eyesight and speech?).
But Two-Face is dead within twenty minutes, when he’s actually a major showrunner in the comics. His similarity to Batman makes him one of the most interesting villains in the entire comic canon. There must be a Two-Face who’s a main villain like Tommy Lee Jones, and as real as Aaron Eckhardt, and who can give Batman a seriously rough time..

Do you disagree with my list?

Write an email to idontcare@whogivesashit.questionmark

Iron Sky: The Coming Race

by Arnór Hermannsson Wikström

This movie is what happens when a creator has no faith in their art. My main problem with the first Iron sky movie was that it didn’t take itself seriously. I didn’t mind it being a comedy, even though the teasers had promised a much more serious tone, but it seemed to me as if the creators of the film had so little faith in their subject matter that they buried the film under a layer of silliness, just so they could vindicate themselves by saying ”I know it’s dumb! It’s supposed to be dumb!”

However, Iron Sky did gather a cult following, and a sequel was very much in demand by its fan base, so the crowdfunding began anew, and with a bigger budget and more reason to believe in themselves, Iron Sky: The coming Race was grinded out.

This film took five years to make. The first teasers dropped in 2014. I went in to the theater hoping to see that the creators had used this time wisely, smoothing out the crinkles and making a solid story.

Not only does Iron Sky: The Coming Race not believe in itself, it seems positively ashamed of its own existence. The scenes are played out with such camp and tomfoolery it sometimes feels like you’re watching a children’s show with gore. No scene is played straight, they all feel like they’re desperately winking at the camera to remind us that they know they’re making a stupid film, and a problem with the film having taken so long to make is that the reference humor is so dated it’s gone sour. The film opens with a scene of an american president who is clearly modelled on Sarah Palin, and that just feels weird, since it’s been eleven years since she ran for vice president alongside John Mccain, a race that they famously lost, which makes you ask the question ”Why are you reminding us of a person we haven’t given a shit about for over a decade?”

The film’s scenes seem to fluctuate in budget. Some scenes look like they’re from a low budget kids’ show, others look positively stunning, look out for a great scene with lizard Hitler riding a T-Rex named Blondi (which was the actual name of Hitler’s german shepherd).

There’s a scene in a cockpit, when the heroes are crashing to earth, where the two main characters play off of each other nicely, but where the filmmakers seem to have completely forgotten that there are actually supposed to be four other people on board.

Anyway… the film also suffers from the wooden acting of its leads, especially since it’s trying to pass itself off as a screwball comedy, and none of the lead actors have any comedic talent. Main protagonist Obi, played by Lara Rossi, is a straight-faced no-nonsense action movie type that sadly feels out pf place in a film where she should’ve been perfect, had it been handled correctly.

The great Udo Kier does his best, and his returning Moon-Führer narrowly saves most of the scenes he’s in, but sadly that’s not his only part in this film.

He also plays a lizard Hitler, and seems to lose his mind completely in that getup, as if the concept itself is so weird that he desperately needs to overreact to keep up with all the silliness going on around him.

One of the best characters in the film is a stone-faced cult leader played by Tom Green, who surprisingly gives the most serious performance of the entire film. Green plays every scene with real presence and gravitas, being remarkably funny with his deadpan delivery.

What takes you out of the film the most is not the acting, or the dated references, silly humor, or sometimes pathetic CGI. It’s the script. Especially the back story.

The only thing Iron Sky: The Coming Race has to stand on is a pretty weak previous film that still works if you’re willing to look past its most glaring faults, but the sequel adds background details that pretty much retcon the entire story of the first film, making the connection between the two movies nonsensical and fragile, so much so that it comes off as a completely stand-alone film that just so happens to star some of the same characters.

It’s almost as if the creators of this film decided to throw so much stuff into the mix that you would be too confused to see that they had made a bad film.

But that is ultimately what Iron Sky: The Coming Race is. A bad film. In almost every sense of the word.

Sure, there are some funny jokes, some memorable scenes, and at least two very hard working actors doing their best to carry the whole mess, but it’s just not worth watching the rest of the film to get those things.

One of the funniest scenes in the film is the sequel tease at the end. Expertly executed and exciting, but since it arrives at the end of a complete disaster of a film, you really just hope they leave it at that, that don’t ruin any more potentially great subjects.

This film being made relied heavily on the crowd-funding by fans of the first film, and it would have been nice if it appeared to take its fans seriously. Instead it comes off as a virtual slap in the face of those who donated to it. Why would you want to give any more money to artists who are not going to take your donation seriously?

No more Iron Skies, please. You just can’t pull it off.

1.5 lizard Hitlers out of five possible. Not even the music of Slovenian art music group Laibach could save this flailing mess.

ALIEN COVENANT

by Arnór Hermannsson Wikström

Let’s talk about Alien: Covenant. 
Ridley Scott wanted to make another non-Alien Alien movie, but instead made a movie that’s an Alien movie for a little bit. 
Ridley knows that fans watch trailers and promotional materials, but seems to forget that you shouldn’t have to before watching a film, because the film should be able to stand on its own. 
One of the scenes that made the original Alien film so great was the “last supper” scene, where all the characters are properly introduced. 
The body count in Alien is not very high, but you feel every death, because you know and care for the characters. 
A similar scene was shot for Covenant, but only used in promotion. So you have to watch the trailers to fully enjoy the film. 
This is similar to how Prometheus was made, with brilliant scenes shot for promotion, but omitted from the film. 
One such scene stars Guy Pearce, looking like his regular self, and you had to have seen that trailer to understand why Guy Pearce shows up in Prometheus in heavy old guy makeup, instead of an actual old actor. 
Covenant is a better film than Prometheus, in that it’s more streamlined and doesn’t suffer from Damon Lindelof’s randomization syndrome, making it a sleeker film. 
But at the same time, it feels lackluster compared to Prometheus, and it doesn’t really deliver an actual Alien film until the third act, and even then it feels like you’re just watching a passable fan made short. 
There are so many great things going on in this film, but at the same time there’s too much of everything. 
Ridley Scott has delved too deep into the Alien Mythos, and seems determined to void the franchise of any mystery, which kind of shows that he has no idea what made the original great. 
All things considered, I still think it’s an improvement after Prometheus. I enjoy the memory of Alien: Covenant more than I enjoyed actually watching it. Unlike Prometheus, a film I’d rather forget. 
I can’t wait for Scott to finish his behemoth Alien project so that the franchise can be handed over to a younger more visionary director. 
One of the things that makes the original Quadrology so fun to watch is all the different takes, and Scott has already gotten away with too many Alien movies.

Though, to be fair, one of his Alien movies is arguably the best one.