"Batman: Soul of the Dragon" Animated Release Talkback (Spoilers)

"Batman: Soul of the Dragon" - Rate and Discuss this DC Universe Movie!


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majcvd49

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LOVED this one. Probably the best DTV in awhile in my book.

I've seen lots of whining about Batman taking a backseat in reviews and stuff.. Not how I saw it. He was an integral part of the story, arguably given the most emotional development of any of the leads. This is also the coolest Bruce Wayne has been on film in probably.....ever. Guintoli has a great voice for the character. Especially enjoyed the scene with Silver.

Also never saw the ending as "theyre all dead." As explained in the special features, it was done deliberately as an homage to the movies of that period. Bruce Lee running towards gunfire at the end of Chinese Connection, the ending of Thelma and Louise. They left a spark of hope in there with O-Senseii's adage: "together, you can accomplish anything." Plus the Batman smile.

Timm even said in one of the myraid of interviews that came out this week that he has a sequel idea ready to go, after having a discussion with James Tucker about it. So lets hope the sales are solid here. I dont see it continuing where this one left off though. Maybe a throwaway line about how the situation was resolved but methinks theyre gonna go the full-on Ras Al Ghul route, which would be great.
 

Revelator

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Bond 100% does this at the start of "The Living Daylights". Parachutes onto a random yacht and hooks up with the woman on board.
The film really is brimming with references!

Indeed! I'll leave the Kung Fu film references to the experts, but as a Bond bore I noticed that:

* The man in the tux at the casino is a dead ringer for George Lazenby, star of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (one of b.t.'s favorite Bond films).

* Dragon's safe-cracker gadget is a cross between the ones Bond uses in OHMSS and You Only Live Twice.

* The title sequence is a homage to Maurice Binder's titles for Live and Let Let Die and The Man With the Golden Gun--not just in the use of silhouettes and simulated optical compositing but also in the way the text ripples as if seen through water. Even the font is identical!

* The overhead grating in the snake attack scene is a visual homage to Dr. No.

* The Batmobile's wheel spikes and ejector seat are from the Aston Martin in Goldfinger.

* The helicopter using a magnet to pick up a car is from You Only Live Twice.

As for Soul of the Dragon itself...one of the most fun DC DTVs in years! It feels like a passion project that truly reflects the enthusiasm of its creators. Joachim Horsley's music fully succeeds in catching that mid 70s vibe (dig those wah-wahs!) and transcends pastiche. The ensemble cast is adroitly balanced and receives equal time.
The quartet of primary voice actors give impressively naturalistic line readings--Giuntoli's Bruce Wayne/Batman has real gravitas. The flashbacks build up the story without detracting from the steady pacing. Aside from a couple of awkward bits toward the beginning (like Dragon's swagger walk) the animation is up the challenge of the material--the fight scenes are inventive and never wear out their welcome.
Dragon shares a number of elements and themes with Batman Beyond's "Curse of the Kobra" but does a far better job with them. Here is a case of a new DC film improving on a classic DCAU show!
I also want to second b.t.'s praise of Aluir Amancio's Batman--it captures Batman's 70s look and is already one of my favorite non-Timm animated Bat-designs. I especially like the ears!
 
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SweetShop209

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I found this tweet from Sam Liu where he mentions being surprised that the movie got an R rating given how much of the blood was taken out. Maybe the more spiritual elements were a major factor to the rating.


 

ichorskeeter

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This was really cool. I'd love a sequel, too—maybe a loose adaptation of the 1991 Robin miniseries, where Tim Drake goes abroad to study martial arts.
 

Yojimbo

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Perhaps a sequel would be a time skip to later in the 70s, with them already back on Earth, and more of a focus on the agency Richard Dragon works for, and thus lean more into the spy genre. In the comics, I believe the agency Dragon worked for was alluded to by the cast in SotD was G.O.O.D. plus they could tie it together by having naming The Swiss as the leader of the terrorists who stole the Gate for Kobra but he ended up getting possessed by a Naga then went by Schlangenfaust thereafter (The Swiss was a villain in the Richard Dragon, Kung-Fu Fighter comics and Schlangenfaust's look was a direct swipe). I think the only other recurring villains in that comic run was a pirate named Slash, Doctor Moon, and Professor Ojo. I think in one issue they fought the League of Assassins (but they're overused, imo).
theswiss.jpg
 

Mostezli

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Maybe the more spiritual elements were a major factor to the R rating.
I thought it was due to the bad guy planning to sacrifice a bunch of kids for the sake of his scheme. Oh and that little debate about killing baby Hitler after Ben said he spared the innocent villain.

I didn't realize how poorly this was rated just because the Batman costume was in fact not that relevant.
Even still, this was definitely a better structured story and had overall better scripting than Scorpion's Revenge.
 

Troy Troodon

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I found this tweet from Sam Liu where he mentions being surprised that the movie got an R rating given how much of the blood was taken out. Maybe the more spiritual elements were a major factor to the rating.


I mean some snake guys did get decapitated, and one had it's face smashed by Richard against the floor. And either way there is still plenty of blood here and there.
 

SweetShop209

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It makes sense for Elsa Garagarza to be involved here given that one of the shows she worked on was Avatar The Last Airbender.
 

b.t.

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Yojimbo

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Jeff Wamester boarded the James Bondian cold open and the flashback where O-Sensei introduces his students.
I see you also had a question on Twitter about Kobra Island — yes, it was indeed inspired by Khao Phing Kan island in Thailand, which was used as the location for Scaramanga’s base of operations in MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN.
1/19: Thanks! Btw what no GET SMART shoe phone? ;) Eh, I guess that might have been too silly to have been used.

1/21: Dusty Abell posted a bunch of designs for incidentals (3 sets per post), here, here, and here.
 
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Medinnus

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All in all a solid release, but there were some niggling points for which I didn't care:

  • I am going to guess that Rip Jaeger's appearance is after his stint as Judomaster in WWII, and that he did not age in Nanda Parbat. An ignominious end as traitor to humanity I did not think the character deserved.
  • The cliffhanger ending. I feel like I bought only half a story. And yes, that same dissatisfaction was present for me at THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and the Bashki LORD OF THE RINGS.
  • It was disconcerting to have Cheshire among the trainees, and for her to die. I always thought of her at the same "don't think too hard about age" age era as Richard Grayson and the rest of the older Titans.

I rather enjoyed all the spies references, the 1970's Blaxploitation dialogue, and Bens not-quite Luke Cage look. Sweet Christmas, I lived through that era, after all!

I did not mind at all that Bruce was the worst student of the four; he may not be the best martial artist, but he is the most effective fighter.
 

Yojimbo

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^Felt like we got the full story how they reunited and embraced their destiny. I thought it was the notion was that after the final shot, they slaughtered the Naga army in Nagaloka then returned home. The Batman grin seemed to imply he knew they would.
 

b.t.

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^Felt like we got the full story how they reunited and embraced their destiny. I thought it was the notion was that after the final shot, they slaughtered the Naga army in Nagaloka then returned home. The Batman grin seemed to imply he knew they would.
One other thing about that ending: we’ve used Bruce Lee’s famous ‘Come and get it’ gesture many times over the years. It became such an overused cliche’ that we actually wrote it into the script of ‘Grudge Match’ on JLU, as way to make fun of it. Two villains in Roulette’s shabby little cage fight take turns using the gesture: ‘Come and get it’ — ‘No, YOU come and get it’ — ‘No, you’ — ‘No, YOU’ — etc.

I‘ve been careful to not use that gesture in any of my projects since. While we were breaking the story, Jeremy, James and I realized we needed to end the movie with our four heroes battling Evil for all eternity. In the excitement of the moment, I suggested ending the movie with Batman looking right into the camera, saying ‘Let’s get it on’ with a badass smirk on his face — and I instinctively made the ‘Come and get it’ gesture. Jeremy and James both exploded : ‘OMG, YES, THAT’S IT!!’ I tried to walk it back, explained why I didn’t want to actually use the gesture, how I’d over-used it on previous shows, etc. and they were both like, ‘But it’s the BRUCE LEE gesture, we HAVE to do it!’ So, reluctantly I agreed to use it just one last time...

Oh wait! Crap, I forgot — I used that gesture after ‘Grudge Match’ one OTHER ‘last time’: In CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS, he does it to Superwoman, but he uses the claw-arm of a Power Loader to do it, which was just too good and goofy a gag to pass up.

Anyway, this time I MEAN it — never again! :)
 

Yojimbo

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I‘ve been careful to not use that gesture in any of my projects since. While we were breaking the story, Jeremy, James and I realized we needed to end the movie with our four heroes battling Evil for all eternity. In the excitement of the moment, I suggested ending the movie with Batman looking right into the camera, saying ‘Let’s get it on’ with a badass smirk on his face — and I instinctively made the ‘Come and get it’ gesture. Jeremy and James both exploded : ‘OMG, YES, THAT’S IT!!’ I tried to walk it back, explained why I didn’t want to actually use the gesture, how I’d over-used it on previous shows, etc. and they were both like, ‘But it’s the BRUCE LEE gesture, we HAVE to do it!’ So, reluctantly I agreed to use it just one last time...
Ah yes, eternity, it all ties in with O-Sensei telling Bruce about what the rock punching lesson really meant. Well, all the flashbacks do tie in overall. Hmm, I tend to think more of the gesture when he has his pinkies and thumbs only pointed up so that last bit went over my head and I thought it was Jeremy Adams sneaking in a Mortal Kombat taunt since he penned that Scorpion's Revenge DTV that came out last year.
 

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