"Batman: Under the Red Hood" Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

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James Harvey

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Dare to look beneath the hood...

Batman: Under the Red Hood
Release Date: July 27th, 2010

Producer: Bruce Timm
Written by: Judd Winick
Directed by: Brandon Vietti

Synopsis: Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.

Comments on Batman: Under the Red Hood?

Please post all discussions and comments about the Batman: Under the Red Hood feature in this thread! Please discuss the home video release of Batman: Under the Red Hood in the proper talkback, as linked below.

Related Threads:
-Batman: Under the Red Hood Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
-Batman: Under the Red Hood Feature Review (Spoilers)
-Batman: Under the Red Hood Soundtrack Talkback (Spoilers)
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-Batman "Under The Hood" Talkback (Spoilers)
-Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
-Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
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Note: Remember, this talkback thread is for discussion of the feature film. If you wish to talk about the home video release, please click on the appropriate link above. We appreciate and encourage discussion, but please keep your posts civil, relevant and insightful. Please do not post any improper or inflammatory material, as we will issue warnings if we believe it necessary. And remember to keep the discussion ON-TOPIC!
 

James Harvey

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The World's Finest has multiple reviews of Batman: Under the Red Hood, including the first published review of the Blu-ray release and feature, available to view. Click on the thumbnail below to view them, with more content on the way.
Zach "Bird Boy" Demeter: Truthfully speaking I expected to really just dislike this film, but setting aside my reverence for the story of Jason Todd’s death…I have to say this really was a damn good film. Time will tell how I feel since I think I say that about every one of these DC Universe titles and then later realize the flaws with each of them, but for the time being Under the Red Hood was a genuinely surprising and entertaining film. More...

James Harvey: The storytelling is solid, the animation is top-notch, and the cast and crew really pull out all the stops to give fans a solid character-driven action drama. It’s a really fine Bat-film that, while not succeeding them, can stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Under the Red Hood. More...

Additionally, toonzone news has published two great reviews by Maxie Zeus and Ed Liu.

The World's Finest also has new media content available at the new Batman: Under the Red Hood subsite, including new images and a new video clip from the animated feature. Check out The World's Finest for more!
 

Style

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I'm working on a youtube review of this for my full thoughts, (my latest noble experiment likely come failure,) but I wanted to share this atleast.

I was there when BTAS was first premiered on Fox Kids in 1992, And ever since I have always held it as the pinnacle, gold standard of Batman story telling.

This film, however, is the first animated Batman project I have seen that I think, finally puts BTAS to bed. In it's scope, it's animated detail, and powerhouse story telling, it fully surpasses such previous efforts as Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker. The latter one, Return of the Joker, now looks much more humble in comparison, like a smaller, more limited take on the subject matter Red Hood excels at.

Best DCU DTV (and animated Batman project in general) BY FAR.
 

Maxie Zeus

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The thread title says (Spoilers), and here is further warning. This post and any subsequent ones are going to blow every single spoiler. So don't read if you want to save yourself some spoiler grief.

If we're going to have a Siskel-Ebert fight, I'll have to start, I guess. Ed has substantive criticisms of Red Hood while I only gush, so I don't present much of a target.

I'll start with what I think is the key complaint: the botched mystery. I sympathize with a lot of what Ed says, and I think those complaints justifiably follow if you watch the movie as mystery that misfires. If you can get past that, I think the movie's real virtues come into sharper focus.

Ed writes: "It [is] abundantly easy to figure out who the Red Hood is when he appears in the movie's opening scenes, and yet the movie insists on continuing to play it like a mystery for 30 minutes as the Red Hood upsets Gotham City's underworld and dodges both Batman and the Black Mask. That stalling for time is meant to communicate the Red Hood's competence, but instead only succeeds at making both Batman and the Black Mask look ineffectual." Ed also notes that the mystery is actually dispelled pretty quickly, which robs it of a lot of suspense.

Yes, the movie has this odd structure. Red Hood is unmasked pretty quickly. But even before he's unmasked, the "five years earlier" bit should be a dead giveaway as to who he is. After all, if Jason Todd hasn't something to do with Red Hood, why do we have to open Red Hood's movie with Jason Todd's death sequence? This is a lousy way to make any kind of mystery, whether it is an Agatha Christie or a conspiracy thriller. So you've got a choice: either take it (like Ed) as a lousy mystery, or decide that it's not really a mystery at all.

I picked the latter, and in my review I referred to it as a "dramatic mystery." It's also what I like to call a "narrative mystery." I can't explain that phrase without going OT, but I'll try to keep it a short. A "narrative mystery" is a story where the suspense has to do with not knowing where the story is going. A lot of Hitchcock movies are "narrative mysteries"; the Coen brothers like to make narrative mysteries. These stories have opening situations that are straight out of genre—a murder, a kidnapping, a theft, a disappearance—but the story soon unfolds in a way that upsets genre expectations. The characters turn out to be wrong, or behave in the wrong way. "Psycho," for instance, starts off a story about a woman who steals a lot of money. Then she's brutally murdered in a hotel. The audience is suddenly pitched into unexpected territory. They mystery isn't "who killed whom" or "who is secretly pulling the strings". The mystery is, "How in the hell is the storyteller going to wrap this up in a satisfying way?"

That's what "Red Hood" does with all its coy teasing. When the hood comes off, you should find yourself thinking "Robin comes back as a bad guy? How in the hell are they going to end this story? Never mind a 'happy' ending. How can they give it any ending at all?" Because Batman's allies are not supposed to do what Todd is doing, and Batman is going to have the devil's own time reaching a place that leaves him happy with what has happened to Todd. There is not going to be a 'genre' ending like there is in "Return of the Joker" (Joker defeated! Yay!) or "Mask of the Phantasm" (All the bad guys driven off! Yay!) or most any superhero story.

So why does it fool around for 30-so minutes before pulling the mask off, even while it's clear who Red Hood is? Because that gives you two other mysteries. One is another narrative mystery: All the storytelling clues point to Todd being Red Hood. But maybe he isn't. Maybe there is a trick, and Todd is connected to the Hood in some other way. So even though you should be 99% certain that Hood=Todd, you can't discount that 1%. (At least, you can't if you don't go into the movie knowing all about the comic book and convinced that it will be a 100% faithful adaptation. I can't blame Ed for having a background I don't.) So you watch with a little bit of a prickle on the back of your scalp: "It's so obvious who Red Hood is. But is it so obvious that I have to be right? Or is it so obvious that ... I'm being played for a sucker?"

The other mystery is the "dramatic mystery" that I mentioned, which is "What is going to happen when Batman realizes who Red Hood is?" He doesn't have the clues we have; he's going to be gobsmacked; and if you're like me you watched the movie in a bit of a crouch waiting for the moment when the penny drops for Batman.

If you're looking for classic "conspiracy story" type mystery—"Ooo! Who is Red Hood! I bet it's a shocking twist that I won't have seen coming from miles away!"—then "Red Hood" is almost as bad as bad can be. But it is so bad at that kind of thing—while being so good with lots of other storytelling bits—that I have to assume it is trying to do something else. It is doing these "narrative" and "dramatic" mysteries instead, and it works superbly at them. That's another reason this movie filled me with awe, because these kinds of genre stories are almost never this daring.

That's more than enough for now. Later on, after Ed has said something, I can try to develop the above ideas to talk about other features of the story that answer some of his other criticisms.

@Style: I haven't seen the GL or Wonder Woman DTVs, and "Gotham Knight" is so different it really can't be compared to the others. Otherwise in my review I'd have said what you said, which is that this is the best thing the DCAU has given us. I'll keep an eye out for your YouTube thing.
 

Hero Supreme

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While my opinion may change, I also would rank this as the best DC animated movie to date. It really exceeded my expectations. If this is the kind of movies we will keep getting, its tough to complain about getting "too much Batman."

The rest of the animated movies are ranked here.
 

DarkAngel

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The other mystery is the "dramatic mystery" that I mentioned, which is "What is going to happen when Batman realizes who Red Hood is?" He doesn't have the clues we have; he's going to be gobsmacked; and if you're like me you watched the movie in a bit of a crouch waiting for the moment when the penny drops for Batman.
I'd say that's exactly it. Not only are we clued in early on to the "secret" (and most/all of us already knew from reading the comics or having heard about the comics), but we get the definite sense Batman suspects the truth also, and well before he gets sure evidence. A large part of this is about Bruce coming face to face with a significant failure. What we're all waiting for as we watch is that moment when Bruce has no choice but to face the reality of what he's dealing with. Batman never seemed ineffectual. Rather, he seemed like a man not ready to face the truth he, on some level, already knew.
 

Ed Liu

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The other mystery is the "dramatic mystery" that I mentioned, which is "What is going to happen when Batman realizes who Red Hood is?" He doesn't have the clues we have; he's going to be gobsmacked; and if you're like me you watched the movie in a bit of a crouch waiting for the moment when the penny drops for Batman.
The thought had occurred to me afterwards that it was a dramatic mystery -- we are supposed to know who Red Hood is right up front, but Batman isn't -- but my impression that it was intended to be a narrative mystery really came from the featurette on JL: Crisis on Two Earths, where three different people all describe it as a mystery and gave me the very strong impression they meant the narrative type (the real killer is when Greg Noveck says at the end that "The best Batman stories are all mysteries" and I wanted to scream, "But you gave yours away just telling me the plot of the movie!"). The structure of that featurette also made it look like some kind of big secret, because they spent half of it talking about one thing and then the next half talking about something entirely different. If it's supposed to be a dramatic mystery, it seems that this approach -- carried through all the promotional materials and (IMO) the movie's first 30 minutes -- is counter-productive. We could have been told much earlier that it's Jason Todd under the Red Hood, which would have made it a surprise/suspense thing. WE are given information that the players on screen aren't. We're left waiting for them to figure it out, and that generates agonizing suspense. Hold out who's under the hood and you're going for the surprise when that hood finally comes off. I never detected that this was the intention of the movie.

This may also be a case where knowledge of the source material works against the movie, since the comic did play it almost entirely as a narrative mystery rather than a dramatic one, although there are aspects of the dramatic type as well. One of the few things I liked about it were asides where Batman talked to a variety of other people in the DCU to talk about the metaphysics of death and (more importantly) how people like Superman and Green Arrow came back from the dead. It's a hint that Batman suspects who the Red Hood is immediately (as DarkAngel suggests), reversing the "this is a dramatic mystery" roles above. Now it's Batman who knows things while we're in the dark. The problem is that I didn't see enough tonal change in other aspects from the comic to the movie to make me think that they meant to shift the emphasis so thoroughly from a narrative mystery to a dramatic one.

I can use that to go into one other point where we disagreed about the movie, and that's the Black Mask. You liked him; I thought he was useless and kind of dumb. He's a very different Black Mask from the one in the comics, where he's a really sick, sadistic guy out of the worst dime-store pulp novels. Gets his jollies using power tools in ways that are definitely not covered by the warranty, if you know what I mean. It's obvious that this is a different guy from the comics, but I think in making the translation, he's been defanged too much and serves almost no useful purpose in the story. You got comedy out of his increasing impotent rage, and while I can get that, I think we're also supposed to understand that he's a real threat. The drug dealers at the start of the movie are all clearly afraid of him. Cutting his role down to what it is just meant that I spent the whole movie going, "THIS is the guy who's running the Gotham underworld? THIS bozo?" It's just too hard to take this guy seriously, especially in a movie that starts with the Joker beating a teenager to death. By all rights, THIS Black Mask should have been eaten alive in a Gotham City where that's possible.

Your move :).
 

Maxie Zeus

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A brief half-move for now. I'll be back later.

I thought, from reading your review, that there had been major changes in doing the adaptation, including revisions that changed the way the story was supposed to "work." But I didn't want to offer that as a diagnosis. It does seem reasonable, though.

An aside, in a spoiler box because it's OT. Also, it involves major spoilers for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo:

When Hitch made Vertigo, he wanted (at one point) to save the revelation about Judy really being Madeline until the very end. Basically, we'd go thru the movie thinking she was just a girl until Scotty figured it out, and then--dun dun DUN--we'd all know he'd been had. Luckily, Hitchcock's wife, his producer, his screenwriter, and even the executives at Paramount (bless them!) argued him out of it. It would be a much different and worse movie we weren't primed all thru the last half for the awful, awful scene he finally realizes who the sucker always was.

It seems to me that changing the comic book "Red Hood" to this movie "Red Hood" is very analogous to changing the "surprise ending" Vertigo to the actual Vertigo. It changes the story from a rather cheap mystery to a very suspenseful character study. If you had known the "surprise ending" Vertigo, the way you knew the comic book "Red Hood," it would be very easy to condemn the film Vertigo for blowing the mystery and making Scotty look incompetent for not putting two and two together sooner. And you wouldn't be wrong. But I think you'd miss all the other virtues that accrue from making that kind of change.

Meanwhile ... Oh, those poor guys trying to sell "Red Hood" on the "first look" featurette. You can hit them coming and going. Comic book readers, I guess, know "Red Hood" as a "mystery," so if you tell them Oh, we're blowing the mystery angle totally on this, you can complain that they've just spoiled the whole thing. (Which is pretty much what you do complain.) On the other hand, if they play up the mystery, or at least talk about the "mystery" that is associated with that title, then you can complain afterward that they ruined the mystery in their movie.

Me, I suspect they knew this was going to be a very hard sell to talk about in the featurette, because I found it very hard to talk about in the review. I did not know how far to go in spoiling things, because the mystery is effective as a tease even though the real virtues of the movie have almost nothing to do with that mystery.

Another Hitchcock comparison: I don't know how the original critics managed to talk about "Psycho," considering that more than half the movie pivots on a plot shift that must not be spoiled for the audience. I kind of felt that way about "Red Hood," though in the opposite direction. There's a plot shift (Red Hood's revelation) that really has nothing to do what makes the story work. Red Hood is a terrific MacGuffin: Everyone in the movie cares about him, but who he is turns out not to be important to the audience. They only care about how important he is to the other characters.

Back on Black Mask and other things later.
 

ashleesmach1

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Under the Red is great. I have been waiting so long for Batman feature like this! the animation was great the voices were great! the story was great!. The special feature were eh! LOL except for the one on the new Supes/bats feature.
and My oh MY what can be sadi About Jonah.....Jonah jonah... Pure evil !:evil:
I loved it!
 

suss2it

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Loved this movie, glad they didn't try to pretend that Red Hood was a mystery. Also Nightwing's acrobatics in the first right were really cool and I loved his design as well. It was also cool to see Batman/Nightwing & Batman/Red Hood so in sync when they fought together.

I know it's Batman's movie, but I would've liked to see Red Hood & Nightwing interact more.
 

Style

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Loved this movie, glad they didn't try to pretend that Red Hood was a mystery. Also Nightwing's acrobatics in the first right were really cool and I loved his design as well. It was also cool to see Batman/Nightwing & Batman/Red Hood so in sync when they fought together.

I know it's Batman's movie, but I would've liked to see Red Hood & Nightwing interact more.

The first time I watched it, (I've watched it 3 times today!) I missed Nightwing in the second two acts of the film. But it's probably for the best he was dumped when he was. The finale, (and what a finale!) is laser focused on Bruce and Jason. Dick's input probably would have cluttered things.
 

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I'll keep it short, since I agree with what many have said already. I just wanted to say that as much as I was worried that this wasn't the best Batman story to be adapted from comics to animation, or that it wouldn't work too well without having A Death In The Family come before it, or without having enough Jason Todd as Robin in the beginning of it, or without having Tim Drake show up by the end of it -- Batman: Under The Red Hood has turned out to be, in my opinion, the best DC animated movie since Batman: Mask of The Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker. I absolutely loved it!
 

maxnugget

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WARNING: Mask of the Phantasm spoilers (do I really need to say this? :))

Hey guys, haven't been to these boards in a while!

I would just like to point out, in regards to the non-mystery mystery nature of the film, that I've long argued that dramatically Mask of the Phantasm was somewhat similar. In MOTP, before the official reveal of Phantasm's identity, there is a shot of an anguished, newly-cynical Andrea after finding her father murdered, and that shot fades directly to a shot of the Phantasm overlooking Gotham. This is for storytelling purposes the audience's official confirmation of Phantasm's identity, not the later scene where she reveals her identity to the Joker. Yet even before the aforementioned scene, it's not as if it's a surprise that Andrea is the Phantasm. Dramatically speaking, the 20-30 minutes preceding that fadeout shot is spent WISHING it wasn't Andrea (because of how sad that would be for her and for Bruce) yet knowing that is the impending conclusion the film is driving toward. When we finally get the fadeout shot, the only real audience reaction is the loss of hope for a happier outcome, not surprise or "aha! mystery solved"

ROTJ was very similar as well: we didn't know exactly HOW, but we knew the Joker we were watching was clearly the genuine article, that's never really in doubt.

Under the Red HOod is similar, but much more focused and streamlined. We are made to feel right from the opening credits that somehow Jason is going to be the Red Hood. And just as we didn't know how the Joker cheated death in ROTJ, we don't know how Jason returned to the living this time around either, but we're not too concerned about that, dramatically. So, as I think Maxie said, the "mystery" is really more of a plot device for Batman than it is for the audience. It facilitates the overall story, and gives us the excitement of waiting to see how Bruce reacts to learning Jason is alive and...evil. Just as we waited on edge in ROTJ to see Bruce come to realize that it really is the Joker, a ghost from the past come back to haunt him all over again.
 

Simpler Simon

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I can use that to go into one other point where we disagreed about the movie, and that's the Black Mask. You liked him; I thought he was useless and kind of dumb. He's a very different Black Mask from the one in the comics, where he's a really sick, sadistic guy out of the worst dime-store pulp novels. Gets his jollies using power tools in ways that are definitely not covered by the warranty, if you know what I mean.

To jump in on this bit without getting caught in the crossfire between you and Maxie - I thought Black Mask played out exactly the way Winick wrote him in the original comic arc. That is to say, Winick's Black Mask was pretty much its own character and bore less resemblance to the sadistic incarnation that tortured Stephanie Brown a year or two prior in publication (or the cultish one from No Man's Land). But if you've read Winick's other DC work such as Outsiders, many of his villains are played with a similar off-kilter bent that also serves as comic relief (Winick's Dr. Sivana is a good example). I really enjoyed Wade Williams' portrayal for its faithfulness.

I'll digest the movie a little more as I sleep - it didn't immediately blow me away like Wonder Woman and Crisis on 2 Earths did, but it ranks fairly high on my DC movie list. I'm trying to pinpoint if having enjoyed the original story arc added or diluted the experience. Some random thoughts:

- Black Mask's male assistant was made female for the adaptation - either they were trying to get at least 1 female speaking role into the story (which really had none) or someone really wanted to work with Kelly Hu.

- I found the violence a bit restrained - I'm glad the DC movies are getting a better handle on the "adult" content without going overboard, but the "Death in the Family" sequence felt a bit off without facial bruising or blood on Jason's face. Yeah Joker could've been hitting him in the chest, but I thought a lot of it was head injury in the comic.
 

Garada

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Just finished watching it, along with all the special features, on Blu-ray.

4/5 for the movie!

The film looked beautiful in HD, very solid story. The animation in the chase scene [with Hood's blue car] was horrendous though... looked like someone switched over to playing Grand Theft Auto for a few minutes. Luckily there wasn't too much other 'vehicle animation' in this one. They don't seem to have the 'look' of vehicle animation in these features down still; the helicopter scene in Public Enemies was equally awful. But besides a few other brief, awkward animation moments, it was a joy to behold. The fight scenes were especially fluid. Voice acting was all enjoyable, very well cast. I'll have to watch it a few more times before I can decide where it stands in the pantheon of Batman movies!

I am definitely of the opinion that the 'mystery' is truly meant to be solved by the characters, not the audience. My girlfriend, who doesn't know squat about comics and had never even heard of Jason Todd until we popped in this disc, figured it out quickly. I thought most of the fun in the film was in second guessing myself, and that 'No!' moment when Bruce finally has to acknowledge what he's known all along. As has been stated in this thread already [and more eloquently], it's akin to the moment in ROTJ where Bats confirms that it really is Mr. J, and the moment in 'Mask' when Andrea reveals herself. Anyway, I loved the way it was handled in this film, and Alfred's shocked 'tray drop' was great.

Featurettes on Robin were both interesting, and the Apocalypse 'First Look' was nice, but the Hex short really steals the show. I think I enjoyed it more than the main film! The animation in these shorts is lush, and Tom Jane's Hex was great.

Wish there was commentary... but I guess that's more a topic for the 'Blu/DVD Talkback' thread.
 

J Knight5

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Finally saw it, and thought it was great. Gave it a 4. Though I still think Phantasm and Return of the Joker were a bit better. I was really impressed with Bruce Greenwod as Batman. Whenever Kevin Conroy is not doing the voice, I hope Greenwood will be used. Really glad he will be doing Batman in Young Justice.
The final fight was just awesome. Especially when they were fighting in the bathroom. I love the line Batman says to Jason right before he pushes him through the wall. I still wish these movies were longer though. They just seem to fly by when I watch them. But this one was definatley worth the five month wait from Crisis on Two Earths. Which seemed like forever.
 

Ed Liu

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I thought, from reading your review, that there had been major changes in doing the adaptation, including revisions that changed the way the story was supposed to "work." But I didn't want to offer that as a diagnosis. It does seem reasonable, though.
The changes to adapt the movie were mostly mechanical. There was a lot more stuff dangling off the ends and tying into the bigger (dumber) events going on in DC Comics at the time. As an example, the Batman/Red Hood team-up fight is with four different characters in the comics (the ones in the movie are entirely new), and it's part of Black Mask working with a larger organization of supervillains (and, as another example of Judd Winick's idea of subtlety, the one Red Hood kills is Captain Nazi). The core of the Batman/Red Hood story is intact without any major changes. As I said, I felt like the comics were playing it for more of a narrative mystery rather than a dramatic one, but they had that luxury because the death of Jason Todd was more than 20 years ago instead of in the opening scene. Apparently, Todd popped up before then, but there was doubt whether it was really him.

The major structural changes are made in the third act, when things come to a head. Again, the comics were kind of a mess and the movie is a notable improvement on the source material, and also manages to work Black Mask into the plot much more tightly (if poorly, as I've said). It all does ultimately lead up to that big fight and then the confrontation with the Joker. Their little dialogue on morality at the end is lifted almost word-for-word.

As another aside, one of the few things that I really liked about the original story were these little sequences where Batman went traveling around the DCU, talking to different people who had come back from the dead (like Green Arrow and Superman) and to people who'd be in a position to know things like that (like Zatanna and Jason Blood). It was an interesting exploration of the metaphysics of death in the DCU and a quiet acknowledgement that coming back from the dead isn't quite as rare in comics as it is in real life, even if it completely undermines one other plot twist later.

I am glad that you brought up Hitchcock, though, and Vertigo and Psycho in particular. Vertigo goes from a narrative mystery to a dramatic one because of that pivotal scene right in the middle of the movie that makes sure the audience knows what's really going on. It's just plausible enough that we believe it, but just preposterous enough that we think, "OK, I wouldn't have come up with that one on my own." We've seen many cases where Scottie is smart and capable, which mitigates the, "Why can't you figure this out, dummy?" factor. If WE couldn't figure that one out on our own, it's unlikely that HE would. I think explicitly spelling out the big secret for the audience is pivotal to developing a dramatic mystery. That does not happen in Red Hood, or they're trying to have it both ways and I don't think they get either.

I think Red Hood was playing it more like Psycho than Vertigo, pushing a plot twist much earlier than you expect it to happen for the shock value. It also happens to introduce an incredible amount of entropy into the story—the big plot twist isn't something you expect at that point, so the movie can throw off the shackles of convention that it would otherwise follow. Vertigo is a perfect dramatic mystery, which is about suspense; we are given information early on and the entertainment comes from watching everyone else on-screen flail to learn what we know. Psycho is a very good narrative mystery, which is about surprise; we DON'T know any more than the characters, and the entertainment comes from the process of simultaneous discovery on-screen and in the audience. I think that Red Hood aims for Psycho and misses the mark pretty badly early on, because the big twist reveal isn't much of a surprise at all.

In the end, whether Red Hood was meant as a narrative mystery or a dramatic one is going to come down to perception, although I think it can be played as either one depending on which you prefer. I think that a dramatic mystery is a perfectly valid interpretation of the way the first act of the movie plays out. I'm curious to rewatch the movie with that in mind, but in the end, that question really only affects the first act of the movie and doesn't really affect the flaws I find elsewhere.

To jump in on this bit without getting caught in the crossfire between you and Maxie
Oh, by all means do. This is all fun. The knives and guns and phased plasma rifles won't come out for at least a day or two :D.

- Black Mask's male assistant was made female for the adaptation - either they were trying to get at least 1 female speaking role into the story (which really had none) or someone really wanted to work with Kelly Hu.
I could have sworn Kelly Hu did something else with the DCU crew, but I think I'm wrong on that. She's done lots of other voice acting work, but not with them. I suspect you're right about the "wanting a female speaking role" thing. Someone on staff might have had a Chris Claremont moment where they asked, "Is there any reason why this character can't be a woman?" and nobody came up with one. All that is the reason why I'll skip my usual rant about how it's easy to get Asian women on screen but impossible to get Asian men on screen, since I don't think that's what was happening here :p.

Hu is also Talia, and you can do up to 3 voices before they have to pay you more. I think that reinforces the "we wanted to work more with her" rather than them being economical, though.
 

NBM05

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Joined
Jul 9, 2010
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168
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Seattle
Great Movie

Here's my take (for what it's worth) :)

I watched this with my whole family last night and we all really enjoyed it. After watching, my wife (who isn't a comic fan and doesn't watch animation much) immediately said she really liked it and asked what had happened to Jason after the end of the movie (realizing that the character may have continued past the end of the movie in comics).

Sometimes stories can just be entertaining, or they can just be about compelling characters, or they can just be about unfortunate situations, or they can just be tragedies--and that's good enough. This movie was all of those things. There were a lot of compelling charcters in a tragic situation with an interesting ethical question set around some very, very entertaining fights.

I've actually watched the movie twice myself, and enjoyed it even more the second time. The fight and chase sequences were well choreographed and thought out--especially the last fight between Hood and Batman--the animation was good, the story was complete, well done, and fast paced, the soundtrack was great, and the voice work was excellent.

As others have said in this thread--the mystery was absolutley one of "how will Batman react when he finds out what the audience already knows" and I never for a moment took it as anything other than that. That's part of the tragedy of the movie--the audience knowing (and anticipating) that Batman is going to find out something that will have a huge emotional impact on him.

The confrontation between Hood, Batman, and the Joker at the end could not have been better either. It was very psychological, had a good morale and ethical question (and Jason was by no means completely wrong and Batman was by no means completely right in the sides they took), and the Joker added a lot of well written and well voiced humor that worked well for the character.

I personally give this movie five stars. Batman, Hood, and the Joker were all really well voiced, the writing was good, the story was entertaining and morally complex, and the final fight between Hood and Batman was probably the best Batman fight I've seen animated in its use of technique, strategy, and brutality. Great movie overall.

Actually now that I think about it, while there never was a mystery as to who the Hood was (and I don't think there was supposed to be), in addition to the dramatic mystery of Batman not knowing while the audience does, there were two additional audience mysteries surrounding how Jason came back and what his goal was--why was he being the Red Hood? What did he want/hope to accomplish. Those were the biggest mysteries of the movie, not the Hood's identity.

Everyone realized Jason was the Hood, but why was he ghe Hood instead of coming back as himself? And what was he really after. I think when what he was really after was revealed it made for a very powerful scene.

Mod Note: Please avoid successive posts if possible. Just re-edit your previous post.
 

maczero

Active Member
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
2,062
Location
Washington DC
DC Direct is on a roll! Each film seems to surpass the previous one!

Anyway, I loved this! Artwork was phenomenal! Story was great (not much of mystery but it still worked). Nice to see the Amazo cameo. I figured with the story being in Gotham, we wouldn't see any super powered mayhem. Also, liked little touches like the differences between the way Nightwing, Batman and the Red Hood moved during the rooftop chase. Nightwing was clearly the most acrobatic of the three.

5 out of 5 stars.
 

Donomark

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Messages
978
Location
Nashville
I liked it. Gave it a 4/5.

My thing was that I spent most of the time comparing to the comic, and in that regard it does hold up. But in some aspects it does flounder. The ENTIRE Jason Todd death scene in the movie is nothing compared to the gut-wrenching scene in the actual issue, down to the explosion which I thought even that looked a little weak. I agree that they held back on that part. It was a good scene, but not good enough IMO.

I also thought Winnick wrote Nightwing as if Dick were still Robin. He should know Batman wouldn't just put random putty on a guy if it wasn't going to do anything.

Other than that, this was good. I still think CO2E is better because its a more original story, but the best part for me in this was the best part of the comic, the climax and end scenes with Jason. Realy happy they included those in there.
 

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