The audio review of Make Mine Music is now ready for your eager ear holes and can be listened to HERE. Video review soon to follow. Also, we got any Doctor Who fans in the house? ‘Cos Erik’s got a new blog called The Doctor Dies at the End, looking at how each episode of modern Who would play out if the Doctor died, with the exception of “Turn Left”, where he will be looking at what would happen if the Doctor lived. And if you get that joke, then it’s the blog for you.
I’ve been remiss in my duties I’m afraid. Due to me actually (gasp!) writing over the last few weeks I’ve not been updating episodes of the Goo like I’d planned. So here are the final two episodes.
Episode 4 is HERE, and Episode 5 is HERE. Please watch, share and tell your friends. It’s a great series and plus, Dave’s a mate and I owe him for that time he saved me from a rabid banshee.
And now, for the last time, please read your nationality appropriate recommendation.
For Non-Irish Readers
As we enter the penultimate and final installments of the Goo, this towering work has so many questions yet to answer. Will Dave and Jonesy manage to escape the deathtrap that addiction has built around them? Will they emerge from this ordeal with even the barest trace of their humanity intact? Will they finally discover the identity of the mysterious Yellow King? But perhaps that’s not the point. The Goo is not about providing easy answers. The Goo is about the questions that we must ask oursevles. The Goo is the mirror held up to our faces, our own unblinking reflection staring back at us, always questioning. Can you meet its gaze?
(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)
There’s a little game I like to play called The Mark Hamill Game. It goes like this, you spend your entire life waiting for someone to say something like “Tch. Mark Hamill, what a has-been” or “Wow. Bet he thought Star Wars was going to be a career maker for him, more like a career breaker amirite?” and then, get this, you punch that person repeatedly in the face. It’s a fun game, and also it provides a useful service to society. Mark Hamill is not a has-been. Mark Hamill is one of the most talented, respected and lauded voice actors currently working in the industry, an actor who combines astonishing versatility and a real flair for mimicry with a wonderfully energetic and intense performance style. And by far his greatest role was his absolutely revolutionary turn as Batman’s arch nemesis the Joker in the seminal Batman: The Animated Series. Now…millenials like myself tend to gush about this show to the point that if you sat down to watch it based on our recommendation you might be expecting something like Saturday morning Miyazaki. And, at the risk of a storm of screeching Batfans descending from the stalactite studded cave roof of the internet…it wasn’t perfect. It was, no question, a very, very good cartoon. Possibly the best cartoon series until that point. But the quality varied wildly in terms of animation and writing. Partially this was because the animation was done by more than one animation studio, some vastly more adept than others. And also, the show took its time to decide whether it was just a cartoon for kids or something more mature. It’s great, I’m not disputing that, but…not every episode was Heart of Ice. Some of them were Batman’s in my Basement. You know what was perfect though? Mark Hamill’s Joker. Hilarious, crazed and utterly terrifying. To fans in the know, the greatest Joker was not Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson or even Heath Ledger. It was Mark Hamill.
He’s not in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
As well as Hamill, BTAS also had one of the all time great Batman/Bruce Wayne performances (admittedly that’s a slightly lower bar to clear). Kevin Conroy’s Batman for many fans (including me) was the absolute sweet spot for this character that has had an incredibly broad spectrum of portrayals over his nearly 75 year history.
Same guy. Really.
Conroy’s Batman is grim but compassionate. Hyper competent but not infallible. Intimidating but not a monster. Often brutal but not a cop-killing, kidnapping, ableist, potty-mouthed psychopath.
No. No you are not.
Conroy’s not in this either.
So understand, when Warner Bros announced that they would be releasing a straight to DVD animated Batman film that would not star either Conroy or Hamill, long considered irreplaceable, expectations were not high. I remember reading one commenter who essentially said “What ever they want? Pay them. If they’re not free? Wait. And if they just don’t want to do it? Don’t make the movie.” You could say that the very positive response Under the Red Hood would finally receive was partially due to low expectations but I don’t think so. This, to me, personally, is the best Batman movie ever made. I don’t mean that it’s the best movie to feature Batman in it.
There ya go.
No, you know what? I can’t even joke about that.
Logically I know that Dark Knight is an absolute masterpiece. But as a Batman story, as a story that actually tells us something new and interesting about Bruce Wayne, as a story that actually makes him the focus I think URH has the edge. Why is it so good? Let’s take a look. To the Mousemobile!
I’ve been writing for a good few years now but I’ve never actually had anything I’ve written reviewed before. And this is kind of a good way to start! Joseph Kearney of No More Workhorse has written an absolutely glowing review of Joanna which is running all this week in the New Theatre. I’m putting up a link HERE, partially because I’m a huge narcissist but also because it was your kind donations that paid for the bribe that got that review made this show possible. Thanks guys.
Shenanigans are afoot as Dave and Jonesy take “Baby Goo” Ste Murray under the proverbial feathered appendages and show him the ropes of Goodum. It’s all a bit of craic until the lads get a call from the Gooru himself, and all shite’s about to break loose. Will the lads be up the challenge? Jayus an’ anyway.
For non-Irish viewers
This week we are introduced to “Baby Goo”, played by Stephen Murray, who acts as both audience surrogate and a symbol of endangered innocence. Stephen is the man that Dave and Jonesy once were, the wide-eyed young man full of promise, oblivious to the fact that when he gazes on the wrecked and ravaged forms of these two men he looks not upon mentors or friends but his own terrible future. References to films abound in this week’s episode, the Godfather and Die Hard are both name checked. It is however Darren Aronofsky’s seminal Requiem for a Dream that the work references most strongly, but textually and subtextually, as Dave and Jonesy’s descent into the next level of addiction’s cthonic abyss commences with a summons from “The Gooru”. That Mephistophelean figure has hitherto remained hidden. Now, Dave and Jonesy’s trials shall begin in earnest.