30 Day DC Challenge -Day 11: Favorite DC Live Action Movie

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight was a directed, co-produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. It’s the second installment in Nolan’s Batman trilogy. In the film, Batman, Lieutenant Gordon and DA Harvey Dent attempt to stop organised crime in Gotham. The Joker has teamed up with the Mob in order to cause chaos. Nolan was inspired by the graphic novel The Killing Joke (1988) and limited series The Long Halloween (1996). The movie was very well received. Many film critics considered The Dark Knight to be one of the greatest superhero films of all time. It became the highest grossing film of 2008 with over a billion worldwide. It received 8 Academy Awards nominations, winning Best Sound Editing and Best Supporting Actor (Ledger).

It is this performance by Ledger that made The Dark Knight the best. Generally, acting in superhero movies doesn’t matter that much. Are you believable enough as the superhero your portraying is largely the standard. Ledger’s performance as the Joker was amazing. His physical movements and voice were perfect. Instead of having skin that was the result of chemical bleaching, Ledger’s Joker wore makeup. His Joker had a now trademark Glasgow smile. The makeup appears to have been put on chaotically, which accurately represents the Joker’s mental state. Ledger stated that he had used A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and Sid Vicious as inspiration for the Joker. He also used Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke and Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.

In Heath Ledger’s diary he wrote of the Joker, “inside. He’s laughing red and black and red and black till there’s nothing left to laugh. Until, almost tenderly, he turns inside out through his mouth.” If you have read this challenge you know that the Joker is my favorite villain. This performance was masterfully crafted and it shows. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it (you can stream it on Netflix), while I think this performance of the Joker is the reason this is the best, the rest of the movie is good.

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30 Day DC Challenge -Day 3: Who is your Favorite Male Villain

The Joker

Universe: Prime Earth

Creators: Jerry Robinson · Bill Finger · Bob Kane

First App: Detective Comics Vol 2 #1 (Nov, 2011)

“C’mon Bats, get crazy. It’s the only way to beat me!”

Batman: Arkham Asylum, 2009

I can’t tell you how much I love the Joker. He’s a terrible monster that is a criminal mastermind with a sadistic sense of humor. I love him. I can’t quite put my finger on why. There are probably worst villains in DC (in terms of murders) but the Joker stands out. He loves to create chaos. Unlike most villains, the Joker likes to kill in the “funny” ways. His pasts is as unclear as his mental state. Was he a failed comedian. A mob enforcer. How did he get his skin. The most common story suggests that he fell into a ” tank of chemical waste which bleaches his skin white and turns his hair green and lips bright red; the resulting disfigurement drives him insane.” Regardless, the Joker likes to strike at the mind of his victims, at least before he murders them.

Art by Alex Ross

The Joker is considered to be the antithesis of Batman. He believes that Batman hasn’t killed him because he “makes Batman better.” They’re polar opposites, the extroverted, loud, colorfully dressed and chaotic Joker, compared to the introverted, silent, and disciplined Batman. Both are highly intelligent and like Batman, the Joker doesn’t possess any superpowers. He defines himself through conflict between him and Batman. When he believed Batman died he tried to lead a normal like, but returned to his normal self when Batman reappeared. He has expertise in chemical engineering, that he uses to develop his many toxins. The most important characteristic of the Joker is his insanity. He lacks empathy and the ability to determine right from wrong.

In A Serious House on Serious Earth, he is described as “capable of processing outside sensory information only by adapting to it.” This allows him to create new personalities based on what which one would benefit him the most. This has been described as the Joker being “super-sane.” It has been on occasion been speculated that the Joker isn’t actually insane, but simply pretends to be. His alleged “insanity” has made him immune to the Spectre’s judgement. According to Batman it’s impossible for the Spectre to successfully judge him if the Joker doesn’t know right from wrong. Overall, I find the Joker to be hilarious. Maybe it’s how he’s characterized, the tone of his voice and his iconic laugh. He also has a knack for memorable quotes.

A lion doesn’t pass judgement on a gazelle. Cancer doesn’t pass judgement on a brain. I’ve been saying this all along. Evil doesn’t exist. There are only actions. We got to the same place–the top of the food chain–just on different paths. Mine was more fun.

The Joker

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 26 – Best Voice Acting

Voice acting is something that I tend to undervalue in gaming. It’s a passive aspect of the gaming experience. However, most games now feature voice acting. It’s difficult for me to determine exactly what makes voice acting good. Obviously, if the character is funny then you gonna appreciated the voice acting more. But is that voice acting? It more of a scrip thing than a voice thing right? Then again the voice actor has to deliver the lines well so the joke lands. I’ll choose my top 3:

1. Bayonetta/Hellena Taylor

This might be in part due to her British accent but Helena Taylor’s performance as the Umbra Witch, Bayonetta is great. Bayonetta can be seen as dry or cold, but she has wit and is clever. When fighting she often engages in playful banter. She likes to use sexual innuendo to tease her enemies.

2. Kratos/Christopher Judge

Anyone that’s played the God of War series know the voice of Kratos is iconic. Kratos is a stoic character that can be called uptight or self serious. He also has anger problems. As the result of his difficult life due to the Gods he can also be sad or even depressed. Come to think about it I don’t think we’ve seen him smile or laugh. His voice actor for the latest God of War game is Christopher Judge. The original voice actor (TC Carson) wasn’t particularly happy about Sony’s change, unsurprisingly. Regardless, Judge does a great job portraying the God.

3. The Joker/Mark Hamill

This ones pretty obvious, but Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker fame) as the Joker is probably one of the best and most well known video game voice actor. Like Kratos, the Jokers voice is iconic. I can’t really describe his voice but it’s distinct. Most importantly, Hamill gets the sinister Joker laugh perfectly. The Joker often changes his voice in subtle or unsettling ways. It’s a spectacular performance.