“Mask of the Phantasm” is Still the Best Batman Movie Ever Made

We can get argue about Batman in the movies all day long but when it comes down to it the best Batman movie I’ve ever seen is “Mask of the Phantasm.” It’s shocking that the movie initially didn’t do well at the box office since Batman was still a hot property in the 1990’s. Back in 1989 when “Batman” was unleashed, wearing his symbol on a button or t shirt or hat was like a fashion statement, while in 1992 Michelle Pfeiffer just made wave portraying Catwoman in “Batman Returns.”

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Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham (2023)

It’s crazy that I’d never actually read 2001’s “The Doom that Came to Gotham” despite hearing about most of Batman’s stories. This re-imagining of the Batman lore is fantastic in that it meshes Batman with Old Century Gothic, and HP Lovecraft. This is about as close to HP Lovecraft as Batman’s ever gotten with a story that really is relentless in its bleak tone and vicious implementation of Lovecraftian monsters and beings. This is a threat that not even Batman is fully capable of handling.

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The Flash (2023) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

“The Flash” could have and should have been this sleek, exciting, action adventure science fiction film that chronicled what is still a very appealing superhero for the modern age. Instead, with Warner Bros. help, “The Flash” is transformed in to a silly, campy, overlong chore that spends much more time on fan service than it does building an interesting character. Although The Flash is still a popular character with comic book fans, “The Flash” should have had broader appeal and a better grasp of its subject matter. Instead Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of the scarlet speedster feels like a goofy riff on “Back to the Future” time and time again.

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The Flash (2023)

Like it or lump it, after delays, and delays, and restarts, and bad press, and alterations, and production problems “The Flash” is finally here. And–I lumped it. It’s not to say that “The Flash” is the worst movie from the DCEU yet, but it’s definitely not one of the best. It’s a shame as the trailers inspired so much optimism and enthusiasm, but at the end of the day, it’s a terribly mixed bag with occasional redeeming qualities. Beyond the fan service, and Easter eggs scattered throughout, “The Flash” is right at the level of “Shazam: Fury of the Gods”; whether or not that’s a positive perspective is up to you.

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DC League of Super-Pets (2022)

I’m surprised it took this long for a super pets movie to be conceived by Warner Bros. It’s always been a recurring theme in DC Comics with superheroes having their own super pets. Hell, even Superman had a Super Horse at one time or another. In either case, “League of Super-Pets” feels like a next interesting step in the DC animated universe that I hope can continue in one way or another. While the movie isn’t perfect, it sure is a fun diversion with a neat narrative.

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Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

With the new direction the DCAU is taking, it only makes sense for them to finally veer in to the world of the Super Sons. For a few years now, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne’s sons have been the most unlikely popular duo. Warner and DC even welcome them in to the fold of the DC Animated library with a full CG animated movie rather than hand drawn. I much prefer hand drawn, but the CG animation works wonders for the high energy first adventures of Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne. In either case, “Battle of the Super Sons” is a great buddy action movie, and it’s a coming of age action film featuring two legacy heroes that have a big task on their hands.

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The Bootleg Files: Hatter

BOOTLEG FILES 807: “Hatter” (2022 fan film short inspired by the Batman franchise).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A fan film that borrows copyright protected characters.


Fan films are a hit or miss affair – they’re mostly miss, IMHO – but sometimes the genre produces a genuine surprise. In this case, there is a very happy surprise coming from a pair of creative artists who’ve turned up before in The Bootleg Files series.
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The Batman (2022)

“The Batman” is a sure bet for Warner Bros. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good movie, but with their development department scrambling on one single vision for their DCEU, rebooting Batman yet again, just makes sense. It rebuilds confidence (borrowed time) in their brand, and it guarantees moolah in the box office. It’s cynical but now we have three cinematic jokers, two live action Batmans, and a new movie fans are going to spend the next year wondering where it fits in to the timeline.

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