While many a superhero film has had a villain problem, the Joker is one villain from the comics medium who has not only translated well, but also lent himself to a succession of compelling reinterpretations. He’s the greatest comic book villain of all time and he’s lit up the big screen with equal gusto. With Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker coming off a record-breaking box-office weekend, this is as good a time as any to rank the various iterations of the Clown Prince of Crime on film.
For an old-school fan of the J-man, it’s tempting to include Batman: The Animated Series and the 1960s live-action Batman TV series on this list. Both feature classic depictions of the Joker. Thankfully, their Jokers had such a taste for the theatrical that they also crossed over into movies. Not counting the animated movie Batman: The Killing Joke, which played in theaters for one night only before going direct-to-video, there have been seven cinematic Jokers since 1966.
If it doesn’t feel like we’re playing with a full deck here, well, since when has the Joker ever been wired that way? Regrettably, we don’t have time to mess around with the Proto-Jokers of the TV series Gotham, or any of the animated, direct-to-video Jokers of the DC Universe Movies. This is the meat-and-potatoes ranking of Jokers. I’ve developed a secret algorithm for a precise ordering that is infallibly correct. It’s called the Smylex Algorithm. “And here we … go.”
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Every week it seems like a movie from decades before is returning to theaters for a nostalgic and celebratory anniversary, and over the next couple of months, three fan favorites can be caught on the big screen for a limited time.
First up, Tim Burton’s classic horror comedy Beetlejuice is returning to theaters this weekend to help get you in the Halloween spirit. Then November will see the re-release of both Superman: The Movie and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on the big screen. Find out when and where you can catch these movies in theaters below. Read More »
(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best DC animated films, from direct-to-video movies to theatrical releases.)
Marvel Studios may rule at the box office, but DC can proudly claim dominion over animated movies. Usually released direct-to-video, animated movies based on DC Comics have recently made the leap to theaters with Teen Titans Go! To the Movies — though a few recent direct-to-video films have seen limited theatrical release. But DC has long established itself as an animation titan, thanks to the movie spin-offs of its acclaimed series from the ’90s and early 2000s, and thanks to its ever-expanding DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
Now with 32 DC Universe movies in the bag, and even more to come, let’s do our favorite thing: rank them. We picked the top 10 DC animated movies, which range from more recent fare in the DC Animated Original Movies initiative to classic features related to Bruce Timm’s DC Animated Universe.
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Following the release of Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989 and the sequel Batman Returns in 1992, Warner Bros. Pictures tried their hand at bringing the animated version of The Dark Knight to theaters with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on Christmas Day in 1993.
As a continuation of Batman: The Animated Series, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year like Batman Returns, the animated film didn’t spark much interest at the box office, pulling in only $5.6 million in its entire domestic run. Still, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm has become a favorite among Batman fans, especially with all the love that they have for the animated series that inspired it.
For years, fans have wanted to get their hands on Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in high definition, but it hadn’t been made available. That will change later this year though as Warner Archive has just announced the animated movie will be releases on Blu-ray this summer. Find out more about the Batman Mask of the Phantasm Blu-ray after the jump. Read More »
Where can you get the above Mondo Batman: Mask of the Phantasm poster? Do Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart know about X-Men: Apocalypse? Did Evangeline Lilly ever read to be Wonder Woman? How should Thor: The Dark World have really ended? Are The Avengers now in Minecraft? Want to see new images from X-Men: Days of Future Past? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »