Monday, February 1, 2016

The Different Cuts of The "Bat" from "Beyond"


(Opening credits from “Batman Beyond” play as it puts in place of the word “Apathy” the word “Movies” at the 0:08 mark of the Opening credits before continuing on with the on to the word replacing the word “Greed” with the word Television before cutting to the Batman Beyond opening credits until James’ dad’s disappointing face appears and at the 0:13 mark of the credits is James smiling mug before seeing James in all the places of Terry McGinnis’ Batman as the words “Batman Beyond” is replaced with the word Americans in the back and up front is The Last Of The before the opening credits continue until it ends and the words “The Different Cuts” is seen then cut to clips of the series as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): In 1999 Warner Brothers Animation after finishing their Batman & Superman animated series wanted Bruce Timm to produce the series “Batman Beyond” set in the year 2039 the series showed an aged Bruce Wayne performed again by Kevin Conroy having retired from being Batman pass on his mantle of being Batman to Terry McGinnis voiced by Will Friedle. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: Will Friedle? Hmm, where have I heard that name before? (Cut to a clip of “Boy Meets World” in which Eric sets Cory’s dorm room on fire! Before cutting to clips of Batman Beyond while James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): That’s right the guy who played the lovable goofball known as “Eric Matthews” on the series “Boy Meets World” voiced a futuristic Dark Knight! I wonder what else he did after “Batman Beyond”. (Cut to clips of both Kim Possible as Ron Stoppable and “Thundercats” 2011 as Lion-O before cutting back to clips of Batman Beyond while James does a voiceover.)

TLOTA (Voiceover): Oh yeah, forgot about those. The show was incredible. The animation style mixed Cyberpunk, Anime with Bruce Timm’s character design to give Kids WB a standout series in what seemed to be a decent line-up of animated series. (Cut to promo image of “Pinky, Elmyra and The Brain”)

TLOTA (Voiceover): That series was terrible, Watch Rowdy’s review of it on “TV Trash”! (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: But believe it or not, there was a straight to DVD movie that for me what served as a bit of a connecting moment between the Batman Animated Series and Batman Beyond and ended the DC Universe’s run on Kids WB. That of course being “Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker” (Cut to the title of “Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker” before cutting to clips of “Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker” while James does a voiceover.)

TLOTA (Voiceover): It was alright and I kind of found of the movie entertaining but I didn’t know until years later that the movie I did see was edited because of Columbine and I eventually did see the unedited version and while it was better there was enough for me to ask which cut was better, The Warner’s cut or The uncut version. Let’s find out in another edition of “The Different Cuts”.  (Show James, Paulo & Rebecca dressed as butchers grabbing the same reel of film and a diagram of the reel of film. James Paulo & Rebecca look at both the three go to a meat slicer, all three slice different thicknesses with Paulo’s cut saying “The” James’s cut saying “Different” and Rebecca’s cut saying “Cuts” before cutting to James physically.)

TLOTA: There’s gonna be a few changes from how I do this usually but not at the beginning so let’s start at where it actually is the same, slightly, first off with, the plot. (Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut & the uncut version as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” and the words “The Plot” in the Batman Beyond Bat-Insignia before cutting to James doing a voiceover clips from both versions.)

TLOTA (Voiceover): After having been gone for some time The Joker returns to see a new Gotham for him to turn into his chaotic slaughterhouse of fun and apparently a new Batman to make Bonkers for Bat-Balls. But which one uses this plot better? In the Warner Cut they go into depth as to what happened but they had to limit how far they went as I said already this cut happened because of Columbine the Warner’s cut had to remove anything as to how he died and had to limit the amount of the heavier materials like how The Joker died. In fact, they barely said anything about how he died. But in the uncut version, Terry assumed Bruce’s Batman had to kill him when later it was revealed that it was Tim Drake’s Robin who killed the Joker. But I’ll get into those details later with the editing. But for now both versions get the point because we do get to see the moments that eventually bridged the 1990’s Batman Animated Series to Batman Beyond and both did a great job of telling a portion of the Batman tale that possibly happened after The Justice League Cartoon series and before this movie and this series. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: Point goes to both versions.

(Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut with one Batman insignia on it & the uncut version with one Batman insignia on it as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” before cutting to James physically.)

TLOTA: And now this is where I would talk about the editing but I think that’ll have to wait until before I talk about the Re-Watch Factor and of course the next portion of this review, The Cast and Characters (Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut & the uncut version as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” and the words “Cast & Characters” in the Batman Beyond Bat-Insignia before cutting to James doing a voiceover clips from both versions.)

TLOTA (Voiceover): The Cast in both cuts are great and the characters they performed. While Tara Strong was amazing as a younger Barbara Gordon/Batgirl while Angie Harmon was great as an older Barbara Gordon who just like her father, became the Gotham Police Commissioner. Then we have of course the two most iconic voices from Batman mythos. Kevin Conroy is always the first name I think of when I think of the voice of Batman in general and of course Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill as not only The Joker but as what many a bat fan has theorized is a relative or descendent of The Joker Jordan Price instead of the red herring he was claimed to be by the producers. Then there is Dean Stockwell if you remember him as “Al” from “Quantum Leap” then congrats on being as much a TV Geek as I am. Dean plays the voice of the Older Tim Drake who if people remember the last couple of seasons of The Batman Animated Series Tim Drake was the character who replaced the Dick Grayson version of Robin. But that’s to name just a few of the names in the cast. So which version performed better? While yes technically they are the same cast their performances differ slightly especially when we hear Terry’s backstory as to why he became Batman in the first place. (Cut to Terry telling Bruce Wayne his backstory before cutting to James physically.)

TLOTA: Well obviously you’re out to make up for your troubled past by becoming a costumed vigilante. That’s like me having to rewrite the Space Time Continuum in order to make sure a monster doesn’t take the office of President. Oh wait… (Cut back to clips of the movie as James does a voiceover.)

TLOTA (Voiceover): But the point worthy cut is the uncut edition. Why? Two words Michael Rosenbaum!  Who is he? Well outside of his Walken-Esque Performance as “Ghoul” in this special and an episode of “Justice League Unlimited”, he’s been in many a performance in the DC Universe including Wally West in the Justice League series, he was Deadshot, Deadman and probably his most notable performance in the DC Universe as Lex Luthor in a certain other series. (Cut to clips of Lex Luthor in “Smallville” before cutting to James)

TLOTA: Yeah, he was in “Smallville”. I watched and thought it was Okay at best and I really liked the Series Finale! But I digress, point goes to the uncut edition. (Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut with one Batman insignia on it & the uncut version with two Batman insignias on it as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” before cutting to James physically.)

TLOTA: So the uncut edition is ahead two to one but when we return we’ll see where they differ greatly and if The Warner’s Cut can make a comeback in a big way.

(0:36-end mark from the theme from the final season of American Gladiators original run play as the camera moves back to see James on top of the slab with the words “The Last Of The Americans” on it act as the commercial break intro and return to the review.)

TLOTA: Now let’s get into where the two are greatly different and where the spoilers are a plenty in the editing!

(Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut & the uncut version as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” and the words “Editing” in the Batman Beyond Bat-Insignia before cutting to James doing a voiceover clips from both versions.)

TLOTA (Voiceover): This is where the movie is as different as night and day and here is where we go into Spoilers territory. The Warner’s cut has different dialogue, no blood, death is implied but never said outright as a matter of fact the deaths are as different as day & night as well. Bonk’s death in the Warner’s cut is him getting hit with a heavy and lethal dose of the Joker’s laughing gas as opposed to how Bonk buys the farm in the uncut version. Heck the way The Joker meets his end is as different. In the uncut version Robin having been warped and twisted into being a Joker Mini-Me shoots the joker with his own gun. But in the Warner’s cut, The Mini-Joker Robin shows that Robin is still inside and still fighting The Joker’s reprogramming and shoves The Joker into a backroom filled with water and live electrical wiring and as we all know water and electricity equals in the case of The Joker well…. (Show clip of Joker screaming in pain as he’s being electrocuted off screen as Batgirl hears it.) Yeah a painfully excruciating way to pay the piper and I could go on forever but I suggest you check out the Wikipedia page to discover all the differences. So which cut was better? Well it depends on how you want to see the Joker die. Me personally I liked how the death was implied in the Warner cut over actually seeing it in the uncut version. Seeing him die from a gunshot wound was kind of underwhelming and I think this is where the Warner’s cut shine it allowed for more suspense. Now don’t get me wrong seeing a more mature Batman Beyond was great but here’s the thing even at its most intense while it was rated TV-Y7 was more mature than the uncut version of Return Of The Joker. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: Point goes to the Warner’s cut. (Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut with two Batman insignias on it & the uncut version with two Batman insignias on it as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” before cutting to James physically.)

TLOTA: We’re tied up and now we’re on to the deciding factor, The Re-watch Factor! (Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut & the uncut version as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” and the words “The Re-Watch Factor” in the Batman Beyond Bat-Insignia before cutting to James doing a voiceover clips from both versions.)

TLOTA (Voiceover): This is where things are probably the MOST different. After watching the uncut version, you understand why Warner Brothers reedited the movie. Sometimes going down the safer route is the better way. Now don’t get me wrong the uncut version is great but after a while seeing the Joker die in such an underwhelming death in the uncut version is pretty boring. So when Barbara said “We buried The Joker deep under Arkham” after hearing The Joker’s screams of death. Even the audience wasn’t sure if after being buried if he was still alive or wonder how he survived. So it adds to the mystery is it truly The Joker or is it someone else continuing on taking on the mantle. But which cut makes the grade? Well if you want to see the cut some people consider better because it was the original idea. Well then that’s your prerogative. Me personally as much as I like The Uncut version, I have to give The Warner’s version it’s just due. It just feels darker than the uncut version and it also moves at a better pace than the uncut version. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: So the superior cut is “The Warner’s Cut” of Batman Beyond Return Of The Joker. (Cut to DVD Covers of both “Return Of The Joker” the Warner’s Cut with three Batman insignias on it & the uncut version with two Batman insignias on it as the opening Music from the Opening Credits of “Batman Beyond” before cutting to James physically.)

TLOTA: Well I hope… (Static breaks the feed before cutting to a completely dark hole with no light whatsoever.)

C.N. Batman (Audio only portrayed by Paulo Fonseca): WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (Cut to James.)

TLOTA: I knew you were coming I just can’t seem to see you right now. (Cut to the dark hole with no light whatsoever that’s supposed to be the Batcave.)

C.N. Batman (Audio only portrayed by Paulo Fonseca): SERIOUSLY?! I’M STICKING OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB! (Cut to James.)

TLOTA: No, you’re not! (Cut to the dark hole with no light whatsoever that’s supposed to be the Batcave.)

C.N. Batman (Audio only portrayed by Paulo Fonseca):  Oh well, let me fix that! (Two seconds of grunting and nothing has changed.)

C.N. Batman (Audio only portrayed by Paulo Fonseca): HOW ABOUT NOW? (Cut to James.)

TLOTA: Did you hit the on switch? (Cut to the dark hole with no light whatsoever that’s supposed to be the Batcave.)

C.N. Batman (Audio only portrayed by Paulo Fonseca): WHAT KIND OF FOOL DO YOU TAKE ME FOR?! OF COURSE I HIT THE ON SWITCH! (Cut to James.)

TLOTA: Allow me! (James pulls out a sonic screwdriver as we cut to the batcave now properly lit and The Christopher Nolan Batman now played by Paulo Fonseca recoiling in fear and groaning in agony.)

C.N. Batman: TURN DOWN THE BRIGHTNESS! THE LIGHT HURTS THE FACT THAT MY DARKNESS IS THE MOST OBVIOUS TRAIT! (Cut to James.)

TLOTA: Oh really? I thought your best trait is supposedly to be on par with famous fictional and realistic detectives? (Cut to The Christopher Nolan Batman)

C.N. Batman: STOP WITH THE HUMOR! STOP BEING FUNNY! HUMOR MUST NEVER BE IN A COMIC BOOK FILM! ONLY TOPICAL EVENTS THAT WILL REMAIN RELEVANT TEN YEARS AFTER IT BECOMES HISTORY IS WHAT’S NECESSARY IN COMIC BOOK FILMS AS WELL AS BROODING IN DARKNESS AND IT CULMINATES WITH HEROES ENDING UP AS MARTYRS SO PEOPLE CAN RISE UP AND BE MARTYRS FOR THEIR OWN CAUSES JUST LIKE IN THE EPIC MASTERPIECE “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”! (Cut to James.)

TLOTA: Well what a predicament you’re in because guess what, next time, I’m going after “The Dark Knight Rises” and guess what in one review I will take you down and show that your magnum opus is a magnum anal evacuation that shows how far down you have taken DC Comics AND how far you’ve fallen. So take me on if you dare! I’M JAMES FARACI THE LAST OF THE AMERICANS AND THAT’S MY OPINION!