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The Stoned Horror Critic's Review

Created Jan 05, 2010 01:56PM PST • Edited Jan 05, 2010 01:56PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Ah, the 90s. A time of innocence. A tim of awesome movies, where Nirvana and Blink-182 ruled the music scene and Dragons roamed the skies….never mind that last part. It was also a time where animated movies kicked ass, especially superhero animated movies. Now of course, the only good animated movies are released straight to DVD (Gotham Knight should have had a theatrical release!). Around this time, a movie that is perhaps one of the greatest animated movies of all time (second only to the Lion King), and one of my favourite movies of all time. That movie is, of course, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

    In the 1990s, Batman: The Animated series was released to huge acclaim. It was dark, epic, and was made just as much for adults as it was for kids. Now, it is considered a gem of the 90s and animated television, and is considered to be one of the greatest animated series of all time. It was also one of the first cartoon series to win an Emmy (for the episode “Robin’s Reckoning”, check it out, it’s fantastic). Due to it’s immediate popularity, an animated movie adaption of the show was greenlit less than a year after it’s debut (the movie came out diuring it’s second season). It was directed by series creator Bruce Timm and had all the actors from the show play their respective roles. Although it got glowing reviews (it’s considered to be far better than the live-action Joel Schumacher Batman films), it was a bomb at the box office, mainly due to bad marketing. Because of it’s bad performance at the box office, the next movie version of the Animated Series, Batman and Robin: Sub Zero (another very good movie), was released straight to video, where it also got glowing reviews, like its predecessor. However, now Mask of the Phantasm has gained a loyal following, becoming a cult classic, and is now recognized as a truely brilliant movie. So, what’s it about, you say?

    A new, murderouse vigilante called the Phantasm has arrived in Gotham City, killing off former and current mob bosses. Batman (voice of Kevin Conroy) is suspected of commiting these murders, and a hotshot congressman is pushing to have Batman arrested, which Commisioner Jim Gordon will not allow. Also in town is an old flame of Bruce Wayne’s, triggering memories of Wayne’s past. Thoughout the movie, we’re treated to flashbacks of Bruce’s life before he became Batman, revealing that he once had a chance at a normal life, but it was taken away from him. More flashbacks also show us how he became the Dark Knight, as well as giving us an insight into the psychological torture that was inflicted upon him after his parent’s murder, and the guilt he feels, shaping the mold for him to become Batman. Meanwhile, the Joker (voice of Mark Hamill in his best role since Star Wars) is involved in the Phantasm’s murder mystery, helping the mob in tracking this strange new vigilante down, a job which Batman is also doing alone. However, the true identity of the Phantasm is a truth that neither of them were prepared for.

  3. Perfect 5.0

    This movie features phenominal voice actiong, although two people really stand out.

    Kevin Conroy is excellent as Bruce Wayne/ Batman, giving great emotion, subtlety, and understanding to the character just through his voice. There’s a reason why I think he’s the greatest voice actor of all time, and one needs only to watch this movie, or Batman: The Animated Series to understand why. I also think that he’s one of the best Batman’s ever. I mean, the best is obviousely Micheal Keaton, but I think Conroy is better than Christian Bale in some aspects. It’s just really amazing how he makes you feel this character’s pain just by emoting with his voice, and that shows the mark of a great actor.

    Mark Hamill is awesome as the Joker. I’ve loved this guy ever since he played Luke Skywalker in the origional Star Wars trilogy, and this really shows his range. He plays the Joker with a very psychotic and sometimes creepy tone of voice, and I think he’s one of the best Jokers, aside from Heath Ledger.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    Great animation, very artsistic and beutiful, this film really shows how awesome animation wa in the 90s.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.9

    Pretty appropraite for kids. It’s really dark, and often depressing, but it’s not inappropriate at all.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.9

    No sex at all.

  16. Violence Fierce 1.9

    Eh, we get a bit of blood from cuts on Batman’s face in one scene, but the violence is very tame here.

  17. Rudeness Polite 1.4

    Very tame language-wise.

  18. Surreal 2.8

    While there’s obviousely no one around like Batman, the film does offer very realistic and intriguing insights into his psychology.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.8
  20. Biological Surreal 2.8
  21. Physical Surreal 2.8


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Jan 7, 2010 7:18PM
The Stoned H...

Regarding The Stoned Horror Critic’s Review
Thanks James. Yeah, I love this movie.

Jan 5, 2010 6:25PM

Regarding The Stoned Horror Critic’s Review
Very good review!!! Very in depth!!!