Review: The Killing Joke

My Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Before I start the review of The Killing Joke, there are a few things you need to know about me. I grew up loving the Batman: Animated Series. If you ask me who my favourite Joker is, I would reply Mark Hamill. As I have mentioned before Batgirl and Robin are my ultimate OTP.

Along with Star Wars, Batman was one of my first fandom. The first graphic novel I ever read was Knightfall. When I began reading collecting comics a friend recommended The Killing Joke. To this day it has remained one of favourite books.

As you can imagine I was over the moon when they announced they were turning the story into an animated movie. I had always thought The Killing Joke (and Long Halloween), would make an amazing movie. To me the book read like a movie. My excitement for this movie was heighten when I heard the original Batman: Animated Series team would be working on this film.

Spoiler Warning

The Killing Joke is infamous for two reasons it is seen as the origin story for The Joker and it is the story line that shows when Barbara Gordon was paralysed. Whether the story line part of the Batman canon varies. Pre-Flashpoint tales like No Mans Land or Hush feature Oracle (Barbara Gordon’s new alter ego), where the Batgirl of Burnside story line ignore The Killing Joke. 


As you may know The Killing Joke is a short graphic novel, to counteract making a short film. They created an original story line explaining Barbara Gordon’s last days as Batgirl and why she retired her cape and cowl. As a result, almost turns into two mini movies or episodes of the TV show.

The “Batgirl” story line is just awful! Batgirl is regularly dis-empowered and shown as a sexual object. She shown as being desperate for Batman’s approval and affection. The movie begins with Batgirl explaining how she is Batman’s sidekick, there is no mention of the rest of the Bat-family. (I’m assuming this is post-Jason Todd and Dick Grayson is in Bludhaven).

This Batgirl is objectified by the bad guy, Paris Franz. He calls her hot and his special girl. A red-head prostitute explains how Franz made her wear a black cowl during sex. Later Franz manipulates Batgirl into doing his bidding just by flirting with her. Another bad guy proclaims “it most me her time of the month” after she beats him up.

Batgirl in The Killing Joke
Batgirl

Her relationship with Batman is even worse. He disapproves of her and she desperately tries to please him. When they finally do have a conversation and physical altercation it ends with Batgirl stripping off and kissing Batman.

When Batgirl isn’t shown as a sex toy of the criminals and vigilantes of Gotham she is portrayed as a love sick puppy librarian. There are several scenes where Barbara is chatting to her gay work colleague about her messed up relationship with he yoga teacher (aka Batman). This gay best friend character is based on every gay stereotype that exists.

There were a few good scenes in this part of the story. Batgirl’s fight scene whilst trying to escape from the apartment, and a glimpse of her detective skills as she hacked into the police camera to track down Franz. But for the main part it is just shows Batgirl as a weak, submissive woman.

The Killing Joke
Iconic image from The Killing Joke

As for the second half to the story, the one that does not include Batgirl, this does not disappoint. The pages of Alan Moore’s novel appeared on the screen, his words are transformed into the dialogue of the movie. Bruce Timm recreated many of the iconic images of Brian Bolland artwork perfectly onto the screen. Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy reprise their roles as The Joker and Batman wonderfully.

As in the graphic novel the rape of Barbara Gordon is implied at and not seen. Jim Gordon’s torture and systematic humiliation are sinister but not terrifying. The story line is still extremely disturbing, it is definitely not safe for children.

Whilst watching this film, I kept asking myself “is this why I haven’t had a Batgirl movie?” I know producers know how to make movies with decent female characters. I have even seen female comic book characters portrayed well onscreen like Black Widow or Hope Pym. The Jessica Jones TV programme also showed a female lead comic book adaption can work. So why was this so bad.

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Star Wars Celebration 2016: Day 3

Star Wars Celebration

For our last day at Star Wars Celebration, we headed to the Excel Centre early, to collect our wristbands for the Closing Ceremony. Rather than waiting in the long morning queue, Jason and I had breakfast in the local pub, where we were joined by our friend Matt. As Matt was getting inked at the Tattoo Pavilion, he too had to be at Celebrations bright and early.

Once inside the Convention, Matt had a quick chat with Adam Guy Hays (the tattooist). Jason and I chatted to a journalist from The Verge, who would be live-streaming the tattooing on their Facebook page. (You can see the highlights and finished tattoo here).

Star Wars Celebration
Peter Mayhew

Whilst Matt was being tattooed, Jason and I meet up with his family. It was nice to experience Celebration with children, like me they adored the Lego play area. They also had a lot of fun looking at all the Star Wars themed art (they are both budding artists).

Star Wars Celebration
Dave Filoni

We ended the day, and our Celebration experience by watching the Closing Ceremony. I am obviously excited for the release of Episode VIII next year. It was also fun to finally get official confirmation that Alden Ehrenreich will be playing the young Han Solo.

When I began talking about my Star Wars Celebration experience I mentioned how I had Con-Envy at the when I see social media posts about other people’s convention adventures. The truth is I still had some Con-Envy even though I attended Celebration. There was so much going on we missed out on so much. Whilst we queued for the official store, our friends got to watch Mark Hamill take-over the Star Wars Livestream. We had to watch the record version of the Rogue One panel, when we got home. We even learned on social media Ash (one of my favourite bands) had played a Star Wars themed gig, as a pre-Celebration party. Whilst it was a wonderful experience and one I look forward to doing again, I guess I will always Con-Envy, as everyone experiences will be very different.

Star Wars Celebration
Some of my favourite Cosplay from Celebration
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Star Wars Celebration 2016: Day 2

Star Wars Celebration

Before I start talking about our experiences on Day 2 to Star Wars Celebration. I want to talk about my outfit, I don’t normally do “what I wore today” type posts. But I felt this outfit warranted an Outfit of the Day post on Instagram.

Jacket || Skirt || Converse || Camera Bag

The jacket was actually a last minute purchase from Her Universe, but when it arrived I fell in love. This outfit was meant to be wore at Celebration, it is definitely something I that will translate into my everyday wardrobe.  

Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Propel TIE Fighter

Now on to the actual day. Jason and I spent the majority of the day just “walking” the convention floor. The previous day we had missed out an entire section of Celebration, so our aim in the morning was to see as much as possible. We stopped by the R2 Builders Club, to see the fan built robots – including an amazing Lego BB-8. Then was watched the High-Performance RC demonstrations, where they re-enacted the destruction of the Death Star with amazing remote control ships. I would love an X-Wing model for Christmas.

Star Wars Celebration
Lego “Robot” BB-8

Of course, one of the main things to do at Star Wars Celebration is to shop. There were hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of Star Wars merchandise. Everything from teapots to duvets, books to computer games and lots of wonderful figures. You maybe tempted into thinking shopping is a fun away to avoid queuing but you would be wrong, the average queuing time for the official Celebration store was 90 minute!

Star Wars Celebration
Waxwork Model on Rey

Rather than pause of lunch, we grabbed a snack and ate in the back of the Madame Tussaud’s panel. I had been to Madame Tussaud last summer, but it was interesting to hear all about the process of making the figures and sets. This also gave us the chance to preview the new Rey figure, which will be released later this year.

Star Wars Celebration
Model of the ANA Star Wars Jet

The big news on Day Two come from the Star Wars: Rebel panel. The re-introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn to the Star Wars Canon. Whilst at university I used to read the Expanded Universe books, this was pre-Episode One, reading these books was my only link to the Star Wars Universe. In these books Thrawn was the perfect post-Emperor villain, so I am pleased to see him back.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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Star Wars Celebration 2016: Day 1

Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Celebration

Over the years, I have had awful envy (or Con-Envy), when it comes to conventions. Whether it is San Diego Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration or D23. I sit at home and watch all the live streaming. (Which often ends up being late at night because of the time difference). I dream I could be there. I get jealous of all the exclusive clips fans there get to see, I admiring all the cosplay and I flick through the photo people share on social media, thinking one day.

Now, turn back the clock to last April. I was watching the live stream of the Closing Ceremony of Star Wars Celebration. They announced Celebration 2016 would be in London, in my home town! No longer would I have Con-Envy, I could now be one of those people posting photos online! Within 24 hours I had ordered three-day passes for Jason and I, exchanged several messages with friends about all the plans we were going to have to make and started a SWCE merchandise fund.

Then finally, last week it arrived! I picked up our tickets from the event before the big day, so we could have a later start of the first day. The downside to this was that we missing out on getting wristbands for the Rogue One panel.  On the plus side we avoided a lot of the queues. Although we still had to queue for over 30 minutes to get our bags searched but then we walked straight in.

Star Wars Celebration
Ahsoka: Untold Tales Panel

Once inside we headed straight for the “Ahsoka: Untold Tales” panel. Jason and I both love The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. Snips, is definitely our favourite character, so the idea of hearing more about her from the creators excited us.

Star Wars Celebration
Concept Art of Baby Ahsoka

This panel did not disappoint, they discussed the early planning stages of creating her character, where they saw the character going if The Clones Wars had future seasons and hinted at a possible return of Ahsoka. They also announced a book based on her time between, Clone Wars and Rebels (including what how she survived Order 66) and probably the most exciting thing a Ahsoka Pop Vinyl figure!

Star Wars Celebration
Concept Art of an unreleased scene when Anakin is reunited with “Snips”

This years, Celebrations was all about Rogue One, It was the largest panel on the first day. There was also an amazing exhibition showing off all the costumes, and some props from the film (including the new TIE Stikers ships). We spend the remained of our morning looking at the exhibit and then paused for lunch.

Star Wars Celebration
Director Orson Krennic Costume

For lunch we meet up with some friends in the bar area. There we once again had to queue, this time for over 45 minutes to get served. Then rushed eating and drinking to watch the streaming of the panel.

It wouldn’t seem right to talk about Day One without mentioning the amazing footage of Rogue One. I loved all of it especially, the clip of Canary Wharf tube station being transferred into the set overnight for filming.

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6 on 6 -Yellow

Minion USB
Minion USB

Before taking my photos this month, I was chatting to Jason about the challenge complaining I didn’t have anything yellow to photograph. Immediately, he suggested Minions or The Simpsons. I remembered this Minions USB stick he brought me a few years ago. Which I have never used, it just sits in a mini box with paperclips on my desk.

The Simpsons DVD Box Sets
The Simpsons DVD Box Sets

Both Jason and I used to love The Simpsons, I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t watch it in years. We used to have a lot of Simpsons merchandise, t-shirts, figures and even Simpsons magnets on the fridge. Now all I could find were the box sets of early seasons on DVD.

C-3PO
C-3PO – Yellow???

I love including tsum tsum in my 6 on 6 photos, when hunting in my collection for a yellow plushie. All I could find was the C-3PO. Yes I know in the movies C-3PO is golden, but this tsum tsum is definitely yellow!

Lego heads
Lego Heads!

Don’t you just love the expression on the little Lego figures? I adore how each little head has its own features, a cheeky smile, eyelashes or stubble.

Post-it Notes
Post-it

As a stationary addict, I love looking for cute sticky notes, however there is something lovely about a classic, yellow post-its. I used them regularly, whether to write a little reminder for myself to stick to my mirror. Or to make longer lists to stick on my laptop.

Yellow Roses
Yellow Roses

I mentioned in a blog post last summer, that at this time of year, I love decorating our house with floral bunting. Or filling each room with fresh flowers. This year I have bought yellow and orange flowers to display in the Orla Kiely coffee jars I collected last year.

6 on 66 on 6 is a monthly photography challenge started by the Scruffy Little Nerd Herder #6on6

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6 on 6 -Brown

Chewie Tsum Tsum
Chewie Tsum Tsum

I planned on taking these photos last month – ready for June’s 6 on 6 challenge, but time got in the way and I didn’t get a chance to take all six photos. However, I figured I would take the extra photos and post them a late. First up I had to include something from my tsum-tsum collection, and chose fluffy Chewbacca.

Captain Jack Sparrow
Captain Jack Sparrow

One of my favourite photography blogs suggests taking photos of Lego mini-figure to improve your photography skills. Mini-figures are great for practising macro-photography, but also portable enough to carry around and add a little dimension to your everyday shots. So I am going to try to include more Lego in my 6 on 6 photos.

Whimzy Yarn
Whimzy Yarn

I have never felt comfortable taking photos of yarn, my photos never seem to show the real colour of the yarn, or the tones and texture. I have experimented this month, using different light sources and backgrounds to get the “correct” colour.

Kit Kat
Kit Kat #mybreak

Originally, I was going to take a photo of a cup of coffee – but I figured there are enough photographs of coffee on my blog, so I included my other guilty pleasure, KitKats! One day I would love to go to Japan and try all the weird and wonderful flavours they have there.

The Reach
The Reach

I planned on going to the park and taking some photos of ducks, however they were all hiding this weekend, so instead I captured this wooden sculpture. “The Reach” was part of a collection of chainsaw sculptures places in London parks before the 2012 Olympics.

Camera Bag
Camera Bag

When I brought my camera I also purchased a black nylon bag to carry my camera. The truth is, it was ugly! When looking for lenses on Amazon, my suggested purchased included this vintage looking bag, which is more my style. It still has the padded pockets, and I actually like carrying this bag around town.

6 on 66 on 6 is a monthly photography challenge started by the Scruffy Little Nerd Herder #6on6

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Currently… June Edition

Currently Knitting… At the start of the month, I finished my Boomerang Shawl. Shortly afterwards I cast on my version of Denim Sky Cowl in shades of amber and dark brown.

Ombre Blue Boomerang Shawl
Ombre Blue Boomerang Shawl

Currently Loving…  My obsession with bookstagram has been taken up a notch recently, as I discovered Litsy. This app combines instagram and goodread to produce a platform to review books, share you favourite quotes and beautiful photos. Litsy is currently only available on iOS.
Currently Reading… As the new Harry Potter book, The Cursed Child is being published at the end of July, This summer I thought I would re-reading the original novels, finishing the first two in June.


Currently Watching…  My television viewing this month has been all about Game of Thrones. As well as watching the amazing season six, I began to re-watched season one to five.

WARNING SPOILERS

Currently Feeling… Nostalgic!
Re-reading am amazing book series and re-watching one of my favourite television shows. Has made me reminiscing about the first time I read about Harry Potter going to Diagon Alley or the first time I watched the Battle of Blackwater. Now I want to re-read the Game of Thrones books and re-watch all the Harry Potter films.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

 

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100cupsofcoffee 36-40

100 Cups of Coffee

Exploring
As I mentioned before, my sister and I had a little staycation in London. Which we used as an opportunity to check out some of our favourite neighbourhood. It was also a chance for us to re-visited some old haunts like Ealing.  We discovered our old favourite café had shut but did find a new cozy coffee shop.

Knitting!
For the first time in a few years I went to a knitting group. I meet up with Ling before hand, and we raided her shop for some pretty yarn. Once at knitting group, I was so excited to catch up with friends and actually knit, I forgot to take a photo. So the next morning I took a “catch-up” photo.

Pinball & Coffee
Time Out London recently published an amazing list of coffee shops (and what speciality coffee to order from each store). When reading the magazine, It was pleasing to see a few coffee shops in our local area for me to add to my list. First was Chief Coffee, a cool space with pinball machines in the basement. My favourite game was of course the Game of Thrones pinball machine.

Instagram Brunch

My favourite food to order brunch is avocado toast, ideally with a poached egg! I love trying variations of this simple meal – adding houmous, fresh tomatoes or even sweet chilli sauce. For me the perfect pairing for avocado toast is latte.

#100cupsofcoffee

May was birthday month and this meant a lot of eating out! I love having a coffee after my meal, often as an alternative to dessert but some times to go with my pudding. One of my favourite coffees was a Vietnamese iced coffee at Foxlow. This twist on a traditional Vietnamese coffee is made with cold brew, poured over the condensed milk all served over ice.

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

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Five Questions about Fandoms

fandom_friday

Five Questions about Fandoms

Every week Kayla from Epicfied hosts a Fandom Friday Q&A about a specific fandom and asks readers submit their answers. Last week, it was five general questions about fandoms, so I thought I would turn my answers into a blog post – so you could get to know the fandoms I love (You can read their answers here).

  1. What are your top five fandoms?
    • Star Wars
    • Game of Thrones
    • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Batgirl
    • Sherlock
  2. What is a fandom you love but isn’t extremely popular?


    via GIPHY

    I am going to have to say Orphan Black, I love this show and became hooked from the first season however, no one I know seemed to watch it, so that’s why I adding it here.

  3. What is a fandom you highly recommend?
    Too many to mention, I spent a few years convincing all my friends to watch Game of Thrones just so I could discuss each episode, spoilers and theories.

    Ned's Sword Ice and Arya's needle "Stick 'em with the pointy end!"
    Ice & Needle at the Game of Thrones Exhibit

    I know a lot of people have read the New 52 Batgirl, but I prefer the pre-Flashpoint version, with Barbara Gordon as Oracle and Cassandra Cain as Batgirl, so I guess I would recommend reading Batgirl: Silent Knight or Birds of Prey: Vol 1.

  4. Do you collect anything?
    My largest collection is Star Wars based, in the attic I have a lot of merchandise from the 1990’s, Episode One Lego sets, board games and dozens of Expanded Universe books.

    Tsum Tsum
    A few of my favourite tsum tsum

    Last year, I brought a few Tsum Tsum, this year as they released two Star Wars waves and a Civil War set, I seem to have developed a larger collection, with the Finding Dory and The Force Awaken sets being released this month, I think my collection will continue to grow.

  5. Anything else?
    Like many I am still not over the fact the Firefly got cancelled!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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100cupsofcoffee 31-35

100 Cups of Coffee

Cold Brew
During the summer in the afternoon, I like to switch my coffee for a frappé or ice coffee, in recent years this has become a cold brew. Starbucks have started selling their version in the U.K. it is an interesting healthier addition to the summer menu. Especially as I’m trying to cut down my sugar consumption.

Marble Table
Over the last few months I have loved toying with my camera, I have brought several books and have read about composition and trends. Since then I have taken a lot of cliché photographs, my feet on patterned floors, manicured nails holding a nail varnish bottle and cups of coffee on a marble table #latteart.

Spring Coffee
Adding to this I have become one of those people who grab my camera when the sun comes out to take a few photos. We are lucky enough to have a large park and river walk near our house. Which seem to be my go to place to experiment with setting on my camera but also explore the different coffee stores.

Tsum Tsum & Coffee
Recently, I have started collecting tsum tsum, after nearly missing out on a complete Star Wars set, I popped down to the mall on “Tsum Tsum Tuesday” when the “Episode One” collection was released. The Jar Jar version had already sold out at lunchtime but I managed to get all the ones I wanted including the Queen Amidala.

Coffee & Cake
My sister and I planned a mini staycation in April. We used this opportunity to explore some of our favourite neighbourhoods in London, do some shopping, and checking out some local cafés for coffee and cake!

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

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