Monday, July 29, 2013

Joker Rising

Know what I like? Fan films. Sometimes the fact that they aren't associated with a big studio means they have a little more creative with their storyline and approach to making the film. About a month ago, I posted a fan film about Dick Grayson who was never adopted by Bruce Wayne and forgoes donning the Robin tights to become Nightwing instead. Seemed like an interesting project but unfortunately, they weren't able to hit their IndieGoGo goal.

While that was a great attempt at an alternate telling of a familiar story from the DC Universe, it approached the subject the same way all filmmakers do. From the perspective of the hero. The comics are about superheroes, so naturally, most movies focus on the heroes themselves. This is where Joker Rising comes in.

This is one of those rare occasions where the focus of the movie is on the villain and their eventual rise to power. I'm sure there are comics that have focused on developing the villains but you really don't see it as much in films or even animated releases. This was a fresh take on Gotham City's criminal underworld, with Batman only making a brief cameo appearance.

And he doesn't even have any lines!

I saw a rough cut of the film and I have to say, I was extremely impressed. Everyone praises Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy for being gritty, dark, and realistic. (I guess as realistic as a movie about a playboy billionaire karate master running around in a mask and cape could be)  If you're looking for a movie that is REALLY dark and gritty, check out the rough cut of Joker Rising:

I'm a Gangland junkie. I watch a lot movies, shows, and documentaries on street gangs and that's where this movie gets its charm. You see "Cyrus" starting off as a common street soldier who's putting in work. From there, you see his climb up the ladder as he encounters other known villains from Gotham's dark criminal underbelly. If you're going to make a big deal about canon, this movie does NOT follow canon and is more a story inspired by the DC characters that we all know and love. (Although I would've preferred if they stuck with more traditional Riddler riddles, even the ones from the 1960's Batman were better!)

I have to say that I liked their take on most of these characters, the best spin was on Black Mask. The mask that they had him wearing was more like something you'd see on Dia de los Muertos. I think that's way more realistic than some dude who just walks around in a black skull mask expecting people to take him seriously. The one thing I just HAD to mention and compliment them on was Harley Quinn. Although I've never seen Harley's story spun this way, the actress they got to play her was stunning and had so much charm that you could easily fall in love with her character. That sweet smile and adorable voice/accent was perfect.

Then again, I've never seen a Harley Quinn that I didn't absolutely ADORE!

Overall, this is a fantastic fan film and really deserves your support. Immediately after watching this, I popped in The Dark Knight so I could have some more Joker in my life. So far, they've only raised a couple hundred of their goal but I really hope that people will start funding this project. Here is their IndieGoGo link:

Even as a rough cut, you can tell that they've really got something good going on here. With a bigger budget, I'm sure they can do something really awesome. Please, check it out for yourself ASAP because the rough cut will online be online for a limited time. I hope that other people are as excited as I am to see more of this. If they can get funding, this will become a 3-part rated-R trilogy. Trust me, there are definitely worse things out there that you can be funding. If the rough cut is taken down before you get a chance to watch it, I will post the trailer here so you can at least see something. I hope that this gets out to fans before the rough cut comes down though. Share this post with anyone that you think would be interested or likes comic book movies. Let's get this project funded so we can see some really gritty comic book movies for once!