Another great Batman Edit form BlueYoda!
My favorite fanedits are the ones that save an otherwise unhappy viewing experience. And the original release with all the extra love crap was definitely an unhappy experience to watch for me. Thank god for this edit!
Pros- A good intro dictates a whole viewing experience for me - start bad, and you spend the rest of the time redeeming yourself. Now, without the excess baggage of studio filler material, this movie is so much closer to the source comic, and so much better because of it. Clearly leaps and bounds above what we were given originally, and still keeps the best parts that resonate with me from the original comic.
Cons - I can now see kinda why the studio wanted to add more... the pace feels very fast for the emotional story being told, at least not as dark as it came through in the comics at least. Not sure if longer lingering shots would have helped, but while it was very close to the comics in visuals, the pacing felt quick and the score felt too lighthearted. And Gordon's journey didn't feel dark enough. And that is no fault of the BlueYoda at all, I think they did the best they could with what they had.
This will ABSOLUTELY be my preferred way to watch. It should ABSOLUTEY be yours too.
As someone who enjoys the original cut of the Killing Joke (Minus the first 30 min. That can be removed or skipped to enjoy the rest of the film), this was such a great alternative, more accurate cut to the comic. I especially love the subtilty on how you edit the ending but I wont spoil it here. You gotta watch it to see what he did.
Every cut was to near absolute perfection and all the subtly added sfx really helped add more to the film and helped the film give more into the dark tone. Not to mention the cuts of the film are a welcome change even if the film is now only 40 min. I highly recommend anyone who is a fan of the comic to give this a watch. Only change I would like to see is just some rain sfx on the flashback scene in the apartment since its shown to be raining outside but that's about it. This cut is just perfection.
The first five paragraphs or so of this review would be a rant about how much of an abomination I consider the Killing Joke movie as released to be, so I'll spare you that. I'll just say that what was added was complete garbage, and what was adapted from the graphic novel was just a shallow representation that felt like just a paycheck day for everyone involved, despite having the potential to be the Batman animated movie to end all Batman animated movies (in more than one sense if you go with the Grant Morrison interpretation of the ending). It belongs to the same category as the Dark Knight Returns animated movie, incidentally also brilliantly fanedited by Blueyoda. They both take very unusual comic books and treat them like random run of the mill Batman stories. So, again just like TDKR, this is one of those "only so much can be done" edits.
This said, it is a magnificent edit. About everything that could be done to render this as close to the source novel as possible while still acknowledging that the page and the screen are two different mediums with separate sets of rules, is done here. There are certain spots that diverge from the comic even though the material was there to reproduce it faithfully, but the result there is for the better and actually fit the core themes perfectly. Won't spoil exactly the moment, but there's a bit in which Blueyoda chose to cut from one character's closeup to another's instead of showing the latter arriving, and it fits so well!
A visual style has also been applied that in parts renders the colors closer to the comic, to be more specific Bolland's tweaked, muted and recolored version of it. I must say that, unlike Blueyoda, I *VASTLY* prefer John Higgins' original trippy coloring job from the 80s, but both the editor's personal preference and the fact that Higgins' colors would be hard to reproduce here must be acknowledged, and hey, at least this looks like ONE version of the novel. And it does work great for the screen, no matter how I feel about Bolland going George Lucas on it. And this is not saying it's not trippy, as some bits do have a quasi-hallucinatory effect applied to them that is a wonderful idea. The ending also has a bit of a twist. I also have to mention that Blueyoda's interpretation of the ending greatly differs from mine, but is equally valid, and that's the greatness of the novel's ending, that it admits many possible readings (unlike the movie version, which is a flat and face-value-only reading, so choosing a definite one is far from a bad idea).
It goes without saying that all the garbage additions by Azzarello have been killed with fire, and that the technical aspects of the edit are completely flawless, as always with Blueyoda. This is not the first Killing Joke edit that has been done, and it might not be the last, but it's as satisfying a novel cut as it can be done. I have not seen MusicEd921's attempt. He is an excellent editor as well so his edit may be just as good, but Blueyoda's is hard to surpass. As much justice to Alan Moore as could be done without scrapping the whole thing and making a new one, has been done.
Oh, and incidentally, this is not even the first Killing Joke edit by the Blue One. Years ago he did a live action one that can be found buried in the extra features of my own Batman Descent Into Mystery edit. After you watch the animated one, go get my edit and watch that Killing Joke as well. I don't mind it if you don't even look at my edit. That short is just THAT great.
Aside from the usual technical excellence of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's work in their primes, I'm not much of a Killing Joke fan for its darkening ramifications on the wider DCU (though Barbara Gordon as Oracle is the ultimate sow's ear-to-silk purse story in all of comics, thanks to Ostrander/Yale). The original Killing Joke film adaptation written by Brian Azzarello (a good enough writer but undoubtedly a poor man's Garth Ennis who is himself a poor man's Alan Moore) was a bloated, character-betraying mess and the animation was utterly banal DC DTV house style. (For a better visual adaptation of TKJ, I implore all to check out the Zellers Batman commercials by veteran animator John Celestri.)
BlueYoda has done the best possible job of reining in the bloat of the original cut, allowing what is now a faithful adaptation of this undeniably important comic, and it is exciting and even revelatory to see some of Alan Moore's subtler scene shifts (a trademark of this era) take place. I have to admit, a few of them (the cut into Jim Gordon's apartment for example) had never occurred to me.
So a much-improved version of a mediocre adaptation of a seminal but depressive comic. Hard to say I'll revisit it but for the curious, this is definitely the version you want.