My last post covered my first night of temporary bachelorhood. The second night I remember watching at least two movies. I may have also watched a Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) episode, but those all kind of run together in my memory. Anyway, I did watch...
I've never seen an episode of this animated series before, but the movie made me want to see more of it. Set in the year 2019, Terry McGinnis has replaced Bruce Wayne as the Batman. Wayne is still involved, but now he remains in the safety of the Batcave, coaching McGinnis through the headset of his technologically advanced Batsuit. The new Batman has his own rogue's gallery, including the Jokerz gang; a band of criminals who have taken the original Joker as their inspiration. McGinnis only knows the Joker as "the big one", Batman's greatest nemesis who died well before McGinnis ever became the Batman and the one that Wayne will never talk about. When the Joker reappears in Gotham, completely unaged since his demise, McGinnis finally coaxes the story of the Joker's death out of Commissioner Barbara Gordon; the former Batgirl. Twenty years prior, the Joker had kidnapped Tim Drake, the second Robin, and tortured and brainwashed him to the point of turning him into a mini-Joker. The Joker, confident that the brainwashing was effective, ordered Robin to kill Batman. With a maniacal laugh, Robin instead killed his kidnapper. Years later the Joker has apparently returned and it's up to Wayne's young replacement to figure out how to stop the supposedly dead villain.
The sequel to 2004's Hellboy, Hellboy II departs from the original's focus on cults and the Apocalypse and focuses instead on mythology. Millennia ago mankind fought against the armies of the goblins and the elves. The elves commissioned the goblins to construct an army of magical/mechanical soldiers to fight humanity. This army did its job so well and caused such a slaughter among the humans that the king of the elves vowed never to use it again. He divided the crown that psychically controlled the army between himself, his daughter, and a human king. His son, angry that his father would show such weakness, is determined to reunite the crown, reactivate the golden army, and destroy humankind once and for all. The only ones standing between the elf prince and mankind are Hellboy and the agents of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. As it was in the original movie, the creature design is fantastic (the Angel of Death is by far the most fascinating). As for the story; it was pretty good, but it seemed a bit too lighthearted in comparison to the first movie. I hope that a third installment of the series (which is apparently in the conception stage) more closely follows the tone of Hellboy.