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The Dark Knight Returns

Posted: Fri, 9th Jan 2009, 3:36pm

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Atom

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Atomic Productions presents our Batman fanfilm of sorts. When the Joker escapes from Arkham, he is encountered by an old enemy.

This was made in the heat of Batman fever during the latter part of the summer. Conceptualized, scripted, costumed, and shot in 12 hours- The Dark Knight Returns represents one of our more lighthearted/just-for-fun attempts at making a movie.

Directed By
Andrew & Ben Adams

Produced By
Chase Arrington

Starring
Samuel Germany as The Joker
Benjamin Davis as Batman


More Info
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2009, 8:13am

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Atom

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No takers? Jeez, the cinema is even slower and less-active than I thought it was these days, I guess. unsure
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2009, 5:37pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +1

Honestly, that still picture of the kid in the batman suit just made me go "ahhw, cute." and killed my intention of watching it. Though having seen your other Batman fanfilm and your usual technical adept stuff I'm sure it's a well done video.

Might need to give people some time to realise the cinema is back, considering it's been out of order during x-mas when everyone from FXhome was on vacation.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 2:26am

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Biblmac

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Well I believe it was released on youtube earlier, don't know where that went, but I remember commenting on that...

Anyway I thought it was well done. Your Batman had a good batman style tone, from the Dark Knight, however he had a very boyish face, which was kinda hurt his "Batman" image. The Joker did well. He talked a lot like the Joker did and acted a lot like him. The costumes were nice, the Batman costume obviously had some flaws, seeing as you don't have a multi-million dollar budget. The grading was very good and true to "The Dark Knight". The dialog was very well done. I thought the makeup was fantastic in the beginning, however when you went to the side angles you could see it wasn't part of his face, however my only complaint with the Joker. I think you could have ended it less abruptly, however it had a nice effect. All together very nicely done.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 2:49am

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It was taken down for copyright infringement/violating the YouTube terms of use. Kinda disappointing, but that prompted us to realize now is as good a time as any to finally put it back up here in the FXHome Cinema.

And yeah, there's only so many ways around actors ages when you're just working with your friends. Although I think 'kid' might be a bit unfair, Sollthar. We're all (well, in our crew excluding Ben and I) in our 20s nowadays, you know, same as you. smile Still, we were really pleased with both performances, especially considering Ben and I had never formally really worked with either actor.

Surprisingly even, most people seemed more pleased/impressed with Ben D.'s Batman than Samuel's Joker. I think it was the voice. smile
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 10:27am

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Simon K Jones

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I imagine the lack of immediate comment is because most people at FXhome.com have already seen this film, a few months back.

I like the mood of the piece, but think it is vastly too wordy. I also have a problem with the Batman actor - not with his acting, but simply his look. When it comes to iconic characters like Batman, the look has to be right. It's the same reason George Clooney didn't work as Batman - his chin and head just aren't the right shape. That's not to say he ain't a good looking chap, though, so I hope your actor doesn't take these comments the wrong way!

Surprising that YouTube dumped it, given how many Batman fanfilms there are floating around.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 8:13pm

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Klut

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This was pretty good.
I wish I had more to say, but I really don't.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 6:11pm

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ashman

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I'm not sure what to say about this really, and what I can isn't very positive. I feel this is my least favorite film from atomic productions, it actually feels more like one of your early films.

I really dislike Batman's voice in both 'The Dark Knight' and in this short film. I feel that Keaton's Batman is much more in line with what I'd like to hear, I didn't find myself laughing every time he reeled off his dialogue and no one else around me in the theater batted an eyelid. Bale's crazy Batman voice did.

Performances weren't all that bad, it was always going to be hard to stand up to both Ledger and Bale's performance no matter what and it kind of works well throughout. I feel in places the script was stronger than others, but it was the performance that made some of the dialogue feel a bit weak when it could have worked.

I wasn't as bothered by the make up effects as some, although if money and time permitted it would have been nice to see a bit more attention to detail. I also didn't like the cuts that crossed the line so viciously although I can appreciate it was part of the grittiness you were trying to build, you tried something new and I can respect that, I felt it jarred with me personally, maybe it won't with the general audience?

Overall I would give this two stars because it's mainly following from Nolan's Batman, and his Batman always makes me laugh every time he speaks, unless it's justified by his rage. I didn't feel the film worked.

I like some of your other shorts, but this one wasn't to my taste.

Best,
Ash
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 1:07am

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Atom

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Well, thanks for the long response, Ash! Even if it wasn't all positive, it's honest and that's what Ben and I (and I'm sure everyone else on here) really want more than anything.

The script and performances seem to go separate paths with different people. Some tend to think it's a rather slick script unsupported by the actors, while others seem to say it's great acting/performances that can only go so far with the lacking script.

Myself being the screenwriter, I'd hope it was the former. smile But no, seriously, I get what you're saying. As much as I think we all tried to put our best foot forward with the material- the acting and the writing don't entirely connect with eachother. I attribute some of this to two things, the improvisation of the Joker actor and my own line-cutting/editing during postproduction. On this point more than any, I think we can improve not just in fanfilms but our movies altogether.

This movie was a stab at a slightly different style, feel, writing, acting, etc. for us just for fun; you're right. And I understand your gripes with it, ones that for the most part I can't refute.

I just hope the sequel bodes better with you. smile
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 2:15am

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Moonloon1

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I liked the writing, didn't like the Batman but the Joker was done great. I really liked the way he licked the side of his mouth like Heath. Good job and for me the timing was good because I just watched TDK (my favorite Batman movie).
Posted: Thu, 15th Jan 2009, 3:01am

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GBPpro

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AMAZING!!!!!!!!! GREAT JOB!!!!!!
Posted: Thu, 15th Jan 2009, 7:13am

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ben3308

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Thanks, guys! Glad you liked it!
Posted: Sat, 17th Jan 2009, 11:42pm

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Atom

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No other takers who have yet to see this? unsure
Posted: Tue, 20th Jan 2009, 9:59pm

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fertesz

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It was definetely interesting. Batmans voice worked well, by means of mimicking Bale's voice, even though, like some people, I dislike this particular feature in the new Batman films (Kevin Conroy was best as voice of Batman/Bruce IMHO). The beggining, before Batmans appeareance is interesting, because Joker seems to act a bit... random. And of course with such character, that's what he should do smile

Joker's make-up was very nice, except for the edges of his "glasgow smile", when the effect was too obvious. I also agree with what was said about Batmans face - it's not very "batmanish".

As for Joker's acting, even though it was well done, I don't think it was anything near Ledgers performance. As obvious as it sounds. Ledger did TERRYFIC job. Bacause of this, your actors performance will always suffer in camparision (which is enevitable, as you based your Joker on new version of the character, introduced in TDK).

12 hours isn't much time, so you have my respect here. I believe that having more time would enable you improve various elements of the movie (costumes, make-up, even acting perhaps). I kinda hate time constraints while making movie smile Yet you pulled it off.

All in all, as a "lighthearted/just-for-fun attempt at making a movie" I like it. I wonder what you could make, while having more time (and perhaps funding, but that's a different story...) and delivering more serious project.

Congrats.
Posted: Tue, 20th Jan 2009, 11:10pm

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D3L3T10N

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I challenge you to make a movie in more than 24 hours.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jan 2009, 6:24am

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fertesz wrote:

I also agree with what was said about Batmans face - it's not very "batmanish".
Yeah, that's something we've heard a few times over. Don't worry, we've worked on that a bit, hopefully the *cough* sequel *cough* will yield better reactions from people. smile Pic:


All in all, as a "lighthearted/just-for-fun attempt at making a movie" I like it. I wonder what you could make, while having more time (and perhaps funding, but that's a different story...) and delivering more serious project.
Cool, glad you liked it! Have you seen some of our other work on here, or perhaps our feature project we've been working on for a while?
Posted: Wed, 21st Jan 2009, 8:23am

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fertesz

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Well, I do hope you didn't hurt him much in order to make him look more like Batman surprised

As for your other work, I don't think I saw any of it as for the moment, I'm kinda slow in making my way around cinema actually redface Especially at the moment (exams among other things). But I hope to improve in the future smile Promise razz
Posted: Wed, 21st Jan 2009, 6:22pm

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StumpMovieMan

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Im the actor who plays Batman in the Atomic series. Don't worry, the reconstructive surgery wasn't to bad.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 9:47pm

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fertesz

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Glad to read that smile
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 11:36pm

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Atom

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Trailer for the sequel to this movie is up. You can view it here.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jan 2009, 1:58am

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SyroVision

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This was great! The voices, makeup, acting ect was good.

The low point was the line delivery, however this was largely to the convoluted script. Big words are great, but when they are being delivered by a voice that lacks the conviction needed to sell them, it sounds a kinda shallow.

Great work though, the idea that the joker wasn't actually doing anything (other than squatting) is an interesting one.

Looking forward to the next one. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 30th Jan 2009, 8:16pm

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Atom

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Hey thanks, SyroVision!

Sorry to hear you didn't like the dialogue, but I get your point. Question, though, did you not think the actors had the gravity and presence to convey the dialogue, or it was too messy to begin with?
Posted: Mon, 16th Feb 2009, 10:57pm

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SpiderShot

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I know you guys tried on this one, but it was just too dark for me to really see anything. Sorry.

3/5
Posted: Mon, 25th Jan 2010, 8:23pm

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The Nemesis2161

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Rating: +2/-2

haha a year later and no sequel?
Posted: Wed, 27th Jan 2010, 8:14am

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Yeah, sorry about that. Although I'm not too sure I appreciate the snarky laugh... wink

Truth to is it, look: We had some disagreements and had to scrap the whole project. It sucks, yeah, but it's just what we had to do.

Partly because of some of the reaction here to our Batman actor and talks we had with all the cast after they all read it here. Hey, look, you guys didn't like him and were pretty vocal about it, and that drew some animosity towards the enthusiasm for us finishing it and everybody on-board wanting to as well. Which isn't to blame FXHome, not at all, just to say that things didn't work out how we wanted them- and we had felt like we'd made such a great first half with Clayface and lead-in to The Riddler that if we couldn't do the end right we weren't going to do it at all. Go big or go home is the saying for that here in Texas; and while it may be somewhat of an imbecile ultimatum- that's our Texan pride for ya. smile

Which may be history repeating itself with us, but dems da brakes. If you're interested, I've got the rough intro to The Riddler's portion of the film uploaded here to give you an idea of where we were going with the iconic villain.

Ben and I have been really frustrated by this all, because we feel like it's some of Brian's (the actor) best work; and was absolutely chilling to hear him go off the rehearsed voice and dive into this character in a frail way that Brian in real-life completely is not.

If we can ever work out our differences I'd imagine with all the money, lighting, and awesome locations we've found/sunk into the sequel we'll end up finishing it- we've even talked every now and then about having one of our new actors named Bruno (a Will Smith-esque tall African American guy) play a shotgun-wielding diamond thief Mr. Freeze and scrapping the Clayface/Riddler sequel we've worked on altogether- with a new actor playing Batman as well- but alas we've never seen the plans through to fruition.

And if it seems like I'm meandering here, I do apologize. I like to keep you guys in-the-know as best I can- and if it seems like we haven't delivered in 2009 I do apologize. It was a record year for Atomic Productions- putting 5 or so movies into the cinema and having 3 of them hit the all-time top 20 in the archive; with 5 movies on top of that we've made that have yet to be released. I'm really proud of our productivity, I guess is what I'm saying, and reminders of stuff like this just make me all kinds of antsy. smile
Posted: Wed, 27th Jan 2010, 9:49pm

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Terminal Velocity

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I want to watch it, but Quicktime doesn't work on my computer for some reason. *bangs head against wall* Could you put up a Windows Media Player link, if you can't re-upload it to Youtube?
Posted: Sat, 30th Jan 2010, 1:41am

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The Nemesis2161

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UGH I was really looking forward to watch the two sequels you said were coming...
sad
Posted: Sat, 30th Jan 2010, 10:04am

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Well, I'm sorry man. If I can find it all and get around to it I'd be happy to show you some of the storyboards and numerous musings of concept art we did for both Clayface, The Riddler, and Mr. Freeze for the third film- in addition to the scripts.
Posted: Thu, 4th Feb 2010, 10:47am

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Simon K Jones

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I reckon you guys should take the experience from these fanfilms and use it to craft your own superhero/vigilante/action movie. It'd be something quite different to your usual ouevre and would also free you up from the tricky comparisons to the real Batman movies/cast.
Posted: Thu, 4th Feb 2010, 10:19pm

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ben3308

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We did a few effects test shots for our attempt at adapting the superhero 'Freakazoid!' in that he wasn't a 'hero' at all. We've also always kind of hoped to get 'Superhero Film' as our category for one of our 48 hour projects, so we have an excuse to make a brand new hero, our way.

Honestly, the largest reason we continued the Batman is because when we made the first one - this one's thread - it was timely and topical due to the release and popularity of The Dark Knight. We continued, however, because making it reminded me of how much I enjoyed the action/gothic style of the 90's animated series; and gave me a chance to live out what I always dreamed up when I was, say, 5 or 6 and liked making movies. biggrin

Clayface and the success we had with shooting his parts was pretty much the factor that made us want to move into scripting/shooting bits of a third Riddler movie to be produced simultaneously with the second. Unlike some of our half-completed projects, we actually got pretty far into the production end of our whole Batman ordeal, it just became too large a pit of commitment and money, because even cheap costumes starting costing us in terms of tape, spraypaint, gas money, etc. While the first iteration (The Dark Knight Returns) was just a trip to the party store, Goodwill, and then the shoot; as our ambitions with establishing a stylized Batman 'world' grew larger so did our costs, both financially and time-wise.

We have a few things we'd like to start and/or finish before completing our Batman film (MSB isn't at the top of the list, but it's close, as is a paid feature that I'll be shooting on the RED) but we don't give up easily on the things we pour our time and money and effort into. So you'll likely see all three films completed someday. I hope.