Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday's with Blinky: Sincerely Mr. J

  Here we have the fourth and final installment of the Mr. J series.  Well at least the Mr. J series proper, there is one more short starring Chris as Joker but it involves Superman and we'll be taking a look at that next week.

  We have our usual duo, Chris .R. Notarile as Joker and Johanna Telander as Harley Quinn and they are joined by Kim Santiago as Poison Ivy, Ken Smith as Riddler, Pete Mattera as Penguin, and maybe Brandon Slagle as Scarecrow.  The IMDB is a little vague, it lists him as Scarecrow-Face so I don't know if that means he was only Scarecrow with the mask off or what.  Also favorite Mandy Evans, of Choice fame, is listed as Catwoman but I don't remember seeing Catwoman.

  First off I have no real idea what this short is about.  It's not really clear what exactly is happening, Joker's subplot is clear (he want's Maroni for selling him up the river in Dark Knight) but as to what Penguin and his crew (Ivy and Scarecrow) are up I'm not really sure.  Also I have no idea what Riddler is up to at the end.  If I were to piece together a plot by context alone I would say that they are taking out Max and Chip Shreck (who you may remember from Batman Returns, Walkens character and his son).  I don't really know why but knowing those characters it probably has something to do with acquiring the assets of the Shreck family. Riddler is shown with Mr. Earle who was Rutger Hauer's character from Batman Begins.  Earle is a cast out, after he was fired in Begins we never hear anything about him which could mean he's not important at all or incredibly important.  I don't know.  Honestly, however, none of that matters because this is a fun little romp.

  The action in this is great, you've got a gang of villains being villainy.  All the side characters put in great little performances with what little screen time they get.  Kim Santiago is sexy as the femme fatale Ivy who appears to be susceptible to her own poison.  A good realistic touch from the purely super natural powers of the comic version.  Scarecrow is dead on in his impersonation of Cillian Murphy and Penguin does okay in his role of mastermind.  Penguin has that intellectual pomp to him and he delivers his dialog well but I don't think the role was meaty enough to really spotlight the Penguin character.  That's sort of the problem with the Penguin though, he's not really gimmicky enough to toss him in as a cameo and really get the character across.  Riddler is pretty good as well, it sounds like he's doing a Wally Wingert impression but since Wally is my most favorite Riddler ever I like it.  Plus he says "Riddle me this." and really, isn't that enough?

  Chris and Johanna seem to really own their characters in this one, Chris really takes the Joker into his own even changing the Joker's style.  At the end of Well Done... the make up and hair was spot on for Joker, it doesn't appear as spot on in this one but it's still pretty good.  This Joker is more punk (which Chris pretty much says so in his own words) which I like.  I'd even like to see it go even farther into the punk aesthetic and do spiky hair with studs and piercings.  I don't think I've seen a Joker by way of Johnny Rotten yet.  But the look really works for this character and Chris really owns the part.  Johanna does a great job, she get's a few little moments like looking in the mirror and playing with her hair, and some small moments in Maroni's bedroom when she's about to wield and wielding a baseball bat but she works those few moments she gets and really establishes her presence in the short.

  You can expect the usual good things from a Blinky Production.  If you don't know what those are you can go look at any number of my previous features and see what those are.  It's worth looking at because it's probably the most action heavy of the Mr. J and the action is fun to watch.  If I absolutely had to knock it I'd say it's spread a little to thin considering it's running time and some things suffer because of that.  But I'll forgive the short that because it's good.  You can't say it's not good.  It's shot well, it's written well (I'll forgive the story because I think if he had the budget to turn this into a full length feature that would fix itself), it's sure acted well and all in all it's worth the time.  You'll enjoy it, so check it out.  Oh, also it's got Thomas Daniel in it as Max Shreck, he played Jigsaw in Punisher '79, and that guy is just awesome.

Mr. J series on IMDB

No comments:

Post a Comment