Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Killing Joke

The Killing Joke

With Batman Begins erasing any scary image of a Batman suit with nipples the healing process... began. Now where does Christopher Nolan take us with the future of the Batman franchise? No joke, to a clown! That's right with The Dark Knight next year, we'll see the Clown prince himself coming to the big screen in what is not your Tim Burton's Jack Nicholson Joker. Heath Ledger is putting on the clown make up and fitting those big feet in with a darker Joker. Post Production just started up for the film and this week EMPIRE magazine got the first shots of the Joker to get the hype going with more than six months to go till release. It's nothing new, this film has been generating a lot of buzz since we got the hint that the Joker would be the main focus at the end of Batman Begins. Last Comic Con, there was a very big focus on the joker with a very wide interactive hunt around San Diego. The way WB is hyping this film up is just more reason to get excited for it.

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Taking a beating with a smile on his face!

He Who Laughts Last, Laughs Best

The role of the joker was a toss up. Who knew what, with this new franchise, what Nolan had in store for us. We knew Harvey Dent would play a bigger role from all talk after the first one. It's also nice to have the idea that they took some stuff out of a couple of the more popular Batman story arcs. Long Halloween was one books that they took some source from on the website lately, but the book itself dealt with the transition from Mobsters to crazies as threats to Gotham City. It was an amazing read and does have connections to other Super Hero stuff. The writer is also a producer for Heroes and the artist, if you're a fan of Heroes, is Tim Sale, the same artist that comes up with all those future paintings. But not everyone was pleased with how the movie was going.

Honey, I'm Home!

Jack Nicholson took the time off from watching Laker games to be "furious" that Nolan didn't ask him to either play the role or at the very least come to him for help on the character... Yeah, jacky boy. I don't think that's really an important issue at hand. Don't get me wrong. I loved the first Batman film. Tim Burton did a great job on it for its day. Nicholson is one of the great actors of our time and a cult Hollywood icon, but he's not the only source to go to for anything Joker related. Not to mention the film didn't age very well. You can watch it and enjoy it, but just slightly more seriously than the 60's Movie where Batman simply can't get rid of a Bomb. On that note, did Jack Nicholson ever get any help from the Cesar Romero on how exactly he should play the Joker? Now that was an amazing Joker. He took a BAM! and a ZAP! and a BOOF! like no one's business.

To The Bat Computer!
So filming has been going on the Chicago area for this film for some time. They are not in post production and it's only a matter of time before we get word on the final cut out there in test screenings and what not. But for the time being, what's there to keep the interest of all those internet nerds on the hunt for the latest in gossip? Well, there's always the rumors and leaked footage from other comic book conventions. But in this day and age, the PR departments crank out huge machines that offer clues and hints and provide hours and hours of entertainment to their fans. Look at Cloverfield, for example. They have had a online game since filming started to hype up that J.J. Abrams film with mystery and suspense! Good thing I've read the Batman Training Guide or else I wouldn't have any idea on what to do.

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It's like Disney Dollars. Only, you could actually spend it somewhere.

You Ever Dance With The Devil By The Pale Moonlight?

Who has time for that, right? If you haven't been keeping up with the Joker's latest clues in some Alternate Reality Game that WB is running, I have and let my hours wasted benefit you! The madness it brings comes at a cost and it shouldn't be something you need to afford. How does Batman do it? What madness does that dark defender carry if this is what it takes to track down this clown? Just to update where we are and what sites we have:
This is the official campaign site for Harvey Dent. Don't be surprised by this two faced candidate. It simply had a campaign poster up of Dent. Nothing serious. It really just got the ball rolling in terms of creating buzz.
This is what got a lot of folks talking. The Joker's perversion of Dent's website really starts to show that Mister J has a sense of humor after all.
This one was found from the comic con joker dollar. It lead those who choose to follow the wild scavenger hunt all over sunny San Diego. The only thing I can say about the whole experience is Stay Classy, San Diego. It later proved to be the place to get the hints as to what to do. The day before Halloween had a couple of clues to how to join up with his gangs and cause another scavenger hunt around a handful of cities in the U.S. to find letters and create the phrase "The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules." which lead to another website.

The Dark Knight's production secret project title was named this to keep filming under wraps. After the Halloween message was revealed, this website was were all the photos would be put up. Including the first new picture of Ledger as the Joker in the back of a car. This is also where the task came up to paint your face like jokers and take pictures around local city land marks. Those who took part in it got mailed a copy of the Gotham Times.
This showed up and those who took part of the painting got a hard copy in the mail. In the Gotham newspaper there was a lot of articles that gave us updates to what's going on in Gotham since Batman Begins. It was a rather detailed paper and the articles were worth reading. Again, that prankster jumped in and defaced it in....
This is an important one. This is the Joker's perversion of the Gotham Times website. It contained a code in all the circled phrases. You then had to decipher it by breaking down the number of letters in the circled phrases and decode " whysoseriouspersonalityprofile which lead you to exactly that, a personality profile to join the Joker's army.
Achieving the highest score of "A Scream" doesn't do anything for now other than lets you know that you are just sick enough to be wanted by the Joker. Good job!

All the while, Gotham's company websites have been popping up left and right.
The official website of Gotham City rail, including Flash maps of the city. The interesting thing... and I say that in a very geeky nerd stand point, is that Nolan is using the exact same map for Gotham as was shown in the comics. Very nice attention to detail. The fact that I recognized that goes to show that I read way too many f'n funny books.
Another official website of Gotham City business. This time the bank. I bet the joker has some plans for that! One of the rat races that was part of comic con was to go by the bank there and you got a little Gotham National Bank savings card.

The website of Gotham Police, known to be corrupt with only few exceptions. Commish Loeb is also a nod to comic writer Jeph Loeb. He did a very popular Batman story arc called Hush and is also a Producer on a little show called Heroes. You may have heard of it.
Harvey Dent's website, where you can report cops who you think are corrupt. Putting in a couple of known Batman cops brings up pretty generic e-mail responses. I punched in Gordon and it came back with a response that he was never a suspect. On the flip side there was an e-mail sent that had two cops that were corrupt.

Thank you for providing information on Detective Sergeant Jason McCree, Badge 4217 and/or Lt. Karl Breitup, Badge 6773. An Internal Affairs investigation has been opened on these officers and your information has been forwarded to the officer leading that investigation.

Thank you for stepping forward. It is regrettable when those invested with the public trust betray the people who look to them for protection and aid. But by exposing corruption, you are part of making Gotham better, safer, stronger.

Remember those, they'll come up later.
A remembrance website for a girl murdered recently that was an article in the Gotham Times. See, that news paper did have a lot of clues to branch out to. She was killed in a mob fight, two policemen were present but left the scene shortly before her death - paid off by the mob. An email to the website receives a reply from Gina’s Aunt, mentioning a local store being burnt down.
A new website, just up yesterday for victims.
Contains an email address and a phone number. It's unknown what contacting does.
Gotham Security company. Offering different kinds of security including protection from the Scarecrow's Fear toxin. Contacting via e-mail just leads to a generic response saying that they are in demand and taking a lot of orders right now, but just check their website for more info.
A Gotham City cab company, actually a front for the mob. Headed by one of the policemen who left before Gina was killed. If you phone the number and input the officer's badge number 6773 as a code by pressing during the message, you get a voice mail message from the mob, indicating the current city DA has mob connections. It's really really neat.
This site was a really nice mind blower. It's going back to the whole Joker's thug job application. You need to crack the safe, but how do you do it? Oh the mystery. I refer you back to the Batman Training Guide as it comes in handy. You can see at the top there's the note when you click on the safe. Take the blood soaked letters in each paragraph and they're an anagram that spells out TIME FOR TAFFY. Oh that jokester. We're not at a fair! Well, there is a Taffy being reported in that news paper. What time did it say he bit the big one? 7:38am? The only question then was how to plug that into the safe. If you set your computer clock to 7:38am while viewing the safe website, you'll see that it just comes off as if someone sprayed acid on it. Opening that lead to some more clues. going off those lead us to
Where the lunch menu in itself looks like a clue. Notice the 21st has "Bat" bites. Hmmmm. There's also mention of something that happened in the narrows and the bus stops have changed. The only thing I can gather so far from this one is that I AM LEGEND comes out on the 14th and there's going to be a 7 minute trailer attached to the IMAX versions of the film. So I would expect another task on the 21st on the website. Well, the night is almost here and so I must go back into the shadows of trying to figure this out.

Perhaps you've learned something from all this. For one, how utterly insane this online world can cause us with simple clues and hints. Damn you WB for making it so addicting! Hell, we still have months before the movie comes out. I'm not sure how far down this goes. We're through the looking glass, people!

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