About two years ago, a good friend and fellow comic enthusiast gave me a link to what he thought was the best Batman fan film he'd ever seen. Taking him up on the challenge, I watched this little number and was blown away. While it's not a traditional fan film - it's a fan trailer - Grayson runs a little over five minutes, and boasts a large roster of heroes and their appropriate villains.
Review by Tristan
Added: January 14, 2008
Batman has died, and the caped crusader's death seems like it's going to go unavenged, as the police have very little to go on, due to the secrecy of his crime fighting ways. The only person motivated enough to solve the mystery surrounding the hero's death is his one time ward, Dick Grayson - aka Robin (writer/director John Fiorella). He begins training furiously, readying himself for the war ahead with Batman's most formidable foes. It turns out that Selina Kyle - aka Catwoman - is scheming with the chief of police to cover up the whole thing.
Grayson is warned by Commissioner Gordon (Mark Brodkin) that old heroes bring about old villains. Truer words could not have been spoken, as Grayson's emergence as Robin appears to have triggered the Joker's (Brian C. Behtel) return. Accompanied by his thugs, he sets out to destroy Grayson and his family, to keep Batman's death a secret. Robin must once again don the yellow cape, red shirt and green tights, and with Gordon's help uncover the mystery behind his mentor's untimely demise.
I would have to say that Brian C. Bethel plays one of the most terrifying and repulsive Jokers I've ever seen. He has the traditional Joker look, but is also different enough to make this interpretation unique and extremely dark. In fact, I'd say that almost every person chosen for this film have the look of their characters down pat. Superman looks like Superman, Gordon looks like Gordon, you get the idea. The line up of characters is impressive, as we're treated to The Riddler, Wonder Woman, The Penguin, Superman, Green Lantern, and many more. Fiorella certainly knows his way around behind a camera, as the quick cuts and action make this movie look as though it would not let up for a second. Fiorella appears to be a great adult Robin, as he certainly has the look and build for the part, as well as losing himself in his alter-ego to get to the bottom of things.
The only major problem with this film seems to be that it incorporates way too much into the trailer. It does a good job of showing us what the film would be about, and just who to expect from it. Only problem is, it's pretty much everyone from the DC universe. While I give credit to the director for encompassing as much as he can into his five minutes, it seems like if it was turned into a full movie, it would have to be at least 5 hours long to work in all the villains and heroes into their appropriate sub-plots.
I'm not sure what's happening with this film exactly, but I do know that it has it's own website, where you can watch it or download it from. I suggest you do so, as it's on par with Batman: Dead End, even though it's not your traditional short film. John Fiorella made an excellent little trailer here, and I hope that someday in the future, he is given a Batman related project to work on, as he certainly knows his comics, and knows how to make a trailer look bloody interesting. The script is available on the website as well, and having read it a few times, I would see this movie in a heartbeat, and I'm pretty sure most of you would too.