By Russell Burlingame/
Usually it's not the kind of thing I'd look at, but circumstance and a very enthusiastic salesman recently put a copy of the fan film Batman: Brutality in my hands. It takes place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and revolves around Batman's relationship with Harvey Dent, and conflicts with The Joker and Scarecrow. It was apparently written and shot prior to the release of The Dark Knight, as all the Harvey Dent bits, taken at face value, would invalidate the continuity of the film.
As much as the short film Dead End is an argument on behalf of fan films, this one is a giant, blinking neon sign that reads "Stay Away." Featuring camera work that would impress...well, just about nobody...along with goofy dialogue and the acting chops of a bunch of ninth graders, Batman: Brutality might be fun for these kids, their friends and parents...but the rest of us should be very wary of dropping ten bucks on productions like this at a comic convention.
Take a Look Inside the Film
Russell Burlingame is a journalist and columnist living and working in New York City. In high school, Russell interviewed Elliot S. Maggin for a review of the Kingdom Come novelization, and since then has worked consistently in and around the comics industry. He interned for Wizard magazine, and has freelanced for Wizard and Newsarama, in addition to a number of non-comics publications, Russell is currently working on a graphic novel based on Cap'n Internet, the comic strip that ran in his college newspaper; and a graphic biography of folk singer Phil Ochs with artist Marion Vitus.
Currently, in addition to his freelance work and his comics projects, Russell writes a number of columns for ComicRelated, including Conscientious Sequentials, The Gold Exchange, What's Perhappenin', Closing Statements, Reflecting 'Pool and To See or Not To See. Russell also takes point on the Hot Shot of the Week feature.
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