Why Watch? Fan films are usually well-intentioned but terrible. It’s that rare fan film that stands out so far above its peers that it comes close to deserving mention amongst the studio-made efforts (which we can often think of as big budget fan films depending on the director). Puppet Master is one of those rare, outstanding examples. If it didn’t fall outside the feature story lines (and if the action were far better), this flick could have easily been shown in theateres between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. The quality is impeccable. Here, an FBI agent named Edward Nigma is set to make a deal with a new crime boss in order to smoke Batman out of hiding and solve the riddle of why Harvey Dent’s good name is being protected at all costs. With strong acting performances and a Dark Knight who does a spot-on Bale-as-Batman, it’s a dark story told with teeth. Plus, the reveal of the new crime boss is a great twist aimed right at fans of the comic book. Director Bryan Nest and his team deserve a good, hard look from major studios. What will it cost you? Only 17 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.