Batman & Harley Quinn

BATMAN and HARLEY QUINN a refreshing update and nostalgic nod with a heavy dose of adult.

Batman and Harley had me at the title and I was even more excited when I noticed Kevin Conroy lending his voice once again to the Batman. What I wasn’t aware of is that not only did this look and sound like the animation I loved as a kid, with the super-long Batmobile and the super-flat Batwing… it sure wasn’t geared for the kid I was but for the adult I now am.

The things Nightwing does for Gotham

No, I don’t read about these things before I watch them, I like to be surprised and then write about it from a fresh perspective, so with the opening scene I realized this ain’t my weekday evening/Saturday morning batman. At first reaction I was all “WTF is this shizz, TIMM??” But I remembered that the previous movie with Timm’s style in it – Justice League: Gods and Monsters – had a healthy dose of adult themes plus robotic “nudity”, so…  I then stepped back and just accepted it for what it is. Not unlike what Genndy Tartakovsky did with the final season of Samurai Jack it looked as if Bruce Timm and Co. brought the nostalgia with all those staples from the series plus the bonus of being aged to the audience that it raised from adolescence.

Bird is the word.

I’m not really sure what to compare this to aside from what I’ve already mentioned but I feel it needs to be stressed that this isn’t for kids. So don’t expect to spend a weekend bingeing on the original series with your kiddos to have a smooth transition into this, it’s chock full of language and sexual innuendos and all sorts of adultsy stuff. But if you do spend that weekend bingeing on the series and the kids finally fall asleep it would be a nice late night cuddle and watch for the more conservative of us Xer’s.

  There are touching moments lending to mortality and humanity in general that I found flowed smoothly with the storyline and as ever when Poison Ivy is concerned there’s an eco-friendly albeit psychopathic message to be found ~ save the Planet at the cost of the people!

Fans looking for strong female characters may rejoice since all the good punches were thrown by the gals, so expect to see Bats and Nightwing get more than a little trounced most of the time – being highly trained martial artists with years of brawling experience – while Harley and Ivy steal the show.

Overall I enjoyed it. This was quite refreshing with its gags and pacing and overall tone. Seeing Bruce Timm’s artistic style back in animation again with the characters we love is one thing but giving them the kind of story and personality you always knew they had but could only hope to see made this one animated movie I’m glad to add to my collection.

I hope you put on some popcorn and give it a watch noting all the things I wanted to put into this blog post but for the sake of spoiler-whiners refrained.

Enjoy!

-VagueRant

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Forgot about Tim Drake

Hi there, it’s been a while. I’ve been fine, just busy in other areas of my life but that’s a story for another time – if I decide to get around to it.

Recently I’ve caught up on movies flying under the radar for lack of general interest in the superhero genre of entertainment. Anyone that knows me knows that if the train is full of passengers that are all going the same destination I’ll probably jump off, finding my path the long way. That’s definitely been the case now due to the super-saturation of super-heroes in nearly every facet of media these days.

Too much of a good thing I guess.

So the DC Universe Animated (not to be confused with kid-friendly, Saturday-morning DC Animated Universe) and most notably the Batman series of flicks have been fun and the detail they go into giving Batman a near flawless martial arts style is amazing (sometimes I catch myself re-winding the scenes just to watch them again in slow motion).

After binge-watching the movies Son of Batman then Batman Vs. Robin and the newly released Batman: Bad Blood I couldn’t help wondering: So, where the hell is Tim Drake?

Any reader of Batman comics should know that name, but if you don’t and you just happen upon this at random and decided to kill some time I’ll fill you in: Dick Grayson was the original Robin, then he grew up, got pugnacious toward his father-like figure and decided to be Nightwing instead. This left a sidekick void in the dynamic duo and soon a kid named Jason Todd found himself under Batman’s guidance becoming the next incarnation of Robin. Readers hated him so Todd, as Robin, was killed off by Joker. Batman, feeling guilty, went on a Robin strike for a while until a young Tim Drake decided to worm his way into the heart of the Caped Crusader and thus became the third and, boldly, best incarnation of Robin.

Of course with the re-tooling of the DC Universe, in the form of 52, things have changed for the character, nevertheless it makes me wonder about his absence in the animated films.

I get that Grayson is a great go-to for fans both burgeoning and long-time alike and he’s personally my favorite non-super-powered, non-Batman character of all time. They made a complete movie about Todd; three movies now with Damian all angsty and childish and mofo’s acting like they forgot about Drake.

I’ve tried doing searches on the topic and have come to no conclusion and it’s weird that these writers/producers and etc. of the films would introduce new Bat-people in the latest film – with an extra kick to the figurative balls of the fictional character in the last minutes of Bad Blood just before the credits. Not even Red Robin (yum!) but Batwing? I don’t get it. I mean if they were afraid of an over-saturation of bat-themed characters they really should have quit a few bats ago. It still doesn’t really explain Drake’s lack of presence and I can’t be the only person that notices this or *gulps* cares.

Maybe?

All this retcon and rehashing of tired themes and trite characters has taken it’s toll on this middle-aged dude. It’s probably one of the crappiest things about having grown up in the late 80’s-90’s reading comics (and their absolute worthlessness now saddens me but for the kindling it may someday provide).

Eventually I may do reviews on the movies. I’ll have to re-visit them and take notes. I’ve been meaning to do the same for the Direct-to-Video Justice League: Gods and Monsters; in short I liked it. The mystery is “why”.

Thank you. Come again!

-VR

Batman/Superman: Apocalypse

New DC Universe Animated epic!

Alright, well I’ve been waiting for something to get me back into the flow of things blog-related and so what better start than this trailer that a good friend sent me?

It was rhetorical.

This new movie follows up the Batman/Superman: Public Enemies story and looks reeeeally nerdgazmically cool!

The trailer isn’t the greatest so I challenge you to find me a better one!

Enjoy!

-TR!

Batman: Under the Red Hood trailer

You know, since I’m on a roll I guess I can post this trailer too.

When I think of being under the “red hood” it always brings me back to my ’88 Beretta. Yes, the car.

Hopefully I’ll get lucky again and get to put in a review before the release, but I believe the link I’ve posted for the trailer has that covered as well. But it won’t be as good as mine I’m sure!

Enjoy!

Review – Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Warner Premier and Warner Bros. Animation get sucked into Multi-verse action!

We don't like puppies!Well I’ve been waiting for this movie for some time. Or at least since I reviewed Batman/Superman: Public Enemies. It’s only natural, right? Something about superheroes meeting alternate-universe versions of themselves just makes a person like me all giddy with excitement, and if you’re reading this it should make you feel the same!

First off, this story has been a long time coming, since the first few issues of the hit JLA series scribed by Grant Morrison with art by Frank Quietly.  Second, it’s nice to see that DC and Warner Bros. don’t mind working on story’s that seem to appeal solely to comic book readers, I guess their hope is to fish out a new audience and hopefully sell some funny books. Sounds like a plan!

Now about this film. I never really give anything away but I like to talk in vague references about what I saw and what I liked and with this movie there was a ton to take in. There was a hope that the showdown between Superman and Ultra-man would have come to a great conclusion but… what showdown?

We would like to apply for Citizenship. The best animation came toward the end when it was an all-out slug fest between the League and the Syndicate and you can tell the animators really spent the time in detail for those scenes. Thank you for that, it was worth it.

I can’t say this was as good as Batman/Superman, but it was good in its own right. It can’t be easy trying to make sure all the heavy-hitters have their scenes, letting them strut their stuff without completely dominating the scene (otherwise it would be a bit pointless).

There could have been some more camaraderie built up between the characters but then again they have to think about the time spent and the attention span of anyone willing to watch an animated movie.

Now, that all said: Go watch the movie. You might like it and glean something out of it I didn’t get; but who knows, you might think it actually sucks. My opinion is my own: It’s definitely worth watching, but don’t expect to be completely blown away.

-VR

Review – DC Animation’s Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Sometimes it takes patience to wait for a good thing to come along. Especially if that one thing ends up blowing you out of your seat only to  remind you why you’re in the situation in the first place.

supreman_batman_public_enemies6

That’s what many readers felt after reading through the first six issues of Superman/Batman as they came out.

But Warner Bros. and DC Animation weren’t about  to let such a great story just lay around and collect dust when they can get in on the action. Not only did they jump in but they brought some to the table as well!

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see this feast of animated action until the day of its release, September 29, so I wasn’t able to give a heads-up a week early like with my last DC Animation review, but there’s no complaints beyond that. Honest!

There are a couple of elements about this Superman/Batman movie I found appealing the first being the animation based loosely on the comic art the second having to be that they cast the voice talents of Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown – reprising their roles as Superman, Batman and Lex Luthor, respectively. If only Malcolm McDowell could have returned as the voice of Metallo then that would have been even greater, but what can you do?

supreman_batman_public_enemies3 The story isn’t too terribly deep, but to some it might seem so. It’s depth is completely on the level of duty and loyalty; who has it and for what/whom. But who cares about storyline and plot? We want to see Super-types beating the ink out of each other and this movie does not fail in the fan-service department.

With extremely well done pacing it didn’t drag on in scenes but kept a steady pace of interesting while serving up extra morsels of kick-ass letting fans and newbies alike get that taste that draws us in and keeps us coming back for more. And I have to say “More, please!” and “Keep it coming!”

superman_batman_public_enemies-13

This is another PG-13-ish movie with the opening being a slight nod to Jon Stewart and something he might say on his show that would have to be beeped out. Beyond that and the fact you can read his lips, the worse it gets in the spoken language department is “bitch” and anyone who has ever had their evil scheme thwarted by a woman can relate, I’m sure.

This movie is definitely worth the time and I think it should have gotten some theater play.

-TR!