Thanks to the folks at Fathom, I got to the just released Batman and Harley Quinn animated movie at one-night only theatrical screening before its release!
Take a look:
Batman and Harley Quinn - Trailer - YouTube
“From an original story by animation icon Bruce Timm, comes an all-new DC Universe animated movie. Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet – and, unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime. But Batman’s patience is put to the test by the unpredictable and untrustworthy Harley during the twists and turns the reluctant companions face during their bumpy road trip. “
I was a little thrown at first watching it, as it was plainly in the classic “Batman-The Animated Series” time frame (dig the classic Batmobile & Batwing). A little blood and death tells you that we aren’t in WB Kids land anymore. But then the wackiness (and naughtiness) ensues! But that was my expectation. I should have realized with the title of the film, there was going to be a back and forth in tone during the whole time. It did and it was a lot of fun!
There’s plenty of action and fighting to go around, including a couple of great scenes of Harley fighting Nightwing early on, and later Poison Ivy. The wackiness comes from Harley, obviously, but sometimes just in the direction the film goes. There’s a point around mid to last third of the film that has Batman, Nightwing, and Harley going to probably one of the strangest settings in the animated series history. I’ll leave it for you to see for yourself, but it includes many cameos by characters I’d NEVER expect. And did I mention the musical number? Yeah- there’s TWO of them! As for naughtiness, there a few cuss words slung about. Plus, there’s Harley getting cozy with a restrained Nightwing (at Batman’s glare-“Yeah, like YOU never made out with any supervillains”) and encouraging a lusty crowd with her dancing. I’ll leave you to find out the rest…
I never get tired of Kevin Conroy returning as Batman. He brings so much to the table, and he continues to be one, if not THE definitive Batman of the past 25 years. Loren Lester also returns as Nightwing after a long absence. With him and Conroy, you get that old team feeling. Melissa Rauch does a stand up job as Harley, giving her a chance to go places the animated series never fully went. And she can belt out a tune just fine! Paget Brewster is also tops as Poison Ivy. The only thing I have to question is… why the change in the voice actors? Why not bring Arlene Sorkin and Diane Pershing to return as well as Conroy and Lester? Especially since the movie went great pains to set it in the B:TAS Universe. Again, nothing wrong with Rauch and Brewster’s work whatsoever, just… an odd choice.
Overall, Batman and Harley Quinn is a fine and fun romp.
WORTH PAYING: Full price… especially if you’re an old school B:TAS fan.
WORTH MAKING TOYS: Pretty sure DC Direct has got you covered. There is an early credit and end credits scene.
Batman and Harley Quinn will be released August 15 on Digital HD and August 29 on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Deluxe Giftset, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD.
That’s it for now. Back to toy stuff soon! Be seeing you! RANDY
I’ve been waiting to see Atomic Blonde since the first trailer hit a few months ago. Never get tired of seeing a new, kick-ass female action star-and Charlize Theron delivers. Just watch that first hallway fight in the trailer. I’ll wait…
Notice anything? No. Cuts. I can dig that!
Thanks to AMC Theaters Stubs program, I managed an early peek at the film, opening July 28th in the US.
Atomic Blonde is a throwback to 80’s spy thrillers, a trip through the twisty espionage world led by Charlize Theron, who comes ready to win-on her terms. This is John LeCarre by way of John Wick.
So Atomic Blonde has been advertised as being a new John Wick with a female lead. Between the long-take action scenes shown and being directed by David Leitch, co-director of JW, it’s understandable and makes sense for marketing. But this isn’t some kind of knock-off action film, but a different way to tell a spy thriller.
Taking place in Berlin in the late 80’s, we get to go back to a “classic” time of secret agents vying for control of secrets for their respective countries’ Good. It is a twisty tale, making you question everyone involved and their motives, just as a good spy movie should be. But how it is presented is what makes it the most interesting.
M16 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) isn’t Jason Bourne, Jack Ryan, James Bond, or any other of her male movie spy counterparts. She’s a cipher that takes the length of the film to start to understand who she is. I found that refreshing. Lorraine’s there with agendas upon agendas, constantly having to re-evaluate how to complete here mission and stay alive. Theron does an excellent job at cold & aloof, without feeling dull. It’s the way she keeps herself alive, only occasionally letting it down, regretting it almost immediately. There’s a history of her character that comes out in these moments, showing how much she’s given up as an intelligence agent and survivor.
I found myself having moments that reminded of the movie TINKER TAILER SOLDIER SPY, which I find one of the best classic spy thrillers of recent years. Not comparing them, per se; just reminded me of some of the spycraft.
That’s not to say there isn’t any action here. Director Leitch, as he did with Keanu Reeves, uses Charlize Theron’s physical abilities to tailor the fighting to her. And Theron is more than up for it! The trailers and “Chapters” released show a great deal of the action, so I’d avoid them if you want the full surprise & enjoyment. But the in-close, visceral hand-to-hand combat scenes are excellent, showing both the expertise of those fighting and the toll it takes on them. There’s one action sequence in particular that is brutal and constant and reaches a point of being funny… then does a call-back! The cost of this kind of combat is not ignored, which is such a rare thing in so many films today. You see the amount of damage she takes after so much fighting.
By going a different route in telling the story, it comes down to choices, both within and in the making of the film. Do you go for highlighting the action over the spy story or do you have intrigue over action? I think the film does a balancing act between the two. It doesn’t sacrifice action for the on-going intrigue, and keeps the action well within the scope of the story.
The supporting cast are a great mix between older characters actors (Toby Jones, John Goodman, James Faulkner) and younger blood (James McAvoy , Sofia Boutella ). They are great at representing the changing of the guard at that time. The setting, in both time and city, gives the movie an energy & rock n’ roll vibe, right down to the soundtrack. McAvoy seems to reveal in the fun sleaziness of David Percival.
I thought it a little odd at the fact that the only two major women characters in the movie seem to spend time alone always in lingerie. But with Theron as both star and producer, I hope that was a decision she was part of.
Atomic Blonde is a good place for a both action and thinking. Between the story and the structure, I’m thinking a second viewing will be necessary. Some have said it is convoluted, but I had no problem, as you just commit a little extra to following along.
And I’m really hoping Charlize Theron will be back for further adventures of Lorraine Broughton! I’ll keep a glass chilled glass of Stoli ready for you.
WORTH PAYING: Evening Prices… especially if you’re looking for something classic told a new way.
WORTH MAKING TOYS: With her several different outfits and weapons, I think a 12” figure from Hot Toys would be excellent!
NOTE: There are no post-credit scenes
That’s it for now. Back to toy stuff shortly! Be seeing you! RANDY
This is the Full Ceremony!!! Filmed at TCL Chinese Theatre July 18, 2017. Speeches by: Clark Gregg, Todd McFarlane, Chadwick Boseman, Kevin Smith, and Kevin Fiege, Presented by: Legion MCheck out & preview songs on “The Geek Girl EP” here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/realistikk4Check out my column on Action Figure Times! http://www.aftimes.com
It’s finally here! San Diego Comic Con, the Mecca of all things geek, has begun, kicked off with an amazing Previews Night. A flood of reporters, photographers, and fans lined up outside of the convention center to get an early sneak peek of the latest their favorite brands have to offer. And while the wait on line may have been long, it was completely worth it for many fans. Between the eagerness of reporters and photographers to get the newest scoop, to the fans dressed as their favorite sci-fi and fantasy characters, the level of excitement that SDCC Previews Night generates is unmatched. Everyone who attended got the latest news on their favorite toys, comics, movies, television shows, and more. That includes a sneak peek of what’s to come for Mezco Toyz.
The positive feedback towards our own Sneak Peeks during Previews Night was overwhelming. Getting to see the initial reactions from fans first hand is a rare treat. We’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth (#3445) during Previews Night.
San Diego Comic-Con has officially kicked off! This year, Hot Toys is ecstatic to participate with our official distributor Sideshow Collectibles and bringing over 100 highly detailed and highly movie-accurate collectibles with half of them unveil to the world for the first time ever!
With Marvel Studio’s Thor: Ragnarok being eagerly awaited by fans, Hot Toys is excited to firstly unveil the amazing new 1/6th scale collectible figures of Thor, Hulk, Loki, Hela and Valkyrie! Sporting new looks and equipment, the mighty Thor and incredible Hulk are sure to make a spectacular scene together with the fan favorite Loki ,the dangerously powerful Hela and the newly introduced Valkyrie!
What’s more, world debut of Justice League 1/6th scale collectible figure are expected to strike a pose on stage! Hot Toys is thrilled to unite the superheroes together and present a global first showcase of the incredible 1/6th scale collectible figures of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborgalong with the highly detailed 1/6th scale Batmobile with enhanced weaponry!
As one of the most iconic and influential Sci-Fi film series of all times, Star Wars, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Hot Toys is proud to celebrate this milestone with the world debut of stunning new collectible figures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Emperor Palpatine from Return of the Jedi and Grand Moff Tarkin from A New Hope! These remarkable 1/6th scale collectible figures will surely make Star Wars fans elated with joy!
In addition to all of the above amazing productions, we are also showing an array of brand new 1/6th collectible figures from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, AVP 2 and Back to the Future II!
Funko is excited to announce Netflix’s Original Series
Stranger Things is coming soon to Mystery Minis!
The first series includes several characters from the hit television show.
You’ll find a few different versions of Eleven, and of course she’s
joined by her friends Mike, Dustin, and Lucas.
Joyce and Hopper join the kids too, as well as Nancy, Barb,
the terrifying Demogorgan and many more!
Collect them all this fall, but in the meantime don’t forget to catch up on season 1
of Stranger Things on Netflix before season 2 premieres this fall!
Please Note: Final Images Coming Soon.
Coming in September!
Don’t forget the exclusives!
Eleven, Joyce with axe, and Dr. Brenner available only at Hot Topic!
Eleven underwater, Upside-Down Will and Mr. Clarke are only at Target!
Eleven in hospital gown, Steve and Upside-Down Barb exclusively at GameStop!
Supercute Plush: Stranger Things
Stranger Things gets Super Cute!
Collect your favorite characters as cuddly plush from
Funko and Netflix’s original series Stranger Things.
This plush series features two different versions of the mysterious Eleven,
one complete with an Eggo, the other in her notable blonde wig.
Mike, Will, Lucas, Dustin and Barb also take shape as Supercute Plush.
And you’ve never seen a Demogorgan this cuddly!
Please Note: Final Images Coming Soon.
Coming this Fall!
Pop! Television: Stranger Things S2
In order to help the town of Hawkins, Indiana confront
the terrifying forces that are taking over their town, Funko is bringing in reinforcements with
another wave of Netflix’s Original Series Stranger Things Pop! figures!
Series 2 features a new version of Eleven, this time wearing a hospital gown,
Jonathan and his camera, Nancy taking charge with her trusty pistol,
the creepy Dr. Martin Brenner, and Jim Hopper with his coffee and donut.
Keep an eye out for the chase variant – Hopper without his hat – a 1-in-6 rarity!
Rounding out the series are Joyce and Hopper in the
hazmat suits needed to search for Will in the Upside-Down.
In Stores Now: Muppets, Caddyshack, Pirates and Back to the Future!
It’s the day after Independence Day, but it’s still a big day for independent retailers, as Diamond Select Toys is shipping a bunch of products to comic shops and specialty stores across the USA (and Canada)! Only available at these fine stores, the third series of Muppets Select action figures is out today, as well as new Vinimates vinyl figures from Back to the Future, Caddyshack and Pirates of the Caribbean! Find a store at comicshoplocator.com, or visit your favorite online retailer!
Muppets Select Action Figures Series 3 Asst.
A Diamond Select Toys Release! It makes us very happy to introduce to you the next assortment of Muppets Select action figures from DST! Muppet Show and Up Late star Miss Piggy comes with her precious dog Foo Foo and a Penguin, while Electric Mayhem bassist Floyd Pepper comes with guitarist/love interest Janice, and pianist Rowlf comes with Mahna Mahna and the certifiable Crazy Harry! Each multi-pack of 4-6” figures comes with accessories, including guitars, a movie camera, a detonator and plenty of sheet music! Packaged in display-ready Select packaging, with spine artwork for shelf display. Not available at Toys”R”Us! Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! Floyd & Janice (Item #MAY168099, SRP: $24.99) Rowlf, Crazy Harry & Mahna Mahna (Item #MAY168098, SRP: $24.99) Miss Piggy, Penguin & Foofoo (Item #MAY168097, SRP: $24.99) Back to the Future Vinimates Vinyl Figures
A Diamond Select Toys release! Great Scott! Marty McFly and Doc Brown have just jumped forward in time, and they can’t believe how much the Vinimates line has grown in such a short time! These 4-inch vinyl figures based on the first Back to the Future film are sculpted in the Minimates block-figure style, wearing their classic outfits and striking poses straight from the movie. Both feature articulated necks for further posing options. Each comes packaged in a full-color window box. Doc Vinyl Figure (Item #FEB172602, SRP: $9.99) Marty Vinyl Figure (Item #FEB172603, SRP: $9.99) Caddyshack Vinimates Vinyl Figures
A Diamond Select Toys Release! For years, fans of Caddyshack have been told they’ll get nothing and like it, but now they’re here – the first-ever collectible figures based on the classic comedy film! Wild and crazy Al Czervik and stuffy Judge Elihu Smails each measure about 4 inches tall, are sculpted in the block-figure style, and have poseable heads. Each comes packaged in a full-color window box. Al Czervik Vinyl Figure (Item #NOV162419, SRP: $9.99) Judge Smails Vinyl Figure (Item #NOV162420, SRP: $9.99)
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Vinimates Vinyl Figures
A Diamond Select Toys release! Vinimates ahoy! DST dives deeper into Pirates of the Cribbean with a line of Vinimates vinyl figures! These 4-inch vinyl figures of ack Sparrow, Barbossa and Salazar are based on the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, wearing outfits and striking poses straight from the movie, and are sculpted in the Minimates block-figure style. All feature articulated necks for further posing options. Each comes packaged in a full-color window box. Jack Sparrow Vinyl Figure (Item #FEB172608, SRP: $9.99) Barbossa Vinyl Figure (Item # FEB172609, SRP: $9.99) Salazar Vinyl Figure (Item #FEB172610, SRP: $9.99)
Find a store near you at comicshoplocator.com!