“Batman Vs Two Face” Review

 

 

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By
Drew Kiess

I fell in love with Adam West’s Batman later in my fandom than many. While West’s portrayal was responsible for an entire generation becoming Batman fans for the first time, what West did for me was teach me how versatile the Caped Crusader could be. In 2016, seeing Adam West (along with Burt Ward and Julie Newmar) return to his classic role was an absolute joy, and the film itself was ridiculously entertaining, even if it was flawed in some ways.

When Adam West passed away, it struck a chord with me. This man had been responsible for bringing a character that has meant so much to me and has brought me a countless amount of joy to the mainstream. Before his passing, he was able to provide us with one final crusade: “Batman Vs Two-Face.”

In “Batman Vs Two-Face,” Adam West’s Batman is joined by Burt Ward’s Robin, Julie Newmar’s Catwoman, and William Shatner as the villainous Two-Face. While most of what we now consider the heavy hitters in Batman’s rogues gallery found their way onto the screen during the 1960s TV series, one notable exception has always been Two-Face, who starred only in one unused script. Harvey Dent, Gotham’s District Attorney and best friend to billionaire Bruce Wayne, is scarred by pure evil in a laboratory accident gone terribly wrong. The explosion turns Dent into the criminal known as Two-Face, and despite what Bruce Wayne believes to be a successful recovery, Harvey Dent’s scars are deeper than just the surface. With a crime wave indicating the involvement of a duality obsessed fiend, only Two-Face could be behind it. But could Harvey Dent truly be evil? Can the Dynamic Duo stop this crime spree in Gotham? (Tune in next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!)

The DC Animated films have been hit and miss lately. This was definitely a hit. Not only was it incredibly funny, it also had a surprising weight that pulled me into the film’s story. The casting of another 60s TV star in William Shatner as Harvey Dent was a stroke of brilliance, and he delivers with a voice performance that rivals any in these films. (His performance was reminiscent of the better moments of Tommy Lee Jones’ version in “Batman Forever.” Surprisingly, this version was less cartoonish.) Shatner pulled off a menacing Two-Face, playing the tongue-in-cheek nature of this universe with ease, while providing a tragic weight to Harvey Dent that is unexpected in connection with the 60s TV show.

Adam West’s performance was everything you would expect it to be. This story gave him a terrific send-off, allowing him to play both the heroic and inspiring Batman in some of the film’s more heavy moments, to the more comedic tones that this version of the character requires. As always, this was what made Adam West and this character such a great marriage: he could play every tone with the same amount of sincerity and commitment. You are always sure about two things with Adam West’s Batman around. Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot that he’ll bring to justice, and that Batman is always there watching out for us when we need him most.

The cast of characters in “Batman Vs Two-Face” is deep. If a viewer can go in not knowing what villains cameo and have major roles outside of the titular character, they can find themselves enjoying the revolving door of references to episodes of the TV series. On top of the revolving door of villainy, be on the lookout for some hilarious shout-outs to various Batman pop-culture moments that add flavor to this bountiful Bat-feast.

If “Return of the Caped Crusaders” served as a sequel to “Batman-The Movie,” then “Batman Vs Two-Face” closes out Adam West’s Batman trilogy triumphantly, providing us with humor, action, and a big bucket of heart. Director Rick Morales’ obvious love for the TV show shines through with every scene. It is a miracle to take a world and a style and bring it back to us 50 years after it was popular and do it so well, and to provide us all with one last adventure with our Bright Knight.

I would recommend buying two copies (one for each face), and enjoying this conclusion to Adam West’s Batman trilogy. I watched this with a smile on my face from beginning to end and am looking forward to watching it again. And for those of you out there who have yet to discover Adam West for yourselves, please take it from me: when you learn to love the goofiness and the colors and the biffs, booms, and pows, you will also find the heart, love, and unwavering goodness that was Adam West and his Batman. I think we could all agree that the world needs a Bright Knight now more than ever.

 

3.5 Bats out of 4

 

 

 

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Shanlian on Batman Episode 100 wsg Mayor Robert Garcia

 

Shanlian on Batman has reached a real milestone here! This is, as the title reads, episode 100! Justin, Kyle, and Tom talk about how they feel about reaching 100 episodes and what they plan on doing in the future with the show, After that Shanlian on Batman talks with the Mayor of Long Beach California, Robert Garcia. Mayor Garcia is a huge comic book fan as well as a Zack Snyder fan. The guys talk about growing up with comics and how Batman and other DC characters helped along the way. They talk about how great it would be to get Mayor Garcia cast as the Mayor of Gotham City. Also what kind of books Mayor Garcia still keeps current with, and you will be surprised. Thank you so much for sticking with Shanlian on Batman for 100 episodes and the guys look forward to bringing you 100 more!

Episode 98 Shanlian On Batman

 

 

Episode 98 is live and on this episode we countdown our favorite Batman Animated Films.

Where does Batman: Mask of the Phantasm rank with us? What about the recent Lego Batman Movie? Was our number one animated film your number one animated film? Let us know where you ranked some of your favorite animated films. Make sure you let us know your favorite animated films and tweet them to us our send us a post on Facebook!

Sidenote* Justin Wants to personally apologize for his microphone that echoes throughout this episode. He will have all the kinks worked out for the next episodes to come! Hope you enjoy!!

 

 

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“Warrior”, “The Accountant” Director to Helm Suicide Squad Sequel

by Andrew Kiess

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We have been hearing for some time now that a sequel to Suicide Squad was high on Warner Bros.’s priority list, and after announcements for projects that will take place after the sequel, it only seemed natural that we would be getting news on a director soon.

After several rumors near-misses, we finally have our director for when the worst heroes ever return to the bigscreen. Gavin O’Connor, according to Deadline, will be that director, all that’s left to do is to agree on salary. O’Connor will rejoin his Jane Got A Gun and Warrior screenwriter Anthony Tambakis to tell the continuing stories of Amanda Waller’s group of misfits starring Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Jared Leto as the Joker, among the the other presumed returning cast.

No release date has been announced for Suicide Squad 2, but reports have been circling that production could begin as early as next year, meaning the movie could hit theaters as early as 2019.

O’Connor has been a personal choice of mine to helm a comic book movie for sometime. He is still currently attached to the Green Hornet reboot, but no news has come of that recently. One would imagine this would spell the end of that project for him.

Warrior and Miracle are among some of my favorite films of the 21st century, and The Accountant was a huge hit for Warners. Jane Got A Gun was a film saved from oblivion by O’Connor, which, despite the critical drumming, had some terrific character beats. There is no question that O’Connor is talented, and I am ecstatic to see what he comes up with for this franchise.

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Shanlian On Batman Episode 97

Shanlian on Batman is back and the guys are talking DC news. Hang out with Justin, Kyle, and Tom as they go through the talks of not 1 but 2 new Joker based films and much more. For all of your SoB needs follow us on Twitter twitter.com/ShanlianOnBat and visit our website shanlianonbatman.com/ thank you so much for listening!

Episode 96 “Batman and Harley Quinn” Review

 

Episode 96 is in the bag! On this episode we talk the Casey Affleck news, Wonder Woman surpassing Spiderman at the domestic box office and then we get to the meat of this episode. Reviewing the new DC Animated film “Batman and Harley Quinn.” Make sure that you find time to listen to this episode, it is a great one!

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Elseworlds Joker Origin Film In Development

by Andrew Kiess

joker

According to a new report from Deadline, a Joker movie is in development with Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover in talks to co-write with Scott Silver (The Fighter) and direct, with legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese to produce. The film will reportedly take place in the 1980s and have the feel of an 80s crime drama, like the kind Scorsese is famous for.

The film will not feature Jared Leto as the lead actor, but the report did confirm he will return to the role for both Suicide Squad 2 and the Harley Quinn spinoff (presumably Gotham City Sirens). This film will focus on telling an origin for the character before he became the Clown Prince of Crime.

This new film will not fall under the DC Films label run by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg. This new label, yet to be named, will provide Warner Bros. an opportunity to tell stories outside of the continuity of the connected universe films.

I have some misgivings about the prospect of a Joker origin film. I don’t see the necessity of it and risks over saturating the market by double-dipping on a character in the same medium for mass audiences. This does not mean that I do not think it will be good–it has a great chance to be just that–but I would prefer Warner Bros. to remain committed to the shared universe of DC Films by supporting the filmmakers and producers involved within it. With the upcoming launch of the DC streaming service, it makes me wonder why Warners wouldn’t use that as a place to tell this story.

But, it appears that this film is on its way, and so, as a fan of these characters, all I can do is wait and hope that it turns out well.

 

Source: Deadline

 

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Batman and Harley Quinn Review

by Andrew Kiess

Many Batman fans are in agreement that Batman: The Animated Series is among the greatest comic book adaptations out there. For many of us, it has defined the character of Batman and his supporting cast. So, when co-creator Bruce Timm returns to the style and characters that first captured our imaginations, only greatness can happen, right?

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Batman and Harley Quinn is the latest DC animated feature film to get the one-night only theater treatment before being released on demand, following the success of The Killing Joke and Return of the Caped Crusaders. While I enjoyed Crusaders, neither of these one-night only showings featured what I considered to be the “best” of the recent animated films (I thought Judas Contract and Justice League Dark were fantastic), I was still excited to see what looked to be a long lost episode of The New Batman Adventures. What I got fell short of my expectations.

The opening few scenes of the films did not help my perception of the project overall. The animation looked cheap and the characters inconsistent. As the movie went on, the animation improved, but that’s when the story developed.

The plot of the film centers around Poison Ivy (voiced by Paget Brewster) and Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson) plotting to recreate the event that turned Alec Holland into Swamp Thing on a global scale, transforming all humanity into The Green. Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (Loren Lester) enlist the help of a reformed Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch) to track down Ivy and save the world.

On the surface, this still feels like a new episode of Batman. But as has been the case with many of the latest DC animated film, there seemed to be an imperative to “adult it up.” In theory, I don’t think this is necessarily a good or bad thing. It worked extraordinarily well in both The Judas Contract and Justice League Dark, but failed miserably with movies like The Killing Joke and Assault on Arkham. Harley Quinn is no stranger to being sexualized, and when done right it can create empathy for the character as someone who has overcome objectification. When done wrong, it just feeds into the objectification that the character (and, let’s face it, the comic book industry as a whole) has been fighting against.

We meet Harley working as a risqué waitress, where she beats up a customer for attempting to grope her. When Nightwing later questions her about it, she explains that it’s the only job she can get due to her past with The Joker being on her record. Instead of this being a moment to create empathy, it is followed up by a ridiculous scene where it is not-so-subtly implied that her an Nightwing, to quote Marv from Sin City, “do the nasty.” From the way the scene is drawn to the absolute lack of any reason for this to be in the film completely disservice the character, and is, in one man’s opinion, the opposite of “adult”. It is pure adolescent fantasy, with no real appreciation for storytelling.

To make matters worse, the rest of the humor in the film is bizarrely sophomoric. There is not much I can write that would fully explain just how off-putting a fart joke is in a movie that is trying to convince me that it is an “adult comedy.” A ten minute scene in a karaoke bar with ridiculous dancing and singing did nothing but add to the ever-changing tone. The story progresses to an inevitable appearance by Alec Holland himself, which was simply the final disappointment in a long line of disappointments.

Perhaps I am being too harsh. I have seen several positive reactions and some middle of the road reactions from many outlets online. But for me, Batman and Harley Quinn was a failure on every level and never engaged me for a single moment. As always, I would recommend you judge for yourself if you are interested in seeing it, but I think this will join The Killing Joke as the second of the DC animated films to not have a home on my shelf.

 

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