Worth The Fuss? Batman & Harley Quinn

Worth The Fuss? Batman & Harley Quinn

When people ask me who my favourite comic book character is, I say Deadpool. But who was my first love? Batman. Honestly, I think I might ever prefer Batman over Deadpool – I KNOW. For years, I’ve always raced to the cinema to see the latest Batman flick and I’ve spent days tracking down the animated films online. In fact, I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve seen all Batman animated films. Even when I was wrapped up in the South Dublin world and rocking slouchy Abercrombie hoodies with knee high Uggs, DC Animated Universe was my guilty pleasure. While I can still be seen in the odd pair of Uggs, I’m more confident in my love for comic book films. So when a friend of mine invited me to see Batman & Harley Quinn after winning tickets from Big Bang Comics out in Dublin’s Dundrum Town Centre, you bet I said yes instantly.

When I first heard that Batman & Harley Quinn was being mad, I assumed that Kevin Conroy and Tara Strong would team up again. However, Tara wasn’t coming back. Instead it was The Big Bang‘s Melissa Rauch.

Before I dive into my thoughts, let me fill you in on what Batman & Harley Quinn is about. A global catastrophe is being set up by Harley’s best buddy Poison Ivy, who wants to turn the whole world into plants – plant people, plant cats, plant rats, plant EVERYTHING. Batman and Nightwing need to find a way to track down Ivy and her new partner in crime Jason Woodrue, aka The Floronic Man. And the best way to track down a gal? Find her best pal, Harls.

I was so excited to see this film, but as I was walking into the cinema I was worried. I walked into The Killing Joke, which was released in 2016, thinking it was going to be fantastic. While they did stick to the story, they added in a ridiculous sexual story between Batman and Batgirl. I was really hoping they wouldn’t do something so silly in Batman & Harley Quinn.

batman harley q

Well, they kind of did. BUT it didn’t take over the whole film, like it did in The Killing Joke. Batman & Harley Quinn was a new storyline to fans, but The Killing Joke was a loved classic that, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been toyed around with so much. I’m all for adding your own creative flair to classic stories – but don’t add a silly sex story for the sake of being edgy! In Batman & Harley Quinn, there was no sex story. There was sex, but no story. It didn’t take over the plot but did add a comedic flair to elements of the film.

Throughout the film, there are some amazing moments. What really added to it was that the cinema was full of fans who laughed and cried at the same moments. DC know their audience and they know that the audience who went to see this film had grown up with Batman The Animated Series. There were so many sexual innuendos but also a few throwbacks to the not just TAS but to Batman from the 1960s. Honestly, I think they added in one whole scene just for the late, great Adam West.

I also have to mention Melissa voicing Harley. Not going to lie, it took me a while to get used to hearing her as one of my favourite DC women. That said, after her first few lines, I liked her. In one of her first scenes, Harley fights Nightwing is an epic and hilarious brawl. Hearing her voice go from gentle, calm Harley to screeching, angry Harley is impressive. As it is for anyone who takes on an iconic character, it’s not exactly easy. However, I miss Tara’s voice as Harley and am baffled as to why she was replaced. What went on during the production meeting? Was there a clash? Did DC just want to try something new? WHAT HAPPENED?

A tweet posted by Tara back in April is quite telling. She wrote, “Any actor says they’re happy being replaced is full of [sh*]. You put your [heart] into everything, but NEVER upset [at] new performers & truly wish ’em well.[sic]” Fans immediately suspected that she was talking about Melissa replacing her – and to be honest, I would be upset too. It’s clear she’s not upset at Melissa but at the situation. Tara has worked with Kevin on various Batman projects since 1997. Having originally voiced Batgirl, it wasn’t until 2011 when she first voiced Harley in the video game Batman: Arkham City.

But can Tara be annoyed by that she was “replaced”? That depends – if she was approached before the production and casting team asked Melissa, then no. If she wasn’t told jack, then yeah – I would be RAGING. When Tara took over from Arleen Sorkin, the original voice and the inspiration for Harley Quinn, Arleen praised her fellow DCAU actor. In an interview with Batman Online, Arleen said she was happy to be replaced by Tara. “Whenever I would work with her, I’d marvel at how talented she is,” she said.

Since it aired in cinemas for the film’s special one night showing, Tara has not commented on what she makes of Batman & Harley Quinn or if she’s even seen it. However, my man Kevin took to Twitter to say he was “really pleased that everyone seemed to get the comedy” they went for. And for sure, everyone in the cinema with us that night definitely got the comedy.

ivy jason woodrue

So, was it worth the fuss? Honestly, yeah. Fair enough, I’m a little biased as I’m obsessed with Kevin Conroy, but I really did have such a good time watching the film. There were some cringey moments but wasn’t The Animated Series a little bit cringe too? I’m definitely going to be adding Batman & Harley Quinn to my movie collection.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the one night only showing of Batman & Harley Quinn, you can buy the film online now for €11.99 from iTunes or wait until August 25th to snag the DVD or Blu-Ray – some which come with a Harley Quinn figure!

Edit: After a week, I thought about it and to be honest, Batman & Harley Quinn is NOT worth the hype. DC has hyped up it’s films over the last few years, from their animated films to the live action blockbusters. For instance, Batman V Superman – I was so BORED during the first half of the film. I actually fell asleep while watching. My boyfriend at the time had to shake me awake. And don’t get me started on Suicide Squad. In my opinion, DC needs to calm down on the promo. If they keeping hyping up every film, we’re going to continue to expect amazing things. Take it handy and let us be surprised by what is created.

batman harley nightwing kiss

Advertisements

My Favourite Trailers From SDCC 2017

My Favourite Trailers From SDCC 2017

It’s one of the biggest events for any pop culture fan. Comics, films, tv shows and more – San Diego Comic Con is mecca for us comic book fans. Someday, I’ll fly over and get the chance to experience it.

But for now, I can enjoy all the dozens of trailers that have come out for upcoming films and tv shows. Last year, I listed my favourite trailers that were released and this year there are SO many more to pick from. Narrowing my choices down to ten in TV and then in film was really tough – there are just too many amazing shows and films. Have a gander at what I picked and let me know what trailer was your favourite!

TV Shows – Top 10

10. Star Trek: Discovery

One word: Klingons. I’m so EXCITED for Star Trek: Discovery to land on Netflix. While I slowly warmed up to the first two films, I’m seriously buzzed for the TV show. The visuals look amazing and the colour aesthetic draws me in instantly. Not only does star Trek: Discovery look exciting but it looks pretty terrifying. Unknown horrors in space? I don’t know about you, but I’ll most likely be shitting myself with fright.

It’s not known when Star Trek: Discovery will land on Netflix for Ireland and the UK, but most likely it will be around October 2017.

9. Westworld

Westworld season one had me hooked. I thought it was so interesting and was a great take on the original 1970s film. With the reminders from the last series still dotted around the theme park, the trailer begins with misery – death, struggle, more death. The second series’ story begins just after the first season’s end as the androids have taken over and are killing all who are against them. But will the be stopped?

Westworld returns to HBO in 2018.

8. Preacher

I’ve never actually watched Preacher – but now I’m going to binge it. Irish lass Ruth Negga stars as the strong Tulip O’Hare in the TV adaption of the comic book and she should be reason enough to watch Preacher. However, while the show isn’t a straight adaption of the book, the second trailer looks hilarious and very interesting. Hello, a deadpan German assassin in a snazzy white suit? I’m sold.

Preacher returns to AMC on July 14th, 2017.

7. Gotham

Since Gotham first aired, I’ve been a fan. I know many people have dropped out from watching it over the years but I’m still hooked. Batman was the first superhero I loved and Catwoman was the first villain I loved. So you can imagine how excited I am to see these characters finally appear in Gotham. The kids are growing up – a first kiss will now be a first fight as Selina becomes Catwoman and Bruce is Batman. There are also far more villains popping up, and, if the rumours are true, some favourites are coming back.

Gotham returns to Fox on September 28th, 2017.

6. American Horror Story

There wasn’t a whole lot in this teaser trailer – but perhaps a metaphor? A lone blue clown stands out a sea of red clowns, clones of each other. Is that a sacrifice in the middle? The seventh series is said to be based on the recent 2016 election, which resulted in a TV star becoming the United States President. One thing is for sure, as with all other series of American Horror Story, it’s going to be nice and creepy.

American Horror Story returns to FOX on September 5th, 2017.

5. Stranger Things

Stranger Things took over the world in 2016 – I don’t think I knew someone who hadn’t watched it. Most people I knew watched it in a week. This proves how gripping Stranger Things was. The mystery of where was the Upside Down and what happened to 11 had us hooked. Of course, we were very interested in where Barb went, which is said to be explained in season 2. But as this trailer shows, there are a lot more concerns coming to Hawkins. Will has returned but even more stranger things (lol) are happening in the town. Watch the trailer to see who returns to the show.

Stranger Things lands on Netflix on Halloween, October 31st 2017. What a perfect date!

4. Marvel’s The Defenders

Jessica Jones has teamed up with Iron Fist, Daredevil and her pal Luke Cage to fight the bad guys together. One bad guy in particular wants to tear Manhattan to the ground – Alexandra, played by Sigourney Weaver. She is training Elektra to destroy the city and fight against the new team of heroes. I’ve loved both Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, they’re two of my favourite Netflix shows. I also really enjoyed Luke Cage and Daredevil, so you can imagine how excited I am to see the whole team come together! Like in most other members of the Marvel family, there are plenty of cheap shots and jokes thrown around to keep us entertained during the madness and destruction. This will definitely be a show to binge watch when it’s released.

Marvel’s The Defenders lands on Netflix on August 18th, 2017.

3. Arrow

I love Arrow. I’m obsessed. Watching this trailer reminded me of how horrible the season finale of the last series was – Oliver on a boat with his son, facing off against Prometheus – and then everyone he loved dies. Half-way into the trailer, the badass starts. Arrow appears to be going back to it’s dark roots, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Arrow returns to The CW with season 6 on October 12th, 2017.

2. The Flash

My heart is breaking! The last season finale was a tough one to watch. There were so many shocking moments, I gasped far more than a fish out of water. The next season’s trailers shows how the group are dealing with Barry’s departure as they try to bring him back – and then they actually need to bring him back. Kid Flash and Vibe are not enough for their next victim. They need to bring The Flash back, they need him to defeat their next villain. But how will they bring him back? More importantly, how is Iris so chill?

The Flash returns to The CW on October 10th, 2017.

1. Riverdale

I’ve become obsessed with this show since I found it on Netflix. Riverdale has seriously gripped me. Like many others, I was familiar with the Archie comics and only last summer I read Afterlife with Archie written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, with art by Francesco Francavilla. I loved the spooky twist on it and went on to read the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, also written by Roberto. In the final episode of Riverdale season one, there were many witchy hints that perhaps the Spellmans might make an apperance in town. However, this trailer was dark – darker than the previous season was. Season 2 is going to revolve around who shot Fred Andrews as Archie prepares himself to be the next victim.

Riverdale will return to The CW in America and will air on Ireland and the UK’s Netflix in 2018.

 

Films – Top 10

10. Rocko’s Modern Life

This is one for all the 90s babies out there. Rocko’s Modern Life was one of my favourite shows growing up as a kid – and now he’s back! Just like Crash Bandicoot has been thrown into the 21st century, so has Rocko and his pals. They all have to adapt to modern culture in the 2000s as technology grows bigger and bigger each day. What I like the most about the trailer is that they have taken the piss out of our want for the next great iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. Maybe this TV film might make us reign in our technology obsession? Probably not.

Rocko’s Modern Life will air on Nickelodeon in 2018.

9. Jigsaw

He’s back! But how can that be? Didn’t he die? Isn’t he gone? Jigsaw’s trailer left me feeling very curious. I’m a sucker for gore horror films, and this one does not disappoint. A lot of cheesy jokes are made and it appears to be very gruesome. When it comes to films in the Saw franchise, not a lot can be said. It’s exactly what you expect it to be – blood, limbs flying, terror and more blood. But who is the revamped Jigsaw? Is he a copy cat or the real deal? Definitely on my list for 2017.

Jigsaw hits Irish cinemas on October 27th, 2017 – just in time for Halloween.

8. Pacific Ring: Uprising

Is this an ad for the new iPhone or something? I’m almost influenced to buy a Jaegar and take on the bad guys. The start of the trailer is very calm and almost majestic as a sooth voice tries to convince you to join the fight – but as the last ten seconds approach, the real awesomeness starts. I loved the first film and honestly, I can’t wait to see Uprising.

Pacific Ring: Uprising hits Irish cinemas on February 23rd, 2018.

7. Bright

Who doesn’t love a Will Smith movie? (We won’t mention El Suicide Squado) This time around, Will is returning to a role he best suits – a buddy cop. Bad Guys II is one of my favourite films to re-watch and Bright might be another one to add to the list. The jokes and the banter is typical Smith style and it’s one of the best plots I’ve heard of in a long time. An LAPD officer fights crime against humans and other worldly beings with an orc (yes, an orc) beside him as his partner. But when they discover a girl has stolen a magic wand, all hell breaks loose. What I really like about this film is the race divide – humans and other worlds. Smith’s department takes on an orc as part of their diversity hire to help break down the barrier between “them and us.” It’s a topic that is still hotly talked about, especially with the recent tragedies around the world today. I think this film will not only be hilarious but will also make us think about how we treat others.

Bright hits Netflix in December 2017.

6. The Shape Of Water

As with every Guillermo del Toro film, the visual aspects of this film are beautiful. As the trailer progressed, I became more and more intrigued. I’m obsessed with water and how graceful bodies can look as they move in it. I’m also scared of how scary water can be. This film’s trailer captures both the beauty and the terror of water. The Shape Of Water is a stunning story of a mute worker bonding with a water creature and how their relationship grows. Set during the Cold War, this film captures both the nostalgia of days gone by with the modern way of living with unknown wonders discovered every day.

The Shape Of Water hits Irish cinemas on December 8th, 2017.

 

5. The Lego Ninjago Movie

From the same hilarious team that made The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman movie, The Lego Ninjaho Movie is born. This film is definitely appealing to the younger market – but I’ve the mind of a 12-year-old so it’s right up my alley. I love how wonderfully cliché it is yet how hilarious some of the gags are.

The Lego Ninjago Movie hits Irish cinemas on October 13th, 2017.

4. Ready Player One

Okay, not going to lie, but I didn’t think this movie was going to be great. But this trailer proves me wrong – it’s a pop culture goldmine. From The Iron Giant to Freddy Kruger, there are so many loved (and feared) characters that we remember from our childhood. Stephen Spielberg has created a film that I think might be one of my favourites in 2018.

Ready Player One hits Irish cinemas on March 30th, 2018.

3. Deathnote

 

I only watched the anime series recently (I know, I’m a sham!) and I would say it’s in my top five anime’s I’ve ever watched. I found out shortly after I finished the show that they would be making a film adaption. Deathnote is, and probably will always be, one of the most well-known anime series in the world. So it was a no brainer that they would eventually turn it into a live-action film! Their choice to make it an English version instead of a Japanese made film did make me question what it would be like. However, from this trailer, I’m pretty pleased. I was most concerned about how they would show Ryuk – but with Willem Defoe voicing him, I knew he would bring the character to life. It almost takes away from Light’s badly dyed hair.

Deathnote lands on Netflix in Ireland and the UK on August 25th, 2017.

2. Justice League

Now with more Wonder Woman. But doesn’t she kick ass? Those moves. I like that there is a lot more of Cyborg, too, as he was one of my favourite DC characters as a kid. I really like how the well the music and the sound goes with the visuals. Basically, I LOVE this trailer. It shows more than ever before and is a lot darker (but with one or two jokes, of course). From this trailer and how well Wonder Woman did in cinemas, Marvel’s time is over and it’s now time for DC.

Justice League hits Irish cinemas on November 17th, 2017.

1. Thor: Ragnorak

I used to be a massive Iron Man fan – now I’m a huge fan of Thor. In this trailer, we can see just how funny he is and how his character has changed from the first film. Character development done right, guys, done so right. Another aspect of the trailer is the electric 80s music that is playing. With films like Guardians Of The Galaxy receiving such huge praise for it’s soundtrack, I would love to see more Marvel films do the same.  This trailer is exciting from the get go and leaves you wanting way more – exactly what a trailer should do. Also, Thor and Hulk’s conversation at the end is just gas.

Thor: Ragnorok hits Irish cinemas on October 27th, 2017.