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Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem this August

1000518597BRDLEFOOPT_78d653The Dark Knight isn’t seeking tricks or treats when Gotham City’s most lethal villains take to the streets on Halloween night in the newest DC Comics animated film – Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem.  Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the original movie arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 18, 2015 for a $19.98 SRP, and via Digital HD on August 4.

It’s Halloween night in Gotham City and Scarecrow, Clayface, Silver Banshee and Solomon Grundy have hit the streets to stir up trouble! Batman is on the trail of the city’s spookiest villains while, further complicating matters, the clown prince of crime himself, The Joker, is ruling over this mysterious crew of misfit criminals. It’s up to the Dark Knight to stop this gruesome gang before they unleash “digital laughter,” a computer virus that’s part of a diabolical plan to jeopardize all of Gotham City’s vital technology. Batman, Green Arrow, Cyborg, Nightwing and Red Robin must combine forces to battle these baddies and save the city.

The stellar voice cast features Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins) as Batman, Troy Baker (Batman: Assault on Arkham) as Joker, Khary Payton (Teen Titans Go!) as Cyborg, Chris Diamantopoulos (Episodes, Silicon Valley) as Green Arrow, Will Friedle (Batman Beyond, Boy Meets World) as Nightwing, Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10) as Red Robin, Kari Wuhrer (Sharknado 2, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) as Silver Banshee, Fred Tatasciore (LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham) as Solomon Grundy, Brian T. Delaney (Mad, Halo 3 & 4) as Scarecrow, Dave B. Mitchell (World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor) as Clayface, Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) as Gogo Shoto, and Alastair Duncan (Mass Effect games, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) reprising his The Batman TV series role as Alfred.

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem DVD contains the following special features:

  • GOTHAM 2030: Designing a Future World – The artistic team responsible for bringing this future Gotham City to life will take you on an exploration of their creative process, from their earliest concept sketches through the final eye-popping landscapes. Welcome to a Gotham City of tomorrow!
  • Ten shorts from the popular DC Nation collection, including “SHAZAM! Courage,” “SHAZAM! Wisdom,” “SHAZAM! Stamina,” “Green Arrow: Onomotopoeia-Bot,” “Green Arrow: Brick,” “Green Arrow: Cupid,” “Deadman: Deadman Catch,” “Animal Man vs. Captain Cold,” “Animal Man vs. Black Manta” and “Riddler: Riddle Me This!”

LEGO DC Super Heroes – Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom!

LEGO_JL_DOOM_BD_OSLV_3D_1000524019-2DC Comics and LEGO fans can rejoice as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and The LEGO Group release their next animated feature, LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom! on Blu-rayT Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on August 25, 2015. The Blu-ray and DVD releases will include an exclusive Trickster LEGO Minifigure, while supplies last.

Crime is on the run as the newly formed Justice League keeps Metropolis safe and this makes evil genius Lex Luthor very unhappy. Together with Black Manta, Sinestro and a gang of ruthless recruits, Lex builds his own league and declares them the Legion of Doom. With this super powered team of terror and a plan to attack the top-secret government site, Area 52, can Lex finally be on the verge of victory? Sound the “Trouble Alert” and get ready for the bricks to fly when Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League face off against the world’s greatest Super-Villains! It’s the next all-new original movie from LEGO and DC Comics.

The cast of LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom!  features some of the top voiceover artists in the industry, led by Justice League heroes Troy Baker (Batman), Nolan North (Superman), Josh Keaton (Green Lantern), Khary Payton (Cyborg), James Arnold Taylor (The Flash) and Grey Griffin (Wonder Woman, Lois Lane). The Legion of Doom includes Mark Hamill (Trickster, Sinestro), John DiMaggio (Lex Luthor, Joker), Kevin Michael Richardson (Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Black Manta), Tom Kenny (Penguin), Cree Summer (Cheetah) and Tony Todd (Darkseid). Dee Bradley Baker is both hero and villain as Martian Manhunter and Man-Bat.

LEGO® DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom! Special Features include:

  • Featurette – “Click, Zap, Boom! Creating the Sound Design” – This fun documentary goes behind the scenes with the talented sound design and foley team to explore how LEGO® sounds are created live on stage and then edited into the final movie.

Check Out the Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad castCheck out the first glimpse of Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn, Will Smith‘s Deadshot, Karen Fukuhara‘s Katana (there’s a surprise development!), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje‘s Killer Croc, Jai Courtney‘s Captain Boomerang, Joel Kinnaman‘s Rick Flagg and a few more folks.

Here’s also a look at Will Smith as Deadshot.

Deadshot

Suicide Squad releases on August 5, 2016.

Movie Review: Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts

batman-unlimited-logoSynopsis – Batman, with the help of the Flash, Green Arrow, Nightwing, and Red Robin, has to try to get to the bottom of the mysterious robotic animals attacking Gotham.

My Take – Just when you thought Batman was getting a bit too grim for kids, DC has come out with a much more family friendly version reminding you at time the 70s Super friends animated show. Luckily for us, the film strikes that perfect balance between being kid friendly yet still accessible & enjoyable to adults. It’s a sign of relieve as recent animated films from DC were so extra violent (which I don’t mind most of the times) that this toned down version still retains the fun element. DC has become increasingly more successful at gearing their content towards adults. Whether it is the gritty world of live action The Dark Knight or the even grittier CW show Arrow, it has all been for the grown ups. We ask though, what about the children? We forget that our favorite heroes are essentially adults wearing tights who admittedly don’t always have to be so dark. We were all kids at some point and were enamored with these fictional characters at one point or another. The ensemble cast chosen for this film can be considered to be a strange pairing.

BatmanUnlimited02For the good guys, you got Batman, Red Robin, Night Wing, Flash, and Green Arrow–who, we’d like to point out, is now referred to as Arrow. Two of those characters aren’t exactly straight from the streets of Gotham. It seems that DC is trying to bring these heroes together in different yet interesting ways, maybe even attempting to match Marvel’s ability to mix it up with no one batting an eye. Another pretty obvious reason to include Flash and Arrow is they both have popular television shows currently airing. Add Batman to the mix and you have DC’s most popular characters at the moment. If there is one thing that the shows have made apparent, it is that crossing into each others worlds is possible and will be occurring more often. It also makes sense that Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen would be at the same social gatherings since we all know they are both DC’s resident rich guys. The story is pretty simple, not great; it gives everyone something to do but don’t expect any sort of epic – when Gotham is plagued by mysterious crimes committed by an animal-themed villain squad composed of Silverback, Cheetah, Killer Croc and Man-Bat. Batman and other heroes including, Red Robin, Nightwing, Green Arrow and The Flash must band together to stop The Penguin from unveiling his evil plans. Like most of these animated films, the story is very much self-contained. The story plays out like a mystery that is simple enough for kids but at the same time still complicated enough that you won’t know the end game until, well the end. Each villain here is a good foil for our heroes, offering enough of a push back to be considered threats and having a cybernetic animal army is most certainly helpful. Backtracking to the kid-friendly and adult-enjoyable, it has plenty of laughs in there as well. It focuses on things that should be funny for all fans of these characters. Topped off by the running joke that Nightwing isn’t too fond of the Flash’s shenanigans.

Batman-Unlimited-Animal-Instincts940x400It is very smart in that way, if the Flash and Nightwing actually met, it realistically shows how the duo would react to each other. They are both roughly the same age in the film but are polar opposites in terms of personality. These small interactions between the cast stay true to the characters, thus creating a fun romp that doesn’t feel forced. There is also a lot of action, with very little violence. Now, that is something hard to accomplish, but necessary when trying to create a family friendly Batman film. Each one of our heroes has a specialty that is used in some way like Flash’s speed or Arrow’s archery skills to complete the task at hand. As he himself will let you know, Batman is Batman, so he is a bad ass, which is really nothing new. We older fans have been spoiled by getting so much content constantly geared toward us, with most of the DC animated films being more mature and serious in nature, so I’m happy to see content being created that embraces the fact there are fans of all ages who deserve content they can watch. These characters are versatile enough for lots of different unique approaches that respect them and provide great storytelling while appealing to different sorts of fans and sensibilities — and if you think Batman just can’t be done exceptionally well in a family friendly way and with more sense of humor, then I suggest you take a gander at Batman: The Brave and the Bold and even the old 1960s live-action TV show. On the whole, ‘Batman Unlimited:  Animal Instincts’ is fun-filled watch which aims to excite the child inside you yet respecting your adult age! Another flag of success for DC animated films.

Overall Rating: 8.2

Director – Butch Lukic
Starring (voices of) – Chris Diamantopoulos, Roger Craig Smith, Travis Willingham
Rated – PG
Run Time – 87 minutes

Batman: Arkham Knight’s “All Who Follow You” Trailer

Coming June 23, 2015, Batman: Arkham Knight is the epic conclusion to the Rocksteady Batman: Arkham Trilogy.

For the first time ever, watch Batman: Arkham Knight’s exciting new “Dual Play” mechanic in action as you switch seamlessly between The Dark Knight and his allies including Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman in free-flow combat.

With his back against the wall, Batman turns to his closest allies to help him save Gotham City from the clutches of Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight’s army. A familiar face also returns to give The Dark Knight a message he cannot ignore…

DC Comics and Warner Bros. Launch DC Super Hero Girls

DC Super Hero GirlsDC Comics has said for a while they were working on diversifying their line, the beginning of which we saw with the comics that will launch post Convergence. Now, along with Warner Bros., DC has announced a new universe called DC Super Hero Girls that will help “build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential.”

The release will be across platforms including digital content, television specials, made-for videos, publishing, toys, apparel and more. The partnerships include Random House Children’s Books, Mattel, and Lego (OMG I want Legos of this!).

The new line is focused on girls age 6-12 and focuses on female superheroes and super villains from the DC Comics universe during their “formative years.” Featuring a completely new artistic style and aesthetic, the line includes teenage versions of DC Comics’ icons such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more.

The initial launch will happen in the Fall 2015 and include an “immersive digital experience, original digital content and digital publishing.”

Mattel is helping work on the narrative creation, interactive digital components, and eventually a toy line will launch in 2016. This will include an action figure line, an area usually thought of for boys, and fashion dolls.

Random House will be creating books that help bring the world to life and the first will launch in Spring 2016. There will also be graphic novels from DC Comics.

Finally, Lego will be launching building sets based in this world (seriously can’t wait!).

Congrats to DC and Warner Bros. on this impressive initiative and launch and look forward to see what’s to come!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Officially Released

After a pirated copy was released online, Warner Bros. has decided to up the release date of the first teaser trailer for next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Originally it was to debut in theaters on Monday where individuals had to sign up to attend. Director Zack Snyder promises that those that do go will still see something special.

Justice League: Gods & Monsters Coming July 28

1000563530BRDBEAUTY_c81d1a96Witness a divergent reality where the Justice League protects the planet – but answers to no one but themselves. Employing methods of intimidation and fear, this Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman deal brute force in the name of justice. From the creative genius of executive producer Bruce Timm and co-producer Alan Burnett comes an original story where the world’s greatest triumvirate of super heroes has distinctly different origins. Superman was not raised by the Kents in Smallville, the Caped Crusader is not Bruce Wayne, and Wonder Woman is not an Amazon warrior of Themyscira. They are as likely the world’s saviors as Earth’s despotic rulers. When a group of famed scientists experience untimely “accidents,” a government task force follows the trail of clues to the Justice League – but is there a more powerful player operating from the shadows? It’s a high stakes game of intrigue, mystery and action that asks the question: How do you serve justice to those above the law?

With a twist on your favorite Justice League characters, this film is full of thrilling new adventures and jam-packed with a celebrity voice cast which includes Michael C. Hall (Dexter) as Batman, Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order, 24) as Superman, Tamara Taylor (Bones) as Wonder Woman, Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) as Lois Lane, Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter films, Dig) as Lex Luthor and C. Thomas Howell (E.T., Southland) as Dr. Will Magnus.

Sam Liu (Batman: Year One) directed Justice League: Gods & Monsters from an original story by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and Co-Producer Alan Burnett (The Batman), who also wrote the screenplay. Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Co-Executive Producers.

Justice League: Gods & Monsters is out July 28 on video and digitally.

Movie Review: Batman vs. Robin

batman_robin-860x280Synopsis – While Damian Wayne struggles to cope with Batman’s no-killing rule, he soon starts to believe that his destiny lies within a secret society known as, The Court of Owls.

My Take – Like I had mentioned in my earlier reviews, while Marvel has taken a huge leap in the live action center, DC continues to spread its wings on television & animated originals. In this follow up to the Ethan Spaulding directed Son of Batman (2014), son is pitted against father in Jay Oliva’s Batman vs. Robin. Drawing elements from one of my favorite story lines of the New 52 – Batman “Court of Owls”, the film opens with Robin (Stuart Allan) tracking down The Dollmaker to his lair. After Batman (Jason O’Mara) radios Robin warning him not to proceed without backup, Robin ignores his father, and begins to look around. He finds children caged up like animals, and then comes under attack from an army of killer children controlled by The Dollmaker. Robin eventually defeats the brainwashed killers, then as he threatens to kill the defeated and cowering Dollmaker, however, Batman steps in and disarms the situation. Robin feels like Batman is overbearing, but fearing for his son’s safety, Batman tries preventing Robin from going out at night to patrol Gotham.

batrobin-750x400Being young and rebellious, Robin is easily misled by Talon (Jeremy Sisto), The Court of Owls’ assassin. And now batman and Robin are at odds with one another, thanks to the interference of Talon. It’s now up to Batman to prove to his son that Talon & the secret society known as The Court of Owls is only using him. As the society has no rules that prevent them killing criminals, Robin thinks he’s better off with them. There is a line that Batman/Bruce will not cross, but Damien as the new Robin is struggling to fight the choice between Justice and Vengeance.Frankly, I wasn’t a big fan of last year’s Son of Batman, which according to me was one of the weakest DC Animated originals. But luckily Jay Olivia is a man we can trust! The animation is rendered with the same care and attention to detail that we’ve come to expect from WB/DC, and the voice acting was well directed. The story was strong in the first and final thirds, but it felt a little slow during the middle act, although, that small matter is my only issue, with an otherwise perfect animated feature. The film has one of the best fight animated choreographs that I have seen in a long time. Hard-hitting action that doesn’t shy away from the blood and gives you an impression that each punch actually hurts instead of just shrugging it off is a feel the real pain. Every fight sequence is interesting to watch in different ways. There’s also a proper balance along with the drama so there isn’t too much action to make the film devoid of plot, but also not so little so as to make us wish the superhero genre wasn’t just a melodrama.You can get a deep feel in the combat and the impact each blow lands, plus the anguish and intensity from both combatants.

court1-e1421454118592The voice acting of Jason O’ Mara as Bruce/Batman definitely honors the great Kevin Conroy who this time takes the role of his father Thomas Wayne. David McCallum is as good of an Alfred as you can get and I would love to hear him return in future adaptations. While I prefer Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing, Sean Maher is no slouch, either.The art visuals are very well done and I love the mixture of the gloom showing off Gotham at its darkest. I had to take a step back and go into the comics for a bit because something was throwing me off For one Talon turns good, but the ending left you at why? I wish I could say what exactly happened, but pretty much how they did it will never make Talon a good guy in the animated world. On the whole, ‘Batman Vs Robin’ has entered as one of my favorites in DC animated movie franchise. If you’re a Batman fan, you would definitely be fond of this and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to you, particularly if you happen to be interested in more than just the mainstream live action movies. While fans of the comics may nitpick that this takes liberties with Scott Snyder’s storyline and tweaks aspects of the Court of Owls, well they wont be wrong to do that. Nevertheless, this animated film is very enjoyable and a great thing to pop on when you’re in the mood for some superhero action or just watch it because it has Batman!

Overall Rating: 9.5

Director – Jay Oliva
Starring (voices of) – Stuart Allan, Troy Baker, Kevin Conroy
Rated – PG13
Run Time – 82 minutes

A First Look of Melissa Benoist as Supergirl

DC Comics and Warner Bros. have released the first images of Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl. The classic character will star in a pilot, Supergirl, that’ll be on CBS.

The show will star Benoist as well as Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Chyler Leigh as Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, Faran Tahir as The Commander, as well as Dean Cain and Helen Slater in unspecified roles.

The costume was designed by Colleen Atwood a three-time Oscar winner who also is responsible for The Flash and Arrow.

What do you all think?

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1 Melissa Benoist Supergirl 2

 

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