Deneb does Beware the Batman

As a general principle, I applaud risk-taking. I think it’s an excellent idea.

Not, mind you, that I’m suggesting everyone run outside and play chicken with garbage trucks – I’m talking creative risks. Sticking strictly to a formula can be the death-knell of creativity if you aren’t careful, and many works now heralded as masterpieces got their start when someone decided to say ‘screw the rules’ and follow the advice of their muse.

Of course, a risk isn’t a risk for nothing. Often it will fail, sometimes catastrophically – but even then, the results are usually worth taking a look at. As I’ve said before (probably pinching it from someone else in the process), I’d rather have a spectacular failure than a mediocre success.

So what the hell am I supposed to think about a show that’s both? And sometimes neither?

Well… I’m working on that. But in the meantime, let’s take a look at Beware the Batman. Continue reading

Advertisements

Deneb does Dumbo [Tales of the VHS, Part 7]

Remember, you come of a proud race. Why you’re a, a… a pachydoim! And pachydoims don’t cry!”

The Scoop: 1941 G, directed by Ben Sharpsteen, Samuel Armstrong, Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts and John Elliotte and starring Edward Brophy, Herman Bing, Verna Felton, Noreen Gammill, Dorothy Scott, Sarah Shelby, Cliff Edwards, Jim Carmichael, Hall Johnson, Nick Stewart, James Baskett, Sterling Holloway, John McLeish and Margaret Wright.

Tagline: The One… The Only… The FABULOUS…

Summary Capsule: The bittersweet story of a tiny li’l elephant who can’t catch a break – until he does. ‘Cause Disney. Continue reading

SUPER BACKLOG MOVIE REVIEW VLOG MEGAPOST

Hey there, folks, guess what? I went and saw Black Panther recently. Yes sir, that movie that everyone’s still talking about, I went and saw it. And I made a vlog about it. And I’m gonna post it – here, for your enjoyment.

Isn’t that nice?

But before I do that, there’s some other stuff I should post first. More specifically, there are more movie vlogs I’ve made – lots more – that haven’t been posted here. I’ve been meaning to for a long time now, and I’ve kept putting it off, and finally I said to myself – ‘Deneb,’ I said sternly, ‘you cannot add even one more video to this backlog. If you ever want to show your face on Mutant Reviewers again, you have got to post those freakin’ vlogs. Stop being so lazy and just do it!’

So I did. And here, in reverse order from most to least recent, they are:

I can make no real excuse for getting so far behind on things – that is, I can; I can make lots of excuses. I could tell you that I was distracted, I could tell you that I was tired and didn’t feel like it, I could tell you that I honestly wasn’t aware that so many videos were piling up – and they’d all be true, but none of them really hold water. Let’s just say that life got in the way, and I’ll do my best to make sure it doesn’t do so to this extent again. Sorry, guys.

Right, so – all’s well that ends well, and this lot should hopefully keep you entertained over the weekend. I’ll post the Black Panther review on Monday. Enjoy!

The Animatrix review

“Hand over your flesh, and a new world awaits you. We demand it.”

The Scoop: 2003 NR directed by Andy Jones, et all and starring Clayton Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Keanu Reeves

Summary Capsule: A series of nine short animated films examining various corners of the Matrix universe. Also, robot bosoms.

Drew’s Rating: Umm… not as good as the first movie, but way better than the third? Or does that go without saying?

Drew’s Review: Okay, a bit of explanation is in order — as some of you may know but others not so much, The Animatrix was a series of 9 short animated films released as a DVD collection at around the same time The Matrix Reloaded hit theaters. Overseen by the Wachowski brothers with a variety of directors, the shorts are meant to explore the Matrix universe in more detail, expanding on things only touched on in the movies; with the exception of one 2-parter, each stands on its own and has no connection to the others. Thus, rather than trying to judge the entire package as a whole, I’ll instead be looking at each segment individually and judging it on its own merits. Clear? Cool. Let’s do this!

Continue reading

Deneb does The Batman

Hark to the tale of Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall, a married couple who did standup comedy back in the ’60’s. They’d made it big. They were about to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show, with4650871-4862954480-Cool- millions watching. It was one of those one-time, once-in-a-lifetime chances to make a big impression, and they were not planning to waste it. Yep, things were lookin’ good.

Except that the act just before theirs was the Beatles.

Nobody remembers Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall for any other reason today.

Here’s the thing, though – by all accounts, they were good. Even though their audience had just had their minds blown by the Fab Four themselves, they still managed to give a good performance and get some laughs. Had they come on at the beginning of the show, the names of Brill and McCall might really have come to mean something. It was simply a matter of bad timing.

You may have guessed by now that I’m bringing this up for a reason, and you’d be right. Batman: the Animated Series is without doubt the ‘Beatles’ of animated superhero TV. It definitely blew some minds back in the ’90’s, and continues to do so today. It is, for many, one of the best and most faithful depictions of the Dark Knight, onscreen or off. Any immediate follow-up to it was obviously going to get at least a little bit Brill/McCalled.

Enter The Batman, which promptly got savaged by the fans. They hated it. It didn’t look right, it didn’t feel right, it wasn’t what they wanted. It did ultimately stick around long enough to get a bit of a following, but it’s still mainly remembered as B:tAS’ ugly stepchild, as it were.

Yet did it deserve this treatment? Let’s take a look and find out. Continue reading

10 Batman Animated Series villains that need to be in comics

Well, folks, I finally did it. After years of picking up scraps here and there through cultural osmosis, I have finally managed to catch up on Batman: the Animated Series. Yes sir, all four24-1 seasons and 114 episodes, counting the five crossovers with Superman: the Animated Series, which I have also seen – and it was good, too!

Most of you are probably already well familiar with B:tAS, given that it’s one of the most talked-about and beloved nerd series of all time. It’s not just a great cartoon, it’s also one of the most influential spin-offs of all time, with any number of original characters and character interpretations making their way back into the comics. Harley Quinn, the new version of Mr. Freeze, Lock-Up, Roxy Rocket, Renee Montoya – there’s lots of ‘em.

What struck me, though, was not how many characters had made it out, but how many hadn’t. To the series’ credit, it never leaned too heavily on Batman’s already-established rogues gallery, instead coming up with brand new (or functionally new, as with Freeze) antagonists whenever it seemed appropriate – and you know what? Most of them are really good. Sure, a number did make it back to comics, but there’s also a surprisingly long list of foes that haven’t, and in my opinion really should have by now, because they’re cool.

So why waste time talking about them, let’s shoot out our Bat-Ropes and soar into the night. Ladies and gentlemen, my Top Ten B:tAS Villains That Should Make It Into Comics! Continue reading