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Batman Beyond Comes to Blu-ray in Collector’s Edition

Batman Beyond Comes to Blu-ray in Collector’s Edition

BURBANK, CA (July 18, 2019) – Batman Beyond, the landmark animated television series that illuminated the imagination of a new generation of Batman fans with its creation of an altogether new hero, is celebrating its 20th anniversary – and you get the gift! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has remastered the heralded series for its first-ever presentation on Blu-ray™ in the all-encompassing Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition, arriving on Digital ($49.99 SRP USA, $59.99 SRP Canada) starting October 15, 2019 and in a stunning box set ($99.99 SRP USA, $119.99 SRP Canada) on October 29, 2019. Distribution in Canada will be day-and-date with the USA, Pre-orders are now available.

The extraordinary Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition package features approximately 1,500 minutes of entertainment spread over four Blu-ray™ discs, plus the two bonus discs of enhanced content. In addition to a newly-remastered Blu-ray presentation of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, there are 15 featurettes on the bonus discs, highlighted by two new inside looks at the beloved television series, led by Nostalgic Tomorrow, a gathering of Batman Beyond production talent and cast led by executive producer Bruce Timm and actors Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle, the voices of Batman and Terry McGinnis, respectively. The bonus discs also spotlight four episodes with audio commentary from Timm and select members of the production team.

Collectibles within the stunning packaging include an exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko POP, and four beautifully-designed lenticular art cards produced especially for Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition. This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 50,000.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Batman Beyond premiered on January 10, 1999 to instant ratings and critical success. The series would run for three seasons, covering 52 total episodes and a full-length animated film, Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker. Nominated for nine Emmy Awards, Batman Beyond would ultimately take home two Emmys – including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program in 2001 – as well as three Annie Awards.

Of the 52 original Batman Beyond episodes, 41 have been fully-remastered from either their original 35mm film source or the uncommon format “OCND,” the original camera negative digital (a digital scan of original negative). Lines and resolution have been enhanced, and dust and dirt have been removed – however, cell dirt remains to not disturb the original picture. Included in the remastering was the removal of grain, resulting in enhanced colors. The remastering process does cause a slight aspect ratio change (approximately 3% loss of screen image).

Due to time-worn irreparable damage, the remaining 11 episodes were “Smart Rezzed” from standard definition Digibeta video. The process provides for significant enhanced resolution and improvement of the original source material in converting from standard to high definition, though it does sacrifice horizontal lines for clearer image and color representation. While still a marked improvement over the original video, viewers will notice a slight difference between the Remastered and the Up-Rezzed final footage. The 11 affected episodes are: “Eyewitness,” “Final Cut,” “The Last Resort,” “Armory,” “Sneak Peek,” “The Eggbaby,” “Zeta,” “Plague,” “April Moon,” “Sentries of the Lost Cosmos” and “Speak No Evil.”

The creative team behind the breakthrough animated series was headed by the producing quartet of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and Glen Murakami, alongside executive producer Jean MacCurdy and associate producer Shaun McLaughlin. Shirley Walker composed the award-winning score with the Dynamic Music Partners trio of Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter and Michael McCuistion, while 8-time Emmy Award winner Andrea Romano guided an impressive collection of actors as casting/dialogue director. Butch Lukic, Dan Riba and Curt Gida directed the majority of episodic animation along with James Tucker, Kyung Won Lim and Yukio Suziki. Primary story editors and writers on the series were Burnett and Dini with Bob Goodman, Rich Fogel, Hilary Bader and Stan Berkowitz.

The Batman Beyond cast was spearheaded by Kevin Conroy, the fan favorite voice of The Dark Knight as established in the landmark Batman: The Animated Series. Will Friedle (Boy Meets World, Kim Possible) created the character of Terry McGinnis, Batman’s protégé. Veteran voiceover actresses Cree Sumner (Codename: Kids Next Door, Drawn Together) and Lauren Tom (Friends, The Joy Luck Club, Futurama) were series regulars as Max and Dana Tan, respectively.

The guest cast included a healthy collection of film and primetime television stars spanning from Academy Award nominees Paul Winfield, Stockard Channing, William H. Macy, Teri Garr and Michael McKean; Emmy Award winners John Ritter, Wayne Brady, Seth Green, Tim Curry, David Warner and Patton Oswalt; Golden Globe winners Stacy Keach, Amanda Donohoe and Jill Eikenberry; four Grammy Award winners led by Ice-T; and five members of the Hollywood Walk of Fame – Macy and Ritter along with George Takei, Michael Ansara and Mark Hamill. The cast also included legends of the entertainment industry and several young actors heading toward stardom, like Adrienne Barbeau, Kate Jackson, Angie Harmon, Linda Hamilton, Clancy Brown, Gary Cole, Ed Begley Jr., Wendie Malick, Cary Elwes, Olivia Hussey, Kurtwood Smith, Robert Patrick, Ian Ziering, CCH Pounder, Frank Welker, Johnny Galecki, Pauley Perrette, Michael Rosenbaum and Diedrich Bader.

 All totaled, the Batman Beyond cast featured actors with laurels totaling five Academy Award nominations, 47 Emmy Awards, 206 Emmy nods, four Gold Globe Awards, 45 Golden Globe nominations, three Grammy Awards and nine nominations, and five actors forever enshrined with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Batman Beyond elevated the animated adventures of The Dark Knight to even greater heights, providing an edgier, faster-moving, more contemporary take on crime-fighting in Gotham with an inspiring new character in Terry McGinnis,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing. “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has long known the fans’ desire to see this series come to Blu-ray, and we’re excited to finally have the technology to elevate the quality of the original assets to an exquisite high-definition presentation packaged with compelling collectibles in a limited edition set, especially as fans celebrate Batman’s 80th anniversary this year.”

Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition Enhanced Content

Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering (All-New Featurette) – Many of Batman Beyond’s core production team and actors gather for an enthralling roundtable discussion of the evolution and execution of the animate series. Join producers Bruce Timm and Glenn Murakami, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, director James Tucker, writers Bob Goodman & Stan Berkowitz, and stars Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle as they take a wildly entertaining trip down memory lane.  

Knight Immortal (All-New Featurette) – A visual and visceral celebration of the Dark Knight’s 80 years of crime fighting, narrated by storytellers of the past, present, and future.

Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” (Featurette) – Storytellers explore the rise of Terry McGinnis as Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with the young hero as he mentors a new Dark Knight for modern times.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Feature-Length Film) – The beloved hit animated film from 2000 is included in the box set – fully remastered for your enjoyment.

Audio Commentaries – Enlightening audio commentaries by filmmakers and voice actors for four key episodes: “Rebirth, Part 1”; “Shriek”; “Splicers”; and “The Eggbaby.”

Featurettes – A dozen inside looks at the genesis, production and effects of Batman Beyond.

Disc 1

  • Rebirth, Pt. 1
  • Rebirth, Pt. 2
  • Black Out
  • Golem
  • Meltdown
  • Heroes
  • Shriek
  • Dead Man’s Hand
  • The Winning Edge
  • Spellbound
  • Disappearing Inque
  • A Touch of Curare
  • Ascension
  • Commentary on the episode “Rebirth, Part 1” by producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini & Glenn Murakami and director Curt Geda.
  • Audio Commentary on episode “Shriek” by producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini & Glen Murakami, director Curt Geda and writer Stan Berkowitz
  • Music of the Knight” – producer Bruce Timm introduces a feature allowing access to key scenes from Batman Beyond, accompanied by the compelling score created for the series.
  • Inside Batman Beyond – Meet the Creators” – producers Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini discuss the creative process behind Batman Beyond and its inaugural season. Jason Hillhouse moderates.
  • Batman 80th Anniversary Collection trailer

Disc 2

  • Splicers
  • Earth Mover
  • Joyride
  • Lost Soul
  • Hidden Agenda
  • Bloodsport
  • Once Burned
  • Hooked Up
  • Rats!
  • Mind Games
  • Revenant
  • Babel
  • Terry’s Friend Dates a Robot
  • Commentary on the episode “Splicers” by producers Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami, storyboard artist James Tucker, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano and Will Friedle, the voice of Terry McGinnis/Batman


Disc 3

  • Eyewitness*
  • Final Cut*
  • The Last Resort*
  • Armory*
  • Sneak Peek*
  • The Eggbaby*
  • Zeta*
  • Plague*
  • April Moon*
  • Sentries of the Last Cosmos*
  • Payback
  • Where’s Terry?
  • Ace in the Hole
  • Commentary on the episode “The Eggbaby” by producers Bruce Timm & Glen Murakami, director James Tucker, Producer Glen Murakami, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano and Will Friedle, the voice of Terry McGinnis/Batman
  • Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel” – An in-depth discussion with producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini as season two of Batman Beyond is explored with moderator Jason Hillhouse.


Disc 4

  • King’s Ransom
  • Untouchable
  • Inqueling
  • Big Time
  • Out of the Past
  • Speak No Evil*
  • The Call, Pt. 1
  • The Call, Pt. 2
  • Betrayal
  • Curse of the Kobra, Pt. 1
  • Curse of the Kobra, Pt. 2
  • Countdown
  • Unmasked
  • Inside Batman Beyond: Season 3” – A fascinating discussion on season three of Batman Beyond with producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini.
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Close-Up On...” – producers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, directors Butch Lukic and James Tucker, and voice actor Will Friedle discuss their favorite moments among final-season episodes.
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Out of the Past” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director James Tucker and voice actor Will Friedle sit down together to talk about “The Legend of Batman” musical (which appears in this episode) and other memorable moments.
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call, Part 1” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director Butch Lukic and voice actor Will Friedle gather to discuss the additional heroes and the exciting action showcased in this episode.
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call, Part 2” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director Butch Lukic and voice actor Will Friedle talk about the appearance of Starro and Superman in this episode.
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Curse of the Kobra, Part 1” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director James Tucker and voice actor Will Friedle reminisce about the personal relationships that highlight the story of this episode.


Disc 5

Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering” (All-New Featurette) – Nostalgia strikes like it’s 1999. Seated at the table are the Batman Beyond Team: producers Bruce Timm & Glen Murakami, actors Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle, director James Tucker, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, and writers Bob Goodman & Stan Berkowitz. Care to join us for a chat?

Knight Immortal” (All-New Featurette) – A visual and visceral celebration of the Dark Knight’s 80 years of crime fighting, narrated by storytellers of the past, present, and future.

Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” (All-New Featurette) – Storytellers explore the rise of Terry McGinnis as Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with the young hero as he mentors a new Dark Knight for modern times.

Gotham: City of The Future” – A Close-Up Look at Gotham City Circa 2039, the modernization and the inspirations for its high-tech design and massive scale.

The High-Tech Hero” – Batman Beyond storytellers discuss the evolution of the new Bat Suit and its futuristic design and capabilities.

Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics” (Documentary) – The Story of DC Comics and the rise of the Super Hero mythology as a zeitgeist in American pop culture.


Disc 6

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker” – Remastered for Blu-ray, the heralded animated feature film spawned by the Batman Beyond series is included on a separate bonus disc in the box set.

*=Due to source material, episode resolution was enhanced (up-rez) instead of remastering.


Street Date: October 29, 2019

Order Due Date: September 24, 2019

Run Time:  1,500 minutes

Blu-ray Box Set Price (USA): $99.99 SRP

Blu-ray Box Set Price (Canada): $119.99 SRP

Catalog #: 1000739345 / 883929666812

Languages: English and French

Pillow Fight by Brandon Graham

So this is not a book to review, exactly. But, since I’m doing posts on all of the books I read — even now, in my lesser state this year — I figured I should at least mention Brandon Graham’s smutty 2006 “graphic” “novel” Pillow Fight , since I did read it.

Graham, like a lot of comics-makers starting out in the Great Smutty Comics Boom (lasting roughly from Eros’s birth in 1990 to the utter apotheosis of the Smutty Internet and the near-simultaneous Great Recession), did smutty print comics at the beginning of his career. This was one of them; it followed the similar album Perverts of the Unknown, which I haven’t seen. (He did other, non-smutty early work, too — that was pretty common, and probably still is these days, though the smutty stuff now tends to be password-locked at places like Slipshine and Filthy Figments, so it may be easier to keep the two strands of career separated without using pseudonyms.)

So Pillow Fight is a short, album-format comic, published as part of a sex-oriented imprint (NBM’s Amerotica), and the plot and characterization is all sex-comic stuff — the point is to move smoothly through a bunch of sex scenes and have some humor and general story virtues along the way as well.

Our main character is Jem, a young woman being sent off to boarding school after her parents walked in on her in flagrante — Graham does not describe exactly what she was doing, or with whom, but it was clearly very steamy, and “with whom” might have been a multiple-choice answer. But she arrives at this unnamed school for “naughties,” quickly meets her new roommate Bones, and first witnesses a scene with said roommate and soon after has sex with that roommate herself. And so it goes on from there — it’s a short book, and the point of this kind of thing isn’t plot to begin with.

Graham has his usual punny jokes — both visual and spoken — though his work was cleaner and less cluttered this early in his career. (He wasn’t cramming in as many visual jokes and pun labels at this point.) The jokes tend to be up front in the narrative in this book instead of half-hidden off to the edges.

But the point is to be a sex book, with nubile young women enthusiastically doing every last thing the young Graham could think up. Graham’s line was zippy and precise by this point; it’s drawn in basically the same style he still uses now. It’s mostly of interested to big fans of Graham (like me) digging up the last disreputable corners of his oeuvre, or for people who really really like naughty schoolgirl stories.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

REVIEW: Titans: The Complete First Season

REVIEW: Titans: The Complete First Season

Fans were horrified when the overly dark teaser trailer arrived last summer, with a wet, angry Robin (Brenton Thwaites) declaring, “Fuck Batman!” This was certainly not the Bob Haney and Nick Cardy version or even the Marv Wolfman and George Pérez version that was a direct ancestor. As a result, the Titans series which helped launch the DC Universe streaming service was approached with a great deal of apprehension.

The bottom line is that it turned out better than one feared although it really had little to do with the once best-selling title that is credited with saving DC Comics from creative failure. The 11 episodes are now collected by Warner Home Entertained as Titans: The Complete First Season, a two-disc Blu-ray offering out now.

For those unwilling to shell out for the channel, this and the other shows coming to disc is a great way to catch up.

There’s something threatening the world and it wants Rachel Roth, aka Raven (Teagan Croft). When one attempt brings her into contact with Dick Grayson, fresh from quitting being the Teen Wonder, she gains a protector.

Also on the hunt for Rachel is Kory Anders (Anna Diop), who has questions about her own past and feels drawn to Rachel, who may possess the answers. She, of course, discovers she is Koriand’r, Starfire with power of her own.

When they collide, they recognize their need for one another and the group gains one more member with the backdoor pilot to the Doom Patrol and the decision of Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) to hook up with the new teens.

Add in Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly) as veteran crimefighters, a semi-retired Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie), and Jason Todd (Curran Walters) as the new Robin, you have the beginning of a universe of heroes. Dialogue is liberally sprinkled to references to their adult partners, the Justice League, and so on. The universe will be growing even bigger with the second season as Conner Kent’s Superboy, Aqualad, Jericho, Ravager, and Deathstroke all stop by.

Chasing after Rachel/Raven is The acolyte (Jarreth J. Metz) and the Nuclear Family, borrowed from Batman and the Outsiders. They all want her so daddy Trigon can come to Earth, a thread left unresolved after the dozen episode season was trimmed by one.

The others are similarly divorced from the source material but not in as jarring a fashion, at least to me.

The look and feel of the series is of much higher quality than one might have expected. Crimefighter can be brutal and the show doesn’t shy away from this aspect, especially with the scenes involving Hawk and Dove or Robin. The writing is fairly good and the direction solid. My biggest issue is the total misrepresentation of Dick Grayson’s character. On a featurette, Geoff Johns talks about taking a moment of darkness during the comic book Batman-Robin split and building off that. I don’t recall any such darkness, just Dick growing apart, not wanting to dedicate his life to vengeance. After all, he was from a circus family and frankly, Chuck Dixon’s run on Nightwing stands as the best take on the hero.

The bonus features are all pulled from the DC Universe website, with nothing new. There are all behind the scenes, two- to three- minutes long. While interesting, you are left wanting some meat. For the record they are:

  • Raven and Robin Dark Rebirth
  • The Story of Titans
  • The Characters of Titans
  • The Making of Titans
  • Dick Grayson’s and Rachel Roth’s Dark Past
  • A Look at Vigilantes Hawk and Dove
  • The Identity of Titans Kory Anders/Starfire
  • Gar Logan’s Journey
  • Rachel’s Powers
  • The Doom Patrol Meets the Titans.
  • Jason Todd’s Robin
  • From Comic to Live-Action Adventure
  • Meet Wonder Girl
  • Dick Grayson’s Dark Past
  • World of Super Heroes and Vigilantes
X-Men: Dark Phoenix Arrives for Home Viewing in September

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Arrives for Home Viewing in September

Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence fire up an all-star cast in this spectacular culmination of the X-Men saga! During a rescue mission in space, Jean Grey (Turner) is transformed into the infinitely powerful and dangerous DARK PHOENIX. As Jean spirals out of control, the X-Men must unite to face their most devastating enemy yet — one of their own.
The home entertainment release comes packed with hours of extensive special features and behind-the-scenes insights from Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker delving into everything it took to bring
X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX to the big screen. Beast also offers a hilarious, but important, one-on-one “How to Fly Your Jet to Space” lesson in the Special Features section. Check out a clip of the top-notch class sessions below! 
Add X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX to your digital collection on Movies Anywhere September 3 and buy it on 4K Ultra HDTM, Blu-rayTM and DVD September 17.

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital HD Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker*:
    • Edwards Air Force Base
    • Charles Returns Home
    • Mission Prep
    • Beast MIA
    • Charles Says Goodbye
  • Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix (5-Part Documentary)  
  • Scene Breakdown: The 5th Avenue Sequence**
  • How to Fly Your Jet to Space with Beast
  • Audio Commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker

*Commentary available on Blu-ray, iTunes Extras and Movies Anywhere only
**Available on Digital only
X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX 4K Ultra HD™ Technical Specifications:
Street Date:           September 17, 2019              
Screen Format:      Widescreen 16:9 (2.39:1)      
Audio:                    English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1,
                              Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles:                English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish, French
Total Run Time:     114 minutes   
U.S. Rating:           PG-13   
X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX Blu-ray Technical Specifications:
Street Date:           September 17, 2019              
Screen Format:     Widescreen 16:9 (2.39:1)      
Audio:                    English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1,
                              Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:               English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish, French  
Total Run Time:    114 minutes   
U.S. Rating:          PG-13    
X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX DVD Technical Specifications:
Street Date:           September 17, 2019              
Screen Format:     Widescreen 16:9 (2.39:1)      
Audio:                    English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1,
                              Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles:               English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish, French
Total Run Time:     114 minutes   
U.S. Rating:           PG-13

We Love You 3000 Tour touts Avengers: Endgame Home Release

We Love You 3000 Tour touts Avengers: Endgame Home Release

On July 30, Avengers: Endgame arrives on Digital in HD, 4K Ultra HD™ and Movies Anywhere, followed by a physical release on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand beginning Aug. 13.

In celebration of the in-home release of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios and directors Anthony and Joe Russo have teamed up to launch the “We Love You 3000” Tour as a way to thank the fans who have invested so deeply in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), making it the single most successful franchise in film history.

Special guests from Marvel Studios and the MCU will visit nine U.S. cities — beginning in San Diego at Comic-Con International on July 20 and ending in Anaheim at D23 Expo 2019 the weekend of Aug. 23-25— greeting and treating fans at each tour stop. A total of 3,000 MCU Funko Pop Vinyl Figures will be distributed to fans throughout the tour as well as additional giveaways ranging from exclusive “Avengers: Endgame” prints to McDonald’s vouchers for a free Happy Meal® plus an Avengers: Endgame Happy Meal toy to a MCU inspired sundaes and recipe cards courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s.

Best Buy will serve as the location for five “We Love You 3000” Tour stops, hosting in-store fan events to celebrate the nationwide release of Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame on Blu-ray™ Aug. 13. Events will feature signings with Marvel Studios filmmakers and/or MCU talent; a special digital photo booth; specialty promotional giveaways, including MCU Funko Pop! Vinyl Figures and exclusive “Avengers: Endgame” prints; and much more. Fans can also get their hands on the exclusive, limited edition “Avengers: Endgame” SteelBook and other collectable SteelBooks from the MCU at Best Buy stores across the country and on


July 20 SAN DIEGO, Comic-Con International – Directors Anthony & Joe Russo, Writers Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and a special guest from the MCU

July 30 EVERETT, WA, Funko HQ – to be announced

Aug. 8 SAN FRANCISCO, Giants vs. Phillies at Oracle Park – Directors Anthony & Joe Russo at the San Francisco Giants’ Marvel Night

Aug. 13 MIAMI, Best Buy store – to be announced

Aug. 13 CHICAGO, Best Buy store – Directors Anthony & Joe Russo

Aug. 13 TORRANCE, CA, Best Buy store – to be announced

Aug. 14 MINNEAPOLIS, Best Buy store – Directors Anthony & Joe Russo

Aug. 20 CLEVELAND, Best Buy store – Directors Anthony & Joe Russo

Aug. 23-25 ANAHEIM, CA, D23 Expo 2019- to be announced

REVIEW: Hellboy

REVIEW: Hellboy

Since Mike Mignola created Hellboy in 1993, he has been a fan favorite character, growing his own mini-universe of characters and spinoff series. Mainstream audiences certainly got to know him in a pair of features from director Guillermo Del Toro, who put his own spin on the world. Over the last decade, Del Toro and star Ron Perlman talked about a third film but one thing or another kept getting in the way. Then, BOOM! founder Andrew Cosby and Mignola got to work on a script and Del Toro walked, followed by Perlman so it morphed into a full-fledged reboot.

Did we need a reboot? No. Did we need this film at all? Probably not and the poor box office has shut the doorway to Hell for subsequent installments. Perhaps he works best in print with Mignola being the sole voice.

David Harbour is having a moment. This month he had a terrific character arc in season three of Stranger Things and last night on Netflix, he was seen in Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein, which I hear good things about (and we’ll see him next year in Black Widow). He brings a fresh approach to the demon, less world-weary than his predecessor but just as snarky. His relationship with Dr. Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) is a far warmer one and less one-sided.

The story is drawn from Dark Horse’s Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm and the Fury with material pulled from Hellboy in Mexico. The short version is that here, Nimue (Milla Jovovich) was the world’s deadliest witch and it took King Arthur (Mark Stanley) and Merlin (Brian Gleeson) together to defeat her, using Excalibur to chop her into six pieces. Each was boxed, blessed, and buried. Some two decades ago, a fairy, Gruagach (Stephen Graham/Douglas Tait), was left in place of infant Alice Monaghan. Hellboy arrived and beat the boar-like beast, rescuing the baby. After all this time, Gruagach wants revenge and collects Nimue’s parts and has witches sew her together for a new round of terror. Joining Hellboy in stopping Hell from coming to Earth are the adult Alice (Sasha Lane), a powerful medium, and BPRD’s Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), a man with a secret, who also distrust Hellboy, especially after learning of the prophecy he is intended to be the demon who lays waste to the world.

And we’re off. There’s blood and gore and guts. There are special effects, transformation sequences, fantasy flashbacks, reading Lewis Carroll and more. But there’s nothing special here with a seen-it-all-before feel. Director Neil Marshall makes it all look good but gets uneven performances from the cast (although it’s great seeing Thomas Hayden Church as Lobster Johnson).

Nimue is a one-dimensional witch and the relationship between Hellboy and Alice is under-baked. None of the characters feels fresh, none of the dialogue sparkles. And that’s where Cosby’s script fails the creator and audience.

The film is out this week from Lionsgate Home Entertainment in the usual varieties. The Blu-ray presents the film in its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio and has a strong high definition transfer. For a film like this, it has to look good to work on a home screen and this does not fail. The subtle colors and deep shadows are all nicely balanced. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is up the capturing every grunt, flicker of flame, and explosion. Watching this at home was rather good despite the content.

On the other hand, you can tell Lionsgate lost faith in the film by the dearth of special features. We get Tales of the Wild Hunt: Hellboy Reborn (1:11:28), a three-part featurette on the production; a handful of Deleted Scenes (7:56), and Previsualization (7:18).

Charlie’s Angels & Full Throttle Come to 4K and Blu-ray in October

Charlie’s Angels & Full Throttle Come to 4K and Blu-ray in October

With the new feature film reboot of the classic television series coming in November, Sony Home Entertainment is releasing the McG-directed films from 2000 and 2003. Both will contain a preview of the new film,w hich we have to say, looks like a lot of fun.

Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu star as the captivating crime-fighting trio who are masters of disguise, espionage and martial arts. When a devious mastermind embroils them in a plot to destroy individual privacy, the Angels, aided by their loyal sidekick Bosley (Bill Murray), set out to bring down the bad guys. But when a terrible secret is revealed, it makes the Angels targets for assassination.

Director: McG
Executive Producers: Betty Thomas, Jenno Topping, Joseph M. Caracciolo
Producers: Leonard Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, Nancy Juvonen
Written By: Ryan Rowe & Ed Solomon and John August
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Billy Murray, Sam Rockwell, Tim Curry, Kelly Lynch, John Forsythe


• Special Features on 4K Ultra HD
o ALL-NEW: Sneak peek at the new 2019 Charlie’s Angels film with an extended clip from the film
o Theatrical Trailer
• Special Features on Blu-ray:
o Commentary with Director McG and Cinematographer Russell Carpenter
o Six Featurettes
o Bloopers
o Deleted Scenes
o Music Videos

CHARLIE’S ANGELS is presented on 4K UHD in full 4K resolution—via an all-new scan from its original camera negative—and includes both an exclusive Dolby Atmos audio track and the original theatrical 5.1 audio
Run Time: 98 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for action violence, innuendo and some sensuality/nudity.

The “Angels”, three investigative agents (Barrymore, Diaz and Liu) who work for the Charles Townsend Detective Agency, return for another high-octane series of adventures as they investigate the theft of a database of witness protection profiles, after five of the people on the list are murdered. They’re aided by a new Bosley (Bernie Mac), in an adventure which pits them against a “fallen angel” (Moore), their old nemesis, the Thin Man (Glover), and others.

Director: McG
Executive Producers: Jenno Topping, Patrick Crowley
Producers: Leonard Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, Nancy Juvonen
Story by: John August
Screenplay By: John August and Cormac Wibberley & Marianne Wibberley
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bernie Mac, Crispin Glover, Justin Theroux, Robert Patrick and Demi Moore

• Special Features on Blu-ray:
o ALL-NEW: Sneak peek at the new 2019 Charlie’s Angels film with an extended clip from the film
o Telestrator Commentary with Director McG
o Writer’s Commentary
o Angel-Vision Trivia Track
o Full Throttle: The Cars of Charlie’s Angels
o Dream Duds: Costuming an Angel
o Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam
o Designing Angels: The Look of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
o Learn Why: There’s No Such Thing As a “Short Shot”, Only an Overworked Producer
o Music Video: Pink Featuring William Orbit “Feel Good Time”
o Cameo-Graphy
o Turning Angels into Pussycats Dolls
o Rolling with the Punches
o XXX-Treme Angels
o Full Throttle Jukebox
o Angel Scouts: A Look Into the Gorgeous Locations
o Theatrical Trailer

CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE Blu-ray includes both the Theatrical and Unrated versions of the film
Run Time: 106 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for action violence, sensuality and language/innuendo.

REVIEW: Shazam!

REVIEW: Shazam!

When DC Comics revived Captain Marvel in the 1970s, it was out of step with the audience and struggled to find success. Ever since, the publisher has been trying to find a formula to make the character and his world relevant to the readership. With Carol Danvers’ popularity as Captain Marvel ascendant, DC finally capitulated and began calling Billy Batson’s alter ego Shazam to keep the two from being confused.

With Captain Marvel out in March and Shazam out in April, there’s a good reason to rename the latter. (No one back in the day would ever have imagined either getting a big screen treatment or coming out so closely together.) Warner Home Entertainment has released Shazam in all the usual formats this week and it remains a fun, but not perfect film.

After countless screenwriters tried to crack the light-hearted world created by Bill Parker and CC Beck, it appears that Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke found their clues less in the classic work and more in the contemporary incarnation from Geoff Johns. As a result, if you loved the older stuff there’s plenty to like and even more of you love the new take.

We have the wizard (Djimon Hounsou) seeking someone with a pure heart to take his powers and defend the world from the Seven Deadly Sins. So far so good. After rejecting poor little rich boy Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (Ethan Pugiotto), he waits until he finds Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a homeless teen seeking his birth mother (Caroline Palmer). In trouble, Billy is taken to a group home run by Rosa and Victor Vasquez (Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews) and meets his foster siblings. As he struggles to adjust, he also is given the powers of the gods.

The whole foster family is a Johns addition and introduces a new sense of family, skewing far from the source material where Billy and Mary Bomfield (Grace Fulton) turn out to be twin siblings. Later, when they all gain rainbow-colored costumes it dilutes the Marvel Family feel.

Anyway, Billy turns into the World’s Mightiest Mortal (Zachary Levi) and has trouble acting like adult. While Billy tugs at your heart strings and Shazam is funny, they act as entirely separate beings rather than symbiotically connected. We see him trying to make money by putting on lighting shows (a power he doesn’t have in comics nor needs). To me, this is the biggest fault with an otherwise entertaining film. The sheer exuberance the adult displays is totally absent from Billy and the wisdom of Solomon seems entirely missing from the film.

Just as he’s getting acclimated to his power set and trying to find a name for himself, an amusing thread, the adult Sivana (Mark Strong) has been corrupted the Seven Deadly Sins and uses their power first for revenge against his father (John Glover) and then trying to gain the powers he feels are rightly his.

The problem here is that Sivana was a scientist and the conflict between them since 1940 was always science versus magic. Here, it’s magic versus magic and the David and Goliath riff is exchanged for muscle versus muscle. Strong does a fine job, but feh,

The siblings all have their moments to shine before Shazam shares his power with them, turning one family into another, just in time for the climax at the carnival. I’ll admit, the varying kids are all interesting, engaging varieties and their adult versions are good-looking heroes, but the adult heroes are just boring.

Overall, the movie works just fine when viewed as Big with Super-Powers but it could have been so much more. Director David F. Sandberg does a fine job making us care for the characters and keeps the action pieces moving, a growing challenge with every subsequent super-hero film. I’d be curious to see what he does with a sequel.

The high def transfer retains the 2.39:1 aspect ratio and is a strong image. The colors pop, the blacks are deep, and the lightning crackles. This definitely retains its comic book look and feel which goes a long way towards the enjoyment. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is possibly a touch better than the visuals so the music and special effects pop.

The Blu-ray comes complete with an above-average assortment of special features starting with Exclusive Motion Comic: “Superhero Hooky” (4:05) which reminds us why motion comics have never taken off as a medium although its nice the cast does the voices in this short. We than have The Magical World of Shazam (26:56) which briefly covers different aspects of the film’s production; Super Fun Zac (3:13); Deleted & Alternate Scenes (37:27 total), with Sandberg explaining why he reshot or edited out each scene giving you additional insight into the production; Gag Reel (3:16); Who is Shazam? (5:42), a too-brief history of the character in comics; Carnival Scene Study (10:22); and Shazamily Values (6:06) pairs the kid and their adult counterpart for some fun commentary.

Meet the New Writers of James Bond 007 – Vita Ayala and Danny Lore

Vita Ayala and Danny Lore are writing the new “James Bond 007” comic, and if some people were ticked at a black woman taking over 007 before…

There’s been a whole lot of noise about Lashana Lynch, most recently seen as Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel, being given the 007 number in the film currently known only as Bond 25. A black woman as 007?

We suspect there’s going to be even more noise over this. Bleeding Cool reports:

Vita Ayala and Danny Lore are the new writers for Dynamite Entertainment’s comic book series, James Bond 007, with art from Eric Gapstur . The new James Bond 007 #1 comic book will be published in October with covers from Jimmy Cheung.

Originally at

We here at ComicMix are big fans of Vita and Danny, and look forward to reading it in three months… unless, of course, they slip us an early look…

Bro, Do You Even Edit? Justice League: Release the Snyder Cut Ads Spotted at Comic-Con

Bro, Do You Even Edit? #ReleaseTheSnyderCut ads for “Justice League” spotted at Comic-Con

Bro, Do You Even Edit? Justice League: Release the Snyder Cut Ads Spotted at Comic-Con

Fans hoping to convince Warner Bros. to release an extended cut of Justice League as envisioned by director Zack Snyder have taken out a billboard in San Diego to greet fans during Comic Con International, marking the latest in a series of highly visible requests from the fans.

Fans supporting the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag will descend on San Diego wearing t-shirts, paying for billboards and, if past behavior is any indicator, probably asking questions about the cut at DC and Warner Bros. events. The campaign has become long enough and visible enough to compare to the efforts by fans to pressure Warner Bros. into releasing Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II — which they eventually did, but it took about 20 years.

Originally at