Batman and Robin: Return of the Caped Crusaders

Batman and Robin: Return of the Caped Crusaders

Batman and Robin: Return of the Caped Crusaders

Batman and Robin: Return of the Caped Crusaders makes it’s way to Blu-Ray and DVD November 1 2016.  It’s already out now via digital distribution channels, and MUReview and litlgeeks got our hands on the physical copy just a little early so that we could share our thoughts with you, courtesy of Warner Brothers Animation.  Truth be told, the movie showed up last night, and both the litlgeeks and the big geek (me) were so excited to watch it, bed time rules were dissolved for the evening and we dove right in after dinner.  Read on for our spoiler free review.

 

The Movie

Return of the Caped Crusaders is an enjoyable ride filled with nostalgia, puns, gadgets, gizmos, and all the bat suits and villains you can eat.  Warner Brothers Animation has put together a plot that, while set in the original era of Adam West’s Batman felt fresh and modern while staying rooted in the tech and climate of the 60’s.

The film includes nod after nod after nod to the original series, Bat-Copters, Bat-Sprays, the Chief’s Irish accent.  You are truly transported back to the TV show.  On the other side of the coin, The plot and the effects aren’t something that could have ever really been achieved in the original series, effect wise or budget wise I’m sure.  With animation, if you think it, you can draw it, and the movie took absolute advantage of that to great effect.  Just a few fun points I enjoyed, all the villains wearing seat belts in the Joker mobile.  Batman and Robin not jay walking.  A nameless goon wearing a G.O.O.N. t-shirt!

The assembled voice cast is anchored by original 60’s Bat-Actors Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman).  Jeff Bergman (Joker), Wally Wingert (Riddler), and William Salyers (Penguin) round out the core of the cast of classic villains.  Having grown up with the original iconic cast of characters (re-runs in the 80s), it tugged on all of my heart strings to hear Batman the way he sounded for me growing up, same for Robin and for Catwoman.  I will say though, it is a bit of an adjustment.  West, Ward and Newmar all sound very much their real world age.  They all did fantastic jobs with their characters, rhythms, wit, they hit all the lines very well.  For me though, it took a minute to appreciate the new depth to their voices.  This really didn’t phase the litlgeeks, they have been exposed to 60’s era Batman, but it isn’t as ingrained for them as it was for Mrs. MUReview and myself.  I’m spending some time on it, because for me it was the biggest stand out thing to get used to, but by the end of the movie, I don’t know if it was the actors getting used to the characters again, or being comfortable with it, it wasn’t anywhere near as noticeable as in the beginning.

The newcomers to their role, Wingert, Salyers and Bergman all did very appreciable jobs of adopting the iconic characters and making them their own while calling back to some of the iconic squeaks, squeals and giggles of the original 60’s era actors.  The stand out for me is Wingert’s portrayal of the Riddler.  He had a great cadence and delivered riddles that landed just right every time.

The writing in the film is quick and witty.  Full of puns, double entendres, clever rhymes, riddles, it was again nostalgic, fit the 60’s period, but also felt modern and relevant.  So much care was taken to pay homage to the do-gooder, boy scout that Batman was back then, that when one of the films early twists hit, it was almost offensive to see a change in Batman’s behavior.  Well done!  The writers also try to bring out time period specific tropes and concepts.  The writing nails “the way it was back then”, sometimes, almost too well, making some of the male / female interactions a little awkward for the modern viewer.

The art / drawing put forth in Return of the Caped Crusaders is really very sharp, looks great on a 4K TV, and most importantly, it captures the characters in cartoon form, just how I remember them from the real world show.  I can’t really ask for much more, except I’m asking for more.  I’d like to see more, and I’m excited that Batman Vs. Two Face is already announced!

The Extras

All things being equal, I’m not really a big extras fan.  I like to enjoy a movie, let it sit with me, and if I want any more out of it, I’ll watch it again.  That said, Warner Brothers does add value to the Blu-Ray / DVD / Ultra Violet combo pack with a few quick shorts featuring the voice actors.

Dastardly Desperadoes features the villains talking about just how much fun it was to step into the roles.
A Classic Cadre of Voices lets the classic actors talk about revisiting their roles and how much they enjoyed doing so.  Seeing Julie Newmar in Cat ears is a treat!
 
Two sneak peeks are included on the discs, one for Son of Batman, another for Batman Vs. Robin.  Each film has been out for some time and is available physically and digitally, so skip the sneak peeks, go watch the movies, they are outstanding and feature Batman and son Damien Wayne getting into all kinds of trouble.
 
Rounding out the extras are trailers for DC TV, Wonder Woman, The Lego Batman Movie, which is an absolute highlight, and a new Wonder Woman animated movie.  All are worth a watch.
 
The Summary
 
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders picks up right where the 60’s era TV show left off.  It features wonderful voice acting, a fun plot, and it pulls out a ton of tricks that you’d never be able to see in live action TV, certainly not in the 60’s.  This is a bright starting point for what I hope becomes a full animated series of films and it’s definitely something you should take the time out to watch.   I will take a moment to voice my one real complaint with the movie here in the summary.  The Joker didn’t have a mustache covered by makeup.  That felt weird to me…
 

 

The Pictures


 

 
 MUReview received this product for free for review purposes.
 
Review: Amazing Spider-Man

Review: Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man

Following a falling out between Sony and Director Sam Raimi, Sony decided to reboot its successful Spider-Man franchise. To do so, they brought in director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and assembled a new cast consisting of Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Rhys Ifans, Dennis Leary and Sally Field.

The marketing initially pushed the film as “The Untold Origin,” but it’s ultimately extremely similar to the one we’ve already seen. A few changes were made, but it seems like most of the “Untold Origin” was cut from the movie. It’s definitely understandable that they wanted to distance themselves from the previous trilogy, starting all the way back at the beginning. It just makes the movie occasionally feel like it’s going through the motions.  Even with the rehash of the origin, I preferred this version to “Spider-Man.”

The cast is the biggest reason why the movie is so successful. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are easily the highlights. Where the relationship between Maguire and Dunst always struck me as false, they actually have the chemistry and humor to back it up. Garfield is a great Peter Parker, handling both the comedy and the more serious aspects extremely well.  The rest of the cast makes the most of what they get, elevating the material.
The only weak link is Rhys Ifans, who plays Dr. Curt Connors. He never makes an impression when he’s on the screen, he’s just there. It’s not entirely his fault, as the script does the bare minimum in giving Dr. Connors a motivation. His arc occurs abruptly, and the audience isn’t given enough to understand where he’s coming from. His plan doesn’t make a lot of sense and he never feels like much of a threat.  Unfortunately, he’s just a completely forgettable villain.

The emphasis on practical web slinging is a great choice that helps ground the action and makes it feel more tangible, and helps ground it in reality. In fact, the transition between practical Spider-Man and the digital double is never noticeable. The Lizard doesn’t come across nearly as well, though. The CG is occasionally great, but for the most part it’s merely serviceable.

Overall, it’s a successful relaunch of the Spider-Man franchise. It had all the elements it needed to be great, so hopefully the sequel can improve upon this.

Additional Info

-The 3D is sort of a mixed bag, it looks great during the action sequences that take place high up in the air, but is unnoticeable in most of the conversational scenes.

-Also, there’s a teaser about halfway through the credits for a sequel, though it’s sort of anticlimactic.

Written by Richie Lyman

Review: The Avengers

Review: The Avengers

(Spoiler Free)

I am not a movie critic.  I am not a ‘professional’ writer.  I am just a guy who really likes Marvel, comic books, and a bunch of other stuff that is related.  I don’t pretend to understand set design, camera angles, or how a scene is properly directed vs. not.  Hot dang I loves me a great movie though!

The Avengers managed to take 4 monster characters and stuff them into 2.5 hours together without making me feel like any one of the Marvel favorites on screen got cheated out of screen time.  I went into the movie fully expecting Robert Downey Jr. to steal the show.  To my surprise, I found myself engaged and even laughing as much when Chris Hemsworth fired off zingers as I did when Tony Stark was being Tony Stark.

 

The movie did an outstanding job of balancing action and interaction from start to finish….yes, right up till the very credit roll end where you get your second post film clip.  I can’t recommend enough, sticking around till the very last name is shown to see the short clip that follows.  I did so and by that time it was about 2:50 after a full days work that started at 7AM the previous day and I still don’t regret it even now.

The big 4 and the smaller 2 worked well together throughout the movie (Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow) dialogue wise.  I didn’t have any problem believing their feelings towards each other or towards what was going on around them.

Top notch performances were turned in by all of the key actors.  Tom Hiddleston did an outstanding job of making me want to stab him by the end of the movie, and I feel like, in Mark Ruffalo we have the first believable ‘live-action’ Hulk since the small screen in the 70’s.  I guess CGI is really finally getting that good.  I was utterly convinced that the CGI Hulk and real world Banner were the same guy, and I wouldn’t want to make either of them angry.

Through the movie just about every plot point raised was explained.  With two exceptions (in my mind), everything paid off and was tied up.  One of the exceptions was the obvious ‘cliff hanger’ mid-credits, so stick around for that.  The other I felt was much more gray and I found myself wondering why they didn’t go back to say for sure yes or no.  Maybe you will pick up on it, maybe you won’t…(highlight for not really a spoiler) but it has to do with a deck of Cap trading cards (saying that spoils nothing).

The Avengers was epic on all scales.  It was well paced, well acted, enjoyable, and I laughed about 3x as much as I thought I might going in.  If you ever wondered what watching a comic book play out in front of you might look like, go see The Avengers.  I watched Iron Man this past weekend in prep with my son.  I really didn’t know if Marvel could top the first Iron Man, but Whedon and crew laid down the Gauntlet for 2012 block busters, the Gauntlet for team movies, and the Gauntlet for super hero movies for years to come.  It’ll go down to date as my favorite super hero movie and run away, my favorite Marvel movie until something tops it, which will be a challenge.  Remember kids, stay till the very end!

Grade: A+ (That totally doesn’t even mean anything, just go see it, it was a fantastic movie and a great time!).

 

MUReview Christmas Giveaway! SpecTACuLARRRR!

MUReview Christmas Giveaway! SpecTACuLARRRR!

Happy Ho! Ho! Holidays from MUReview.  We want to spread a little bit of holiday cheer to our readers.  Our cupboards are nearing bare, but we still have some neat stuff around.  Please understand…we wish it were more, but times are tough, just a glass 3/4 full of awesome.  The NYCC 2011 Exclusive Diamond Select Deadpool Minimates Box Set!, AND! The coveted and dramatically eBay over-priced, Marvel Universe Holiday Gift Set featuring Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and Wolverine, are up for giveaway from 12/15 – 12/23, winner announced 12/25.

Now, I know the general consensus is that alot of people that collect MU probably wouldn’t pay for the Gift Set…so I figured it’d be a heck of an idea if I could give it to someone, they could get it, and then they didn’t have to pay for it!

How To Enter: You can enter up to 6 times and each of the following is one entry (you only have to do one of the following for one entry).

  • Leave a comment on this post (You will need to include name and email in required fields so I know who you are).
  • Like us, MUReview on Facebook – Like Us here
  • Follow @mureview on twitter and tweet about this giveaway with hashtag #mureview, copy the tweet link to your comment. Follow us here
  • Post in our forums – anywhere – 3 posts will be counted, anything after is just you having fun! (only contributing posts will be counted)
  • (6 entries total per person).
  • Automated entries and duplicated e-mails will not be counted. Cheaters will be disqualified.
  • Previous winners must wait 60 days to participate in another giveaway.
  • Previous Twitter follows and Facebook Likes will be counted.

Entry Period: 12/15/11 – 12/23/11 (10 days).

Results:  Results will be announced 12/25/11, the winners name and state only, will be shared.  If the winner wants to pose with their Deadpools and gift set and send me a picture, I’m happy to post that to the site as well.

OFFICIAL RULES: Your email will not be shown and will be kept private (unless it’s your user name on the site). Giveaways are open to readers 18 years or older with a shipping address in the contiguous United States only (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, and the rest of the world, shipping is expensive). If you enter, make sure you have a safe location in the USA for me to send this to.

The winner will be generated via http://www.random.org/. Winner will be notified by e-mail within 5 days after the entry date deadline. Winners must respond within 5 days or the prize will be forfeit.

The use of any automated launching or entry software or any other mechanical or electronic means that permits the participant to automatically register and/or enter repeatedly is prohibited and all such entries will be disqualified.

How To Enter: You can enter up to 6 times and each of the following is one entry(you only have to do one of the following for one entry).

  • Leave a comment on this post (You will need to include name and email in required fields so I know who you are).
  • Like us, MUReview on Facebook – Like Us here
  • Follow @mureview on twitter and tweet about this giveaway with hashtag #mureview, copy the tweet link to your comment. Follow us here
  • Post in our forums – anywhere – 3 posts will be counted, anything after is just you having fun! (only contributing posts will be counted)
  • (6 entries per person).
  • Automated entries and duplicated e-mails will not be counted. Cheaters will be disqualified.
  • Previous winners must wait 60 days to participate in another giveaway.
  • Previous Twitter follows and Facebook Likes will be counted.

Entry Period 12/15/11 – 12/23/11

Results will be announced 12/25/11, the winners name and state only, will be shared.

Fine print

MUReview is not responsible for any late or lost entries, electronic, hardware, Internet or other computer/communications related malfunctions, giveaway disruptions, injuries, losses or damages caused by events beyond the control of MUReview, any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the giveaway or prizes lost in shipment. All federal, state, local or international taxes associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. By entering the giveaway through this website, you release MUReview from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the giveaway or delivery, mis-delivery or acceptance of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory. About the prize: Purchased by MUReview at NYCC 2011.  If you have previously won anything from MUReview you must wait 60 days to participate in any additional giveaways.  Previous Facebook likes and Twitter follows will be counted and do not need to be re-done.

Custom Dr. Doom Giveaway from Alan (Onlinebuyer21)!

Custom Dr. Doom Giveaway from Alan (Onlinebuyer21)!

Checkout Alan’s custom Ultimate X-Men Box Set on eBay – bid and keep the free customs coming from Alan! HERE

Also, check out Alan’s custom Age of Apocalypse Wolverine on eBay – bid and keep the free customs coming from Alan! HERE!  AND!!! Check out the custom Ghost Rider HERE!

Remember about a month back, MUReview brought you breaking news about “possible” new variants on shelves at Walmart, street clothes Dr. Strange, and FF Dr. Doom?  If you don’t, you can check it out HERE.

We did a little snooping and custom comparing to debunk the “official” nature of these releases.  A clever and talented customizer dressed up his works in nice retail boxes, and went full on out of the way to picture them in an actual store.  This is no simple thing as I’m sure he at least risked an interesting conversation with store security.

That doesn’t mean that the figures don’t exist though…and we’ve got one of them for you, our readers.

Courtesy of custom maker, sponsor, and friend of MUReview.net, Alan (Onlinebuyer21) will be working closely with us for the foreseeable future to bring you, our readers, custom giveaways once every other month!

Check out more of his work HERE!

This month, we start with the FF Dr. Doom!

How To Enter: You can enter up to 6 times and each of the following is one entry (you only have to do one of the following for one entry).

  • Leave a comment on this post (You will need to include name and email in required fields so I know who you are).
  • Like us, MUReview on Facebook – Like Us here
  • Follow @mureview on twitter and tweet about this giveaway with hashtag #mureview, copy the tweet link to your comment. Follow us here
  • Post in our forums – anywhere – 3 posts will be counted, anything after is just you having fun! (only contributing posts will be counted)
  • (6 entries total per person).
  • Automated entries and duplicated e-mails will not be counted. Cheaters will be disqualified.
  • Previous winners must wait 60 days to participate in another giveaway.
  • Previous Twitter follows and Facebook Likes will be counted.

Entry Period: 9/12/11 – 9/22/11 (10 days).

Results:  Results will be announced 9/30/11, the winners name and state only, will be shared.  If the winner wants to pose with their Doom and send me a picture, I’m happy to post that to the site as well.

OFFICIAL RULES: Your email will not be shown and will be kept private. Giveaways are open to readers 18 years or older with a shipping address in the contiguous United States only (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, and the rest of the world, shipping is expensive). If you enter, make sure you have a safe location in the USA for me to send this to.

The winner will be generated via http://www.random.org/. Winner will be notified by e-mail within 5 days after the entry date deadline. Winners must respond within 5 days or the prize will be forfeit.

The use of any automated launching or entry software or any other mechanical or electronic means that permits the participant to automatically register and/or enter repeatedly is prohibited and all such entries will be disqualified.

How To Enter: You can enter up to 6 times and each of the following is one entry(you only have to do one of the following for one entry).

  • Leave a comment on this post (You will need to include name and email in required fields so I know who you are).
  • Like us, MUReview on Facebook – Like Us here
  • Follow @mureview on twitter and tweet about this giveaway with hashtag #mureview, copy the tweet link to your comment. Follow us here
  • Post in our forums – anywhere – 3 posts will be counted, anything after is just you having fun! (only contributing posts will be counted)
  • (6 entries per person).
  • Automated entries and duplicated e-mails will not be counted. Cheaters will be disqualified.
  • Previous winners must wait 60 days to participate in another giveaway.
  • Previous Twitter follows and Facebook Likes will be counted.

Entry Period 9/12/11 – 9/22/11

Results will be announced 9/30/11, the winners name and state only, will be shared.

Fine print

MUReview is not responsible for any late or lost entries, electronic, hardware, Internet or other computer/communications related malfunctions, giveaway disruptions, injuries, losses or damages caused by events beyond the control of MUReview, any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the giveaway or prizes lost in shipment. All federal, state, local or international taxes associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. By entering the giveaway through this website, you release MUReview from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the giveaway or delivery, mis-delivery or acceptance of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory. About the prize: Donated by ebay seller Onlinebuyer21.  If you have previously won anything from MUReview you must wait 60 days to participate in any additional giveaways.  Previous Facebook likes and Twitter follows will be counted and do not need to be re-done.

MUReview will bring you NY Comic-Con 2011 coverage!

MUReview will bring you NY Comic-Con 2011 coverage!

So far, this site has been a great ride for us.  We have seen a lot of successes in a very short amount of time, and the response from you (our readers), has been outstanding.  We are going to keep bringing you comic related news, reviews, releases, and anything else we can think of that you might want to read.

We received news of our greatest success so far today however.  We have been approved as “Media” for attendance to NY Comic-Con 2011.  This is because you read our site, and it’s because you want to see what we have to say.

It is with this, that I am really as proud as I have ever been, to bring you the news, that we will be covering Comic-Con NY 2011 for our readers.  We are going to do our best to provide unprecedented coverage, floor images, and maybe even news of / giveaway of an exclusive or two as we can make it happen.

We will be there with cards in hand, wearing our MUReview pride on our sleeves, backs and chests (t-shirts).  I’m sure my wife will let me loose in NYC with a nice DSLR so we can bring you NYCC in high-res, and if wi-fi and AT&T permit, we will do it as live as possible.

We hope you all stick around to see what’s coming next, we can’t wait, and I hope you can’t either! EXCELSIOR! (or some such)