Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Blu-Ray Review

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Blu-Ray Review



Synopsis: When a spaceship splashes down in Gotham Harbor, Batman and Superman encounter a mysterious Kryptonian with powers as great as Superman's. When Darkseid gets wind of this, he has the Kryptonian abducted and brought under his control on Apokolips. It's up to Batman and Superman to retrieve the Kryptonian, forcing them to infiltrate Darkseid's hostile world where superpowerful threats lurk around every corner. This story is based on Jeff Loeb's popular mini-series from the Superman/Batman comic books.

Review: The Dc Universe films have really been pushing the envelope as far as quality adult-themed comic book inspired animation.  The latest installment in this series is Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.   This movie is based on the "Supergirl from Krypton" arc in Superman/Batman comic book #8-13, pencilled by the late and great Michael Turner.

The film follows the arc quite well from begining to end.  Fan-Favorite Kevin Conroy is back as Batman and he doesn't disappoint!  Tim Daly is also back as Superman, so that really brings some magic to this film.  Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) does a wonderful job as Supergirl, as well.

My one and ONLY complaint about this film is the casting of Andre Braugher as Darkseid.  He's a fine actor, but his voice was all wrong for the role.  I really hoped for something a bit deeper and more ominous.  It was just too ordinary.

The Dc Animated Short was Green Arrow this go around.  It was absolutely wonderful!  It features Merlyn and Count Vertigo...along with Black Canary!  I could go for an entire Dc Universe film based on Green Arrow.

The film looks great on blu-ray.  The high-definition is the way to go!   This one is fantastic, I would rate it right up there with Batman: Under the Red Hood.

The special features on this blu-ray include: A first look at the next installment of the DC Universe movie,  DC Showcase Short Film: Green Arrow, The New Gods featurette: chronicles the tale of Darkseid and why he reigns supreme as one of the most brilliant, and toughest challengers the Super Heroes must face, and what his threat for tomorrow could bring, New Gods: Mr. Miracle pod, New Gods: Orion pod, Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton vintage featurette, Bonus episodes handpicked by Bruce Timm: Superman The Animated Series -"Little Girl Lost Parts 1 and 2," "Apokalips Now! Parts 1 and 2"

The big reveal on the next Dc Universe film?  Its going to be Allstar Superman!


Interest Range: Dc Comics, Batman, Superman, Animation

Monday, September 20, 2010

Batman Product - Dc Direct Solicitations for December 2010


Here are the Batman Product - Dc Direct Solicitations for December 2010!


HEROES OF THE DC UNIVERSE: BLACKEST NIGHT BLACK LANTERN BATMAN BUST

BASED ON THE ART OF IVAN REIS • SCULPTED BY JEAN ST. JEAN 
The BLACKEST NIGHT continues in mini-bust form!

Each month in 2011, DC Direct releases a mini-bust featuring a character from the hugely popular DC Comics’ epic BLACKEST NIGHT.

Black Lantern Batman continues the HEROES OF THE DC UNIVERSE: BLACKEST NIGHT bust line! The sculpture features Batman atop a special base that displays the spectrum of Lantern symbols. 

The bust is hand-painted, cold-cast in porcelain, measures approximately 5.75” high x 4.25” wide x 5” deep and is packaged in a 4-color box. 
Limited Edition.

On sale May 18, 2011 * Bust * $70 US


BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE: BATMAN BY DUSTIN NGUYEN
DESIGNED BY DUSTIN NGUYEN
SCULPTED BY JOSEPH MENNA

From fan-favorite BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM artist Dustin Nguyen! The next Batman Black and White statue is an original design for DC Direct! 

This statue measures approximately 7.61” high x 5.1” wide x 3.45” deep, is painted in monochromatic tones, features a Bat-logo-shaped base and is packaged in a black and white box.  
Limited Edition.

On sale May 4, 2011 * Statue * $80 US


HARLEY QUINN 1:4 SCALE MUSEUM QUALITY STATUE
SCULPTED BY JONATHAN MATTHEWS 
Bud and Lou … and Harley, too!

Madly in love with her spotted darlings, Harley Quinn takes her babies out for a walk, chain-link leash in one hand, pop gun in the other. Out for a stroll, they’re laughing all the way … to the bank.

Little Lou and Baby Bud each hold a piece of what Harley holds near and dear, but with a slice of fear: a stick of dynamite from her Puddin’, The Joker, and a ripped and torn Bat logo from the costume of a certain Gotham City hero.

This classic rendition of the Queen of Crime is the latest addition to DC Direct’s exclusive 1:4 scale museum quality statue series. Harley Quinn’s costume is exquisitely tailored and detailed, while various mixed media elements give this museum quality statue texture and visual interest. 

The HARLEY QUINN 1:4 SCALE MUSEUM QUALITY STATUE includes hand-painted resin parts, measures approximately 16.5” high x 10” wide x 14” deep, and is packaged in a 4-color box.
Limited Edition.
On sale May 25, 2011 * Statue * $325 US


JUSTICE LEAGUE: CLASSIC ICONS SERIES 1 ACTION FIGURES

Four of DC Comics’ biggest names – all renowned members of the JLA – in classic, heroic body styles.  These figures are evergreens for any fan – and for any retailer! Stock up in preparation for Free Comic Book Day on May 7!
Batman • The World’s Greatest Detective! - 7” high
Wonder Woman • The Amazing Amazon! - 7” high
Superman • The Man of Steel! - 7” high
Green Lantern • The Emerald Knight! - 7” high
All four figures feature multiple points of articulation and include a display base.
4-color clamshell blister card packaging.
On sale May 4, 2011 * Action Figures * PI

 
AME-COMI HEROINE SERIES: RAVEN PVC FIGURE
 
SCULPTED BY SAM GREENWELL
 
OH MY GOTH!
 
Sweeping shadows in black and midnight blue, post-punk pretty Raven keeps her emotions in check so the dark magic of her heritage doesn’t devour her whole.
 
Caped in swirling dark waves, this gloomcookie’s cloak of night locks in screaming lost souls, bats and beasts and terrors with teeth – including monster dad, the demon Trigon.
 
Packaged in a 4-color window box with J-hook, this non-articulated PVC statue stands approximately 9” high and includes a display base.
 
On sale May 11, 2011 * Statue * $70 US
 
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Kevin Conroy returns to seminal role as the Dark Knight in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse!


 KEVIN CONROY RETURNS TO SEMINAL ROLE
AS THE DARK KNIGHT IN SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE


“DESTINATION APOCALYPSE” ONLINE PROMOTION LIVE TODAY

That loud sound you hear in the distance is the echo of fanboys
cheering the return of Kevin Conroy to his benchmark role as the voice
of the Dark Knight for the highly-anticipated Superman/Batman:
Apocalypse, the ninth entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC
Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming September 28, 2010 from
Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner
Home Video.

Conroy, the voice behind the title character of the landmark Batman:
The Animated Series, set a standard that has yet to be contested over
the past 20 years. Conroy had already been seen on soap operas and
television series like Dynasty and Tour of Duty when he aced his first
audition for an animated voiceover role in 1991 – earning the title
character role for Batman: The Animated Series. It was a casting
decision that sounds as good today as it did back then.

Conroy will share that voice in person as the featured guest when
Warner Home Video, UGO.com and The Paley Center for Media proudly
present the East Coast premiere of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse in New
York on September 23. The West Coast premiere will be hosted in Los
Angeles on September 21.

The bi-coastal premieres are just part of the ongoing festivities in
conjunction with the release of the film. Included in the activities
is "Destination Apocalypse," an interactive online promotion that
allows fans to get even deeper into the mythology of Superman/Batman:
Apocalypse.  Fans can access "Destination Apocalypse" at
http://DestinationApocalypse.com and explore the many sections
including games, quizzes and information about film. Fans can even
send Kryptonian messages to their Facebook friends.  In each section,
participants virtually "check in" and earn badges to unlock an
exclusive video clip from the movie.  In addition, earning badges for
participating in the various activities in each section help to unlock
exclusive movie poster downloads.


Conway helps lead a Superman/Batman: Apocalypse cast that includes fan
favorite Tim Daly (Private Practice) as Superman, as well as Andre
Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) as the daunting Darkseid, sci-fi
heroine Summer Glau (Serenity/Firefly; Terminator: The Sarah Connor
Chronicles), and multi-Emmy Award winner Ed Asner (Up) as Granny
Goodness.

Based on the DC Comics series/graphic novel “Superman/Batman:
Supergirl” by Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald,
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is produced by animation legend Bruce Timm
and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Crisis on Two
Earths) from a script by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Tab
Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist).

Conroy will speak quite a bit during pre-premiere interviews and a
post-premiere panel discussion on September 23. But for those fans who
can’t attend the sold-out event, here’s some thoughts the actor
offered after a recent recording session.


QUESTION:
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse features a foe powerful enough to require
more than just one super hero to step to the plate. Can you speak to
the importance of a great villain?

KEVIN CONROY:
Well, the major villain is Darkseid, and he is very apocalyptic. You
know, it’s in the title (he laughs). The bigger the villain, the
greater the conflict – so as Darkseid is this epic-sized villain, it
gives a lot of dynamic for Batman and Superman to work off, and
creates that much more drama. Which means lots of action. And, of
course, Batman saves the world … as usual.  What would you expect?
(he laughs)


QUESTION:
Do you have a preference for the type of story that goes with Batman?

KEVIN CONROY:
What makes Batman interesting to audiences isn't just the fact of the
personal drama, or the darkness of his having a secret identity, or
his avenging his parents' death.  All of that personal drama makes him
appealing to people.  But I think of all the super heroes, what sets
him apart is that he's the only one that doesn't have any superpowers.
 He is the great detective. So in every story, it always comes down to
his using his wits.  I think everyone relates to that and loves that
about him. I really admire that aspect of his character – I wish I was
wittier. That's why I think audiences get into him so much, and that
character trait is very important to this story.


QUESTION:
Batman is a basically a loner. What are your thoughts about his lone
wolf approach, and how that works in a “buddy” adventure like the
Superman/Batman films?

KEVIN CONROY:
Batman’s isolation and his singularity, his inability to really let
other people into his personal world, is really essential to the
character. It's part of what audiences expect. Even in a series like
Justice League, where he was one of seven super heroes, Batman was
always the odd man out.  The others would go off as a group to do
something – you know, they might go have pizza – and Batman was always
the guy left back in the cave.

So in these Superman stories, I think it's the closest Batman gets to
having a brother, a kindred spirit.  Superman understands Batman.  He
understands his need to be alone and his isolation. He’s probably the
only one of all the super heroes who can balance Batman in terms of
wit and power, so they're a very good balance for each other.


QUESTION:
How does Batman see Superman?

KEVIN CONROY:
I think Batman thinks of Superman as the Dudley Do-Right of super
heroes.  He admires his strength and his character, but he also he
thinks he's incredibly naïve and very unsophisticated about the world.
 Remember, Batman is also Bruce Wayne, so he's very urbane.  He's very
versed in the way of the world.  And Superman is Clark Kent, and he's
such a goof  (he laughs). So it's almost all about the alter-ego – the
darkness of Batman’s Bruce Wayne is balanced out by the sunny demeanor
of Superman’s Clark Kent. That's where I think the distinction is.
Batman just thinks that Superman is kind of a very, very naïve guy who
always sees the goodness in everybody.  And Batman tends to see the
darkness.


QUESTION:

You attended Comic-Con International in San Diego last year for the
first time in six years. How did that experience impact you?

KEVIN CONROY:
The experience with the fans always re-energizes me for Batman.  I've
always been really into meeting and interacting with the fans.  I
understand why a lot of actors don't like to do that because it can be
very invasive of your private life.  But I'm just so appreciative
because I figure I wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for them.  Also,
my background is the theatre, and the fun of doing theatre is the
interaction with the audience, the feedback you get every night. You
just don't get that in Hollywood.  You don't get that with television
or film, and you certainly don't get it working in animation. So the
only place you get it is to go to places like the Cons.

Plus, you get funny perks. I went to a Starbucks in downtown San
Diego, and they said, “Oh, Mr. Conroy, you don't pay for coffee
today.”  (he laughs) I thought, well, that hasn't happened in a long
time.


QUESTION:
Away from the Cons, how often are you recognized?

KEVIN CONROY:
It happens in some unusual places. A number of years ago, I was in the
Hollywood Post Office parking lot. I left everything in the car,
because I was just going straight to the mail drop with the envelope.
This guy, who was sitting on the curb, obviously homeless, says to me
“Hey, buddy, have you got a quarter?”  And I said, “I'm so sorry. I
literally don't.  I have nothing.”  He said, “You're Kevin Conroy!” I
got really nervous – you just assume that your job is anonymous
working on animation, so I asked him how he knew that and he said,
“Oh, everybody knows who's Batman.”  I said, “No, believe me, everyone
doesn't know who's Batman.”  He said, “Oh,
please--please--please--please do the voice.”  He said, “Just say it …
I am vengeance.”  He knew the lines.  I said, “I am vengeance.”  He
said, “Oh, my God.  Batman's here! Batman's here!”  He said, “Say it:
I am the night.”  I said, “I am the night.”  He said, “Go! Go! Finish!
Finish!” And I said “I am Batman!” So the two of us are there
screaming “I am Batman!” in the parking lot, and he started clapping
and clapping, yelling “I can't believe I have Batman in the parking
lot.”

He went on to explain to me that all television monitors at the
Circuit City on Hollywood Blvd. showed Batman every day, and he would
stand outside and watch the show. So I said, “Wait, just a second,”
and I went running back to the car for some cash. He said, “Oh, I
can't take Batman's money.”  I told him he was going to take Batman's
money so he wouldn’t tell anyone that Batman is cheap (he laughs).
That whole scene was wild,  though – the last place you'd expect for
someone to recognize a voice actor is in the parking lot of the post
office.


QUESTION:
You’re a classically trained actor and a graduate of Juilliard. Did
you receive any instruction at Julliard that prepared you for
voiceover work?

KEVIN CONROY:
At that time, Juilliard was the new hot place to go if you wanted to
be an actor, My classmates were people like Robin Williams, Kelsey
Grammer, Frannie Conroy. We were all kids.  Robin and I were roommates
for two years, stealing food from each other when the other wasn’t
looking. We were starving students.

Robin was brilliant at the one thing that is perhaps what best
prepared me for what I do now, voicework.  There was a famous teacher
named Pierre LeFevre who ran the mask program at Juilliard.  French
masks conceal just the upper part of the face. This is classical
French theatre, and it's all part of a very classical education. You
put on these masks and they completely neutralize who you are. You
become a different person. You can't use the expressions on your face
– you can only use your body and your voice. Robin lived in those mask
classes – he would put on these masks and just become these
unbelievable characters. Pierre practically adopted Robin. There was
some really inspired stuff going on.  The point is that in that class,
all you could use was your voice.  It really made you focus on that –
especially on characterization in your voice.


QUESTION:
Did you have any clue that would lead you somewhere?

KEVIN CONROY:
It’s like that old expression – life is what happens to you when
you're busy making other plans.  I made all these plans to be a
classical actor, and you can't make a living in the theatre anymore.
There are no more classical actors. Everyone who survives in the
theatre does it by doing TV and film … or voice work.

I had no idea that this is what I would end up doing, but it certainly
prepared me for it.  I get that question a lot from people.  How do
you get into this business?  How do I get into voice work?  And I
always say, “Well, you go to Juilliard for four years …” (he laughs)
That’s the thing – everyone's route is unique.


QUESTION:
Did you have much voiceover success before Batman?

KEVIN CONROY:
Actually, I started doing voice work in the early '80s, and the very
first voice job I did was the first commercial I auditioned for.
Remember Paco Rabanne cologne?  The hook line was “What is remembered
is up to you.”  That was me. And over the next couple years, it paid
me $25,000 for those few words. It paid for a lot of theatre acting.


For more information please go to SupermanBatmanApocalypse.com

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Video Clip from Superman/Batman: Apocalypse


This animated clip depicts the harried first few minutes of time on
Earth for Kara, a Kryptonian cousin of Superman who has not yet
understood or harnessed her powers.


Warner Home Video, UGO.com and The Paley Center for Media will present
bi-coastal World Premieres of the film in Los Angeles on September 21
and New York on September 23. Filmmakers and members of the voice cast
will attend both events for red carpet media interviews and
post-screening panel discussions.

You can watch this clip online HERE

Based on the DC Comics series/graphic novel “Superman/Batman:
Supergirl” by Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald,
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is produced by animation legend Bruce Timm
and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Crisis on Two
Earths) from a script by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Tab
Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist).


In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, a spaceship splashes down in Gotham
City Harbor -- leading Batman and Superman to encounter a mysterious
Kryptonian with powers as great as those of the Man of Steel. The
Kryptonian is soon revealed to be Kara, cousin of Superman, who takes
her under his wing to educate her about the ways of Earth. However,
the villainous Darkseid has other plans. Seeing an opportunity to
finally defeat Superman, Darkseid abducts and gains control of Kara,
utilizing the powerful Kryptonian to do his bidding. It’s up to Batman
and Superman to save Kara, but they’ll have to take the fight to
Darkseid within his hostile world – where unknown, deadly threats lurk
around every corner, including a brainwashed Kryptonian able to match
Superman blow-for-blow.

Fan favorites Tim Daly (Private Practice) and Kevin Conroy (China
Beach) return to their seminal roles as Superman and Batman,
respectively. The celebrity-laden guest cast is headed by Andre
Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) as the daunting Darkseid. Sci-Fi
heroine Summer Glau (Serenity/Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor
Chronicles) provides the voice of Supergirl, and seven-time Emmy Award
winner Ed Asner (Up) reprises his Superman: The Animated
Series/Justice League role as Granny Goodness.

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Batman Bulk Bandz Coming Soon!

Product Spotlight: Batman: Brave and the Bold - The Wii VideoGame

 
Product Spotlight: Batman: Brave and the Bold - The Wii Video Game

 You can buy this game in stores now or online at sites like Amazon.com


About this game: Feel the boldness of adventure and the bravery of justice as you become Batman and his superhero teammates in the videogame based on your favorite animated TV series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Tread through the exciting etrrain of the DC Universe and test your might in this side-scrolling action thrill ride that will take you trhough crime-filled alleys, stnge alien planets, abondoned underground cities, and mysterious island laboratories. Go behind the cowl of the Caped Crusader himself and team up with one of his many superhero firneds to solve puzzles, fight dozens of foes, and discover new worlds as you battle to save the day and see if you truly have what it takes to be a superhero!

Our Take: The Batman: Brave and the Bold Videogame is being released on two formats, both the Wii and the Nintendo DS.   Today, Legions of Gotham is going to delve into the Wii release of the game.  It is based on, of course, the hit Cartoon Network show that is basically a love letter to the silver age of comic books.   We were excited to see that a new Batman game is on the market while we're waiting for the new Arkham City game next year, this one should feed our bat-frenzy!  The question is, does it live-up to the hype?  

From the moment we put this game in, it was a blast.  It really embodies the campy and fun feel of the cartoon with great graphics and dynamic gameplay.  You get a variety of environments to play from Gotham City to London and Outer Space to Science Island, the change-ups never seem to stop!  The cast of villains is nice too, featuring favorites like Catwoman.  My favorite aspects of the game are that A> its sidescrolling.  Why does this matter to me?  I'm old school and I don't like these crazy in-depth environment games.  I want a good old-fashioned side scroller!  B> Its not just action and fighting, there are puzzles to solve.  It actually works my mind a little, which is all I can ask for from a videogame!  We definately recommend this one to bat-fans of all ages!  Its a blast.



Thursday, September 09, 2010

Product Spotlight: Vintage Batman Models!


Here on Legions of Gotham we like to spotlight some of the best new product coming out in the realm of Batman.  Recently, we notice that the old Polar Lights models based on the 1966 Batman show were being re-released in stores!   Thanks to Round2 Models, we're able to bring you a better look at this great "new" product!

Today, we're going to have a look at the Batmobile and the Batboat models!  We'll focus on the batmobile first.  The model is available in two different formats, the standard boxed release and the Collector's Edition Tin!   Collector's be on alert...the tin is the way to go!  Its well worth it.  This thing not only includes the exact boxed version inside, but it has a dynamic black tin (see pics below) and a really cool schematic poster of the Barris 1966 Batmobile!  Its only a $15 difference in price.  

How are the models themselves?  Fantastic!  The Batmobile requires glue and painting, but comes with easy to assemble Batman and Robin characters to go inside.  I was able to sit down at the kitchen table with my kids and put together a model.  It was a blast.  I remember my first model, it was the 1989 Batmobile.  It was covered in glue and looked awful, but I was SO proud of it.  This is one of those pasttimes that has fallen to the wayside, but either as a collector or a parent, you can live it again with these models.  Check out the image gallery below and then jump to our look at the Batboat!


Now, onto the Batboat...

.....this one was almost funner than the Batmobile.  Sure, the Batmobile is iconic, but the Batboat was crazy!  Its one of those campy 60s show vehicles that just makes you laugh.  The models both look great, but this one is especially dynamic!
Visit the Round2 Models Website to purchase any of these models!

Tons of Batman finds in the Target $1 section!


If you're a serious Batman collector or a parent you enjoy finding these great little Batman items for $1!  Its a nice relief on the pocketbook, especially after you have to swallow the $9-$13 price tags on most action figures!  Recently, Target had a huge collection of Batman items in their $1 section.  I picked up most of it, with the exception of some kids socks.   Check out the pics below to see what is out there.

Coloring / Activity Books





















Stickers























School Supplies - Crayons, Markers, Pencils































Board Books













 

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