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"Batman and Harley Quinn" Animated Release Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Aug 15, 2017.

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Discuss "Batman and Harley Quinn" and leave a rating!

  1. *****

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  2. ****1/2

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  3. ****

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  4. ***1/2

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  5. ***

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  6. **1/2

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  7. **

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  8. *1/2

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  9. *

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  10. I've Got a Batman in my Basement

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  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
    Staff Member Administrator Moderator Reporter

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    Batman and Harley Quinn team-up in a wild animated feature from Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment! Discuss Batman and Harley Quinn and its home media release here!

    [​IMG]

    Batman and Harley Quinn
    Studio:
    Warner Bros. Animation
    Release Date: August 15th, 2017 - Digital; August 29th - Blu-ray/DVD

    Synopsis: Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet – and, unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime. But Batman’s patience is put to the test by the unpredictable and untrustworthy Harley during the twists and turns the reluctant companions face during their bumpy road trip. The result is a thrill ride of action, adventure and comedy no Batman fan has seen before.

    The film features a stellar voice cast led by Kevin Conroy reprising his role as the Dark Knight, alongside Melissa Rauch making her debut as the irrepressible Harley Quinn. Loren Lester, the voice of Robin in Batman: The Animated Series, returns as Nightwing. Paget Brewster and Kevin Michael Richardson provide the voices of the villainous duo Poison Ivy & Jason Woodrue, respectively. Sam Liu directed from an original story by Bruce Timm with a teleplay written by Timm & Jim Krieg. Co-Producer is Alan Burnett. Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers.

    Batman and Harley Quinn Bonus Content:
    -The Harley Effect (Featurette): Harley Quinn, has a deep history with the fans of the DC Universe. This featurette traces her humble roots from her creators, to those that portray her at Comic book conventions. She is a symbol of strength and beloved by many.
    -Loren Lester: In His Own Voice (Featurette): This documentary examines actor Loren Lester’s legacy within Batman The Animated Series, Dick Grayson’s character, and the popularity that surrounds Lester’s interpretation of the Boy Wonder.
    -A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie: A behind-the-scenes look at the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe Original Movies, featuring thoughts from the talented filmmakers and voice cast.
    -From the DC Vault – Batman: The Animated Series – "Harley and Ivy" and "Harley's Holiday"
    Note: Bonus content may vary between Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD editions.

    Discuss the Batman and Harley Quinn Contract animated release here!

    Please note this talkback is for both the Batman and Harley Quinn animated feature and home media release. Discussion for both are now housed in one single talkback discussion thread. Spoilers are also allowed, so those who have yet to see the movie may want to avoid this thread until they have.


    Related Threads:
    -Batman and Harley Quinn Subsite (Spoilers)
    -Harley Quinn and Batman Comic Series Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Animated Series "Harley and Ivy" Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: The Animated Series "Harley's Holiday" Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman Animated Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero Animated Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
    -Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Animated Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
    -DC Universe 10th Anniversary 30-Movie Collection Digital/Blu-ray Collection Talkback (Spoilers)

    Note: Remember, we appreciate and encourage discussion, but please keep your posts civil, relevant and insightful. Please do not post any improper or inflammatory material, as we will issue warnings if we believe it necessary. And remember to keep the discussion ON-TOPIC!
     
  2. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    I was one of the lucky recipients of tickets for the Fathom Events viewing, so thanks to Fathom and World's Finest!

    Now as for the movie... Let me preface by mentioning I didn't do my pre-reading for this movie. I went in anticipating it would be pretty similar in theme and tone to most of the other DC animated releases since 2007. Even with the comedic opening credits, I still thought the movie felt like a straightforward action/thriller narrative. Minus a few humorous moments, the comedy doesn't really start in earnest until you see Harley, and once we get to see her, the jokes start cascading. It took me about half an hour to adjust to the movie, as though I noticed the tone drifted more toward comedy, but my brain wasn't processing that this was going to be an off-beat story. I think around that time I realized my mouth was agape. I would definitely say the level of humor and comedy escalates from beginning onward. If you only watched the first five or ten minutes, you might not know this was a pure comedy, but at around the hour mark you can see the movie really go over the top. It can be jarring if you're not used to seeing and hearing this particular Batman in this kind of element, but I think it surprisingly can work.

    Now that I've had a chance to let it all sink in, I would first point out the audio and visuals. I do think the movie feels like it's at the low end of the production budget range, kind of like how Superman vs. the Elite felt limited. Perhaps my perception is slanted by thinking any score that sounds orchestral automatically feels more grandiose and pricey, the intro to this movie (and again, Superman vs. the Elite) has a budget-friendly sound. Early in the movie, there was also a certain lack of crispness to the animation. Again, I didn't do my pre-reading, so maybe these issues were already brought up regarding the previews, but there were times in which I thought there was some stuttering in the animation. Also, the movie kind of looks like TNBA, but doesn't not entirely. Whether you want to call it "inspired by" or "an imitation of" the 1990's DCAU, the visuals look close, but still have some distinctness.

    What can I say about the plot? It's fairly generic as far as supervillain schemes go. Clearly this is a Harley story, and to some degree Nightwing is more important than Batman. Whether or not this is canon with the DCAU was up for debate, and from my POV it's about as canon to TNBA as Teen Titans Go is to Teen Titans. In other words, I wouldn't think of it as the same canon; it's almost more of a parody than a continuation. With that in mind, I can imagine a lot of people's hating this movie. The style of the humor is highly unique relative to DC animation. We've had quips and mild (MILD) innuendo before, and nothing like this. I can almost imagine the team meeting where someone said, "It's so sad that Dwayne McDuffie (R.I.P.) couldn't be here to help us write the script. Let's call Judd Apatow!" Fortunately, I'm not highly averse to that, so after my brain finally accepted that this is not a typical DC animated feature, my enjoyment grew. I won't be watching this with my sister, though.

    My last note is on Melissa Rauch as Harley. She's not Arleen Sorkin, who many of us know didn't just voice Harley but whose on-stage act provided the inspiration for Harley's voice. I miss Sorkin as Harley, but what helps this movie is that this a more vulgar and crass Harley, and not necessarily meant to imitate the Harley from the 1990's cartoons. Maybe it was for the best we got a differing interpretation, because I might've felt weird listening to Sorkin's Harley make political commentary or implied vibrator jokes.
     
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  3. atomicbattery

    atomicbattery Member

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    Random morning after thoughts-

    Still processing the somewhat jarring use of animated series designs with more mature content, but I laughed often, even at the really silly, vulgar stuff (Harley's appeal can sell jokes that would get an eye roll from anyone else).

    Felt strangely underpopulated, with no Alfred, Gordon, Bruce Wayne- this is very focused on these characters, in these rolls, in this moment- with not much attention paid to the animated series larger world of Gotham.

    That said, the standout sequence for me was the henchmen's roadhouse, with all those goons from the animated series (SPOILER!- hilarious to see Randa from Heart of Steel dancing with the Joker robot from The Last Laugh!), and even a couple from Batman'66.

    I didn't mind Harley and Nightwing, it was funny and playful (although I was a little uncomfortable knowing that there were kids at the screening), Nightwing is known for- if not in the animated universe- his many romances, and it was just one of many points throughout the film that evidenced Harley having moved past the Joker (not that engaging in random hookups is any evidence of having moved on from a previous relationship, but my guess is that the old Harley would only have seduced Nightwing with the intention of knocking him out and presenting him as a gift to Mr. J).

    I thought the animation was fine, but not great. Better than the average New Batman Adventures episode, but not nearly as good as the TMS eps. Has the budget been cut on these films?

    I liked this strange little journey into a slightly twisted version of the animated universe (maybe the animated DCAU was this way all along, and we were only seeing an edited version suitable for kids?) and will be picking up the bluray on day one.
     
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  4. Dallas Kinard

    Dallas Kinard Active Member

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    Overall I enjoyed this flick. Here are my random thoughts the morning after:

    - Decent animation (though stuttery at times like most of these recent DTVs) - The style is very much DCAU/Timm, but updated slightly.

    - Great action - some of the best the DCAU has to offer. Right up there with JLU fight scenes.

    - The humor worked for the most part. I thought Batman's reaction to crazy scenarios were VERY funny. Harley was funny at times, but just plain annoying at other times.

    - The sexual stuff was not necessary and tried too hard IMO.

    - The epic BTAS and TNBA cameos were VERY well done. That bar scene is a stand-out for us longtime fans.

    - Swamp Thing at the end was totally un-expected and very well played, even though it didn't last long.

    - My only real issue was the lackluster climax. The film literally just ends....and then there is a mid and post credit's scene.

    IMO this is absolutely canon to the rest of the DCAU. Harley even mentions Nightwing's mullet he had in TNBA. The BTAS batmobile and Batplane were the models used in this film btw.

    How does this rank among the other DCAU films? Here is my ranking (un-popular opinion, but please be nice - film is 100% subjective):

    1. Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker (Uncut) - DCAU perfection.

    2. Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero - Superb animation and one epic climax. Some of the best the DCAU has to offer.

    3. Superman: Brainiac Attacks - This is canon to me and I've made a case on how it can totally work. Great action and spectacle, but thin on plot. Still, it has a charm to it I can't explain.

    4. Batman: Mystery Of The Batwoman - I really enjoy this more than most. Light-hearted, but great action and music.

    5. Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm - How dare I have this movie so low! Sorry, IMO this one is very good, but VASTLY over-rated. I love ALL of the films, but find some more enjoyable than others. This one has excellent plot, but just isn't as entertaining IMO.

    6. Batman and Harley Quinn - See above outline.

    7. Justice League: Gods And Monsters - I consider this a parallel earth of the DCAU. Very good action and a well thought out plot. I just want to see the actual JL crossover in a future installment.
     
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    #4 Dallas Kinard, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  5. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    Dallas' top-seven list of DCAU movies is...um...interesting for including both Gods and Monsters and Superman: Brainiac Attacks!, especially ranking the latter above the highly-regarded Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. I have to seriously struggle to image Attacks! on anybody's 'best of' list or seeing it as anything other than a stand-alone cash grab; personally, I would be tempted to nominate it for riffing on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is just that bad. But to each his own.

    I was another fortunate winner of a pair of free passes to Batman and Harley Quinn and I will also extend thanks to everyone involved! The lovely Tayna (my wife) accompanied me and we had a lovely time. I did notice that there were fewer theaters (at least in our area) hosting the screening. I suspect that this is a consequence of the disappointing attendance for the Fathom Events screening of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, a movie that deserved better box office than it received, in my own personal opinion. The auditorium was not exactly packed, but there was a nice mix of families and attending in pairs or small groups.

    I had done my homework about the movie and I was prepared for a both funnier and racier approach to the characters in a semi-official continuation of the DCAU. Tayna was less familiar with the development of the film and some elements did take her a bit by surprise (even I wasn't completely prepared for how far things progressed between Nightwing and Harley!). We both enjoyed the film; Tayna even told me that she thought this was the best DC Universe movie that she had seen in ages. I have to agree, at least in terms of watchability. The plot is little more than an excuse for the subsequent hijinks, but I am totally okay with that! The animation isn't quite top-of-the-line for DC's direct-to-video movies; however, it is more than adequate. I suspect that the production budget for these films has not kept up with inflation. Still, the characters are appealing and expressive, and the action sequences are reasonably smooth and well-executed.

    The voice acting is great. No, Melissa Rauch is not Arleen Sorkin, but neither is Tara Strong nor anyone else who has also voiced Harley. I knew from Rauch's work on Big Bang Theory that she would be more than up to the task. Paget Brewster is also worth mentioning for her take on Poison Ivy displaying both the character's mania and her humanity. Kevin Conroy's Batman IS Batman, now and forever more, and Loren Lester makes a welcomed return to the role of Dick Grayson/Nightwing. Kevin Michael Richardson struck the right balance of menace and humor as Jason Woodrue (and wouldn't Woodrue actually be a better super-villain moniker than the Floronic Man?).

    Any complaints I have are just quibbles. The story does spend a little too long in the henchmen dive--I'm not sure that we needed full musical numbers for both Two-Face's henchmen and for Harley. I would have reduced the twins' duet to mostly just a background element. The climax does end a bit abruptly. It works in the larger context of the film, and I have to assume that Batman carries one or more things in his utility belt that acts as an effective accelerant. I have to wonder if Bruce Wayne had a hand in finding Harley a more useful outlet for her skills; I also suspect that Harley's show is an homage to her incarnation in the animated series The Batman. Over all, I can recommend Batman and Harley Quinn to anyone who doesn't mind a slightly more adult and humorous take on the universe of Batman: The Animated Series or simply wants to see an action-comedy that's just a little different.
     
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    #5 Otaku-sempai, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  6. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    Oh god, so much to say about this movie! I've been working on getting my girlfriend into DCAU material (we've watched ROTJ, a few BTAS episodes, and a few JL episodes together) so it was fun getting to watch and discuss the movie from the point of view of a newcomer and veteran to the universe. Oddly enough, we both thoroughly enjoyed the film, but also had the same complaints. Some scenes, while awesome to me because of how fanservice centered they were kinda goofed up the pacing a bit (henchman hideout was cool, but were two musical numbers necessary?) the animation particullarly on Batman and Nightwing's faces seemed passable (to say the least) at times, but the action sequences were wonderful. The voice acting for Ivy and Harley was wonderful as well. While I wouldn't say this is the best DCAU movie, it's definitely a welcome addition.

    As I'm sure a few of you are aware from my postings around here, I'm a huge continuity nerd, and I've got to say I love how they pulled off a few things even though Timm states they didn't go back and research. Obviously the henchman bar being the best of it (although, why is captain clown there?), but even Super Babes. I think the Power Girl references were weird given the nature of Galatea, but oh my god I was not expecting to see Starfire. While I don't believe the Titans tv show is DCAU, it's nice to see she exists and was perhaps part of the team that was mentioned in Static (would she be old enough in continuity for it not to be creepy that this place is sexualizing her though?). Another thing that struck me was the fact that Batman stated "neither of them was ever human" which leads me to believe that the plant clone Ivy we see in Batman Adventures Vol. 2 is canon (sure she dies in #16, but this could be a third clone, why not).

    The one thing that did bug me as far as continuity goes though is when Harley stated Berkowitz stood her up to senior prom 10 years ago, but also mentioned Nightwing's mullet as a decade of bad haircuts. Even though she was Harley for years prior to the mullet. I guess that those were both just loose time periods and I shouldn't read too much into it.

    I haven't done my typical screenshotting that I do for my timeline blog yet, but I did pause while they were going through the star labs computers to try and read the screen and essentialy it said something like "good effort, but you're wasting your time reading this. there's nothing important here." so I wonder if Timm and co are on to me lol. It was a nice piece of background humor.

    I think my biggest takeaway from this movie though is that despite the comedic aspect of it, in the larger scope of the DCAU it's pretty tragic. We know that it's during or post JLU because of Booster, but it's gotta be pre-ROTJ since Barbara says that we never saw harley again after that, but in this she ends up a tv psychologist the likes of Dr. Phil. It's just sad to follow her through this movie and see so much character development and her growing past her life of crime, just to know she falls right back into it in the end. If Ty Templeton plays it right the sequel comic could be very compelling.
     
  7. ShadowBeast

    ShadowBeast Well-Known Member

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    I LOVED IT!!! Harley here was better than Arkham games's Harley (City and up anyway), but a little too intelligent that I'm used to from her. But she had the liveliness that the original Harley had, that's for sure, and that's the Harley we all love.
    But movie itself had a perfect blend of mature and comedy in it that made it so enjoyable. The classic Adam West Batman's special effects with an added "OW MY BALLS", Harley farting in the Batmobile was gross, but still a little funny. And did Harley just use Kim Possible's puppy dog pout on Ivy? The fear Ivy had of it was hilarious. I was hoping for Swamp-Thing to show up, but man was he useless. And I love the ending. Harley: He is leafy. Does anybody have a match? And during mid-credits we see Woodrow running through the swamp on fire. Harley's talk show after credits thing was weird, and I think people would be safer with her with Joker than her sending them through her obstacle courses (for comedic reasons).

    I loved that scene. Their reactions were humorous. The whole fighting thing with them felt like a cross between a typical catfight with some seriousness mixed in.
     
  8. RoyThomasConan

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    Well, I've been mulling over my feelings on this one since last night. Glad to see so many of you folks enjoyed it.
    The crowd was definitely having a good time, and my wife loved it. It's her new favorite DC animated film.
    I've got seriously mixed feelings. It was definitely fun. It may as well have been the Looney Tunes. I knew it was going to lean comedic, but could never have imagined it'd basically be a parody. I guess the juxtaposition of the low brow content with the expectation & visual representation of a DCAU continuation just put me off of the whole thing. And the jokes were 50/50, and when bad, boy did they stink. But some of the ones that should never EVER have worked/induced laughter somehow did ("Smells like... discipline"). And that slap in the face to the way the Swamp-Thing character and comics are written was biting but also eye-rollingly immature (because the books are more philosophical think-piece than action means they're something less than? Because I'd argue exactly the opposite, and it just made the writers of the film seem kinda like young kids without attention spans making fun of something they can't grasp but know must suck because they're seen nerds reading it.)
    But it's just a one off comedy, and I like that these films are embracing being unique pieces again and taking advantage of the opportunity to do something memorable. I don't think anyone will be forgetting this Batman. That ending was straight out of Wile E Coyote & the Road Runner.
    On another note, are the budgets on these things really being slashed? I've said it before, but each new movie since Killing Joke looks less polished than episodes of Justice League Unlimited or Return of the Joker. Weird.
     
  9. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    What exactly did Harley say about mullets? The theatre started laughing around that time so I missed what she was saying, other than something about a decade.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that the budgets for these movies have been slashed, per se, but I do wonder if they have kept up with inflation. Early on, I learned that the average production budget for the DC Universe animated movies was about $3.5 million; I don't know that it has increased at all. Maybe there is someone around here who could set us straight?
     
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    #10 Otaku-sempai, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  11. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    "That's like a decade of bad hair days"
     
  12. RoyThomasConan

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    Thanks, that actually makes sense and is a pretty simple explanation.
     
  13. #1 defender

    #1 defender Member

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    That reminds me, does anyone remember that person who was adamant about how these DTV features actually have way higher budgets (iirc something like 60-70 million USD, according to them), but that the majority of the money gets spent on stunt casting instead of using it for better animation. Needless to say, that would be completely untenable for this model. I wonder if they still hold that opinion.
     
  14. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    Ha! I believe that argument came up in early 2013 when a certain poster was asserting that Green Lantern: First Flight had been given a production budget of $78 million (US). I addressed the subject in a separate thread after obtaining some inside-information. Poster Pc-Famicom64 had something to say there also. He hasn't been heard from in these parts in over four years.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    #14 Otaku-sempai, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  15. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed it. I was pretty slight but overall just a fun story in the DCAU. I won't try to bend over backwards to specifically place it, but there's enough wiggle room to make it work (plus I don't care enough to). I thought Rauch was great as Harley Quinn and I hope she comes back in the future. The story wasn't anything special and it was really, really padded. This could've easily been a 22-minute episode. The animated was fine but nothing great and most of the jokes worked. I thought the after credit seen with "Ask Dr. Quinn" was hilarious and actually pretty twisted. I think that was the funniest part of the movie. It's a fun movie that I would definitely watch again. I just think they padded it out way too much. I also thought the Swamp Thing scene was funny. It's clear the movie was having some fun at the expense of these characters and the world and it worked. Its a fun movie that might be fun to watch time to time and that's it. Basically on the level of Mystery of the Batwoman.
     
  16. SweetShop209

    SweetShop209 Well-Known Member

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    I finally saw the movie, and even with it's flaws, it's pretty good. Regarding tone, it's like if you took the family friendly "Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders", and aimed it explicitly at teenagers and adults only. With the whole DCAU thing, I'd say this movie is more heavily inspired by it, but it's not set specifically in that continuity.
     
  17. Bestmand902

    Bestmand902 Active Member

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    Why did they waste time with two full songs instead of explaining plot points?
     
  18. Troy Troodon

    Troy Troodon Well-Known Member

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    Well, I may as well share my thoughts. Batman and Harley Quinn was... okay. Just okay.

    The animation was good, as well as the voice acting (for the most part), but the story was not interesting, and some of the characters felt off putting; and seeing the same aesthetics used for a friendly Saturday morning cartoon used for these more sexually and verbally adult jokes and sequences just clashed together. There is no backstory to Harley either, as to why she quite or even what happened to Joker.

    As for the voice of Harley herself; well I'll admit Melisa Rauch does make a good Harley... for a live-action project. Don't get me wrong, Melisa Rauch is a good actress and a decent comedian, but she's not a voice-actress. I know no one can truly replace Arleen Sorkin; let's face it she's practically been playing the damn character all along, and we can't always re-use Tara Strong or even Hynden Walch, but if we're going to use new talent why not use other voice actors like Kari Wahlgren or Jessica DiCicco, or heck even Kate Miccuci if you want to use a celebrity.

    If it sounds like I'm being hard on Melisa's take I do apologize, that said I think she did fine with what she did, particularly during the last third of the movie, that's where I started feeling the Harley vibe.

    But as is, altogether this film was just average; I still enjoyed it but it was nothing as good as most other DC animated movies.

    I give it 6.5 out'a 10 stars.
     
    #18 Troy Troodon, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  19. uzair khan

    uzair khan New Member

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    people didnt expect swamp thing? he called the justice league and they showed swamp thing in the beginning it was obvious but it was fun.
     
  20. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
    Staff Member Moderator

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    The first issue of the comic had the Joker in it and she basically tried to get his attention by sabotaging his latest scheme. She quit at the end because she was fed up with his complete obsession with Batman and ignoring her transgressions.
     

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