Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

Harley Quinn has been one of the most popular DC Comics anti-heroes of the last twenty years, and for good reason. She went from an abused spouse who served her partner thanks to years of mental abuse, gas lighting and Stockholm Syndrome, to someone who cast off the shadow of the Joker to carve out her own niche. Harley Quinn should be an easy adaptation but DC and Warner haven’t quite mastered it yet. After stealing the show in “Suicide Squad,” she steals the show again in “Birds of Prey” but still never quite comes out unscathed thanks to what is an imperfect and brutally flawed, albeit balls to the wall entertaining action movie.

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Alastair Sim’s School for Laughter: 4 Classic Comedies [Blu-Ray]

Like many movie lovers, you mainly associate Alastair Sim with his iconic portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1951 masterpiece “A Christmas Carol.” His take on Scrooge remains one of the most celebrated and imitated to this day. But Alastair Sim also had a very seasoned career in various film roles that challenged the performer, and the cinema curators at Film Movement have made his other under seen, otherwise under appreciated performances from the period of 1947 and 1960 available for purchase.

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Carnival Magic (1981) [Blu-Ray/DVD]

I was never aware of what “Carnival Magic” was until “Mystery Science Theater 3000” covered it years ago. I’d never seen an alleged kids’ film that was so adamantly uncomfortable, and droning, and inappropriate before. Al Adamson, who was known mainly for adult exploitation films, took his hand at making a children’s adventure film, ends up making in inadvertent cult item that promises to confuse and dumbfound movie lovers for years in the same ilk as “Manos: The Hands of Fate,” and “Troll 2.” I don’t know if I’d call it a cult gem, but it certainly is a cinematic oddity.

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Five Great Animated Series Based On A Feature Film

After learning recently that “Fast and the Furious” actually had an animated series on Netflix for kids, I was stunned, but not entirely shocked. There’s still some cash to be mined from the series, and there’s room to appeal to kids. In either case, with that and with “Gremlins” also being turned in to animated series, I couldn’t help but think back to five great animated series I watched as a kid that were based on feature films. What are some of your favorites? 

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Munster, Go Home! (1966) [Blu-Ray]

Earl Bellamy’s “Munster Go Home!” has become one of the most incidentally influential horror comedies of all time. One of the banner pop cult movies of the decade, “Munster, Go Home!” is the extension of the cult TV show that takes them out of their giant mansion, and brings them in to the wide open world. As we’ve seen with the series, the world isn’t too keen on their way of life, either. But they make it work with charm, and a classic sixties drag race.  Continue reading

Impractical Jokers: The Movie (2020)

The problem with big screen adaptations of big television shows is that the commercials can sometimes save a tanking episode. Commercials can break the monotony and sometimes give the audience a chance to regroup. While “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” can benefit from an ad break or two, struggling to keep the energy well in to the hour mark, it’s a very good extension of the hit TV show.

Even if it’s niche cinematic affair for the fans like me that watch the series religiously.

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TV On DVD: The DC Comics TV Universe

With the Umbrella Academy making waves on Netflix and Marvel getting the ball rolling on “X-Men,” DC and Warner get a jump on the formula with their adaptations of “Doom Patrol.” Although the series is now widely acclaimed and mostly celebrated by comic book fans alike, “Doom Patrol” brings with it a huge legacy. It’s widely and arguably considered the precursor to Marvel’s “X-Men” and many fans argue that Marvel outright stole the premise from right under DC Comics. The elements are all mostly the same right down to a massive mansion housing these various super beings.

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The Wizard (1989): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

After spending many years on sub-par DVD releases and in basic limbo for a new release, “The Wizard” is given a much overdue Collector’s Edition that treats the cult classic the way it deserves. Is it a glorified Nintendo commercial? Sure! Is it a glorified ad for Universal Studios? Definitely! Is it fun? Oh god yes. “The Wizard” is a movie that might appeal to you more if you have nostalgia attached, granted, but on its own it’s a solid kids adventure film that’s also ahead of its time in the way it digs in to the video game tournaments and how much mental and physical prowess they demand.

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