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Blue over Batman’s ‘Red Hood’
Question of the Day
Additionally, viewers get a selection of toons (only in standard definition, boohoo) from the 1990s classic shows “Batman: The Animated Series” and “The New Batman Adventures,” including the two-parter “Robin’s Reckoning,” “The Laughing Fish” and the unforgettable “Mad Love,” which introduces the Joker’s love interest, Harley Quinn.
Read all about it: DC Comics offers two trade paperbacks covering the entire “Batman: Under the Hood” saga ($9.99 each). They include Batman issues Nos. 635 to 650 and Batman Annual No. 1 along with some dynamite Doug Mahnke art. Also, grab the “Batman: A Death in the Family” trade ($19.99) to see why Jason Todd is so deranged in the first place.
Clash of the Titans (Warner Home Video rated PG-13, $35.99) A computer-effects-heavy remake of a classically campy 1981 opus to Greek mythology debuts on Blu-ray to dazzle the eyes and bore the mind.
Despite the beautiful high-definition transfer, the movie suffers from a lack of heart, laughs and direction amid the chaotic, testosterone-driven action that stars Sam Worthington as Perseus, the bastard son of Zeus and a mortal female.
Even the dream lineup of Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph “Voldemort” Fiennes as Hades can’t pull the film’s story out of its cookie-cutter doldrums.
With that reported, however, viewers will love those special effects, which bring to vivid life a battle with massive scorpions, an odd encounter with witches and a fight against Medusa.
Still, I remain a big fan of the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion original. So let’s not release the Krakken.
Best extras: A disappointing Maximum Movie Mode offers a cornucopia of visual elements that play alongside, on top of, next to and over the movie but do not offer the director intimacy or interactivity seen in the Warner Blu-ray extras of “The Watchmen,” “Sherlock Holmes” or “The Dark Knight.”
Imagine a series of screens highlighting pre-visualization segments, stills, storyboards and interviews with the actors, production staff, writers and designers competing for space with the movie, which simply ends up looking like a behind-the-scenes documentary.
A selection of 10 clickable Focus Points stop the MM mode and allow viewers a less confusing look at some of the characters and scene construction.
Unfortunately, we learn nothing about Greek mythology or much about legends such as Zeus, Hades, Calibos and Perseus, a missed educational opportunity for sure.
Read all about it: Bluewater Productions offers “Ray Harryhausen Presents: Wrath of the Titans” ($15.99), a trade paperback compiling the three-issue comic-book miniseries that explores what happened to Perseus five years after his defeat of the Krakken.
The Losers, (Warner Home Video, rated PG-13, $35.99) While on assignment, a team of Special Forces soldiers is betrayed and nearly killed by a mysterious CIA operative named Max, and the group goes underground to pay back its government.
Sounds like a great premise, and it worked well as a comic book, but not every sequential-art series needs to be made into a movie.
This stale, cliched 97-minute film, released earlier this year, arrives in Blu-ray and cannot possibly compete with the original DC Comics/Vertigo series starring the fun writing of Andy Diggle and colorful illustrations of Jock.
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About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
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- Zadzooks: The Lego Movie: Everything is Awesome Edition review (Blu-ray)
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