REVIEW: COLD CASE – SEASON 1-7

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CAST

Kathryn Morris (Mindhunters)

Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy)

Danny Pino (Law & Order: SVU)

John Finn (True Crme)

Jeremy Ratchford (Angel Eyes)
Thom Barry (Texas Chainsaw)

Tracie Thoms (Looper)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

D.W. Moffett (Chicago Med)
Michael Reilly Burke (Vice)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Kate Mara (Fanastic Four)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Brett Cullen (Lost)
Bree Turner (The Ugly Truth)
Christopher Shea (Star Trek: DS9)
Isabella Hofmann (The Flash)
Daisy McCrackin (Halloween: Resurrection)
Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights)
Cory Hardrict (Warm Bodies)
Barbara Eve Harris (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures)
Vincent Ventresca (The Invisible Man)
Josh Hopkins (The Perfect Storm)
Lacey Beeman (Coach Carter)
James DuMont (Jurassic World)
Summer Glau (Arrow)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Barbara Tarbuck (Walking Tall)
Jack Guzman (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Laura Regan (Mad Men)
Kathleen Gati (Arrow)
Silas Weir Mitchell (Grimm)
Christina Cox (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
Jeffrey Nordling (Flight 93)
Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire)
Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck)
Blake Shields (Heroes)
E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)
Chelsea Field (Masters of The Universe)
Marc McClure (Superman)
Ray Campbell (Breaking Bad)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)
Ryan Francis (Hook)
Leslie Silva (Odyssey 5)
Keke Palmer (Scream queens)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Bruce Gray (Cube 2)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Robin Riker (Alligator)
Nichole Hiltz (May)
Amber Benson (Buffy: TVS)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Maggie Grace (Taken)
Katee Sackhoff (BAttlestar Galactica)
Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play)
Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl)
Cameron Dye (Smallville)
Laura Allen (The 4400)
Lee Garlington (Sneakers)
Joel Stoffer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Michael Paré (Gone)
T.J. Thyne (Bones)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Michael Nouri (Flashdance)
Spencer Daniels (Star Trek)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Sam Witwer (Supergirl)
Mae Whitman (The Duff)
Robin Weigert (Deadwood)
Indigo (Weeds)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Shirley Knight (As Good as It Gets)
Ian Bohen (Young Hercules)
Jenna Fischer (THe Office)
Rance Howard (Universal Soldier)
Chad Morgan (Pearl Harbor)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Nicholas D’Agosto (Gotham)
Cody McMains (Bring It On)
Seamus Dever (Titans)
Roxanne Hart (Highlander)
Chad Lindberg (The Fast and The Furious)
Susan Chuang (Young Sheldon)
Bruce A. Young (Risky Business)
Nicholas Guest (Trading Places)
Frederick Koehler (Death Race)
Daveigh Chase (Donnie Darko)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Chad Donella (Smallville)
Nicki Aycox (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Josh Randall (Ozark)
Bob Papenbrook (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Patrick J. Adams (Legends of Tomorrow)
Orson Bean (Two and a Half Men)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Phil LaMarr (Supergirl)
Johnny Whitworth (Ghost Rider 2)
Robert Baker (The Originals)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Michael O’Neill (Transformers)
Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween 2007)
Brigid Brannagh (Runaways)
Brent Sexton (God Friended Me)
Audrey Wasilewski (Red)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Clare Carey (Jericho)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Michael B. Silver (Jason Goes To Hell)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Dee Wallace (E.T.)
Sean Blakemore (Bones)
Jay Acovone (Stargate SG.1)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Bradley Stryker (Smallville)
Barry Bostwick (The Secret Agent Club)
Jeff Doucette (Dr. Dolittle)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Piper Laurie (Carrie)
Tom Bower (El Camino)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Karina Logue (Argo)
Sonya Leslie (No Good Nick)
Sarah Brown (VR Troopers)
Kristin Richardson (Rock Star)
Cheryl White (Major Crimes)
Lindsay Hollister (Get Smart)
Pat Skipper (Halloween 2007)
Nick Wechsler (Roswell)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Christina Hendricks (Bad Santa 2)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend)
Diane Ladd (Joy)
Edwin Hodge (Red Dawn)
April Grace (A.I.)
Jon Huertas (Sabrina: TTW)
Phillip Jeanmarie (Power Rangers: Wild Force)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (The Warriors)
James Handy (Alias)
Christopher Cousins (Breaking Bad)
Michael Mantell (Secretary)
Skyler Gisondo (Santa Clarita Diet)
Michael Welch (Star Trek: Insurrection)
William R. Moses (Mystic Pizza)
Meredith Monroe (13 Reasons Why)
Megan Follows (Reign)
James Jordan (Veronica Mars)
Zachery Ty Bryan (Slammed)
Christine Elise (Cult of Chucky)
Alona Tal (Veronica Mars)
Meagen Fay (The Big Bang Theory)
Shannon Woodward (Westworld)
Priscilla Pointer (Carrie)
Tina Holmes (Half Nelson)
Veronica Cartwright (Alien)
Jeremy Davidson (Roswell)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Benjamín Benítez (Tru Calling)
Zeljko Ivanek (Heores)
Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead)
Mel Harris (Stargate SG.1)
Bre Blair (Last Vegas)
George Coe (Archer)
John Getz (The Fly)
Thomas F. Wilson (Back To The Future)
Laura Bell Bundy (How I Met Your Mother)
Eric Lange (Lost)
John Rubinstein (The Orville)
Allison Miller (17 Again)
Sammi Hanratty (A Christmas Carol)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Peter Graves (Airplane)
Stacy Haiduk (Superboy)
Tonya Pinkins (Gotham)
Sam Anderson (Angel)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Steven Grayhm (White Chicks)
Mageina Tovah (The Magicians)
Susan Walters (The Vampire Diaries)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Jeanette Brox (Jack & Bobby)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Will Rothhaar (Killing Kennedy)
Nestor Carbonell (Lost)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood)
Brian Gross (2 Broke Girls)
Elizabeth Tulloch (The Artist)
L. Scott Caldwell (Lost)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Neil Jackson (Westworld)
Enuka Okuma (Impulse)
Mark Famiglietti (Terminator 3)
Susan Blakely (Over The Top)
Jake Abel (Love & Mercy)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Julie Adams (The Fifth Floor)
Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter)
Eric Jungmann (Not Another Teen Movie)
Matthew Glave (Argo)
George Newbern (Scandal)
Robert Pine (Red Eye)
Bonnie Root (Coming Soon)
Annie Wersching (Runaways)
Eugene Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita)
John Aylward (Alais)
David Henrie (How I Met Your Mother)
Bobby Hosea (Xena)
Bruno Campos (Nip/Tuck)
Brian Hallisay (Revenge)
Charles Mesure (V)
Conor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Sonja Sohn (The Wire)
Polly Shannon (Street Time)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Lucinda Jenney (Rain Man)
Ernie Hduson (Ghostbusters)
Sam McMurray (Addams Family Values)
Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica)
Kelly Overton (Van HElsing)
Sam Trammell (The Order)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Sterling Beaumon (Lost)
Obba Babatundé (How High)
John Diehl (Stargate)
Greg Finley (The Flash)
Chris Mulkey (Cloverfield)
Don Swayze (Drop Zone)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Tom McCleister (Twins)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Whitney Able (Monsters)
AnnaLynne McCord (Exorcisim)
Drew Powell (Gotham)
Charlyne Yi (This Is 40)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Wedding Crashers)
Angela Sarafyan (Westworld)
Meredith Baxter (Family TIes)
Brad William Henke (Bright)
Michael Massee (The Crow)
Vyto Ruginis (The Fast and The Furious)
Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2)
Ksenia Solo (Black Swan)
Anthony Starke (Repossessed)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Justina Machado (Six Feet Under)
Kirk Acevedo (Arrow)
Jack Conley (Angel)
Melissa leo (The Fighter)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time)
Randall Park (The Interview)
Shailene Woodley (Divergent)
Monet Mazur (All American)
Justin Bruening (Ringer)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
Daphne Ashbrook (JAG)
Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Lawrence Pressman (Dark Angel)
Ralph Waite (Bones)
Aisha Hinds (Mr. Brooks)
Jamil Walker Smith (Stargate Universe)
Wings Hauser (The Insider)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Jim Jansen (Gilmore Girls)
Justin Hartley (Smallville)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Nikki Deloach (Love & Other Drugs)
Deirdre Lovejoy (Bones)
Ian Anthony Dale (The Event)
Patti Yasutake (Star Trek: First Contact)
Keone Young (Crank)
Kim Coates (Goon)
Ryan Kelley (Smallville)
Timothy Omundson (Xena)
Johnny Lewis (The Runaways)
Jeffrey Combs (Fortress)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Lilli Birdsell (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Kevin Cooney (Roswell)
Kathleen Munroe (Alphas)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Joe Nieves (How I Met Your Mother)
Gigi Rice (Mission Air)
Maury Sterling (Coherence)
Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
June Squibb (The Big Bang Theory)
Brea Grant (Heroes)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Nicholle Tom (Gotham)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
James Karen (Poltergeist)
Justice Leak (Powers)
Sean O’Bryan (Vantage Point)
B.J. Britt (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Cassidy Freeman (Smallville)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)
Adetokumboh M’Cormack (Gods & Heroes)
Jenna Leigh Green (Sabrina: TTW)
Jennifer Hetrick (Star Trek: TNG)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Jake Thomas (A.I.)
Wilson Bethel (Daredevil)
Nicholas Braun (Red State)
Richard Herd (Get Out)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Kim Director (Blair Witch 2)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Management)
Joel Murray (Two and a Half Men)
Ed Lauter (Cujo)
Elena Satine (The Gifted)
Nicole Bilderback (Clueless)
Tina Lifford (Babe)
Brad Rowe (Shelter)
Erin Cummings (Bitch Slap)
Patrick Fischler (Happy!)
Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw)
Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther)
Tyrees Allen (Robocop)
Jonathan LaPaglia (Seven Days)
Keith Szarabajka (The Dark Knight)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Bill Duke (Black Lightning)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Lindy Booth (Wrong Turn)
Raymond J. Barry (13 Reasons Why)
Taylor Cole (The Originals)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (New Girls)
Jeff Kober (Sully)
Louis Mustillo (Mike & Molly)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Bailey Chase (Buffy: TVS)
Wynn Everett (Agent Carter)
Brad Greenquist (Ali)
Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign)
Tyler Blackburn (Roswell, New Mexico)
Jason Gedrick (Luck)
Jeff Fahey (Planet Terrror)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: TTW)
Clayne Crawford (A Walk To Remember)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Brit Morgan (Supergirl)
Spencer Locke (Cougar Town)
Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Manny Montana (Graceland)
Erich Anderson (Friday The 13th 4)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Ryan Wynott (Flashforward)
Johnathon Schaech (LEgends of Tomorrow)
Alexandra Holden (The Hot Chick)
Zach McGowan (Black Sails)
Shalim Ortiz (Heroes)
Darius McCrary (Saw VI)
Tess Harper (Breaking Bad)
Madeline Carroll (Flipped)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Muse Watson (I Know What You Did Last Sumemr)
Channon Roe (Boogie Nights)
Michael Ironside (Scanners)
Jesse Plemons (Game Night)
Daniel Baldwin (Grimm)
Gary Hudson (Smallville)
Jessica Tuck (Super 8)
Shay Astar (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Ashley Johnson (Dollhouse)
Erin Chambers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Tracey Walter (Batman 1989)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)
Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
James Earl (Scream Queens)
Steven Culp (Spartan)
Cress Williams (Black Lightning)
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S>)
Vanessa Bell Calloway (Saints & Sinners)
Jamie Hector (Heroes)
Steven Williams (IT)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Yara Shahidi (Salt)
Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat)
Miles Heizer (13 Reasons Why)
Nelson Lee (Blade: The Series)
Reed Diamond (Bones)
Steven Krueger (Goosebumps)
Lolita Davidovich (Blaze)
Alan Blumenfeld (Heroes)
Julianna Guill (Captain America: Civil War)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Jud Tylor (That 70s Show)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Gabirelle Miller (Highlander: The Series)
Rick Gonzalez (Arrow)
Sharni Vinson (Bait)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Justina Vail (Seven Days)
Rachel Miner (The Black Dahlia)
Sean Maguire (Meet The Spartans)
Lauren Cohan (Chuck)
Roddy Piper (They Live)
Elya Baskin (Spider-Man 2)
Lauren Bowles (Ghost World)
Patrick Gallagher (Sideways)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)
Jon Gries (Taken)
William Russ (American History X)
Melissa Ordway (Ted)
Susanna Thompson (Arrow)
John D’Aquino (Quantum Leap)
Peter Jason (They Live)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Darren Criss (Glee)
Rob Benedict (Waiting)
JR Bourne (Ginger Snaps Back)

43WcQo4u92niVu7P9FElTYyLMBBTelevision today often relies on sleazy comedy and bad CGI, with little or no story and too much drama. Cold Case begs to differ. It has the right amount of drama without overdoing it, is very suspenseful at all the right times, captures the nostalgia of different decades with song hits of the times and matching everything from the music, fashion, hair styles and cars to the exact year the crime took place. It is impossible to not immediately like the detectives of the Cold Case unit. There’s Lilly Rush, the main character who at first glance looks like a bimbo but when she talks throughout the show she’s actually an intelligent and skilled member of the team, with a past she shared with her alcoholic mother, absent father and promiscuous sister. She views Lt. Stillman as a father figure, because he was the first one to help her when she was a child and her mother sent her out into a bad situation.imagesScotty Valens is Lilly’s partner, a street-smart and aggressive but nice guy who is a valued member of the group. He is Cuban; his father moved to the States in the 1950’s. He has an extreme dislike for pedophiles because of a past incident with his older brother and a boxing coach, so he is very good at bringing pedophiles to justice. Nick Vera is the overweight joke of the group at first but is actually really caring towards children and wished he could have had a family of his own. He’s great at solving crimes and at playing “No Drugs Tonight” with Scotty and Will. Will Jeffries is Nick Vera’s best friend and excellent at solving murders; he has an extreme dislike towards racism and hit-&-run cases. His own wife was squashed to death by a mystery trucker years ago and he wants some sort of revenge. Kathrine (Kat) Miller is the only other female detective on the team, becoming a permanent addition to the show around Season 3. She is the single mother of her beloved daughter Veronica and a valued detective who knows a lot about the street gangs from her undercover years. John Stillman is in charge, his team affectionately calls him Boss and he is estranged from his family due to his career. He views his team like his family and tries to help each of them as much as possible.highlanderSadly Cold Case was canceled ; it’s one my favorite show of all time. It tackles crimes relating to issues like the barbaric treatment for mental patients in the 50’s and 60’s (lobotomy and electro-shock therapy), homophobia, racism, rape, pedophilia, abortion, religion, suicide, racism, sexism, pollution (check out the episode Breaking News for that) and child abuse. While helping the forgotten victims rest in peace the team is able to find answers to their own problems. The show doesn’t try to sneak romance in too much; most crime shows make the two main characters as lovers but in Cold Case Lilly and Scotty are just best friends. He is there when her mother dies and rescues her from a killer named Ed, whereas Lilly keeps secrets for him revolving around the crime with his older brother. The show has episodes featuring songs by bands like the Fixx, the Doors, Tears for Fears, Joy Division, Nirvanna, the Cure and Depache Mode. There are some totally heartbreaking episodes like Sleepover, Baby Blues, Boy Crazy, the Goodbye Room, Wishing, Committed and the Good Death as well as some suspenseful episodes like Stalker, Officer Down, the Woods and Flashover. All in all this is a beautifully made and amazing show that will hopefully be remembered among fans forever. I think Lilly Rush’s actress is now being considered in the remake of the 1976 slasher film Alice, Sweet Alice (according to Wikipedia anyway), so hopefully we’ll see her in more crime movies and shows. Still, Cold Case I wish had been continued, why it was shut down in the making is a mystery to me but I’m really glad to have the seven seasons around, I’ll remember it forever. It was based off the Canadian crime drama show Cold Squad, but although I live in Canada I honestly think Cold Case was much better. It’s totally worth watching, if you ever have the chance to see it, check it out, you’ll love it, guaranteed!

 

REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 9

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)
John Francis Daley (Game Night)

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Carla Gallo (Superbad)
Mather Zickel (Rachel Getting Married)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Freddie Prinze Jr. (Scooby Doo: The Movie)
John Ratzenberger (Cheers)
Millicent Martin (Grace and Frankie)
Brittany Ishibashi (Runaways)
Michael Grant Terry (Grimm)
Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Andrew Leeds (Office Christmas Party)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and a Half Men)
Brian Klugman (Cloverfield)
Chuck Liddell (Kick-Ass 2)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Cyndi Lauper (Vibes)
Eugene Byrd (Arrow)
Joel David Moore (Avatar)
Pej Vahdat (Shameless)
Ralph Waite (The Waltons)
Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner)
Angela Alvarado (Showtime)
Joaquim de Almeida (24)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Malcolm Goodwin (Izombie)
Ben Lawson (Doubt)
Margo Harshman (Sorority Row)
Kelly Rutherford (Scream 3)
Chad Donella (Final Destination)
Mitchell Fink (Last Resort)
Robert Baker (The Originals)
Scott Lowell (Queer as Folk)
Jonno Roberts (Wrecked)
Robert Picardo (Stargate Atlantis)
Chris Browning (Westworld)
Nazneen Contractor (Heroes Reborn)
Ignacio Serricchio (Lost In Space)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Luke Kleintank (The Man In The High Castle)
Tiffany Hines (Nikita)
Eileen Grubba (Sons of Anarchy)
Courtney Gains (Children of The Corn)
Laura Spencer (The Big Bang Theory)

David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and T.J. Thyne in Bones (2005)Bones returns for a welcome ninth season with its core cast, clever plots, and sense of humor intact. Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and her crack team of specialists at the Jeffersonian Institute continue to work with their FBI liaison, Special Agent Seeley Booth, on new and challenging criminal cases. First, however, the team will have to resolve their long-running, lethal battle with cyber-genius serial killer Christopher Pelant, who has stayed one step ahead of them while inflicting pain on each member of the cast.David Boreanaz, John Francis Daley, and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)When we last saw the team, they had barely survived their most recent encounter with Pelant. In a final twist of spite, Pelant blackmailed Booth into withdrawing his marriage proposal to Bones, while forbidding him to reveal the reason why. Booth’s promise puts a strain on his relationship with Bones. He will reach out to old Army buddies, including a CIA agent and a former priest turned bartender, for advice. Pelant has his own plan for separating Bones from Bones from Booth, permanently. The entire team will have to be on its mettle to head off Pelant’s insidious plot.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)The ninth season continues to feature crime of the week murders for Bones, Booth, and the Jeffersonian lab rats to solve. One episode will have Booth and Bones resurrecting their undercover “Tony” and “Roxie” identities for a hilarious marriage retreat in which they talk all too frankly about their relationship. Psychologist Dr. Sweets will take a leave of absence to work in an outreach center, only to find himself drawn back into a gut-wrenching case involving a gang feud. As in past seasons, other members of the team, including Lab boss Dr. Saroyan, Dr. Hodgins, Angela, and the interns will have their moments in the spotlight.David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel, Mather Zickel, and Ty Panitz in Bones (2005)The biggest highlight is the Woman in White, featuring the wedding of the two leads after nine years they final tie the knot.

 

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 4

Starring

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
Mathew Valencia (Lawnmower Man 2)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)
Bob Hastings (McHale’s Navy)
Robert Costanzo (Total Recall)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Marilu Henner (Taxi)
Liane Schirmer (Dark Wolf Gang)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Corey Burton (Transformers: The Movie)
Peter Jason (Mortal Kombat)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Blank)
Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Cree Summer (Voltron)
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners)
Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Billy Barty (Masters of The Universe)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
George Dzundza (Basic Instinct)
Mel Winkler (Coach Carter)
Paul Williams (Battle for TPOTA)
Allan Rich (Serpico)
Sam McMurray (Raising Arizona)
Tippi Hedren (The Birds)
Barry Bostwick (Spy Hard)
Sela Ward (Gone Girl)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Dennis Haysbert (Heat)
Billy Zane (Titanic)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Henry Silva (Aove The Law)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Thomas F. Wilson (Legends of Tomorrow)
Brooks Gardner (Raw Deal)
Buster Jones (Transformers)
Laraine Newman (Coneheads)
Dorian Harewood (Terminator: TSCC)
Jim Piddock (Mascots)
Ian Buchanan (Stargate SG.1)
Pamela Hayden (The Simpsons)
Neil Ross (Transformers: Ther Movie)
Gary Owens (That 70s Show)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Michael Ironside (Highlander 2)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Nicholle Tom (Gotham)
Lori Petty (Tank Girl)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Tim Matheson (Animal House)
Malachi Throne (Star Trek)
John Glover (Smallville)
Steven Weber (2 Broke Girls)
Billy West (Futurama)

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The  this fourth boxed set Batman: The Animated Series is finally available on DVD in its entirety. For anyone that grew up loving this ’90s legend, that’s a very good thing indeed. Technically the show “ended” with the third volume, but when the producers moved on to Superman: The Animated Series, they were asked to bring back a Batman cartoon, and they did – making a few changes in the process.MV5BMzIwOTM3ZDYtMWVhMi00NDhlLWI1ZmItM2JlODc1NTgyYmE4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1342,1000_AL_Any fan can tell you that the new series, dubbed Gotham Knights and airing as the part of the double-feature The New Batman/Superman Adventures, wasn’t as good as what had come before. Even so, if you’re a fan then it’s certainly worth checking out as it serves as a nice precursor to what we’d get with the Justice League series. Plus, there are some great episodes here that any Bat-fan shouldn’t miss. An animated segment from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns? Yes, please! While the show is essentially the same as the previous version, there are some differences. For one, the episodes here take place two years after the events in the original show. The Bat family has been expanded to include Batgirl and Nightwing, and the first thing you will notice is the abundance of new character designs.MV5BZTA4ZjYzNzAtM2FkYS00Y2E2LTgxYTYtNjA3ODkwOWMzM2QwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1333,1000_AL_When coming up with a fresh take on the aging series, producer Bruce Timm decided that sprucing up the characters would give the show more punch. For the most part, he was right. Some of the characters got slight touch-ups while others were totally redesigned. For example, the new Joker looks more menacing, but the lack of red lips to surround his wicked grin takes away from the impact of the character. On the other hand you’ve got the new Scarecrow, with demented eyes staring out at Batman through a terrifying burlap mask, which is far creepier than the old design.MV5BZjg2OGFkMmUtYmQwNC00ZjIyLWFkMGEtNjJkNzA3YWY2YjY4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1340,1000_AL_Batman himself suffered some changes too; the costume loses the yellow around the Bat-insignia and the chin is longer, giving Bats’ head a more rectangular shape. Overall, the changes are welcome and they add more than they take away. While the cosmetic upgrades are easy to spot, they are not the most important change; after a few episodes you’ll see exactly what it is. The show just isn’t as good as it used to be. That isn’t to say that it’s bad – it’s still one of the better animated series out there, but the atmosphere and maturity of the earlier episodes is missing. The greater reliance on secondary characters (Robin, Batgirl) and gadgets (glider jetpack) injects the show with a more playful tone than it had in the past. You’ve got less character, but more characters. At first I saw this as a shortcoming, but I quickly came to see it as something different – an opportunity.MV5BYTI0Nzg2MmQtNTBiNC00NzBjLWE5NDItZTFmODRjYzZiN2EzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_You’ve already got three boxes worth of classic, wonderfully moody Batman material. If the showrunners want to take the show to hipper, more action-oriented place, I say let them. After all, as far as experimentation goes, there’s some great stuff here. There are a number of gimmicky episodes, but don’t count that out as a bad thing. There’s still a lot of fun to be had. Meanwhile, other DC Universe characters are brought in, making the show feel more connected to what would follow (Superman, Justice League). The Demon Within brings in the mystic characters of Etrigan/Jason Blood and Klarion the Witch Boy (talk about timely). Girl’s Nite Out sees Batgirl and guest Supergirl team up to take down Live Wire (from the Superman show), Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn.MV5BMTUwMzU0OTUzMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODE4OTQ1MjE@._V1_But, hand’s down, the standout episode of the box, and one of the coolest of the series, is Legends of the Dark Knight. A group of kids get together and swap stories of what they think Batman is “really” like. One kid tells the story of a campy, golden age interpretation of Batman… and we get to see it animated! It’s a classic story where Batman and Robin battle the Joker in a giant musical instrument museum (?!). The voices and music are hilarious and lovingly done in the ’50s Dick Sprang style; there is no sarcasm here. Seeing the Joker tie our heroes to giant piano strings and then jump on piano keys (in an attempt to squash them) is very amusing for its innocence and simplicity. Next, we have the second kid’s story: she thinks Batman is an old, stoic avenger. In other words, the interpretation that Frank Miller used to catapult Batman into the serious mainstream. We are then treated to a great segment from Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns book as it is brought to life.MV5BMjU3OWFhMWYtYzdlZS00NzRmLWFkMWMtZWZmMjYxMTk3YTg1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1333,1000_AL_Watching Batman take down the mutant leader in a mud-pit, set against grungy ’80s music, is a real treat. What you get with these two segments over the comics is the great voice acting and an additional storytelling layer by way of background music. The voices and music add a wonderful texture to these classic tales and the idea of juxtaposing bright and goofy with dark and serious makes for a very satisfying episode. While these action-focused and gimmicky episodes are not the show at its best, they are a great diversion and a fun reinterpretation of an aging show. It’s not as good as it used to be, but it’s still Batman: The Animated Series. And that makes it worth your time.

 

REVIEW: BATMAN & MR.FREEZE: SUBZERO

CAST (VOICES)

Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Michael Ansara (Buck Rogers)
Efrem Zimbalist JR. (Hot Shots)
George Dzunda (The Deer Hunter)
Robert Costanazo (Total Recall)
Bob Hastings (Wonder Woman TV)
Mary Kay Bergman (Extreme Ghostbusters)
Marilu Henner (The Crazy Ones)
Dean Jones (Jailhouse Rock)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Mari Devon (Digimon)
Carl Lumbly (Supergirl)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Neil Ross (Transformers: The Movie)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)

Since his last encounter against Batman, Mr. Freeze has found a home in the Arctic and started a family (of sorts) with the still cryogenically-encased Nora, an Inuit boy named Kunac, and two pet polar bears, Hotchka and Shaka. Nora’s condition begins to rapidly deteriorate due to a submarine accidentally emerging from underwater directly underneath them, shattering her containment vessel. Freeze returns to Gotham City with his companions. He enlists the help of Dr. Gregory Belson to find a cure. Belson determines that Nora needs an organ transplant, but due to her rare blood type there are no suitable donors available.
Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero
Freeze declares that they will use a live donor, even if it means the donor will die in the process. Belson is at first reluctant to kill an innocent girl, but Freeze bribes him with a gold nugget and even more gold from an entire vein in the Arctic that will put an end to Belson’s financial problems. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) is a perfect match, and Freeze learns from her roommate that she is at a restaurant with her boyfriend, Dick Grayson (Robin). Freeze attacks the restaurant and kidnaps Barbara, taking her to an abandoned oil rig where he and Belson are hiding. Freeze and Belson explain the situation to Barbara, who claims that she is willing to help Nora for the “blood transfusion”, but not at the oil rig, prompting Freeze to keep Barbara imprisoned. When the time for the operation comes, Barbara realizes that they are lying when they say she will need to be put under for a mere transfusion. She escapes with the help of Kunac. Belson gives pursuit and almost catches her, before the arrival of Batman and Robin.

Freeze follows, and in the ensuing confrontation, Belson accidentally shoots one of the fuel tanks and starts a rapidly spreading fire as Freeze traps Batman and Robin. Freeze insists that Belson perform the operation, despite the oil rig blazing and ready to explode, but Belson betrays Freeze and attempts to escape alone, only to be killed by falling wreckage. Freeze’s leg is broken, but he tells Batman to save Nora and Kunac first, along with Barbara. Nora, Kunac and Barbara are taken to safety in the Batwing with the help of Robin, but Batman fails to save the weakened Freeze in time, as the platform collapses beneath them, hitting him in the shoulder, and sending Freeze plummeting into the ocean below.

Batman manages to get aboard the Batwing just before the oil rig finally explodes, but Freeze escapes just in time, holding onto the swimming Hotchka and Shaka. Freeze then returns with his polar bears to the Arctic to resume his life alone, having frozen his leg in an ice cast. He sees on a television in a research station that Nora has been revived after an organ transplant operation funded by Wayne Enterprises, moving him to tears of joy. Then he walks away, limping with a wooden stick for support, with his two polar bears as the screen fades.2616-2Alongside Mask of the Phantasm, this movie is a great tribute to the Animated Series that brought Batman into children’s lives. This movie, even though it was animated, was serious, realistic, and had a great plot. The fact that it came out after Shcumaker’s Batman & Robin, is a shame, due to the fact that this movie, an animated movie, blows the big screen movie out of the water. Just goes to show the difference between a great movie and director, and a horrible movie.

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 3

Starring

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Bob Hastings (General Hospital)
Robert Costanzo (Total Recall)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Mari Devon (Digimon)
Melissa GIlbert (House on The Prairie)
John Vernon (Animal House)
Richard Moll (Scrry Movie 2)
Tim Matheson (The West Wing)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Blank)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Paul Williams (Battle For TPOTA)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Manu Tupou (Payback)
Helen Slater (Supergirl)
David Warner (The Lost world)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
George DiCenzo (She-Ra)
William Sanderson (Blade Runner)
Pat Fraley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Steve Susskind (Star Trek V)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Bess Armstrong (Jaws 3D)
George Dzundza (Crimson Tide)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Neil Ross (Back To The Future – Part II)
Marilu Henner (Taxi)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Aron Kincaid (Transformers)
Brad Garrett (Ratatouille)
Jeffrey Jones (Howard The Duck)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Stephanie Zimbalist (A Timeless Love)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Alan Rachins (Dharma & Greg)
Alan Oppenheimer (He-Man)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Roscoe Lee Browne (Logun’s Run)
Henry Silva (Above The Law)
Diane Michelle (Robotech: The Movie)
Alison La Placa (Fletch)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Jason Marsden (A Goofy Movie)
Robbie Rist (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Alan Young (The Time Machine)
Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager)
Malcolm McDowell (Halloween 2007)
Michael Bell (Transformers: The Movie)
Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched)
Bill McKinney (First Blood)
John Glover (Smallville)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday The 13th 8)
William Katt (Carrie)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Nicholas Guest (Trading Places)
Henry Polic II (Mighty Max)
Bruce Weitz (Half Past Dead)
Andrea Martin (SCTV Network)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Dan O’Herlihy (Robocop)
Edward Asner (Elf)

MV5BYzBmZjM1MzItNzU2Ny00MzcxLTg2YWYtZmM1NWQ4NzExMmE0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_One of the things Batman: The Animated Series does particularly well is infuse its villains with personality. They’re not a rotation of thugs with a different gimmick and costume each week — the writers go to great lengths to humanize these characters, and although they’re still unambiguously the bad guys, they still manage to be sympathetic at times. “His Silicon Soul”, following up on the two-part “Heart of Steel” from the previous collection, features a robotic duplicate of Batman unable to come to grips with the realization that he’s a machine. It’s surprisingly moving.MV5BYTFiODEyZDQtNmRmZi00ZjlhLWE1NDQtOTY3OWE2ODM0OWQ3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_The title character of “Baby-Doll” was created especially for the series. Think Webster with the race and gender reversed; Mary Louise Dahl was in her twenties but looked like a three-year-old, and she cashed in on that rare disability with a successful and hopelessly bland sitcom. An ill-advised career move derailed her as an actress, and a decade later, she’s systematically kidnapped all of her former co-stars in an attempt to reclaim those happy years. Again, as outlandish as the premise might sound, it really does work. You might smirk at reading about a teary-eyed Baby Doll attempting to fire an already-emptied doll-shaped pistol into a funhouse mirror, but the immeasurably talented writers are gifted enough to eke more pathos than I ever would have thought possible out of that.MV5BOTEwMmFhM2MtN2NmOC00ZGQ2LThmMGMtYTc4YWFjOTllOTY5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1344,1000_AL_Redemption, whether seized or tossed aside, is also frequently touched upon. “Sideshow” opens with a grueling chase between Batman and an escaped Killer Croc, who manages to stumble upon a remote farm that’s home to a group of former sideshow acts. They offer Croc a chance at an honest life, but old habits die hard. Another example is “House and Garden”. When a poisonous plant-creature starts a reign of terror in Gotham, Batman naturally turns his sights towards the recently-released Poison Ivy. She insists that she’s rehabilitated, and by all accounts, Ivy is happily married and living the mundane suburban life. The investigation continues to point back to her, and the final revelation involves some of the creepiest imagery ever seen in the series.MV5BY2U0ZTAwZDYtNjZjNC00YzVhLWJjMGItZDg5MTMzYTM1MjhjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1334,1000_AL_Harley Quinn is also featured in a couple of episodes centered around her attempts to stick with the straight ‘n narrow. She’s a fan favorite for a reason, and these appearances are some of the most memorable episodes in this collection. “Harlequinade” is a chaotic team-up with Batman in an attempt to track down The Joker, who’s managed to get his hands on a bomb that’ll turn Gotham into a smoldering mushroom cloud. “Harley’s Holiday” documents her release from Arkham Asylum, and even though she’s determined to leave that life of crime behind her, an attempt to legitimately buy a pretty pink dress at a store spirals into a bad day…a really, really bad day, culminating in being chased by Batman, an underground gambling kingpin, Detective Bullock, and…gulp!…the military.MV5BMWNjYWJmNjQtNzQ3Ny00ZGQ2LTkzNjEtNmQ5OTcyM2EwYzBkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_It’s particularly great to see the villains interact with one another. That’s part of the fun of “Trial”, which has a reluctant prosecutor attempting to defend Batman in an insane trial when the inmates take over the asylum. The flipside of that coin is seen in “Lock-Up”, when a cruel jailer’s overzealousness gets him fired from Arkham and compels him to hunt down the left-leaning scum he blames for the state of the world. Another stand-out is “A Bullet for Bullock”, an episode in which the slovenly detective is rattled by death threats and reluctantly teams with Batman, and the ending is just one example of how clever the show’s writers can be. “Clever” is also the first word that instantly springs to mind for “Make ‘Em Laugh”, an episode where The Joker co-opts a fellow criminal’s technology to create a small army of fumbling costumed criminals with inane gimmicks.MV5BMmIzZTQ4NmItMjRlMS00ZDBiLTllNzktNDUwZTAyNjI3MWI3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_These episodes introduce a couple of recurring villains ripped from the pages of the comics. Most notable among them is Ra’s al Ghul, who makes his first appearance in a two-parter penned by Len Wein and Denny O’Neil, familiar names to longtime readers of Batman’s four-color incarnation. The centuries-old Ra’s has virtually unlimited resources at his disposal, equally intrigued by Batman’s boundless skills as a detective as he is frustrated by his foe’s determination to disrupt his machinations. Ra’s often lends a Saturday morning serial flavor to the show, from the globe-trotting in his first few appearances to the flared pants of “Avatar”. The charismatic character has such a presence that he’s able to carry “Showdown” largely by himself in an episode that barely features Batman or Robin in any capacity. “Showdown” is set during the westward expansion of the mid-1800’s as Ra’s’ opposition to the sprawling railroads is pitted against scarred bounty hunter Jonah Hex (one of the few DC characters not connected with the Batman mythos to appear on the show). The other noteworthy recurring villain is The Ventriloquist, a fairly timid-looking middle-aged man who seems more likely to be a CPA than a ruthless crimelord. Taken by himself, that seems to be the right impression, but when he has his puppet Scarface on the end of his arm… The Ventriloquist’s first appearance, “Read My Lips”, is one of my favorites of the season, and he returns twice after that.MV5BMjI2OTQ0NTMwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM4MTg3MjE@._V1_Several other characters from the comics briefly appear, including Maxie Zeus, the back-breaking, Venom-fueled Bane, and the fairly obscure masked criminals of The Terrible Trio. The majority of Batman’s rogue’s gallery is present and accounted for, with The Penguin, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, The Mad Hatter, The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Clock King, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Scarecrow (though only as a supporting character; no “fear!” episodes this time around), Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze all wreaking havoc throughout Gotham City at some point or another. Even with the opening titles shifting on disc three from Batman: The Animated Series to The Adventures of Batman and Robin, there’s no discernable drop in quality.MV5BNGI1YTBiYzYtODI2ZS00NzUzLThkMjktMDhkMzI3Yzk5ODAxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Batman: The Animated Series does everything right. It doesn’t dumb itself down or resort to hyperkinetic editing to try to appeal to a younger crowd. The retro-styled art design and dark visuals contribute immeasurably to the overall tone of the show, as does the award-winning music. The writing’s consistently impressive, avoiding falling into some formulaic “villain of the week” trap, and the casting choices for its voice actors is incredibly inspired. Henry Silva, LeVar Burton, Dick Miller, Megan Mullally, Brad Garrett, Bill Mumy, David Warner, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jeffrey Jones, Adam Ant, William Katt, and Robert Pastorelli are just a few of the familiar voices contributing to the series for the first time, joining the usual favorites like Paul Williams, Mark Hamill, and Roddy McDowall. These three collections are required viewing for anyone with an interest in Batman, and fans who have picked up the first two collections should certainly consider buying this third set as well.

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 2

Starring

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Bob Hastings (General Hospital)
Robert Costanzo (Total Recall)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Julie Brown (Clueless)
Paddi Edwards (The Little Mermaid)
Diane Pershing (Defenders of The Earth)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Bud Cort (Coyote Ugly)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings)
Eugene Roche (Soap)
Thomas F. Wilson (Legends of Tomorrow)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
George Dzundza (Crimson Tide)
Mark Hamill (Star wars)
Arleen Sorkin (Gotham Girls)
Mari Devon (Digimon)
Buster Jones (Transformers: The Movie)
Robert Ito (Midway)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Brock Peters (Star trek IV)
Ingrid Oliu (Real Women Have Curves)
Mary McDonald-Lewis (G.I. Joe)
Treat Williams (The Phantom)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Paul Williams (Smokey and The Bandit)
Ray Buktenica (Heat)
Melissa Gilbert (Little House on The Prairie)
William Sanderson (Blade Runner)
Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo)
Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Blank)
John Glover (Smallville)
Ernie Hudsdon (Ghostbusters)
Harry Hamlin (Clash of The Titans)
Marc Singer (V)
Jim Cummings (Christopher Robbin)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Meredith MacRae (Bikini Beach)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Aron Kincaid (Transformers)
Sam McMurray (Raising Arizona)
Neil Ross (An American Tail)
Marilu Henner (Taxi)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Sal Viscuso (Spaceballs)
Barry Dennen (The Dark Crystal)
Helen Slater (Supergirl)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Michael York (Cabaret)
Matt Frewer (The Order)
John Vernon (Dirty Harry)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons)
Joseph Campanella (Mannix)
Vincent Schiavelli (Ghost)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)

MV5BODY3Mjk5ZWYtMWE5MC00MjdmLTkxZWItZTdhYWI0ZTkzNmRjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Having starred in radio shows, serials, a succession of movies, live action television shows and cartoons, Batman remained a consistently hot property since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. One of my favorite incarnations of the Dark Knight Detective was the 1992 cartoon Batman: The Animated Series. Though that initial run has spawned over a dozen other series, it remains my favorite. Though it was positioned as a cartoon for kids, it was easily something that adult fans of the Caped Crusader could enjoy too. The cinematic staging and gothic designs gave it an undeniable visual appeal while the smart writing and first-rate voice acting made the whole show sophisticated and believable. To the great joy of longtime fans and those who missed the show in its initial run, Warner Brothers has just released Volume Two, a four-disc collection of 28 episodes.MV5BMDk1MjFmYjItYjkxNC00NTM1LWIzNWEtYWNlNTVjMWVjMmM1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_You’ll notice that these DVD sets are labeled “volume” rather than “season.” That’s because Batman: The Animated Series had a very unbalanced production schedule. Though the first season consisted of 60 episodes, the second through fourth seasons had less than half that number taken altogether.  The episodes on Volume Two are taken primarily from the second half of the show’s first season but it still leaves some gaps here and there. MV5BMmU5YjM4ZjEtODkzMC00OGIyLTgxYTktYjRmOWFjYjBjOTU2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_This volume has my all-time favorite episode, “The Man Who Killed Batman,” in which a small-time hood finds himself the hero and target of Gotham’s underworld after he apparently kills Batman. In “Almost Got ‘Im” some of Batman’s main enemies reminisce over poker about the times each of them almost killed the Caped Crusader. “The Mechanic” has the Penguin targeting the man who designed and built the Batmobile. “Harley and Ivy” is a great team-up story between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. In “I Am the Knight,” Batman begins to question his effectiveness after Commissioner Gordon is shot.MV5BNmZlODI1ODktMzU2ZC00MTI5LThlNGItNjcxM2IwMTAzZWZkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_You also get the first Riddler episode with “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” and the first Ra’s Al Ghul episode, “Off Balance.” This volume also includes two great two-part episodes. “Robin’s Reckoning” delves into the origin of Robin’s character and “Heart of Steel” introduces us to HARDAC, a computer that’s been replacing key figures in Gotham with look-alikes.MV5BMmQ2MjM3ZGUtNjg1MC00ZTQ2LWFlYTktNDBlZjIyMzFiNjk0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Since Warner has decided to release the episodes without regard to their production or airdate order, it would at least be nice to have more thematic continuity within this volume. HARDAC is introduced here but the final HARDAC episode, “His Silicon Soul,” isn’t included in this volume. Ditto for the introduction of Ra’s Al Ghul; his story won’t be wrapped up until the two-part “The Demon’s Quest.”MV5BZDc1NDM0MDItODEzZC00NDcwLTgwZTUtODc4MmU3YWNlZDc2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Dr. Langstrom is here in “Tyger, Tyger” and “Terror in the Sky” but his first episode, “On Leather Wings,” is on Volume One. You do get a few story arcs started and wrapped up on this disc, as with the story of Bruce’s old nemesis, Kyodai Ken, but you’ll still have to wait for the resolution of some of the more important story threads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 1

Starring

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Bob Hastings (General Hospital)
Robert Costanzo (Total Recall)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)

MV5BNjBiNTE1YzEtOGMyZi00NmE1LWE2YTYtZjVkOWQ4MjM1NmVhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDg4NjY5OTQ@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Beak)
Clive Revill (Transformers: The Movie)
Marc Singer (Arrow)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Meredith MacRae (The Rockford Files)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Mari Devon (Digimon)
Henry Polic II (Mork & Mindy)
Pat Fraley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Ingrid Oliu (Real Women Have Curves)
Michael Pataki (Halloween 4)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Dorian Harewood (Space Jam)
George Murdock (Star Trek V)
Jim Cummings (Aladdin)
Justin Shenkarow (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse)
Robert DoQui (Robocop)
Murphy Cross (Taxi)
John Vernon (Dirty Harry)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Townsend Coleman (The Tick)
Jeff Doucette (Bedazzled)
Peter Jason (They Live)
Josh Keaton (Voltron)
Eugene Roche (Soap)
Lndsay Crouse (Buffy: TVS)
Paul Williams (Adventure Time)
Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Michael Bell (Transformers: The Movie)
Adrienne Barbeau (Argo)
Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager)
Mary McDonald-Lewis (Grimm)
Neil Ross (An Americal Tail)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Jean Smart (Garden State)
Brock Peters (Star Trek IV)
Adam West (60’s Batman)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Ed Begley Jr. (Better Call Saul)
Dick Gautier (Get Smart)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Aron Kincaid (Transformers)
Alan Rachins (Showgirls)
Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Kimmy Robertson (Speed 2)
Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H)
Takayo Fischer (Moneyball)

MV5BYTcwYzdlOTctNmRmMS00ODkxLThjZDgtNDRiMzMwNTgzZWFhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTAyODkwOQ@@._V1_In 1992, Warner decided to revive Batman for TV as an animated series. Luckily, they had a couple of talented individuals already working on Tiny Toons – animator Bruce Timm and background artist Eric Radomski, who were keen to take a stab at the character. They created a pilot film involving Batman and a Gotham City that was at the same time modern and a throwback to the pre-50’s styleMV5BNGQzNzZmNTgtYmJkZS00MzFlLTk0Y2YtOWUxZTg5M2FiMWM5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_It’s fitting that this set is called ‘Volume One’ and not ‘Season One,’ as the episodes were aired completely out of order, with a few episodes of this set not reaching airwaves until the second year. However, you get the first 28 shows to see production, which arguably contain the best of the series’ four-year run as well. As this series is a reinterpretation of the world created in the comics, most of the episodes here are origins of the villains, and for the most part the episodes work very well. What allowed this series to age so well (in fact, I think I can appreciate it even more now than when I was twelve) is that the writing is top notch. Each episode feels like a self-contained short film, and the writers have at once managed to give every character a great deal of humanity and individuality to underscore the directness of the visuals.MV5BODY0MmZlYmEtOWExMC00ZGFhLWEyZmEtZjFlZGE1ZjBjZTY5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Paul Dini had been writing for television a decade prior to this, but Batman was where he finally got his chance to shine, and the episodes he crafted, particularly Heart of Ice are some of the most effective of the series. Timm, Dini and Radomski were able to create a world that was iconic without being one-sided or silly. The idea of a guy who runs around in a cape essentially beating enemies into submission can’t be presented effectively at face value, and the creators of this series were more than willing to delve into the psychological aspects of their characters. Batman is never entirely good, nor are most of his enemies entirely evil. Rather the show focuses on people who have been emotionally scarred in life, and deal with those scars by either seeking to help other people, or harm them. What drives Batman isn’t too different from what drives his villains. It’s not uncommon to feel more sympathy for one of the show’s villains than the hero himself, because more often than not the villain isn’t even entirely sure what they’re doing or why they’re doing it.MV5BNjBlMjNmMWUtMjczYy00YWU5LTg5MzEtNzIwM2I3MDQwMWMwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_The Two-Face episodes are a prime example of the quality of storytelling in the series, because the character, who is such a silly concept (a two-faced man flipping a two-headed coin to decide evil deeds) is handled very subtly, with the emphasis placed on childhood trauma and emotional repression. Not every episode shines, however. The two part introduction to Catwoman, The Cat and the Claw, is plagued with generic characters and situations, and plays too heavily on the environmental card. And there are a few other stinkers, although you can generally tell which episodes are going to be good by who’s writing each. MV5BN2MxNWJkZDktN2U5YS00OTc5LWI2NjMtODI5YjViYTJjMmEzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Casting is absolutely perfect. As vocal director Andrea Romano discusses in the extras, rather than hire trained vocal artists to develop new characters, the producers instead sought out actors with specific character already in their voices. Mark Hamill has the performance of his career as the Joker, with just the right mix of menace and hilarity. Hellboy’s Ron Perlman shows up as Clayface for a few episodes, ’70s bombshell Adrienne Barbeau is sultry as Catwoman and Edward Asner features as a prominent crime boss. The cast list is an absolute who’s-who for any film buff.MV5BNTIxOTc5MDQtMGIxMi00ODgzLWFlMmMtOWI4ZmExMDc0NDAwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_But it’s episodes like “Beware of the Gray Ghost” where the casting really shines. Batman teams up with a former television hero who’s down on his luck. In an inspired decision the producers cast former Batman Adam West for the role, who brings such humanity and poignancy to the part that it ends up one of the best episodes in the series.MV5BOWIyOTg5ZTYtMjM4NC00MzMxLWFiMmItOGEzYTA3ZTNlYzQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_All minor quibbling aside however, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another collection with writing, acting and visuals this stellar from the early 90’s. The impact of “Batman: The Animated Series” was overwhelming to television, with a noticeable shift from the slapstick “Animaniacs / Tiny Toons” style to markedly darker action fare, many of the shows still being overseen today by Timm, Radomski and Dini themselves. “Batman: The Animated Series” changed what American TV animation could be, and this set is a fantastic glimpse into the origin of that.