Friday, December 17, 2010

And her Bat Emblem is even in 3-D!

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman  (Warner Brothers, 2003) 

Before the Camera:

A bunch of pictures of comic book characters.
Oh, sorry. Let's adjust that to:

Before the Microphone:

Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman in almost everything since 1992)
Kyra Sedgwick  (TV's The Closer)
Kimberly Brooks  (voice actress from scads of cartoons and video games)
Kelly Ripa  (TV's Live with Regis and Kelly)
David Ogden Stiers  (TV's M*A*S*H*)
John Vernon  (Dean Wormer himself and the 60's voice of Iron Man!)
Kevin Michael Richardson  (the voice of Goro in the original Mortal Kombat game)
Hector Elizondo  (TV's Monk)
Elisa Gabrielli  (Alien Space Avenger)
Bob Hastings  (TV's McHale's Navy)
Robert Costanzo  (Die Hard 2: Die Harder)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.  (TV's 77 Sunset Strip)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Curt Geda and Tim Maltby

Produced by Alan Burnett, Margaret M. Dean, Curt Geda, Benjamin Melniker, Kathryn Page, Sander Schwartz, and Michael E. Uslan

Written by Michael Reaves and Alan Burnett

Branching off from the excellent Batman-The Animated Series after it ended, this direct-to-DVD movie reunites several voice actors from the series, and adds newbies like Stiers (replacing Paul Williams as the Penguin) and Elizondo (in for Henry Silva as Bane); and Brooks, Ripa, and Gabrielli as new women in the lives of Batman and Bruce Wayne. The story finds a new costumed crimefighter in Gotham City, and she calls herself Batwoman (Sedgwick). But unlike her namesake, she's more interested in her own secret agenda that protecting the public, as she demonstrates in the opening scene with an explosive solution to a truck smuggling high tech weapons through Gotham City. This brings Batwoman to the attention of the gangsters trafficking the weapons: longtime Gotham baddies Rupert Thorne (the late great John Vernon) and the Penguin, and recent Gotham villain Duquesne (Kevin Michael Richardson). She also draws the attention of Batman (Kevin Conroy - still great in the role). The criminals want her out of the way, and the Caped Crusader wants to know who she is. The bad guys call in South American enforcer Bane to take her out; Batman calls on his powers of deduction and suspects Duquesne's daughter is Batwoman, so he has Bruce Wayne take her out. To dinner, that is, at a club owned by the Penguin. When Batwoman attacks the fowl fiend in his club the same evening, the Dark Knight is forced to concede he may have been on the wrong track. As the battles escalate and endanger the innocent of Gotham City, will Batman be able to solve the mystery of Batwoman before someone is killed in the crossfire?

Danny De-who?
After making 85 animated episodes of Batman adventures, these guys know what they are doing. This is a solid 75 minutes of Bat Action, well directed by Geda and Maltby. The voice acting is very good, with all of the holdovers from the series especially welcome for their familiarity in these roles, even if some only have brief roles. Robin (Tim Drake here, voiced by Eli Marienthal) and Batgirl (the series' Tara Strong) are definitely in support here, with Batgirl reduced to a quick cameo, I guess to prevent confusion with the other Batlady. The classic look Penguin is cool, and Stiers does well by the voice. I prefer Henry Silva's Bane actually, he put more accent into it, but Elizondo is okay. The animation is smooth, with some good effects and designs, and it's all topped off with a good action-flavored musical score. If you enjoy Bat Antics, this is well worth a watch. Animation is not kid's stuff anymore, so check it out!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Approximately 18 minutes in, somebody's henchman finds out that some days you just can't get rid of a bomb.

Eye Candy ?

It's a cartoon where the ladies are drawn attractively but in a stylized way, so no.

Bling Monkey's Capsule Review

Bling Monkey says: "Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman would make a good
addition to your entertainment utility belt!"

Thanks as always, BM, and til next time, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

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