Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Batman: TAS - Coming soon

I've been really busy the last few days, and I'll be really busy the next few days, so it is very likely I won't get an episode reviewed this week, though I will try. At the latest I'll have one up next Friday morning.

In other news, I saw The Dark Knight again last night, and it's still the best movie ever made, although I also really liked Underworld (which I saw a couple weeks ago).

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

GI Joe Sigma 6 Wantlist

I love the Sigma 6 line, and will be collecting almost the entire line. Bold yellow are top priorities. Will take loose/complete or unopened figures.

View the entire line at Sigma 6 Central



---Adventure Team / Combat Squad---


  • Ninja Tracker ATV with Snake Eyes
  • Night Ranger Quad with Duke

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Batman: TAS - Episode 7 - P.O.V.

And finally we reach the last episode of disc 1, P.O.V., which I assume stands for Point of View. This was an interesting episode that didn't focus on Batman much at all, but rather on 3 of Gotham's Finest, Detective Harvey Bullock, Lieutenant Renee Montoya, and some new guy (who we'll probably never see again), Officer Wilkes.

The gist of this episode is the three aforementioned cops go to bust a crime ring, but (to steal a phrase) the proverbial fecal matter hits the oscillating unit and things go poorly. An investigator is called in to interview the three and find out what happened and who is responsible, so we get to see the events from each person's - wait for it...wait for it...wait for it - Point of View.

We start out with Montoya and whatshisname speeding through the streets of Gotham in a black and white, sirens blaring, overheads flashing. Montoya says something about Bullock meeting them at 2300 hours, and that they'll be there with time to spare, yet the way she's driving you'd think they needed to be there yesterday; the car careens around corners, tires squealing, rookie cop screaming. When they arrive at the location the building's on fire, and Bullock's regaining consciousness behind a dumpster. Montoya asks why he didn't wait for them, but Bullock says they were late. There are still people inside the warehouse so they split up to attempt apprehending said criminals. As Montoya and Wilkes run off in opposite directions, Bullock stands and glancing up sees a shadowy figure on the roof. "Batman!" He says, before blacking out.

We next see the three cops sitting in a row chairs in a interrogation room with Commissioner Gordon sitting behind a desk, and some bad tempered guy pacing around the three yelling about how much time and money the city spent setting up this sting, and that they blew it in 5 minutes. He even goes so far as to suggest they were paid off, which gets everybody riled up. Bullock declares the whole thing is Batman's fault, which seriously offends Montoya, but the investigating Lieutenant doesn't believe her. He allows Bullock to give his version of the story first.

Bullock again repeats that Montoya and Wilkes were late, but he saw Batman enter the warehouse and feared that Batman would screw up the bust, so he had to go in alone. Of course, as Bullock gives his side of the story we see the events as they actually unfolded. For this particular moment, there's no sign of Batman until after Bullock enters the warehouse, then Batman appears. It was fun to see how Bullock's story differs from the true events, he embellishes and rearranges events to make him look better, always placing the blame on Batman. He was closing in on the suspects when a loud noise tipped them off - "Must have been Batman!" Yeah right. The noise happens to be him tripping over something and falling on his face.

The entire scene was really good, so I'll let you watch the whole thing rather than talk about it here (I'll talk about it afterward.

However, we see how tough a cop he really is. Three thugs confront him, one with a crowbar, another with an ax, the third by himself, but even larger than Bullock. Bullock stands (no longer armed) and says, "Freeze, maggots! You're all under arrest." Strangely, the thieves don't seem overly impressed and the large one jumps him, but Bullock dodges out of the way. Bullock soundly beats the snot out of them, catching the ax on one swing, dodging on the next which unfortunately smashes into a electrical box of some kind which sprays sparks all over, catching boxes on fire (of course). Anyway, he continues to beat the crap out of the thugs until the fire rages out of control and he gets trapped. I was really impressed with him, I didn't think he could fight that well, and that he had the guts to stand up to 5 different guys all on his own. Of course, then he goes and blames his predicament on Batman again, but I love the way he said, "It's a good thing I was there to save his butt!"

Anyway, Mr Investigating-has-a-stick-up-his-bum-Lieutenant doesn't buy Bullock's story, and again suggests that he went in early to beat the other cops to the money. By this point I suspected that there was something not quite right about Mr IL, and wondered if he was perhaps a dirty cop, especially after he yells at Commission Gordon to back off and let him run the investigation the way he looks fit. It also seemed suspicious to me that he's obviously an older guy (balding and such) yet he's the same rank as Lieutenant Montoya, but then again, he's an investigator and she's possibly just a regular cop, I don't claim to know what the different positions are, so maybe he is senior to her, and not just some bitter sounding old man. As I said though, he doesn't believe Bullock, thinks he went in early, but Bullock sticks to his story of the other two being late.

Now we hear rookie Officer Wilkes' story. His is interesting because he'd never seen Batman in action, and thinks he's got superpowers.

He thinks Batman flies, and can take down cars just by shootings sparks out of his hands, and shoot beams out of his fingers, and such. "It was unbelievable!" Not much to say about this one really.

Now Montoya's version. She's been pretty upset about this whole affair. She's ticked off at Lieutenant Frustrated-Old-Man, especially when he gives Wilkes a hard time about his story, and every time he implies they're dirty cops (but then they all got upset about that too). She also seems sad about something, but we don't know what it us until the end of her story.

She's also pretty gutsy, staring down a couple of really big guys with only a shotgun to use, and also sarcastic regarding Bullock's story of saving Batman. Still, since the stories don't match, and there's no way to confirm either story, they're all suspended. Lieutenant Going-to-Die-Cold-and-Alone-and-Bald is pretty smug as the three turn in their badges and guns. Bullock slams his gun on the table so hard he jumps.

To make an already long post less long than it could be I'll try to summarize more. Montoya's heading home on the light rail and figures out the clues were not Doc for Doctor, but for the dock, Gotham Harbor. She finds a warehouse that has a previously mentioned name, and when she looks in the windows she see Batman with his hands tied hanging from a crane hook high above the floor, while the mobsters go about whatever business they're doing; one of them is examining Batman's belt. She enters the warehouse (full of bad guys, unarmed), and is there to see Batman cut himself free (not cut his hands free, just cut the rope he was hanging from. He beats a guy up the whole time with his hands tied together. Montoya gets the jump on another guy who had pulled a gun on Batman. We get a shadowy glimpse of the boss of the whole operation, and I'm thoroughly convinced he will be revealed to be Lieutenant Hope-He-Didnt-Reproduce-And-Further-Pollute-The-Gene-Pool.

Together Batman and Montoya dispatch the goons, Batman takes on several guys at once, kicking the crap out of them - one guy gets knocked into the water several times, Montoya beats up a guy, jumps in a crane and drops a large crate behind three or four guys as they attempt to gang up on Batman, which smashes through the floor and drops them all in the drink, and finally, she traps the boss man in the jaws of the crane as he tries to escape. Oh yeah, and Batman sinks a ship as it leaves the harbor by crashing a forklift into the side. Bet you haven't done that before.

After Batman sinks the boat (which the boss man was fleeing in) he tries to escape on foot, but that's when Officer Montoya catches him with the crane. I was sure at this point we would see who he was, but he just appears to have been some random guy with round glasses. I guess he wasn't important enough to ever be fully revealed, and we'll never know who he was. Or maybe we'll find out he was Temple Fugate, the Clock King (cause he has round glasses and dresses similarly - what am I talking about, 90% of the males on this show wear a suit, trenchcoat and hat).

The real cops arrive, Commissioner Gordon is appropriately impressed, and when Lieutenant Never-Had-A-Date-Never-Will arrives Gordon grabs him by the collar and throws him around a bit while yelling at him that "This farce has gone on long enough...this investigation is closed!" And he takes the badges back and gives them to Montoya to deliver. Even Bullock's almost personable as he thanks Montoya for his badge.
The End.

This was probably my favorite episode so far. I really do like Harvey Bullock, I find him very interesting. He's a good, tough cop who firmly believes that it's the responsibility of the police to take care of the criminals of Gotham, whether they be of the more ordinary kind, or the wackos. He feels that Batman is intruding upon his territory, and probably feels it's an insult to his ability to perform his job. He also seems to not quite respect The Line as much as others might, he's willing to cross certain boundaries if it help him accomplish his duty, but he's not a dirty cop.Similarly, Montoya is also a good, tough cop who is also very good at her job. However, she also respects Batman, and appreciates his help, and was genuinely concerned for his well-being, happy to see him alive when she thought him dead. They're both great characters, and it's no wonder really that they get partnered up so we can see them often.

Let's see, what else to say about it? I enjoyed seeing the different parts of the story as told by the participants, so it's like we're participating with the character rather than being some observer. Credits go to Kevin Altieri, who directed one of the other great episodes of this disc, On Leather Wings, but then he also directed The Last Laugh which was one of my least favorites, so he's only at 66% so far. Mitch Brian wrote the episode (Teleplay by Sean Catherine Derek & Laren Bright) who also wrote On Leather Wings (that we've seen so far) and Bane (which we haven't, but if I remember it right it was a good episode), so he's doing well, but I think that's all he's done for this series. Sean Catherine Derek (three first names, come on people, knock it off!) co-wrote Nothing to Fear, the next episode we will review The Forgotten (which I liked) and the upcoming two-part episode The Cat and The Claw (three guesses who that one is about, and the first two don't count), as well as others, so I guess I like his work too. Laren Bright also worked on several episodes, many with SCD, and also one of my favorite episodes Perchance to Dream. So a great crew working on this episode, which probably explains why I enjoyed it so much.

For voices we of course have the staples, Bob Hastings (Gordon), Robert Costanzo (Bullock) and the great Kevin Conroy as Batman, as well as a visit from not-quite-newcomer Ingrid Oliu as Renee Montoya, I think she does a great job, and some other people I've never heard of. Some guy named Ron Perlman (never heard of him) is Driller. Robbie Benson plays Rookie Wilkes - he's seems to be primarily a voice actor but does appear in somethings, just nothing I've ever heard of. Interestingly, he's the voice of Beast in the Disney rendition of Beauty and the Beast and all subsequent videos (and also the Kingdom Hearts video game series). And some other stuff. Look him up on Wikipedia or if you want to know more. John Considine was the voice of the ever loveable Lieutenant I-cant-think-of-another-insulting-name Hackle, he's some old guy (b. 1935) who's been on shows like Knight Rider, MacGyver, Murder, She Wrote, and Boston Legal, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Marc Tubert voiced one of the thugs named Scarface, and I found his name in a future episode of this series, voicing Carlos. I'd guess it's not the same guy, but I haven't seen that episode yet so I guess it could be. He's also guested on various well-known shows, movies or video games - Star Trek: The Next Generation, Home Improvement, Superman: TAS, Mad About You, Ellen, Pinky and the Brain, Seinfeld, The Practice, Charmed, Dharma & Greg, etc, etc, and even Team Knight Rider. Now that's gotta be a resume highlight. And I guess that finishes off this episode, the final episode of disc one, but don't worry, we're not quite done with it yet, we've got a special feature or two we can look at next time.

Remember kids: Madness is like gravity... all you need is a little push.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Batman: TAS - Episode 6 - The Under-Dwellers

Today's episode should be short, for a couple of reasons. Meh, it wasn't my favorite, I've been busy playing video games and reading my new comics, and I should be going to bed now, but I'll try to type something up quick.

The intro sequence was kinda fun. To little punk kids are standing on a train that's racing toward a tunnel, playing chicken. "Whoever jumps first is CHICKEN!" yells the one who is obviously the instigator of this good example of particularly bad judgment. The other kid is obviously quite nervous and trying to appear cool for the other. I'd guess they're roughly twelve-ish.

Batman lands on the train on the car behind them, and the nervous kid hears something, and upon glancing back and seeing Batman striding purposefully towards them, yells and abandons the game, jumping off the train. The winner taunts him as he goes, and then steps forward to disembark, only to find his foot has caught in some cables. He pulls and squirms, and we see the tunnel entrance getting closer and closer. Batman arrives and frees his foot, and runs toward the end of the car, jumping off just as the train enters the tunnel, and we see the clearance MIGHT have let Batman lay down flat without getting injured.

Why do kids play chicken with trains? I mean, I know they have bad judgement, from lack of experience, but jeez, come on, a train? And then adults do it too, sometimes. I've heard enough stories about kids getting decapitated without needing to hear that supposedly intelligent, full grown adults will try to get their heads forcibly separated from their bodies. Oh well, culls the herd, cleanses the genepool, I guess.

This episode has a lot of kids in it. We see several little street urchins running around, picking pockets, relieving fat, wealthy, high-society types of their valuables. Also, they are wearing green cloaks, not unlike those given to the Fellowship by Galadriel, causing people to think the thieves are Leprechauns, rather than noticing they are just kids.

Even Batman thinks he saw the one he saw was a leprechaun. But being the Detective he is, he won't let it rest until he figures out exactly what is going on. After a little discussion with Alfred, in the which Alfred encourages Bruce to take a little vacation,

      "Why not golf?"
      "Sounds boring."
      "In the Bahamas?"
      "Hot, and boring."
Batman heads to the scene of the crime.

In the meantime, we are shown the sewers of gotham, and then dozens of kids (like 6 year old kids) living in said sewers, doing all sorts of things that modern child labor laws would lock you away for years for - sewing green cloaks, farming (!), collecting the pick-pocket-ed money, etc. One child using a hoe slips and hits his ankle with the hoe and cries out, but a neighboring boy quickly stifles his outburst, and then with a friendly smile wraps a rag around the injury.

A bell rings and the children all file through the tunnels to a large hall where a single torch burns, and a man with a silly, very old fashioned suit and red cape, and round sunglasses with a missing lens, sits hunched in a large chair, tapping his fingers impatiently. He tells the children it's time for their lessons, and rule number one is, "NO TALKING!!!!". "Children should be seen and not heard," he says, and while I agree that children can at times be irritating, I think he's a little on the extremist side in his interpretation of that particular adage.

He calls himself their leader, and their king, they are the under-dwellers, and they must obey him. He singles out the little boy that injured himself, and reminds them all of the punishment for talking. The other children cover their eyes, and the little boy is locked in a room so he can, "See the light," which is meant very literally, several lightbulbs light the room very nicely, and the boy covers his eyes from the brightness of the light to which he is not accustomed. This Sewer King then sends the rest of the children up to the surface to fetch him lots and lots of pretty things.

The children run out to do his bidding, being sure to wear their green leprechaun cloak/disguises, but Batman is there stalking the alleys for clues. He uses his neato infrared scanner we saw in On Leather Wings, the one that makes him look like Cyclops, and he discovers a hidden door in a wall that leads him into the sewers. He treks through the sewers, finding things like subway tunnels, and graffiti proclaiming, "Beware the Sewer King!", and a locked door. It's dead bolted, so he pulls out a mini torch and burns through the lock.

He also finds one of the children, who eludes him for a little while, but Batman eventually catches him - and saves him from a subway. He exits the sewer with the child in tow, and we are shown a neat disguise for the Batmobile. Similar to Tim Burton's movie, Bats speaks into a remote, and the car reveals itself. It was disguised as a trash dumpster, but the sides of the dumptser (and fake garbage on top) fold away to night (again, like the movie). It's a much more practical than the armored look it got in the movie, though certainly less cool looking. The kid's eyes light up at the sight of the car, and then he is given a ride to Wayne Manor.

So, yeah, basically Batman just kidnapped a little kid...

And that's the end of part one. It's late, I'm tired, and I'm only halfway through this episode and I won't make it all the way through tonight. But no reason not post what I've done so far, right? I'll get the second half posted sometime before 2am MST on Saturday.

Remember kids: Paranoid people are harder to kill than regular people.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Batman: TAS - Episode 5 - Pretty Poison

Yay! Another new villain is introduced. New as in we haven't seen them in the previous four episodes, not new as in newly created for this show. That honor's reserved for Harley Quinn and Livewire (later in the Superman series). Bet you can't guess who the new arrival is! What? You guessed? Cheater, you probably looked it up on Google, didn't you? Damn them. Yes, it's Poison Ivy, the sometimes sultry, sometimes strangely suited, seductress of Springtime and Summer. Hey, I alliterated! Sorry, won't do it again.

The episode begins in a sepia toned flashback. We see a pair of hands dig a rose out of the ground and put it in a pot, then the camera pans up to show Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne given the honors of breaking ground for the new Gotham Penitentiary, the dream of Gotham's new District Attorney (Dent) and funded by the Wayne Foundation. The sepia tone ends as Bruce and Harvey shake hands, and the scene becomes a picture in the newspaper that is torn out by the same gloved hands that dug up the flower, and we see them pin the newspaper clip above a little box of roses. Then we see the field of wild roses get dug up and replaced with the State Penitentiary, 5 years later.

We see a prison break, which serves two small purposes: we see the cops in their offices alerted of the break, running out of their room, just as Detective Bullock is about to stuff his face with a donut. He drops it and follows the rest of the cops out of the room, but then comes running back for his donut. The second reason is so that when the escapee is caught and asks Batman who he is, he can say, "I'm Batman".

I guess there was actually a third (and most important) benefit to this part, we get our first look at Lieutenant Renee Montoya, who is one of the characters that was created for the Animated Series and moved to the comics. In fact, she was adopted by the comics before her first animated appearance. We could go on about her future as the current The Question, or about her being a lesbian (her partner is the modern Batwoman that appeared during 52) or the twisted relationship she has with Harvey Dent/Two-Face (all these are from the comics anyway), but we won't. Suffice it (for now) to say she's Harvey Bullock's partner, and a much more reasonable and likeable person than he is.

Anyway, intercut with the prison break arc we find Harvey Dent at a very fancy restaurant with a hot redhead, they're waiting for Dent's friend Bruce Wayne, who's running late (of course, he's chasing an escaped convict). Dent talks about Bruce always being late, probably working on business with a high-class crowd (cut to Batman chasing down the con), he's really busy but always able to get his kicks (cut to Batman kicking the crap out of the convict), there's nothing we don't know about each other ("Who are you?" the con asks quivering in fear. "I'm your worst nightmare!"). Ha ha very funny, or not, but somewhat amusing. I thought it was good to know that Harvey and Bruce are close friends, but the whole prison break seemed rather pointless, mostly an excuse to have some action at the beginning of the episode.

Bruce eventually joins Harvey and the as-yet unnamed redhead with the low cut red dress for dinner, and he tells funny stories about Dent. After a while the redhead says she needs to go, and she gives Dent a very long goodnight kiss, so long that Bruce becomes slightly uncomfortable and looks away, and the kiss goes on and on and on. Seriously. For like 20 seconds. Dent is quite pleased by it and promises to call her. As she walks away her hips swap enticingly and everyone in the restaurant turns to watch her go. They've obviously gone to great lengths to let us know she's perfectly desirable,therefore we can draw the conclusion that she's completely evil.

Bruce asks Harvey if she has a sister, and we finally get her name (unless I just didn't notice it before, which is possible), he calls her Pam, and tells Bruce he asked her to marry him. Then he pulls on his collar saying it's hot in here. Bruce is surprised and sprays his coffee all over the table, "Harvey, you can't be serious, you just met her last week!" (Boy, those words will come back to haunt him in The New Batman Adventures). Harvey protests that he knows he's found the right woman and why wait, all the while mopping his face with a napkin, sweating and obviously uncomfortable. Harvey says, "The moment I laid eyes on Pam, love hit me right in the face." His eyes roll around in his head, he gets a funny look on his face, and he face plants into his dessert.

Bruce finally realizes that something's wrong with Harvey (World's Greatest Detective, indeed!) and he is rushed to the hospital. What a surprise. Somebody calls Commissioner Gordon about Dent, and he rushes out of his office yelling, "Harvey Dent's in a coma at the city hospital!" And again, cops run out of the room, and again Bullock comes back to grab a donut. Heh heh, what a fat slob.

A doctor tells everyone that Dent was poisoned, and Wayne tells the cops the cafe they ate at was The Rose Cafe. But Bruce doesn't think it was food poisoning. He sneaks into the hospital lab and steals a sample of Harvey's blood. After analyzing it back at the cave (there's that phrase again) he learns it's a poison derived from a wild thorny rose, which Alfred tells him is extinct. Now they can't synthesize an antidote, oh no!

Bruce returns to the hospital and Pam shows up to cry about Harvey. When Bruce walks her to her car he's suddenly suspicions, remembering the kiss earlier. He heads for home and calls Alfred to find out anything he can about Pamela Isely. Again, I think this is the first time her full name has been mentioned, but maybe I'm not paying close enough attention. They discover that she's a research chemist with a cosmetic firm, and she has PhD in Botany, and she gives lectures on endangered and extinct plants. "I think Harvey's engagement is off," Batman says, before leaving to investigate.

Isley has quite the impressive greenhouse, full of plants of all shapes and sizes. The cosmetic fragrance business must pay really well, because in a city that's supposed to be a dark, corrupted version of New York, a home that size with greenhouse that big in the middle of the city must cost a small fortune. Batman enters, and as he runs through the place a section of floor falls out beneath him, dropping him into a pit filled with large, very spiky cacti. He manages to grab a flowered vine nearby and hangs precariously over thorny death, then swings out of the pit. As he lands on the floor, the vine suddenly wraps itself around his arm, and the flower opens its toothy maw(!) and chomps at him. More vines entangle him, squeezing him and finally dragging him towards a giant plant, with a large, even more toothy maw.

Batman manages to put his feet on the thing's mouth and keep from getting eaten, Pamela stands in the shadows wondering what her "sweet little flytrap caught this time", then commenting that Batman's a little big for a fly. We can just vaguely see that she's now in her Poison Ivy costume, a green corset with green tights, and slightly finned gloves and boots. She seems to have a thing for bare shoulders.

Batman struggles with the man-eating flytrap, and kicks out several teeth. Poison Ivy reveals herself and she and Batman talk about Harvey Dent, "Poor Harvey Dent, I hear he's not expected to live." She says sadly, and cries into her hands which quickly turns into evil, scary laughter. We can see she has a mini crossbow mounted on a gauntlet on her right hand. Ivy explains to Batman that Harvey had to pay for his crimes, Murder! She throws a bit of a tantrum getting a crazed look on her face, explaining that he plowed up a field of innocent wild flowers, with those awful bulldozers and other evil machinery. Honestly, she's a scary woman at this part, and just confirms my suspicions that all tree-huggers are evil people plotting to murder the rest of us (mostly) normal people.

She puts her poison lipstick on and tries to kiss Batman. Now, in the comics he would have head-butted her the face when she got close enough, but here he gets kissed and starts getting fuzzy vision. She taunts him with the antidote, and then he finally kicks her in the stomach, swings himself up to the sprinkler lines and frees himself from the tentacled flytrap, with a knife. He stands in front of Ivy with the flytrap behind him, and in her freaked out anger at his hurting her giant man-eating plant she makes the funniest sound I have ever heard and fires her (presumably poisoned) darts at him. He ducks and it rips a surprisingly large hole in her precious plant, which screams and thrashes in agony.

She continues to shoot darts at him, and when he tries to escape he accidentally pulls down a large light fixture, which lands in a pool of water; sparks fly everywhere, predictablly (but cool nonetheless) the plants catch fire, and we get a vision of Ivy in the place where all sociopathic greenies will go when they die.

Plants go up in flames all around, Ivy grabs the potted wild rose and tries to escape, but the fire flares up everywhere. Batman rescues her from being crushed by falling trees, and ends up on the edge of the pit from earlier. His vision is blurred, he's weak from the poison, but he's able to make out Ivy approaching him with her crossbow leveled at him, and murder on her face. "Enjoy extinction, Batman!" She screams at him, but he shakes his head, "I'm not going alone," and he holds the potted rose over the pit.

He offers to trade the weed for the bottle (his words), and she acquices to save her precious, almost extinct roses, and then he saves them both from the burning building. Batman takes the antidote to the hospital where it is given to Dent, who wakes up not really remembering what happened. Bruce tells him he's going to be fine, then talks to him about Pam. "I think she's wrong for you." is how he puts it, and we are shown the prison we saw back at the beginning of the episode, a fun sequence starting with the outside of the building, moving to the large front gate, down twisting staircases, to a barred cell where a redheaded woman sits on the bed mounted in the wall, rocking back and forth slowly, "...I'll grow back, we always grow back..."

Directed by our friend Boyd Kirkland, who directs several episodes of this series, a few I recognize - such as Perchance to Dream one of my favorite episodes, and many I don't. Recently we discussed him in Nothing to Fear, and once again I will mention that he directed the Batman & Mr Freeze: Sub-Zero movie

This is the first episode in the series that features Paul Dini as one of the writers. He becomes very closely associated with the show as time goes on, writing and producing for most of the Timm animated series though he left Warner Brothers in 2004 so he didn't work as much on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Speaking of Mr Freeze, Paul Dini is one of the writers on the upcoming episode Heart of Ice which gave the character of Freeze new and more interesting life. He writes so many of these episodes I'm not going to bother mentioning any more here.

Poison Ivy is voiced by Diane Pershing, who appears to have voiced Poison Ivy in every appearance of that character that wasn't a live action film or tv series. She voiced her in episodes of Justice League, Static Shock, several video games, the web series Gotham Girls. She also has done a bunch of other stuff not worth mentioning, like the Smurfs (see, I shouldn't have mentioned it). I believe I mentioned in passing for On Leather Wings that Harvey Dent was voiced by Richard Moll, famous for his Night Court roll. He's done a ton of stuff, so we won't go into it here, check out if you're interested.

Renee Montoya did have a single line speaking part, so she gets a voice and a credit, played by Ingrid Oliu, whoever that she is. I'm not really sure why, but I really like Montoya. She's a great contrast to Bullock, with whom she is paired up often (can't wait till we get to episode 7, P.O.V.), she's a tough, honest cop, and she could kick me ten ways to Sunday.

I quite enjoyed this episode, I've seen the entire first disc now (two more episodes to blog about) and this is tied with On Leather Wings as the second best episode so far (yeah, it's only out of seven so far, but so what?). I didn't really mention it much, but there was a lot of focus on the wild rose, and several times the image of a rose appeared in the show (like the front door of The Rose Cafe where they had dinner), or there were quick scenes where we saw Pam caring for the wild rose, pruning it's leaves, or cutting one rose off it for the poison, talking to it. It made everything feel cohesive and related. I noticed some interesting details in a few places, like Ivy's cell walls have scratchings in them, we can tell she's not the first occupant of that particular room. Ivy herself was interesting, a lot of work was put in to making her sultry and attractive, and then when she would flip out over harm done to the plants she became frightening looking, excessive lines in her face, really she became ugly, and I found it fascinating.

I also liked the blurring and repeated vision effect they gave Batman when he was poisoned, the best example is when he was holding the roses over the pit trying to get Ivy to give him the antidote, the way Ivy went in and out of focus, and had her face swirling around the main image was fun. The style of the animation jumps out at me occasionally, just the way that it doesn't feel like a cartoon (and I enjoy cartoons, I've seen a lot), it feels like a movie, that just happens to be animated.

And the best indicators that I liked this episode a bunch are, I wrote too much about it, took too many screenshots, and I made 4 video clips from it (as opposed to The Last Laugh which got none). The software I have to capture video isn't quite difficult to use, but it's not terribly convenient necessarily either. While watching the episode I write down the start and end times of what clips I'd like to get, then in the capturing software I can capture that sequence. However, the times don't match up between the playback program and the capturing one. Sometimes it's off in one direction, sometimes in another, so I have to grab more than just the part I want, then open the clip in yet a third piece of software to trim the excess video off the beginning and end of the clip. All that to say that getting clips is time consuming and yet I really wanted to show those sections, so it was worth it.

Tune in Friday morning for Episode 6, The Underdwellers.

And remember kids: The Spice must flow. He who controls the Spice, controls the universe!

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