(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Batman: Under the Red Hood
Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max
The Pitch: Back in 1988, DC Comics decided to hold a poll for their readers: dial in and decide the fate of Jason Todd, the new Robin who had stepped into Dick Grayson’s shoes, after he had been kidnapped and held hostage by the Joker. It was a stunt that would result in one of the most brutal character deaths in the Batman comics to date, with Jason Todd viciously beaten by the Joker and left to die in explosion — all because of the character’s extreme unpopularity (a few readers famously gamed the system to ensure Jason’s death). Jason’s death left a nasty mark on Batman’s legacy, but it would unexpectedly set the stage for one of the DC Universe’s greatest resurrections, when Jason Todd was brought back as a merciless anti-hero in “Under the Hood.”
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Jason Todd’s death was long seen as an ugly stunt by DC Comics, but who would’ve thought that it would lay the foundation for one of the most compelling resurrection stories and tests of Batman’s character? And now with DC fans about to be given the chance to kill Jason Todd again — this time with an interactive animated movie — I thought there was no better time to revisit Batman: Under the Red Hood, the DC Animated Universe direct-to-video adaptation of the “Under The Hood” arc.
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(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best DC animated films, from direct-to-video movies to theatrical releases.)
Marvel Studios may rule at the box office, but DC can proudly claim dominion over animated movies. Usually released direct-to-video, animated movies based on DC Comics have recently made the leap to theaters with Teen Titans Go! To the Movies — though a few recent direct-to-video films have seen limited theatrical release. But DC has long established itself as an animation titan, thanks to the movie spin-offs of its acclaimed series from the ’90s and early 2000s, and thanks to its ever-expanding DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
Now with 32 DC Universe movies in the bag, and even more to come, let’s do our favorite thing: rank them. We picked the top 10 DC animated movies, which range from more recent fare in the DC Animated Original Movies initiative to classic features related to Bruce Timm’s DC Animated Universe.
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We’re still months away from seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and we don’t entirely know what to expect from what will be a full throttle launch into what Warner Bros. Pictures hopes will be an expansive DC Comics cinematic universe to rival Marvel Studios. However, we do know that a solo Batman movie is in the works following a positive reception of the performance Ben Affleck has turned in for the forthcoming superhero face-off. Now rumors have surfaced of what that movie will focus on. Read More »
As the year comes to an end, anybody and everybody are posting their best of the year lists. Most of these lists contain variations of the same 15 or 20 films. To break the mold, some are even posting lists of the best films of the year that you probably haven’t seen. I find that even these lists are filled with the same movies. And if you’re a film geek reading a site like /Film, chances are you know about most of the movies on these lists.
I wanted to do something different and compile a list of the best films of the year that you’ve never heard of. The selections should be movies that (for the most part) none of your family or friends have heard of, and you might even have to do some extra legwork to get your hands on.
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This week, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley wonder about the other ways that Return of the Jedi might have ended and compare The Expendables unfavorably to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Special guest Jeff Cannata joins us from The Totally Rad Show.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next week on Monday night at 9 PM EST on Slashfilm’s live page as we review Piranha 3D or The Good The Bad and The Weird (one of those, probably).
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