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Birds of Prey - Pemiere

episode 1

USA 2002
produced by
Peter Giuliano, Brian Robbins (executive), Michael Tollin (executive), Joe Davola (executive) for Tollin/Roberts Productions, Warner Brothers/WB Network
directed by Brian Robbins
starring Ashley Scott, Dina Meyer, Rachel Skarsten, Shemar Moore, Ian Abercrombie, Mia Sara, Chris Ellis, Shawn Christian, Aaron Paul, Brent Sexton, Amanda Michalka, Maggie Baird, Joe Lala, Roger Stoneburner, Bruce Thomas, Mark Hamill (voice)
screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the comicbook published by DC Comics, music by Mark Snow

TV-series
Birds of Prey, Huntress, Oracle, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Batman, Joker, Catwoman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Seven years ago, the Joker (Roger Stoneburner, voiced by Mark Hamill) shot Catwoman dead, right in front of Helena, the daughter she had with Batman (Bruce Thomas). Later, he crippled Batgirl (Dina Meyer), too, which bound her to a wheelchair and ended her career as a superheroine - for a time anyways. Sure, the Batman eventually got the Joker, but he was never again the same afterwards and eventually ended his career.

Now: New Gotham has a new superheroine, the Huntress (Ashley Scott), who is actually Helena all grown up, and she is backed up by the Oracle, the former Batgirl who might be incapacitated when it comes to fighting or even walking, but who is a computer genius, brilliant deductor and who keeps in touch with the Huntress via all sorts of communication devices. Nowadays, the two of them are investigating a series of bizarre suicides, and as fate has it, all those killed owned shares in the long abandoned Gotham dockyard, which might mean ... oh, I don't know.

Eventually, a third girl joins the Huntress and Oracle, Dinah (Rachel Skarsten), who just happens to be a psychic. The three of them find out that only one of the dockyard-shareholders is still alive, Ketterly (Chris Ellis), and off goes Huntress to protect him. Then the other two find out he might actually be the man behind the freak suicides ... but by then he has already somehow entered Huntress's mind (almost literally) and now tries to make her kill herself. Oracle and Dinah manage to take out Ketterly physically, but he is still in Huntress's mind - so psychic Dinah enters, Oracle in tow ... and Oracle becomes Batgirl in Huntress's mind, and Batgirl and Oracle manage to defeat Ketterly together.

Happy ending?

Yes and no. Yes inasmuch as the whole thing has left Ketterly an imbecile who has to be sent to Arkham Asylum. No inasmuch as in Arkham Asylum, he falls into the hands of supervillainess Harley Quinn (Mia Sara), who in her dayjob is also Huntress's psychiatrist ...

 

This pilot to a short-lived superhero-series shows its pros and its cons all at once: On the plus side, it's very elegantly directed, features pretty well executed fight scenes, and is decently paced. On the other hand, the script is actually pretty silly, and wastes too much time telling all the origin stories of the characters (though it at least tries to resolve them - a bit clumsily - in the finale), and features too much of an epilogue after the finale as a set-up for future episodes that actually takes the steam out of the whole thing. On top of that, Huntress's costume flatly fails to impress, really.

STill, in this pilot's defense, there are way worse superhero films and series out there.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD