It is easy to think that Marvel beats DC when it comes to the whole cinematic universe thing. Certainly, they have created a more cohesive landscape for which to play. Their theatrical releases pretty seamlessly come together to form one larger mosaic. The Netflix series do the same and while they don’t really interact with the movies, they’ve done a nice job of keeping them in the same universe.
DC however is a bit of a mess in this regard. The movies have done a decent job of blending together the various characters (we’ll see how well they really put them all together with Justice League) and certainly Zack Snyder has maintained a consistently dark tone throughout the films. But their television series feel like they are in a completely different universe. They (or I should say the series on The CW as Gotham is its own thing) are much lighter in tone, blending in comedy, romance, and melodrama into their action with much better effectiveness than the films. The shows are so light in fact that they’ve chosen a different actor to play The Flash in the films over Grant Gustin who portrays him in the TV series. A move that demonstrates just how far off the more consistent Marvel method DC really is.
Then there are the animated movies which live in their own separate DC universe. And we aren’t even going to touch on the comics themselves. But while I am decidedly on Team Marvel and I really dig how they’ve put together this enormous, mostly seamless story being told via multiple mediums, there is something kind of cool about what DC is doing. Because Marvel is trying to keep all of its different movies/series in the same cohesive universe they can sometimes feel a little same-y. Like we’ve been there, we’ve seen this, we’ve done that.
With DC separating out the different mediums, each of these things can do their own thing. The CW series work so well because they are able to be a lot more fun than the films. Honestly, I’ve not paid much attention to the animated stuff, but I’m glad it exists. Which is why I’m making Batman and Harley Quinn my pick of the week. [See if Steve Geise agrees.]
This is the 30th entry into the DCU Animated Original series. It was written by Bruce Timm, who co-created Batman: The Animated series, and stars voice actors Kevin Conroy as Batman, Loren Lester as Nightwing, and Melissa Rauch as Harley Quinn. I keep thinking I need to get my daughter into the animated films and now seems like the perfect time to do it. Well, maybe after we catch up on Supergirl.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Gotham: The Complete Third Season: Speaking of DC, this series from FOX gives us the early days of Commissioner Gordon’s rise through the ranks of the Gotham police department plus original stories for many of the city's most notable foes. I’ve seen just a few episodes of this. I liked what I’ve seen but it's too dark for the rest of my family so we tend to stick with what’s showing on The CW.
Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season: This pirate series from Starz works as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and sails into another season. It sounds interesting to me but first I need to catch up on a million other things.
Ripper Street: Season Five: More TV I need to catch up on.
Erik the Conqueror: Mario Bava’s take on the swords and sandals genre gets the Arrow Video treatment.
Ronin: Arrow Video brings this neglected John Frankenheimer crime drama to Blu-ray. Luigi Bastardo has our review.
Baywatch: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, and Priyanka Chopra star in this comedic remake of the silly television series. Reviews have not been kind.
Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties: Only schlockmeister Jess Franco could make a film with that title. Only Severin Films would be willing to give it a Blu-ray upgrade.