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CATWOMAN: HUNTED | Blu-ray Review: A Globe-trotting Romp and Visual Treat

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Catwoman (Elizabeth Gillies) truly takes the spotlight in the latest DC Animated Movie as the film Purrrfectly encapsulates this femme-fatale. Catwoman: Hunted is a sultry globe-trotting romp that will certainly leave you purring with delight as Catwoman aka Selina Kyle doesn’t worry the slightest about risking her nine lives when a prize like the worlds most valuable emerald is the reward. But with Batwoman (Stephanie Beatriz) and Interpol manoeuvring to spoil her fun, she must tread lightly.

Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

Complicating this game of cat and mouse is the goal crime juggernaut Leviathan, deadly assassins, and a trail of twists and turns that may just trip up this nefarious feline. In the end, Catwoman is forced to work alongside Batwoman and Interpol agents Julia Pennyworth (Lauren Cohan) and King Faraday (Jonathan Frakes).

The film truly lends itself to the stylised Japanese art of anime and manga, the character and environmental designs are so vibrant and lovingly rendered. And like many of the DC animated movies Catwoman: Hunted is heavily influenced and inspired by films of other eras. Here every sequence screams 1960s spy and thriller, films like “Catch me if you can”, “The Castle of Cagliostro” and “Danger: Diabolik. I also see influences captured from Cowboy Bebop such as the stylish action, cheeky humour, and an incredible Jazz score which features throughout the film as the wild and fun opening credits set the stage with a dazzling montage as we see Catwoman in her retro disguise infiltrate a masquerade party in Spain as Black Mask’s (Jonathan Banks) date as the Gotham crime king wants to join the criminal cartel Leviathan. Its leader, Lady Barbara Minerva (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) however demands a hefty and steep entrance fee.

Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

A massive win for Catwoman: Hunted is the casting of Elizabeth Gillies as Catwoman aka Selina Kyle. Gillies is Purrfect and brings Selina to life with such confidence and swagger as she provides a sassy vocal performance that is both classic and contemporary but also iconic and fresh. I absolutely loved that throughout the film Selina flirts, manipulates, and battles anyone in her way.

Half the charm of Catwoman: Hunted also comes from the slightly off-kilter will they won’t they dynamic between Gillies’s Selina and the introduction of Beatriz’s Kate Kane aka Batwoman. Stephanie Beatrix brings Gotham City’s Batwoman to life supremely stoic and stern but she also adds hints of emotional vulnerability in between all the brawls and chases. During the course of the film, these two characters roles become chaotic and certainly intertwined as the film explores the Selina/Kate relationship to the fullest.

Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

Catwoman: Hunted also boasts an incredible voice cast, we’ve got fantastic introductions to the League of Shadows assassin Cheshire, voice by Kelly Hu, Barbara Minerva, leader of Leviathan, voiced by Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Lauren Cohan as Julia Pennyworth, Jacqueline Obradors as La Dama, and then Zehra Fazal returning to voice not only Talia Al Ghul but also Nosferata.

Then we have more great vocal performances from other icons such as Jonathan Banks and Keith David who voice Black Mask and Tobias Whale. Then there’s Star Trek: TNG’S Jonathan Frakes as the voice of King Faraday/Boss Moxie, whilst voice actors Steven Blum and Andrew Kishino voice Solomon Grundy and Mr Yakuza.

Screenwriter Greg Weisman keeps us Feline fresh as Catwoman ploughs through the villains with fun and sassy remarks. It’s fast-paced and full of heists as prolific anime filmmaker Shinsuke Terasawa helms the project with experience as he crafts amazing action sequences such as a car chase. Catwoman literally steams up the screen with Batwoman.

Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

Speaking of the action sequences they truly build-up to heavy-hitter showdowns which truly take advantage of the anime style. There are plenty of supernatural elements included as Catwoman: Hunted is certainly a new era and something different and unique for the DC Animated series of films. It benefits from a strong script, talented voice cast and succeeds in merging the DC Universe with a strong anime and manga aesthetic. The sheer enjoyment of this anime film truly delivers as it’s a must-see for all fans of genre and Catwoman. I’d definitely be interested and invested in seeing DC and Warner Bros Animation take Selina on another globetrotting heist as Catwoman: Hunted Purrrfectly leads to a sequel.

Special Features:

  • When The Hunter Becomes The Hunted – This featurette breaks down the backstory of each villain integral to the film: from Tobias Whale, Black Mask, Cheshire and Nosferata to Solomon Grundy, Talia al Ghul and Cheetah.
  • Catwoman: The Feline Femme Fatale – A documentary on Catwoman’s history.

Catwoman: Hunted is available now for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

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Netflix | Wendell & Wild | From Producer Jordan Peele

Two scheming demon brothers, Wendell and Wild, must face their arch-nemesis, the demon-dusting nun Sister Helly, and her two acolytes, the goth teens Kat and Raul. However, Raul cannot see them so Kat helps Wendell and Wild to help him.

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Genre:

Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

October 28, 2022

Director:

Henry Selick

Cast:

Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Lyric Ross

Plot Summary:

Two scheming demon brothers, Wendell and Wild, must face their arch-nemesis, the demon-dusting nun Sister Helly, and her two acolytes, the goth teens Kat and Raul. However, Raul cannot see them so Kat helps Wendell and Wild to help him.

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Animation

LUCK Review | A Magical and Inspiring Adventure!

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From Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation comes their first animated feature which premieres on AppleTV+ this Friday, August 5th. I adored this movie and was truly charmed as the story is something the whole family can get behind and will find it fun but also moving as the film shows how we perceive good luck but also how bad luck can lead to the best things that you never expected would happen in your lifetime.

“Luck” centres around the story of Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world. When she discovers the never-before-seen Land of Luck, Sam must unite with the magical creatures there to turn her luck around. Eva Noblezada provides the voice for Sam. When she ages out of foster care, Sam discovers the Land of Luck and embarks on a quest that could change her luck forever. And despite her bad luck and clumsiness and everything that goes wrong, Sam never lets anything get in her way.

Apple TV+.

Simon Pegg voices Bob, a mischievous black cat from the Land of Luck. He’s all about number one, he’s a self-preservationist, so it’s all about him which makes him sound very selfish. However underneath he’s just trying to survive and once Sam, invariably enters his world she starts to penetrate that facade he has. The Captain, voiced by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner Whoopi Goldberg, stands guard as the head of security. She sees Bob for what she thinks he is and that’s a black cat, she thinks they’re unlucky. Jane Fonda voices Babe the Dragon, the exuberant CEO of Good Luck and undisputed luckiest ancient being in all the land.

Throughout our world, we’ve become very superstitious and have long ascribed luck to little trinkets. In different cultures, we’ve had lucky pennies, four-leaf covers, horseshoes, dreamcatchers, Maneki Neko, ladybugs, etc. All of these are meant to bring luck and ward off bad luck so getting to see a whole world based on these two factors was incredible, especially in a stylistic world like the Land of Luck. A world that creates the moments in your life where everything goes right or wrong. This amazing colourful world is where all kinds of magical creatures work together to create Luck, the good and bad. Throughout Sam’s journey, she meets Leprechauns such as Gerry voiced by Colin O’Donoghue, bunnies in hazmat suits and a flamboyant unicorn names Jeff voiced by Flula Borg. They all work tirelessly every day to bring you those sweet fortunate moments.

Apple TV+.

But Luck isn’t complete without the bad luck which is made on the other side of this world. A team of goats, roots, and goblins work to make your day a little more frustrating. We’ve all had these moments of stepping in gum, losing your keys, and in my case spilling a hot cup of tea over a MacBook Pro. The world-building showcases a fine balance between good luck and bad luck, however, the tiniest amount of bad luck can shut down the Land of luck’s entire operation, which is totally thrown off by Sam’s arrival. Things are certainly about to get interesting.  Skydance Animation has truly created a world I’d love to visit. Production designer Fred Warter has given the Land of Luck its personality and colour pallet. The use of green for good luck and purple for bad luck is genius and those two colours truly complement each other as the use of colours in this film help amplify each sequence.

Apple TV+.

As the title suggests, Luck sees Sam trying her best to save this newly discovered world after she brings her unfortunate bad luck into this sacred space. Throughout the film, we discover why she’s in search of a lucky penny and ultimately Luck is an original story that’ll touch people’s hearts with its strong messages that give us hope. Luck isn’t so much about the trinkets and charms and what it means to be unlucky which I can say features some funny gags, it’s rather about love and finding your forever family.

Luck also taps into the reality of the foster care system and the emotionally tolling process that is adoption.

The film is truly an amazing story, one that works for Skydance Animation’s first feature but also Apple Tv’s first original feature film. Everything from character design to the environment is outstanding. The Land of Luck is so universal and relatable, Luck is totally random. You can’t control it, you can’t create it. The world mirrors our own but it has good luck at the top and bad luck at the bottom. They’re both opposite sides of the coin. The film was also made over Zoom and many of the actors did the voicework in their homes.

Ultimately this movie made me feel inspired, to never give up on myself, never give up on my dreams and just keep going as life can be hard sometimes but luckily it will turn around.

Apple TV+.

Are you ready to step into the Land of Luck? Thanks to Toikido for sending out the awesome merchandise for us to review!. My family absolutely adored the film and the toys. Our favourite character is Bob the cat voiced by Simon Pegg so we were excited to receive the deluxe interactive talking plush. Tia aged eight says “It’s so soft and cuddly”. Bob is delightfully curious and mischievous and is so self-obsessed that he comes with over twenty-five phrases. Press Bob’s left hind paw to hear Pegg’s vocals and phrases which include “Top of the morning to ya”, and “You flushed my penny down the toilet”.

Links to purchase these magical products are below!

You can also bring the world of Luck to life with the deluxe figures of Bob the black cat, Jeff the Unicorn, Lucky Pig, and Sam. It’s awesome to have my favourite characters as fun action figures as you’ll be able to play out scenes from the beautifully animated film.

The magical and adventurous animated film is helmed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Peggy Holmes (“The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”), from an original screenplay written by Kiel Murray (“Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Cars 3,” “Cars”), Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger (“Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Trolls”). John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and David Eisenmann are producing for Skydance Animation.

“Luck” joins an expanding lineup of the Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation partnership, alongside upcoming titles such as the highly anticipated feature “Spellbound,” and the animated series “The Search for WondLa,” with several more feature films and television series to be announced. “Luck” follows the recent Apple/Skydance NAACP nomination for Outstanding Animated Short-Form and Annie Awards nomination for Best Music for “Blush,” written and directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Joe Mateo (“Prep & Landing,” “Big Hero 6”), and composed by Hollywood Music in Media Award winner Joy Ngiaw (“Red,” “Fish Head”), now streaming on Apple TV+.

Luck” will be available in select cinemas and available on Apple TV+ this Friday, August 5th. 

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Animation

Battle of the Super Sons | Warner Bros. Entertainment

Ahhhh, to be young… and charged with saving the world from impending doom! That’s the burden that 11-year-old Jonathan Kent and reluctant young sidekick Damian Wayne face. On his birthday, Jonathan Kent learns his dad is Superman and that he has latent superpowers of his own! He also meets the legendary Dark Knight and current Boy Wonder, Damian. But when the two boys are forced to team up to protect their loved ones from a hostile alien force, will they become the Super Sons they’re destined to be?

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Genre:

Animation, Action

Release Date:

December 18, 2022

Director:

Rick Morales, Matt Peters

Cast:

Jack Dylan, Jack Griffo, Laura Baley

Plot Summary:

Ahhhh, to be young… and charged with saving the world from impending doom! That’s the burden that 11-year-old Jonathan Kent and reluctant young sidekick Damian Wayne face. On his birthday, Jonathan Kent learns his dad is Superman and that he has latent superpowers of his own! He also meets the legendary Dark Knight and current Boy Wonder, Damian. But when the two boys are forced to team up to protect their loved ones from a hostile alien force, will they become the Super Sons they’re destined to be?

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