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Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn - Blu-ray Review

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Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

When Harley Quinn has a bad day, it’s a good day for the rest of us. And Birds of Prey: and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is the proof.

The very bad, rotten day had by Harley (Margot Robbie, I, Tonya), is told in side-splitting detail in the 24-hour comical frenzy covered during the film. The result is a wild and wacky, candy-coated, glitter-filled grimy ride through the streets of Gotham City with the motliest crew of characters as we explore themes of camaraderie, partnership, and female empowerment.

"always loads of fun with plenty of danger, an abundance of R-rated violence, and a special tongue-in-cheek brand of batsh*t humor that never takes itself too seriously"

It all starts as we learn that Harley – a spin-off character from DC’s 2016 Suicide Squad – just split with The Joker which opens her up to the relentless revenge of those she’s wronged in the past. And she apparently pissed off a lot of very bad people.
From there we’re set upon a 24-hour whirlwind tour the feels less like a modern superhero movie and more like a gritty exploitation flick from the ‘70s.

Truly on her own now, Harley moves into a new apartment, dyes and chops her hair, eats ice cream from the carton while watching Tweety and Sylvester cartoons, adopts a pet hyena, and takes out her aggressions by blasting girls on the roller derby rink. Oh, and there’s the endless string of drinking binges, the latest in which she ties one on and blows up the chemical plant where she and the Joker once did their sinister deeds.

There’s truly nothing now standing between Harley’s hopeful future and her dangerous past. Well, except for maybe a valuable diamond that will become the mcguffin to keep the zaniness moving along and to further complicate her very bad day.

The diamond, now in the possession of young slick-fingered street urchin Cass (Ella Jay Basco, Grey’s Anatomy) is being sought by Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic crime lord Roman “Don’t Call Him Romy” Sionis (a hammy but very entertaining Ewan McGregor, Doctor Sleep) and his overly-zealous right-hand man Zsasz (Chris Messina, Argo). Sionis convinces Harley that her best play for remaining alive is to fetch the diamond and return it to him before midnight.

Along the way, Harley joins forces with a rogue’s gallery of characters that includes the mysterious siren Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell, The Great Debators), GCPD Police Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez, Untamed Heart), Enigmatic, crossbow-toting revenge seeker Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), and the aforementioned Cass. Together, they not only take on one of Gotham’s baddest of bad guys, but they also forge their way into the DC Universe with an action film that is always fun to watch and certain to spawn an endless string of sequels, prequel, and spin-offs. Sign me up. Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) who works from a script by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee), Birds of Prey: and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is always loads of fun with plenty of danger, an abundance of R-rated violence, and a special tongue-in-cheek brand of batsh*t humor that never takes itself too seriously. Hell, even the film’s logo, poster, and blu-ray covers hint at the fun to be had with this female-driven story about strong women trying to find their independence by coming together.

The entire cast is superb, and not a single character gets looked over. But make no mistake. This is Harley’s film as Robbie is the top-billed producer and turns in yet another memorable role as a woman whose bad day makes for a very good day for the rest of us. It becomes quite evident that Robbie is having a blast in the role. As odd as it sounds, the crazier she becomes, the more it makes sense for the character.

Birds of Prey: and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is now on blu-ray thanks to Warner Bros. Home Video. Check it out now and, pray for Gotham. With Harley on the loose, the city will never be the same!

4/5 stars

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Target Exclusive / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- May 12, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy; digital code
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho, and the mafia princess? Warner comes to Harley's rescue with a marvelous Blu-ray + DVD + Digital edition that includes a plethora of extras including a gag reel and no fewer than six fairly lengthy featurettes and a feature-length Bird's Eye View mode that contains numerous little breakout behind-the-scenes moments as the film plays out.

Warner also offers a Best Buy Exclusive 4K Blu-ray collectible Steelbook Edition and a Target exclusive Blu-ray + DVD + Digital edition (which we reviewed) that comes in a cardboard sleeve illustrated to look like a comic book and includes a coupon with code to receive a free digital comic book. Simply sign in to your DC Comics account, enter the code and the digital comic book is in your library to read.

Video

Boy is this a pleasure to the eyes. Always crisp and sharp, the 1080p 2.39:1 transfer crackles to life with bright colors and sharp details certain to push your home video system to the limits. With equal measure light and dark scenes and lots of fast paced-action, there are plenty of places for things to have gone wrong, but the transfer holds up perfectly with little to no banding or other flaws. Your system will particularly enjoy the funhouse scenes in the film's finale. Enjoy!

Audio

Forget about all the technical details regarding the Dolby Atmos or the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 tracks. Yes, they are truly stunning with a fun use of the atmospheric dome as background effects play a huge role in the experience. Fast forward to the scene that takes place the night Harley got shit-faced at The Black Mask nightclub at the 23:59 mark and listen to the beautiful vocals of actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell. It is one of those scenes that will always be mentioned when the discussion of movie soundtrack moments come up. It's that good as she fills the room with her haunting rendition of James Brown's This is a Man's World. I would have preferred they stay with that scene a bit longer, but alas, there's always the film's soundtrack for that.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

We get a handful of extra features and a gag reel, but the best of the bunch is the Birds Eye View mode that acts as a pop-up video sort of thing with behinds-the-scenes video tidbits as the movie continues in the PIP frame.

  • Birds Eye View Mode
  • Birds of Prey: Birds of a Feather
  • Romanesque
  • A Love/Skate Relationship
  • Grime and Crime
  • Sanity is Sooo Last Season
  • Wild Nerds
  • Gag Reel

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4.5/5 stars

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.
Runtime:
109 mins
Director
: Cathy Yan
Writer:
Christina Hods0n
Cast:
Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Genre
: Comedy | Crime | Action
Tagline:
Gotham's worst brings out their best. Meet Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Huntress, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I named him Bruce after that hunky Wayne guy."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/BirdsOfPreyMovie/
Release Date:
February 7, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 12, 2020.
Synopsis: After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

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