Friday, May 29, 2015

Daredevil/Night Court Opening Credits Mashup

San Andreas

It's hard to make either a great or truly awful disaster movie. Even setting out to craft memorable disaster porn (unless it's centered around a completely ridiculous premise like sending oil riggers into space) is a challenge. Bucking the trend of world-ending disaster films where characters are fighting asteroids, a new Ice Age, or the core of the Earth disrupting all life on the planet, San Andreas is a bit of a throwback focusing just on California, and, for the most part, San Fransisco. A more localized disaster doesn't have the doomsday cache of something like 2012 but San Andreas turns out to be a far better film.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Community - Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care

The second episode of the show's Sixth Season continues to work Frankie (Paget Brewster) into the mix as she attempts to help Jeff (Joel McHale) force Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) to give up on ridiculous old school virtual reality technology Greendale can't afford and steps in as the calming influence to help Britta (Gillian Jacobs) with her latest wig out caused when she learns her friends have been accepting help from the parents (Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren) she refuses to have anything to do with.


Everly is a gritty revenge drama that fails because it refuses to embrace how ridiculous its premise is while delivering hard-boiled action verging on torture porn which would have been far more palatable as a more straightforward shoot 'em up.

Salma Hayek stars in the title role as a sex slave who, after four years, has finally had enough and starts to fight back. Taking place entirely in the apartment where Everly has been kept for years, the body count continues to grow as the the woman with no hand-to-hand combat or weapons training coninues to kill the odd range of prostitutes and killers who show up to collect the bounty on her head.

Written by Yale Hannon and directed by Joe Lynch, the movie also includes a subplot involving Everly's daughter (Aisha Ayamah) and mother (Laura Cepeda) whose safety is her primary concern now that the shit has hit the fan. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, extras include two separate commentary tracks and a music video. Notable only for Hayek's involvement and its bizarre assortment of characters, Everly is a misfire that never finds its target.

[Anchor Bay, DVD $22.98 / Blu-ray $26.99]

A Healthy Ashley Tisdale

Ashley Tisdale is the cover girl for the June issue of Health. You can find a behind-the-scenes video and pics from her photo shoot inside.

iZombie - Astroburger

When a mental patient is murdered in in the same psychiatric wing which Major (Robert Buckley) checked himself into Liv (Rose McIver) makes the questionable choice to eat the man's brains leading her to continually experience hallucinations over the course of the episode (not all of which she recognizes as figments of her imagination). The dead man's speil about zombies to Major followed by the patient's death leads to a quick end of Major's volunteer stay in the psych ward (but not his obsession about what is really going on in the city).

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Daredevil - In the Blood

"In the Blood" turns attention away from the vigilante of Hell's Kitchen to center on other stories. First, after learning about Daredevil's (Charlie Cox) friend, the Russian brothers kidnap Claire (Rosario Dawson) in an attempt to learn his identity and lure the masked man into a trap. Things don't go exactly according to plan as Daredevil is able to ring up another victory over the Russian mob and lead one of the brothers into making a fatal mistake and leading the series to reveal just why every member of his organization is right to fear Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).

The Mentalist - The Complete Seventh Season

With Red John defeated, half of the cast having moved on to other projects, and consisting only 13 episodes collected on three discs, the final season of The Mentalist feels more like an epilogue than than a full season of the show. Along with the case of the week, the season will continue to deal with the now romantic relationship between Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) culminating in the pair's wedding in the series finale.

Emily Swallow doesn't return but the series replaces her with Josie Loren as fresh-faced new Agent Michelle Vega who tragically won't live to see the end of the season. Other highlights include Jane and Lisbon feeling out their relationship in the season premiere, Lisbon going undercover in jail, Lisbon temporarily taking on the role of fake psychic, and the much-anticipated return of Erica Flynn (Morena Baccarin). Extras include deleted scenes and a look back at Jane's journey over the course of the series.

[Warner Home Video, $39.98]

Community - Ladders

The first episode of the show's Sixth Season introduces Paget Brewster as Francesca "Frankie" Dart, a consultant brought in to join the Save Greendale Committee following the latest Greendale fiasco when the cafeteria roof collapses under the weight of one too many Frisbees. Starting out its first online season without half the original cast leaves the show feeling early on like a shadow of its former self but a ludicruous underground speakeasy later and its clear that the show is in good hands with Dan Harmon back behind the helm.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Usagi Yojimbo #145

Finally my rabbit ronin withdrawal is at an end. Usagi Yojimbo has returned! After three years of the series on hiatus writer/artist Stan Sakai returns to bring us the further adventures of Usagi Yojimbo with with first issue of a new three-issue arc "The Thief and the Kunoichi" which will reunite Usagi with a few familiar faces.

Battle Creek - Sympathy for the Devil

The series finale reveals the pivotal moment of Milt's (Tad Hamilton) FBI career when a figure from his past hellbent on revenge shows up in Battle Creek. Still trying to hide his past from his new colleagues, Milt requests only Russ' (Dean Winters) help in locating the man who blew up his car (with Milt inside). With Milt hiding the truth, there's no immediate back-up when both he and Russ are kidnapped by the would-be killer who has a personal grudge to settle with the FBI agent.

Astro City #23

In the first half of a two-issue storyline Astro City writer Kurt Busiek and artist Brent Anderson put their own spin on DC's Gorilla City with the introduction of a talking ape from a hidden city filled with intelligent talking apes who arrives in Astro City with plans on becoming a drummer but quickly learns why that may be problematic and that he may have more potential as a hero.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Daredevil - Rabbit in a Snowstorm

Daredevil continues to develop the underworld of Hell's Kitchen in another episode that touches on the unseen motives of a mysterious new player's power grab. In terms of the season arc choices made here further basic plot points and character development in the increasing tension between Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), but it terms of logic for this episode "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" leaves more than a little to be desired as Wesley's (Toby Leonard Moore) recruitment of Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) to defend a killer (Alex Morf) of their organization on self-defense charges doesn't in any way help the Kingpin (who had already bought the jury), certainly doesn't do any damage to the lawyers, don't make the case look any more legit (because absolutely no one is paying attention to it), and only further reveals pieces of the mysterious adversary for Daredevil to eventually hunt down and hear the name "Wilson Fisk" for the first time.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Palm Springs with Shay

Shay Mitchell's photo shoot from her Palm Springs getaway.

Daredevil - Cut Man

"Cut Man" opens with a battered and bruised Daredevil (Charlie Cox) found by nurse Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) who has heard the stories of a masked vigilante fighting for justice in the streets of Hell's Kitchen and decides to attend to his wounds. The severity of the his wounds and Daredvil's unwillingness to share anything about himself to his savior mean it takes quite some time before the second episode fills in the gaps as to what led Matt Murdock to be left in a dumpster for Claire to find.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday with Keira

Daredevil - Into the Ring

With Arrow, The Flash, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. all on hiatus after wrapping up their season finales I finally turn my attention to Netflix's Daredevil starring Charlie Cox as the blind lawyer of Hell's Kitchen who moonlights as a vigilante. "Into the Ring" introduces us to law partners Matt Murdock (Cox) and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) on their first day as practicing attorneys. The pair's first client won't ever see the inside of a courtroom, but Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) will help further develop the street-level underbelly of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, exposing us to the corruption to small to be noticed by S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Avengers, and give us the third piece of the classic team of Nelson & Murdock.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday with Selena

True Detective (Season Two) trailer

HBO has released their first trailer for the Second Season of True Detective. This year's episodes star Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch. New episodes of True Detective return to HBO on June 21st.


In tone, message, and design Tomorrowland feels very much like an old school Disney live-action film albeit with far better special effects. With a hopeful message, and heart penned to its sleeve, the screenplay by Damon Lindelof and director Brad Bird offers a look at the wonders and dangerous of technology which will bring two strangers together to a place where imagination is the only limitation of what is possible.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

iZombie - Mr. Berserk

In an attempt to ignore Lowell's (Bradley James) death, and the role she played in it, Liv (Rose McIver) jumps at the chance to eat an alcoholic reporter's brains, drink away her sorrows, and get wrapped up in a corporate conspiracy involving a sports drink which drives a small percentage to murder (and played a role in the night which changed her life forever). Leading to plenty of drunk behavior, Liv's latest meal also hyper-focuses her on a single story, while instilling a righteous fury and need to uncover the truth that nearly ends in her death (if she wasn't, you know, already a zombie).

Samurai Jack #19

In another single-issue adventure, and one of the goofier adventures of Jack in his current IDW comic series, Samurai Jack is hired by the Canine Archaeologists who need the samurai's help with the haunted tomb of the world's first talking dog.

Stalker - Love Kills

Stalker's first, and only, season comes to a close by focusing on the two cases introduced in last week's episode. Beth (Maggie Q) returns to work to help out the Threat Assessment Unit investigate Janice's (Mariana Klaveno) theory that there is a serial killer at work in the city targeting various objects of desire mentioned at a stalker support group. Despite the department's disinterest in reopening some of the cases which they have already convicted others for the crimes, the stalker's growing need and increasing body count forces the police to take the threat seriously.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Flash - Fast Enough

The choice. With the Flash (Grant Gustin) defeating the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) in last week's episode the First Season finale deals with the fall-out of that victory and the chance Barry is offered by his mentor/arch-nemesis to change the past. Given the same opportunity in the comics Barry Allen leapt at the chance to save his mother from the Reverse-Flash without taking into account the consequences of such an action on both his own timeline and all of those whose lives he touched. In the comics Barry's choice led to Flashpoint and a bizarre alternate reality eventually leading to the birth of DC's New 52. The finale's payoff is far more satisfying.

Man of Steel: The Animated Series

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Battle Creek - Homecoming

After purposefully shaking things up with "The Hand-Off," Battle Creek struggles to stop from following into old habits through most of "Homecoming" as Russ' (Dean Winters) morning-after bliss is cut down immediately when Holly (Aubrey Dollar) informs him she has no interest in starting a romantic relationship. That added with Milt (Tad Hamilton) being chosen to lead the investigation into the murder of the local high school football coach and the apparent suicide of a former star player brings out the surly side of the detective once more, although his connection to the high school, the victim's wife, and former classmates does stop the character from reverting fully back into his old self.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Deadly Venom

With Baxter Stockman (Phil LaMarr) having perfected his new mind-control worms the Shredder (Kevin Michael Richardson) sends Karai (Kelly Hu) out to destroy the Turtles. First poisoning April O'Neil (Mae Whitman) and then Casey Jones (Josh Peck), Karai picks off the group one by one until only Leonardo (Seth Green) remains.

The Blacklist - Tom Connolly

The Blacklist ends its Second Season with Lizzie (Megan Boone) framed by the Cabal who uses her past as the daughter of a Soviet spy and the misdirection of SVR assassin Karakurt (Michael Massee) to make it appear that Lizzie is responsible for a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The episode's title comes from the newest member of the Cabal as Thomas Connolly (Reed Birney) gleefully puts their plan into action but will be forced to answer for his crimes before the episode's end.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Battle Creek - The Hand-Off

In an episode that flips the roles of Russ (Dean Winters) and Milt (Tad Hamilton), and finally offers some real character development for Russ, the Battle Creek Police Detective fights for the innocence of a suspect in a murder whose estranged husband was shot down while standing next to her in a public park. With Russ, who obviously bonds with the woman while fighting to keep her husband alive as the pair wait for the paramedics, looks for alternate explanations for the crime in falls on the suspended Milt (who, in uncharacteristic fashion blackmails his old boss to use a secret NSA program to identify the hitman hired to carry out the crime) to offer the pessimistic view.

Elementary - A Controlled Descent

In terms of mysteries the Season Three episode of Elementary is weakest of the series but that doesn't mean it doesn't deliver in other ways. The abduction of Alfredo (Ato Essandoh) by Holmes' old drug associate Oscar (Michael Weston), who demands the detective's help in locating his missing sister, sends Holmes down a dark path in a finale that deals with Holmes' inner demons, his addiction, his guilt, and a growing frustration with a situation he can not control. It's immediately clear what Oscar is really after, but it does take the detective time to piece the series of events together and deduce the reasons behind Oscar darkening Holmes' door once more.

Convergence: Harley Quinn #2

In the most bizarre Convergence tie-in issue yet Convergence: Harley Quinn #2 pits the pre-New version of the Joker's sidekick against the leader of the Zoo Crew. That's right, it's Harley Quinn vs. Captain Carrot. And it's kind of brilliant.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Scandal - You Can't Take Command

Bearing the title of a familiar phrase on the show, Scandal's season finale brings the war between Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Rowan (Joe Morton) to an end as Olivia's father uses blackmail to force the recently-elected Senator Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) to forcefully put an end to David Rosen's (Joshua Malina) attempt to bring B613 to light. With every member of the Grand Jury killed, thanks to the unsuspecting First Lady, and the fact that Rowan has cleared house with the last few members of the secret government organization that could identify him, Rowan claims victory. He also trumps Olivia's last hail mary to turn over all proof of B613 to the CIA who decides to sweep it all carefully under the rug leaving Olivia and Jake (Scott Foley) with no further avenues to explore to take down Command.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Trial of Atomic Robo

Ever since his first appearance in Atomic Robo's Free Comic Book Day issue back in 2012 Dr. Dinosaur has been my favorite character in Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener's insane (with genius!) comic book universe. Released as a free digital one-shot, The Trial of Atomic Robo pits Atomic Robo against the pain in his ass once again when the dinosaur attempts to sue in court for the same legal rights Robo has been granted.

Of course with his limited attention span, and the fact that he's completely insane, it doesn't take long for Dr. Dinosaur's case to be thrown out leading the villain to declare Jungle Law and introduce his Omnisaur into the proceedings causing destruction and mass panic. Luckily a heroic science-adventurer is on the scene.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Reaper Tales: Monster Under the Bed

Cosplayer LeeAnna Vamp hosts the first episode of Reaper Tales featuring an amusing twist to a child frightened of a "Monster Under the Bed."

Mad Max: Fury Road

Returning to his creation for the first time since 1985, director George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road is highly-stylized insanity that is easily one of the most visually-stunning movies of 2015 so far. More engaging than fun, Miller delivers something akin to an action art film rather than summer popcorn movie. And, despite Tom Hardy getting top billing, it's one hell of a star vehicle for Charlize Theron who proves to any doubters out there that a woman can indeed be the lead character in a big-budget action adventure.

Pitch Perfect 2

Based on the book by Mickey Rapkin 2012's Pitch Perfect was an occasionally fun, if wildly inconsistent, story glorifying a bizarre college subculture where a capella groups were the biggest celebrities on a college campus. Picking up three years later, loner Freshman Becca (Anna Kendrick) has grown into the Senior leader of the three-time defending a capella champions who face new adversity when a complicated stunt goes wrong at a public event.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Arrow - My Name is Oliver Queen

The end of Arrow's Third Season ends poorly for its hero as his plan to take out Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable) before he reaches Starling City to unleash the bioweapon fails. All that deception and careful planning, you think Oliver (Stephen Amell) would have a better end game than a fiery plane crash. Thankfully his back-up plan, which included having the Flash (Grant Gustin) on call to rescue Team Arrow from Nanda Parbat, fares much better and, despite the hurt feelings, Oliver and his team put aside their issues in an attempt to save their city on more time.

iZombie - Patriot Brains

Picking up immediately following the events of last week's episode, Liv (Rose McIver) struggles with the realization that Blaine (David Anders) is responsible for the city's high body count among the homeless to feed his meals-on-wheels campaign for zombies and the fact that her new boyfriend is a valued customer. Ingesting the brains of a former military sniper inspires Liv to permanently remove Blaine from the equation but when it comes time to pull the trigger Liv's moral code outweighs the borrowed brain's influence.

Jem and the Holograms trailer

Based on the 80s cartoon, Jem and the Holograms stars Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, and Aurora Perrineau as a teen band on a musical cross-country scavenger hunt. Juliette Lewis, Ryan Guzman, and Molly Ringwald also star. The film opens in theaters on October 23rd.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - S.O.S.

The two-hour Second Season finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plays off of last week's big twist involving Skye's father being the more sane of her two parents. (Yeah, it doesn't play any better one week later.) The apparent S.H.I.E.L.D. attack on the Inhumans home and the death of Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) push the two factions to war with Skye (Chloe Bennet) stuck in the middle of the conflict not knowing who to trust until advice comes from the least likely source of all shows Skye the truth about Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) whose bizarre plan to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. with rocks instead of a super-powered army turns out to be a pretty stupid idea.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Flash - Rogue Air

Leaving next week's season finale to deal with the fallout from this week's episode and Barry's (Grant Gustin) quest to save his mother, "Rogue Air" returns several of the villains from the first season, brings in to super-hero guest-stars, and wraps up the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) storyline (at least for now). With the Reverse-Flash apparently ready for an end game that includes repowering the particle accelerator (which would kill all the meta-humans within the makeshift prison), Barry is faced with calling on the help of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) who, not surprisingly decides to use the situation to his own advantage.

Ester Dean - Crazy Youngsters

Here's Ester Dean with the official video for "Crazy Youngsters" from the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack. Check back on Friday for my review of the movie.

The Muppets (2015) Official Trailer

ABC has released this new teaser trailer for a new primetime series starring The Muppets which will debut this Fall. Although it promises a more reality-TV behind-the-scenes look at the beloved characters I'm still psyched to see Kermit and all his pals back on TV. The Muppets premieres on ABC this Fall.

Stalker - Love Hurts

With Beth (Maggie Q) taking some time off from the unit she also is asked to look into an old case by the unit's temporary commander (Mira Sorvino) who fears her husband may have gotten away with murder five years ago. Meanwhile, the case of the week involves a woman (Shanola Hampton) stalked by a man she assumes is her ex-husband but that's not the whole story. When the woman is attacked in her home in a similiar home invasion that left another victim dead at the beginning of the episode Janice (Mariana Klaveno) makes a connection to the husband's support group which is full of obsessive personalities one of whom may have graduated from stalker to serial killer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Castle - Hollander's Woods

Castle's Seventh Season comes to a close with a variation of a throwaway line Castle (Nathan Fillion) offered Beckett (Stana Katic) early in the show's First Season as to how he became obsessed with writing about murder. The discovery of a victim with odd markings on her body and the recollections of a single witness bring back memories for the mystery writer as Castle tells Beckett the story of the first murder victim he ever saw in a story so odd, with no evidence to back it up other than the similarities with the new case, that even Castle began to question whether or not it was real.

Morning Glories #45

Teased in an earlier issue, Morning Glories #45 offers Jade's resurrection of her mother following a traffic accident and the fallout that event which haunts her to this day. Much like "After Life" from the Sixth Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the latest issue centers around the double-edged sword of returning someone to life who doesn't wish to be taken from their eternal rest and reinserted unnaturally into the world.

Jimmy Fallon & Jack Black - More Than Words

Battle Creek - Sugar High

When Russ (Dean Winters) is kidnapped by a convict (James Le Gros) who escaped prison less than a week before serving his full sentence of more than 20 years Milt (Tad Hamilton) works with the Battle Creek Police Department to find their missing officer. Despite the lunacy of the escapee's behavior, Russ discovers the man isn't a complete moron although it will take him nearly the entire episode to uncover what exactly the man is after that would be worth adding more years to his prison term.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Once Upon a Time - Operation Mongoose

Once Upon a Time's season finale turns its world upside down as the Author (Patrick Fischler) finishes his rewrite returning the heroes and villains to the Enchanted Forrest but in vastly different roles. Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) is now a famous knight. Regina (Lana Parrilla) is a plucky woodland thief. Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) is the evil queen. And the only one remaining in Storybrooke is Henry (Jared Gilmore) who forces himself into the Author's new stories and struggles to find both his mothers and put right what the Author has done.

Red One #2

The second issue of the translated French political super-hero story arms Vera Yelnikov and sends her into action as her super-hero alter-ego for the first time. We also get more examples of Vera struggling to fit in to her new life in America and face difficult choices between being a super-hero and following orders to track down the Carpenter (which is the true end goal of her mission for Mother Russia).

Hawaii Five-0 - A Make Kaua

The season finale of Hawaii Five-0 not only brings us Kono (Grace Park) and Adam's (Ian Anthony Dale) wedding day, and the return of Catherine (Michelle Borth), but also the arrival of a nuclear warhead on the island which Five-0 frantically searches to find. At first Five-0 believes the thieves plan to sell the warhead to a member of Al Queda in Hawaii, but when the terrorist turns up to be nothing more than a decoy it becomes obvious the men plans for the weapon don't involve money.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hawaii Five-0 - Luapo'i

The last episode of Hawaii Five-0 before the season finale centers around the death of a bounty hunter killed alongside a local police officer by a dirty cop (Michael Rodrick) from the mainland responsible for the deaths of several young women. Offering a chance to bring back Duane Chapman for another cameo, the episode also co-stars Brad William Henke as another bounty hunter who turns over the fugitive not to police but the father of one of the man's victims.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

More Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba is the cover girl for the May issue of More. You can find the pics from her photo shoot inside.

Covert Affairs - The Complete Fifth Season

Annie Walker's (Piper Perabo) spy adventures come to an end in the final season of Covert Affairs. The Fifth Season introduces a new love interest for Annie in Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop), whose guilt or innocence in a terrorist plot against the United States takes up a big chunk of the season, and sees Annie leave the CIA over medical issues the Agency feel could compromise her effectiveness in the field.

Highlights include the season premiere which introduces McQuaid and brings Annie back into the CIA following her takedown of Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin), Annie going to work for McQuaid, Amy Jo Johnson joining the cast to investigate the Chicago bombing, Annie and McQuaid's trip to Caracas, the final appearance of Eyal Lavin (Oded Fehr), Auggie (Christopher Gorham) getting lost in a conspiracy, the struggle to prove McQuaid's innocence, Auggie's abduction and torture by Aleksandre Belenko (Shawn Dowyle), the revelation of how Annie spent her summer, the return of Natasha (Liane Balaban), trips to Paris and Azerbaijan, and the final two episodes of taking down Belenko.

Convergence: Booster Gold #1

The first tie-in issue of Convergence not centered around a transplanted city in a dome gives us not one but two Booster Golds, but (against all decency and common sense) somehow neither is the classic character wearing his trademark Elvis-collar costume with gold pants as both are stuck in lesser variations of the New 52 character's look.

The Blacklist - Karakurt

The search for the SVR assassin known as Karakurt (Michael Massee) sets up next week's season finale by leading Lizzie (Megan Boone) down a treacherous path where she will be teased with legends about her mysterious Russian mother, and, because of that connection, be framed for the public murder of a prominent member of the United States Government in order to further the agenda of the Cabal.

Batman vs. Robin

The sequel to 2014's Son of Batman inserts Batman's (Jason O’Mara) contentious relationship with Damian (Stuart Allan) into a streamlined version of the Court of Owls arc from DC's new 52 featuring a secret society of zombie ninja assassins and their 1% overloads all clad in an owl motif. Oh, and they've been around ruling Gotham from the shadows unnoticed for decades and have a giant maze in their basement. Yeah, it's as ridiculous as it sound.

Truncating the unwieldy long arc and motivation of the Court of Owls helps sell the story but the real meat comes not from the new villains but from the struggle of Bruce and Damian to properly connect both as father and son and as Caped Crusaders. Building on events from Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin may not be as strong as the former but it does continue to develop the relationships set-up in the first film, offers some visually interesting fight sequences, and is a far shade better than DC's other attempts to turn problematic New 52 stories into features.