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  1. #1
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    Default Birds Of Prey (2020 Film) — Harley Quinn, BOP, and DCEU Discussion (Spoilers)

    Despite good reviews and twitter buzz, looks like BIRDS OF PREY bombed at the box office this weekend.

    I liked it! I thought it was very loud and kinetic and colorful... but also busy and kinda empty, and lacking focus. In other words, it's a DCEU film.

    Spoilers below.

    HARLEY QUINN
    I feel like we still don't get a clear sense of who Harley Quinn is, besides "wacky" and Joker's ex-girlfriend who's totally fine with it and totally over it, she repeats. It was crazy how many times the film mentions The Joker without showing him. I guess I understand the IP reasons why, but it was like that Simpsons joke "And any time Poochie isn't on screen, all of the characters should be talking about Poochie."

    In the comics, Sam Humphries current run, on the other hand, is one of the most well-developed and clear versions of the character I've seen. Even in the DCU animated show, she's still basically just "wacky Joker's ex who's totally over it" plus her deep friendship with Poison Ivy.

    In the film, her closest bond is with Cassandra Cain who becomes the Holly Robinson to her Selina Kyle, and that's where we see some new dimensions to DCEU-verse Harley Quinn.

    It's weird to me that Harley Quinn's second group film in the Harley + Assorted IP pals series — and this movie, though it's better than Suicide Squad, is very much a sequel to that film— maybe a third movie will give us Poison Ivy and Catwoman as Harley's friends, and maybe Batgirl too.

    CASSANDRA CAIN
    Super fun character, but bears no resemblance to any other version and should've just used a new original name. But they wanted the name on the posters for IP reasons I guess? The DCEAU seems to do this and I hate it, like in the opening of "Man of Steel" it's an "easter egg" that the one-line guy with Lois was in fact Jimmy Olsen. So pointless.

    Name aside, she's a fun character though, she reminded me a little of the Tim Drake/Jason Todd hybrid in The New Batman Adventures — spunky pickpocket sidekick who holds in a deep rage. Among all the characters, she's the heart of the film and by the end she becomes, surprisingly, Harley's "Robin."

    HUNTRESS
    I liked this take on her, I liked the awkward and stilted personality. I liked the costume and the second costume... I wanted more. I don't think another film is going to happen but maybe there's a TV show for HBO Max with Huntress and the Birds.

    I appreciated how her origin was woven into the story, and I liked her flashback montage... loved the jokes of her saying her name. She's got a similar origin to Bruce Wayne but she's denied the opportunity for an "I'm Batman" moment... she's always getting her line stepped on and everyone calls her the Crossbow Killer.

    The chase scene with her on the bike was amazing. I loved the way she fought. I loved everything.

    Unfortunately, she barely gets any time together with Renee Montoya and Black Canary until the last scene... I wish they'd just already been together at the start of this movie tbh. I wonder what their conversations would be like or how they'd work together. We can only guess.

    Of the three "Birds", Huntress is the one I felt like was the most developed, although Montoya and Black Canary seemed to have more screen time.

    RENEE MONTOYA
    Again, quite different from source material but I dug the grizzled, hardened career detective who's always getting overlooked. She sort of takes over Oracle's role in the group by the end, I guess, but she is kind of a mystery as to who she is, as well, besides the repeated "80s cop movie" stereotype.

    The "I shaved my balls for this?" t-shirt seemed like that should've been funnier. I think it wasn't set up as clearly as it needed to be. I assume she's wearing it because when she walked into the office, everyone was saying that she smelled bad, so she changed into a spare t-shirt?

    BLACK CANARY
    She's a singer in Roman Sionis's mob nightclub and then his driver after Harley breaks his legs. She too is being overlooked. She spies on Roman but he has no idea until the end. Her power saves the day which is cool, and she looks and sounds cool in general, but I was really put off when she didn't step in to save the girl that Roman was humiliating in that scene having her strip on the table.

    ROMAN SIONIS & VICTOR ZSASZ
    Ewan McGregor kinda steals the show. They never refer to him as Black Mask, even when he puts on the black mask with dramatic music, and he has a False Face Society.... it looks cool, though, and he's a compelling villain.

    I liked him and Zsasz as a couple — in business and it seems coded that they're personal partners too. They make a lot of sense together! They're both sadistic sociopaths who get off on torturing and maiming other people.

    GOTHAM CITY
    Apparently, Gotham's East End looks exactly like Downtown Los Angeles. Who knew?

    THE JOKER
    How many times is his name mentioned? I think it's... at least a dozen times or more. Interestingly I don't think "Batman" is ever said.

    DCEU
    I hope we see the Birds Of Prey again. We're sure to continue seeing Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn...she's perfect in the role and she's the highlight of both of films. I like the comics and animated versions of Harley's parents and siblings too, and maybe a third film could explore this side of Harley more, as well.

    If there's another film in the Harley + Assorted IP trilogy, I hope it's one that connects Harley to more of her established friends. — Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Leslie Thompkins, maybe Batgirl or Zatanna.
    Last edited by gregpersons; 02-09-2020 at 05:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Blue22's Avatar
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    I'll probably catch it when it's on HBO or something. The Cass fan in me is too petty to financially support a movie that did her this dirty.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    I'll probably catch it when it's on HBO or something. The Cass fan in me is too petty to financially support a movie that did her this dirty.
    I feel the same way. I'll pass.

    I'm also tired of Harley being shoehorned into everything as the main star.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    I feel the same way. I'll pass.

    I'm also tired of Harley being shoehorned into everything as the main star.
    Third'ed.

    DC really ought to try t develop their IP instead of relying on 'sure bets'. Movie goers wanna see something new. BoP could have been that. But it wasn't.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Third'ed.

    DC really ought to try t develop their IP instead of relying on 'sure bets'. Movie goers wanna see something new. BoP could have been that. But it wasn't.
    Good point, I can't help but think that Instead of race swapping Black Carnary to play third fiddle why not give an awesome African character such as Vixen her own live action film instead? BOP was one misstep after another, IMO.
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  6. #6
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    This feels to me like a Gotham Sirens movie where someone yanked out Ivy and Catwoman, and shoved in 3 halfbaked versions of Montoya, Huntress, and Black Canary, while sticking Cassandra Cain’s name - and nothing else - on a plot device.

    The cast is all excellent for what their roles are... but really, only Robbie as Harley gets a story and tone that exploits her skills to the fullest. Huntress is the most promising in overall portrayal, and honestly would have been perfect with more time and a better costume. Black Canary is well portrayed whenever the film wants to have her actually act like Black Canary, but she’s the character most awkwardly adapted to fit the story - having her be Black Mask’s driver and lounge singer kind of feel like wastes of time for who she ends up being, and adjustments made because they needed her to be morally ambivalent enough to be allied to Harley. Montoya is pretty good; she’s basically a more earnest and healthier Bullock, which isn’t bad for her.

    But all three are just not jiving that well with Harley, and feel far more like guest stars than anything else.

    Cassandra Cain is in a movie with a John Wick actions coordinator, and yet those two facts have nothing to do with each other. Cassandra Cain is in a very vibrant and creatively athletic film... and those two facts also have nothing to do with each other.

    That’s a big problem.

    Black Mask is serviceable for what he is, but he’s still not necessarily much to write home about. McGregor does pretty much all the lifting to make him entertainingly vile, and I think he’s just one draft away from being perfect.

    Harley is, again, good, and suited to the material... but I was only really interested in the idea of Birds of Prey and Cassandra Cain, so those two elements being also-rans to the story really doesn’t help.

    Supposedly, this film’s script emerged from the stronger of two options, one featuring the Birds, and one featuring the Sirens. It’s almost impossible for me to not see Harley’s story and the central conflict as a story far more suited to the Sirens than the Birds, so I’m curious about just how bad or unengaging that Sirens script must have been. Ivy has a better chemistry to write with Harley, and Selina would provide a better fit for the Black Mask part of the story, as well as the general ambivalence of the heroic side of the story.
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    Seeing this is a spoiler area I was wondering any idea why the scene that was most talked about before this movie came out of the Joker throwing Harleys clothes out the window was removed? I went and watched the movie last night and the Joker part was removed!
    Also both my partner and I enjoyed this movie, it was great but sadly not really comic book accurate but still very enjoyable.
    Would also have loved to see Huntress in her comic accurate costume and I know we saw a tiny glimpse of something similar to it at the end of the movie but still would I preferred it to be better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    This feels to me like a Gotham Sirens movie where someone yanked out Ivy and Catwoman, and shoved in 3 halfbaked versions of Montoya, Huntress, and Black Canary, while sticking Cassandra Cain’s name - and nothing else - on a plot device.
    ...
    It’s almost impossible for me to not see Harley’s story and the central conflict as a story far more suited to the Sirens than the Birds, so I’m curious about just how bad or unengaging that Sirens script must have been. Ivy has a better chemistry to write with Harley, and Selina would provide a better fit for the Black Mask part of the story, as well as the general ambivalence of the heroic side of the story.
    This was my main thought, as well... The Birds are like a Charlie's Angels mission-oriented team usually, but this movie was more about a coincidental alliance that turns into a longer friendship. I feel like it would've made more sense with the Sirens, and allowed for more chemistry and connection between characters.

    It seems like it would make more sense for it to be "Harley just broke up with the Joker and ends up finding her best friends" ... instead of "Harley just broke up with Joker and ends up introducing some people to each other"

    Cassandra Cain = Holly Robinson, or Catwoman
    Huntress = Catwoman, or remain Huntress
    Black Canary = Poison Ivy
    Montoya = Barbara Gordon

  9. #9
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    I'll probably catch it when it's on HBO or something. The Cass fan in me is too petty to financially support a movie that did her this dirty.
    It did Barbara's fans dirty too by omitting her. Batgirl fans - any era - should boycott this. And I bet they did. That and making it R rated (thus locking out the teenagers they should've been targeting) were two big mistakes.
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    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    It did Barbara's fans dirty too by omitting her. Batgirl fans - any era - should boycott this. And I bet they did. That and making it R rated (thus locking out the teenagers they should've been targeting) were two big mistakes.
    I'm a huge Babs and Oracle fan. I didn't feel slighted in the least by this movie.

    Now, I agree that the marketing (especially the early one) wasn't done well. But boycotting the movie because of the absence of any Batgirl would be just stupid. Especially since the movie left a huge opening in the end for introducing Oracle, if WB wants to do so.
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  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    The issue is according to Robbie she wanted to do this to get Characters unknown to regular audiences. This is why she didn’t do the sirens movie. However, she could have Gotten that if Birds of Prey and Gotham Sirens were together

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    They could have also done a Birds of Prey movie with the Sirens as antagonists. But I guess that would go against their desire to make Harley the hero and the one in the spotlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I'm a huge Babs and Oracle fan. I didn't feel slighted in the least by this movie.

    Now, I agree that the marketing (especially the early one) wasn't done well. But boycotting the movie because of the absence of any Batgirl would be just stupid. Especially since the movie left a huge opening in the end for introducing Oracle, if WB wants to do so.
    I'mma be so real right now, as much as I'd love to see the Birds of Prey get a solo, like this movie should have been, I don't want it if this is the Cassandra they're sticking with. As much as I hate back to back origin stories (one of the many reasons I love the MCU Spiderman), I'd rather their next shot be a complete retcon and start from scratch. Or at least switch Cass out for Barbara and introduce a totally different Cassandra Cain later on.
    Last edited by Blue22; 02-10-2020 at 12:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    The issue is according to Robbie she wanted to do this to get Characters unknown to regular audiences. This is why she didn’t do the sirens movie. However, she could have Gotten that if Birds of Prey and Gotham Sirens were together
    Yeah, I call BS on that.

    Black Canary and Huntress have had plenty of exposure. In their TV show, JLU and Arrow. They could certainly use more, but they are not complete unknowns.

    The only public unknown is Cass, and she was deliberately butchered.

    IMO, Robbie/The Suits didn't have faith in Harley to carry the movie, and hoped to use other popular characters to prop her up while pretending to be socially aware

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Yeah, I call BS on that.

    Black Canary and Huntress have had plenty of exposure. In their TV show, JLU and Arrow. They could certainly use more, but they are not complete unknowns.

    The only public unknown is Cass, and she was deliberately butchered.

    IMO, Robbie/The Suits didn't have faith in Harley to carry the movie, and hoped to use other popular characters to prop her up while pretending to be socially aware
    The execs actually offered Robbie a choice between a solo Harley film and an ensemble. And given Robbie is a critically acclaimed actress and Harley is immensely popular, I can't see them having any doubts about Harley's ability to carry a solo film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    The execs actually offered Robbie a choice between a solo Harley film and an ensemble. And given Robbie is a critically acclaimed actress and Harley is immensely popular, I can't see them having any doubts about Harley's ability to carry a solo film.
    Wolverine was super popular and he still killed the X-Men franchise.

    Popular in one medium does not mean popular in all others. If they were completely confident in Harley/Robbie, then they wouldn't have gone ensemble.

    Especially one that is designed to appear diverse.

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