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6 Degrees Entertainment

Birds of Prey: The Fantabulous Emancipation of ...
(Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco, Ewan McGregor, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / NR / 2020 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: 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.

Blu-ray Verdict: Remember, one and all, that there was a time when DC Universe was bashed because most of their movies were directed by Zack Snyder; who decided that style-over-substance was more pivotal to making superhero films!

Then, came David Ayer with a set of the best movie trailers ever created but the outcome for the anti-hero film, 'Suicide Squad' was at best, a mediocre motion picture.

Now after 'Shazam!', 'Aquaman' and the definitive masterpiece 'Joker', DC presents us with 'Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn', the fourth entry movie.

And one that proves that their tables have pretty much turned around by finding suitable directors for their movies and that they are catching up to compete with the Marvel Universe.

As expected, the movie features slick action scenes which complete with very acrobatic-like choreography that constantly pleases the eyes of everyone who are looking forward for femme fatales kicking ass. For trust me when I say that there are plenty of them to keep you amazed and entertained, my friends!

In fact, 'Birds of Prey' also delivers a vigorous energy throughout so much so that you yourself will feel like you are either high on drugs or your endorphins are flying due to a monster two hour work out regime in your front room!

The close-ups feel very intimate yet feel very caricature in a positive way. The quality of cameras and the color palette capture a reality of life, giving a sense of how rough it actually is; very dark and gritty, but also sometimes sprinkles the dour tone with graciously boisterous and delicate tinted colors. (The occasional slo-mo amps up the already intense energy too!).

As for its overbearing, and highly publicized "feminist movement", sure, yeah 'Birds of Prey' has one, but it is most assuredly done right, believe me.

A key successful factor to driving a feminist film is to create an innate story on women without being pushy on the political agenda. 'Birds of Prey' does that in spades.

Now, let's talk about Margot Robbie and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. These two really go beyond the next level to dive into their characters as uniquely as possible.

Margot Robbie, as always, should be receiving a standing ovation as Harley Quinn again, especially after the meh Suicide Squad and here definitely stands loud and proud in front of anyone trying to steal that from her spotlight curtain call.

Winstead (as Huntress) is the runner-up here, but only just, as she gives out a hot breeze of an aura that it is hard to back away from! Her charismatic sexual energy captures the attention like a bullseye.

Bell as Black Canary is cool, but not as great as the other two. Bella as Cain shows she can be mischievous, but her character pretty much only follows where the other main characters take her.

'Birds Of Prey also offers some pretty decent moments of humor throughout, which (of course) Harley Quinn is consciously great delivering at all times.

Not giving too much away here, in the massive final battle, the best thing is the lack of unrealistic weaponry that they occupy which makes it all feels so damn real!

It is highly entertaining and lots of fun to watch and with the first third of the movie heavy on character developments (of the ladies), what it forgets to showcase in the form of action is all brought to the explosive fore here in the latter third!

That said, due to the true relationship between the members of the Birds of Prey having seemingly always been rather shadowy, it does leave a slightly unsatisfying taste in the mouth when all is said and done on the screen.

It's like somehow they had been exponentially forced to know and work with one another all along and come the end, well, with no action to bond them they are now all free to return back to their previously dwelled within lives.

Indeed, with so many developments, to my mind, they forgot Roman's character (played by Ewan McGregor), the main antagonist which feels quite underdeveloped, in truth.

For when a scene with him pops up over halfway through, it really wants to tell something meaningful about him, but the plot eventually moves on without having done so; providing us with a lack of character and prompted knowledge about him or his motives.

As for Hyena, well, with a severe lack of CGI-created screen time for the lil' fella, we don't really see Hyena attacking people at all, which some of you might have anticipated.

So, and of course, whilst this movies rightly centers on en masse of wondrous supervillains, 'Birds of Prey' actually, and sadly, fails on the costume design, in my humble opinion.

Not a single character clothes himself/herself as a "good superhero model," moreover they are lazily dressed. Harley is the only one with a "costume," of this we all know from the comic books, but the others, well, a little creative effort would have been nice, ladies.

In closing, imaginative and darkly flamboyant, 'Birds of Prey' proves that the comeback of DC is possible, adapting many characters onto the big screen as a beacon of light to stand tall alongside the colossal entity known as Marvel.

Taking a look at a couple of the special features, the stand out for me is the wondrous, and eye-opening, near 10 minute featurette Birds of Prey: Birds of a Feather.

Here we eagerly watch along as Margot reveals that after having already played the character of Harley Quinn, that her reckless, gung-ho spirit had not actually ever left her!

We here from Christina Hodson (the writer) who explains, along with intercuts from Margot, how they first met and hit it of instantly. The other actors all showcase their admiration for a "bat-shit crazy" script too, and how they all signed up without having to second guess their decisions.

We also here from Sue Kroll (the producer) who also gushes over the brain of Hodson and how she always only wanted everyone to have fun whilst making the film.

However, Cathy Yan (director) fully admits that going in she didn't even think she could do this movie, all due to the fact that she had just finished her first movie ('Dead Pigs', 2018) and was only then fresh back into "the system" of directing.

But, as she now admits, it was love at first sight for her and the movie script and so she dived straight in to get the tone and deliverance of the movie just right (and what a job she did!).

Another fun special feature is Romanesque which answers the question: Who is Black Mask? This five minute featurette showcases Ewan McGregor as Roman, and as Hodson admits, she had a lot of fun taking his character from the comics and fleshing him out, even adding to him, for the big screen.

We watch as he goes from completely charming one minute to absolutely terrifying the next and all that is down to having "... been booted out of his very, very rich family," as Ewan himself explains.

He's chock full of rage, but always trying to prove himself, but at the heart of it, as Kroll reveals, his character is "... still very complicated, very nuanced".

"He brings such charm, comedy and vulnerability to the roll", adds Hodson. "He wants to control his emotions, but he's a bit unhinged, which makes him this really interesting foil for Harley, because she steals his thunder a lot." This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:

Birds Eye View Mode - This fresh take on the film is loaded with Harley-ized looks, fun facts and Easter eggs; all viewed in a Birds-centric style!
Birds of Prey: Birds of a Feather - How the Birds came to life
Grime and Crime - Get into the grit of production design
Wild Nerds - Meet Bruce the Hyena
Romanesque - Who is Black Mask?
Sanity is Sooo Last Season - Diving into all things fashion
A Love/Skate Relationship
• Gag Reel

The flock’s all here when 'Birds of Prey: And the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn' arrives on Digital on March 24th, 2020 and on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital and 4K Ultra HD on May 12th, 2020.

Margot Robbie ('Bombshell,' 'Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood,' 'I, Tonya') reprises her role as the endearingly daring ne’er-do-well Harley Quinn in DC’s 'Birds of Prey: And the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.'

Official 'Birds Of Prey' Trailer

'Birds Of Prey' @ Facebook