Gary Anthony Williams

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As fans of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series know, Shredder’s two hench-mutants, Bebop and Rocksteady, were the opposite of everything that the Turtles were: they were stupid, untrained, ineffectual, thuggish, and mammalian. They were supposed to be part of the first live-action Turtles movie from producer Michael Bay, but they were cut from the script before production began. Now part of the sequel, the duo are now being seen out and about on the streets of New York in their pre-mutation form. The set pics don’t reveal their exact role in the film, but it does open up a funny guessing game to play with friends. Guess which one is Bebop and which ones is Rocksteady. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. (more…)

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 production continues to grow with the addition of Gary Anthony Williams to the cast. He’s reported to play Bebop, which means we should also be hearing some Rocksteady casting news in the near future. You’ve seen Williams on television as Malcolm’s best friend Stevie’s father on Malcolm in the Middle and you’ve heard his voice in a ton of cartoons series like The Boondocks where he voiced Uncle Ruckus. (more…)

With every new release DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation are trying to raise the bar on animated superhero films. Are they succeeding? Yes and no, but I’d say mostly yes. Recently their choice of stories to adapt have become more ambitious, more revered, and that couldn’t be more true than when bringing Frank Miller’s classic, The Dark Knight Returns, to the screen. A lot of what this adaptation gets right is owed to their unwillingness to deviate much from the original work. It can also be said that’s where anything they get wrong comes from, too. It’s this utter faithfulness to Miller’s work that can be both a blessing and hindrance when bringing the story to life in a new medium. In this sense, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 reminds me of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, which received criticism for at times being too faithful to Alan Moore’s script and not forming their narrative to better fit the film. A comic book isn’t simply a storyboard to be filmed and turned into a movie, the two mediums are separate and should be developed separately.

That being said, Miller’s original story of an aging, retired Batman donning the cowl once again to save a Gotham overrun by crime, corruption, and complacency comes through strongly in the animated film. Most everything your remember from the comic is here. Even some extraneous plot lines that could have been condensed or removed for the sake of pace, like Two-Face’s rehabilitation and regression. It’s a nice exploration of the villain and how his psychosis can’t be cured with a little plastic surgery, but we don’t need it in the movie and the focus could have been on The Mutant uprising from the beginning.

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