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Fan Film Friday: ‘The Laughing Man’ (The Joker)

Let’s face it: Suicide Squad did not live up to the hype.

While DC fans were initially pumped to see see many of their favorite comic book characters on the big screen for the first time (Hey Harley!), reactions to the film mostly ranged from meh to ohmygoshsomepleasegaugeoutmyeyesJoel Kinnaman, who played Suicide Squad leader Rick Flag, reportedly stopped reading reviews because “they were not kind.” Even Jared Leto, who played the iconic supervillain Joker, was so unhappy with the film that he didn’t even watch it and had exactly two words to say to Warner Bros. (We’ll let you guess which two!). Following the film’s release, there was definitely a want/need for seeing our beloved DC characters do… something else.

Something better.

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The Laughing Man

Enter The Halvis Brothers‘ short fan film The Laughing Man, which debuted on YouTube August 2, 2016 (the same week Suicide Squad hit theaters).

Inspired by Scott Snyder’s Batman: Death of the Family, the film follows the Laughing Man (aka The Joker, portrayed by Zach Avery) and his counterpart Quinn (aka Haley Quinn, played by Whitney Able) as they torture a doctor at a psychiatric ward. The NSFW/Hard R short film clocked in at just over 20 minutes, and it masterfully made every minute second and scene count.

They say the devil is in the details, and that is certainly the case here.

From an artistic and technical stand point, the film was solid. I must have done 2529 screenshots of the film, because every image was beautiful, albeit haunting. Even though there were only 2 main sets, so much care and attention went into the background details: a blood smile on a television screen in the torture room, for instance. The film makers also experimented with different mediums, including animated “flashback” scenes, that really made the viewer feel like they were actually in this topsy-turvy world controlled by the Laughing Man.

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The Laughing Man, NOT a re-run of Gray’s

This project was strong on every level.

The plot was clear and concise. It knew it was a short film, and didn’t cram anything in that didn’t need to be there. In doing so, the performances and characters were really able to shine. Avery was so disturbing as the Laughing Man. Reminiscent of Andrew Scott‘s Moriarty on Sherlock, he managed to insight fear and tension without even raising his voice. I could not get his face(s) out of my head, even long after I finished watching the film! Able as Quinn was everything I loved about Harley Quinn from Batman: the Animated Series. Her voice was perfect and her gestures were subtle but spot on. There’s a scene where Avery and Able are dancing, and mid-move, he just lets her Thump! on the floor, completely capturing the essence of the Joker and Harley Quinn’s complicated relationship: she trusts and obsessively dotes on him, while he merely uses her for his theatrical antics. Such a simple but powerful shot that conveyed so much about the characters’ psyche! Bravo!

Any hard feelings you may have had about Harley or the Joker after watching Suicide Squad will immediately disappear upon watching this short film.

I definitely recommend The Laughing Man to you, GeekGirl World! Watch it below:

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Want more Fan Film Friday fun, darling cinephiles? Be sure to check out our other FFF reviews here!

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The 5 Best (& Worst) Things about ‘Suicide Squad’

[Warning: Suicide Squad spoilers ahead]

Suicide Squad is finally here, and naturally everyone on the internet has a strong opinion about it.

Critics have been largely united in their disdain for DC’s latest “superhero” flick, but audience ratings have told a whole different story.

The film received an utterly pathetic critic score of 27% on Rotten Tomatoes (the same score as Batman v Superman), while audiences were more generous, giving the film a score of 75%. So who is right: the critics, the audience, or your old High School classmate who ranted about the film in not one, not two, not three, but four separate Facebook posts?

In truth, it’s hard to say.

Suicide Squad is by no means a perfect film, but from beginning to end, it manages to hold its own as a devilishly run thrill ride.

One could speak for hours on end about the film, but for now, let’s focus on a mere handful of the best (and worst) things from the film:

Best: The Concept

Superhero flicks are permanent crowd pleasers, but the basic concept of these films has remained frustratingly stagnant: A brave hero arises to save the city/world from certain destruction, but will he (or she!) be able to save himself from his own mind?

Throw away the fork and grab the fire extinguisher – this concept is beyond done.

Suicide Squad forgoes the heroes and focuses instead on the perfectly imperfect DC rogues gallery, providing audiences a refreshing escape from the cliches of the cinematic superhero world.

After sitting through generic (yet spectacular) superhero films for the better part of a decade, I think we all desperately need that escape.

Worst: The Pacing

Clocking in at a modest 2 hours and 10 minutes, Suicide Squad somehow feels more like a summarized LEGO video game of itself than a major DC blockbuster.

A good portion of the first half of the film is dedicated to character introduction (via flashbacks), leaving little time for these characters to develop and interact with one another before the inevitable boss battle. As a result, all “developments” by our ragtime band of villains felt forced and insincere.

Had the film been allowed more run time, these problems would have likely worked themselves out, but alas, the cinematic fluidity was never meant to be.

Best: The Cameos

Nearly everyone knew that Batman would have a small role in Suicide Squad, but the addition of his Justice League comrade, The Flash, was a welcomed surprise.

These cameos brought an air of superhero familiarity to the film, while simultaneously keeping the story fresh and new to senior audiences and new audiences alike.

Can we please see Jason Momoa as Aqua Man again, though? Thanks.

Worst: Enchantress

Cara Delevigne was an absolute vision as the powerful ancient witch (or is she a demi-god? An alien? IDFK), but her character’s story was completely butchered by choppy and lazy writing.

So Enchantress is possessing the body of archeologist June Moon, who unleashed the witch by purposely tearing the head off an ancient figurine for some unknown fucking reason (please switch careers). Now the only way to destroy the witch is to destroy her ancient heart. This is definitely the plot of The Last Witch Hunter, but okay, we’ll roll with it.

Suicide Squad curator Amanda Waller conveniently happens to possess the witch’s heart, but she loses it instantly (also convenient), unleashing the witch upon the world. Because plotkai.

Enchantress then lays waste to Midway City with the help of her newly released brother, the only motive for her actions being that she wants humans to bow down to her as a God. No daddy issues, no sibling rivalry, no ancient heartbreak story… nothing.

Simply put, Suicide Squad‘s Enchantress is a villain with absolutely no depth, existing in the film solely as a convenient villain.

The writers did Enchantress super dirty… and I don’t even think they called her the next day.

Best: The Action

The gorgeous visuals and breathtaking action in Suicide Squad almost make up for the film’s crudely stitched together plot. Almost.

Worst: The Joker

Who exactly is The Joker in Suicide Squad? Is he…

A. A suave gang leader with an affinity for the theatrical
B. A dangerous psychopath
C. A loving boyfriend
D. All of the above

If you guessed D, then therein lies the problem with Jared Leto’s Joker.

Different mediums (comics, film, animation) have portrayed The Joker in different lights, but in general, Batman’s greatest nemesis is a heartless psychopath who uses people (including Harley Quinn) as disposable tools.

So awful as it sounds, Leto’s Joker would have been more believable had he been the occasional dickbag to Quinn (as he was in Batman: The Animated Series), rather than a lovesick puppy dog.

It’s as if the writers weren’t sure what creative direction they wanted to take with The Joker, so they just threw everything in there and hoped for the best.

Despite it all, Leto’s confused Joker still managed to be entertaining, so as far as this writer is concerned, all is forgiven. For now.

Best: Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn, on the other hand, was funny, sexy, and absolutely spot on.

Suicide Squad‘s version of The Joker’s insane girlfriend was a dead ringer for the Quinn portrayed in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995), the series where the character first debuted. The writers celebrated Harley Quinn’s history by retaining her origin story, stuffing the film with little nods to the original source material (including Quinn’s jester costume, her New York accent, and her tendency to call the Joker “Mr. J”), and keeping her psycho-sexy persona in tact.

And speaking of sexy… Robbie’s costumes were sexy to the max, but her enviable physique never outshone her bright personality and prowess as a violent and dangerous criminal.

If there’s a character we’re desperate to see more of after Suicide Squad, it’s Harley Quinn.

Annnnnd Deadshot. And Diablo. And Katana. And “bitch I’m fabulous” Killer Croc with his BET.

Just start filming the sequel already, David Ayer. We’re ready.

What did you think about Suicide Squad? Let us know in the comments!

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‘Suicide Squad’ Character Posters are Here!

It appears that Warner Bros. has been throwing all their pennies into a wishing well for Suicide Squad. 

The company’s advertising strategy for their latest flick has been simple: keep Suicide Squad as tonally different from the widely panned Batman V Superman as humanly possible.

Now, in what appears to be an overachievement of this goal, the company has released not one, but two sets of character posters for the film.

And boy, these posters could not be any more different. Check them out below!

Edition #1: Standard and “Sweet”

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Edition #2: Comic Book Mayhem

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Someone clearly went a little too crazy with the Photoshop brushes in the second set, but whatever – we like them all the same.

Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5.

Which poster set was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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Reactions: ‘Suicide Squad’ (Blitz) Trailer

The latest trailer for Suicide Squad just dropped and we get to see more of the team! Set to the music “You Don’t Own Me” by Grace feat. G-Easy and “Ballroom Blitz” by Sweet (hence the trailer being dubbed “Blitz”). We see the entire team interacting with each other, getting their bearings, getting more comfortable with their new statuses, plus bonus glimpses of Jared Leto as Joker and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. There is a new scene that shows a group of grown men oggling Harley Quinn as she gets dressed in some familiar attire.

Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne, Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer is scheduled to blitz theater screens on August 5, 2016.

To find out what I personally thought of the trailer, you just have to watch the video to get my reaction! Let me know what you think, and don’t for get to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Official First look at ‘Suicide Squad’

I’m sure that many of you have already sneaked a peak at the Suicide Squad trailer that was released exclusively at Comic-Con and then (naturally) leaked online, but for those of you who haven’t yet seen it (or for those of you who’d rather view it in HD), don’t worry, we got you!

Check out the trailer below:

For a movie that stars Will Smith as Deadshot, this trailer centers mostly around Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and we’re totally okay with that!

This will be our first time seeing Harley Quinn translated in a true live-action form, and we’ll most likely be seeing a lot of her origin story.

We see her and what we presume is Mr. J (the Joker, of course) on the run from Batman, whose literally right on top of them.

But as Harley Quinn centric as the film is bound to be (after all, who doesn’t want to squee at Harley?), we’ll be seeing plenty of Smith, too.

Deadshot doesn’t come off as such a bad guy in the trailer, though. He had a special moment with a young girl (who is most likely his daughter) and even proclaimed “let’s go save the world”.

Perhaps he, more than anymore, will actually be repenting for his past wrongs as part of the Suicide Squad…or maybe he’s just as nutty as the rest of them, who knows.

Either way, we absolutely can’t wait for to get more footage from the film as it’s released!

Suicide Squad will be hitting theaters next summer.

 

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First Official Look at the Suicide Squad Cast and Deadshot

David Ayer gave fans a special treat this weekend. We now have our first official photo of the eponymous Task Force X in the upcoming movie Suicide Squad.

Just recently we had an official reveal of the Joker (Jared Leto) in full make-up. There was also some controversy this week over fan shots of Will Smith on set mixed with shots of a set crasher in full costume, and whether or not we were seeing the actual Deadshot costume. From the looks of this new photo tweeted out by Ayer recently (of what appears to be Will Smith in full costume,) we are getting a slight update to Deadshot, and it does include his famous eyepiece.

Suicide Squad is expected to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.

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ICYMI: This Week in Costume Reveals!

This week treated us to some highly anticipated costume reveals! First, director Bryan Singer gave us a taste of X-Men: Apocalypse on Thursday. Check out this photo of Jubliee, played by Lana Condor, and Jean Grey, played by Sophie Turner, that he posted to his Instagram account:

Fun second day with @sophie_789 @lanacondor #JeanGrey #Jubilee #XMEN #XMenApocalypse

A photo posted by Bryan Singer (@bryanjaysinger) on

Then Friday gave us a first look at Casey Jones from the upcoming Michael Bay-helmed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel. Bay posted this photo of Stephen Amell all decked out to his Twitter page:

Special shout out to the fan who crashed the Suicide Squad set dressed as Deadshot! The Internet exploded with the reveal of Will Smith in Deadshot’s street clothes and further squeed thinking the fan was actually Smith. In spite of some telling costume faults (where’s his eye?), “Deadshot” was confirmed to be just a fan in costume who was later removed from set. Check out Smith from the set and compare the unnamed fan’s rendition of Deadshot’s iconic look:

 

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First Official Look At Suicide Squad’s Joker

The long-standing bitter arch enemy of Batman, the Joker, is turning 75! In honor of the monumental occasion, David Ayer (director, Suicide Squad), tweeted out this lovely picture of Jared Leto as the Clown Prince of Crime.

The character of the Joker first appeared in DC Comics Batman #1 on April 25, 1940, and has continued to be one of the most iconic villains in comic book history. Earlier this month, Ayer tweeted out a picture of Leto recreating the one of the most recognizable covers in the DC universe, The Killing Joke.

Suicide Squad is expected to hit theaters in 2016, while the Joker is expected to live on forever!

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Jared Leto Continues to Prep His ‘Joker’ Look

Jared Leto, who has been cast as the Joker in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, recently cut his hair to the dismay of many fangirls of the pretty ombre style he was sporting.

Now he’s taking the transformation a bit further by going platinum blonde, like in his Fight Club days. You can see just a hint of green tint in the photos he posted on his Instagram.

Be brave. Risk it all. Without failure there is nothing. #WhistleWhileYouWork

A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

# A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

Leto was in Paris for Fashion Week, debuting his new look. You get a slightly better view of the green tint in the photo below:

Looks like Leto is really starting to get into the role of Joker. It’s not the first time an Oscar winner has played the role. Jack Nicholson introduced us to his creepy partyman version in the 1989 Tim Burton directed Batman, and Heath Ledger posthumously won the Oscar for his turn as the insane villain in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Jack_Nicholson_As_The_Jokerheath-ledger-the-joker

Suicide Squad is set to hit movie theaters sometime in 2016.

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