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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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‘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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Fan Film Friday: ‘Justice League: Trinity Force’

This week Warner Bros. Pictures released the newest Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, featuring an epic shot of the World’s Finest Trinity (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman). This inspired us to watch and review a fan film by SHIELDS Productions called Justice League: Trinity ForceWas it a super story full of wonder? Or a total joke? Check out our review to find out:

Watch Justice League: Trinity Force and let us know what you think, GeekGirl World!

Want more Fan Film Friday fun? Tune in to past reviews!

Be sure to catch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in cinemas March 25, 2016.

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Fan Film Friday: ‘Batman: Dead End’

Starring Batman and featuring foes far more dangerous than just the Joker*, Batman: Dead End has been surprising and shocking audiences for over 12 years. But does it stand the test of time? Check out our review to find out what we thought of this classic fan film.

Watch Batman: Dead End here!

*It’s ok, Joker, we still love you. Check out our past reviews of fan films featuring Batman’s #1 nemesis:
Tell Gordon Hello
Sleight of Hand
Patient J
Face Behind the Clown

What did you think of the film? Let us know in the comments!

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The 2015 Her Universe Fashion Show

The DJ plays and the lights dim, all around me the buzz of excitement can be heard. Everyone’s ready for the Her Universe Fashion Show to begin. This is the second year the fashion show is coming to San Diego Comic-Con, and it’s quickly becoming a staple of the convention. We are welcomed by a video from the night’s host and creator of Her Universe, Ashley Eckstein. In this video she explains the inspiration behind Her Universe, and how amazing it is to have this female oriented celebration of “geek couture” at San Diego Comic-Con. For years, girls have been told that we don’t belong in the geek world, and to be happy with the clothing that’s available to men. Her Universe knew that there were fangirls out there waiting for their geek fashion dreams to come true.

“Nothing epitomizes the transition of girl geek culture into the limelight quite like the rise of Her Universe.” – TIME

The fashion show begins, and we’re treated to a look at the current Her Universe line. It’s a bold reminder of how far girls have come in the geek industry to see how many fandoms are catering to us now. It’s also refreshing to see plus size models on the stage. Her Universe always creates fashions with every consumer in mind, and it’s beautiful to see the plus size girl represented in the spotlight. As the fashions make their way down the runway, I can see every girl making a mental note of which pieces they still need to own.

Ashley Eckstein appears in her first geek couture look of the night designed by last year’s audience winner, Andrew MacLaine. The first look is inspired by Star Wars and Princess Leia. It’s a gorgeous gown, complete with a sparkly, flowy cape. Throughout the night two other geek couture looks were premiered, each one more incredible than the next. Her second look is inspired by Black Widow, and is ready to kick ass and demand the respect of everybody in its presence. The third and final look is inspired by Haku the river dragon from Spirited Away. From every angle this gown is breathtaking; it was made in honor of Ashley’s reveal of the night that Her Universe’s next line will feature Studio Ghibli. The president of Studio Ghibli was actually in the audience, and received a standing ovation when he was introduced.

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The new Her Universe line has designs featuring Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro as well as Spirited Away. The styles range from cute fashion dresses to simple racer-back tank tops. There was a lot of excitement heard when the new cardigans were spotlighted. All pieces were featured in plus sizes with plus size models. Being able to see models of varying shapes and sizes on the runway, really gave you a better sense of what the clothing would look like when worn by you, and that made getting to view the premiere of the new line that much more exciting!

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The 25 finalists displayed their designs down the runway. Immediately the audience is blown away by the first design “Cutie Makes Her Mark – My Little Pony’ by Jessica Gonzalez. This gown features a pink cotton candy train that can be turned inside out to display a striped blue and pink pattern or the train can completely come off and the gown transforms into a party dress! All 25 designs were so creative and beautiful. Finalist Jennifer Newman created a “Unicorn In The Waves” look inspired by The Last Unicorn (one of my favorite movies), and I never knew that so much emotion could be captured in a piece of clothing, but just by looking at this gown you could see the elegance and freedom experienced by the unicorn when she returned to the ocean. “Party Like A Monster – Monster High” by Lauren Andrews reminded us that being girly and playing with dolls is geeky too. Kristin Koga gave us “The Greek Couture Burger (comes with tzatziki sauce) – Bob’s Burgers” showing us that high fashion doesn’t have to be a gown. Her design was cool and screamed hipster artist living in New York city. Harmony Leiker’s “Cocktails At The End of The Line – Tron” literally lit up the runway with her illuminated fabric. Adria Sanchez-Chaidez made the audience gasp with “It’s Bigger On The Inside – Doctor Who”. Her design featured a coat made to look like the TARDIS from Doctor Who, when the coat was taken off a beautiful dress was revealed that was inspired by the inside of the TARDIS. Tara Reich’s “That’s No Moon – Star Wars” look featured a high fashion skirt inspired by and made to look like the Death Star. Sam Skyler had an adorable design that featured a coat inspired by armored Baymax and revealed a white bubble dress underneath to complete the Baymax look. Finalist Laura Ortiz had a Jack Skellington inspired gown complete with a light up Zero. Oseas Villatoro stunned the audience with “Poison Ivy Green Love – Batman”, his gown featured a flowing green train reminiscent of growing ivy and the hairstyle on the model was fit for the grand prize at a hair show. Jesse Thaxton’s gown isnpired by Alien’s was rightly named “Alien Queen”; I’m positive the dress could’ve stood up on it’s own, and in the right light frighten anyone who looked upon it. Each of the designs featured on the runway left such an incredible impression, they’ll not easily be forgotten. I know these designers are inspiring a new generation of geek fashion as we speak. All of the 25 finalists beat out thousands of entries, and that in itself is an amazing feat, they’re all truly winners.

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That being said this was a competition and only two can be chosen. The winner chosen by the judges was “Joker’s New Look – Batman” by Kelly Cercone. Her design was a 50’s inspired Joker themed look that Grace Kelly could’ve worn. The colors were undoubtedly Joker, but the pallete was done in a way that wasn’t jarring, and accessible to all audiences. I feel that this played a huge factor into why she was chosen. The audience chosen winner was “Usagi’s Transformation – Sailor Moon” by Leetal Platt. Her design began as cute dress inspired by Sailor Moon’s school uniform and then it gorgeously transformed into Sailor Moon’s transformation sequence. Pink satin billowed all around the gown and it was a magnificent sight to behold, especially when modeled by the beautiful Chloe Dykstra.

 

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I know we’re all saving our money in anticipation of the exclusive Hot Topic fashion line the winners get to design.

The night ended with Her Universe inviting fashionable audience members up on the stage to strut their stuff. Ashley Eckstein then revealed the most exciting news of the night: San Diego Comic-Con is teaming up with Lionsgate for their new video on demand subscription channel, and this year’s Her Universe Fashion Show is going to be the first original series made by the channel. Viewers will get to see all of the behind the scenes action leading up to the Fashion Show! We’ll all definitely be keeping a look out for that. This year’s fashion show was filled with such creativity, I don’t know how next year can top it, but I can’t wait to see.

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‘Arkham Knight’ DLC “Batgirl: A Matter of Family” Trailer Premieres Today

Yesterday we brought you the first look at Arkham Knight DLC, “Batgirl: A Matter of Family” where DC treated us to a powerful and exciting sneak peek at the cinematic cut scenes featuring Barbara Gordon in full, gorgeous costume, kicking crime’s butt and facing the Joker alongside Tim Drake’s Robin.

Today we got a whole trailer, all 90 seconds of it. We start out with Batgirl and Robin arriving at the Joker’s “main event” at the big top circus in the heart of Seagate Amusement Park. Harley Quinn, in her traditional red and black outfit, slinks by as we take a look around. Not only are there GCPD and SWAT officers dead or held hostage throughout the park, but Jim Gordon’s been captured and caged, suspended in true Joker style up high (and probably over a tank of something hungry!).

Though Robin tells her they ought to call Batman, Batgirl is adamant that the Joker will kill her father if they dare involve him. And seeing as how the Joker, sitting astride a huge canon, announces “the magnificent deaths of the caped do-gooders,” it looks like Barbara is going to have to play along with the psychopath’s demands.

Both Batgirl and Robin swoop in from above with all the knock-out force of the dive attacks we’ve come to love from the Arkham series of games, taking out the masked Joker thugs. Batgirl deftly disarms a brute with her batclaw, then makes quick work of the thug who dared aim a shotgun at her. With a Diana Rigg-esque high kick, Batgirl stands tall and triumphant.

The pack of Joker thugs the next scene unleashes is standard fare for Batman game fans; the RPG the Joker wields moments after is a little bit more intimidating. We get a great shot of Robin wiping off a thug’s grin as he uses his bow staff to assist Batgirl in an aerial attack. The Joker begins to muse about how things used to be so simple before these “knuckleheads” came in and “spoiled his game.”

What follows is frenetic montage of both cinematic cutscenes and gameplay which includes the always useful detective vision. We get to see Batgirl using her invisible predator skills as she stalks some thugs, but unfortunately there are no scenes utilizing her much-anticipated hacking talents. Though considering how dynamic and exciting this trailer is supposed to be, I suppose there wasn’t room for the more cerebral of her skill set.

As Batgirl promises that she’s “gonna put them all away,” Joker replies, “Not. Funny,” and fires his RPG at the base of one of the gondola lift pylons. Batgirl shouts out a warning to Robin, and, as the pylon explodes into a fireball, we watch Batgirl take flight on the edge of the shock wave.

The trailer ends with Harley’s signature giggle as the Joker points his handgun towards the viewer and eerily remarks, “It’s been a blast…” I don’t think it was a mere coincidence that they included this as the final scene to the trailer. Have a look for yourself:

Despite the initial grumblings earlier this year over the value and viability of the Arkham Knight Season Pass deal (Season Pass and Premium Edition, priced at $39.99 and $99.99, respectively), today’s release proves that WB and Rocksteady sure didn’t skimp on style. Here’s hoping they didn’t skimp on story, either, and that we get as much bang for our buck as we’ve hoped.

“Batgirl: A Matter of Family” releases to Season Pass holders Tuesday, July 14, in North America, and July 21 to non-Season Pass holders for $6.99.

What are your initial impressions about the trailer? Have you signed up for Season Pass for Arkham Knight yet? Do you think you’re getting your money’s worth with this newest DLC?

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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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Fan Film Friday revisits Tell Gordon Hello

the old

In 2013, GeekGirl World debuted a feature known as Fan Film Friday (or FFF). Though the segment only included 5 episodes, it celebrated the passion behind fan-made short films that were inspired by all things geeky and wonderful, from Batman to Wolverine. Flash forward to present day! We are going to re-share the old Fan Film Friday videos each week, and new episodes will start up April 17, 2015. If you would like us to review your favorite fan film or perhaps submit a project of your own for consideration, please contact Nicole in the comments section.


the newTell Gordon Hello was one of the first fan films I reviewed to receive such a high score! You know a fan film is doing something right when the only complaint it received was that it was *too* much like its cinematic inspiration (in this case, The Dark Knight). After we posted our review, Paul Louis Harrell (the Joker) reached out to us with some very kind words! He wrote, “Thank you for the nice write up! There were a lot of things I would go back and change if I could, and it bothered me for sometime, but going into this I made it certain that Tell Gordon Hello was going to be the only Joker film I did… unless of course DC and Warner Bros. twisted my arm. I put it out there, no regrets. Am I a better actor now? Yes. And I will continue to become better until I die.” Maybe if things don’t work out with Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, David Ayer can cast Harrell! Just joking (eh, eh, get it?). But seriously, I would not be disappointed to see him donning the purple suit once more! TGH was the last FFF review that featured the Joker, and I’m thrilled we got to end Joker June with such a brilliant project.


Watch Tell Gordon Hello here!

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Fan Film Friday revisits Sleight of Hand

the oldIn 2013, GeekGirl World debuted a feature known as Fan Film Friday (or FFF). Though the segment only included 5 episodes, it celebrated the passion behind fan-made short films that were inspired by all things geeky and wonderful, from Batman to Wolverine. Flash forward to present day! We are going to re-share the old Fan Film Friday videos each week, and new episodes will start up April 10, 2015. If you would like us to review your favorite fan film or perhaps submit a project of your own for consideration, please contact Nicole in the comments section.


the new

Mega Ultra StudiosBatman: Sleight of Hand was a fan film that left a bad taste in my mouth. After my initial viewing, I criticized it for being cartoony and ruining everything great about Batman: The Animated Series. Even then, some people thought I was too generous. One GGW viewer commented, “I agree w/ you 100% on the review, except for one thing. The score you gave; imo, was too high. I’m a huge fan of the Joker & judge all things he & Batman related harshly.” After re-watching the fan film, I began to wonder, did *I* judge B:SoH too harshly?

Was I being the ultimate music hipster for thinking that Danny Elfman and Shirley Walker’s scores could not be used here? Did my adoration for Arleen Sorkin keep me from being able to appreciate the Batman: Arkham Asylum meets rock star meets live-action cartoon that B:SoH was trying to create with their version of Harley Quinn? Should I have been more accepting and celebrated Mega Ultra Studios’ blend of genres and eras of these ol’ Batman characters? I’m not sure. What do you think, GGW? Was I too tough… or far too generous? Let me know in the comments section!


Watch Sleight of Hand here!

Check out Mega Ultra Studios here!

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Fan Film Friday revisits Patient J

the old

In 2013, GeekGirl World debuted a feature known as Fan Film Friday (or FFF). Though the segment only included 5 episodes, it celebrated the passion behind fan-made short films that were inspired by all things geeky and wonderful, from Batman to Wolverine. Flash forward to present day! We are going to re-share the old Fan Film Friday videos each week, and new episodes will start up April 10, 2015. If you would like us to review your favorite fan film or perhaps submit a project of your own for consideration, please contact Nicole in the comments section.


the new

Patient J is the Shawshank Redemption of fan films… only with Batman characters. Even if you haven’t seen it, its reputation and longevity in the genre are so powerful and mighty, that even the casual fan film watcher or lazy YouTube browser knows of its greatness. Heck, it even has its own IMDB page! That being said, it was a natural pick for the second edition of Fan Film Friday.

After covering the film, two great and unexpected things happened. First, Josh Quevedo Reviews shared it on his YouTube page, and it subsequently received over 10,000 views (more than any other video we’d made to date)! GeekGirl World could not be more thrilled that people were seeing our video, caring about what we had to say, and visiting our site. (Thanks, y’all.)

Second, Paul Molnar (who played the Joker in the film) messaged us on Facebook! I remember trying to play it cool, but I was squeeing with fan girl joy. Molnar was humbled that so many people were still excited about the project, and unlike the Clown Prince of Crime, he was very much a gentleman and thanked us for our feature. (You’re a million times welcome, Mr. Molnar.)


Watch Patient J here!

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