Fans expecting an animated superhero film much like past direct to video efforts will be in for a surprise in Merry Little Batman. This presentation feels very British, and much of that comes from the production and character designs. Also, when the best moments are from the British voice over talent pool instead of the American ones, all I could do was laugh out loud.
Ultimately, I feel this action adventure comedy puts a few ideas from Home Alone, Spitting Image and A Christmas Story into a blender, and what’s splattered out is just nutters!
And as the title implies, this holiday themed special is about a kid who wants to become the next Caped Crusader. When news of this movie was announced, I thought it might be about a young Bruce Wayne learning how to become a hero during Christmas vacation, but I was wrong. Instead, it’s about his son Damian (Yonas Kibreab) and his relationship with his father (Luke Wilson).
Life has not been the same for Cleo Newman ever since she claims she can see dead people. In A Haunted Girl #2, this young teenager will have to be careful about whom she tells about her visions as she attempts to reintegrate back into society and school. In the first issue, readers find her in the hospital, recovering. She attempted suicide as she could not cope with her life; And in the latest chapter, readers get a glimpse at why her world became what it is.
Following her sports injury, nothing has been the same. As a result, she’d rather let the days wither away, instead of thinking that maybe she should find a new sport or hobby to enjoy. Her father (a single parent) is trying his best to motivate, but when these spirits show up, either they’re holding her back or she’s part of a prophecy which still has to reveal itself.
Freddie Mercury isn’t the only person who claims to be “The Great Pretender.” In Japan, there’s an anime simply titled Great Pretender, to which his estate approved the use of his song, and as for how both relate, perhaps fans of this Netflix series can find out when it is released to home video in North America! The series isn’t presented in its entirety on Netflix as far as I can tell.
And for those screaming, “I Want It All” (like a certain Queen song, than just Freddie), it’s here courtesy of Shout! Studios.
Each episode grouping follows a team in Los Angeles (episodes 1 to 5), Singapore (6 to 10), London (11 to 14), and Far East (15 to 23). And there’s even more adventures coming soon! Great Pretender: Razbliuto is scheduled for a 2024 release, and to get newcomers up to speed, this set could not be any more timelier!
From the Press Release:
Get ready to experience the ultimate con! From the renowned animation powerhouse WIT Studio (Attack on Titan, Vinland Saga, Spy x Family) and director Hiro Kaburagi (91 Days, Kimi ni Todoke – From Me to You) comes the hit anime series, Great Pretender. Following the rule that people are willing to believe any convenient truth, the unlikely crew of con men will amaze viewers with their intricate and relentless con games aimed at all sorts of predators populating our society–from movie industry tycoons to shady art dealers and even organised crime honchos–who are only apparently unrelated.
Directed by Hiroshi Kaburagi, written by Ryota Kosawa (live-action Parasyte) and featuring the designs of anime legend Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL 2000), this character-driven comedic heist series blends the visual marvel of anime with suspenseful and smart narratives. Moreover, the anime series features the rousing theme song “The Great Pretender,” performed by the late legendary frontman (Mercury), and words and music by Buck Ram.
Hailed by anime enthusiasts for its highly entertaining storylines and nominated for Best Direction at the 48th annual Annie Awards, this Deluxe Edition arrives in select North American e-commerce stores on March 12, 2024 in limited quantities from Anime Limited, distributed by Shout! Studios. This highly anticipated 5-Disc Blu-ray collection comes housed in a visually striking slipcase and collects all 23 thrilling episodes, insightful bonus features, 10 stunning art cards, a double-sided poster, and a 192-page art book! This Deluxe Edition is available for pre-order now at Shoutfactory.com and select participating outlets (this article will update as soon as a listing on Amazon if it becomes available there).
GREAT PRETENDER | Series Overview
Self-styled “Japan’s greatest swindler” Makoto Edamura is mainly targeting elder people and occasional foreign travellers. But when he tries to scam an apparently clueless French tourist in Tokyo, he can’t possibly imagine that what looked like just another ordinary job is going to take him all the way to Los Angeles, tied upside-down on the famous Hollywood sign… And he is yet to find out what fate awaits him!
Bonus Content includes:
Series presentation in the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and English dub.
Ad Spoiler-filled Exposition Contest with SD Characters (approx 26’)
Textless Opening Sequence
Textless Ending Sequence
Teaser (15’’, 30’’, 76’’)
“Someday ft. Emarie” Music Video
Freddie Mercury “The Great Pretender” Special Music Video
Quite often, Chinese New Year is when new films will be played to audiences worldwide, and what’s offered here are four selections we hope will begin production or play in 2024!
Although Chinese New Year is two months away, the question of what movies will get released is likely to at least include The Journey of Flower. The other three Chinese films include Chang’An, Kung Fu Hustle 2 and Umbrella Girl. While one is technically not even started production, I have hope that some news will be offered. As for the the former getting a wider distribution, it’d make sense to re-release this work during this holiday!
Chang’An was released in China over the Summer. As for why international distributors didn’t want to market it, the reason may well lie in the fact it’s not like a typical movie. Those who managed to see this work said it’s presented as vignettes with the characters reciting poetry. As for whether its like attending one of Shakespeare’s plays, I need to get my hands on a copy!
Even though Light Chaser Animation has been on a huge winning streak ever since White Snake, not every film gets the love it deserves. Tea Pets got tucked away on Tubi under a different title (Toys and Pets), and it’s a wonderful love story cum adventure. As for this studio’s latest, it apparently got a weekend screening at select cities during the month of October; I assume GKIDS holds the rights, and they will eventually deliver this movie to home video.
Gamers who love to post speed runs on Twitch will find Wizordum to be the type of perfect shoot ’em up style game to parley with. While I prefer a dungeon crawl at a slow pace, this fantasy shooter is designed to be played fast and furious! That’s how most adventure games should be played. Sometimes, players spend too much time being methodical or are pouring through the books to insure encounters follow the rules, and while that’s okay in a pen and paper game, that’s not how it works in real life!
The fact players have to be on the ball in this videogame, that means being able to solve puzzles on the fly! There’s also being like Indiana Jones and escaping a room with the treasure without missing the beat of those arrows shooting at him! In this game, players better have that itchy trigger finger and nimble reflexes when blasting through a dungeon!
When there were times I wished I could pause the game to quickly sketch out a dungeon map, I suspect that would slow the game down. Thankfully, there is one provided in the game to show where the secrets lay, but it’s not as detailed as one I would make.