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Space: Above and Beyond – Who Monitors the Birds? (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

Who Monitors the Birds? is a phenomenal piece of television.

Space: Above and Beyond is a show that only ran one season, languishing on Sunday nights before Fox decided to just scrap the idea of consistently scheduling it and just bounced it around the network timetable. It was not a breakout hit. It did not inspire a revival or resurrection in the way that other science-fiction properties have done. It has a very devoted and strong cult following, but its name is more likely to evoke a vague remembrance than anything more concrete.

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And yet, despite that, Space: Above and Beyond was still a massively influential piece of television. Despite the fact that it was structured as a throwback to classic war movies, it was also a very progressive piece of television. The influence of Space: Above and Beyond can be keenly felt on Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica, even though the show seldom gets any real credit for that influence. In some respects, Space: Above and Beyond was well ahead of its time.

Who Monitors the Birds? is put together with incredible skill and confidence. It is an episode that holds up fantastically, and which serves as a demonstration of the series’ lost potential.

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Non-Review Review: Batman/Mr. Freeze – SubZero

Surprisingly, not all films featuring Mr. Freeze are terrible. Batman/Mr. Freeze: SubZero doesn’t quite live up to the best of the animated Batman movies or even animated television shows, standing in the shadow of both Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker, but it’s still a surprisingly solid adventure that offers a much better showing for the Caped Crusader than either of the Joel Schumacher Batman movies.

Things are heating up…

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Batman: The Animated Series – On Leather Wings (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

I suppose we should start at the beginning. It’s hard to believe that it has been twenty years since Batman: The Animated Series first appeared on television. I think that it’s had a fairly massive impact – both on superheroes in animation, but also back in the original source material. Although On Leather Wings was not the first episode of the show to be broadcast (it was beaten by The Cat and the Claw, Part I), it was the first produced. While the episode itself falls quite short of greatness, it’s interesting to note just how many of the show’s successful ingredients were clearly present from the outset.

I can’t stay silent on the matter…

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Non-Review Review: Batman – Mask of the Phantasm

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

There is a legitimate argument to be made that Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the best Batman movie produced prior to Christopher Nolan taking over the film franchise. While I narrowly prefer Batman Returns, it’s hard to deny that this animated take on the character from the creator behind Batman: The Animated Series isn’t a superb exploration of the Caped Crusader and his world. Kevin Conroy is still, after all these years, my favourite actor to play Batman, and I can’t help but feel like the movie deserves a lavish re-release to celebrate the pending release of The Dark Knight Rises.

You’d have to finally go batty to do this in the long-term…

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