|THE BLACK MASKBIRDS OF PREYBLACK MASKTRAILER|
Birds of Prey may not have set the box office on fire, but it received good reviews from audiences and critics. One of the aspects that drew particular praise was the action scenes, which were like a cross between a gritty John Wick action montage mixed with Deadpool-style violent humor. In an interview, director Cathy Yan revealed the action was initially going to be even more out there.'When you set an action sequence in an evidence room, it's really fun and you can come up with so much stuff. We had so many different ideas. At one point [screenwriter] Christina Hodson wanted a giant double-ended [adult toy] that [Harley] had to fend off. I wanted her to have a big fluffy bear stuffed with drugs that she used as a pillow to fight with. We had to show some sort of restraint. It's a cheeky movie - unapologetically so.'
The evidence room scene is one of the highlights of the film. Harley enters the Gotham police department building in search of Cassandra Kane, the young pickpocket who had swallowed the diamond coveted by crime lord Roman Sionis. Harley wants to get Cassandra back to Sionis to square her debt to him, but first must deal with a plethora of policemen and escaped convicts who corner her and Cassandra in the evidence room.
What follows is a gloriously choreographed battle between Harley and her pursuers, as she uses bags of cocaine, outsized bats and anything else she can get her hands on to maim and destroy her enemies. The scene is already a frenetically over-the-top collection of moments of Harley inflicting severe bodily injury to her male opponent's most sensitive body parts. The sight of the anti-heroine fending off the attack of giant dildos would have only exacerbated the claims of critics that the film is filled with anti-male symbolism.
The Cathy Yan led cast and crew of Birds of Prey, as well as its supporters, have hotly contested the claim that the movie is anti-male, but the fact remains that the lack of positive male characters in the story, even Batman or Commissioner Gordon, who are closely associated with the Birds of Prey crew in the comics, led certain parts of the movie audience to react negatively.
Debates will rage on for some time whether the movie was a box office dud because it went too far, or did not go too far in depicting the twisted worldview of Harley, and its treatment of male characters. With the recent digital release of Birds of Prey, perhaps the film will see a surge in popularity and gain the honorable status of 'cult hit'.
After all, despite the film's performance, Harley remains one of DC's most popular characters. Her animated series is getting a second season, with a third season likely in the works. Also, Margot Robbie will return to the big screen as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad 2, being directed by James Gunn. Digital Spy
Ewan McGregor was able to improvise some of Black Mask's best lines in Birds of Prey. McGregor has been praised for his portrayal of the villain in the team-up movie. Margot Robbie is clearly the lead star in the movie as she plays Harley Quinn, but she has an excellent supporting cast propping her up. Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Ella Jay Basco also star in the comic book movie.
When it came down to shooting Birds of Prey, it seems like the attitude was pretty relaxed when it comes to the dialogue. The action scenes were choreographed out perfectly, but the actors were allowed to take liberty with their lines. According to director Cathy Yan, Ewan McGregor especially took advantage of this. She explains.'He also added lines. I like to work to a point where it's a real collaboration between the actors, and we'll have fun on set, and it's very open. And what was great is that Christina Hodson was not precious with the script either and quite supportive of that. So we were just like throwing ideas around. He'll come up with a line and I'll go 'I love that line! Let's add it in.' That happened a lot, and he's just wickedly funny. I also think because he really understood the character, he really got it. He understood the background of the character, the chip on his shoulder, the desire for power the desire of control.'
Ewan McGregor is comfortable as Black Mask in the movie and is perfectly over the top. As for the rest of the cast, they were able to make changes to their dialogue too. Cathy Yan promoted a fun atmosphere on the set, according to Ella Jay Basco. She had this to say about one particular day on the Birds of Prey set.'We had this one scene where Margot [Robbie], Jurnee [Smollett-Bell], Rosie [Perez], Mary [Elizabeth Winstead] and I had to improv the majority of it. That entire day we were laughing, making jokes, and having a great time. The director Cathy Yan, told us to do a bunch of silly things that made us smile the whole day. The location was also near a Shake Shack, so in our spare time we just ate burgers, fries, and a bunch of other junk food. That day was super fun and didn't feel like work at all.'
Birds of Prey is not doing so well at the box office, which is strange since it is doing so well with fans and critics. The studio is hoping that a quick title change for theater chains will help matter, but even that doesn't appear to be working. Many believe that the movie should have been promoted as a Harley Quinn movie, since the majority of fans wanted to see Margot Robbie back as the villain.
Margot Robbie portrayed Harley Quinn in 2016's Suicide Squad and was one of the rare bright spots of the production. While the movie made a killing at the box office, it was torn to shreds by fans and critics, which is pretty much the opposite for Birds of Prey at the moment. Regardless, the studio is hoping that word of mouth advertising will give the movie...
Since directing Brie Larson to an Oscar win in 2015’s Room, Irish writer/director Lenny Abrahamson has been fairly quiet, directing only a couple episodes of a TV series called Chance and a single feature, the 2018 horror mystery The Little Stranger, which starred Domhnall Gleeson. Now Abrahamson has returned to his home country as one of the two directors of Normal People, a new Hulu co-production with the BBC which focuses on two young lovers from Ireland who find themselves on opposite sides of a class divide. Check out the trailer below.Normal People Trailer
Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Man, this show looks sexy. I know the whole “Romeo and Juliet” dynamic is a little played out, but author Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, which serves as the basis for the show, was critically acclaimed, so I suspect there’s more going on here than what we see in this trailer. Normal People will reportedly consist of twelve half-hour episodes, with Abrahamson tackling the first six and Hettie Macdonald Doctor Who, Howards End directing the final six. Rooney is serving as a writer on the series, along with Alice Birch Lady Macbeth, Succession and Mark O’Rowe Boy A.
Daisy Edgar-Jones 2019’s War of the Worlds TV series stars as Marianne, and Paul Mescal Bump plays Connell, the two friends/lovers at the center of the story, and the production hired real students who were attending Dublin’s Trinity College to participate in the show. I visited Trinity College’s campus a couple of years ago to check out the world-famous Long Room in its Old Library; you can see it at the :54 mark in this video. It’s fitting that the world “normal” is in the title, because this looks like one of the most normal, traditional things Abrahamson has been involved with in years. And I wouldn’t exactly say that the guy who made Frank and Room is super concerned about directing traditional projects.
Here’s the show’s official synopsis:
Based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, Normal People is an exquisite, modern love story about how one person can unexpectedly change another person’s life and about how complicated intimacy can be. It follows Marianne and Connell over several years, as they embark on an on-again/off-again romance that starts at school and continues through college, both testing their relationship as they explore different versions of themselves.
Normal People premieres on Hulu on April 29, 2020.