Yes, There’s a Message After the “Birds of Prey” End Credits

Birds of Prey!

They gleefully aimed for an R rating, but their spoof of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” adds clothing to the central figure. I bet Ryan Reynolds would’ve gone there.

I thought Harley Quinn was a pretty nifty addition to the wild world of Batman when she debuted on his animated series way back when I was in college. I was surprised DC Comics took as long as they did to bring her to the printed page. I lost interest in her shortly before she was anointed the Greatest DC Character of the Millennium and had a personal hype machine devoted to her. Some of our separation is my own fault; it’s a peculiar personal phenomenon that I tend to lose interest in an up-‘n’-coming character whenever they start feeling too popular.

I had several reservations about Suicide Squad, but Margot Robbie’s debut as a live-action Harley wasn’t among them. And yet, I wasn’t among the fans chanting “MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE!” when DC announced she’d return in Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. In my mind she’s in danger of becoming the kind of character that guest-stars in eight comics a month and overstays their welcome. We had a lot of those in the ’90s (Ghost Rider! Wolverine! Punisher! Lobo!) whose ubiquity turned me off. And yet, the Birds of Prey trailers managed to avoid any vibe resembling an Elektra or Catwoman-level failure.

My son and I showed up opening weekend, days before disappointed theater owners apparently banded together and decided it should be called Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey instead. I for one agree with this change, which more accurately reflects the film’s true contents of 90% Harley to 10% Birds. Too bad they couldn’t have made film retitling a standard practice back when Edge of Tomorrow failed to live down its empty soap-opera name.

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Yes, There’s a Scene During the “Suicide Squad” End Credits

Suicide Squad!

Not the Bad News Bears reboot we want, but maybe the Police Academy reboot we need.

Midlife Crisis Crossover calls David Ayer’s Suicide Squad the best DC Comics film since The Dark Knight!

To be candid, that’s not too much of a compliment if you reconsider the competition. I suppose it’s a close race with The Losers, but I think of that more as a DC/Vertigo movie even though the original Losers were an old-time DC property. Suicide Squad has quite a few flaws in need of fixing — or, quite possibly, unfixing if you believe the press — but the overall studio-approved package contains a lot of well-crafted elements, some inspired performances, and a pretty faithful approximation of the 1980s Squad of my teenage years.

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