Movies & TV / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction Movies/TV: Is a Harley Quinn Movie a Good Idea?

June 24, 2016 | Posted by Ben Piper
Harley Quinn Margot Robbie Birds of Prey

I called one of my buddies to talk to him about 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I had watched the night before. (Messed up movie, BTW) As we were talking he told me that Chekov from Star Trek had died. I, of course assumed that he had meant the original actor, but then he corrected me that it was Anton Yelchin that he was talking about. Taken in a complete fluke accident. To say that I was shocked and saddened is an understatement. The kid had chops.

Anyways, Fact or Fiction time. This week we’ve got Chad Webb and Edward Tripp here to entertain us. Let’s see what they have to say.

Independence Day: Resurgence will prove to be a worthy follow-up to the original.

Chad Webb : FICTION – I don’t see how. I hesitate to say that that a 20 year gap between the original and a sequel is too long since we have seen evidence that it can work (Rocky, Mad Max), but in this case I do feel like it’s been too long. Combine that with the absence of Will Smith and you’re left wondering why this was pushed through. I suppose it’s because “end of the world” stories are the only thing Roland Emmerich wants to do…and yet he does them badly. I’ll admit that I am curious to see it though because Bill Pullman returns, has a rockin beard, and might give another speech. From the trailer the plot looks ridiculous. The aliens want revenge and judging by the size of their invasion, how can the planet not be destroyed? I guess Jeff Goldblum will save the day? If Emmerich and his hype machine weren’t behind it, this would have been a DTV release for sure. The fact is, the first Independence Day was an entertaining blockbuster, but far from a classic. It was a summer flick you needed to see then. I haven’t had the desire to revisit it, unless that meant listening to the President’s speech to get my energy up or feel patriotic. A sequel may have worked a few years after the original, but now? This series strikes me as so uninteresting compared to the “end of the world” scenarios in comic book adaptations, etc that we’ve seen since its release. I’m betting on this sucking.

Edward Tripp : FICTION – The first Independence Day film was very entertaining to see when I was a young lad. Sure it wasn’t the most well written story or plot, but it was a film that helped resurrect the sci-fi genre during the 90’s. Now with the impeding release of its sequel I can’t help but feel it will fall short in trying to capture the same magic of the first film. From Will Smith’s first dog fight with the aliens to President Whitmore’s epic speech, the movie provided many great moments that check every box on the summer blockbuster checklist. Flash forward to 2016 and the aliens once again want to destroy the earth. So much of this plot resembles the first only with bigger set pieces and no 90’s Will Smith. With that being said I can’t see it being much better than the first film released 2 decades ago. The best hope for this film is to capture the same retro appeal as Jurassic World do last year. Ultimately it will make tons of money but be largely forgotten in the long run.

A stand alone Harley Quinn movie is a no brainer.

Chad Webb : FACT – Sure, why not? The studios are greenlighting movies based on just about every comic book character under the sun these days, so Harley Quinn is an easy sell, especially if Margot Robbie is the star. I’d watch her in anything. If Black Panther is getting his own movie, one for Harley Quinn makes perfect sense. She’s a hot villainous chick who hangs out with the Joker, annoys Batman, and appeals to the cosplay fantasies of comic nerds everywhere. Of course, there is still the issue of how Suicide Squad will perform and how good it will be, but I feel like this stand alone movie will happen regardless. It’s also a comic adaptation revolving around a female, which we should have more of. I’m in.

Edward Tripp : FACT – Insert Daniel Bryan chant here as I drink from my Harley Quinn coffee mug. Harley without question is one of the most popular characters around. From comics to cosplay, she reigns as one of the comic book queens. With my faith in the Suicide Squad movie rising I feel it would serve as a natural extension of the DC Extended Universe. Margot Robbie is a stars on the rise and this could be the franchise that vaults her into the upper tier of film stars. No one can deny the revenue generating power of the character. A film, if done well, would be icing on the cake for Harley. No longer a matter of if, its now when will the solo Harley Quinn film be made. Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and hopefully Harley Quinn and Black Widow will lead the charge of female-led comic films.

Steven Spielberg directing a remake of West Side Story is something you can get behind.

Chad Webb : FACT – I would have said “Pass” or “Factish,” but I feel like I have to choose one option or the other. I say that because I’m neutral on this. The original 1961 film is a classic that won 10 Oscars. Not even Spielberg in all his might will top that version. I’m also not a fan of remakes. Having said all that, Spielberg has wanted to adapt it for decades and we’ve seen similar West Side Story/forbidden love tales many times over the years, even if they weren’t direct remakes. This isn’t an untouchable movie and there are worse people to direct it other than Spielberg. I’m ok with him giving it a go. I expect it to be average at best, but hey, let Spielberg do what he wants. I am curious to see what his spin looks like, but then I’m torn, why couldn’t he spend time on something more interesting? Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

Edward Tripp : FICTION, for now. Cast and writers are key and I would have to see who they pick before making any major judgements on the movie. My hot take would be this is a classic that does not need to be remade. Even with Spielberg at the helm it’s not something many filmgoers are clamoring for. However, it is a project that he has a great desire to work on and given his legendary track record I can’t 100% write this one off. There is a shortlist of directors that could make this work and he is definitely one of them. For now without many details to the project I am 40-60 in favor of seeing this made.


The Shallows will be a better than average thriller.

Edward Tripp : FICTION – It looks like your average summer thriller. The poster and trailer gives it a cool vibe, but that is where my excitement for the film end. Not saying it will be bad, just cant see a reason to rush to the theatre to see it. It may echo some of the tone of 127 Hours, but it’s more of wait till Netflix sort of film. Well at least Blake Lively looks amazing as always.

Chad Webb : FICTION – With shark movies, we have Jaws, Open Water, and all the rest. This will fall into “all the rest” category. But we have a shark week now so I’m sure people will see it, even if it’s mediocre like the rest of Jaume Collet-Serra’s work. Run All Night and Orphan were ok, but his work is a mixed bag if there ever was one. I don’t think Blake Lively is a very good actress either so the fact that she’s carrying the movie doesn’t win me over. I hope I’m wrong and this is a tense, restrained test of wills, but there is little that entices me about this film.

Lady Gaga is a good choice to co-star in a remake of A Star Is Born.

Edward Tripp : FACT – Lady Gaga is without question a rare talent. Her performance on American Horror Story went a long way in silencing critics of her acting ability. Coupled that to her vocal prowess and she is near a perfect choice for the film. I feel she could adapt to either a modern or period remake of the film. With that said who is chosen to join the cast will tip the scale drastically. Bradley Cooper and Gaga could work well together to elevate each other’s resume. Stranger pairings have worked so I see no reason why this will not given the talent involved. They maybe the second choice for the film, but in no way a bad one.

Chad Webb : FICTION – I struggled with this one because of the word “good.” We definitely know that Edward is a fan of Gaga. But I think calling her a “near perfect” choice is overstating her abilities. Gaga is a popular pop artist who can also act some, nothing more, nothing less. Now, I haven’t seen her on American Horror Story, but we’ll assume she was good since she won a Golden Globe. Being a part of a big cast on television is not the same as starring in a musical on the big screen. Her movie resume has included bit parts in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Machete Kills, so no, I’m not convinced she is the best option here. She is a passable at best choice I’d say. I like Gaga, but this remake has disaster written all over it. Gaga and Bradley Cooper? And Cooper is making his directorial debut, with the second remake of a classic film? Hiring him as a rookie director with Gaga in her first starring role is a monumental gamble. And consider that Gaga is following in the footsteps of Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand, two women who proved themselves many times over by the time they starred in A Star is Born. I’m just not inclined to be optimistic about this.

Free State Of Jones will bomb at the box office.

Edward Tripp : FACT – It may make its budget back but with Finding Dory and other summer blockbusters on the way this will get lost in the shuffle. I question the studio for positioning this a summer film rather than in a less competitive part of the film season. The real life story that it is based on is fascinating. I just don’t see film goers rushing to see this over say Finding Dory or Independence Day: Resurgence. While Matthew McConaughey will be alright alright in the role of the eccentric Newt Knight, it still is a film that falls in the middle ground of summer level films. Not quite a big budget blockbuster and not small enough to be a Indie darling. I expect this to not have a long theatrical run and be out on home release by September or sooner.

Chad Webb : FACT – Personally I think bloggers and movie writers throw the terms “bomb,” “flop,” and “smash” around excessively when describing the box office success of any film. If Free State of Jones made back its budget, calling it a bomb would not necessarily be accurate. The studio might not consider it a success, but that’s not the worst case scenario. My point is there is a gray area. But I digress. Yes this will probably fail at the box office because every summer the studios slip in a couple high-profile prestige pics amidst the blockbusters. Normally they do poorly at the box office. Audiences don’t care because they usually don’t associate that season with prestige titles. The demo that is interested will wait for DVD because it’s not awards season. I am curious to see this though. Gary Ross is directing and McConaughey has his game face on. I think the studio would have been better off releasing it in a limited capacity rather than 2,600 theaters. It’s going up against Independence Day: Resurgence, The Shallows and the second week of Finding Dory. All different genre titles yes, but what I’m getting at is people will be seeing other stuff.

And there it is. Chad and Edward agree more often than not. Thanks to them both for taking part. See you all next week.