Batman Forever

Culture Warrior

Part of the appeal of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films is that the basic conceit informing their aesthetic seems so natural. Batman is one of few major superheroes that isn’t actually a super-hero. Batman mythology, then, lends itself to a degree of plausibility more than, say, Superman or Spider-Man, so why not manifest a vision of Batman that embraces this particular aspect that distinguishes this character from most superhero mythologies? But realism has not been a characteristic that unifies Batman’s many representations in the moving image. Through the eyes of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, the Batman of tentpole studio filmmaking has occupied either a world of gothic architecture and shadowy noir, or one of schizophrenic camp. From 1989 to 1997, Batman was interpreted by visionary directors with potent aesthetic approaches, but approaches that did not necessarily aim to root the character within a landscape of exhaustive Nolanesque plausibility.

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To start – a news flash. The collecting world holds it breath in slightly anxious anticipation this week as The Bridge Direct, Inc dominated the merch-related news columns thanks to first being confirmed as Warner Bros toy maker of choice for next year’s massively prestigious The Hobbit line, and then blaming Justin Bieber’s haircut for losing them $100,000 in unsellable mop-topped dolls. The company have some previous in the merch arena, though nothing this grand yet, so it’s difficult to say whether they’ll meet expectations, and potentially pull a Star Wars action figures on us or not. My vote goes with not – there just isn’t the same fever in buying action figures these days, outside of Games Workshops, and those places are GRIM. Anyway, while we wait for those particular items (released next fall), which will include Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, and Collector Figures, as well as “premium role play items” such as a Basic Sting Sword, a Basic Orcrist Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword, here’s the usual weekly look at what else is out there for those interested in buying merch. Or at least mentally spending the thousands of dollars it would take to make these suggestions into a real collection… Hold tight for three hugely important auction lots from around the world’s greatest auction houses, including some letters written by a Rebel Without a Cause, Jim Carrey’s most puzzlesome film costume and Henry Winkler’s two wheeled nemesis. And yes, […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly entertainment news compendium that rounds up all the best links from here, there and everywhere in between. It usually isn’t quite so obsessed with lists ordered numerically, but today is Friday and Friday is fun day. We so excited for the weekend, so lets read some lists! We open tonight with Tom Cruise looking ridiculous in the first image from Rock of Ages. The Adam Shankman directed film will see Cruise play Stacee Jaxx, a famous rocker who falls for a fresh-off-the-bus country bumpkin. It’s another one of those 80s nostalgia trips, star filled and ready to remind us that anyone whose name is Stacee with two e’s is not to be trusted.

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threequellessonheader

Dr. Cole Abaius does an in-depth study of some of the worst threequels in order to divine some fantastic filmmaking lessons. What elements of filmmaking should be avoided at all cost and which are only mildly toxic? Find out inside. But bring a barf bag.

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