Batman: The Animated Series

Channel Guide - Large

When I was about ten years old, I used to plop myself down after school in front of my ’90s-chic, wood-paneled TV set with a Capri Sun and the soft, moist remnant of the ham and cheese sandwich that I hadn’t finished at lunch, and not just watch, but absorb Batman: The Animated Series. The suspense! The drama! The musical numbers about domestic abuse! What more could a fifth-grader ask for? Now Comic-Con, the impending rise of the Dark Knight, and, of course, Landon Palmer’s thoughtful exploration of the film serial and TV iterations of the Batman character in this week’s Culture Warrior, have made me especially nostalgic for the cartoon Caped Crusader of my youth – the guy who ended up ruining me for all other cartoon superheroes – so, I decided to revisit the series and examine it with fresh, grown person eyes (which actually means eyes that are increasingly crappy).

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Culture Warrior

Enduring cultural figures like Batman endure precisely because of the slight but notable changes they incur over time. Batman has had a long history in the moving image, and while the character has maintained both the central conceit of being a crime-fighting detective, the cinematic Batman of seventy years ago bears little resemblance to the Batman we’re familiar with today. The character and his myth have been interpreted with variation by a multitude of creative persons other than Bob Kane and Bill Finger. In the moving image, Batman has been embodied by a range of actors including Robert Lowery, Adam West, and George Clooney, and Batman has been realized by directors and showrunners prone to various tastes and aesthetic interpretations like William Dozier and Christopher Nolan. While Batman is perhaps best-known by a non-comic-astute mass culture through the many blockbuster feature films made about him, including this summer’s hotly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, the character’s cinematic origins are rooted in the long-dead format of the movie serial. Batman first leapt off the page in a 15-part serial made in 1943 titled Batman and another six years later titled Batman and Robin. These serials did not influence Batman’s later cinematic iterations realized by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher as much as they inspired Batman’s representation on television. Batman’s presence in film serials and on television have had a decisive and important impact in terms of how mass audiences perceive the Batman of feature films. At the same time, these serials […]

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Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

What is Movie News After Dark? It is all about movie news, it happens nightly, and you should never, ever go to bed without it. Should you happen to do so, we’re most likely going to send someone out to teach you a lesson. And you don’t want to learn any hard lessons now, do you? We didn’t think so. We begin tonight with an image that is sweeping the internet. With a little lightening, this new image of Noomi Rapace in Prometheus reveals a pair of Space Jockeys in the background. It’s hard to tell from this angle, but they look rather large and intimidating. It goes along with a quote writer/producer Damon Lindelof gave to Hero Complex: “The movie is definitely epic in its scope. One of the filmmakers that we ended up talking about to a fair degree of redundancy was David Lean, who directed ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ We wanted to make the movie feel big by having the characters be small in big spaces. That connected to the larger themes we were talking about — that we’re all just these little gnats crawling around on our little planet.”

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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Batman: Gotham Knight

Take a trip to Wizard World in Chicago, where FSR’s Josh Radde was among a few other press people who got to sit down and talk with some of the masters behind Batman: Gotham Knight.

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dvd-batmandouble.jpg

Just as Warner Bros. was ready to hand the franchise over to Joel Schumacher, who killed it for almost ten years, they greenlit a feature film based on the popular television series Batman: The Animated Series.

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