Batman

Adam West Batman

The morning’s best writing from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Batfleck

Try to picture this: it’s ten years from now, and Ben Affleck has shaken off the hatred he earned for signing up to play a superhero by carefully choosing his acting and directing projects. In a rebound of public opinion, he’s delivered several trenchant performances — fulfilling the potential he showed back in the 90s — and crafted several prestigious films that prove his salt as a storyteller. With that, welcome to 2013, Daredevil haters. It’s good to have you here.

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rejectrecap082413

This will go down in non-history as the week fanboys told Hollywood to argo fu… Actually, the fanboys are apparently doing more than just complaining and burning the Hollywood sign in effigy this time. There’s a petition on Change.org with more than 30,000 signatures. Just imagine if in this increasingly (faux) democratic entertainment industry that the public managed to pull enough sway to actually cancel a major studio casting choice. I presume Warner Bros. would pass on the bill in the form of a mandated crowdfunding campaign in which every signer of that petition has to pledge at least a buck towards buying Ben Affleck out of the presumably already filed contract they’ve made for him to do not only Man of Steel 2 but a number of other Justice League franchise films. Ten bucks if they want a souvenir t-shirt. Well, that portrayal, if nobody stops it, is two years down the line. Let’s focus on all the great, positively reviewed new films opening this weekend, like The World’s End, Short Term 12, You’re Next, Drinking Buddies and The Trials of Muhammad Ali (not yet reviewed), plus some expanding favorites all making this the best new movie weekend of the year. And in between showtimes as we spend the next two days in the cinema, let’s review all the other non-Bat-news and features FSR has covered since the last Reject Recap. Below you’ll find goodies on The Avengers, the Marx Brothers, Smokey and the Bandit and other awesome things […]

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Batman vs Superman

This week we answer the most important question of our time: how can a city the size of Detroit go bankrupt? It’s crazy, and after figuring that out in about three minutes, we then spend twenty trying to game out what Warners has planned for Batman vs. Superman before pitching actors we want to see take the cowl from Christian Bale. Plus, we’ve got an Interrogation Review of The Wolverine, and in case your brain is overwhelmed by things in capes, Geoff and screenwriter Brian Duffield explain what to do when you get an extreme case of writer’s block. You can follow  Brian Duffield (@brianduffield), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #26 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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The LEGO Movie

“The Lego Movie combines all your favorite pop-culture characters: Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern, (most likely) Hobbits and Harry Potter, all for one giant commercial for Lego!” Good thing for us, that’s not the animated picture directors Chris Miller, Chris McKay, and Phil Lord are making. A movie that literally has “Lego” in the title could easily be interpreted as just that, but at the film’s Comic-Con press conference, the three filmmakers stressed the actual movie is far from an ad. This was a project treated with a good deal of skepticism when it was announced, but after the trailer, it’s shown skeptics they’re not going to see the movie they were dreading. We learned plenty more about the film while in attendance at Comic-Con, so if you’re curious in how the film is more than a payed advertisement, read what the the three men had to say about Michael Bay, Morgan Freeman voicing a crazy wizard, and more.

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Do you wonder why so many people are sooooooo obsessed with Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies? The new documentary Legends of the Knight may not directly address that specific question, but it does explore the ways in which the character resonates for so many people and inspires them to be stronger individuals. The fact that the Caped Crusader is just a regular guy (well, a regular rich guy) without any magical super powers who has experienced tragedy in his life apparently makes him more identifiable. This film will present stories of fans, including those with handicaps, for whom Batman is not just hero but also a motivational figure. “Batman has become contemporary mythology,” says the film’s producer/director Brett Culp in a press release. “We want to show how enduring stories like this shape us. Our goal is to inspire everyone on the planet who loves Batman to embody his spirit, engage with the world, and make a difference.  Together, we are Batman.”

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Batman Begins

Our good pals over at ScreenRant have introduced a little anarchy into the world by editing together a video that chronicles the entirety of Christopher Nolan‘s take on Batman in just 3 minutes. The plot beats and action moments they’ve left in to tell the story are almost as interesting as the stuff they left out in order to stay under the gun. Most noticeably absent is any hint of Bruce Wayne’s great romances. There are few snippets, but they’re under an ocean of acid-burnt faces and villains with strange hardware. It’s a bit of fun for a Tuesday though. Definitely meant for those who have seen the films (so, everyone) and can appreciate the condensed version of Gotham.  

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Drinking Games

You may have heard of the small independent film The Dark Knight Rises, which hit theaters this summer. Now, it’s out on DVD and Blu-ray, and also available in a box set of all the Nolanverse Batman movies. Bat-fans around the world can finally die happy in the Mayan apocalypse with the knowledge that they can have this movie in their Blu-ray collection. Of course, the film does run close to three hours, and in the privacy of your own home, it’s something that can be enjoyed with a drink in hand. You may not get as tipsy as Bane does with that opium-fueled mask he has, but with this drinking game, you can have even more fun as Gotham crumbles.

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Boiling Point

A week ago, the folks at HitFix said that “according to sources,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt was going to pick up the cape and cowl and assume the mantle of Batman in the planned Justice League film. The legal minds and representatives for JGL pretty quickly pounced on the story, saying that Levitt was not attached to the production, a vague denial at best. If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises you should probably stop reading. To avoid putting any spoilers, no matter how dated, on the front page, I’ll first briefly talk about another section of the HitFix article which put forth an image of Batman showing up at the end of the upcoming Man of Steel film as a segue into the Justice League flick. While that is certainly a possibly and also certainly just one man’s guess at how the new Batman would be revealed, I’d like to throw out there that it is an entirely bad idea. DC should be taking notes from Marvel and with as much as Marvel has done right on the screen, the one big thing they did wrong was Iron Man 2, when they took the focus away from the titular character and used the movie as more of a lead-in and introduction to The Avengers. With these two separate characters, DC would do well to keep them separate until they’re sharing the screen, rather than one just poking his head in. Now then….

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Welcome to another Reject Recap. Can you believe how fast time is flying by this year? It’s already December, and soon it will be the end of the 2012 (and end of the world?). And it’s been a surprisingly busy time for big movie news and rumors. Who can keep up with all the reports and commentary every day? If you haven’t been able to, we invite you to at least check out the highlights down below. First, we must give you the weekly reminder to check out our reviews of the new theatrical releases (Killing Them Softly; The Collection; California Solo; What a Man; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning) and interviews with Killing Them Softly director Andrew Dominik and The Day‘s director and cast, including Dominic Monaghan, Ashley Bell and Shawn Ashmore. This week we also looked at promotional artwork for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim and watched trailers for such films as Black Rock and something called Osombie. Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.

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The Ingredients is a column devoted to breaking down the components of a new film release with some focus on influential movies that came before. As always, these posts look at the entire plots of films and so include SPOILERS.  The James Bond series is something of a hub in the course of film and pop culture history. As iconic as it is on its own, it tends to be informed by other material as often as it does the informing. In the beginning, for example, the movies were highly influenced by the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Author Ian Fleming even wished for Hitch to direct the first movie adapted from his 007 novels. And Cary Grant was famously sought for the part of Bond, which would have been interesting had he continued with the second film, From Russia With Love, given how much it calls to mind North by Northwest. Instead, little-known Sean Connery embodied the character, and after the first two installments made the actor famous, Hitch cast him in Marnie. As usual, the director capitalized on a movie star’s pre-existing notoriety, his screen value, which makes it quite difficult for us to see Connery’s Marnie character, Mark Rutland, as anything but James Bond as a wife-raping publisher. Hitch went another step with his next film, Torn Curtain, which was an admitted direct response to the 007 films. He wrote to Francois Truffaut in 1965: “In realizing that James Bond and the imitators of James Bond were more or less making […]

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Tim Burton is not a fan of the horizontally-challenged. That’s the conclusion I reached from watching Frankenweenie, an otherwise very pleasant return to form for for the director. What isn’t so pleasant is how every paunchy character — the mayor, the gym coach, and the chubby kid whose name doesn’t matter — is cackled at by Burton and turned into a visual punch-line. Burton portrays these characters in a way that seems antithetical to how most people perceive him and his films… with a casual dash of mean-spiritedness. The one constant in Burton’s films, aside from Johnny Depp obviously, is that he’s always championed the outcasts and made them the eventual heroes of their worlds. Think of the Goth cutter Edward Scissorhands defeating the jock bully, the goofy Amish kid saving the day in Mars Attacks, the friendless Charlie Bucket outlasting the truly bad kids to win the chocolate factory, etc. Looking back at his work, though, it seems clear that Burton himself has been acting the bully when it comes to even the mildly obese. They’re made to be clumsy, goofy, obnoxious and irritating, and if they don’t exist strictly as a visual gag they’re almost sure to be a villain. Can you think of one overweight hero or true good guy in his films? I can’t. Why would a man so feverishly in favor of defending and uplifting outsiders himself single out a specific group of people to consistently bully throughout his career? Hell if I know, but […]

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Justice League Alex Ross

Development has really been heating up the over that Justice League movie. A few months ago, Gangster Squad writer Will Beall was hired to handle script duties, there was word Warner Bros. was eying Ben Affleck to direct, and then we got a director short list including the Wachowskis, Ruben Fleischer, and, who could forget, Brett Ratner. Today the project became even more real, thanks to a resolved legal dispute. The Los Angeles Times is reporting the studio is gearing up fast for a 2013 shoot and a 2015 release, which would pit the film up against The Avengers 2. After that, mostly depending on whether the film’s a hit or not, Warners would then follow up the film with a reboot of Batman and solo films following whatever heroes they decide to put in the movie. So if any of you have been holding your breath for a Hawkman movie, then perhaps your big dream may finally come true.

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Continuing a yearly tradition that began at the defunct movie blog Spout, this is my 5th annual list of mostly original yet highly unlikely Halloween costume ideas. You can take any of these suggestions if you want, especially if you want to avoid having the same outfit as another person at the party you attend, and particularly if you want something that needs a lot of explanation — these tend to be good conversation starters for people looking for excuses to hit on you. Mostly, though, the following ideas are not to be taken too seriously. Some are really just stupid jokes. But they’re primarily intended to visually remind us of some of the trends, criticisms, immediate icons and zeitgeist of the past year in film. For instance, last year‘s “Forrest Gump wearing an X-Men uniform” costume illustrated 2011’s penchant for Gump-like revisionist history in blockbuster movies. And back in 2008, there was a costume called “Nuke the Fridge.” Sadly, in looking over 2012 for this year’s ideas, I realized that it’s been a very weak year for movie references worth calling back. Where are this year’s “nuke the fridge,” Antichrist fox, “Why cookie Rocket?” and “Winklevi”? Before too long, I might need to spin-off a TV version of this tradition to make it easier on me and more interesting to readers. Because we all know film culture is dead anyway, right?  

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Batman Detective Comics

According to Batman On Film, there is a rumor floating around that Justice League will be used as a launching pad for a rebooted Batman franchise. It may be a rumor, but it feels like common sense. Warners has got Man of Steel next year, but the next time we’ll see superheroes from them is in 2014 when LEGO versions hit screens thanks to Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It’s seems unlikely that they’d want to – or even be able to – mobilize a Batman reboot so soon after Christopher Nolan‘s franchise closed out, and with the omnibus superhero movie in their sites, it seems inevitable that we’ll see Bruce Wayne (or someone) as The Dark Knight playing well with others before we get to see him on his own again. The question is whether that’s a good call. It’s hard to say. If Warners is echoing Marvel‘s method of success, they’re doing so without laying all the of right groundwork that aided The Avengers in becoming such a massive smash. Plus, by investing so much in one film, it could mean sabotaging individual superhero projects if Justice League doesn’t take off like they want it to. Beyond focus group polling, how would the studio even know which characters were working the best in the film, which were connecting with audiences, which deserve their own properties? The only character that is immune is Batman. If Man of Steel falls flat, it will be two in a row for Superman, calling even the most iconic hero […]

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Now that the last film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, has finally hit theaters and been seen by everyone, comic book nerds all over the world thought that they would have a chance to cut back on the Batman talk and stop mistakenly referring to the film as The Dark Knight Returns. Why did we keep calling the movie by the wrong name? Because its title was annoyingly close to one of the best-loved Batman stories of all time, Frank Miller’s gritty, 1986 limited series about an elderly Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement, “The Dark Knight Returns.” There’s good news for fans of Nolan’s look at an older, more beat-up Batman, as the Miller-penned story that somewhat inspired his final go-around with the character is now being put out by DC as an animated feature, and its first trailer looks pretty good. The bad news, of course, is that we’re all set to once again get tongue-tied and misunderstood when trying to keep these two stories straight.

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Boiling Point

The trailer for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel recently made it online after rolling in front of the related DC property The Dark Knight Rises. Reactions have been mostly positive to the somber looking film, with words like “restrained” being laid upon it. Many have chosen to highlight the apparent effect that Batman producer/director Christopher Nolan has had on the Superman story. The trailer for Supes does seem to harken to a more Batman Begins esque story rather than say, Superman Returns or Green Lantern. Hey, the Batman movies were good for the most part right? Having Christopher Nolan involved is a great idea, right? Well, not if you want your universe to do anything other than implode.

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Dark Knight Rises

There’s no doubt that Batman has had a profound effect on the life of Christopher Nolan. The writer/director has lived and breathed the character cinematically for the better part of a decade, the resulting movies have made him one of the most revered popular filmmakers in the world, and their success has helped him craft large-scale creative stories outside of Gotham. So how do you say goodbye to a figure you know you’ll never see again? A colleague of sorts that you won’t see around the office anymore? Damned eloquently is the answer. Nolan wrote the foreword to “The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy,” and it reads a bit like a farewell letter. An incredibly touching, fitting farewell letter.

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Culture Warrior

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises (and other Christopher Nolan films). Christopher Nolan is the first director to make more than two Batman films. In the past, a second Batman film has provided a space for filmmakers to explore their excesses. In the case of Batman Returns, Tim Burton was able to further develop a vision of Gotham as an elaborate fairy tale. Batman & Robin was Joel Schumacher’s venue for exploring Batman as full-blown camp. For Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight manifested a mammoth vision of the summer superhero blockbuster by way of Jules Dassin and Michael Mann, where the Gotham setting gave way to an intricate, sprawling matrix of a metropolis that contains an eternal struggle between order, chaos, and every gray gradation in between. Until Nolan released The Dark Knight Rises, however, a Batman story reaching a third and final act was without precedent in the hero’s manifestations within the moving image. Not only has no previous director articulated a vision of the Caped Crusader in three parts, but no film, serial, or television show has attempted to bring a definitive end to their particular version of the superhero’s arc. The Batman of the moving image is one that largely exists in perpetuity. That Nolan has attempted a completist, closed vision of the Batman universe is relatively anomalous. Despite The Dark Knight Rises’s virtues and shortcomings (and the film has both of these in spades), perhaps the major reason for the film’s comparably […]

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Bane in Dark Knight Rises

Was there any ever doubt that The Dark Knight Rises was going to be one of the most talked about and praised films of the summer? Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy had seemingly secured positive reviews before the release date was here thanks to some zealous fans and people who can’t keep their bat-boners of expectation tucked into their utility belts of rationality. For The Dark Knight Rises to get a truly negative review it would have had to fail massively as both Batman and Nolan have earned a bit of leeway in the judgement department. Now that the film is screening in front of millions, the general consensus seems to be – it’s good! And then we hushedly whisper “but not great.” I enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises overall, but if you’re looking for a list of everything that was awesome, look elsewhere. For I come not to praise The Dark Knight Rises, but to bury it. (Yes, that’s Shakespeare in reverse.)

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published: 12.23.2014
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