Catwoman

Spider-Man 2

Believe it or not kids, there was once a time when Amanda Seyfried and Rachel McAdams were largely unknown actresses with second billing to Lindsay Lohan, who was considered the most promising star of her generation, when Tom Cruise could star in a movie without Scientology and Oprahgate entering the discussion and when an M. Night Shyamalan film was something to look forward to. If I said that 2004 was the most important summer in filmdom I’d be biased, because that was the first time I started to treat the critical viewing of films as a serious pursuit, so if I said that the films that came out that summer — Anchorman, Shrek 2, and Mean Girls — were like nothing I’d ever seen before, that’s accurate in a way, as I was paying attention to films in a way I hadn’t before. Still, 2004 was an unforgettable summer (if you don’t count the forgettable films like Catwoman and White Chicks). Here were the highlights:

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Catwoman Movie

With Marvel yet to announce a female-lead superhero movie and Warner Bros opting to introduce Wonder Woman as part of the ensemble in Batman v Superman: Rumble In the Courtroom, the absence of a female superhero movie is becoming more glaring. It’s not that there haven’t been attempts in the past. Indeed, Supergirl got a feature film before every other hero but Superman (unless you want to count the Batman film based on the Adam West TV series.) However even if you completely discount “team” superhero films like X-Men and Fantastic Four, the gender ratio is seriously imbalanced. Even She-Hulk isn’t safe. This is not going to be another “Why Isn’t There a Wonder Woman Movie Yet?” post. As the author of “The Biggest Challenges Facing a Wonder Woman Movie” I fully understand that’s a tough nut to crack. Similarly, just last month, I addressed the reasonable justifications for Marvel not launching a Black Widow solo film… yet. Having said that, I want to attack the school of thought that says audiences won’t embrace female superhero movies. There have been three major attempts to bring female comic book superheroes to the big screen: Supergirl, Catwoman and Elektra. (Some lesser examples include Tank Girl and Barb Wire, as well as Aeon Flux, but for now I’m going to stick to the big three.) Supergirl grossed a mere $14m at the domestic box office. Catwoman took in $82m worldwide on a $100m budget and Elektra earned only $56m worldwide on a $43m […]

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Matt Damon

What is Casting Couch? It’s not so much a couch as it is a list, a list of recent castings. And it seems to be talking a lot about World War II today. George Clooney and Matt Damon must have decided that they both look super handsome when they’re standing next to each other, because not only have they already worked together on the Oceans movies and Syriana, but now Deadline is reporting that Clooney has decided that he’s going to cast Damon in his next project as a director, The Monuments Men. This is that one about the museum curators who try to save as many artifacts and works of art as possible during the Nazis’ slash and burn campaign that took place during the dying days of World War II. If Damon’s negotiations go well and he signs up, he’ll be joining a cast that already includes Clooney himself, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban—which is enough big name actors that they should probably just cash in and rename this thing Oceans Monuments Men.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the next big thing, the opening night every night, the closing ceremony before the event even starts. It’s also a contender in the 100-meter dash. We begin this evening with a great new image from Rian Johnson’s Looper featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his next breakout role. I say next because this guy seems to be on a hot streak of break-out roles. How many breakout roles can one have, anyway?

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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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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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Last week, the utterly shocking news broke that not only was Warner Bros. pursuing a Justice League movie, but it also was in no way at all ever influenced by the unbridled financial success of Marvel’s The Avengers. We can all believe that, can’t we? After all, we read it on the internet. With Man of Steel coming out next year and a no-brainer Batman reboot coming now that Christopher Nolan’s movies are wrapping up this summer, this is an opportunity for Warner Bros. and DC to set a new stage. Plus, with adaptations of The Flash and Lobo, and the potential for a Green Lantern reboot, Warner Bros. and DC have things laid out for them to work out very similar to the pre-Avengers line of films. But this is Hollywood, and so many things can go potentially wrong with a project like this. Here are seven ways Warner Bros. can avoid a potential disaster as they develop this film series.

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Hedy Lamarr was a darkly beautiful, iconic star of the 30s and 40s, probably best known for her starring role in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah. She is also, apparently, a great inspiration for Anne Hathaway as she crafted her Catwoman/Selina Kyle character for Chris Nolan’s forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises. “I know this sounds odd, but her breathing is extraordinary,” Hathaway told the LA Times. “She takes these long, deep, languid breaths and exhales slowly. There’s a shot of her in Ecstasy exhaling a cigarette and I took probably five breaths during her one exhale. So I started working on my breathing a lot.” Apparently nothing about Lammarr shockingly going topless for the movie back in 1933 made its way into Catwoman. Hathaway talks more about breathing and delves a bit more into the challenges in the must-read piece from Geoff Boucher, but beware of a mild spoiler for one of the scenes. The most reassuring part of the talk? That the costume is more functional than fantasy. Once again, Nolan seems to be looking out for logic, even in a world that defies it. This is more great information about one of, if not the most, anticipated movies of 2012.

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It’s been quite a while since it was announced that saucy young actress Juno Temple would be appearing in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming and omnipresent The Dark Knight Rises. But other than the fact that she would be playing a “street smart Gotham girl”, nobody has been able to dig up the specifics of exactly who her character is, and if she would be somebody who has already appeared in the Batman mythos. Of course, when absolutely anything about a highly anticipated comic book movie is left unclear, speculation often runs rampant. Would she be the “The Dark Knight Returns” version of Robin, Carrie Kelly? Would she be playing the youthful psychologist turned clown-faced wacko, Harley Quinn? It turns out, no. Total Film seems to think they have a scoop on the role Temple is filling, and it’s that of sometime Catwoman sidekick Holly Robinson.

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A pretty interesting photo (which gets bigger if you click it) hit the Internet late tonight. It’s a deleted scene from TRON: Legacy, giving us a glimpse of Anne Hathaway playing a small role as a program named Catturra. Okay, that’s a lie. It’s the first official look at Anne Hathaway dressed up as Catwoman for The Dark Knight Rises. As you can see, she’s wearing form-fitting leather from head to toe, she’s got a pair of high tech looking goggles on (which seem to be connected to something via Bluetooth, I hope she doesn’t go into movies wearing those), and her hair is pulled back into a ponytail. That looks like a pretty decent getup for a cat burglar to me. Oh yeah, and seeing as that isn’t actually a light cycle she’s riding, I guess we can only come to one conclusion… she’s stealing Batman’s motorcycle! If I know Batman, he’s not going to take very kindly to that. Most likely he’s going to do whatever it takes to hunt her down, find his motorcycle, and engage in some sexually tense banter with her until she gives it back. And she will give it back. He’s the Goddamn Batman. The picture comes from the film’s official site, with a special nod to /Film for being the first one I saw to discover it.

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My guess is Zack Snyder is a pretty kinky dude. 300 and Watchmen were dripping with over-the-top sexuality and you know somewhere on the cutting room floor of Legend of the Guardians is a steamy owl mating scene, but it wasn’t until the trailer for Sucker Punch collectively melted our brains with sensory overload that we realized Snyder was into some crazy, whacked out stuff. School girls, burlesque dancing, samurai Swords, copious amounts of leather — was this a Hollywood blockbuster or a feature-length Suicide Girls video? Few people have seen the finished film, but if anything is to be assumed, it’s that Snyder made the movie he wanted to make — and that’s cool. That abashed commitment to personal taste makes Sucker Punch unique…and, perhaps, borderline fetishistic. Here are seven other films that we imagine were crafted with that same burning, unconventional passion:

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The Dark Knight was the first sequel Christopher Nolan ever directed. The Dark Knight Rises will be his first threequel, and there’s something special about his bullet-proof nature. Variety has confirmed the long-believed rumor that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would play Alberto Falcone – the Fredo of the Gotham mob family. He’s a villain to be sure, and one of the best because he’s twisted and weak, an outcast from his own kin in many ways. So it’s another villain added to the pile. Catwoman, Talia Al’Ghul, Bane, and the League of Shadows form the bad guy sundae, and Falcone is the shriveled up cherry on top. Even so, there have been no editorials calling Nolan and company out for their newfound lust for high profile baddies. If Batman was wearing red and blue spandex with a spider logo on the front, this news would cause outrage. It would hit too close to home. So why does Nolan get a pass just four years after Spider-Man 3 vomited out bad guys all over the screen? There are at least three big reasons.

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Hopefully the headline is enough of a spoiler warning (and enough for you to go get your grain of salt), but some new rumors for The Dark Knight Rises have…you know…risen, and they aren’t the kind that see Eddie Murphy playing Crazy Quilt. Sorry about that. Try to forget the image that just popped into your head. Instead of broadcasting this on the home page, go ahead and skip ahead of the jump if you want to know some possible details about what characters will be doing what (could it be more vague?). If not, stay golden, Pony Boy, and avoid this post like the spoilery plague.

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With the casting announcement of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle and Tom Hardy as Bane, the speculation begins on how these two pieces of the Batman universe will come together to create the puzzle that Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan have brewing in their minds. It’s a puzzle now confined to paper, but it’s a puzzle that demands solving nonetheless. The way to solve it? Pure speculation. The intriguing element to the casting has nothing to do with the actors or the fact that the characters have shown up in previous Batman movies. It has to do with the comic book history of Catwoman and Bane – and the minimal interaction they’ve had over the years. Catwoman is a classic villain, created in 1940. Bane is a modern creation born in 1993. So which comic book storylines will the Nolans draw from to bring them together?

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The speculation is over. Eddie Murphy is officially out of the running to play Catwoman for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises because the role has gone to Anne Hathaway (who can be seen looking cat-like to the right). Joining her in the casting news is Tom Hardy (who has long been known to be involved in the movie) who will play Bane. Catwoman is an uninspired choice, and even though Bane was featured in the worst Batman movie of all time, he’s the most interesting piece of the next puzzle. It’s a bit uninteresting to see Selina Kyle again (unless Nolan takes her back to her roots of prostitution and gangster clan heckling), but seeing Tom Hardy play perhaps the most intelligent and most physically formidable villain Batman has faced is definitely a concept worth the price of admission (to a movie everyone on the planet is already planning on seeing). Some odd choices, but by this point, shouldn’t we be placing our faith in Nolan? [Hero Complex]

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mwl-thegame

Wealthy-beyond-belief Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is gifted entrance into a strange game by his prodigal brother Conrad (Sean Penn). He goes in for extensive testing, and when he’s told he doesn’t qualify, the game begins in earnest, testing his wits, physical strength and the emotional scarring caused by witnessing his father’s suicide as a child.

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weddingdoctorpost

While Neil’s out of town, he wanted me to focus on some lighter news stories. I’ve decided to take that as “make fun of lighter news stories.”

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Angelina Jolie as Catwoman?

Apparently Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman in the original Batman TV series, told the New York Daily News that she has knowledge that Angelina Jolie has inquired about playing Catwoman in the not yet announced third film in Christopher Nolan’s series.

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Birds of Prey: The Complete Series

Birds of Prey has more in common with the superhero films of the 80s and 90s than those of the new millennium.

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Ten Superhero Movie Mistakes

The biggest superhero mistakes that Hollywood seems to finally be avoiding this Summer. Don’t worry – we mention the rubber nipples.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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