Tag: Christopher Nolan
Ya know, a girl can get exhausted trying to keep track of all the news and rumors going around about the future of The Justice League movie. You figure, back in 2007, when Warner Bros. was making plans for a Justice League movie – only to scrap it in the end - has to be one of the biggest regrets or missed opportunities felt by the company in a long time. It could’ve worked. It was only a year after the cancellation of Justice League: Unlimited, which would have kept the characters fresh in the minds of its former audience. Even if their plans for the movie were a response to Marvel’s announcement to build a franchise of movies leading to The Avengers, which was itself a response to Batman Begins, Warner Bros. definitely had less work to do to create a successful movie. But somewhere along the way everything fell apart and then the Marvel machine of movies took over. Warner Bros. only saving grace was Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, which came to an end last year at the same time as The Avengers. And while The Dark Knight Rises was the final film in The Dark Knight trilogy, The Avengers was merely a jumping off point for more Marvel movies and franchises.
The problem here is that Warner Bros. either had no foresight into the future of superheroes or they failed to understand the appeal of a superhero team-up movie. It’s not like they weren’t trying to branch off with other franchises. Unfortunately, Superman Returns (2006) was too much of a love letter to the Donner films, and a mess of a story, to appeal to audiences and Green Lantern (2011) was…not good. The only DC property making any money was Christopher Nolan’s Batman. So it certainly wasn’t a surprise that, with the announcement of a Superman reboot, Nolan would remain attached as a producer and co-writer with David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder directing. It was a way for Warner Bros. to hopefully reinvigorate Superman by cashing in on Nolan’s well-earned respect and admiration from movie audiences and comic book fans alike. Even Snyder still had some clout leftover despite Sucker Punch. With their styles and imaginations combined, Man of Steel (2013) was supposed to be the springboard from which other DC properties would follow even if Nolan was stepping away from superheroes after this film.
All well and good, especially if you’re planning to build a universe occupied by other heroes. But then a couple of things happened. One was The Avengers. No one can deny that the entire reason The Justice League movie was pushed to the forefront was due to the box office breaking success of The Avengers. Within days of The Avengers passing the billion dollar mark, Warner Bros. wanted a Justice League movie yesterday. And, for a while, it seemed like things were moving along quickly. A script was nearly completed and the search for a director and cast was underway. Time passed and very little information was available except for a possible and probably ill-timed release date of 2015, around the same time as The Avengers sequel, an unconfirmed hero roster, and the consistent lack of a director attached to the project. Compare this to the announcement of Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII, and IX where it seemed like every director in Hollywood was clamoring to be a part of the project. The second thing that happened? The underwhelming performance of Gangster Squad at the box office – a movie written by Will Beall, the writer of the completed Justice League script. Are you surprised that they took another look at his script and tossed it out? If your plan is to go from Superman to the Justice League, then you’d better be sure Justice League is a solid film.
Which leads us to the latest round of rumors. Apparently, Nolan might not be entirely out of the superhero game as several websites are reporting that Nolan may be staying on as the “Godfather” of DC properties, overseeing the shared universe that will begin with Man of Steel. It wouldn’t be an entirely bad decision on the part of Warner Bros. In fact, it’s probably their best option considering how much audiences associate Nolan with Batman and now Superman. Keeping him on board would ensure a consistent tone throughout the DC properties in the same way that the Marvel movies display. This is an entirely unconfirmed rumor, by the way, but that doesn’t stop the internet from speculating, leading many to jump to the conclusion that Nolan’s continued involvement in the DC Universe would almost certainly mean Christian Bale’s return as Batman. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility since Bale has gone on record saying he’d only come back as Batman if Nolan was involved, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the whole thing sounds like a bad idea.
Now, before some of you start hurling insults and rotten veggies at me, hear me out. Christopher Nolan’s a guy with a lot of big ideas that shouldn’t be confined entirely to superhero movies. If he stays on as a producer and a consultant, that’s one thing. That still gives him the ability to do the projects he wants to do while probably pulling Warner Bros. and DC out of the fire. But there’s a difference between Christopher Nolan and Kevin Feige. Kevin Feige is a producer. That’s his job. Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker and we’ve seen what he can do with both adapted and original material. This is not a man who should just be doing comic book movies. And if Bale were to somehow come back and play Bruce Wayne/Batman, where does that leave The Dark Knight Trilogy? That was a complete story, Nolan’s complete story. To bring Bruce back, again, defeats the purpose of the three films, especially after he’s passed the torch on to John Blake and I honestly can’t see Blake as Batman opposite Henry Cavill as Superman. The theory going around is Superman would find Bruce at the end of Man of Steel and convince him to come out of retirement, but again, you’d have to address the fact that Blake was given the keys to the cave, so he’s either filling the shoes of Batman or he’s patrolling the rooftops of Gotham as Nightwing. And if he’s Batman, wouldn’t that make things a little awkward when Bruce comes back for the cape and cowl? Things might get a little uncomfortable in the bat-cave is all I’m sayin’.
Again, this is all rumor and speculation at this point. But if Warner Bros. and DC want to build multiple franchises, they’d better get their act together soon because Marvel isn’t slowing down and they’re already two steps ahead.
“We do not comment on rumour and speculation” is a phrase we hear oh-so-often these days. Well, not here at Word of the Nerd!
When HitFix.com reported earlier today that Joseph Gordon-Levitt “absolutely will be appearing in Justice League as the new Batman” and will be making a cameo appearance in the upcoming Man of Steel, my fellow nerds and I were immediately rife with opinions.
Obviously, after the end of The Dark Knight Rises, Gordon-Levitt would be a no-brainer to star in the next Batman movie. However, Christopher Nolan said he wouldn’t direct another Batman movie, and recent reports claim that the next actor to play the Caped Crusader would debut in the upcoming Justice League movie, so the future of Robin John Blake seemed uncertain.
But now, that future seems a shade brighter. Thanks to director Zack Snyder, the potential for Man of Steel to become part of a bigger DC movie universe has never been higher.
It would seem that Warner Bros. is looking to follow Marvel Studios’ example of individual superhero films building to a team-up blockbuster. After the mind-boggling success of The Avengers, we certainly wouldn’t blame them for trying.
So the casting news can only be a good thing, right? Well, not quite. The idea of a Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake starring alongside Henry Cavill‘s Superman hasn’t been met with entirely positive feedback.
One of our Comics division managers, Hilton Collins, is big fan of Gordon-Levitt’s skill on screen but is not as keen on the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight joining forces if the man under the cowl isn’t Bruce Wayne. He’s also hoping for Blake to somehow end up being Dick Grayson, which seems very unlikely.
Samantha Cross, a writer for both our Entertainment and Comics divisions, would rather see John Blake become Nightwing (like the aforementioned Grayson) than Batman. She believes that Nolan’s stance against continuing his involvement in the franchise (apart from his producer role on Man of Steel), means that Warner Bros probably won’t want to continue his story into their next group of films. Sam also made a very interesting point about the confusion Gordon-Levitt’s casting may cause. Anyone who went in to the Justice League movie without seeing The Dark Knight trilogy beforehand would be instantly baffled as to why John Blake is Batman instead of Bruce Wayne. On the other hand, if John Blake simply changes his name to Bruce Wayne for the sake of continuing his legacy, it would also lead to much confusion with the audience.
My fellow British Correspondent, Jay Martin, agreed with Sam, stating that he’d love to see Gordon-Levitt continue Blake’s story as Nightwing and that it would make more sense to cast a new actor to take up the mantle of the World’s Greatest Detective in Justice League (much like Marvel did to great success with The Hulk) so that the momentum could carry over to the next Batman film.
Co-founder and Chief Creative Director, Jason Padua (JP to us lowly mortals) thinks it would be very difficult to maintain a balance between establishing Gordon-Levitt as Batman in his own right and acknowledging the history behind the name from Nolan’s previous films. If DC/Warner wish to create a larger universe, they would need to start fresh. Interestingly, he would also prefer to see The Dark Knight Rises’ Robin become Nightwing as opposed to the next Caped Crusader.
Personally, I’m very receptive to the idea. To me, The Dark Knight Rises was all about Christian Bale passing the torch (or in that case, the Batcave) to Gordon-Levitt. I wasn’t a big fan of that movie and Gordon-Levitt was my favourite part. In my opinion, if John Blake doesn’t become Batman (or at the very least, Nightwing) the impact of the ending of Nolan’s Batman trilogy is entirely negated. After being unimpressed throughout the majority of the film, the final scene had me literally cheering out loud in the cinema. I’m a big fan of the Batman Beyond series and I can definitely imagine Blake taking Terry McGinnis‘ stance as Bruce Wayne’s successor. Gordon-Levitt certainly seems to have the acting and physical prowess to do the Dark Knight justice like his predecessor did, so why not continue Christopher Nolan’s final awe-inspiring shot?
Less exciting, but also very much worthy of note, is that Hollywood.com has reached out to Gordon-Levitt’s reps, and they have refuted the rumours entirely. However, considering the fact that agents and representatives are very fond of not commenting on rumours and speculation, that statement may not hold as much weight as it seems.
We always want to hear what our fellow nerds think!
When I started this column, I planned on trying to avoid a few certain clichés. Clichés like the one I’ve had to hear again and again over the past few weeks, eroding away at my previous rule and jeopardizing my no cliché argument policy. Yet, after a few shots of Drambuie, I’ve given in and will accept the challenge of tackling the age old cliché comic hero debate of who really is the king of DC comics…Batman or Superman?
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a very big Superman fan, personally he just always seemed kind of lame to me. Felt like a mild Captain Marvel rip-off when I first saw him, plus the whole being an alien thing never settled well with me. Let’s face the facts; Superman is only super because he’s an alien from Krypton. I’m sure on Krypton he would’ve been another run of the mill, last picked in dodge ball, regular Joe type of kid, however fate chose a different role for Mr. Kal-El, thus we all know him as Superman; or as I refer to him as the alien who doesn’t need a green card to become a citizen.
Batman aka Bruce Wayne, shared a rather similar course of fate towards heroism. Bruce Wayne wasn’t the last of his kind, but was the last of his family. However, he was unfortunately old enough to understand the brutality of his parents’ murder, which led to his course of action to become the Batman.
Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the Batman was a rather intrepid journey. He willed his way into becoming a crime fighter. Sure, having inherited billions upon billions doesn’t hurt either, but still he forced and trained himself to become a lean, mean, crime-fighting machine and using his inheritance for high-tech gadgets that helped him become, ‘The World’s Greatest Detective.’ Bruce Wayne starts off using Batman as an alter-ego, but as he grows older it is Bruce Wayne who begins to become the alter-ego as he feels more and more compelled to a call of action. After all, Batman never stops; even after a battle his attention to detail takes over. He’ll retreat to the Batcave and like a true workaholic will continue follow-up and perfect their craft. It is in that, intrepid, stubborn, tenacious spirit that one could say Batman has a killer-instinct of sorts all derived from his need to be Batman. That killer instinct, if you will, is what make Batman do anything within his means to finish the job by whatever means necessary. His need to revenge his parent’s death to unimaginable extents only fuels his spirit to spread justice.
On the other side of things, we have Superman; he adopts a human persona, Clark Kent, as his alter-ego. Clark Kent, is a rather unthreatening, typical reporter at the Daily Planet. The only positive Superman every harnessed from disguising himself as such a mundane character is meeting his eventual love, Lois Lane, a fellow Daily Planet reporter. However, over time Lois Lane learns Clark Kent is Superman and learns all too well the difficulties of dating an alien/super-hero. Using a human disguise, an intriguing take on things, but after all if he didn’t hide his identity majority of people would more than likely fear Superman than adore him.
Although, unlike Bruce Wayne who used revenge as a means of inspiration for crime fighting, Kal-El was drawn to Superman out of necessity. By necessity, by those around him, by his family, by Lois Lane, by Metropolis, the necessity that humans need a savior: a Superman. That same reasoning is also what makes Superman slightly indifferent to humans. He’s merely fighting evil because it is a job. It is not his true passion, after all these are not his people, he may love Lois Lane, yet that love is only a small piece of a cog for his reasoning to stay on Earth. Batman uses a Batcave as his superhero office, Superman has a Fortress of Solitude to reflect, repent, and remember who he is and why he, Kal-El, is working as Superman.
The only times Superman and Batman team up is with the Justice League. It is with the JL that these differences in how they treat heroism shines. Superman, being the strongest, is always the unanimous leader of the group, where as Batman is always a bit of an outsider. The two work together for a common goal, but many times collide over how to achieve that goal. Superman is always making a decision that’s best for the group and humanity as a whole; a very job-like decision-making process. Batman, however, sometimes makes those dangerous, calculated decisions that only put him (and only him) in danger, but are un-favored by the collective JL members. He does this because at the end of the day Batman is Bruce Wayne’s life and he’ll do whatever necessary within his own limits to achieve justice unlike Superman’s 9-5 approach.
It would be unfair of me not to include movies in this debate. Batman and Superman are arguably the two biggest names in the superhero business and Hollywood has successfully capitalized on their names. Clearly, Batman is the ‘hot topic’ currently with Christopher Nolan’s final piece of his trilogy ravaging box office records. In all reality, the reason Batman does so well in the realm of Hollywood is an abundance of villains. Batman has encountered so many bad-guys over the years he’s developed productive and interesting story-lines to be used in movies; case and point the lesser known Bane in the Dark Knight Rises. With Superman, the only marketable villain to fight against is Lex Luther, who is a more sinister mind then violent man, which up until recently such a villain had not normally succeeded in the movie industry.
It is with such a plethora of criminals that Batman has survived the movie industry over the years even with a number of different actors taking the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. However, not all of those movies have been good. The original with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson is a classic along with Nolan’s fantastic rendition of Batman. Outside of the original Batman film and Nolan’s trilogy, the rest of the Batman films have been lackluster. Whereas the Christopher Reeve Superman movies are every comic fan’s guilty pleasure. Perhaps it is the sad irony of Christopher Reeve playing Superman that keeps those four films dear to us fans, but none the less those movies deliver an entertaining punch with them.
In the end this is an argument I’ve tried to avoid because it can rage on and on until Batman and Superman fans are both blue in the face. Bruce Wayne is a selfish, billionaire playboy who doesn’t relate to anyone nor fall in love with compared to an average looking reporter like Clark Kent. Batman is a cold, tenacious S.O.B with an abundance of resources that make him a very dangerous opponent, but let’s face it, Superman is well, super. Super strength, speed, laser vision, basically indestructible the list goes on and on. If the two duke it out in hand-to-hand combat surely Superman would vaporize Batman.
However, there’s always a deafening fact I can never quite mute when this debate is in motion. In JLA: Tower of Babel Batman’s plan (even though he didn’t perform it himself) effectively neutralized, and could’ve killed Superman. If it wasn’t for Batman who came to Superman’s rescue things may have proved different. That being said, when’s the last time we saw Superman get the better of the Dark Knight? It is in the end that killer instinct I mentioned before, that passion for justice, that tenacity Batman has that breaks through and will always be the reasoning he can beat Superman. Despite being super, Ka-El still takes a half-hearted, 9-5, approach to his work as a superhero. Quite frankly, when going up against a true superhero that just doesn’t cut it. Cheers.
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For some unknown reason, the theater I saw The Dark Knight Rises in last night was not graced with the Man of Steel teaser trailer. But now thanks to Yahoo! Movies, the trailer is now online. Enjoy!!!!
Here is an alternate version of the trailer. This version features a different voice over by Jor-El, played by Russell Crowe.
After The Dark Knight hit theatres in 2008, it wasn’t hard to believe that there would be a third film in Nolan’s Batman franchise. What was hard to believe was that it could even come close to touching what The Dark Knight had achieved. The brilliant story, the stunning visuals, and of course the performances that will never be forgotten, all were key parts to making The Dark Knight a huge success. When the announcement came that there would be a third film, The Dark Knight Rises, the fans were unsure of what to expect. Would this film be as good as The Dark Knight or Batman Begins? Could Christopher Nolan and Co. even come close to the success of the second film? Well I am here to tell you that the answer to those questions is a big, massive: YES!
Don’t worry, this review will be spoiler free. Anything I say in this review that pertains to the story will be what you already know from having read the synopsis or watched the myriad of trailers on the web right now. I am just going to tell you what worked, what didn’t work (which was pretty much nothing), and why this film is a MUST see.
The story of The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. Batman has been declared an outlaw (although, technically, he was always an outlaw), and has disappeared from Gotham. The city has galvanized itself after the death of Harvey Dent and have put a stop to organized crime. But when the menacing brute known as Bane comes to Gotham City, Bruce Wayne must, once again, don the cowl. In a fight for Gotham City’s freedom from this new terrorist threat, he will need to once again become the symbol of hope for Gotham’s Citizens. But how will he overcome a threat as mentally and physically strong as himself, while dealing with the Gotham City Police Department and a seductive cat burglar? Well you will just have to watch and see for yourself.
First off, lets start off with the story. Christopher Nolan, Johnathan Nolan, and David S. Goyer, have out done themselves. After watching The Dark Knight, which is one of my favorite movies of all time, it was hard to believe that they could write something as compelling, deep, and incredibly rich as their second movie. But if you really think about it, Batman Begins was an incredible story and I thought it would be hard to top that. But The Dark Knight brought on an even deeper, more intricate story, so it is not surprising that the story of The Dark Knight Rises is incredible as well. It wraps up the series in such a succinctly sublime manner that it is hard to think that this wasn’t originally written as a trilogy. Threads from both previous movies make their way into this film. The themes of corruption, fear, chaos, and, as always, good versus evil, are all very much present in this film. I am not going into too much detail as to how each one shapes this film, as I would need to give much more away than I want to. But it is safe to say that this film ties the story of Bruce Wayne up into the package every fan could possibly want and with a the presence of the previous films and a few nods to the comic books, it really doesn’t disappoint.
As for the acting, everyone is stop on in their roles. After watching Heath Ledger as the Joker, I knew that no matter who Christopher Nolan picked for the leading roles of The Dark Knight Rises, that I would trust his judgment. And you Anne Hathaway naysayers will rue the day that you spoke negatively about the actress. She is plays Selina Kyle/Catwoman better than many of her predecessors (about a billion times better than Halle Berry). She is the femme fatale that Catwoman should be, portraying a character that is not only smart, but sexy and incredibly tough. After watching this film you will no longer bash Anne Hathaway. As for Tom Hardy, who plays the incredibly frightening Bane, it is hard to imagine anyone else in that role. Heath Ledger’s Joker was scary for many reasons. He just exuded this chaotic nature that bordered on insanity that you were scared of the unpredictability and anarchistic nature of the character. Bane is frightening for different reasons. Not only is he physically dominating in every scene, but his facial expressions beyond the mask, are just intense. Tom Hardy had to act with his eyes, and you see the exact emotion he wishes to convey behind his menacing looks. Of course, all of the other characters are incredibly performed once again. Michael Cain as Alfred again is the heart of the movie, stealing a few scenes away from Christian Bale. But that doesn’t mean that Christian Bale doesn’t perform the hell out of Bruce Wayne/Batman. He fully stepped up to the challenge of having to play a character that has really lost everything and really delivered on the emotional front. Of course, there are countless other actors in the film: Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Marion Cotillard, and they all do wonderfully in their respective roles, and I could go on for days why each of them played their roles so well, but I will let you experience the film and realize for yourself why they were so great.
As for the cinematography and visual affects, this film really kicks things up a notch. The last film had some amazing set pieces and incredible shots of various action scenes, but this film takes it to another level. The war to save Gotham is so well choreographed that you are literally at the edge of you seat for the last act of the film. Wally Pfister who has worked with Nolan on all of the Batman films, has proven with this film that he is one of the best cinematographers of this age. If you can, I do recommend spending the extra coin and seeing this film in IMAX and experiencing it the way that Pfister and Nolan intended. With over an hour of pure IMAX footage, it is a beautiful piece of film making and it is hard to think of seeing it in any other format. As for the visual affects and the action set pieces, this film is definitely on par with any other blockbuster of this year. While it may not have as many explosions or CGI animation, the major scenes have you on the edge of your seat and just when you get to the edge and are pulled back, it throws you right back to the edge again.
Now, all movies have flaws. You have to look at it from so many angles that it can be hard to let yourself get immersed in the story while keeping that critical eye (which is why I often see a movie like this on more than once occasion). But this film was so enjoyable it was hard to find anything that might be considered detracting or jarring. Except on thing. Bane’s voice. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds frightening and fits the character perfectly. But when the prologue was released before Mission Impossible; Ghost Protocol, there were many audience members that had a hard time hearing him and understanding his lines. It was then reported that Nolan went back and edited it in a way to help clear up the dialogue. For the most part you can understand him perfectly. Even in that said scene, the audio was much clearer than when I first experienced it a few months back. But there were a few times that it was still incredibly hard to pick up every word Tom Hardy was saying. Not enough to make me upset or angry, but enough for me to notice. I would say that 95% of the time you can understand him, but there were a few scenes were I had to pay close attention to the dialogue. But that would be my one and ONLY gripe with this film.
Overall The Dark Knight Rises is a perfect closing to Nolan’s Batman franchise. It surpasses every one of my expectations (and my expectations were VERY high indeed). Whether or not it will gross as much as The Dark Knight did in 2008, especially with the hype surrounding Heath Ledger’s death, is unknown. But I believe that once people start seeing this film and the word of mouth spreads, it could be within the top ten highest grossing movies of all time. And furthermore, it will definitely get the Best Picture and Best Director nomination at next years Academy Awards. Whether or not they win is an entirely different argument, and I will say that, If it doesn’t I will boycott the awards for the rest of my life. So get out there and see why I have such high praise for this film and comment below if you agree or disagree with anything I have written here today!
Oh, and if you’re wondering why I didn’t give it my usual ‘whatever star rating out of five’, it is because that this movie is so good that I couldn’t possibly rate it on a scale so small. You’ll understand when you see it.
NERD IT UP!!!
Anne is incredibly precise and articulate about the psychology of the character. She’s really built it from the ground up, it’s just a delight to watch her perform. … She’s an incredible character and we’re very excited to see her, and hopefully we’ll leave people wanting more.
Well, if that’s not ‘letting the cat out of the bag’ (sorry) then allow me to elaborate.
The above quote was taken from an interview that The Dark Knight Rises director, Christopher Nolan, gave to Access Hollywood regarding Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Catwoman in his latest Batman outing. And it seems that her performance impressed the superstar director so much that he would like to see her reprise the role in her own spinoff movie. But, as for Nolan himself, it appears he is done with the whole Batman universe for the foreseeable future, he went on to say…..
For me, Gotham and these characters, I’m done. I’ve told our story and I’m moving on … [but] I certainly think she deserves it, she’s incredible.
Which is a shame as I imagine at least some of the on screen magic Hathaway managed to create was due to his writing and direction. But, if this does come about, and that’s a big if, then whoever does pick up the reigns couldn’t make a movie as bad as Catwomen’s 2004 outing, staring Halle Berry, could they? It would be good to see a dark and brooding Catwomen story as the character has some interesting levels that could be explored, if done in the right way of course. Fingers crossed.
As a fan of comic book movies of all stripes and oftentimes dumb and mindless action films (such as The Expendables) I have long had a love/hate relationship with film critics who often forget to look at the movies they review through different filters. But for the most part, I’ve learned to simply tune most of them out and look for my reviews from other sources and enjoy what I want to enjoy despite what anyone else says. Seriously, I’m a fan of the Star Wars prequels.
That being said, this particular story about what has been going on over at Rotten Tomatoes over some critics who gave The Dark Knight Rises less than stellar reviews has made me more than angry. In fact, it has pissed me off. Despite still boasting an 86% “fresh” rating, the film carries at the moment 16 reviews from critics who rated the film as “rotten.” And after reading several of the reviews, it feels like it was for good reasons. It’s not that these reviewers “don’t get” the character of Batman or comic book movies in general, but instead offers actual criticism of the films, from Tom Hardy trying to deliver Bane’s lines through a face mask (seriously, who thought that was a good idea?) to Nolan’s apparently ham-handed attempts to speak about the recent Wall Street movements through the film.
Plain and simple, this movie had a lot to live up to. Batman Begins started a trend in recent superhero movies. The Dark Knight, released three years later, elevated the genre to dizzying heights (lessons of which Marvel has taken to heart with the latest releases of their IP’s films if The Amazing Spider-Man is any indicator). And because of the incredible success of that film, I fear that The Dark Knight Rises was doomed to some amount of failure and disappointment before it even began. Speaking personally, I haven’t been able to get excited about the movie, and I’m not sure how much of that is coming off of the acclaim and accolades that The Dark Knight garnered.
However, this hasn’t stopped numerous “fans” of the movies from lambasting these critics, using everything from ugly words to death threats against these critics on Rotten Tomatoes’ site. It has gotten to the point where moderating these comments becoming so difficult that the simpler solution became simply turning off comments on the movie altogether. And while the really offensive comments have been removed, the remaining ones really go to show you how bad fans can get and how quickly the label of “fan” can quickly change to the label of “fanboy.” I won’t do them the service of posting any of them over here, but you can still go and read them over on Rotten Tomatoes.
Matt Atchity, editor-in-chief of the site has taken the lesson of what has happened here to heart and they are looking to the future, as well as talking about overhauling their site’s comment engine.
“There are a lot of options on the table. We may do away with comments completely or get to a place where comments are only activated after a movie opens.”
Other options apparently include linking the site with Facebook to remove an overwhelming number of anonymous posts. And any of these moves wouldn’t be unheard of. Other aggregating sites already have some of these policies in place to cut back on “ too much hate based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn’t even seen.”
Whatever they do, expect to see a change made soon, as the next film they are worried about having this kind of reaction is part one of Peter Jackson’s telling of The Hobbit coming out this December.
In the meantime, fans of Batman (or any popular IP for that matter), do the rest of us that you’re representing on the internet a favor and check your egos at the door when you encounter these situations. You aren’t doing anyone any favors and it gives all of us a bad name when this is the kind of press people see.
As for which camp of critics has the right of it, we’ll just have to wait for Friday to come so the rest of us can see what they’ve seen.
Happy Wednesday Nerdites! As many of you know tomorrow night marks the beginning of the end for Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, or at least let’s hope it does. The Dark Knight Rises has been a constant point of conversation for years at this point, and to be honest I am quite happy just to see it all come to an end. Do not get me wrong, that is not to say that I do not love the series, I will be at the midnight showing tomorrow myself, I just am not as fanatical about it as others.
At least part of my diminished enthusiasm stems from the fact I still do not think Nolan and Bale’s Batman is anywhere near the best. Oh it certainly can make a claim as the best film version of the character, but even that is debatable. I can name a number of Batman writers over the years that have done better things with the character, but that is like comparing apples to oranges.
A comparison we can make is that to the DC animated films and TV shows. Batman in particular has been the most well represented in the animated universe and it is hard to compete with the Batman: TAS version of the character. Certainly no one can argue that Kevin Conroy’s Batman voice is infinitely better than Christian Bale’s attempt at a sore throat. That is why when I saw this TDKR trailer inspired by Hub‘s BTAS marathon I almost started squealing like the Geico Pig. To highlight Friday’s ten episode marathon, Hub cut pieces of BTAS into a trailer that closely resembles the original TDKR trailer. It is phenomenally done, and it seems like they even pulled in voice talent to make the dialogue match.
This is some pretty effective marketing as well. if I still had conventional television I might consider staying home Friday just to watch, but alas I will miss it. For those of you still recovering from the midnight showing of TDKR, the marathon will begin 4 pm eastern and 1 pm pacific. Now enjoy the wonderful trailer and let us know what you think in the comments below! Oh and did I mention that Hub also has ALF…. just saying.
It seems nowadays you can’t go five minutes without being slapped in the face by the latest comic to film adaptation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and roses. For example Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, what a steamy pile of plop! Ghost rider is such a cool premise that you would think it almost impossible to make a bad film from it. But they managed it, and then some. But anyway. Thankfully, Hollywood has significantly stepped up their game and succeeded in bringing the comic book movie to the fore front of both the movie industry and the hearts of fans.
So, with Batman The Dark Knight Rises looking to be the biggest film of the year you would think it was a sure thing come Oscar season. Correct?
I’m not saying this as a cast member. I’m saying this as a member of the Academy. So far, it’s the best film I’ve seen all year. He’s transcended the genre now. I think he’s shown that a comic-book movie can actually be epic, extraordinary cinema.
Well, Anne Hathaway (Catwomen) certainly seems to think so. And she is not alone. The acting talent on show for the latest, and final, outing of the Dark Knight have had their fair share of success in past years with the academy:
Anne Hathaway – Academy award nominee for best actress as Kym in Rachel Getting Married, 2010.
Christian Bale – Won best actor award in 2011 for his role in The Fighter.
Michael Caine – Nominated six times and winning two Academy awards for best supporting actor and is one of the only two actors to be nominated in every decade since the 1960s.
Morgan Freeman – Nominated five times and won best supporting actor in 2005.
Marion Cotillard – Best Actress in the 2007 movie La Vie en rose playing musician Édith Piaf.
Gary Oldman – Nominated in 2012 for best lead actor in Tinker, Sailor, Solider, Spy.
Very impressive to say the least. And with that amount of Academy fire power all behind the same movie it would appear a nomination at least would be a sure thing. But the last of Nolan’s Batman movies, The Dark Knight, was snubbed when the Oscars came round. Although a funny thing happened after the movie was denied it nomination, the rules changed.
The Academy’s been incredibly good to me and my films, and it would be churlish of me to complain. Look, the idea, the fact that people have talked about The Dark Knight as being a key reason why the Academy changed their rules and expanded the field is just a huge honour for the film, in a weird way.
These where Christopher Nolan’s thoughts on a change of rules that happened straight after the movie was overlooked, meaning that up to ten movies could be nominated in the best picture category, as opposed to the five previous. So it would appear that there are no hard feelings between Nolan and the Academy, as he goes on to say:
Really, we’ve been honoured by the Academy in more kinds of different ways, and very importantly to me, Heath Ledger winning the best supporting-actor Oscar. These are things that mean a lot to me.
Nolan does have some Oscar history though, so it’s not as if they don’t know he exists. He was nominated for the screenplays of Inception and Memento and for best-picture as a producer on Inception. So the nominations are there, but surely he would like that Best Director gong?
That would be terrific, but at the end of the day, they owe Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock a lot more than me, you know what I mean? It’s kind of like, get in line.
Yes, of course he would, but he is seemingly remaining ever the modest gentleman about the whole affair. He certainly has the support of his cast:
He takes it seriously and he treats the characters like human beings, not as caricatures, and he treats the world as a real place. He walks that line of delivering you a spectacle but not talking down to you.
High praise indeed, and he should know. This complement comes from Gordon-Levitt, working for the second time with Nolan, the first being Inception, so you would think he would have a good idea about how the guy works. Either that or good old Gordon isn’t stupid and enjoys being in massive films!
Levitt has come a long way from Third Rock from the Sun to play Officer John Blake (Robin???) in The Dark Knight Rises. Blake seems to be looking for the Batman in order to understand the death of his father. Observe:
So, as excitement builds over this hotly anticipated movie, released 20th July 2012, only time will tell if they can nail down any of those Oscars. Fingers crossed!
Some controversy has arisen around a post on the official IMAX page for the latest Superman movie, Man of Steel. The announcement stated that the highly anticipated Zack Snyder directed project would be released in both 3D and IMAX, which is interesting because it was not filmed using IMAX cameras and would therefore require a post-production conversion.
The IMAX release of Man of Steel will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
However, this has been nullified by IMAX representatives stating that it was an inputting error and thus, the post was removed.
More interestingly, alongside the IMAX conversion update, was this brand new synopsis for the film:
In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) is a young twenty-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond his imagination. Transported years ago to Earth from Krypton, a highly advanced, distant planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question ‘Why am I here?’ Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark discovers having extraordinary abilities means making difficult decisions. When the world is in dire need of stability, an even greater threat emerges. Clark must become a Man of Steel, to protect the people he loves and shine as the world’s beacon of hope – Superman.
Sure, it’s a tad vague but it certainly gives us more information than we had previously (which was next to none!). It reads very much like the original Christopher Reeve Superman. There’s also definitely a hint of two of Kal-El’s most recent origins tales; Mark Waid & Leinil Yu‘s Superman: Birthright and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank‘s Superman: Secret Origin. We’re sure to get more details confirmed at this week’s San Diego Comic-Con so stay tuned for the latest updates.
So, what do we think nerds? Do these new details get you more or less excited for Man of Steel? We’re sure to get more details confirmed at this week’s San Diego Comic-Con, what do you think they could be?
Sound off in the comments below or contact us on Twitter or Facebook
It’s sad day in the DC Universe, my fellow nerds.
According to CinemaBlend, Christopher Nolan, the famed director of sophisticated science fiction blockbusters like Batman Begins, Inception, The Prestige, and the sure-to-make-bazillions The Dark Knight Rises, told the Associated Press that he won’t be involved in Justice League.
Specifically, he said…
Oh heavens no, not in a million years, I won’t be doing a Justice League film. I mean, have you seen any of my movies? They’re so good, they approach a cinematic masterpiece level that you don’t typically find in science fiction films, much less superhero science fiction films. Yes, I’ve done the Batman films, but lookie here…
THOSE films were about a tragic character whose adventures I used to explore big philosophical and topical issues like crime, poverty, and classism. Batman, as a disturbed man with a scarred past and a psychological need for vengeance and rage, is the perfect vehicle to do artful storytelling that transcends a film that’s simply about people in costumes hitting things with big action pieces and special effects…
Like Justice League would be. Yes, I know The Avengers is making tons of cash and pleasing critics, but honestly, could you see me, Christopher frickin’ NOLAN, of all people, directing a film full of little one-liners that’s two biggest emotional beats involved a bunch of people in silly outfits arguing on a floating ship and the death of a measly supporting character? Where’s the Shakespearian drama? Where’s the social commentary? Where’s the mothaf**ing Nolan touch?
Nowhere, dammit, which is why I wouldn’t sully my refined fingertips with such drivel. Hmph! And good day!
Well, ok, you got me. That’s not what he REALLY said, but you know that’s what he was thinking when he told The Associated Press that was done with Batman and wouldn’t do a Justice League adventure. See below for the exact quote (and I mean it this time):
We’re finished with all we’re doing with Batman. This is the end of our take on this character…I’ve got no plans to do anything more, and certainly, no involvement with any Justice League project.
So basically, Christopher Nolan, a director whose reputation with sci-fi audiences is arguably impeccable, won’t lend his cinematic genius to what could be the most important film DC’s got in development right now, the movie that fans will think of decades later when they think, “DC superhero movie.” In other words, Justice League is the movie that DC NEEDS to be good in order to stave off an embarrassing rep for being unable to make decent superhero movies that don’t star Batman. (Which, unfortunately, they’ve already earned thanks to Green Lantern tanking at the box office.).
Warner Bros., DC’s parent company, must maneuver the movie-making waters carefully now to find the right directing and producing team to lead Justice League’s development, or else.
DC’s cinematic luck with non-Batman-related movies hasn’t been great in the past five years or so. Superman Returns and Watchmen underwhelmed financially and critically, and Green Lantern was a failure. Meanwhile, most recent movies based on Marvel characters have been successful, like the aforementioned Avengers as well as Thor, Captain America, and the X-Men, Spider-Man, and Iron Man movies. Marvel has made so many superhero films that were at least decent that they could run multiple movie marathons on TV filled with them, and likely have at this point.
So the time for DC to bring its A-game is now. Sure, Nolan’s producing Man of Steel for next year, which stars Superman, but it looks like that may be the extent of his interest in doing more DC films.
Which sucks, really, because his continued involved with DC movies would likely guarantee that something like the Justice League would be done right in theater. Unless Nolan changes his mind (which he likely won’t), DC’s battle to find a director who’ll strengthen audience faith in its superheroic cinematic adventures will be a tough one.
Holy spoiler alert, Batman fans! Could it be true? Will Boy Wonder grace the silver screen in Christopher Nolan‘s conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises? While it seems unlikely that Nolan will allow the teenage sidekick, clad in medieval Robin Hood inspired acrobatic wear to sully the intensity and seriousness of his dark universe, evidence is mounting that a Robin-inspired character is, in fact, part of his master plan.
Rumors have been incessantly circulating around the internet concerning this great debate, so I’d like to present to you the evidence that I have culled together which has me leaning toward the belief that some Robin thread will be woven into Nolan’s dark tapestry. Let’s begin with Robin’s origin:
- He was born (on the first day of Spring) Richard John “Dick” Grayson
- Mom gave him the nickname “Robin” for a number of reasons, ie. birth date, flying work on the trapeze
- As a child Robin was an acrobat in an act called The Flying Graysons with his family in the Haley Circus
- His parents were killed in a fire in the circus at the hand of Tony Zucco, a mob boss
- Robin was an orphan
- Bruce Wayne took Dick Grayson on as a ward
- He became Batman’s sidekick after he learned Brice’s secret while they were both investigating his parent’s murder
These bullets of point are from the origin of Robin that we know (read more on the Dick Grayson Batman Wiki Page). I think to expect this formula from Christopher Nolan would be foolish, however, Nolan can not stray so far from the identifying features of Robin that he turns out to be completely unrecognizable. I think that would be unforgivable. So, for a moment, examine that list again and think about the characteristics you deem as true definers of Robin, at his core. As you are doing that, I’d like to present some other Robin facts from Robin’s comic book legacy that I believe are relevant to this conversation of speculation:
- At 17, Robin was shot by The Joker
- After being Batman’s sidekick, Robin became a solo crime-fighting act known as Nightwing
- Dick Grayson has taken on the Batman mantle after the death of Bruce Wayne
Obviously, I’m only scratching the surface of Robin’s lore, but, let’s pull up the evidence surrounding The Dark Knight Rises so far and see if I can get you to walk this spoilery tightrope with me.
John Blake is Begging To Step Up
Since the casting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt Robin fanatics have been foaming at the mouth, hoping beyond hope that when the details were settled, his name would be linked to an acrobatic “Dick Grayson.” Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Gordon-Levitt is cast as John Blake, a young sergeant in the Gotham Police Department. It would appear, on first sight, that Blake is not our man. That is, of course, if you delve no further.
A number of fans did not give up on their Boy Wonder, being spurred on by the continual portrayal of Gordon-Levitt in nearly every trailer released to date. John Blake must be more than he seems with that kind of screen time, right? I think so. Take a look at this picture from ComicBookMovie.com that gives a brief description of Blake as well as Batman’s assessment of him:
I think every fan who reads this must catch their breath when they first learn that John Blake is an orphan! Add to that fact that he is “committing himself to the ideal of justice,” and “he has become an asset to the city” and you almost expect to see him swinging from a trapeze.
The Chalk Bat
In The Dark Knight Rises trailer, a chalk bat is sketched on asphalt. While we don’t see who drew the bat in the trailer, Mark Hughes, a contributor to Forbes.com, believes it is John Blake. Whether it it actually John Blake who etched the mark or not, the close analysis of the bat offered up by Hughes is something to consider…
Here is the chalk bat:
Here is Nightwing’s emblem:
Whether John Blake sketched these chalk bats or not, one would be hard pressed to shake my belief in that sketch being a bird. I mean, with that small white mark at the top, it even has a beak! Coincidence? I’m thinking, no.
Nolan’s Comments About Blake
Earlier this week MovieLine.com did an examination of the 50 page production notes of The Dark Knight Rises. As part of their examination they shared some excerpts about the characters, including John Blake. While the whole thing is worth a read, I felt the comments from Nolan were worth sharing here:
Nolan comments, “Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne have become somewhat jaded, so we wanted to contrast that with a younger, more idealistic individual who, in a way, represents where they’ve come from. Joe really captured the strength and courage of a man who refuses to back down, regardless of the odds.”
This idea that Blake “represents where they’ve come from” definitely sounds to me like a character being groomed to take up the mantle from a jaded mentor. While one can argue that the mentor would be Commissioner Gordon, I think that’s exactly the red herring Nolan wants us to chase.
The Joker’s Origin Seals The Deal?
In reviewing The Dark Knight Manual, William Wharton of moviepilot.com stumbled upon a piece of evidence that ties this all up nicely. Although Christopher Nolan never gave us a clear idea of the Joker’s origin in the films, this companion book to the trilogy sheds light on a piece of his past that is sure to excite Boy Wonder’s fan club:
The Joker does not appear to have any connections to Gotham’s crime syndicates, though he knocked over a mob bank. One possible motive for this, which could also explain the clown motif, is the Haley Brothers Circus. The circus was recently in town for a two-month engagement and it was rumored their boss had connections to Sal Maroni. The Joker could be a former Haley Brothers employee with some kind of grudge against the mob
Can’t you just see Christopher Nolan building a new origin story based on these facts? Wharton’s enthusiasm for his find is palpable in his post, as he continues to put the pieces together:
Yes. The Haley Brothers Circus was in town just before the Dark Knight began? And the The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years later? That’s about enough time for a 18 year old Dick Grayson to grow up into a 26 year old Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
It’s definitely probable…
My Bonus Track
Perhaps this one will snap my tightrope and send me hurdling for the nets below, but I have a bonus track to offer up for consideration:The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack.
|1. A Storm Is Coming|
|2. On Thin Ice|
|3. Gotham’s Reckoning|
|4. Mind If I Cut In?|
|5. Underground Army|
|6. Born In Darkness|
|7. The Fire Rises|
|8. Nothing Out There|
|10. Fear Will Find You|
|11. Why Do We Fall?|
|12. Death By Exile|
|13. Imagine The Fire|
|14. Necessary Evil|
I am struck by tracks seven and thirteen both mentioning fire. If I want to approach this as if I already believe Dick Grayson is a part of this story, then the mention of fire is quite compelling. Dick Grayson is motivated, like Brice Wayne, largely due to the untimely and cruel death of his parents. In Grayson’s case, they died in a fire. Will he, as an adult, be reminded of his loss around the time of track #7 when The Fire Rises? And will he then have to Imagine the Fire after a Death By Exile needs him to remember that someone needs to continue to fight the good fight?
I know. I’m assuming Dick Grayson’s in the story already, but, give me a break, I’m having fun with this!
What’s Your Verdict?
Dismissing my complete leap of logic with The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack, what do you think of the rest? We’ve seen evidence that John Blake is an orphan, that the mob-laiden Haley Circus was in town just before the trilogy began, we’ve read that Christopher Nolan pegs John Blake as the “idealistic individual” Batman once was, and we’ve looked at a possible trailer Easter egg in the form of the chalk bat. Is this enough for you? If so, what are your conjectures, will John Blake assume a role as Robin, Nightwing or take on the mantle of Batman himself?
I have avoided watching or reading too much about The Dark Knight Rises for fear of too many spoilers. Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy comes to an end in just two short weeks and for me this is going to be the pinnacle of the summer movie season. As I have said, I have purposely avoided spoilers this time because I want to be as surprised as possible as I watch the movie. It has been extremely difficult to dodge the influx of information and tidbits of rumor since filming began, but I think I have done a pretty fair job keeping myself isolated. That is until now…
This featurette showed up on YouTube and I simply could not resist watching it. Although it doesn’t really contain much I already didn’t know, there are some things that I was dying to know about that was revealed. At just over thirteen minutes it is far beyond a teaser and falls just short of a down-right spoiler. If anything it only strengthens my complete inner geek’s desire to see this movie as soon as I can.
DC Entertainment announced today that it will offer Bat-fans a morsel of new content to tide them over just as the anticipation for the wide release of The Dark Knight Rises film reaches its agonizing climax.
DC and comic book retailers across North America have declared Thursday, July 19, “The Dark Knight Rises Day” to celebrate the arrival of Christopher Nolan’s latest (and hopefully greatest) Batman film the following day on July 20. Fans who visit their local comic book retailer on July 19 will receive a special edition comic book featuring several exclusive previews of current and upcoming Batman comic books and graphic novels. More than 500,000 copies of the free Batman comic books will be handed out that day on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Batman: Earth One Special Preview Edition comic book features the first chapter of the highly anticipated graphic novel Batman Earth One written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank, as well as a preview of Batman Vol. 1 The Court of Owls, the New York Times #1 best-selling graphic novel collection of the hit series written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo.
Perhaps most importantly, the special edition Bat-book is FREE!
“The arrival of The Dark Knight Rises in theaters is a seminal moment for comic book readers and moviegoers; what better way to mark the occasion than with a free Batman comic book that rewards a broad range of fans and taps into the unprecedented excitement surrounding this film,” stated DC Entertainment Vice President of Marketing, John Cunningham.
It remains to be seen whether this promotion will ease our collective longing to watch the film or make the wait seem that much longer.