In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, the legendary Bruce Timm stuck his head out from wherever he is to create a brand new Batman Animated short. Check it out, Batman Strange Days.
I really dig the two current mobile Batman games – Batman Arkham City Lockdown and the game based on The Dark Knight Rises so I’m really looking forward to seeing what Warner Interactive does with the mobile game based on Batman Arkham Origins. The free game will hit iOS around the console game launch (Oct 25th) with an Android version coming later. Generally, I find the freemium model irritating, I’d rather just pay $5.99 or $7.99 and get a fuller experience. Based on the new trailer, this year’s installment looks amazing. Have I said recently how much I’m looking forward to Batman: Arkham Origins on Oct 25th?
It’s possible…just possible, you may have heard the news that Ben Affleck will be our next cinematic Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel film. Now that some time has passed since the announcement, this week’s GeekScholars Movie News podcast opens with some perspective on the casting decision, and an analysis of the strong reactions that followed it.
From there, the hosts play a round of ‘Never Tell Me the Odds’, where they muse about the probability of: Bryan Cranston playing Lex Luthor, Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket Raccoon, Star Wars: Episode VII making a December 2015 release, and a few more interesting rumors you’ll want to hear more about.
After that, the GeekScholars check out the trailer for Parkland, a drama about the JFK assassination, and Chris reveals his ultimate let-down at the mess entitled The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that the sequel to Man of Steel would essentially be a Superman vs. Batman film. Well, let the casting rumors begin!
Six big names are being bandied about, so to kick off this week’s GeekScholars Movie News podcast, the hosts have an in-depth discussion about the pros, cons of each of the current candidates, as well as the probability of who among them will receive the role.
From there, the crew weighs in on the news that James Cameron is planning to expand his Avatar universe in the form of a whole trilogy, set to debut starting in 2016, and what audiences will likely see in the sequels. To find out what else we cover on the show, hit the jump, or of course you could just hit play above
Here it is folks, the first official clip from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Pt2. The clip features Batman facing off against a large contingent of Gotham City police and their leader, new Commissioner Ellen Yindel. This is one of my most anticipated movies of 2013 and it hits blu-ray January 28th. If you happen to be in NY, they are going to have a big event at the Paley Center on the 23rd.
Holy Property Values, Batman! Greg takes on The Dark Knight with a warning to the fine citizens of Gotham City.
The citizens of Gotham City think they have the hero they deserve, but really, they’ve got the hero they just happened to get. Greg Karber calls on the populace to reject this sort of fatalism, forget the Batman, and move to the Midwest – while they still have their lives.
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Today Warner Premiere has released the trailer for their upcoming animated film, Batman: Year One. This animated feature brings to life the comic book version that was written back in 1987 by Frank Miller and artwork by David Mazzucchelli. Personally I’m looking forward to this version of the Batman lore and am interested in what Warner Premiere has come up with. The current cast members are: Ben McKenzie-Batman/Bruce Wayne, Bryan Cranston-Lt. James Gordan, Eliza Dushku-Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and Katee Sackhoff-Detective Sarah Essen. There currently is no set release date for Batman: Year One but it’s coming straight to DVD and Blu-Ray. Check out trailer below:
If you haven’t checked out EM’s Video Channel on YouTube, what’s wrong with you! Today we have the first Official Gameplay Footage of Batman Arkham City! Check out the Official EM YouTube Channel here.
Lester Dent’s Doc Savage. Bob Kane’s Batman. Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Legends all – and now they come together, along with Richard ‘The Avenger’ Benson, another pulp hero, and will Eisner’s other great creation, The Blackhawks, to take on a megalomaniacal villain [is there any other kind?] who plans to bring the world peace. By force!
When Batman: The Brave and the Bold premieres [Fridays, 8/7C], long time Bat-fans may be surprised to see a Caped Crusader who bears more than a slight resemblance to Dick Sprang’s version of the character which ran in the comics from the mid-‘40s to the mid-‘50s. The stories will also remind of this period as they combine mystery with science-fiction, which leads to episodes like the series premiere, Rise of the Blue Beetle, where we are treated to two team-ups – Batman [Diedrich Bader] and Green Arrow [James Arnold Taylor] take down the Clock King [Dee Bradley Baker] as a warm-up to a galaxy-spanning adventure in which Batman teams up with the newest incarnation of the Blue Beetle [Will Friedle].
In each instance we see a difference side of Batman – the friendly squabbles with Green Arrow, an equal to the Dark Knight, and a more mentorly approach with the Beetle. Each is appropriate to the partner involved, and each leads to unexpected action – especially in the Batman/Beetle clash with dreaded Justice League of America villain, Kanjar Ro [from all the way back in the original JLA #5].
Considering the amount of action and characterization contained in this episode, it’s amazing that it doesn’t feel overcrowded – but it doesn’t. Instead the quips fly fast and free; the action involved in taking down a rather mundane [for Batman] villain generates laughs, while the Kanjar Ro beef is considerably more serious [he’s found using a sentient lifeform to fuel his ships].
The writing on Batman: The Brave and the Bold is sharp and concise. It mixes a bigger dose of humor into the adventures, while knowing when to get serious. The animation is as series specific – and right for the series – as that of each of the previous Bat-shows. Plus, the series will find Batman working with a lot of interesting characters, such as: Red Tornado [Corey Burton], Aquaman [John DiMaggio], and Plastic Man [Tom Kenny]. Scriptwriter Michael Jelenic and director Bon Jones may have used Rise of the Blue Beetle to introduce the series to make it clear that it’s a different Batman series – if so, they’ve certainly succeeded!
Final Grade: A-
By now you will have read reviews that say The Dark Knight is The Godfather of summer movies; The Untouchables with Batman as Elliot Ness and The Joker as Al Capone; The Silence of the Lambs with The Joker out-scaring Hannibal Lecter. You will have also read that Heath Ledger’s final performance equals – or betters – performances like Sir Anthony Hopkins as Lecter and that Mr. Nicholson has left the building, ‘cause, baby, there’s a new Joker in town!
These claims are not hyperbole. The Dark Knight – and Ledger’s performance as The Clown Prince of Crime [or in this case, Chaos] – are really that good.
The main reason that The Dark Knight works is that director/co-writer Christopher Nolan has treated the film not like a superhero movie [which, technically it isn’t, since Bruce Wayne/Batman has no superpowers – only superb training and determination, along with those fabulous toys] but as a crime thriller that poses questions that we all face to some small degree in life: is there such a thing as evil; why are there rules; how far are we – any of us – from turning into savages?
There are a good many other questions posed in what should be merely a summer extravaganza, but that is precisely why The Dark Knight is special. Just because a movie blockbuster comes out in the summer months, is there really any good reason why it shouldn’t be intelligent and thought-provoking? Of course not. We’ve already had one intelligent, thoughtful summer blockbuster on PIXAR’s WALL*E, so it’s not like the summer has been totally bereft of quality. By the same token, while WALL*E was simply the best film of the year when it was released [can it only be three weeks ago?], The Dark Knight raises the bar to the next –stratospheric – level.
For the rest of the year, every major release – whether it be the next comic book movie or the next “serious drama” – will have to contend with what is the best film Christopher Nolan has made, thus far.
While we could talk about the crisply choreographed action sequences and stunts [the flipped semi? A practical effect], or the fight sequences where we actually see Batman beat down hordes of the ungodly with surprising ease – and savagery; while we could talk about superb performances [Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman and the rest cast are all in top form] or debate the questions raised by the film for hours, and/or the film’s achievement purely on an entertainment level, what makes it a masterpiece is that it is all of these things and more.
The Dark Knight is worth your ten bucks [twelve-fifty in much of Canada] a dozen times over. It is a film to be experienced rather than merely viewed; a film to be savoured. You can’t say that about many films at any time of the year.
Final Grade: A+