It’s another Friday morning, and that means another edition of the News Bites. Last week was a bit on the light side. This week, not so much. There’s a bit of Pixar, some Marvel Comics movie news, news of TV series and a TV special, and of course, yet more remake discussion. There’s also some rumor-mongering about Star Wars and James Bond, and a double dose of Keanu Reeves news. Because apparently there’s no such thing as too much Keanu.
Good morning and happy Friday, everyone. It’s time once again for the News Bites. This week, there’s some casting news of both the confirmed and tentative varieties, the usual hubbub about Transformers and Turtles, a little bit about Disney, a little bit of Marvel, and the continued inability of terrorists to kill John McClane.
Good morning, folks. Another outage on my internet connection left me unable to post or read for a few days (I’d like to exchange 2013 for a better year, please), but it’s working again in time for this week’s News Bites. Now, given that I missed a few days of browsing the web, it’s certainly possible I missed some interesting news. But what I did find is certainly interesting in its own right. A few more roles being cast for films, yet another remake, a TV series name change, and a rumor debunked while another is seemingly (if unofficially) confirmed. So read on for this week’s news! Continue reading →
Friday morning has rolled around once again, and if I had thought that previous weeks were indicating an increase in the amount of press releases coming out of Hollywood, this week’s the mother lode. Even with the usual caveat that there are things I miss or overlook or just don’t attribute any significance to, there’s a lot. In fact, there are just shy of two dozen news items this week.
Sheer volume indicates at least some of it should catch your interest, so let’s get to it, shall we? Continue reading →
When I first saw the trailers for Batman Begins, I felt a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. I wanted a new Batman movie, one that would be true to the character as well as being a good movie overall. But there was a risk that a relaunch of the franchise would pander to the worst excesses of Tim Burton’s take on the character; it’s very easy to go overboard on the darkness and grimness with Batman, and the trailers for Batman Begins gave the impression it could happen again. And then the movie came out, and I loved it; it’s one of my favorite films.
When the trailers for The Dark Knight hit, I again felt that same mixture of emotions. Christopher Nolan had delivered a greater movie than I had anticipated before, but I knew from experience that sequels seldom held up to the original. And Heath Ledger didn’t look like what I think of when think of the Joker; in fact, his appearance would have fit in with the macabre and wretched appearance of the Penguin in Batman Returns. I had a legitimate concern that the sophomore effort for the franchise relaunch would fumble the ball. But Ledger turned out to be a fantastic Joker, and the movie was exceptionally good. It also would become one of my favorite films.
Four years later, and it’s 2012; trailers come out for The Dark Knight Rises. And again, the trailers seem a bit off, and don’t seem to generate excitement. (I know people were excited about The Dark Knight Rises, but my honest assessment is that the excitement existed independently of the trailers.) I had learned enough to not lose faith in Nolan, but I also knew it was still possible to flub the third act. And Bane has never been my favorite Bat-villain. But I shouldn’t have worried. Nolan has done it again. Continue reading →
This week’s dose of the Weekly Weblinks is coming a day later than normal, due to yesterday being Friday the 13th and thus having a film that demanded to be seen and reviewed. Fortunately for me, I didn’t title this series with a particular day in mind. Hooray for thinking ahead!
San Diego Comic-Con 2012 is in full swing as I write this, and various tidbits are just starting to come out of the convention. Chances are there will be quite a few items for next week’s entry, but there are already some pretty significant announcements in today’s edition. And on the blogging side of things, there’s a lot of talk about comic book movies, and a few cult classic films. So read on for the Weekly Weblinks! Continue reading →
“The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.”
With the blockbuster success of Batman Begins, anticipation was high for Christopher Nolan’s follow-up. Fans were excited. Even critics were looking forward to it. And Warner Brothers, of course, couldn’t have been more excited about the prospect of even more ticket sales. Most of the stars were returning. Christian Bale would don the Batsuit again, Michael Caine would again serve faithfully as Alfred. Morgan Freeman would return as Lucius Fox, and Gary Oldman would again put on the uniform of Gotham City detective Jim Gordon, now a Lieutenant. Even Cillian Murphy was coming back for a brief cameo as the Scarecrow. Of the major cast members of Batman Begins, the only ones not to return were Liam Neeson, as his character arc was done, and Katie Holmes, who had played Rachel Dawes in the first film but bowed out of the sequel to instead star in Mad Money (which may charitably be said to have been a questionable career decision.) Replacing her in the role was Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the transition went off without a hitch; many viewers considered the recast role to be an improvement. Continue reading →
“Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.”
By the end of the 20th century, the Batman film franchise had fallen quite far indeed. The 1989 film Batman, directed by Tim Burton, had been a massive success, finally establishing a successful serious superhero film other than fellow DC Comics title Superman, which by that time had fallen out of favor itself in the theatres. But Burton’s 1992 follow-up, Batman Returns, had a more mixed reception. Some loved the continuation of the darker themes of Batman; others hated it. Defenders and detractors both could be found among both audience members and critics… and in the upper echelons of Warner Brothers. It was felt that Burton’s vision for Batman was not marketable enough, especially to children. They brought in Joel Schumacher to direct the third film, 1995′s Batman Forever, and enforced a lighter tone on the picture. It was commercially successful, although not a critical darling, and the relative success of the merchandising led Warner Brothers to push things even further into lighthearted camp with the 1997′s Batman & Robin. But the fourth film did not appeal as strongly to the public, who reacted strongly against its campy tone; while it wasn’t the first time Batman had been campy, by any stretch, this time it was poorly-done camp. The critical thrashing and comparatively poor box office reception (it turned a profit, but not domestically) caused Warner Brothers to end the franchise, canceling plans for a fifth film, which would have been titled Batman Triumphant. A series that had started out with promise was now considered toxic. Continue reading →
Just two weeks from now, the third part of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy” will finally be released to theatres. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were both great movies, and though I’ll admit the trailers for The Dark Knight Rises haven’t completely sold me on Bane as a villain, I have faith that the movie will be a worthy finale to the trilogy. As a Batman fan, I’ve really enjoyed seeing Nolan’s take on the character, and not to put the cart before the horse, but as a comic book fan it’ll be nice to finally have three good movies in a row in a comic book franchise.
I had moderately big plans for the blog for this month, in celebration of the conclusion of the trilogy. A problem with my car’s transmission has put a slight hitch in those plans — among other things, I don’t yet know if I’ll actually be able to see The Dark Knight Rises this month. But I’ve decided not to let that ruin all my fun. I’m officially declaring July to be “Bat-Month”. (Those of you who are adding a “Na na na na” in front of that are encouraged to do so.) I have four Batman movies that I plan on reviewing, two of them Favorite Films reviews, and if all goes well it’ll be six — if I can get to the theatre for The Dark Knight Rises, and if I can get my hands on The Dark Knight for a Favorite Films review. I may have some other posts on the subject as well, depending on where inspiration takes me.
Given the title of the film, it may be a bit ironic that I’ve been having a bit of trouble figuring out where to begin with my review of Inception. There’s a lot I feel like I want to cover, and yet at the same time, I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t seen it. Director Christopher Nolan is known for producing some very cerebral films, and his 2010 effort is no exception. Just keeping track of everything that’s going on in Inception requires your brain to constantly be whirring along, taking note of everything and trying to figure out what’s coming next. Some films suffer when this happens, others aim for it and it can be a virtue; Inception falls into the second group.
Fortunately, it’s possible to discuss the basic premise without spoiling anything significant. Anybody who has seen any of the promotional materials, from posters to trailers, will have at least the notion that it has to do with entering dreams. The plot may be intricate, but the premise itself is fairly straightforward. Continue reading →