Posts Tagged ‘batman

06
Jan
09

Ten Faves from ’08

I don’t know about you, but I was disappointed.

 

If the question is, “What did I expect from the films of 2008?” my answer would be, “A better film year than 2007.” Not to say that 2007 was bad; the tail-end of it made up for most of that year. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of 2008.

 

“Indiana Jones 4” (aka “Indy Gets an X-File”) was ludicrous if not insulting. And speaking of “X-Files” the return of Mulder and Scully to the screen was warranted, but the story wasn’t. “Speed Racer” could’ve been more fun, “Prince Caspian” could’ve used more characterization and plot. “Untraceable” was among those movies that couldn’t have been saved, period.

 

However, it wasn’t all bad. “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight” proved that superheroes can rule the day, if not the box office (although “Hellboy 2” was underrated). Pixar pixel pixies made mechanics emotional with “Wall*E.” Robert Downey, Jr. didn’t just make “Iron Man,” he made “Tropic Thunder” as Kirk Lazarus, an Australian method-actor who undergoes pigmentation-surgery to portray a black Sergeant in Vietnam. And “City of Ember” was the best and most-overlooked kids’ movie.

 

In alphabetical order, here are my Ten Faves from ’08.

 

bank_job1“The Bank Job” – I caught this one on DVD. After I finished watching it, I kicked myself. This movie was interesting, fun, and a great throwback to the Seventies.

 

 

 

 

city_of_ember“City of Ember” – Thoughtful, well-made post-apocalyptic kids’ movie. I was surprised.

 

 

 

 

 

dark_knight“The Dark Knight” – This movie is entirely on a different plain of filmmaking. Kudos to Christopher Nolan on doing such a great job and to Heath Ledger, who gave one of his best performances ever (and his last).

 

 

 

 

hellboy_two“Hellboy 2: The Golden Army” – Fun fantasy film from Guillermo del Toro. I really enjoyed this one. “Hellboy” is beginning to grow on me.

 

 

 

 

iron_man“Iron Man” – A great popcorn blockbuster movie to begin the summer with. Robert Downey Jr. was nothing less than perfectly casted. Jeff Bridges had fun being the bad guy.

 

 

 

 

leatherheads“Leatherheads” – Another overlooked movie. George Clooney spent years trying to bring this one to light. It’s funny, quirky, zany, screwball… and made football interesting.

 

 

 

 

son_of_rambow“Son of Rambow” – British indie about kids who learn to make film, not war. Great fun and a tribute to filmmaking (moreso than “Zack and Miri”).

 

 

 

 

transsiberian“Transsiberian” – Emily Mortimer steals this movie from Woody Harrelson and Ben Kingsley. A great follow-up to “Session 9” and “The Machinist,” also directed by Brad Anderson.

 

 

 

 

tropic_thunder“Tropic Thunder” – I initially thought this was shallow at first, but repeated viewings on DVD make this one even better.”I’m the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude!”

 

 

 

 

wall_e“Wall*E” – Wall*E is the story of the little robot that fell in love. Environmental and biological themes abound but don’t get too preachy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all, folks. See ya at the movies in 2009!

-Chas

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05
Jan
09

In Passing… Pat Hingle (1924-2009)

redemption_hingle3

 

 

Veteran TV and film actor Pat Hingle passed away of leukemia on Saturday, Januaryb3. Hingle began his acting career with an uncredited role in “On the Waterfront” (1954). He then starred in TV series such as “Suspense,” “Studio One,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Twilight Zone,” “M*A*S*H,” “Magnum, PI.,” and others. During his film career he worked twice with Clint Eastwood (“Hang ‘Em High,” “Sudden Impact”) and he played the role of Gotham City’s Police Commissioner Gordon in the 1989-1997 “Batman” movies. He was 84.

 

Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.

 

For more information, check out his IMDB page at:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0385757/

08
Dec
08

The Dark Knight on DVD and Blu-ray

Tomorrow (Dec.9) will be the release date for “The Dark Knight” on DVD. Whether you’re camping outside the Circuit City, cruising around the Target lot, waiting in line at the Best Buy, or pre-ordered at the fye, a TON of people are going to pick it up tomorrow. But if you’re a savvy DVD/ Blu-ray collector, what versions are available in stores? To save you some time and gas, here are the releases:

standard-single3This is the cover of the Standard and Widescreen Single Disc set. This will be offered at the major retailers such as Target, Kmart, and Best Buy. This version is basically the movie only.

 

 

 

 

standard-2discThis is the cover to the Widescreen 2-disc version. Note the Batpod and Joker covers. This will be offered at major retailers such as Target, Kmart, and Best Buy. Aside from the movie, Disc 2 will also include: Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene- How Christopher Nolan and His team developed the new Bat-Suit and the amazing Bat-pod, AND Composer Hans Zimmer on musically characterizing the Joker’s Reign of Chaos The Dark Knight IMAX scenes – view these 6 action-packed sequences – shot on the largest format possible – in their original IMAX framing, just as they were intended: Prologue, Hong Kong, Armored Car Chase, Lamborghini Crash, Prewitt Building and Final Montage

Gotham Tonight – 6 Episodes of Gotham Cable’s Premier News Program

The Galleries – Poster Art, Production Stills, Trailers

 

circuitcity-2discCircuit City is offering this Limited Edition variant cover. “Why so serious?” Same features as the Widescreen 2-disc, but with a digital copy.

 

 

 

 

 

bluray-2discBlu-ray is offering a 2-Disc set. Disc 1 contains the movie and Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene – director Christopher Nolan and creative collaborators unmask the incredible detail and planning behind the film, including stunt staging, filming in IMAX, the new Bat-Suit and Bat-Pod and exclusive features via BD-Live

Disc 2 contains Batman Tech – the incredible gadgets and tools

Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight – delve into the psyche of Bruce Wayne and the world of Batman througn real-world psychology

Gotham Tonight – 6 episodes of Gotham’s cable premier news program

The galleries – the joker cards, concept art, poster art, production stills, trailers & tv spots

 

bluray-lmtdBlu-ray also has a Limited Edition with a small scale model of the Batpod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

fye-2discFinally, fye is releasing “The Dark Knight” Steelcase Edition. This will contain the same features as the Widescreen 2-disc version. Note: this will be released on Dec. 15.

 

 

 

 

walmert_batman1

 

 

 

Walmart is offering the standard Widescreen 2-disc. This however comes with a Collectible Batman comic book and Commemorative Coin (think Two-Face).

 

 

 

 

Thanks to MovieWeb for the information.

Check them out at www.movieweb.com

 

21
Jul
08

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

This one’s in a world all its own.

 

Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman. Directed by Christopher Nolan

 

The story: some time has passed in Gotham City since “Batman Begins.” Rachel Dawes (now played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) is working with and dating head D.A. Harvey Dent (Eckhart). “The Batman” has been cleaning up the streets of Gotham, inspiring copycat fanboy crimefighters. The police (except for Gordon) aren’t sure what to make of Batman. The city’s crime bosses are dwindling block-by-block and are propositioned by a Hong Kong national named Lou to hold their money since the police are catching them one-by-one using irradiated money. Batman/Bruce Wayne is dealing with the copycats, Rachel being with Dent, and his internal struggle of being the “hero of Gotham City,” and the police.

 

Entering the scene is The Joker (Ledger in his final performance). Maniacal and scheming, he (in the words of Michael Caine) “just wants to watch the world burn.” Whatever he plans on doing the only person who knows the plan is him, and he’s not letting anyone in on it. Anyone.

 

That’s as much as I’m going to tell you about the story. There is so much going on in this film that to tell you anything else you may want to see it more or may want to see it less when this is the type of film that can’t entirely be presented on paper; it is truly an experience. The Nolan Brothers (Chris and Johnathan) have a nearly perfect script. The theme of “what is a hero?” resonates so much between Dent and Wayne; the “White Knight” and the “Dark Knight” of Gotham.

 

And everyone does as well as they had in “Batman Begins.” Gyllenhaal did a good job as Rachel Dawes. Some may prefer her to Katie Holmes but when it comes down to the line, the character is so small it doesn’t make a lot of difference who plays her.

 

And you, dear reader, are wanting to know my thoughts on Heath Ledger’s performance. I’ll be the first to say that I have never really followed him in too many movies; I’ve seen him do a part here or there, but that was about it. Saying that, the Joker that Ledger portrays is something else entirely. Any time he’s on the screen, the film’s tone suddenly shifts. If you didn’t know Ledger was playing the character, you wouldn’t have known it was Ledger.

 

As for Bale, this time around Batman is more menacing; lower, more whispering/gravelly voice and hatred in his eyes. “Batman Begins” was apparently a warm-up.

 

I’ll take a moment to talk about the Bat Pod (Bat Cycle). Before I saw “Batman Begins” I saw the “Tumbler”/Batmobile. I thought the design sucked. Watching it in “Batman Begins,” I was like, “Dude, where do I sign up for one of those?” Same thing applies to the Bat Pod. Once you see it on screen it’s way cooler.

 

I do have one complaint on the movie: The Scarecrow. So much time was spent in the first movie building up this villain who used a hallucinogenic compound to incite his terror. He gets a small scene in the beginning of the film where he gets captured along with a gang and Batman wannabes. A cameo for the sake of a cameo? I thought Nolan was above that.

 

Should you see this? It’s dark, brooding, but with clever action sequences. This movie is on a plane of existence of its own. Should you watch this just for Heath Ledger? Only if you get nothing from watching a Batman movie. Is this better than “Batman Begins?” It’s just as good. Who’s my favorite actor to play “The Joker?” No comment.

 

My grade: A

03
Jul
08

July 2008 Movie Releases

 

 

“Hancock” – Will Smith is the title superhero, an alcoholic washout whose career needs back on track. Also stars Justin Bateman and Charlize Theron. Opens July 2, 2008

 

“Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” – Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) plays the title character (based on the American Girl stories) about a girl who wants to be a reporter during the Depression. When a murder is committed, she takes the job of investigating. Maybe she can get some help from Nancy Drew… Also stars Joan Cusack. Opens July 2, 2008

 

“The Wackness” – Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Mary Kate Olsen, Famke Janssen and Method Man in a coming-of-age story, circa 1994. Your guess is as good as mine, but I heard Kingsley gets it on with Janssen and Mary Kate. Opens July 3, 2008.

 

“Diminished Capacity” – Matthew Broderick takes a vacation to see his uncle (Alan Alda) has the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s but most importantly, a genuine mint baseball card. Along with Virginia Madsen they go up to Chicago to try and sell it. Opens July 4, 2008

 

“The Stone Angel” – Ellen Burstyn, Ellen Page, and Christine Horne in a movie based on a book by Margaret Laurence. Romantic stuff. Opens July 7, 2008

 

“Hellboy 2: The Golden Army” – Ron Perlman is back as the Red Avenger called Hellboy. This time around he’s fighting a ruthless leader who is pitting Earth against the invisible realm of creatures. Sounds like fun. Opens July 11, 2008

 

“Journey to the Center of the Earth” – Brendan Fraser heads up this latest incarnation of the Jules Verne tale. In digital 3-D! Opens July 11, 2008

 

“Mamma Mia!” – Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth in a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical about a girl getting married who invites three men, one of whom is supposed to be her father. Next! Opens July 11, 2008

 

“Meet Dave” – Formerly “Starship Dave,” Eddie Murphy is a giant spaceship inhabited by miniature aliens, the commander of which is Eddie Murphy. Uh, yeah. Opening June 11, 2008

 

“Quid Pro Quo” – Nick Stahl is a guy who is paralyzed and is investigating a world where people get their kicks from becoming disabled. He’s led into this world by none other than Vera Farmiga. It could be worse… Opens June 13, 2008.

 

“The Dark Knight” – Heath Ledger as the Joker. Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. Cillian Murphy returns as the Scarecrow. Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes. Everyone else is back as well. Opens July 18, 2008

 

“Space Chimps” – Adam Samberg and Patrick Warburton are two of the voice-over cast for this CG tale of chimps “having the right stuff.” Opens July 18, 2008

 

“Step Brothers” – Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly become step brothers. Let the comedy ensue. Opens July 25, 2008

 

“The X-Files: I Want to Believe” – It’s been a few years, but Mulder and Scully are back on a case. Also stars Xzibit, Amanda Peet, and Billy Connelly. The Truth Is Out There… Opens July 25, 2008