Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

So if you know me, you would know that I have been more than looking forward to this movie. I've been a Batman fan pretty much since day 1, and like most fans, I have been enjoying the shit out of these movies directed by Christopher Nolan. Batman Begins was just plain awesome and The Dark Knight is one of my personal favorite movies. So how does The Dark Knight Rises fair? Well, if you haven't been a fan of the trilogy, Rises is not likely to impress you. If you have been liking the trilogy, however, then this is a more than satisfying conclusion. Much like Cabin in the Woods, there isn't a whole lot that I can say about this movie on here without giving too much away, but I will include a list of things you will get to see in a spoilers section if you feel so bold. Tom Hardy as Bane commanded the screen in every scene he was in, Anne Hathaway again proved to all the naysayers that we should all just trust Nolan when he casts somebody, and even Joseph Gordon Levitt got to shine as the newbie in Commissioner Gordon's unit. As if I even need to talk about all the returning cast members, you all know how they did. They were excellent in their roles the first two times around and were nothing short of that again. Seriously, there is alot more that I would like to talk about in terms of story and twists, but that would seriously be giving away a huge chunk and cause people to hate me... Moreso.

Final Grade: A+


Okay, if you want to know what you are getting into with this movie, here is a quick list of what will be in the movie.

Talia Al Ghul
Bane breaking Batman's back
A Liam Neeson cameo
The supposed death of Batman
Brief return of Scarecrow

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Batman and Robin

In continuing with the celebration of all things Batman, I thought we could talk about one of the most infamous film installments, Batman and Robin. It stars George Clooney as the caped crusader and Chris O'Donnell as the trusted sidekick Robin. The villains are Mister Freeze, played by the governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Poison Ivy, played by Uma Thurman. So, in order to talk about this movie, why don't we start at the beginning. The opening scene consists of Batman and Robin suiting up for action, and I gotta say, the camera work for this movie is pretty thorough. I mean, we get to see close up shots of their butts and their chests, which seem to have nipples on the exterior of the suits... Did I mention that the director of this movie was a flaming homosexual? Not to say that I would attribute batnipples and close up shots of George Clooney's ass in leather (or maybe rubber, I'm having a hard time telling right now, and I don't plan on focusing on that shot for very long) to that little piece of trivia, but hey, you never know. I haven't even mentioned the best part of the opening scene, it's actually the opening lines of the movie, Robin turns to Batman as he is about to climb into the batmobile and he says "I want a car! Chicks dig the car." to which Batman says "This is why Superman works alone".

Okay guys, look I know that I promised I would do this seeing as how I left it out of the full series review yesterday, but... I don't think I can make it through this movie. I just watched the first 30 seconds and already I feel cold and hopeless. Screw it, I'm just gonna get it over with.

So they try to stop Mr. Freeze and I have to address something that happens in this scene. When I was looking at what other people thought of this movie, I noticed one review that mentioned the fact that when each of the actors introduced themselves as Batman, they did it in some of the most awesome ways ever. Michael Keaton and Christian Bale did it while holding a guy up and demonically whispering it in their faces, Kevin Conroy had a point in the animated series where he shouted out "I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!" seriously badass. Clooney comes in and says "Hiya Freeze, I'm Batman" He just says it like he's meeting Freeze to hang out or go on a date or something. Please don't ask me to talk about the fight scene that happens after the worst line delivery from a Batman actor ever, just know that it's stupid, it makes no sense and clashes completely with the tone that had become a precedent thanks to Burton and the geniuses behind the animated series and would later be nearly perfected by Chris Nolan when he made Batman Begins. This movie took a huge step backwards and felt like I was watching the bright colorful movie that had Adam West in it. Here's the difference: Adam West was Batman in the 60's when everything was campy and corny, they could get away with it. Doing a Batman movie with this approach in the 90's and the late 90's no less after taking such huge leaps in terms of story and character complexity should be punishable by public execution, similar to the one in Braveheart. Oh yeah, I went there.

One of the biggest kicks to the balls about this movie was the way they approached Mr. Freeze as a character. I've heard people (with extraordinarily low IQs) argue that Arnold was not that bad as Mr. Freeze. Even if that was the case, the character itself was just wrong, wrong WRONG!!! Mr. Freeze in the animated series (which was already a hit by this time) had become a tragic hero worthy of being written by the Bard. And you can quote me on that one. He was depressing, he was detached from humanity, he was tragic, he was (for lack of a better word) cold. He did not spit out stupid one-liners and compare everything to ice. If they had done the writing right, they could have cast someone like Patrick Stewart to play the part.

Next on the checklist of cockery is the introduction of Batgirl. In the show, comics and everywhere else, her true identity is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of police comissionor Jim Gordon. In this version, she is Alfred's niece, paying him a visit from her school in Britain. Apparently, she comes from that part in Britain where everybody speaks with an American accent. Now that I think about it, I'm starting to think that maybe the sexual orientation of the director did play a part in this movie. Hear me out. In the scene where Batgirl is suiting up, there is no shot of her ass, no nipples on her suit (a double standard if you ask me), but there is a shot of her shoes, which they were nice enough to make high heels. And they don't do a goddamn thing to help her. They don't have knives or anything so she can kick and do extra damage, they sure as hell don't help her run faster. So why is she wearing heels when she fights crime? Because they look FABULOUS, GIRLFRIEND!

I could go into all the things that are wrong with Bane in this movie, but I'm already on the verge of slitting my own neck and wrists, so we'll get back to that another time... Which is more than likely NEVER.

Like I said, I'm loosing the will to live the longer I write this, so we're going to address the final nail in the coffin for this abomination. For those of you who have seen this movie, you can already guess what that something is...
Yeah... This shit actually exists

Oh my god, somebody actually wrote a scene where Batman flips out a credit card and says "I never leave the cave without it". Not only did they write it, but... They got paid to write it. They got paid to destroy my childhood hero. What's worse is the more I look at it, the more I find more things to cry about (such as the expiration date being "Forever", the name on the account being "Batman" the credit card company being "Goth Card").

Alright, I'm done with this movie. I've done all I can and suffered enough for you sadist bastards! If I go anymore into this fucking movie, I will probably end up kicking the first infant I see. Peace out guys, I've had enough

The Dark Knight Rises Rumors: My Personal Favorites

With The Dark Knight Rises being only a day away now, I thought we might take some time to look at the rumors surrounding this movie. Which ones are the best, which ones are the worst, and which ones just don't seem to die no matter the insurmountable evidence to the contrary.

1. Johnny Depp as The Riddler- I actually only heard this one a few weeks after The Dark Knight was released in theaters. Being that we were all taken aback by how epic and deep The Dark Knight was, we were all wondering what Nolan's next move would be for the franchise. Most of us geeks thought that he would for sure be doing Edward Nigma (aka Riddler) for the next villain. After all, that did seem the most reasonable. Next to Joker, Riddler is the most identifiable of the supervillains to those who are not familiar with the Caped Crusader. And when it was rumored that not only would Riddler be showing up, but be played by Johnny Depp, I was hyped. Not only would one of my favorite villains from the animated series be showing up, but he would be played by one of my favorite actors. Before I saw Heath Ledger's performance, I had kept saying that Johnny Depp should have been cast as Joker, I mean he certainly has the eccentricity and weirdness of the character down, the rest would be cake for him. When it was confirmed that neither Depp nor Riddler would be showing up, I was bummed. However, Depp was not the only person who was rumored to play the character. Other big time names like Eddie Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio, Guy Pearce, Edward Norton and even Joseph Gordon Levitt were rumored to have it. Personally, the only person I would NOT want to see in the part is Eddie Murphy.

2. Robin Williams as Professor Hugo Strange- We all know Robin Williams is a good actor as well as a hilarious comedian, but not many people are aware of the fact that he can also play a very good bad guy. When rumors started circling around that Williams would be playing the mad scientist who managed to deduce Batman's identity, again, I was hyped. By the time this rumor was starting to circulate, I had seen Insomnia and knew that Williams could play characters that are smarter and more dangerous than people give him credit. When this rumor was slapped away by Nolan and friends, I was again disappointed. Needless to say, the last four years have been kind of hard for me.

3. Phillip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin- Actually, I heard of PSH being Oswald Cobblepot around the same time as I heard Johnny Depp being Riddler. It may have even been the same article. Again, it belongs to the list of rumors that died out almost as quickly as they had been created.

4. Robin- People really want to see this little turd appear and I am not sure why. Any chance of Robin actually being a good if not kickass character died with any Clooney love I had in Batman and Robin. Why do people want a movie with Robin in it? He has been nothing but annoying throughout the entire franchise's history. The only badass version I have seen of him is in the video game Batman Arkham City, and even that was just a 30 second appearance and an expansion pack. Piss off Robin fans! Same thing goes for Ellen Pager as Bat Girl. You would think that by January of this year, we would have seen a set photo or concept art or something. And yet, so many people keep arguing that Robin or Batgirl are going to show up. I remember one guy making the argument that at the end of The Dark Knight, when Gordon says that 5 people have been killed by Dent, he thought that 2 of them might have been Robin's parents. So Dent kills 3 people then randomly goes and shoots a pair of acrobats?... Makes sense to me, I don't see what your problem is.

5. Batman's death- Being that this movie will be the last that Christopher Nolan will be making for this trilogy, I'm actually not going to rule this one out. Although Bale has said that he's always willing to come back for a fourth movie should someone ask him to don the cape once more.

6. Breaking the Bat- Ever since it was announced that the main villain of this movie would be Bane, debate has been circulating amongst fans as to whether or not Batman's back will be broken as it was in the comics. WARNING TOTAL NERD OUT MOMENT AHEAD: You see, Bane's claim to fame as a villain was that he is the one who managed to best Batman in a one on one match and broke his back. He is also extremely smart and managed to find out who Batman's true identity was and even beat him in the Batcave. In the books following, Batman recovered and came back at Bane with a vengeance and beat him to a bloody pulp. Again, I'm not ruling out the possibility of this happening especially since this movie takes place 8 years after the end of The Dark Knight, so Bruce may not be as in shape as he was in the previous two films. and there is a moment where Bane says to Bruce Wayne "Your punishment must be more severe" and "When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die". I think that will be an interesting turn of events should it be included.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Batman (1989)- Batman and Robin (1997)

Most of us are familiar with the Batman movies that were directed by the great director Christopher Nolan, but there is another series of movies that often has fans divided. Some say there are great, others think they are crap and there are even those who are willing to debate that these movies are better than the Chris Nolan movies. I respectfully disagree with said people, but I do think that these movies have their value. Let's start with the first one, Batman directed by Tim Burton. At the time, Burton was a newbie to the industry, and Batman was probably one of the first big projects that the studio would let him helm. And to be honest, I think he did really well. While it may feel a bit dated now, there is some nostalgic value to it. After all, it was my first exposure to the caped crusader on the screen in a live action movie. What are the strong points? Well for one thing, the actor that they cast as Batman himself is actually pretty good. I had read somewhere that after he was cast, a group of fans actually got a petition together to get him booted from the role because they thought that he would screw it up. To be honest, I don't think he did that bad, he was able to nail down the emotional torture that the character was going through. Though I think he fell flat when it came to getting the charisma or the arrogance of Bruce Wayne. The other good thing about this movie is Jack Nicholson as Jack Nicholson... I mean the Joker. Whenever Jack Nicholson does a movie, it's next to impossible to not mention his name. Here, he plays the villainous Joker and to be honest, while I do think he turned in a good performance, I don't think this is anywhere near being the best adaptation of the Joker. Mostly because when I see the character, I see Jack Nicholson first and the Joker second. Nothing really bad about it, but when you compare it to Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight where he got totally lost in the character, I just don't think it holds up as well. Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a bad performance, Nicholson is a fantastic actor and does even better when he is cast as a villain, but after seeing The Dark Knight... You get the idea. The story is your straight up comic book story, the Joker is reeking havoc and Batman takes it upon himself to stop him. Pretty basic but it's a good one and when mixed with the dark tone that both Burton and Batman are famous for, it works pretty well. However the one thing that does stand out about this movie is the music. When I think of Batman, the score that Danny Elfman wrote for this movie is one of the first things that comes to mind. It's dark and has an aura of mystery about it. In fact, I think this is the one area where the Burton film trumps the Nolan film. The score for the Nolan films is fantastic, but the Elfman version just screams classic Batman. For all its flaws, this is still a good movie and is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a Batman fan.

Final Score: B

Batman Returns

Returns is a movie that I am very pick and choose on. Some things I think they hit on the mark and others I think they were way off. Once again, Tim Burton's dark tone is there and it really fits, but it was a bit more cartoony than the first movie. Danny Devito as the Penguin did alright, but the way he was written didn't really match up with the way he was in the animated series, which is what I was used to. In the movie, he's a slobbering savage but in the animated series, he had a sense of elegance and class to him. The two characters that I loved in this movie were Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Christopher Walken as... I don't remember the character's name, but it's Christopher Walken, that's all we really care about. It is funny to here him say things like "Bruce, Shame on you". From a story angle, the only thing this one got right was the love angle between Catwoman and Batman as they swing from lovers to fighters. The moment when they figure each other out and realize that they can't be together is actually pretty heart-breaking. This may be the one thing that the movie got right, but they got it really right.

Final Score: B-

Batman Forever

I already reviewed this movie. I'll put the link for it down below so you don't have to search too far for it

Batman and Robin

You know what? I don't have the emotional strength to talk about this movie today. Just for now, know that I hate it.