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In the bad old days of “Whiz! Bam! Pow!” TV-and-movie superheroes — which yielded cut-rate, campy artifacts like those “Captain America” TV movies or Roger Corman’s unreleased version of “Fantastic Four” — a massive spectacle like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” seemed unimaginable. Yet the technology that has made such blockbusters feasible has, creatively, become a curse as well as a blessing.
Computer-generated imagery, or CGI, makes all things possible. While the 1978 “Superman” used the memorable slogan, “You will believe a man can fly,” that claim has never been truer than it is now.
The ability to mount enormous battles featuring multiple super-powered characters, however, has become its own trap. And while the results can be visually astounding, the movies regularly feel as lifeless and mechanized as the technology responsible for bringing those visions to fruition.
The why of it remains something of a mystery, but the outcome is frequently a hugely »
- Brian Lowry
At the very tail end of the weekend, filmmaker David Ayer unveiled his first look at most of the costumed cast of Suicide Squad, his DC superhero/anti-hero/villain movie that’s scheduled to follow Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next year. This comes on the heels of Ayer also officially showing off Jared Leto as The Joker recently, making for an unusual amount of promotional material for a film coming second in line during 2016. At the same time though, it suggests something pretty different for DC and Warner Brothers, perhaps even in a way becoming their version of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Not in tone, of course, but in terms of being a possibly top tier outing due to a different feel from the rest of the pack. Having a recent Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in the cast playing an iconic part won’t hurt either. »
- Joey Magidson
On a recent Saturday morning, I treated myself to yet another TV comic book show. But unlike Flash, or S.H.I.E.L.D., or iZombie or Arrow, this was an old one. TCM is showing episodes of the 1943 Batman movie serial. I’m sure you know about these serials. Long ago, kids would make weekly pilgrimages to the theater for cliffhanger style chapters of an adventure serial. Often it was shoehorned between a cartoon, a newsreel, and the main feature. During my recent TCM viewing, I was disappointed that the host didn’t offer any of his usual insightful perceptions.
This serial is important in “geek mythology” for all sorts of reasons, including the debut of the Bat Cave. But then a peculiar childhood memory was triggered. And I mused about how this peculiar incident was just a pale precursor to a big branding issue that seems to »
- Ed Catto
Underneath Safe House's over-reliance on flashback and cheap tricks lies a beautifully directed, strongly performed drama...
This review contains spoilers.
We’ve reached the halfway point in this new ITV drama starring former Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston, and the dramatic moments of the previous instalment hang heavy throughout Safe House episode three.
During part two’s denouement, we were introduced to new character Gemma Underwood. And then we were quickly unintroduced to her as she was murdered by the villain of the piece, Michael Collersdale (played very devilishly by Peter Ferdinando). Her link to the ongoing events with the Blackwood family (who have been stashed away in the lake district in the titular safe house along with Eccleston’s Robert after an attack by Collersdale) is revealed - she’s the sister of mother Ali (Holby City’s Nicola Stephenson).
As we discover over the course of the proceedings, »
The much anticipated, inaugural image of Jared Leto as the Joker has officially hit the internet. Both newer fans and Clown Prince traditionalists alike became instantly up in arms over the grill-sporting, self-referential tattoo baring, Insane Clown Posse-looking Leto.
For rabid fans, the memories are still fresh of a time when we were ready to take to the streets when the teen heart throb from “10 Things I Hate About You” was cast as the Ace of Knaves in “The Dark Knight”. Thankfully, Heath Ledger turned out a performance so legendary, it practically erased “A Knight’s Tale” from public memory.
Ledger’s Joker certainly isn’t the first time someone flexed a little creative liberty in their portrayal of Batman’s arch-nemesis. Since the Joker’s inception in 1940, he has been portrayed as silly, inept, brilliant, savage, debonair, handsome, gruesome and he has even been…a she! »
- George J. Rutherford
Happy Batman Day, everyone! Around the world, May 1st may mark a spring holiday, but here, it marks the first appearance of the Dark Knight, in Detective Comics No. 27, in 1939.
For the past 76 years, the Caped Crusader has been fighting Gotham City evildoers in comic books, movies, TV shows, and pretty much anywhere else you can shine a Bat-signal. Throughout the years, Bruce Wayne's alter ego has gone through many incarnations, not just in actors (from Adam West to Michael Keaton to Christian Bale to Ben Affleck, among the many), but also in character, from haunted avenger to squeaky-clean do-gooder to campy clown to kinky prowler to world-weary fighter. He's due for yet another change this week, with the releases of DC's Batman No. 40 -- in which Bruce Wayne and the Joker finally kill each other (or do they?) and a special issue of DC's Divergence, where an undisclosed character »
- Gary Susman
Lucius Fox: “You want to be able to turn your head.”
Bruce Wayne: “Sure would make backing out of the driveway easier.”
―Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne
Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, and Christopher Nolan have all left their mark on Batman’s cinematic incarnations with varying degrees of success. Burton’s distinctive gothic style redefined Batman for a new generation and brought the character back to his pulpy roots. Schumacher’s neon soaked version of Gotham City lifted the vibrant world of comic books right off the page and onto the silver screen. Nolan grounded Batman in a realistic world, fighting against the kind of terrorist onslaughts that send chills down the collective spine of a post 9-11 society. Each filmmaker’s interpretation varied so wildly that it is peculiar to see that they all have one striking similarity. Not one of the seven live-action Batman films fully captured Batman »
- Victor Stiff
The character is a top marksmen possessing superhuman precision, due to a cybernetic eye...
...which also provides mission and target data.
He is also a proficient hand-to-hand combatant and able to hold his own against groups of low level combatants.
Probably his most defining trait is a desire to die in a spectacular fashion, this being his primary motivation for joining the Squad.
He feels he has no reason to continue living, and, while he does not want to commit suicide, he simply does not care if he dies.
- Michael Stevens
Between stills and the trailer that dropped earlier this month, we've already gotten multiple looks at Ben Affleck's Batman from Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - but they've all been somewhat obscured by low lighting and shadows. It is because of that that I think it's safe to say that this brand new image is our best look at the new Dark Knight yet: Update: The image has been removed. Hopefully we'll have some new looks at Batman in the near future. Original article resumes below... I honestly am challenged to come up with any real critiques of the suit. It simply looks badass. Since Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, we've seen a seemingly endless stream of black versions of the Batsuit, but this design is an absolutely awesome representation of the Caped Crusader's most iconic costume from the comics. To go even further, it's »
Secrets about the Superman that never was are coming to the UK this summer, with the anticipated release of the Kickstarter funded documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, created and directed by Jon Schnepp.
See Also: Watch the trailer for The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? here
Schnepp’s fascinating film tells the unseen and unheard story of the abandoned Warner Bros. project Superman Lives, which was set to go before the cameras in the late 1990s. Written by Kevin Smith (Clerks) and subsequently set to be directed by Tim Burton (Batman) with Nicholas Cage (Face/Off) as the Man of Steel, the project was scrapped just before filming began, but has had a “second life” as some of the artwork and behind-the-scenes footage of some of the pre-production – including some very strange Superman suits – surfaced online in recent years.
The film was set to debut at the BFI next month, »
- Scott J. Davis
Everyone has something to say about merits of having the word 'damaged' tattooed across his forehead (we think it's a bit on the nose - or just above at least).
1. Heath Ledger
Obviously, our uncertainty was unfounded. Ledger's performance was the weirdest and most unsettling that we've seen on the screen - who can forget his »
With the inclusion of three major bat-villains in the form of The Joker (Jared Leto), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and Deadshot (Will Smith), it was always a thought in the back of everybody's heads that Ben Affleck's Batman would pop into David Ayer's villain heavy Suicide Squad for a brief appearance . Well, now it seems we were all on the right track, with the actor snapped on the Toronto set in his best Bruce Wayne attire. Batman On The Set Of Suicide Squad pic.twitter.com/gWcTbNjZzb — Bart Fear (@BartFear) April 28, 2015 With information about Warner Bros.'s Batman v Superman follow-up kept under lock and key, there's no way of knowing the extent of Affleck's involvement. Will we see him come face to face with The Joker for the first time? That's entirely possible, but I have a feeling that would be better kept for a solo Batman movie. »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Oh dear – the newly released picture of Jared Leto as The Joker got a bit of a mixed reception last week, and now it's even made an ex-Joker cry.
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) April 25, 2015
Leto previously teased the »
Ah, the 1990s. The decade that brought us The Lion King. Titanic. Quentin Tarantino. That wordless bathroom scene in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks. Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. In the Mood for Love.
It was a good 10 years for film music, no doubt.
But scratch the surface of 1991 through 1999 and there are tons of good scores ready to spring a surprise on your ears. Some were attached to sorely underrated movies, others were overshadowed by wildly successful ones, and some have simply been forgotten in the passage of time.
Here, in no particular order, are the top 25 underappreciated film soundtracks from the 1990s.
So, has Jack Nicholson seen Jared Leto's rendering of The Joker? Maybe. If he has, does he have a strong opinion about it? Probably. But it's likely we'll never hear it because Nicholson is a reclusive guy who rarely speaks to the press. Luckily for us, intrepid YouTuber Toniemcee has perfectly captured Nicholson's would-be reaction to Leto's tatted-up, "Suicide Squad" version of Batman's most iconic villain. And it's spot on. »
- Tim Hayne
Ahead of its Blu-ray and DVD release next Monday, Michael Keaton discusses Birdman…
Were you fearful about giving such a warts-and-all performance?
Kind of, yeah. When you’re presented with a movie and a role, I think a lot of times it’s good if you’re a little bit frightened. “I don’t know if I can pull this off.” This one I really didn’t know if I could pull off because of how Alejandro [Gonzalez Inarritu, the director] was gonna make it, what was required, the limited amount of time we had… It looked like this was gonna be a tough one. And also there’s the emotional ride that the work required. When you work with a guy this talented, you know the likelihood of it being really good is strong or better than most. Even if it fails it will be a worthy endeavor so you go: “I want to keep up my end. »
- Gary Collinson
"Suicide Squad" director David Ayer finally gave fans a good look at Jared Leto's Joker in a tweet shared April 24 in honor of the villain's 75th birthday. Fans responded to the dramatic, heavily tattooed image with a few positive, many negative, and some just plain funny tweets. A lot of these went right to Ayer, so you have to wonder if he ignored his own notifications or scrolled through them all:
El nuevo #Joker de #JaredLeto ya es meme!!! Acá lo vemos en un recital de Justin Bieber!!! pic.twitter.com/3MXAqobv0b
- Zona Freak (@zonafreakextra) April 25, 2015
First the picture of the new Joker and now the new Bruce Wayne? Amazing: pic.twitter.com/xi997gBwsY
- Jason Anarchy (@DrinkingQuest) April 25, 2015
Ha! I knew Birdman and Manny Fresh would make their return with The Joker. pic.twitter.com/ZXiAfy1oIo
- Satchell Drakes (@SatchbagsGoods) April 25, 2015
I don't know what everyone is upset about. »
- Gina Carbone
It’s been 24 hours since David Ayer unleashed his vision for The Joker. Jared Leto’s heavily tattooed, Marilyn Manson inspired take on the character has left hardcore fans perplexed. The reaction online has been a healthy mix of love, hate, and downright disdain. However, some of the cooler heads have prevailed giving us some interesting insights on this new version of the classic character celebrating his 75th Birthday this week. Let’s take a moment, take a deep breath, and try to find some perspective on this polarizing first image.
“This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
- Anghus Houvouras
The third time's a charm for Suicide Squad director David Ayer. Late Friday afternoon he released his third Jared Leto Joker image from the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe film, and unlike the first two, this one wasn't a tease at all.
Ayer's design for the Joker is a striking image of a modern deranged man riddled with tattoos, rings, silver teeth and the character's signature green hair. Unlike the anarchist Heath Ledger Joker from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight before him and the gangster Jack Nicholson Joker from Tim Burton's Batman, Leto's makeup depicts a man who is a full blown psychopath from head to toe.
There are rumors that the reason the Joker is imprisoned and becomes a member of the Suicide Squad is that he killed Robin, former sidekick of Ben Affleck's Batman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There is no firm evidence »
Since Tim Burton’s brooding, black-as-oil Batman hit theaters in 1989, the cinematic world of Bob Kane’s iconic detective has drawn invariably from the comics of Frank Miller. Miller’s 1986 The Dark Knight Returns, a four-part story about Batman’s return from retirement and self-imposed exile, seeped into the crevices of every subsequent comic-book movie, from Sam Raimi’s Darkman to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy; but it most notably acted as a template for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, which practically owes alimony to Miller. The brooding, hulking, neo-fascist Batman favored by Burton and Nolan stems from Miller’s Reagan-era creation, which erased memories of Adam West’s campy Caped Crusader from the minds of an entire generation.Now Miller will return to pen a new Batman comic, according to the Verge. The comic, called The Dark Knight III: The Master Race (hopefully an ironic title), is the »
- Greg Cwik
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