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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

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Entries in Batman (98)

Wednesday
Oct022019

Soundtracking: Batman (1989)

by Chris Feil

By now the grim discourse surrounding the arrival of a new version of the beloved Joker feels like a ceaseless, depressing spiral. In the years since Heath Ledger’s genius and revolutionary take on the character, the social context for the clown terrorist has only gotten darker. After a tattoo and grill-clad iteration in Suicide Squad to now Joaquin Pheonix’s take that hews closer to the unwell men who find inspiration in the character in our isolative online era, we seem to be losing the character’s sense of fun in every conceivable way. This franchise needs an enema [kazoo sound]!

The mad balance between Joker’s violence and vibrancy is so skewed, it feels like we need to bring back a different kind of extremity. Like the kind that accompanied Jack Nicholson’s version, that hasn’t gotten its fair share of side-eye. I’m talking about the technicolor earnestness of Prince’s Batman concept album.

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Friday
Sep202019

Posterized: Promotions to Film for TV Casts

With Downton Abbey (2019) in theaters today and already threatening a sequel let's talk movie spin-offs of TV shows. TV shows have been adapted into feature films for as long as we can recall, but up until the 21st century it was more common for feature films to be adapted into TV shows.

Examples of TV series getting their own theatrical film outing with the original cast intact dates back to, we think, Dragnet (1954) and Batman The Movie (1966), both of which had one theatrical release during their TV runs. But it was fairly rare until recently and it has usually only happened after a television series has wrapped. A large part of this becoming more common obviously has to do with the narrowing gap between how audiences experience TV and film. On a less obvious and more theoretical level we suspect its due to the even newer cultural trend of immediate / perpetual nostalgia. It used to be that there had to be a bit of distance before the populace got collectively teary-eyed with longing but... no longer! 

Batman got a movie in the summer of 1966, even though it has just premiered on television in January of that same year.

You can now be wistful for things you experienced just the year or even a few months before and demand that they come back to you in the closest approximation possible. 

Let's look at some examples of this increasingly popular trend leading up to Downton Abbey (2019). How many of these spinoffs have you seen? The posters are after the jump...

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Tuesday
Apr022019

List-Mania: Tim Burton x 5

by Nathaniel R

Since our Dumbo review didn't soar, or even materialize at all (oops), we should definitely turn some attention to Tim Burton today. Instead of a regular Tuesday Top Ten list... we're just going with LISTS plural. To make up for the lack of a proper Dumbo review, we're throwing FIVE of them at you today. While it's true that this decade of his work has left much to be desired, he's actually always been an uneven auteur. All throughout his filmography magic blooms in unexpectedly dire places OR weeds sprout up in otherwise magically lovely gardens if you catch our drift.

Burton is only 60 years old and since he's made films at a roughly one-every-other-year clip for his whole career, we hope he manages to rally his artistic instincts for one more classic before he retires in say, 2031 after another five pictures (spitballing!). He has directed 19 movies and we'd rank them like so...

ALL 19 TIM BURTON PICTURES RANKED


  1. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  2. Ed Wood (1994) 
  3. Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
    Tier 1. Masterpieces of their genres really...  spectacularly niche genres but still! Few films have this kind of consistent magic and uniquely memorable visuals from first frame to last...

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Friday
Jul202018

Showbiz History: Sandra Oh, Operation Valkyrie, and yet more Batman?

Since the right now is so depressing let us look back into showbiz history for (mostly) easier things to think about then the here and now.

wee Natalie Wood with cat

11 random things that happened on this day (July 20th) in relation to showbiz history...

1930 Sally Ann Howes born in London. She starred as "Truly Scrumptious" in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She's one of the 200 oldest living screen stars. Happy 88th, Scrumptious!

1938 Natasha Gurdin born in San Francisco to immigrant parents. Five years later she makes her screen debut as "Natalie Wood" and becomes one of the rare child stars whose fame only grows as she ages...

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Wednesday
Jul182018

Thoughts I Had... Rewatching "The Dark Knight"

by Nathaniel R

Why so serious? Yes, you're 10 years older on this anniversary of The Dark Knight's release and probably watching the world burn with significantly less glee than The Joker would but still. Lighten up! At least we have the movies! I was commissioned to write a piece about The Dark Knight's Oscar history elsewhere but I jotted down more film-centric notes during a recent rewatch and will now share them here.

This a chronological skip through the movie. It made such a cultural impact you surely remember its release and maybe even the circumstances in which you saw it. If so, do share in the comments. Ready? Let's press play...

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Monday
Oct162017

Beauty Break: Michelle Pfeiffer's Cover Girl Comeback

by Nathaniel R

Hollywood's greatest blonde is back after a way-too-long hiatus and she's the covergirl for both Variety for their Women in Hollywood issue and in the "Edit" insert of Net-a-Porter for their "white" issue (the clothing trend not the race!). And with these fine profiles / interviews come photos. So let's share beautiful portraiture and the best quotes after the jump...

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