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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in Batman (73)

Friday
Nov302012

Visual Effects Finalists: Superheroes Rule, Subtlety Drools

Yesterday the finalists for Oscar's Visual Effects prize were announced. In the end there will be five nominees but for the next month ten films can dream of winning the nomination before the great culling on January 10th, 2013. Once again we see a preference for computer generated imagery with only Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises as obvious examples of films which tried mightily to rely on in-camera practical effects and stunt work. At a recent "Evening With Christopher Nolan" here in NYC (more soon) Nolan revealed his preference for in camera work with computers relegated to touch up work. 

Did you know that that infamous collapsing football field that led into the seige of Gotham was actually, in part, a collapsing football field (!) and not a figment of a computer artists imagination!? 

Snubs: Generally speaking you can expect the more subtle fx work to be shut out each and every year. This is why Skyfall probably won't be nominated in the end. But my eyes were instantly drawn to the absence of Looper which is a shame, since it's most effectsy sequences, like that finale in the cornfield, were weirdly hypnotic and even the tiny touches like the frequent telekinetics were unfussy and unshowy but totally served the film. Plus, it's a good film which is more than can often be said about nominees in this category. It's also strange, at least in a multi-year context, to see The Impossible miss the finals when Hereafter's less impressive tsunami (in a less impressive film at that) went on to actually be nominated. More traditionally nominatable CG heavy movies shown the door were Battleship, Men in Black III, and Dark Shadows.

Which 50% of the films still standing will prevail? 

still hanging. I hate this film more and more in retrospect.

  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Avengers
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • John Carter
  • Life of Pi
  • Prometheus
  • Skyfall
  • Snow White and the Huntsman

Your guess work in the comments, please.

Sunday
Jul292012

Catwoman and Marie Antoinette Would Just HATE Each Other

Shortly after writing about The Dark Knight Rises I got all frustrated remembering how audiences are ignoring the bracing terrific French drama Farewell My Queen so I couldn't resist doodling about them together. Enjoy!

That arthouse drama about The Terror would make for an eye opening double feature for fanboys, an educational footnote if you will, for Chris Nolan's awkward political metaphors about the unruly 99% and how hard they are on those put upon benevolent 1%ers!

Speaking of bags upon bags of money and who's got it... this weekend's box office charts.

Box Office Fifteen
01 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES $64 (Cum. $289) Review
02 ICE AGE 4 $13.3 (cum. $114.8)
03 THE WATCH $13 *new*
04 STEP UP REVOLUTION $11.8 *new*
05 TED $7.3 (cum $193.6)
06 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN $6.8 (cum $242) Review
07 BRAVE $4.2 (cum. $217.2)
08 MAGIC MIKE $2.5 (cum. $107.5) Review
09 SAVAGES $1.7 (cum. $43.8) 
10 MOONRISE KINGDOM $1.3 (cum. $38.3) 

11 MADEA'S WITNESS PROTECTION $2.5 (cum. $62.7) 
12 TO ROME WITH LOVE $4.2 (cum. $12.9) Review
13 BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD $2.5 (cum. $4.1) 
14 MADAGASCAR 3 $4.2 (cum. $209.5)
15 THE AVENGERS $2.5 (cum. $616) Review

Just outside the top 15, French import and international feel good hit The Intouchables is really rising. It's about to hit $5 million in the US and still expanding. Outside of TDKR, the most crowded theaters (i.e. per screen average) were for two indies in very limited theatrical release: NC-17 rated Killer Joe (with Matthew McConaughey and Gina Gershon based on the Tracy Letts play) and Ruby Sparks with Paul Dano as a writer and Zoe Kazan as his creation. 

What did you watch this weekend? Besides The Olympics of course

Saturday
Jul282012

Belated Review: "The Dark Knight Rises"

Though it's normally best to get straight to the point with reviews The Dark Knight Rises (hereafter refered to as TDKR) presents something of a quandary. How do you jump right in to speaking about this particular film when Christopher Nolan's last Batman film has so long ceased being "just a movie". So we begin with a three part preface... 

What?!? Nolan can blow seven reels of a non-origin Batman film before Bruce suits up and you object to me blathering on for three paragraphs before I review the movie? Double standards!

First, I believe that Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman is one of the greatest performances of the 1990s, the very definition of what an actor can do when they understand their auteur's vision, get the heightened play of specific entertainment genres, and are capable of imaginative stylization. It pissed me right off that people tried to pretend that no one before Heath Ledger had ever delivered Oscar worthy work within the comic book genre. So Batman Returns is my favorite Batman movie (yes, I know it has flaws. Shut up) and I entered the movie naturally resistant to Anne Hathaway's Catwoman.

Second, I saw the movie alone on Saturday, the morning after it opened. I failed to convince any of my friends to go with me and wasted my second ticket. To my great shame even though I think it's stupid to let fear change your routines (I was on a plane exactly a week after 9/11 as scheduled) I did briefly find myself thinking about where the exits were* against my will and flinched at the frequent gun battles in the movie. When I returned from the movie a friend snarkily asked me "So was is worth risking your life?" and I wanted to punch him. In a non violent way. See, every movie is worth risking your life for because movies are totally safe. Movies do not kill people, people do. People with access to firearms especially which is a lot of people given our nation's embarrassingly pro-tragedy gun laws.

*I'm super happy to report that I've been to the movies twice after this and never once thought of this.

This is a LOT of baggage to take into a movie already. I get that. And then there's the small matter of my teflon resistance to understanding the genius of Chris Nolan and residual frustration with fanboy culture that demands that I do. I was discussing the push and pull between mandated blockbuster movie culture and blogging demands last week with Rob, a reader, on facebook who paid me the nicest compliment:

I like the balance you strike. Sorta: this is here, can't ignore it, we're all gonna see it, Christian Bale is gonna sound funny, and we move on.

Rob nailed it. Yes. Yes. Yes. Hee. And we move on... finally, to the [spoiler heavy] review

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul262012

Always Be My Linky

AV Club two new roles for Mariah Carey as an American Idol judge and returning in front of Lee Daniels camera (they worked together on Precious, remember?) in The Butler which already has a very starry cast
My New Plaid Pants a remake of With a Friend Like Harry? Like JA I'm shocked this hasn't already happened. Sergi Lopez was so good in that!
Towleroad Lady Gaga's makes her acting debut in Machete Kills 
SubAtomicCowboy ...reminds us that that's not technically true.

Hollywood Elsewhere a Marilyn Monroe intervention
Movie|Line has theories on the Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart breakup. Interesting though the accompanying opinion/absurdity that 'Kristen Stewart could be the next Jodie Foster' negates my ability to take it seriously.
/Film Battle Royale for the CW as a TV series. From the Dept of Truly Hilariously Terrible Ideas 
Hollywood.com Revenge returns on September 30th. Start the countdown 

Na na na na na na NA na na na na BAT LINKS ♫
Dancer a Day "You're so Bane. You probably think this song is about you." 
We Got This Covered "Imagine the Fire" a lengthy interconnected essay on The Dark Knight Rises.
Natasha VC Christopher Nolan has a little Cousin Matthew in him, huh?
Forbes on The Dark Knight's political conservativism.
Digital Spy Anne Hathaway on the possibility of a Catwoman spin off. Given that she doesn't want to do it without Chris Nolan it's never going to happen (see also La Pfeiffer's stance in the 90s about Catwoman IF it was with Tim Burton)

Tuesday
Jul242012

Burning Questions: Do Plot Holes Always Matter?

Michael C here to challenge the nitpickers. Minor Dark Knight Rises spoilers are alluded to, but then you've seen it already haven't you? 

A two and a half hour movie and you can’t find time to explain how Bane eats?”

I admit that quip got a chuckle out of me. I would credit the originator of the quote but as is so often the case these days it seemed to appear simultaneously from countless sources.

This kind of stuff is to be expected since it appears we are now entering the nitpicking phase of the blockbuster hyperbole cycle. If I have my schedule correct we are currently leaving the trumpet sounding, joy fainting stage and this complain-a-thon will soon lead into a full-blown backlash. This will be followed, of course, by the backlash to the backlash, and so on and so on until the IMDB voters decide if it is officially the best movie ever made or if it is only good enough to bump Seven Samurai of out the Top 10.

(Of course, if you are reading The Film Experience you may be in search of the ever-elusive “Reasonable Weighing of Artistic Merits” phase. Godspeed and good luck to you. )

In the past 48 hours I’ve seen dozens of posts spring up claiming to nail various glaring plot holes in Dark Knight RisesMORE...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul242012

The Link Squad

The Film Stage Gangster Squad, with its machine gun in the movie theater moment -- already revealed in the trailer --  may be delayed or reedited now in the wake of Aurora Colorado tragedy. (I figured this was coming)
i09 Lt Ellen Ripley and Child, painted. Other sci-fi women also iconized. 
Telegraph RIP Actor Simon Ward of The Tudors, Three Musketeers, Supergirl, and Young Winston fame. He was 70 years old.
Rope of Silicon is wondering about the Oscar chances of Beasts of the Southern Wild now that it's expanded well.

My New Plaid Pants Quote of the Day via The House of Kermit
Pajiba Dustin recounts his single most humiliating experience as a critic. Curse you, Taylor Lautner!
The Broadway Blog celebrates musical theater's belters: Sutton, Babs, Lupone and more
Hollywood Elsewhere has lunch with the Criterion Blurays of Rosemary's Baby and Sunday Bloody Sunday
Vanity Fair says goodbye to The Dark Knight Trilogy with a behind the scenes slideshow 
Vulture looks at the dissolution of the TomKat marriage
NPR this is sweet, actor Donald Faison (Clueless, Scrubs) on the movie he has seen a million times: The Empire Strikes Back
The Film Doctor discusses The Dark Knight Rises with a film major at Waffle House. Cheese, eggs, raisin toast, and spoilers.

P.S. Yes, yes. I did start a review myself and I hope to have it up today but I'm moving in slo-mo this week.

Sunday
Jul222012

Link On, Link On

My New Plaid Pants filled me with ??? and !!! and lolz with this post on terrible sequel movie What's Happened To Rosemary's Baby.
Vanity Fair Angelina Jolie is... SLINKY  
Amiresque on seeing your home town on film (Take This Waltz
My Boyfriend is an Engineer  awesome new tumblr devoted to Prometheus' wacky troublemaker. 

BatWorld
The Onion "Christian Bale glad to be done with the most humiliating experience of professional life" 
i09 Batman fashions and accessoris you can wear to the office? I do love the Bane coat and the Bat clip  
Hollywood.com the purrfect Catwoman? I knew we'd get a few articles praising Anne Hathaway above all else.  

Off Cinema For the Hell Of It
Towleroad New Kids on the Block, now, in the shower with mustaches. Wait, what? 
xkcd United Shapes of America 
Gawker is Project Runway still relevant in its 10th year? 
Seo Kim "I think I like wasabi peas" 

Today's Must Read
Some Came Running Glenn Kenny on the internet we made and fanboy culture. Can it ever mature? Love this part...

...this thing called "fan culture" or "nerd cuture" or whatever it is you want to call it is largely predicated on emotional immaturity combined with a variety of willed cultural illiteracy. Fan culture doesn't say "comic books can be high art," it says, "comic books are the only art." And, further, "the film of the comic book must provide an analogous heightened experience of the comic book, and YOU, the person on the outside of our purview who is now being gifted with this artifact of AWESOMENESS, must fall into line and PRAISE this artifact and confer upon it the legitimacy it has always deserved but which YOU have been too blinkered by your own pretentious prejudices to recognize." That's what fan culture wants. That's what it demands. "Nerd culture" is Peter Pan as a brain-eating zombie. 

Today's Video of Choice
Quentin Tarantino's women via Neko Case...

 

If only all guy's guy's directors were this good with female characters! 

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