5 Things to Expect Now that Ben Affleck Is Batman

by Ethan Alter August 23, 2013 10:24 am
5 Things to Expect Now that Ben Affleck Is Batman

Now that we've all had a few hours to digest the head-scratching Ben Affleck is Batman news, here are five things this dubious casting announcement implies.

Happy Anniversary: Batman Returns and Batman & Robin

by Ethan Alter July 18, 2012 3:51 pm
Happy Anniversary: <i>Batman Returns</i> and <i>Batman & Robin</i>

Before The Dark Knight Rises closes out the current Batman series, we celebrate the anniversaries of two older Caped Crusaders.

The Dark Knight Rises: Come On Up For the Rising

by Ethan Alter July 20, 2012 12:01 am
<i>The Dark Knight Rises</i>: Come On Up For the Rising

At the end of Christopher Nolan's first Batman adventure, Batman Begins, Gotham cop (and future commissioner) James Gordon warned his new masked vigilante pal about the potential for "escalation" amongst the city's criminal element in the wake of the costumed crime-fighter's arrival. In the moment, that scene existed to set the stage for the arrival of more challenging villains like the Joker, whose flair for anarchy would baffle and befuddle Batman through the course of The Dark Knight. But in hindsight, that scene was really Nolan's warning to us the audience that he was planning on escalating the franchise, not to mention the entire comic book movie genre, far beyond its expected conventions.

The Dark Knight was the initial shot across the bow and now here comes Nolan's third and supposed final chapter, The Dark Knight Rises, which pushes the director's specific vision to its breaking point. With its super-sized three-hour runtime, expansive storytelling and enormous action set-pieces (many of which were filmed in the IMAX format, which is the ideal way to see the movie), Rises is the fulfillment of that seven-year old pledge from Nolan to moviegoers. When the title card finally appears onscreen at the end of the movie, it's his equivalent of dropping the mic and walking offstage. (WARNING: Spoilers Will Rise Beyond This Point)

Beyond <i>The Dark Knight Rises</i>: Five Other DC Comics Superhero/Director Match-Ups We Want

When Christopher Nolan was first tapped to reboot the Batman franchise in 2005, few people could have accurately predicted how well that pairing of filmmaker and material would work out. After all, at that point, Nolan had only one big studio credit to his name (2002's Insomnia) and no experience at all in the comic book realm. But the one-two punch of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight proved that he was more than up to the task. Fusing his own specific interests with familiar Batman iconography, Nolan crafted a distinct take on the character that pleased both comic book fans and general audiences... to the tune of over $700 million at the domestic box office combined.

Bat Who? Dark What?

by Tippi Blevins September 16, 2008 12:38 pm
Bat Who?  Dark What? Do you ever read about all the remakes, reimaginings, and reboots of films from the relatively recent past and wonder if maybe Hollywood has kind of a short memory? If you answered "yes" to that, then it looks like Hollywood might actually agree with you. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. "plans to rerelease its blockbuster Batman sequel in January, the height of Academy Awards voting season." A "studio insider" is quoted as saying, "'It's just a matter of bringing it back as a reminder for people.'" Because if there's one movie that people won't remember a few months from now, it's The Dark Knight, right? It's not like it's already made more than half a billion dollars domestically or is still in the box office top ten two months after its premiere. It's not like there won't be a huge media blitz leading up to its December release on DVD to remind people of its existence, or anything. Seriously, even my grandma knows about The Dark Knight, and she hasn't been to a movie theater since Sean Connery had most of his original hair.

The Dark Knight: Believe The Hype

by DeAnn Welker July 16, 2008 11:14 am
<i>The Dark Knight</i>: Believe The Hype Let's get the hype out of the way: Yes, The Dark Knight was hyped, hyped, hyped. Yes, it's opening on about seven gazillion screens (more than 4,300, to be precise). Yes, the hype got even more deafening after Heath Ledger's tragic death. The hype factory for this movie was working at such volume, in fact, that the rest of the movie sort of got lost in all the white noise. (For example, Aaron Eckhart? Fantastic in his own right, but there's nary a mention of his performance in the media coverage up to this point.)

Okay then, hype acknowledged -- about the movie, and about Ledger's performance in it. And to think I foolishly worried the movie couldn't live up to it all.

Hurrying Out The Hornet's Nest

by Tippi Blevins June 24, 2008 11:09 am
Hurrying Out The Hornet's Nest A lot can happen in two years. By summer 2010, the U.S. will be about eighteen months into a new presidential term. Sixty generations of overcrowded laboratory fruit flies will have come and gone. An elephant who gets knocked up today will be taking her baby on its first migration. Two years is a long time, in other words, but Sony Pictures is planning way ahead by revealing its Green Hornet website, complete with a brand new, shiny green logo. (Hilariously, the new website reminds us that "This film is not yet rated." No! Really? "This film is not yet in existence," is more like it.) Why now? Why so early? Maybe Sony doesn't realize it could shoot itself in the foot with two solid years of pre-release hype. Maybe Sony is trying to get the movie-going public used to the idea of its unconventional action movie star. Or maybe an intern just had some free time on his hands and wanted to play around with Photoshop.

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