Turns out whatever shaky ground we may have thought HBO’s Westworld was under could prove false worries. The series looks to be near completion and with that arrives the very first, full trailer for the series.
Check out the trailer:
Turns out whatever shaky ground we may have thought HBO’s Westworld was under could prove false worries. The series looks to be near completion and with that arrives the very first, full trailer for the series.
Check out the trailer:
Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the top stories in comic based Film & TV news!
Horse whisperer – check. Homicidal closeted gay man – check. Traitorous spy – check. Orchid poacher – check.
What on earth is left for Chris Cooper to play? Apparently it’s Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin.
Cooper will join Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as Rhino as they tackle Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield, of course) in the upcoming sequel. Will Cooper’s Green Goblin be on par with Willem Dafoe’s from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man? That will be difficult as Dafoe plays the unhinged supervillain so well, but if anyone is up to the task, it would be Chris Cooper.
If you follow no one else on twitter (besides Grizzly Bomb of course), make sure you follow The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s director, Marc Webb. He’s been tweeting photos from the set everyday and it’s always fun to get a look behind the scenes, and commentary from the director isn’t too shabby. Yesterday he sent out a picture of an upended car on top of a crushed cab… Rhino’s handiwork? [Ed. Note: I’ve included a shot of Shailene Woodley as MJ from the set. No reason.]
In addition to the day to day photos, some pics of the new Spider-Man suit have been released. Now you aren’t going to make everyone happy, and there were quite a few people displeased with the suit in the first film of this trilogy, but I like this one. The eyes look great, much better than the first attempt.
Now that filming is underway, I’m sure there will be plenty more in the way of news and such from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 so stay tuned!
I can not be the only person who feels like this movie has been in the works for decades now and with every passing day comes another rumor only to be shot down the following day. At this rate, my grandchildren might get to see a Justice League movie, but only if they are lucky.
The latest of these rumors was that Christian Bale was going to be returning as the Dark Knight, but that has been apparently dismissed. However, it was confirmed that Christopher Nolan is involved in some capacity, most likely as a producer. Also a producer is Man of Steel director Zack Snyder and there are hints that he might be directing Justice League as well.
Of course the biggest statement in the ComicBookMovie report is that we will probably not be getting much Justice League news until after Man of Steel is released on June 14th of this year. What that really means is we won’t be getting any “official” information but if it’s like anything else in the internet age, we’ll know plenty. It may not be completely factual but we will know it!
What do Pride and Prejudice, zombies, Abraham Lincoln, vampires, and Mr. Fantastic have in common? Well, thanks to the Fantastic Four reboot, Seth Grahame-Smith. He’s taken on the task of “polishing” the script and one can only hope that means this reboot will be much better than Rise of the Silver Surfer because I think we can all agree, that is a movie that just needs to be forgotten about, for all eternity. Burned from the annals of geek history. Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay to last year’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer based on his novel of the same title (he also wrote the incredibly popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and the Johnny Depp vampire movie, Dark Shadows. Also of note, he is the writer of the hopefully upcoming Beetlejuice 2.
Matthew Vaughn has been announced as the producer of the FF reboot, directed by Josh Trank. Vaughn is obviously no stranger to the geek world with a resume including Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, so I think we can rest easy knowing that the Fantastic Four family will be treated right.
Speaking of Matthew Vaughn and X-Men…
Ever since Game of Thrones (and the movie Station Agent, that everyone should see) actor Peter Dinklage was announced for X-Men: Days of Future Past, there has been speculation as to who he would be playing. Now it appears as if there’s a character emerging from the rumors as a front-runner.
[quote]But thanks to a tipster who prefers to remain anonymous, but is extremely reliable, we can tentatively confirm: Dinklage is playing Bolivar Trask, inventor of the mutant hunting robot Sentinels in the movie sequel. -MTV[/quote]
Obviously fans have been waiting for the Sentinels to feature into the story for a long time, and Peter Dinklage as any character in the world is fine with me.
While that is fun news, it’s still technically a rumor so it could easily change. However, director Bryan Singer has said that there is one person we are sure to see in Days of Future Past and that is none other than the 37th President himself, Richard Nixon. Apparently part of the movie is based in the ’70s, and Singer has promised that Tricky Dick has a role in the story. If I have no other reason to watch this movie, it will be to see how Richard Nixon factors into the X-Men universe.
Also official? Halle Berry is returning as Storm. Is there really much more to say on that besides an underwhelmed “that’s good, I guess, for her, maybe?”
Didn’t think so.
That about does it for this edition of Hero Express! Let us know what you think of these stories in the comments and we’ll see ya next time!
Ever since Smallville went off the air, I haven’t turned on the CW at all. I’ve watched Supernatural, but that’s all been off of Netflix and up until this summer I was pretty certain I wouldn’t watch CW again. For the most part I’m just not a fan of their shows. Well, with the new show Arrow, that has all changed.
It was actually because of Smallville that I tuned into Arrow in the first place. Way back in season 8 they introduced Justin Hartley as the Green Arrow with this (you’ll have to click on it because there was no embedding, sorry). Now, I’m a DC girl and have been a Green Arrow fan for quite some time and I remember thinking when I saw that episode, “hmmmm, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone play the Green Arrow before.” For good reason, you see, Justin Hartley was actually the first ever live action Green Arrow and Stephen Amell is now the second. Not a bad little brotherhood to be in.
Actually brotherhood might be stretching it a little, they are more like cousins. Very close cousins, sure, but cousins all the same.
The pilot (I’m going to say pilot here but it’s more likely that because I’m going to quickly discuss both episodes, they are just going to go back and forth) starts off with a hooded man, who could either be homeless or a castaway. We learn quickly that he is of the castaway variety and he’s been lost on this island for five years. That lines up all right with Green Arrow canon but then Oliver Queen heads home to Star City, I’m sorry, to Starling City and meets up with his mom (what?), Moira Queen (played by the incredible Susanna Thompson, (Queen Rose it is so nice to have you back on my TV) and his sister (double what??), Thea (Willa Holland). Oh, and his best friend is Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). Yes, I said his best friend. Surely they will have Tommy become Merlyn before too long, right?
As if all that wasn’t enough, Oliver has an ex-fiance named Laurel (CW go-to-girl Katie Cassidy) who Oliver was cheating on with her sister (Dinah, I mean Laurel, has a sister?) who accompanied Oliver and his father Robert (Jamey Sheridan) on the yacht trip that ended up being the last trip she and Robert ever took and the one that landed Oliver on the island.
Oh and biggest “did you just see that?” moment for me was right here:
Was Deathstroke on the island? What happened to him? Surely Arrow didn’t kill him? Right? Especially since pictures have been released of him from a future episode, but were they flashbacks? So many questions that I would like answers to!
So yes, there is a lot involved right off the bat that doesn’t stick to the traditional Green Arrow story but luckily Arrow still works. After we’ve met everyone, including Oliver’s new bodyguard John Diggle (David Ramsey) and the lawman, Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne, a man I would watch do anything) the pilot goes into setting up Oliver as Arrow. While catching up with his old friend Tommy, they are both attacked and drugged by masked men. They then interrogate Oliver over what his father told him. Thing is, Daddy dearest sort of offed himself in the life raft before he could tell his boy anything beyond “I failed our city and I was not the only one.”
And there, friends and neighbors, is Arrow’s motivation. He is going to return to Starling City with a book his father had in his pants (that Oliver fished out after his father had been dead for an amount of time that seems to be between rigor mortis ending and decomp fully setting in, which is nasty) and now has a list of those people who Oliver’s father feels was part of the ruining of his hometown.
He sets himself up a pretty nice “Arrow Cave” in an abandoned factory his father used to own. I’m not going to lie, there are some definite upsides to this show and they don’t have a lot to do with the plot.
Laurel is a lawyer who works at the nicest legal aid office in the entire universe. With the prettiest people. In the pilot she is suing Adam Hunt, coincidentally, a man listed on Oliver’s list. Arrow goes into what I like to call “Christopher Nolan’s image of Batman” mode and voila, all of Laurel’s clients have a shit ton of money thanks to one of Arrow’s “trick” arrows, this one apparently can do something with computers. In the second episode we got to see China White, the first of what appears to be many planned DC villains scheduled (last I saw so far they have Deathstroke, Deadshot, The Huntress [more of a hero], and the Royal Flush Gang) to appear on the show.
We did find out why they chose to have Oliver’s mom be alive, as she apparently is either a baddie herself or is closely related to the mystery baddie. Oooohhhhh, intrigue!
The first two episodes were great, but left a lot of questions unanswered. Biggest one; where’s Roy Harper? In the pilot, Oliver calls his sister Speedy very quickly in passing. Surely they aren’t ditching Roy Harper and having Thea be Speedy, right? On one hand I’m sort of okay with it, I like watching sibling relationships but at the same time, I like Roy Harper and would like to see him on the show.
And how does John Diggle factor into all of this? He already suspects that Oliver isn’t the asshole party boy that he’s pretending to be. So how long until Oliver lets him in on the act? Speaking of, why is Laurel pretending to be this damsel in distress? Hello woman, you are supposed to be the Black Canary, so get your shit together and find some black spandex pronto.
Another question. How on earth did Oliver become this martial arts master who can shoot a bow and arrow with the best of them all whilst being stranded alone on a supposedly deserted island? Oh, and where did he learn to speak Russian and Mandarin? Was there a copy of the Rosetta Stone left there by a previous castaway?
That question might have been answered at the end of the second episode with the appearance of a man in a green hood, who has incredible aim with a bow and arrow. Is this who taught Oliver the skills he would later use to clean up Starling City? Time (and perhaps the next few episodes) will only tell.
One last one, then I’ll move on. Ummm… what exactly is this substance Oliver is smearing on his face in lieu of a mask? It obviously isn’t something that permanent as he was able to remove it rather quickly to get back to the party. Inquiring minds want to know.
If I was forced to pick one thing that annoyed me about the show so far, it would be it’s at times blatant rip off of Batman Begins. I get that they are trying to go for that darker feel to the show but swinging the bad guy from the rafters? Having Laurel be an almost carbon copy of Rachel Dawes? I really hope they put an end to that and find their own voice. Otherwise all you’ll hear about is people comparing it to the movie, which would be disappointing.
So there’s the first two episodes in a nutshell. Join me in tuning into the CW on Wednesday nights at 8 eastern and then we’ll meet up back here and discuss.
Let’s just say, we better be discussing this guy turning bad here pretty soon or I’m going to be miffed.
One of the best parts about movies is, in my opinion, the costuming. Just think how important costumes are – would Daniel Radcliffe be Harry Potter without his glasses on, or would we even believe that Scarlett O’Hara was a selfish, upper-class Southern girl if she wore maid’s clothes? Heck, costumes are so important that they even have their own award at the Oscars.
First attempt to costume Bane…
That’s why when I saw The Dark Knight Rises in the theatres I actually spent a second or two investigating each new costume that appeared on the screen. I adored Selina Kyle’s classy, Audrey Hepburn-style dresses and accessories, that is when she wasn’t kicking ass in her (thankfully) full-coverage Catwoman disguise. However, what really piqued my interest was Bane’s entire ensemble and how much it horrifically reminded me of soldiers’ uniforms from central and eastern Europe during World War II.
Apparently, I was not too far in my thinking. In a recent interview with GQ, The Dark Knight Rises‘s costume designer, Lindy Hemming, said that the costuming department specifically looked for the type of military coats that people would wear in Eastern Europe or Northern Pakistan, “where [mercenaries] find military surplus and wear it” (GQ). Hemming also said that Christopher Nolan asked for Bane’s outfit to be a bit reminiscent of the French Revolution, so she tried to envision and create a coat that had a high collar which then bends back down. Finish Bane off with pants tucked into army boots and some heavy knee pads and you’ve got one scary-looking son of a bitch.
But what about Bane’s funky-looking belt and gas mask? That’s a good question. One that was apparently answered during the filming of the movie, and yet, all of those scenes were excluded from the final cut. Hemming expressed her disappointment in this decision and said that there was originally a lot more backstory for Bane.
In regards to his belt, she pointed out that it was a combination belt and back brace for whatever injury happened to his back to cause the scars we see. She said, “One of the fundamental things about his costume is that he has this scar from the back injury. Even if he hasn’t got the bulletproof vest on, he still has to wear the waist belt and the braces. In that scene in the prison, where he’s learning to fight the same way Batman learned to fight, he’s wearing an early version of his waist belt. It’s showing support, but it’s not the finished one he eventually wears” (GQ).
As for Bane’s gas mask, Hemming explained that one scene shot for the film clearly showed Bane being beaten by people while he was wearing an early version of his mask. She also said that there was an entire other scene to help clarify where the mask even came from, and why he has to wear it.
I believe it’s a shame that these scenes were not included in the final cut of the film because the clothes really do make the man. Without the information about why Bane wears a gas mask or a brace belt for his scars and back, he suddenly becomes a little less intimidating, and also a little less goal-oriented. Is what he’s doing in TDKR affected by more than the little bit of his past that was revealed to us? We don’t know and can’t know yet, but hopefully the producers will realize this aspect of Bane’s character is necessary for developing the overall story and legend of the Batman legacy and include these cut scenes as special features in the DVD release.
According to Variety via Fandango, it looks like Warner Bros. has approached Ben Affleck to direct the Justice League movie. Affleck is a hot property in the directing pool due to his critical and commercial successes with Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Argo is also shaping up to be a film to be reckoned with considering the early buzz, and since he has made Warner Bros. some money with his films, they have sent him the Will Beale (Gangster Squad) script to see if he’d be willing to guide DC’s finest to the promised land achieved by The Avengers, aka, a vault full of cash.
The movie is scheduled to be launched at the earliest around 2015 so that would put it into direct competition with The Avengers 2 movie, which just announced Joss Whedon returning as director and writer. Ben Affleck apparently makes it known that he wants to act in the films that he directs so you might also see him don a costume if this comes true. He has been circling another project called Replay, which is also being developed by Warner as well, but they have been working on that for the last decade so this might be his next project. Only thing that might get in the way would be his long-term commitment because 2015 is a long ways away and he would be tied up until then most likely developing the story and filming. I don’t know how he can get the time off from Fashionable Male during this time.
He’s come a long way from the back of a Volkswagon
I can understand the misgivings of Ben Affleck as the director of this movie. First off, he’s not Christopher Nolan, let’s get that out of the way. Second, it’s Ben freakin’ Affleck. He was the dominatrix Daredevil and that might ruin any street cred with the comic book crowd. The reputation might not be there for him to tackle this movie with that awkward fight scene with Elektra (Jennifer Garner) on people’s minds. Third, this would only be his fourth movie and unlike Joss Whedon, he does not appear to have a deep understanding of fanboys and the comic book universe. Can he handle the massive size of this project when he is considered a neophyte to the directing game? He is basically one of the more random choices out there to grab on to. However, I liked Gone Baby Gone and I loved The Town (partially because the Boston accent is fun to imitate) and I feel that he can definitely handle the characters and the scope of this movie based off of those flicks. Now, I absolutely do NOT want him to act in it but not because I think he is a bad actor (quite the opposite actually), but he should concentrate on delivering on all the characters and not just his own. I think he would be a great choice but I honestly don’t think he’ll do it. 3 years is a long time for someone to dedicate for the movie. Granted, I don’t know who else would at this point but just for discussion purposes, maybe Looper director Rian Johnson? He has about the same experience as Affleck behind the camera and handled Bruce Willis and potential DC staple Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper. Granted, as I wrote that, he also did Brick, which I loved and also with JGL so maybe he should revive that detective feel and go with Batman. Boom. Discuss.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order.
Jonathan Hickman is one of my favorite comics writers in the entire industry right now. His independent work, such as Pax Romana, or The Nightly News, are already modern classics, and are so innovative with their graphic design, hyper dense information, and high concept ideas, that he is bound to become another in a long list of names that are synonymous with great comics. He’ll be up there with Grant Morrison, Alan Moore and Jack Kirby as people who have defined and redefined what comics can be and can do that other mediums can’t. Yes, his books really are that good, and up until a year ago, he was the only reason I even still read Marvel,(I don’t anymore, but that’s for another post, at another time), because his run on Fantastic Four was so good.
Well color me surprised and curious, because his plans for Marvel’s flagship series ‘The Avengers’, have come out, and I’ve gotta say, they’ve got me interesting in plopping down an extra $4 each week to read a Marvel book, which from me, is saying something. Hickman speaks about what his intentions are with the book, the characters, and his plans are for the book:
“The idea is that the Avengers have to get bigger,” Hickman told CBR. “That means bigger in every sense. That means the roster has to be bigger, and the missions have to be bigger, and the adversaries and scenarios they find themselves in have to be larger. I’ve played with this stuff a little bit over in the Ultimate Universe. Obviously, it’s a completely different weight class here, but in a lot of ways that’s the kind of velocity that the book should have. We (Tom Brevoort and I) also felt like that if the book was going to be about an Avengers world, it should look more like the world. Of course there are complications starting out when the necessary movie characters are five white dudes and a white lady, but, you know, bigger roster. Frankly, I’m really, really excited at how we address that. The lineup is killer.”
By expanding their ranks, the core Avengers team will grow to 18 members. While this may seem like a huge cast to juggle, Hickman has structured the series in a way that will give almost all his characters equal time in the spotlight. “The way I’ve set this up is we’ll do bigger stories where our entire cast or almost all of our cast take part in a really big adventure.We’ll do around three-issue arcs of bigger stories, and then we’ll do three done-in-one issues where we focus on a smaller group of characters,” Hickman explained. “It’s not a problem getting to everyone, and it’s not a problem making it feel like everybody’s important.”
Another element that will help Hickman balance his large cast of characters is the fact that several of the team members will have their own, solo titles. “I think the writers of the ‘Thor,’ ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Captain America,’ etc. should be writing whatever stories they want to write for those characters,” Hickman stated. “‘Avengers’ isn’t the place where Thor is going to have a huge character arc. That’s not how it works. That stuff happens in ‘Thor.’ ‘Avengers’ should be a reflection of that.”
“The book very quickly becomes about all the characters that surround the big guns of the Marvel Universe,” Hickman continued. “Once people see how the issues work, it will become very clear. This isn’t about a random group of characters I just decided to put together. This is about a bunch of heroes who feel the same way about the main Avengers as we do. You want to see Thor? So do these guys.”
It seems pretty obvious in retrospect, but Hickman very clearly understands what made the Avengers movie, and its accompanying stand alone “cast” pictures work for mainstream audiences, and looks to echo that in the comics. For a long time, I’ve seen many potential Marvel comics fans be daunted by the prospect of even trying to jump into an Avengers book, and while I remain skeptical about it being truly “new reader friendly”, because Marvel says EVERY single time their new event books are “new reader friendly”, I think the ideas that Hickman has will blossom into great comics for everyone, even if it only ends up appealing to the more hardcore comics fan. While I love Hickman, his work is anything but broad, but perhaps his creative and innovative sensibilities will give us the Christopher Nolan of comics writers. He could be the creative bridge between the thoughtful high concept indie, and the slam-bang action of a typical superhero book combined for the best of both worlds. Here’s to hoping that he’ll be able to assemble (I know) those concepts cleanly.
Plenty has been said about the horrific shootings in Aurora in the past couple weeks. Violent crime always has the effect of bringing up many different sides of humanity in its response, and while I do have personal opinions on the shootings, it’s deranged perpetrator, and the life needlessly lost, my main one is that it is not my place to say what is the right or wrong position to hold after this tragedy. I only believe in being respectful towards those lost in the event, and those deeply affected by that loss. It’s with great relief that I can say that DC has followed in that notion, by postponing an issue of a comic, that apparently has scenes in it that could hit close to home for many affected. I’m positive that many who were in attendance at the theater the night of the shooting, were indeed comics fans, and seeing an image so soon could potentially trigger unwanted flashbacks or bring back hard feelings, and at the very least, just be considered poor taste being distributed so soon after a tragedy of this magnitude. While I’m not one for censorship, I am one for recognizing respect, and generally being a decent human being, and being courteous towards other’s feelings. A DC rep had a similar statement along those lines to say, when announcing the postponement.
“Out of respect for the victims and families in Aurora, Colorado DC Entertainment has made the decision to postpone the release of Batman Incorporated #3 for one month because the comic contains content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events. We request that retailers do not make this issue available as previously solicited. Its new on sale date is August 22, 2012. This includes all versions of Batman Incorporated #3, previously set to go on sale 7/25 and arriving at retail on Tuesday 7/24 and Wednesday 7/25.”
Chris Burnham, artist on the book, said on twitter of the delay, “The book printed on time. I’m looking at a copy on my desk right now. This isn’t a scheduling excuse, we’re trying to do the right thing. it’s not just a Batman comic with guns in it. There’s a specific scene that made DC & the whole Bat-team say ‘Yikes.’ Too close for comfort.”
Chris Burnham’s comments in particular are the most notable, since the actual content of the book itself is the reason for the postponing, rather than a simple observance of the tragedy’s wake. I myself wonder what the actual scene he’s referring to is, but regardless, the gesture is one that has merit, and in my opinion, seems truthfully sincere. It’s easy to be cynical nowadays and paint this up as some kind of bizarre public relations damage control, and to that, I suggest trying a spoonful of humble pie, to put your adult pants on, and try to gain some empathy. I’ve seen too many people trivialize this gesture, and the tragedy itself for foolish reasons, or to promote an agenda, and I simply suggest try having a sincere outlet of emotion and feeling for those lost and hurt by the shooting first. After that, then we can go back to making dick jokes.
[CBR] has a pretty great interview with Grant Morrison, wherein he speaks a lot about many different subjects, ranging from his new book ‘Happy!’, his non-fiction analytical book ‘Supergods’, and even being named a Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire, which I didn’t even know was a thing, and I’m still uncertain if it’s actually even real. But for me, the most interesting thing was seeing him comment on his run on Action Comics and Batman Inc, as both of those books have been excellent standouts amongst his legion of brilliant superhero work, and certainly highpoints of The New 52 as well.
CBR: I think a lot of people are surprised that you’ve remained dedicated to writing superhero comics for this long. Did you always foresee a waning of that work, or did it sneak up on you that “I’m not sure if I need to write anymore superhero stories”?
Morrison: The idea was always that I’d keep doing it as long as it gave me a lot of pleasure and allowed me to express myself . And it still does, but I can see the end coming closer. I’m coming to the end of long runs and stories I’ve had planned in my notebooks for years and the stuff I’m developing now is quite different.
The “Action Comics” run concludes with issue #16, “Batman Incorporated” wraps up my take with issue #12, and after that I don’t have any plans for monthly superhero books for a while. “Multiversity” is eight issues and I’m 30-odd pages into a Wonder Woman project but those are finite stories.
I’m not saying that I’ll never write superheroes again. It’s just that my relationship to them has changed especially after finishing the book and I’m not sure if I want to maintain the same kind of relentless level of production.
I’m all for Morrison taking time off writing amazing superhero comics to go write amazing creator owned, original comics. The guy’s work is always interesting, and never bores me, or angers me by insulting my intelligence, *COUGH* MarkMillar *COUGH*, so to hear the guy is still very interested in making his own original content, makes me happy, and it should make you happy too. But go read the whole interview, it’s fascinating.
That’s the sound of the comics industry punching you in the face.
For a long time, the comics industry was considered floundering, and compared to most other mediums, it was. A best-selling novel can reach millions of copies sold, but a best-selling comic would usually bring in only a few hundred thousand. This was more or less the norm since the last big boom in the 90’s, where variant covers reigned supreme amongst all others, and literally millions of copies were bought by collectors, all eagerly anticipating their value to skyrocket. Of course, when the market is saturated like that, collectibility goes down, and so does value, and that led in part, along with many other factors, to the industry reaching a slump around the turn of the millennium, with a gradual rise over the next 10 years. So now, in 2012, where comics awareness is at an all time high due to the one-two punch of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, as well as the many other successful and well made comics related films in the past few years, (Kick-Ass, Iron Man, etc), and the rampant popularity of The Walking Dead TV show, there is a rising interest in the source material, and that has reflected in the sales of comics in large. Along with that interest, and DC and Marvels big attempts at “reboots”, or “relaunching” or what have you, you’ve got what looks like an industry slowly but steadily getting back it’s legs. Even Diamond CEO Steve Geppi commented on it, at Comic-Con this year.
Via [Publishers Weekly]:
$657,250. That’s how much Todd McFarlane’s 1990 Amazing Spider-Man #328 cover is now officially worth, setting a new World Record. The cover, depicting Spider-Man punching the shirt off of Hulk, and declaring himself the new “Strongest One There Is.” Looks like Spidey was right.
At July 26, 2012’s Heritage Auctions’ Signature Comics and Comic Art Auction in Beverly Hills, the single-page black-and-white comic book art drew in the highest value of any American comic art sold at auction. McFarlane’s Spider-Man #1, also from 1990 pulled in a paltry-by-comparison but still high $385,500.
Now while that IS a pretty cool cover, I guess I just don’t love Spider-Man or Todd Mcfarlane enough to even spend over $5 for this cover. I guess I just don’t see the value in it like the buyer must, because I keep looking at it and see another black and white variant. I suppose it’s a testament to the popularity of Spider-Man and Todd Mcfarlane, and a section of fandom I can’t throw myself into full on, since Spider-Man has always been one of the least intriguing superheroes to me. I know that’s an opinion that not a lot of people share, but it’s one I’ve generally always felt. If I had $657,250, well, I’d probably spend at least $100,000 of it on things that are borderline illegal, and the rest would be split between frivolous ventures and (attempted) smart investments. So maybe the guy who bought this is just like me, and somehow got a million dollars, and decided to go balls out, and waste a cool $650,000 on a single variant comic cover he liked. Now that I think about it, I could see myself doing the same sort of thing for a really cool Superman comic, so ALL PREVIOUS CRITICISM REDACTED! Good Job nameless auction buyer! Huzzah!
The Dark Knight Rises is obviously one of the, if not the most, anticipated movies to come out this summer. Everyone is talking about their thoughts on it, and similar to what we did with the group Avengers review, we here at Grizzly Bomb wanted to give this movie the same justice and have a bunch of us review it. Of course, if you haven’t seen the movie, *SPOILER ALERT* so don’t say we did not warn you. You should have watched it anyways so shame on you. If you have not read my review, you can of course click here to check it out, but let’s see what the other authors of the site think of this flick:
Upon initial viewing I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. As it turns out though, it’s only because The Dark Knight Rises was not the single greatest film of all time like I expected, but simply just ‘great’. Upon my second viewing I found myself amazed at how much more enjoyable it seemed. It was the same movie I’d seen just 2 nights prior, but without the weight of my lofty expectations heaped on it, the film just seemed more fluid. The issues I had the first time though (Alfred coming off cheesy, Gordon being underused, an unnatural progression between Selina and Bruce) all melted away as I was able to simply enjoy the film.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was just how much I liked JGL and how they handled the boy wonder. He seemed an amalgam of all the Robins. Tim Drake’s detective work, Jason Todd’s aggressiveness, and the wisecracking wisdom of a Dick Grayson. And while he never traveled with the circus, he was an orphan, and he proved us all wrong – Robin, when done correctly, can exist in Nolan’s Gotham. The other thing I really enjoyed that most people disagree with me on is Bane’s voice. I thought it added to his inherent creepiness and really cemented him as a great villain.
The movie on a whole, while still not as strong as The Dark Knight, ultimately did not disappoint, and I have a third trip to the theater planned tomorrow. In hindsight, I’d say this probably edges out The Avengers as my favorite movie of the summer.
The Dark Knight Rises was good. But it wasn’t great. Let me rephrase that. TDKR wasn’t the best Batman movie, but it was a hell of great Christopher Nolan film. While I have a few complaints and feel like there were just a few too many leaps of the imagination intended for the audience to take, it was a beautifully filmed and epic undertaking that Nolan pulled off.
Weaving in a ton of different plot points from not only the previous movies but TDKR itself was a monstrous task that required a keen eye and an open mind, but it didn’t pan out fully at the conclusion. However, the one thing I can say about the film without any doubt is that it IS a definite conclusion. A conclusion to the trilogy, to Nolan’s bat-verse, and to Bale’s Bruce Wayne.
Are there things I would change? Absolutely. Are there things I didn’t quite get after my first viewing that were more evident after the second? Absolutely. Is The Dark Knight still the better Batman movie? ABSOLUTELY. Walking out of the theater after both movies were two entirely different feelings of awe. TDK was an excited and passionate victory dance for any Batman fan, while TDKR was a contemplative and cerebral appreciation for a great filmmaker.
Watch TDKR twice. That is my ultimate advice/review. Because everything changes that second time when you realize just exactly what the movie is about, who it’s about, and what The Dark Knight Rises really means.
Christopher Nolan stepped away from 2008’s insurmountable The Dark Knight for the finale of his Batman saga, and in doing so The Dark Knight Rises feels a lot more like a sequel to Batman Begins than anything else. It’s a wise move because while much focus will be laid on Bane and a handful of contentious twists and plot points, this shift is the necessary fulcrum that bridges two very disparate films into a fluid trilogy. It also brings the story around full circle – The Joker nearly dismantled the idea of ‘the batman’ when he terrorized Gotham eight years ago, and Rises is all about reaffirming the ideals that led to Bruce Wayne’s creation of the batman.
In short, The Dark Knight Rises serves a very precise, mechanical function for Nolan’s Batman legend. It’s just all the more impressive that Nolan layers such a thrilling finale on top of it.
It all started with Batman Begins, a film that, while not an instant classic, was the beginning of what is now the most significant comic book trilogy in film history. Begins was followed by the now legendary The Dark Knight, which featured a life-altering performance by the late, great Heath Ledger.
What started in 2005 is now finishing in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises, a film that improves on both of its predecessors that ends up being director Christopher Nolan’s true epic masterpiece. The entire cast returns with an entirely new set of faces including the fantastic Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (Catwoman), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, one of the last wholly pure cops in Gotham City.
The villain here is Bane, played perfectly by Tom Hardy, utilizing his eyes and his voice as strengths. The constricting facial mask may be a problem for some, but I thought he was as menacing and terrific as he was in the previews. On top of all that, The Dark Knight Rises is an emotionally resonating story that ends up being the most perfect conclusion to an already near perfect trilogy. There will probably be no superhero trilogy as absolutely amazing as this one. The Dark Knight Rises is the high-point in a trilogy that defied expectations in every way possible.
Christopher Nolan really doesn’t make bad films. The Dark Knight Rises was a great film to end the epic trilogy Nolan started with Batman Begins and then made better with The Dark Knight. This film really brings the old school epics such as Ben-Hur with thousands of extras running around on giant sets to the modern era of films. But sadly it was the last of this superhero trilogy and possibly the best adaptation of a comic hero we will ever see.
What I liked about the way Nolan made this film was that it felt like he created a great new story but then merged the tone and feel of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight so that it would feel very much connected with those films which worked as the finale to a great trilogy (If you didn’t get that I liked the Nolan trilogy yet). I will like to see how Nolan’s involvement in the new superman film Man of Steel will impact its realism and more modern retelling of the superman story. Might just go on about Bane’s amazing ability to take control of a room just with the way he stands with confidence, nah you’ll just have to see the film. Finally I would like to say that even though I am sure we will miss Nolan’s Batman I think that it’s great that a superhero franchise can start off as strong as it finishes where so many have failed before and for that I thank Christopher Nolan for his dedication to making all the films himself with such detailed film making.
My brain is still trying to wrap around the story, as usual with most of Nolan’s films. I’m either less intelligent than I thought, or he really is that good at weaving together multiple peoples’ stories in one film. On the whole, I quite enjoyed it, but I cannot say it was my favorite out of his trilogy. It didn’t seem quite Batman-y like before. However, I will say this was the first time in quite a while that a film actually caught me off guard (SPOILER!); Miranda Tate’s character development blew my mind, and when I looked at my husband during the final scenes, I realized the same thing was happening in his (and he is a hard one to surprise). Overall, cheers again to Nolan and the ENTIRE film crew and cast for a valid and appreciated interpretation of the Batman legacy.
Christopher Nolan has permanently changed the face of Superhero films forever. While Batman Begins was the start of a trend of reboots, it has more or less been beneficial to the superhero movie genre, reaching it’s apex with 2008’s The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight was the first time we got to see a beloved comic character in a movie that was GREAT on its own merit, without any added buffer or forgiveness for its comic book pedigree.
This theme is continued with The Dark Knight Rises, however trying to follow such a dramatic change in quality from The Dark Knight’s prequel to sequel jump, inevitably will lead some to find Dark Knight Rises to be disappointing. That being said, DKR is a very good wrap up of the themes from all the other Nolan Batman movies. By no means as mindblowing as Dark Knight, mostly because of some pacing issues, and the lack of a seminal, game changing character interpretation such as Ledger’s Joker, DKR is nonetheless, a very fitting end for the Nolanverse Batman character.
How anyone will attempt to replicate the fascinating, consistently entertaining, and most of all cerebral and intriguing story told throughout this trilogy of movies is baffling. Whoever reboots the new Batman best find a wholly new direction to go in, because the bar is set impossibly high. This is how you end a trilogy, all other Threequels take notice.
I ain’t no film critic. I don’t judge cinema techniques or shit like that. All I care about is whether if I’m entertained by a movie, and I can gladly report that I was thoroughly entertained.
For TDKR, you get a few action sequences and absolutely phenomenal character developments. Some lines are indeed corny, but 99% of them are great. The twists are there and they can be shocking (though not uncalled for). If there’s any complaint, the story isn’t so “Batman-ish”. Rather, it feels like a conclusion to Nolan’s trilogy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fantastic, and since I am not a comic book fan in the first place, I don’t really care for that flaw.
It’s not better than the second one, but TDKR is undoubtedly one of the best threequels out there. (Note to Bioware: That’s how you setup a potentially depressing and ambiguous ending.)
93 Grizzly Bombs explode out of the 100 possible.
So there you have it. It seems like we all really enjoyed this movie and have a consensus that it was an excellent end. Granted, most, if not all, thought that The Dark Knight was the best of the trilogy, but that should not take away how great this film truly was. Of course we want to know what you guys thought so feel free to comment below your thoughts on whether this film cements this trilogy as one of the best ever or not.
Finally, we get the Man of Steel teaser trailer, and it’s surprisingly poetic for a big action film. The teaser trailers have been given with two versions – one with the narrator being Russell Crowe, who plays Superman’s Kryptonian father ‘Jor-El’. The other one featuring Kevin Costner, who plays ‘Jonathan Kent’. Both trailers will play at the The Dark Knight Rises showings at the cinema, not at the same time though. When I went to see The Dark Knight Rises it showed the Russell Crowe teaser, which I was happy about because its my favorite.
Russell Crowe Version
Kevin Costner Version
What did you think of the teaser? My thoughts are that it was very sweet and down to earth, it looked and felt like it was done similar to Gladiator in the style and realism to the scenes (might have just been Russell Crowe’s Voice over), but never the less very beautiful and touching for superman film trailer. Now they don’t really give you much to off in this trailer so you can’t really get much of a feel for what it’s going to be like. My view is that with Zack Snyder directing and Christopher Nolan producing, we will get a film that is going to be completely different in the way it feels and looks compared to any other ‘Superman’ film before it. Hopefully they can make a ‘Superman’ film that is more relatable to this era than the last.
There is a moment that caught me off guard in The Dark Knight Rises. Bruce Wayne and his loyal butler Alfred share a moment where a breaking point has been reached. We get a touching speech or plea from Alfred asking Bruce about burying members of the Wayne family, and that he refuses to bury yet another under his watch. I shed a tear. Normally, this might be a normal reaction to an emotional moment in the movie (or if you’re a sissy apparently), but my friends and family have come to know me as one thing: an emotionally dead robot. For a movie to have that impact on someone like me means there is a connection to these characters, to this story, to this trilogy. that resonates deeply to garner such a reaction. I think shows how terrific the storytelling and direction under Christopher Nolan was and is. By the end of this movie, the journey is over and I am relieved that it is over. Not because of how overwhelmed I am after 165 minutes of this roller coaster ride, but because it had to end. There was nowhere else to go. In that, we have both the strength and the flaw of the movie.
It has been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent and the disappearance of “The Batman”. He has taken the fall for the crimes committed by the horribly disfigured Dent/Two-Face and in the common theme of the movies is symbolism. Batman was supposed to be the symbol of justice, the right overshadowing the wrong, the hero that emerges from the dark shadows to bring stability in bad times. However the question that plagues the minds of Commissioner Gordon and Batman is that they have perpetuated this lie, that the peace time that has occupied Gotham City is based on an ideal that should not exist, and how does that make it right? Does the end justify the means? The movie investigates this idea and its effect on the citizens of this (seemingly) thriving city. There are obvious political and social overtones, but for now, let’s finish this synopsis just to set the table. We get introduced to Bane right off the bat (yes, went there, deal with it) as you can tell that he is the man with the plan in an awesome sequence involving a new take on hijacking airplanes. You also see the blind faith that his minions put into the man with the mask, not unlike those that put their faith into Batman when he first emerged. He obviously has his sights set on Batman and Gotham City. Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, is a broken man, a Howard Hughes recluse that no one has seen in years, merely a symbol himself like his alter ego. Only when he meets Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) does his suit beckon him once again. It is then that he realizes the danger yet to come.
I will say it is hard to write a review on a movie that people need to witness themselves, because I think everyone will have a different reaction to it, so I will not go into further details of the plot. That way you can jump into it and draw your own conclusions. Lets talk about the cast. Bale is always good, consistent in his quest for a purpose, especially in trying fight for his city and rising (Boom) to the challenge throughout the movie. Michael Caine is in a smaller role, but is still equally powerful as Wayne’s confident/father figure. The exchanges the two of them have will be sorely missed once the final reel rolls off the projector. Gary Oldman is always good, but really comes off great as man struggling with the lie. In trying to find the justice in his actions, in a city of legacy built by deception. Morgan Freeman is good as well, but you probably want to find out how the newbies did. Let us start with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, as the idealistic cop who gets an audience with Commissioner Gordon. He did a fine job in playing understated, if not determined police officer trying to hold on to hope in a city of despair and confusion.
The girl duo of Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway also did a great job in providing characters for both Bruce Wayne and Batman respectively to play off of. Hathaway (who, thankfully, is never referred to as Catwoman at all in the entire movie), brings a certain sass in a woman trying to run from her past and the determination to make sure she always gets her way. That and that suit on that bike. Holy crap.
Of course now we get to Bane. Tom Hardy does an admirable job as the most effin’ evil friggin’ villain I have seen dominate the screen in a long time. He just resonates pure evil and man, I wanted to see Batman kick his ass back into 1993. While not as good as Ledger as the Joker (who would be?), Hardy does terrifically in being the ‘voice’ of the oppressed, yet bringing an insane vibe in that muffled delivery of his (which is not as big of an issue understanding him as everyone made it out to be). This is a man on a mission, where no one can get in his way and that look in his eyes, pretty much the only other thing we can see Hardy emote with, is terrifying. It also comes off as purposeless, however because you want to know why he gets to be such a dick but it never really gets explained in a meaningful manner. I got Bane being the unbeatable villain, but what I really wanted was why he turned into such a monster. If Bruce Wayne could get to the point where he sees nothing but vengeance, why not see the reason why Bane followed that path of refusing to be beatable? A minor quibble but one that bugged me throughout the movie.
The movie itself is a clinic in why Christopher Nolan is one of the best storytellers out there. Visually, the picture is beautiful, and does not need 3D or any of that garbage that Nolan refused to do. The pacing is a bit slow in the first hour, but let us face it, eight years have passed, there must a slow burn to the process in catching up with our favorite Gothamites. Every sequence carries a purpose in the movie, and nothing is wasted. The music by Hans Zimmer also is beautiful yet demanding. It takes a hold of you and carries you from scene to scene, and provides the best mood setting in the trilogy in my opinion. It also tends to overpower the dialogue but that might be a result of the theater as opposed to sound editing. It is still friggin’ epic as all hell.
Obviously we all know this is the last of the trilogy so there was a set plan for this to end. While it is good that Nolan and Co. have decided to have a distinct end to their take on the Bats, I feel that it suffered in the same regard. We all see it coming and I felt no shock value of the path of Batman and his journey to ‘rise’. In fact, I felt rushed along towards the end in order to wrap up certain storylines. As product of the hype machine, I understand having the most anticipated movie come into town that we all have been guessing what the proper ending should be. We were all probably looking for the conclusion to be foreshadowed in the movie and unfortunately, I felt became formulaic during the whole movie. After all, it is a superhero movie so there are certain rules the film must follow. However, it is only minor distraction because it does the formula justice. The movie felt predictable and somewhat pretentious at some points. It wanted to throw us off the path by slipping in random events or characters that seemed to dissolve as the movie went on. Granted, it was not so blatant that I felt Nolan was trying to ‘Shyamalan’ us (the act of throwing in crap to throw people off the scent despite having to do with the twists and turns the movie may offer up), but it did not help with the aforementioned slow pacing. However, this movie still ranks better than 95% of the movies out there this year and these minor problems in my mind, but so comes with the territory of following the best movie of the trilogy (Obviously now determined to be The Dark Knight).
Again, I want to offer up that this is one of the top 3 movies I have seen this year. It is a great movie and proves that the trilogy idea of having a beginning, middle, and concise ending to a set of stories is the way to go. Nolan and Bale have made their mark in not only comic book movie history, but in the cinema world on how to tackle a character and setting in the modern world. The expectations were extremely high and they have met them. I do wish it was exceeded, but it did its job. It did not overwhelm and did not (thank the lord) underwhelm. Go see the movie, go love the movie, and see what it does for you. Go shed a tear too while you are at it, you might not see another trilogy tackled as masterfully as this one.
And please don’t go check out This Is Not The Dark Knight Rises Review. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
Christopher Nolan has been a busy man. He has got the conclusion of the best comic book movie trilogy coming to an end next week. He just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also serving as producer to Man of Steel, the new Superman movie due out next year, which is also getting its big unveiling at Comic-Con later this week. Obviously in doing press, his future plans have been asked along with his producing role on Man of Steel and the enormous success of The Avengers, and his involvement with the Justice League movie. His response?
According to Entertainment Weekly, Nolan says he has zero plans for the Justice League movie.
“No, none at all. We’re finished with all we’re doing with Batman. This is the end of our take on this character.” He also goes on to say he has no intention to be involved with any future Batman movie projects. “Batman will outlive us all, and our interpretation was ours. Obviously, we consider it definitive and kind of finished. The great thing about Batman is he lives on for future generations to reinterpret, and obviously, Warners will have to decide in the future what they’re going to do with him,” Nolan said. “We’ve had our say on the character. I’ve got no plans to do anything more, and certainly, no involvement with any Justice League project.”
Obviously this news is disappointing but at least he is sticking to his guns. I think trilogies are pretty much the way to go because you do not want movies to overstay their welcome and characters to become stagnant. Especially superhero movies where you get origin story, defining moment that results in epiphany on their responsibilities to the world, then the final test that validates their existence… and past that? It’s just retread. There needs to be a beginning, a middle, and an end. The idea of reboots annoys me, but we see it in comic books all the time where people have their take on the characters. It may disrupt what we know but you cannot help but acknowledge that the expansion on the character due to different writing perspectives reinvigorates the genre and the game plan (see: The Amazing Spider-Man movie). You never want to wear out the welcome or be the one getting kicked out of the party. You want to leave while everyone screams how epic that was.
That is how Nolan wants to leave it and while I would love for his take Justice League, it would not make sense for his Batman perspective, something that is rooted in reality, to be mixed with Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. It is just not in the same universe of his thinking. Plus any original material from Nolan would be gold. Like I said, good job sticking to his guns and Warner Bros. embracing the trilogy idea instead of shoving the same drivel down our throats repeatedly.