Posts Tagged ‘ Christopher Nolan ’

Ben Affleck To Star In Next Bat Flick

batmanThe question that has been repeated almost to an extent of nausea ever since Comic-Con this year has finally been answered with the revelation that Ben Affleck is to be the new Batman. Many people have been left flabbergasted at the choice with stars such as Armie Hammer, Jon Hamm and even for a time Orlando Bloom rumored to take up the cape and cowl. Alot of criticism has been poured out over the internet by fan boys incensed Warner Brothers and Zack Snyder could come to such a decision. With the negatives of this decision plastered all over social media let me present you with some positives before the four horsemen of the apocalypse are sighted filling over Warner brothers. Continue reading

The Man Of Steel


In Hollywood’s latest reboot The Man of Steel the story of Superman is given a facelift and some changes.

With Krypton disintegrating into civil war and environmental meltdown Jor-El (Russell Crowe) decides that the only future for Krypton lies with his only son.  So while his world is crumbling around him Jor-El sends his baby boy into space, fending off General Zod (Michael Shannon) at the same time and sacrificing his life for his beliefs. Continue reading

Top Ten Superhero Movies

When I was asked to compile this list of the top ten Superhero movies, it left me perplexed.  Should I write down the box office hits?  Anyone can look that up on or should I write down the fan favourites?  Truth be told EVERY Comic Book and Superhero fan would have a different 10 movies and in a different order.

So, since this is my article and since I have my own top ten that is what you are going to get. Continue reading

The Dark Knight Rises……..and Soars!

In 1997 Batman was dead. With Joel Schumacher at the helm, George Clooney under the cowl and Arnie as the villain the franchise was brought to a premature end with Batman and Robin. Such was the silliness and childishness in the way that the series was handled, it was seen as a franchise killer, and talk of another Batman movie was considered outlandish. Enter Christopher Nolan.

His take on Batman in Batman Begins was the complete opposite of Batman and Robin. Grounded, serious and well……..good. Better than good, great. He successfully rebooted the franchise and the word reboot become the common buzzword of Hollywood studios. So good was Batman Begins it was thought impossible that it could be topped. But Warner Brothers insisted and Nolan tried. And succeeded. Such was the brilliance of The Dark Knight, a dark, brooding, crime thriller at its core that showed Hollywood and the film world in general that a “comic book” movie could achieve widespread acclaim both critically and commercially. The only question that remains is could Christopher Nolan be able to achieve a trifecta, three films Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, each one better than the last. The answer is almost.

That is not too say that The Dark Knight Rises is not a brilliant film in its own right, it is. Its epic in scale and length contains excellent performances and has an emotional complexity rarely seen in a “blockbuster”. It is however, not as good as The Dark Knight, but the difference is minimal, inches. Where the Dark Knight Rises succeeds is in its ability to finish off a three part story and that is why the trifecta has been completed.

Set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Gotham City has been cleaned up, and crime has become a non-issue. Enter the masked vigilante Bane, who unleashes is plan on Gotham’s citizens and forces Batman to come out of retirement. That is the basis of the plot, as much as should be revealed beforehand. Unsurprisingly it is much more complex once character motivations enter into it. But to avoid spoilers that’s all that will be revealed.

What can be discussed is the performances, which are excellent across the board. Christian Bale gives his best performance of the trilogy in this edition as Bruce Wayne/Batman. His Bruce is a broken man, a recluse who wants nothing to do with the world that surrounds, so caught up in his misery that his return in the cape and cowl is a thrilling moment. He is the emotional core of the film that would not work without his presence.

In support of Bale are the regular trio Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman, all excellent, all relevant. Caine in particular, who gets some of the most emotional scenes in the film and nails them perfectly. The newcomers also do well. Anne Hathaway was an unconventional choice for Catwoman (never called that in the film), but upon seeing the film was an excellent choice. She nails the toughness and sexiness in a complex role that could look silly in another actress’ hands. Tom Hardy, meanwhile is unrecognisable as Bane, but is a hugely physical presence and more than a match for Batman. His voice, while unorthodox and at times hard to hear (but not as often as you would think’s) is just the right side of menacing. Joseph Gordon Levitt is a fine addition to the cast as optimistic beat cop John Blake and Marion Cotillard does well with her scenes as Miranda Tate.

The action is also excellent. Nolan’s too good and to clever to let it overshadow the plot but rather to aid it. The set pieces pack a punch and work well because they tie into the story. Despite its excellent qualities, there are a few miss-steps, the score being the main flaw. While Hans Zimmer is an excellent and Oscar winning composer, there are times when the music gets so loud that it becomes a struggle to understand dialogue. The second act drags a little but not long enough for it do any real damage.

These small problems aside, Christopher Nolan and his team have created a fantastic, epic, action film that will require numerous viewings to take it all in. The Dark Knight trilogy taken together both individually and as a whole is the pinnacle of what comic book movies can do. The only problem now, is how the hell can they top it when they decide to do the inevitable reboot?

Batman and Spiderman Battle For Comic Book Movie Supremacy

Summer 2012 in cinema has been as most summers are in recent years, a comic book movie summer. Unlike previous years the comic book movies have either delivered huge as in the case of The Avengers, largely satisfied as in the case of The Amazing Spiderman or if early indication is to be taken seriously outdone its predecessors as in the case of The Dark Knight Rises.

The Avengers at this point has come and gone, a smash hit both critically and commercially, earning $1.4 billion at the box office, Joss Whedon has come good in film which raises the bar action-wise for all comic-book movies.

The Amazing Spiderman is in its first week of general release and has gained a mostly positive reception, many fans and critics praising the acting, specials effects etc. but feel it lacks in originality and an emotional punch, unsurprising given it has only been five years since the previous Spiderman trilogy ended. And despite Spiderman 3 being poorly received critically, Spiderman and in particular Spiderman 2 were critically and commercially lauded.

In fairness to the Amazing Spiderman, the origin story is a difficult place to start and it is a story that can’t really be changed or tinkered with. Spiderman released in 2002 was an origin story and was done well, so it’s unsurprising when one of the charges against the new film is one of “covering old ground”.  The main positives to be taken out of the new film is that the leads are cast right. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have received praise for the chemistry and approach to their roles, and that’s a good starting point.

A running theme in recent years in comic book movies is that the sequel, once the origin has been established, is usually a better film, as in the case of X-Men 2, Spiderman 2 and The Dark Knight. Given the high probability of the Amazing Spiderman doing the business at the box-office and with intentions already being made of doing a trilogy, it should be expected that The Amazing Spiderman two, free of the shackles of the origin story will be a much better film for it.

Once the credits rolled on The Dark Knight there was huge expectation on the shoulders of Christopher Nolan to deliver a similar standard of quality in the third film of his Dark Knight Trilogy. Since its announcement The Dark Knight Rises has been slowly gaining momentum as it approached its July 20th release date.

The film has now been shown to a number of critics in New York and Los Angeles and early indication is that the response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive, having received a standing ovation at its climax with a number of critics openly weeping with joy.

Despite a review embargo being set, snippets of responses have started to filter onto Twitter and online, and the response as seen below speaks for itself;

“Wow. Quite speechless at the moment….”TDKR” was everything I wanted it to be.”

“So much awesome… can’t wait to see it again. And again. And 9 out of 10 for me. I’d put “Amazing Spider-Man” at a 7.5 and “Avengers” at an 8.5.”

“This film was the perfect final chapter in the trilogy.”

“I think Bale gives his best performance as Batman and as Bruce Wayne in this one.”

“ Nolan manages to convey this wild ride into 165 minutes of his best work.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” is not only easily the best Batman movie yet, but now one of my favourite movies I’ve ever seen. It was unbelievable!”

“If this does not break the mold and win Best Picture, no comic book movie ever will.”

The most difficult challenge facing The Dark Knight Rises is also something of an advantage over The Amazing Spiderman and to a lesser extent The Avengers is that it is a sequel. The film has a huge challenge to overcome as it will inevitably face comparisons with The Dark Knight.  If it does compare to its predecessor and early indication would suggest that it’s a better film, which will then lead to a huge box-office return estimated to surpass The Dark Knights takings of just over $1 billion.

Due to its content being darker than the more family friendly The Avengers, it will not surpass that films box-office total but could possibly be a real challenge come award seasons something that as early as five years ago would have been unheard of. A comic book movie with widespread mainstream credibility.

Whatever the preference. Weather it’s the Marvel Universe or DC Universe, its unquestionable that summer 2012 will be the last comic-book movie summer.