Besides an abiding interest in men who wear masks or spandex (see: Daredevil and Hollywoodland), Ben Affleck shares one more thing in common with Batman: Their big screen careers look exactly alike. There was the sensational start. (Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns; Affleck’s acting breakout with and Oscar-winning script for Good Will Hunting.) There was the embarrassing implosion. (Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin; Affleck in Gigli and the aptly titled Paycheck.) There was the brilliant reboot. (Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy; Affleck’s rightly praised work as actor and director in The Town and the Oscar-winning Argo). Now, their paths converge as they enter the fourth acts of their movie lives: Affleck will play Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, and star opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman in the untitled sequel of Man of Steel, which Warner Bros. intends to release on July 17, 2015. READ FULL STORY
Tag: The Dark Knight (1-10 of 72)
With Warner Bros.’s Comic-Con announcement that Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel Superman follow-up will be inspired by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, pitting DC Comics’ two biggest heroes against each other in a 2015 summer blockbuster, Christian Bale can expect to field a new wave of questions about his involvement with the Batman franchise. To be fair, he’s put them to rest several times, most emphatically when he recently told EW that he’d really-really retired the cowl. “We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy,” Bale said. “[The role of Batman] is a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”
Of course, that won’t stop months and months of hopeful speculation that it will ultimately be Bale’s grip around Henry Cavill’s throat — until the day TMZ finally posts the first on-set images of some new actor as Batman. In The Dark Knight Rises, Bale’s Bruce Wayne explained his M.O. to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s mysterious cop: “The idea was to be a suit. Batman could be anybody. That was the point.” If only that were true. For a generation of moviegoers, Bale is Batman, and the idea of Gordon-Levitt or Armie Hammer — who was poised to play Batman in George Miller’s canceled Justice League movie in 2007 — behind the mask simply lacks the same amount of credibility and excitement. Warner/Legendary/DC could try and lure Bale back with a Robert Downey Jr.-Iron Man financial offer, but if he declines, they need to think big, because even if the Dark Knight battles Superman in the next movie, the real rival is Disney/Marvel. The new Batman can’t be a build-our-own star like Andrew Garfield or Ryan Reynolds — not when the other side has Downey leading the Avengers. Cavill capably wore the cape in Man of Steel, but he’s not yet on the same fame footing as Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans, much less Downey. The new Batman not only has to fill Bale’s shoes, but he has to go toe-to-toe with Downey in the cool department. The list of actors who could do both is pretty short, and it basically starts and ends with Ryan Gosling. READ FULL STORY
Remember the good old days when people could enjoy watching an action hero who shoots a lot of people without feeling like they were contributing to the ruin of society? Sylvester Stallone sure hopes so. The well-preserved Rocky and Rambo star, now 66, is back in theaters this week with Bullet To The Head, his first solo vehicle since The Expendables franchise (made in collaboration with his grumpy frat pack bash brothers) Viagra’d his brand of brawn. Stallone’s latest feature, directed by the venerable action maestro Walter Hill (The Warriors; 48 Hours), seems poured from the mold that he helped forge back in the day with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. In fact, the one-time Planet Hollywood power trio is trying to muster a resurgence this year that resembles their shoot ‘em up heyday, albeit with more gray hairs (or no hair) and additional wrinkles (or conspicuously fewer). Bullet To The Head follows Schwarzenegger’s post-Governator comeback bid, The Last Stand, and ahead of A Good Day To Die Hard, Willis’ fifth stint as insurance nightmare John “I can’t believe this is happening to me AGAIN!” McLane. (The Joseph Gordon-Levitt lookalike also has the sequel to RED – about a secret society of retired CIA agents – later this year.)
The Superhero Delusion: How Superhero Movies created the Sad Perfect Badass Messiah, and what that says about America
Imagine a world where everyone is a superhero. Would you like to live there? Do you think it would be better than our own world? Or would it be worse? This is an important question, because judging by the most successful movies made in 2012, our country — and our world — really likes superheroes. We all know that the two highest-grossing films of 2012 were about superheroes – The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. The third major superhero movie released last summer was, The Amazing Spider-Man, which earned $262 million domestically. It was the sixth-highest-grossing movie of the year in American theaters. We tend to lump these movies together because they are all about costumed codenamed characters who originated in comic books. They are Superhero Movies. READ FULL STORY
In a new interview with Film Comment, the magazine for the Film Society of the Lincoln Center, Christopher Nolan responds to basically every question you ever had about his Dark Knight trilogy. The thinking behind Gotham’s notorious realism? Check. The maybe-maybe not presence of Occupy Wall Street in Rises? Check. The photochemical processes involved in IMAX film production? Count on it.
The thorough and immensely enlightening interview is worth reading in full, but in case you can’t spare the time we’ve gleaned some of the best bits. Check them out after the jump.
Taken 2 certainly had a great second weekend, but is it good enough to join the ranks of sequels that prove that sometimes, the second time truly is the charm? From Frankenstein’s betrothed to the Caped Crusader of Gotham City, here are 15 motion pictures that definitely make the cut: READ FULL STORY
We’ve come a long way from the days of candybar phones pre-programmed with monophonic versions of “The Entertainer.” These days, anything can be a ringtone — which comes in handy when you’re as pop culture-obsessed as EW’s staff.
Assistant News Director Denise Warner has her phone play the Downton Abbey theme song whenever she gets a call; before that, her cell rang to the tune of Warren G’s “Regulate.” EW.com producer Nika Vagner uses Ryan Gosling reading “Hey girl” memes aloud as her ringtone. (And you can too!) My own ringtone isn’t particularly pop culture-y — it’s a snippet from a Guster song I’ve been using since I was 19 — but my mom programmed her own so that when I call her, it plays “Mambo” from West Side Story. This explains why I turned out the way I did.
So, what’s your own custom ringtone? Read how other EW staffers answered this question, then add your response in the comments. Bonus points for anyone who uses a Stefon quote; points deducted for anything including the word “trampire.”
Nobody wants to join the list of actors whose last movies were released after they died — but you’ve got to admit that the company is good. And as of today, that unfortunate club has another illustrious member: Whitney Houston, star of the Jordin Sparks vehicle Sparkle. (Not to be confused with Marian Carey’s Glitter, though both are lustrous tales of up-and-coming singers.)
EW’s Owen Gleiberman wasn’t a huge fan of Sparkle; he gave the film a B- in EW this week, calling it “an overheated mediocrity.” He does, however, praise Houston, applauding her “gravelly conviction” in his review. “This could have been the first step not merely in a comeback but in a major re-invention,” he continues. “She had the instincts of a superb character actress.”
So Whitney’s last movie isn’t exactly Oscar material — but could she still enter the pantheon of stars who gave especially memorable posthumous performances? Let’s take a look at some of her competition:
When a deranged killer sits in a courtroom, arraigned on the charges that have made him an overnight media icon of evil, all the clichés about his previous non-behavior — he was “quiet,” he was “a loner,” there was “nothing remarkable” about him — tend to be incarnated in the disaffected blankness of his stare. Looking at the newspaper, or the TV or computer screen, we scrutinize his weirdly bland, impassive image, searching for a clue to the disorder of his mind, and almost inevitably (even in the case of, say, Jeffrey Dahmer) we see nothing. But when James Holmes, the 24-year-old lone gunman of the Dark Knight massacre, sat down in court on Monday, he didn’t recede into “anonymous” blankness — and that, of course, is because he was still wearing the chilling emblem of his madness: the hair that he had dyed bright orange, in a Day-Glo simulation of the Joker’s loony-tunes coif. Seeing that hair was more than just creepy and disturbing as hell. It made me angry, as if Holmes was mocking his victims, saying, in essence: I’m still the Joker — and you’d better believe I’d do it again. READ FULL STORY
Batman. Bane. Catwoman. That ending! Time to talk about 'The Dark Knight Rises' -- but only if you've seen it.
“Don’t be afraid.” Those were the dying words of Thomas Wayne, said to his traumatized young son after being shot behind a theater by a thug named Joe Chill. The scene in Batman Begins resonates anew with eerie irony — and hopefully, a little inspiration — one day after the opening of The Dark Knight Rises and the tragedy in Aurora. Despite the terror felt nationwide following the violence in Colorado, and even in spite of it, moviegoers packed into multiplexes yesterday to watch the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies. And now, you have questions, opinions, quibbles, praises, and many other things to say about this heavy superhero spectacular – particularly the way it ended.
So let’s talk about it. Fearlessly.
And with a massive amount of detail… which is to say, SPOILER ALERT!
Seriously: If you have not yet seen Rises, STOP READING NOW. Because we’re not holding back on anything, beginning with… READ FULL STORY
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