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'The Dark Knight': Too dark for the Kids' Choice Awards?

Darkknight_lNickelodeon just announced the Favorite Movie contenders for its annual Kids’ Choice Awards (airing on March 28). And the nominees are….

High School Musical 3
Iron Man
Bedtime Stories
The Dark Knight

If you’re like me, you did a double take at the last title on this list. Is Dark Knight really a kid pic? I’ve got no beef with parents who let their children see it; the movie’s rated PG-13, after all. But this is the same show that nominated George Lopez as Favorite Male Movie Star for his "role" in Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Do nihilistic terrorists (i.e. the Joker) and talking dogs really have the same entertainment value for kids today?

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is it just me, or is Dark Knight a little too dark for the Kids Choice Awards?

addCredit(“Stephen Vaughan”)

'The Dark Knight' returns to IMAX: Will you check it out (again)?

Darkknightbike_dlThe Dark Knight has opened in IMAX once again! Starting today, 143 domestic screens (and 29 international!) will make it seem like Christian Bale is about to drive that thing RIGHT INTO YOUR NOSTRILS. TDK is the first major Hollywood movie to be partially shot by IMAX cameras; six sequences in particular were intended to attack you from all angles on the big screen. Check the complete list of IMAX locations at ComingSoon.net.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing TDK in IMAX, but it’s with a heavy heart. I fear it’s gonna be so good that I’ll have to relegate my current all-time favorite IMAX movie — Michael Jordan to the Max — to second place. My collection of commemorative Chicago Bulls Starter tees (repeat, three-peat, single peat, etc.) would probably never speak to me again. And then what?

Will you see The Dark Knight in IMAX again? And name your favorite IMAX scene ever! My wingspan apparently could use some expansion

More on The Dark Knight:
EW’s review of The Dark Knight
Cover Story: Inside The Dark Knight
Box Office Report: The Dark Knight nabs the biggest opening ever
PopWatch: Did the hype ruin The Dark Knight for you?

Perhaps Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin isn't such a bad idea

Hoffman_lWe’ve pretty much covered all the casting rumors surrounding Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to The Dark Knight, but this CinemaBlend.com photo of Philip Seymour Hoffman as Nolan’s Penguin is just too intriguing to ignore. Yes, even CinemaBlend itself recognizes that claims that the photo is from a studio makeup test are almost certainly bunk and that it’s probably just a really good Photoshop job. Nevertheless, I kinda dig the crooked eyebrows and cracked-dome, and it has me rethinking my initial aversion to a Penguin in the next movie.

What do you think of the photo? Does it change your mind about a Penguin in Nolan’s next picture? Who else could play the Penguin?

More on ‘The Dark Knight':
‘The Dark Knight': Did the hype ruin it for you?
Review: ‘The Dark Knight’
‘The Dark Knight': Will you see it again?
‘The Dark Knight': Oscar worthy?
Eddie Murphy to play the Riddler?

'The Dark Knight': Did the hype ruin it for you?

Darkknight_lI finally got around to seeing The Dark Knight over the holiday weekend, and I have to say, I wasn’t bowled over. Despite being completely mesmerized for the past year by the images of Heath Ledger’s depraved Joker, I don’t make it to the theater as often as I’d like these days (two-year-old daughter) and sometimes have to wait, even for movies I really want to see, until they come out on DVD. Maybe that was my mistake. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed The Dark Knight, and I was not disappointed in the slightest by Ledger’s freakish, lip-smacking fiend. But at the same time, I was let down given the movie’s gargantuan box office haul, the almost universal critical praise, and the Oscar buzz surrounding it and its fallen star. I could see Ledger taking Supporting Actor, but while I haven’t yet seen all the other Oscar contenders this year, I would be a bit surprised if The Dark Knight took Best Picture.

By the time I finally sat down last week to see The Dark Knight, I’d already heard the arguments that this very good movie is a great work of art because it reflects the chaos in our real world today — corrupt politicians, brazen villains, heroes who sometimes seem like villains, and so on. And perhaps it does appeal in that way on some level (though it’s certainly not the first or best film to do so), but the movie also kind of drags in the second half thanks to theTwo-Face storyline, which makes the running time at least 30 minutes too long,and Christian Bale might make a good Bruce Wayne, but he’s no more than an adequate Batman.

Mostly, I think this movie was successful –- as well as hugely popular –- because it featured a character that we couldn’t take our eyes off of played by an actor who recently died way too young.Before it appeared on a single screen this summer, the movie was already larger-than-life because of Ledger’s passing, and six months of the hype machine working at full steam had no doubt set my expectations way too high. So maybe this really is an Oscar-worthy movie and I just need to hire a babysitter more often and catch movies earlier and with less context. But if I’m to be honest, I was disappointed with The Dark Knight and hope for more from this year’s other Best Picture contenders.

What about you PopWatchers? Is The Dark Knight worthy of a Best Picture Oscar? Would it have become the sensation it is had Ledger not died just after shooting it? What movies disappointed you after a massive build-up had set your expectations too high?

More on ‘The Dark Knight':
Review: ‘The Dark Knight’
‘The Dark Knight’ nabs biggest opening ever
‘The Dark Knight': Will you see it again?
‘The Dark Knight': Oscar worthy?
Eddie Murphy to play the Riddler?

'Iron Man 2' 'casting' 'rumor': John Cho as the Mandarin?

Chochong_lEW scoop-hounds nowhere near the development of Iron Man 2 have learned that John Cho has been cast as the Mandarin in Jon Favreau’s follow-up to the gold-plated blockbuster. Cho, having appeared as both Harold and Sulu, will make the Asian geek trifecta with this role as the power-ring-wearing, power-mad villain. Other horribly placed sources tell us that Tommy Chong is being eyed to play the Mandarin’s father, who claims to be the real genius responsible for the weaponeering success of Howard Stark, Tony’s beloved dad.

Does that sound real enough to start a casting rumor? Feels like it to me. After all, was there any more than that to go on when people started talking about Tim Robbins in Iron Man 2, Eddie Murphy as the Riddler in Batman 3, or Rachel Weisz as Catwoman in the same? (Let the record show that I am 100 percent in favor of a Rachel Weisz Catwoman.)

Is it a popularity thing, is that why people feel the need to start these rumors? What purpose do they serve, other to make people think you know more than anyone else? Why do these baseless rumors get any traction at all? Surely, we’ve got more important things to do with our time.

That said, I really would like to see Rachel Weisz as Catwoman. Which of these rumors do you wish were true? And, hey, wanna start one while you’re at it?

More casting rumors:
Eddie Murphy as the Riddler? Hmm…
Do you believe…in casting Cher as Catwoman?
‘Gossip Girl': Four rumors

Eddie Murphy as the Riddler? Hmm...

Eddiemurphyriddler_lBritish tabloid The Sun reports that Eddie Murphy is a candidate to play the Riddler in Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to The Dark Knight (due in 2010). The rumor, now added to the one that has Johnny Depp in the role, is unconfirmed by everyone other than The Sun, which is not the most reliable source for movie news. Nevertheless, it’s fun to think about casting for Nolan’s next Batman movie. I think Murphy could pull it off — he’s certainly proven he can play outlandish characters. That said, I also worry that he would be too silly for the dark tale and be more of a distraction than an asset. Between him and Depp, I’d prefer to see the question mark on Depp, who’s proven he can play just about any character.

The Sun also floats the rumor that Rachael Weisz is playing Catwoman, which I much prefer to the rumor that has 62-year-old Cher in the role, though I am somewhat intrigued by the reports that Nolan is considering Angelina Jolie for the cat suit (though that may simply have grown out of a random suggestion posted on an LA Times blog last summer). Finally, the Sun has Shia LaBeouf as Robin, and while we’re at it, there’s also a rumor out there that Philip Seymour Hoffman may play the Penguin.

Thoughts on these rumors, PopWatchers? Who’s your dream Riddler? What about Robin and Catwoman? Do you even believe that these are in fact the characters being used in Nolan’s next installment?

More ‘Dark Knight:
EW cover story: ‘The Dark Knight’
Review: ‘The Dark Knight’
‘The Dark Knight’ nabs biggest opening ever
‘The Dark Knight': Will you go out to see it again?
‘The Dark Knight': Oscar-worthy?

Read next item:
What are the moments that wooed you back to shows you had abandoned?

addCredit(“Murphy: Charley Gallay/Getty Images; Riddler: ©DC Comics”)

Site of the Day: Christopher Nolan analyzes his favorite scene in 'Dark Knight'

Picture_1The home video versions of The Dark Knight go on sale today: a perfect reason to read this revealing Q+A with director Christopher Nolan in which he discusses Batman’s interrogation of the Joker — the scene he feels is "the fulcrum on which the whole movie turns." Some good stuff here, I especially appreciated the sense of unease created by the tight close-ups of Heath Ledger’s face drifting in and out of focus (a bit of clever camera work in an essentially FX-free sequence). I’m sure you have your own favorite scenes from the movie — let’s see them! And, because I’m curious: Who’s buying the movie on Blu-Ray?

'The Dark Knight': Will you go out to see it again?

Darkknight_dlThe Dark Knight will be re-released in U.S. theaters on January 23 — one day after the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations and, incidentally, one day after the anniversary of Heath Ledger’s death. The extra shows will surely bump the film’s box office gross to over a billion dollars globally. It has only made $996 million to date, which is really not enough. Just three other films have hit a billion: Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. We’re wondering if you, as a human being and therefore the likely recipient of a Dark Knight DVD later this month, would still attend a theater screening for posterity’s sake.

addCredit(“Stephen Vaughan”)

Box Office Challenge: 'Dark Knight' shoots for a billion...and our fall movie contest winner!

Darkknight_bale_lHoly billionaire, Batman! Hard to believe that there’s any good economic news out there these days, but here’s a little tidbit from the land of box office: The Dark Knight is just days away from becoming the fourth movie in history to earn more than $1 billion worldwide (not adjusted for inflation). Truly, that’s a huge achievement, not unlike…the victory of "Dorparkr" in EW.com’s now-completed Fall Box Office Challenge!

In all seriousness, congratulations to the big winner of our big fall-movie contest–and congratulations to the Caped Crusader, who has banked an astonishing $528.6 mil domestically (No. 2 all-time behind Titanic‘s $600.8 mil) and about $469 mil internationally (ranking it No. 4 on the historical global scale, behind Titanic, The Lord of the Rings 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean 2). And here’s the really amazing thing: I still haven’t seen it yet! Am I the only one?

addCredit(“Stephen Vaughan”)

Was 2008 the year IMAX went mainstream?

Darkknightpreview_lEver since giant-screen IMAX technology launched in 1973, it has historically been associated with science museum nature films and midnight screenings of Blade Runner. But as we head toward the end of 2008, it’s starting to look like this might be the year IMAX finally breaks out as a viable option for everyday movie-going experiences. This year, we saw The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience pull in a record $60 million, screening at almost 100 theaters across the country. What’s more, Madagascar 2 opens in IMAX this weekend, James Cameron’s Avatar is set to open in IMAX late next year, and both Michael Bay (Transformers) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man) have talked about shooting sequences using IMAX technology for their upcoming sequels. Still, with just 300 or so IMAX domes around the world, it’s hardly going to overshadow traditional movie theaters overnight. But yesterday, IMAX reported that Knight‘s box office receipts significantly helped its bottom line, and even though the company will in all likelihood report a loss this year, it is also beefing up its operations and is on track to install 45 more digital systems by year’s end.

What about you, PopWatchers? Did you catch an IMAX movie this year or have plans to catch one soon? Log in your answers in our poll below, then let us know what you think of the gargantuan IMAX experience in the comments section.


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