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Tag: The Dark Knight (61-70 of 75)

Scream Awards 2008: The anti-Oscars

Lucasscreamawards_lGeorge Lucas (pictured), who insists on a constant entourage of Stormtroopers, accepted a lifetime award in Los Angeles on Saturday during the taping of Spike TV’s 2008 Scream Awards, which the net will air tonight from 9-11 p.m. The Screams, which began three years ago as a general horror roundup, have expanded to include comic book and fantasy films, enabling Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight to naturally share a stage with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola (notes L.A. Times writer Geoff Boucher). Basically, think of the Screams as the awards show for movies everyone sees. If you can’t fit the show in this evening thanks to your ultimate Tuesday night roster of Privileged and Eli Stone (kidding!), you can check out the winners list (including Most Memorable Mutilation), here.

addCredit(“Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images”)

Do you prefer your movie theaters empty or full?

Darkreport_lHeath Ledger (pictured) was just voted the summer’s best movie villain in a Moviefone poll, which immediately caught my attention, because I finally saw The Dark Knight last weekend and Ledger’s riveting performance was still fresh in my mind.

What took me so long to see it? (1) I refuse to camp out and wait for anything these days, and (2) I loathe watching blockbuster movies from an angle that requires a periscope and/or several successive sessions with my chiropractor. Thus, I finally got around to seeing The Dark Knight last weekend in a dilapidated multiplex in Brooklyn. I got there just in time for the previews, settled into one of the primo handicapped seats in the house (extra legroom! free Goobers courtesy of the patron at the 5:30 screening!), accompanied by maybe 20 other people in the theater, including Annie Barrett. (Not really.) My friend Richard, who had seen Knight along with the 86,000,000,000 other fans its opening weekend, came with me, as the first time he saw it, the guy behind him wouldn’t stop laughing, very very loudly, at EVERYTHING, even the parts that were downright creepy. So Richard wanted to see it again, minus the accidental soundtrack.

Upshot: We got great seats in a perfectly silent theater. But then again, such a lax moviegoing method occasionally backfires. I become a bit of a conversation Nazi when a movie I haven’t yet seen crops up in conversation with friends, or I cover my ears and go, "la la la la," which always goes over really well. And I miss out on the surge of adrenaline, the feeling of excitement that fairly crackles through a packed-to-capacity theater on opening weekend. And I voted for Tim Roth. (Not really.)

How about you, PopWatchers? Do you roll empty or full?

Insanity in Denver - Day Three of the Democratic Convention

Patrickleahy_lHere’s the latest report on the Democratic National Convention from our guest blogger, TV writer-producer Daniel Palladino. For more Denver dispatches from Dan and Amy Sherman-Palladino, click here.

Random Thoughts While Strolling Down Denver’s Outdoor 16th Street Mall For The 37th Time…

• There are too many lobbyists. They should be culled once a year as they do coyotes and hedgehogs. (Series idea — Reality Department: Lobbyist Island. Each week, one lobbyist is culled in increasingly embarrassing and violent ways. Get Senator Patrick Leahy to host. The man was in The Dark Knight [see photo]; he’ll do anything.)

Hillary Clinton’s speech was good and she delivered it convincingly. She died inside only nine times. I counted.

• "What About Brian: The Complete Series" is available on DVD. Buy it now or wait for Blu-Ray?

Bill Clinton’s speech was great, and he delivered it with vigor. He’s died inside so many times these past 12 months that his insides were completely dead.


Do you believe...in casting Cher as Catwoman?

Catwoman_lI’m loving this rumor that the next Batman sequel will feature a Catwoman played by Cher. According to this dubious, thinly sourced Telegraph article, franchise director Christopher Nolan wants the 62-year-old Oscar-winner to play the feline femme fatale "like a vamp in her twilight years." (Hey, nobody better tell Cher or her fans that she’s a vamp in her twilight years.) Truth is, there’ve been no announcements about the next Bat-film, including even whether Nolan and star Christian Bale are coming back, much less who the villains will be or who’ll play them. (Slashfilm has a good, accurate timeline on the latest news, meager as it is, about the forthcoming sequel.) Still, why shouldn’t the filmmakers look as far afield as, say, Cher to play Catwoman? (Don’t dismiss her because of her age; she’s indestructible!) Or Johnny Depp to play the Riddler (as the Telegraph article also claims)? Heath Ledger wouldn’t have been my first pick to play the Joker, but that eccentric bit of casting certainly worked out. Who would you like to see in the next Batman adventure, PopWatchers, and playing which character?

addCredit(“Cher: Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images”)

Ready for a darker, more tormented Superman?

Superman_lPoor Superman. His last movie was a disappointment, and now his DC Comics stablemate Batman is getting all the box office glory. But Warner Bros. has a plan, according to the Wall Street Journal, to reboot the Superman franchise, and its DC superhero properties in general. That plan, in a nutshell: Do what Marvel does. (After all, Marvel didn’t wait around too long to go back to the drawing board with a Hulk reboot.) The two prongs of the plan: First, make a bunch of related movies about individual DC heroes (including Green Arrow, Green Lantern, the Flash, and Wonder Woman), then tie them together with a group tale (the sidelined Justice League of America movie), à la Marvel’s Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Avengers. Second, make the characters all psychologically darker (like Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Spider-Man, etc., but more importantly, like Warners’ own Batman, as Christian Bale has portrayed him, to great box office success).

Derivative as it is, this is not a bad plan, but can it work for Superman? The Man of Steel is not usually thought of as a brooding, tormented character, but there’s certainly room in his mythology for him to be portrayed that way. David Mamet wrote an essay about 20 years ago emphasizing Superman’s history of psychological damage. He’s an orphan who never knew his real parents or even his birthplace; he loves a woman he can’t really have, everyone he’s close to is consequently a target for his enemies; he’s an immigrant who remains a freak who’ll never be able to fully assimilate (and who finds refuge in the remotest place on Earth); and the only thing that can kill him is literal fragments of his past. Plus, his human disguise — as weak, awkward, clumsy, ineffectual professional bystander Clark Kent — suggests he doesn’t hold humanity in high regard.

Still, do moviegoers even want a dark Superman? We do like our superheroes bleak these days — not just Dark Knight and the Marvel characters, but also Hancock and the forthcoming Watchmen. And we’ve certainly seen Clark himself display plenty of teen angst on Smallville. But moviegoers have almost always gotten a Superman who’s a big blue Boy Scout. There’s certain to be outrage from some quarters if Superman is portrayed as something other than the untroubled, apple-pie defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. But I wouldn’t worry; he’s a pretty strong guy. If he bounced back from Superman IV and Superman Returns, he’ll survive this, too.

addCredit(“Brandon Routh in Superman Returns: David James”)

Your Thursday 'Comic-Con-is-scary' update!

Am stuck in standstill traffic on the 405, 53 miles north of San Diego, heading toward Comic-Con, and the driver of the white Rav-4 directly to my left is wearing full Heath Ledger Joker makeup.

Thank you, that is all.

An Oscar for Heath Ledger in 'The Dark Knight'?

Ledgertoxicologyreport_lThanks to The Dark Knight, you might actually care about the Oscars next year. Though summer blockbusters don’t usually show up in the big races at the Academy Awards, the film’s glowing reviews make it a possible contender in the Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay categories, and it will surely be considered a front-runner for technical prizes. But its greatest Oscar hope has to be Heath Ledger, who’ll likely become the seventh-ever posthumous acting nominee for his mesmerizing performance as the Joker. And it’s safe to say that several million Dark Knight fans would tune in to the telecast to see if he can become the second such winner (after Network‘s Peter Finch in 1977).

The Academy Awards could use the boost. For the last several years, the gala has been filled with lesser-known nominees and seen its ratings plummet. This past ceremony, all four acting winners were foreigners, only one major-category victor (Juno) grossed more than $75 million—and the show attracted an all-time-low audience of 32 million.

Next year’s telecast could end up being quite the A-list affair. Possible contenders include Brad Pitt, who ages in reverse for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Angelina Jolie, playing the mother of a missing child in Clint Eastwood’s Changeling; Will Smith, reteaming with Pursuit of Happyness director Gabriele Muccino, in the character study Seven Pounds; Nicole Kidman, once more under the tutelage of Moulin Rouge maestro Baz Luhrmann in the epic Australia; and the Titanic duo of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, who’ll reunite for the first time in the suburban drama Revolutionary Road.

Of course, not all of next year’s nomination slots will be filled by blockbusters. But the presence of hits like The Dark Knight could go a long way toward keeping Oscar viewers from changing the Bat-channel. What say you, PopWatchers? Does Ledger deserve to be in the running for an Oscar nod? If the Academy starts paying more attention to well-crafted popcorn flicks, would it raise your overall interest in the Oscar telecast? (And if you can’t wait for this week’s EW cover story on The Dark Knight, by all means click here and read it online!)

Would you see 'Dark Knight' a second time?

Darkknight_bale_lAccording to a Fandango.com poll conducted this weekend, 64 percent of people who saw The Dark Knight would see it again in the theater, making it even more impossible for the rest of us to see it just once. THANKS A LOT.

The movie I saw the most in a theater was American Beauty. I was a freshman in college and terrified that I wouldn’t make any friends, so I just kept saying yes to new people who wanted to go. (Um, there was a Ground Round right next to the theater and we inexplicably went there, too.) I think I saw it four times, maybe seven. Since 1999, I’ve spoken to those movie companions zero times, yet almost always watch part or all of American Beauty when it’s on HBO even though I’m sick of it by now. Priorities, I guess. You know what those dorm mates would say to me today? "It’s okay, Annie. I wouldn’t remember me either." JK people!

Anyhow, back to the subject at hand: Would you go to see The Dark Knight again, already? And which other movies have you repeat-theater’ed? (Oh, and if you haven’t read Benjamin Svetkey’s recent EW feature on the current box-office champ, by all means click here.)

addCredit(“The Dark Knight: Stephen Vaughan”)

An old 'Batman' bigwig remembers a not-at-all-Dark Knight

Batman_lSome Bat-fans love Lorenzo Semple Jr.’s work; to others, he’s an arch-fiend worse (and sillier) than the Riddler or the Joker. He’s the creator of the old ABC Batman series, starring Adam West (pictured), that ran for two seasons in the ’60s. I always thought his light, unabashedly campy approach to the Bruce Wayne saga was hilarious fun, but I do sympathize with hardcore Batman flame-keepers who felt he ruined the character for decades, before Frank Miller and Tim Burton brought him back to his bleak, brooding roots. (See an overview of the Bat-history here.)

Now, in a Variety essay published on the eve of this week’s release of The Dark Knight, Semple defends his frothy, angst-free take on the character. Whether or not you liked Semple’s show, the article is a great read. Semple is, after all, quite the raconteur, as anyone knows who’s watched his delightful "Reel Geezers" series of online movie reviews, which he tapes with fellow octogenarian Hollywood veteran Marsha Nasatir. Sample Semple’s sensibility, then spill as to whether you prefer your Batman black and scalding or light and sugary.

addCredit(“Adam West; Everett Collection”)

What if Michael Bay had directed 'The Dark Knight'?

Batman_lWhat if director Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon) had been the one to reboot the Batman franchise, instead of Christopher Nolan? Then next week’s The Dark Knight might look like the film outlined in this screenplay. (Warning: Some NSFW language.) Kudos to the parodists who created this, though I have to dock you half a point for neglecting a scene where Batman walks in slo-mo toward the camera, away from a fireball (pictured).

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