Thank you, that is all.
Tag: The Dark Knight (61-70 of 70)
Thanks 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!)
According 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.)
Some 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.
What 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).
If you went to see Iron Man this past weekend, odds are you saw the full trailers for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight, two sequels I couldn’t be more excited to see. But after taking in what I was sure was going to be a double-barrelled shot of unvarnished awesomeness, I came away a little bit — to borrow from Dark Knight‘s Harvey Dent — of two minds.
The Indy trailer gave me exactly what that first spot failed to: a sense of respect for my love of the character. I didn’t need to be reminded who Indiana Jones was, I just needed to see him bring the derring do. This time around, they nailed it — more info about the crystal skull, more Marian, and more running-and-jumping-and-blowing-stuff-up from a spry Harrison Ford. (There were dudes in the theater who applauded after the trailer ended. I was too busy GRINNING.)
On the other hand, The Dark Knight also gave us more–more of the story, more of the cast besides Heath Ledger–but I came away less impressed. It was less evocative than the first trailer; less thematic. I’ve still got a lot of faith that Christopher Nolan will deliver a splendid flick — Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent looked especially promising (considering that the character had been played previously by both Billy Dee Williams and Tommy Lee Jones, he’s got no place to go but up).But for me, these two were very much a case of one step forward, two steps back. (And, yes, you singing "Opposites Attract" is my own cruel Joker-y parting gift.)
What did you think? Still as jazzed as ever about these movies, or a little more cautious? And which one are you more stoked to see?
I went to see Iron Man this weekend, and liked it a lot more than I expected. One big reason? It didn’t have just laughs and comic-geek thrills, but real, first-rate, non-F/X… acting! When Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, pulls Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts out onto the dancefloor for a little dipping and cooing, the rom-com byplay is superb.
Which made me connect a few movie-industry dots. Hey, remember the whining about the last Oscar telecast, with its low-wattage star vehicles and lower ratings, and all the hand-wringing the media, including EW, did over how to improve the Oscars? Here’s a thought. Hey, Hollywood and the Motion Picture Academy: Take a closer squint at the big summer movies. Take them, ahem, seriously. As far as I’m concerned, Downey’s performance should go on any short list that anyone draws up of potential Oscar nominees.
Oh, and another thought. Iron Man at my multiplex was preceded by a trailer for The Dark Knight. And if Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is as good as these clips suggest — and my brain starts popping every time I see his deliriously committed, smeared-makeup personification of pure, nut-job Evilness — then we’ve got a potential Best Supporting Actor nominee that will be much more than just a sentimental gesture to a cherished, departed actor.
Iron Man and The Dark Knight as Oscar-worthy — think about it… seriously.
addCredit(“Robert Downey, Jr; Zade Rosenthal”)
To paraphrase the good lads over at Blog@Newsarama, this is exactly what the internet is for:
Wanna watch a six-minute teaser of that Batman sequel all the kids are talking about, The Dark Knight? Short of breaking into director Christopher Nolan’s office—or having a wish-granting genie at your disposal (and, let’s be honest, are you gonna waste a wish on this, when there’s narwhals that poop platinum out there for the asking?)—there’s only one way for that to happen.
Get thee to an IMAX theater to see I Am Legend, which opens December 14. And, if you’re good, you’ll see Heath Ledger’s Joker and Christian Bale’s Batman duke it out, eventually become friends, and form a comic-book book club, the first title of which will be Will Eisner’s adaptation of Moby-Dick…because the Joker just really likes saying that title.*
* PopWatch makes no guarantees as to the content of those six minutes.
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