Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is (obviously) the trending topic of discussion, and Anne Hathaway’s performance as Selina Kyle is widely considered one of the film’s highlights. So… will the Cat-burglar be getting her own vehicle?
Hathaway had made it known that she’s interested in a spinoff, so long as it maintains tonal continuity with the Nolan-verse iteration of the feline femme fatale. The actress is certainly not alone, as many fans are eager for a Catwoman movie that wipes away memories of Halle Berry’s solo outing as the character.
Digital Spy asked Hathaway about the idea, and she responded:
“I think it would be lovely to see more of her but only if it’s with the right people. She lives in [Nolan’s Gotham City] and so it would have to be established by the people who have made this Gotham City. For me, at least.”
“I didn’t want to focus on the other peoples’ interpretation of [Catwoman] because I didn’t see where that would get me; it would only be a rehashing of something already done – and done very well. I thought it was probably best to focus on being a part of Chris Nolan’s Gotham City.”
Nolan has made it known that he has no plans to serve as a central creative guide in the developing DC comic book movie universe. However, that doesn’t exclude the possibility of a Catwoman movie where Nolan serves in a secondary position and helps get the project off the ground (as he did with Man of Steel).
The filmmaker offered Access Hollywood his thoughts on a Catwoman spinoff:
“Anne is incredibly precise and articulate about the psychology of the character. She’s really built it from the ground up, it’s a delight to watch her perform, the things she does in those heels is not to be taken lightly… I certainly think she deserves [her own solo movie], she’s incredible.”
This Catwoman movie talk from Hathaway and Nolan puts the ball into play in the court of public opinion (if nothing else). Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning: Dark Knight Rises avoids an intimate exploration of Selina Kyle’s backstory, so there is worthwhile material for a spinoff to explore.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
With The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) arriving in theaters nationwide , thousands of fans are eager to see how the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy ends. Some of us at Screen Rant have already seen the film - read our official Dark Knight Rises review - and are eager to hear your opinions on it.
In the meantime, we wanted to offer you a list of 10 things you should know about the film before you see it. There are a few plot details mentioned here, but the list offers nothing that will likely SPOIL your enjoyment of the film.
These facts will simply serve to prepare you for TDKR before you experience it yourself....
TDKR clocks in at two hours and forty-five minutes. In other words, it's a long film. Both of its predecessors clocked in at over two hours, but this one nearly clocks in at three.
Of course, the film has multiple objectives that prolong its running time. The film seeks to wrap up the trilogy in a satisfying fashion and introduce several new characters that play vital roles in the story. Aside from the villain Bane (Tom Hardy), the film introduces us to several major characters like Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
With all of that in mind, viewers should be aware that when they take their seats, they will likely be sitting in the theater for over three hours, so people should take their bathroom break before it begins (no pun)...
Of course, expectations are extraordinary for this third film. Not only is it the end of a series, it serves as the sequel to The Dark Knight (TDK), which is considered one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Without reviewing the new movie, it's important to recognize that TDK was one of a kind. Everything - the script, the cast, and especially the highly-anticipated performance of Heath Ledger - seemed to work together to make that film the classic that it became in 2008. There have been great superhero movies before - including Spider-Man 2 and Superman 2 - but those movies were followed by sequels that fell far short of their predecessors.
With that in mind, viewers should - if possible - attempt to manage their expectations before walking into TDKR.
As we can see in the image on the left, some of the characters from Batman Begins and TDK will be mentioned - and some may even appear - in this third story. Therefore, screening both of those earlier films prior to seeing the latest installment could prove invaluable to understanding the new story and the characters.
TDKR attempts to wrap up the trilogy and does address many of the story beats and ideas presented in its predecessors. It also develops many of the characters that were previously introduced.
Since the series is set up as a trilogy, knowing where it started is pivotal in appreciating how it ends.
Accordingly to early reports, TDKR features 100 minutes of action sequences and much of the movie was shot using IMAX cameras. With that in mind, the best way to view the film is most likely on a 70 mm IMAX screen.
As Screen Rant's Kofi Outlaw previously explained, "you aren’t really getting 'the full' IMAX experience – especially the one Chris Nolan intended – without that 70mm IMAX theater. 70mm is the only way you will be able to see everything that Nolan shot on IMAX cams."
So even if it's out of your way, driving to see the movie the way that it was intended to be screened would be preferable to seeing it on a digital IMAX screen (or a regular one).
This year, we have been treated to several big-budget superhero films like The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. Both of those movies sought to honor their source material in a fun and entertaining fashion.
The Batman films are a completely different type of film. They are dramatic, high-minded affairs. From the A-list cast (including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman) to the emphasis on Bruce Wayne's complex personality, to the depth of each villain's monstrosity, these movies have sought (and often succeeded) in becoming serious Oscar-caliber films.
That doesn't mean that these films are any less entertaining than the other superhero films we've seen this year, but they are a different breed of superhero movie, so viewers should remember that before going in.
In TDKR, Batman faces off against his most serious threat yet. Bane is a psychopath who can physically take on and overwhelm the Caped Crusader. And since this is the last part of the trilogy, some speculation about the film has focused on whether or not Batman will make it out alive.
Without spoiling the film, it should be noted that even the actors recognize that the movie has an emotional depth that its fans should be prepared for. Gary Oldman has even publicly said that the movie "packs an emotional punch."
This film is easily the most emotional one in the trilogy, and if you are so inclined, you might want to bring tissues to the theater in preparation for how this final chapter ends.
Several months ago, much of the talk about the new movie revolved around Bane's muffled and nearly-inaudible voice. After the trailer came out, many viewers complained that they couldn't understand what he was saying at all - a fact that likely put the filmmakers in a tail spin.
After seeing the film, I can attest to the fact that most of Bane's dialogue is understandable. There are a few quick lines that were hard to decipher, but for the most part, the voice has been cleared up enough to allow viewers the opportunity to actually hear what the villain is saying...
As TDK ended, Batman became a fugitive from the law. Commissioner Gordon and Batman had just witnessed the transformation of statesmen and public hero District Attorney Harvey Dent into the evil and demented Two-Face. Two-Face died at the end of the movie, but in a bid to create a hero for the people of Gotham to look up to, Gordon and Batman decided to create a martyr out of the corrupted lawnman.
TDKR picks up eight years after the conclusion of its predecessor, with the truth about Dent still unknown and Batman still hiding from the law. Much has happened in the ensuing eight years, but the legend of Dent and Batman's bad reputation remain.
This is THE END
Despite insistent speculation that the franchise could continue, director Christopher Nolan has been equally insistent in his statement that this will be his final Batman film. Although many fans would love the Inception director to continue with the story, Nolan seems eager to move on after spending years focused on the Batman mythology and bringing the story to life.
Even Nolan's brother, Jonathan - who wrote the screenplays with him - has affirmed that this is the last movie in the series. He stated in an interview that TDKR is "the right way to end it..."
Of course, there will always be hope that Nolan will sign on to do a new film, but the filmmaker has said repeatedly that this is the end of the saga for him.
No Post-Credit Scenes
The Avengers was a long movie and many fans left the theater when the credits began to roll. Much to their dismay, however, it was later reported that there were two additional scenes at the end of the film. There was one scene mid-credits revealing a new threat to the superhero alliance, and there was another comical scene after the credits.
TDKR, however, offers no additional scenes after the film has ended, so once the credits start to roll, the complete story has been told.
Feel free to leave the theater and then go back to see the movie once again. There may be nothing after the credits, but there's always something to be gained from seeing a Christopher Nolan film more than once. Enjoy!John Hanlon blogs at Screen Rant.
THE GOOD: Despite the fact that our list of “good” seems to get smaller and smaller every year thanks to a voting body that inexplicably continues to place a priority on big names versus talent (See: Uma Thurman’s Outstanding Guest Star Actress in a Drama nod for SMASH), the Academy of Television Arts & Science did get a few things right. Namely, nominations for a handful of much deserving small screen newcomers like HOMELAND’s Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, SHERLOCK’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and would appear to be the entirety of Britain’s DOWNTON ABBEY (Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt) Equally exciting, recognition for the likes of Don Cheadle (HOUSE OF LIES), Lena Dunham (GIRLS), NEW GIRL’s Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield, Merritt Wever (NURSE JACKIE), Anna Gunn (BREAKING BAD), and Jason Ritter (PARENTHOOD).
THE BAD: With the notable exception of a guest starring nod for Joan Cusack, this morning’s SHAMELESS shut out further confirmed our suspicions that those poor Gallaghers really can’t catch a break. Sticking with the subject of no laughing matter comes MODERN FAMILY, whose dominance in the supporting acting categories (See: Nods for Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara) continues to come at the expense of equally deserving ensembles on the likes of COMMUNITY (Dani Pudi! Gillian Jacobs!), PARKS AND RECREATION (Nick Offerman! Chris Pratt), HAPPY ENDINGS (Damon Wayans Jr! Casey Wilson! Eliza Coupe! Adam Pally!), 30 ROCK (Jane Krakowski!) and THE MIDDLE (Eden Sher!), among others. Meanwhile in the drama department, no Outstanding Drama Series nomination for THE GOOD WIFE means that for the first time in history none of the major four broadcasters are represented in the category, while the distinct lack of Emmy love for GAME OF THRONES, THE WALKING DEAD and FRINGE have us wondering if they might try their hand at scamming their way into the “Mini Series” category next season based on the success FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY saw this year.
THE UGLY: Nominations for Ashley Judd (MISSING), Uma Thurman (SMASH) and Elizabeth Banks (30 ROCK) in their respective categories do little but leave us wounding if Emmys voters actually watch television or just tick of a list of names they’re familiar with. That, and don’t’ even get me started on a Jon Cryer’s Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series nomination over an insanely large list of far funnier nominees including but not limited to Joel McHale (COMMUNITY), Matt LeBlanc (EPISDOES), Garret Dillahunt (RAISING HOPE), Adam Scott (PARKS AND RECREATION).
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.
Directed by Lee Daniels, "The Butler" will follow Eugene Allen, a real-life figure who waited on eight US presidents, from Truman to Reagan, all of whom will be depicted in the film. "The Last King of Scotland" actor Forest Whitaker will play Allen, with talk show titan Oprah Winfrey reportedly playing Allen’s wife.
Actress Melissa Leo, who won an Oscar for her turn in 2010’s "The Fighter," is said to be playing Mamie Eisenhower, and actor Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda have reportedly signed on to play the Reagans. Other famous names whose names have been attached to the project include Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, and actress Minka Kelly as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
And your 2012 Emmy nominations go to… your very own TV Addict for waking up extra early to report on this mornings 2012 Emmy Nominations! (What’s that? You’re here for the actual Emmy Nominees? Stay tuned! We’re posting them as fast as SCANDAL’s Kerry Washington and Late Night Host Jimmy Kimmel (Who is kindly filling in for PARKS AND RECREATION’s Nick Offerman who was stranded on the east coast due to weather) can read them starting at 8:40AM (5:40AM Pacific)
Outstanding Drama Series
GAME OF THRONES
Outstanding Comedy Series
THE BIG BANG THEORY
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 ROCK
Don Cheadle, HOUSE OF LIES
Louis C.K., LOUIE
Jon Cryer, TWO AND A HALF MEN
Larry David, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Jim Parsons, THE BIG BANG THEORY
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, NEW GIRL
Lena Dunham, GIRLS
Edie Falco, NURSE JACKIE
Tina Fey, 30 ROCK
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VEEP
Melissa McCarthy, MIKE & MOLLY
Amy Poehler, PARKS AND RECREATION
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill, MODERN FAMILY
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, MODERN FAMILY
Ty Burrell, MODERN FAMILY
Eric Stonestreet, MODERN FAMILY
Max Greenfield, NEW GIRL
Bill Hader, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, THE BIG BANG THEORY
Kathryn Joosten, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Julie Bowen, MODERN FAMILY
Sofia Vergara, MODERN FAMILY
Merritt Wever, NURSE JACKIE,
Kristen Wiig, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, BREAKING BAD
GIancarlo Esposito, BREAKING BAD
Brendan Coyle, DOWNTON ABBEY
Jim Carter, DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES, Peter Dinklage
Jared Harris, MAD MEN
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, BREAKING BAD
Maggie Smith, DOWNTON ABBEY
Joanne Froggatt, DOWNTON ABBEY
Archie Panjabi, THE GOOD WIFE
Christine Baranski, THE GOOD WIFE
Christina Hendricks, MAD MEN
Outstanding Mini Series
AMERICAN HORROR STORY
HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN
Outstanding Lead Actor in a MiniSeries or Movie
Kevin Costner, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
Benedict Cumberbatch, SHERLOCK
Idris Elba, LUTHER
Woody Harrelson, GAME CHANGE
Clive Owen, HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN
Bill Paxton, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a MiniSeries or Movie
Denis O’Hare, AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Ed Harris, GAME CHANGE
Tom Berenger, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
David Strathairn, HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN
Martin Freeman, SHERLOCK
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a MiniSeries or Movie
Frances Conroy, AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Jessica Lange, AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Sarah Paulson, GAME CHANGE
Mare Winningham, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
Judy Davis, PAGE EIGHT
Outstanding Reality Competition Host
Tom Bergeren, DANCING WITH THE STARS
Cat Deeley, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
Phil Keoghan, THE AMAZING RACE
Ryan Seacrest, AMERICAN IDOL
Betty White, BETTY WHITE’S OFF THEIR ROCKERS
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Michael J. Fox, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM,
Greg Kinnear, MODERN FAMILY
Bobby Cannavale, NURSE JACKIE
Jimmy Fallon, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Will Arnett, 30 ROCK
Jon Hamm, 30 ROCK
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Dot-Marie Jones, GLEE
Maya Rudolph, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Melissa McCarthy, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Elizabeth Banks, 30 ROCK
Margaret Cho, 30 ROCK
Kathy Bates, TWO AND A HALF MEN
Outstanding Animated Program
THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR
Outstanding Children’s Program
GOOD LUCK CHARLIE
WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.
Disney-based Pixar returned to the Toy Story well for a pair of sequels, and the results were rewarding from both an artistic and financial perspective (Cars 2, by comparison, only did well in terms of box office receipts).
The computer animation studio hopes to replicate the Toy Story movies’ success with next summer’s prequel, Monsters University – and a followup to its second-highest-grossing, Oscar-winning summer smash, Finding Nemo. Moreover, Pixar stalwart Andrew Stanton has been confirmed to return as director for that sequel.
Stanton stumbled with his live-action directorial debut, John Carter, which opened to mixed reviews and failed to recoup its bloated budget (forcing the Mouse House to take a significant loss). Deadline is reporting that Stanton has been dancing around Finding Nemo 2 for several months, and has now officially come aboard – armed with “a concept the studio loves.”
The Finding Nemo 2 situation is simple enough: so long as the computer-animated sequel does well, Stanton will get another shot at live-action directing for Disney. He’s already picked up a pair of Oscars for his work on Finding Nemo and WALL·E. Stanton was also instrumental in the creative processes on the first two Toy Story movies, A Bug’s Life, and Monster’s Inc., where he served as either a co-writer and/or co-director.
Thus, it’s fair to say that Stanton deserves that second chance (especially since John Carter deserved a better turnout, in this writer’s opinion).
Finding Nemo 2 probably isn’t the sequel that many a Screen Rant reader has been waiting for (that honor belongs to Incredibles 2, no doubt). It nonetheless seems like a Pixar project that could follow the example set by Toy Story 2 & 3 – that is to say, serve as a meaningful new chapter in the continuing story of the clownfish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo.
On the other hand: with Monsters University, Finding Nemo 2, and possibly Toy Story 4 on the horizon, some Pixar supporters might start to worry that the studio is abandoning its commitment to original storytelling. There are also standalone Pixar products coming down the pipeline – and the followups which are starting to take shape seem worthwhile (or have potential, at least). So don’t start panicking just yet.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
Marvel is fresh off a successful appearance at Comic-Con 2012, where the studio premiered several mouth-watering items for its geek fanbase. That included: Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man test footage, an Iron Man 3 sizzle reel, confirmation on a Guardians of the Galaxy movie arriving in 2014, and new titles for its sequels, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Fans has been speculating that Captain America 2 would include the Winter Soldier storyline for quite some time, going back to when it was announced that Sebastian Stan had signed a multi-picture deal with Marvel to portray Steve Rogers’ brother-in-arms Bucky Barnes (who became the aforementioned brain-washed, cybernetic super assassin, in “Captain America” vol. 5, #1, released in 2005).
Heat Vision has learned that Anthony Mackie is in negotiations to appear in The Winter Soldier as Sam T. Wilson (a.k.a. Falcon). The character was introduced in “Captain America” #117 in 1969, and is the first full-blown African-American superhero featured in mainstream comics (preceding Luke Cage by nearly three years).
Wilson was introduced as an unnamed social worker in Harlem (during the 1960s), who was recruited by the Red Skull under false pretense. The latter then used the Cosmic Cube to give Wilson psychic powers, which allowed him to communicate telepathically with birds (and thus, control them). Wilson eventually discovered the truth about who the villain and his allies were, and escaped. Shortly thereafter, he encountered Steve Rogers, who convinced Wilson to take on a superhero persona: Falcon, a crime-fighter whose strength is enhanced by his suit (which also allows him to fly).
Falcon would go on to have several adventures with Captain America in the 1970s, when Steve Englehart retconned the character’s backstory so that he’d spent some time living as a gangster called Snap, following the murder of his parents (Wilson’s memories were revealed to have been altered by Red Skull, via the Cosmic Cube). The superhero was also briefly an Avenger during the late ’70s and late ’90s, and appeared in a handful of Captain America comic storylines in the early 2000s (he’s now a recurring player in the regular CA series, which began with #6000 in 2009).
Details are being kept under wraps, with regards to what elements from Falcon’s comic history will be retained for the Captain America sequel. The screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is said to take place primarily in the present-day, as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) carries out missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. Moreover, recent rumors have suggested the film will be heavily oriented around the organization and its employees (including, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)). Hence, it’s entirely possible that Sam Wilson will already be a S.H.I.E.L.D. employee, at the beginning of Captain America 2.
There’s also been unsubstantiated talk about how directors Anthony and Joe Russo (Community) are going to structure The Winter Soldier as a grounded, globe-trotting espionage thriller. Such a maneuver could set the stage for Cap and his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. employees (Black Widow, Hawkeye, and perhaps Falcon) to encounter the eponymous villain, working for a foreign enemy – and thus, force Steve Rogers to reconcile his past in a most unexpected (and painful) way, with the knowledge that his onetime friend has become a bitter foe.
Mackie, for his part, has seen his star rise rapidly these past three years, following his turns in The Hurt Locker, Notorious, Adjustment Bureau, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (among other films). He doesn’t look to lose momentum anytime soon either, with roles in this fall’s Gangster Squad and Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain on the horizon, in addition to Captain America 2.
The actor will (hopefully) get a healthy amount of screen time while playing Falcon in Captain America 2 – and future installments – seeing how it does take him out of the running as a contender to portray Black Panther in Marvel’s shared movie universe.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
Warner Bros. has lifted the review embargo for The Dark Knight Rises, opening the floodgates for critics from around the movie blogosphere to weigh in with their thoughts about Christopher Nolan’s climactic chapter to his grisly Caped Crusader trilogy. The film is as critic-proof as they come, yet the question lingers: Is it the crown jewel in a popular blockbuster franchise, which has been lauded as much for technical achievements as for storytelling merits (Toy Story 3)? Or does it buckle under the weight of bloated expectations, as has happened with many a trilogy finale in the past (The Godfather: Part III, Spider-Man 3)?
Scroll on down to read some SPOILER-FREE samples culled from some the first Dark Knight Rises reviews to hit the Web, and see what you think (check in later this week for Screen Rant‘s official review of the film).
Few blockbusters have borne so heavy a burden of audience expectation as Christopher Nolan’s final Batman caper, and the filmmaker steps up to the occasion with a cataclysmic vision of Gotham City under siege in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Running an exhilarating, exhausting 164 minutes, Nolan’s trilogy-capping epic sends Batman to a literal pit of despair, restoring him to the core of a legend that questions, and powerfully affirms, the need for heroism in a fallen world. If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008′s “The Dark Knight,” this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comicbook-driven Hollywood universe.
The real world threats of terrorism, political anarchy and economic instability make deep incursions into the cinematic comic book domain in The Dark Knight Rises. Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished, this last installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish. Entirely enveloping and at times unnerving in a relevant way one would never have imagined, as a cohesive whole this ranks as the best of Nolan’s trio, even if it lacks — how could it not? — an element as unique as Heath Ledger’s immortal turn in The Dark Knight. It’s a blockbuster by any standard.
The film has several exciting action set-pieces, many of which utilize the aerial vehicle The Bat, but none of which provoke the kind of jaw-dropping reaction that the truck flip did in The Dark Knight. Still, there are enough brawls, chases, and stuff going boom to satisfy hungry action fans. The battle in the streets pitting Bane’s army against Batman and the GCPD is quite a sight to behold in IMAX. Speaking of which, far more of this film was shot in IMAX than The Dark Knight, but the transitions here between full screen IMAX and the almost “letterbox” effect of regular film can be jarring. That said, IMAX really is the best way to watch this movie. The aforementioned gripes aside, director Christopher Nolan and his team have delivered the grandest, most emotional and superheroic chapter in their Batman saga. The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting emotional and narrative conclusion to this particular interpretation of the enduring story of Bruce Wayne the man and Batman the legend.
From Coming Soon:
Rather than drawing from the comics, Nolan instills real world issues into his Gotham City with a conflict that forays into corporal punishment, the stock exchange and ideas for sustainable energy–all things we might regularly read about in the papers, which either will make the situations more relatable or will have you rolling your eyes at having politics mixed in with your entertainment. Making a story that revolves around the distinction between Gotham’s haves and have nots—something that’s permeating many works of fiction right now–may seem fairly hypocritical for a filmmaker who is probably living as comfortably as Bruce Wayne by now. Fortunately, many of these issues are at least partially forgotten once Bane finally emerges in the Gotham daylight and we see the scope of his master plan to terrorize Gotham City. [Nolan] also figures out a convincing way to wrap everything up in a nice bow, making one feel like he’s created a bonafide Batman story in three movies that can stand up on its own merits completely separate from the comics or any previous incarnations.
From Hit Fix:
The technical side of things is sharper than ever before, and if this really is the last film that Wally Pfister shoots, he’s going out in style. Even more of this film was shot with IMAX cameras than “The Dark Knight,” and it makes for some breathtaking visual moments that match the emotional impact of the film’s operatic final act. Hans Zimmer’s work here is brutal, percussive, borderline crazy. It feels like things are starting to shake to pieces, like the entire world is about to implode. I found the final movement of the film, a good thirty minutes or so, almost unbearably emotional, and I think it may be the best stretch in any of the films. There are some logic issues I have with parts of the film, and we’ll get into those in the “Second Look,” but there is a clean, uncompromised emotional arc that steamrolls those problems for me, and I think the film more than fulfills the promise made by the first two films. ["The Dark Knight Rises"] confirms that these films have always had an endgame in mind, and it has been a remarkable ride, one I would not want to follow. Whoever Warner Bros hires to reboot the “Batman” films a few years from now, I wish you luck. The bar is as high as it could possibly be.
From The Playlist:
In a season filled with big movies that somehow ask even bigger questions, “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the superego to its competition’s id. An action opus that manages at to be both viscerally and intellectually engaging, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated third Batman film comes full circle, examining both the Dark Knight and the society that produced him without sacrificing any of the sweeping thrills for which the series is known. A literate, thoughtful and invigorating finale, “The Dark Knight Rises” delivers everything audiences ask for and then some, albeit in fewer of the ways that they might expect. If, as Badass Digest argues, “The Avengers” “defeated irony and cynicism,” then “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the rock-bottom, lowest-point examination of ourselves which provides the substance to make Joss Whedon’s optimistic vision endure. Because Nolan’s film is a reminder that superheroes aren’t merely a frivolous distraction, or even a wish-fulfillment fantasy, but an embodiment of our best selves – or at least what we want our best selves to be. A cinematic, cultural and personal triumph, “The Dark Knight Rises” is emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself – as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope.
Here’s a breakdown of the initial critical reaction to Dark Knight Rises:
- Nolan’s final Batman film captures the current cultural zeitgeist by touching on timely social issues. That aspect of TDKR could be regarded as preachy by some, insightful by others, depending on their own perspective.
- The IMAX footage is magnificent and demands to be seen in that format. The mixture of regular and IMAX material in TDKR can be shaky at times, but it’s nonetheless an important step forward for the use of said technology as a cinematic storytelling tool.
- TDKR does offer a satisfying sense of closure to Nolan’s interpretation of the Bruce Wayne story. Many moviegoers are going to walk away feeling not only emotionally-satisfied, but also that they’ve just seen the best installment in Nolan’s Batman trilogy (though, obviously, there’ll be disagreement on that point).
Click on the links to any of the aforementioned online publications, to read their full Dark Knight Rises review. Most of them also include insight on where new additions Bane (Tom Hardy) and Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) rank, in terms of staples from the Batman comics who’ve been brought to life in Nolan’s Dark Knight saga.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
Many of the best stories can be defined by the power of their conclusions. In ending, they tell us something definitive about the characters that we have invested so much of our time on. These stories attempt to validate our investment by cashing out in some memorable fashion, which will allow them to reverberate and be retold countless times. Even though (after tonight) we’re still 15 hours away from any such conclusion with Walter White, there’s still a tangible feeling of imminent completion surrounding the season premiere of Breaking Bad.
Creator Vince Gilligan – who also wrote the premiere – gets the games going early by utilizing a familiar break in chronology as a means to set up the episode. This was previously used to great effect with black and white glimpses of a stuffed animal floating in a pool. Only after we had all the information did the pieces fit together. Revealing the mangled toy to be from a catastrophic aviation accident tangentially tied to Walt (Bryan Cranston) and his handling of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and his new drug-addled girlfriend. The effect was engrossing on its own, but also served as a payoff for those who had tuned in week after week to watch Walt’s downward spiral.
Now, ushering in season 5, Gilligan offers us a glimpse of what we can only assume is nearly the end of the road. ‘Live Free or Die’ revels in offering just enough illumination on the mysterious circumstances to spark what will certainly be countless theories leading to the how and why. An unshorn Walt, complete with beard and thick-rimmed glasses, sits alone in a Denny’s restaurant, playing with his food by arranging pieces of bacon into the shape of a fifty-two – the age he has turned on this day. He’s there to meet up with Lawson (Jim Beaver, Supernatural), the weapons dealer, and purchase a rather large machine gun nestled in the trunk of a car, which Lawson also provided.
The brief scene is telling in many ways, but only telling enough to raise many more questions. For those keeping score, Breaking Bad began on Walter White’s 50th birthday – so this is, in a way, Gilligan illustrating to his audience just how far Walt has traveled and in what amount of time. More clues come while Walt is making the purchase from Lawson in the men’s restroom. Lawson demands the artillery not cross the border, to which Walt replies it’s not even going to leave town – meaning someone is likely about to be on the receiving end of the machine gun. After Lawson wishes him good luck and leaves, Walt dry swallows a prescription pill of some kind, which will undoubtedly leave viewers questioning whether or not his cancer has come back.
Finally, as he’s exiting the restaurant, leaving a $100 bill under his untouched plate, the waitress addresses Walt as Mr. Lambert – the maiden name of his wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn). In addition to everything the audience is asked to take in, Walt’s choice of alias presents a whole slew of questions on its own. Again, Gilligan should be commended for the precision of his approach: it’s purposeful and direct without giving everything away.
While ‘Live Free or Die’ excels in teasing the audience with the season’s larger, more ambiguous direction, the episode also handles the fallout of season 4 with a deftness that makes it seem as though Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) exited the series just last week. Walt’s conversation with Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) – in the scene released prior to the season premiere – manages to somehow resurrect the intensity of ‘Face Off’ without resorting to any kind of hokey mid-scene flashback reminding the viewer just how dire the circumstances were. Instead, it simply offers the season 4 phone call between Walt and Skyler as a sort of abridged version of the events that occurred beforehand.
Even with the intensity of last season’s finale fresh on everyone’s mind, Cranston manages – in his own skillful manner – to clearly define the tonal shift in Walt, now that he’s moved into the post-Gustavo world. Gone is the frightened, desperate man who detonated a bomb in a nursing home and poisoned a small child to regain the trust of his partner. In his place, Cranston has breathed new life into the kind of fierce Walter who sought to defend his territory against would-be cookers in a parking lot.
That same bravado is on display throughout the present-day scenes. Walter White is on the top of the world, but he’s finding it a very lonely place. Walt Jr. is enamored with his uncle Hank (Dean Norris), and Skyler readily admits she’s now frightened of the man her husband has become. In fact, when he’s at home, Walt’s forced to toast himself in the mirror and enjoy a congratulatory drink by his lonesome. Perhaps that is why, even when facing down the gun of an angry Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), he doesn’t even flinch. Despite Mike’s eagerness to kill him – and with Jesse professing his allegiance – it’s only in that company that Walt feels he’s truly amongst people who understand him.
The marketing campaign of “All Hail the King“ is incredibly accurate. Walter White has in fact ascended to the throne. He displays the kind of self-assuredness that comes when one believes he is truly predestined to the role he’s taken.
When Walt orchestrates the destruction of Gus’ laptop by buying a giant magnet from Old Joe (Larry Hankin) and using it through the wall of a police evidence room, Mike asks if he’s supposed to accept that the mission was a success on faith. Walt simply tells him it worked because he says it did. It’s the kind of answer one gives to a pestering child, or a person one deems to be beneath them – as the ruling class might look upon the peasants who do their bidding. A thing is because the king says it is.
However, it’s not until the episode’s end that Walt truly understands, or perhaps accepts, his place in the new power structure he’s created. And what an embrace it is. After assuring (read: threatening) Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) that his lawyerly work will still be required under this new regime, Walt comes home to Skyler, making her aware that he’s been completely briefed on the Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins) situation. With fearsome deliberation, Walt holds his wife close and tells her she is forgiven.
As things stand, in the world of Breaking Bad, the power to forgive or condemn, kill or set free belongs to one man. For the time being at least, Walter White finds himself wearing the crown.
In many ways, Gilligan’s cryptic declaration that things will change heightens the significance of Walter’s shifting demeanor. By hinting at the transitory nature of power – and of course its corruptive properties – Gilligan has seemingly brought a core element of his program full circle, stating: everything in life, including life itself, is fleeting. Best grab what you can before it comes time to check out.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season, with today’s subject being ABC’s 666 PARK AVENUE.
The Boilerplate: Since these pilot presentations may go through numerous rewrites and casting changes prior to premiere, this by no means should be considered an official review. Rather a preview of what one can expect come Fall.
The Plot: At the ominous address of 666 Park Avenue, anything you desire can be yours. Everyone has needs, desires and ambition. For the residents of The Drake, these will all be met, courtesy of the building’s mysterious owner, Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn). But every Faustian contract comes with a price. When Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable), an idealistic young couple from the Midwest, are offered the opportunity to manage the historic building, they not only fall prey to the machinations of Doran and his mysterious wife, Olivia (Vanessa Williams), but unwittingly begin to experience the shadowy, supernatural forces within the building that imprison and endanger the lives of the residents inside.
The Cast: 666 PARK AVENUE stars Rachael Taylor (CHARLIE’S ANGELS) as Jane Van Veen, Dave Annable (BROTHERS & SISTERS) as Henry Martin, Robert Buckley (ONE TREE HILL) as Brian Leonard, Mercedes Masöhn (THE FINDER) as Louise Leonard, Helena Mattson (Iron Man) as Alexis Blume, Samantha Logan as Nona Clark, with Vanessa Williams (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) as Olivia Doran and Terry O’Quinn (LOST) as Gavin Doran.
The Snap Judgment: If MELROSE PLACE and AMERICAN HORROR STORY mated, their demon spawn would look a little something like 666 PARK AVENUE. Which is our oh-so-polite-way of saying that what the newest addition to ABC’s celebrated Sunday night lineup lacks in originality, it more than makes up for with a ridiculously likeable, not to mention genetically blessed cast. As devilish Drake owners Gavin and Olivia Doran, Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams are perfectly cast as the husband and wife duo whose interest in their tenants well being would appear to have some killer consequences. Robert Buckley and Mercedes Masöhn do a credible job of playing a couple whose relationship is about to go down one helluva rabbit hole. While Dave Annable and Rachael Taylor are absolutely adorable as the wide-eyed newcomers who are about to discover that the kind of apartment 666 Park Avenue offers comes at a very steep price. Add to that the shows’ titular address, which as one might imagine is a character in its very own right and the result is what sure looks to be Fall’s newest guilty pleasure.
The Conclusion:: Despite our affection for the dearly departed GCB (RIP) we suspect big numbers will be checking into 666 PARK AVENUE. Particularly following its female friendly lead ins that are ONCE UPON A TIME (8PM) and REVENGE (9PM)
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.