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Batman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)


batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-000220568DIRECTOR: 
Zack Snyder

CAST: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Holly Hunter

REVIEW:

To put it simply, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a mess: a big, loud, flashy, garish mess that piles on the flaws of Man of Steel while discarding the strengths, with Zack Snyder again showing the most lopsided contrast between a strong visual style and clueless sense of narrative of perhaps any high-profile mainstream filmmaker with the arguable exception of the Wachowski siblings (I would argue Snyder surpasses them for narrative incoherence).  A confusing jumble of oddly-cut abrupt scenes, excessive use of unnecessary dream sequences, superfluous subplots meandering around, and plot developments both facilely simplistic and incomprehensibly convoluted, the movie guaranteed itself a big opening night with the draw of Batman and Superman having a one-on-one smackdown on the big screen (and the trailer’s comic book geek boner-inducing money shot of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman standing together), but as DC/Warner Bros’ obvious answer to the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, the overall experience here is a far step down from the orgiastic glee of The Avengers, to whom it comes across as a slapdash wannabe that fumbles what should have been an epic cinematic occasion.  The iconic characters on-hand deserve better than this. Continue reading

Jester’s Blog: Will the Next Batman Please Stand Up?

Only a year since Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale ended their three-movie Batman run, and with Man of Steel still in theaters, Warner Bros. has surprised many by revealing plans for a Batman/Superman team-up movie as the sequel to Man of Steel, teaming the newest Superman, Henry Cavill, up with a yet-to-be-cast Caped Crusader (barring the unlikely event of Christian Bale reprising the role). Continue reading

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST:

Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman

REVIEW:

WARNING: WHILE I HAVE ASPIRED TO AVOID OUTRIGHT “SPOILERS”, THIS REVIEW WILL MENTION SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE FILM’S PLOT

Along with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers earlier this summer, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has redefined the possibilities of what to expect from a “comic book superhero movie” and raised the bar to a level that future entries in the genre will be hard-pressed to equal, let alone surpass.  While The Avengers served up grand spectacle on an unprecedented scale, Nolan’s Batman films went the more thoughtful, introspective, and in many ways, more groundbreaking approach, defying the expectations and supposed constraints of the genre, approaching the material as deep, dark, serious drama, and making the likes of Spider-Man look fluffy and insubstantial in comparison.  Batman Begins was a respectable launching pad.  The Dark Knight soared above and beyond, seizing the title of, for my money and the money of many others, the most dark, ambitious, and adult-oriented comic book superhero movie ever made, and now Nolan has chosen to cap off his series with a climactic chapter, perhaps the first time a director in a superhero series has chosen of his own accord to conclude his story (as opposed to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner’s X-Men, who were robbed of intended fourth installments by the disappointing receptions of their third entries).  While in my opinion The Dark Knight remains unseated as the most impressive of Nolan’s Batman films, The Dark Knight Rises brings this solid trilogy to a respectable conclusion. Continue reading

The Dark Knight (2008)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST:

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eric Roberts

REVIEW:

WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL MENTION SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE FILM’S PLOT

With Batman Begins, his 2005 reboot of the Batman film franchise, hailed as bringing the Caped Crusader back to the screen better than ever, Christopher Nolan had the green light to proceed with the highly-anticipated sequel that came to be called The Dark Knight. For most fans, Nolan’s return to Gotham City was worth the three year wait. Batman Begins returned Batman to respectability; The Dark Knight takes this capital and runs with it, crafting what is easily the most ambitious and adult-oriented comic book superhero movie ever made. As entertaining as the likes of X-Men and Spider-Man might be, The Dark Knight is on a whole other level. Continue reading

Batman Begins (2005)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST:

Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe

REVIEW:

Batman is both one of DC Comics’ most recognizable and popular characters and one of the most cinematically ill-used. Originally conceived as a brooding figure on the line between hero and vigilante, the original seriousness was completely abandoned first by the campy 1960s television series starring Adam West, and then by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s series of feature films in the late ’80s and ’90s. These movies started out over-the-top and ended up downright cartoonish. The entire original conception of the character had virtually been abandoned, and as the films grew ever more patently ridiculous, even fans had had enough. Batman looked dead in the water. Then British director Christopher Nolan, coming off the thrillers Memento and Insomnia, and screenwriter David S. Goyer took on the task of resurrecting Batman, not as a continuation of the previous lackluster film series, but as a totally new narrative showing us something we’d never seen detailed onscreen before- the origins of the superhero.  While remaining faithful to the broad strokes of established Batman background, Nolan and Goyer put their distinctive spin on the familiar story. Most importantly, they were faithful to the substantially darker and more serious original conception of the character. The result was by far the best Batman film yet made, and solid enough to appeal even to non-Batman aficionados.  A Batman movie has finally been made right. Continue reading

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