September 18, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: Batman

Ben Affleck is the perfect choice to direct a new “Batman” film

Late last week, word came around during San Diego Comic-Con that finally confirmed something that I’d basically been assuming for a year or so. Ben Affleck would be getting his own Batman film, but he’s also going to be co-writing and directing that stand alone project. I’ve long been a fan of Affleck’s, going back to his early days working with Kevin Smith, so I always keep an eye out for what he’s up to next. Ever since he’s starting directing, it’s been exciting to watch his career arc, with his upcoming role as Bruce Wayne/Batman another interesting turn. The fact that it’ll be his filmmaking style essaying a new caped crusader adventure just makes it something to really look forward to. Affleck is the perfect choice for this project.
Affleck’s take on the Bat (possibly called The Batman) will be done after he suits up at least three times for other filmmakers. Two will hit screens next year, first in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad later that summer. There’s also Synder’s Justice League Part One, which will come in 2017, before this solo project (though Justice League Part Two could be after). This gives him time to settle into the character, develop a screenplay that fits into the Universe that’s being built, and work with co-writer Geoff Johns to make this a Batman outing that stands out from the ones that have come before it.
As an added bonus, this long lead in to the Batman film (rumors have it coming around 2019) allows Affleck to finally get to make Live By Night, a project that he’s been looking to do since Argo. It’s a period crime drama, which should suit him perfectly. It could actually come about that he’s knee deep in the Oscar race with this movie and then moves over to put on the tights and shoot Batman. It would be an intense 180, but getting to direct a prestige flick and then getting to direct a comic book one could be like recess for him. Affleck would get to let loose and play, potentially making for a different film than he usually writes/directs. I’m sure that’s one reason he opted to sign up for this endeavor.
What makes him such a perfect choice for this project is that his filmmaking style lends itself so […]

“Suicide Squad” is shaping up to be one of the most interesting upcoming superhero movies

At the very tail end of the weekend, filmmaker David Ayer unveiled his first look at most of the costumed cast of Suicide Squad, his DC superhero/anti-hero/villain movie that’s scheduled to follow Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next year. This comes on the heels of Ayer also officially showing off Jared Leto as The Joker recently, making for an unusual amount of promotional material for a film coming second in line during 2016. At the same time though, it suggests something pretty different for DC and Warner Brothers, perhaps even in a way becoming their version of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Not in tone, of course, but in terms of being a possibly top tier outing due to a different feel from the rest of the pack. Having a recent Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in the cast playing an iconic part won’t hurt either.
For those who have never hard of Suicide Squad, it’s a comic book adaptation, obviously, surrounding a government agency that recruits currently imprisoned supervillains to participate in black ops missions in exchange for clemency on their sentences. Ayer writes and directs, while the cast includes Jared Leto as Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Care Delevingne as Enchantress, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adam Beach as Slipknot, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, along with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, plus Common, Scott Eastwood, and Karen Fukuhara in unnamed roles, as well as cameos from Ben Affleck as Batman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, among potentially others. It takes place in the same universe that DC/WB is creating to lead up to a Justice League film, as well as possibly a stand alone Batman movie. It’s got a solid filmmaker and a very strong cast in place, so there’s plenty here to work with on all ends, I must say.
Obviously one of the big things here is getting to see a new interpretation of the clown prince of crime, this time portrayed by Leto. The first look at him suggested a very aggressive and dark new take, separated him in a big way from Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman for sure, but also Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight as well. Leto has emerged as a real exciting actor after his Oscar winning turn […]

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” shows off an epic Teaser Trailer

Hot on the heels of the new Star Wars movie flexing its muscles last week (as well as a hot new Trailer for Jurassic World earlier today), the sequel to Man of Steel also has sought to do the same. Yes, we got our first Teaser Trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice recently and at least to this humble writer, it was more than worth the wait. Besides showing off Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, we also got to see him in costume (and hear him) as the Caped Crusader himself. His upcoming clash next year with Henry Cavill’s son of Krypton looks like a true event movie.
This is no surprise to any of you, but this film is going to set up a Justice League team up for the Warner Brothers/DC slate of heroes. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice picks up where Man of Steel left off, with the citizens of Metropolis debating the merits of Superman being a god among men. This captures the attention of Batman over in Gotham City, and they cross paths, with much fighting to ensue before they get on the same page to presumably overcome Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Man of Steel’s Zack Snyder returns to direct, with David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio co-writing. The cast, aside from the aforementioned Affleck, Cavill, and Eisenberg includes Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Harry Lennix, Jena Malone, Scoot McNairy, Jason Momoa, and more.
In this Teaser, which you can see below, the big highlight is of course getting to see Batman and Superman on the screen at the same time. For many comic book fans, that’s a big screen concept that many thought would never happen. In fact, it seemed even less likely once the initial Justice League of America movie from almost a decade ago fell apart. In the wake of The Avengers though, obviously the WB was keen to get this idea moving again. Now, we have it, with Affleck playing an older and grizzled Dark Knight driven protect the human race from the danger he sees in Superman’s actions. The Teaser mainly consists of audio, but when we see the new Batsuit and Batmobile, it’s pretty cool, I must say.
A fringe benefit of sorts with this film is going to be seeing the Justice League of America come together. Besides […]

LB Comic Con Draws Geeks, Freaks, Fans

Darth Vader mingled. Spider Man posed. Batman signed autographs.
Comic books came to life this weekend at the bi-annual Long BeachComic Con, located in the seaside Convention Center in the heart of the city.
A scaled down version of San Diego’s uber fest, it still drew crowds of geeks, freaks and fans looking to see stars, buy memorabilia, andogle some really crazy costumes.

When asked what the hot cosplay of today is, the answer people atthe convention was nearly unanimous: Mystique, Jennifer Lawrence;s blue alterego in ‘X-Men.’ But few in attendance were willing to pull off thenaked-looking outfit. One woman said, ‘I’m on a diet for San Diego’ (to wear that costume).
Richard Hatch of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ fame signed autographswhile the 501st (Vader’s Fist the world’s leading Star Wars organization) puton realistic battle scenes in full armor and artillery. When asked about thenew Star Wars, Storm Troopers were cautiously optimistic and hoped the heartand authenticity of what makes Star Wars special is kept in tact.
Cars from films like ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘The Blues Brothers’and Michael Keaton’s ‘Batman’ were on display, along with their costumedcharacters. Even in Long Beach it was all Hollywood as Doc Brown from ?Back tothe Future? was pitching a reality show.
The two-day conference ended Sunday.

“Batman”: The Top 25 (Best Production Design)

Here we go again folks with another Top 25. Today I’ll be knocking off another one of the technical categories, with this one being the always elaborate Best Production Design field. The category is usually a feast for the eyes, but there’s plenty more to it than that. The sets and the environment on the whole are put on display here in an often magical way. I have a few specific titles I’ll be citing below, but I know the game here. You all mostly just want to see the lists anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs once again…
This time around, I’m once again going the overview route, since as mentioned above the look of these winners is really what matters here. Also, it really just depends on what sort of winner you’re partial to here. There are all different sorts that have won the Academy Award here for this category, so it’s pretty much a matter of taste. Period, Sci-Fi, etc…all have their moment in the sun.
I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Tim Burton’s Batman, which isn’t the best movie in the world, but features some breathtaking Production Design by Anton Furst. It’s amazingly unique, you have to give the design that. Close behind I had Pan’s Labyrinth and Titanic, two other films I don’t love but think have amazing Production Design. On the next tier are two flicks I like a lot more in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Star Wars. Wrapping up the top ten you have the likes of Avatar, Barry Lyndon, Chicago, Dick Tracy, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, all very worthy winners. This is actually a pretty stacked category, so there were tons more than 25 winners that I could have chosen from in this field.
Here now is how I’d rank the 25 top winners of the Best Production Design Oscar:
25. The Aviator
24. The Great Gatsby (2013)
23. Memoirs of a Geisha
22. Amadeus
21. Cabaret
20. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
19. The Last Emperor
18. Moulin Rouge!
17. The Godfather: Part II
16. Doctor Zhivago
15. Schindler’s List
14. The Apartment
13. All That Jazz
12. Hugo
11. Lawrence of Arabia
10. Dick Tracy
9. Avatar
8. Raiders of the Lost Ark
7. Chicago
6. Barry […]

The sound and music of The Dark Knight Rises Visionary Director Christopher Nolan returns for the final chapter of the Batman saga. In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection video we profile the sound and music team including Composer Hans Zimmer and Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer Richard King.

To hear more go to
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The Dark Night Rises continues to dominate the Box Office In the next couple days you’re going to hear a lot about how the Aurora, Colorado shootings had some kind of negative effect on the box office this weekend. You’re going to hear about how The Dark Knight Rises is some kind of disappointment and that it surely left money on the table due to the aftermath of said mass murder. So without getting too pompous about discrediting such malarky, let’s get something out of the way right now. After ten days, The Dark Knight Rises has earned $289 million. That’s the third-best ten-day total of all-time behind only The Dark Knight ($313 million) and The Avengers ($373 million) and a good $10 million ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($373 million) without the 3D advantage. Yes, the third Batman sequel dropped 60% from last weekend, but it still earned $64 million in weekend two, the sixth-biggest second weekend of all-time (The Dark Knight earned $75 million in weekend two, a 53% drop).
In short, the threequel is playing like a normal insanely anticipated but also heavily front-loaded genre sequel that has its fan-base firmly entrenched without picking up many new viewers this time around. In other words, it’s playing a bit like a Harry Potter/Twilight sequel. The Dark Knight Rises merely isn’t the pure phenomenon that The Dark Knight was, and anyone that told you it would be was probably delusional or lying. The Dark Knight was an event. The Dark Knight Rises is just a heavily-anticipated genre sequel.
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The Dark Knight Rises opens with $160 million was edited from a phone, so pardon any formatting errors. When a heavily-anticipated film debuts alongside a mass murder that takes place during a midnight showing of said film, it’s difficult to know how to analyze the opening weekend figures. I don’t mean morally speaking (all due respect, anyone offended by number crunching after such a tragedy shouldn’t be clicking on a link entitled ‘Weekend Box Office’), I mean practically. Under normal circumstances, the fact that The Dark Knight Rises debuted with $160 million over the weekend would lend itself to the usual analysis, dealing with weekend multipliers, midnight-percentages, comparisons to The Dark Knight and other recent blockbusters, and a guesstimate in regards to final domestic outcome. But it is impossible for now to know what the effect of the shooting had on the film’s short term or long term box office performance, so for the sake of this calculation, we will basically presume that the shooting had little quantifiable effect on the numbers, and frankly looking over the data I’m inclined to believe as much. The film did about as well, give-or-take, as it would have been expected to do. But the numbers, presuming little-to-no effect from Friday morning’s tragedy, means that the third Chris Nolan Batman film was a slightly less anticipated affair than the last go-around, which will likely bode comparatively ill for long-term grosses. Basically, horror of horrors, The Dark Knight Rises might just perform like a normal mega-blockbuster.
To wit, The Dark Knight Rises debuted with $30.4 million in midnight showings (second only to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II’s $43 million midnight-haul) and ended its first complete Friday with $75 million, good for the third-biggest single day of all time, behind The Avengers ($80 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($91 million). Considering The Dark Knight Rises was in 2D, it surely sold more tickets on Friday than The Avengers and may have sold more than Harry Potter 7.2 (we’ll know for sure in a few days). The film earned 40% of its Friday figure via midnight showings, identical to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I ($24 million at midnight, $62 million on Friday) and just ahead of all-time worst midnight-percentage opening days Harry Potter 7.2 ($43m/$91m = 45%) and Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($30m/$68m = 44%). […]

The Dark Knight Rises comments thread… So it’s midnight on the West Coast, which means the first midnight showings are just letting out on the East Coast. Okay, you know the drill. Here’s hoping I have more comments here than I did for The Amazing Spider-Man.
Anyway, I’m actually going to be away from my keyboard for a couple days, but I’ll *try* to do a weekend box office write-up on Sunday morning. Until then, it’s officially open season for anyone who saw the third and final Chris Nolan Batman film. You’ve heard my thoughts, now time to share yours, in as much detail as you desire.
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Oscars: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ a Best Picture contender

By Sean O’Connell Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” isn’t even in theaters yet, and already, someone has dropped the “O” word.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a contender,” Clayton Davis of The Awards Circuit Tweeted after his “Rises” screening. I doubt it will be the last time that we hear Nolan’s trilogy capper in the same breath as the Academy Awards.
After all, it’s widely believed that Nolan’s last Batman movie, “The Dark Knight” – and its absence in the Best Picture category – led to the changes in the number of potential Best Picture nominees we can have each season. Will “The Dark Knight Rises” capitalize on the new BP regulations and compete for Oscar’s top prize early next year?
To do so, it’s going to have to rise above a series of fellow contenders … some of which are coming right out of Warner Bros.’ pipeline. As was noted in The Hollywood Reporter, Warner has a handful of titles that will come to the table with awards “buzz.”
Perennial Oscar contender Clint Eastwood plays a baseball scout on a trip with his daughter (Amy Adams) in “Trouble With the Curve” (Sept. 28). Ben Affleck’s back in the director’s chair for “Argo” (Oct. 12), a political thriller with a tremendous cast. And then there are two heavy hitters racing to theaters in December: Peter Jackson’s opening chapter to “The Hobbit,” and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.
This weekend, the attention falls on Nolan’s “Knight” as we analyze its Oscar potential. The truth of the matter, though, is that it’s one of several options Warner has as the Oscar season kicks into high(er) gear.

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