Archive for the ‘The Dark Knight’ Category

Daily Batman: Introduce a little anarchy, but make sure you’ve got an end in sight

February 6, 2011


But the extraordinary thing is that they did not do. As much as the Joker hoped people would eat each other, that his introduction of anarchy would bear fruit in an ugly cannibalistic scene, people proved him wrong. He was so disappointed! Shocked, chagrined! But people, despite being handed a catalyst for their own manifestation of destructive doubt and discontent with the world around them, acknowledged that world’s foibles, and forgave one another. For me, this is a beautiful and redeeming script. The angry, sore, raw ones — the Joker, Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne, and the newly-commissioned Gordon — assumed the worst of the citizens of Gotham and their fears were proven wrong. What a good and special, redemptive moment for humanity that the misters Nolan rightly wrote.

Daily Batman: Talk nerdy to me — third Nolanverse film rumor round-up

November 26, 2010

My Bat-ticipation has been kicked in to high gear since the announcement several months ago that Chris Nolan and his brother had completed the script for the third film in Nolan’s Batman Begins series. Stars are aligning, schedules are floating, and everyone and their dog thinks they have the inside scoop on the plot.

I can play that game, too.

Rumors and speculation, ahoy!

  • Rumor: The new film is titled The Dark Knight Rises. Potential truthiness: Total. The studio says yes, that’s the title, but Bale claimed while promoting his new film The Fighter that he wasn’t sure that would be the final title, saying that he’d wait until he “heard it from Chris.” The title is officially entered on IMDB as The Dark Knight Rises and I’d tend to think at this point will likely not change.
  • Rumor: Scripts will go to the actors in January, principal photography will begin in May, and the film will be in the can by November. Potential truthiness: This comes directly from Michael Caine, who is delightful and talented and a gift to generations of moviegoers, and who could still easily be completely wrong. Shooting will take place in New Orleans, which will give Gotham a seamier, heavier look than the crispy, boxy look of the grim Chicago Gotham we’ve seen in the last two films. The tragic poverty in the Ninth Ward would be a realistic backdrop for action in the Narrows, too.
  • Rumor: The Riddler will be the chief antagonist. Potential truthiness: Practically nil. This long shopped-around speculation has been pretty much permanently tabled due to some of the following rumors.
  • Rumor: Tom Hardy has been cast in the film. Potential truthiness: 100%, apparently. Awesome. The guy has great action chops and his looks are total female fan service. Aces in my book. The question of who he will play is where things get dicey for me.
  • Rumor: Tom Hardy will play Dr. Hugo Strange. Potential truthiness: Fair to middling — I’d say this rumor is at least on the right track, if not outright true. One of the first villains in the original DC comics, Dr. Strange is, in recent incarnations, a police psychologist who develops a bad case of bat-mania.

    In the Legends of the Dark Knight comic series, in an arc which takes place roughly contemporaneous to the events of Year One, Long Halloween, etc., from whose stories the Nolans have taken inspiration in the first two films, Dr. Strange is employed by the Gotham City Police Department to help develop a profile of Batman in order to bring him to justice. The search is lead — and, of course, secretly hampered — by newly-promoted Commissioner James Gordon. The timing works out great and the plots match up well with where we left off in The Dark Knight. In fact …

  • Rumor: The Dark Knight Rises is based on the Prey arc from the Legends of the Dark Knight line. Potential truthiness: Somewhere between somewhat likely and “it would be a good idea if it is true.” This is a very recent rumor. Like, last week. It’s a plausible and good suggestion for the plot, but so was a fourth Spider-Man movie with Lizard as the villain and instead it’s back to high school like frigging chumps. I am cautiously optimistic about this rumor.
  • In the Prey story, Dr. Hugo Strange initially seeks to find Batman, who is Gotham’s Public Enemy No. 1 at this time, but grows to seek to be Batman, even successfully supplanting the vigilante and pulling some pretty whack shenanigans. He accomplishes this in part by brainwashing a fellow find-the-bat task force member, the mouthbreathing leg-breaker Sgt. Max Cort. Dr. Strange grooms Cort to become a vigilante, called Night Scourge, to flush Batman out of hiding.

    This aspect of the plot dovetails very reasonably with the vigi-wanna-bes we saw plaguing Gotham City at the beginning of The Dark Knight. In the comic, Cort eventually kidnaps the mayor’s daughter under hynoptic suggestion from Strange. We met the mayor in the last film (Richard Alpert from Lost — that guy seriously gets around) so this, too, has conceivably got some decent groundwork already laid.

    Hardy as British criminal Charles Bronson in Bronson.

  • Rumor that I am starting: If the former rumor is true, and the plot is based on Prey, then Tom Hardy is likelier playing Sgt. Cort than Dr. Strange. Potential truthiness: Probably zero. What the heck do I know? It’s just how I’d do it. The guy’s hunky and action-star-looking. He just seems a better fit for young, fit Max Cort than Hugo Strange, who is older, has a bald egg head, a phatty beard, and weird sunglasses. I’m admittedly coming at this from a shallow place: I really hope not to watch handsome Tom Hardy’s good looks get hopelessly mutilated to play the puppetmaster part. I’d rather see him play a hot hypnotized mouthbreather than shave his head again like he did for Bronson. I’m very shallow.
  • Rumor: Six actresses have been auditioned for two female roles. Reports are that one role is Bruce’s love interest and the other is a villain. The actresses are Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Kiera Knightly, and, for some implausible reason, Blake Lively. Potential truthiness: Pfft. These same names, except Lively, and sometimes Marion Cotillard and Angelina Jolie, have been getting tossed around since before the script was even finished. It’s just fantasy comic movie casting — we all do it, and until I see a picture of Anne Hathaway and Natalie Portman sitting beside Christopher Nolan holding folders that say “Top Secret Batman 3 Screen Test Script,” I have no reason to believe that those names should get any more credence than the ones I come up with myself in the car at long red lights.
  • Now, the rumors about the characters are new and much more interesting. Catwoman does enter the Prey story; tantalizingly, so does the Scarecrow in a later Strange arc in the Legends of the Dark Knight series (more Cillian Murphy? yes, please). And I’ve been saying for, like, three years that it’s time for some Talia Al-Ghul up in this piece. I even said she should be played by Rachel Weisz.

    Besides old and easily wrong favorites like Catwoman and Talia, other potential female characters being floated around are Julie Madison, the Year One actress and early girlfriend of Bruce Wayne, which has a strong possibility of being true, and Detective Sarah Essen, who was not Bruce’s but Jim Gordon’s love interest (he cheats on his wife, Barbara, who we’ve seen a bit of in the last two films) at an earlier point in Batman: Year One. I don’t see it. First of all, Sarah popped up when Gordon was still a lieutenant, which ship has now sailed thanks to his promotion into Commisioner Loeb’s old spot — you need Loeb around and alive for the thing to work because it was his discovery of the affair and subsequent efforts to blackmail Essen and Gordon that lead to Essen ending the affair and leaving for New York — and the whole sad affair thing does not really fit with the Gordon we’ve been given so far in these films. Unless they are planning to change everything we think we know about Jim Dandy, or divorce or kill off Barbara (he did eventually marry Sarah after he and Barbara had been divorced), I don’t think that Ms. Essen will be appearing in the Nolanverse anytime soon.

    Oh, man, I’m tired of doing this. I got more to say about the Scarecrow angle but I’ll have to come back to all of it later.

    Take-two Tuesday — Daily Batman: Advice, The Dark Knight edition

    October 5, 2010

    This post originally appeared on November 28, 2009 at 3:07PM.

    This picture from The Dark Knight brings up two pieces of advice.

    First, it is very important that you look at the Joker when he talks to you. Do not forget.

    Second, you must accept that sometimes a thing is a foregone conclusion. Friend, he is wearing an apron fashioned of a garbage bag. There is no scenario in which this ends well for you.

    Questions for discussion:

  • This scene is one of two in which the Joker gives a very detailed origin story about his scars. He is not asked about his scars by the people to whom he tells the stories, and the stories do not match. Why do you think this is?

  • Why do you think is it so important to the Joker that people look at him when he speaks to them?
  • Would you feel nervous if you had to talk to the Joker? (Suppose in this case he were not wearing a garbage bag and rather was just in his de rigeur violet and puce duds.) Why or why not?
  • Take-two Tuesday — Daily Batman: A wild beast loosed

    September 28, 2010

    This post originally appeared on May 26, 2010 at 9:58 pm.

    “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”

    — Albert Camus

    Daily Batman: A wild beast loosed

    May 26, 2010

    “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”

    — Albert Camus

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the day: Daily Batman — Shadow of the Bat edition

    May 22, 2010

    “You know that day you told me about, when Gotham would no longer need Batman? It’s coming. Harvey is that hero. He locked up half of the city’s criminals, and he did it without wearing a mask. Gotham needs a hero with a face.”

    The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008).

    Or even …. two faces? What-what? Yeah. You let me know how that retirement plan works out, bud.

    edit: “sidewalk around the corner from Sheridan College in Oakville (near toronto)” according to Jim in the comments, whose friend Matt liberated the space. Super-fat-bat-thanks!

    Daily Batman: The Long Halloween — “St. Patrick’s Day”

    March 17, 2010

    Batman, The Long Halloween No. 6, “St. Patrick’s Day.”

    Please note Dr. Isley’s hair is represented here by shamrocks instead of the customary ivy leaves. Erin-go-bragh, y’all!

    If you are a mainly Nolanverse kind of guy, you might really enjoy the late 90’s Batman comic arc The Long Halloween, as the events of the arc unfold in the direct wake of series-re-energizing thriller Batman: Year One, which is where Nolan draws a lot of his grittier, more emotionally cordant material. The story is told via episodes centering around the holidays in every month of the year and it runs basically that a fledgling Batman, with the help of Catwoman, pursues a serial vandal and criminal known as the Holiday killer. Carmine Falcone (and daughter Sofia), Salvatore Maroni, the Joker, Dr. Jonathan Crane, the Riddler, Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy, and many more also appear — even the Mad Hatter.

    Jim Dandy to the rescue. That’s my Loo G.

    Meanwhile, on the side of right, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent (who is married to his wife Gilda, as there was NEVER ANY “RACHEL DAWES” in any of the comics, and also becomes Two-Face over the course of the arc in this version of his origin) are looking to prosecute Bruce Wayne as the Holiday killer, even bringing in Alfred Pennyworth to testify against him, while Selina Kyle labors to help Bruce’s enterprises stay afloat during the trial and keep the Wayne family name and reputation clean. Bruce convinces them of his innocence and suggests they strike a pact with the goddamned Batman to bring down the mob’s control of the city’s corrupt public enterprises.

    Actually, I’m cheating; this is one of the final panels of the issue just before, No. 5, “Valentine’s Day,” revealing that Ivy has been following Bruce and Selina and plans to control Bruce to get at his monies for the mafia. This just proves you CANNOT trust vegans.

    Sounding like all kinds of appealing and tantalizing plot strings? Heck, yes. Check the arc out. The Long Halloween: ask for it by name!

    Daily Batman: Gotta have tunes

    January 25, 2010

    “Utility belt ipod” by JamesLillis, via shirtoid on the tumblr.

    From all the shit the one I got to buy is music
    From all the jobs the one I choose is music
    From all the drinks, I get drunk off music
    From all the bitches the one I want to be is music

    Music is my boyfriend
    Music is my girlfriend
    Music is my dead end
    Music is my imaginary friend
    Music is my brother
    Music is my great-grand-daughter
    Music is my sister
    Music is my favorite mistress

    Music is my beach house
    Music is my hometown
    Music is my king-size bed
    Music’s where I make my friends
    Music is my hot hot bath
    Music is my hot hot sex
    Music is my back rub
    My music is where I’d like you to touch (Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) — “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex”)

    Daily Batman: Movie Moment, The Dark Knight/Il cavaliere oscuro — Joker edition

    January 20, 2010

    «Introduci un po’ di anarchia; stravolgi l’ordine prestabilito.»
    (Introduce a little anarchy; distort the established order)

    Il cavaliere oscuro (Christopher Nolan, 2008), edizione speciale featuring the Joker.

    To them, you’re just a freak. Like me!

    Why so serious?

    You’ve got some fight in you. I like that

    Kill the Batman. … Here’s my card.

    This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m going to give it to them.

    Ready, and, … go!

    You’ll see.

    «Sono un agente del caos. Lo sai qual è il bello del caos? È equo.»
    (Be an agent of chaos. You know what’s beautiful about chaos? It’s fair.)

    I totally dropped the ball on Dark Knight December, and I had so much cool shit planned. I’ll get back to that, I promise. Sorry.

    Daily Batman: Bat couture — the Bat and a Model Citizen, by Thierry Le Gouès

    December 17, 2009

    Model citizen Ali Stephens plays sidekick to the Caped Crusader.

    Images appeared in French Revue de Modes #15, “The Dark Knight,” October 2009.

    Styled by Marcell Rocha and photographed by monster of rockingness Thierry Le Gouès .

    All scans via the Fashion victims Russian Glamour community on the lj.

    Campy clean fun! Also available on Fashionably Independent and Fashion Gone Rogue.

    Dark Knight December: Cell phones are a Thing

    December 4, 2009

    –omg, srsly? lol!

    How do you like the new technology in these Batman films? It keeps it looking very current and almost mundane, doesn’t it. Things like texting, laptop videoconferences, 24-hour-news-network crawls. Most of the technology in other comic adaptation films, it seems to me, is either dated (forward or backward, depending on when it is set — X-Men is an example of forward, Sky Captain an example of back), or, along those lines, is simply made up entirely out of whole cloth in order to keep it simple and tailored to the plot.

    Does the very realistic use of technology, smoothly integrated in to the look and even plot points of these newer movies feel authentic to you or tacked on? It makes the movie seem more real, even though you know it is escapist fantasy; do you expect to see more or less? How does it function for you? Good, bad, indifferent?

    The Dark Knight December: Let us talk then, you and I

    December 1, 2009

    Let us talk then, you and I* …

    … about The Dark Knight. It can be a long discussion, as I think befits the topic. Shall we say, maybe, a month-long one? Why don’t we just meet here, every day, starting right, mmm, NOW.

    Here is the bank robbery, the scene which opens The Dark Knight. I found it somewhere. Do not ask me questions. Warner Bros, I am sorry but I cannot recall where. Please do not end my streak of six years without being sued. How does this grab you — everybody, go to the Warner Bros. website and buy directly from them the DVD of The Dark Knight, and you know what else? Get it on Blu-Ray too! Also on VHS, because when the machines rise against us, VCR’s will probably be sullen and resentful of having been discarded despite being the superior format (seriously, when your DVD of a certain movie starts skipping, you throw it out and have to buy a new copy: meanwhile, you can still fix a videotape with a motherfucking butter-knife — can we say built in obsolescence??) and try to join the humans’ side!**

    Questions for discussion:

  • The opening sequence is a wide-shot of Gotham (yes, it’s Chicago, but suspend disbelief — in fact I think it might even be Hong Kong in this scene), ending in a pan and slow zoom on a mirrored building. Security, corporate might, a reflection of society and the city as it ought be in the eyes of a business — *BOOM.* Can we agree that sets the stage for anarchy? Let’s also agree to look for windows, explosions, and the disruption and undermining of the expected and staid time and again this month, mmkay? The rest of the questions for discussion are really questions that I think I am not sure of the answers on, so feel free to comment.
  • What is the most important thing you learn via the henchmen’s gossip about the Joker in this sequence, in your opinion?
  • “That’s funny: it didn’t go to 9-1-1. It rang to a private number.” The now-dead clown, shot by the other now-dead clown, is speaking before his death of the alarm triggered by their disabling the bank’s security system. To whom did this call go, do you think? To whom, really? Recall that the bank manager says, “You don’t know who you’re stealing from!” and the police agree that this is a mob safe-zone bank, where they keep their money. However, everyone in “the mob” seems to have been caught totally by surprise with this job. This means that the call did not, even for one moment, ring out

    to Maroni, nor Lau, nor any of the other Gotham gangsters present in
    person or via telelink at the meeting so memorably interrupted in about fifteen minutes (we’ll get there) by the Joker and his Amazing Pencil Trick. So to whom do you think that call rang out?
  • From where did the gas which clouds about the bank manager’s face come (I hope it looks familiar)? That part of the question was a no-brainer but it has far-reaching implications, that gas. What does this say about the Joker’s larger plans, and even how he came to menace Gotham to begin with? Go back to question three now.

  • *Prize in the mail to first person who catches that soundalike reference.
    **Eskimo kisses to Polaroid, TDK, and those shitty yellow ones with black stripes from Target. You guys still dominate my movie collection’s shelves. And my heart.