General Films thread

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This topic contains 276 replies, has 49 voices, and was last updated by  Cath Annabel 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #27552
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @thekrynoidman

    I… hope you enjoy it. I have a soft spot for those orginal movies but, ever since I saw Omid Djalili live do a routine on Godzilla, I don’t think I could look at the screen in the same way again.

    The eventual routine, after this leadup involved a story about his Dad and Uncle taking him to a godzilla movie in the 70s and his “guardians” betting each other they could slap the head of a skinhead in the audience. Painfully funny if you know that period. Forever, I will see Omid deliver the “Eeeeaaaaarrgghhhhh” whenever someone mentions Godzilla. It’s killed it for me as a serious proposition.

    #27574
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    Well I watched Godzilla, and I liked it. There have been some complaints that Godzilla is hardly in the film. Firstly these people haven’t watched any of the other Godzilla films, if they had they would know he’s hardly in those either. Secondly, they do not understand the concept of building suspense. For example you hardly see the shark in Jaws until the end, meaning that when you do see the shark it has more impact than if it had been show right at the start. Obviously Jaws is a better film than this but the same basic principle applies, meaning that when Gojira was shown onscreen in full it was a very membrable moment, for me at least.

    #27648
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    I saw a few strange things today. And then I saw this.

    http://makingstarwars.net/2014/05/star-wars-episode-vii-mysterious-nexus-character/

    #27652
    Whisht @whisht

    hmmmm @blenkinsopthebrave – curious.

    Either the graffiti of a wag on IMDB or perhaps Nexus is a relative of Grand Moff Tarkin (played of course by Peter Cushing)?

    I mean, “Grand Moff” – there just seem to be too many connections for it to be coincidence….

    #27653
    Whisht @whisht

    mind you that’s a lovely photo of Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant.

    They look really well.

    and so does Colin.

    [sigh. The gag reared its ugly head and… I’m weak. will get my coat]

    #28213
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @thekrynoidman (from Rose & Crown)

    That’s interesting about the Horror Channel showing films like Twisted Nerve. I don’t have access to it unfortunately.

    I guess at 20 you probably missed the last great series of retrospectives on BBC, which went between 1988 and 2000?

    It was a strand on BBC2 called Moviedrome. Basically Alex Cox (or later Mark Cousins) would introduce the movie, providing opinion and a lot of related stuff about the film-makers. It was a really eclectic choice (which this list mostly covers).

    They could really do with doing something like that again. It was a always a quirky choice, and although I can’t say I enjoyed everything it was never dull. People really did like it (as this Den of Geek review probably demonstrates).

    I knew a lot of the films before, but it still introduced me to stuff that I would never have probably considered watching, like the really freaky Society, which I’ve put the intro to below. If you watch it in Youtube, you’ll see most of the other intros have been uploaded at some point.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr5dJaeP5Dk

    #28222
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    @phaseshift I am aware of Moviedrome, although I’ve never watched it as you can imagine. They should really bring it back.
    The Horror Channel also shows more recent stuff, but most of it is still not very well known.

    #28223
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    Carla Laemmle, one of the very few surviving silent film actors and the first person to speak in a sound horror film has died at 104.

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-80496051/

    #28442
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman
    #29416
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    MILD SPOILERS FOR Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    …………………………………………….

    …………………………………………….

    ……………………………………………

    Just been to see it (in 3D) with an old friend and have to report that we were both deeply disappointed.  It’s true, as all the official reviews concur, Andy Serkis as Caesar is great, but, after the interesting and surprisingly intelligent Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) this sequel suffered from all the usual Hollywood blockbuster foibles – bloat (easily could have left an hour on the cutting room floor) the apparently obligatory obsession with the nuclear family <big yawn> and too many guns.

    On top of that, all the actors were (no doubt because of the first movie’s excellent reviews) determined to deliver the, mediocre, script this time around with all the ponderous grandiosity of declaimed Shakespeare. Plus, watch out for the incongruous tablet product placement in the midst of post apocalypse – truly – no.

    Certainly, it’s unusual for a blockbuster to make the heart long for peace, and in these terrible times for Israel/ Palestine, just how hard it is for those who would make peace to do so, when atrocities have been committed on both sides, was undoubtedly poignant.  But, this was another big movie so enamoured by its own special effects that it forgot to tell a story other than by formula.

    I would, regrettably give this 2 stars out of 10.

     

    #29417
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    Following on from @juniperfish

    A trailer has finally been revealed for the next installment of Mad Max. Now, I love Mad Max 2. I really do. It’s one of the greatest movies ever. I was pleased to learn that the great Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote many great movies of the seventies and eighties such as Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the more personal The Big Chill, thinks so too. There was a great article in The Guardian about it only last week.

    Decades later it still comes on like gangbusters, offering a visceral oomph quite unlike anything else.

    http://www.theguardian.com/culture/australia-culture-blog/2014/jul/25/mad-max-2-the-road-warrior-hell-for-leather-roadside-anarchy

    But production seems to have been troubled, there were re-shoots at the end of 2013, and it’s not coming out until 2015!

    However, the trailer looks like a return to what made Mad Max 2 so good. I’m worried, but the trailer gives me hope. I really don’t want this to be disappointing.

    #29418
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @juniperfish and @craig

    I feel the need to respond to you collectively, even though the films are different.

    @juniperfish

    Sad to hear the repsonse to “Dawn”, as I had (maybe still have) high hopes for it, but your comment about the nuclear family made me think you were probably accurate, as it is all about context. And it is so often hard to escape from the context of the 21st century American sentimental valorization of the nuclear family. Which leads me to

    @craig

    Of course, Mad Max 2 was awesome and unforgettable. Partly because of its context. There had not been another movie quite like it at the time (except perhaps John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13). But what was different, and unique, about MM2 was the setting. Australia. The colours are unique. This trailer lacks that, and while it looks good, it looks, well, too slick maybe. There was a visceral violence (and humour) to MM2 that took your breath away. Not sure I see that in the trailer.

    #29421
    Anonymous @

    @craig & @blenkinsopthebrave — I think the Mad Max trailer looks promising. Maybe now is the time, especially as a lot of games (especially Borderlands) have been borrowing liberally from the MM2’s iconography. (On MM2, I think an oft-overlooked influence is late ‘revisionist’ Westerns like High Plains Drifter and Josey Wales.

    On an entirely unrelated note, went to see Boyhood yesterday and it is, quite frankly, excellent. A real triumph.

    #32002
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    I’ve got a blog, aptly named The Krynoid Man, in which I review movies and TV shows. If you’ve got time, could you please take a look at it and give me some feedback. I hope that I don’t come across like I’m trying to advertise myself.

    http://thekrynoidman.blogspot.co.uk/

    #32008
    Anonymous @

    @thekrynoidman – I think it’s cool that you put that together.  It looks and reads like professional.  I haven’t even heard of most of the movies, but maybe I will stop to check them out if I see them.  We don’t have very similar taste.   But I love your number one pick though.

    #32010
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    @handles Thanks

    #32924
    Anonymous @

    Having been a bit sick today and had a morphine injection (notably leading to blathers about Brecht) I was shooting about on Youtube and found a film called “Aftersun” with Capaldi and Sarah Parish. He’s got a little pot belly in a Spanish villa, wearing ‘special socks’ for foot fungis while the sweet young girl says “Oh, Jim, a bit of you has come loose from your speedos”. Oh Christ. What a wonderful laugh – off to the Rose and Crown. Kindest, puro.

    #33320
    Melloyello @melloyello

    I really liked the movie The 13th Warrior. Came out in 1999, I think.
    It stars Antonio Banderas. I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I really
    like that one.

    #34313

    Oh Dear Non-Religious Superbeing

    How NOT to reboot The Terminator (even if it has Matt Smith in it) (Mahoosive spoiler, obv)

    #34318
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @melloyello I watch quite a few movies, but usually don’t mind when they came out. In fact I quite recently watched André Øvredal’s Trolljegeren, which is an absolutely hilarious blend of the found-footage, monster and fantasy genres from 2010. I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it. Otto Jesperson’s catchphrase had me in stitches! (I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it.)

    #34325
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    Holy non-gender-specific parent of non-faith-specific deity 😯

    That sounds horrendous. To think that they cancelled The Sarah Connor Chronicles so they could venture back into big-screen territory. They really should’ve stopped the movie versions after T3.

    #34329

    @fatmaninabox

    Well, given how they unzipped their flies and urinated all over Linda Hamilton’s Beauty & The Beast (He’s ugly on the INside!!), it seems only fair to finish the job!

    #34335
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @fatmaninabox

    Surely you mean T2? T3 was horrid!

    #34342
    Anonymous @

    @badwulf

    Admittedly, T3 wasn’t the greatest film but it did bring closure of sorts to the series. If only it’d remained that way 😉

    #36168
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @craig

    Mad Max: Fury Road.

    OK, on the basis of this new trailer

    I am willing to change my assessment. This looks brilliant!

     

    #36169
    janetteB @janetteb

    I wonder where it is filmed. We were going out to Silverton on Tuesday to see the pub and the car, still on display out in front, from one of the earliest movies but ran out of time. Still I have been there before, taken the photos etc. (I think I would prefer to visit the Silverton pub than watch the movie myself.)

    Cheers

    Janette

    #36170
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb

    Namibia.

    My initial concerns were with the fact that it wasn’t filmed in Australia and therefore the quality of light (which is distinctively Australian in the early movies) would be lost. But I think this trailer makes up for that.

    #36179
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @blenkinsopthebrave I do dearly hope so. Looks great to me too. Thank you.

    When ‘Beyond Thunderdome’ was made the studio felt Miller could only do action so he had to co-direct with George Ogilvie who did the quieter stuff. Since then Miller has proved himself able to direct anything, from ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’ and ‘Babe: Pig in the City’ to ‘Happy Feet’ (although maybe he only did the action bits in Happy Feet – there were three directors – then again, maybe he did the quieter stuff).

    But this looks like he’s taken the last act of ‘Road Warrior’ (which is awesome) and turned it into the whole movie.

    It really could be brilliant. I am so hoping so.

    Supposedly they ran out of budget so had to make compromises, but seeing the rough cut the studio gave him a ton more money and told him to finish it the way he intended. Which is kinda a good sign. Fingers crossed.

    #37354
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    SPOILERS for X-Men Days of Future Past

     

     

     

    ………………………………………………………….

    Marvel’s X-Men movie series has been an uneven beast. This one is enlivened by the time travel element and the young/ old Xavier and Magneto. Some stunning CG and some awful rehashing of other movies (a big rip off re Terminator for instance) are thrown into the mix.

    Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine holds the film together well and in fact gets a much better outing in this than in the frankly dull X-Men Origins: Wolverine. His encounter with the lost Jean in the closing scenes was a moment worth waiting for.

    James Mcavoy and Michael Fassbender’s chemistry is worthy of Stewart and McKellan’s

    Peter Dinklage makes a chilling weapons developer and wears the seventies moustache well.

    Halle Berry’s Storm never worked and she is duly given a bit of storm wrangling in the future and about three lines.

    But really, this is a tale of Xavier and Magneto’s struggle for the soul of Mystique. Will it be Xavier’s diplomacy and the way of the pen, or Magneto’s war and the way of the sword? Jennifer Lawrence plays her final choice beautifully, because you know how difficult the thing being asked of her is and that she will always be an outsider.

    I would have preferred more Charles/ Xavier/ Mystique conversational scenes and fewer fightin’ robots, but then, I come away from most big screen sci-fi feeling the same way.

    #37977
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    Not quite sure how I feel about this. I know we have a few U.N.C.L.E. fans. It looks kinda alright, but is also a Guy Ritchie movie so it also makes me cringe. Nice to see Henry Cavill with a personality after Superman but, in contrast, Armie Hammer showed great charm in The Social Network and seems to have lost it all for this.

    But you never can tell from a trailer. Do like the retro stuff – is nice they didn’t feel they had to update it.

    #37978
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig — saw this today (the trailer) and I have totally mixed feelings about it. It doesn’t look like it’ll suck and I have to admit to quite enjoying Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies. But Henry Cavill just ain’t Robert Vaughan and Hammer just ain’t David McCallum. These guys were a couple of total heroes for me when I was young so it’s going to be hard to get over my prejudices on this one.

    But having said that, I’m kind of looking forward to seeing it.

    #38052
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    Anyone else looking forward to the new 007 film Spectre?

    #38056
    FlirtingDinosaur @flirtingdinosaur

    @juniperfish

    I agree. X-men has not always been at it’s strongest, but both first class and days of future past have hit the spot right where I needed them to. They’re funny, exciting and more or less thought through. Of course there are a few things off. I yet don’t quite understand where future Charles comes from, since Jean killed him a while back, right? But that happened in a slightly terrible movie, so maybe we should all just forget about it, it’s probably best that way.

    Speaking of Jean, she and Scotty could have stayed dead if it was up to me, but that’s just my opinion.

    I totally agree on Storm, though. I really try to love her, because frankly, controlling the weather is an awesome power. But apart from frying that one frog way way back and gathering some mist she’s never really doing anything at all. I’m not sure if it’s the writing for the role or if Hally Berry just doesn’t quite fit, but either way, it’s a shame.

     

    James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are perfect for their roles. Together they have an amazing chemistry and they both hold their part alone as well.

    Mystique is and stays my favourite.

     

    #41256
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    I read about this Sundance award-winning movie called “Primer” today that I’d never heard of until now (why not?). It was discussed in The Guardian’s comments on a bad review of “Terminator Genisys”. So I watched it when I got home.

    It’s a really low budget film, shot for $7,000, so the sound isn’t always great, shots are sometimes out of focus, sets sometimes look a bit cheap. But it has the most amazing ideas about time travel. It’s one of those films so complex you probably have to watch it three or four times to really make sense of it. But it is really very good.

    Young engineers Aaron and Abe stumble upon time travel, which lets them go from A to B (oh, how I laughed). But when they start using it, things really get complicated. It makes you realise why you need a Time Lord on hand to sort things out every now and again. In the end there are at least seven timelines to deal with.

    This is what really made me want to watch it – the great xkcd:

    http://xkcd.com/657/

    Maybe one for our very own @bluesqueakpip ?

    I’d recommend it. It’s on Netflix if you have that, and someone has also posted it on YouTube (just make sure you up the speed to 1.25).

    #41257
    DenValdron @denvaldron

    Primer has been around for a few years now.  And yes, it’s a wonderfully intricate low budget movie about two gentlemen who learn to travel back in time a short distance and change their future.

    #41258
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @denvaldron I know, I don’t know how I missed it. Haven’t looked up what sort of release, or even reviews, it got in in the UK though. On the other hand, I seem to recall being rather busy around 2004 and I’ve settled down a bit now so that may have something to do with it.

    I’ve almost finished watching it a second time tonight (as it’s quite short) and it is still an incredible piece of work. I can see myself watching it again tomorrow, just in case I missed anything.

    #41259
    DenValdron @denvaldron

    To my recollection, it never played anywhere theatrically.  It had a good run at festivals, and then straight to DVD.  It was a low budget independent production which got picked up by a distributor on the festival circuit.   There wasn’t much of a budget for promotion, and it was pretty off the beaten path in terms of ‘low budget sci fi’ – short on action and effects, and long on guys in white shirts and ties having elaborate complications.   Extremely well constructed and intricate, it lacked a sufficient crescendo or emotional connection to really draw people or create a buzz.   I’m glad you found it.  I find I sift through piles of crap, looking for the occasional obscure gem.  It’s always a thrill to find the gem.

    If you’d like some random recommendations.    Check out ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ a brilliantly funny little vampire film from 2014.  There’s also Alex Proyas’ ‘Dark City‘ but don’t watch the opening title craw.

    #41260
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @denvaldron Cheers (as we say in the UK, my US colleagues tell me they find it a bit awkward but I feel it has more resonance than just a thanks). I Went to see ‘Dark City’ in the cinema and thought it very imaginative, almost Gilliam-esque. I’d worked on a low budget film with Rufus Sewell a few years before, was keeping any eye on what he got up to afterwards, and was pleasantly surprised.

    I shall check out ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ as soon as possible.

    #41262
    ichabod @ichabod

    @craig  Wow, that timeline page is great — the one for LOTR is *beautiful*!   I think I saw “Primer” at my local teensy weird film house, and those are *exactly* the kinds of stories that blank my mind so completely that I steer away from time travel stories in general — I *always* miss a lot no matter how many times I watch.  Exceptions, simple stuff like Benford’s “Timescape”, or the famous Bradbury story, just lost the title from head.  And Doctor Who, though it’s sometimes not simple at all, but the strokes are bold enough for me to catch and enjoy.

    @denvaldron   As for that little vampire film, the Regal Ent. Group thingie-plex theater uptown here showed that one for a week, so I got a chance to see it — sweet and funny, loved it.  Also Dark City, which I think is a gorgeous classic piece. Wasn’t it a comic book first (sorry, graphic novel)?  I think I heard that somewhere, and the movie as I recall it does in fact somehow maintain a very strong comic book feel, somehow, but in a wonderful way, not an “oh, it’s just a comic” way.  My dad was an animator, and I collected comics as a kid; I’ve always felt that there were incredible things that could be done with comics (and so it has come to pass — “Maus”, that one about occupied Palestine, others), if we could just get past having to cram the frames full – economics, I think (price vs. pages vs. clean, simple and clear images, or cluttered up ones?  Too simple, but something like that).

    #41263
    ichabod @ichabod

    All  — went to see a new film, “Mr. Holmes”, tonight; Ian MacKellen, Laura Linney, that kid with the strange pixie face with a flat pug nose in the middle of it.  A dismissive review in the latest New Yorker Magazine had piqued my interest, so — I dunno whether to say more or not, at this point, cuz spoilers — ?  This much you can get from synopses and reviews, though — story picks up an aged Holmes living as a recluse except for a housekeeper and her young son.  Events evoke memories of an old case, and the game is a-hobble, except for in flash-backs.  Questions of memory, responsibility — well, do I need to say more?  It’s a bit like a Doctor Who story-arc fused into one long ep, 2 hours’ worth.

    I think some people here would enjoy it.

     

    #41323
    Anonymous @

    Hi @craig

     I watched Primer it was very interesting in a lot ways. The off screen reasons are the most impressive to me. It’s unbelievable that so many talents could be inside one person to make that movie; writing, directing, acting, math skills, artistic imagination, editing… pretty much everything and to put it together on a budget that MacGyver would even say “seriously?? That’s impossible!”. Other than the sound, it has very high production values. But even the sound could be explained with in-story reasons (bonkers theory) where maybe it’s not a flaw after all.

     In-story, the double dialog heard could be the characters repeating moments over and over until they get it perfectly right. Sometimes it was just a little bit off which we hear in the double sounds. Or just screwing with the time lines so much warped them like replaying an overused VCR tape. 😀

     For artistic reasons the confusing story is perfect because it really makes you feel what the characters must be feeling. I didn’t like the movie as much as you did though. It definitely creeped me out, and I wasn’t invested in the characters enough, to re-watch the million times it would take me to solve the puzzle and figure out what happened. So I cheated and went directly to Wiki for help.

     @Bluesqueakpip’s blog and the diagram at Wiki helped me figure out most of it (except explaining the rogue Dad that showed up – now is that just being mean?!).

     Considering all of the things Corruth had to do, while telling an insanely complicated story in a believable way that almost makes sense, it doesn’t seem fair to criticize it. But I don’t think the movie played fair with its rules of timey wimey, so I have some complaints with that part of the story. Not now, because I don’t want it to ruin your fun solving the puzzles the hard way.

    #41356
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ichabod   I read about Mr. Holmes awhile back and thought it sounded interesting. Thanks for the recommendation, I shall have to try and see it.

    Having spent many hours just lately on airplanes, I killed some time watching The Big Lebowski. Hadn’t seen that since it was new. It stands the test of time I’d have to say. My son kept looking across the aisle at me to see what I was giggling about! And it has a fabulous soundtrack.

    #41559
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @thekrynoidman — The Dark Knight is well worth watching for Ledger’s performance alone. I’m personally not that crazy about the films either side of them. I personally really like Keaton’s take on Batman and would rate Batman Returns as the best of all the films (tie-ing with TDK)

    #41566
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @purofilion @thekrynoidman @jimthefish

    Ah… Batman. One of my favourite subjects.

    Me, I grew up on Batman as a really young kid. I wanted to be Batman (or Clint Eastwood). My parents’ sofa had arm covers that, when put on my head, gave me little points like Batman’s ears, and a very tiny cape. It was all my imagination needed.

    But as I got a little bit older the Adam West TV comedy Batman seeped in to my consciousness and Batman no longer was cool (unlike Clint Eastwood – who has only relatively recently started to be uncool). And the comics were getting a little juvenile the older I got.

    Then when I was 15 or 16 I read an interview with Lenny Henry (UK comedian, seen then as a lightweight or mainstream voice, but has gone on to prove himself as a great actor, and co-created Neverwhere with Neil Gaiman). Asked what he was currently reading he didn’t even try to be pretentious (or maybe he was being super pretentious). He said he was reading Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”. He raved about it. Lenny will always be alright by me, just for that.

    It sounded great so I asked my Mum if I could have the extortionate amount of £8.95 to buy a comic book/graphic novel. Almost thirty years ago that was a lot of money! Thankfully she loves me for all my faults. I bought it and suddenly Batman was cool again. In fact, he was cooler than ever, even although he was now an old man.

    Inspired by a troubled New York at the time, the Cold War, and the possibility of nuclear holocaust, it’s the story of a retired Bruce Wayne who pulls himself, almost unwittingly, out of retirement to deal with the gangs of Gotham. And once he has dealt with them there are bigger problems such as Russia’s nukes and a ‘big blue schoolboy’ who follows all the President’s orders and who goes by the name of Superman.

    The best Batman movie is “The Dark Knight Returns”. It’s just never been made into a movie. But buy the comic (or graphic novel). It has been made into an animated movie, but in my reader’s imagination it is better than the animation.

    Miller followed it up with “Batman: Year One” which was a reimagining of the origin story. It is also an amazing piece of work and certainly well worth a read too.

    It is purely due to Miller’s work that Batman became cool again. As the great Alan Moore says in his introduction to “The Dark Knight Returns”, “This Batman has finally become what he should always have been: he is a legend”.

    And that’s how they got a Batman movie financed. Batman was cool again. No Miller, no Batman movies. I was so excited to see Tim Burton’s movie. I paid my money, bought my popcorn, and was utterly disappointed. It wasn’t “The Dark Knight Returns”. Where Miller was gritty and dark, Burton still had one foot in the Adam West camp, wanting to entertain the kids. The production design was great but everything else, even Jack Nicholson, was just pants. The second one, as @jimthefish says, trys to be better and is okay. But after that they get worse and worse.

    With “Batman Begins”, Nolan went back to Miller and “Year One”, and other comics inspired by that story, and finally almost captured the “Miller” Batman, more or less. With “The Dark Knight” Nolan drew heavily on chapter one and chapter three of “The Dark Knight Returns” when Batman takes on Two Face and The Joker. “The Dark Knight Rises” has nothing to inspire it except a few bad Bane stories, and so is also a bit pants.

    Interestingly, the new Superman vs Batman movie seems to be heavily based on “The Dark Knight Returns” from what I’ve seen so far.

    So if you want a great Batman story read Miller’s comics – Returns and Year One. You won’t be disappointed.

    All of the movies will disappoint, but the first two Nolan ones are better than the rest. I would stay clear of the others.

    But read the comics.

    Miller went through an amazing creative patch. His work on Daredevil for Marvel clearly inspired the recent Netflix series, which has had rave reviews. He also created “300”, retelling the story of the 300 Spartans, which made a huge impact when it was made into a movie. Before all the Batman comics he also did a comic called “Ronin” which is an amazing amalgum of samurai mythology and science fiction and is well worth checking out.

    Shortly after he seemed to lose his talent for stories. He created “Sin City” which was okay, but it was downhill from there. His artwork has got more individual, but his stories have got more generic, or even reactionary. His “Holy Terror” (which is a joke on Robin’s “Holy *whatever*, Batman”) is about a superhero battling muslim terrorists and he wanted it to offend everybody. I was only offended by how bad it was in comparison to his earlier work.

    So like Clint Eastwood and the Batman of the sixties, Frank Miller has also become uncool.

    But please read “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Batman: Year One”. And his Daredevil stuff, and “Ronin”.

    If you want movies – stick to Nolan’s first two. If you’ve read the comics the others will only disappoint.

    #41568
    Anonymous @

    @craig

    Thank you. That was a stunning response. I have always been confused about the preconditions which these directors and storytellers bring to the Batman tale. There’s cool gadgets and wealth aplenty but not much focus on the characters -at least to me. The titles have confused me even more: Batman Return, Batman Rises etc…

    So, I like comics (an early love of these instilled by my brother) and I’ll usually go with a book first before a film so thanks for that.

    That’s what I’ll do. @jimthefish thanks as well: I saw the Keaton version yrs ago, felt it was incredibly dark and yet the comics were always intended to be that -or so I’ve always believed.

    #41574
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    @jimthefish @purofilion @craig I don’t mind any of the Batman films, since I grew up with them. While the three Nolan ones are probably the best as films, I enjoy the 1989 one the most because of Keaton and Nicholson. I used to really like Returns too but looking back as an adult I find it very un-Batman like.
    I must be the only one who doesn’t rate Ledger’s performance that highly. I thought he was very good and actually quite scary when I saw the film at the cinema, but I don’t think it was as good as people say it is. I don’t even think he was the best Joker to be honest. In fact, the amount of people going on and on about how great The Dark Knight is, who still do it to this day, has slightly tarnished my liking of it. It’s a good film, but top 10 films of all time according to IMDB? Feel free to disagree though.
    In my opinion though the best version of Batman (outside the comics) is the animated series from the early 90’s. To me, that’s Batman.
    I have The Dark Knight Returns comic, but I still need to read it (I’m bad at keeping up with my reading)

    #41576
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @thekrynoidman Read it today. You won’t be disappointed. And yes, I love the animated series too. I was lucky enough to chat to the producer at an early London Comicon, before it became a big thing. I told him that I loved the art deco look and he told me they liked to call it “Dark Deco”. I have “Mask of the Phantasm” and it’s great fun but it doesn’t have the gritty realism that, for me, is what makes Miller’s work so great.

    @Purofilion Glad you’re off to do some reading. There are many other great comics I can recommend after you’re finished with Batman.

    The movies will never match the original stories. For a fantastic insight into how great comic book stories can become terrible movies, this is really worth a watch. Kevin Smith is such a great orator.

    #41577
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig & @thekrynoidman–

    Ledger’s Joker is probably overrated these days but I’d still prefer it to the rather baroque but ultimately style over substance performance that Nicholson gave. I also quite like the first Burton too but the extended bit of nonsense with the carnival floats in the middle just seemed to kill the film’s momentum stone dead for me and it never really recovered.

    I’d agree with @craig that the comics are truly the way to go (and I’ve only really read the ‘big ones’ as I’m essentially a Marvel Boy and not really a DC fan). But the main problem with the films for me is that Batman exists in this rather odd world (even by superhero standards) of a hero having an eccentric to say the least reaction to what are the problems of a recognisably real world. It’s not a problem that afflicts say the X-Men or the Avengers because they don’t really belong to that world, even though they walk in it.

    To me it always seemed that for Batman to work on the screen, you needed to heighten that world, make it more dreamlike and for that reason Burton’s snowy wonderland gone to hell idea worked more than Nolan’s Coppola by way of Michael Mann-esque uber-realism. Because of the essential silliness of the core concept I didn’t think it could be done any other way. Though having said that, the Netflix version of Daredevil has made me dramatically revisit that conviction. It successfully did, in my opinion, what the Nolan films almost achieved. But then they had the luxury of the length of a TV series rather than just a movie. Look how long it actually takes both the hero and the villain to ‘get into character’ there.

     

    Marvel has had many stabs at a Batman figure but perhaps the closest one movie-wise is Iron Man and Marvel lucked out by casting Robert Downey Jr who really sold Tony Stark and gave him a character all of his own. The Iron Man movies are more about Stark than they are about him being in the suit. I think Keaton sold the damaged nuttiness of Bruce Wayne more than Christian Bale did but both versions of the story failed to really sell the Bruce Wayne side of the character. I think the upcoming version might win out here because, contrary to popular opinion, I think Ben Affleck will be able to do for Bruce Wayne what Downey Jr did for Tony Stark.

    #41578
    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    To me it always seemed that for Batman to work on the screen, you needed to heighten that world, make it more dreamlike and for that reason Burton’s snowy wonderland gone to hell idea worked more than Nolan’s Coppola by way of Michael Mann-esque uber-realism.

    That’s a problem I have with the Nolan films too @jimthefish, one minute you’re watching a Heat like crime thriller, then suddenly Batman shows up and it just feels a bit jarring.

    @craig will read it this afternoon.

    #41601
    Anonymous @

    @craig @jimthefish

    thank you for that. I’ll be starting a Batman watch -it appears, and in no particular order so these comments are very helpful. I liked Keaton’s slightly ‘odd’ performance and thought Bale’s was two dimensional. Having said that, I was quickly turned off my opinion by the people who went to the cinema with me. They thought Keaton’s Wayne lacked class and his Batman character was tedious. I didn’t fully agree then, but I stopped thinking about it altogether.

    I do remember a dark, predictable, nightmarish world and it didn’t sit well. I assumed there’d be some wonderful shots of Gotham, some clever editing, a few wisecracks and there weren’t any – that I can remember, at least.

    Jim, I agree with you about Stark -this I saw about a year ago, and I liked his portrayal a lot. Not an enormous fan of that actor (although I’m told he’s made some wonderful performances. For example, Charlie Chaplin) or so I thought, until I saw The Judge last week where Robert Downey Jr tries to defend his father in a courtroom drama. Downey Jr looks a lot older than he is so I assume the lifestyle of drink & drugs has been a one-way street ?-never retreating.

    Comics!! My brother collected comics -at a young age it was the only thing he read and spent every cent on them (and LPs) from the age of 6- 20. There should be some stunners in his collection. If only he’d let me open it up!

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