Wonder Woman bails out a battle-fatigued Batman and Superman in Warner Bros.’ latest DC Comics-derived extravaganza.
Todd McCarthy writes: The increasingly turgid tales of Batman and Superman — joined, unfortunately for her, by Wonder Woman — trudge along to ever-diminishing returns in Justice League. Garishly unattractive to look at and lacking the spirit that made Wonder Woman, which came out five months ago, the most engaging of Warner Bros.’ DC Comics-derived extravaganzas to date, this hodgepodge throws a bunch of superheroes into a mix that neither congeals nor particularly makes you want to see more of them in future. Plainly put, it’s simply not fun. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice grossed $872.7 million worldwide last year, apparently about enough to justify its existence, and the significant presence of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in this one might boost its returns a bit higher than that.
Fatigue, repetition and a laborious approach to exposition are the keynotes of this affair, which is also notable for how Ben Affleck, donning the bat suit for the second time, looks like he’d rather be almost anywhere else but here; his eyes and body language make it clear that he’s just not into it. For his part, Henry Cavill’s Superman, left for dead and buried in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (we see the grave of Clark Joseph Kent more than once), isn’t resurrected until the second half, and it takes considerably more time for him to snap into action.
That leaves things mostly in the capable hands of Wonder Woman, who’s just as kick-ass as she was this summer but in a less imaginative, one-note way. The good news is that Jesse Eisenberg’s embarrassingly misguided Lex Luthor from the previous outing is nowhere to be seen.
So what are we left with here? With all the characters that need to be introduced, the virtually humor-free script by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon (who was brought on to complete directing duties after Zack Snyder had to leave for family reasons) less resembles deft narrative scene-setting than it does the work of a bored casino dealer rotely distributing cards around a table. Everyone is very downcast in the wake of Superman’s unimaginable fate and there’s naturally a new villain threatening to bring the world to an end, a big meanie named Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds). So Bruce Wayne, with Diana Prince’s assistance, must put together a new team to save the world yet again. Read the rest of this entry »
Barbie Fans Breathe Sigh of Relief
“Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts,” the actress said in a statement to Variety. “The film has so much promise, and Sony and Mattel have been great partners. I’m bummed, but look forward to seeing Barbie on the big screen.”
The big screen adaptation of Mattel’s iconic toy line was expected to start production this summer on June 23, but Schumer’s busy schedule includes a lengthy promotional tour for her new Fox comedy “Snatched,” which opens in May, as well as an upcoming shoot for Rebecca Miller’s “She Came to Me” opposite Steve Carell.
Sony needed to stick to its June 29, 2018 release date since Mattel already has merchandise and product cycles in motion–shifting the production to accommodate Schumer would have put on a strain on other partners on the film, according to insiders. Read the rest of this entry »
A “killer clown” craze is sweeping Britain, with police warning people against dressing as clowns in order to intimidate or harm people.
Now, the craze has taken a change for the strange in Cumbria, where a man is dressing as Batman and vowing to chase down the creepy clowns.
A photograph has been shared on Facebook of “Batman” seemingly chasing off a “killer clown”.
BBC Cumbria reported local company Cumbria Superheroes is behind the effort to rid the streets of clowns.
They have reassured that the costumed man is not a vigilante, but just trying to reassure local children who are scared of the “killer clowns”.
BBC Cumbria also shared a screenshot of an image, apparently from a local child, who was reassured after hearing “Batman” caught the clown. Read the rest of this entry »
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is facing a rocky start ahead of its Friday release. It holds a bleak Rotten Tomatoes percentage.
Maria Cavassuto writes: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is facing a rocky start ahead of its Friday release. The tentpole has met with lukewarm reviews and holds a bleak Rotten Tomatoes percentage (which continues to change as more reviews roll in). The last installments fared far better for these caped crusaders, with “Man of Steel” holding a 56% Fresh rating and “The Dark Knight Rises” holding a Fresh 87%.
“I am gobsmacked by just how dull this movie turned out to be.”
— Mike Ryan of Uproxx
Although there are a few positive reviews for Zack Snyder’s film, most are calling out the film for its messy, less-than-spectacular promised clash of comic-book titans.
Variety‘s Andrew Barker says this epic standoff never develops fully, and instead “the life-or-death battle between the two icons ultimately comes down to a series of misunderstandings.” Barker also believes Henry Cavill’s Superman pales in comparison to “the winningly cranky, charismatic presence even when out of costume” of Ben Affleck’s Batman. Visually, the film is a win. For Variety’s full review, click here.
Eric Kohn of Indiewire echoes some of Barker’s points by calling this messy and “cacophonous” showdown “basically one long teaser for the next installment.” Kohn also pointed out that while the film “doesn’t lack for inspired visuals” because “it’s filled with motion-heavy sequences rich in light and color,” a good deal of the story “reeks of the usual routine.”
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone thought this was a step up from “Man of Steel” but nowhere near Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” franchise. However, even though “Batman v Superman” is probably a dream for most comic-book fans, the “kick-ass revelation” is the “wowza of a Wonder Woman,” played by Gal Gadot.
The masked man tried to evade police by hiding in plain sight at a pool in his boxers, without taking off his Batman costume, police said.
WESTMINSTER (CBSLA.com) — A man who dressed as Batman is behind bars after committing a crime spree in Orange County on Monday, according to police.
The suspect, believed to be in his 20s, robbed a victim of jewelry about 8:30 a.m. at Bolsa Avenue and Ward Street in Garden Grove, said Officer Rachel Archambault of the Westminster Police Department.
About 20 minutes later and two miles away near Bolsa Avenue and Purdy Street in Westminster, the masked man targeted a second victim at gunpoint, Archambault said.
Phouc Lee said the bandit demanded money when he fought him off.
“I was trying to chase the suspect down. The officer is right there. I tried to wave him down,” Lee said. He chased the masked man into an apartment complex, which was surrounded by officers from Westminster, Fountain Valley and Garden Grove. Read the rest of this entry »
1957. Copyright DC Comics.
The car, driven by Adam West in the 1960s television show, is back on the market after it fetched $4.2m at auction in 2013.
Holy cats, Batman fans – find your wallets because the Batmobile is for sale.
George Barris, a car customizer, purchased the Futura for $1 in 1965 and built the Batmobile within three weeks, so the car was ready in time for the show’s production. Barris kept the chassis and basic shape of the car but redesigned the nose and tail with bat-inspired shapes and designs. He later made three more replica Batmobiles. Read the rest of this entry »
Classic cover by Russ Heath from Journey Into Mystery #1, published by Atlas Comics, June 1952.
Original splash page by Matt Wagner from Batman: Mad Monk #3, published by DC Comics, December 2006.
Prosecutors have said the jury was divided on the sentence, with 11 favoring death and one favoring life without parole. Under Colorado law, jurors must be unanimous to impose the death penalty, so Holmes automatically got a life sentence.
Sadie Gurman reports: James Holmes was an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent victims in a Colorado movie theater, the judge said Wednesday before formally sentencing him to life in prison.
“We know that is very, very hard for people to see. We cannot feel the depths of your pain. We can only listen to everything you have expressed, and we pray for you…We are very sorry this tragedy happened, and sorry everyone has suffered so much.”
— Arlene Holmes
Samour contrasted Holmes’ bloody assault with the compassion of a juror who voted for a life sentence instead of the death penalty. And he noted the trial was fair, even if some victims were disappointed that Holmes didn’t get the death penalty.
“It is almost impossible to comprehend how a human being is capable of such acts.”
— Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr.
Samour formally sentenced Holmes to life in prison without parole for the murders of 12 people. He also was sentencing Holmes to more than to 3,200 additional years for attempted murder and an explosives conviction.
The judge had no other sentencing option on the murder charges after a jury earlier this month did not unanimously agree that Holmes should get the death penalty. Samour issued his sentence after two days of testimony from survivors of the attack, including first responders.
“Jurors rejected Holmes’ insanity plea, convicting him of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 others when he opened fire on a packed theater in suburban Denver on July 20, 2012.”
But he first spent more than half an hour defending the integrity of the justice system and disputing complaints that the trial was a waste of time. He noted the proceedings gave family members an opportunity to tell the world about their slain loved ones and provided survivors the chance to talk about their ordeal.
“I believe in the system. I said that before, and I’ll say it again. I believe in the system.”
— Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr.
Samour disputed some victims’ suggestion that Holmes would have an easy life behind bars, noting prison is harsh and restrictive.
More than 100 victims and survivors testified this week about the searing physical and emotional scars the 2012 shooting has left. Read the rest of this entry »
OH YES SHE DID: Woman Lures 11-Year-Old Boy on Xbox; Sends Explicit Photos, Gives Boy Clothes, Debit Cards, Jewelry as GiftsPosted: August 3, 2015
‘During the course of playing video games together online, Jessica Carlton and the boy developed a relationship that grew to involve sexually explicit text messages and phone conversations, then the exchange of sexually explicit photographs’
A Michigan woman is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an 11-year-old boy for more than a year after meeting him on Xbox Live.
“During the course of playing video games together online, Carlton and the boy developed a relationship that grew to involve sexually explicit text messages and phone conversations, then the exchange of sexually explicit photographs.”
In March 2015, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey received a referral from a municipal police department that Jessica Carlton, 44, had been communicating with the young victim, who at that point was 13-year-old, according to a news release.
“It’s extremely important for parents to understand that during the course of doing something that certainly might seem harmless — playing a video game online — their children could easily wind up meeting adults with dark intentions.”
An investigation revealed that Carlton first contacted the victim via Xbox Live, an online multiplayer gaming system, sometime in May 2013, Union County Assistant Prosecutor Colleen Ruppert said.
“During the course of playing video games together online, Carlton and the boy developed a relationship that grew to involve sexually explicit text messages and phone conversations, then the exchange of sexually explicit photographs,” the document states.
Carlton allegedly traveled from Michigan to New Jersey in December 2014 to bring the boy gifts and to meet him in person, Ruppert said. Read the rest of this entry »
This awesomely badass Batman trike is the work of Game Over Cycles, a Poland-based shop that specializes in building custom motorcycles and restoring vintage cars. Their Batman Bike is styled after the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns films. And for as phenomenal as it looks now, it’s actually still a work in progress.
Head over to the Game Over Cycles Facebook page to check out many more photos and the technical details about this custom trike.
“Spotted in an airport bathroom. I never thought of it this way, but it makes sense. I think.”
A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York looks at modern art’s influence on the early days of TV
Margaret Rhodes writes: As far as song-and-dance TV shows go, American Bandstand and Soul Train could hardly have been more different. Bandstand, which originally aired in 1952, showcased poodle skirt–wearing teenagers singing along to Top 40 radio hits, while Soul Train, which debuted two decades later, had a funkier repertoire of R&B, jazz, soul, and gospel acts.
“The pioneers of early television understood the medium’s innate power, and they mined the aesthetic, stylistic, and conceptual possibilities of a new and powerful technology.”
— Curator Maurice Berger
But the shows did have one surprising thing in common: set designs heavily influenced by modern art. The abstracted platforms, stepped risers, and colored spotlights were lifted straight from the world of minimalist art, according to Abbott Miller, a Pentagram partner and one of the designers of a new exhibition up in New York titled Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television.
The advent of premium cable channels may have ushered in a golden age of TV, but the experimentalism of TV’s early days shouldn’t be underestimated. Today we praise shows that meticulously and authentically re-create a look or moment, like the 1960s-era New York we watch on Mad Men, or the meth labs and Albuquerque homes of Breaking Bad.
But when TV was just getting started, executives and creatives saw it differently, as a place where the art world and mass media could intersect. “The pioneers of early television understood the medium’s innate power, and they mined the aesthetic, stylistic, and conceptual possibilities of a new and powerful technology,” writes curator Maurice Berger. Television executives of the time, Berger says, were fascinated by avant-garde artists and saw television as not just a way to entertain the masses but as a vehicle for ideas about modern art.
If you ever thought TV pre-HBO was the fast food of entertainment, Revolution of the Eye, now open at the Jewish Museum in New York City, has more than 250 artifacts to prove otherwise. The exhibit is all about the early days of network programming—from the 1940s to the 1970s—and spotlights the ways networks were influenced by the aesthetics of high art and clever design in a way they haven’t been since….(read more)
Take the titles from Laugh-In, for example: “It was trafficking in this Pop, almost psychedelic, language that is pretty concurrent with the psychedelic poster explosion on the West Coast, but they were using it to signify that this was a different kind of media,” Miller says. Read the rest of this entry »
I saw this film about a year ago, and was impressed in a way I didn’t expect. Christopher Nolan‘s mega-budget films are legendary for their unlikely balance of collaborative Hollywood grandeur and singular creative vision — “Inception“, the Dark Knight Trilogy, to name a few — I was curious what his first feature, a modest, low-budget production, would look like. Because his movies are such precise, analytical, clockwork inventions, I admit, I hoped to see a rough, sketchy, incomplete hint of Nolan’s potential. I was wrong. Even on a shoestring budget, with a tiny cast, on his first outing, Nolan created a work that’s as complex and realized as anything that followed. It’s as though he emerged as a fully developed storyteller, focused, economical, and confident. It’s not a spectacular movie, but it’s original, well-crafted, and successfully maximizes its modest resources, to produce a film several steps ahead of the work of most first-time feature directors. Enjoy this review from FilmMunch.
FilmMunch writes: So I finally got the chance to watch Christopher Nolan’s first feature length film, and it’s undeniably fresh and what I would consider a must see!
It’s amazing that he’s able to generate such an intriguing story in only 70mins, which is by far, his shortest film, considering some of his films are just shy of 3 hours. Short and sweet, but what on earth is going on!?
Films that rattle your brain and chose to only show you the necessary bits are fascinating, because you want to keep watching and find out more. This story is no less fascinating than Memento, and if you’ve seen Memento, then you know what I’m talking about! Memento and Following, must be seen, at least once! The innovative story telling technique used in Following is something I want to see more, it’s basically a triple layered telling of events, very fascinating!
This film was extremely low budget, with film stock being the most expensive expense for the film, there wasn’t much room for error. Nolan would rehearse with his cast on the weekends, since all the cast had other full-time jobs. Only one or two takes were possible, considering Nolan was paying for the film himself! He also had to use natural light, since he didn’t have access to professional lighting equipment. Inspiration indeed, and what drive and motivation from this modern thinker!
The result is something akin to a Hitchcockian noir thriller, nothing short of slick and sophisticated. Read the rest of this entry »
Colin Chocola and Benny Johnson write: Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman, is the world’s greatest detective. He protects his realm, Gotham, from criminals that range from street thugs, corporate cronies, and masterminds like Joker.
What’s set him apart from other crime fighters is his lifestyle which aligns with a distinct moral code. As Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night, he shares the dual characteristics of a conservative and a libertarian, or more elegantly, ‘Conservatarian.’
[Check out Charles C. W. Cooke‘s new book: “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future” at Amazon.com]
National Review columnist Charles Cooke is the foremost expert on Conservatarianism and has recently published a book on the hybrid political ideology. Cooke thinks Batman is a hallmark example of a Conservatarian. He tells IJReview:
Nobody as mysterious as Batman could ever quite be pinned down into a political movement, but there is a great deal about him that is Conservatarian. Batman takes care of his own city instead of looking to the state, he does not permit wishful thinking to intrude on reality, and, like a model public servant, he shrinks from view when his job is done.
If the opinion of this expert is not enough for you, here are nine more, iron-clad reasons why the Dark Knight is inarguably Conservatarian.
Also see – Can Libertarians and Conservatives Coexist? An Interview With Charles C.W. Cooke – thefederalist.com]
1. Batman is an Industrialist Playboy
Bruce Wayne is a Capitalist. He is the sole heir to a multinational enterprise that specializes in everything from bio-tech to transportation. When re-entering the company as an adult, he quickly fires the crony board leaders, takes the company public and makes Lucius Fox the CEO. Wayne stands up for free enterprise, his companies produce products people want, he provides thousands of jobs and does it without heavy reliance on government. Forbes lists Wayne Enterprises, with revenues of $31 billion, as the 11th richest fictional corporation in the world.
Wayne also has no problem buying a luxury hotel so the models he’s with can swim in the lobby pool.
2. Batman is a Philanthropist
Conservatives are more generous than liberals. The Wayne fortune has funded Gotham’s hospitals, orphanages and its monorail system. Wayne Enterprise is a multinational operation, but its charitable focus remains within the limits of Gotham. Like other charitable conservatives, the Wayne Foundation took the initiative to aid the public’s need instead relying for the government to take responsibility.
3. Batman Manufacturers Military Grade Weapons, Is An Arms Dealer
Batman chooses not to use firearms, but manufactures and wields high-tech weaponry developed by Wayne Enterprises. “He is not seduced by utopian nonsense,” Charles Cooke says, “He needs to defend the innocent and will do so with force.” Along with employing his weaponry as a vigilante, Wayne also signs contracts with the U.S. military for advanced technology and weapons development. Read the rest of this entry »
Batman & Robin Managed their Calendar Online Before Most of Us, but at the Time, it Required an Entire Batcomputer
WORLD’S FINEST #148 (March 1965)
Art by Curt Swan & Sheldon Moldoff
Words by Edmond Hamilton
First bubble is magazine title, reads “Boy King”. Second bubble reads “Send me letter. Sei Suzuki”