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Star Trek 2 Uniforms (Article) - 6/5/2012 1:51:28 PM

I always suspected that the Federation modeled itself in part after... COMMUNIST RUSSIA!  LOL!  Or is it the Empire's uniforms aboard the Death Star in STAR WARS A NEW HOPE?  Either way, I'm not too worried.  The first behind the scenes footage to leak last spring clearly showed Spock and Uhura in the traditional blue and red uniforms, together battling whatever "bad guy" is played by Benedict Cumberbatch. 

The Dark Knight Rises Official Trailer 3 (Article) - 5/2/2012 10:24:53 AM

I was going to read ALL the comments before posting so I didn't look too much like an idiot by just repeating others' speculation, but I'm on the 4th page and have yet to see anyone that seems to be thinking what I'm thinking.  That's fine, of course - it's all just speculation, anyway - but for what it's worth...

I don't know if Bruce suffers long-term damage from his fall at the end of The Dark Knight, but based upon what we've seen and what I've read in Empire and other magazines and news sources, I think the absence of Batman for the better part of those 8 years is mostly just to honor the deal he made with Gordon and, of course, to honor Dent's memory.  Think about it - at the end of The Dark Knight, Gordon is as much a hero, almost, as Dent is thought to be.  Since Gordon doesn't actually WANT to catch Batman - knowing he's innocent - then to have Batman still on the streets all that time would make Gordon look bad because they'd just seem to be playing hide and seek.  Also, Batman's good deeds would eventually make Gotham question the conclusion that he committed Dent's crimes - especially with no real evidence and without Batman having been captured or his identity revealed (yet) - thereby further undermining the status quo that Batman's deal with Gordon is meant to create and protect.

What happens, I think, is that Bane is a leader (if not THE leader) in the League of Shadows which, again, has operatives in the Gotham municipal government and police force.  Recall the trailer before this one in which the city official talks of the mayor wanting to get rid of Gordon because his tactics don't seem suited to "peace time."  Obviously, if the League of Shadows wants to raise hell in a city like Gotham - AND to draw the Batman out of hiding - then their first task, ostensibly, is to get rid of Commissioner Gordon, or at least get him off the streets.  My guess is they try to do both - get him fired AND killed - hence him being in the hospital bed in the first teaser, but I digress.

Apparently, they're successful - at least to some extent - because some trading cards leaked a few months back with pictures of the characters and text indicating that Gordon becomes some kind of fugitive.  Whatever happens, I think it reveals to Gotham that Gordon never really intended to catch Batman and is at odds with the city and his own department, therefore he becomes something of a pariah.  With him out of the way and/or unable to act, Bane can come in and do his thing.  That, as one or more readers here already suggested, is probably to finish what Ra's Al Ghul started in BATMAN BEGINS - destroy the city by creating chaos and tearing down the vestiges of "modern civilization."  It's possible that Batman already knows Bane from somewhere - perhaps from his training with Ra's - but just doesn't completely recognize him at first.  Either way, Selina Kyle's Catwoman is probably someone that shares Bane's underlying sentiment, but realizes that whatever so-called moral imperative Bane claims to have, in the end, he's really just about total destruction.  I don't think she switches sides so much as she switches tactics, and I say this because in his interview with Empire, Christian Bale describes Bruce/Batman in this movie as a potential anarchist that realizes he has more in common with his adversaries than he thought or would like to believe. 

In conclusion, I think we're going to see Bane and Batman having more in common than otherwise thought.  I think what it comes down to is that, while they're both out to punish and root out corruption, Bane does it through deadly force and the denying of freedom whereas Batman refuses to kill and attempts the same goal by freeing people from the oppression of corruption and setting an example so that the "good people" can feel empowered to rise up and take action, themselves.  Batman is a would-be liberator while Bane is a would-be dictator - either way, they probably recognize the same underlying problems in Gotham.  Bane's hatred of Batman probably is exactly as speculated - that Batman took down Ra's and foiled the plans in BATMAN BEGINS.  It appears that Bane and his henchmen already know who Batman is and raid the new (for us) batcave - as indicated by the images we've seen in all of the trailers of Bane, his soldiers and, I think, in this new trailer, Bruce, himself, scaling up or down the big well we saw in the first movie that leads down into the cave.  When they first fight, they probably fight in that cave, which is probably where Bane is in this trailer when he throws down part of Batman's cowl.  However, I don't think Bane rips it off of Batman's head.  Bruce has a lot of cowls, so Bane probably grabs a spare one and breaks it in front of Batman as a sort of intimidation tactic - i.e., "This is what I'm about to do to you."  It's likely that Bruce's back is technically broken, allowing Bane to capture him, but it likely heals, at which point Bruce manages to escape and re-don the Batman mantle in order to take Bane down.

New Bane Images (Article) - 4/21/2012 2:53:05 PM

Thanks for echoing my theory about the pics, guys.  As for my opinion of what we've seen of Tom Hardy as the character, I remain open-minded, at best.  The article that Empire published in December of last year from the TDKR set quotes a good reason given by Nolan for using the character Bane in the first place - namely that after the Joker and how well Heath Ledger did with the role, they didn't want to just do a villain that came across as a similar, watered-down version of the same thing, which I think we all know is probably what would have happened if they'd gone with the Riddler. 

Strictly speaking, even though people definitely do get big with steroids, they don't get AS BIG, AS QUICKLY with just one big dose the way Bane does in the comics - when he allegedly goes from 5'6" to over 6 feet in just a few seconds.  They did a version of that in BATMAN AND ROBIN and it came across as ridiculous - just like the rest of the movie.  Thus, I doubt Nolan is overly concerned about height, for example (given that Christian Bale is almost head-and-shoulders taller than Tom Hardy, especially in the Batsuit), and I'm sure he knows that size doesn't ALWAYS matter, so if he can just have a villain that is very, very strong and has a more politically-based, socioeconomic "takeover" agenda the way Bane is said to have in the movie and as he sort of has in the comics, as well, then he probably figures he's made his point. 

What I'm worried about, if anything, is how they END the franchise and the depiction of Catwoman.  So far, the pictures look pretty hot, but based on what I've read, I still have absolutely no clue what her function will be in the movie - either to help Bane or to play both sides against one another.  Who knows? Either way, she could wind up being more of a distraction than anything else considering that, as a character (pseudo-villain, pseudo-anti-hero) that is otherwise more well-known than Bane because she's been around much longer, she seems to be second-fiddle so-to-speak to Tom Hardy in the villain line-up.  Further, talk of bringing Batman's story to a conclusive "end" is worrisome because no matter how good the films have been, or how good most of TDKR turns out being, I don't think audiences would take well to a dead or completely retired Batman, even 8 years after the events in THE DARK KNIGHT.  The only way I could see it potentially working is through the Knightfall storyline, but somehow, I don't think we'll see a very close interpretation of that, especially since the comics included a LOT of characters that are notably absent from the new film.

New Bane Images (Article) - 4/21/2012 10:01:34 AM

Wait a minute... Look closer.  These aren't photos of Tom Hardy as Bane! If you ask me, THESE ARE ACTION FIGURES... at least one is, anyway!  Look at how uniformly consistent the skin color is, and I don't care how well-lit he was, his veins would NOT stick out so prominently when photographed from such a distance.  Compare it to ACTUAL photos of Tom Hardy in character and you'll see subtle variations and splotches that are completely absent here.  Also, the clothing doesn't look like cloth - it looks like molded plastic.  All of the color here looks like well-painted plastic!

New Man of Steel Banner (Article) - 3/31/2012 7:31:02 PM

I like the logo.  I expected something a little bit more... extreme, but I like it and don't really mind the advertent/inadvertent Nike symbol one bit.  That said, I think one of the problems with Superman on film is that you can't REALLY do much of anything that is truly different with the character without straying too far from what he and his world is supposed to be.  I'm sure I'm not the only one, but when I heard that Nolan was producing this based on a script by Goyer, I thought they'd do something like make Superman's suit act as a sort of Kryptonian armor, but as is - except for the length of the cape, which I think is an improvement - the suit in MAN OF STEEL looks more traditional than the one in SUPERMAN RETURNS!  I almost wish someone had set out to make a Superman movie that was also a period piece.  As far as doing a modern take or something more acceptable to modern audiences, I really do think Superman would work best in a story that was set in a sort of hyper-stylized, futurized 1950's or early 1960's Metropolis.  My first inclination would be copyin the Fleischer cartoons of the 40's, but that might be going too far back.  To be faithful to the comics, it would limit Superman too much to HUMAN adversaries.  A Superman movie nowadays needs to reflect the Silver Age, but IMHO, not just in the choice of villains but also the general depiction. 

Teaser Trailer for Final Twilight (Article) - 3/28/2012 5:33:49 PM

I just caught the first one on FX last week - then wound up getting a potential date the next day.  No connection, but I had heard about guys watching these things just for... tips.  Having forced myself to do so this week, if that's true, I can't imagine why.  The movies clearly want to bring some sort of emotional reality to vampires and werewolves, but the writing bides its time, the acting ranges from banal to stale to completely incomprehensible and, ultimately, the only good thing about it is the scenery (if that).  I kind of liked the wolves, but still, they're made to look too big.  I looked at an old ET magazine the other day with an article from last November, when the first part of Breaking Dawn came out, and even the actors seem a bit frustrated with the movies.  They clearly don't take them seriously, and why should they?  It's all just one more example of someone thinking that if you just underplay something, you'll make it more believable.  Vampires and Werewolves aren't SUPPOSED to be believable or even relatable - they're supposed to be scary and fun.  The Twilight movies are neither.

10 New Avengers Photos (Article) - 3/26/2012 12:18:47 PM

I hate to say this, but while Captain America's costume may look the most awkward, all of the costumes seem almost... cheap.  I think they're trying to be a bit TOO faithful to the comics and aren't trying to find any real logic to the costumes or even some elements of the characters.  I'm not really a Marvel person, I admit, but even with my limited knowledge of these characters, only Hulk and Iron Man seem to be real cinematic to me.  Thor comes close, but I just think he should really be a lot more rugged, perhaps with that big Viking helmet he sometimes wears in the comics.  In fact, playing more on the Viking origins of that character would be much cooler than what we have now, which kind of looks like it was rented from a costume shop, and the parts that are probably supposed to be metal actually LOOK like plastic to me. 

Aykroyd on Murray's Ghostbusters Decision. (Article) - 2/29/2012 4:26:46 PM

Personally, I think Sam Raimin could do an incredible Ghostbusters reboot, but... oh, well.

I hate to say it, but what I think is happening here - and what may be an unstated reason for Murray's lack of involvement - is that Sony has a small group of what could arguably called modern comedy legends paired up with writers from a popular sitcom, ostensibly working on a rather late follow-up to some of the most successful comedy films made in the last 50 years.  The point, though, is that while there may have been genuine interest and hopes, say... between 5 and 10 years ago - now, I think Sony is just kind of being diplomatic, paying them a little to stay on the radar for as long as possible, maybe even hoping that another project altogether comes along or enough of the old cast and crew quit to justify a total reboot using the material and preparation already developed (which belongs to Sony, anyway). 

Seriously, we saw what happened in the late 90's when they tried to do a sequel to THE ODD COUPLE, 30 years later, and even with the 1998 sequel to the more recent BLUES BROTHERS.  Sometimes, these things can come together and, if they don't take much money, the studios will defer to the talent involved, with consideration given to their notoriety and track record, and just inudlge them out of respect and/or professional admiration.  I could be wrong, but I never really thought that comedy - at least modern comedy - was good sequel material.  It's not like the days of LAUREL AND HARDY or THE THREE STOOGES.  Even without a lot of special FX, these are multi-million dollar films built around jokes that generally have a limited shelf life, if you know what I mean, no matter how good they are.  

With something like Ghostbusters, the comedy alone wouldn't be enough to make it successful and appealing to a suitably-wide audience.  I think the studio will ONLY actually do this if they can reboot the material and make it more FX heavy - maybe give it a Michael Bay-ish tone (heaven forbid) like with Transformers.  Maybe, if we're lucky, someone will think to pursue the Raimi idea.

Darth Maul Returns (Article) - 2/26/2012 10:24:21 AM

This can so easily be justified by the obvious, which begins with the fact that this is Star Wars and revisionism is practically inherent.  After all, in REVENGE OF THE SITH, Anakin is mad that his appointment to the council does not automatically mean that he's made a master, which presumably is the only kind of Jedi that can take on an apprentice.  Yet, the Clone Wars begins with Anakin... GETTING AN APPRENTICE!  Also, Maul is an alien that looks human.  Who's to say that his organs are arranged the same way and that it could not have been as simple (so to speak) as getting robotic legs?  The only real question is why he didn't burn up in the bottom of Naboo's reactor, which is what he fell into at the end of TPM.  Last, and probably most importantly, you have to remember that this comes just one month after the re-release in 3D of the only Star Wars film to feature Darth Maul.  I'm sure Lucasfilm probably expected TPM's re-release to be at least a bit more profitable than it has been, even with fewer sceens on which to be shown.  It was never 1st place at the box office this time around and has swiftly fallen.  I only saw it in 3D last Thursday night and there probably weren't 10 other people besides myself in the entire room... and that's including the usher that kept annoyingly walking in and out with his little red flashbeam. 

Kinberg Talks X-Men First Class Sequel (Article) - 2/16/2012 6:05:23 PM

WISEGUY - You make good points, but while you might be right about the destiny part, according to what I've seen and read and some of the testimonials gathered, Hitler knew what he was doing and, in some sense, knew quite well that it would at least be perceived as wrong or villainous.  Not only that, but having enjoyed his military service during the first World War and actually becoming depressed when the fighting was over, he revelled in it.  He controlled everything - which some say led to the Third Reich's undoing because, later in WW2, everything needed Hitler's approval even though Hitler, himself, was not the best military strategist and not really in a position to lead, either physically or mentally.  He was, however, a keen manipulator and VERY image-conscious.  He loved Wagner, he loved the Norse mythology of the region and he fashioned his regime very much after those icons in Germany's culture and lore, even the less benevolent ones. He used PRE-EXISTING RACISM AND ANTI-SEMITISM to villify the Jews and pretty much all foreigners and non-Aryans, then to galvanize many and scare the rest into obedience to him because he gave Germany and its people what the first World War and the Treaty of Versailles INTENTIONALLY took away, which was a sense of self-worth.  

I don't think Magneto is a good fictional counterpart for Hitler because he really is more of a Malcolm-X type.  To my knowledge, Magneto is a terrorist, but he's not any world leader.  The only similarity between Hitler and the fictional Magneto is the belief in the superiority of a certain type of person BECAUSE they are that type.  Of course, I don't think this really makes Magneto very special in the so-called pantheon of comic book villains, especially nowadays, when almost all of the big ones - from Magneto and Dr. Doom to Lex Luthor and Sinestro, etc - are invariably called "Fascists," and with little or no regard for what the word really means in a historical context or where it originally comes from.    

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Date Joined: January 9, 2007