Tag Archives: Bryan Cranston

Batman: Year One – Casting Announcements!!!

So there’s a lot going on right now with Gotham’s greatest protector. A new movie, a new video game, and an animated feature – all in production as we speak. The game and the movie have both been talked about plenty, so let’s focus on the animated feature.

Heat Vision is reporting that the long-awaited adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, which is one of my favorite comics ever (not to be confused with Mike W. Barr and Todd McFarlane‘s terrible sequel – Batman: Year Two) is really coming along. For those of you unfamiliar with the comic, I can tell you it was a major influence on the Nolan Bat-Films, and helped solidify Frank Miller as a legend within the industry.

Year One chronicles Gordon’s transfer from the Chicago PD to Gotham City just as the Batman is starting to appear. It deals largely with Bruce’s early failures and Gordon’s struggles within the most corrupt Police Department in the country.

Warner Brother’s Animation is making a PG-13 animated adaptation of the story that is said to be very true to the book. Animation great Bruce Timm (Batman the Animated Series) says that the book was even used to storyboard a large chunk of the film. And today, they have just announced the 5 principle voice actors…

Bruce Wayne/Batman – Ben McKenzie: McKenzie was on The O.C., but more importantly is one of the leads on TNT’s Southland. This story revolves around Bruce’s return to Gotham and his transformation into a very young Batman.

Lt. Jim Gordon – Bryan Cranston:  This is a great pick. The principal character on one of television’s best shows (Breaking Bad), Cranston has come a long way since Malcolm in the Middle and proved his worth. As soon as I read this I loved the choice. Cranston himself wasn’t sure so quickly though as he initially turned down the chance to work on Year One, but eventually changed his mind after seeing the script – “I wasn’t aware of this level of storytelling in animation. I confess that freely, they didn’t give the characters the short shrift. I was stunned.”

Selina Kyle/Catwoman – Eliza Dushku: While the average girl recognizes Dushku from Bring it On, most in the geek community recognize her work with Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse) and as Arnold’s daughter in the 90’s Action classic True Lies. So it’s not like she needed more geek-cred than that to deserve a role in a comic movie, especially an animated one. But she should be a pretty much perfect fit for Catwoman…

Detective Sarah Essen – Katee Sackhoff: Sarah Essen is a name that you might not know if you don’t read the comics, but she was a major part of Gotham City for a long time. You know, eventually marrying Jim Gordon, surviving the Earthquake in Gotham, and finally being murdered by the Joker while saving some babies, she was an important part of the comics, but really hasn’t popped up in the other mediums till now. As far as the choice, after runs on Battlestar Galactica, Nip/Tuck, and 24 I am a fan of Katee Sackhoff. And her inclusion in Halloween: Resurrection didn’t hurt either. I know a lot of my fellow Bauer fans didn’t care for her in the final season of the show, but I actually like this pick.

Carmine Falcone – Alex Rocco: The guy played Moe Green in The Godfather. What more can you ask for, especially since Falcone is obviously modeled after Vito Corleone…

All around great casting. DC has really outdone Marvel on the animated front thus far, and it looks to be continuing. They have also released a couple of animation stills…

darkknightThe straight to DVD release of Batman: Year One is scheduled for sometime this fall.

The have also been rumors that another Frank Miller classic – The Dark Knight Returns – could be in the works as well. How about them apples?

It’s a great time to be a Bat-Fan!

Grizzly Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

I know a lot of people are feeling burnt out on law dramas and cops shows as the networks flood the airwaves with mediocre programming, but for fans of the genre, let me recommend The Lincoln Lawyer. It felt like a throw back to the better court-room dramas of the early 90’s mixed with the solid writing of some of cable’s best current ongoing series.

I know I’m a week behind on this one, I was talked into Sucker Punch last weekend, so I just got to see this last night. The Lincoln Lawyer is based on a 2005 book of the same name. Written by Michael Connelly, this was the first of 4 books starring the character of Mickey Haller, who is played by Matthew McConaughey in the movie. Here is the trailer:

As I’m sure you just noticed in the trailer, this isn’t just about a court case, but a lot more than that. It’s an ethical dilemma that puts our protagonist in the proverbial ‘Rock and a Hard Place’. The movie’s pacing is consistent and the story progresses nicely, feeling neither rushed, nor as if it’s dragging. Much of the movie you are lead to believe one outcome will result from the events on-screen, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I was wrong about said outcome. It’s increasingly rare anymore that I can be surprised by a movie, so just when I thought I had it figured out, they threw in a well-timed twist.

The movie’s antagonist is played by Ryan Phillippe, who looks the part of the spoiled rich kid and successfully pulls off a convincing psychopath. He is a good foil to McConaughey’s lawyer, and they have an impressive on-screen chemistry.

William H. Macy plays Mickey’s friend Frank, an investigator who looks into clients stories for the defense. People who know Macy, but don’t watch Shameless may be off put by his disheveled look in here, but he is, as usual, at the top of his game in here.

We also see Marisa Tomei as Mickey’s ex-wife. A rare divorced couple that actually gets along, which is made even rarer by their professions. Mickey is defense attorney, but Tomei’s character works at the D.A.’s office. They are held close by the daughter they share.

After that the cast of the movie is full of under-rated character actors, some of which don’t even make their way into the trailer. Chief among them is one of TV’s best actors, star of AMC’s Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston. He appears in a smaller role, but still makes an impact. In addition to Cranston, we also see someone from the other side of the Television quality spectrum with Bones star Michaela Conlin. The 2 TV stars play Police Detectives investigating a case that involves Mickey. The cast rounds out with performances from Michael Pena, John Leguizamo, and Josh Lucas.

Then there is the comic relief: Eric Etebari.

In the midst of the trial, when Phillippe is being accused of Attempted Rape and Murder, this dude takes the stand and proceeds to tell us about what a Ladies’ Man he is…with hookers.

Everything he says is AWESOME.

This guy reminded me of “Man in Wig” from Drive Angry. He was so ridiculous we couldn’t stop laughing, but somehow it didn’t ruin the flow of the movie.

This movie pays off in almost every aspect. It’s been quite some time since I’d seen a legal thriller I liked this much. I highly recommend this movie. I give it a very strong 3.5 Bears.