Tag Archives: The Dark Knight

BBC Releases Their List Of The 100 Greatest American Movies

The BBC has formulated a list of the top 100 “Greatest American Films of All Time” and there are some notable additions we here at Grizzly Bomb thought were worth noting. Continue reading BBC Releases Their List Of The 100 Greatest American Movies

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Bomb Droppers Rise! Let’s Talk ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

The Dark Knight Rises is obviously one of the, if not the most, anticipated movies to come out this summer. Everyone is talking about their thoughts on it, and similar to what we did with the group Avengers review, we here at Grizzly Bomb wanted to give this movie the same justice and have a bunch of us review it. Of course, if you haven’t seen the movie, *SPOILER ALERT* so don’t say we did not warn you. You should have watched it anyways so shame on you. If you have not read my review, you can of course click here to check it out, but let’s see what the other authors of the site think of this flick:

Dr. Kronner:

Upon initial viewing I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. As it turns out though, it’s only because The Dark Knight Rises was not the single greatest film of all time like I expected, but simply just ‘great’. Upon my second viewing I found myself amazed at how much more enjoyable it seemed. It was the same movie I’d seen just 2 nights prior, but without the weight of my lofty expectations heaped on it, the film just seemed more fluid. The issues I had the first time though (Alfred coming off cheesy, Gordon being underused, an unnatural progression between Selina and Bruce) all melted away as I was able to simply enjoy the film.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was just how much I liked JGL and how they handled the boy wonder. He seemed an amalgam of all the Robins. Tim Drake’s detective work, Jason Todd’s aggressiveness, and the wisecracking wisdom of a Dick Grayson. And while he never traveled with the circus, he was an orphan, and he proved us all wrong – Robin, when done correctly, can exist in Nolan’s Gotham. The other thing I really enjoyed that most people disagree with me on is Bane’s voice. I thought it added to his inherent creepiness and really cemented him as a great villain.

The movie on a whole, while still not as strong as The Dark Knight, ultimately did not disappoint, and I have a third trip to the theater planned tomorrow. In hindsight, I’d say this probably edges out The Avengers as my favorite movie of the summer.

SupaScoot:

The Dark Knight Rises was good. But it wasn’t great. Let me rephrase that. TDKR wasn’t the best Batman movie, but it was a hell of great Christopher Nolan film. While I have a few complaints and feel like there were just a few too many leaps of the imagination intended for the audience to take, it was a beautifully filmed and epic undertaking that Nolan pulled off.

Weaving in a ton of different plot points from not only the previous movies but TDKR itself was a monstrous task that required a keen eye and an open mind, but it didn’t pan out fully at the conclusion. However, the one thing I can say about the film without any doubt is that it IS a definite conclusion. A conclusion to the trilogy, to Nolan’s bat-verse, and to Bale’s Bruce Wayne.

Are there things I would change? Absolutely. Are there things I didn’t quite get after my first viewing that were more evident after the second? Absolutely. Is The Dark Knight still the better Batman movie? ABSOLUTELY. Walking out of the theater after both movies were two entirely different feelings of awe. TDK was an excited and passionate victory dance for any Batman fan, while TDKR was a contemplative and cerebral appreciation for a great filmmaker.

Watch TDKR twice. That is my ultimate advice/review. Because everything changes that second time when you realize just exactly what the movie is about, who it’s about, and what The Dark Knight Rises really means.

The Wozz:

Christopher Nolan stepped away from 2008’s insurmountable The Dark Knight for the finale of his Batman saga, and in doing so The Dark Knight Rises feels a lot more like a sequel to Batman Begins than anything else. It’s a wise move because while much focus will be laid on Bane and a handful of contentious twists and plot points, this shift is the necessary fulcrum that bridges two very disparate films into a fluid trilogy. It also brings the story around full circle – The Joker nearly dismantled the idea of ‘the batman’ when he terrorized Gotham eight years ago, and Rises is all about reaffirming the ideals that led to Bruce Wayne’s creation of the batman.

In short, The Dark Knight Rises serves a very precise, mechanical function for Nolan’s Batman legend. It’s just all the more impressive that Nolan layers such a thrilling finale on top of it.

joey123mo:

It all started with Batman Begins, a film that, while not an instant classic, was the beginning of what is now the most significant comic book trilogy in film history. Begins was followed by the now legendary The Dark Knight, which featured a life-altering performance by the late, great Heath Ledger.

What started in 2005 is now finishing in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises, a film that improves on both of its predecessors that ends up being director Christopher Nolan’s true epic masterpiece. The entire cast returns with an entirely new set of faces including the fantastic Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (Catwoman), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, one of the last wholly pure cops in Gotham City.

The villain here is Bane, played perfectly by Tom Hardy, utilizing his eyes and his voice as strengths. The constricting facial mask may be a problem for some, but I thought he was as menacing and terrific as he was in the previews. On top of all that, The Dark Knight Rises is an emotionally resonating story that ends up being the most perfect conclusion to an already near perfect trilogy. There will probably be no superhero trilogy as absolutely amazing as this one. The Dark Knight Rises is the high-point in a trilogy that defied expectations in every way possible.

Tim the Film Guy:

Christopher Nolan really doesn’t make bad films. The Dark Knight Rises was a great film to end the epic trilogy Nolan started with Batman Begins and then made better with The Dark Knight. This film really brings the old school epics such as Ben-Hur with thousands of extras running around on giant sets to the modern era of films. But sadly it was the last of this superhero trilogy and possibly the best adaptation of a comic hero we will ever see.

What I liked about the way Nolan made this film was that it felt like he created a great new story but then merged the tone and feel of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight so that it would feel very much connected with those films which worked as the finale to a great trilogy (If you didn’t get that I liked the Nolan trilogy yet). I will like to see how Nolan’s involvement in the new superman film Man of Steel will impact its realism and more modern retelling of the superman story. Might just go on about Bane’s amazing ability to take control of a room just with the way he stands with confidence, nah you’ll just have to see the film. Finally I would like to say that even though I am sure we will miss Nolan’s Batman I think that it’s great that a superhero franchise can start off as strong as it finishes where so many have failed before and for that I thank Christopher Nolan for his dedication to making all the films himself with such detailed film making.

Woman Friday:

My brain is still trying to wrap around the story, as usual with most of Nolan’s films. I’m either less intelligent than I thought, or he really is that good at weaving together multiple peoples’ stories in one film. On the whole, I quite enjoyed it, but I cannot say it was my favorite out of his trilogy. It didn’t seem quite Batman-y like before. However, I will say this was the first time in quite a while that a film actually caught me off guard (SPOILER!); Miranda Tate’s character development blew my mind, and when I looked at my husband during the final scenes, I realized the same thing was happening in his (and he is a hard one to surprise). Overall, cheers again to Nolan and the ENTIRE film crew and cast for a valid and appreciated interpretation of the Batman legacy.

Cheesebadger:

Christopher Nolan has permanently changed the face of Superhero films forever. While Batman Begins was the start of a trend of reboots, it has more or less been beneficial to the superhero movie genre, reaching it’s apex with 2008’s The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight was the first time we got to see a beloved comic character in a movie that was GREAT on its own merit, without any added buffer or forgiveness for its comic book pedigree.

This theme is continued with The Dark Knight Rises, however trying to follow such a dramatic change in quality from The Dark Knight’s prequel to sequel jump, inevitably will lead some to find Dark Knight Rises to be disappointing. That being said, DKR is a very good wrap up of the themes from all the other Nolan Batman movies. By no means as mindblowing as Dark Knight, mostly because of some pacing issues, and the lack of a seminal, game changing character interpretation such as Ledger’s Joker, DKR is nonetheless, a very fitting end for the Nolanverse Batman character.

How anyone will attempt to replicate the fascinating, consistently entertaining, and most of all cerebral and intriguing story told throughout this trilogy of movies is baffling. Whoever reboots the new Batman best find a wholly new direction to go in, because the bar is set impossibly high. This is how you end a trilogy, all other Threequels take notice.

Jason.Da.Psycho:

I ain’t no film critic. I don’t judge cinema techniques or shit like that. All I care about is whether if I’m entertained by a movie, and I can gladly report that I was thoroughly entertained.

For TDKR, you get a few action sequences and absolutely phenomenal character developments. Some lines are indeed corny, but 99% of them are great. The twists are there and they can be shocking (though not uncalled for). If there’s any complaint, the story isn’t so “Batman-ish”. Rather, it feels like a conclusion to Nolan’s trilogy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fantastic, and since I am not a comic book fan in the first place, I don’t really care for that flaw.

It’s not better than the second one, but TDKR is undoubtedly one of the best threequels out there. (Note to Bioware: That’s how you setup a potentially depressing and ambiguous ending.)

93 Grizzly Bombs explode out of the 100 possible.

So there you have it. It seems like we all really enjoyed this movie and have a consensus that it was an excellent end. Granted, most, if not all, thought that The Dark Knight was the best of the trilogy, but that should not take away how great this film truly was. Of course we want to know what you guys thought so feel free to comment below your thoughts on whether this film cements this trilogy as one of the best ever or not.

The Best of the Genre (All Time): Top 25 “Comic Book Movies”

This is the latest of a whole series here at Grizzly Bomb. For each feature we will examine an individual genre and the quality of its films. These lists will be compiled from a point system determined by votes from each member of the staff. It’s very scientific, we used Excel.

For this topic, in addition to my list, I asked all the other members of my staff to give me a list of their “Top 15 Comic Book Movies”.

Anyhow, as for the results: From the other 16 people asked to make a Top Ten list, plus my own Top 10, it resulted in 60 different movies being named. I’ve tallied up the points, and I now give you the Top 25 of them…

25. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
24. Red (2010)
23. Dick Tracy (1990)
22. The Crow (1994)
21. Thor (2011)

Comic Book

20. Captain America: First Avenger (2011)
Comic Book19. X-Men: First Class (2011)
18. Blade (1998)
17. X-Men (2000)
16. V for Vendetta (2006)
15. Kick Ass (2010)
14. A History of Violence (2005)
13. 300 (2006)
12. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
11. Superman (1978)

Comic Book

And the TOP 10….

*Something new this time around is the AFI Box Office, which is ‘Adjusted for Inflation’…

10. Watchmen

Comic Book

[The Wozz] When one of the Watchmen is brutally murdered, Nite Owl attempts to bring the old team of retired crime fighters back together for one last job. But the public outrage against vigilantism forces the aging superheroes to question their morals and in some cases, even their sanity.

A lot of controversy and polarization came along with Zack Snyder’s adaptation of what is arguably the best comic book story ever told, but no one can deny that Watchmen is one of the most faithfully adapted stories to ever see the silver screen. Punctuated by Snyder’s trademark stylized action, Watchmen feels more like a hypnotizing motion comic than a traditional action movie, yet it still hits all the narrative beats of Alan Moore’s somber graphic novel, which is why it makes our top ten.

US Release: March 6, 2009
Director:
Zack Snyder
Notable Cast: Malin AkermanBilly CrudupJackie Earle HaleyMatthew GoodeJeffrey Dean MorganPatrick Wilson, Matt Frewer, and Carla Gugino.
Oscar Wins/Nominations0/0
US Box Office: $107,509,799 (AFI: $113,817,041)

Best Quote: “Rorschach’s Journal. October 12th, 1985: Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll whisper “no.” “

Trivia: The trailer features the song “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” by Smashing Pumpkins, which was originally a B-Side for the single “The End is the Beginning is the End”, the theme from Joel Schumacher‘s Batman & Robin.

9. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Comic Book

[The Wozz] Scott Pilgrim is a jerk. He plays bass for an awful garage band and he’s dating a high school girl. But when he meets Ramona Flowers, a mysterious American girl with purple hair, he instantly falls in love. Scott will do anything to win over the literal girl of his dreams – and unfortunately for him, that means defeating Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes.

No other movie of this generation has simultaneously parodied and embraced popular culture like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The nerd culture, the indie music scene, hipster-pretentious teens and our superhero obsession all get a jab and an embrace in this gorgeous and hilarious take on the typical guy-meets-girl flick. Scott surrounds himself with about a dozen characters who all manage to come across as endearing, whether they’re charming, obnoxious, or just plain douchey, making this the flashiest, most over-the-top hangout movie of our time.

US Release: August 13, 2010
Director: Edgar Wright
Notable Cast: Michael CeraKieran CulkinAnna KendrickAubrey PlazaMary Elizabeth WinsteadChris EvansBrandon RouthJason Schwartzman, Clifton Collins Jr.Thomas JaneMae Whitman, and Bill Hader.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US Box Office: $31,524,275 (AFI: $31,724,049)

Best Quote: “He punched the highlights out of her hair!”

Trivia: Edgar Wright obtained permission to use the famous theme song from the SNES game, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, by writing a letter to Nintendo, saying that it is considered to be “the nursery rhyme of this generation”. He was also allowed to use the Seinfeld theme song for a sitcom-style sequence.

8. X2: X-Men United

Comic Book

[Supascoot] A team of mutants hated and feared by the rest of the world are brought together by professor Charles Xavier, a powerful telepath dedicated to training the youthful mutants under his care to protect themselves and the world. This time they find themselves under attack from the government and William Stryker, who has past connections with Prof. X, Magneto and Wolverine.

Building on the success of the first movie, Brian Singer created a sequel that many consider to be far superior to the original. With one of the greatest opening scenes of any superhero movie out there, X2 changed how many of us looked at the comic movie medium. A realistic look at a fantastical world that was easy to relate to and touched on so many themes of both reality and the X-Men mythos. Featuring an ending that left us all excited for the next one, until we actually saw it and realized the flip side of what good movies are.

US Release: May 2, 2003
Director: Bryan Singer
Notable Cast: Patrick StewartHugh JackmanIan McKellenHalle BerryFamke JanssenJames MarsdenAnna PaquinRebecca RomijnBrian CoxAlan CummingBruce Davison, and Kelly Hu.
Oscar Wins/Nominations 0/0
US Box Office: $214,949,694 (AFI: $283,034,920)

Best Quote: “You know all those dangerous mutants you hear about in the news? I’m the worst one. “

Triva: On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hugh Jackman related a story about something that happened during the filming of the Weapon X flashback scene: while he was filming the corridor run (in which he is nude and backlit), he turned the corner and saw the female cast members, including James Marsden’s mother, waiting for him, hooting and waving dollar bills.

7. Spider-Man

Comic Book

[Supascoot] High School Nerd Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive genetically engineered super spider and infused with powers making him the Amazing Spider-Man. After refusing to stop a thief, he is horrified to learn that the thief went on to murder Peter’s Uncle Ben, and embraces his final lesson that “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility.” Also Norman Osborn goes crazy, becoming the Green Goblin and setting up a villain that will torment Spidey for 3 movies.

Said to be the movie of the 70’s, and then the movie of the 80’s, and the movie of the 90’s, Spider-Man had a spot on the big screen reserved just for him. It wasn’t until Sam Raimi was given the job that the movie finally started moving forward. Fans were unsure of what to think of the film, with many changes and unsure casting, but the moment the movie hit it was well received and provided hope that we may see other heroes getting the same kind of treatment by a director who loved and respected the characters and stories.

US Release: May 3, 2002
Director: Sam Raimi
Notable Cast: Tobey MaguireWillem DafoeKirsten DunstJames FrancoJ.K. Simmons, Bruce CampbellElizabeth Banks, Stan Lee and Randy Savage.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/2 (Visual/Sound)
US Box Office: $403,706,375 (AFI: $551,708,884)

Best Quote: “Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-man. “

Triva: In addition to both Peter Parker and Norman Osborn wearing their enemy’s costume colors during the Thanksgiving dinner scene, Harry Osborn is seen wearing all of the colors. He’s wearing a green shirt, red tie and blue coat.

6. Batman

Comic Book

[Supascoot] Tim Burton’s Batman focused on the darker tone recently exhibited by DC Comics, in large part due to Frank Miller’s time with the character. The film followed the urban legend that is Batman creating and fighting his nemesis Joker, while dealing with the complicated life of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, who is falling for reporter Vicki Vale.

The 1st of 3 Batman movies in the Top 10, it’s a clear indication that when comparing any and all comic book movies, you look to Batman first. What worked, what didn’t and how we can make it as awesome as the first true Batman film in Hollywood. Keaton delivered an amazing performance as a slightly older Batman, while Jack Nicholson wowed audiences with his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime, a role left untouched until Heath Ledger… but we can talk about that later.

US Release: June 23, 1989
Director: Tim Burton
Notable Cast: Michael KeatonJack NicholsonKim BasingerRobert WuhlBilly Dee WilliamsJack PalanceTracey Walter, Pat Hingle, and Michael Gough.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 1/1 (Art Direction)
US Box Office: $251,188,924 (AFI: $504,377,848)

Best Quote: “Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

Trivia: The Joker’s line “Take thy beak from out my heart” (said at Vale’s apartment) is from Edgar Allan Poe‘s “The Raven”. The full line is ‘Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!’ (the “beak” being of the raven)

5. Iron Man

Comic Book[Supascoot] Tony Stark is a Billionaire Playboy Inventor Entrepreneur Wunderkind who parties hard and profits big for his company, Stark Enterprises. But when he is kidnapped by the Ten Rings, a terrorist cell in the Middle East, he is gravely wounded. Forced to build a powerful weapon for the Ten Rings, he instead chooses to create a suit of armor to not only save his life, but escape his captors. And iron Man is born.

When news hit that Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark, everyone accepted that this movie was actually happening, and that it just may be good. When some of the first footage was seen, fans were apprehensive but excited, and when it hit theaters it was just that; a hit. Spectacular special effects, great acting from Downey and cast and the villain; played by The Dude Jeff Bridges, who taught me to never try to enter the world of big business. Or make my own suit of armor to take on Iron Man. Jon Favreau delivered a realistic and acceptable world where we could see all our favorite Avengers characters existing, and proved to be the jumping off point for one of the biggest comic book movie epics to ever hit the big screen; The Avengers.

US Release: May 2, 2008
Director: Jon Favreau
Notable Cast: Robert Downey Jr.Terrence HowardJeff BridgesGwyneth PaltrowLeslie BibbClark GreggPaul BettanyJon Favreau, and Stan Lee.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/2 (Visual/Sound)
US Box Office: $318,412,101 (AFI: $352,115,889)

Best Quote: “They say that the best weapon is the one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once. That’s how Dad did it, that’s how America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.”

Triva: Stan Lee, the creator of Iron Man, had originally based Tony Stark on Howard Hughes, whom he felt was “one of the most colourful men of our time: an inventor, an adventurer, a multimillionaire, a ladies man and finally a nutcase.”

4. Spider-Man 2

Comic Book

[The Wozz] Peter Parker’s new career as a web-slinging superhero is starting to get in the way of his education, his family and most important of all, his relationship with Mary-Jane Watson. As his priorities start to shift, Peter begins to question his responsibilities as a vigilante crime fighter and eventually he hangs up the costume for good. But when Dr. Otto Octavius has an experiment go awry, killing his wife and binding four mechanical arms to his spine, Pete is forced to accept his role as a superhero and take back his true role as Spider-Man.

Spider-Man may be heralded as the movie that ushered in Hollywood’s superhero craze but it’s the second one that became the shining light of the franchise. It just feels the most like Spider-Man, because it perfectly nails that balance between thrilling acrobatics, lighthearted fun and a charming, somewhat corny moral center. Doctor Octopus is unquestionably the best villain of the trilogy, providing some of the best action sequences in all three movies, and this is the movie where Spidey feels most recognizable – none of that whiny, dancing B.S. that would come a few years later.

US Release: June 30, 2004
Director: Sam Raimi
Notable Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, J.K. Simmons, Dylan BakerAasif Mandvi, Elizabeth Banks, Bruce Campbell, Alfred MolinaDaniel Dae KimHal SparksJoel McHaleEmily Deschanel, Willem Dafoe, Joy BryantReed DiamondVanessa Ferlito, and Stan Lee.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 1/2 (Visual Effects)
US Box Office: $373,585,825 (AFI: $477,660,459)

Best Quote: “We need a hero, courageous sacrificing people, setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero, people line up for ’em, cheer for them, scream their names, and years later tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who told them to HOLD ON a second longer.”

Triva: Stan Lee originally filmed the cameo of the man who shouts: “Hey, Spider-Man stole that guy’s pizza!” But because of problems with the shot it was re-filmed with another actor, and Lee was given a different (but heroic) cameo.

3. Sin City

Comic Book[The Wozz] Three (Technically four) intercepting vignettes tell the tale of violence, corruption, death and vengeance in the streets of Basin City: Marv seeks revenge for the murder of a caring woman, killed as she slept by his side. Dwight gets into hot water when he punishes the wrong abusive boyfriend. Hartigan comes back from the dead to save a girl from a monster.

Sin City features more style and visual flair in some scenes than most movies have in their entirety. The gritty, unforgiving noir is punctuated with bursts of vibrant color  amid the gorgeous blacks, greys and whites of the simulated graphic novel, and it features one of the biggest casts you’re likely to ever find. Other films have tried to jump onto Sin City‘s dark, exaggerated aesthetic but their failure serves as evidence that there’s more to this movie than simple eye-porn. Sin City is in a world all to itself and delivers something entirely unique, which is why it’s number three on our list.

US Release: April 1, 2005
Directors: Frank MillerRobert Rodriguez, & Tarantino
Notable Cast: Jessica AlbaAlexis BledelPowers BootheRosario DawsonBenicio Del ToroMichael Clarke DuncanRick GomezTommy Flanagan, Carla Gugino, Josh HartnettRutger HauerNicky KattJaime KingMichael MadsenBrittany MurphyClive OwenMickey RourkeMarley SheltonNick StahlBruce WillisElijah Wood and Nick Offerman.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US Box Office: $74,103,820 (AFI: $91,791,627)

Best Quote: “Most people think Marv is crazy. He just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He’d be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody’s face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him. They woulda tossed him girls like Nancy back then.”

and

” It’s time to prove to your friends that you’re worth a damn. Sometimes that means dying, sometimes it means killing a whole lot of people. “

Triva: Despite appearing in all three of the major stories, Brittany Murphy filmed all of her scenes in one day.

2. Batman Begins

Comic Book

[The Wozz] Believe it or not, there was a time when most of us weren’t looking forward to a new Batman movie. Joel Schumacher took the franchise out at the knees with Batman & Robin, and it was hard to believe any revival could undo the damage. Then we found out the Memento guy was directing it, and shortly after that Christian Bale would play Bruce Wayne. Clearly things were going in a new direction, but no one had any idea what was coming.

Batman Begins is about about Bruce Wayne. If you break down the movie, you can see it all the way through. Even in the third act, when Bruce is almost always under the cape and cowl he is still the man, not the symbol. It’s not until The Dark Knight that Batman truly becomes a second identity and that is what makes Begins such an engaging story. No other Batman movie has given so much attention and importance to the person who became the Bat. Begins is about other things, too – fear, corruption, justice – but this is the most human the character has ever been, and it delivers an origin story befitting to the greatest superhero of all time.

US Release: June 15, 2005
Directors: Christopher Nolan
Notable Cast: Christian BaleMichael CaineLiam NeesonKatie HolmesMorgan FreemanGary OldmanRade SerbedzijaCillian MurphyTom WilkinsonRutger HauerKen Watanabe, and Mark Boone Junior.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/1 (Cinematography)
US Box Office: $205,343,774 (AFI: $254,357,186)

Best Quote: “What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing? “

Triva: Christian Bale lost his voice three times during filming after altering his voice while playing Batman.

1. The Dark Knight

Comic Book

[The Wozz] After the success of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight might have become one of the most anticipated movies ever, but that didn’t keep it completely free from scrutiny. The decision to bring in The Joker after Jack Nicholson’s beloved performance, combined with the casting of Heath Ledger in the role was baffling to most of us. And the IMDb page showed clear as day that between Ledger, Cillian Murphy and Aaron Eckhart, there would be three different villains in the movie (Just months before, Spider-Man 3 had crumbled under that weight). On opening weekend, The Dark Knight absolutely shattered any doubts.

As opposed to Batman Begins, in The Dark Knight Batman no longer exists as a man in a a suit; Bruce Wayne has completely transformed the caped crusader into a symbol, elevating him far past the limitations of a simple vigilante. The Joker’s brand of chaos isn’t a threat to Bruce, or his loved ones, or even to Gotham, at least not directly. Joker represents something far more destructive than that. He threatens to dismantle the legend of Batman, kill the icon instead instead of the person. In actuality, The Dark Knight has nothing to do with two men on either side of the law. It’s about the manifestations of good and evil, the struggle between order against chaos. That’s what elevates The Dark Knight beyond the ranks of a simple superhero movie and makes it the best comic book movie of all time.

US Release: July 18, 2008
Director: Christopher Nolan
Notable Cast:  Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Heath LedgerAaron EckhartMaggie GyllenhaalNestor CarbonellEric Roberts, Michael Jai WhiteWilliam FichtnerTommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, and Anthony Michael Hall.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 2/8 (Sound Editing, Supporting Actor)
US Box Office: $533,345,358 (AFI: $589,799,741)

Best Quote: “Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Triva: Nestor Carbonell who plays the mayor coincidentally also played “Bat Manuel”, a parody of Batman, in the comic-based live action The Tick TV series. And Michael Jai White who played the Batman-inspired character Spawn in Spawn plays a gangster.

Also check out our other 
Best of the Genre (By Decade)

Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – Rumors, Easter Eggs and Tickets Already On Sale

Welcome to Dark Knight Station, the Hero Express‘s main stop for all the news on The Dark Knight Rises.We’ll keep you up to date on all the biggest bat-news coming straight from Gotham City.

Mind the gap and avoid the shadows; This stop is the Dark Knight Station for January 11th, 2012.

Rumors of a Clearer Bane Voice are False – (FilmDrunk)

In the wake of the DKR prologue, reports sprouted up claiming that Christopher Nolan was already working to clean up Bane’s muffled voice, and theaters would soon be getting the new, clearer audio versions to play for audiences. However, Collider recently went to Warner Bros. and IMAX for confirmation, and both have officially stated that no altered versions of the prologue have been sent.

In the trailer that quickly followed the 8-minute preview Bane was a lot easier to understand, with the majority of viewers issuing a pretty vocal sigh of relief. Personally, I’m still not entirely clear on what Bane is saying in the trailer but I’m not desperately worried. As I’ve mentioned earlier, this isn’t something the entire production team would have missed – dozens of people worked on Bane’s character, not to mention the time and energy spent on audio and editing. It would be impossible for this to be an oversight.

Fan Poster by DeviantArtist ~Jo7a

It’s difficult to do with a film as wildly anticipated as The Dark Knight Rises but we all have to sit back and resist judgment for now. We’re picking apart a minor piece of the puzzle that will likely be inconsequential by the time everything comes together. Have a little faith.

Unreleased Footage from The Dark Knight – (/Film)

Here’s a little change of pace: Kevin Smith, of all people, recently sent out a tweet featuring several minutes of unused and alternate footage from everyone’s favorite Batman movie. It includes some clips of Heath Ledger‘s Joker that you might not have seen before.

The few seconds of Ledger that debut here are just as striking as the footage that made it into the final film. It’s a brief reminder of how memorable the character is, and how talented an actor Ledger was. It’s the long shot of The Joker exiting the hospital that does it for me, rekindling the chilling sensation I had when I first saw The Dark Knight‘s Clown Prince of Crime.

Continue reading Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – Rumors, Easter Eggs and Tickets Already On Sale

Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – My Own Reaction to the ‘Rises’ Prologue

Welcome to Dark Knight Station, the Hero Express‘s main stop for all the news on The Dark Knight Rises.We’ll keep you up to date on all the biggest bat-news coming straight from Gotham City.

Mind the gap and avoid the shadows; This stop is the Dark Knight Station for December 16th, 2011.

This edition of Dark Knight Station is going to be a little different than the others. Last night I went to the midnight show of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Like most of the audience in the theatre, I was really there for the 6-minute prologue of The Dark Knight Rises. I’ll drop some info on the latest news below, but first I want to talk about the 6 minutes of Rises I got to experience. I’ll try to spoil as little as possible about what actually happens in the clip. I’m going to get right into it, here is my spoiler-free reaction to my first glimpse of The Dark Knight Rises.

Like the bank heist that introduced us to The Joker in the preview for The Dark Knight, the prologue is a high-tension scene that introduces us to the main villain, Bane. We’re dropped in almost mid-conversation and immediately start asking questions. If you followed the movie’s viral marking campaign, you’ll have a little more to go on, but suffice it to say that things escalate very quickly before taking an unexpected turn. Then it all goes haywire. The focus of the clip is to give us a sense of Bane’s capabilities and methods – again, it’s very much like The Dark Knight‘s prologue in that sense – but while The Dark Knight showed us The Joker was calculating in his ruthlessness, Bane makes it very clear that he has no love for subtlety or theatrics.

“Oh shit…”

That’s not to say that there’s no room for mind-bending action; the climax of the  preview is a sequence that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s guttural and physical, and the IMAX camera makes it look gorgeous. Think of the sequence in The Dark Knight when Batman flipped the semi, then go much bigger.

Continue reading Hero Express: Dark Knight Station – My Own Reaction to the ‘Rises’ Prologue