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Comic books have become the dominant source material for franchise filmmaking. There is a staggering amount of IP out there, ripe for exploration on the big screen. And yet, there are a handful of characters to which we invariably return. Characters upon whom filmmakers can’t resist placing their own stamp.

Few characters have seen the kind of churn that we’ve gotten from Batman over the years – a churn that continues with the release of “The Batman.”

Since Tim Burton’s “Batman” hit in 1989, laying the groundwork for the superhero explosion that would eventually follow, we’ve seen numerous artists and artisans embrace the character in their own way. Early on, we got Burton’s neo-Gothic vibes and Joel Schumacher’s candy-colored neon fever dreams. After that, Christopher Nolan’s trilogy redefined the possibilities of what the character – and comic book movies in general – could be. Next, we got Zach Snyder’s stylized grimdark take as the character was moved into a wider expanded cinematic universe.

And now, Matt Reeves has entered the ring.

“The Batman” promises a more grounded take on the character, moving away from the more extreme interpretations and focusing on a younger Batman, one still learning the logistical challenges and harsh realities that come with costumed vigilantism. With Robert Pattinson assuming the cowl, the film seeks to dig into the early years of the hero and his development.

The film seeks to embrace verisimilitude – at least, to the extent that a movie based on a superhero comic can – and focuses more on the idea of Batman as detective, an aspect of the character that has largely been underplayed or outright ignored by previous adaptations. The result is a movie that, while uneven, offers room to evolve and expand in ways we haven’t yet seen on the big screen.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 12:45

The Dark Knight rebuilt

“The Lego Batman Movie” a fun romp

Published in Movies

Strong performances can't overcome sloppy, misfiring narrative

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:40

'The Dark Knight Rises' to the occasion

Nolan's brilliant Batman trilogy concludes

Some filmmakers know how to do a trilogy. Some don't. Peter Jackson does. The Wachowskis do not. Steven Spielberg does (crystal skulls be damned). George Lucas did, but then he didn't.

Christopher Nolan definitely does.

After four long years, 'The Dark Knight Rises' has arrived. If you're like me, you've been anxiously awaiting this film since you walked out of the theater following a screening of 2008's 'The Dark Knight.' Nolan along with brother Jonathan and screenwriter David S. Goyer had slowly, steadily constructed a fully-realized comic book world. But this is not the brightly-colored bang-bang of Marvel's 'Avengers' assembly.

Published in Movies

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