We have the UK review for The Dark Knight. Read on:
With The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan has rewritten the rules for making a big budget summer event movie.
Since the days of The Godfather in the early ’70s, Hollywood’s film studios have been, almost without exception, scared stiff of peppering their populist cash-cows with grandiose, weighty and thought-provoking themes, preferring instead to programme lightweight, action-packed fare for the summer and prestige, serious projects for awards season.
Yet The Dark Knight sees these sensibilities outrageously and stunningly collide; the film is an unbelievably intense, kinetic head-rush of a movie yet, simultaneously, a two-and-a-half hour meditation on the breakdown of society, the morality of vigilantism and a multi-layered rumination on good and evil.
We pick up a year after the events of Begins, with Batman, together with allies Lieutenant Gordon and crusading District Attorney Harvey Dent, apparently winning the battle against crime. The presence of Batman on Gotham’s streets has law-breakers on the run, with criminals afraid to go about their dark misdeeds with the famous Bat-Signal lighting the night sky. Things are seemingly on the up – that is until a mysterious, scar-faced psychopathic criminal mastermind called ‘The Joker’ appears, intent on unleashing chaos throughout Gotham City.
It was inevitable that thousands of column inches would be devoted to the man who plays him – with writers first pondering how Heath Ledger’s untimely death would affect the movie’s marketing and box office, and then pushing his performance for an Oscar win (he’s currently odds-on to posthumously receive a statuette) – something his simply electric turn would doubtless deserve.
We knew his portrayal would be something special from the trailers, but the full, magnetic force of Ledger’s turn as the charismatic, amoral sadist can only be truly appreciated in its full, furious glory. Every moment the actor’s on screen, it’s impossible to take your eyes off his panda-eyed post-punk anarchist. Whenever you think he’s going to slip into a comedy pastiche, Ledger shows us a glimpse of the true darkness and nihilism lurking within his character. It’s a tour-de-force and its power overshadows the raft of similarly fine performances in the film.
Indeed, despite Ledger’s showy brilliance, we think director Christopher Nolan is the real star of The Dark Knight. The canny helmer draws superlative turns from his multi-garlanded cast. Bale, Caine, Freeman, Eckhart and Oldman make for a powerhouse ensemble, imbuing their roles with an emotional depth – and the odd flash of humour – that fits marvellously with the opaque morality and bleak tone of the movie.
Click on the link below to read the second page of this indepth review
Release date: Wednesday August 6, 2008 Genre: Drama/Comedy Director: Sanaa Hamri Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Producer(s): Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Debra Martin Chase, Denise Di Novi Screenplay: Elizabeth Chandler Cast: Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel Official Site:sisterhoodofthetravelingpants2.warnerbros.com Rating:PG-13 for mature material and sensuality. Available film art:Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 movie posters
Synopsis Based on Ann Brashares’ best-selling series of novels, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″ catches up with four lifelong friends whose story began with “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Now in college and embarking on separate paths for the first time, each will feel the freedom, separation, love, and challenging life lessons that mark their individual journeys toward adulthood. Though miles and worlds apart, they strive to stay in touch and share their new experiences and triumphs with heart and humor and, now more than ever, come to value the immeasurable power of their friendship.
Dave Filioni, director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars talks about bring the animated feature to the big screen. Star Wars: The Clones Wars arrive in theaters, August 15th.
IGN: You’ve mentioned that you got this job shortly before Revenge of the Sith opened. Is it great to finally be able to release it to the world?
Dave Filoni: Yeah, it’s really great. I mean, keeping secrets is not fun. I know everybody wants to know stuff. They don’t realize how excruciating it is not to be able to answer questions and just have an engaged conversation about some of the characters and plots, which as a fan, I would love to do.
IGN: Right. I saw you at a couple different convention appearances in the past year.
Filoni: Yeah, that had been hard. Back then I could talk about even less.
IGN: I know you’re a huge Star Wars fan, so could you really believe that that had all happened — that you had this job?
Filoni: No. It is really amazing. But, at the same time you get into the industry for a reason because you want to work on great properties and try to do great things. And, I think that when the chance came – even when I worked on Avatar, with that group, after Last Airbender — we were looking at things like Cowboy Bebop and we were looking at Naruto and [Hayao] Miyazaki, and we were just amazed by that. But I had to tell the crews I had, “Look guys. We can try and be fans, but we also want to try and be there and say, ‘Wow, we like that. Let’s try and make something that good.’” And, I think when you do Star Wars, it is a big responsibility and I take it very seriously. But, you have to then actually do it. So, yeah, I do step back every now and then and go, “Wow, I can’t believe there’s an action figure based on the design that I was involved with doing.” That’s awesome. There’s videogames coming out. That’s awesome. So, there’s still that fan aspect. Force Unleashed, I’ll get to play that. The new Clone Wars games, I’ll get to play that. And, that’s exciting. Yeah, I mean, it is as weird as you might imagine it is. But, you just have to decide this is what you want to do and be a peer of the people, like George, and do it.
IGN: When did you find out this would not only be a TV series, but a movie? And how did that change the process of what you were doing?
Filoni: Well, the interesting thing is that because I love Star Wars and the crew that we hired loved Star Wars, that we set out early on to say we want these to be like weekly movies. That was the mindset for it. “Let’s just try and go as far as we can with this and push the limit.” George responded to that when he started seeing it on a [large] screen, like you saw today. He was like, “The fans would love this on a big screen. Start thinking about how we can get this up on the big screen. We do character arcs in the series, so how are we going to take that and make it into a movie?” Of course, at first, coming from TV, I’m like, “Uh huh, that’d be great. Sounds awesome.” But, he was very serious about it. You’ll find with George, when he says something, it usually happens later. So, it was a long process. And, that was a process of, we have to really try to get the quality up. I mean we had it thought up for television. But, then, when you’re going to put it up on the big screen, that’s another matter. So we were re-doing a lot of stuff. Smoothing over arcs of things more and just really a lot of intensive work on that as well, to make sure it’s going to be something the fans are really going to want to see.
Click on the link below o read the entire interview:
Question: Could a person really be Batman? Answer: Yes, says Paul Zehr, kinesiology and neuroscience professor at the University of Victoria.
The dream of almost everyone who has flipped open a Batman comic book, to don the cape and to fight crime, is humanly possible, says a University of Victoria professor who has written a book about it.
But the stress it would put on the body, similar to an Olympic athlete or champion boxer, would make a career as the caped crusader short-lived.
“What I did was draw from all kinds of other activities and say, ‘What is Batman like?’” said Paul Zehr, who teaches kinesiology and neuroscience at the University of Victoria.
He is also author of the book Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero.
“Part of what he does is like being an NFL running back. Part of what he does is like being an ultimate fighter, like being a boxer … and if you look at all the science behind those things and you put all this together, what does it mean for someone who is actually trying to be Batman? It’s not a training manual per se, but it gives the background of what can people really achieve.”
Zehr’s book is already drawing fan buzz due to hype surrounding The Dark Knight movie, which opens in theatres today. The book won’t be released until October, through Johns Hopkins University Press, but Internet pre-sales are “through the roof,” he said.
Drawing upon hundreds of comic books and graphic novels, Zehr, the director of the university’s Centre for Biomedical Research, delved into the physical fitness and training necessary to pull off Batman’s nightly fisticuffs with henchman and high-wire rooftop acrobatics.
It would require a man at his absolute physical peak, most closely resembling an Olympic decathlete, with three to five years of intense physical conditioning and 10 to 12 years of martial arts and motor skill training, said Zehr. He’d also need another few years working under incredible pressure and stress, he said.
But the human body can only handle such stress for so long. By researching athletes such as Muhammad Ali, ultimate fighter Randy Couture and NFL linebackers, Zehr said he gives Batman a three-year peak before he is felled by serious injuries, such as repeated concussions.
“Based on some of these numbers, he’d become Batman, be the best Batman possible for about three years, and then he’s done,” said Zehr. “There’s a whole lot of training to get to that point.”
Even when he’s at his peak, one of the major constraints hampering a real-life Batman would be his unwillingness to kill, said Zehr, 40, himself a black belt in Chito-ryu karate. “This is the thing where he gets into a crazy amount of poise and training needed,” said Zehr. “It’s much easier to seriously injure someone.” It is possible to fight large groups of villains at once, and succeed, but it gets especially complicated when you have to look for non-lethal ways to subdue people intent on killing you, he said.
Zehr’s real-life research focuses on body motion rehabilitation after severe spinal cord injuries and strokes. A lifelong Batman fan, he said he hopes to make science more interesting by integrating it with pop culture.
Click on the link below to read the entire article:
IGN Australia, sat down for an interview with X-Files 2 producer, Frank Spotnitz.
Before it opens later this week, IGN Australia sat down with The X-Files: I Want to Believe’s co-writer and producer, Frank Spotnitz, for a chat about the whys and wherefores of the long-awaited next film from the house of X. The long-time co-writer and collaborator with series creator Chris Carter gets into the casting of Billy Connolly, the potential for the sequel, how the film ties into the series and a few more choice nuggets of information that no self-respecting X-Files fan can afford to miss. Enjoy!
IGN AU: Season nine ended on a cliff-hanger. Does ‘I Want to Believe’ fit into the X-Files storyline sequentially?
Frank Spotnitz: It does. It picks up pretty much six years later, since we last saw Mulder and Scully – in real-time. It’s not one of the ‘alien mythology’ stories – it’s more like a standalone episode of the series; an individual case. But it is continuous and true to their personal histories and everything.
IGN AU: That’s interesting, because David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are both a little older, a little more seasoned. Does the film take this into consideration? Does the plot fill in the gaps?
Frank Spotnitz: Yeah, it does – and we were very aware of that, actually. We first started working on the story in 2003; then the movie got held up – first by deal-making and then by some legal issues between Chris Carter and the studio. Then we returned to it four years later and we realised we had gotten older! [laughs] We had changed in that couple of years – and that made us really reflect upon how much Mulder and Scully would have changed as well.
Click on the link below to read the entire article:
Release date: Friday October 3, 2008 Genre: Drama Director: Gary Fleder Studio: Universal Pictures Producer(s): John Davis Screenplay: Scott Williams, Jeffrey Lieber, Charles Leavitt, John Lee Hancock Cast: Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown, Nelsan Ellis Official Site:theexpressmovie.com Rating:PG-13 thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and brief sensuality Available film art:The Express movie posters
Synopsis Based on an incredible true story, The Express follows the inspirational life of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Following his draft by the NFL, tragedy struck the star athlete and he was never able to take the professional field. But his tale would forever change the face of professional sports.
Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania coal-mining country, Davis overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become an unstoppable running back for the Syracuse Orangemen. Under the guidance of coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid)—a hard-nosed surrogate father with an obsession for winning a national championship–Davis would develop from an impressive high-school athlete into a legend.
While everyone agreed Ernie Davis was a miracle player, few thought this quiet young man would become an icon for the burgeoning civil rights movement dividing America in the early 1960s. Refusing to play by the unspoken racist rules of the day, Davis broke through one barrier after another to alter the way fans looked at men of his color.
Though leukemia struck the player a terrible blow in the prime of his life, his spirit soared when most would crumble. Forcing his bull-headed coach to re-examine a life lived in color-based privilege, Davis would join the ranks of black pioneers who inspired a movement that smashed barriers on and off the playing field.
Release date: August 8th, 2008 Genre: Comedy Director: Michael Salomon Studio: Roadside Attractions Producer(s): Toby Keith, T.K. Kimbrell, Leslie Belzberg, Donald Zuckerman Screenplay: Rodney Carrington, Toby Keith Cast: Toby Keith, Rodney Carrington, Ted Nugent, Brit Morgan, Greg Serano, Barry Corbin, Claire Forlani, Tom Skerritt, Willie Nelson Official Site: beerformyhorsesthemovie.com Rating:PG-13 for some violence, sexual humor and dialogue, language, drug content and brief nudity Available film art:Beer For My Horses movie posters
Synopsis “Beer for My Horses” tells the story of two best friends, Rack(Toby Keith) and Lonnie(Rodney Carrington), that work together as deputies in a small town. The two defy the Sheriff and head off on an outrageous road trip to save the protagonists girlfriend from drug lord kidnappers.
Release date: Friday August 22, 2008 Genre: Comedy Director: Fred Wolf Studio: Columbia Pictures Producer(s): Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, Heather Parry, Jack Giarraputo Screenplay: Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith Cast: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Dana Goodman, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Christopher McDonald, Beverly D’Angelo Official Site:thehousebunny.com Rating:PG-13 for sex-related humor, partial nudity and brief strong language Available film art: The House Bunny movie posters
Synopsis “House Bunny” centers on a Playboy bunny (Faris) who gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion and becomes the house mother to the lamest sorority on campus.
McPhee plays a pregnant hippy, while Stone is president of the sorority. Willis plays an insecure young woman who wears a backbrace even though she could have had it removed years ago. Dennings portrays a pierced women’s studies feminist, and Goodman plays the sister who keeps switching majors and should have graduated years ago. Wright is a conniving young woman from the popular sorority.