Posts Tagged ‘ The Dark Knight ’

Movie Poster Madness

Popcornography feels that it has been neglecting its I See Dead Posters category for some time. In light of this, Popcornography thought it would share something that has sparked my interest of late. Hollywood loves to rehash films and does the same with film posters! Film posters generally tend to fall into certain categories and as a result can look scarily similar when compared. It is even difficult to differentiate between certain films and Popcornography has been confused all afternoon. Popcornography does not like to be confused.

Take a look at Popcornography’s Top 10 Poster Trends. Ahem…

1) Look Into My Dramatic Eye!

There is nothing quite like an eye close up to stir interest in a film. This poster trend works well for all movie genres- from horror (e.g The Eye) to epic science fiction (e.g Avatar) to children’s animation (e.g Dinosaur). The dramatic eye trend will never die. Bizarre.

2) I’ve Got Your Back In A Cutesy Kind of Way

Ah, The I’ve-got-your-back poster trend. Perhaps one of the more common poster trends and one I particularly loathe. Most commonly occurring as a result of B-grade romantic comedies. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely was cute back in the day. Remember Pretty Woman era? But enough now. If I see Matthew McConaughey in this pose one more time I will kill something.

3) Nature Is Just So Much Prettier In Blue

Urgh. The nature-is-just-so-much-prettier-in-blue trend is really not my kind of film.  This trend is most commonly found around children’s films or films using adorable animals to sell movie tickets. Expect to see whales, dolphins, huskies or all of the above in these movies.

4) I Seem To Have Only One Dress And It’s Red

This trend really shocked me. Good grief… There SURE are A LOT of red dresses in movie posters. This trend often goes unnoticed but has been around forever and often spans across multiple genres and eras. Be wary of this one. It spreads viciously. Somewhere in Hollywood, someone is making a lot of red dresses and A LOT of money.

5) Just Imagine How Hot My Front Must Be

The just-imagine-how-hot-my-front-must-be trend is one that has grown in popularity of late. Super-hero and action movies just love this trend! Let’s be serious, heroes and heroines in these films are far too cool to face forward. This one isn’t going anywhere.

6) I Think My Legs Are Hot And You Should Too

The I-think-my-legs-are-hot-and-you-should-too trend is most commonly the result of awkward/sexy teenage comedies. This trend was once very popular but seems to now be less prominent. It just looks cheap and relies too heavily on sexual imagery. Popcornography doesn’t approve.

7) Someone Wrote All Over My Face

The someone-wrote-all-over-my-face trend is most commonly associated with intellectual films. These film posters are sure to excite graphic design types. These films want to be taken seriously and for some reason writing on faces achieves this…

8) We Are Totally Naked In Bed Right Now

The we-are-totally-naked-and-in-bed-right-now trend will most likely result due to bitter-sweet romance films. Uncomfortable sexual escapades are well conveyed through these posters. It’s Complicated and The Break-Up are prime examples of this trend and show that this trend still holds its ground.

9) White, Black, Orange And Boring

These are the worst kind of movies! As soon as you see the white-black-orange-and-boring poster run for your life! These films are most likely going to be bland action films which will bore you to tears. Except of course for Die Hard. Everybody loves Die Hard.

10) Enticing Facial Close Ups

Lastly, the enticing-facial-close-ups trend is one that cannot go unnoticed. It usually surrounds emotional films that are sure to leave an impact. They may be within differing genres such as horror or drama but these films will definitely leave a mark once the credits roll. The Truman Show, Lord of War and The Dark Knight are Popcornography’s favourite enticing-facial-close-ups posters.

There you have it. Popcornography gives you its 10 Top Poster Trends. Some are cool. Some are not so cool. But there prominence in Hollywood is undeniable.

The Dark Knight Rises

People, EVEN if you are not a Vlermuisman fan like me… GET INVOLVED. To understand Christopher Nolan’s vision for his reboot of the Batman franchise, you need to know one thing. Mr. Nolan likes things to be real. Everything adapted from the comic book origins is tweaked in order to make Gotham and its characters seem plausible. However, in his attempts to create a real and believable Batman world, the essence of the caped crusader is never lost. Batman is broody and tormented as always. Mr. Wayne and his supporting cast of characters are more sinister and twisted than in other superhero tales, and this is maintained and even is enhanced with Nolan’s vision of a gritty, real, and even darker Batman adaptation.

The first entry in the series, Batman Begins, was ground breaking in this regard and set an unprecedented standard for comic book screen adaptations. Many have tried to mimic Nolan’s vision and/or success and have paled in comparison. The Dark Knight, the intense and disturbing sequel, is referred to as a masterpiece that far surpasses the original. Heath Ledger’s performance of the Joker was highly praised and is even held accountable for his mysterious death. Nolan was the first director to produce a comic book adaptation that was truly an artistic achievement in its own right. The Dark Knight Rises, although perhaps not quite as ground-breaking, is an outstanding and fitting conclusion to the series and definitely the best film I have seen this year. Despite its minor flaws, it is awe-inspiring and you will make my heart sore if this review does not send you running to cinemas.

Sexy Screenshot Number 1:

Sexy Screenshot Number 2:

Sexy Screenshot Number 3:

The Dark Knight Rises finds an older and obviously brooding Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who has abandoned his guns and batarangs and retreated into Wayne Manor. Batman has vanished for 8 years and Bruce has become a recluse hobbling around with a cane due to injuries sustained during his copious baddy-bashing. Batman is now middle aged, going grey, and is not “living life” according to his loyal Butler Alfred (Michael Cane). Batman is miserable, stuck in a rut, not seeking love or companionship, not moving on from past pain, and no longer strives to help others. Basically Batman is depressed and this frustrates and saddens poor Alfred. Alfred reminds Batman how lovely Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate (Marianne Cotillard) is, hoping that perhaps one day romance and even a little Brucey may come along. But alas, since Harvey Dent/ Two Face was killed Batman has been AWOL and Gotham has lived happily ever after… until now.

Brooding Bruce: “I wander graveyards writing poems about death and pain”

There are two people who draw Batman out of early retirement. The first of these is the main antagonist Bane (Tom Hardy) who is a bulky, masked terrorist with a brutal agenda for Gotham. The second of these is the seductive Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway); a cat burglar who gets mixed up in Bane’s nefarious scheme. Essentially, Bane plans to trap the people of Gotham within their own borders and do bad things. For the sake of being sensitive to spoilers I shall not go into greater detail. Vlermuisman is thus forced out of retirement, attempts to thwart Bane and his minions and ultimately save the people of Gotham. Luckily Brucey has friends who assist him in his heroic endeavours. Returning to Batman’s side is Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) as well as newcomer Officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) of the Gotham City Police Department.

You are probably, by now, wondering whether Rises is better than Dark Knight. Many of the characters and plot points continue from the first film and are essential in Rises. However, from the sequel all you need to know is that Harvey Dent went mad, was killed and old Batman had to take the fall unfairly. Oh, you also need to know that Batman lost the love of his life. Her name was Rachel Dawes, was annoying and initially played by Katie Holmes but was changed to Maggie Gyllenhal for Dark Knight. I am still not sure why. I think perhaps Katie had Scientology and/or pregnancy issues that kept her from the sequel. Bad call Katie. The point is… she died and Batman is sad. The Joker is never mentioned. Essentially, there are many references to Batman Begins which will please fans of the original.

The evolution of the Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy

Bale gives his finest Batman performance yet. Over the three films he has brought one of the most complex, multi-faceted and fully formed superheroes to the silver screen. Bravo Bale. However, it amazes me how Bruce can speak so eloquently but as soon as his Batsuit is adorned, he switches to gravelly groans. Batman still sounds as though he has throat cancer. And yes it is still annoying. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, essentially Bruce’s mentors, still give Bale able support and this time around Alfred is a very prominent and endearing presence. Officer Gordon struggles to keep the secret that Batman is innocent and not a public enemy. Newcomer Blake is earnest without being insipid. At times you may get sick of his streetwise manner. Blake is tough, moralistic, hardcore. You may roll your eyes at some point. I definitely did.

Catwoman steals the show. I had my doubts about Hathaway but gave her the benefit of the doubt. I was pleasantly surprised that she is BY FAR the best screen adaptation of the anti-heroine Selina Kyle. Her performance far exceeds that of Michelle Pfeiffer and is just so much better than Halle Berry’s it seems silly to even compare them (See her purr here). Anne’s presence on screen is magnetic. All her interactions are interesting and she breathes new life into the character. As she is also based in Nolan’s realistic direction, Anne is both refreshing and captivating. Basically, she is a far less camp adaptation of the femme fatale. However, the classic character traits i.e. sly humour, sexiness, fighting prowess and stealth are stronger than ever. I especially loved how Anne switches to a helpless damsel in distress when it suits her. These moments are particularly enjoyable and reveal how sly and cunning Selina really is. Catwoman remains neither a villain nor a hero, is still the proverbial good bad girl but Hathaway gives her a wounded spirit and a survivor’s edge that makes her feel genuine and sympathetic even when she is being a naughty kitty.

Camp to Catastrophic to Class. Third time’s the charm.

Bane, a muscle bound and remorseless villain, recalls enough of his comic book counterpart to ignore the obvious changes to his character. In the comics, Bane acquires his strength through a formula known as Venom. Bane’s mask now keeps excruciating pain at bay. He is tough, he is collected, and he adopts a more straightforward kill-people-and-break-things kind of mentality for a villain. Unfortunately, I like my villains deeper, more complex and twisted. He is less interesting and in my opinion inferior to Ledger’s Joker. Although, a physical match for Batman, he is far less riveting than the homicidal psychopath that was the Joker. Additionally, there is one problem that absolutely annoyed me beyond words. I heard and understood about 15% of what Bane said. His face is almost entirely covered by that damn mask and he thus relies heavily on body-language and menacing voice to bring the character to life. BUT his voice is ridiculously inaudible. It’s bizarre how people think this is okay. It’s not okay. I had to eventually give up trying to understand him and hope that his monologues would be succinct. BUT they never were. What results is a string of inaudible and muffled grunts which are beyond infuriating. During the previews to Rises many complained that Bane was impossible to understand. Apparently there were numerous efforts to enhance Bane’s dialogue for audiences. If THIS is enhanced then I shudder to think what it must have been like before. Some have argued that this was somewhat intended by Nolan. That is absurd. You need to know what a villain is saying?! So much plot and motivation was lost on me due to that stupid mask. As if Batman’s overtly macho groans weren’t enough, his interactions with Bane are just plain bizarre. Their dialogue sounded a lot like muzzled dogs barking in the underworld. So frustrating. I could cry.

Pardon? Excuse me? Come again? Say WHAT?!

The movie is well and briskly paced. The action sequences are outstanding. The “Bat”, which is Batman’s new vehicle, is flashy and makes for some very awesome action sequences. Hungry action fans will undoubtedly be satisfied with the amount of brawls, chases and stuff going boom. Despite a few flaws, Nolan and his team have delivered the grandest and most emotional entry in the Batman saga. This series will be remembered for all time as the ultimate comic book film adaptation with a closing chapter that definitely raises the bar and doesn’t disappoint. The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting conclusion to this amazing interpretation of the caped crusader and remains true to Bruce Wayne the man and Batman the legend. If you are not planning on seeing this movie, you are a fool. Don’t be a fool. Watch The Dark Knight Rises.

An important lesson to learn in life: rich people can be superheroes. 

For more on The Dark Knight Rises check out my favourite trailer. Grim, broody and dramatic. Just fantastic! 

The Dark Knight

In giddy anticipation of the new installment of Vlermuisman, Popcornography has decided to pay tribute to old Heathy (R.I.P.) with today’s I see Dead Posters. If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight, and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t have, there are things that you should know. Firstly, Christopher Nolan is a genius. Secondly, Heath Ledger’s take on the infamous Joker villain was absolutely awe-inspiring. I miss you Heath. And lastly, super hero movies are currently so trendy largely due to the success of Nolan’s direction with the reboot of the Batman franchise. The Dark Knight Rises, the latest and last installment, opens this week and we can expect that it will not disappoint. So get involved and the review will be a long shortly.

Oh by the way. How awesome is this poster? Gritty, dark and horrifying while referencing one of the more memorable Joker quotes. Bravo Nolan. Bravo.

The Amazing Spider-Man

This review has caused many internal struggles here at Popcornography. There is something that you should know about me. I love Spider-Man. As a chubby toddler I had many Spider-Man costumes and themed birthday parties. There may have even been a Spider-Man piñata… Anyway, I have watched every screen adaptation of the wall crawler, even the one that pre-empts Tobey’s iterations. I severely recommend you do not look up that particular adaptation. I expected, as a result, that this review would be somewhat biased. Despite this, I am surprised at how blasé I feel when drafting the review of The Amazing Spider-Man. It was entertaining yes indeed. But will it stand against Marvel’s significant success with Avengers, or the imminent new instalment of Vlermuisman? Unfortunately, no, it will not. There are various pitfalls as well as an overall familiar feeling that hinders The Amazing Spider-Man from reaching the heights anticipated by the Spidey reboot.

Director Marc Webb’s (fitting) adaptation of the Spider-Man franchise falls somewhat flat predominantly because the film feels so predictable. The Amazing Spider-Man relies heavily on plot points recycled from Raimi’s 2002 adaptation. This occurs because the origins of Spider-Man are once again retold. These plot points are dragged out over two hours and done so in far greater detail than what was previously done in approximately forty minutes of the original. This would be fine but the details that are significantly fleshed out remain unanswered and I found myself having trouble caring about them. I am tired of directors dangling carrots this season. What is going on? I am not a donkey. Essentially, The Amazing Spider-Man feels like a repackaged version of Raimi’s original and thus fails to deliver on the expectations generated by media hype. Secondly, the world seems to have gone insane over super hero movies that are set in realism. Gone are the days of the overly stylized Gotham city or the concept illustrations that are pulled directly from their comic origins. Nowadays the trend is to retell super hero stories, make them plausible and portray them in a universe with ever increasing amounts of grit and realism. The Dark Knight succeeds in this regard tremendously with its “real world” design. However, in terms of the Spider-Man character this doesn’t quite make sense.

Sexy Screenshot Number 1:

Sexy Screenshot Number 2:

Sexy Screenshot Number 3:

It pains me to say this but I was very unhappy to revisit the Spider-Man origins. Batman was in dire need of a reboot after how ridiculous the last instalment became. Remember Doctor Freeze and Poison Ivy? What was that about? Concurrently, as horrific as Spider-Man 3 was (see The Amazing Spider-Man Preview), redoing the Spider-Man origins was a mistake. Uncle Ben is back with his responsibility lectures, there is high school bullying, Peter acquires/masters his powers, the villain initially concerned with the greater good turns evil etc. Does this all sound familiar? It should. If I have to hear about Uncle Ben dying one more time, I am going to spin in circles and scream. When this plot line began to play out during screening, I thought to myself, surely not again? This very linear and predictable Spider-Man plot I can recite in my sleep and it definitely does not make any of my (spider) senses tingle. Was it really necessary to repackage the Spidey origins when this had been adequately portrayed in the not too recent past in Spider-Man 1 and 2? In terms of a franchise reboot you want new angles, plot points, direction etc. Webb gives you the same repackaged story and despite the fact that is done very well, it is just too familiar and thus (dare I say it) boring.

Which Uncle Ben are you again?

The Amazing Spider-Man, however, is still very entertaining and in some ways surpasses the direction taken by the original tenfold. Andrew Garfield really impressed me in his portrayal of the character. He has a slightly different take on Spidey and this is quite refreshing. Even without his powers, Peter will stand up against school bullies and is portrayed as a far more angst ridden teen than old nerdy Tobey was back in 2002. Spider-Man, himself, is also portrayed in a more realistic way. He is now vulnerable and gets hurt… A LOT. In fact  I struggle to remember moments when Garfield is not beaten, bruised and/or bleeding. Shame, Spidey really does have a rough time in this flick.

Peter, you are bleeding.

Peter, why are you still bleeding?

Peter spends a fortune on band aids.

Oh, and Peter skates now. Angsty.

Emma Stone, to put it simply, makes it unbelievably difficult not to adore her. The introduction of Gwen Stacy as opposed to Mary Jane is refreshing and true to the original comics. Her inclusion adds to the authenticity of the new iteration and is perhaps the only interesting aspect of the new origin story. Garfield and Stone are amazing together. Their quirky, yet endearing emotional development is fantastic and perhaps my favourite part of the reboot. Considering that Webb’s other projects include 500 Days of Summer, the love relationship between the protagonists is very similar with regard to its cutesy and offbeat development. When Emma Stone guffaws, I become weak at the knees. She is just so lovely. I love her.

Endearing, offbeat and cutesy romance is the best kind of romance.

Uncle Ben and Aunt May give fair performances. Peter and Uncle Ben’s relationship is not as well explained as in the original. The only time I found myself interested in Uncle Ben’s rebooted death was when Sally Field breaks down. When Sally Field is distressed, my heart bleeds. Nora Walker knows how to evoke emotion and does so tremendously.

Please don’t cry Sally.

The villain which appears in The Amazing Spider-Man is the Lizzard who unfortunately falls prey to typical Spider-Man-villain rules.

Step 1: Good scientist trying to aid the world.

Step 2: Oh dear, horrific accident.

Step 3: Oops, I’m now a mutant.

Step 4: Darn. Cue the rampaging.

Does this still come across as tragic? Sadly not. The way in which he speaks to himself towards the end of the movie is very reminiscent of Norman Osborn or the schizophrenic Green Goblin played by Willem Dafoe from the original. The Lizzard is also done entirely through CGI and looks merely adequate at the best of times. The Spider-Man universe is filled to the brim with many villains with interesting backgrounds. Webb could have drawn from any of these. However, the Lizzard is, once again, just more of the same and as a result is not very interesting. Rhys Ifans does a fair job in portraying the character, however, I left feeling very underwhelmed in terms of the villain.

You mean premature human testing wasn’t successful? What?!

Another little issue occurred towards the end of the movie when some friendly construction workers decide to help Spider-Man. Not only have we seen the public help the hero’s quest in previous iterations, this particular sequence unfortunately resulted in giggles as opposed to cheers. I hate cheesy moments such as these. It isn’t exactly a deal breaker but this scene is irritating. I was irritated. I am now irritated again thinking about it.

There is a lesson to be learnt here. For reboots to be successful, a director doesn’t have to go dark like Christopher Nolan. Not everything has to be dripping in grit and realism. The new Superman film, Man of Steel (being directed by Zack Snyder) will most likely fall prey to this trend as Snyder is known for his stylized and course films i.e. 300, Sin City, Suckerpunch etc. Marvel’s Avengers was so refreshing because it didn’t follow this currently trending guideline. Sadly, The Amazing Spider-Man did. As much as I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man, I feel that going back to origins story 101 was unnecessary and wasn’t told in a manner which was particularly interesting or unique. I know in my preview, I bashed Tobey considerably. I feel bad. Sorry Tobey. Tobey is still the definitive Spider-Man and, in my mind, his origins story was sufficient. Perhaps with the origins out of the way, Webb’s next installment may be more along the lines of what a reboot should be. We can only hope. It’s not going to change lives and it definitely won’t surpass the next installment of Vlermuisman but is it the most entertaining thing currently on circuit? Yes definitely.

Check out The Amazing Spider-Man trailer: 

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