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Tag Archive: The Dark Knight Rises


Oliver Queen and trick arrow to save the day

More than 25 years after Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s four-part prestige format comic book series/graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns changed the landscape for comic books thereafter, DC Animation produced a quality animated adaptation.  Released in two parts, we reviewed The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 here last year.   Part 1 was a faithful adaptation of roughly the first half of the original graphic novel.  It proved first and foremost that Christopher Nolan really pulled his key story elements in his Dark Knight trilogy of films from Frank Miller’s work.  Part 1 really keyed in on Nolan’s Bane character.  Both Part 1 and the Dark Knight trilogy failed to provide an exciting narrative, however, when compared to  The Dark Knight Returns Part 2, now on video.

Part 2 is every bit as faithful to the original as Part 1.  Commissioner Gordon has already stepped down and was replaced by a new commissioner whose first act is issuing a warrant for Batman.  The vacuous Doctor Wolper brings his patient The Joker to appear on Miller’s take on The David Letterman Show, only for The Joker to release a gas bombing that kills the entire audience as well as the host, leaving The Joker’s trademark grin on all their faces.  From the first sentences of Part 2, you know this is not a kid’s Batman film.  The Joker escapes and proceeds to bloodily murder everyone in his path until he confronts Batman in the bowels of Gotham City.  Here the classic confrontation between the long-time foes plays out exactly as it should.

Christopher Reeve poster

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Thursday evening brought in the newest national movie theater marathon, this time for Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.  Starting at six p.m. with Batman Begins, followed by The Dark Knight and culminating with a midnight showing of the new feature film, fans of Nolan’s vision of Batman surely got their fix.  Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is as it’s described–dark.  But none as dark and bleak as the third and final installment.

Can you have fun at a movie that is so dark?  The “dark” I am referring to in the context of Nolan’s film is “the bleak future ahead.”  Batman films before Nolan also were dark, but in a fantasy, comic book way.  I miss the sleek Batmobiles of earlier films.  To be fair, the current various DC Comics Batman series are pretty dark–gruesome at times–so maybe movies are just mirroring the evolution of the comic stories.  There’s a bit of a battle between making your story seem real and still have the rules of comic books apply.  Battle scenes in the current franchise, with Tumbler tanks that could be right out of an Iraq army base, take away some of the fun, the fantasy, of watching superhero films.  I want my Batman movies to be not only dark but also fun, and I am looking for escapism, not realism.  If you have the same mindset, can you still have fun watching the new Batman movie?  Sure.  What I am not sure of is whether you may like The Dark Knight Rises more were you to see it without the benefit of the Dark Knight Marathon.

   

I attended last night’s screening of the full marathon with borg.com writer Art Schmidt.  And we had fun.  Crowds at these big screenings really want to be there, and really want to like the new movie.  But where I had the most fun was re-watching Nolan’s second installment–The Dark Knight–on the big IMAX screen.  And I think the crowd simply responded, audibly, better to The Dark Knight than The Dark Knight Rises.  Would I have liked The Dark Knight Rises more had it not been viewed at the end of such a solid film as The Dark Knight?  That’s the question I am left pondering.

I’d seen both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in the theater when first released.  I was not a fan of Batman Begins, other than I liked Michael Caine’s Alfred and Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox.  I will acknowledge in the first two films the nods to Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One as a positive thing.  I should have liked Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul, but didn’t.  Last night, in the right mindset for a fun evening of movie watching, I was pleasantly surprised that I found Batman Begins to be better than I had remembered from viewing it in its initial release.

But it was installment two, The Dark Knight, that proved to be the highlight of the entire night.  It cemented the reasoning for Heath Ledger being awarded an Academy Award for his performance as the Joker.  His performance was both creepy and comical, despite his grim, psychotic nature.  But Aaron Eckhart’s brilliant performance as Harvey Dent was not far behind.  The writers of this “trilogy” seem to me to have screwed up somehow.  Why?  After watching all three films the real hero of the trilogy is unquestionably Harvey Dent.  Despite him turning criminal after going through the murder of his fiance and the destruction of his face, he is entirely a sympathetic victim who acted heroically until his world was devastated.  But this is all wrong–the hero of a Batman trilogy should be Batman, plain and simple.  After watching the newest film, The Dark Knight Rises, we are left with a vision of Batman as a whiny adult who could not get beyond early tragedy in his life.  Sure, he had it tough, and yes, he is a sympathetic character, but the character never really moves beyond the mindset of the young Bruce Wayne sitting in a cave.  Classic Batman stories do not rely on Bruce Wayne moping around about his problems–he is able to push them aside and help other people.  For me, the fatal flaw in Nolan’s trilogy is this basic thread at the core of Bruce Wayne’s character.  What Batman fans want is a movie where Batman gets to be the hero, where he saves the day, and leaves a better world behind.

Most of The Dark Knight Rises does not even feature Christian Bale in the Batsuit.  I’ve always thought a detective story focusing solely on Bruce Wayne and his analytical skills would be a great idea.  For a book, yes.  But now I know it doesn’t work for a movie.  Fans want to see Batman being Batman.  And not being beaten to a pulp by an ugly thug who has little motivation or character development.  Tom Hardy’s Bane is just bad for the sake of being bad.  Without revealing details, I think a plot twist at the end is predictable, and a last-minute attempt to make us feel sorry for Bane is too little, too late.  You cannot really even tell what actor is playing Bane.  The marquis credits say it is Tom Hardy, a solid young character actor who has been in Star Trek Nemesis, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Blackhawk Down and Inception, but how would any of us know who he was with that face-covering breathing apparatus?   What does that thing even do?  He acts like Darth Vader, even holding someone up by his neck.  He sounds like Ian McKellan’s Gandalf.  His dialogue is muffled.  He speaks in loud shouts like the ringmaster at a circus.

Marion Cotillard’s character Miranda seemed to be an afterthought in the script, a character whose actions would have insulted the intelligence of the Wayne and Fox characters from prior films.  There is no chemistry between Wayne and Miranda, yet out of nowhere they are a couple—right after Wayne speaks longingly of Rachel (who was killed by the Joker in the last film), and while we movie goers see him developing some attraction to Anne Hathaway’s Salina Kyle.  (Seeing Batman Begins back to back with The Dark Knight also showed why Katie Holmes was better cast as Rachel than Maggie Gyllenhaal).

Caine, Bale, Freeman, and Oldman all were underused in The Dark Knight Rises, and when used they play caricatures of their roles from past films, even repeating scenes from the past two films, often doing things that seem out of character, like Caine turning his back on Bruce, like Gordon turning his back on Batman.  Matthew Modine added to his list of drab roles by playing a police officer who came off as annoying and irrelevant.  There are points where you don’t know whether to cheer the street mob or the police, the bad guys or the good.  Ultimately everything becomes a free-for-all and Nolan tries to make Gotham a cross between the Holocaust and New York City in John Carpenter’s Escape from New York.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a nice opportunity to shine in the film, but too much time is spent on his character, and not enough on Bruce Wayne or Batman, where the focus should have been.  Throughout the movie you can’t help but look for how Gordon-Levitt will fill Batman’s shoes one day–like Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt in the last Indiana Jones movie.  Note to Hollywood producers: if you are going to reboot your franchises every five years you don’t need to worry about taking valuable screen time to build up having younger characters pick up the reins for the title roles in future movies.

The best part of the movie was without a doubt Anne Hathaway as Salina Kyle.  Although there were a few directing decisions that seemed like missed opportunities—like what could have been a more overt and less subtle switch from innocent maid to deceitful thief in a key early scene—her dialogue was the best of anyone’s in the film and her performance was also spot on.  Her character had chemistry with Wayne, and if there was a saving grace to the movie it was the scenes of Batman and Catwoman together.  Hathaway seemed literally to bring out better acting by Bale.

One good scene had Fox introduce Wayne to some new gadgetry, straight out of any Q scene in a 007 movie.  Cameos from actors in past movies were also a nice addition, added some fun to the film, and the story at least made an effort to try to tie up storylines from early films.

Despair and hopelessness accounted for a long film that I thought would never end.  Once it got to an ending, the creators could not decide which ending to use, so they used them all.  The sound was loud throughout without letting up, lots of thumps and bass notes to tell you when you’re supposed to feel angst or fear.  I know operatically the third scene of a three-part work often can have a large gothic, epic feel winding up to a conclusion, but the film did not feel like an ending, more like another installment in a continuing franchise.  But the foundation of this third installment rests on the proposition that Harvey Dent was a bad guy in installment two.  Harvey Dent was a victim who turned bad in the end.  Gordon and Wayne do the right thing by not revealing the criminal acts he committed after his life was ruined.  After all, Harvey Dent was dead.  Yet so much of The Dark Knight Rises hinges on Gordon’s conflicts with this decision to keep this quiet.  In the big scheme of things it’s not the gravity needed to support a film.  It’s not enough to support a story and what happens to cause Gotham to fall apart.

The crowd had a good time but there sure was a lot to discuss afterward.  Ultimately disappointment was what I walked away with for the new film, happy that I got to see The Dark Knight movie in the theater again, and it really left me looking forward to a new director and a new vision for future Batman films.

The Dark Knight Rises at our theater included a great, extended trailer for the next James Bond 007 film, Skyfall, including revealing the new Q actor as the young Ben Whishaw from The Hour—a very cool switch-up from the older characters playing Q in the past.  We also saw a previously released trailer for The Hobbit, which looked great, and a fun preview for Expendables 2.  The big reveal we were waiting for was the teaser trailer for DC Comics’ coming Superman reboot Man of Steel, and it was disappointing–very bland and unremarkable for what we heard was to be an exciting new preview.

AMC Theaters’ newest marathon event is tonight, the Dark Knight Trilogy Marathon, and with more than 60,000 advance ticket sales it has already become the biggest selling marathon movie event to date.  Starting at 6 p.m. and culminating with the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises at midnight, tonight is sure to be a big night for Batman fans.

Until then, for your viewing pleasure and to get you psyched for Batman night, here is a gallery of all of the Batman cars–the Batmobiles–that have appeared on-screen, from the TV series in the 1960s to today’s bulky offroad vehicle, featured on the lawn between the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and the San Diego Convention Center last weekend as part of the Comic-Con festivities.  The photos I took this weekend don’t do justice to these big, sleek, bad Bat-cars.

First off, above is the original 1955 modified Lincoln that became the Batmobile driven by Adam West in the original Batman TV series.

My favorite of them all and the best looking in person–Michael Keaton’s Batmobile from the 1989 Batman and Batman Returns movies.

Val Kilmer’s Batmobile from Batman Forever.

George Cooney’s Batmobile from Batman and Robin.

Christian Bale’s Batmobile “The Tumbler” from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Christian Bale’s Batmobile from the new film The Dark Knight Rises.

Christian Bale’s Batcycle from the new film The Dark Knight Rises, on display in the Comic-Con exhibit hall at the Warner Brothers booth.  The cycle is a separating feature of the Tumbler.

Details for tonight’s movie event across the country:

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

By C.J. Bunce

Eclipsing the highly anticipated live action summer release The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight Returns is up next.  An animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s 1986 seminal dystopian look at Batman is being produced by Warner Premiere/DC Comics Premiere Movies.

The news is somewhat bittersweet for diehard The Dark Knight Returns fans.  On the one hand, any well-done video adaptation would be a welcome sight.  That said, until we see a live action version of this major graphic novel, anything else is just something less than the potential that this property could realize in both viewers and revenues for DC.  Until we see Warner and DC Comics put this work on the big screen, we can’t get too excited here.

Providing the voice for the grim and hardened Batman is Peter Weller, who has been in several TV shows and movies, such as guest roles on House, M.D., Psych, Dexter, Fringe, Monk, 24, Star Trek: Enterprise, and key roles in the films Screamers, Leviathan, Buckaroo Bonzai, and of course, Robocop. It’s too bad this isn’t live action, as Weller’s great Robocop jaw could pull off the look of a 50-something Bruce Wayne.

This should be a good year for Weller, who also has an as yet-undisclosed role in the new Star Trek movie. And a resurgence of Robocop in light of a new big screen remake announced here previously should also shine a light on the original borg police officer.

Ariel Winter (Modern Family) will voice Robin, with Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and genre favorite Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap, Homeland, Smallville, Sesame Street, The X-Files, Star Trek Voyager, Saturday Night Live, Coneheads, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Clue), expected to portray the doctor from Arkham Asylum, and David Selby, likely to portray one of the villains.  (We hear Mckean got hit by a car this week, so we all hope he recovers quickly).

What should be highly anticipated, and has not yet been released, are the voice actors who will portray the key guest appearances in Frank Miller’s novel: Alfred Pennyworth, the Joker, Superman, and Green Arrow.  I’d expect some key voice actors for the various newscasters, too, assuming this film follows the original’s focus on economic turmoil and 1980s excess.

Fans of the animated Batman: Year One, released last year, may appreciate this new animated feature the most.  The plan is for The Dark Knight Returns to be released on two parts, the first by year end and the second in early 2013.  Unfortunately it is also direct to video—so you won’t find this one at a theater unless Warner gives a preview at the San Diego Comic-Con this year as they did with Batman: Year One last year.  The first photos released yesterday really don’t seem to grab Frank Miller’s rugged style, so hopefully the actual release is able to attain some of that from the original sourcework.

Bob Goodman (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Static Shock) is writing the script for the film.  Storyboard artist and animation director Jay Oliva is directing.

With the eve of the opening of The Avengers finally upon us, the movie studios are gearing up for even more summer blockbusters, releasing updated and expanded versions of trailers that have already been playing for months, previewed earlier this year at borg.com in earlier versions.  And each new blockbuster will open on in its own weekend in June, only a month away.

Brave

The best must be the new trailer for Brave.  The downside is that it tends to show so many apparently good scenes that one worries if there will be anything left to be surprised by with the actual movie.  The positive is that Brave looks to be among the best animated films so far, up there with Beauty and the Beast and Up.  The visuals of the characters and setting are simply stunning.  You might watch this trailer if you haven’t yet convinced yourself to see this film when it is released on June 22, 2012.

Prometheus

Next up is the new trailer for Prometheus, a film whose marketing (with the recent David 8 preview) seems to be just getting better and better.  The ships, the future technology, the strange new worlds, all look intriguing.  And if there were any doubt this film will pull a lot from the kind of plot seen in past Alien films, including space horror shockers and blood spatters, it’s all pretty much settled in this preview.  The downside is that the opening scene conversations play a tad like bad SyFy Channel made-for-TV movies.  Will special effects and scenery make up for iffy dialogue?  We’ll find out June 8, 2012.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

The new trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation has several bits from past trailers but reveals more about the plot of the organization called COBRA to take over the world.  The filming and story looks a bit like the X-Men series, which may be a good thing.  Then there is the ninja battle on the side of the mountain–no doubt this new G.I. Joe film will be as much fan as the last.  We like Dwayne Johnson movies.  We hope Bruce Willis is here for more than just a cameo.  This movie will be released June 29, 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises

Finally, there is a new trailer (that makes trailer #3) for The Dark Knight Rises.  Emphasis on the word “dark.”  We have a bad guy, Bane, whose face we mostly cannot see, and so his dialogue seems muffled in the trailer.  We have Anne Hathaway, who we want to love as Catwoman, yet she seems a bit weepy and not very seductive or cat-like.  Her role must be bigger (fingers crossed) than what we’re seeing so far.  And Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne looks…just like we’ve seen him in the past films, depressed and bedraggled like he looked before he went off to find himself in Batman Begins.  Compared to The Avengers (and there will be plenty of comparisons and contrasts this summer with dueling Marvel and DC movies)–which looks all-out exciting–The Dark Knight Rises looks plain dreary.  Goodbye Gotham.  Goodbye Batman.  Dreary.  This summer blockbuster hits theaters June 15, 2012.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

This year San Diego Comic-Con International began planning early to remedy multiple day registration errors last year and an all-day Saturday of waiting and uncertainty.  The first step was allowing registration at Comic-Con in person last July.  A well-thought out new EPIC registration process resulted in a big success today for those not buying tickets in person last year, although SDCC has one more technical link issue to fix for next year to make registration a completely smooth process.  For most, showing up online at 8 a.m. Pacific resulted in the desired tickets.  Entry to the online “waiting room” was still available at 8:40 a.m. although the 4-day passes were sold-out by then.  Many fans had tickets purchased within 20 minutes–a big difference from 5 or more hours of waiting last year.

SDCC started this year by requiring interested participants to sign-up for a Member ID.  This was available for several months and announced at last year’s Comic-Con.  The ability to get a Member ID ended in February, so those who wanted to buy badges had plenty of time to get the Member ID but if they didn’t then they were not allowed to attempt to register today. SDCC included both a video and a 4-page step-by-step guide to ensure smooth registration.  Individuals with Member IDs received emails earlier this week about this Saturday’s morning registration.  Access began with an online waiting room and a number showing the registrant’s order in line which ticked downward very quickly, refreshing every 120 seconds.

Some people reported link issues from the email, but several websites identified a fix that involved merely re-typing the link in the browser which fixed the problem.

This year is expected to again house more than 130,000 comic book, genre, film, TV, and video game fans for the annual four-day pilgramage to San Diego in July.  Featured comic book names this year include Sergio Aragones, Klaus Janson, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire, Marc Silvestri, J. Michael Straczynski, Herb Trimpe, and Mark Waid.

With big studios gearing up the marketing for Star Trek XII, Man of Steel and The Hobbit, and The Dark Knight Rises premiering the week after Comic-Con, fans can also expect some surprises and possible appearances on behalf of these films this year.  And it’s no time like the present to start your write-in campaign to try to get The Hobbit and Star Trek XII star Benedict Cumberbatch to make his first big Comic-Con appearance!

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Whether you’re into sci-fi, fantasy, super-heroes, or spies, 2012 is gearing up to be a good year for genre movie releases. What’s our top 10 most eagerly awaited genre films?  Here’s a countdown to the one film we can hardly wait to see:

10.  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.*  Already in limited release at the tail end of 2011, this spy movie, a remake of the 1974 film based on the novel by John LeCarre, couldn’t have more promise for its all-star cast of Britain’s best: Last year’s Oscar winner for Best Actor, Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Pride and Prejudice, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love) Gary Oldman (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter series,  The Fifth Element) Ciaran Hinds (The Woman in Black, Phantom of the Opera, Road to Perdition, Sum of All Fears), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Green Lantern), John Hurt (V for Vendetta, Hellboy, Harry Potter series, Skeleton Key, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, The Elephant Man, Rob Roy, Contact), and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Amazing Grace, The Hobbit).

9.  The Dark Knight Rises. Rounding out the latest trilogy of Batman movies, this one hints at the death of Batman in the trailer and advance posters.  It’s Batman, so we’re going to see this one, but the franchise is getting a bit stale.  If not for Gary Oldman’s perfect performances in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight as Commissioner Gordon, this one might not make the top 10 list.  Then again, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman is reason enough to see this one.  What we really want for Batman?  A film version of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

8.  Men in Black III.  Although we liked him most recently as a codger of an officer in Captain America: The First Avenger, Tommy Lee Jones’s roles seem to be pretty similar.  We were surprised at how good the trailer for the new Men in Black movie looks, even with Jones reprising the role he has played twice.  For Jones and Will Smith to reprise their roles yet again, but with a trip to the past for Smith’s Agent J, this may be the first time we like a genre prequel.

7.  Total Recall.  When there are so many Philip K. Dick stories to adapt for the big screen, it’s a little strange that someone would opt to redo the short story “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale,” when it seems like the original came out only yesterday.  Still, if it’s anything like Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, and early production photos seem to indicate that to be the case, we may have a really stylistic view of the future coming soon.

6.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  It was easy for viewers to laugh off the first G.I. Joe live action movie, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, but we think the movie was a blast, handling both the comic book and animated series universe, the classic story of the original 12-inch Joe action figures, and the small-sized action figures.  With the new trailer just released for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, we’re just as excited to see our two favorite tough guys, Dwayne (formerly The Rock) Johnson, and Bruce Willis taking on the G.I. Joe mantle, with Willis as the original Joe Colton.

5.  The Avengers.  After years of DC Comics movies outdoing their Marvel Comics counterparts, last year the pendulum finally swung in favor of Marvel, with the super Captain America: The First Avenger film matching the first Iron Man in quality.  Finally bringing them together with Thor and The Hulk is way overdue.  But the character we really can’t wait to see more of is Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.

4.  Brave.  Animated movies tend to showcase female characters as cutesy, dressed in pink, damsels being rescued, usually, by some dim-witted guy.  It’s about time we have an animated film about a gal with a mind of her own, wielding her own sword.  And the fact that she is performed by Kelly McDonald and her cool Scottish accent makes us want to see this film that much more.

3.  Skyfall.  We haven’t seen a trailer for this one yet. Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale was a contender for best-ever James Bond film, but the follow-up Quantum of Solace didn’t really deliver the punch we all wanted. Whatever this new film will be about, we don’t care, as we love Bond and at the end of each movie when we see “James Bond will return” it just starts the waiting again.

2.  The Woman in Black.  In part because we just want to see what both Harry Potter and Daniel Radcliffe do following the end of the Potter series, in part because we love a good ghost story, and in part because this trailer may be the best one released this year, we can hardly wait to see The Woman in Black. Eerie, cool with Radcliffe playing an adult role, we hope this will be as good as it looks.

1.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Not since the original Star Wars trilogy had we seen a more significant fantasy series than Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series.  The original story from Middle Earth has been read and loved more than any of Tolkien’s works, and for it finally to hit the screen is not only a miracle because of production issues, we’re lucky all the original cast members from the Lord of the Rings series are still around and interested in reprising their roles from the Oscar winning series for Best Picture and a roster of other awards.  Although the first trailer released wasn’t all that exciting, since Peter Jackson is in charge again, we’re certain this film will deliver as promised.

Based on trailers and early release photos, we’ll also keep an eye out for the following genre films, although, as noted here previously, we think some of the trailers make us want to avoid a few of these instead of get excited to see them: Prometheus, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Amazing Spider-man, The Hunger Games, and Man of Steel.

*Update: Don’t miss our January 8, 2012, opening weekend review.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

DC Comics had another great area at the San Diego Comic-Con International this year.  DC seemed to be THE merchandising property of the 2011 event with its focus on the 52 #1 comic titles debuting in September.  Jim Lee’s cover to Justice League #1 was literally everywhere you looked.  The League was the picture on the choice swag bag, for sale on T-shirts at the DC Comics Graffix sales booth, and featured on the cover of the convention souvenir book.  Jim Lee was on panel after panel and seemed to be royalty at this year’s event.

  

The DC Comics area had plenty for everyone, including this Batman made of legos, which seemed to be modeled after Lee’s iconic Batman #608 cover that started the Hush storyline.

   

An elaborate display also allowed Lee and other DC artists to sketch with real-time display via a projected image of their sketch desk and work in progress, talking with fans in the process.

With the in-production next Batman sequel in the works, The Dark Knight Rises (see yesterday’s article announcing Anne Hathaway’s new Catwoman suit), relevant screen-used costumes were displayed in cases inside the DC Comics area.  Three major DC movie characters from The Dark Knight watched over the convention floor.  One of Christian Bale’s Batman suits showed off its stunning detail:

  

Aaron Eckhart’s (intentionally) half-distressed Two-Face/Harvey Dent suit showed off special effects make-up:

And last but not least, the late Heath Ledger’s purple Joker costume display also showed off his clown-faced, bank robbery mask:

   

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

The seventh Batman movie since 1989 and the third starring Christian Bale as the caped crusader, The Dark Knight Rises, is currently in production and scheduled for release July 20, 2012, the week after next year’s San Diego Comic-Con, which will certainly mean a lot of last minute hype and cast appearances at the show.  With an entire year to wait, Warner Brothers just released an advanced shot of the sixth actress to play Catwoman, Anne Hathaway, in the new catsuit.  She looks good so far, and here is a closer look at her goggles, frequently seen worn in the comic books by the character:

Christopher Nolan will direct this sequel to The Dark Knight, the film that won Heath Ledger a posthumous Academy Award for best supporting actor for portraying the most psychotic look at the Joker to date.

Christian Bale will don an updated Batsuit, and will rejoin much of the principal cast, including Sir Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.  Unfortunately, rumors that Aaron Eckhart might reprise his role as Harvey Dent/Two-Face did not pan out.  The original Batman with Michael Keaton featured Billy Dee Williams (Empire Strikes Back) as Harvey Dent, and Batman Forever featured Tommy Lee Jones in the role.  Eckhart’s role seemed to possibly pave the way for another film but the production confirmed Dent will stay dead for this movie.  Marion Cotillard will also appear in this sequel.

Earlier the studio revealed this creepy photo of Tom Hardy (Star Trek Nemesis, Layer Cake, Inception), playing the larger than life villain Bane:

It is difficult from the Hathaway photo to learn much about the new Catwoman, other than the suit seems practical, and without the cheesy glossy vinyl used with Michelle Pfeiffer, without the bizarre almost steampunk look of Jim Lee’s more modern incarnation in his successful Hush storyline, and without the cat ears of the old Catwoman comic book series.  The costume doesn’t seem to scream out “feline” so it will be interesting to see how the cat mythos is revealed.  More of her costume can be seen in other photos released from production–each of Hathaway’s stunt woman riding the Batcycle downstairs in some type of firefight:

This is the first time since Michelle Pfeiffer played the character in Batman Returns that audiences will see Selina Kyle aka Catwoman in the Batman film franchise.  Other actresses to portray Catwoman over the decades in movies and TV include: Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Halle Berry.