Tag Archive: Warner Brothers


 

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Finally got to see ‘Dunkirk’ on the big screen last week, courtesy of Warner Brothers.  There was a dessert service after the Q&A with Nolan, so yes, ‘For Your Consideration’ season has begun!

I’m not a World War II buff by any means so Dunkirk didn’t hold a strong meaning to me beyond doing a cursory Google search on why it’s important. After I did that though, it made complete sense to me why the British hold it in such high regard, and why Nolan wanted to make this movie.

Interested to note during the Q&A, how they decided early on to ‘not’ try to be ‘Saving Private Ryan’.  A, because he considers it a masterpiece and B, in true Christopher Nolan style, he wanted to focus on the practical details of ‘how would this happen in real life?’ as opposed to ‘this is how these things play out in a movie’…

(Prince of Gotham nodding….)

Relating directly to war (without spoiling some of story points of ‘Dunkirk’), Nolan also says he was attracted to doing a different type of war movie, because, in talking to veterans, war is very much like life in that, death often happens completely randomly, and the ‘good guys’ or ‘heroes’ may never get the credit they really deserve, and ‘the bad guys’ may not always suffer in proportion to the damage they’ve done.

(cueing up the Hans Zimmer as my eyes mist up…)

As far as ‘Dunkirk’ the movie goes, I personally wouldn’t call it Nolan’s best, but it’s solid.  With the studio backing him up, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t finally get a Best Director nomination this year.

 

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Been considering changing my Twitter bio again. A out of respect for Warners and Batfleck and the new direction/generation, and b, because, well, I’m not really a ‘silent guardian’ anymore (not on Sundays anyway…)

Some things will never change though.

Enjoy.

 

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This has been out, what, a month?  But to be fair…

Spoilers, cursing and stories of cell phones thrown at the screen ahead…

So first, this is not the worst thing I’ve ever seen.  Relax fanboys.  Honestly, it’s not even in the conversation of ‘worst live action film with Batman in the title’ (your legacy is safe Joel Schumacher).

What killed me (not as a Batman fan but as a storyteller) watching this though: the epic superhero movie Warners wanted (and needed) is inside this movie.  They shot it.  I don’t doubt at all looking at what’s onscreen the confidence was high.  Call it ‘film geek frustration’ if you want, but I think one or two more full edits would have gone a LONG way into fixing most of the issues.

So let’s break it down, starting with the good:

  • I believe in Ben Affleck.  If you wanted to argue he’s been the best so far at being both an above average and believable Bruce Wayne AND Dark Knight, I might not have a problem with that.  The sequence of him mimicking my workout routine and doing pull-ups with a monster truck tire chained to his waist, I was impressed.  And he’s a very credible filmmaker behind the camera.  When HE’S in the director’s chair telling one of my stories? Sign me up.  I’m already there.
  • Believe it or not, I had a legit fist pump during this film.  Heroes are only as good as the villains they have to overcome, so when Lex threw that one two punch of pushing Lois off the skyscraper THEN revealing he kidnapped Ma Kent…YES!!! Figure out and go after the people the Boy Scout can’t imagine living without! That’s WAY more compelling and relatable than Kryptonite! That could have been a movie by itself! (I know, I know…)
  • This is Snyder’s strength: there are some really great images and stills you can grab from this film.  (Most of them were rushed into the trailer, but still.) The first time the Trilogy stands together.  The Dark Knight scouting the crime scene. The Boy Scout floating in the sky is always cool.

So it’s not all bad.  But having said that…

  • Film geek talking, but I lost track of how many times I said to myself ‘This isn’t so bad, they’re gaining momentum,’ followed by ‘WHAT. WAS. THAT.’  Starting with the end of that opening montage of my parents being killed for the umpteenth time, and ending with Doomsday about to destroy of all of us and giving me and Wonder Woman all they can handle, and Lois pulling the ‘Please Baby Don’t Go’ move.  REALLY?  HUMANITY IS ABOUT TO BE WIPED OUT, AND YOUR BOYFRIEND IS LITERALLY OUR ONLY HOPE AND YOU’RE TRYING TO STOP HIM?!?  GET THE PHUCK OUT OF HERE LOIS!!!! (Yes that’s when my phone went flying.)
  • You don’t want to be a Marvel copycat.  Good move, smart move. But…I mean…no humor?  Like not even some a few more ad-libs?  It’s a comic book movie guys.  Why so serious?
  • I loved Lex’s dialogue, and you already know how I feel about his plan.  The characterization by Eisenberg (who I generally like) not so much.  And I’m all the way down for trying something a little bit different to freshen up/modernize these characters (as I slip my headshot to WB Casting for Green Lantern), but this version of Lex, nope.  Loved the intellect, but not enough ‘strength’.

So final verdict: some cool stuff in there that almost immediately gets cancelled out by something absurd (even by comic book standards).

Final Grade:

‘Gotham’

 

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So here’s the disclaimer, since I haven’t said this publicly in a couple years: whatever DC and/or Warner Brothers do now, I’m OK with it.  The genius Christopher Nolan has already told my story better than I could have possibly imagined.  Now, if I see something that I consider a Schumachery of my franchise, I’ll still call out the necessary parties.  But all Bat related stories now, no expectations.  Just enjoying them for what they are.

Which brings us to the series premiere of ‘Gotham’.  Not much to be spoiled for guys like me (we’ll get to that), but the general conceit here for those that don’t know is telling the origin story from the point of view of Jim Gordon (played by Ben Mckenzie of Southland fame, one of several good casting choices).

So naturally, the story begins where it has to, with the murders of Thomas and Martha Aziz Wayne.  I was given a heads up there were a ton of easter eggs and twists the TV show would take with the core mythology.  Again, I accept this.  But still, from a storytelling point of view, I’m expecting this has at least a 13 episode arc, and they threw a LOT of ‘wink winks’ at the hardcore fans for one episode, pilot or not.  Some of them were really cool (hey, there’s fine ass Renee Montoya; oh, they’re setting THAT up too? Nice!). Some of them felt like ‘I know there’s going to be a ‘villain of the week’, but that could have been anybody and not the father of a future well known Bat Villain. I was really 50/50 on all the nods early on, to the point of distraction: Alfred sounding like he stepped out of a Guy Ritchie film? Meh. The nameless stand up comedian with no self confidence? You know that very well might become…  And on and on.  I’m half surprised we didn’t somehow get roped into a trip to Wayne Enterprises to meet a young Lucius Fox working in that lab.

Wait, no! I take that back!  That part is important down the line, you have to get that casting right.  Has to be a brother old enough to be believable as a friend of Thomas Wayne, but ALSO intellectual and with the gravitas to ALSO be believable as a young Morgan Freeman.  Who could play that?

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(coughing back a smile as I find my notes…)  Where was I?  Oh yes…

Once the pilot settled down in the second half hour and stopped ‘over-introducing’ everybody, THEN it got going.  The relationship between Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donald Logue here) is always great in the comics, and it looks like it’s going to provide the tension every week here.  And my affection for alumni of the Wire aside, John Doman is already the PERFECT television version of Carmine Falcone.  My sucking up aside, the casting is already off to a great start.

So what’s the official Prince of Gotham opinion?  For the pilot on its own?  I’ll give it a B minus.  Could have been better but not a Schumachery.

Does the Prince of Gotham believe you should give Gotham a chance to see what it grows into?

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