Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
Screenplay by Michael Jelenic and James Tucker
Directed by Rick Morales
I was super excited to hear about Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders when it was announced that Adam West and Burt Ward would be reprising their roles from the 1960s series, even more so with Julie Newmar also around as Catwoman. As you have probably guessed from the large amount of campy super hero flicks TarsTarkas.NET has covered over the years, the television series that inspired many of them is a big deal, so any thing that means more of the cool magic that it was is great. It turned out better than I imagined, it’s one of the best animated films DC has put out, and they have put out a few good ones! (and a few….not so good ones!)
The film is jam packed with the flavor of the original series – wild alliteration, pop-up word balloons during action scenes, random labels on object, Robin declaring “Holy ______” every few seconds, all sorts of random bat gadgets, Batman and Robin figuring out the most obscure Riddler clues in the universe, and the ever-present incompetent police force. There are cameos from almost the entire era, really the only thing missing was Batgirl.
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson’s quiet evening at home is interrupted with the big four villains – Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, and Penguin – hijack a television show just so they can leave a Riddler clue behind. From that, Batman and robin deduce that the criminals are out to steal a duplicating ray, while Catwoman schemes to turn Batman just slightly evil so they can be united in love. But her plan fails and after one thing leads to another suddenly everyone is fighting in outer space to stop the villain’s schemes of duplicating more Earths so each one can control a Gotham City.
Because not every ending is a happy one! Time to wig out and wonder how they’re gonna pull something off, because Choose Your Own Adventure is coming to the big screen. As in an actual film, not a multiple-choice DVD (which exists!) Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon continue their spree of writing half of the films coming out in Hollywood (assuming the deal closes), while Rawson Marshall Thurber is attached to direct.
There is no work on exactly how they are going to translate this to film. The choices are:
1- Make patrons walk from theater to theater based on their choices – “If you want to find the Ruby Skull, go to Theater #3. If you want to battle the Fire Gnomes, go to Theater #5”
2- Do a sort of Run, Lola, Run style film, where we see events play out multiple times based on different choices (which would result in multiple bad endings that we can just reset!) Make the main character a precog or something, but different than that Nic Cage movie.
3- Do a campfire round table similar to Rashomon, with characters telling the same events with different choices. (hat tip to @RacattackForce)
4- Invent some sort of device where the audience votes on what happens next, like was in Futurama and I think was an actual gimmick for a real movie (and the voting machines did nothing, IIRC. I can’t find any information on if I am remembering this correctly!)
5- Ignore the choice aspect entirely, become a generic film. The safest and lamest solution.
Besides the lack of information on how they will pull it off, there is no information on which of the many many books they will be using (if any), which offer a dream choice of almost any genre imaginable.
I do hope they at least have monsters show up, like this one I remember: The Abominable Snowman. Because we need more monsters in films! Whatever they choose for Choose Your Own Adventure, it better be the correct ending!
The Dark Knight Rises
Halle Berry slashed my tires last night!
Our The Dark Knight Rises review will be in a slightly different format, list form! And not the “Top 6 Bane Pick up Lines that Will Explode and Blow Your Mind” type of lists, just a list of thoughts in semi-sequential format as we go through the film. Thus, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS below the fold!
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor the Dark Knight…
- Arriving early to get an aisle seat.
- This theater has Oogieloves posters all over it!
- I will be upset if there isn’t a bare minimum of 5 rises in TDKR!
- Why are two very fat guys in nerd shirts complaining about the nerds in the theater? And now I am complaining about them on the internet!
Too cool for earmuffs
- The new Superman trailer documents his time on Deadliest Catch (and how much better Joe Manganiello would have been in the role!)
- I also drank less tea before the film so I wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom that much (Did I succeed? See below!)
- And now the opening sequence that was released on the internet months ago!
- Remember: Spoilers below the fold!
The Last Days of the XFL…
Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews Tags: Anne Hathaway, Batmania, Burn Gorman, catwomen, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy, David S. Goyer, Gary Oldman, Jonathan Nolan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Juno Temple, Liam Neeson, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Modine, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Nestor Carbonell, Thomas Lennon, Tom Hardy
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson
We all knew there was going to be a third Harold & Kumar film eventually. And when it was revealed that the third film would involve them saving Christmas, we were like “Sure!” because when you’ve ridden a cheetah, saving Christmas is just an eventual future step. But what we weren’t prepared for was the third installment being in 3D. Arriving just in time for not everyone to be burnt out on 3D yet, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas gives us a real 3D experience combined with grossout stoner comedy and wacky hijinks ensuing all over you in three dimensions.
The original Harold & Kumar is among my favorite films. It is also an important film in recent history as it showed you could have a film Asian American leads that was successful, entertaining, and profitable. It also helped rekindle Neil Patrick Harris’s career as an awesome fun guy. But you know all this by now. What everyone cares about is if A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is any damn good.
And it is good. It’s not spectacular, but it holds its own. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is just as good as the previous installment, though doesn’t approach the original, as few films can. It is still a goofy stoner comedy, filled with wacky adventures and hijinks, and plenty of scenes of characters taking or tripped out on
Should you watch it in 3D? Yes, because the entire film is non-stop 3D effects. The smoke, the eggs, the giant claymation dongs, all effects you need to see in 3D to better immerse yourself in the world of Harold & Kumar. Unfortunately, this super 3D mania may hurt the film when it hits DVD. Even though characters in the film purchase a 3D tv, many Americans do not have one, particularly the stoner audience targets Harold & Kumar thrive on.
3D Christmas is stuffed with callbacks to previous installments, including a trip to White Castle itself. And how many times can you see people breaking the fourth wall in the third dimension? Only a couple of dozen times, if you’re lucky! And I must mention I saw this for free, because I’m awesome like that. And also honest.