The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated conclusion to his Batman trilogy, opened last Friday under the pall of a senseless tragedy that occurred at a screening in Colorado. Nationwide, people mourn for those lost, and pray for those injured. But the majority refuse to let the acts of one man taint a movie they've waited four years to see, and audiences rushed to theaters and IMAX to see if Nolan's latest effort could measure up to 2008's record-breaking, Academy Award winning The Dark Knight. Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's final review in their Batman retrospective series to find out if it did!
The Dark Knight opened under the dark cloud of Heath Ledger's death but went on to break box office records and set a new standard for superhero films and cement Christopher Nolan's A-List status. But why so serious? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's review of this Academy Award winning tale of capes and cowls!
It took eight years after Batman & Robin for the caped crusader to return to theaters with Batman Begins. Directed by a cult director with only two studio films to his name, starring an actor best known for extreme roles in small films, and released in a summer dominated by lightsabers, Batman Begins burst onto the scene and changed the public perception of what a superhero film can be. Now listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's review of Batman Begins as we lead up to Nolan's final film in his Batman trilogy--The Dark Knight Rises!
After Batman Forever exceeded expectations, a sequel was rushed into production. Trouble on the set led to Val Kilmer being replaced by TV superstar George Clooney, but the real star power was held by the film's villain--Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. And this film brought even more superhero star power, with more super heroes and super villains than any previous Batman movie, including Robin, Poison Ivy, Bane, and even Batgirl! The film was not well received and put Batman on ice for eight years, but Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob have thawed it out for the next installment of their Batman retrospective series. Is this ice nice? Listen to find out!
After Tim Burton's Batman returned to diminishing results, audiences put off by the salacious Penguin and dark tone, Warner Bros. brought in Lost Boys director Joel Schumacher to give Batman a new vision. With Val Kilmer now the man behind the cowl, Gotham City was given a new look, a new hero in the form of Robin the boy wonder, and two new villains. Batman Forever came in only second to Toy Story at the 1995 box office, but was it as big a hit with the Now Playing reviewers? Listen to find out!
When Batman was a huge success in 1989 a new Batman animated series was immediately approved, but due to the production time of animation it did not premiere until 1992. With a heavy dose of Tim Burton's gothic style but a mood more loyal to the original comics, allowing for such baddies as Clayface and Harley Quinn to fit alongside Joker and Penguin, Batman : The Animated Series was a huge hit reaching outside the normal after-school cartoon demographic to Batman fans of all ages. With the series' success, an original animated feature film got promoted to the big time--a theatrical release. So on Christmas day, 1993, Batman : Mask of the Phantasm became The Dark Knight's fourth appearance on the silver screen. Featuring Mark Hamill as the iconic voice of Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman both fighting against a new, lethal vigilante The Phantasm, does this animated film actually supersede Burton's live-action films? Listen to Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie's review to find out!
When Batman defied expectations to become the top grossing film of 1989 interest in all things Batman exploded. Batman T-shirts were everywhere, and even the 60s television series enjoyed a revival on syndication. But while comics, toys, and TV coasted on Batman 's success, what everyone really wanted was a sequel and so in 1992 director Tim Burton reteamed with star Michael Keaton to bring the next installment in their Bat-franchise--Batman Returns! With Batman facing double the trouble with a duo of evildoers, will Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart enjoy it twice as much? Listen to find out!
It was a film that couldn't succeed. It was a superhero film starring a comedic actor. It was directed by the quirky, cult Tim Burton. It was a superhero known more for a campy dance than for kicking ass. And it was the most expensive film ever made. Yet in 1989 Batman dominated not only the box office but the pop culture landscape, bringing a darker, more modern superhero aesthetic to the big screen and becoming the movie that all other superhero films would be compared for over a decade. But does it hold up in this day of the even darker Christopher Nolan Batman adaptations? Listen to Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie's review to find out!
When it comes to box office superheroes, none looms larger than Batman . He dominated theaters in 1989 with Tim Burton's vision of the caped crusader, and in the 21st century Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman made him the box office champion, with The Dark Knight becoming the highest grossing superhero film ever. Now, as we ramp up for Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Now Playing will be looking back at all of the Batman films, starting with the 1966 theatrical release! When Batman knocked out television audiences everywhere the studio decided to cash in on a feature film version of the show, where four of the dynamic duo's worst villains, Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, and The Riddler, team up to take over the world. Does this classic series hold up in feature length? Listen to Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie to find out!