Posted on July 25, 2012 by Darren
To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.
Today we’re taking a look at three of the authors who followed Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking Batman & Robin run. We’ll start with Paul Cornell.
I’m going to be entirely honest here. I am very disappointed that Paul Cornell hasn’t really got a shot at an on-going Batman book. The author has been something of a rising star at DC comics for what seems like years, and recently provided the best Superman run in recent memory with his wonderful Lex Luthor story in Action Comics. He’s a writer who is astutely aware of the genre conventions, while being shrewd enough to exploit them to his advantage. He writes distinctly “comic book!” comic books, but without following the standard plot patterns just for the sake of adhering to formula. His three-issue Batman & Robin fill-in arc might not be his best work, or the best work on the title, but I do admire Cornell’s willingness to provide a compelling criticism of the Batman mythos instead of merely offering a generic paint-by-numbers treading-water adventure. Even if it doesn’t quite stick the landing, Cornell’s story is certainly ambitious.
Drilling it into them…
Filed under: Comics | Tagged: Action Comics, alfred, batman, batman & robin, batman & robin: the sum of her parts, Bruce, bruce wayne, Comics, Cornell, damian wayne, Dark Knight Rises, dc comics, feminism, Grantmorrison, lex luthor, morrison, Paul Cornell, peter tomasi, robin, sexism, the sum of her parts | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 24, 2011 by Darren
Well, the first pictures of David E. Kelley’s upcoming Wonder Woman adaptation have hit the web. Lynda Carter loves it and everyone else seems to hate it. Me, I really couldn’t care too much about the costume – I’m just worried about the very idea of a Wonder Woman television show from the creator of Ally McBeal. That’s not a putdown – well, it kinda is – but it’s a more fundamental problem than the outfit she wears (which will likely get retooled repeatedly over the course of the show – assuming the show has a course). Anyway, the outfit gives me an opportunity to wonder about Wonder Woman’s outfit. Is there something wrong with her traditional Lynda Carter look, and is this update an improvement?
Is it any wonder?
Filed under: Comics, Television | Tagged: Adrianne Palicki, Ally McBeal, bryan singer, david e. kelley, feminism, Joe Shuster, Lasso of Truth, Lynda Carter, sexism, superhero, Television, William Moulton Marston, wonder woman | 3 Comments »
Posted on February 22, 2011 by Darren
The fact that no woman was nominated for Best Director (after Kathryn Bigelow became the first female to win last year) has caused a stir at this year’s Oscars. I’m not an excessively politically correct individual (just read the blog), but I like to think I’m sensitive to issues like that. Presumably the presumptive female directing nominees would have been either Debra Granik for Winter’s Bone or Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right, and – to be honest – I don’t think either was better than any of the five existing nominees. The continued snubbing of Christopher Nolan bothers me far more.
As I thought about the complaint more and more, part of me wondered when the gender of an individual becomes important for awards like this – my gut feeling is “never.” The best is the best, why should we handicap or install quotas? Except for the fact that we do have gender quotas for certain awards. This train of thought led me wonder why we still have a Best Actress and a Best Supporting Actress category… And, to cut a long story short, I really couldn’t think of a good reason.
Are we kidding ourselves?
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Academy Award, Academy Award for Best Actor, academy award for best actress, Academy Award for Best Picture, actor, actress, Christopher Nolan, Clint Eastwood, female actor, gender, Kathryn Bigelow, Los Angeles Times, nelson mandela, sexism, sexist | 18 Comments »
Posted on October 30, 2010 by Darren
Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.
I want to like Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. I really do. I love zombies. I love it when writers use horror to explore socially relevent issues. I totally dig the black-and-white style which is clearly intended to evoke the vibe of George Romero horror films. I love that it’s a mainstream comic book property that has broken into popular culture despite not featuring muscle-bound guys and gals with impossible physiques in ridiculous spandex – proof to the masses that comic books can be about more than superheroes. However, as much as I may want to embrace and love The Walking Dead, I just can’t bring myself to.
Grimes and punishment...
Filed under: Comics | Tagged: AMC, arts, charlie adlard, comic book, comic books, Comics, end of the world, feminism, frank darabont, gender, george romero, image comics, michonne, robert kirkman, sexism, sexist, stereotypes, Walking Dead, zombie apocalypse, zombies | 7 Comments »
Posted on September 17, 2010 by Darren
I had the misfortune of watching The Bounty Hunter last week. It was horrible, really. In fairness, I tend to have a problem with the conventional romantic comedy as it’s mass produced and shipped out to cinemas at least once a month like clockwork. A string of movies which are based on the principle that all men and women (whether they know it or not) want to settle down and get married, argue over stupid things about three quarters of the way through the film and get together again in time for the end credits. Not only are the morals of such films highly dubious, the delivery is generally just excruciating. However, something has changed within the genre in the past couple of years… and not necessarily for the better. I’ll let The Guardian sum up my position:
I realise it’s high time we refreshed the tired tics and tropes of the kissy-kissy no-boys-allowed modern women’s picture, I just didn’t think the solution would be to take the suppressed homoeroticism of the punchy-punchy male buddy flick then slather it over the vaguely virginal values associated with most Sandra Bullock and Amanda Bynes movies.
That about sums it up nicely, don’t you think?
The figure on the left indicates where good ideas come from... the figure on the right indicates where most romantic comedy ideas come from... by the way, he has his back to us...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Bounty Hunter, chauvinist, female, film, gerard butler, hollywood, jennifer aniston, Karen McCullah Lutz, katherine heigl, Kirsten Smith, male, man, Movies, Romantic comedy film, sexism, sexist, steretypes, the bounty hunter, the ugly truth, woman | 11 Comments »
Posted on March 23, 2010 by Darren
Jennifer Aniston’s romantic comedy The Bounty Hunter may not have quite set the US box office alight last weekend (coming third behind Alice in Wonderland and some film even I’ve never heard of), but she’s still one of Hollywood’s biggest name leading ladies currently on film – and I don’t see that changing. And she’s 41 years old. Sandra Bullock, that darling of the nineties romantic comedy, spent last year reaffirming her golden touch, with the surprising-even-by-the-standards-of-the-genre romantic comedy The Proposal and an Oscar-winning role in The Blind Side. There was also a Razzie-winning role in All About Steve, but she even managed to use that to demonstrate that she is still one of the queens of Hollywood. And she’s 45 years old. Are the attitudes towards women – particularly leading women – changing in Hollywood?
Is Aniston on a winning Streep?
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: age, ageing women, ageism, films, gender, hollywood, jennifer aniston, leading ladies, leading roles, meg ryan, middleage, Movies, Oscars, sandra bullock, sexism, the bounty hunter, women, women in their forties | 6 Comments »
Posted on March 11, 2010 by Darren
Disney: It’s not for boys.
It emerged earlier in the week that Disney changed the name of their next almost-conventionally-animated movie from Rapunzel, which makes sense, to Tangled, which doesn’t. People were a little confused, since Disney has traditionally been fairly straightforward in making its adaptations – Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, The Princess and the Frog, Snow White, The Little Mermaid and so on are all named for the myths and stories which form their basis. Why the sudden name change? Apparently because boys won’t go to see Disney movies. Apparently they are more likely to go and see a movie called Tangled.
All tangled up...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: animation, cartoons, disney, male audience, Movies, rapunzel, sexism, tangled, the princess and the frog | 19 Comments »
Posted on March 6, 2010 by Darren
The best part of The Walking Dead is the premise, brilliantly summed up by Robert Kirkman in his afterword: why do zombie movies end? The answer is quite logical, as he concedes, in that people don’t want to spend their life in a cinema watching 24-hour zombie movies. Okay, most people don’t want to do that. Somewhat forshadowing the recent announcement we’d be getting a Walking Dead television series (from Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist, no less), Kirkman argues that comics and television are the only media that can truly support a longterm continuous narrative. What happens after your favourite zombie film ends? It’s an interesting premise to be sure. It’s just a shame that the initial twelve issues of the series don’t quite live up to it.
Better off red?
Filed under: Comics | Tagged: black and white, Comics, end of the workld, frank darbont, image comics, review, robert kirkman, sexism, the walking dead, zombie apocalypse, zombies | 4 Comments »
Posted on February 13, 2010 by Darren
Who says sexism is dead? To look at the bulk of the romantic comedy genre, you wouldn’t know it. The subtext of any given mainstream big budget romantic comedy is that guys are stupid and unaware dinosaurs, while women are just the tiniest bit uptight and are neurotic in a mild and endearing manner. The Ugly Truth probably isn’t the worst offender – I felt much worse coming out of 27 Dresses, to be honest – but it is the most recent one I’ve seen.
It's a familiar dance...
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: gender, gerard butler, Katherine Hiegl, Movies, non-review review, review, romance, romantic comedy, sexism, sexist, the ugly truth, valentine's day | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 29, 2009 by Darren
There is an interesting article in The Guardian written by Samantha Morton, which lauds Nicole Kidman’s decision to announce that Hollywood treats women as sex objects and Matt Damon’s announcement that he won’t do excessively violent films. They are both valid points for discussion, but I’m never quite sure what to make of it when an artist makes a public anouncement like that, clearly politicising their work. Anyone who neede Nicole Kidman to tell them that Hollywood treats women as objects obviously hasn’t been paying attention to any film released ever, and I doubt anyone will be particularly surprised to here Matt Damon won’t turn up as a lead in Saw. That’s not to diminish their observation, but part of me is always uncomfortable abou the increasing politicalisation of actors and celebrities in our culture.
Not kidding around...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: actors, discussion, film, Movies, nicole kidman, role models, samantha morton, sex objects, sexism, the guardian, violence, Why Nicole Kidman was brave to speak out | Leave a Comment »