Tag Archives: Bryan Cranston

Batman: Year One (2011)

Yeah, when I heard this was coming to DVD, I more or less pulled this face.
When I heard this was coming to DVD, I more or less pulled this face. Because I knew, sooner or later, I’d have to write this review.

I hate to sound like an ungrateful fanboy but I find myself with no other option. Why does this film even exist? It’s too late for Year One. What idiot would want to adapt it now, after all its major elements have been translated to the silver screen at least twice?

Non-comic book readers should know Year One first appeared as a four-part story arc in Batman #404-407 (February – May 1987). Like most of the Bat-stories published around that time, it quickly became a cornerstone of the character’s modern continuity. Creative teams have referenced it and referred to it ever since, and it’s inspired some of the finest stories of Bat’s modern age.

For example: Bruce Timm (who executive produced this film), Paul Dini and Alan Burnet used it as the inspiration for whole sequences of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (otherwise known as The Greatest Batman Movie Ever Made), including the flashbacks to Bruce’s early crime-fighting years and his extended  flight from the GCPD in the second act. Christopher Nolan turned wide swaths of Year One into my favorite parts of Batman Begins, including the slow build-up to our first sight of Bruce in the Bat-suit…and his extended flight from the GCPD in the second act. Both used Year One as inspiration: a ball they ran with into their separate In-Zones. How can any screen adaption of Year One hold up against that, or the quarter century of expectation Bat-fans have built up? Continue reading Batman: Year One (2011)

Drive (2011)

If I had a hammer...I'd hammer in the mornin'...and I'd hammer in the ev'nin'...all over this cagey bastard's face...
“If I had a hammer…I’d hammer in the mornin’…and I’d hammer in the ev’nin’…all over your face…”

Am I the only one who remembers Grand Theft Auto: Vice City?

No, that’s too flippant. I know for a fact director Nicolas Winding Refn remembers Steve McQueen’s 1972 movie The Getaway. I’ll bet he remembers its pointless 1994 remake (starring Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger of all people) as well. Me, though, I remember Vice City. I played the whole way through that stupid game twice (2002 was a bad year) and, apart from its bitchin’ soundtrack, I remember a whole lot of hot pink cursive text. The kind that’s all over Drive, Refn’s ninth movie and the first real  critical darling of Fall 2011.

That last sentence assumes you’re like me and like to pretend Planet of the Apes remakes don’t exist. [Future Dave’s note: You’ll have to forgive past-me’s egregiously ill-informed pre-judgement of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which we wound up liking quite a lot, in spite of its shitty title. Proof, once again, that the Cultural Zeitgeist is occasionally right about something and that I am a misanthropic, ornery jerk, prone to thinking the worst about everything.] So I’m a critic. I should like Drive…right? Well…I do…kinda…but I’m not like you people. You see this site. You know what I’m into. And hopefully I’ve made what I don’t like crystal clear. Continue reading Drive (2011)