In the summer of 1989, primed by "Kiss" and "Alphabet St." and "Sign 'O' the Times" to expect brilliance from the first taste of new Prince music, I raced out to buy "Batdance," the first single to be released from his soundtrack to Tim Burton's Batman. It seemed like a great idea at the time.
I remember my feeling of dazed disappointment the first time I heard "Batdance" lurch to an end. "Batdance" isn't even a song, as such, but a cluster of unrelated chunks of underdone rhythm tracks, ineptly pasted together with chopped-up samples of film dialogue, a couple of lines flown in from other songs, Prince singing the hook from Neal Hefti's '60s Batman theme, and (in its album mix) a very aggressive guitar solo that has almost nothing to do with what's going on around it. Prince and Batman together? How could that not be awesome? What just went wrong here?
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton's Batman movie, The Arkham Sessions takes a break from analyzing the psychology of Batman: The Animated Series to pay special tribute to the legendary film that influenced the style, music, and dark themes of the animated show. Consistent with her measured, analytical approach to the characters and stories of BTAS, Dr. Andrea Letamendi offers psychological conceptualizations of Burton's Batman and Joker with the help of co-host Brian Ward.
Is the film, as Burton once described, a story about the intertwined paths of Batman and the Joker, culminating in a "fight between two disturbed people?" Furthermore, how does Keaton's Bruce Wayne compare to Kevin Conroy's version when it comes to the maintenance -- or fusion -- of multiple identities? How is Nicholson's Joker more destructive and dangerous than Hamill's? Listen to this special edition of the The Arkham Sessions and reminisce about Batman '89 in a whole new way.
Three of Hollywood's biggest industry guilds have submitted an amicus brief in support of the Kirby estate in the case of Lisa Kirby V. Marvel Characters. The brief urges the Supreme Court to hear the case, as the guilds believe the outcome will have major implications for the film industry.
The latest trailer for producer the Michael Bay-produced, Jonathan Liebesman-directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gives us the most clarity we've seen yet on the new film based on on Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s enduringly popular characters. While fans may never accept the lusciously lipped, Shrek-like designs for the TMNT, some may be relieved to learn the apparent fact that the Japanese villain Shredder will not be played by the distinctly non-Japanese William Fichtner, as previously reported.
I'm not a big fan of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, but there's definitely one thing that I think it did right. Burton's Gotham City, redesigned for the screen by Anton Furst, is absolutely beautiful. The Academy Award-winning production art direction is stylish, terrifying, visually engaging and arresting on a level that the rest of the movie has a hard time living up to, creating a world that looks like Batman could exist there.
It's also one of the movie's lasting influences on the world of the comics. Ever since Furst and Burton unveiled their version as a backdrop for the Joker blasting Prince from a boombox while trashing an art museum and Batman blowing up a chemical plant with his remote-control car, Gotham has adhered to their vision of the city, transforming from the bustling stand-in for New York that it was before and becoming its own unmistakable entity. And in true comic book fashion, the comics accomplished this by blowing everything up and starting over.
As we reported on ComicsAlliance last week, Rosario Dawson has joined the cast of the Netflix Daredevil TV show in a guest role -- but Marvel won't say who she's playing. Bleeding Cool guessed Elektra. Our own Matt D. Wilson suggested Milla Donovan. Multiversity Comics put their money on Maya Lopez. Speculation is rife, and nobody really knows anything.
The only clues we have to go on are Dawson herself -- a New Yorker in her mid-30s with Afro-Caribbean roots -- and a brief description of her role; "a dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city."
Rumors abounded last week about just who is going to be the bad guy in Marvel's upcoming Ant-Man movie, the one that stars Paul Rudd and up until about a month ago, was to be directed by Edgar Wright. (Peyton Reed is the new director.)
We've pulled together the scuttlebutt, which you can read all about after the jump. Be warned: There may be spoilers, if this stuff is true.
Launched in late 1988 by the B.D. Fox agency -– who had also handled the campaigns for E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, the one true Robocop movie, and mankind’s crowning cinematic achievement, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – with a poster designed by the film’s production designer Anton Furst, the Batman campaign is a classic example of doing more with less. It’s sexy, sleek, mysterious and new. It’s regarded as one of the best movie campaigns ever, and for good reason. On the occasion of the film's 25th anniversary, let’s talk about why the campaign was so good.
I'm not really here to spoil your weekend with The Hard Questions, but I think there's an interesting debate you can have about whether advertising can truly be art. Like, we all have movie posters that we love, but does the idea of trying to sell you something change the nature of art? Does turning an aesthetic into a commodity cheapen it, and if so, what about all the Renaissance art that was commissioned from working artists in order to do just that? Is the Sistine Chapel really any different from Drew Struzan's Indiana Jones posters?
Folks, I don't know. I do, however, know that you can take existing advertisements and transform them into something that's fun and engaging.
That's exactly what artist Jon Burgerman has done with a series of photos called "Head Shots," where he takes the standard action movie poster to its logically violent conclusion while traveling through the subway. It's a pretty fantastic use of the stuff that's already out in public, and you can check out a few of the best ones below
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