The Dark Knight Returns

Parody Humor – Frank Miller vs. Occupy Wall Street Protesters

Cartoonist Richard Pace has created a perfect parody of the recent events surrounding the controversy of Comic Book Artist / Film Maker Frank Miller totally going off on the Occupy Wall Street Protesters. Pace re-created the style of Frank Miller’s artwork and it looks exactly like it was from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. ( Click on it to enlarge for more readable version )

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THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS – Superman VS Batman DC Direct Statue

Sculpted by Derek Miller. Here is a large statue from DC Direct showing Superman doing battle with the Dark Knight himself, Batman! Of course this piece was inspired by the pages of Frank Miller’s acclaimed Graphic Novel Book, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS! ( Yeah, we all know who wins this fight, ha! ) Click on the photo here for a larger version.
It measures approximately 11″ high x 11″ wide x 9″ deep and will retail for about $299.95. Also, it goes on sale around August 29th, 2012.

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REVIEW: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

With every new release DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation are trying to raise the bar on animated superhero films. Are they succeeding? Yes and no, but I’d say mostly yes. Recently their choice of stories to adapt have become more ambitious, more revered, and that couldn’t be more true than when bringing Frank Miller‘s classic, The Dark Knight Returns, to the screen. A lot of what this adaptation gets right is owed to their unwillingness to deviate much from the original work. It can also be said that’s where anything they get wrong comes from, too. It’s this utter faithfulness to Miller’s work that can be both a blessing and hindrance when bringing the story to life in a new medium. In this sense, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 reminds me of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, which received criticism for at times being too faithful to Alan Moore’s script and not forming their narrative to better fit the film. A comic book isn’t simply a storyboard to be filmed and turned into a movie, the two mediums are separate and should be developed separately.

That being said, Miller’s original story of an aging, retired Batman donning the cowl once again to save a Gotham overrun by crime, corruption, and complacency comes through strongly in the animated film. Most everything your remember from the comic is here. Even some extraneous plot lines that could have been condensed or removed for the sake of pace, like Two-Face’s rehabilitation and regression. It’s a nice exploration of the villain and how his psychosis can’t be cured with a little plastic surgery, but we don’t need it in the movie and the focus could have been on The Mutant uprising from the beginning.

Providing the framework for The Dark Knight Returns is the constantly running news commentary and talking heads debating the ethics of Batman. The story relies more on these news briefs than the comic does, especially since we’re not given an inner monologue for any character, and I don’t think they hold up as well under the strain. Or, it could be that in today’s world we suffer from the 24 hours news cycle and I’m just sick of it.

The mutants are here with their strange slang and red lit, Geordi LaForge visors and they work really well – visually. The visors shine brightly in what is a mostly dark, somber palette for the film and it makes The Mutants menacing. Which is then lost when they open their mouths. The slang of The Mutants never read so hokey in the comic but somehow once you’re hearing characters saying things like, “Slice and dice!” or “Spud” it’s tough to take seriously. In fact, there are a few elements I never felt were ‘too over the top’ when I read The Dark Knight Returns, like Bruce’s inner dialogue with the “spirit” of Batman, but once seen animated and alive it’s all a little cheesy.

From an animation stand-point, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 is on par with the DC Animated features that precede it. It’s far darker – go figure – but it allows bright moments to shine brighter. For instance, the iconic lightning streaking the sky as Batman leaps across it looks wonderful and once Robin, Carrie Kelly, is on the scene she pops off the screen. The character designs are true to what Miller gave us in the book, most noticeably with Batman who’s a hulking figure with an ominous silhouette. Again, seeing this Batman animated and moving makes the design appear more ridiculous than I remember, but once he’s trading blows with The Mutant’s leader you don’t care. You’ll just revel in the cracking and crunching of bones. Seriously, the sound design, especially for the fight scenes, is excellent.

There was a bit of concern throughout the blogosphere over Peter Weller‘s acting for Batman, and I will admit at first it does sound quite flat. But as the film continues you find yourself digging his line delivery almost for that reason. The juxtaposition of the manic and wild performance of Gary Anthony Williams‘ Mutant leader to the calm, steady Batman is just what you want. Ariel Winters has a lot of fun with Robin and she brings just the right sense of determination to a Carrie yearning to be noticed and appreciated.

Within The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 there is quite a lot to like. The fighting is brutal and excellently directed, quiet moments are short but sweet, the performance are good if not really good across the board, and the animation is top notch, maybe some of the best DC and Warner Bros have produced yet. Fans fearing they’d forget something or over simplify Miller’s groundbreaking story have no need to worry, but it’s not a perfect movie because it wants so badly to recapture the comic. The teases of Michael Emerson‘s Joker are just that, teases, and I’ll admit I like what they’re teasing. The Joker won’t be unleashed until next year’s Part 2, releasing late 2013, and I’m far more interested in the conclusion of The Dark Knight Returns than its beginning. What they’ve produced here is a solid adaptation who’s devout version of Batman’s later years will likely be loved by fans and enjoyed, but maybe a little mocked, by newcomers to Miller’s final days of The Dark Knight.

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Two More Promising Clips From Animated ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

I for one enjoyed the hell out of the animated adaptation of Batman: Year One, as I liked to call it, The Jim Gordon Bad@ss Hour. I know some were disappointed with it, but I felt it was a near flawless adaptation of Frank Miller‘s gritty re-imagining and origin on the Dark Knight. Needless to say I’m really excited for DC and Warner Bros. second attempt at adapting a Miller work, this time the epic The Dark Knight Returns. Being cut into two films, with Part 1 releasing on September 25th (also note this as the date The Avengers releases on DVD/Blu-ray, so plan your evening of watching superheroes accordingly) and Part 2 coming in the Spring of 2013.

In anticipation there have been two more clips released, check ‘em out,

Synopsis:

It’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with race cars and liquor – but the bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.

The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new…and old.

The Dark Knight Returns stars Peter Weller as Batman/Bruce Wayne, David Selby as Commissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter as Robin, Wade Williams as Two-Face and Michael McKean as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper. Directed by Jay Oliva, written by Bob Goodman, executive produced by Sam Register and Bruce Timm.

Yup, I’m pumped. Are you?

Source: Geek Tyrant

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‘The Dark Knight Returns’ Gets Its Joker

Stepping into an iconic role has to be daunting for any actor, especially one with a rich history such as comic’s clown prince of crime. Without going into the long debate over who is ‘the best’ Joker, we can add one more name to the debate. Michael Emerson, best known as the ultra-creepy Ben Linus from LOST or Person of Interest‘s calculating Harold Finch, has been revealed as the latest to bring the villain to the screen in the forth coming animated The Dark Knight Returns . Talking with TV Guide, Emerson lets us in on who is behind the grin.

“He’s one of those great villains that an actor like me likes to play because he has layers – he has a face for the world and a face for himself,” Emerson said. “He is, in a way, a villain who is a natural actor. All of that is that is delightful and confounding at the same time. It’s freeing because of the largeness of it. When he laughs, there’s nothing subdued about it. When he screams in rage, there’s nothing controlled about it. The amp is turned to 11 at all times.”

Joining Emerson on The Dark Knight Returns is Peter Weller as Batman/Bruce Wayne, David Selby as Commissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter as Robin, Wade Williams as Two-Face and Michael McKean as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper. As for where Emerson will sit on the grand scale of Joker performances, we’ll have to wait till September 25th when the film is released on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital platforms. Well, that is when part 1 is out, part 2 is expected sometime in February of next year.

Damn it.

You can check out the latest trailer after the jump. Sadly it is Joker free.


source: Coming Soon

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