Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

Batman isn’t just a character, it’s a way of life…

July 19, 2008

BERLIN – From the outside, Ezra Welch’s home looks like many in East Berlin; its brick face and American flag fit in perfectly with the neighborhood. Stepping inside, it looks clean and quiet.

But head down the stairs to his basement and you enter the other world he inhabits.
Batman artwork covers the walls. A large sign welcoming guests to “The Batcave” hangs over the steps. The only thing that appears to be missing is a revolving bookcase that serves as a secret door.

For Welch, the self-proclaimed world’s No. 1 “Batfan” who has gone as far as getting Batman tattoos, “The Dark Knight,” the newest Batman film, opens today and is the “Holy Grail.” He, along with millions of other fans will flock to multiplexes to see the sequel that has created a buzz.

Welch said he was drawn to the Batman character, whose story of a man who responded to tragedy by teaching himself to fight crime and stand up for justice inspired him. As a scrawny young boy who wore glasses, he said he attracted the attention bullies.

“It was an inspiration for how to stand up for myself,” the 40-year-old said.

In fact, Welch loves his hero so much that he has dedicated an entire room to his obsession.

The basement is filled with a lifetime’s worth of Batman memorabilia — clocks, action figures, toys, masks, posters, even Batman cologne. Of course, there are comics too, more than 500 of them. He started collecting as a young boy, but a fire destroyed his collection while he was in college. He didn’t let that stop him though; he just started over and kept adding.

The collection is a diverse one, ranging from framed movie posters to a utility belt and even a large ceramic cookie jar shaped like Batman. He has even deemed one corner of the collection a “Rogues Gallery” and uses it to showcase Batman’s foes.

Welch, who works at Precision Graphics in East Berlin, doesn’t know exactly how much he has spent on his collection over the years but estimates it is at least $5,000, maybe even $10,000.

Even with all the money he has spent, he says his favorite item didn’t cost him a thing.

“It’s a Batrock,” he says, pointing to a chunk of stone he got during a visit to the cave used to film part of the 1960’s “Batman” TV show that starred Adam West. “It’s from the Batcave. I don’t know if anyone else has something like this.”

He has two Batman tattoos, though his preferred term is “Battoo.” One features the Batman logo, and the other, which Welch designed, places the character in front of a full moon and a swarm of bats.

Occasionally he will even don a full-size Batman costume, though he prefers to do it to mark special events; one photo on the wall of the “Batcave” features him, fully-costumed, kissing his wife in front of their Christmas tree.

As for his wife and two teenage daughters, Welch said they have put up with this obsession of all things Batman.

“It’s good fun. I support him because of his profound enjoyment,” said Andrea Welch, who has been married to him for 20 years.

His 17-year-old daughter, Jenna Welch, said that although she’s not too interested in Batman now, as a child it gave her and her dad a special bond.

“It gets a little bit annoying after a while, but it makes him happy,” she said. “I’m OK with it.”

As for the movie, Welch says it would be hard for him to be more excited. He has done everything he can over the past six months to avoid information that would spoil the film, but that hasn’t stopped him from preparing for the big night. He will host a “Batbash” with family and friends this afternoon, where “Batburgers,” will be on the menu. After the party, the group will head to the movie and then meet back at the “Batcave” to discuss and critique the film.

“I’ve waited 30 years for this movie,” he said. “For me, it is the Holy Grail.”

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Batman theme song parody

July 13, 2008

A bit on the bizarre/funny side.

Batman-The Dark Knight review by Variety

July 13, 2008

Michael Bay’s rejected script for “Batman: Dark Knight”

July 8, 2008

Tee he…..chuckle. Just imagine if Michael Bay, director of such stunning films as “Bad Boys” and “Armageddon” had been given a crack at the latest Batman film.

Check it out here.

Also, see this spoof called “Killing Michael Bay” which sort of sums up how a lot of people (with taste) feel about Bay’s films.

Funny interview with the original TV Batman, Adam West

June 26, 2008

A small excerpt from a recent interview with Adam West, the original TV Batman.

Most men have fallen for the wrong type of woman at least once – did you have some sympathy for your character for his love of Catwoman?

Oh yes. He was just a poor soul. He was so torn, Martin…it was heartbreaking! [laughs] He had these curious stirrings in his utility belt, and yet he knew she had to be put away in the slammer.

Do you ever regret turning Cubby Broccoli down for James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever?

Not really. No, wait a minute. Yes.

Full interview at The Den of Geek.

And a scene from “The Batman Movie” made in 1966. Holy sardine!

Batman: The Dark Knight reviewed by Peter Traverse of Rolling Stone

June 26, 2008


The Dark Knight : Review : Rolling Stone

Heads up: a thunderbolt is about to rip into the blanket of bland we call summer movies. The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan’s absolute stunner of a follow-up to 2005’s Batman Begins, is a potent provocation decked out as a comic-book movie. Feverish action? Check. Dazzling spectacle? Check. Devilish fun? Check. But Nolan is just warming up. There’s something raw and elemental at work in this artfully imagined universe. Striking out from his Batman origin story, Nolan cuts through to a deeper dimension. Huh? Wha? How can a conflicted guy in a bat suit and a villain with a cracked, painted-on clown smile speak to the essentials of the human condition? Just hang on for a shock to the system. The Dark Knight creates a place where good and evil — expected to do battle — decide instead to get it on and dance. “I don’t want to kill you,” Heath Ledger’s psycho Joker tells Christian Bale’s stalwart Batman. “You complete me.” Don’t buy the tease. He means it.

The trouble is that Batman, a.k.a. playboy Bruce Wayne, has had it up to here with being the white knight. He’s pissed that the public sees him as a vigilante. He’ll leave the hero stuff to district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and stop the DA from moving in on Rachel Dawes (feisty Maggie Gyllenhaal, in for sweetie Katie Holmes), the lady love who is Batman’s only hope for a normal life.

Everything gleams like sin in Gotham City (cinematographer Wally Pfister shot on location in Chicago, bringing a gritty reality to a cartoon fantasy). And the bad guys seem jazzed by their evildoing. Take the Joker, who treats a stunningly staged bank robbery like his private video game with accomplices in Joker masks, blood spurting and only one winner. Nolan shot this sequence, and three others, for the IMAX screen and with a finesse for choreographing action that rivals Michael Mann’s Heat. But it’s what’s going on inside the Bathead that pulls us in. Bale is electrifying as a fallibly human crusader at war with his own conscience.

I can only speak superlatives of Ledger, who is mad-crazy-blazing brilliant as the Joker. Miles from Jack Nicholson’s broadly funny take on the role in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, Ledger takes the role to the shadows, where even what’s comic is hardly a relief. No plastic mask for Ledger; his face is caked with moldy makeup that highlights the red scar of a grin, the grungy hair and the yellowing teeth of a hound fresh out of hell. To the clown prince of crime, a knife is preferable to a gun, the better to “savor the moment.”

The deft script, by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, taking note of Bob Kane’s original Batman and Frank Miller’s bleak rethink, refuses to explain the Joker with pop psychology. Forget Freudian hints about a dad who carved a smile into his son’s face with a razor. As the Joker says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.”

The Joker represents the last completed role for Ledger, who died in January at 28 before finishing work on Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. It’s typical of Ledger’s total commitment to films as diverse as Brokeback Mountain and I’m Not There that he does nothing out of vanity or the need to be liked. If there’s a movement to get him the first posthumous Oscar since Peter Finch won for 1976’s Network, sign me up. Ledger’s Joker has no gray areas — he’s all rampaging id. Watch him crash a party and circle Rachel, a woman torn between Bale’s Bruce (she knows he’s Batman) and Eckhart’s DA, another lover she has to share with his civic duty. “Hello, beautiful,” says the Joker, sniffing Rachel like a feral beast. He’s right when he compares himself to a dog chasing a car: The chase is all. The Joker’s sadism is limitless, and the masochistic delight he takes in being punched and bloodied to a pulp would shame the Marquis de Sade. “I choose chaos,” says the Joker, and those words sum up what’s at stake in The Dark Knight.

The Joker wants Batman to choose chaos as well. He knows humanity is what you lose while you’re busy making plans to gain power. Every actor brings his A game to show the lure of the dark side. Michael Caine purrs with sarcastic wit as Bruce’s butler, Alfred, who harbors a secret that could crush his boss’s spirit. Morgan Freeman radiates tough wisdom as Lucius Fox, the scientist who designs those wonderful toys — wait till you get a load of the Batpod — but who finds his own standards being compromised. Gary Oldman is so skilled that he makes virtue exciting as Jim Gordon, the ultimate good cop and as such a prime target for the Joker. As Harvey tells the Caped Crusader, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” Eckhart earns major props for scarily and movingly portraying the DA’s transformation into the dreaded Harvey Two-Face, an event sparked by the brutal murder of a major character.

No fair giving away the mysteries of The Dark Knight. It’s enough to marvel at the way Nolan — a world-class filmmaker, be it Memento, Insomnia or The Prestige — brings pop escapism whisper-close to enduring art. It’s enough to watch Bale chillingly render Batman as a lost warrior, evoking Al Pacino in The Godfather II in his delusion and desolation. It’s enough to see Ledger conjure up the anarchy of the Sex Pistols and A Clockwork Orange as he creates a Joker for the ages. Go ahead, bitch about the movie being too long, at two and a half hours, for short attention spans (it is), too somber for the Hulk crowd (it is), too smart for its own good (it isn’t). The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination. It’s full of surprises you don’t see coming. And just try to get it out of your dreams.

“My Dad” –A hilarious flash animation in honor of Father’s Day

June 15, 2008

Superhero Fashion Emergency

June 12, 2008

1 or 2 NSFW words.

Balloon animals are just the beginning

June 10, 2008

Yep, that’s “Halo’s” Master Chief made entirely of balloons. Cool…but very creepy at the same time. I imagine there’s an unholy alliance between clowns, magicians (balloon-character makers), and mimes. I can’t put my finger on it, but hey, it was no coincidence that John Wayne Gacy, Jr. dressed up as a clown to lure his victims. Anyway, ck. out a few of the cool creations, and follow the link to see even more. Down with mylar!

Batman “Dark Knight Trailer”….I’m in a Lego mood

June 6, 2008

I wonder how long this took? Funny stuff.