Trailer: The Dark Knight Rises

News, nuggets and notables, updated throughout the day:

[Update: 7:45 pm PT]

Apparently you can expect Dennis Quaid When You’re Expecting

Universal pulls plug on Ron Howard’s ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

Poster: Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain in Take Shelter

First Look: Elle Fanning in Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt

[Update: 12:30 pm PT]

Kevin Costner in negotiations for Tarantino’s Django Unchained
He’s in line to play sadistic slave-fight trainer Ace Woody. (Deadline)

[Update: 11:35 am PT]

(above) Trailer: The Dark Knight Rises
For the 3 of you on the planet who didn’t make it out to see Harry Potter this weekend, here’s the teaser for The Dark Knight Rises which unspooled beforehand. I was underwhelmed, but then it’s just a teaser so I guess I can’t really be too critical. (Rope of Silicon)

Ralph Fiennes to direct story of Dickens romance The Invisible Woman
It’s based on the same-titled book by Claire Tomalin about a 13-year affair Charles Dickens had with Ellen Ternan. Fiennes is supposedly meeting with actresses for the female lead. The Daily Mail says Fiennes isn’t going to star, just direct. (Daily Mail, via Playlist)

Guillermo del Toro to produce Beauty and the Beast adaptation with Emma Watson
No real details. (Coming Soon)

15 Responses to “News du Jour: 7/18/11”

  1. “The Dark Knight” has lessened a bit (or, really, a lot) on repeat viewing for me. The last time I tried watching it I was pretty much done by the middle of the film. The last act loses me entirely, and I think the self-serious tone of the films becomes tiresome after a while. There’s nothing wrong with being dark and brooding, but there’s also too much going on for its own good at the end of that movie. It borderlines parody for me with the situation on the two ferries and everything with Eckhart’s character. I still dig Heath Ledger’s performance, though, and I think his iconic turn as The Joker was the main reason for my initial enthusiasm towards the film upon theatrical release (as was seeing a film with an audience that loves it to pieces – that energy is infectious). I’d say “Begins” is a better movie actually. Maybe the third film will conclude everything really well. The title still strikes me as incredibly lazy. The teaser is good though, as far as teasers go. I dunno, I think I’ve grown so tired of the comic book wave that even this bores me a little bit. That’s me, though. This film will be an enormous hit obviously and I’m sure we’ll get some great sequences from Nolan.

  2. I haven’t watched Begins or TDK recently enough to be able to compare them, though I think the fact I’ve not been moved to re-see TDK after that first time in theaters speaks volumes.

    I think you’re right about Ledger. Part of it was that he later died, but also he was magnetic and original.

    I liked the seriousness at the time, it was something to shake up a genre I was already getting bored with, but there’s a point at which things are TOO serious. There needs to be a superhero movie where it’s actually fun having super powers.

  3. Well, I actually consider TDK one of the better films in recent years. Without a doubt the best among the superhero/comicbook films.

    I am a huge fan of Nolan’s work and for me TDK was a real masterpiece. Directing-wise it was solid, but the screenplay was outstanding from my point of view.

    I’m really looking forward to see what they did with this one. The trailer hints that it might be the last Batman film by Nolan which is good. Hopefully they can finish it off with a great film and then Nolan can move on to other projects. He is too good of a director (one of the best among the younger directors today) to be remembered as “the guy who directed Batman and other stuff”.

  4. No mistake, I loved it when it came out. I just haven’t thought about it a lot since for some reason.

    It’s interesting to me how the trailer really relies on people’s built in enthusiasm for the thing rather than trying to juice it. I’m not sure if I like the strategy, but it’s early yet.

  5. I like TDK, but the hyperbolic critical praise never sat well with me, especially when it comes to the plot holes the movie suffers from, and Nolan’s continued inability to shoot a fight scene. As for the trailer, I like the fact that we’re getting a return of Ra’s Al Ghul in voice-over, implying Liam Neeson’s return. Other than that, all we really get is Bane, one of the more underwhelming of Batman’s villains. Is he going to break Wayne’s back, as he did in the comics? Dunno, and I’m not too invested.

    Other than that. Craig, is that actually your name, or is it just a handle? Because I came across the name as a fictional character while lazily looking up Doc Savage. Odd thing to see.

  6. Costner in “Django” is a great casting choice. I also seemed to miss that Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio have been cast.

  7. Speaking of “Django”, it’s sounding more and more like a Southern take on “Spartacus”, isn’t it?

  8. Now that I think about it, you might be right about the Spartacus thing. Although I am pretty certain that Tarantino will have his very own take on the story.

    I still believe that TDKR will be worth the viewing. Nolan might not be the best fight scene director but I’m more looking forward to the story than anything else. Maybe we shall wait for the real trailer to have a better idea of what’s going on with the project.

    P.S. I’d be very interested to hear some recommendations of good fight scenes. Recently I’m in the mood for that. So if you have any suggestions of directors and their films, I’d be glad if you let me know. :)

  9. Bob, I think reducing any Quentin Tarantino movie down to just one of the elements he’s riffing off of is to miss the forest for the trees, but whatever blows your skirt up.

    The full name Craig Kennedy is a character in the Doc Savage universe? He’s also a character in a series of detective books that were turned into a TV series in the early 50s: Craig Kennedy: Criminologist.

    The name is my real one however.

    Ari, I like the Costner casting too. It’s one of those “out of the career fire and back into the frying pan” maneuvers he worked with John Travolta too and that worked out pretty well.

    Piro, what kind of fighting are you looking for?

  10. Looking forward to Nolan’s next. I’m not really a fan of his direction or his action choreography and I was sorely disappointed by Inception, but Nolan is adept at creating spectacle and his respect for in-camera effects always makes his films interesting to watch.

    Pirohunter, I’m not sure what you’re looking for but when it comes to “fight scenes” my list would begin with most anything starring Jet Li in the 90’s. Fist of Legend isn’t a great remake nor is it a great film, but its one long series of fight scenes, each getting more and more intense as the film progresses, staged almost like a live-action video game. Any of the Tsui Hark-directed Once Upon a Time In China films would be worth seeing. And I’ve always been a fan of the goofy/endearing Enforcer (AKA My Father the Hero), which is as close to family fare as Li ever got.

    The fight sequence in the middle of Crouching Tiger between Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi is also a favorite, as is much of the combat in Hero.

    There are great action films from Hollywood worth mentioning like Casino Royale, the Kill Bill episodes, or The Matrix, but I assume you’ve seen those.

  11. Thinking about it… with TDKR being marketed with Inception-like references, WB and Nolan are trying to lure those who loved Inception, but also loathe the superhero-films into watching TDKR. Inception was something hip and cool for many people.

    Thing is, Batman is a franchise that can stand on its own legs and promote by itself… or maybe not.

  12. Okay, lest there be any confusion– when I said that “Django Unchained” sounds like a Southern version of “Spartacus”, I didn’t mean that in a bad way. Actually, it makes perfect sense for a story of slave rebellion, and allows a perfectly digestible context for a story that a lot of people are likely to be uncomfortable with at first. I’m hoping that there’s still an element of the Civil War in here, and that it isn’t just overlooked in favor of this pastiche flavor. I would like to see some Johnny Rebs get the same treatment the Basterds dished out to the Nazis.

    And the “Craig Kennedy: Criminologist” you’re talking about is what I meant. For some reason it’s linked to on the wikipedia page for Doc Savage. But knowing how often pulp icons get linked to clandestinely in different works, it’s not a stretch, the two of them. The original “Rocketeer” comics slyly referred to Doc Savage as the inventor of the rocket-pack. I just found it amusing.

  13. Well, I’m looking for contemporary action films but of the hiegher quality if possible. Mostly good fistfighting scenes. Nothing like Bloodsport for example, where the fights are on a ring/stage/underground whatever…

    Thank you for the recommedations, Joel. I’ll be sure to check at least some of them out and let you know how it went. :)

    I remain open for other suggestions as well.

  14. Unapologetic fan of TDK here. It’s not perfect, but it gets so much right, I have a hard time pulling myself away from it any time it’s on. And I’ve watched it probably a dozen times now, at least in pieces. I do wish Nolan would get better at writing/directing women. That’s his biggest weakness, in my opinion, right above being too cerebral.

    The teaser was underwhelming to me, but I don’t really care. It’s just a matter of feeding the publicity beast at regular intervals; doesn’t really have much correlation to the final product.

    Craig, I think you should start inserting a paragraph or so of criminology analysis at the end of all your reviews, just to make the Googlers wonder.

  15. Wow, you could spend a whole year just titling every Watercooler post as though its a detective novel.

    Craig Kennedy and the Search for Michael Bay’s Self-Respect

    Craig Kennedy and the Case of the Lackluster Box Office Results

    Craig Kennedy and the Curious Demise of the Popcorn Tub

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