TV Review: GOTHAM – Season 1 Episode 4 – “Arkham”

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By: Darryl Frisbie

GOTHAM

“War is just politics by another name,” Penguins says to Gordon and then with one word he reveals where the blood feud will begin- Arkham”

This was an intense episode, fueled by a hit man who used a steel spike as his weapon of choice. His victims were council men deciding to vote on the critical fate of Arkham and the utilization of the property.  The opposing players in the battle for Arkham are Maroni and Falcone. Bruce Wayne confesses to Jim Gordon that his parents mission for Arkham was to house and rehabilitate the mentally ill in the most humane manner. Unfortunately, Bruce has to sit helpless as the war for Arkham begins.

Arkham sign colour

The most engaging part to this storyline is the Penguin himself. We witness him play the lowly unsuspecting dishwasher at Maroni’s restaurant, and then see him make his first move by hiring gunmen to steal some mob money hidden in the back kitchen, while the manager is left for dead. It’s clear it’s not wise to cross Oswald Cobblepot. And never accept a gift of cannoli’s because it may be your last. In the end, he takes all the money and is now the man at the restaurant calling the shots.

The conclusion of the episode we have the mayor threatened by the mob and he cowers to their demands. Half of Arkham goes to Maroni where Gotham’s waste will go, while the other half to Falcone’s low income housing.

gotham-arkham

Now I want to delve deeper into the strong points of this show and what I feel may help it improve, but let’s start with the weak points. Fish Mooney is very derivative and that was made very clear in this episode. It’s like she’s a poor imitation of Eartha Kitt. Unfortunately, some fans of this show find her as a strong character but the only glamorous thing about her is her wardrobe. When the singers audition for her club and she asks to be seduced, that whole sequence felt not only contrived, but wasteful to the storyline. Too many shows capitalize on a characters sexual orientation and every case it has to be the most trivial thing to the plot. So if I had my way Fish Mooney would have less screen time. I would love to see more of Edward Nygma. He has to be the most undervalued character of the show and he’s a great character!!! And while there are so many great characters on the show it’s hard to bring them all in focus within forty-five minutes of actual show time. But since it’s a TV show, it has the advantage of developing these characters over a ten season period (fingers crossed). My hope is that we will have episodes where the central focus will be Oswald Cobblepot or Edward Nygma. These are characters that deserve more than just being in the background. And I’m all for strong female characters, whether it be the heroine or the villain but Fish Mooney just does not cut it. One more thing that could help improve the show is the investment of the audience in our heroes. While the villains are just as fascinating we need to still have a reason to care and root for our heroes. Overall the show is great and the relationship between Bruce and Gordon is developing well.

Overall Grade: 7/10

 

Holy Sidekick Batman! Jena Malone Cast In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

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By: Adam Basciano

Batman V Superman - Dawn of Justice

A couple of months ago, soy photos surfaced online featuring actress Jena Malone (Sucker Punch) on the Detroit set of “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”, with director Zack Snyder. Some played this off as nothing more than the actress visiting her friend and former director.  Fans jumped to the conclusion that she would play Carrie Kelley aka Robin. For those who don’t know, she “is a female Robin appearing in the alternate universe of The Dark Knight Returns. During The Dark Knight Strikes Again she becomes Catgirl. Her parents, although living, are aging stoner hippies who do not pay a lot of attention to their daughter. She is the successor to Jason Todd. Carrie Kelley was created by Frank Miller

jena-malone

These rumblings died down until an extra working on the film, was interviewed on a local Detroit news broadcast, under anonymity of course, and revealed that Robin is not only in the film, but was indeed female. Adding more fuel to this fire is the fact that Jena Malone is now sporting red hair, like the character of Carrie Kelley in the comic books. The Hollywood Reporter has done their own investigation into the matter, and their sources confirm that Jena Malone has been cast in the film.  However, her role is being closely guarded. It’s worth noting that the characters of Batgirl and Batwoman are characters with red hair. So Jena Malone could be playing one of those characters. However, with the film taking its cues from “The Dark Knight Returns, and the extra risking a lawsuit of $5 million for breach of the NDA to reveal the presence of a female Robin, it’s safe to assume that Jena Malone is indeed playing Carrie Kelley. If this is the case, consider me 100% behind the inclusion of the character and the casting.

Carrie_Kelley_Prime_Earth_002   carrie_kelley

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

 

Charles Roven Talks “Batman V Superman” + Michael Keaton Open For Return To Batman!

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By: Adam Basciano

Affleck Batman

Charles Roven, producer of “The Dark Knight Trilogy”, “Man of Steel”, and the upcoming “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and discussed what Chris Nolan’s role is with the new film, and the how and why of casting Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. He also explains what type of Batman we’ll see in the film.  Talk turned to Wonder Woman being in the film, where Mr. Roven said Wonder Woman was a Demi-God and the daughter of Zeus. This suggests that her origin will be inspired by New 52 continuity, which in my opinion is a good thing. Check out the video:

Former Batman on film, Michael Keaton recently spoke about his time in the cape & cowl while promoting his upcoming film “Birdman.” When asked if he would ever consider returning to Batman, Mr. Keaton said; “If it was Tim Burton directing? In a heartbeat.” Now while the likelihood of this scenario ever happening is slim to none, here’s a scenario where I think it could hypothetically be possible.  Ben Affleck will most likely fill the role of Batman for three films, “Batman V Superman”, “Justice League”, and a solo “Batman” film.  After that, we’ll probably need a new Batman. Warner Brothers could at this point decide to finally pull the trigger on a “Batman Beyond” film. “Batman Beyond” was originally an animated series where; Fueled by remorse and vengeance, a high schooler named Terry McGinnis revives the role of Batman. Under supervision of an elderly Bruce Wayne, he fights crime in a harsh futuristic Gotham. I would be completely onboard if Tim Burton was brought on board to direct, with Michael Keaton as the elderly, retired, but mentoring Bruce Wayne.  You could put Tim Burton’s “Batman” & “Batman Returns”, in a vague history.  You could even mention Joel Schumacher’s two travesty as a hallucination Batman once had due to Scarecrow’s fear toxin, and retroactively delete those two films from history.  It’s a win/win for everyone.  While I legitimately believe a Tim Burton/ Michael Keaton “Batman Beyond” would be intriguing and entertaining, it won’t happen, but it’s certainly fun to think about!

Michael Keaton Batman

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly)

TV Review: GOTHAM – Season 1 Episode 3: The Balloonman

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By: Kyle Shultz

GOTHAM

I’m not saying that “Gotham” is a horrible show, it definitely is one of the better shows out there, especially for a show based off of a comic series; although I feel that I’m sitting around waiting for something to happen that makes me think “Okay, now THIS is where things start coming together.” I know I cannot judge too much, the show is only in its third episode of its first season thus far, so I have to give it some slack. Shows in their first season have trouble finding their footing & I have a feeling by seasons end, I’ll stick around with this show for the long run. Though, for now this episode “The Balloonman” was not bad, but it wasn’t great. To me, it was mediocre at best. This episode was better than last weeks, but so far; I’d have to say the Pilot has been my favorite so far.

Balloonman

I love that the crew behind this show is creating their own universe, and completely ignoring certain aspects of the comics & just utilizing creativity of the mind with this world. Having a vigilante in Gotham before there was Batman is interesting, and a bit ballsy as well. My main problem with him in the show is that GCPD seemingly didn’t know how the hell a weather balloon worked, that’s one thing that bothered me the most. There’s a reason Isaac Newton said “What goes up, must come down”. There are a couple other things that bother me the most about this show & they’re Fish Mooney and how “Gotham” always seems to show a “bad corner” to show how rotten the city is. I’ll start off with Mooney; I’m not saying she’s a bad character, though I’m also not saying she is a great character. She just seems like a waste of screen time to me. There has yet to be a scene she was in that made me feel or connect with her. I have more connection to Edward Nygma in the show, & he’s only been on-screen for maybe 5 minutes. Granted Nygma is one of my favorite Batman villains, but still. The role of Fish Mooney just seems like Will Smith said “Here’s some money, now put my wife in the show.”

Fish Mooney

On to the second point that bothers me. It seems that anytime we’re out in the streets of Gotham on the show, no matter the situation, some crime is going down. In this episode alone, when Oswald came back into town, he stepped off that bus & immediately we saw someone giving a cop money, a lady getting her purse stolen & I think a couple of other crimes happen as well. Then there is Harvey Bullock beating a guy in broad daylight, though he was under a bridge, so obviously no one saw him. I am a huge Batman fan & I know that Gotham was a pretty scum of the Earth city before Batman came along, but damn every time we see Gotham on the outside, MUST we always see some random crime going down? It kind of reminds me of the opening to 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and those were kids training to be Ninjas stealing in broad daylight! A small annoyance I had is all the obvious lines that hinted at characters futures. I know Superhero shows do this a lot, but Gotham does it a whole hell of a lot. I can look past that, cause really it tickles my 10-year-old comic book self.

Penguin gets assaulted

The greatest parts of the show though are the rise of The Penguin, scenes with Gordon and Bullock & scenes with Gordon/Barbara & Montoya. When Oswald came back, he wasn’t Cobblepot anymore, he was The Penguin, or on the road to becoming The Penguin. I know this season is all about The Penguin, but that ending scene with Penguin in the doorway was just beautifully shot. I’ve said it to my friends & I’ll say it here, I love Ben McKenzie & Donal Logue as Jim Gordon & Harvey Bullock. From day one I’ve always stated Ben McKenzie will be excellent as Gordon, & then he was cast. I said the same for Logue as Bullock and then he was cast. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket or something if I’ve had that much luck to predict casting choices. Anyways, Gordon and Barbara is another pair I love on the show. Erin Richards is just flipping gorgeous and she can hide her accent well, I know her from a show called Breaking In, which is a more comedic show, so this role is much different & it is different seeing her in this darker/more mature role. The fact that we also got a bit of back story on Kean when Montoya came in was interesting as well, They really flipped stuff on its head when they revealed that they used to be lovers & establishing that what ended things between Kean & Montoya is that Montoya used to be an addict, which is a nod to the comics as she was an alcoholic in the comics. I really want to see these two on-screen more throughout this season.

gotham-balloonman

Every show has its pros and cons, especially in the first season, I’m sure this show will only get better throughout the rest of the season, though I’m sure once Fish Mooney is out of the picture I’ll start to like the show more.

Overall Grade: 7/10

Warner Brothers Moving Forward With “The Lego Movie” Batman Spinoff Film!

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By: Adam Basciano

The-Lego-Movie-Character-Poster-Batman

Batman will return to the big screen in the most anticipated movie of 2016, “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Fans would likely assume that following that, we’d most likely see The Dark Knight on the silver screen in Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” film. While that’s a great assumption, it may not be accurate.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris McKay, the animation supervisor on Lego Movie, was initially set to direct that project’s sequel. However, the movie is being pushed back and McKay is now helming the Lego Batman movie, which is being written by author-screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith. Warners is eyeing a 2017 release for the spinoff.”  In the original Lego movie, Batman was voiced by Canadian actor Will Arnett.  In that movie, “Batman was one of the highlights of the movie, stealing every scene that he was in. With Arnett taking Christian Bale’s gravely voice to an extreme degree, the character was arrogant, dark, sarcastic, and just too-cool-for-this-adventure.”

will-arnett leafs

First, let me say that as a Batman fan I am 100% on board with this decision. Secondly, as a Canadian, it’s nice to have Batman being played by a fellow countryman. Thirdly, like myself, Will Arnett is a hard-core fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ergo, by association, Batman is a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  My mind is now blown.  Congratulations Warner Brothers, this decision guarantee’s you will have my money on opening night.

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

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