The Lego Batman Movie
By John McGee
Full of all the heart and soul of the original Lego Movie and then some, The Lego Batman Movie pretty much takes away any reason to continue down the path of the life of Emmet. The brand crossing was fun in the first one, but Emmet was the worst part. Everyone who saw and everyone who did not see The Lego Movie agreed that Batman stole the show and it was his movie. There wasn’t enough of him. (Looking at you, Suicide Squad. Where’s my Joker movie?!)
I digress. The Lego Batman Movie was hilarious at every turn, Chris McKay’s love letter to the franchise and character, and a soul-searching Rite of Passage for Batman in a way that’s never been done on screen before. Batman was actually relatable and sent a great message to everyone watching. I had kids a few rows behind me who were finishing Batman’s sister’s homework (sorry, inside joke) at key moments, and in the big key moments those kids starting crying once they saw me crying. It was emotional.
Of course, being a DC fan and a man with a finely developing brain behind his eyes, I am not one of those losers who has to throw mud/shade/movie tickets at other DC films just because this one is different. Critics have once again taken a step backwards. They were right to praise The Lego Batman Movie. It was a spectacular movie for Batman that CELEBRATED his ENTIRE history. Yes, Batman v Superman included. So don’t expect a “Lego Batman was great so that means The Dark Knight sucks” narrative. I am capable of enjoying multiple films with multiple tones/themes. Isn’t that too hard for critics these days? They can’t seem to handle anything more serious than outright comedies.
If you are on the fence or considering waiting for Lego Batman to hit DVD racks…don’t. Don’t wait for the DVD until you’ve experienced the wonderful movie in theaters, and bring the kids. You’ll all love it. The cast is fantastic, especially Will Arnett’s obnoxious, hilarious laugh. The effects are impeccable. I forgot once or twice that I was watching Lego bricks. That’s how good it looks. Then of course is the amazing story. It was a complete theme-driven story full of emotional tear-jerkers and heartwarming moments. The Lego Batman Movie is the best superhero film we’ve had since Batman v Superman. Go see for yourself.
Shanlian On Batman is bringing you yet another information packed podcast this time with returning guest, Jay Oliva. You are definitely familiar with this man’s work from Flash Point Paradox and Assault on Arkham to Justice League Dark and The Dark Knight Returns pts 1 & 2. Sit down and listen to Jay walk the guys through his films and talks about doing story boards for BvS as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman Film. Enjoy Episode 82 of Shanlian on Batman.
By Drew Kiess
Our tears are barely dry from the disappointing news a few weeks ago that Ben Affleck would no longer be the director on his Batman stand-alone film. Today, brings some potentially good news. Variety is reporting that Matt Reeves, director of Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and its upcoming sequel, is in talks to become the new director. According to their sources, Reeves has already committed to the job, but both sides are still putting together the details. After some conflicting stories and reports regarding the state of the script in the last few days, including a rewrite turned in by Argo, Dawn of Justice, and Justice League writer Chris Terrio, we hopefully will be getting some news as to the creative team that will be leading the caped crusader on this particular silver screen adventure.
If Reeves does indeed take the job, this may turn out quite well for the film. A big budget blockbuster is more in line with Reeves’ skills than it is Affleck’s, as great of a director as he is. War for the Planet of the Apes is one of the most anticipated films of this summer, and both Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield are well regarded. Stay tuned to Shanlian on Batman as more news develops, but in the meantime, does this bring back some optimism to the project? Be sure to let us know!
Ben Affleck is Still The Batman
January 30, 2017 will go down in history as the biggest overreaction regarding modern film in Twitter history. (Which is saying something). Ben Affleck has announced that he’s going to find a collaborator to direct the Batman movie whilst he focuses on the little jobs like starring, writing, and producing the film on top of producing and starring in Justice League coming off the heels of starring in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad after spending a year getting into Batman shape while filming Gone Girl, The Accountant, and writing, starring in, and directing Live By Night while writing The Batman while appearing in countless interviews, premieres, church services, comic cons, award ceremonies and commercials and making TV shows with Matt Damon followed by the occasional Tweet every now and then.
Aren’t you exhausted? Don’t you want to take a nap after reading that mile-long sentence? I need a Ben & Jerry’s already. Seriously, imagine doing all that in your early 40s. Would you be keen to take on more pressure than you’ve ever felt in your life on top of all the other pressures involved in making a movie? I wouldn’t. I would love to hand off the technical stuff to another person so I can focus on the creative side of things. That’s exactly what Affleck said he’s doing. He’s focusing more on the creative so that he doesn’t lose it drowning in the technical.
Yes, we all wanted an Affleck Batman movie, but he believes it wouldn’t be as good as an Affleck/insert cool director here movie. And quality is his main goal when it comes to Batman. Maybe if Terrio and Johns wrote the script he would have directed it. Maybe if he were making a smaller film like The Town he’d direct it. But this is a huge task to undertake and he needs help. Everyone needs help from time to time. Even Batman. So on top of all the other DC stuff he’s giving us, he’s still committed to making the best Batman he can make. Switching directors isn’t like script hell. From all accounts he’s closing in on that coveted final draft, that golden Batman movie we’ve all been waiting for. The Flash is getting a rewrite, but the Batman is not.
The fact he announced this publicly means that he’s gearing up for production and intends to get things right. I have faith that he’ll find someone who will be able to shoulder the immense pressure and do their best to help him achieve his vision. (I wish Lexi Alexander would direct, or George Miller, or Chris McKay, but we’ll see). All that’s really happening here is a reason to be excited: Ben Affleck is shopping around for a really creative aesthetic to complement his script and portrayal of Batman. No need for panic. No need for “DCEU is doomed” articles. Ain’t that shit getting old?
I can’t wait to watch “The Batman” and look forward to hearing who he calls upon to direct. This is gonna be good.
The guys are back this week to talk some not-so-nice news about DC Films and the upcoming solo bat flick, The Batman. It’s no news at this point that Ben Affleck has stepped down as director of The Batman, but what does this mean for DC Films and upcoming Batman titles? Hang out with Justin, Kyle, and Tom and speculate the many possibilities that the future may hold for the DC film universe!
Episode 80 we sit down and chat with the current Batman Beyond artist Bernard Chang. We dive deep into his early career and his current and amazing work on Batman Beyond.
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Ben Affleck has stepped down as the director of the upcoming Batman film. In a statement reported by Variety, Affleck said the following:
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
This is far from good news, but the facts here are: Ben Affleck is not going to direct the next Batman movie, he will still be playing Bruce Wayne, and he is looking for a director that he feels comfortable working with. While he will not be in the director’s chair, Affleck by all accounts is still the primary script writer, star, and most likely executive producer on the picture. From a personal point of view, I think there is plenty of reason to remain optimistic, even if cautiously optimistic. Hopefully we will be getting an announcement very quickly as to who the new director will be. In the meantime, we have to come to grips with the fact that not everything is sunshine and roses at the Brothers Warner when it comes to the DC Extended Universe. But as someone once remarked, the night is darkest just before the dawn.
WOW! What a night! Did you see all those Harley Quinns? Batmen and Supermen! Jokers and Jack Sparrows—but best of all, that Gotham episode! How did this year’s traditional scarefest top eating candy to your heart’s content? Read on to find out!
The good news:
Tetch is finally reaching the end of his rope. He grabbed his sister’s body and drained her of the last of her poisoned blood. The very, very little of the marketing I saw for Season 3 did nothing to whet my appetite for his character other than the fact that we’d be seeing a Mad Hatter. Now he’s easily become one of the most interesting villains we’ve seen. Ever rhyming (kudos to the writers for bothering with that) he schemes to poison the most powerful people in Gotham with his sister’s blood.
Jim Gordon has to come to grips with his messed up head (and boy does he deliver). He hallucinates facing his demons after lying to Lee about saving her last episode and even Bullock angrily asserting that Jim’s “scared” of the badge. He goes through an elevator with a completely seductive and even vulnerable Barbara. (I have to watch some season 1 episodes again—I’m forgetting what she was like before she was crazy). It was haunting and emotional to see Jim experience life with Lee and kids, failure to Bruce and a tear-jerking conversation with his dad. All hallucinations, all realistic and touching.
Jim Gordon returns as a detective to the GCPD following his soul-searching quest. Finally.
Tetch gets captured and fails to poison the Gotham power heads. Duh.
Penguin, instead of killing Nygma’s girlfriend, tells her that Ed was in Arkham in an attempt to break them up, but it only makes their relationship stronger. They’re made for each other, which means Penguin might ruin it by killing her. The cliché is that Penguin kills people and tantrums when he’s denied what he wants. So hopefully the writers avoid that.
I totally forgot in last episode’s review that Bruce kissed Selina. Now they’re having a little date that she’s late for because “it’s weird for me.” So now she’s in a relationship with a plank of wood. Because that sums up the acting skills we’re getting from Mazouz’s side of this thing. Honestly just watch her. She’s the only one who’s obviously taken classes or just has the talent to show range of emotions and enunciate, say her lines differently each time etc.
The bad news:
The guy seemingly bossing around the Court of Owls lady was wearing the ring that Jim’s dad was wearing in the hallucination. The Court is already being denied proper justice already; now we’re getting sidetracked into Jim’s dad. Great.
Best episode of the year by far. There’s no contest. What a Halloween treat.
This is an older episode from last year that Tom accidently lost and the most unfortunate part of that is that it happened to be the Shanlian on Batman interview with Jon Callan. Jon is a writer for the new animated series Justice League Action. The guys go through Jon’s entire career from how he got started to writing on Justice League Action. Kick back and enjoy another classic interview, Shanlian on Batman style.
The end of the year is near! The fellas gather to exchange gifts and gab about 2016 and what it had to offer for us in the world of Batman. There is no description for this episode other than Everything. Justin Kyle, and Tom wrap up 2016 the right way, come talk about Batman with Shanlian on Batman. Happy New Year!!!