Tags: Batman, Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan, killing, Man of Steel, morality, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Use of Force, Zack Snyder
by Walter Hudson – PJ Media – June 28, 2013
This one comes with a serious SPOILER ALERT. If you have not gotten out to see Man of Steel and plan to do so, you may not want to read further. The same goes if you’ve somehow managed to get this far without seeing each entry in the Dark Knight trilogy.
Throughout the Dark Knight films, Bruce Wayne pursues his crusade against crime following a single rule. He refuses to kill. That sole self-imposed limitation becomes a huge liability in the second film once his enemies begin to leverage it against him. Nevertheless, he abides by it until the end, never killing even when the act could be wholly justified.
Tags: Arkham Asylum, Batman, Man of Steel, Superman, video games
by Walter Hudson – PJ Media – June 27, 2013
Sometimes, the lack of a product proves more noteworthy than the presence of one. To date, we have seen no video game tie-in to the recently released Man of Steel. Given the infamous history of subpar Superman titles, gamers welcome the omission. However, past developers’ inability to capture the experience of being Superman does not preclude modern developers from taking a fresh look at the challenge.
For inspiration, they should look to the Man of Steel’s DC Comics compatriot, the Dark Knight. The experience of being Batman was nailed by Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: Arkham Asylum. Playing that game and its even more successful follow-up Arkham City leaves the impression that the developers cared immensely about the character and his world. Rather than start with the goal of making a Batman video game, which had been done many times before, they set the bar much higher and sought to convey the experience of being Batman.
Tags: Alien, Batman, Capitalism, Charity, Comic books, Ferengi, Fringe, Gordon Gekko, Money, Profit, Robocop, Star Trek, Superman, Total Recall, Wall Street
by Walter Hudson – PJ Media – May 30, 2013
Having written for some weeks now on the villainous archetypes found in our entertainment culture and how they both express and influence our philosophy, I now come to a personal favorite: the cliché of the corporate villain. The greedy, unscrupulous capitalist stands so well established that the introduction of a successful businessperson in our stories elicits animus just short of audible hissing. As with the black-hatted, silent film villain twirling his mustache, or the masked burglar wearing white and black stripes while holding a bag bearing a dollar sign, we know immediately upon beholding a well-dressed corporate executive that they are not to be trusted.
Much as The Princess Bride’s Vizzini abused the word “inconceivable,” far too many of our storytellers wield “capitalism” haphazardly. It does not mean what they think it means.
Tags: Batman, Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan, David Goyer, General Zod, Immigration, Krypton, NewsReal Blog, Superman, the American way, The Dark Knight, Zack Snyder
by Walter Scott Hudson, contributed to NewsReal Blog
As they stand on the rooftop patio of her lavish penthouse apartment in the 1978 Richard Donner classic, Lois Lane asks Superman why he has come to Earth. With complete sincerity he replies, “I’m here to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.”
Lois scoffs, as do we. “You’re going to end up fighting every elected official in the country.”
In this age of dark and moody anti-heroes, the unadulterated wholesomeness of Superman flies against the current. Yet, the character remains a popular icon whose family crest is prolifically plastered on clothing, hung from walls and rear view mirrors, and etched into the skin of fans worldwide.
Despite the character’s enduring appeal, his latest silver screen appearance in Bryan Singer’s 2006’s Superman Returns was meet with widespread disappointment. Audiences were unimpressed by Brandon Routh as an effeminate romantic, pining over the path not taken. Also notable was the exclusion of “the American way” in the script, in an effort to broaden international appeal.
Tags: Batman, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Comic books, Dexter, Hollywood, Michael C. Hall, Showtime, Superheroes, Superman, The Concession Stand
by Walter Scott Hudson, contributed to NewsReal Blog
When I first heard the synopsis for Showtime’s Dexter, before watching a single episode back in 2006, I was doubtful the premise could be sustained beyond one or two seasons. Michael C. Hall plays Dexter Morgan, a Miami forensic scientist specializing in blood spatter analysis for the city’s police department. He moonlights as a serial killer. Haunted by the memory of his long-dead adoptive cop father, who recognized in the son a familiar compulsion toward murder, Dexter adheres to a methodical code of conduct which requires he kill only those who have murdered others.
The first season was outstanding, with episodes of uniformly high quality, wit, and suspense. Once it was over however, I remained convinced there was no where else to go with the premise, that the second season would simply repackage the scenarios of the first, and the formula would become stale. To my pleasant surprise, the second season exceeded the first, and the third the second. For four years now, Dexter has reinvented itself over and over again, pushing the comfort zone of both its titular character and we the audience.
As the premiere episode of the fifth season approaches (this Sunday at 9pm EST), it has occurred to me that the reason Dexter is so appealing is because its mythology evokes the conventions of a crime-fighter comic book, without the child-like naivety. Dexter is a twisted superhero for grown-ups. His super-power is the greatly subdued empathy of a sociopath.
It’s not that Dexter feels nothing for the people around him, though that is often his claim. As the series has progressed, he has repeatedly demonstrated concern and even a degree of love for his adoptive sister Debra, played with vulgar relish by Jennifer Carpenter. He has displayed a sense of camaraderie and even loyalty toward his co-workers in the Miami Police Department. Not least of all, Dexter exhibits a genuine sense of righteous indignation when he dispatches his criminal prey, viewing his tightly focused homicidal rage as a function of extra-legal justice.
Tags: Adam West, Batman, Black Dynamite, Burt Ward, Chicago Sun-Times, Deductive Reasoning, Detective, glenn beck, Hollywood, Logic, NewsReal Blog, Roger Ebert, sarah palin, The Concession Stand
by Walter Scott Hudson, contributing to NewsReal Blog
The political commentary of popular Chicago-Sun Times film critic Roger Ebert has drawn some harsh scrutiny here at NRB. He authored some discombobulated rants against extending due process to BP in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. He since wrote in support of the Cordoba Initiative’s construction of a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. The unfocused nature of these posts demonstrate an apparent disconnect between Ebert’s clear ability to perceive the fictional worlds of film and any ability to perceive the real world in which he lives.