“Well, a guy who dresses up like a bat clearly has issues.” — Bruce Wayne, Batman Begins.
“Time for you to work through some of your issues, Mr. Reese” — Harold Finch, Person of Interest.
Jonathan Nolan’s Watchmen: Person of Interest, Batman, and Second Chances
Batman fans, take note — Person of Interest, a ratings hit when it debuted last year, returns for a second season in its original Thursday 9 pm/8 central timeslot this fall on September 27th. Creator Jonathan Nolan, the man who helped bring the Dark Knight back to the big screen, borrows from Batman for a disguised variation on the famous comic-book legend. Brush up on season one available on Blu-ray and DVD now, or plunge in Thursday before Executive Producer J. J. Abrams’ trademark penchant for elaborate mythology kicks in.
In what perhaps best sums up the two protagonists in the CBS series Person of Interest, a comic-book-obsessed boy (“Astro” from The X Factor) tells ex-CIA operative Reese, “You are a ronin … a samurai with no master.” Indeed Reese is, as is the new boss Finch who recently took him under his wing, and while the desaturated hues of Person of Interest bear zero resemblance to a colorful comic-book palette, this grittily realistic crime series has much in common with the recent Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises). What is Batman, after all, but a masterless warrior trained in the fighting arts of the Far East?
REVIEW SUMMARY: Messy, way too long, and with far too many missteps and misguided elements, Nolan’s final chapter in the rebooted Batman franchise still remains watchable because of its outstanding cast and several breathtaking sequences.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The Batman is called back into service eight years after taking blame for the death of District Attorney Harvey Dent to save Gotham City from the psychotic Bane, and enlists the help of the mysterious jewel thief Selena Kyle.
PROS: Visually stunning, with outstanding performances by the leads and supporting cast; incredible action sequences.
CONS: Underdeveloped ideas and story; overlong; intrusion of science fiction elements breaks the tone of the series.
Despite the incredible high-tech gadgets, powerful souped-up vehicles, and near-magical ability of his utility belt to rescue him from any nefarious jam (much like Doctor Who twisting the knobs of his sonic screwdriver to turn any series of unfortunate events, ultimately, to his benefit), Batman is not, and never has been, part of the science fiction universe. Large though his shadow looms over the ever-growing corner of genre populated by four-color heroes of a far more fantastic bent (from orphaned alien Superman to Amazon Wonder Woman, from laboratory success Captain America to super-science accidents Hulk and Spider-Man, incredible and amazing or not), Bob Kane’s seminal creation shares far more in common with the crime fighters of The Strand or Black Mask, a Sherlock Holmes in cape and cowl, a Continental Op who goes down the noir mean streets in operatic fashion.
REVIEW SUMMARY: Christopher Nolan’s new film isn’t quite as smart as it should be and suffers from occasional lapses in pace, but nonetheless manages to be that rarity of rarities, an intelligent science fiction action thriller.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Wealthy businessman Saito hires dream extractor Dom Cobb to plant an idea in the mind of a rival mogul which will make the energy market more competitive.
PROS: A good cast with an especially strong performance by Leonardo Di Caprio; visually arresting, especially in the architecture; deft handling of the dream-within-a-dream sequences; Hans Zimmer’s powerful score.
CONS: Too often favors action over idea and thus never quite lives up to the potential of its original concept; open-ended ending that most genre viewers, and perhaps more savvy general audiences, will see coming fairly early.
It’s official, after the mess that was the latest Superman movie, Christopher Nolan will be “shepherding” a new rebooted Superman movie to completion. Let’s hope that Brandon Routh’s metrosexual Supes doesn’t make a return and that there are no giant spiders (the fiercest killers in the animal kingdom) for Superman to fight. Nolan won’t be writing or directing but hopefully some of the same sensibilities that made the new Batman movies so good will rub off on the new Superman.
With concrete info hard to come by, we’re opening it up to you. What would you like to see from a new Superman movie? Who would you like to see as Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Lex Luthor? Do you even want to see Luthor as the villain? What about a story line you’d like to see? Should they redo the origin story or come up with something different (I’d assume a redone origin story is in order.) Should John Williams return with his kick ass score?
What say you?