Tagged: Heath Ledger

ComicMix Quick Picks – February 11, 2009

ComicMix Quick Picks – February 11, 2009

Today’s collection of items may not be worth a post of their own, but may be of interest:

  • An online Heath Ledger fan club has put up an online petition calling for Warner Brothers to withdraw the role of the Joker from Batman movies once and for all. They already have over 2,000 supporters "freaks." They’re also on YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.
  • The Battlestar Galactica prequel spinoff Caprica will be available on DVD and as a digital download on April 21 of this year but will not air until the show is ready to launch on SciFi– a full year later. Caprica, which will lay the groundwork for a 22-episode series scheduled to launch in 2010, is executive produced by BSG‘s Ronald D. Moore and David Eick and Remi Aubuchon (24) and stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales and Polly Walker.
  • Blambot presents the grammar of comic book lettering.
  • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years, The West Wing) will become lead math correspondent for the weekly Science Channel series Brink, joining host Josh Zepps. Danica graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics, is co-author of a published proof, and wrote two math books for junior high girls, called Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math and not Break a Nail and Kiss My Math.
  • The CW is collaborating with publisher Alloy Entertainment on a one-hour drama pilot adapted from the book series "The Vampire Diaries". Kevin Williamson (Scream) will write and executive produce, working alongside Julie Plec (Kyle XY). If the CW wanted vampires, why couldn’t they bring Buffy or Angel back?

Anything else we missed? Consider this an open thread.

It’s a new year, and you know what that means…

It’s a new year, and you know what that means…

now we can start really compiling the best of the year lists. Dammit, you just don’t do that until you have a full year done. It’s like buying gifts for Jewish kids that haven’t been born yet.

We’ll be posting lists in the next few days, and soliciting your opinions for even more lists, but I’ll kick it off with some of my favorite posts from ComicMix in the past year…

* The Worst Movies Adapted From Comic Books: because you can never take enough cheap shots at David Hasselhoff.

* Must reads before the movies: there were a lot of comic-book movies this year, maybe you heard. (Heard? Heck, you contributed to the billion-dollar bottom line. A lot.) So we gave you recommended reading lists for The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and The Spirit.

* Speaking of The Dark Knight, there was our interview with Heath Ledger over at ComicMix Radio.

* And even though it technically happened last year, John Ostrander’s tribute to Zeus was touching and heartfelt.

What about you? What were your favorite pieces of ours?


‘Dark Knight’ Blu-ray Said to set Sales Records

‘Dark Knight’ Blu-ray Said to set Sales Records

Deadline Hollywood reports that the Blu-ray edition of The Dark Knight sold 600,000 copies on Tuesday, its first day of release.

“By contrast, Marvel/Paramount’s Iron Man sold 250,000 Blu-ray discs when it premiered on September 30th and ended up selling 400,000 Blu-ray units in its first week,” Nikki Finke wrote.

The film had already been named the #1 movie downloaded via Apple’s iStore.

The Dark Knight was not only 2008’s best DVD sales day, but is also likely to be 2008’s bestseller of the year by next week with a projected number of 7 million units,” she continued.

The film is poised to break the $1 billion at the global box office and continues to set records.  With a rerelease announced for January 23, the film will continue to generate huge profits.

With Awards season just beginning, the new is likely to continue.  Already today, Heath Ledger earned a posthumous Golden Globe nomination for his work as the Joker.

The Funniest ‘Dark Knight’ Review You’ll Read

This is probably the tardiest and possibly the funniest review of The Dark Knight you’ll see, as TV writer Ken Levine writes on his blog about how much it must suck to live in Gotham City.

Jesus! You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting six mob bosses. And then there’s the town’s super psycho villain – they couldn’t find someone a little more aesthetically pleasing? Children watch those televised truck chases too, y’know. And Juneau appears to have more daytime in the winter than Gotham City. Does it get dark everyday at noon?

Quick aside: Wouldn’t you love to see AMERICAN IDOL open auditions in Gotham City? Paula would be mistaken for the Joker.

I used to think the Joker was a brilliant mastermind until I realized a number of his fiendish plots were a direct lift from SAW.

DARK KNIGHT was a fun ride and Heath Ledger steals the movie (and everything else). But is it just me? I’m reaching the superhero saturation point. I’ve sympathized enough with tortured reluctant caped crusaders. And these movies all seem to turn on the heroes’ inability to kill the mass murderer psychopath villain because of some “code”. That doesn’t seem real. Oh… wait. We’re talking about guys who wear spandex suits and can fly – strike that last objection.

That’s all good and fun, but then there’s the following, which is a worrisome note about superhero movies wearing out their welcome.

DARK KNIGHT is worth seeing but please Hollywood, no more comic books. The only character left is Bazooka Joe.

It’s just one opinion (well, that and some commenters), but it’s worth considering that these projects are hitting a saturation point and the average (non comics fan) viewer is getting tired of it.

Our Own Private Gotham, by John Ostrander

Our Own Private Gotham, by John Ostrander

The newest Batman movie, The Dark Knight, is doing a nice bit of smackdown with all kinds of records, as well it should. It’s taking in money hand over fist. There are even whispers that it could wind up outgrossing Titanic, although I don’t think that will happen myself. The film will probably be up for several Oscars next year including, among others, Best Picture and possibly Best Actor for the late Heath Ledger’s incendiary portrayal of the Joker.

I’ve seen it, I loved it, I was stunned by it like everyone else. Best Batman movie ever. Possibly the best superhero movie ever. What really interests me, however, are the reports on the demographics of just who is going to see this film. It’s not just we comic geeks. It’s not just young males looking for adrenaline and excitement and explosions (although the film also has plenty of those). It’s everybody. Young and old, male and female, all colors, all races. That makes me ask a different question.

What is our reaction to this movie telling us about ourselves?

There’s a zeitgeist going on. You see this every once in a while – a film or a book or some music taps into the national psyche and expresses something that we, as a people, are feeling. I think the response to The Dark Knight shows it’s happening again.

Yes, the pre-opening buzz for the film was really positive. Heath Ledger’s death added a morbid curiosity. It had a terrific PR push. Anticipation was high. The response, however, is phenomenal. It’s doing better than the studio even hoped. So, again, I ask what is going on here?

Exploring this is going to involve talking freely about the film. If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it first. Experience it for yourself. This column will still be here when you’re done. In other words, Spoilers Ahead!


Review: The Dark Knight

Review: The Dark Knight

Considering the amount of massive blockbusters that have disappointed the fans this year, it is safe to say that all of your expectations will be met going into this movie. [[[The Dark Knight]]] delivers on so many levels that it becomes hard to critique it, and all that’s left is pure childlike enjoyment for approximately two hours.

Those of you who are unaware of the plot for the sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, this film takes place shortly where we left off: Batman is patrolling the streets, crime is on the rise, and more and more “masked vigilantes” are stepping up to try and take out the [[[Batman]]]. Wayne Manor is still destroyed, so all of the caped crusader’s hijinks are based out of a new penthouse apartment, which is a nice change. Batman’s gal Rachel Dawes (originally played by Katie Holmes) returns, this time played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. This time, instead of Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy filling the evil quota as Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarecrow, respectively, we get the late Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart as The Joker and Harvey Dent, which of course means we get to see a little Two-Face!



Heath Ledger, The Joker and the ‘Dark Knight’ Audio

Heath Ledger, The Joker and the ‘Dark Knight’ Audio

Back in January, after the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger, we posted audio from an interview we had conducted with Ledger as part of a special edition of ComicMix Radio. In the interview, Ledger discussed his reasons for taking the role of The Joker in the Batman Begins sequel, as well as his thoughts on how best to prepare for the role. With the release ofThe Dark Knight fast approaching and Ledger’s passing certainly looming large over the project, we thought the interview might be worth another listen for ComicMix fans.

With that in mind, we present (or re-present, in this case) the ComicMix Radio interview with Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight.

For more on The Dark Knight, make sure you don’t miss our special Dark Knight-themed edition of ComicMix Six, featuring The Joker’s Greatest Victories,  as well as our recent list of Must-Read Batman Stories to get you caught up with the Dark Knight.

Early Reviews for ‘Dark Knight’

Early Reviews for ‘Dark Knight’

The latest Batman incarnation, The Dark Knight, doesn’t come out for another couple weeks, but the love is already streaming from critics. We’ve also had buzz about a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger and his supposedly terrifying take on the Joker.

Rolling Stone was one of the first out of the gate to lay honors at director Christopher Nolan’s feet, calling the movie "a potent provocation decked out as a comic-book movie. Feverish action? Check. Dazzling spectacle? Check. Devilish fun? Check. But Nolan is just warming up."

Over at MTV, the sequel was given a 10 out of 10 for "Wow Factor."

Variety jumps on the batwagon, praising the whole operation: "…this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some."

The Hollywood Reporter praises Christian Bale: "Bale again brilliantly personifies all the deep traumas and misgivings of Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne. A bit of Hamlet is in this Batman."

An early review at AICN says, "Just go see it."

And an Associated Press review says, "Running just over two and a half hours, "The Dark Knight" is a true crime epic. Throughout, the Joker’s bag of tricks is bottomless, twisted to the point of horror-flick sick."

Heath Ledger’s Oscar-Winning Performance?

Heath Ledger’s Oscar-Winning Performance?

Whenever the subject of The Dark Knight comes up, everyone seems to be asking the same question (when they’re not talking about the film’s viral marketing, that is): Do you think Heath Ledger will receive an Oscar post-humously?

Over at Cinematical, they’ve started a discussion thread on exactly that subject, and the resulting comments have been interesting, to say the least. Reader response is all over the spectrum, but I thought commenter "techstar25" summed up the debate pretty darn well:

Last year the Academy recognized the work of two brilliant actors playing two of the most heinous villains ever put to film (Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis). There is now clearly a baseline with which Ledger’s Joker will be compared. How does "Joker" stack up against "Anton Chigurh" and "Daniel Plainview"? We’ll see, but at least now we know that the barriers have been broken and the voters will take a second look at "the bad guy".

This subject has certainly been the topic of conversation at many a ComicMix meeting, but I’d like to throw it out there for discussion among our readers. Is Ledger a lock to take home an Academy Award, or is the entire discussion premature with the film’s July 18 release still months away?