This image has been buzzing around the web for the last few days: an imagined version of Grand Theft Auto set not just in Gotham City, but with a retro/classic style of Batman, Joker, Two-Face and all the rest. I've never played any GTA game, nor really want to, but I have to say I'd be curious what this would look like.
I made the most of my last weekday of vacation by taking Nick to see The Dark Knight Rises; nothing like a Friday matinee to feel like an indulgence, (even under the grim shadow of the mass killings at a midnight screening in Colorado overnight).
I liked the movie. I won't give away any spoilers, but Christopher Nolan has done a nice job of concluding the trilogy he wanted to make, while (I think) keeping fans happy. It also opens doors for DC and Legendary Pictures to continue with the seeds planted in this film, or reboot the whole story again.
The scope of the film impressed me the most. The script was written long before the Occupy movement and the 1-per-cent tropes of us-vs-them that have played out in the news and pop culture, but they're embedded in the movie .. in addition to themes of terrorism, crime, overreaching laws, hero worship, idealism, corruption, loyalty, and on and on. It's all pretty ambitious.
The set pieces are stunning, and I kept looking at the aerials of Gotham to figure out how Nolan's digital team pulled off creating a city that looks a lot like New York, but is not.
To go by Nick's judgment, we'll be seeing a second time before the summer is out.
At the Geneva Motor Show today, BMW unveiled this forward-looking concept design, which looks kind of like what I would think Batman might like to drive. (Or just Bruce Wayne, perhaps.)
And that's only the exterior. Get a load of what would be on the inside:
Instead of traditional instruments and warning lights, the BMW of the future will display key information in a three dimensional head-up display in the direct sight line of the driver, eliminating the need for his eyes to re-focus on dials inside the cabin.
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne is the latest rebooting of the bat-franchise ... this time, evidently, with a time-shifting story arc. (Um ... okay.) Above is a six-panel collection which shows Batman moving through time; click on the image to get a better look. If you look closely, you can see the bat logo in there. The series launches next month.
In the meantime, here's a closer look at the first cover.
We use a merit-demerit point system in the house, to keep the eight-year-old boy moving in the right direction. If he does something well (especially without prompts), he earns a point; naughty behaviour takes a point away. It's worked well, with the kid earning points for a variety of things. His current objective: A Lego Batman game. By coincidence, I came across the above - which, believe it or not, is a cake made to celebrate the game's recent launch.
The other day, I took my son to a matinee of Journey to the Centre of the Earth. (He liked it; I had a chuckle, mainly over the 3D stuntiness of it all.) At the popcorn stand, I was surprised to see a mom with a small boy of about three or four, loading up with snacks tied into the Batman promotion. And yup, into the Dark Knight they went.
I hadn't seen The Dark Knight by that point, but I had already been steered clear by parental warnings ... including one direct note from my friend Mike, who said, "Do NOT take Nicholas to it." I saw the movie, on my own, later on, and have to agree.
The Dark Knight is rated PG, and while it has almost no gore, it's pretty intense. It's a very well-crafted film, and it makes terrific, explosive use of tension, but it's way too much for my eight-year-old ... even though he's seen the preceding film, Batman Begins, on DVD. (Indeed, the film makes some very adult observations about using fear to manipulate people, but that's another kettle of fish.)
I'm not surprised parents would think the film might be appropriate: the stores are filled with child-targeting toys, products and spinoffs. But Christopher Nolan's film is aimed very much at adults, teenagers and mature children.
The choice is up to parents, but I'd stick to the more kid-friendly versions of the Batman story for younger kids.
Anyone who's paid more than a passing glance to Batman comic books, TV shows and movies knows that the Batmobile has had more than passing upgrade or two over the years. (The above is the first one ever, by the way.) The History of the Batmobile site has a comprehensive survey, although its organization could stand some tidying up.
On May 27, 1939, the 27th issue of Detective Comics was published, introducing Batman. The legend has held pretty tight ever since. I liked that in Batman Begins, the production design kept a retro feel while retelling Bruce Wayne's Gotham story.
It's a little bit difficult to pick out, but the art on this hoodie says "Batman kicked my ass," with the batlogo firmly where, say, Penguin's posterior oughta be. Here's the logo, which came out of a stencil:
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.