Showing posts with label Christopher Nolan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christopher Nolan. Show all posts

Interstellar sucks. Sure, but why?

The experience of watching a Nolan movie can be summarized by this picture below.

She is a beautiful young and fashionable girl, right?
Now slowly shift your gaze down to the black line in the neck.

Are you watching closely?

Do you see now a different image now?

That Aha! moment is the core of a Nolan movie. Everything in a Nolan's movie is directed towards amplifying that Aha! moment. He makes the Aha! moment significantly rewarding by following some great techniques.

1. Keeps the surface level idea (the young girl in the above image) simple for people to grasp.
2. keeps the underlying idea well hidden (but litters the movie with clues, minor Ahas! when we watch the movie again)
3. Reveals the underlying idea (old woman in the above image) in a sudden climax
4. Connects the two ideas in a profound philosophical manner
(Young girl and old woman in the same image above is a philosophical goldmine.)

In his movie Prestige, at surface level, two magicians try to outdo each other with disastrous results. In the climax, it is revealed that the greatest magic is ... the magician. A powerful Aha! moment, because the movie lingers as you think about the what artists pay for perfection, et al..

But what is the surface level idea in Interstellar? A father leaves behind his family in dying earth and goes to space to find alternatives. Okay, this is a trite idea. But we go because, it is Christopher Nolan movie! He is going to take surface level scientific ideas like slowing of time and gravity that doesn't allow even light to escape, turn them on their head and reveal something profound to us, right?

No! He is going to tell that love (and gravity) travels across dimension and time and a father will keep his promise to his daughter, even from beyond black hole. Pleeeeasse...

In Nolan movies, we have come to expect a reveal in the end. A reveal that is mind boggling. But in interstellar, there was no reveal in the end. There is just relief.
Plain relief.

Bane Comic vs Movie Info

There's a lot of misconceptions surrounding the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises villain.  Some think he's an idiotic 'roid head, while others think he's some absurdly muscular creature that could grapple with the Hulk.  I'm here to set the record straight on all things Bane.  Consider this your go-to guide before walking into the third (and final) Batman movie by Christopher Nolan on July 20.

Comic Origin vs Movie Origin

Bane and Bruce Wayne were born into this world under completely different circumstances.  Little baby Bruce was brought into an environment of luxury and wealth.  Meanwhile, south of the United States, Bane was born into the dark and violent setting of an island prison.  But why was Bane born into a prison?  What could possibly be the reason to force an innocent child into such a life?  Well, Bane's father was a revolutionary and was able to elude Santa Prisca's authorities.  They weren't too fond of that, so the flawed government decided that his son would be sentenced for his father's crimes.  The Batman villain had a life sentence before even learning to walk.  

It was adapt or die for Bane.  Surrounded by death and brutality, it wasn't long before that cruel world came crashing down on him.  While wee Wayne was enjoying a play, Bane was hiding a knife in a teddy bear he named 'Osoito.'  A man by the name of Trogg saved the young Bane from an attacker, but in the process Bane was hit off a ledge and knocked out.  While unconscious, he had a vision of his future-self and the grown up version delivered a powerful message.  He said the world was his to conquer, but only one thing stands in his way: fear.  Abolish that emotion and he will be second to none.  Bane woke abruptly and took the message to heart.  He equipped his knife and paid a visit to the man who tried to attack him.  He slaughtered the man and as a result was thrown into the hole, an isolation well that would flood every night and was infested with rats.  This experience made him tough as nails, and when he was finally released about ten years later, the inmates viewed him as a living legend. 

Bane then carried on the path his future-self spoke of.  Not a moment of any day was wasted for Bane.  He read every book he could to sharpen his mind.  He learned multiple languages and soaked in every bit of information that he could.  His mind wasn't the only part of his body getting a workout either.  Bane did a ridiculous workout routine daily which consisted of a thousand push ups, a thousand sit ups, and a thousand pull ups. 

Inmates often spoke of Gotham City, and since he had never seen anything beyond the island first-hand, the city fascinated him.  What especially interested him was hearing about the man who rules the city: Batman.  Bane was determined to destroy this man, and in turn, rule the city.  In the meantime, he regularly killed any challengers, but one day authorities had to take him down when the body count reached over thirty.  It turns out they were experimenting on the inmates with a drug called venom.  Bane was the first subject in the prison to survive the injection of strength enhancing fluids to the brain, but he knew there was only one way off the island... and that was death.  The man was able to will his vitals down to the point where machines declared him dead and they tossed his body out into the sea.  Bane killed a shark or two (take that, Jaws) and then was able to break his friends out of the prison (Trogg, Zombie, Bird).  From there, he heads to Gotham and aims to "break that bat."

Not much has been revealed yet about the villain's origin in the movie so far, but we have heard a few tidbits of information.  Recently a TV spot was released and it appears Alfred knows a bit about Bane.  During the 30 second spot, Alfred remarks that Bane was "born and raised in Hell on Earth."  While it might not be an island prison, it definitely sounds like Tom Hardy's take on the character has faced a life of misfortune that has crafted him into smart and tough Bat-baddie - one which seems to pay respect to the comic counter-part's origin.

Comic Venom vs Movie Venom

In the primary DC universe, Bane was used as a test subject for the drug venom.  When the fluid pumps into his brain, it essentially works as a superhuman steroid.  His muscle mass increases, thus making him stronger (he can lift a maximum of 2 tons or so), slightly more durable due to the muscles growing in size, and he claimed it would also kill his pain.  Despite what many think, using venom doesn't turn Bane into a rampaging mad man.  He's lost his cool while using venom a few times, but those were totally different circumstances (his first case of withdrawal from the drug turned him into an emotional wreck, and another time it brought him back from death's door and he was pissed over how he was being treated).  Long story short, it just makes him stronger than any human, but not nearly strong enough where he's going to be throwing down with some of the more popular powerhouses, like Superman and Doomsday.

Director Christopher Nolan's movieverse is dark and grounded in realism.  Having a superhuman strong guy throwing down with Bruce feels just a bit out of place, doesn't it?  So, it looks like movie Bane is on a drug (they haven't said whether it's being called venom) that does take one attribute from the comic counter-part: it numbs his pain.  Nolan's Bane suffered a critical injury at a younger age, and apparently it was so severe that he requires a constant dose of the anesthetic so he can cope with the physical trauma.  So as far as I know so far, the drug does nothing to boost his strength. 

However, in The New 52 (basically one big semi-reboot to DC Comics) Bane's venom makes him stronger than before (to an unknown degree), faster than Batman, and he claims the drug even makes him smarter now.

Story Similarities

As shown with the trailers and the viral marketing map of Gotham, Bane has rather destructive plans for Gotham City.  He claims to be "Gotham's reckoning" and has an elaborate plan set-up across the city.  From apparently creating a hostage situation at their equivalent of Wall Street to blowing up bridges and other locations, Bane's goal of using chaos to rule the city is quite similar to "Knightfall."  In that '90s event, Bane released a flood of villains to wear down Batman physically and mentally.  When Wayne's body and mind was drained, Bane broke his back and tossed the hero into the street for all to see what he had accomplished.  We've already seen a break-out in Arkham Asylum (Batman Begins), but we do know Bane releases the inmates from some kind of incarceration facility.  Whether or not it's Arkham Asylum has yet to be revealed.

There's a lot of rumors circulating around actress Marion Cotillard's character.  She's credited on IMDB as playing Miranda Tate, but it seems more and more likely that the character is really Talia al Ghul.  Liam Neeson is confirmed as making a return as her father, Ra's al Ghul, but we don't know how significant his role is.  It might just be a flashback.  However, if that's the case, this appears heavily inspired by the short series Bane of the Demon.  Bane teamed up with the legendary Batman villain and had a rather awkward relationship with his daughter.  It's possible this flashback will connect Bane to the villain from Batman Begins and he'll strike Gotham with Miranda Tate's character at his side.

At the moment there's limited information on Tom Hardy's Bane, but from what we do know, it's clear he's going to make the comic counter-part proud.  Regardless of your feelings surrounding the costume changes, he looks like he'll have the might to put a beating on Batman (seeing him drop that cowl gives me goosebumps) and the raw intellect to bring Gotham to its knees. And hey, 
even if you don't like the costume, we can at least agree it beats the hell out of his appearance in Batman & Robin.

Related links to feed your fanboy fix: 

Bane's Must Read Stories

The Dark Knight Rises is almost here and I feel obligated to help prepare others for his appearance in director Christopher Nolan's final Batman film.  There's a lot of misconceptions surrounding the character (he's just a muscle head or he's insanely strong), so I'm here to set all of the facts straight and point you in the right direction before The Dark Knight Rises comes out on July 20.  

Today, I have a look at Bane's must read stories.  I'll tell you what they're about and how you can get your hands on a copy to read.  These are barely scratching the surface of Bane's history in the DC Universe, too. In my opinion these are his critical stories, but if you're interested in reading more with Bane, leave a comment and I'll gladly list all of his other appearances that are worth reading (and there are plenty).

Tomorrow (5/24) I'll have another feature detailing all of the misconceptions about the villain and all of the basic information you'll need to know.  You'll walk into The Dark Knight Rises feeling like a comic guru.

Batman versus Bane (trade paperback)
This new release collects Batman: Vengeance of Bane and the four issue run Bane of the Demon.  If you want to learn about the character, this is an absolute must buy.  Batman: Vengeance of Bane is Bane's first appearance and the entire issue is dedicated to his origin story.  Written by Chuck Dixon and with art by Graham Nolan, we get to see the villain's dark beginning as he's born in an island prison in the fictional South American nation of Santa Prisca.  You'll learn about the man's motives, how he started taking the drug venom, and there's plenty of action.

Bane of the Demon follows Bane's history with the villain Ra's al Ghul (played by Liam Neeson in the films) and his rocky relationship with Ra's daughter, Talia al Ghul (allegedly also in the upcoming film).  For the fans that'll want to read all of these events in proper order, it's important to note that this story takes place after Batman: Vengeance of Bane II - Redemption.

How do you get a copy?
Midtown Comics:

Knightfall (Part One and Two)
"Knightfall" is the massive story that helped put Bane on the map and define the character for the general audience. Free from his life in prison, Bane has but one goal set in his sights: to destroy Batman.  Kicking-off  the story by creating a massive breakout at Arkham Asylum, the masked villain sits back and watches as the onslaught of villains create chaos across the city, forcing the Dark Knight to his physical and mental limits.  The story definitely feels a little dated at times, but it's fun and mandatory reading if you want to know more about the character before The Dark Knight Rises.

How do you get a copy?
(Pt 1)
(Pt 2)
Midtown Comics:
(Pt 1)
(Pt 2)

Batman: Vengeance of Bane II - The Redemption (issue)
Bane is back in prison after the events of "Knightfall" and he has a whole new agenda.  Once again he's hunting for venom, but this time around he's not seeking to use it, he wants to destroy the steroid.  This issue proves that Bane can become one of Batman's ultimate threats even without the aid of the muscle boosting drug.  Witness Bane's recovery from chubby and defeated villain to a physical and intellectual beast that many will come to fear.

How do you get a copy?
Midtown Comics:

Detective Comics #701 (issue)
Now working with Ra's al Ghul (read Bane of the Demon for details!), Bane heads to Gotham City and encounters Batman.  Prepare for many punches and kicks.  If you're looking for an epic Batman and Bane fight, then this is your go-to issue.  That really should be enough to make you want to read this one, right?

How do you get a copy?
Midtown Comics:

Batman: Bane (issue)
Beaten down by Batman and drifting into the sea, Bane bumps into a ship and hops on.  Except this isn't your every day vessel... it has nuclear supplies.  Bane commandeers the ship like a boss and plans to use the weapons on Gotham City.  Naturally, Batman and Nightwing (the original Robin all grown up and awesome) won't stand for it and face off against Bane once again.  Guess who wins? Bane, and he nukes Gotham City, too!  Okay, maybe not, but the story's by one of the men who created the character (Chuck Dixon) and definitely worth owning.

How do you get a copy?
Midtown Comcis: n/a

Azrael #36-40 (issues)
Jean-Paul Valley beat Bane into a coma awhile ago, so you can bet Bane has been waiting for a chance to pummel JPV's face with his over-sized fists.  Some years later, we finally get the rematch we've been waiting for.  But it's not just one match, it's a handful and they're all well worth the wait.  Bane doesn't want Azrael dead, he wants him to suffer.  And to do so, he tries to make the hero addicted to venom.  Brutal battles ensue.

How do you get a copy?
Amazon: (then search manually for other issues)
Midtown Comics:

Batman: No Man's Land Volume 4 (trade paperback)
A powerful earthquake strikes Gotham City and the government declares the location uninhabitable.  Citizens are forced to leave while the villains rise and begin to battle one another for control over turf.  For video game fans, it's pretty much Arkham City but spread across the entire territory.  Superman villain Lex Luthor wants to conquer and re-build the large city and he sends in Bane to do some dirty work.  This trade paperback is packed with tons of familiar faces and is sporting a solid Bane and Batman fight which is illustrated by the excellent Mike Deodato Jr.  Oh, and did I mention Bane also lugs around a minigun?  Few things are scarier than seeing this huge character casually walking around with the massive firearm.

How do I get a copy?
Midtown Comics:

Batman: Gotham Knights #33-36 & #46-49 (issues)
Bane has wanted to demolish Batman for quite a long time now, but will that all change when Bane finds out they could actually be... brothers?! Bane teams up with the Cape Crusader to find the truth behind who his father really is.

How do I get a copy?
Amazon: (then manually search for other issues)
Midtown Comics:

Be sure to check back tomorrow for another feature about Bane's misconceptions and information you'll need to know before the movie.

In the meantime, take a few minutes to enjoy some madness with Bane's Best Battles.

Bane's Best Battles

The man who broke the Bat will face-off with Bruce Wayne on the big screen this July, and now is the perfect time to do your homework by diving into the villain's extensive comic book history. Bane's dark and brilliant mind will make Batman's life a nightmare in director Christopher Nolan's final Batman film, but it's his sheer strength and skill that will prove to be Wayne's ultimate obstacle. Bane is infamous for duking it out with the Dark Knight, but Batman is hardly the only man to get slugged in the face a few times by the villain. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the craziness as I review Bane's best battles.

VS Batman,  Detective Comics #701
Allied with the legendary Ra's al Ghul, Bane returns to Gotham City and has an unforgettable fight with Batman on the docks. The two narrowly escape an explosion and have a contest of skill along the water, countering and blocking the powerful strikes that fly back and forth. Bane's able to finally gain the edge when he dodges a few batarangs and then connects with a swift jump quick. In true villain fashion, Bane tries to take his time with Wayne, attempting to slowly drown his longtime enemy. Batman remembers the death of his parents (for the millionth time) and overcomes Bane, landing a few brutal hits and eventually dropping him with a kick. Bane stumbles onto a piece of debris and floats away as Batman stands victorious.

VS Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Batman: Bane
Picking up directly after the events of Detective Comics #701, Bane - exhausted and floating on debris - floats into the path of a ship. Like the boss that he is, Bane hops and on-board and takes over the place with ease. But this isn't your every day ship! It turns out the vessel is carrying nuclear supplies, and Bane wants to use the vehicle as a bomb. Batman won't have any of that nuclear nonsense, but the original Robin, Dick Grayson, busts onto the scene first. Not once but twice Bane proves that, in a direct match consisting of purely physical might and skill, Nightwing doesn't stand much of a chance against the powerhouse. An elbow to the face hurts, but Bane's verbal insult must have hurt a lot more. "But you are not the Batman.  So to me, you are nothing!" Don't worry, Grayson, pappa Wayne drops in to save the day. He smacks Bane around for a bit and manages to prevent the nuclear attack on Gotham. It's just another example of why the hero deserves the title "the Goddamn Batman."

VS Batman, Detective Comics #736
Bane leaps into Gotham City during the events of "No Man's Land" and he's dead-set on claiming what he believes to be his territory. But just like every other time, the Dark Knight stands in his way. The two slug it out in the slushy sewers and Bane manages to elude Wayne with an explosive. The two meet face-to-face shortly after in a warehouse, and so begins an awesomely destructive bout between the two. They smash one another across the room and both land their fair share of painful strikes, but Batman lands a devastating combo to Bane's face in the end. Still standing and ready for more, Bane tells Batman he has an ace up his sleeve: keep fighting and risk losing, or go defuse dynamite he planted under a Nun's soup kitchen.  Naturally, Batman leaves. (You're such a crafty fellow, Bane.) The only thing that would make this fight any better is if Mike Deodato Jr illustrated it. Oh, wait...

VS Azrael (Jean Paul Valley), Azrael #36-40
Azrael beat Bane to a pulp in "Knightfall" after he forced to foe to suffer withdrawal from venom, and Bane isn't one to forgive and forget. When Bane resurfaces, Jean-Paul Valley tells Batman he's up to the task. Bane claims he no longer needs the drug and considers it a weakness, but that's not stopping him from selling it to a small army. And so begins a few fantastic and must read fights between Azrael and Bane. Bane quickly takes the first fight against an injured JPV, but the second is absolutely brutal. The two duke it out along the cliffs, and when JPV distracts Bane with a case of venom, it allows him to send the two flying off a cliff. Both combatants slowly rise, but it's Azrael who delivers the final strike. Round three picks up shortly later, but an aftershock causes Bane to bump his head and, in turn, lose the battle. These 5 issues are something every Bane fan should read at least once.

VS Man-Bat, Gotham Underground #1
Bane has a thing for humiliating some of Batman's lamer enemies.  He tortured Penguin during the end of Secret Six, brutalized Killer Croc twice, and now he drops Man-Bat with literally no effort. This well-known Bat foe has the appearance of something fierce, but it's nothing Bane can't overcome by creating a fist and sending it via first class delivery to Man-Bat's face. Better luck next time, Man-Bat.

VS Killer Croc, Batman #489 & Detective Comics #660
Killer Croc (Waylon Jones) is a villain that is written all over the place in regards to power levels. One day he's a force that requires a small amount of explosives to take down, and the next an unarmed Harvey Dent can embarrass him. But during "Knightfall," Croc proved he was able to hold his own against Jean-Paul Valley and Robin. The duo could barely hurt him, but then big daddy Bane stepped in. He took some venom and completely wrecked Croc. He smacked him around, broke his arm, and then booted him into a pile of stuffed animals, leaving the green villain broken and helpless. The line "You're too ugly to hit" was just icing on the harsh cake. But that was just round 2. After taking down Robin, Bane found himself in the sewers... Killer Croc's territory. Despite the home field advantage, Bane still gets the jump on Waylon, but Croc manages to destroy Bane's venom supply. Unfortunately for him, this doesn't even the odds nearly as much as he had hoped it would. Bane further injures Croc's broken arm and proves that even without venom his uppercuts are more than enough to put a hurting on Croc. The two go back and forth before tumbling into the water below and become separated. Bane has a great track record against the Bat family and their villains, but he should be grateful he's never had to face Deathstroke or Deadshot. That would certainly not end well for The Dark Knight Rises villain.

Bane vs Catman, Secret Six #35
After learning he's destined to end up in Hell regardless of his actions, Bane takes a moment to reevaluate what's important to him, and the answer is obvious: destroying the Bat. But he already broke Batman's spine, and he realizes that in the long run the crippling move accomplished nothing. Now, Bane wants to destroy Batman by killing his loved ones, a weakness Bane became aware of when he jumped into action to defend his own date. While sharing this idea, Catman tries to reenact how a fight with Batman would go. Bane casually withstands strike after strike, even calling one "dainty" until he decides he has had enough and puts an end to the assault. Almost nonchalantly, Bane catches Catman's fist and crushes it, leaving Catman at his mercy until he completes talking about his plan.

VS Batman, Batman #497
Ah, the infamous moment that put Bane on everyone's radar. The first half of "Knightfall" was all about Bane's elaborate plan to destroy the Caped Crusader. To beat the great detective, Bane forced Wayne through a cruel and unrelenting gauntlet. He created a massive breakout and Batman, already tired from previous events, was now forced to push himself beyond his own limits as he traveled the city and attempted to stop the rampaging threats which included Joker, Scarecrow, Amygdala, and much, much more. When all is said and done, Bane is waiting for Wayne in the comfort of his own mansion. In a futile last effort, the weakened Batman tries to stop the villain, but Bane is simply too much for the severely exhausted Wayne. What ensues is a horrific beating through the mansion and it travels into the batcave. When Bane is finished toying with Batman, he finally lifts Wayne over his head and crushes the detective's spine against his knee. Bane has accomplished what dozens of villains have failed to do for years and years: he broke the Bat. Fret not, Bruce, Jean-Paul puts an equally bad hurting back on Bane for ya.

VS Azrael, Detective Comics #666 & Batman #500

With Bruce Wayne out of commission, Jean-Paul Valley steps up to the plate and puts on the cowl. The old cowl isn't enough for him, though, so Jean-Paul makes some awesome upgrades, including assorted weapons, claws, and armor. The violent hero rushes into action against Bane, but quickly realizes he needs more upgrades. He gets some good slashes and stabs in, but Bane almost chokes him out and eventually Azrael suffers a devastating fall. Next time the two face off, JPV decides to put a few more advantages into his dark take on Batman's costume. 

VS Joker, Detective Comics #740
A physical confrontation between Bane and Joker would have a rather obvious outcome, and Detective Comics #740 shows us just how fun it is to watch Bane slug Joker around. The Clown Prince of Crime tries to distract Bane with banter and pull a weapon, but Bane's too focused to let a mere insult or two faze him.  Instead, he has a grand old time punching Joker in the face numerous times.

VS Batman, Batman: The Dark Knight #6

While I can't say I'm a fan of the New 52 Bane so far, there's no denying the fact that his debut made quite an impact. Bane is now sporting an image similar to the one he often receives in media... and that's a lumbering 'roid head (e.g. Batman: Arkham Asylum, Young Justice, Batman & Robin). Bane reveals he's behind the new toxin/venom that's circulating, and promptly proceeds to put a major hurting on Batman.  Wayne barely escapes with an electric attack, but now we're left waiting to see how it'll conclude in the next issue. My guess? Batman wins, of course. While Bane is clearly being built as a purely physical threat in the new 52 (he displayed no skill  whatsoever, just brute force), he's at least still a genius and claims this venom will further increase his IQ. If he's so smart, why can't he see how ridiculous this new outfit looks?

This article is barely scratching the surface of the many, many times Bane has been in a battle, so if your favorite didn't make the cut, please don't forget to talk about it in the comments section below!