In 1979, Australian talk show host Don Lane interviewed singer/songwriter Tom Waits. This seemingly obscure appearance has the Internet is buzzing since someone pointed out how much Waits' voice and mannerisms resemble Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

I think a better look at Tom Waits is in this Letterman appearance from 1983. At 2:30, he starts talking, and spends less time talking about cigarettes.

For comparison, here's a scene from Dark Knight:

Since Waits and Ledger appeared in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus together, it's not that much of a stretch to imagine Waits giving Ledger the idea. To me, it does kind of diminish Ledger's performance in Dark Knight. It was one thing to believe Ledger had completely transformed himself with his voice, mannerisms, and posture into something wholly unique. To believe he was just doing an impression of Tom Waits isn't as impressive.

[Via BuzzFeed]

Do you think Ledger is doing an impression of Tom Waits? If so, does it make his performance better or worse?

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Every great actor has one great role in a bad movie. Tom Hardy is a big actor now, but in 2002 he starred in the Star Trek flop called Star Trek: Nemesis. Ten years later, Hardy plays the vicious terrorist Bane in the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises (2012). What a change.

The movie cast Hardy as a Romulan clone of Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) called "Praetor Shinzon." He builds a warship and leads a team of alien Reman in an uprising against their masters. Huffington Post calls it "a critical and commercial flop."

While the movie Nemesis is seriously flawed, I always thought Tom Hardy's performance was exceptional. My favorite line is when the Romulan woman tries to seduce him and he says, "If you ever TOUCH me again...I WILL kill you. Now go." You can see a lot of Bane in his screentest if you look hard enough.

Tom Hardy's Pinky 2 made a video comparison using his screen test and scenes from Nemesis. These scenes are from his first conversation with Picard over dinner.

The difference is striking and here are my reasons why.

1. His Costume Is Too Tight
The elaborate Reman uniform restricts his movement. When you see him in the screen test his body language is exceptional. He leans in. Shakes his head and generally emotes beautifully. In the costume his outfit is so tight he can barely move his head. When you have a suit that's "squeezing your testicles" it's hard to give a good performance. "The costume itself goes from the top of my toes to the top of my neck, and it's made out of vinyl, which is totally nonporous." Hardy said in the book Star Trek Nemesis by J.M. Dillard. "The jacket, which is the crowning achievement of the costume, is made of thick vinyl. Basically, when I'm in it, my skin and pores are not breathing. This is complicated by the fact that my head is totally covered in prosthetic makeup, so there's no breathing anywhere except through my mouth or nostrils. That made for a physical challenge that I hadn't quite prepared myself for."  I'm sure this challenge prepared him for the physically demanding role of Bane later on.

2. He Was Young
He was only 24 years old and he was really nervous. He was so excited to get the role that the audition tape he sent in was just him dancing around "butt naked" in a hotel room. He saw himself as a "fairly new actor" and put those natural skills aside to play the way others wanted him to. Which leads to the next point.

3. He Didn't Trust Himself
Hardy has natural acting skills, but he was so young that he didn't really trust himself. He said he was trying to play a villain with, as he said in an interview "a bunch of people that had been doing it so long and are so good at it."  One of those people being Sir Patrick Stewart.

4. He Was Trying To Be Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart has a Shakespearean acting style and doesn't overplay his performance. The style works for him, but can be a little stiff with a different actor. Hardy's first impulse was to play Shinzon just like Patrick Stewart. He got a bunch of DVDs and tried to mimic him. Eventually, he realized that the two are nothing like each other. But if you watch the final performance his lack of movement is mirrored in Stewart.

5. His Makeup Held Him Back
In order to look more like Stewart Tom Hardy had to endure hours of makeup. "Here I am playing a clone of Patrick Stewart," Hardy said "And he comes in, takes about fifteen minutes to get his makeup on, and I sit there for a couple of hours getting the nose and chin glued on." Talking and acting while having makeup constricting your face sounds a lot like the mask he wore in The Dark Knight Rises. Back then, it was all new.

The reality is that cream always rises to the top. While Hardy's acting skills were ignored in Star Trek: Nemesis his acting was finally recognized and celebrated in The Dark Knight Rises.

Via Huffington Post
What do you think of Tom Hardy's screen test? Do you see Bane in Hardy's screen tests? Would Star Trek: Nemesis have been better with his original performance.

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Bruce Wayne spent thousands of dollars on his Batman batsuit, but you can have one for less.

On Instructables.com, nbennie02 shared his designs for a Batman Costume based on The Dark Knight Rises).

While it's not the most movie accurate suit you've ever seen, it's definitely one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get the Batman look you're going for.

It uses common, easy-to-find parts like foam flooring, craft foam and a tablecloth. The whole thing costs about $50 unless you get fancy.

While you may not think it's impressive now, watch a video of him attending the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in his costume: Youtube "Scranton Batman" With the voice and the attitude, he really sells it.

After the Colorado shooting, you'll never get into an AMC theater without taking off your mask. But, maybe you can use it to buy the Blu-Ray disk at "Best Buy." Make sure you YouTube it.

As long as you have the suit, why not follow these tips to turn your car into a life-size "Tumbler" Batmobile?

What are you waiting for? Gotham City needs you!

Would you make a Batsuit? What's the craziest costume you've ever worn?
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The Amazing Spiderman made me realize something: I never liked the original Spiderman. I mean, I liked it in the sense that it was the only Spiderman movie adaptation ever, but there were things that really bothered me. I never liked the cartoonish tone with an emphasis on comedy over drama. I liked Tobey McGuire as the nerdy Peter Parker, but his whiny voice made him a terrible Spiderman. I never liked the organic web shooters, because I felt the mechanic ones were important to his mythos. I never liked Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane - thought she was a snaggle-toothed plain jane. But I loved the movie because, hey, it was Spiderman on the big screen. Now that we have a new Spiderman movie, it's like seeing Spiderman for the first time. Frankly, I think it makes the old Spiderman look like crap.

Let's review. The plot is familiar. Teenager gets bitten by a spider and gets spider powers. His dear Uncle Ben is killed by a criminal he could have stopped, leading him to adopt the persona of Spiderman to fight crime. Along the way, he encounters a mad scientist who turns himself into an evil villain. It sounds a lot like the first Spiderman, and  some have complained about how closely the story is to the original Spiderman. Frankly, that attitude makes no sense to me. It's Spiderman's origin. The original movie followed the origin from the original comic with some minor changes. The new version already makes some radical changes. To change the story even more would make it unrecognizable. Anyway, I think the two stories are like night and day.

I thought Parker's journey was richer and more complex than the original movie. The subplot of the mystery of his parents was long overdue, considering how many TV shows and movies Spiderman has had without ever addressing the fact that he was raised by his aunt and uncle. Parker's evolution towards becoming a crimefighter felt more realistic with his motivation of finding his uncle's killer, not just randomly fighting crime. Overall, good stuff.

I've read some reviews complaining about the dark tone of this movie. This, to me, is akin to the people complaining about how dark the Batman movies are compared to the sixties TV show. If you think it's too dark, then you don't know the source material. The comic book Spiderman has always wallowed in misery and sadness.

I found the characters of this movie more three-dimensional. I think Andrew Garfield is a rare actor like Christian Bale or Christopher Reeve who can play both the hero and the alter ego equally well - he's a fantastic Spiderman, as well as a great Peter Parker. I like that he's more of a flawed human being than the saintly nerd Tobey McGuire played.  Likewise, Uncle Ben isn't a Jesus-like character whose only purpose is to dispense advice and get killed. Aunt May isn't the stereotypical sweet old lady. It all felt more three-dimensional.

It's not perfect. I didn't think the Lizard wasn't as compelling a villain as he could have been, and some cliches have still crept into the script. Yet overall, I thought it was a great movie that brought new life to the faltering Spiderman series. Here's hoping there are more to come.

What did you think of Amazing Spiderman?
[Image Source: stimulatedboredom]
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What if 2001, the dramatic and somber film about the future of mankind was a summer blockbuster made in 2012? What would the trailer be like? Exciting music? Check. Quick cuts? Check. Random shots? Check.

[Via Buzzfeed]
Tom  Hardy (Bane) showing his back-breaking move on a hapless crew member.
 Why is Batman driving a Lamborghini? Will Herman Munster be a cannibal? How much does the Batmobile cost? Which episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation is 'embarrassing?' Where are they filming the Japanese movie Wolverine?

Trivia Question (Answer at the end of the post)
An avid movie buff, Christopher Nolan put the cast and crew of The Dark Knight in a four-day boot camp of eight films whose tone he wanted to emulate. What were they?
Last Week's Bonus Trivia Answers
Easy: Name three cast members that appeared in MiB and the sequel MIIB.  
"Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, and Rip Torn were all in Men in Black I and II." - Alex C.
"As I recall Agents J and K, Zed, the pug dog Frank, and whoever Tony Shalhoub played all reappeared in the first sequel. Probably a couple others I can't remember"  - Pat D.
Hard: Which director turned down the job because he felt it would "just be Blues Brothers in space?"
John Landis, who directed The Blues Brothers. He says he regrets that decision now.

Some of this might be familiar if you subscribe to our Twitter feed @TheGeekTwins.
  • A lot of people are scared to go the movie theater after last week's shooting. That's understandable, but Pat Dilloway said it best. "On a side note, I hope people come out and support the film.  You shouldn't let the actions of one lunatic stop you from living your life.  That's what we all said after 9/11, right?  And it's still true in this case."
  • Andrea tipped us to this cool infographic! The Cost of Being Batman. I don't like to nitpick, but how do we know how much it costs to make a Batmobile?

  • I missed the screen of Star Trek: The Next Generation Monday so I could see The Dark Knight Rises. Did anyone go? How was it?
  • Check out the surprising look of NBC's Munsters reboot 'Mockingbird Lane.' The show will be very different from the sit-com. How different? Bryan Fuller said "they eat people." Will you be watching?

  •  Wil Wheaton, who played young Ensign Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, called the first season "embarrassing."  He said, "...And the entire first, almost first two seasons have some incredible high points like "The Big Goodbye" and some really embarrassing low points like 'Code of Honor.' I’m really grateful that we were given the time to sort of find ourselves and figure out exactly what this show is about because by the time Next Generation gets to season 3, 4 or 5 I think its some of the best science fiction that’s ever been on television." Do you agree?

  • Christian Bale, who played Batman in the Nolan films recently visited victims of the movie theater shooting. But there's another Batman giving people hope. The 'Lamborghini Batman' paid $250,000 for a custom Batmobile replica to visit sick kids across the country dressed as Batman. That's a hero to me.

Trivia Answer

Before filming, Nolan had the cast watch: Heat (1995), Cat People (1942), Citizen Kane (1941), King Kong (1933), Batman Begins (2005), Black Sunday (1977), A Clockwork Orange (1971), and Stalag 17 (1953). William Fichtner, who played in Heat was given a cameo as the bank manager. Rutger Hauer was cast in Batman Begins and Nolan has said Blade Runner also inspired the film.

Bonus Trivia Question (The first one with the right answer(s) get a nod next week.
Easy: Name three actors that starred in The Dark Knight Rises and Inception. (Thanks for the question idea Pat!)

Hard: During the opening bank robbery, the Joker wears a rubber mask. Cesar Romero in the 60s TV show Batman wore a mask that was almost identical. Which episode was it and why did he wear it?

What do you think of the links?
[Image Source: GeekTyrant]
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Futurama is a show about a futuristic New York and written by New Yorkers. And like all New Yorkers, they hate New Jersey. Making fun of New Jersey has been a running joke in the series since the beginning. Here are five of the funniest moments, captured as images.

1. I Roommate - When Bender and Fry decide to start looking for apartments, they encounter a series of bizarre and often horrific places to live. Then they find a "suspiciously fantastic" apartment...
2. Hell is Other Robots - When Bender gets religion, his conversation to goodness is short-lived, and he's condemned to an eternity in Robot Hell. Leela and Fry journey to rescue him, and discover Robot Hell is hidden under an abandoned amusement park in New Jersey. That leads to the following exchange...
3. A Big Piece of Garbage - An enormous ball of garbage from the twentieth century is headed straight for New York in this episode, and Professor Farnsworth puts on an Internet video to explain where it came from. During the video, we heard the following narration...
4. Attack of the Killer App - When Fry and Bender hold a bet to see who can get the most followers from their new eyePhones, they agree that the loser has to dive into a pool of goat filth. Later, Fry and Leela have a tender moment interrupted by her making this observation...
5. All the President's Heads - Drinking from the fluid that stores the U.S. Presidents' heads sends Fry, Leela, and the professor back in time to the founding of the country. There, they stumble across Thomas Jefferson holding a meeting for some important business...

Does Futurama need to stop picking on New Jersey? Or is it too funny to give up? Let us know in the comments.
[Image Source: Geektwins...us!]
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Christopher Nolan's film The Dark Knight Rises is analyzed a thousand ways and there have been hundreds of interviews by the cast and crew. But there are still things to learn.

The recent book The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy has a ton of fascinating facts seen nowhere else on the Internet.

Here are 15 of the most interesting ones.

Update: Added number four. :)
1. Osama Bin Laden Almost Interrupted The Filming

The scenes with the prison pit were filmed in Jaipur Rajasthan, India near the Pakistan border. The shoot was already challenging based on bureaucracy, permits and safety concerns. But, two days prior to the shoot, American military forces killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. This raised tensions across the region. "The location was near an air base," Thomas said, "and we'd already had a lot of wrangling over permission to fly helicopters, which we'd wanted to use to shoot a big, aerial establishing shot of that fantastic terrain. But after Osama bin Laden was killed and the whole world was suddenly on high alert, we were denied that permission. There were a lot of headaches there, but it was all well worth it for the production value that we got."
(Update: A few have pointed out that the shooting location was Jodhpor, India and the Indian Times agrees. All I can say is the book quotes Nolan talking about Jaipur and doesn't list Jodhpor. For clarity though, I'll just say they filmed in Rajasthan. Both cities are in that location.)

2. No One Wanted Catwoman But Jonathan Nolan

Of the three writers, Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer only Jonathan thought Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) would work. The other two thought she would be too campy. But Jonathan felt Batman's character arc wouldn't be complete without her. "I was a big advocate of that character," he said. "It seemed to me that if we're trying to create a complete arc for Batman, we couldn't do it without Cat-woman, and without that relationship between Catwoman and Batman." The others were not so convinced.

"We kept thinking about Eartha Kitt in the role," Goyer admitted, "which was not of the Christopher Nolan Batman universe at all." When Christopher thought about her character, he thought of the campy female characterizations from the television show and movies. Eartha Kitt was far from Nolan's vision of the Batman universe, but they found a way to make her interesting. In the end Nolan took it as a challenge. "I wasn’t sure how to illustrate that character in our world," Christopher Nolan added, "but it was an interesting challenge. And, for me, what clinched it was abandoning the idea of her costume persona. We said: 'Let’s look at her as a cat burglar, a grifter, a conwoman, and a real-life character. Let’s write that character; put her in the story, and trust that the theatrical elements of what makes her specifically Catwoman as opposed to any other cat burglar would evolve.'"

3. The Story Came First And Action Later

When Nolan and David developed Batman Begins and The Dark Knight they plotted action beats they needed and where they would be in the movie. In The Dark Knight Rises they wrote the story and characters and let the action develop naturally. "We absolutely resisted the idea of making The Dark Knight Rises bigger just because it was a third movie," said Goyer. "We didn't go into it saying that we were going to make an epic war movie, and then develop the story from that idea. It was decidedly the opposite of that. In fact, again, the first thing we came up with was the ending, which was very personal, and we wrote a beginning that also had Bruce Wayne in a very personal place. That's what we had when we started. It wasn't until a month or two into the writing process that things got very big and destructive in the middle."

4. They Were Afraid Catwoman Would Break Her Ankle

To play Catwoman, Anne Hathaway went through intense physical training. Christopher Nolan expected her to perform all the fights herself without using a stunt double. "He wanted to make sure that in addition to learning the fights, I would be strong enough to do them for hours or days on end," Hathaway stated. "So that was an opportunity to push myself in a way that I never had before. I worked out with my stunt woman, Maxine Whittaker, and she couldn’t have been more supportive."

Instead of using the feline inspired style of the 90s film Batman Returns, they used a more aggressive street fighting style. Hathaway impressed everyone by putting in some long and intense hours of training throughout the entire shoot. "A lot of people in this business just show up," co-stunt coordinator Tom Struthers said. "But that doesn't work on a Chris Nolan film, and I think he chooses people, including actors, whom he knows will work hard. I think part of the reason he chose Anne for this was because he knew she'd put everything she had into it —and she did. Anne worked exceptionally hard, and she continued to train and work hard until the very last day of filming." Interestingly, the greatest fear Struthers had watching her fight choreography was the four-inch heels. A misplaced kick or wrong move could have led to an ankle sprain, or worse, a break. Thankfully, even with all the kicks and spins, she never broke an ankle.

5. Bane's Underground Attack Was Symbolic Of Gotham's Hidden Evil

In the beginning of Dark Knight Rises Gotham City's crime rate is at a all-time low thanks to the "Dent Act." Named after the late District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), the city has been victorious against crime. Except that act was based on a lie of Dent's supposed heroism and the evil still lingered beneath the surface. An undercurrent of criminality and suffering still existed. "What was important in The Dark Knight Rises," said Christopher Nolan, "and what David and Jonah and I talked a lot about, was the idea that the victory at the end of The Dark Knight is based on a lie, and therefore, over time, they are just papering over the cracks. The underlying theme of The Dark Knight Rises is 'Truth will out,' the idea that though things seem better in Gotham, there is an evil beneath the surface that is going to bubble up. At some point—at Jonah's suggestion—we decided to literalize that metaphor and actually have a villain that is tunneling up from within the sewers of the city." Bane's subterranean attack on the city symbolizes the evil and corruption finally erupting to the surface.

6. "The Bat" Broke Nolan's "No Flying Machines" Rule

On both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley said they wouldn't do the Batplane. They felt it was unrealistic. The Batpod motorcycle while "hard to realize" was based on sound logic. Then Nolan told Crowley "We're going to do flying machine in the Dark Knight Rises" Nathan was concerned. "My response was: 'Okay, but we said we'd never do a flying machine. How do we make that believable for the audience? And does this mean we're going to have to do it with CGI?' CGI has improved tenfold since Batman Begins, and so there was no question that they'd be able to do a CGI Bat that looked real—but we still had to give it a foundation that would make the audience believe it was real, rather than us just making it look real. So my first job in the garage for The Dark Knight Rises was designing the Bat, and figuring out how something like that would exist in our world." In the end he based it on various real-world vertical-takeoff-and-landing craft vehicles like Harrier Jump Jets and the V-22 Osprey.

7. Bane's Mask Was Designed To Look Different From Batman's Silhouette

While designing the mask using photographs of various bald actors like Marlon Brando and Terrance Stamp, Nolan and the designers realized his mask would be confusing. He needed a very different silhouette than Batman's.
"A lot of the film was going to take place in the dark, with Bane and fighting," costume designer Lindy Hemming explained, "and we couldn't have one black lump of a head fighting another black lump of a head. And so, to make sure they would be easily identifiable we had to make those two silhouettes—Batman's and Bane's—look completely different."

In the comic books Bane wore a Mexican-style wrestling mask known as a luchador. The designers began removing parts of the full head mask to make a simplified minimalist look. As the mask got smaller the tubing and devices became streamlined. "I'd been playing with all kinds of elaborate tubing and devices for the mask," said Hemming, "but all of that had to be streamlined, because as we made the mask smaller, there was no place to put it all.  So the mask was just reduced and reduced. I also wanted the mask to look animalistic, like something that might bite you, and so I referenced a lot of gorillas and spiders and the like."

8. They Invented A Football Team

In the comic books, Gotham City has a wide-variety of sports teams. Two baseball teams: the "Gotham Knights" and the "Gotham Griffins." A Basketball team: the "Gotham Guardsman." An Ice Hockey team called "The Gotham Blades." They even have two football teams called the "Gotham Wildcats" and "Gotham Knights." For the movie they decided to create a new football team. They took the name "Gotham Rogues" based on the name of Batman's core group of villains nicknamed the "Rogues Gallery." This also presented the costume designers with a unique challenge: dressing the players, coaches and fans. "We actually had to invent an entire football team for Gotham," said costume supervisor Dan Grace, "with uniforms that looked completely authentic and believable. We were very proud, in the end, to have created costumes for an entire football team, coaches, and twelve thousand extras

9. It Hurt Bane To Punch Batman

Tom Hardy did as much of his own fight choreography as he could, but he had a challenge with the fight scenes with Batman in costume. "They wanted to show that Batman was struggling as he fought Bane," Tom Hardy noted. "I love doing fight choreography in films because you get to look really tough, but it's not real and it doesn't really hurt! Well... it hurts sometimes. When you hit somebody in a Batsuit made of rubber and plastic, it hurts your fists. But it looks really good. You just do what you can, and whatever you can't do, the stuntmen do." Considering how hard he was punching Bale, he's one tough actor.

10. The Batcave Was Real

The Batcave was the only scene shot in a large sound-stage in Los Angeles. Normally, to make room for cameras and lighting, they create a partial set. However, the Batcave was a full 360 degree set to allow Nolan freedom to choose camera angles. Basically, they built a full-scale replica of the Batcave. Everyone in the crew felt the wonder of the set. Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Franklin said, "I was standing there, thinking: 'Wow! We're in the Batcave! It was thrilling, just because of the scope and scale of the set, and the fact that it was this iconic Batman setting. I got a kick from it every time I walked onto that set."

11. It Took Eight months To Prepare For Twelve Days of Shooting In NY

New York City was an important shoot for The Dark Knight Rises based on the city's history and the comic book parallels with Gotham City. But the logistics of shooting there were so complicated, that the producers and managers spent eight full months preparing for the twelve-day shoot. They shot in locations like Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other locations. "It was a very daunting thing," said Nolan, "but it actually went very smoothly. We  found the authorities in New York to be extremely helpful, and we worked in a very efficient and reasonable way. Rather than try to do too much of New York, we just did those things that we felt would really benefit the scale of the movie. I'm very happy with what we were able to get there." The police were especially happy to escort the full scale model of the flying "Bat" through the streets of New York on cranes.

12. Bane Punched The Wrong Actors On Wall Street

The  massive clash on Wall Street culminated in a hand-to-hand fight between Bane and Batman. Tom Hardy said, with all the fighting actors in the scene, things got confusing. "It was a very confusing scene to shoot," Tom Hardy said. "Bane is looking for Batman, and then comes down the stairs, has six or seven contacts with police officers, and faces off with Batman to beat him up. And Batman is whaling through the mercenaries to get to Bane and beat him up. When we shot it the first time, there were so many police officers in the scene that I didn't know which seven I was supposed to hit! So I was just hitting anybody. And then, I was down in the crowd looking for Batman, and I couldn't see him anywhere; he was twenty feet over to my right, and he couldn't see me either. It was like, 'Hey, Batman, I'm over here!' 'Oh, okay.' So we had to reshoot that a few times."

13. The Dark Knight Rises Was The Fastest Shoot Of All Nolan's Batman Movies

The filming of the The Dark Knight Rises wrapped in New York on November 14, 2011. This was 118 days from the date of its start in May. This was eleven fewer days than it had taken to shoot Batman Begins, and nine fewer than The Dark Knight.  "A lot of it had to do with the fact that everybody really knew their stuff by then," noted co-producer Emma Thomas. "They'd done it all before. We'd made two movies before with the Batmobile, for example, so everyone knew what was involved in that. There were some new things added to it, but so much of it just worked by the time we got to this movie."

14. They Tried To to Make the Fights Violent, But Not Gruesome

There are two major fights between Bane and Batman in the film. The most shocking of them was the scene when Bane breaks Batman's back in the underground lair. This presented a challenge to the film to keep it from going too far. "It's very difficult to come across with something that has been depicted in comic books," said Struthers, "to bring it to the screen with real characters and actors. It's difficult to get that kind of violence on screen without getting into undue violence. It had to read well on screen, without making the audience disgusted by it—and I think we achieved that. It's pretty gruesome, but I don't think it will completely turn off the audience."

15. They Gave Away Prizes To Keep Extras From Leaving

The football stadium scene in Gotham City had twelve thousand extras. Most movies these days use CGI to fill in the crowd, but Nolan prefers to use real people. Unfortunately for the shoot, it's not uncommon for half the extras to leave before filming is complete.  Plus, the extras had to bundle up in scarves and heavy  coats in the hundred-plus-degree heat of a Pittsburgh summer to make people believe the scene's chilly late fall setting.

"It’s not uncommon to have five hundred extras at the start of the day, and have only two hundred by the middle." co-producer Jordan Goldberg said. "For this scene in Pittsburgh, we needed more than ten  thousand extras, and if a half or a third of them left by midday, we would have been in real trouble, because we were  in a football stadium and everyone was going to be in view. But it was a tough order to expect thousands of people to  stick around for a whole long day of shooting."

To keep the crowd engaged between the long, boring hot times between filming they raffled off prizes like iPads and a car. They also had the Batmobile-like "Tumblers" show up even though they weren't needed for the scenes.

Did you learn anything? What was your favorite scene in The Dark Knight Rises?
[Image Source: iwatchstuff.com]

Update: Corrected typos and grammatical errors. Thanks to those who pointed them out.

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Want to know how much work Christopher Nolan put into his movie, The Dark Knight Rises? Check out this official map of Nolan's Gotham City from The Dark Knight Manual. It not only details key landmarks from the films, but also the surrounding area, rivers, the stadium...it's all here. Click to enlarge.
What did you think of the map? What details did you notice?

[Via Reddit]

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is coming back. The longest running science-fiction comedy show ever is the BBC show Red Dwarf. At 61 episodes and nine seasons on television between 1988 and 1999 and on the Internet site Dave in 2009 and 2012 it has a huge cult following.

After a long hiatus it's back! The show is irreverent, character driven and hilarious. The series is about a massive mining vessel called Red Dawrf in the late 22nd century. A radiation leak kills everyone on the ship except for a low-ranking technician Dave Lister (Chris Barrie) who is in suspended animation at the time, and his pregnant cat, Frankenstein. After the accident, the ship's computer Holly (Norman Lovett\Hattie Hayridge) keeps Lister in stasis for three million years till the background radiation dies down. Lister is the last surviving human in the universe. To keep him sane, Holly creates a hologram of his bunk-mate and hated enemy Arnold Rimmer (Craig Charles). The only other creature alive on the ship is Cat (Danny John-Jules), the last member of a race of humanoid felines that evolved in the ship's hold from Frankenstein's kittens. 

Most of the humor comes from the interplay between the slacker Lister, the egotistical Rimmer and the vain Cat. Later in the series they added Kryton, a quirky android that is completely subservient and selfless.

Here's the trailer for season 10, called Red Dwarf X.

The trailer looks great and, while the characters are obviously much older, still has the old comic timing.

Have you ever watched Red Dwarf? Are you looking forward to the new season?

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The webcomic My Extra Life created this cartoon referencing the famous squid man from Return of the Jedi, Admiral Ackbar. I'm a sucker for an Ackbar joke.

Could you repel flavor of this magnitude?

[My Extra Life via 9gag]

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The studio decided to make a Superman film that goes "dark to the extent that the characters allow it." Two new Man of Steel trailers are out. Are they too dark?

Superman appeared for the first time in Action Comics in 1938. More than 70 years later, a new Superman film by director Zack-Snyder opens in 2013 starring Henry Cavill.

I think they're great and show a young, bearded Clark Kent taking on one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: A lobster fisherman. Plus, there's a great shot of (presumably) young Clark pretending to fly with a cape. In the end, we get a shot of Superman flying into the sky with a sonic boom.

It's hard to judge the teasers, but we reached out to Larry Tye, the writer of the best-selling novel Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero for his thoughts on the trailers.

First, you can watch the trailers with Jor-El and Pa Kent. I put them together into one trailer since they're pretty much the same except for the voice-overs.

Jor-El (Russell Crowe): "You'll give the people an ideal to strive for. They'll race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time they will join you in the sun. In time you will help them accomplish wonders."

Pa Kent (Kevin Costner): "You're not just anyone. One day, you're going to have to make a choice. You're going to have to decide what kind of man you're going to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, is going to change the world."

Here's what Larry Tye told us.

"The three short snippets don't give much sense of what Man of Steel will be about, and how much they'll deviate from the way Superman has always been." Tye said.

"Then again I have faith that Warner Bros. is smart enough not to tinker, in any ways that really matter, with a mythos that has been going so strong for 74 years and counting. It's not like Superman is broken and needs fixing. In fact everything going on in the world today suggests this is precisely the time for a hero of light -- a guy who instinctively knows right from wrong -- in a way that sometimes defies darker heroes like Batman and more fraught ones like Superman.

"That is an understanding that Dick Donner got better than just about anyone when he created the first and best of Christopher Reeve's four-set series of movies in 1978, and it's why that film and the ones that followed worked so well. It's what Bryan Singer understood in 2006, when he gave us Superman Returns. Donner called it verisimilitude, which simply meant staying true to the character Jerry and Joe gave us in 1938. If Warner Bros. does that, it'll have another blockbuster on its hands.

"If not, fans will let them know where they got it wrong and, I trust, make them return to the superhero's noble beginnings."

He's confident the studio will stay true to the character's ideals. That or they'll feel the wrath of the fans.

Larry Tye is the author of several biographies, including The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations, Home Lands: Portraits of the New Jewish Diaspora and Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend. Make sure you check out his site at LarryTye.com

Via Huffington Post
What do you think of the trailers? Do you think the character will go too dark?
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Draw2D2 features a regular contest every two weeks to create original artwork that combines two different geek properties. For one contest, they combined Star Wars and Batman. These are five of the most awesome results.
Batman on Hoth
by Alex Ryan

Why So Sidious?
by Joey Marsella
 The Dark Fett
by Plinio Pinto

Droids Over Gotham
by Adam Carlson

Darth Joker
by Justin LaRoca Hansen

What do you think of the mash-up? Which is your favorite?
[Image Source: Draw2D2]
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Vintage pic of Steven Spielberg and E.T.
How can you draw a Batman cartoon on everything you own? Which famous monster held Dracula prisoner? Which hero will come back to life in Captain America 2?

Just starting off with some sad news. A nutball shot 71 people were shot in a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado. 12 were killed, and 59 were injured. Why anyone would want to commit such a senseless crime is beyond me. The incident has cast a huge shadow across the opening of the most anticipated movie of the year. Our hearts go out to the victim's families.

Only 11 days left to become on of our Twitter followers and get a chance to win a $50 gift card. If you're a follower, do you know how to get an extra entry?

Trivia Question (Answer at the end of the Post)
The plot of the movie Men in Black changed during filming. Originally MiB had the task of stopping two warring alien races from going to war after "Edgar the Bug" stole the "Universe." Several changes were made. Which of the following is one of the changes made during filming?
A) Replacing Chris O Donnell with Will Smith as Agent J
B) The dialogue of the two aliens in the restaurant was changed to English
C) A scene with Jim Carrey talking out of his butt was cut
D) Replacing Clint Eastwood with Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K

Last Week's Bonus Trivia Answers
Can you name three cast members of Batman Begins that appear in The Dark Knight?
"Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman! And Morgan Freeman of course."- Alex J. Cavanaugh
"Adding to Alex' answers, Cillian Murphy also reprised his role as the Scarecrow." - Pat Dilloway
We would also have accepted Police Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (Colin McFarlane)

Batman Begins is the first movie where Batman's name isn't changed in the Spanish version of the film. What is Bruce Wayne's Spanish name?
"I think Google says Bruce Wayne's Spanish name is Bruno Diaz. Weird." Pat Dilloway
Some of these may be familiar if you follow us on Twitter @TheGeekTwins.

  • The big news this week were the names of the next big Marvel movies Thor 2: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man 3. Not surprisingly Variety reports Sebastian Stan will return to Captain America 2 to reprise his role as Bucky. Comic fans know the character survived death and was brought back as a villain called "Winter Soldier" with a bionic arm. Plus, the Falcon's going to be in it!
  • Fans threaten to kill The Dark Knight Rises critics for negative reviews...Really? via Criticwire
  • Five stages of bad superhero movie grief. Can you relate? Thoughts?

Trivia Answer
B) The dialogue of the two aliens in the restaurant was changed to English.

Originally the tall man (Carel Struycken) and Mr. "Little Dude Inside the Big Dude's Head" Rosenberg (Mike Nussbaum) were rival aliens on the verge of war. To keep from having to reshoot scenes, the lines were dubbed in an alien language and subtitles were used to change their conversation to make them appear as friends.

While both Clint Eastwood and Chris O'Donnell were considered for the role, this was before filming began. Jim Carrey, thankfully, never appeared in the film.

Bonus Trivia Questions: First with the correct answer will be featured in next week's post.
Easy: Name three cast members that appeared in MiB and the sequel MIIB.
Hard: Which director turned down the job because he felt it would "just be Blues Brothers in space?"

What do you think of the links?

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