Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

features, News

DARK KNIGHT GUISES: Who is the best Batman? Bale? West? CLOONEY?

By Gerald Lynch on July 19th, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES IS ALMOST HERE! One of the most hotly anticipated movies of all time, it’s the final part of Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy which elevated the potential of comic book movies to Oscar winning heights.

While Nolan’s take on the caped crusader is now widely regarded as the definitive silver screen offering, the debate as to which actor donned the Dark Knight’s cowl most convincingly rages on. From Adam West through to Michael Keaton to George Clooney, Batman’s been played by a fair few thespians since being first created by Bob Kane back in 1939. 

But who was best? Brandish enters the Batcave in our definitive rundown to uncover the finest Batman of all time.

Adam West: 1966 – 1968

KAPOW! Adam West stared in the 1960s super-camp Batman TV series, and a few TV movies that followed it. Far from the high-tech wizardry we expect from Batman today, West’s Batman wore just a spandex suit and a “groovy” navy cowl. His slow and measured voice showed a Batman almost always totally in control, while the show’s colourful comic caption flashes during fight scenes have become iconic. Though the West-era Batman gets a lot of stick for its playful tone, many forget that it’s a pretty-much bang-on representation of the “Golden Age” era comics that inspired it. It was a simpler time, when we could totally buy into ridiculous gadgets like “shark repellant”, which Batman just so happened to always have whenever he was jumped by one of the aquatic beasties.

Michael Keaton: 1989 – 1992

It took a long time for the dust to settle after the West-era show, but the late 1980s saw a massive resurgence in popularity for Batman, mostly thanks to comic book writer Frank Miller’s massively influential The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One comics. The Tim Burton-helmed Batman films that followed, starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and Batman, were perhaps the movie adaptations that came closest to the gothic feel of the comic books.

It helped that Michael Keaton was not only a great Batman, but an excellent Bruce Wayne too. Though not focussing massively on Wayne’s traumatic childhood, Keaton always effectively gave off a feeling of loneliness that is central to Batman’s character. He pulled off action scenes excellently too; the opening action scene in Batman Returns in which Batman faces off against the Penguin’s clownish thugs is superb, with Keaton’s comically timed use of gadgets giving Batman the much-needed cool factor. Though sometimes overshadowed by stellar villains (both Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito made for amazing Jokers and Penguins respectively), Keaton had it all.

Val Kilmer: 1995

From Batman to Fatman, it’s hard now to remember how massive a star Val Kilmer was back in 1995. He was also a great Batman too, with his “chicks love the car” quip one of Batman’s most memorable silver screen lines. Val Kilmer came across as believably intelligent; in the scene where he shatters the dreams of a pre-Riddler Edward Nigma, you can totally believe he’s the head of the massive Wanye Enterprises empire. However, though his pretty-boy looks bagged him the girls as Bruce Wayne, he looked just a bit too pouty under the cowl.

George Clooney: 1997

Ugh. Batman and Robin. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s my least favourite film OF ALL TIME. On paper, it all seems so right: Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, and of course, George Clooney as Batman. You’d think Clooney would be the perfect fit for Batman, but he proved to be terrible. Far too smarmy, Clooney had the chin to play the Bat, but failed to channel any of the vulnerability needed to effectively pull off all angles of the multifaceted crime fighter. And while the costume design wasn’t Clooney’s fault, the less said about Batman’s “nipple suit” used in the movie the better. For a few years now rumours have circulated that Clooney could return to play an ageing Batman in an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns comic book, which could be great, as Clooney would make for a far more convincing middle-aged hero in our opinion.

Christian Bale: 2005 – 2012

 

Christian Bale’s realistic take on the Batman role, under Christopher Nolan’s superb direction, totally rejuvenated the Batman franchise. Here was a close look at a genuinely troubled Bruce Wayne, constantly dealing with the guilt he carried over his parent’s death. From stoney faced watchman to playboy billionaire, Bale’s performance covers all bases.

Bales commitment to the role is also legendary, training hard to pile on massive amounts of muscle after an astounding transformation verging on anorexia for The Machinist. He brings a much tougher physicality to the role than previous Batmen; you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a smack from Bale’s superhero sleuth.

Bale’s trademark Batman bark, often ridiculed, is just fine by us. Attempting to be more than a man, a terrifying symbol showing that crime won’t be tolerated in Gotham City, Bale’s Wayne completely embraces the theatrical. His aggressive tone would strike fear into the hearts of his foes, while also sensibly masking his true voice and identity. Nolan couldn’t have picked a better star for his take on Gotham’s protector.

WILDCARD – Kevin Conroy (Batman voice actor) 1992 – present day

Do you remember Kevin Conroy as Batman? Or even know who he is? Probably not, but you’ve almost certainly heard him. Conroy is the hardest working Batman on this list, having been the go-to voice actor for Batman in everything from games to animated TV shows for the last 20 years. For many comic book fans, he’s the best Batman there’s ever been, effortlessly moving between the reserved Bruce Wayne and the might of Batman better than any other person on this list. A true Dark Knight, New Yorker Conroy also helped with the clean up effort following the devastating Twin Towers attack of 2001.

THE BEST BATMAN OF ALL TIME IS…Ermmm…

Wow, it’s a tough one! For Brandish, it comes down to two actors, who we just can’t separate: Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. Both are perfect for the differing Batman visions they are a part of. Michael Keaton nails the morally charged, lonely eccentricity of the Batman comic books, while Bale’s realistic take on the Bat is so good that you totally buy into the real-world possibility of a billionaire moonlighting as a masked vigilante. When we’re after gothic gloom and outlandish thrills we’ll go for Keaton, but Bale’s tense troubled Bat gives us our intellectual kicks too.

 The Dark Knight Rises hit cinemas nationwide tomorrow (20/07/2012)


News, T-shirts, Polos & Shirts

Dark Knight anticipation Rises with new Lazy Oaf Batman collection

By Gerald Lynch on July 16th, 2012

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Picture 1 of 5

Over here at Brandish, we’re going a bit batsh*t crazy waiting for The Dark Knight Rises to come out. Hitting UK cinemas this Friday, it’s set to be the movie of the summer, as director Christopher Nolan draws his epic superhero trilogy to its conclusion.

So we couldn’t have been happier then to see one of our favourite London-based boutiques, Lazy Oaf, getting in on the silver-screen fun with their own caped-crusader Batman-themed collection. Taking its inspiration directly from the pages of the Golden Age-era comic books, the collection uses repeat print patterns across shirts, t-shirts and sweatshirts, with the men’s range starting at £38 and going up to £80. There’s a Bat-logo rucksack available too, for when a utility belt just isn’t enough to carry all your gadgets with.

Also, if you’ve got a lady-friend who’s also partial to a bit comic book fun, jeepers! Lazy Oaf have got a cracking collection of Batman-themed gear for the fairer sex too. It almost makes comic-book geekery look sexy, seriously!

Click here to check out the range.



features, Trainers

Reebok X Marvel Superhero Sneakers: Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man trainers!

By Gerald Lynch on June 12th, 2012

Marvel Venom Reebok Night Storm

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Picture 27 of 27

Seriously, what a year to be a comic-book fan. First the Avengers movie kicks up a storm in cinemas all over the world, then that’s soon to be followed by The Amazing Spider-Man and Batman Dark Knight Rises, and soon after that is the Judge Dredd movie and the Watchmen prequel comics.

And now these totally, totally ace superhero sneakers from Reebok. Above is a preview gallery of the new Reebok X Marvel collection, a collaboration between the comic book giants and the footwear veterans.

Put together by designer Anthony Petrie, these limited edition trainers include The Spider-Man Insta Pump, Captain America Ventilator and Wolverine Pump Fury HLS, the Sabretooth Night Sky Mid, Deadpool Pump Omni Lite, Red Skull Pump Omni Lite HLS, Chamber Blast, Venom Night Storm HLS as well as Freestyles for Emma Frost and Black Widow.

It’s a footwear fetish for “true believers”, as Stan Lee used to call his loyal readers!

What’s really great about the collection though is the attention to detail. I love how the Reebok logo is slashed on the Sabretooth pair, while we could totally see Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man running around in those webhead-inspired Insta Pumps.

We’re totally loving these. While you’re at it, check out Petrie’s personal site. He’s got mad skillz.



Entertainment, Gallery, Heroes and Celebrities

Brandish Gallery: Heath Ledger

By Will Reid on July 30th, 2008

Last night I went to see ‘Batman: The Dark Knight’ at a small, local film-house. The queues trailed out of the door and down the street- surely a first for such a small-scale cinema. Bearing in mind that this place sits in the middle of a village that doesn’t exactly boast of a youthful population, I knew there must be some reason they were flocking to watch a super-hero film. That reason is Heath Ledger. Entrancing, dark, clever, mesmerizing; he is all these things and more. The film is like a non-stop showcase of Ledger’s immense talent and after giving you the low-down on the premiere, I now give you a few of Ledger’s best looks.

Click On The Image For The Gallery.

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Entertainment, Heroes and Celebrities, News

Brandish Special- Celeb Style at The Batman ‘Dark Knight’ Premiere

By Will Reid on July 17th, 2008

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Click On Image To Enlarge

The new Batman film, Dark Knight, has been causing quite a stir throughout the film industry. Heath Ledger’s stellar acting, the new and improved Batmobile, the expectations thrust upon Christian Bale- all these things are no doubt exciting but how did the creative edge of this film translate onto the red carpet?

Read on for full details of this thriller evening.

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Heroes and Celebrities, News

Christian Bale will wear Armani for new Batman film

By admin on June 16th, 2008

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Giorgio Armani has dressed a plethora of celebrities, and now he can add dressing a superhero to the list. The latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight, will see Christian Bale wearing an array of Giorgio Armani hand made-to-measure suits whenever he plays Batman’s alter-ago, Bruce Wayne. Not that Wayne wears suits throughout the movie, he had the choice of custom made Armani single-breasted or three-button suits, single-breasted tuxedos and black wool coats.

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