My name is Colin and I’m a Batman fan. I have been Batman-free for two years. There, it’s out of the way. As regular readers will know, James is the one who generally goes to see the films that have subtle metaphors and maybe actually mean something. Me? Yes, I watch them too but every so often I like escapist movies with an inordinate amount of gratuitous violence and pyrotechnics. So, it was with enormous pleasure I came to know of two movies coming up that fit the bill nicely.
The Dark Knight: I grew up with The Batman in comic book form, graduating to the gorgeously drawn and well written graphic novels of the late 80s and have never been happy with the cinema or television portrayals of my favourite childhood vigilante. The television series was as camp as Christmas and the movies never showed the Batman I knew. For me, he was always a dark, brooding, bitter and resentful individual. He was a proper vigilante with no remorse for his quarry. Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan (director) brought the real Batman to the screen for the first time in Batman Begins (2005) – although I’m still not sure what Sir Michael Caine was doing as his butler, Alfred. The sequel, The Dark Knight, is out in Europe in August and again boasts quite an impressive cast – a testament, I believe, to the quality of the first film. Bale is still Batman and I’m looking forward to seeing the late Heath Ledger bringing the Joker’s craziness to the party. It may not be Proust, but then I think A la Récherche du Temps Perdu might have been improved by a good Mexican stand-off. There’s a trailer, of course: Take a look here.
George A Romero’s Diary of the Dead: Out in the US last year but strangely held back for us unlucky Europeans until June this year, it’s another in the zombie “…of the Dead” series of movies. This was all George’s own work, hence the title-lengthening name check. It appears he has returned to basics with this one as well. A low budget horror movie about some teenagers shooting a low budget horror movie – that should make space-time implode, theoretically. Anyway, he shot this on an expensive piece of equipment masquerading as a hand-held cam – Hmm, I get the feeling I’ve seen that before somewhere. The trailer looks good though, and by all accounts the body count is off the dial. As a huge fan of anything Zombie (except the remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004) – running zombies? Pah!), I feel I owe it to myself to give it a go. It all sets up well: teenagers, woods, hand-cam, zombies – it’s a cinematic version of Schlock-Horror for Dummies and if it’s being handled by the man himself, how bad could it be? In keeping with what is rapidly becoming the standard, the film has its own Myspace page, so if you want to see the trailer, look no further. Geeks, couch potatoes and horror buffs can look out for vocal cameos by such luminaries as Quentin Tarantino, Wes Craven, Stephen King and Simon Pegg, all playing newsreaders. See you behind the sofa.