March 26, 1994 |
At Six Flags Magic Mountain, Kevin Barbee has used his experience in urban design to construct a dark, decaying city. The "city" Barbee designed is Gotham City Backlot, a Batman-themed area opening today that is highlighted by Batman the Ride, a suspended looping roller coaster. Owing more to the stark, futuristic aesthetic of the 1989 "Batman" movie than the campy late-'60s television show, Gotham City is Magic Mountain's 10th themed area, a 6.
June 23, 1989 |
The Warner Bros. movie operation has just about everything. Crackerjack marketing. Warm relations with film exhibitors. Videocassette and foreign sales machinery that just won't quit. In fact, the only thing missing is a hit. While Warner Communications' brass fights to lock up the parent company's sale to Time Inc., managers at the Burbank-based film unit have their eyes fixed on this weekend's opening of "Batman." Clearly, they hope that the darkly sophisticated comic book extravaganza will end a 2-year dry spell that has, by some reports, taken a toll on studio morale and perhaps even put some jobs in jeopardy.
August 6, 1989
Try comparing the carnage in the 1967 James Bond film "You Only Live Twice" (shown on television here last Sunday) to the latest film; "License to Kill" doesn't even come close. Twenty-two years ago the Bond movie included two people eaten alive by piranha, myriad stabbings, shootings and poisonings, a pitched battle with a body count in the hundreds. Protest all you like against the current upswing in movie violence (like Sheila Benson in her July 23 article, I too found the Joker's art-museum rampage in "Batman" highly objectionable)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2007 |
Marshall Rogers, the comic book artist whose landmark work on Batman in the 1970s was celebrated for its bold flair and stylish grace, has died. He was 57. Rogers died Sunday in his Fremont, Calif., home "unexpectedly," said his sister, Suzanne Schmachtenberger, who added that the family was awaiting the official cause of death. Rogers was a relatively inexperienced outsider when he took over the plum assignment of penciling Batman's adventures in "Detective Comics" in 1977. Paul Levitz, president of DC Comics now and a writer then, recalled that Rogers became "one of the radical young stylists bringing new looks to DC in the '70s."
December 6, 2009
In my favorite panel of R. Sikoryak's "Masterpiece Comics" (Drawn & Quarterly: 66 pp., $19.95), Superman -- recast as Meursault, the protagonist of Albert Camus' 1942 novel "The Stranger" -- attacks a priest in his jail cell while crying out: "Don't waste your lousy prayers! You're just as condemned as me!" It takes a perverse kind of genius to re-imagine the Man of Steel as existentialist antihero, but that's the power of Sikoryak's work. A protégé of Art Spiegelman's (with whom he worked for many years on the "commix" magazine RAW)
March 21, 2009 |
Adam West barely recognizes Gotham City these days. "Batman is so dark now," the 80-year-old actor said with a carefree chuckle. "The new films, they are grim, Gothic, full of explosions, mayhem. It's the way of things, I suppose; the whole world seems darker." Well, the world was also heaving with angst back when West wore the cape for 26 months of prime-time silliness that began in January 1966. The native of Walla Walla, Wash., became an icon of camp with his masked-man deadpan and, for much of America, his version was the definition of the Caped Crusader for decades.
December 17, 1994 |
Batman no more. That's the word from Michael Keaton. And for good reason, according to the man who played the Caped Crusader in "Batman" and "Batman Returns." "I walked away from it ('Batman') because I had done two of them and, based on the script that I had read, I didn't see anything that was making me jump up and down. I didn't feel that it was going to be all that rewarding," Keaton said. "There are a lot of other things I wanted to do, on stage and off stage. . . .