Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck: The Right Batman, but the Wrong Bruce Wayne

In case you were doing other things last night and, you know, have a life, here’s the news: Ben Affleck will play Bruce Wayne/Batman in the recently-announced sequel to Man of Steel, informally known as Batman vs. Superman. Reaction to the news has been…well, exactly as bad you might expect. Even though Affleck has officially…

Iron-Man-4

The Most Conservative “Iron Man” Yet

Before we embark upon the unvarnished hero-worship of Man of Steel, let us take a long, perhaps last look at Tony Stark, the apotheosis of an era of superheroes who are defined as much by their faults as their virtues. Like all superheroes, Stark represents the best of humanity – courage, cunning, and physical fortitude…

Superman

Why “Man of Steel” Might Save Us All

I have now watched the trailer for Man of Steel, the Zack Snyder-directed Superman movie premiering June 14, twice and had two very different reactions. Watching it at home on my laptop, it looked like a solid, modern take on the world’s most famous superhero. But this trailer was not meant to be watched on…

110711-dark-knight-nyc

2012: The Movies of the Year

The late Gene Siskel once described the job of being a film critic as “covering the national dream beat.” What he meant is that the movies document our collective unconscious. We may go to the movies to escape, but because the movies trade on our fantasies and not our conscious fears and desires, they often…

Dark Knight Rises featured

Politics and Revolution in “The Dark Knight Rises”

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead. No movie exists in a vacuum. Every film is subject to political interpretations and various levels of expectations. This is especially true for the so-called “serious film,” which injects social, political, or cultural criticism into an art form created for the masses. For the American viewing public, “The Dark Knight Rises”…