I’ve talked about Batman a lot more this week than I normally do and it’s all R Patz’s fault. Every day there seems to be a new update about his upcoming role as the Dark Knight. We know a lot of the other actors that will appear in the film, we know that we’ll be seeing Greig Fraser’s cinematography and hearing Michael Giacchino’s score, and we’ve seen evidence Robert Pattinson is learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Things are getting serious. And, from the looks of it at least, the initial frenzied backlash to the casting announcement seems to have calmed down. Yep, who would have thought it but the internet reacted badly to something again. Just moments after the world knew the actor would take on the role of Bruce Wayne, fanboys around the world were throwing their toys out of the pram. There was the inevitable petition demanding a change. The petition demanded that Warner Brothers “stop trashing” the DC universe by making another mistake with casting. DC comic fans, as we know from the past, aren’t the most level-headed of people. So, let’s make this clear, Ben Affleck and Robert Pattinson aren’t the cause of the DCEU getting trashed. That all started the moment Zack Snyder stepped up to the plate. So, am I concerned about Pattinson taking over the role? No. Especially not after watching his performance in The Lighthouse. Plus, we’ve seen this with pretty much every actor who has stepped into the role. People freaked out about Michael Keaton, a comedy actor, playing him in the Tim Burton film. Ben Affleck was one of the best things about Dawn of Justice and Justice League. And neither George Clooney or Val Kilmer is really to blame for Joel Schumacher’s reign of terror. But I’ve just realised that this introduction is longer than a Russian novel. So, it’s time for my Friday Favourite’s for this week: Batman portrayals. So, who is the best Batman actor?
Now that Brad Pitt has been exploring space in Ad Astra, it’s become pretty clear that the Ocean’s 11 gang aren’t the best people to send into space. Matt Damon obviously had a tough time during The Martian. Brad Pitt had to face up to his daddy issues. And, way back in 2002, George Clooney was facing his own demons in Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris. The film was based on the 1961 science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem. By 2002, the book had already been turned into a Soviet television film and a film adaptation by Andrei Tarkovsky. Though the earlier film is critically acclaimed, Soderbergh claimed that his version would be more faithful to the novel than Tarkovsky. Unfortunately, the author hated both versions. Well, I guess you can’t please anyone. With the release of Ad Astra recently, there were plenty of critics who were bringing up Clooney’s space adventure. Well, I guess the two are science-fiction films that dealt with the deep stuff. It felt right to watch it for today’s post.
I can’t believe this film is this old. I also can’t believe that George Clooney looks so much better now than he did 18 years ago. Seriously, what is going on with that man? But, there we are. And I remember watching this film for the first time. It blew my mind. The twist worked really well. It’s also the film that first introduced me to my long-standing crush on Matt Damon. Before this, I didn’t give a shit about him but there was something about watching him rob Andy Garcia that obviously really did it for me. I used to watch the scene where he’s hanging above a vault shaft on repeat. A lot. Boy, he had some mighty fine arms. And I guess it’s true what they say; women like a bad boy. But I didn’t just like this film because of Matt Damon. It was a hugely entertaining film. And, as I found out, it still stands up 18 years later. Steven Soderbergh really is quite the talent. Has he actually properly retired now? I can never keep up with that man. That man has had more comebacks than The Rolling Stones at this point.
Continuing with my apparent comedy horror theme for this month, I’m reviewing another sequel to a cult classic. This time it’s the film that followed up 1978’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. The first film is a ridiculous and terrible horror parody of those 1950s B movies about huge monsters rampaging through a quiet American town. It flipped it on its head and, though a lot of the jokes don’t land or are incredibly desperate, there is a lot of fun to be had. It’s so fucking random and weird that it’s impossible not to enjoy it on some level. From the moment you hear the title song at the start of the film you know you’re in for a ride. Then it’s a roller coaster of bad acting and poor people being paid to roll around with actual tomatoes. It’s perfect. The ultimate “so bad it’s good film”. As for the sequel, it’s something that I’ve only seen bits of many years ago. Sticking in my mind only because it stars a young George Clooney. So, in the spirit of last, I decided it was worth rewatching the orignal and follow it up with the sequel. Of course, I was slightly worried that the whole process would put me off eating tomato soup or pizza for the next few weeks but I’m willing to sacrifice these types of things for this blog I guess.