Fan or not, nobody can deny the intergalactic pull of superheroes and their accompanying merchandise; they’re like a beacon calling to the masses to watch, play, and dress in order to express their love or even disdain for a specific set of characters. One of the most recent episodes of this being upon the release of Deadpool, one of the most hotly anticipated superhero films in years. Even people who’d never even heard of the merc with the mouth, flocked to their nearest cinema to watch his foul mouthed adventures, therefore once again securing superheroes as gods of the box office.
As with all fandoms, some characters surpass others, and within the world of superheroes one of these great individuals is Bruce Wayne, or Batman to the rest of the general public. Out of all the names that pop up in the DC universe, his is the most common and the most popular, and as such an enormous amount of products have been generated in his honor. Arguably, out of all the items you can add to your collection of ‘I love Batman’, the most accessible for all types of fans are the games he has inspired. And there is literally no end, even when the story is based on another hero he still manages to make an appearance in one way or another.
By choosing to have Batman across multiple platforms, users can decide whether they want to enjoy the Dark Knight slot at Betway, or whether they want to experience a more story led title like Batman: Arkham Asylum from Eidos Interactive. As always, there are various benefits to each of them, but when it comes down to it they all do one thing: demonstrate just how much superheroes have impacted on our everyday experiences. In fact, characters like this can be so profound that they break records with every successive release, as audiences experienced when they watched Batman Vs Superman. Good though it was, it was by no means the most classic rendition of these two superhero giants, and yet it had the biggest opening night of any hero title to this date.
There is no end of circulation of superhero news, which means you can never fully be removed from the hype that they inspire in the masses; from what we’ve seen over the generations, superheroes like Batman are likely to be dominating the industry for a great many decades to come yet.
If this sounds like a familiar story, it’s probably because you heard it a few years ago. Before the infamous “Sony Hack” incident, Angelina Jolie was firmly attached to a “Cleopatra” project to be produced by Scott Rudin. However, disputes over the script and who would direct held the project up, and when a rift between Jolie and Rudin was revealed by the hack everything seemed to go off the rails.
Now, however, a report by Deadline indicates that the film is back on the slate at Sony. Jolie will get to do her passion project after all, though the script is being re-worked and it’ll likely be a while before we see the film’s release. In the meantime, it’s worth asking: should Angelina Jolie really be the one to play the Egyptian queen? There’s no correct answer of course, but your view on the matter might depend on how, exactly, you view this very real character from history.
On the one hand, we have the most modern interpretations of Cleopatra, which seem to be where the idea of casting Jolie probably comes from. The only real “appearance” of the character in 21st century entertainment or pop culture is a game featured at Gala’s bingo platform. One of several themed jackpots sprinkled in among the bingo rooms, the game depicts the Egyptian queen as a striking figure with piercing, smoky eyes. Indeed, the game’s description even calls her “the seductive Cleopatra” and warns that she’ll “keep you spellbound.” It almost looks as if it was designed with Angelina Jolie in mind.
The most recent film bringing Cleopatra to life, meanwhile, was the 1963 project that starred the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor in the role. The film went with a similar image to that of the modern game, portraying Cleopatra as the picture of beauty and glamor. Again, this fits with a lot of moviegoers’ impressions of Angelina Jolie, and indeed Jolie has even sometimes been described as something of a modern day Taylor. For her part, for what it’s worth, Jolie was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter as saying her Cleopatra performance would never be as lovely as Taylor’s was.
But lovely or not, are takes like these missing the point about Cleopatra? As you may have heard before if you have an interest in ancient history, there’s actually quite a bit of evidence to suggest that the real Cleopatra wasn’t known for her beauty. Granted, beauty is subjective, and it’s no one’s job to compare the looks of a modern actress to an ancient queen. But if accuracy is a concern for the studio (and it’s usually not with regard to historical epics), someone a little less exotic might actually be a better fit.
A post by Pattaya Today actually delved into this topic some time ago and pointed to even more examples of Cleopatra depictions that were likely inaccurate. The article notes that archaeological evidence suggests Cleopatra was a less beautiful figure by conventional standards; coins that were in circulation during her reign show here with a hooked nose, for instance. Furthermore, the queen actually had Greek lineage rather than Egyptian. That doesn’t impact how beautiful one might imagine her to be, but the smoky eyes and pen-thin eyebrows etc. tend to go with our stereotypical image of the exotic ancient Egyptian.
There’s also the argument that perhaps it doesn’t particularly matter. A figure like Cleopatra is almost more like a character from literature than one from history at this point, as she’s been written about, depicted, and generally fictionalized so many times. The main goal from the studio’s perspective is to make this an entertaining (and profitable) film. And if Jolie has passion for the project, who could blame her? Any prominent modern actress would probably kill for the chance to take on an Elizabeth Taylor role, let alone a biopic for one of history’s most famous women.
Ultimately, where accuracy is concerned this looks like another ancient world misstep for Hollywood. But that’s not to say it can’t wind up being a good film.
Variety reports that Starz, which landed North American and Latin American rights for the film, will give “My Blind Brother” a day-and-date release in 25 markets and VOD (via Starz Digital) later this year, followed by an exclusive TV debut in 2017.
Logue is also shown, briefly, in the documentary; he is the one who organizes the sex-offender rights rally. But his own full story is not shown in full in the film. A visit to the OnceFallen.com site shows just how passionate and hot a topic this is, and gives an indication of how scary-powerful Ron Book is as a lobbyist and political force. The website has an extremist tone (understandably), but it definitely merits a look. And Logue’s comment also merits a read, so I am posting it here (as I found it on the web, without any fact-checking), along with my own comment back to Logue:
Logue: I was in this film briefly, protesting the Book family. This film didn’t do anything to challenge those monsters. The Books are responsible for forcing hundreds of Miami’s registered citizens into homelessness. It is disgusting to see clips of Ron Book attending fancy dinners, eating steak tartare and getting his shoes shined knowing his policies force hundreds of registered citizens to live by the railroad tracks behind a warehouse.
The film fails to discuss Ron Book’s plea of no contest to a theft charge in the 1980s and a guilty plea for illegal campaign contributions in the 1990s. Ron Book was recently under FBI investigation. Lauren Book is literally BUYING a senate seat, yet she can’t even answer her own questions during a post-screening Q & A. Lauren is inept and nothing but a puppet for daddy Ron and his political cronies.
It is here where Feige fumbled the ball worse than Cam Newton in the Super Bowl. In order to guarantee he wouldn’t get sued by the Books or have them pull their support of the film, Feige had to cater to Ron & Lauren. Thus, instead of any direct challenge to the Book family, Feige’s film dances the issue around them. The Books are never grilled about anything in the film. Feige minimized my rally in the film out of concerns that our message was “too harsh.” He asked me to be nice to Lauren Book because she is “skittish.” I guess it was because Daddy wasn’t there to do the talking for her.
Ultimately, this movie was an utter disappointment. The Books get away again like the bad guys from a Saturday Morning cartoon to return and continue their wicked ways.
HH: I don’t doubt that much of what you say about the Book family is true. But the Books *are* revealed in this film to be something very different than they originally appear. Feige handles their story, and others, with amazing sensitivity, while carefully and slowly building his case that essentially everything we think we know about this subject is FALSE. When you come into the issue cold, like most of us do, and watch it from beginning to end, the film packs a powerful punch. But it’s smart and dispassionate, which leads to a kind of meticulous fairness that is bizarrely unsettling. In my mind, Feige is like Solomon, but he actually cuts the baby in half.
Helen, Highly Alarmed by the Shocking Revelations in “Untouchable,” Interviews the Documentary Director and Editor.
Ricocheting from the halls of power to the cardboard homes of a marginalized pariah people, “Untouchable” is an enlightening documentary that defies expectations and challenges assumptions to argue for a new understanding of how we think about and legislate sexual abuse.
“Untouchable” Film Synopsis: When the most influential lobbyist in Florida discovers that the nanny has sexually abused his daughter, he harnesses his extraordinary political power to pass the toughest sex offender laws in the nation. “Untouchable” chronicles his crusade, and its impact on the lives of several of the 800,000 people forced to live under the kinds of laws he has championed.
Attorney-turned-filmmaker David Feige delves fearlessly into a complex and taboo issue, weaving together stories of sexual abuse victims with those of sex offenders as well as the advocates and academics who argue the many sides of the situation. The result is a strange sort of documentary-thriller that reveals a surprisingly twisted, interconnected public health crisis where the victims and perpetrators are inextricably linked by a legal system gone awry.
HH: A film about sex offenders. Not exactly an appealing outing to the movies. Why did you choose this unlikable topic, how did you get funding, and do you really expect people to go and see it?
Feige: Why this issue? Because I didn’t think anybody else was going to pick it up. I worked 15 years as a public defender, and even as the Trial Chief of the office, I tended to take on the most difficult cases. That’s what I do. Look, there are lots of people who are willing to take on certain issues – innocence, the death penalty, the drug war. All of these things already have a built in constituency and already have a lot of people who are willing to write and talk and make movies about them. In a way, they are the low-hanging fruit of the criminal justice reform discussion. This is not.
This is about as difficult a subject as you can find. It is complicated terrain and few people are willing to venture out into it. For that reason, the film was nearly impossible to fund. Basically, no one would fund it. But I made the film for exactly the reason that nobody would fund it– because I was interested in the most complex and most difficult questions. I was interested in the hardest questions in the criminal justice system, not the easy ones. The film is still in debt but… at least it got made.
Will people see it? Well, when people do see the film they react positively and strongly and they recognize the value of what we’ve done here. It’s an extremely thought-provoking film that makes you see the entire subject in a new way, and I believe that despite the subject matter, it’s really engaging and emotionally satisfying, which makes it absolutely worth seeing.
Feige: Nope. We are still looking. We are talking to distributors, and we are also interested in finding a broadcast partner. It’s my hope that the film will have a wide release and a vibrant life and reach a huge and diverse audience. That’s my hope.
HH: Jay, talk to me about the structure of the film. When watching it, it was almost like a thriller in that you saved the most powerful punches for the end. I mean, I was so profoundly shocked by all the “twists” that come late in the film that I almost wanted to go watch it again because I felt I had been watching it wrong, or with the wrong assumptions. Why did you opt to keep the audience in the dark for so long?
Sterrenberg: It’s interesting that you saw it that way. That was not specifically our strategy. But it’s a very complicated issue, and people tend to come into it with preconceived notions and very strong feelings. So, we thought it was best to meet people where they are. We wanted to leave room for the audience to have a lot of different opinions and perspectives and then bring them along slowly, through the complexity, point by point.
We bring you in through Ron and Laura’s personal story. They have had this nightmare experience where she is repeatedly sexually abused by her nanny, and as her father, he has a desire to punish the offender as harshly as possible and forever. And it’s a sensible and legitimate desire. And any audience can totally relate to that — the horror and outrage. So, we wanted to start there. And then we slowly take the audience on this journey down the rabbit hole of part of the criminal justice system that no one wants to engage with.
Feige: You gotta remember, we’re making a movie, which has to have a narrative and an emotional flow to it and so you can’t just… I could make a movie like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and just do a PowerPoint with a bunch of numbers, but that’s not going to be effective with this subject. So, we do present a lot of data, but this film is fundamentally character driven. It’s about delving into the life experience of people. It’s not a science lesson. It’s not a polemic. It’s a very complex and emotional look into the lives of people on several sides of this issue, who have all suffered tremendously.
Sterrenberg: It needed to be a carefully paced process, introducing these people who are considered monsters by society and looking at them as if they are human. It’s not that we are showing these sex offenders as sympathetic as much as human. That’s why we have three characters (real people) who are parents of children who have been abused as well as three characters (also real people) who are sex offenders. And it’s a dramatic evolution, the way these characters themselves transform in their own stories and their own attitudes. And different people watching will have different reactions, but we do take them through a range of perspectives.
HH: You talk about transformations, and one of the most jolting is Patty Wettlerling, who is the mother of a boy who was kidnapped at gunpoint by a masked man, never to be seen again.
HH: But after we go through her heartbreaking story and see how she had dedicated her life to advocating for the memory of her son, we finally learn that she has changed sides in the legal battle; she no longer supports the law that was named for her own son. That felt like a bomb exploding in my brain.
Sterrenberg: Yes, she says that she feels that the law named for her son has been “hijacked” and that now it has become counter-productive. The Wetterling Act was about police notification. It was later that Megan’s Law and other public notification laws were enacted, and those have become extremely controversial.
Feige: I want to be clear that I’m not advocating any particular position on this. It’s important to me that when I’m talking about this I’m talking about either what the science shows or what the experts in the film argue rather than my own point of view. I want to raise the questions, flag the social science, and then I want people to agree or disagree as they see fit. That said, the social science is quite clear.
HH: Yes, but the misunderstanding has been enormous. So, the data the film presents is truly amazing. Astounding, actually.
Feige: Right. And so many people want to discount these numbers by saying they were done by some, you know, some pro-sex-offender social scientist or something, but what’s so amazing about these numbers is that they are almost all done by departments of corrections, and probation departments and such.
Feige: Exactly. 80% was the number that was in the “Psychology Today” article. And that recidivism rate, and that exact phrase, is still used today to justify, over and over and over, these very, very stringent laws – hundreds of laws across the country, which have enormous impact on people’s lives. And that article had no backup data at all and was not even written by a social scientist. The guy was a “rehabilitation counselor.” But he doesn’t have a PhD, and he’s not a social scientist. And there was no study. That is why, in every place in the film that we quote a statistic, I felt it was extremely important to make clear where we were getting it, so we actually show the cover page for each report that we quote in the film.
HH: And the actual recidivism rate, according to recent, legitimate studies is not even close to 80%. It’s not even double digits.
Feige: 3.5% is the most reliable number. We took the biggest study – that’s the 1994 DOJ study that followed literally everybody released in 15 states, and that had a number of close to 10,000, so that is really the best three-year recidivism number around, from the study with the biggest sample size. It’s the study done by the United States Department of Justice.
HH: And you’ve explained to me that this 3.5% recidivism rate is the lowest recidivism rate for any crime other than murder. Lower than any other violent crime.
HH: And this is information that wasn’t even included in the movie. The movie is full of dramatic statistics, and still there is more.
Feige: There are a lot of other subjects – related subjects that we cut out of the film, which deserve their own treatment. We didn’t dig into all the data because … as I’ve said, it’s an extremely complicated story.
Sterrenberg: And it was most important to follow the characters and understand their diverse experiences. That’s what makes the numbers make sense.
HH: Okay, so the film does address the issue that we have a completely different category of restrictions and continued punishment for sex offenders after they have been released from prison than we do for any other type of criminal, even other violent offenders, all based on false beliefs.
Feige:Today, a large part of the misunderstanding comes from the way people count. If you count re-incarceration due to “technical violations,” you get a much larger number. Technical violations might be drinking alcohol, associating with another sex offender, not having compliant housing, staying at an unapproved address, or if you’re still getting polygraphs, there is one called “masturbating to an unapproved script,” where if they don’t like what you thought about when you masturbated, you are in violation – you go back to prison. In the movie, we show one man who was eight minutes late arriving home (he was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet), and he was sent back to prison for four years.
HH: I remember that. He was late because he was on a bus that was running late, and he was returning from his low-paying job that was two and half hours away, due to the legal restrictions that prevented him from living anywhere near civilized life. And he actually phoned his parole officer at the time, while on the bus, to explain that he would be a few minutes late. And still he was sent back to prison. For a ten minute delay. It seems unbelievable.
Feige: It was actually only eight minutes, to be exact. And that’s not an isolated incident. His story is fairly typical.
If you’re counting actual sex-crime convictions for previous sex-crime offenders… For every 100 sex-offender prison releases, 70 are sent back and only one of those is for a sex crime. That’s according to California Department of Corrections data.
HH: You turn on TV any night of the week and there is an episode of Law & Order or such, and they are always telling us this misinformation – that the recidivism rate for sex offenders is dangerously high; they will always re-offend. We hear that over and over, so we believe it. It’s mind-blowing to realize that these people are essentially being forced into a lifestyle that is unlivable, where it’s nearly impossible not to have some sort of technical violation.
Feige:And these miscalculations and misunderstandings have severe consequences, because they are used to validate these draconian laws. Residency restriction laws in particular – for example, sex offenders cannot live within 2500 feet of a school or park, which often leaves little to no viable real estate where these people can live. This is what pushed a lot of folks under bridges and into makeshift homeless encampments. These laws have a devastating and destabilizing effect on the population because they are so effective in preventing people from forming relationships, getting homes, keeping jobs, etc. They actually decrease the ability of released convicts to be successful. And so that perversely suggests that they are increasing the likelihood of recidivism.
In addition, it appears that Megan’s Law and public notification have essentially no effect on suppression of sexually related violence, and what that in turn means is that we are subjecting three quarters of a million people to some very serious penalties for no real gain.
That begs the question: Then why are we doing it? And it may be that it’s because it feels good. And it also may be that that’s not a sufficient answer to justify what we’re doing.
HH: The details we’ve discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the insights and revelations in your film. (Truly: I want readers of this interview to understand that there are so many pieces to the story this film tells, more than even an educated person can imagine, and each is more startling than the next.) You have really succeeded at shattering this mass of misinformation and misconception and then intricately examining all the shards.
Your background as a criminal attorney definitely makes its mark on this movie. The film has an indisputable logic to it, and a kind of relentless veracity that threads through the various emotions and personalities that are presented. You are quite the legal mind and also quite an excellent writer.
Feige: I jokingly say that I’m one of the only people in America who made more money as a writer than as a lawyer.
HH: How would you compare your two roles? Do you feel you’ve had more impact as a lawyer or as a writer and filmmaker?
Feige: Being a public defender, I had a profound impact on a relatively small number of lives. Being a writer or filmmaker, I have a much more diffuse and tangential impact but on a far larger number of lives. I think a robust democracy relies on civil discussion and honest debate, and there is real value in promoting that, especially on topics as complex and emotional as this one.
HH: And you have truly made this an honest discussion. It’s not manipulative; it’s not a tear-jerker.
Feige: I didn’t want this to be one of those movies the viewer has to suffer through.
HH: Well, your intention to involve the audience in a legitimate conversation is apparent. And it is indeed compelling. I’m writing about it because I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
Feige: Most people come away saying “It was challenging and interesting and I couldn’t stop talking about it.” Everybody who has written to me says they couldn’t stop talking about it.
Watch the trailer:
When she is not writing about film and art on her blog, HelenHighly.com, Helen Kaplow is busy being a culture vulture in her adopted home of New York City.
Movies are one of the most popular forms of entertainment. They are watched every day by millions of people all over the the world who want to experience an engaging and fun story that are often based on books, comics and even video games. Sometimes, the adaption can work the other way and games can be created that are based on movies.
Some genres lend themselves best to gaming adaptions. Action movies are full of thrills and suspense, fast-paced drama and exciting scenes. Sci-fi and fantasy movies have unique settings, interesting characters, visual appeal and magic that you cannot experience in this world.
Wanting to be in a film or a part of it is something we’ve all felt. Luckily, that’s what video games are for. With a PC or console you can easily jump into any action-heavy film. Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Ghostbusters, Aliens, Predator and Star Wars are just some of the franchises with multiple games based on them. It’s common to see a game released alongside a major adventure action film as it is an easy tie-in. While not always of the greatest quality, movie-based video games let people of any age become their favorite film character and experience the adventure and challenges their way.
Before video games, it was common to see major movies turned into pinball machines. This has evolved over time and now your favorite games will include familiar films and their characters.
Much was made of the Arkham Knight game for the PS4 last year, but The Dark Knight Rises is just one example of a movie gaming title at Royal Vegas Casino that provides a range of slots based on existing movie franchises with others including Jurassic Park and Terminator.
Adding popular movie series’ motifs to casino games attracts people acquainted with the movies, as the game becomes so more exhilarating if you aren’t just winning money, but saving Gotham City or escaping a Terminator.
Board games based of popular movies aren’t a new idea and odds are if you can name a high- grossing action, sci-fi or fantasy film, it’s has board game based on it. Escape from New York, Dune, A Bridge Too Far, Blade Runner, Jaws, Scream and Star Wars are just a few of the examples. And the boardgame titan Monopoly has made significant adaptations of many movie themes in its acclaimed series of games.
Whatever your favorite adventure film is, it can be experienced with Monopoly’s adaptions of popular movies, EA’s Star Wars games or Royal Vegas Casino’s licensed slots So there has certainly never been more ways of enjoying a film without having ever seen it!
Less than a month into production and the first Star Wars Episode VIII footage has already hit the internet.
The snippet of a teaser hardly shows anything new, but it’s nice to see that Luke already has more screen time in the preview than he did in all of The Force Awakens.
It appears the film will begin immediately where Episode VII left off, with Daisy Riddley’s Rey offering Luke’s old lightsaber he lost on Bespin, minus the missing hand, to an old and recluse hermit looking Luke. After the shot we pull back to see new franchise director Rian Johnson behind the camera to welcome everybody to what appears to be the first day of filming.
Although the clip is nothing earth shattering, it’s nice to see a little tidbit of the new film so early into the filming process. Just to remind everybody that Episode VIII is well on it’s way,or maybe as cover to take attention off of the upcoming Star Wars: Rouge One which is also currently filming but has been so shrouded in secrecy that very little photos or footage of the film have made it’s way onto the internet yet, despite the fact the film is due out next year, December 16th, 2016.
Star Wars; Episodde VIII stars Daisy Riddley,John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis.
New cast members include Benicio Del Torro and Laura Dern in as yet, unnamed roles.
Star Wars: Epsiode VIII is scheduled to release on Dec 17, 2017.
It’s been a long time coming, but Warner Brothers finally revealed our first look at their hotly anticipated superhero team up movie, Dawn of the Justice League and it certainty looks impressive.
The official word from Warner Brothers is that the teaser image is just concept art so there is still room for change when it comes to costumes, and hopefully, logos.
At the center of the image is DC’s golden trifecta, their big three characters, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Of course seeing these three together isn’t new as they were seen standing shoulder to shoulder in the latest Batman Vs. Superman trailer. We’ve also seen pictures of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman before as well which leaves only the half man, half machine, Cyborg and a new version of the Flash as the truly new reveals.
Again it’s hard to tell as this is only concept art, and one that reveals only torsos above a big black cloud of ominous, but the Flash and Cyborg look a little off to me. The Flash’s costume looks heavily armored and unnecessarily bulky. He looks more like a reject from the video game Halo than a super fast speedster speedster to me. The Flash should be sleek and slender like a crimson Olympic runner. It’s hard to tell how the entire costume will turn out once it’s fully revealed but it would seem his legs would follow suit and be equally armored. Also missing are the Flash’s trademark lightning bolts on the side of his head. Like the wings on the side of Captain America’s helmet, these would have a hard time not looking ridiculously funny on the big screen, but I would have liked some effort at least to incorporate them into the costume. On that we’ll have to wait and see for more images to come out.
The bigger concern on my end has to do with the design of poor Cyborg. In case you didn’t know, Cyborg, aka Victor Stone, is a half man, half machine superhero due to injuries sustained from a horrific accident. Like a Transformer, he is able to reconfigure his mechanical parts into different types of machines and weapons. But that’s the problem. He looks just like a Micheal Bay Transformer with all those busy mechanical parts on his body jutting out in all sorts of angles. One would imagine his power to change will take on the similarities of Optimus Prime and friends with overly complex transformations for the sake of being overly complex. (Can you tell I’m not a fan of the big budget Transformer movies?)
However, props to WB for upping the diversity by throwing Cyborg, arguably the least known of these heroes, into the limelight and beating Marvel to the punch of having the first major African American superhero on the big screen when Cyborg gets his own solo movie in 2020 and the first solo female superhero film for Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017. (Sorry Falcon. And yes sorry, Blade everybody forgets about you.)
Besides the new questionable design decisions on the new additions, it is nice to see the big three, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman square in the middle looking epic as always. Superman is striking a bit of a messiah pose like normal. Batman is brooding of course, as is Aquaman too. And I must admit that while I was a little worried about the casting of ,Gal Gadot for the role of Wonder Woman, she looks incredibly bad ass in the new Batman Vs. Superman trailer, and the recently released trailer for her stand alone film.
Let’s just hope they get around to refining the film’s title logo by the time it hits theaters. The “DC Films presents: The Dawn of the Justice League” is a little lackluster as is.