Finding Meaning In A Post Batman World

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I don’t care about the new Hobbit trilogy. There. It’s out there and it’s on record and I can’t take it back. I did care, back when it was one movie being made by Guillermo Del Toro who gave us Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, back when the whole Tolkienverse filmography was being taken in a new direction. But, now that Peter Jackson is back in the directors chair after a string of disasters and disappointments, the whole process has begun to feel an awful lot like a move back into mom and dad’s basement after being placed on academic probation and kicked out of the dorms.

So, since Hobbit won’t do and TDKR just keeps getting smaller in the rearview, we need a new “thing.” There’s a lot to look forward to in superheroland, what with the planned S.H.I.E.L.D. T.V series and Man of Steel kicking off a Justice League shared universe, but all of that is a long way off. We need something immediate and concrete, something to keep us sane until the men in capes come back to save us from the scary. We need to cope god damn it, or risk succumbing to madness! Basically, this is another “movies to look forward to in the near future” article and I needed an introduction.

Some notable omissions include LooperSkyfall and Life of Pi. I’ll review those here on Gamevolution as they come out.

The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is an L. Ron Hubbard biopic thinly disguised as a character study about a mentally disintegrating veteran. I really shouldn’t have to say anything other than that to make you go see it.

The Master is also the first full length movie in over ten years to be shot in 65 MM, so film nerds have an academic reason to head to the theater. Philip Seymour Hoffman will be tackling the role of not-L. Ron Hubbard, so people who like things that are great will have their reasons also. As to whether The Master will be controversial, it’s worth noting that the Weinstein Company was forced to beef up security at the premier due to death threats.

The Man With the Iron Fists

Here’s what happened: Quentin Tarantino, (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds) produced a movie written by Eli Roth (Hostel, probably something else) and the Wu-Tang Clan’s the RZA, (the razor, hit me with the major, the damage, my clan, understand, it be flavor). That movie, called The Man With The Iron Fists, is a hip-hop Kung-fu epic. My initial reaction to learning all of this was


And actually, that hasn’t much changed. I can’t even muster the energy to dispute whether the whole “bad is good” grindhouse aesthetic has run its course yet. I’m just too excited to see the jagged, ultraviolent mess that Roth and RZA are bound to produce having worked on the script for two years and shaved the final cut of the movie down from four hours of footage. And hey, we could have the same conversation about Django Unchained, right? I want to argue that Tarantino tackling his fourth film in a row that has a “quest for revenge” storyline, B-movie sensibilities and a seventies soundtrack might not be the best way for the director to push himself creatively. Thing is, I’m still too excited to see the movie to care.


Do you want to learn more about the Iranian Revolution and see Ben Affleck with really awful seventies hair? If so, Argo MIGHT just be the movie for you!

Argo is the story of Affleck, Brian Cranston (of Breaking Bad) and John Goodman trying to extricate six American diplomats from mid-revolution Tehran by disguising them as the cast of a Canadian “science fantasy adventure” film. To do this, they’ll have to invent and plan an entire movie while waist deep in one of the bloodiest seizures of power in the 20th century.

What’s that Affleck? Yes, yes, we love you again. What? Oh. Oh no. We’ll never forget Jersey Girl. Never.


Branded is already out in select theaters, but it hasn’t made its way to me yet. I’m almost glad. The last time a trailer crept me out this severely it involved three humans, a centipede and ass-to-mouth.

Still, it looks damn interesting. We see quite a bit of the “bombed out” dystopian future, a-la The Road or The Hunger Games, and we get plenty of 1984/V For Vendetta style totalitarian apocalypses. Huxley would be happy to know that someone is still telling stories about unthinking sheep that bring about their own demise via the unchecked consumption that encodes the designs of capitalist illuminati into their everyday lives. I think. I might be remembering Brave New World incorrectly, but did you see that weird liquid metal artery extending from that guys brain stem? You did. And now you want to see it. THEY GOT INTO YOUR HEAD. YOU GOT BRANDED BITCH.

Zero Dark 30

Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow (who also brought us The Hurt Locker and had the good sense to divorce James-signed-on-for-four-Avatar-sequels-Cameron) is directing this exhaustively researched account of the hunt and capture of Al-Qaeda leader of Osama Bin Laden in the days after September 11th.

Zero Dark 30 is in post production and is slated for release on December 19th. Until then, I will be hyperventilating and crossing the days off of the calendar.

Cloud Atlas

I have no idea what is going on in the Cloud Atlas trailer.

But, the Wachowskis are producing, and assuming that they’re the Matrix Wachowskis rather than the Speed Racer Wachowskis, that’s good news. Cloud Atlas is based on a novel by british author and Booker Prize nominee David Mitchell, so those who have read the book will have a decent grip on whatever it is that’s going on. Come October, the rest of us will have to make due with Junior Mints and open minds. Did you catch the product placement? They got you again. BRANDED.

Swing Zone

This isn’t a movie, but hear me out. Occasionally, when you have free time not taken up by work or school, it’s actually quite nice to do things that are not related to T.V. or movies. I’m serious.

You know those bound piles of paper with stories written inside them? Books? Well it turns out there are places where you can rent them for free, and then read the words inside. FOR FUN. On top of that-get ready to have your mind blown.


Now, wipe the chunks of brain and skull off of your screen and check this out.

This is Swing Zone, a serialized sci-fi story about a bubbly twenty something-girl who makes her living excavating stuff like Lionel Ritchie albums and issues of People from the ruins of our dead society. It’s also an “emotobook,” a serialized genre novel written to be read episodically on a laptop, Nook or Kindle.

Swing Zone is not half bad and it gets better with every issue. It’s cheaper than comics, lower maintenance than movies and you can read it on the bus. Which I do. Be like me and read Swing Zone on the bus.

Take a damn walk

Find a local hiking trail. Just head out into the wilderness and embrace nature man. Sit in a meadow and play the piccolo while bluejays build nests on things. You’re so over Batman dude. You’re gonna be fine.

You’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna be fine.

Black Snake Moan

Nobody told me about Black Snake Moan when it came out, and that’s pretty messed up since Black Snake Moan is fantastic.

Rent Black Snake Moan. ASAP. Watch it and pretend Samuel L. Jackson’s character from Pulp Fiction “walked the earth” for a while before becoming a sexist but charming southern bluesman. And thank me later.

If you enjoyed reading this for free, the spectre of guilt shall haunt you until you buy my E-book, check out my blog or hire me to be your writing wordslave. And the spectre of guilt is really into Jack Johnson. And he wants to share his passion with you. And he can’t take the hint from you constantly walking out of the room that you don’t like terrible music so he just plays it louder. There’s no getting out of this.


Writes primarily as a means of avoiding eye contact.