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The 10 weirdest Batman moments that Christopher Nolan can’t erase

Batman and Robin

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“The Dark Knight Rises” has solidified Christopher Nolan’s legacy as one of the greatest filmmakers to bring Batman to the big screen, but let’s be honest: over the last 50 years, Gotham’s protector has had more than a few moments that are memorable for all the wrong reasons.

With that in mind – and to temper all of that grim-and-gritty stuff in current trilogy – here are 10 of the strangest moments from Batman’s live-action adventures that Nolan’s films will never be able to wipe from our collective memory.


The Batusi

No other moment encapsulates the camp and silly fun of the 1960s “Batman” television series like the sight of Adam West putting a Batman twist on the hottest go-go dance of the time, the Watusi. First glimpsed during the series’ premiere in 1966, the “Batusi” went on to become a go-go fad of its own, and has become a cultural touchstone of sorts for those familiar with Batman’s light-hearted television years. It’s a scene that will live forever in the hearts of the series’ fans, and live in infamy among those who prefer their Dark Knight a little, well… darker.


That time when the Batmobile drove up a wall

Not only did Joel Schumacher completely redesign the Batmobile in 1995’s “Batman Forever” and leave it looking like, well – let’s just say it made some people blush – but he also added a long list of new features to the Dark Knight’s wheels. Among those features was the ability to drive up walls. Go ahead and read that again, just in case it didn’t sink in. The car drove up walls. We’re not just talking about steep inclines here, people – we’re talking about vertical walls. And it was just as ridiculous as it sounds.


Bat-Suits! Now with more nipples!

One can’t help wondering what former Batman actors Val Kilmer (“Batman Forever”) and George Clooney (“Batman & Robin”) think of Christian Bale’s military-style spin on the Batman costume. Sure, Bale gets a bad-ass suit of kevlar, but those two (as well as Chris O’Donnell’s Robin and Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl) got costumes with… wait for it… nipples!

Those were truly dark days for the Batman family. Never forget!


“I’ll get drive-thru.”

When the Batman franchise changed hands from Tim Burton to Joel Schumacher, no one knew what to expect from the new guy behind the camera. We got our first indication, though, when an otherwise impressive opening sequence in in 1995’s “Batman Forever” was punctuated by Alfred (Michael Gough) asking Batman (Val Kilmer) if he can be persuaded to take a sandwich with him. Batman’s responds with “I’ll get drive-thu” as he steps into the Batmobile. “Uh-oh,” said every single Batman fan in the world.

In the absence of an actual clip from the “Batman Forever” sequence, here’s the McDonald’s commercial that ended up repurposing the scene:


Poodles love the Remote-Control Batarang

Among all the ridiculous gadgets to appear in the 1990s Batman franchise, the remote-control batarang from “Batman Returns” is one of the most memorable – if only because its fatal flaw was that it could be thwarted by a house pet. Not only did this piece of weaponry from Batman’s workshop look like it was cobbled together from an old video-game controller, but its brief appearance in the film ends with the batarang being ripped out of the air by a poodle. Back to the drawing board, Batman!


Joker dancing to Prince

Nothing says Batman like a funky Prince jam. That was the case in 1989, at least, and while it’s hard to imagine anyone in Christopher Nolan’s Bat-verse getting funky to the musical stylings of the man who gave us “Raspberry Beret,” Jack Nicholson’s Joker pulled it off quite impressively. No matter how grim and gritty Nolan makes Gotham, we’ll always have the image of Nicholson in the Joker’s trademark purple-and-green suit, skipping around a museum and causing all sorts of wonderful havoc.


Shark-Repellent Bat Spray

Batman’s ability to always have the right tool for every situation was never more apparent than in a scene from the 1966 feature-length film based on the campy television series. While hovering over the ocean from the bottom of a rope ladder, Batman is attacked by a shark. After discovering that a few well-placed punches to the underbelly and fins don’t seem to have the desired effect, Batman politely requests that Robin deliver the “Shark Repellent Bat Spray” they conveniently brought along in the Batcopter. Robin makes his way down the ladder, then inexplicably decides to hang upside down from one of the rungs before handing off the bottle to Batman.

Yes, all of this happened. And once you see it, you can never un-see it.


Every line Arnold Schwarzenegger says in “Batman & Robin”

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast as Mr. Freeze in 1997’s franchise-ending “Batman & Robin,” we knew now to expect a complicated, nuance-laden performance. But no one expected that his entire role would consist of a series of one-liners that reference his character’s temperature-based theme. From “I’m afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy” to “You’re not sending me to the cooler,” it became apparent early in the film that Mr’ Freeze’s ice gun wasn’t the scariest weapon in his arsenal. His terrible puns cut far, far deeper.


Batman has his own credit card?

Hypnotized by Poison Ivy’s pheromone powder, Batman and Robin compete in a bidding war for the company of the plant-whispering villain played by Uma Thurman. Batman has the last word when he whips out his Batman-themed “GothCard” credit card (“Good Thru Forever”). “Never leave the cave without it,” he remarks, prompting Batman fans all over the world to throw their televisions out the window.


“Chicks love the car.”

Oh, Batman – you’re such a smooth-talker. Wait, what? In one of the most infamous scenes from 1995’s “Batman Forever,” it would appear that Batman (Val Kilmer) forgets that it’s his alter ego who’s supposed to chasing women and not the guy wearing the cape and cowl. After psychologist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) hits on Batman with the alluring line, “A girl can’t live on psychosis alone,” the Dark Knight replies with the oh-so-smooth line, “It’s the car, right? Chicks love the car.”

Seriously.

What is your favorite weird Batman moment? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Carol Cate Blanchett

Spirit Guide

Check Out the Spirit Awards Nominees for Best Male and Female Leads

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards live Feb. 27th at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Wilson Webb/©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

From Jason Segel’s somber character study of author David Foster Wallace, to Brie Larson’s devastating portrayal of a mother in captivity, the 2016 Spirit Awards nominees for Best Male and Female Leads represent the finest in the year of film acting. Take a look at the Best Male and Female Leads in action, presented by Jaguar.

Best Male Lead 

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Watch more Male Lead nominee videos here.

Best Female Lead 

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Watch more Female Lead nominee videos here.

Five questions “The Dark Knight Rises” didn’t answer about Batman’s future

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This weekend’s premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” has already answered a lot of questions regarding the box-office reception to Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, with screenings selling out across the country over the last few days.

While the tragic events of Thursday evening’s shooting at the screening in Colorado loom large over the film’s debut, it’s evident that “The Dark Knight Rises” has transcended standard movie fare and become a bona fide cultural event, bringing the record-breaking trilogy to a close in dramatic fashion. But that doesn’t mean we get all our questions answered in the concluding chapter of Nolan’s franchise.

Here are five big questions about Batman’s future that “The Dark Knight Rises” left us asking — but be warned: there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!

1. What happens to Wayne Enterprises and the city of Gotham?

By the time the credits roll in “The Dark Knight Rises,” most of Wayne Enterprises’ board of directors are dead, various pieces of “secret” tech developed by the company for Batman have been abandoned throughout the streets, and Bruce Wayne is both bankrupt and no longer running the company. This seems like a lot of problems to overcome before the company can ever — if at all — get back into business. Even so, we see Lucius Fox examining one of the remaining Batwing planes late in the film, with the help of some technicians who don’t seem to be very secretive about what they’re doing. So… what happened?

On top of everything that happened to Wayne Enterprises, the bridges into Gotham have been destroyed, the chief financial center is a smoldering ruin, and most of the city’s businessmen and executives are either riddled with bullets, beaten senseless, or frozen underneath the river. Oh, and the city’s worst criminals are roaming the streets, hoping to avoid the small number of policemen still breathing after a winter spent underground and a valiant charge into a spray of bullets in downtown Gotham. I’m pretty sure this is a situation calling for federal disaster-response aid, but is that even enough?

2. So is John Blake the new Batman… or the new Robin?

Christopher Nolan made sure everyone caught the “Robin” reference at the end of “The Dark Knight Rises” (so much so that it was one of the more unintentionally funny moments of the film), but given everything else that occurred during the film, the future hinted at for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character remains a little uncertain. Sure, his real name is Robin and he now has access to the Bruce Wayne’s secret hideout, but Bale’s character spent most of the film indicating that John Blake could be the heir to Batman’s cape and cowl. Bruce Wayne’s recurring tutelage of John Blake in the ways of being Batman, plus his comment about how the face under the mask doesn’t matter, plus the final scene in which John Blake “rises” in the cave would all seem to point toward him becoming Gotham’s new Dark Knight. So where does that leave Robin?

3. Who doesn’t know Batman’s identity at this point?

I might be missing a few people here, but at last count the list of people who know that Bruce Wayne is Batman includes: Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox, Selina “Catwoman” Kyle, Bane, all of Bane’s henchmen who watched his fight with Batman, all of the inmates in the prison where Bruce Wayne recovered from his injuries, the technicians who worked on the Batwing (not certain, but since they noticed that Bruce Wayne was the last person to work on the vehicle, it’s likely), Talia al Ghul (who’s probably dead), whatever members of the League of Assassins are still around (since Talia, Bane, and Ra’s al Ghul all targeted Bruce at one point or another), the various thugs who apprehended Bruce Wayne during Bane’s reign in Gotham and were later pummeled by him just before Batman returned, and anyone else who connects the dots between Wayne Enterprises’ collection of secret tech and the timing of Bruce Wayne’s disappearance/return and that of Batman.

Not much of a secret identity at this point, is it?

4. Will the next Batman movie be a reboot or a sequel?

Warner Brothers execs seem to be keeping their cards close to their collective vests on this question, with news hitting the wire a while back that the studio planned to reboot the franchise after Nolan concluded his trilogy, but the end of “The Dark Knight Rises” clearly leaves the door open for another sequel. Whether the next film will relaunch the franchise, continue on with a new Batman, return with the old Batman and a new Robin, or simply create an ongoing franchise set apart from its plans for Superman and the rest of the Justice League remains to be heard — and with all the flak “The Amazing Spider-Man” received for rebooting that franchise, one can’t help wondering if the studio would risk a similar response.

5. Does the rest of the DC universe exist yet?

At this point, it’s a little surprising that Nolan didn’t include even the slightest mention of some of DC’s other superheroes in his trilogy, given that the first trailers for “Man of Steel” debuted in front of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Sure, “Green Lantern” didn’t exactly solidify that character’s place on a potential “Justice League” movie’s roster, but with Superman’s impending return to the big screen, as well as upcoming movies based on The Flash and other DC heroes, it feels like the time is right to start bringing these universes together. Marvel has already proven it can work, so with Nolan’s trilogy coming to a close and the potential for a fresh start with a new franchise — or simply a new Batman — I can’t help wondering when the Warner Brothers movie-verse is going to get a little bigger.

Where do you think Batman is headed after “The Dark Knight Rises”? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Christopher Nolan responds to “The Dark Knight Rises” tragedy

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It’s been a hard day for anyone involved in the film industry. As of this afternoon, many important individuals from President Barack Obama to the MPAA chief had responded to today’s “The Dark Knight Rises” massacre, though no one directly involved in the movie had issued a reaction for a large part of the day. Even though Warner Bros. has issued their own response, we’ve waited to hear what director Christopher Nolan has to say about the matter.

More than 18 hours after the event occurred, Nolan has released his official statement to Entertainment Weekly.

“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community,” Nolan wrote. “I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting, but that they were there last night to watch a movie.”

He continued, “I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”

Twelve audience members were shot and killed during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” with over 49 more being injured during the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. James Holmes, 24, has since been arrested by police. Warner Bros. issued their statement about the tragedy earlier today.

“Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time,” the studio wrote.

Share your thoughts about this incident in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

President Obama, Warner Bros and more react to “The Dark Knight Rises” shooting

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While we are still coping with the tragic “The Dark Knight Rises” midnight screening massacre that occurred in the wee hours of the morning in Aurora, Colorado, those in positions of high power have released their official statements relating to the event. Everyone from President Barack Obama to Warner Bros execs to the MPAA has released their thoughts on the shooting that left at least 14 people dead and many more wounded.

Obama was among the first to respond, releasing a lengthy statement from himself and wife Michelle.

“Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time,” he says. “We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded.”

The statement continues, “As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.”

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his own official statement on behalf of himself and his wife Ann.

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more,” he writes. “We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”

Though Christopher Nolan and the actors in “The Dark Knight Rises” have not released their own statements about the incident yet, Warner Bros has released an official statement on their behalfs.

“Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident,” the studio writes. “We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

The Aurora police department has released its own official police report about the incident, and Cinemark has released a statement saying that the exhibition company will do whatever it can to help them with their investigation.

“Cinemark is deeply saddened about this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees, and the Aurora community,” the company says. “We are grateful for the quick and professional reaction of all local law enforcement and emergency responders. Cinemark is working closely with the Aurora Police Department and local law enforcement.”

The MPAA has also released its own official statement on the massacre. Chief Chris Dodd writes, “We share the shock and sadness of everyone in the motion picture community at the news of this terrible event. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy.”

Share your thoughts and best wishes for the families and victims affected by this terrible tragedy in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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