Twenty-six is a weird number. All I could think of was Interstate 26. So, yeah, here’s Pop Culture Roundup 26.

Just got back from The Dark Knight Rises. The best part of the movie was when Batman, Bane and Catwoman went out for shawarma. But I thought the scene where Bane had an asthma attack was hella weird; it seemed totally outta place! I dunno, it was cool but was by far the weakest bat-film so far, it’s worse than Joel Schumacher‘s. I wonder who the next villain is gonna be. They should do Joker or Aquaman. Totally. Kidding. Just thought I’d do some light, obligatory trolling for good luck before we catch this thing. (scroll further down in this section for the actual spoiler-free review)

Since, we’re really seeing it in about 4 hours (Thursday midnight) we have to lead off with the biggest flick of the year, The Dark Knight Rises. We cease the bat-hype after this installment. I seriously won’t know what to do with myself from now on.

At the header is a nicely cut trailer of the holy trilogy, tonight, they’re doing marathons around the country of all three films leading up to Rises. Epic, indeed.

One of the latest television spots, if you haven’t seen enough to be enticed.

Some great stills and photos from the epic. Click the link for many more.


Here’s the Batman: The Animated Series version. The Hub cut a trailer to mirror Rises. There’s also the Batman vs. Bane battle from the wicked and classic cartoon series.

Drool. The Batmobile Documentary.

Awesome anamorphic 3D street art to promote the film in Madrid.

This is how you paint a 150 foot tall Batman on the side of a building. Check out the step-by-step documentation of how you reproduce these painted images at that scale; click the link. Do you realize how much work goes into it?

What it takes to set up The Dark Knight Rises premiere in IMAX at Liberty Science Center.

LMAO. Rush Limbaugh is an attention whore and a fucking idiot. Those two are not mutually exclusive. Is it Bane or Bain?

I missed this a while back but here is an ultra-high resolution of the Batwing; gorgeous design, it’s like a stealth insect.



(UPDATE) SPOILER-FREE INSTANT REACTION: It’s 4am on Friday morning and I just got back from a midnight showing of TDKR; the adrenaline and excitement is still pumping. Wow, what can I say? It was an enthralling and epic two hours and forty-five minutes which left me satiated and satisfied. Aside from a couple of sentimental, mawkish exchanges (don’t get me wrong, it was still earnest, dramatic and believably emotional) and the occasional moment of suspending disbelief, it met my high expectations.

Anne Hathaway will blow you away as Selina Kyle/Catwoman; she deserves her own spin-off movie. She’s believable as a supervillain and reluctant sidekick of the protagonist. She exudes the ideal amount of feline sex appeal while kicking ass throughout. Although, honestly, I did catch myself intermittently giggling to myself during the moments where Catwoman and Batman were standing there conversing with each other in full black superhero regalia; it seemed silly at times. Tom Hardy is just damn fun to watch as the flamboyant mercenary brute, Bane. People will be talking like Bane for months, you watch. You’ll find yourself rooting for Joseph Gordon-Levitt all the way through the movie.

I must also add that production designers Nathan Crowley and Kevin Kavanaugh don’t get enough credit. From the Tumbler, to the Batpod, to TDKR’s Bat(wing), these are all design marvels. The Bat(wing) is amazing, I wish it was real; it is an uttlerly gorgeous design (see the close up pics above). (read: Popular Mechanics: Batman’s Got a Brand New Plane)

I will be seeing this thing again in IMAX shortly. Bravo, Christopher Nolan, bravo. You, Sir, are my hero. Thank you for your relentless work and vision, thank you for compiling this great cast and crew on this trilogy and upping the stakes of this genre of mythology. You’ve upped the game when it comes to films sourced from comic books.

By any chance, if one feels the need to disparage or nitpick TDKR, I think you should just stop watching these types of films…it’s just not for you. Man, these movies were so freaking good; the trilogy of my lifetime. This is where I start to cry like a nerd fanboy.



A really well-made Punisher short with Thomas Jane, one of the previous (better) Frank Castles.


The poster and the three-breasted woman played by gorgeous actress Kaitlyn Leeb from Total Recall.


More from SDCC.

The teaser one-sheet for Man of Steel, the new Supes pic. They apparently wowed in Hall H.


I don’t remember this part in Prometheus.


Head Geek Kevin Smith goes H.A.M. at Comic-Con. So good. Criticism can be fun, criticism can be draining. Might we enter an age of “post-criticism”?


The Breaking Bad opener was so good. This is what I said in the previous PCR:

Wow, what an opener. Totally worth the wait. It was a good move going with the absurdly entertaining, “Three Bald Amigos” giant electromagnet caper. Immediately carrying over the intensity of the ending of last season would have been way too much. That cold open with the 2 year later (since beginning of series) flash forward was bananas though.

This is great. figured out How Much Money Does Walt Have Left, the detailed infographic is below.

A meth manicure for Breaking Bad fans.

Sweet Season 1 inspired CG art.


A clip from The Bourne Legacy.


Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master.


I missed these before.


A still from Elysium directed by Neill Blomkamp, the director of my favorite movie, District 9. Read: Los Angeles Times: Hero Complex: Comic-Con: Neill Blomkamp lifts mystery on ‘Elysium’


Some teaser images from Guillermo del Toro‘s giant fighting robots movie Pacific Rim.


Ben Whishaw was cast as Q in Skyfall.


Some striking images from Oz: The Great and Powerful.


We featured the limited edition Mondo print for TDKR by favorite artist Olly Moss in the last PCR. Mondo’s popular exclusive prints usually sell out in a matter of minutes. With the collaboration for TDKR, for the first time, they offered a poster print during a 24 hour window. On Wednesday, they ended up getting an order of 9,350 silkscreened prints, at $40 a pop they made $374,000 on their The Dark Knight Rises project. Limited editon equates to big bu$ine$$. Mondo print art house is the leader. They started out as a boutique in Austin and now the movie industry is bumrushing them for collaborations with their stable of popular print artists. It’s niche marketing mixing with the mainstream at its finest. I met Justin Ishmael, their director, at the 2010 Rolling Roadshow for the Jackie Brown screening at The Proud Bird restaurant adjacent to LAX. Decent enough chap. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Forster showed up that evening and I even picked up the Olly Moss Jackie Brown print.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar, watch this great 3-part video series about their process and what they do.


Speaking of the print game, here’s an Alien-inspired limited edition SDCC exclusive print from Mark Englert, cleverly titled You Are My Lucky Star. This was released from another pop culture print art player, Gallery 1988 from Los Angeles.

Here’s carved banana xenomorph, just because. Look at it. It’s a perfectly structured banana!




I hate to end it on this note but I want to send out my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of tonight’s mass shooting spreeduring the midnight showing of TDKR, at the movie theater near (Aurora) Denver, Colorado. Many were senselessly killed by a gunman; this is all just awful, horrible and devastating but I feel I have to acknowledge it. It is so bizarre and disturbing when the social fabric is torn to shreds like this. These wackjobs and nuts are everywhere. Sadly, this can happen anywhere, at anytime. I have always wondered why these deranged and tortured people don’t just take themselves out instead of inflicting their will on strangers.

We need to construct a better mental health system where we can detect this extent of sickness and treat it (or put it away), we need to implement better gun control OR we need to all start packing (I don’t think I’m ready for that type of society). I don’t know if there’s an answer but something needs to happen. These people were out, looking for a good time, and boom. It’s just unfortunate that we even have to discuss this rather than fun trivial stuff like TDKR and popular culture.

I’m sorry, Friends, but we’ll catch you next time.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has statements from President Obama and Warner Brothers.

UPDATE 2: TDKR director Christopher Nolan’s statement-

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. I would not presume to  know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. 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.



Batman #497

Bon Voyage, Selina Kyle, send me a postcard

The End

Pop Culture Roundup 26 Thread