It’s Keaton vs. Q in a New Clip from ‘The Protégé’

Not many folks have this one on their radars, but they really should!

Yesterday, Lionsgate dropped a new clip for their upcoming action extravaganza, The Protégé, which features Maggie Q and Michael Keaton beating the snot out of each other! The clip is brutal, badass, and gives you a glimpse of what to expect when the film hits theaters this fall. Check it out here:

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Lionsgate and Gibson Team Up for ‘The Protégé’ Giveaway

Wanna be a Bad Motherf–, like Samuel L. Jackson? Want a three-day trip for two to their Gibson Garage and Factory in Nashville, TN for full VIP tours, as well your own ’58 Flying V guitar? If you answered yes to both, then Lionsgate and Gibson have teamed up to make your dreams come true!

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Michael Keaton, Maggie Q, and Samuel L. Jackson Star in ‘The Protégé’

Do you see that line up? Whom do I give my money to?! I need this now. Yes, NOC readers! Some of our faves are coming together for a brand new project and my friends over at Lionsgate came thru with the 411 to get us hype and ready! Check out the new trailer and official teaser poster for the film!

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Hard NOC Life 204: Why So Serious

Dominic and Keith are discussing the latest WandaVision, speculating about Monica Rambeau’s future in the MCU, breaking down the Snyder Cut trailer (and its associated Joker memes), revisiting the De La Soul episode of Teen Titans GO!, and getting hyped for digital-first comics set in the Burton and Donner cinematic universes.

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DC FanDome: ‘Flashpoint’ Teased in DCEU’s ‘The Flash’

DC FanDome’s DCEU Flash panel was a short one. Or rather, it went by in a flash.

Bad pun aside, the panel was a little disappointing content-wise, especially when put up against Wonder Woman 1984. No plot or title was revealed. No new casting announcements. But what little we did get with respect to the film’s concept is sure to keep DC fandom occupied with speculation.

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Batman May Return But Schumacher is ‘Forever’

When Dominic and I recorded the most recent episode of Hard NOC Life, I mentioned the 25th anniversary of Batman Forever (as well as the 15th and 31st anniversaries for Batman Begins and Batman ’89, respectively, but more on the latter in a second). June used to be a big month for Batman movies. I mention those anniversaries as a launching point for a broader conversation about being a different kind of fan and accepting different interpretations of our favorite characters. And for the last few weeks, I had started reconsidering how I felt about certain films, including the double feature of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, both directed by Joel Schumacher, who died of cancer on June 22.

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Making an Elephant Soar with the Director and Stars of ‘Dumbo’

The joyous sounds of Casey Jr, rolled into Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. The huffing and puffing of the rustic steam engine was an indicator that closely following by would be the promise of magic and wonder as soon as it arrived. For on that train came the legendary cast and director that would bring one of Disney’s most beloved animated classics to life, Dumbo.

Tim Burton, the legendary ringmaster led to the stage his circus troupe of experienced acting veterans. A veritable who’s-who of extraordinary talent — many of whom served as Burton-alumni from various projects — crossed the stage following Burton, including Colin Farrell, Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins, Eva Green, Danny DeVito, and Michael Keaton.

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NOC Rewind: Marc Bernardin on ‘Batman 89’

Since it’s the 29th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman starring Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton, we’re rewinding back to this classic Hard NOC episode from 2014 when we had a pre-Fatman on Batman Marc Bernardin as a guest!

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Ira Madison III Talks Catwoman and the 25th Anniversary of ‘Batman Returns’

On June 19, 1992, Batman Returns premiered and was unlike any comic book superhero movie that came before — or after. Starring Michael Keaton as Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and Danny DeVito as Penguin, Batman Returns was a beautiful dark twisted fantasy that doubled down on Tim Burton’s gothic tendencies and created one of the most enduring female characters in superhero cinema.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Confirmation Bias

I’m examining Batman v Superman from the perspective of the ridiculous and (not) unprecedented fan “outrage” and critical overreaction.

First thing, let’s take a look at the phrase “confirmation bias.” Here’s the definition:

Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.

Simply put, if people desperately wish to cling onto or believe in a certain conclusion, there’s nothing in the universe that can change their mind. They will not entertain — nor have the ability to entertain — anything that falls outside of their way of thinking.

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Check Out the Trailer for Birdman Returns

I wrote about Birdman a couple weeks ago. It’s still my favorite movie of the Fall, and I hope it gets showered with accolades come Awards Season.

Anyway, over on Fox Searchlight’s official YouTube channel, they’ve posted this retro trailer for the fictitious 1992 epic Birdman Returns, and it is awesome.  Check it out for yourself after the jump.

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Birdman: What We Talk About When We Talk About Superheroes

The superhero genre — as we know it — was first birthed over seven decades ago in the pulpy pages of the 10-cent comic books. Mint copies of which that are now worth thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Not only are the books themselves more valuable, many of those original heroes are even more popular today than they were at their inception. Even the heroes who weren’t popular then have been resurrected to much critical acclaim today. We call this period of superhero storytelling “the Golden Age” of comics, but we are currently living in a new golden age of superhero storytelling, except the heroes have migrated from the four-color page to the fourteen-screen multiplex.

The fact that we can count on a new comic book superhero movie (or three) every year until infinity and beyond is both a blessing and a curse for the nerd contingent. For every billion-dollar grossing blockbuster that stars men in tights saving the universe — and it is almost always men — there are critics from both within and without nerdom that bemoan the genre’s grasp on pop culture and predict its demise every year. “Superhero fatigue,” it’s called. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is the latest film from writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu — best known for heavier, more melodramatic fare like Babel and 21 Grams — and it takes on the superhero genre, and the fatigue that may or may not come along with it, like no other film before it.

Spoilers ahead.

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Legend of The Dark Knight: More with Michael Uslan

In Part One of our conversation with Michael Uslan, the Batman movie uber-producer recounted his decades-long journey to bring a “dark and serious” version of the Dark Knight from the comic pages to the movie screen, a journey that is the foundation of his memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman. After a string of Hollywood studios and financiers initially rejected the idea, the Batman film franchise has gone on to earn billions of dollars in box office and merchandising and solidify Batman as a cinematic legend, with even more big screen adventures on the way.

After the jump, Michael and I continue our discussion of what makes the Batman such an iconic — and enduring — character.

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Those Wonderful Toys: Mattel’s Batman Movie DC Multiverse Figures

I love Batman and I love toys, so it’s only natural that I’d love Batman toys. I’ve been a collector for as long as I can remember, and my first Batman figure was from the ’80s Super Powers series. I still collect the figures when one catches my eye, and that was the case with Mattel’s new DC Multiverse figures. I’ve long been a fan of Mattel’s DC offerings, but that was when they were being sculpted in the 6 inch scale. I’m not really a fan of 4 inch figures, as I just don’t feel you get enough bang for your buck, especially since these figures are $10 and up. However, when I saw these figures shown off at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, I knew I had to have them. Today, we’re looking at Batman and Penguin.

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Shadow of the ’89 Batman with Marc Bernardin

As we continue Bat Week here at the NOC, Keith (@the_real_chow) brings on William (@williambwest), Raymond, and special guest Marc Bernardin (@marcbernardin) — senior editor at The Hollywood Reporter who is also a comic book and television writer, as well as a frequent guest on Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast. Together the four of them reflect on the legacy of Tim Burton’s Batman on Hard N.O.C. Life.

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Did You Follow our Batman 89 Live Tweets?

As you know, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Batman 89, Tim Burton’s gothic interpretation of the Dark Knight Detective, and the reason we’re celebrating Bat Week this whole week. To mark the occassion, last night around 10pm, I pulled out the Batman disc from my Anthology collection and popped it into the old blu-ray player, fired up my phone, and tweeted along with some dedicated NOC followers on twitter.

A good time was had by all, and I’ve shared some choice tweets after the jump. If you want to relive the whole experience, you can find all the tweets on our twitter feed, or if you prefer them curated, head over to Storify.

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Producer Michael Uslan Reflects on the 25th Anniversary of ‘Batman’

If it weren’t for Michael Uslan, we definitely wouldn’t be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Batman this week. In fact, Uslan is the reason there are any Batman films in theaters at all. You see, Uslan and his producing partner Benjamin Melinker are responsible for every live action Batman movie from 1989 to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, plus 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as the animated Mask of the Phantasm and even The LEGO Movie. Basically, anytime Batman’s been in a movie, you can thank these guys.

When he attained the rights to make movies of the character in the late 70s, no one save for Uslan ever imagined that Batman would be the center of a multibillion-dollar grossing film phenomenon. Not even the brass at DC Comics! Only Michael Uslan — a self-described blue collar, comic fanboy from New Jersey — knew the world was ready for a “dark and serious” take on the Caped Crusader. In honor of the milestone anniversary of his labor of love, Michael agreed to sit down with me to talk about how he ultimately brought his vision of Batman to the big screen. Part One of our conversation is below.

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