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Poster Lab: The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises

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Poster Lab: The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises

At a certain stage of Batman’s filmic evolution, Bruce Wayne explained that he chose the bat symbol not just because he wound up in a cave as an orphaned, traumatized child, but because he felt it could “strike fear” into the hearts of Gotham’s wicked. In this age of darkening fantasy properties to reflect the real world’s gritty gloom, Wayne’s objective has been repurposed by the makers of superhero films, who use their protagonists’ unmistakable, teaser-ready emblems to strike anticipation and apprehension into the hearts of fans and fanboys everywhere. The folks behind The Avengers have tried to employ this sort of tactic, but that whole brand is unfashionably streamlined, and it doesn’t boast a logo that’s built for both noirish dread and count-the-days excitement. Grim is in, and beyond the launchpad of showcasing creatures that naturally give people the creeps, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises have parlayed an entire mood into simplistic and enormously effective poster designs.

The sharp decision to modestly light Peter Parker from above and eerily illuminate what he will become is a far cry from what Columbia Pictures opted for 10 years ago—a vibrant, glossy design whose dawn-of-the-superhero-renaissance style is largely adhered to by The Avengers. Coolly bisected by a dark, concrete corner that’s more an establisher of duality than setting, the new poster is decidedly stripped down, following in the footsteps of the film’s trailer and initial still by focusing more on Peter than his web-slinging alter-ego. Flaunting the tagline “The Untold Story” is a bit of a joke, as everyone knows this second-round origins film is in fact “The Retold Story,” but the poster otherwise continues what has been a truth-centric marketing campaign, which has no doubt taken a cue from the epic, urban verisimilitude that made The Dark Knight soar.

In keeping with the bat-shaped building destruction that marked its predecessor’s imagery in 2008, The Dark Knight Rises leads with a poster that makes truly brilliant use of negative space, carving its signature signal out of the crumbling towers of a dismal metropolis—an empire about to fall yet again. A fine candidate for one of the best film posters of 2012 (it was left off the House’s recent list, which stuck to 2011 releases), this image typifies what’s in vogue in superhero cinema, remaining stylish enough to dazzle the eye yet chipping away any and all fine edges to avoid that out-of-date luster, which certainly didn’t do any favors for movies like Green Lantern. The angle is perfect, for even in this foreboding cage of falling debris, Batman’s iconic image still flies aloft, providing that gravity-defying sensation that’s always defined comic book heroes (the Spider-Man poster achieves a comparable effect).

For all the similarities between these two posters, it’s important to note that their central logos are fundamentally opposite, with one given shape by light and the other by shadow. Theme is introduced via these symbols as much as mood. In The Amazing Spider-Man, a dark new challenge will invade Peter’s life, while, conversely, in The Dark Knight Rises, Batman will strive to return light to an imploding city that’s painted him an outcast (and, as the movie’s other poster promises, that won’t be a cinch). Both realize a common goal from different avenues. And if today’s best masked-crusader one-sheets are any indication, this is not a time of polish, gloss, or gray area, but of strong, stark contrast.

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Watch: Two Episode Trailers for Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone Reboot

Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes.

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The Twilight Zone
Photo: CBS All Access

Jordan Peele is sitting on top of the world—or, at least, at the top of the box office, with his sophomore film, Us, having delivered (and then some) on the promise of his Get Out. Next up for the filmmaker is the much-anticipated reboot of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, which the filmmaker executive produced and hosts. Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes, “The Comedian” and “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.” In the former, Kumail Nanjiani stars as the eponymous comedian, who agonizingly wrestles with how far he will go for a laugh. And in the other, a spin on the classic “Nightmare at 20,0000 Feet” episode of the original series starring William Shatner, Adam Scott plays a man locked in a battle with his paranoid psyche. Watch both trailers below:

The Twilight Zone premieres on April 1.

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Scott Walker Dead at 76

Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde.

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Scott Walker
Photo: 4AD

American-born British singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Scott Walker, who began his career as a 1950s-style chanteur in an old-fashioned vocal trio, has died at 76. In a statement from his label 4AD, the musician, born Noel Scott Engel, is celebrated for having “enriched the lives of thousands, first as one third of the Walker Brothers, and later as a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality.”

Walker was born in Hamilton, Ohio on January 9, 1943 and earned his reputation very early on for his distinctive baritone. He changed his name after joining the Walker Brothers in the early 1960s, during which time the pop group enjoyed much success with such number one chart hits as “Make It Easy on Yourself” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore).”

The reclusive Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde. Walker, who was making music until his death, received much critical acclaim with 2006’s Drift and 2012’s Bish Bosch, as well as with Soused, his collaboration with Sunn O))). He also produced the soundtrack to Leos Carax’s 1999 romantic drama Pola X and composed the scores for Brady Corbet’s first two films as a director, 2016’s The Childhood of a Leader and last year’s Vox Lux.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q6YWDm0GSU
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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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