NBC has brought online this promo for its upcoming “Heroes” Webisodes titled “Going Postal” that kick-off on July 14th. The three-part series kicks-off with “A Nifty Trick,” with new episodes rolling out on subsequent Mondays. It features Echo De Mille, a seemingly ordinary mailman with an extraordinary ability. Visitors to this year’s Comic-Con, will get a sneak peak at the epic conclusion at the “Heroes” panel on Saturday, July 26.
One week after AT&T announced it would be opening its retail stores at 8 a.m. local time on July 11 for the launch of the iPhone 3G, Apple has confirmed that its own retail stores will do the same. A new message on Apple’s retail website reads “iPhone 3G Coming July 11 at 8 a.m.” In addition, the company has set up a ”Where to Buy” page for the iPhone, featuring links to find the nearest Apple retail store or AT&T location, a list of what customers should bring with them to purchase and activate the phone, and a brief overview of how to get their data ready to make syncing to the iPhone 3G easier.
Fred Rogers saved both public television and the VCR.
When the government wanted to cut Public Television funds in 1969, the relatively unknown Mister Rogers went to Washington. Almost straight out of a Capra film, his 5-6 minute testimony on how TV had the potential to give kids hope and create more productive citizens was so simple but passionate that even the most gruff politicians were charmed. While the budget should have been cut, the funding instead jumped from $9 to $22 million. Rogers also spoke to Congress, and swayed senators into voting to allow VCR’s to record television shows from the home. It was a cantankerous debate at the time, but his argument was that recording a program like his allowed working parents to sit down with their children and watch shows as a family.
Read more facts about Mr. Rogers here. (From MentalFloss.com)
Nearly 70 years after “Batman” #1 first hit stands, there still is really only one name that perfectly fits the Dark Knight’s greatest adversary, a villain alternately portrayed as a harmless prankster and a vicious sociopath, a man who’s equal parts deranged, goofy, psychotic and comical: the Joker.
“Lightning in a bottle,” “Batman: The Animated Series” co-creator Bruce Timm said of the character. “Just a brilliant creation.”
What makes the Joker so brilliant, and why has he remained Batman’s greatest foe? We took a look at his various incarnations throughout history, up to and including his appearance in “The Dark Knight,” to find out.
Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger for the comic book’s first issue in 1940, the Joker — with his green hair, white skin and permanent smile — was based on photos of Conrad Veidt from the silent film “The Man Who Laughs.” Since then, he has remained the most prominent villain in Batman’s increasingly large gallery of rogues. This early version of the Joker was a straightforward mass murderer whose appearance alone seemed to set him apart.
“And it’s weird, because it’s not like Batman is the Human Torch, and his nemesis would be the Human Ice Cube,” Timm laughed. “A clown is not the antithesis of a bat.”
Except most bats, of course, aren’t this particular Bat — a man who has dedicated his life to ridding the world of evil, using cold, hard logic, an unwavering moral code and a strict adherence to the rules of justice.
“If you just told the Joker story, you’re talking about a guy with clown makeup on who’s psychotic,” comic-book legend Jeph Loeb surmised. “What makes him interesting is that it frustrates the hell out of Batman, who is a detective who needs to follow a series of clues in order to resolve an issue. It’s living in a very logical world. The Joker, meanwhile, is someone who doesn’t follow any rules. He’s a complete question mark capable of anything. All you get with the Joker is — ready for the pun of the year? — a wild card.”
The Joker spent his first few decades as that wild card, imagined mostly as a harmless prankster. This version of the character reached his nadir as portrayed by Cesar Romero on the “Batman” television show of the 1960s. His appearance never changed, but his motivations and crimes did. He ceased to be an anarchist and became, instead, yet another themed criminal.
It wasn’t until the ’70s and ’80s that the Joker went back to his roots (permanently it would seem), becoming both a vicious killer and a true mirror to Batman — someone who would go to any length to point out the absurdity of his enemies’ mundane lives, whether that meant capturing or torturing Commissioner Gordon, paralyzing his daughter, Barbara, or even killing the second Robin, Jason Todd.
But it was with Batman himself that the Joker would have his sweetest laughs.
“You had a bad day once, am I right?” the Joker asks Batman in the 1988 comic book “The Killing Joke.” “I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day, and everything changed.”
“As cool as Batman is, he’s kind of a stuffed shirt,” Loeb said. “The Joker is somebody who can make fun of that, point out the absurdity that it’s a good idea when your parents are killed in the street in front of you to go dress up like a bat. It’s an incredibly insane plan.”
By the time Tim Burton’s “Batman” live-action film came around in 1989, the Joker changed yet again. This time he was given a backstory that made him the man who killed the Waynes. Played by Jack Nicholson, the Joker was a stone-cold killer, but also a little bit campy, a little bit frivolous, a little bit too funny, perhaps.
“We both come from the cartoon world originally. We had similar ideas. Tim [Burton] said [the Joker] should have a humorous dark side to him,” Jack Nicholson MTV News last year.
Dark and humorous, yes, but maybe also too heroic. And how could he not be as played by Nicholson?
“The Joker was portrayed in that film as someone who’s likable, as someone who acts as a wish fulfillment part of us. It really is the idea that within us all is that notion that if you could get away with murder, you would murder someone,” Loeb asserted. “I find that message to be extremely disappointing in terms of human nature, but you can’t deny that that’s what makes film interesting.”
It would be 19 years before the Joker was given another shot at big-screen glory, in this summer’s “The Dark Knight.” Played by the late Heath Ledger, this Joker doesn’t crack jokes, he cracks skulls. He’s the embodiment of anarchy, an evil made all the more terrifying because he’s made real. His plan? Show Batman how absurd the world is by blowing up just about everything that he can.
Whether it’s been Romero, Nicholson or Ledger behind the makeup, however, and whether he’s been a maniac or a prankster, a clown or a killer, one thing has always remained constant with the Joker: the laugh — a laugh that with each breath seems to say he’s the only sane man in an insane world.
So, why so serious? Because for nearly 70 years the joke has been on Batman. (Reprinted from MTV Movie News)
Improv Everywhere recruited 16 sets of identical twins for their latest project. Twice, they loaded the twins onto a subway train for a performance. Eight sets participated in the first outing, ten in the second, which is the one in the video. Get more details and see lots of photos at Improv Everywhere.
Channel 4 in the UK has painstakingly recreated the set of Stanley Kubrick horror film The Shining, complete with look-a-likes of the crew and cast members including Shelley Duvall, for a TV ad to promote a More 4 season of the director’s films.More information can be read here. (From the Guardian)
The new issue of Empire magazine has this new promo photo of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, opening May 1, 2009. Directed by Gavin Hood from a David Benioff, the action-thriller co-stars Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, Will.i.am, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, Daniel Henney and Lynn Collins.
Leading up to the events of X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine’s epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe. (From ComingSoon.net)