July 7, 2008

Random Musing: Coming Attractions

Since I was a kid, I have loved everything Batman. I was a child at the height of TV's critically-lauded "Batman: The Animated Series," and I gobbled up its art deco style and Kevin Conroy's growling voice every week. I loved Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns" and even liked "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" despite their merciless camp and over-the-top cheese (hey, I was a kid!). But since 2005's brilliant "Batman Begins," I have anxiously awaited the arrival of this summer's sure-to-be-blockbuster-hit "The Dark Knight". For nearly a year and a half, I have been teased with photos and posters promising the forthcoming film's darkness and a creepy Heath Ledger Joker. Finally, the film is almost here, and my wait will be over... A co-worker informed me the other day that Peter Travers has already written a review of the film, applauding its psychology, darkness, and most importantly, "if there's a movement to get [Heath Ledger] the first posthumous Oscar since Peter Finch..., sign me up." For those of you who have difficulty reading between the lines of my previous posts, I live for the Oscars. When I hear that Ledger's performance was brilliant enough for a Best Actor Oscar, I get really excited. I remember my disappointment a few years ago when I first heard Ledger would be playing the Joker, and I clearly remember wondering how the handsome Australian heartthrob could possibly do justice to the zany Batman villain that the world had come to love through Jack Nicholson in the first film. Believe me, with the photos I have seen and the word-of-mouth I have heard since, I know that Ledger's performance will likely be my favorite part of "The Dark Knight" (not to mention the Joker is my favorite Batman villain). Anyway, I have anxiously waited the past few months for the release of "The Dark Knight," and I even have a countdown on my Facebook profile page that has shared my anticipation for the release. July 18 has been an important date on my calendar for months now, but I did not realize how important yet. A surprise was awaiting me the other day when I did some research on Wikipedia.
Enter "Mamma Mia". Since I was a child, Swedish pop group ABBA has been one of my favorite bands (thanks to my parents who raised me on "ABBA Gold"). I even remember being so obsessed in eighth grade that I bought every one of their souped-up, re-released studio albums on CD. I have only recently become familiar with the show "Mamma Mia!" on West End and Broadway, and I remember hearing about a year ago that Meryl Streep would be the main character (15th Oscar nomination, hopefully?). Just a few weeks ago, my aunt, my sister, and I expressed our interest in seeing the musical, which follows in the footsteps of "Hairspray" as being the new musical of the summer. Anyway, researching on Wikipedia the other day, I came to discover that "Mamma Mia!" starts the same day as "The Dark Knight"... July 18. So what do I do? Which will I see first? The newest Batman - a film about a hero that I have loved for so long - or Mamma Mia!, a film featuring music I have loved for so long (not to mention Meryl!)?

p.s. I plan to post reviews of both films after their respective releases, so look out for them, everyone!

UPDATE! Doing some of my interning work today at the Belcourt Theatre, I was surprised to be given two passes to the July 16 early screening of "The Dark Knight," and at the IMAX, no less! Guess I will not be wondering anymore!

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