This would've been bloody marvelous had two-thirds of the animated anthology Batman: Gotham Knight not stunk. Made to promote the summer's most hotly anticipated film The Dark Knight, the anime-style anthology isn't so much a segue between Christopher Nolan's first and second Batman films as it is a PG-13 revamp of the old animated series. Gotham Knight consists of six 15-minute short films -- each by a different director, writer, and illustrator. But as intriguing as it sounds to have so many brains devoted to this project, only two of the directors do justice to the Batman legend.
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Viggo Mortensen (in a welcome return to acting after too much time barking orders in elvish and swinging a broadsword from horseback) plays Tom Stall, a family man who runs a diner in a small Indiana town. He's not originally from the town, but he's been there long enough that everyone has long ago accepted him as one of their own. It's a normal life, Tom's young daughter has nightmares and his geeky teenage son Jack gets picked on at school, but other than that, things are good. Then the killers come into the diner right before closing, and just as they're about to execute a waitress, Tom springs into action, gunning them both down in spectacular fashion. Tom becomes a local celebrity but seems traumatized by the whole affair, wishing it could just be put behind him.
Continue reading: A History Of Violence Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.