Live Action Boy Wonder | Film and TV’s Versions of Robin

WRITTEN BY CHASE BRIDGES

Batman is one of the most famous superheroes of all time. There is a reason we see some sort of Batman in film and television constantly. Already a comic book favorite, his fan base grew larger and larger when he was one of the only super heroes that were able to have successful ventures into mainstream film and tv.

Thanks to all of the different movies over the years we have seen tons of versions of Bruce Wayne and Batman. We’ve seen the different bat suits, bat-mobiles, and even bat signals. We have seen several different actors play Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner Gordon, and The Joker. Tons of the The Joker.

However, someone that we have not seen a ton of is Robin, The Boy Wonder. Batman’s famous sidekick that is a major part of the comics, and the animated versions of Batman. He has shown up a few times over the years, but die-hard Batman fan’s just haven’t gotten to see one we really like on the big screen.

Hopefully Matt Reeves’ The Batman trilogy will finally give us a Robin we can all be proud of. But until then, let’s take a look at some of the great (and not so great) live action Robins from Film and TV!

BURT WARD (Batman 1966)

Adam West and Burt Ward were the first versions of Batman and Robin to really hit the mainstream with the hit show that ran from 1966-1968. As well as the live action movie they did in 1966!

Burt Ward’s version of Robin was silly and campy just as the show and movie was, but people absolutely loved it. In fact, many die hard Batman fans, especially ones that grew up watching the show and movie, consider him the greatest to ever don the Robin tights!

CHRIS O’DONNELL (batman forever, batman & robin)

Chris O’Donnell was brought into the 90’s Batman movie series to play the first live action version of the character since Burt Ward. After the first two Batman films in the series, Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) were big hits thanks to director Tim Burton, the studio wanted to make a third one.

Director Tim Burton was set to return, as was Batman actor Michael Keaton. But after a falling out caused Burton to leave the directing chair, Keaton followed him out the door. The studio decided to make the film anyway, replacing Michael Keaton as Batman with Val Kilmer.

In this new version of the movie, they brought in actor Chris O’Donnell to play along side Kilmer as the famous sidekick. After the movie came out to…mixed reviews, O’Donnell still signed on to reprise his role in the fourth film Batman & Robin (1997) this time he was fighting along side the new Batman, George Clooney.

Batman & Robin was not loved by the Batman fans, or anyone for that matter. So needless to say, O’Donnell’s version of Robin is not one that is thought about fondly. It also did not help that O’Donnell was 27 at the time of the movie, and Robin is typically shown as 12 year old boy.

They did a decent job of explaining that this version of Robin was around 17 or 18, but it still felt pretty weird.

MARLON WAYANS (Burton’s third batman Film)

What? Marlon Wayans never played Robin! While Wayans never officially played the role, he did however get hired AND paid to play Tim Burton’s version of Robin in his sequel to Batman Returns.

If Burton had not have left the franchise, Wayans would have been the boy wonder along side Michael Keaton. But alas, Burton DID leave, and we will never see this version of Robin on the big screen. But what would it have been like?

Wayans would have been in his early 20’s when his version of Robin would have come out. And while he probably wouldn’t have looked quite as old as O’Donnell he still would have been an older version of Robin.

Do you think that Burton would have done a better job with the sidekick? Or was it doomed to fail no matter who was in the directors chair?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (The dark knight rises 2012)

The most recent and most popular Batman franchise is Christopher Nolan’s films with Christian Bale as the bat-costumed hero. An amazing trilogy that gave us a gritty, real world version of Batman that we had never seen before.

The first two films of the trilogy, Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) focused on Batman as a lone protagonist. It didn’t even hint towards a sidekick or any version of Robin. How could they? This grounded version of Batman has no room for a 12 year old boy in tights!

But Christopher Nolan surprised us all in his third and final film of the series The Dark Knight Rises (2012) when at the end of the movie the character John Blake, a police officer who helped Batman throughout, revealed that his real name was Robin.

john blake Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

This version of Robin was more of a nod to fans instead of an actual live action Robin, but still! It counts! People loved the reveal and thought that Joseph Gordon-Levitt deserved a solo movie as Robin or as Nightwing (the hero that the original Robin, Dick Grayson becomes.) That movie never came to fruition.

BRENTON THWAITES (Titans 2018-current)

When DC Universe started their original show Titans, fans were super excited to see a live action version of the famous Teen Titan comic book team. What became even more exciting is when the show came out and gave us a look at the live action Dick Grayson played by Brenton Thwaites.

Playing an older version of Robin at the beginning of the show, and showing the transformation into his own hero Nightwing, was one of the greatest parts of the series. The show is still running, in fact it just got picked up as a HBO Max original and will continue to show us Thwaites as Dick Grayson, the first ever Robin.

The show has it’s ups and downs, but no-one can deny that Thwaites is an amazing live action Robin and we are super excited to see more of him.

CURRAN WALTERS (titans 2018-current)

Dick Grayson isn’t the only Robin in the show Titans. The show introduces Jason Todd, the boy who becomes Robin after Dick Grayson leaves Batman’s side to become his own hero. In the comics, Jason Todd is infamous for being killed by The Joker and becoming the anti-hero Red Hood.

The show introduces Jason Todd played by Curran Walters in the first season, and he becomes a huge part of the show. Walters plays the hot headed character so well, that he immediately steals the show whenever on screen.

Knowing where the character is headed is exciting, because it means that we will get to see Walters as the Red Hood in season three of Titans. This is the first time we are seeing a live action version of Jason Todd and it will be the first ever live action version of Red Hood.

Usually when Robin is portrayed in live action, it is the Dick Grayson character. The one that starts off the Robin legacy. So getting to see the second Robin in action has been a huge highlight for Batman and Robin fans.

Future robins?

Here’s to hoping that we will get to see some more awesome live action Robin’s in the future. Matt Reeves’ The Batman series will hopefully give us a live action version of Robin that is more accurate to the comics, unlike the ones played by O’Donnell and Gordon-Levitt. It would be super cool to see a young Dick Grayson on the big screen.

Another potential live action Robin could be brought in by Titans. If the show plans on killing Jason Todd and turning him into the Red Hood, then how long before we get to see Tim Drake? The third Robin who takes up the tights after Jason Todd’s death.

If Titans continues to show us the history of the Robins, then we could even run into Damien Wayne eventually. The son of Bruce Wayne and the fourth and current Robin in the main comic book canon.

Finally, the only other place that we could currently run into a live action Robin would be in the CW’s Batwoman show. Perhaps Batwoman will call upon a fellow member of the Bat Family for help in a future season.

So what do you think about the live action Robins? Which is your favorite? Do you hope to see one in The Batman (2021)? Are you a fan of the Titans versions of Robin? Tell us about it!

Can You Separate Art From The Artist?

WRITTEN BY CHASE BRIDGES

One of the most beautiful things in the world, is art. Art is defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” Art can be anything from a painting, to a performance of theatre. Art is every song you hear, and every movie you watch.

Art is just as important to life as things like science and math. The contributions that artists make to this world are just as important as anything done by Sir Isaac Newton, or Einstein. However, art faces problems that do not occur in other contributions. Problems that do not come from the art itself, but from the creator.

We live in a time where people are being held more accountable for their actions than ever before. Which is an incredible thing, and a big step forward in humanity. But leaves us with a complex issue when the person being held accountable, is an artist.

A musician whose music has moved and changed the lives of millions of people. An actor or actress whose performances have inspired countless of human beings. A writer, A painter, A poet, whose art has truly changed the world and left it in a different way than when they found it.

What do we do when these people, these artist, are terrible and vile monsters? Do we get rid of their contributions altogether? Do we try to ignore the things they’ve done and just enjoy the art as usual? How do we separate the art from the artist? And should we?

If art is as important to humanity as science and math. Maybe we should look at how we would handle the situation when controversy strikes in their realm. If it came out tomorrow that Sir Isaac Newton was a violent, crazed, serial killer what would we do?

Would we throw out calculus? No longer believe in gravity? Would we rename Newton’s Laws of Motion? I don’t think we would. I think we would continue to use and appreciate the contributions that he had made, while still detesting him for the murders that he committed.

Should we do the same thing for art? Can we continue to watch House of Cards and enjoy the show, while hating Kevin Spacey for committing terrible crimes in real life? Does listening to Thriller on Halloween, show support and appreciation for just the song, or does it also show support to the man who sings it?

Perhaps it depends on the situation. I’ve heard people say that they can separate the art from the artist usually, but certain cases give them chills. They can watch The Cosby Show and still laugh, but when R Kelly comes on the radio, they change the station.

One certain response to this question gave me chills. Stating that you absolutely must separate the art from the artist because the greatest art comes from the most broken people. And it is the most broken people, who hurt others the most.

Another person told me that they will never separate the two. Because everything that a person makes, reflects who that person is. The art and the artist are one and the same.

I think that the answer to all of this is beautifully simple. Every individual interprets art differently. Two people can look at the same work of art and feel very different things. Art is and has always been subjective. Perhaps how we decide to separate or not separate the art from the artist is just as subjective.

Maybe how we each personally decide to deal with a certain song and their singer, an actor and their film, a painter and their painting. Is an art form of it’s own.

Robert Pattinson Is In Every Movie I See

Written by chase bridges

I’m not the only one who has noticed this right? Pattinson has been in every trailer, every movie, and every tweet I have seen over the past few months. And I am not complaining.

For a very long time, the name Robert Pattinson was associated with the word vampire. I won’t even say that is necessarily a bad thing (a great actor in a bad movie is still a great actor.) After his role as Edward in the Twilight Saga, Pattinson was a house hold name. Until he wasn’t.

Just as quickly as he rose to fame, he seemed to disappear. He went from being every Tumblr girl’s dream celeb for four years, to a very niche, independent actor. Starring in mostly unheard of films like The Rover, and Life.

That is not a diss at Pattinson, by any means. After he finished his time as everyones favorite sparkly blood sucker, he went on to put on some amazing performances. Slowly but surely becoming one of the most talented character actors going.

In 2017, Pattinson was thrust back into the lime light a bit with his film Good Times, which was directed by The Safdie Brothers (Uncut Gems.) The film was a low budget, financial and critical success, receiving a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Robert Pattinson Good Time Movie GIF by A24 - Find & Share on GIPHY

A brief reminder of who he was, and how talented he is, the film caused Pattinson’s name to spread through the internet like wildfire. Everyone talking about his time as Edward, and how far he had come. He used this momentum to ride right back into Hollywood.

But it was two years later, in 2019 where Pattinson started his quick take over of the film industry. Starting the year off hot, starring in The Lighthouse along side Willem Defoe, Pattinson received critical acclaim for his amazing performance, even being nominated for an independent spirit award.

He did not slow down there, as he grabbed everyones attention in the Netflix film The King, where his role (and french accent) stole the show every time he walked on screen. Once again everyone on twitter was talking about Robert Pattinson.

His third and final film of 2019 was ‘Waiting For The Barbarians’ a film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival. The film has mixed reviews, but considering Pattinson stars along side fellow character actor Johnny Depp, it was definitely a solid move for his career.

Riding the momentum of these three films into 2020, Pattinson returned to blockbuster films in a big way. Starring along side John David Washington in Christopher Nolan’s latest mind bending film ‘Tenet.’ The film became of the biggest of the year, and the first major film to release in theatres after the COVID-19 shut down months earlier.

Robert Pattinson Australia » Blog Archive » PRINT: Robert Pattinson Talks  about first meeting with Christopher Nolan | #Tenet

Pattinson’s performance in Tenet was loved by everyone, casual movie goers, and critics alike. Even when someone complained about the movie, they mentioned that Pattinson was a highlight nonetheless.

After the blockbuster that Tenet was, Pattinson kept up the releases with his second film with Netflix, The Devil All The Time. The film is absolutely amazing, and his performance as a demented southern pastor is untouchable. If you want to read our review of the film, click here.

pop culture lovers, gather around — ROBERT PATTINSON The Devil All The Time  (2020) |...

All of these outstanding performances in independent films and blockbusters just in the last two years, must mean that Pattinson is on his way to becoming one of the biggest names in acting right?

Oh, still not convinced? In May of 2019, Pattinson was announced to be taking up the mantle of Batman in the upcoming The Batman movie, directed by Matt Reeves. After the announcement was made, it was met with a ton of hate from die hard DC fans.

robert pattinson | Tumblr

All hate was immediately shut down when the first trailer was released on August 22nd 2020, showing the world the brand new Batman. People absolutely lost their minds when they saw the trailer. Pattinson as Batman went from being looked down on, to being called the best iteration of the iconic hero after JUST THE TRAILER.

Pattinson’s future is extremely bright, already proving himself to be one of the greatest actors of our generation. If he continues to put out performances like he has the past two years, there is no telling the heights he will reach.

Watch 21 Jump Street – No Not The One With Channing Tatum

written by chase bridges

If you over hear someone talking about 21 Jump Street now a days, you would assume that they were talking about the action comedy film starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. And while we here at Exciting Incident enjoy that movie, as well as the sequel 22 Jump Street, we want to highlight the source material.

21 Jump Street was a crime drama that aired from 1987 to 1991. The show centered around a group of baby-faced cops who went undercover in local high schools solving crimes. The show gained tons of popularity due to its tackling of real life issues, and of course jump-started the career of Johnny Depp.

Depp played the lead, Tom Hanson. A young cop with anger issues after the death of his father turns him into the hardest working cadet at the academy. Along with Sergeant Hoffs (played by Holly Robinson), Officer Penhall (played by Peter DeLuise), Sergeant Ioki (played by Dustin Nguyen), and being led by Captain Adam Fuller (played by Steven Williams), the team went on to a five season run before eventually being cancelled.

The first half of season one, did not age well watching it back in 2020. However, the second half of the season has a huge increase in the writing which causes the show to become the classic that it is. Getting to watch Johnny Depp take on different under cover identities in the effort of catching the bad guy is extremely fun, and really shows how great of an actor he was and still is.

The show did something that a lot of current shows often fail to do. Which is slowly but genuinely build a bond and relationship between each of the characters, making the audience truly care about the stories as they unfold.

The brother like bond between Tom Hanson and his partner Penhall has you so invested in them, that when something happens to them, you really care. Same goes with the father and child like bond between Captain Fuller and his team.

The show proceeds to get even better for the second season, having some of the greatest episodes in the series. The third season following suit by introducing new character Detective Booker (played by Richard Grieco) and adding a whole new dynamic to the team.

But as much as I love this show, there are always going to be flaws.

One of these big flaws is the lack of fleshing out the whole team during the first two seasons. We see a rotation episode to episode. This episode we see Depp and DeLuise go undercover together, the next week we see Depp and Robinson, the week after that we see Robinson and Deluise.

Do you see the missing element? They have a whole other person on the team that was never highlighted. Ioki. We would go episodes without even seeing him! Sometimes, he would show up for thirty seconds just to say that he’s doing paper work in his office. Heck, even Captain Fuller would go undercover with the team on occasion leaving Ioki to hold down the fort back at the station.

This situation gets better after season two however, as Johnny Depp begins his hatred for the show and slowly leaves the fore front, Ioki gets utilized more often. Teaming up with Penhall and Hoffs in local high schools. Even getting his own entire episode giving him a very in-depth backstory.

Another issue with the show, is after season three, Johnny Depp began doing everything he could to get out of the show. Phoning in his performances, refusing to do certain episodes, etc. He didn’t agree with how some of the episodes handled their sensitive topics such as race and sexual assault. He eventually leaves the show after the fourth season.

Depp was a huge reason that the show is as good as it is, so when he checks out (figuratively and literally) the show takes a dive in quality. Depp isn’t the only one done with the show, as Nguyen also leaves after season four.

Grieco left the show after season four to star in his own spinoff show Booker, and DeLuise’s Penhall was reduced to a minor role for the last season. With a majority of the main cast leaving, the fifth and final season did not do well at all.

McQuaid brothers Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

This show has some absolutely awesome moments, such as when Hanson and Penhall go undercover as THE MCQUAID BROTHAS!!! or the episode Orpheus 3.3 where Johnny Depp gives the best performance of the entire show. It is jam packed with awesome crime solving, comedy, and action. All while giving a really down to earth story about a group of co-workers and how they become a family.

I can’t recommend this show enough, and it is available to stream on Amazon Prime and NBC’s new Peacock streaming service. If you are looking for a new show to binge this weekend, this is the show to watch!

Underrated Actors – Matthew Lillard

Scream (1996)

When you hear the name Matthew Lillard, what do you think? Most people immediately identify him as Shaggy Rogers in the live action Scooby-Doo movies from 2002 and 2004. Or perhaps if you are a horror fan, your mind goes towards his famous character Stu from Scream. (1996)

Regardless of how you know him, Hollywood has not given him the credit he deserves as an extremely talented and versatile actor. With over 150 acting and voice over credits throughout his thirty year career, he has put out some astonishing performances.

SCREAM (1996)

I know, I know. I’ve already mentioned Lillard’s character Stu in the horror classic, Scream. But it would be a disservice to not dive deeper into the complex role that shot Lillard into stardom.

Lillard plays Stuart “Stu” Macher, one of the teenagers tangled in the web of murders taking place in Woodsboro, California. When we first meet the character, Stu is talking to his friends, the main cast of the film.

Immediately, Lillard captures the attention of the audience during his dialogue. His teenage, California accent is absolutely captivating, and his performance during this scene really sets the tone for the film. You immediately find him creepy, yet endearing. A dumb teenage boy, but also shades of something more complex.

Throughout the film he finds his place as a fun comic relief, making you excited to see what’s going to happen when he arrives on screen. However, once we reach the end of the film, that’s when his performance really takes off.

(Warning: Spoilers for Scream Ahead.)

The end of the film reveals that the ghost face slasher is none other than the dynamic duo of Stu and his best friend Billy. In the next few minutes, Stu dissolves from Cali Party Boy, into a child like psychopath.

After the success of Scream. Matthew would find a plethora of fun characters to transform into. Including the character Steven “Stevo” Levy in the film SLC Punk! An exaggerated take on real life events.

Matthew Lillard as Stevo Levy

The film didn’t do great in the box office, but has become something of a cult classic through the years. Especially with “punk” demographic.

Scooby doo & scooby doo monsters unleashed

I won’t spend long on this role, as there has been a million articles and interviews where Lillard’s performance has been discussed. But I felt that if I left out his most famous role, it would be a bit of a crime.

Lillard has said in interviews that he spent his early career working extremely hard to be a very serious actor. That doesn’t mean playing dramatic Oscar bait roles, but taking on complex characters and diving into them with everything that he has.

scooby doo gifs Page 21 | WiffleGif

His performance as Scooby Doo’s iconic best friend, is a prime example of this. He plays the goofy and silly character of Shaggy, and commits to the point of no return. And the movie was ten times better because of it. Lillard really proved that if given to a talented actor, any part can become a jaw-dropping career highlight.

without a paddle (2004)

source: without a paddle | Tumblr

Lillard next stepped into the role of leading man of an action comedy. Playing the character Jerry Conlaine along side Dax Shepard and Seth Green. The film was a big box office success, making $70 million on a $19 million budget.

The movie is about three best friends who go on a dangerous treasure hunt for D.B Coopers stolen cash, when everything that can go wrong in the outdoors, does. Including fighting a bear, white water rafting, fighting off pot farming rednecks and cuddling half naked in a cave.

The cast later talked about how the movie they saw at the premiere was not the movie they thought they were making, but it was still successful and one of my personal favorites.

This character was actually very different from what Lillard had played up to this point. Being something of a character actor, taking on the straight leading man role was a step out of the normal.

He did a fantastic job and I find it quite ridiculous he wasn’t cast in more roles like this one.

becoming a voice over icon

After Casey Kasem retired as the voice of Shaggy, Matthew Lillard stepped nicely into the role. Voicing Shaggy in over thirty different films, and television shows as the scared, hungry character. Lillard has built a legacy as one of the most iconic characters in cartoon history.

recent work

Lillard hasn’t slowed down either, still putting out great perfomances in the year 2020 with his show Good Girls.

Good Girls is a crime comedy drama, about three Michigan mothers who after trying to make end meet, decide to rob a supermarket. Lillard plays the role of Dean Boland, an unfaithful car salesman who has a long list of poor spending decisions, causing his wife, Beth, into robbing the store.

Matthew Lillard Dean Boland GIF by Good Girls - Find & Share on GIPHY

Lillard’s performance in Good Girls has been loved by audience and critics alike. Proving that people are still fascinated by the amazing actor.

Matthew Lillard has had a career full of longevity, creativity, and insanity. And has proven time and time again that he is one of the most talented actors to grace our screens in the past few decades.

Do you agree that Matthew Lillard is underrated? What performances of Lillard’s is your favorite? Tell us about it!

Binging vs Releasing Weekly – The Pros and Cons

WRITTEN BY CHASE BRIDGES

On September 4th, 2020 Amazon Prime original series The Boys Season 2 debuted its much anticipated first episode. When they did, fans were shocked to see that only the first episode was available to watch. The first season of the critically acclaimed blood filled show was released all at once. Making it one of Amazon’s biggest binge-worthy shows in their original programming library.

When the second season was released as a weekly episodic show, fans were not happy. In fact, a ton of unhappy fans were giving it one stars and plummeting it’s overall rating on the site. Why is this such a big deal to the audience? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Binging vs Episodic shows in 2020.

Big Bang Theory Penny Binge Watch GIF by Reactions | Gfycat

binging

When Netflix revolutionized the television and film medium with their streaming service, they introduced a new form of enjoying a show. No longer do you have to wait a week to see the next episode of your favorite show, but every episode was released all at once.

You could watch the entire show at your own pace. Want to watch the entire season in one night? Go ahead! Want to slowly make your way through it this month? Even better! But with the invention of binge watching, it created an unforeseen issue.

A streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime could drop a ten episode season on Friday night, and have their entire audience finish by Saturday morning. Now you have everyone begging for the next season already.

You have to go through all of the green-lighting, writing, pre-production, production, editing, and advertising as fast as possible to feed the rabid fan base of the show that you just released YESTERDAY.

When releasing on a weekly basis, you have plenty of time while the episodes are slowly coming out to get the next season prepared.

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Weekly episodic

There was such a large backlash against ‘The Boys’ releasing episodic, that major streaming services are probably going to be hesitant to do it in the future. So why were people so upset?

I think the biggest problem with releasing episodic is that its a format for an older time. We don’t have cable anymore. The days of sitting down in front of the TV at a certain time every week to catch the new episode of your favorite show is a thing of the past.

The younger generations have become so accustomed to getting to watch their shows on their own time, at their own pace, whenever they want. It would be a hard transition to having to wait an entire week.

Maryland Today | Content Still King in Streaming Wars

It is obviously a better move for the streaming services to try to transition into a weekly episodic format, but the audience may not allow it. Todays television audience has lost all patience after being spoiled with content the last few years.

Which do you prefer? Do you like binge watching? Or do you miss the excitement and anticipation of weekly released episodes? Tell us about it!