HIGHLANDER
1986, 20th Century Fox, 116 min, UK, USA, Dir: Russell Mulcahy

In 16th-century Scotland, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) appears to be mortally wounded in a fight but survives. The arrival of a stranger (Sean Connery) reveals the truth: Connor is one of a select group of Immortals who can only be killed by decapitation and who are destined to battle each other for supreme power. Through the centuries they have lived secret lives, stalking each other until one final confrontation in present-day New York City. A sword-and-sorcery tale for the MTV generation, HIGHLANDER has achieved its own immortality, inspiring several sequels and a television series.


THE DARK KNIGHT
2008, Warner Bros., 152 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must protect Gotham City from the Joker (Heath Ledger, in an Oscar-winning performance), whose path of destruction turns Batman’s potential successor, district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), into the disfigured villain Two-Face. The all-star cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. While the bravura action sequences come fast and furious, Nolan’s exploration of the characters’ psyches - and the issue of vigilantism - is equally skilled.


BATMAN BEGINS
2005, Warner Bros., 140 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan and BLADE scribe David S. Goyer reinvent the BATMAN franchise, with the help of the best cast ever assembled for a comic book film. Christian Bale infuses the Caped Crusader with emotional gravity, an approach that’s underscored by Nolan’s effectively realistic approach to the material. Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson and many other noteworthy character actors provide solid support in this adventure film that’s as smart as it is rousing.


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