Thursday, July 26, 2012

Last Train To Gotham...

Next stop: new director-ville...





There is a lot of discussion going on now about Christopher Nolan's last Batman film...

Batman is my favorite superhero. I've loved him since I was old enough to walk and play out the adventures in my backyard. From pretending to be Batman with my cousins and forcing my little cousin to play Commissioner Gordon (causing him to cry), to watching the reruns of 60's "Batman" television show I would rush home each day from school to watch. It along with George Reeve's "Superman" series that I would watch on Sundays are the core of how I became a "DC Guy" over Marvel. From the rush of seeing Tim Burton's flawed, but wonderful reinterpretation of Batman, to the travesty of Joel Schumacher's hideous trip back down the wrong path to camp, I've been there.

So when my best friend handed me a script by David S. Goyer, and I flipped through the first few pages realizing it was the new Batman film, I was instantly excited. Upon reading it, I knew that Nolan had gotten the character right. When the second film came out, I didn't want to read the script since I wanted this one to come at me without the knowledge of each and every scene. And it was amazing and numbing all at once. So when Christopher Nolan came back to finish his take on the Caped Crusader, I waited each day on pins and needles for the chance to see how he ties it up.

It's a little bitter realizing that there will never be another Nolan take on the character. But now that it's done, I'm glad that there is an ending for this story. I'm curious to see who Warner Bros. picks to helm the next reboot of the film (after all, the guy that helped choose Nolan is now at Disney: Alan Horn). In all likelihood the person playing the part may be chosen well before the actual film comes out. If the "Justice League" film that they're trying to pull together comes to fruition, then whoever they hire will probably be stuck with the actor he or she will use for their interpretation. Not a bad thing; look how Joss Whedon pulled it off with a story where almost everyone was cast for him? But until then, we have Nolan's latest opus to keep us happy, or to argue over.

I saw "The Dark Knight Rises" a week ago today (midnight Friday, technically), and had immediate impressions about it, but I won't review it. Our own Decadent Dave had the official Blue Sky Review of the film for the site. But I will say that after watching the film, and the two previous ones back to back, I know where this one stands in the trilogy. If "The Dark Knight" is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the three, then this one is "The Return of the Jedi" of the series. That will hopefully give you my thoughts on the film.

But there are interesting thoughts/analysis/critiques all around the net right now and I found some that you might be interested in reading.

The guys over at /Film have a great post about some of the same problems I had with the film entitled "15 Things that bothered us about 'The Dark Knight Rises'." I agree with the majority of what they focus on, and yet there are parts of the film that reach what I expect from a Nolan film. Take a look at it if you've seen the film, but avoid it if haven't because there are major spoilers.

Not many characters in popular literature can evoke such a strong response, both pro and con, but Bruce Wayne's alter ego can and does. If you're a big fan of the Bat then you should take a look at these articles that focus on the fighting style of the character: "The Martial Arts of the Dark Knight - Part 1" and "The Martial Arts of the Dark Knight - Part 2," We even focus on the minute details of how he puts down a bad guy.

All this deep psychological/analytical probing for a character that began as an escape from the dreary existence of the Great Depression? That's why we hold Batman, Superman and the other characters up with such wonder. They offer us dreams of a way out, a different life, or a better tomorrow. And for a dime, it was easy to buy that dream. It may cost more today, but it's still a worthy experience that we strive to attain as we turn each page, or buy each movie ticket. That's what Nolan gave us over the last seven years. He gave us dreams that we'll always have, and always enjoy.

And for that I will forever be grateful to him, and of course Batman...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Batman-On-Film rips the "15 Things that bothered us about 'The Dark Knight Rises'" blog to shreds. Just more DC/Chris Nolan bashing from Marvel fanboys.

WesAlex said...

The Return of the Jedi ended with everyone happy and playing bongos of the SkyTroopers helmets. This Batman was different. Are we so sure that when Alred looks up from his table at that restaurant, that he is seeing Bruce and Selena in his mind, not reality. Remember, that Batman himself said he had not given enough. Could he have survived such a blast out at sea considering that he had been stabbed after he defeated Bane? Lots of questions but that is what makes it good. Does Joseph Gordon Levitt become Batman or Nightwing??? Remember, Batman told Commissioner Gordan, anyone could be Batman. Whoever takes over, does not and should not reboot from scratch. The Nolan films are the foundation to build from. It should become the basis of another serious Batman.

Honor Hunter said...

If you've read this blog for only a small amount of time then you would know that I'm not a Marvel "Fan Boy" by any measure...

I like some of the characters, but I've always been a DC Guy. But I agree with many of the problems that /Film had with it. And it's not because I wanted to pic apart the film, I didn't. I wanted it to be better than "The Dark Knight" was, despite the odds that it couldn't achieve those levels. But it wasn't.

And that had nothing to do with people that like Marvel simply wanting to bash it because it derives from DC...

Thomas Paige said...

"Whoever takes over, does not and should not reboot from scratch. The Nolan films are the foundation to build from. It should become the basis of another serious Batman."

The Nolan films have a beginning, middle and end. There should be no continuation. If they did it would be with someone else who is not Bruce Wayne.

Bruce Wayne was mistaken when he said anyone could be Batman. ONLY he could be the character. It's only through his belief in the people of Gotham that he feels they can have anyone take the form of Batman. They can't, and he couldn't. I would be repulsed by any film that stared another character playing him.

Just like they've rebooted before, it's reboot time again. And with a Justice League film a few years out, do you really think it would have a Batman that was anyone other than Bruce Wayne?

Finally, just because it's a reboot, doesn't mean it's going to go back to being campy or silly. It can't and won't. But it won't be the one that Nolan did, but possibly one that was influenced by it.

It's time.

It's simply time.

Batman Lives Again said...

I read parts of the "15 Things that bothered us". I found it ridiculous since it is just a movie. Lots of things don't make sense, but the truth is movies; however long and Batman is long; it is an abbreviated quick run through. Viewers do not see it all. It is quite funny about the gripe on reversing trades. Thing about that is the trades are done, finished. In real life, they can only take the money back for illegal profit taking. They can force him to give back the shares, but the trade itself is done. The complaint about the woman who bedded Bruce Wayne without much efforts is real life. Bruce is rich, he got game. Stuff like this happens all the time and I don't get such luck. So for at least 2 complaints, the movie might be closer to reality.

My feeling is Batman, the Dark Knight, will not hold up. No comic book adaption really does. I thought Spiderman did until the newer one just came out. People want another installment and they get it with a whole new cast and director.

Jack Napier said...

It's going to be hard to top the Nolan films. I loved Burton's Batman and never thought anyone could do better. Nolan has surprised me, but Rises is the weakest in the series. Too many unexplained plotholes. Bruce is in the pit for how long? The movie never narratively answers that nor does it answer how he could recover from having a broken back in what appears to be a matter of only a few days or weeks. It would take months for him to recover and rehabilitate himself back to have the physical strength to take on Bane again. In the comics it took over a year while Azrael took over. I guess Nolan got lazy on this one or just didn't care because he was washing his hands of it and fulfilling his contractual obligations. Whatever the case I am looking forward to seeing someone else bring some new blood to the Batman franchise with a new and fresh interpretation of the character.

Dee Season said...

Watch it Jack, Anonymous will think you're a Marvel Fan Boy if you say anything bad about Rises. DC fans can't be critical apparently. You must like everything, even Green Lantern. Ugghh.

Michael said...

Jack - the movie is pretty clear about it being 5 months in the pit - you know the same amount of time as the bomb.

Jack Napier said...

Funny, it's still snowing in Gotham and the bay is still completely iced over 5 months later. Huh. Guess they forgot to explain why the seasons didn't change either. Oops!

Dom Cobb said...

About that bomb... wouldn't there have been harmful radiation fallout that would have contaminated Gotham? How did Batman escape? Does he have a lead-lined refrigerator like Indy? Or was the ending where Alfred sees Bruce Wayne sitting at a table just a dream like Inception? Too many unexplained events to make any sense of but it is amusing to watch fanboys viciously try to rationalize why the film is above any criticism. Keep the laughs coming guys!

The Joker said...

Wow 5 months to detonate a bomb? That's gotta be the slowest timebomb in history. The suspense is killing me! HaHaHaHaHa!

Anonymous said...

The bomb wasn's being detonated. The nuclear core was unstable and melting down. Did you see the movie? Honestly, I'm beginning to hate these Disney/Marvel sycophants and their snide comments.

The earlier poster was right.

Andrea Aguilar said...

I feel some of this nitpicking is unecessary. Nolan was clearly winding down the series and I feel "Rises" was more cerebral than anything else. I think the ending could of been more like "Inception" with Alfred simply acknowledging the camera. Too much of a tease for the audience? :) They're should have been major blow back when that bomb went off though :/