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The new Batman film

I definitely want to see the new Batman film (it pays to book well in advance, Ed). Here is an interesting take on some of the politics of the film. Another useful review – without spoilers – is over at Bob Bidinotto’s blog. In a nutshell, he says he liked the film a great deal but felt the film tried to cram too many themes and plotlines into it.

Mind you, I am looking forward even more to the film based on the Watchmen story series. Bring it on!

11 comments to The new Batman film

  • Ian B

    Watchmen is going to be either awful or awesome, it’s got no hope of being somewhere in between. If it’s the latter, it’ll probably kill of the entire superhero movie fad, except perhaps the Batman series, since everything else will suddenly look childish and trivial in comparison, just as the comic did to the comics industry. I remember buying it at the time, month by month, and that awareness that it was unlike anything that had gone before in the medium. The problem of course was that the rest of the medium had trouble finding an answer to it; as could be the situation with movies.

    When the trailer arrived a few days ago I watched it many, many times- not something I’d normally do with a move trailer. It looks incredible (except like many people I feel some reservations about the look of the actor chosen to portray Ozymandias). The shot of the Comedian in Viet Nam is… just right. Brilliant. I like the other choices with the characters too- the paunchy out of condition Night Owl worked in the comic but wouldn’t have done on screen, as wouldn’t have the more naive costumes in the comic for him and the Silk Spectre II, who looks amazing. There seems to be a real love and respect for the source material; what matters is whether Snyder has the ability and sheer panache to actually pull off such a difficult undertaking considering how ruthless people are going to be with it.

    My fellow Northamptonian Alan Moore seems to be being his typical self, writing it off before he’s seen it. It’s true that previous adaptions of his work have been poor, but I also think he’s genuinely scared that one of them may turn out good, as if that would somehow detract from him. I think that’s a bit disappointing. I had a minor producer interested in my little comic once (believe it or not) and as far as I was concerned they could turn Lucy into a tapdancing chipmunk as long as I got the money for it, but I’m not Alan Moore, heh.

    The main thing that bothers me is the ending. Even at the time I felt it was the weak spot of the thing; Moore’s political views resulted in a resolution that IMV was politically naive- the dumping of the giant squid on New York would unite the world and end war. O RLY? That seems even less convincing post 911. But if Snyder changes it significantly, the ire will be immense. That might have been the best reason not to make a film at all; maybe Watchmen was a thing of its time best left there. But OTOH I really want to see the thing as a movie and the story itself and characters are worth it. So I’m glad he’s done it.

    Anyway, it’ll either be fabulous or diabolical. Can’t wait.

  • I’ll have to re-read the Watchmen trade PB at some point. I read it as a wide eyed young teenager and I don’t think I understood its complexities fully, but the trailer looks awesome.

    “The world will look up and shout ‘save us!’ and I’ll whisper: no.”

    Point me at your comics Ian, I’d be interested in reading them.

  • Ian B

    Funnily enough, my Watchmen collection is now in America. In the early 90s, depressed, I gave them away to an American barman in my local. Ironically, my entire comics collection was destroyed in the Easter Floods in 1997, so it actually saved them, even if I lost them haha. So I haven’t read the story in donkey’s years, which is quite nice really as it’ll give me a reasonably fresh approach to the film. Not sure how I’d let you read them on the net anyway, I’m sure there’s a download of the thing somewhere :)

  • The new movie is too long and overloaded, but still very good.

    Here is a good piece (subscription?) trying to explain some of the problems inherent in the genre.

  • Wot Alisa said.

    Batman is awesomely good, but at the end one of my comments was “that was three movies in one”.

    On the other hand, I have already seen it compared, favourably, with Godfather II as a cinematic classic.

    Dunno about that, cuz I think I am the only person left in Western Civilisation who has never seen any Godfather movies.

    However, Heath Ledgers Joker, a psychopath who’s love of chaos and killing was all the motive needed, was superb. But you will get enough of hearing that truth repeated ad nauseam.

  • I’m excited about Watchmen, but my expectations are low. The director is the same guy who did 300. I absolutely loved 300, but it looks like he’s gonna do the same things stylistically as he did with 300, which worries me a great deal. It worked for 300, but Watchmen is a completely different setting, different story…..my prediction is it will be okay, but with a lot of wasted potential.

    The Dark Knight, however, did for comic book movies what The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen did for comics in the 80s. It really elevated the genre. Fantastic movie.

  • Ledger was the big surprise of this movie, wasn’t he? I knew for a while that he was very talented (and I have not even seen that gay movie), but this was something else. For some reason I kept thinking that it was Johnny Depp rather than him – something in his body language was very Depp. Too bad he didn’t have the brains/balls to stay alive.

  • tdh

    There was a quote in the movie something to the effect of: “Some men aren’t after anything rational. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” A timely remark!

    Ledger’s acting, when it seemed over the top, was the Joker’s temporizing or manipulation. It is not uncommon for me to look at my watch during a movie (in part to guess how the events will unfold), but while I noticed that the movie was getting long (What, that wasn’t the climax? Where’s the resolution?) , I never had cause to raise my wrist during this movie. The only thing I found boring was that the ordinary good guys were, to put it tautologically, as dumb as dodos — as was the Joker’s point — thinking at most one step ahead. One scene that seemed superfluous showed both that the ordinary bad guys were equally boring, and that the Joker kept trying to bring out the worst in people. Bidinotto apparently had better things to do than to pay attention.

    Speaking of paying attention, I tried to do so on this point, but it seemed to me that when faced with a choice between Rachel and Harvey, Batman made the correct one.

  • NB

    Over at the Belmont Club there is a complete explanation, which in turn references the Wall Street Journal. “time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror — films like “In The Valley of Elah,” “Rendition” and “Redacted” — which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe. Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense — values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right — only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like “300,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Narnia,” “Spiderman 3”³ and now “The Dark Knight”?”

    ADE

  • tdh: yes! I was looking for that quote on IMDB, and didn’t find it.

  • tdh

    Alisa, the actual quote probably used the word “logical”; I don’t recall it verbatim.

    NB, I have to wonder what possessed the makers of 300 to make their Spartans other than the historically-accurate blond. Are groups of blond heroes too much a reminder of German national socialism or of Russian communism? But then making Ephialtes Gollumesque (among other things) was a bizarre choice, too; some evil men, like the 9/11 terrorists, practically radiate evil, but others, like Bill Clinton, are far harder to read, and physical deformities — despite the conflation in the Greek words “kalos” and “kakos” that could excuse the practice — are so rare as to be irrelevant even if there were a statistical correlation. IMHO the historical inaccuracies weakened any moral message of the film, whether they involved kowtowing to political correctness or not.