- Dec 11, 2009
While I disagree with you on a couple of points- I don't think taking the time (actually very efficiently done) to explain where Batman came from in Begins was most of the fun of the film for me- we've all seen the Wayne's murder too many times, but I loved that you actually spent a little time with Bruce's father first, got a glimpse of the man Bruce looked up to so much.Trishbot said:I very strongly disagree that they HAVEN'T. In fact, Marvel movies of late have truly captured the imagination of both kids and adults while delivering costumed thrills, solid performances, stellar action, and comic-accurate authenticity to a world of heroics few comic movies have been able to match in years. That's not to say Marvel doesn't have some stinkers (Fantastic Four, Elektra, Ghost Rider, Wolverine: Origins), but they've far outclassed DC heroes on the big screen that aren't named Batman (Catwoman, Superman Returns, Green Lantern, Jonah Hex...)irishda said:I very strongly disagree with him that Marvel has been making excellent movies.
But, on topic...
I'll be honest; I'm an 80's girl. I grew up with the highly stylized, gothic, dark masterpiece that was Michael Keaton and Tim Burton's Batman, which I think nailed it. It had a superior aesthetic (neo-noir), a superior soundtrack (Danny Elman's theme is the definitive Batman theme), a superior Batman (Michael Keaton's Bat-voice was deep, dark, and yet intelligible), and I'd even say an equally good Joker (Jack Nicholson was classy, creepy, psychotic, and still fun.)
I'll concede the new movies have better action and even better plots, however. But to me, Batman was never story-driven; it was a subtle, imaginative, larger-than-life, and even otherworldly experience, like being transported to a world that couldn't possibly exist anywhere else but in film and comics. The new Batman world is just Chicago/New York.
I remember reading that Michael Keaton even asked that most of his spoken dialogue lines in the movie be removed, because, accurately, he said "Batman is a man of actions, not of words", and the movie was better for it. He had a few one liners, but if you watch those movies you notice Batman barely speaks. He's a presence. An urban legend. Some even think he's a monster or demon. When he shows up, it's all action and business, and it's far more effective than Bale's "It's not who I am that defines me, it's what I do" and "I'm the hero Gotham needs, but not what it deserves" Hollywood pep speeches.
To me, the image of Batman, bloodied and injured, slowly crawling up a winding, dusty belltower to an inevitable final throw-down with the Joker, slow, dramatic, and tension-filled, was a far better Batman moment than Batman's punch-kick-growl finale with the Joker in The Dark Knight. The old Batman was quiet, subdued, methodical, and it took the time to create a sense of mood and atmosphere. The new Batman is loud, blunt, heavy on the philosophy and chit-chat, and just seems to play to the same Jason Bourne-crowd that favors realism over imagination.
I told a friend once that nearly every gadget Batman has in the first two movies exists in the new movies too... except in the Nolan movies, they spend a great deal of time explaining where these gadgets came from, who made them, how it got them... In the first movie, Joker just barks out "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" and leaves it up to your imagination. And that's the big deal for me; the movies LEFT a lot to your imagination on purpose. The new movie feels compelled to over-analyze and explain every aspect of its universe, where Batman came from, how he became Batman, where it got his gear, who he knows, why he fights or makes certain decisions. The old movies made the mistake of over-explaining the villains; the new movies over-explain their protagonist.
But that's just my feelings as a fangirl.
Besides, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill remain the best performers for their respective roles of Batman and Joker. The Animated Series nailed it, and by comparison both Burton and Nolan films fail to measure up.
Also, I love the grounded, 'realistic' and grittier Nolan films, but I want to absolutely clear that I flat out LOVE the 1989 Batman movie for basically everything you outlined there.
To me, both have merit, they're just different facets of the mythology- I think that if Batman ever became definitive, he'd stagnate.
Nice to spot a real fan out here!
Conroy and Hamill are a tough, if not impossible, act to follow alright!