Friday, June 17, 2005

And Bill Finger

Ohhh. There goes my Tourettes again. Sorry. Hate it when I give credit where credit is due.

That being spit out (I feel so much better now!), get off your flabby butts and take everyone you know to Batman Begins. Pronto. A $15 million opening day is not enough. Must rally troops and have solid opening weekend.

Else, don't ever complain again about Hollywood's pablum offerings and how you're above their mindless entertainment. Because they finally got as close as a studio film is going to get to the Dark Knight. You won't hate it. There's too much right. And if you can't get past the quibbly details, you can always go home and fall asleep to the warm glow cast by your worn Dead End copy.

Ignore Katie's braless man-shape and stroke-induced half-smile. Ignore the adequate score that becomes irritating on subsequent viewing. Ignore the terrible female characterizations and the silencing of Martha. Ignore the WRONG pronounciation of Ra's and his whitewashing. Ignore that Bruce is not the world's greatest detective. Not even the world's SECOND best detective. Ignore that Dead End still features the best Batman costume and Batman movement. That The East Side is renamed The Narrows. Ignore how eaaaaasy it would have been to show the back of a Dominitrix watching Batman's rooftop escape, telling her teenage sidekick "Shut up, Holly."

But that's all okay. Why? Because we fall so that we can get back up again.

REVEL in the fantastic performances and excellent script. The intense exploration of FEAR, emotions in and out of battle, criminal life, Jungian Psychology (At last!). Bruce's training. Thomas' inspiring presence. Lucius, nailed. An adult conversation about the escalating fetishist nature of Batman's presence in Gotham. Ra's trickery and "resurrection." That they DIDN'T KILL THE VILLAINS. That only Rachel learned the secret identity, and the reveal wasn't the emotional focal point of the film. That the Bat Cave was a cave. That the Batcar DIDN'T come off as juvenile as the early press releases made us fear. That Batman disappears from conversations when he's done. That a character was named "Loeb." That even if the cowl is silly, at last we have a Batman with the right body. That Bruce Wayne, "Playboy," was spot on. That Year One Batman is clumsy and makes mistakes. The invention of the Bat Signal and the large Bat Ears order. Joe Chill instead of Jack Napier. Even if I'm iffy on Ra's training Batman, at least neither of them made the other what they are, in that overly simplistic comic movie adaptation cliche. That we glimpsed Barbara Gordon, and Batman spoke to Jim as he took out the trash. That we didn't see Batman fighting, but saw him from the criminals' perspective: as an urban legend, a ghost story. That the multiple villains worked seamlessly and organically.

Revel, my Bat Friends. And give the WB your money so that we may have more intelligent and emotionally satifsying Dark Knight legends to come.


Biscuits and Gravy said...

I agree with the sentiment if not the facts. I think it's safe to assume that Lucius Fox also knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman (also Ras if you want to get technical). Also, I'm pretty sure Ras died at the end.

Kid Sis said... Ra's has always been immortal, and Lucius has always known Bruce/Batman. They followed the comics for once.

And neither of these discoveries were used as the "big reveal" because the screenwriter couldn't think of any other emotional climax.

If this one makes money, Ra's will be back soon with Talia courtesy of the Lazarus Pit (again, reinterpreting the comic to a T). I'm really surprised you interpreted that as him dying. It wasn't meant that way. They didn't even show a body, like Joker in Batman.

Nolan paid attention to the fanboys' issues over the last fourteen years, and was extremely mindful of them...from not killing Ra's and Crane to not showing Batman's fight scenes. It was a methodically planned movie, and I applaud them for listening.

But I'm glad to see someone else has seen the movie.

Anonymous said...

"Ignore the WRONG pronounciation of Ra's"

Ummm... They pronounce exactly the way that Denny O'Neil, the character's creator and Bat-editor for many moons says it's supposed to be pronounced. It's the cartoon that was wrong, not the film. Get it right, nerd.

Anonymous said...

Y'all are pretty serious about this stuff. Sheesh.

So, did you get in to any screenings at the LA Film festival?

Didja finally get some chocolate?


Kid Sis said...

NN, meet the most popular members of the fanboy community...the ones who can't debate properly and live to tell the rest of the community they're wrong. Very filled with joy. And strangely, always bravely anonymous.

Going to screenings this week...and yes, I've had some excellent fudge. How is thesis progress going?

Biscuits and Gravy said...

I'm pretty sure that Lucius doesn't know Bruce Wayne is Batman in the comics. In fact, they often show his frustration that Bruce is not around to take care of business when he should be. As for Ras (the pronunciation is debatable as O'neil intended it to be a short a sound but the current DC bible has it with a long a sound, it's not just the cartoon), nowhere in the movie was there mention of the lazarus pits. I liked how he talked about immortality through deeds and through becoming a symbol. He's gone, body or no body. They've already said that Joker is up next if there's a sequel and that Two Face would follow.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was a fanboy? Seemed more like a troll to me. Huh.

Things are going well here. I've added food back into my diet, which is good. (And not kitty kibbles. Made it to the grocery store, finally. Now, if there were only a clean dish to eat on...) Other than that, I've been writing and revising and dreaming (in my off hours) of Clive-O. (See why I have no time to clean?)

How's about you?


Kid Sis said...

B & G, Noticed you haven't posted anything on your blog since 12/04. Come on back to mine when you do.

Hey NN,
Seriously, I'm so bored of the idiots. I get this all the time when I do AICN reviews. It's soooo easy to make yourself feel good by criticizing others, while not contributing anything that opens yourself up for the same kind of attack.

I'm thinking these fanboys are actually feminists...isn't the vibe familiar?

Glad to hear you're eating again. I prefer paper plates myself. If Bush doesn't care about the environment, why should I?

Still exercising too much? I've taken a week off of writing. Back to the grind tomorrow. How is Attilla? Irritated by the pronunciation of Ra's? ;)

Anonymous said...

FYI -- here's the link to boxofficemojo and BB:

Overall, $71M for the 5-day, with $46 on the weekend. All in all,
though, not bad at ALL. Disappointing to the geekboys (did they REALLY
think this was going to crack $100M for the weekend or beat Sith?!?),
but still respectable. Just wish it would have beaten Mr. and Mrs.
Smith's $53M weekend take last week.

Sucker basically went $15M, $9M, $15M, $18M, and $15M from Wed. thru
Sunday. Next week will tell the tale re total gross. WOTW doesn't
out until 6/29. If BB suffers only a 20-40% drop to next weekend, we
could be looking at a $30-$36M 2nd weekend. Hulk DROPPED 60+% from its
1st to 2nd weekend, and got labeled a disappointment If BB still pulls
in, say, $30M or so in 2nd weeknd, it can argue to having around $120M
domestic in 2 weeks, which ain't shabby at all.

With a little luck, some Cruise fatigue will kick in in WOTW's 2nd and
3rd weeks, but I think BB will be lucky tog et $200M. Still,
domestic should be reachable, particularly with the reviews and word of

In all, I'm thinking Holmes may have hurt the movie -- not so much on
film (sorry, but I found her plausible and a natural, fitting part of
the story. Maybe it's because I know several female attorneys in that
age-bracket that are that capable and still speak like college
students). Rather, in the marketing.

Consider: the biggest names in the cast -- Morgan Freeman, Michael
Caine, Tom Wilkinson, gary Oldman --a re not as well appreciated by the
14-25 crowd (yep, we're old).

Who's the main bridge to the younger demos? Katie.

Who's the person that got trotted out to the most standard media
(Leno, Letterman, Conan, GMA, Today Show, MTV Movie Awards)? Katie.

AND WHICH WOMAN HAD HER SOCIAL LIFE (as opposed to her, I don't know,
her upcoming "WORK") TALKED ABOUT THIS MONTH? Katie.

Katie was the concession to the Warner Bros. bean-counters with the WB!
demographic research. I've read more and more articles saying "the
young people" don't like Cruise all that much, that he's lost his cool
factor. He's a star, he makes (by average fan standards) good movies,
but not "cool." In other words, he doesn't play to high schoolers like
he used to. Ah., for the days of "Top Gun".

So, instead of having our youngest star talk about her anticipated
summer movie epic debut on every major guest couch in LA and New York
she's talking about how, like, totally, like, in love she is. D*** it.


John Donald Carlucci said...

I'm waiting to see this again before I break it down on my site. I do agree with you on almost every point except for the Katie character. I bitched before I saw the movie that I would have like St. Cloud to be the love interest, but I liked her. I wish she hadn't learned his identity (every friggin hero movie they MUST lose the mask). I know the reasons, but don't care. I'm tired of it. Blah.

I always considered Fox to be like Robbie Robertson. It was always suspected he knew Peter was Spider-man (they even hinted at this in the second film), but they left it floating. I think the film left no doubt for Fox, but I found there were many changes I could live with.