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The Dark Knight

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I can understand what they were trying to do with the fast-cutting of the fight scenes, but they overdid it. A little would have been fine (for instance, smashing that thugs head into the mirror in the bathroom - it's unseen and quick) but we do actually need to see the fighting.

I appreciate the idea, but in practise they need to show much more, whilst still retaining quick-cut bits to emphasise speed, violence and of course the confusion of being attacked in the dark or by surprise.

Yes. Fast-cutting has been around in movies for years - Hitchcock was a master of it, for example. The way you make it good is by contrasting it with lingering shots to emphasise the violence or speed. In BB they just didn't have any shots that lasted more than .5 of a second, and as a result it was absolutely rubbish. There might as well have been no fight scenes in the movie 'cos it near as didn't matter - all it had to do then was stand up on its plot, which was gash.

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I disagree on the plot, but hey. I liked the idea of a criminal organisation that thought itself a guardian of morality, interfering with governments and civilisations around the world.

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Why? It's clear that it's a directorial decision as you'll notice the earlier fights before he becomes Batman are not directed that way at all.

Yes, and the idea was decent, but in practice it didn't work. It came across as a mess, and the fight scenes were poor as a result. The viewer should have been left with an impression of "Wow, that was brutal and quick" and not "What the fuck? I can't see anything".

Eh? What's different on the DVD?

I meant the extras. In the extras, there's a whole section on the fighting technique used. In there, you see them practising the fight scenes and doing them, but without the fast editing. The fight scenes actually are good, which makes the bad editing all the more frustrating as he's actually preventing you from seeing a good fight scene.

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Er, so why did one of the police notice it moving past and shout out? HMMMM.

The thing about looking right at something, is that you don't have to suddenly notice it there. You already know it's there! You're looking right at it!

You're right. I don't suppose the police helicopter following it had anything do with the police being right behind it.

The film has problems, but those are pretty weak criticisms. For the record, I liked the movie.

Fair enough. I can't remember the chopper, but I suppose it would be nice to know why he spent all the time driving on the rooves, if he knew he was being chased by a heli.

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I disagree on the plot, but hey. I liked the idea of a criminal organisation that thought itself a guardian of morality, interfering with governments and civilisations around the world.

Except there was none of that, it was Liam Neeson shouting "SURPRISE!!!!" and then a hilariously poor ending ensued. It was incredibly weak and seemed to be aimed at kids.

Re: batmobile. Thought it was rubbish, personally. Totally un-Batman as I see him.

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Yeah, well the film has it's problems, as I said.

I just think it got much more right than it got wrong, and it was a huge step up from all the neon Batman films we've had. Flawed, but overall good and a step in the right direction.

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hopefully this will be a prelude to The Dark Knight Returns... the title would suggest this no?

I doubt it. It's not like they'll ever make Dark Knight Returns, and they would effectively be killing off any chance of a sequel since Batman is retired in Dark Knight Returns.

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Yeah, well the film has it's problems, as I said.

I just think it got much more right than it got wrong, and it was a huge step up from all the neon Batman films we've had. Flawed, but overall good and a step in the right direction.

It's still about six paces behind Burton's Batman though, and I'm not even a Burton fan.

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It's still about six paces behind Burton's Batman though, and I'm not even a Burton fan.

It's certainly missing some of that film's comic book appeal. I dunno, I sort of agree, but they are very different takes.

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Bale is too small to be Batman, but nobody seemed to notice. It'll be fine!

Of course, I'm still seething at how rubbish Batman Begins was. :ph34r:

In the words of biglime, "fuck off Batman".

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It's still about six paces behind Burton's Batman though, and I'm not even a Burton fan.

It pisses all over Burton's films from the top of Gotham Cathedral.

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It doesn't in any way whatsoever, and I'm genuinely amazed anyone can actually think that. BB doesn't even have its own atmosphere, for a start. 'Gotham City' is just New York with the lights out. It's rubbish.

Edit: that comes across slightly shittily: what I mean is that I'm in no doubt that you can like the film that much more, just for me they're not even comparable. Opinions, eh? :ph34r:

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It doesn't in any way whatsoever, and I'm genuinely amazed anyone can actually think that. BB doesn't even have its own atmosphere, for a start. 'Gotham City' is just New York with the lights out. It's rubbish.

Edit: that comes across slightly shittily: what I mean is that I'm in no doubt that you can like the film that much more, just for me they're not even comparable. Opinions, eh? :ph34r:

Beard?

Isn't that exactly what gotham city is?

In the same way metropolis is supposed to be new york in "daylight"

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Beard?

Isn't that exactly what gotham city is?

In the same way metropolis is supposed to be new york in "daylight"

Perhaps I ought to have said 'modern New York with the lights out'. Burton's GC has its own feel, it's its own city... the architecture, the lighting, the mood of the piece. The comparisons are there but the reality is twisted into something new. It's also completely timeless, without being set in a particular period. The brand placement in BB meant that there's a very real timeperiod it's supposed to be set in, and it has none of the characteristic features of the '89 movie.

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Perhaps I ought to have said 'modern New York with the lights out'. Burton's GC has its own feel, it's its own city... the architecture, the lighting, the mood of the piece. The comparisons are there but the reality is twisted into something new. It's also completely timeless, without being set in a particular period. The brand placement in BB meant that there's a very real timeperiod it's supposed to be set in, and it has none of the characteristic features of the '89 movie.

OKey dokey. Fair point.

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I liked the look of the Gotham in the film. It's near-reality, but still a fantasy city. Look how built up it is, and then there's the hulking wayne tower etc.

Anyway, the bits outside where filmed in Detroit, not New York.

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I think a potential problem for me, is that I will always think of the Joker's voice as belonging to Mark Hamill.

I honestly don't see how anyone could prefer Begins to either of Burton's films, though. I really, really just don't understand. The 1989 Batman is just brilliant to me in every way.

Not that it's perfect - it does take liberties with the source (Napier killed the Waynes? Fuck off, Batman) and it is a bit grotesque and Burtonish (O RLY etc). Keaton was just a really inspired, convincing choice to be Batman though, and I can't think of anyone else in the suit as being believable.

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Perhaps I ought to have said 'modern New York with the lights out'. Burton's GC has its own feel, it's its own city... the architecture, the lighting, the mood of the piece. The comparisons are there but the reality is twisted into something new. It's also completely timeless, without being set in a particular period. The brand placement in BB meant that there's a very real timeperiod it's supposed to be set in, and it has none of the characteristic features of the '89 movie.

At least BB actually got Batman right as a character. At least there's actually a bit of depth there to get your teeth into. Fine, it doesn't have the Burton Gothic style and the Danny Elfman theme tune but it does have a story (something which Burton has real trouble getting a handle on) and proper characters which remain true to the source material.

And that Prince soundtrack alone ensures that Batman will never be timeless.

It's not meant to be a tank! It's meant to be a bulletproof sports car!

Read The Dark Knight Returns.

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At least BB actually got Batman right as a character. At least there's actually a bit of depth there to get your teeth into. Fine, it doesn't have the Burton Gothic style and the Danny Elfman theme tune but it does have a story (something which Burton has real trouble getting a handle on) and proper characters which remain true to the source material.

And that Prince soundtrack alone ensures that Batman will never be timeless.

Read The Dark Knight Returns.

Agreed. Also: an utter lack of suspense, the Dark Knight moving like a turtle (at least everything is practical in Nolan's version - a Batmobile that needs a harpoon to corner?), horrible action scenes, Jack Nicholson playing Jack Nicholson instead of The Joker, a wasted Kim Bassinger. And his Gotham looked way too staged. Did it look like everybody was moving through giant sets? That's probably because they did...

It's just not very good at all. I like Returns better, but that is more Freaks than Batman.

As for Begins, this is what I wrote back in the day.

As a fan of Batman I was never pleased with any of the live action films. Not until now.

It's a film that has a lot going for it. The most important one being Batman himself. I never bought any of the previous Batmans. Clooney and Kilmer had the looks but had to fight against a hopeless script. Keaton on the other hand is a great actor but he lacks Bruce Wayne's good looks and he certainly lacks Batman's imposing physical strengths.

Bale has it all (except Kevin Conroy's brilliant Bat-voice). The acting chops, the looks and the body. And a script that pays attention to who Bruce Wayne was and what he became. It's about Batman, instead of another villain of the week show. And no Prince. Thank God.

Acting is excellent throughout. Bale is the star of the show of course and the character with the most depth. He pulls it of effortlessly, whether it's the playboy (the mask) or the caped crusader (the person he became all those years ago).

Caine brings a warmth to the film that is very welcome, he's the heart of the film in many ways. Neeson shines as well as both a mentor and a villain.

The roles of Murphy, Wilkinson, Hauer, Oldman and Freeman are smaller but all do what's required and then some.

Which brings us to miss Cruise. She'll never win an Academy Award but she's nowhere near as bad as some people say. And as a character she brings much more to the film than Vicky Vale ever did.

I like the story. The first two thirds of the move are stronger than the last, but it's conclusion is a logical one and the film needs a pay off to what happened before.

It works as a character study of Bruce Wayne and Batman, it does a fine job of explaining how Batman operates and where he gets 'all those wonderful toys' and it works as a commentary on our current climate. Not so strange when you take fear as the central theme. Fear is everywhere. Bruce fears the bats, the city fears the power of Falcone, Crane uses fear as a toy to make himself feel powerful, the League of Shadows uses fear as weapon to destroy Gotham and Batman uses fear as tool to fight those who prey on the fearfull.

The League of Shadows has a lot in common with Al Qaeda, a shadowy organisation that is located in a far away country but one which has infiltrated our society. An ideal, more than anything else. Using terrorism to achieve their goals.

But there are comparisons with Bush jr's war on terror as well. Vengeance instead of justice, using any means necessary.

You could almost read Rutger Hauer's Earle as a symbol for those in charge in the US right now. Making money from weapons, only caring about economics and with no compassion for those in need.

It's stuff you don't find in your average blockbuter. As Walter Chaw - probably my favorite critic right now - put it: "So there's something for the Batman fanatic in this fresh, Stygian take on the hero's creation myth; something for the sociologist in the film's serious contemplation of fiscal depressions, corporate malfeasance, reckless militarism, and justice vs. vengeance in a post-9/11 climate; something for the pop psychiatrists in the plumbing of Bruce's psyche and the exploration of fear as a uniting principle in mob politics; and something for the auteurist who can find, at last, a continuation of the themes of identity, memory, and the malleability of reality suggested by Nolan's Memento."

Another Blade this isn't.

Which brings us to some other aspects of the movie. Love the art direction. Grounded in reality with none of the kitsch of Schumacher or the artificial of Burton's films. Gotham looks like a real city, not like one giant set after another. And it retains the grit that suits the main character and the world he operates in so well.

The music is great. While it lacks an iconic main theme like Elfman's, it always suits what's happening on screen.

A lot has been said about the fights, of which there aren't many. I'm a huge fan of elaborately choreohraphed fight scenes but they don't suit Batman. Bats is all about taking out his opponents out as quicly as possible, preferably in the shadows.

It's a deliberate choise on Nolan's part, as he expertly handles the bigger action moments (the Tumbler sequence and the monorail climax) but goes for a less flashy approach during the fight seqences. I love the fight that we watch through Falcone's eyes, a big, black blur taking out several of his goons in seconds instead of minutes. At last the big screen has found the dark knight.

Which brings us to some of my favorite scenes. Most of which are all about establishing it's main character.

The first big scene between Bruce and Alfred. Touching.

Bruce throwing away the gun.

The scene in which he returns to the cave and stands up to the storm of bats. Brilliant use of music.

Bruce working on his costume.

Batman tying a knocked out Falcone to the search light to create an improvised bat-signal.

Back up

It's not who you are from inside, it's what you do.

Rachel telling Bruce that the man she loved never came back. But perhaps he does when the city needs Batman no more.

The way the sequel is set up. Sign Brody now.

Batman has begun. Here's hoping it'll be a long time before it ends.

Ace/10

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I reckon it needed some more scenes here and there, though. Connecting and establishing scenes. I know no-one will agree but I think it needed to be a little bit longer.

But yeah, roll on B2.

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