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The Dark Knight

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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.

Er, where? What's his motivation for anything? He buggers off around the world and becomes a hard-man, and then decides to fight crime? It's all a bit rubbish, really. He isn't delved into as an actual person whatsoever, and the whole Holmes relationship thing is really, really weak. Also, sticking to the 'source material' doesn't necessarily = good. Lots of things don't translate well into movies, the medium of comics is different. For an example, look at how good Sin City was: they took the most important things in the comics and then turned them into something workable on film. You can't just lift something entirely and plonk it onto a moviereel and expect it'll work because it'll please the pedantic fans.

As for Keaton, he was masterful. He's obviously a lot older than in BB, and his lackadaisical, slightly world-weary, amusing outlook on life is really apt and is entirely how I see Batman. The grandeur of the formal dining room just so he waits for her to ask if he usually eats elsewhere. He's more of a man who has had greatness thrust upon him; Bale's Batman is churlish and is trying to be great. It doesn't work for me at all.

I also think the way it preys upon the general climate of fear at the time it was released and is deliberately aimed at doing so is pretty abysmal, not to mention completely talentless.

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Er, where? What's his motivation for anything? He buggers off around the world and becomes a hard-man, and then decides to fight crime? It's all a bit rubbish, really. He isn't delved into as an actual person whatsoever, and the whole Holmes relationship thing is really, really weak. Also, sticking to the 'source material' doesn't necessarily = good. Lots of things don't translate well into movies, the medium of comics is different. For an example, look at how good Sin City was: they took the most important things in the comics and then turned them into something workable on film. You can't just lift something entirely and plonk it onto a moviereel and expect it'll work because it'll please the pedantic fans.

I think the complete opposite.

"What's his motivation"? Isn't it blindingly obvious? It's highlighted numerous times throughout the film. At first he seeks retribution for the killing of his parents, then he aims to clean up the city which his father had a large hand in.

A lot of people dismiss the Bruce-Rachel relationship as nothing more than a love interest but it's more than that. Her character sereves to remind him of his family's values and the way things used to be, just like Alfred does only she strikes more of a nerve as she's his childhood friend and someone who he can relate to that little bit more, possibly due to being the same age.

I agree with "sticking to the 'source material' doesn't necessarily = good" thing though, but find it strange that you use Sin City to back up that claim. It literally was the panels of the comic up on screen, hardly an adaptation at all really. Batman Begin took the essence of the Batman mythos and presented in movie form. A much better way of adapting.

I also think the way it preys upon the general climate of fear at the time it was released and is deliberately aimed at doing so is pretty abysmal, not to mention completely talentless.

But Batman himself is based on fear, right from his very first issue. Bruce chooses the bat as a symbol as "criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot" (or words to that effect). Fear is the very reason for Bruce dressing up as a bat rather than just dishing out his own law while wearing a bandana to hide his identity.

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Read The Dark Knight Returns.

I have read it, and it's surely irrelevant, as it's about OLD Batman. Nice try, though.

I should probably clarify my position as not thinking of Burton's stuff as the definitive adaptation, but as the best film in general.

Nothing has so far really been how I'd like a live-action Batman to be. He's either lanky and a bit minging like Keaton's, or a shortarse dimwit like Bale's.

Why can't they just make Batman a really huge, meaty dude who mastered the sciences and martial arts in order to fight crime? Is that so hard?

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I have read it, and it's surely irrelevant, as it's about OLD Batman. Nice try, though.

Why does it make it irrelevant because it's about an older Batman?

He uses practically the same Batmobile. And if they took the inspiration for the Batman Begins Batmobile from the greatest Batman story ever told, then that's fine by me.

Nice try though.

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Yes. If they could have some little references to The Killing Joke that would be amazing. The end of BB implied the Joker had already been tranformed so it may be the case that they don't tie Batman up with his Red Hood origin.

I'd love them to do the torture of Comissioner Gordon on the fairground ride. There definately needs to be some midgets in there somewhere.

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Why does it make it irrelevant because it's about an older Batman?

He uses practically the same Batmobile. And if they took the inspiration from the Batman Begins Batmobile from the greatest Batman story ever told, then that's fine by me.

Nice try though.

It's all about practical stuff. Burton's Batmobile looked fancy but highly impractial, unlike the tank used in Begins. Same with the armour. Keaton looks like a knight from the middle ages in that thing. It takes him ten minutes to turn, let alone fight.

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I think the complete opposite.

"What's his motivation"? Isn't it blindingly obvious? It's highlighted numerous times throughout the film. At first he seeks retribution for the killing of his parents, then he aims to clean up the city which his father had a large hand in.

Yeah but I didn't find it believable. The situations, Bale's mongoloid half-smile expression... none of it seems to make sense, especially for such a rich orphan. I think it's just personal taste, really, I much prefer Burton's Batman, his restrained emotion...

A lot of people dismiss the Bruce-Rachel relationship as nothing more than a love interest but it's more than that. Her character sereves to remind him of his family's values and the way things used to be, just like Alfred does only she strikes more of a nerve as she's his childhood friend and someone who he can relate to that little bit more, possibly due to being the same age.

Again, personal taste I think. Just felt a bit tacky, underused and not quite right.

I agree with "sticking to the 'source material' doesn't necessarily = good" thing though, but find it strange that you use Sin City to back up that claim. It literally was the panels of the comic up on screen, hardly an adaptation at all really. Batman Begin took the essence of the Batman mythos and presented in movie form. A much better way of adapting.

Sin City was several stories interweaved in order to produce a coherant movie, totally aside from the graphical style, hence why I used it as an example. Sin City benefitted from being very cinematic in the first place, but could easily have been fucked up if it wasn't understood what exactly the comics were trying to do.

But Batman himself is based on fear, right from his very first issue. Bruce chooses the bat as a symbol as "criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot" (or words to that effect). Fear is the very reason for Bruce dressing up as a bat rather than just dishing out his own law while wearing a bandana to hide his identity.

That's different to the plot being a terrorist attack on a major city though. Pretty ham-fisted.

And on and on in circles. Personal preference. Hope the next one's better anyway, I do like Batman...

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Yeah but I didn't find it believable. The situations, Bale's mongoloid half-smile expression... none of it seems to make sense, especially for such a rich orphan. I think it's just personal taste, really, I much prefer Burton's Batman, his restrained emotion...

Again, personal taste I think. Just felt a bit tacky, underused and not quite right.

Sin City was several stories interweaved in order to produce a coherant movie, totally aside from the graphical style, hence why I used it as an example. Sin City benefitted from being very cinematic in the first place, but could easily have been fucked up if it wasn't understood what exactly the comics were trying to do.

That's different to the plot being a terrorist attack on a major city though. Pretty ham-fisted.

And on and on in circles. Personal preference. Hope the next one's better anyway, I do like Batman...

Yeah, I agree. Personal tase will obviously factor heavily but I still feel some of your complaints are somewhat inconsistent. I mean, you ask for Batman's motivation and how it's not really believable in Nolan's version, but I see a lot less motivation and believability in Burton's movies. I appreciate that your have your preferences and I have mine but your criticisms of Begins seem a little nit picky.

The Sin City stories interweaved in the comics, long before the movie. I still stand by saying the movie did nothing more than add motion to the comic. There was no real "translation from comic to screen", just putting the comic panel up on screen. The comic served as storyboards for the movie, that's how true it stayed to the source. True, the comic is very cinematic already but it's not just visuals that need to translate, it's the dialogue too and that's where Sin City suffered I think. Some comic dialogue just doesn't work when spoken by real people on screen. Batman Begins nails merging the fantastical with reality I think, not just in terms of the physics of the story but also character motivations.

As for a Batman plot involving a terrorist attack on a major city, that pretty much sums up almost all supervillains evil plots.

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Vemsie, you're doing awesome in this thread. I'm loving your input so far, man. I agree completely.

Cheers, man. I just love the bat. More people deserve credit though, people on both sides of the fence. Especially Herbs, who makes some great points I think.

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To all those people calling the BB Batmobile slow your hugely mistaken it's actually a very fast car and during filming they needed to get faster cars for the cameras to be mounted on for the high speed chases as they couldn't quite keep up with it. It's actually an amazing feat of engineering how it works. When american car companies were shown the design nolan was told it couldn't be made, but a bunch of british guys had a shot and came up with a scorcher.

Put it this way if i pulled up at some traffic lights and a veyron pulled up one side and the batmobile on the other i'd be staring at the batmobile a lot longer.

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Isnt the Batmobile from BB similar in design to the one from Dark Knight Returns? It worked in that and that one novel has been credited for reinventing the whole Batman franchise.

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Isnt the Batmobile from BB similar in design to the one from Dark Knight Returns? It worked in that and that one novel has been credited for reinventing the whole Batman franchise.

I pointed that out in my defence of it further up. I think it looks great.

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I love Batman Begins - up there with X-Men 2 and even The Incredibles as one of my favourite superhero films - but the last act is definitely the weakest. I preferred the smaller-scale intimidation sequences to the big pyrotechnics. That last bit is also where most of the jokes - quite well-balanced for most of the film - are transferred to Gordon, who becomes a bit of a buffoon, which I didn't like.

Although I haven't read many stories with him in it, Scarecrow is one of the most fascinating comic book villains. Much better than Mysterio. :( He was great while he was in the film.

I hated the fight scenes where you couldn't see anything.

Although in most cases I definitely agree, there is one fight scene where I genuinely think the editing style was appropriate; that being the scene at the docks, which is from the criminals' point-of-view and really should be disorienting. For the others (especially the climax on the train, between two equally-skilled fighters), I agree - I want to see what's going on! Especially since the DVD featurette on the fighting implied that it was a pretty spectacular style they were using, Keysi.

Regarding Tim Burton's 1989 film, I rewatched part of it when it was on TV a while ago, and there was something about it that I didn't like. I wasn't sure what. I've always preferred Batman Returns, but even that, though great fun, is far below Batman Begins as far as I'm concerned.

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I love Batman Begins - up there with X-Men 2 and even The Incredibles as one of my favourite superhero films - but the last act is definitely the weakest. I preferred the smaller-scale intimidation sequences to the big pyrotechnics. That last bit is also where most of the jokes - quite well-balanced for most of the film - are transferred to Gordon, who becomes a bit of a buffoon, which I didn't like.

I didnt see it like that at all. To me he was just an average plod who was in way over his head and dealing with things the best way he could with a hint that he could possibly manage to cope. If they do a few films it will be interesting to see how he develops into the Commissioner.

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At least BB actually got Batman right as a character.

Balls. I liked Begins, but it didn't get Batman close to right. It took away much of his genius and his drive and handed it to other characters. Batman's fundamental craziness is his inability to cross the line. He won't kill, and he won't leave someone to die. He won't allow people away with crime, even those he loves. And he won't obviously give away his identity to a piece of skirt. Hell, they didn't even make it a difficult choice. And he won't break his promise to his parents. It's more than that. He can't. His triumph and his tradegy is his inability to break his own rules. The first animated movie handles this much better.

Also DKR? You make 4 90 minute films for each book, obviously.

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I'm amazed at Paradigm's idea that Nolan's Gotham lacked style and atmosphere. It looked fantastic. I liked Burton's Gotham, but it was a bit hokey and too twisted. I didn't believe it could be a real city. The art deco stylings of Nolan's city are gorgeous, though. Indeed, I thought Gotham was star of the (very good) show.

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Paradigm is right though, the city was devoid of character and that was my number one critiscism of the movie when I first saw it (other than the poor pacing).

I'm watching the animated series again and it's fan-fucking-tastic. Wonderfully designed with a flair that just wouldn't be achievable in a live-action film. Batman's characterisation was great too, if a little light-hearted, but that's forgivable given that it's aimed a young kids.

And guns fire bullets rather than lasers! Surely the only cartoon of the 90s to do this?

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I'm amazed at Paradigm's idea that Nolan's Gotham lacked style and atmosphere. It looked fantastic. I liked Burton's Gotham, but it was a bit hokey and too twisted. I didn't believe it could be a real city. The art deco stylings of Nolan's city are gorgeous, though. Indeed, I thought Gotham was star of the (very good) show.

I didn't find it was very art deco at all, really. It didn't seem to have any defining architecture - it was just a flat-pack modern city in the dark. The whole reason Burton's world worked was because it wasn't like a real city at all, it was a kind of pastiche of various styles from our past transplated into a pseudo-future (or past - you can't really tell).

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I'm amazed at Paradigm's idea that Nolan's Gotham lacked style and atmosphere. It looked fantastic. I liked Burton's Gotham, but it was a bit hokey and too twisted. I didn't believe it could be a real city. The art deco stylings of Nolan's city are gorgeous, though. Indeed, I thought Gotham was star of the (very good) show.

Definately, although I'm not really sure I know what art deco should look like.. The grimy monorails leading towards Wayne Tower; the packed-in slums; all steam rising from sewer vents.

And I really got the feel that there was an 'undercity' beneath all those overpasses and bridges; seems like a strange choice, but I really liked Roman's restaurant hangout. Buried under dark passagesways and girders; looked awesome.

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Definately, although I'm not really sure I know what art deco should look like.. The grimy monorails leading towards Wayne Tower; the packed-in slums; all steam rising from sewer vents.

Do you mean the second sentence is art deco? Or are those sentences unconnected?

Did no-one notice the cgi shots of the city? Like I said, it's impossibly built-up.

Bizarrely so, to me, aye. As if one company could never have held even a firm grasp on the city. All a bit OTT.

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I can't remember minute details of the set, because I only saw it twice, but I was getting very strong art deco vibes, particularly off the architecture of Wayne Tower and the design of the monorail.

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Seems to be a matter of tatste in the end. I thought the city in Begins looked very believable, whereas the one in Burton's films looked way too theatrical. It really felt like you were moving from set to set in those.

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