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David Poland

By David Poland

Review-ish: The Dark Knight Rises (spoiler-free)

I will see the film again on Tuesday and I intend to write in greater depth after that screening. But just to get a few ideas on the record..

The Dark Knight Rises is, finally, the best of the Nolan Batman films. For the first time, the 3rd act is the best act in the film. Some may feel that this is because there is some form of “conclusion,” a word you should not try to parse before seeing the film. I feel it is that Nolan finally allowed himself to make the movie he’s been after twice before.

In fact, you would not be unfair to argue that The Dark Knight is somewhat superfluous after this film, in which Nolan finally clears out the pesky comic book movie from his consideration of power and capitalism and the danger of losing contact with your core beliefs, on whatever side of the argument you live.

That is not to say that there’s not a ton of comic book in this film. Nolan has raised the cool stakes, usually without falling into the trap of showing off his costly toys too gaudily. This is another beautiful production. And I am not sure, 100%, which filmmakers Nolan is riffing on this time. The last time, there was a lot of Friedkin and Frankenheimer, writ huge. This time, it’s a little more Lumet, with more than a hat tip to Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers.

This film has, shockingly, a lot in common with this summer’s Spider-man reboot, in that there is a lot of talking, thinking, reconsideration, and for a very dark film, pleasure. I suspect there will be a lot fewer boo birds this time around, as this is still a piece of Nolan and it doesn’t ask fans of the series to reboot, so much as allow Nolan to fulfill his intellectual interests. Interestingly, this is, by far, the most emotional of Nolan’s films. The other comparison – which some will hate – is Matrix Revolutions, which fulfilled the filmmaker’s idea of what the series was really about, it was less satisfying for viewers who wanted it to come to a proper, cheer-inducing end. Nolan was not that self-indulgent. The close – which is loaded with spoilers – is powerful and audience generous (some will surely think way too generous). But unlike the Wachowskis, Nolan is no Buddhist… he’s a great artist and a pragmatist.

In fact, to sort out the politics of this film – which are much, much more complex than the incomplete themes of TDK – demand a second viewing to sort out.

None of this is to say that The Dark Knight Rises is a perfect film. It is certainly the best of the superhero movies this summer, mature in a way that Amazing Spider-man could become, and making the amusing, showy burlesque of The Avengers look as minor as it is. TDKR is too long, getting lost a little in the 2nd act, throwing so many things (including cameos) at the wall that the best of the new ideas can get less love than they deserve. But once the third act starts cooking, it pushes to the close with the best of the big movies.

Caine & Oldman get handed some really great moments here. Bale has more to carry than in TDK, reminding how terrific he was in Batman Begins. Anne Hathaway isn’t the traditional Catwoman here… but the role gets better and better as the film moves along. Joseph Gordon Levitt carries a lot of exposition and though he is terrific, he is part of the bogged down section of the film. But he’s put away boyish things and does great by Nolan. Marion Cotillard feels shoe-horned into the film most of the way, though she is lovely and interesting to watch.

Tom Hardy as Bane (whose dialogue tracks have been cleaned up since the IMAX event a few months back) is very Bond villain. I think they did the right thing with the character and Hardy is a true, pure heavyweight, but Bane spends most of the film as distant as a character as Heath Ledger’s Joker was intimate. One of the reasons why Bane is distant is the complexity and political nature of the screenplay. Like I wrote, I think they went the right way with the character, but it doesn’t make for the clearest iconic memories.

The Dark Knight Rises is the movie a filmmaker makes after they have earned the freedom to break the mold and to reach for something bigger than the franchise. Some people love that. Some people hate that. I am in the former camp.

More on Wednesday…

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204 Responses to “Review-ish: The Dark Knight Rises (spoiler-free)”

  1. Geoff says:

    Wow Dave – I happened to be up late and it seems that you’re the FIRST one to post their review, sort of….

    It’s heartening to see you give an unqualified rave to a Chris Nolan movie for the first time in a few years!

    I am damn curious to hear more about Coutillard as I have yet to hear one line of dialogue from her in any of the dozens of trailers/commercials there have been for this film. Many folks disagree, but I really loved how Nolan used her in Inception….she was sexy, creepy, and dangerous at the same time in that role.

    Another thing I’m curious about is the location work – admittedly I’m biased, but Nolan really used Chicago well in the previous films. Does he get the same kind of effect out of Pittsburgh and lower Manhatten?

  2. Drew McWeeny says:

    One observation, and a major difference between this and “Matrix Revolutions”.

    This is absolutely a case of Nolan doing what Nolan wants with the full support of the studio. He thought this over, did what he set out to do, and they backed him the whole way.

    Because of the hugely mixed reaction to “Reloaded,” the Wachowskis, Silver, and Warner Bros. radically rethought much of the structure and content of “Revolutions,” and although it was already shot, they did some fairly invasive surgery to the final film so that it represents neither the pure vision of the Wachowskis or the commercial desires of Warner Bros. It is truly a hobbled final chapter because of a huge moment of corporate panic.

  3. Sloan says:

    Drew. Spill. At least a little.

  4. Dude says:

    Really enjoyed reading what you had to say, thanks for posting!

  5. JS Partisan says:

    Showy? Burlesque? Minor? Oh David, you surely still are missing out, and IT’S A COMIC BOOK MOVIE! People wanted a comic book movie, and Marvel gave them what they wanted. I have no idea with the ending of this film, if this is what the people want. Nevertheless… EIGHT YEARS!

  6. Geoff says:

    Drew, I’m right there with Sloan – I TRULY disliked Matrix Revolutions….it always seemed quite chopped up and as if they threw out a bunch of content and loose ends from ‘Reloaded (which I loved) to make it a more conventional war movie.

    You do have me very curious….what was filmed that they thew out? And was this as much Joel Silver messing with things as Warners??

  7. SamLowry says:

    Looks like Dave may have unintentionally tossed a stink-bomb into the theater by mentioning Revolutions. Yick, just yick: creating a pointless distraction by replacing the deceased Gloria Foster with yet another old black woman even though the Oracle could take any form, trying to convince us that Neo has superpowers in “the real world”, pointless philosophizing, trying to fight computer-controlled weapons with human-controlled weapons (who do you think will win?), and the looooooong death of Trinity…wow, what a turd.

  8. jesse says:

    I’ll go to bat for Revolutions (while simultaneously chomping at the bit for more info on what would’ve been changed; Drew, did you really think you could mention that and not have the next 12 comments ask for more info??). I can see why people don’t love it, but I’ve always had affection for it. I’m sure some of those changes, whatever they were, didn’t help, but at the same time, it has a little less in the way of Architect gobbledy-gook (I love the train-station scene and it feels a lot more human and thought-provoking to me than a lot of the Architect stuff), less more-Matrix-action-but-bigger stuff, and a lot of cool character moments (like Trinity seeing the real sun/sky for the first time).

    And on a pure visceral effects level, I love the crazy robot-human war and the glimpses into the ruined real world above-ground and lots of crazy stuff in that movie.

    That may also be why I didn’t dislike Mockingjay (the book) as much as many others seem to. In both Matrix and Hunger Games, the second installment is very much the first one writ much larger with some additional twists, and feels a little unwieldy; and then the third one, in both cases, is pretty different from the original — and I appreciate that.

    (Also, in both cases, the first one is so markedly superior to the sequels that it actually goes back around and bothers me *less* that the sequels aren’t as good, because, OK, the Matrix stands alone perfectly. The sequels therefore don’t “ruin” it at all. I just like them less, albeit still a lot. NBD.)

  9. etguild2 says:

    Nice review! Excited to see this, and I could see how Cotillard seems forced as a connection to BATMAN BEGINS. At least they didn’t bring back Scarecrow again!

    On MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, agree with the above comments, though I never got to see the ending, as, quite fittingly, the film in the theatre I was in caught fire during the final fight scene with Smith and the picture ripped in two. I give that ending 5 stars.

  10. Jason B says:

    I agree with Jesse, I’ve always enjoyed Revolutions. Disappointed if what Drew says is true. It would be great to get the Wachowski’s true cut someday (though that probably will never happen).

    I find it interesting that sometimes the public admonishes film makers for making sequels more of the same and then when the film makers stick their necks out there for something different in the sequels, can still get killed. I know the outcome may not be pleasing to everyone, but I love when film makers challenge with the sequel(s) and that is why I loved Reloaded and Revolutions.

    Am excited for TDKR (loved TDK) and hope Nolan continues to challenge and take it up a notch.

  11. Altough TDKR seems gigantic, at this moment I don’t think It’ll win over The Avengers at the box office. Hope I’m wrong.

  12. David Poland says:

    I didn’t want to address is in the review-ish, since I am now trying to consider the mosh pit and how to grow past it… but I expect this will be a lower grosser than TDK. Not by a ton. But I think it’s less of a visceral thrill ride, more of a thinker and that there will be less repeat business as a result… and it could also cost it a bit overseas.

    But if TDKR “only” makes $900m worldwide, that’s hardly a sad event on any level and we will still have the movie, which is really what’s important.

  13. SamLowry says:

    etguild2, just imagine that it had a truly awesome ending and you’ll die happier than the rest of us.

  14. etguild2 says:

    Well, since it isn’t in 3D, one has to think that even if it “only” gets to $180 million this weekend, at least it will draw more eyeballs.

    The running time also gives it an uphill battle…20 minutes more than AVENGERS and 12 more than’ve got to think each theatre loses 1-2 screenings a day.

    SamLowry, for a few seconds when the reel caught fire I thought, these are brilliant special effects, they really jump out at you. From what I’ve heard, you’re right, I’ll keep it that way.

  15. hcat says:

    “At least they didn’t bring back Scarecrow again!”

    Someone’s going to be a little disapointed.

  16. SamLowry says:

    Oh my, a Clerks-flavored spat revealing just how non-heroic a real-life Batman would have to be:

  17. JS Partisan says:

    TDK-R, even with that ending (and seriously, that ending is the repeat business killer), should do exceptionally well overseas. International has matured a lot in the last 4 years (Somewhere, Cameron nods his head, and screams, “THANKS TO ME!”), and that should help the film cross the billion dollar mark rather easily over the next two weeks.

  18. sanj says:

    DP – your actually prepared to sit through 3 hours of this again ? or doesn’t it feel that long …are you doing another review because you have to or because you want to compete with the other 1000 reviews of the movie out there ?

    would it beeen a good idea if they waited for a big movie festival to open this movie – like wait 2 months for tiff 2012 to come around and show it real movie fans ? most of the cast has been to the festival before …
    not sure if they would have had it on time for comic con it for free to everybody …

    i’m waiting for dvd/bluray .

  19. Jason B says:

    Joker is THE batman badguy and with Ledger’s performance, took TDK to another level. I could see TDKR doing slightly less than TDK domestically (still about $400-450M), though doing better internationally to reach and pass $1B worldwide. If it does, then it should not be considered a “failure” (even $900M is good).

    Curious if others see the media playing that way (i.e., less than TDK domestically is an automatic failure)? I would think if TDKR gets less than $400M, then the disapointment bells would (and maybe should?) ring. It seems we’ve passed into the realm where $400 is the new $300.

  20. jesse says:

    Yeah, under 400, I think there will be people crying disappointment… and not necessarily without cause. Hunger Games was able to hit 400. And the movie is expensive enough that making 350 would not be hugely profitable for the studio (I mean, more worldwide would get it there, but I don’t think WB budgeted whatever they budgeted assuming the movie would hit 350). 300+ is nothing to sneeze at, of course, but after Dark Knight, it would be a little odd for a Batman movie to do about the same as a Transformers or Pirates sequel.

    Then again, only 14 movies have ever done 400+ so maybe it would be silly to scoff if DKR does “only” 380.

    Figure it has to open to at least 180 if not more, and its second weekend faces no big action/adventure competition, which should give it 80-90 unless people really despise it. That alone should get it to 300+ before word of mouth really even sets into it (though I’m a bit of a word-of-mouth agnostic; this business about Friday attendees spreading big word-of-mouth as soon as the next day strikes me as impossible to quantify at best, ridiculous at worst).

    Assuming those first two weekends, even a collapse in August (which doesn’t seem all that likely to me) puts the movie pretty close to 400. So 450+ seems pretty damn likely to me.

  21. Jason B says:

    Just realized that if TDKR reaches $400 domestically, that would make 3 for the year (Avengers, Hunger Games) – a record and quite a feat. Wonder if we could get any more.

    And I had forgotten that TDK had reached $1B worldwide (I thought it had finished just under), so TDKR should surpass that and probably get to $1.2B worldwide, which would place it #5 alltime.

  22. Jason B says:

    I meant to say it should get to the Top 5, not that it would necessarily be #5 (I hope it does better)!

  23. etguild2 says:

    $400 million is a lock…and is the bare minimum. With inflation, this movie would have to lose 32% of TDK’s audience to miss that mark. Among recent third installments of blockbuster franchises, with inflation, PIRATES was -27%, TRANSFORMERS was -18% and even the execrable SPIDEY 3 was only -19%.

    The only big franchises of the last 20 years to be off that level were SHREK THE THIRD (-33%) and of course, MATRIX and JURASSIC PARK. Given that TDK is one of the top 4 DVDs of all-time, I think it’s safe.

    @JasonB, THE HOBBIT will also easily get to 400m. All of the LOTR films are there with inflation, and HOBBIT has the added benefit of 3D and IMAX.

  24. JS Partisan says:

    I am not sure about “The Hobbit” domestically, but internationally it should be solid. The reason why I am not sold on “The Hobbit” domestically, has a lot to do with me rarely coming across a 20 something who liked that trilogy.

    Yes, anecdotal evidence, but these people are spot on about other things. LOTR does nothing for them, and that makes me wonder about the film’s earning potential here in the US. Abroad, it will do F-U money, and probably has a hell of a shot at a billion.

    That aside, TDK-R should be able to get 500m. It’s at 600m, where things get complicated because of August. The Avengers literally had disappointing release after disappointing release in May, and August looks a bit more solid. If it can get to 600m, that would be amazing, but it will need a huge weekend.

  25. jesse says:

    What else are those 20somethings you come across “spot on” about in terms of box office predictions, JS?

    Personally, LOTR does almost nothing for me. Just not me thing. The Hobbit looks a little more fun but also kind of cornball in that Jackson way that for some reason his fans don’t think of as being anything like George Lucas. But I digress. I am in the VAST minority among my peer group (which is late twenties/early thirties). Pretty much everyone I know really likes, respects, or outright LOVES those LOTR movies.

    I could see Hobbit not making 400 domestic simply because even though it’s probably a more accessible story, it also feels less epic and serious and necessary than LOTR, which got more intense as it went along.

    JS, I’d also say that August doesn’t look all that solid in terms of competition: a Bourne without Damon; a Total Recall that even if a relative hit will probably only make 120 or 130?; comedies from Ferrell and Streep which will probably do well but won’t hurt Batman any… that’s compared to a new Burton/Depp movie and the return of Will Smith. Not that May’s movies really put up much of a fight against Avengers (and I bet either Dark Shadows or MIB could’ve found an extra 30-40 million with a better release date)… but I don’t see the comeptition in August as more formidable. I’d say Dark Knight Rises has to contend more with the end-of-summer quiet-down period. Avengers had Memorial Day Weekend as its fourth weekend in theaters: a time when a lot of people can go to a lot of movies. And then it was still getting plenty of attention in June as schools were getting out. By the second half of August, even decent-sized hits aren’t making TONS of money, and Labor Day weekend is no Memorial Day/Fourth of July in terms of box office. All of that (and the lack of Ledger buzz) will make 600 pretty tricky.

  26. etguild2 says:

    Huh. I’m a 20something and 90% of my friends loved LOTR. Go figure.

  27. chris says:

    Mightn’t the nearly-three-hour running time make it take a little longer for “Rises?”

  28. JS Partisan says:

    Jesse, different parts of pop culture from video games to the Criterion collection, so they aren’t exactly a bunch of idiots who hate movies. They love movies, but LOTR doesn’t do much for them. I love the frigging things, so it will be cool to go back to that world again. It’s trippy that they do nothing for you Jesse, given that they are apparently so important to people your age.

    That aside, you are right about the quieting down period Jesse, but TDK-R has decent competition for three straight weeks. It also has to deal with the Olympics, and that could really slow everything down box office wise until the weekend of the 17th of August.

  29. Jason B says:

    I agree on $400M for TDKR (I even think around $500M), but nothing is a sure bet as Cars 2, Panda 2, and Pirates 4 are some recent examples that underperformed expecations. Just being cautions.

    I would love to see Hobbit get $400M but looking at original realeases (not counting re-releases), most $400M domestic earners were released in Summer. The outliers are 2 Cameron films. So I think Hobbit has to basically be a phenomenon to get $400 during the holidays and I am not sure of that.

  30. david iles iii says:

    The best judge of a franchise film’s potential is the reception of its successor. Call it the goodwill effect, though it can be degraded over too long of a span of time). Domestically, the LOTR films increased their box office every film ($377m at the end), a feat quite the opposite of the Spiderman films. The final film was also received very well by critics and the viewing public. Evaluating the Hobbit’s potential draw by referring to it’s current marketing campaign is ridiculous; there will be at least two more trailers.

    and whoever said that TDKR looks to have less of a visceral thrill than TDK has obviously been asleep in their cave while that film’s marketing campaign proceeded.

  31. Yancy Skancy says:

    Well, one thing’s clear: TDKR will make a lot more money than most films, but possibly not as much as some others. Take that to the bank!

  32. LexG says:

    Two things for sure:

    1) With no other big movies to discuss and TDKR mania pro and con, this is going to be the most boring two weeks of movie-geek discussion ever.

    2) Much like with Prometheus, I guess we’ll get the real tale of the tape in about four, five weeks, once the backlash and the rage-lash sets in, no matter how good the movie is. As with Inception, the Nolan Fanatics AND the Nolan Haters WILL ruin this for me, for you, for everyone. Right now it’s all WHOA RT IS 90%, 5 stars in Empire, blah blah blah. Three weeks from now we’ll still be having Anghus and JS or whoever writing these four-paragraph screeds talking the movie to death.

  33. Paul D/Stella says:

    I would rather see Savages than TDKR and hope to catch it this weekend. I look forward to discussing it with myself.

  34. Christian says:

    How can I sleep not knowing whether TDKR will make two million dollars more than THE AVENGERS!

  35. etguild2 says:

    There is another really good film out there right now LexG. Check out EASY MONEY. Already being remade in America.

  36. LexG says:

    I was STOKED for EASY MONEY because I dug the visual style of SAFE HOUSE, I like Kinnaman, I like the trailer, and it sounds right up my alley…

    But it’s playing in ONE theater in LA on the total other end of town and my 23-year-old car can go about 2 miles at a time in the summer before the engine catches fire from overheating.

  37. Paul D/Stella says:

    Easy Money looks great. Another one I can’t wait to see. Easy Money and Savages seems like it would make for a superb crime drama double feature.

  38. anghus says:

    Five Star Empire reviews are not any benchmark.

    Jackson’s King Kong got 5 stars.

    So did Superman Returns.

    And I love how the guy who spends eighty percent of his posts talking about jailbait and suicide has the balls to criticize the quality of the posts in here.

  39. jesse says:

    See, I vastly, vastly prefer Jackson’s King Kong to any of his LOTR movies.

    And Superman Returns to most of the Marvel Studios movies, save maybe Avengers.

  40. anghus says:

    I thought both Jackson’s King Kong and Superman Returns were bloated.

  41. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah Lex, I am willing to throw down about this movie before even seeing it. Why? Can’t tell you, but it’s a point of contention that I have had with the movie, for months now.

    I will always be a Nolan fan, even if these aspects somehow work in the movie, they will always bother me like parts of Raimi’s Spider-man films, and that alone makes me hope for a reboot in 2015. Bats doesn’t do that. He never does that. Having him do that, makes me want to have some guy scream, “BETRAYAL.” It’s that bad, but I do not expect, assume, or hope any member of this blog will agree with me.

  42. MeMyselfAndI says:

    The fire has risen for months and is finally here! As is the answer to the question hounding my existence.

  43. LexG says:

    Wouldn’t all the Nolan Batmen be better if they didn’t have Batman?

    If he was just fighting crime in some bomb-ass Vincent Hanna BLUE SPORT COAT and Kurt Russell pompadour instead of those STUPID BAT GADGETS? Everyone looks vaguely dorky on those BIG MOTORCYCLES, they’re TOO LITERAL and not fun at all… Hathaway in particular looks RIDIIIIIIIIIIICULOUS on that motorcycle.

    They should all have like 1969 Dodge Chargers and Plymouth Barracudas with bad-ass spoilers and just have it all be CRIME SHIT instead of SUPERHERO SHIT.

    There’s no such thing as superheroes. Except THE PUNISHER, because he doesn’t do any stupid bullshit.


  44. anghus says:

    I think the problem with your scenario js is that you presume upon how Nolan is telling his story. And you’ve done it without having seen the film.

    Those are two separate thoughts. The second one, I’m fine with. Lots of people make assumptions and presumptions sight unseen.

    But the whole EIGHT YEARS thing is just bad fanboy/armchair posturing. You’re making an argument that Christopher Nolans take on Batman, who some would argue is the single greatest interpretation of the character in any medium, is not as faithful to the character than your own. That’s a little weird.

    How many years had Bruce not been Batman in The Dark Knight Returns?

  45. JS Partisan says:

    The Punisher turned into Frankenstein’s monster last year. Seriously, you need to go to Golden Apple, and get an education, son! Also, Anne Hathaway could ride a dinosaur, and look awesome on it. Seriously, your whole line of reasoning questioning this, annoys me, and makes me want to shake my fist at you XD!


  46. etguild2 says:

    KING KONG, I thought was bloated, but in a good way. It was like gorging at the candy store. I’ll always love LOTR, but Return of the King, with its ten thousand endings, may be one of the most bloated movies of all time. And the extended version is 40 minutes longer!

    LexG you forgot the most DREDDED superhero of all.

  47. LexG says:


    Can someone tell me conclusively if that is Olivia Thirlby (LOOK AT HER) or Camilla Belle (LOOOOOOK AT HER) in the new Dredd? They morphed into the same person at some point.

  48. Rashad says:

    Revolutions is a masterpiece, on par with the first.

    Lex: It’s Thirlby. Look at the eyebrows

  49. anghus says:

    I’m a fan of the Matrix Trilogy. It is currently my favorite trilogy, warts and all.

  50. Christian says:

    Revolutions is Ridiculous. Let’s build giant suits of battle armor that fully expose our bodies. Now DANCE! Love the Wachowski’s ambitions but THE MATRIX did not need to be a trilogy. SPEED RACER however is a flawed wonder.

  51. Razzie Ray says:

    Revolutions is train-wreck bad. I think the second one has its moments, but man the third, especially the denoument with Agent Smith fight, is dreadful. I was a film student in college, and The Matrix came out my freshman year and no film (Fight Club’s close) caused more discussion with my classmates about what movies could do. We were all fascinated by the ideas in it and riveted by the action. I graduated before Revolutions rolled around, so couldn’t quote what we all thought, but yeah what a wasted opportunity.

    It was said somewhere else too. AVOID Corliss’s review like the plague. Major Spoilers.

  52. LexG says:

    Speed Racer is one of the worst things ever concocted in the history of time, on par with New Coke and the band 311.

    That fucking FAT KID AND MONKEY. Just awful. SO embarrassing. Only good thing was Ricci looking REAL YOUNG, and I like Hirsch, Porter and Fox. And The Christopher Hitchens Guy.

  53. Christian says:

    A FAT KID AND MONKEY are always hilarious.

  54. JS Partisan says:

    Anghus, seriously? That’s very cool.

    Wow, Corliss like Poland insults the Avengers, because there’s nothing in the Avengers about loss, and dealing with it. It’s also so bloated with his elation over a film, that ignores one thing. One thing, that is core to the understanding of the character of Batman, and one thing Batman would never ever do. What is that? He NFQ.

    Ignoring this for any reason, no matter how the movie sells it, is ignoring the betrayal of the character as he has been written by pretty awesome writers including one bald man, who could teach Chris a thing or two about Bats. It’s the core underlying principle of the character and betraying that for any reason, is a fundamental failing.

    This does not mean I go into this film with horns against it, but I do go into this film needing to see the reasoning behind the eight sad years. Even if it works in the movie, that does not change the fact I will want a reboot as a fan of that character, in order to wash away the taste of him Q.

    ETA: Seriously though, the guy who brags about “Owning all of the Franchise films on DVD,” is giving “Speed Racer” shit? Really? Get the fuck out of here XD!

  55. anghus says:

    ” What is that? He NFQ.”

    Except in The Dark Knight Returns, considered to be the single most influential and revered Batman story in the history of the character. You know, the one where he quits for ten years and is only brought back by the rise of a criminal threat large enough to prompt his return.

    So your EIGHT YEARS rant seems kind of pointless when the character has already employed this behavior, and employed it in the most iconic and popular take on the character.

  56. JS Partisan says:

    It’s funny you site that comic, because you have pretty much summed up people who love these films: graphic novel buyers. Go read a floppy, realize Bats just broke his body against the Owls and never thought of giving up, then come back to me. “The Dark Knight Returns?” Really? A graphic novel about an old ass Batman, and not this movie’s Batman. You know, the Batman whose been Batman for like a YEAR AND HALF! Seriously Anghus, I stopped caring at, “most iconic take”, because that’s not even true. Goodness gracious.

  57. Yancy Skancy says:

    JS, didn’t you go batshit when DARK KNIGHT got snubbed for a Best Picture Oscar nod? Now I’m wondering how you’ll take it if RISES gets Oscar love while THE AVENGERS is shut out. 🙂

  58. BrittD says:

    I’m torn on even bothering to see Dark Knight Returns. I really like all Nolan’s non Batman movies, and Batman Begins was tolerable. The Dark Knight was awful. Heath Ledger just seemed like he was doing a bad Giovanni Ribisi imitation. I only watched it the once, but I remember sitting in the theatre watching a superlong chase scene between really large, slow vehicles, some unlikely globe hopping, and some not-yucky-enough Harvey Dent disfigurement. I feel like when people talk about the Dark Knight, I didn’t even go to the same movie! If it gets up to 95 degrees again, I may pay to go see DKR, just to have a cold beer and sit in the AC for three hours.

  59. anghus says:

    JS, your arguments are so easy to kill. They practically come with a bullet in the chamber.

    “Dark Knight is a graphic novel”

    Actually, it wasn’t. It was a four issue limited series. I have all four original issues. It wasn’t released as a graphic novel until a few years later. While i’m schooling you in comic book history, Watchmen was also a comic book before becoming a graphic novel. So was V for Vendetta and most other great stories of that era. Graphic novels were not the preferred release method for comics back then.

    You know why you suck at these arguments? Because you make statements based on your limited knowledge and/or opinion on a subject. Had you been around when the Dark Knight Returns came out, you would have known it was a four issue series. You allow your perception to warp reality.

    You dismiss ‘graphic novel buyers’, not even realizing Dark Knight returns wasn’t originally released as a graphic novel.

    “realize Bats just broke his body against the Owls and never thought of giving up, then come back to me”

    I read the entire Court of Owls storyline. It was fun. To compare it to The Dark Knight Returns just goes to show that you are into whatever is the newest incarnation of a comic or character. Just like Raimi’s Spiderman films were great until you saw Webb’s version. You are a card carrying member of the cult of the now. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it makes you predictable to the point of absurdity.

    “I stopped caring at, “most iconic take”, because that’s not even true. Goodness gracious.”

    I don’t see how you any sane, rational so-called fan can argue that point, since The Dark Knight Returns is cited as the most influential and iconic take on the character, the inspiration behind so much of the iconography that has existed since it came out in the mid 80’s.

    The Dark Knight Returns set the groundwork for the entire modern era of comics. It transformed the perception of Batman and gave us a brooding, darker hero. Everything related to Batman since it’s release has been influenced by it: The Comics, the movies, the animated series.

    And your counter argument is the Court of Owls? Laughable.

    You can find people who would talk about Long Halloween or Year One being seminal Batman stories, among the best ever written. But both of those only existed because of The Dark Knight Returns, from storytelling to artistic influence. To dismiss it’s impact on the character and the culture of comics shows that you’re either a) ignorant or b) a contrarian.

    You act like you understand Batman as a character better than Christopher Nolan. That’s fanboy armchair posturing my friend.

  60. etguild2 says:

    “Except in The Dark Knight Returns, considered to be the single most influential and revered Batman story in the history of the character.”

    Stop right there! There is no way “Dark Knight Returns” tops “Batman: Year One.” A lot of fans would also argue it isn’t as iconic as “The Killing Joke” or “Arkham Asylum.”

    Speaking of which, BATMAN: YEAR ONE was originally going to be the series reboot, directed by Aronofsky, but abandoned in 2000 for BATMAN VS SUPERMAN which was shucked for BATMAN BEGINS.

    Anyone else think that BATMAN: YEAR ONE is the inevitable re-boot, and that Aronofsky, who supposedly finished the script with Frank Miller in 2000 (and ironically approached Christian Bale to play Batman), passed on WOLVERINE, possibly to return to do this? What fanboy wouldnt see YEAR ONE?

    Then again, BATMAN VS SUPERMAN might be DC’s last chance to assemble the Justice league…

  61. anghus says:

    “Stop right there! There is no way “Dark Knight Returns” tops “Batman: Year One.” A lot of fans would also argue it isn’t as iconic as “The Killing Joke” or “Arkham Asylum.””

    Yes, you might find pockets of comic fans who would tell you that they prefer Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum, or Year One. I’m partial to Year One myself. Dave Mazzuchelli’s art was fantastic and the storytelling was amazing.

    But again, you can’t let personal preference get in the way of reality.

    Year One, Killing Joke, and Arkham Asylum would not have existed without The Dark Knight Returns. These are stories that came to be only because Frank Miller changed the perception of the character for comic fans and creators alike.

    Dark Knight Returns is cited as the influence for almost every Batman story that came after it. It was the re-birth of the character. You can argue there are better Batman stories. You’d be silly to argue that there is one more influential or iconic to the character.

    Do i really need to make the argument on the relevance of this story when we’re talking about Nolan’s films which use The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises as titles, which clearly reference the iconography created with The Dark Knight Returns. It’s not like people were throwing around ‘The Dark Knight’ with Batman prior to the release of the series.

  62. etguild2 says:

    Yes, you do;)

    I understand what you are saying, and it is like saying BATMAN BEGINS is the most relevant movie for setting the basic tone for what is to come. Undoubtedly true, but it doesn’t make it the most relevant story overall.

    I would argue that BATMAN: YEAR ONE took the template of RETURNS and expanded it exponentially, and is what grounded the subsequent comics more firmly in the realm of the possible. It reaffirmed him as a guardian of Gotham against plausible evil, not going up against Superman.

    There would be none of these movies without YEAR ONE, because it sets them in the realm of plausibility.

    “Dark Knight Returns,” also comes off to me at times like an inferior “Watchmen.”

  63. anghus says:

    “Dark Knight Returns,” also comes off to me at times like an inferior “Watchmen.”

    Again, you’re judging strength of story. I’m talking influence. I’m talking relevance. You’re talking which story you think is better. One argument is subjective. You think story a is better than story b.

    The other argument is subjective, but since ever major comic creator cites Dark Knight Returns as the reinvention of Batman and the most influential Batman story, it’s a difficult point to argue.

    On top of that, Year One was written by Miller. Do you think he would have gotten that gig without Dark Knight Returns.

    “it is like saying BATMAN BEGINS is the most relevant movie for setting the tone for what is to come.”

    Im not sure where you’re going here. It’s not what i’m saying at all. What i’m saying is, and i’ll isolate it:

    The Dark Knight Returns is the most influential and iconic Batman comic ever made.

    In terms of story, in terms of character design, in terms of the aesthetic of Gotham, in terms of how Batman stories were written. Every single Batman story that came after it was directly influenced by it, including Year One, Arkham Asylum, The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween which would not have existed before Frank Miller re-invented the character.

    That’s not just my opinion. Comic creators from Jeph Loeb to Jim Lee will tell you that everything Batman from the movies to the tv shows to the comics are living in the shadow of that work. Read Alan Moore’s introduction to The Dark Knight Returns. It does far more justice to the work than i ever could.

    Whether you like the story or not, you can’t argue the influence.

  64. JS Partisan says:

    Yancy, it’s four years later. Some of us move on, and the Avengers happened. If TDK-R gets nominated for anything, that’s a Jim Broadbent situation. Nolan deserves some accolades, even if it’s for a movie where Batman quits.

    anghus said:
    July 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    “JS, your arguments are so easy to kill. They practically come with a bullet in the chamber.”

    Anghus, you can’t even come up with a cool put down to my “lame arguments”, so please stop it. It’s embarrassing, but it figures you would use a gun reference. You are such a man. Now the RESPONSE!

    Seriously, I owned Dark Knight Returns floppies. It rose to prominence, like Watchmen, as a graphic novel. Again, had issues of both and if you actually remembered worth a damn, then you would remember how many copies DC sold of each as trades. They continue to matter because they are trades.

    You continue to have an uncanny ability, to misinterpret the easiest points. I am using “graphic novel buyers” as an example of a fan of this movie, because they are too good to buy a floppy. A floppy and what it contains is “below them”, so they buy the trade because it’s a “book.” It’s snottiness of the highest level and if you read one TDK-R review, you will know this snottiness pops up again and again in comparisons with “The Avengers.”

    Again, you can’t comprehend the easiest statements. I referenced the Owl storyline, because he never quits. That’s the reason, and stop with trying to label me. Seriously, you judging me for an evolving opinion is bullshit. The Raimi movies always annoyed. Always. Nolan’s films are much better than Raimi’s, but there is a better way to tell a Batman story. If you disagree, then you haven’t read as many comics as I have.

    There you go referring to me as “insane” because I dare to disagree with you: some white guy from North Carolina, who likes the Matrix Trilogy for reasons not involving, birth, life, and death. Disagreeing with you must make me the worst person on earth, but come the fuck on. “The Dark Knight Returns” had a sequel, that killed any mystique it’s predecessor had left. It absolutely killed it, and there have been better Batman stories. “Batman Beyond” is even a better story about an older Bruce Wayne. You are just praising a book that any modern comic fan or Batman fan, will point out to you how lacking it is, and don’t get me started on it’s fan service in terms of the treatment of Superman.

    I am also dismissing it, because Grant Morrison is better writer. Ethan brings up “Year One”, and that’s better story. It’s fine to be in the cult of that book, but it’s never been a story anyone I know has ever took as anything more than a Frank Miller story. It’s not the Batman of today, written by Morrison, whose a better writer. Again, insult me all you want, BUT IT’S MY FUCKING OPINION.

    Your last point demonstrates where you lack inference, about anything. I have read Batman books long before I turned double digits. If you really believe after all that time, I have no idea who the character is and what he stands for; then you are full of it. You are absolutely full of it, and I will even go as far as to state Farci knows better. Why? He’s a life long fan as well. Being a fan means paying attention, and the fact you act as if I have not my entire life is where you demonstrate your bs agenda against fandom.

    Oh yeah Ethan, seriously, those two post are tremendous, and on point. Anghus siting those three creators is funny, but I am still going with Grant Morrison any day of the week. You are also siting the influence of a 30 year old book, while ignoring that it’s 30 years old. Morrison and even Nolan have more influential Batman stories right now, than anything Miller has written in a long time. Seriously, referencing Mr. HOLY TERROR as being influential in the 21st century, is rather fucking hilarious.

  65. David Poland says:

    Why in God’s name would anyone expect The Avengers to even be considered for anything other than effects? Seriously!

  66. etguild2 says:

    Moore’s intro is in the collected edition, and I understand your point. I don’t dispute that RETURNS is revolutionary in terms of comic book style, structure, etc.

    But RETURNS also existed as a stand-alone comic. I don’t agree with you on setting aesthetic, especially as much of RETURNS doesn’t occur in Gotham. And I disagree that story template isn’t as important as structure and styling. Just as Joseph Campbell paved the way for thousands of storytellers, YEAR ONE paved the way for the stories told thereafter.

    DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is a unique storyline, which involves a unique and completely separate universe from what follows YEAR ONE.

    In terms of the movies…Nolan and Goyer based BATMAN BEGINS as an amalgam of YEAR ONE, HALLOWEEN and ARKHAM ASYLUM and repeatedly refer to YEAR ONE as the reasoning for not having fantastical storylines and characters like Penguin.

  67. etguild2 says:

    DP, on first impression does TDKR deserve a nomination in the 9-10 picture field we’ve seen for Best Pic in the last few years? Setting aside speculation that this year is much stronger…

  68. Joe Leydon says:

    Is there a scene where we find out that THIS is the Bane that Mitt Romney worried about being tied to?

  69. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, that’s why you are awesome.

    Let me also add: “Batman: The Animated Series” has been more influential, than almost any other Batman related property. Dismissing it in anyway, makes you a person who is dismissing it, but it does not make you crazy. It does make you a person who should check it out, because it’s that influential of a series.

  70. anghus says:

    ” Morrison and even Nolan have more influential Batman stories right now”

    How can something be influential right now?

    Influence requires time. Something desperately lacking in the cult of the now you so desperately cling to.

    And i don’t dismiss the animated series at all. But again, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm will tell you much of their aesthetic for the animated world of Gotham came from Dark Knight Returns and Year One.

  71. martin s says:

    Back this train up.

    TDKR is an undeniable blend of DK Returns, Knightfall and No Man’s Land, with some Year One Catwoman tossed in.

    I saw the first two parts fitting Nolan’s vision years ago, but the aspects of Returns, while they work, are off-kilter.

    I understand the decompression of time from a story perspective as it plays into ideas from Begins, but at the same time, it really does throw the overarching theme of escalation off its pace.

    That, in a way, is where I agree with JS; Batman doesn’t stop. And if the idea of TDK was Batman gave birth to sycophants and lunatics, and the whole thing is a viscious cycle, then there wouldn’t be a lull in crime.

    A sub-point of Begins and TDK was Batman and Scarecrow/Joker shared a mutual interest; eliminating organized crime. TDKR shortchanges that with the leap. The only reason I can think of, is yes, to play on the legend theme from Begins, but also, that Nolan simply wanted to wrap this fucker up so WB couldn’t come back and do Returns as a fourth shadow chapter. By using Returns themes and visuals, WB really doesn’t have squat to pull from the book for a stand alone project.

    A part of me says Nolan wouldn’t do that, but…TDK is actually Goyer’s original story outlines for two sequels jammed into one film because he (Nolan) wasn’t signed for a third. So it’s not hard for me to see the same thing happening again. The original idea was Knightfall/NML and then Returns slowly wedged in as a way to replace the “Batman Reborn” plotline of Knightfall.

    I think the consensus will eventually be Nolan should have created one story over two films, ala Breaking Dawn, and it would have given his ideas time to breath. IMO, he had enough material and time to create a better structure with one film as Dark Knight Falls and another as Returns/Rises. The motivation to jam them into one I hope he answers some day. In a strange way, it’s the opposite of Prometheus.

  72. etguild2 says:

    @Joe, I hear Bane makes a significant impact on the stock market.

  73. JS Partisan says:

    Ethan, TDK and Begins have been very influential as Batman stories. Begins even gets referenced every single time a reboot is done correctly, and that’s the influence.

    Morrison has been writing Batman for years, and almost all of his stories are some of the best Batman stories. He’s been doing it at the same time as Nolan, and that’s why they are both influential in terms of Batman storytelling, but probably not as much as Bruce Timm and Paul Dini.

    Martin, very good points, and apparently Nolan uses “The Dent Act” to explain the lull in crime. This makes no sense what so ever, because crime never stops. You get the criminals off the street, new criminals rise up, and take their places. Having Batman quit due to psychological trauma, is a betrayal of the character in several mediums. Batman never quits, he never stops the mission, but Nolan believes he would. He’s telling the story he wants to tell, but much like Raimi with Spidey walking away from MJ, that sort of decision requires a reboot. Nolan movies will never be shit, but they are very much like Burton’s films: their own thing, and their own world.

  74. martin s says:

    I am also dismissing it, because Grant Morrison is better writer.

    And now I have to question if you’re on meds. Morrison will not outlast nor have the lasting impact of Frank Miller.

    Let me also add: “Batman: The Animated Series” has been more influential, than almost any other Batman related property.

    That, is absolutely true. Dini and Timm saved DC’s ass from ’92 – ’05. If not for them, the Superfriends would still have more recognition than the Justice League.

    On a sidenote, DWA buying Classic Media is sleeper big. I know CM’s library pretty well. Very complicated ownership issues, but big upside potential. 150 could easily turn out to be a bargain.

  75. JS Partisan says:

    Damn it, Martin! We were getting along, and then you threw it all away XD! I love Morrison, but again it’s an opinion. I am not throwing in your face, but Miller diminishes himself with each new work.

  76. anghus says:

    Lets see where Black Glove, R.I.P. and Batman Incorporated rank among the best Batman stories in ten years. Im guessing it will still fall well short of DKR, Year One, Killing Joke, Long Halloween, Hush, Arkham Asylum and about a dozen others.

    Back to the films.

    I was watching Batman Begins tonight and i started to wonder.

    Why was Ducard/Al Ghul on the train at the end?

    My first thought was “to activate the microwave device”. But it was made pretty clear when the league of shadows stole the device that anyone could activate it. Two goons activate it on the boat before they took it.

    For a guy who talked about minding your surroundings, putting yourself on an enclosed train with no way off seems like a pretty stupid plan, especially considering anyone could have pushed the button.

    Edit. Oh man, people are so wonderfully dumb. Found this on a website talking about DK Rises from some guy named Matt Clark at

    “It should be noted that at least one other review has said this movie is not good as its predecessor, “The Dark Knight,” which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger as “The Joker”

    Really. It was nominated for Best Picture?

    God the internet just sucks sometimes.

  77. JS Partisan says:

    DKR hardly ranks high today. Most people would put “Year One” over it. TDR, while exceptional for it’s time, ceased being the most influential part of the Batman canon the moment TAS hit the air.

    Ra’s also does not fear death, for a reason. You know why that reasons is, and I wonder if Nolan will touch on it with his last film? It’s funny that these people forget all about “The Reader”, and what happened on that day in January 2009. The freaking Reader. Good lord, but the internet does not suck. It’s not all or nothing, but you love to act that way. I have no idea what fandom did to you, but people make mistakes. It happens.

  78. SamLowry says:

    If Arkham Asylum is iconic for anything, it’s for being the first emo graphic novel. I believe the line used to mock it, even if the line isn’t in the comic, was “I’m bleeding, and I smell oranges.”

    Yes, people mocked it soundly back in the day, and I remember one account of a comics legend who got ahold of an advance copy and would call his buds to read a few pages; by the end of the reading both were roaring with laughter.

  79. martin s says:

    Damn it, Martin! We were getting along, and then you threw it all away XD

    Ha. I thought that when I posted it. I made good by crediting you with Winter Soldier, already.

    I’ve been trying to come up with a reason as to why Nolan created such a bizarre structure for TDKR, and the only answer I have from an artistic angle, is the element of surprise.

    If he did make two films, and one was called DK Falls, we all know what to expect, just as we would know what to expect from a second chapter titled DK Returns/Rises. Nolan likes the element of surprise, and nobody knew WTF to expect from TDKR until last week.

    But, even if that was his reasoning, it was a mistake.

    Nolan had the chance to do something very few properties, especially superhero ones, have the opportunity to do; have the bad guy win at the end of the movie.

    I mean, what other way could you really top TDK, then end with Bane victorious and Batman destroyed? The fact that you could have a movie where the bad guy wins would be something Marvel could never match. It really would have defined the brands more than any other tactic WB tries to come up with.

    And it’s not like Nolan didn’t have the footage or storyline to carry two movies. He easily has a 180 Minute cut right now. Another 20 – 40 minutes, and you’ve got two chapters near two hours. You could have added another 20 alone on Catwoman.

    And I’m having a hard time getting past the irony that Nolan, who openly admires Ridley, mirrored the problems of Prometheus. With Ridley, for the first time in his career, he opted not to focus on a singular hard-structured film and expanded the story for at least one, maybe two sequels. By leaving that much on the table, Ridley polarized the audience. With Nolan, it’s the opposite. He focused so hard on a singular standalone film, it forced him to compress arcs, themes, plots, etc… while decompressing the narrative too fit it all into one box, which at 165Min, is bursting at the seems. I’m interested too see if it turns out to be overload for the gen pop audience.

  80. SamLowry says:

    While I’m not surprised about the kerfuffle at Rotten Tomatoes, I’m baffled by the following from the Editor in Chief: “If a critic often goes against the majority, but has well-reasoned arguments, it’s unlikely we’re going to ban them, at least not just for having a different opinion.”

    Why would they even THINK about banning a critic just because their review “goes against the majority”? Just how craven must they be to allow the possibility of caving to the majority, WHICH HASN’T EVEN SEEN THE MOVIE YET?!?

  81. etguild2 says:

    There was a big brouhaha over Armond White. White claims Rotten Tomatoes banned him for “Jack and Jill” before the movie was even released, because he considered it a comedic gem comparable to the 1946 classic “Cluny Brown,” and stated that Sandler’s work is on par with classical Greek comedy. Rotten tomatoes denied it, saying it was because he changed publications, but perhaps this is reason for the skittishness.

    Regardless, this is another reason METACRITIC>Rotten Tomatoes. No flame wars, 40 generally respectable publications, weighted reviews so the reboot of “Star Trek” isn’t ranked above every best picture winner of the last decade….

  82. SamLowry says:

    The comments below Marshall Fine’s review are ludicrous enough–only 3 of the 28 are willing to give him a listen while the rest are furious that anyone would dare besmirch a film composed entirely of fantasy, screened inside their heads dozens of times before its actual opening yet still more than deserving of every Oscar ever crafted.

    And if the real movie doesn’t match their fantasy, then destroy anyone foolish enough to point that out.

  83. anghus says:

    Yes JS. It doesn’t rank high at all.

    Dark Knight Returns #1

    Time magazine’s 10 best Graphic Novels: Dark Knight Returns is the only Batman story on the list.

    Wizard Magazine’s Best Trade Paperbacks of all time

    3. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
    6. Batman: Year One

    Just to show im not leaving out any of the major lists, here’s IGN.

    1. Year One
    2. Dark Knight Returns

    So you’ve got Forbidden planet, Time Magazine, Wizard Magazine (which i know is about as relevant as a box of hammers), and IGN. Mainstream media/pop culture places. And 3 out of 4 have Dark Knight Returns ranked higher than Year One.

    So JS, who are “most people”? Where are these people? Can you provide anything other than your usual malformed opinion?

    “but people make mistakes. It happens.”

    you should translate that into latin and use it as your mantra.

  84. Joe Leydon says:

    etguild2: Actually, I rather like

  85. etguild2 says:

    Time magazine is a credible source? In that case I’ll see you your Time and raise you an MTV which has Year One at #1 and Returns at #4.

    Many other geek sites like Comic Vine, Capeless Crusader, whatculture and UGO rank Year One higher but I think the partisan arguments for both are fairly uniform.

  86. Joe Leydon says:

    I think if diehard comic book fans knew how many people still associate Batman primarily (if not exclusively) with the ’60s TV show, they would cry.

  87. SamLowry says:

    I’d be surprised if any of them are younger than middle-aged. And when they start dying off, all knowledge of the TV show will go with them.

    (Sure, some weirdos in the future might try to hunt down old TV shows, but the numbers will likely be consistent with the percentage of people who bother to look at the extras on a DVD: 1%)

  88. LexG says:

    I’m 40 and I knew Batman from ADAM WEST then Keaton/Burton, and the subsequent Schumacher and Nolan movies. Never read a comic book of ANY kind in MY LIFE, no idea what YEAR ONE is or BEYOND or any CARTOON SERIES.

    It has always been WEST, KEATON, and so forth. I would say WITH UTTER CERTAINTY that this is the case for 95% people on this planet of ANY AGE. Hell, the TV show was six-seven years before I was born, and I grew up aware of it and watching it in reruns and the West/Ward movie on TV. I don’t know anyone except like 100 die-hard DORKS who know about ANY of this other book and comic book and cartoon stuff. Never heard of it, DON’T CARE.

  89. Joe Straatmann says:

    “So you’ve got Forbidden planet, Time Magazine, Wizard Magazine (which i know is about as relevant as a box of hammers)…”

    Considering I worked as an intern in the Wizard magazine conglomerate around the same time one disgruntled employee wrote a message to the entire staff in the bathroom……. using HIS OWN SHIT, yeah, a lot of qualifiers should be used when referencing a Wizard list.

  90. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “Joe Leydon says:
    July 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I think if diehard comic book fans knew how many people still associate Batman primarily (if not exclusively) with the ’60s TV show, they would cry.”

    …with possibly more to come. About a month ago WB opened up the 60s TV Batman for licensing across all consumer goods categories.

  91. Yancy Skancy says:

    The 60s TV show airs on The Hub, which used to be Discovery Kids. I have no idea if it’s watched by 4 people or 4 million, but it’s out there.

  92. anghus says:

    “Time magazine is a credible source?”

    In the pop culture pantheon, there really is no thing as a ‘credible source’, just popularity. Though i would give credence to Time magazine over MTV merely based on the medium and longevity. So, yes, i would take Time magazine over “The Snooki and Teen Mom” network. Though again, it’s pop culture. Legitimacy is really not a factor in this argument. We’re talking about influence and iconography, not literary criticism.

    And etguild2, there are surely arguments that could be made for both, however i think the lynch pin is this:

    Dark Knight Returns came first. It changed the culture of comic books. It created an environment that allowed Year One to exist. I don’t know if Year One would have come to fruition without Watchmen and DKR. It may be a better story, and yes, it it certainly the foundation for twenty years of Batman comics. But it doesn’t exist without DKR.

    Maybe we just need to change the statement to: Frank Miller created the most influential and iconic Batman stories of all time.

    As for the TV show, it’s hard to argue it’s influence. There are lots of people whose first impression of Batman was formed by Adam West. In terms of pop culture, it was influential to a level that almost doesn’t exist in this modern world where characters have a half dozen iterations in any number of mediums. Hell, the Sunnyvale, CA Whiskey-A-Go-Go (not the more famous West Hollywood one) changed their name to Wayne Manor in 1966 based off the success of the T.V. show and they petitioned the city to change the name to Gotham.

    It is funny how many iconic and successful iterations Batman has had. The 1960’s tv show was huge. Keaton’s Batman was huge, and The Dark Knight was huge. Three very different takes on the character and three extremely successful adaptations spanning fifty years. How many characters have that kind of lifespan?

    Bond. Batman. Maybe Sherlock Holmes though the other than the Robert Downey Jr versions i can’t remember an era where Holmes was a media darling.

  93. Joe Leydon says:

    Think about how many times over the past 40-plus years you’ve heard or read something on the order of “Holy hyperbole, Batman!” in every article connected to The Caped Crusader. Now tell me the ’60s TV show isn’t still influential.

  94. Joe Leydon says:

    Anghus: I would add Tarzan to that list. And maybe — no kidding — Godzilla.

  95. JS Partisan says:

    Anghus, TDR is iconic for it’s time, but it’s not held up over the years like “Watchmen.” Comparing it in anyway to a work by Alan Moore, even if Alan Moore praises TDR, is ignoring a lot of the general thought about TDR. Again, you have made a solid case, but there are others stories and animated series, that have been as influential on the character as you find TDR to be.

    I also have no idea why we are still ignoring this one point: TDR Batman has a career. He retires as an old man. The Batman in Nolan’s trilogy, retires after a year and a half as Batman. How is that not categorically stupid? He quits because of psychological trauma, and that’s in character for BATMAN? Really?

  96. jesse says:

    JS, it’s almost as if Nolan has made three movies that interpret Batman in a certain way, rather than trying to average out every aspect of the character seen in the comics over the past 30-40 years (because, you know, there are also years of Batman doing stuff in the comics that would make you — and me, a pretty big fan of the comics version — say “THAT’S NOT BATMAN!!!”).

  97. anghus says:

    I’m not arguing the impact of the 60s show. For a lot of people its the first and most defining impression of the character. I know a guy who wrote a book about adapting Batman to tv and film and the title:

    Holy Franchise Batman!

    Tells you everything right there.

    Jesse, that’s the nail on the head: the presumption that a fanboy has a better understanding of the character than the guy who has written and directed the most successful adaptation of that characters story.

    Js, were not arguing. Some of us are debating the topic. You’re repeating your opinion repeatedly without citing examples or providing anything to back up your position.

  98. jesse says:

    And I’m sympathetic to wanting to see your favorite comics character adapted right. I don’t really love Burton’s first Batman movie because it doesn’t really sit right with me as a Batman fan — but that movie also has problems of its own. But while Batman Returns also takes major liberties, it really does a great job with certain aspects of the character, as does Nolan’s. Neither of them is the fully rounded portrait. But I can’t expect years and years of comics to get wrapped up into one. Why do you think so many Batman comics and cartoons have done the “kids sitting around talking about their encounter with Batman” story where each one is done in a different style/tone?

    So yeah, that does make me less apprehensive about a new version of Batman in four or five years or whatever… but it also doesn’t make me weirdly EAGER for one to come out and somehow replace the Nolan movies.

    In a weird way, the exact thing that gives me trepidation about a lot of these too-soon redos — that attempt to protect the brand — is exactly what I’d worry about in doing another Batman too soon. So far, most Batman movies have been events, which is pretty cool. It will be harder to maintain that if you have a new one out three or four years after the Nolan trilogy finishes.

  99. anghus says:

    Jesse, well said. That episode of the animated series is a perfect example of how Batman transcends perception.

    We live in a world where Nolan films, Burton’s films, the comic book and four different animated interpretations create an ever changing, nearly perpetualy changing take on the character.

  100. JS Partisan says:

    Anghus, stop trying to me put down (Malformed opinion? You are a man who wouldn’t know “inference” if it bit you on the ass, or even what to do with it. This is where you really show you know jack shit about jack shit), and could you pay attention? This is not a debate. This is an argument, because one side (YOU!!!) is trying to force something on people, that has not been true for at least a decade. I also have cited examples, do I need footnotes? TDR 2 pretty much ruined the mystique of TDR. If you doubt that, then you don’t know how to google, and obviously ignored the response when it came out.

    What shows you to have a genuine grudge against fandom, that you are taking out on me, is this nonsense: “Jesse, that’s the nail on the head: the presumption that a fanboy has a better understanding of the character than the guy who has written and directed the most successful adaptation of that characters story.”

    You mean a guy whose admitted to not really caring about the history of the character? That guy? Seriously dude, this is where the rubber and the road do not meet, because you are acting as if fans cannot have inferred opinions about characters they love. Didn’t you defend the Phantom Edit, but someone daring to disagree with Nolan’s take on Batman is a bridge too far?

    So Lucas gets a “fuck you,” while we all have to bow down to Nolan’s take on a character, that he has readily admitted to ignoring the history of said character to tell his own story? You’re a hypocrite, and stop giving me shit for your anger with fandom. It has nothing to do with me, you lack the ability to infer shit about me, so please stop acting as you know me. Do I respond to you as if you are a friend? No, then stop thinking you have any knowledge about me, except a very limited knowledge gained from text on a screen.

    Jesse, Batman in the past killed guys, but the character has evolved over time. There are exceptional stories, four animated series, and countless animated movies over the last two decades, that feature a Batman who would never quit. The fact that Nolan believes this sort of psychological trauma would make the character give up, has to do with his weirdness with basic human emotions. It’s a very weird take on the character and I hope whomever reboots it, respects Batman’s “Never Give Up” attitude a bit more.

  101. jesse says:

    Batman has also in the past faught space aliens, and had a crime-fighting dog, and traveled through time. It’s not just a question of, oh, yeah, in the very earliest comics, there were differences, but they worked out the kinks. There’s a lot of crazy stuff throughout the comics history. Expecting a movie to sort of work parallel with the comics and take into account all of the “important” stuff (and keep a running list of what is important and what can be tossed) is a little silly. Also: if there have been great comics stories, great animated shows, and a previous series of movies that show Batman not quitting… why is it important that Nolan’s conform to that? Especially when, as you point out, there will be other Batman stories in our future.

    I don’t know, I like that Nolan seems to be interested in telling a finite story about Batman — that’s something you *can’t* do in the comics. And I wouldn’t want that in the comics, because I want them to keep making new Batman comics. But I do feel like it relieves the movies of that kind of tangled, knotty, pointless continuity crap that, in general, has little to do with how good the comics are.

    I don’t mind disagreeing with Nolan’s take, obviously. I just don’t think “in the comics, Batman is this way” can take you the whole way in that argument. It can be a starting place, but you need more than “because THAT’S THE COMICS” as a reasoning. I mean, actually, you don’t need more than that… but I need more than that to find the argument interesting!

  102. anghus says:

    Js partisan believes he understands the character of Batman better than Christopher Nolan.

    That’s all I need to know. That says everything about you: you’re a fanboy with a sense of entitlement.

    You say “Batman would never do that!”

    That’s what fanboys say

    I have no problem with fandom. I go to a couple of comic conventions a year. I have a problem with that weird, obsessive entitlement some fans have claiming that they know better than the writers and creators of a multi billion dollar franchise

    It’s just like Amazing Spiderman. You loved it and therefore you can now “ignore the existence” of Raimis versions. Youve got a very.narrow view of these characters and have difficulty with anything that contradicts your simple view of that character.

    You say “Batman Never fucking Quits”

    That’s a fanboy argument, or a 12 year olds perception. These are not the rational, well formed arguments that smart people have.

    You argue with the logic and reason of two little kids at the playground talking about who would win in a fight: Superman or The Hulk.

    I have no problem with fandom. I have a problem with the fanboy manchild who cannot articulate a point beyond his own limited world view.

  103. JS Partisan says:

    Jesse, that’s not my argument, but that guy’s take on it. Seriously, every DC animated movie, Batman, Batman Beyond, JL, and JLU. Let’s throw in everything from the last five years of Batman in the comics. Seriously, Batman never gives up and the more this gets out there, there will be more people pissed about it.

    Again, I don’t need your support or anyone’s support here, because this is how the character has been for a long time. He stays on mission until it’s done, and never walks away. Dismissing this take on the character in anyway (especially siting TDR that had real reasons for Batman retiring after a long career and not “PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA” after a career of about a year) is ignoring the last 20 years of Batman stories, the Batman most people who will see this film have grown up with.

    Also, if the spoilers are true, then it’s not a FINITE Batman story. It’s a different Batman story, but it’s in no way FINITE.

  104. scooterzz says:

    anghus — quit beating your head against the wall…he will never give up and never concede…you can’t spell idiot without ‘io’…

  105. JS Partisan says:

    Entitled Southern White Man wrote, ”

    Js partisan believes he understands the character of Batman better than Christopher Nolan.

    That’s all I need to know. That says everything about you: you’re a fanboy with a sense of entitlement.”

    A sense of entitlement? Do you even understand what that means? Do you write these post on the shitter? That’s the only explanation as to how you can come up with such ignorant statements. That’s not a sense of entitlement, but a sense of inference. Some people, read about these characters, know their history, and can make an informed statement about them.

    “You say ‘Batman would never do that!’

    That’s what fanboys say.

    No genius, that’s what people with doctorates, masters, and bachelor’s degrees say about the character. People with intellect and inference, state that about the character. You dismissing it in anyway, ignores how people perceive and interpret information, and how you clearly lack the ability to do the same.

    “I have no problem with fandom. I go to a couple of comic conventions a year. I have a problem with that weird, obsessive entitlement some fans have claiming that they know better than the writers and creators of a multi billion dollar franchise.”

    Alan Moore believes he knows better than WB in terms of his franchises. This is where your arguments fall apart because seriously, ALAN MOORE! If you believe in his talents, then do you not respect his opinions about his works that he feels have not been translated properly? You seem to have no idea how entitlement works, and are ignoring how creators of these works have to deal with shit adaptations of their properties all the time. I am sure the guy who created “Art School Confidential,” loved what they did to his comic! This right here, may be the most ignorant statement you have ever posted on this blog.

    “It’s just like Amazing Spiderman. You loved it and therefore you can now ‘ignore the existence’ of Raimi’s versions. You have a very narrow view of these characters and have difficulty with anything that contradicts your simple view of that character.”

    No, that’s what you don’t get at all. I have a wide view of these characters because unlike you: I PAY ATTENTION TO THEM! Raimi’s films never ever felt like Spider-man films to me, but a Raimi film starring Spider-man. It’s my opinion to ignore those films, because they never match the webslinger who I’ve loved since four. You believe that I am like you: limited in my view of things, and that’s not the case.

    “You say ‘Batman Never fucking Quits.’

    That’s a fanboy argument, or a 12 year olds perception. These are not the rational, well formed arguments that smart people have.”

    You are repeating yourself for what? Effect? Really? Again, people with college degrees state as much, and you dismissing them for your own ridiculous reasons that have nothing to do with rational or well informed arguments, is on you. The Batman I have read and watched over decades of my life, never quits, and that’s an informed opinion. Try to have one.

    “You argue with the logic and reason of two little kids at the playground talking about who would win in a fight: Superman or The Hulk.”

    There’s a great animated feature about this, you should watch it, and realize really brilliant people created it. I’d go with Hulk.

    “I have no problem with fandom. I have a problem with the fanboy manchild who cannot articulate a point beyond his own limited world view.”

    This entire fucking post by you demonstrate you are the one with the limited world view, and you are the one who has a hard time with differing opinions. Please: stop insulting 12 years old kids, by making arguments they would not even make. Your problems seems to be, that you think you have a grasp on this, when you are not even close. Come back to me after you give a shit about this, and maybe then we can have a real discussion instead of you trying to insult me as being stupid, when you come across as being boorish.

    Scoot (You can’t spell scatological without some letters in your nick. See? Not even that clever are ya), if my mom at your age, posted such stupid shit on the internet. I’d take her computer away. Seriously, your 70 fucking years old, stop acting like a catty jackass. The one who needs to concede is anghus, but he doesn’t give enough of a shit about anything, to make a rational argument that smart people make. Even though smart people like him in North Carolina, apparently make real stupid decisions, after their smart and reasoned debates.

  106. jesse says:

    And those 20 years of Batman stories that this movie is “ignoring” are themselves ignoring physical/actual reality!

    Which is fine by me. Which is also why “ignoring” some aspects of the past 20 years of comics doesn’t bother me.

    Most people don’t grow up reading Batman comics, anyway. I say that as someone who has read a fair amount of Batman comics. Most people know Batman from movies and TV shows. What you’re saying is as silly as saying Nolan has an obligation to nod towards the sixties TV show because so many people remember Batman that way.

    And thanks for bringing potential spoilers into the mix. I have no idea how the movie ends in a literal way and don’t want to hear about it. I just mean: Nolan obviously wants to bring closure to his three movies and not leave the door open to more sequels. Hence finite. Not an episode of an ongoing Batman TV series.

  107. jesse says:

    Also, I’m not sure you know what the word inference means. I wouldn’t mention it but you misuse it a lot.

  108. JS Partisan says:

    Jesse, use google, look up the word before you double post, because double posting is rather tacky. Also, if the movie ends the way that some say it does, then you cannot make that conclusion about sequels.

  109. jesse says:

    People don’t “have inference.” They might make or have AN inference. They might infer something. They might have the ability TO infer something. But they don’t have inference or a “sense of inference.” And I don’t think people are “inferring” things about Batman never quitting. That’s just observation. That’s like calling text subtext.

  110. Paul D/Stella says:

    Holy cure for insomnia Batman!

  111. anghus says:

    Paul for the win.

  112. Paul D/Stella says:

    Though I should add that I admire your perseverance and agree with your arguments. I’m sure it must feel like you’re banging your head against a wall.

  113. anghus says:

    Thanks buddy. Nah. It’s not like banging my head against a wall. If I didn’t enjoy his crazy bullshit, I wouldn’t waste the keystrokes. He’s an entertaining fanboy and is never afraid to share his poorly formed thoughts

  114. Paul D/Stella says:

    Ha. Better you than me. Entertainment value is subjective in this case. Crazy bullshit indeed.

  115. brack says:

    Good god. He never quits? Well you know what? HE DID!!! Because…HE’S THIS GODDAMN BATMAN!!!

    And if it makes sense for this story, who cares?

  116. Paul D/Stella says:

    This is awesome:

    “Do you think it is accidental that the name of the really vicious firebreathing, four-eyed whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?” Limbaugh asked his listeners.

    “So this evil villain in the new Batman movie is named Bane. And there’s discussion out there as to whether or not this was purposeful and whether or not it will influence voters.”

  117. LexG says:

    The worst thing about Republicans is their annoying hatred of movies. Movies are like religion to me; When I was younger I listened to Rush Limbaugh and thought of being a “conservative,” but time and again I was put off by their OBNOXIOUS “Hollywood’s war on America” bullshit.

    Movies are better than real life, more important than real life, and certainly more awesome than some stuffed-ass CONSERVATIVE politics. EVERY time Rush or any Republican yahoo talks about movies, it’s just embarrassing.

  118. Joe Leydon says:

    Paul: Seriously, you had to know this was coming, right?

  119. Paul D/Stella says:

    Oh absolutely Joe. Few things in life are as predictable. I still find it highly amusing though. Pollster Frank Luntz taking Romney to task for not having a prepared response to a summer movie with a villain named Bane, Limbaugh’s rant, it’s funny stuff.

  120. LexG says:

    Luntz needs to prepare a response to that HORRIBLE FUCKING RUG he wears.

  121. etguild2 says:

    I’m disappointed in Rush. He didn’t make the obvious connection that Bane was inserted into the comics in 1993 by Teddy Kennedy in order to discredit Romney during his run for Senate.

  122. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, just so there won’t be any misunderstanding: Paul D gets full credit for this.

  123. Paul D/Stella says:

    Hey thanks Joe, though that probably wasn’t necessary.

  124. martin s says:

    the presumption that a fanboy has a better understanding of the character than the guy who has written and directed the most successful adaptation of that characters story.

    But – that’s as wrong as it gets.

    Nolan has openly admitted, from day one, he never read the comic, watched any cartoon iteration. He approached it like Wayne was Bond and let Goyer, then his brother Jon, figure it out. He evenly recently admitted to only reading a few certain things, with Long Halloween, Returns and Arkham as his favorites.

    So, yeah, JS does know the character better than Nolan.

    Now, would JS interpretation be as successful? No idea, but it would be more like a Marvel film and not have the depth Nolan goes after.

    What’s funny about this “never quits” argument, is Returns embodies that motif.

    As for interpretations over the decades, the most important one was Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil in the 70’s. If not for them, Batman would have remained a bastardization of the TV show. That version of Batman is the closest we see in Begins. If WB went that route, you could have something different enough from Nolan but not a complete reinvention.


    Paul: Seriously, you had to know this was coming, right?

    Joe, Christian had brought this up once or twice already in HB. It’s been around for months. While Rush is wrong by a mile, it didn’t start with him or Drudge. I know that doesn’t matter a fuck to you, but if you think crediting people matters, then give the nod to Christian.

    Lex is half-right that this is just another demonization attempt, but it doesn’t play anymore. Entertainment is already too fractured for it to matter. The irony is if people on both sides knew who Rush was friends with in “Hollywood”, they’d shit themselves. It’s way beyond Joel Surnow and bunch of second-tier actors.

  125. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I’ve been joking about the Bain/Bane thing for a quite a while with friends. But I was giving Peter his props specifically for offering the head’s up regarding Rush.

  126. Paul D/Stella says:

    Peter? And I totally believe that martin. Few have achieved that level of success and wealth, and I’m sure they hang out at some of the same places with some of the same people.

  127. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, Paul. Hey, I’m typing during commercial breaks in The Ed Show, OK?

  128. Paul D/Stella says:

    I understand. Commercials can be pretty distracting.

  129. etguild2 says:

    Commercials are the bane of MSNBC programming.

  130. anghus says:

    Martin, I would argue that a guy who directed three films about a character has a better understanding of the character than a fanboy who has read a lot of comics. Whether he has read all the comics or not.

    The tourist who has been to Egypt a dozen times probably knows less about the Pyramids than the archaeologist who has studied them in great detail.

  131. Joe Leydon says:

    etguild2: If I see one more sad-ass commercial that tries to guilt-trip me with photos of banged up dogs and cats…

  132. Joe Leydon says:

    And of course as soon as I type that, what pops up during The Rachel Maddow Show?

  133. JS Partisan says:

    Wow, two grown ass men acting like catty hens online. You must make everyone, so proud. So so proud, but one of you not understanding how knowledge works, is hilarious, and rather sad.

    What demonstrates that your argument is pure fucking looney tunes, is the fact that these properties get remade all the time, and that happened with Batman. No one believed Schumacher, who made very expensive Batman pictures for Warners, did right by the character. Fans agreed, Warners agreed, and that’s how we have this trilogy.

    I can go on all day with this shit, but there’s no entertainment value with you or that other guy. Seriously, sometimes fans know these properties better. They just do, and that does not change even if you disagree with it.

  134. Christian says:

    I now own a house of cats thanks to those fucking ads. I’m sending them to Joe.

  135. etguild2 says:

    I think that they’re contractually obligated to play one ad with Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of An Angel” every hour or so for at least 10 years.

  136. martin s says:

    Anghus – I don’t buy that argument.

    A personal example, is I’d embarrass Gareth Edwards with my understanding of Godzilla, which goes way beyond the movies. I’ve actually had out-of-prints Japanese books about the founders of Toho, only available in Japan, mailed to me by third party buyers, and then I translated them. I went deep into WW2 from the Japanese perspective. Edwards hasn’t spent years on this, nor will he.

    But because his name is on the poster, you would say he’s the expert. I guess Emmerich was an expert, also.

  137. Joe Leydon says:

    Martin S: Even so, after seeing Monsters a few times, I bet Edwards makes a kick-ass Godzilla movie.

  138. anghus says:

    “sometimes fans know these properties better”
    “A personal example, is I’d embarrass Gareth Edwards with my understanding of Godzilla, which goes way beyond the movies”

    you and martin are living in a fanboy fantasy world. your knowledge of a topic might win you a game of Jeopardy, but it doesn’t make you understand anything better.

    Again guys, what’s creepy about these arguments is someone sitting in front of a computer claiming to know more than someone directing a film about that character. You can read a thousand books on a subject, but you’ve never told a Batman story, or in Martin’s case a Godzilla story.

    You’re tourists. So am I. And there’s nothing wrong with being a tourist. But there is something really, really wrong with fanboys when they yell at the tour guide that you know the route better than they do. Being a map reader and having actually traversed the route are two different skill sets. You can read a thousand books on climbing Mount Everest. It’s nothing compared to the person who tried to climb it, even if it was only once, and even if they failed. Even Emmerich’s awful attempt would qualify him as a more relevant expert on the subject of Godzilla than “guy who has out of print books about the founder of toho”.

    Answer this question: If someone was doing a documentary on Batman or Godzilla, would either of you be contacted?

    Would Nolan? Would Emmerich (maybe)?

    Maybe Martin if you ran some kind of popular fan site or wrote a book on the topic. Obviously if you translated Japanese books to English you would have some interesting insights.

    Of course you don’t understand that, because you want to feel superior. It’s a natural fanboy reaction. Of course you know better. Martin, you might think you know Godzilla better than Gareth Edwards, but he’s going to understand the character in a way you never will. He will go through the creative process of adapting that character and their story into a film. No matter how many books you read, you’ll never dive that deep into what makes that character work (or not work).


  139. movieman says:

    “TDK Rises” made a believer out of me.
    It’s not only the best of the three Nolan Batflicks, it single-handedly transforms the entire series by virtue of its transcendent nature.
    Hardy makes Bane a fantastic, utterly terrifying villain, and Hathaway is so good as Catwoman she almost (almost) made me forget that my heart still belongs to Michelle Pfeiffer.
    Also loved how seemingly 80% of the movie was shot on the streets of Pittsburgh (a city I know well from my misspent youth when there was actually a plethora movie theaters in their downtown area)
    Levitt is turning into quite the handsome adult lead, and proves that he can topline a super hero flick if that call ever arrives and–spoiler
    alert–the “TDKR” ending certainly points in that direction.
    Caine has a juicier role than he’s had in any of the previous Bat-movies (good for him), Cotillard is dependably fine, Juno Temple remains a scene-stealing delight and Gary Oldman continues to astound.
    Has anyone else noticed how he’s become a much subtler, more restrained actor in his, er, dotage?
    Yes, Oldman was always great, but you saw a lot more effort/noise in the days of “Sid and Nancy” and “Prick Up Your Ears” than you do in the post-“Tinker, Tailor” era.
    The only mildly discordant note was seeing just how old Matthew Modine is starting to look. (Wow, “Birdy” and “VisionQuest” seem like a hundred years ago.)
    I haven’t been as pleasantly surprised (and wowed) by a film that I was, admittedly, highly skeptical of since “Avatar.”
    It’s the best comic book movie since “Spider-Man 2,” and ranks with the two Burton Batmans (esp. “Batman Returns”) as the best screen Bats of them all.

  140. movieman says:

    …a plethora OF movie theaters…

  141. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Would you say I have a “plethora” of pinatas?

  142. etguild2 says:

    MONSTERS is such a good movie….I have faith in Edwards.

    Anghus, I don’t think it’s fair to call someone creepy on this topic. Just because a hack like Emmerich has a track record of making money, doesn’t mean he knows the first thing about a character.

    Gavin Hood featured a wise cracking version of Deadpool that is NOTHING LIKE the character, who is a cancer-stricken, amoral, albeit funny nutcase. If a director wanted to do a DEADPOOL movie, chances are, they would avoid Gavin Hood at all costs. This is part of the reason this movie won’t be able to happen for years…Hood ruined it.

    If Christopher Nolan had to consult either Batman comic fans or Joel Schumacher for his films, who would he choose?

    If the FANTASTIC FOUR reboot director had to either interview Roger Corman (who directed the ’92 ashcan version) or a diehard FF comic fan about the superhero team, who would he choose?

    A director of a franchise property, if he’s shit, can have less cache on the subject than a fan, easily.

    JJ Abrams, not a Trek fan, reportedly got more of his ideas from Trekkies than the previous movies.

  143. Krillian says:

    Comic Book Guy would wipe the floor with all of you with Godzilla, as you are all the Worst. Godzilla Experts. EVER.

    (sips slurpee)

  144. LYT says:

    I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say Batman doesn’t quit because of mere psychological trauma. He quits because after framing himself for Harvey Dent’s death, his presence would only be a distraction for a police force determined to bring him in, keeping them from real crimes.

    If that wasn’t clear from the last movie, Matthew Modine’s character makes it clear pretty early on here.

  145. LexG says:



  146. Paul D/Stella says:

    I stopped reading as soon as I finished with “I don’t think it’s a spoiler,” assuming there’s at least a 50% chance it’s a spoiler.

    Isn’t it also true that diehard comic fans have made terrible movies? Isn’t Mark Steven Johnson a huge Daredevil geek? Not sure if that’s the best example.

    When a filmmaker, Nolan or whomever, is making a movie based on a comic book character like Batman, is it essential for them to know the entire history of the character? Batman has been around for what, 70+ years now? In Nolan’s case, he obviously didn’t need to read every comic book Batman ever appeared in to make a great Batman trilogy.

  147. martin s says:

    Anghus. Open mouth. Insert foot.

    What you failed to understand, is why I did what I did and how it started. It was for documentary work. Some of it was used in a WW2 piece, some of it wasn’t. A larger docu I wanted to produce, about a decade ago, wasn’t possible because of contractual obligations and the sensitivity of the subject on Toho’s part. Their are things, in the studio, in the culture, they do not want to discuss. Without that cooperation, it was impossible.

    But by all means, keep talking out your ass.

    But there is something really, really wrong with fanboys when they yell at the tour guide that you know the route better than they do.

    Being a map reader and having actually traversed the route are two different skill sets.

    You can read a thousand books on climbing Mount Everest. It’s nothing compared to the person who tried to climb it, even if it was only once, and even if they failed.

    Holy fuck is that just mixed metaphoric anger babble.

    Climbing a mountain and being a “tour guide” are not synonymous.

    I think what you’re trying for is the difficulty in producing a finished film is not taken into consideration by those who claim to know a property better than those who just went through the process.

    But that discounts that the property only exists because of the buying audience who came before the film. And that audience only exists because of ideas from other creators who previously “climbed that mountain”, (or whatever other self-aggrandizing self-help tripe makes you feel good).

    So the owners have learned that if you just walk away from what’s come before, no matter how few steps, it can blow up. Not because the audience are all OCD nutjobs, but because the owner spent years reinforcing what this property is and now they’re abandoning it for impermanent and ephemeral reasons.

    Even Emmerich’s awful attempt would qualify him as a more relevant expert on the subject of Godzilla than “guy who has out of print books about the founder of toho”.

    hahahaha…this is nonsense.

    Emmerich, Devlin, Chirs Lee, Pascal, whoever, didn’t understand that by moving Godzilla to NY and making him more dinosaur than dragon, they were remaking Beast From 20K Fathoms. The guys at Toho knew that because it was the original release of BF20KF that motivated the production of Godzilla in the first place. That’s partly why they have clauses about Godzilla’s appearance that have to be met, and Emmerich held to them in as little a way as possible.

    By not understanding what they were working on, they fucked up this property for 15 years and forced Toho to go back into production a decade earlier than they planned. So all this “mountain climbing” lead Sony to abandoned a massive investment and now we’re at a reboot by Edwards that – surprise – follows the original intent.
    Someone at Legendary gets the history. That Godzilla only changed because of Ultraman. Pac Rim is not a coincidence.

    And that’s what you don’t see Anghus. Studios have come to understand this, whether it was because of Murphy on Transformers or Arad with Marvel, that the audience has bought into the property before the movie is made and you can’t deviate too far without breaking that contract.

    When a property exists, especially for decades, no writer or director instantly becomes “the authority”, which you’re bestowing on them. Ang Lee didn’t know fuck-aught about Hulk, just as Martin Campbell didn’t give a fuck about Green Lantern.

    You’ve got nothing, Anghus, Which is why you hold tight to your “creative process” blanky. It’s a fallacy. That’s not my opinion. That’s everytime a property is rebooted after the “creative process” sent the previous filmmakers down a path of self-importance.

    I look forward to reading whatever uninformed personal digs and inane seminar sophistry you want to throw up, instead of, you know, you writing for a living.

  148. hcat says:

    The trouble with these heroes that have been around for half and three quarters of a century is that there are so many versions of them there is NO way to stay true to the character and no matter how the Director interprets the story people are going to get pissed. I guarentee that there is some schlub out there complaining that here we are at Seven Batman features and there has not been a single appearance of Bat-Mite in any of them.

    As for what Martin said above about this possibly being better having been split (and also mentioning that some felt the same way about DK), didn’t Begins and Dark Knight feel a little clunky when it comes to narrative flow? I love the films but in the first two it seemed at least to me that the film would have big setpiece-dead stop-set up next setpiece-action-deadstop at least compared to other action franchises like Mission Impossible which has a quick setup and then slingshots you through the rest of the film. Its almost like Nolan’s Bat movies would work best as twenty minute serials than as full movies.

  149. anghus says:

    Martin, no personal digs here. Your and JS posts represent that sad, angry fanboy entitlement over a character that you believe yourself to be an expert on.

    All those words do nothing more than prove you’re a well read tourist.

    Obviously Ive hit a nerve martin. If I told you you knew more Godzilla than anyone else in the world, would that make you happy? You want to be the prettiest belle at ball.

    These aren’t digs. You have, in writing declared you know more about.Godzilla than the guy helming a Godzilla film. Whether its true or not seems less interesting than the hubris displayed making that claim. Because what it introduces is the weird and creepy conceit that you are better suited to decide what is right or wrong about the various adaptations and different takes on the character.

    That’s fanboy logic. That’s armchair quarterbacking. You’re the guy yelling at the TV that Tom Coughlin should have gone for it on fourth down.

    You’re an armchair analyst. You’re a tourist. That’s cool. Who here isn’t to some degree. But trying to claim intellectual and creative superiority over the guy helming the new Godzilla movie is rabid fandom at its worst.

    I have a question for you though, based on your knowledge of the character. Would it be safe to say that Godzilla never quits?

  150. SamLowry says:

    I wonder if the downhill slide of comics turned into an avalanche when Mark Gruenwald died. Called “the keeper of continuity” at Marvel, “Gruenwald was famous for a perfect recollection of even the most trivial details.” The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe wouldn’t have existed without him, and he was famous for asking for corrections before comics were released because someone got a nitpicky detail wrong.

    Nowadays, everyone is pulling shit out of their asses and smearing it across the page, uninterested in whether it’s right or accurate or even half-way sensible. If it’s “cool” it goes to print, no matter how idiotic it may be (gee, sounds like a lot of recent movies). All the frequent reboots and restarts and reinterpretations and new visions confirm that they don’t care anymore and are just trying something new and shocking to grab some momentary eyeballs before interest fades altogether.

  151. etguild2 says:

    Rex Reed savages TDKR, says Christopher Nolan is directing under the influence, yearns for a Captain Marvel movie:

  152. martin s says:

    Anghus – You really don’t get it. Here’s you earlier.

    It’s nothing compared to the person who tried to climb it, even if it was only once, and even if they failed.

    On that project, I tried and it didn’t pan out. That was your standard. Now, go ahead and change the definition, or discount docu’s as an attempt.

    It’s not nerve, it’s your arrogant belief in process over diligence. No one has the right to ask anyone for a dollar, for any project, if they’re not truly prepared.

    what it introduces is the weird and creepy conceit that you are better suited to decide what is right or wrong about the various adaptations and different takes on the character.

    That’s not what I said, anywhere, at all. You’re grasping for a declarative because if you actually asked a question, you know the answer is not going to fit your preconceived notions.

    This isn’t about right and wrong. It’s about what makes the property it is, and not something else. That’s why I used the BF20KF reference. The failure to understand what made Godzilla different – what the Japanese perspective brought at that time – doomed Emmerich from the start. That’s the same thing JS was stating about “Never Quits”. This was the same points made in the Spidey thread about being the Chosen One. If you alter the fundamentals, you can end up creating a different property.

    trying to claim intellectual and creative superiority over the guy helming the new Godzilla

    Again, where did I say creative superiority? What is intellectual superiority, other than more projection.

    It’s a pretty simple equation. I may know more about Godzilla historically than Edwards, but I do not know more about Edwards Godzilla. There are things I know that won’t have any bearing on his ideas, but if some of those things are about the fundamental structure, he’s fucked.

  153. anghus says:

    So Batman and Godzilla never quit. Got it.

  154. storymark says:

    Im not even part of the conversation, and I suddenly want to stab anghus through my screen for being such a condescending douchebucket.

  155. etguild2 says:

    Back to TDKR….after Rex Reed’s massacre of the film, Kenneth Turan demands the Academy nominate it.

  156. JS Partisan says:

    How am I angry and entitled? It’s not anger. It’s disappointment, really, that Nolan let the Joker win. That’s what happens: the Joker won. The fact that Batman quits in this film, is utterly ridiculous, and puts the film into Schumacher territory.

    My problem with Anghus’ entire argument is: he assumes fanboys are idiots. It’s neither a reasoned or enlightened argument, and it assumes Martin and I are dummies. Sorry, we aren’t, and most parts of fandom can give reasons for their displeasure with things. Are they always great reasons? No, but I wouldn’t state “Batman doesn’t quit,” without a reasoned stance behind it.

    The fact that you believe Martin, a super fan of Toho films, is an angry entitled fanboy, demonstrates how you simply don’t get it. You don’t get that fans sometimes know better, even though you support the Phantom Edit!!! The way Nolan has finished these films, is ridiculous, and it taints the other two films. He did not stick the ending, and I have an informed opinion about the character to state as much.

  157. martin s says:

    I haven’t decided where I fall with this whole TDKR thing yet. I got to watch it again. But I think hcat has a good point about the serial aspect.

    Re: Toho. It was just a strange thing I fell into. I was helping out a friend with some WW2 research and stumbled into this weird area about the effect of cinema on Japan before, during and after the war. When I saw Seven Samurai and Godzilla were released the same year, by the same people, and that Kurosawa and Honda were best friends who were apparently working on both projects together, I was stunned that the story was never told. About 18 months later. the focus just erupted and I was trying to get some agreements hammered out before the 50th anniversary, but it died when there was a realization I wanted to put it into a cultural context and not focus on the usual Godzilla trivia.

    We’ll see what happens with Edwards. If it holds to that trailer, then I might have a chance to revisit.

  158. JS Partisan says:

    Sam: that would be Kevin Feige. Seriously, the man has an encyclopedic knowledge about the Marvel characters. DC on the other hand, is ran by idiots. Seriously, a team full of idiots, that at least give Amanda Conner some solid work.

  159. etguild2 says:

    Boxofficemojo is going full fanboy, and predicting a record-shattering $215 million opening, despite lack of 3D and greater competition then AVENGERS had.

    I think we’re going with around $194 million, which is actually slightly higher than most I’ve seen.

    If it were to somehow hit $215 million, that would be a non-3D opening record that will stand for at least ten years, and quite possibly, all-time

  160. David Poland says:

    etguild… there is no reason to believe that any one-weekend record will stand for all-time… or really, even 10 years.

  161. anghus says:

    If i was a gambling man, i’d say it beats the record.

    I’m not basing this on any logic or mathematical approach. I’m basing it on the death threats being leveraged against critics on Rotten Tomatoes. That level of crazy might be the sign that the ceiling is about to be shattered.

    What i think will be funny is if it doesn’t beat the record and ONLY does $195 million and people somehow find that a disappointment.


    I do enjoy these kind of sound and fury movies that get everyone all worked up. At this point, i’m just hoping i enjoy it, which is probably a mortal lock. Since it’s Nolan’s last Batman movie, i don’t really care how much it makes. Even if somehow audiences universally reject it after the first weekend and it doesn’t come close to the Dark Knight’s level of financial success in a Matrix Revolutions kind of crash and burn, it doesn’t matter.

    The movie is made. The story is done. We got the intelligent, layered, character driven Batman movie that a lot of people thought would never exist.

    And in 3 or 4 months we’ll get to witness the next phase of the anxiety: A Best Picture nomination. An argument so predictable we might as well have it now.

    “Kenneth Turan demands the Academy nominate it.”

    Oh wait, we already are. Maybe it’s a little ballsy to be demanding a nomination in July. Perhaps you could wait until December when the rest of the eligible movies have been released. What if ten movies come out between now and the end of the year that completely blow Dark Knight Rises out of the water? So this asshat at the LA Times is going to draw a line in the sand a declare it winner of the beauty pageant before he’s seen all the contestants?


  162. Joe Leydon says:

    But which Godzilla is the real Godzilla that Edwards would have to know all about? The Original Gangsta Lizard of the late 1950s? The Reluctant Earth Defender? The Bachelor Father? The Kid-Friendly Cartoon Character? The Post-2000 Badass Redux?

  163. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: Missed the local Dark Knight Rising screening tonight because of car trouble. I am in such a mood pocket, you would not believe.

  164. Ray Pride says:

    Joe. Get a Tumbler. You won’t regret it.

  165. hcat says:

    “The Kid-Friendly Cartoon Character?”

    My kid was obsessed for awhile with that Hanna Barberra Godzilla when we came across it on Netflix. Any film adaption without at least 40 minutes of Godzukki capering around will be completely foreign to her.

  166. martin s says:

    Joe – It’s really about the core reason Godzilla worked. The most successful films were when he’s presented as a threat and not a hero. The hero deal only started because the main FX guy really only wanted to do giant kaiju battles, and said one day “screw this, I’m going to TV”. He made Ultraman, which quickly crippled Godzilla’s box office, forcing Toho to drop the pretenses and go into Earth Defender mode, (I like the title).

    So as the returns dwindled, Toho did whatever they could to keep churning them out. Things became a total mess until the mid-70’s, but by then, they were in their last three films.

    The two options for Edwards was a return to the nuclear bomb threat or the sci-fi lace of the 90’s. With Pacific Rim, he didn’t have much of a choice left.

    I’m hoping, with 3D and Imax, he goes full tilt and shows how terrifying the concept can be. If WB/Legendary wants Godzilla to be a hero, I don’t know how that’s going to play with Pac Rim being released before it.

    And if it works, it’s only a matter of time before Godzilla v Kong is remade for 3D/Imax. At this, it’s almost a given.

  167. JS Partisan says:

    Entertainment Value, Nolan should at least get a director’s nom, for Jim Broadbent reasons alone. Even if the movie is god damn awful, it will probably be directed worth a shit.

    Now, why Batman will not top Avengers is: social media. Once the spoilers come out, that’s going to effect things. It’s going to spread like wildfire, and that’s not going to help matters. Many in this blog can disagree with me, but this is not something people expect or assume to get in a Batman film.

    It will probably come very close to 200m, but it’s not like getting beat by the real #2 movie (Just missing around but come on, that Cameron is a sly cat. He knew what he was doing XD) of all time is a bad thing. It’s still a hell of an opening.

  168. Joe Leydon says:

    So my son walks in from the Dark Knight Rises screening and tells me it’s “10 times better than the last one.” Damn.

  169. SamLowry says:

    So how is it possible that people would line up again and again for Avengers when there are no secrets to be had at all, but they’d avoid Batman altogether if the secret is spoiled for them? Is that wild speculation or an admission that Avengers was a wild ridefest while Batman is a boring talkfest?

    I’m just wondering if the fanboys are still threatening to string up any critics who dared to sully Batman. Don’t know if Jon Stewart has come up with a snappy title for it yet, but I’d go for “the Great Fanboy Assplosion of 2012”, or GFAP.

  170. SamLowry says:

    P.S. Well, I just read Tom Kenny’s blog and it looks like the death threats are still rolling in. This may bring the end of internet anonymity as we know it.

  171. Yancy Skancy says:

    Sam: That’s Glenn Kenny. Tom Kenny is the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants.

  172. Paul D/Stella says:

    I don’t know all that much about Godzilla, but if there have been different versions over the years, isn’t it possible that people have different preferences when it comes to which one is best? Or what the true core of it is? And all due respect, so what if a fanboy has an encyclopedic knowledge of a character? Does that mean they would make a better film? That they could write a better screenplay?

  173. SamLowry says:

    Whoops, Yancy–you can tell where my loyalty lies (and I still have a hard time believing he’s the deep-voiced narrator of the Powerpuff Girls).

    And to clarify my comments just before that, they were aimed at JSP, who assumed that folks will stay away from Batman showings like plague-rats have taken over the theaters if they happen to find out that Bane is really Thomas Wayne or whatever the heck the mystery is. I seem to recall all the jerkasses coming back from the first week of Empire saying “Guess who Luke’s dad is?” and yet a few dozen million of us still went after that, anyway.

  174. martin s says:

    It’s not encyclopedia knowledge, it’s creator intent. What the character was and what it became were not born of some magical “creative process”. It was strictly business. And the more Toho had to play that line, the bigger of a joke the product became. That’s not my interpretation, that’s from the guys who created it, produced, directed, wrote, etc…

    Long-term established characters, Batman, Godzilla, Bond, whoever, aren’t pre-destined. They succeed because someone came up with the right elemental mix to distinguish them from other properties. Without the historical context, subjectivity treats them as if they were spontaneously generated.

  175. Paul D/Stella says:

    Martin you mentioned that Nolan had very little exposure to Batman prior to making his trilogy. I think it’s safe to say that the general consensus is that he made an exceptional trilogy of Batman films. So did it matter that he had little knowledge of the character prior to making the films?

  176. anghus says:

    Paul, that’s pretty much sums up my argument:

    Fans who think they could do better than the person handling the property.

    It’s weird.

  177. Joe Leydon says:

    Take this for what it’s worth: The producers of the Bond films tried to take the franchise back to its roots in the two Timothy Dalton movies by adhering more to the tone, if not the content, of the Ian Fleming books and stories. And some folks — like, well, me — will argue that, with all due respect to Sean Connery, Dalton actually came closer than any other actor to being the Bond that Fleming described in his books and stories.

    And movie audiences by and large were underwhelmed.

  178. JS Partisan says:

    Entertainment Value 1 & 2: exceptional trilogy? Yeah, he made two films, and the last one is leaving people with “Profound disappointment.” Your point is null and void, because most fans will know what Batman is all about. He never quits, he never retires to the South of France to drink coffee, and he never leaves his mess for Robin to pick up. Seriously, fans know better a lot of the time, like you believe the idiot who made the Phantom Edit, knows better than George Lucas.

    The point remains how you ignore several geek properties that have been remade, and how their remakes are generally considered to be “More in line with fan vision.” Again, the Schumacher Batman films, but you keep on thinking it’s weird any fan of Batman, believes he or she could do better with the character than Schumacher. Schumacher at least did what he did out of his love for Adam West. What’s Nolan excuse for the tea and crumpets?

    I know one thing for sure: Martin would never go to comic con and tell people about his Gojira movie; “This isn’t a science fiction movie. It’s more real.” Seriously, if you think me as a fan, cannot call bullshit on that; then that’s your problem.

    Joe: audiences were underwhelmed, until they did this again with Daniel Craig XD! Nice to know there are more Dalton fans in the world.

  179. Joe Leydon says:

    Also: I was kinda-sorta amused when the first Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes flick came out and people were criticizing certain aspects of it as being “unfaithful” to Doyle — when, in fact, many of those aspects (like, for example, Holmes’ fighting skills) were indeed based on stuff in the original stories. What these folks really were complaining about was that this Holmes wasn’t the Holmes they’d seen in previous movies and TV dramas. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not dismissing all complaints about that film as unfounded (though, if I recall, I liked it rather more than David and other people here). But the overall reaction, here and elsewhere, made me seriously doubt that some of the people complaining loudest had ever read any of the Doyle stories.

  180. Joe Leydon says:

    JSP: Again, I remember going on the Batman & Robin junket years ago, and being told repeatedly by Clooney, Schumacher and others that it was their sense that audiences were tired of the gloom-and-doom Batman, and really wanted something, if not as campy as the TV show, then at least lighter and brighter than the Burton movies. I think it’s safe to say they went too far in the other direction. (Way, way too far.) But was their central concept really so ill-conceived?

    Put it another way: When some other people take over this franchise in a few years, will audiences really be turned off if they opt to give us a Batman who actually enjoys kicking ass and taking names?

  181. Paul D/Stella says:

    “When some other people take over this franchise in a few years, will audiences really be turned off if they opt to give us a Batman who actually enjoys kicking ass and taking names?”

    I know you didn’t ask me, but no, they would not be turned off by that.

  182. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, their central conceit went too far, much in the same way having Bruce and Selena drinking tea in the South of France takes things a bit too far away from who those characters are. That’s not even close to being representative of those character in anyway, but that’s what happens when non-comic book people do these movies. This is why Josh Trank rebooting the FF, might not suck. He at least knows something of the world of comics, so hopefully that leads to a quality FF movie.

    That aside, the reboot has to feature a non-quitting Batman, that fights with every inch of his existence to save Gotham. That’s who Batman is. Mock it all you want, but that’s the truth the behind the character, and even Adam West’s Batman never quit. He had that damn shark filled with explosives, and he disarmed that bastard! He disarmed it, and saved the day!

    That’s what Batman does. He doesn’t quit, leave Robin to take care of everything, and enjoy the rest of his life in the South of France drinking tea as if the people of Gotham do not matter. It’s a betrayal of the character, and all of Nolan’s bombast can never change it.

  183. anghus says:

    Sherlock Holmes is a great example. There is no right or wrong. I enjoyed the Guy Ritchie films and love Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series. Two different takes on the same character.

    The problem, as Joe said, is people believing there is a version or interpretation that is ‘the right one’ and that every subsequent adaptation should draw from.

    Your Bond example is also on point Joe. Dalton may have been more faithful, but it wasn’t the crowd pleaser that other less faithful adaptations were.

    The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a right or wrong adaptation. Only different interpretations. Some people prefer Nolan Batman, while others prefer Burton’s. And dear God, there may even be those who prefer Schumachers. But anyone who believes in a singular, unified view of a fictional character reveals their own limited train of thought.

  184. etguild2 says:

    “etguild… there is no reason to believe that any one-weekend record will stand for all-time… or really, even 10 years.”

    I’m not so sure Poland. Every major comic book movie, and practically every blockbuster on the horizon is in 3D. It will take a long time for a 2D movie to come around and top this, if ever. The only candidate I could think of is “Mockingjay Part 2” if the next two Hunger Games movies go really well and they don’t do 3D

  185. SamLowry says:

    Okay, for decades moviemakers dressed Holmes like a hunter even in the streets of London because they needed a look that instantly said “Sherlock Holmes” no matter who was playing the part–so does that make Holmes the first costumed superhero?

  186. Irene Sobel says:

    Stop the madness. Read this.

  187. Ray Pride says:

    Link warning: that takes you directly to Armond White’s “EXCLUSIVE CITYARTS ANALYSIS: How Internet fanaticism over The Dark Knight Rises overtakes film culture”

  188. storymark says:

    “Sherlock Holmes is a great example. There is no right or wrong. I enjoyed the Guy Ritchie films and love Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series. Two different takes on the same character. ”

    True. But neither version, nor any version of Holmes Im familliar with, would ever go “Hmm, this case is just too baffling. Im give up, someone else can figure this one out.” Because that wouldn’t be Holmes.

    You can have many versions of Bond – and none of them would say “Screw England” and put a bullet in the Queen.

    Some traits are inherent to certain characters. That’s why they endure.

    Which is not to say this movie doesn’t work or anything – havn’t seen it, won’t judge till I do. But to just say anything goes for any character, is ludicrous.

  189. etguild2 says:

    “Link warning: that takes you directly to Armond White’s “EXCLUSIVE CITYARTS ANALYSIS: How Internet fanaticism over The Dark Knight Rises overtakes film culture”

    Excellent! I for one think it’s time to return to Adam Sandler’s vignettes on what it means to be jewish in America, and analyses on Michael Bay’s post-modern art movies that he’s nice enough to grace mere mortals with.

    Also, sometimes I forget how Pixar is a manchurian studio whose sole purpose is to support its ideology of group-think and mindless consumarism.

  190. anghus says:

    It’s not so much anything goes. There have been hundreds, if bot thousands if Batman stories. He’s been a detective, an action hero, a campy dancer, an alien fighter, and a ridiculous amount of self examination where the character wonders if there can be a world without Batman. Is there not room for a happy ending?
    I haven’t seen the movie, so this is pure speculation. Isnt there a version of Batman where Bruce Wayne can quit?

    I say yes, there is.

    You know why historically Batman never quits?

    Because he makes too much money. The perpetual story that is Batman Bond, or Sherlock Holmes is predicated on the sad reality that these characters generate enough revenue to warrant endless serialized exploits for the enjoyment of their fans.

    I submit that the reason Nolan’s films have worked is because he has found new places to take the character instead of drawing from canon.

  191. martin s says:

    Paul/Stella – Martin you mentioned that Nolan had very little exposure to Batman prior to making his trilogy…So did it matter that he had little knowledge of the character prior to making the films?

    No, because Nolan didn’t have that much control prior to TDK. So you had five years of development before he stepped in, which was actually to direct Year One. When Goyer came on board, he restructured the script, and IIRC, introduced Al Ghul to the storyline. Goyer was his missing knowledge. Once that foundation was in place, Nolan was able to do his own thing.

    It’s the same thing with Singer and X-men, he didn’t know the characters, Tom DeSanto did. Singer quickly grasped the relationships because of his affinity for Trek, and DeSanto was able to facilitate that. When Singer took on Superman, he didn’t have that person.

    Hell, Donner had Mankiewicz to make sense of it all for him. What’s rare is a guy like Raimi who knows the character and is going to be behind the lens. What’s been more common, is the Ang/Hulk model, where two commodities are jammed together for the sake of the deal.

    Joe – you know what screwed Dalton? Release date. Danjaq went small and released Daylights six weeks after Predator and two weeks after Robocop, which were both still playing strong. I remember that summer vividly, and Daylights was a snoozer after those two flicks.

    Anghus – In hindsight, yeah, but the decisions made at the time were not guarantees. The TV show was actually made with total disdain. Shumacher had a similar arrogance and killed the golden calf. But everytime someone pushed it to the point of death-by-parody, someone else brings it back to what Kane and Finger were going for, and keeps it alive.

    It’s a chart. Adams and O’Neil saved it from Adam West. Frank Miller saved it from Superfriends. Shumacher actually pulled it back Burton’s form of parody and then went way too far the other direction. I would say the success of Nolan is understanding that middle ground between what the audience expects from Batman and where he can push it.

  192. anghus says:

    Robocop made 53 million
    Living Daylights made 51 million
    Predator made 59 million

    Living Daylights was the third biggest openening of 1987. The audience was there and willing, they just didn’t care for the product. View to a Kill made 50 million in 1985. Octopussy made 67 million in 1983. 54 million for For Your Eyes Only in 1981. So living Daylights was able to not lose any more than the last Roger Moore effort, but no one was really jazzed about the Living Daylights which is reflected in the awful grosses for License to Kill (34 million domestic). License to Kill actually did very well overseas.

    License to Kill was the Bond film that got slaughtered by other releases. Batman came out three weeks before and was a phenomenon, and then Lethal Weapon 2 came out the week before.

    Batman $251,188,924
    Lethal Weapon 2 $147,253,986
    License to Kill $34,000,000

    Warner Brothers cleaned up that Summer, with the exception of Young Einstein.

  193. SamLowry says:

    It begins again: “Untitled Batman Reboot” (from “4 IMDb Pages for Upcoming Movies We Already Hate”)

    “The film — recently announced by Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov — is planned to lead into a goddamn Justice League movie and is projected for 2015, most likely appearing with a trailer for Avengers 3 and a separate Batman reboot of this movie reboot, followed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appearing in the sky just to point at us for a while and whisper about how we brought about our own demise by needlessly spending our resources on producing and watching the exact same blockbuster films every three years.”

  194. etguild2 says:

    Thankfully, the page has no basis in reality–yet. There has been no such announcement, and they are attaching it to Aronofsky based upon a script treatment he and Frank Miller wrote in 2000.

    IMDB has been getting overly speculative on its pages. JUMPER 2 has been an IMDB page for 5 years despite no movement on a sequel.

    HALO has been an IMDB page on and off since 2004.

  195. JS Partisan says:

    Batman quits in this movie, because Nolan doesn’t like Batman. He likes the symbolism, and that’s what he turns one of the holy trinity into… a symbol. This is all well and good, but having Bruce get away, demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of the character. Do not even get me started on the ridiculousness of Alfred’s dialogue, the way the villains are dispatched in three seconds, and the prison.

    I will simply state, because obviously I am just getting started, that it’s an alright movie, but Warners have fucked themselves. If JGL is not Batman in a reboot, then what’s the point of that ending? Is it like so much of this movie, that it’s pointless white noise?

    JGL, Anne Hathaway, and Bale at least nailed their roles. Caine is wasted in straight up character assassination of Alfred, and his dialogue is some of the most contrived and fake bullshit ever put to screen. It’s ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as the reason for the eight years. It’s nothing else, but a reason to give John Blake time to grow up. That’s the problem with so much of the film: the contrivances. They are everywhere, and it drags the film down.

    Also, no, Batman never quits because he’s Batman. Nothing is ever settled with Bats, but thank you for ignoring it, for your own contrived reasons. You also cannot give me shit for the way I see things, when your reasoning in and of itself… is limited. Look in the mirror before casting aspersions about myopic viewpoints, that have nothing to do with this shit. It has to do with you and people, and you have stated time and time again, that you feel people are stupid. You believe I am stupid, so how dare I have an opinion that conflicts with THE GENIUS of CHRIS NOLAN! Not only is that boorish, it’s elitist, and it’s ridiculous on every level given what you stated about the PHANTOM EDIT!

  196. sanj says:

    breaking news — check google news – cnn

    14 shot dead at ‘Dark Knight Rises’ showing in Colorado‎

  197. anghus says:

    Tragic. Just fucking awful.

  198. Joe Leydon says:

    At the risk of stating the obvious: We should wait before speculating about the perpetrator’s motive. I confess that when I first heard about this, I initially assumed it was something that took place at a preview screening, where some pass-holder who wasn’t admitted simply went berserk on the spot. But now it appears to be, if possible, something much worse.

  199. Joe Leydon says:

    And BTW: By sheer coincidence, I saw the trailer last night for Gangster Squad (which runs before The Dark Knight Rises). Don’t be surprised if the trailer — and maybe the movie itself — is re-edited pretty damn fast.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon