Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #76 on: Oct 20th, 2011, 2:03pm »
Well, it was good for a DC animated movie but, let's be honest. it doesn't hold a candle to Batman Begins. first, this is a much better origin story for Jim Gordon only, but Its not so great Batman/Bruce Wayne origin story because it doesn't really establish the motivation and general characterizations that Batman Begins sets up Bruce Wayne as an introductory character for new viewers. For this, you sort of had to know more about bruce wayne before you saw this movie. Actually, I'd say that Batman Begins and Batman Year One are complementary pieces to each other since both focus differently on different characters
Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #77 on: Oct 21st, 2011, 12:45pm »
My big issue with the Nolan movies is the mainstream shallowness of it all. The beauty of Batman Returns was that it was not a large scale story, it was small, it was insular, it was personal. Returns didn't set out to tell a grand story, the whole point of it was an immensely deep character study; it was a study of loneliness, scarred psyches, and mental illness.
The biggest failure of the Nolan movies is the complete absence of mental illness in Bale's Bruce Wayne. Nolan & Bale go to immense lengths to rationalise why Bruce became Batman, and there are only passing references to his loneliness that are never explored with any depth or skill. He becomes Batman now let's watch him get into big car chases and explosions because he's a superhero waheey!! Sadly that is the focus of the Nolan/Bale Batman.
The character of The Batman cannot exist without mental illness, it is a complete fallacy to try to make him sane. Keaton's portrayal was beautiful in the way he made evident the aching loneliness of the character and screaming insanity, without ever having any blunt references to it made in the writing. Not only is this skill utterly devoid in Bale's portrayal, but there is a complete lack of any remarks to it, whether subtle or blatant, in any of the dialogue or actions of the character.
The insanity of the character is arguably not so important in the later years of the Comic Continuity after he has surrounded himself with partners, but in the early days when it is just him and Alfred it is utterly vital to the character. I may have my problems with Frank Miller, but he understood the need for this in Year One. Archie Goodwin and Scott Hampton mastered this in the divine Night Cries.
The reason I preferred Year One Movie is because not only is the insanity portrayed in the iconic scene of Bruce bleeding to death in his study, but Alfred's gently sardonic remarks also point this out in a way perfectly in keeping with his character.
Twenty years later, Batman Returns still packs an intense emotional punch, because the character study runs so deeply that there is more to discover on every single re-watch. The problem with the Nolan movies is that they are very big and flashy, but they are utterly souless. The Dark Knight was a great movie the first time around, but even on the second viewing I was bored because there was nothing else to discover. I'm sorry to say that Batman Begins is horrendously boring to me because it is utterly souless, even at the Imax I found it tiring because it was all style and no substance. I would rather watch Batman & Robin because that is at least hilarious in its ineptitude.
Bale was an excellent at the young public Bruce Wayne persona, but I think he was a very poor Batman. And I think his script was not written in a way that accurately represented the character - he was too wordy and childishly emotional anytime Holmes/Gylenhaal was involved. Year One not only had an excellent portrayal of the young Wayne, but I thought it's portrayal of Batman was far superiour. Now Keaton, he was quiet and stoic on the outside, but on the inside his Batman was clearly screaming out in pain. You could write an entire essay on Keaton's eyes alone. And then there was that smile...
I genuinely think Bale could have been good in a the role (just look at his performance in American Psycho), but I think the big problem is the writing and direction. The Nolan movies display a general lack of understanding of the character. Perhaps that is a genuine lack of understanding, or perhaps it is simply a dumbing down of the character in order to appeal to a larger audience and make more money of course. In a similar way Kevin Spacey should have been an amazing Lex Luthor, and he would have been if he'd pretty much replicated his role in Seven - that would have been a chilling Luthor. But Spacey's camping it up Hackman style utterly ruined his performance in Superman Returns.
So yes, I think Batman Year One was a far superiour movie, simply because it made less effort to appeal to the brainless mainstream, and made a bit more effort to actually tap into the psyche and soul of the character.
Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #79 on: Oct 23rd, 2011, 4:43pm »
Well, Pretty much your whole argument is based around the fact that you Michael Keaton is a great actor. I'm not saying that he isn't but comparing Tim Burton to Christopher Nolan in terms of emotional complexity and even subtly, Nolan will win every time. And saying that Batman Begins is soulless and all about big explosions is completely missing the entire point of both Nolan movies so far. Nolan finally brought back Batman to a complex, relate-able character, with real psychological issues and a real story. It sounds as if you fast forward through all of the talking parts and watched the scenes with car chases and big explosions. Batman Begins explores the theme of fear from beginning to end from young Bruce Wayne's fear of Bats, to his using fear on criminals, to the total basis for the character of Scarecrow to do the same but for his own profit. Batman Begins finally builds up exactly why he feels the way that he does and what he grew to believe. It doesn't just rely on "his eyes" to give us the story behind Bruce Wayne but mostly the actual story and character direction that Nolan gives us.
Strictly speaking, Batman Returns does not stick to the character the way that Batman Begins does. By now, Its pretty universally known that Batman would do anything before he kills someone. As I recall in Batman Returns, and Batman for that matter, Batman just kills people without a second thought. He even blows up a fat clown guy in Batman Returns and smiles about it. Not exactly heroic in my book. Batman Begins sets up a great point in the character about why he doesn't kill criminals and his stance for justice vs vengeance.
It seems as if your biggest complaint is that the Nolan movies didn't show exactly how crazy Batman is. Maybe that's important with you but Nolan had other themes to explore than how crazy Batman happened to be. Sure that's an interesting characteristic but it certainly isn't the most important. You're judging Batman Begins and The dark Knight on that only criteria and poo pooing all, the great writing and directing involved in the projects. Saying that Nolan made these movies to appeal only to the biggest audience is a real crime. I don't think that every person in the audience got that Dark Knight was a post 9/11 criticism of American politics and procedures. As opposed to Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan had actually read a Batman comic before he directed the movies. If anything, Burton focused much more on style than Christopher Nolan did. Knowing that Tim Burton did not contribute at all to the writing of Batman Returns probably says something about the movie. Burton focuses on characters who are mentally unstable and ill, so naturally, he would make a movie that shows Batman's more crazy side. Nolan focuses his story, which he actually helped write.
Pretty much all I'm saying is that you can't say the Nolan movies were soulless just because they didn't cater to your perfect idea of Batman being constantly on the edge and crazy. Nolan looked at a different essence of the character that captures his intensity, heartbreak, obsession and shortcomings. Of course, that being said, I'm not going to change your mind about how I feel about a movie as opposed to how you feel. Basically, Returns captured something you hold dear in the character while Batman begins explored characteristics of the character I feel hadn't been done in any of the movies before.
By now, Its pretty universally known that Batman would do anything before he kills someone.
Except for that one time on the train with Ra's Al Ghul at the end of the movie...
The problem I had with Nolan's portrayal of fear, is the way he changed the night of the Wayne's murder into a trip to the Opera so he could make that point, rather than The Mark Of Zorro. It has long been portrayed that it was The Mark Of Zorro on the night of the murder that left that indelible mark on the young Bruce's fractured psyche of the lone hero clad in shadow. It is this which inspired him to travel the world learning of combat and meditation in order to become such a hero himself (an insanse notion if there ever was one to attempt such a thing in real life). In changing this to the Opera it removes this factor leaving us to wonder how he decided it was a good idea to become a one man war on crime.
I didn't like how Begins rationalised his decision to dress in a big halloween costume (not that his father's Bat-Man was actually mentioned to my recollection but you know what I mean) by a bat fluttering in the corner and him thinking to himself what a wonderful idea this is. It seems too rational to decide that fear is his weapon so he'll dress like a giant bat... And it seems like a bit of a stretch of credibility that a rational man would actually genuinely think going out to fight crime in a halloween costume was a sensible idea. I find the idea of a man bleeding to death when a large bat comes crashing through the window, so this lunatic decides what better than to become a giant bat and scare the crap out of people (and Alfred's classic reactions to this blatant insanity) to be rather more potent. There is a certain poetry in all these events colliding; his childlike fear of Bats, his memory of his father dressing as The Bat-Man, and his insane notion of becoming this childhood idol to be a one man war on crime like Zorro. While obviously told best in the fully fleshed out comic book lore, it is something I felt was better portrayed (albeit in truncated fashion) in Year One Movie than Begins. Year One never tried to make the decision seem rational. I think Nolan was careful to avoid the social stigma of making Wayne too crazy.
My complaints about the lack of depth are because there were so many monologues and conversations with Alfred about how he was feeling about everything. Returns didn't need these big speeches because everything was conveyed in more natural ways. This to me gave the characters more emotional depth and made the movie more satisfying. Some things are better left unsaid. And every one of the carefully chosen words packed a punch, any of the Batman/Penguin or Batman/Catwoman scenes were truly fascinating with the rich multilayered dialogue.
I do understand the issue people have with the apparent display of killing in Batman Returns. But I think Begins showed simmilar problems with Ra's, and I think Begins also displays other fundamental problems with messing with the character's belief system that none of the other movies displayed (Forever exluded because it did). By that I mean his openess with the secret of being The Batman when it suited him. His willingness in Begins to tell Katie Holmes that Bruce Wayne/The Batman are the same guy is something that has bothered me for a very long time. It doesn't sit right with me that he would do that. Now revealing it to Selina seems very in keeping because he is reaching out for someone as fractured as he is in hope that two broken people can maybe become a whole together. I never felt that dramatically it made sense for him to reveal himself to the Rachel Dawes character because he was embarassed that she believed his public facade (which I am the first to abmit the public facade was exellently portrayed) - it felt to me like the shoehorning in of a love interest in order to artificially give that extra emotional investment the auidence have when a love story is involved. It did not feel like a natural union like the tragic Selina love story.
Yes the Nolan movies did a lot of things very well - Ledger was far superiour to Nicholson. Eckhart infinitely superior to Lee Jones trying to outdo Carey... Gary Oldman was just about the best part of the whole thing nailing the portrayal of Gordon. And aside from Oldman, Cillian Murphy was about the only thing I truly liked about Begins. But when it comes down to the title character himself, I think the Nolan films get the superficial basics right, but I think the Burton films (while changing many of these superficial elements such as the character history) got the psyche and the soul bang on. I actually think the Nolan movies would be much better if they were showing a Batman much later in his career. You only have to look at the comics to see he becomes more stable over the years.
Now where is Will? He'd wipe the floor with both of us in this discussion ---
But it's getting rather off topic now. So what animated movies do DC have for us next? Personally I want All Star Goddman Batman & Robin I actually wouldn't mind them throwing a curveball and doing a Kara/Steph Supergirl/Batgirl movie, I think that could be interesting, especially if they throw in some Damian Maybe even a straightforward Nightwing movie, I think On The Razor's edge would be a great TPB to take the bulk of the story from with the excellent Dick/Barabara portrayal Dixon put in that book.
EDIT - Should I find it ironic that within seconds of posting this thread, the bats that live in the attic above my bedroom where I'm currently sitting starting banging around?
Except for that one time on the train with Ra's Al Ghul at the end of the movie...
Arghh!!! I know! After I posted that, I thought, "well, the time he 'didn't save' Ra's, or when Two-face just kinda 'fell' at the end of Dark Knight.... shit"
This may be the greatest, most civilized argument I've had about Batman, and as a huge Batman fan, I've had a lot. Damn good, sir!
I watched the trailer for the new Justice League: Doom and it just didn't hook me yet, but it is based off of Tower of Babel JLA storyline and the last couple movies have been home runs so I'm hopeful. Mark Hamill said he doesn't really feel like doing the Joker after Arkham City but he said he would if they did Killing Joke as an animated movie, but that'll really be pushing the PG 13 rating. Also, just read a really cool article that says Arkham Asylum video games maybe great as an Animated trilogy. http://bluray.ign.com/articles/121/1210426p1.html
[..,] comparing Tim Burton to Christopher Nolan in terms of emotional complexity and even subtly, Nolan will win every time.
I don't see where is this a justified statement, either in your proceeding text or within the films themselves.
Much of this is based around preference, inherently. But that doesn't preclude a technical reading of the films that goes beyond such preference, or hand in hand with it.
The Nolan films are, under such a rubric, verbal; they say, they tell as much as they show. Sometimes they do it wholly in place of showing, or even do it as a contradiction of what we see.
The Burton entries are visual filmmaking. Framing is paramount: whether it be a shadow on the wall -- or the color and texture of that same wall -- the way an actor is lit, or the height and angle of the shot. In them it's what comes so often between the lines, rather than the lines themselves.
A couple of examples:
These are emotionally, thematically and psychologically powerful scenes that tell us a great deal about the character. Without a single line uttered by him in either.
In fact, that's why Burton said he wanted Keaton: the ability to emote, particularly in the suit, without the need to verbalize. And that's really the Batman of Burton's films: an internalized portrait of depression that only finds expression through insanity.
In many ways, the literal and verbalized nature of the Nolan films makes them prosaic in the most base of ways. They're dialogue pictures -- a contradiction in terms rather than a pure translation (of the comic book), at least when the dialogue exists to occlude the picture, as so many of Goyer's leaden axioms do -- that paradoxically feature tone-deaf lines.
Compounded by a Batman that sounds like he's being disemboweled whenever he "growls" his overwritten dialogue out.
On the other side, there's a lyrical, dirge-like quality to the Burton attempts, bringing out the character's internalized depression as an expressionist world; when they're at their best they work as cinematic tone poems, particularly Returns.
This is a longform way of explicating that one viewpoint is about characterization between the lines, whereas the other is about using dialogue to explain thematic and overall narrative aims. The Nolan films come perilously close to being radio drama posing as cinema, while the Burton films could almost work as silents.
What elevates one over the other, from my view, is very directly that one is far more cinematically mature and therefore cogent to and through its own medium-as-representation. The Burton films are films that understand the medium -- exploit, arguably, its most visual movement or phase to date (German Expressionism) -- and are about film in a historical lensing.
Film is a visual medium, first and foremost. The verbal doesn't even have to exist within the craft. With Nolan's Batman films, contradictions and tonal discordance become almost expected because of the war between verbal and visual.
Again and again, Nolan/Goyer tell us rather than showing us. Other times, they try to undermine what's been shown to protect their thematic goals.
A couple of examples? The first that comes to mind -- because it works so well as variance in verbal versus visual (alliteration may cause seizures) -- is Bruce's pronouncement that "I will not be an executioner".
The point is supposed to be a moral stance and basis, yet in acting it out he goes on to both destroy the monastery and explicitly kill many of the members of The League he was about to join. The scene works decently when you accept it purely as intent; that is, without thinking. It implodes, both as a one-off and within the larger thematic frame, when comparing statements with actions.
The collateral is literally through the roof, and then is totally undermined later by Batman's refusal to "save" Ras at the film's climax; one argues that every single life is scared, even if that life causes a greater society to be extinguished (the monastery scene), while the larger battle for Gotham argues just the opposite.
The film is negatively-discursive and contextualized: it wants the audience to listen to its statements, scene by scene, and ignore what they either have witnessed before or after the latest maxim.
As follow-up, we see this again exploited in The Dark Knight: after Begins' climax one should be able to reasonably expect that Batman will not "save" someone who poses a danger to Gotham or his mission for it. Yet when this is (accidentally) tested, through the the Joker's threat on the accountant's life, Wayne shows as much interest in saving the accountant as he does the hospital -- and by extension, his identity as Batman -- because the alternative (the ethos of Begins vis a vis Ras) wouldn't be acceptable, I think we can safely surmise, to the average audience member in this context. So Wayne does the "right" thing for the wrong reasons, creating another logic deficit through the character and the films.
But it's an "inspiring" scene that allows Nolan to shoehorn in another thematic point on martyrdom, so who cares?
(It's also notable, as thematic and visual linchpin, that he allows a hospital to be destroyed, considering how this is another implicit symbol of The Father; though for this argument that may be a tangential point)
I could go on (I'm pretty close to unloading on the Gordon death scene), but I do have other complaints about the choice in dialogue supremacy & tonal value.
The next point is the wholesale slaughter of Wayne as a taciturn loner and polymath. Why do I use the word 'slaughter'? Because Nolan and Goyer cut many of the character's key traits up and out, placing them as expository tools manned by other characters.
This is reductive expressionism, in a way. The entire world is Brice Wayne, obviating the central idea of a singular man named Bruce Wayne.
Rachel becomes his conscience, Fox his brain and Alfred gets to play Aunt May.
In Burton's Batman the dualistic quality between the Joker and Batman is more organic and honest because they're similarities are magnified and ever-present throughout. An example would be the Joker's aptitude for chemistry: by having Wayne look into his background we see the detective, and by subverting the Joker's cosmetics plot we discover he's a superior chemist.
In Begins? Lucius Fox creates all of Batman's hardware, and the antidote to the Scarecrow's fear toxin.
We can see facets of the character broken down and recreated as new characters, which arguably robs the tite character of a great deal of his depth.
But what it does from Nolan and Goyer's perspective is de-internalize the character, and thus creates copious opportunities for heavy-handed exposition that will allow everybody in the audience to understand what's going on.
Thus we get scene after scene of Bruce learning from others and a huge number of badly written aphorisms that are supposed to aggregate these lessons in a simplified manner that is almost stultified. ("Why do we fall?" "To learn to pick ourselves up"; "Oh Bruce, it's not what you are underneath, but what you do that defines you" "It's not what I am underneath, but what I DOOOOOOO that defines me", etc)
Begins isn't a bad film. Neither is The Dark Knight. But I do believe that their complexity is overstated because the film's overstate thematic ideas through dialogue.
People don't generally understand or care about mise en scene, tableau, editing or the nature of an auteur. But English (or a French dub, or....) is almost universal and where the Nolan films put a great deal of detail.
For me, that's a grating flaw that creates holes that are too obvious to miss, even while they were intended to go unnoticed for the majority.
So while Nolan makes a Batman sequel that alludes to Mann's Heat (which I'm a big fan of), Burton makes a Batman sequel that is homage, and creates synergestic levels of thematic depth from this value, to films such as Murnau's Nosferatu, Browning's Freaks, Whale's Bride of Frankenstein, Welles' Citizen Kane and Reed's The Third Man. Oh, and Weine's Caligari. Can't forget that.
Is that to say that older, more esoteric (which would be a very sad thing to believe about Welles' work, but I digress) films are superior forms to follow? Not automatically, no. But the work that went into these films, the understanding shown -- again and again -- in Burton's allusions to them, and the way they saturate the overall production, shows a sophistication that often goes unnoticed or isn't understood in the same way that a Batman film that lifts from Michael Mann is.
That is, one is very much about getting a point across to as many people as possible, while the other film doesn't care if the average audience member gets it at all.
This is pretty much the fulcrum of difference between the productions: one is eager to elucidate in an expository manner, while the other is a work of and about chiaroscuro: light and dark as shadowplay. If things remain hidden, that's often part of the thematic and tonal beauty of those films.
Conflating these films' aims with complexity, as a near or stated fact? Again, I can't agree with you on that. The logic just isn't there. And I'd argue that the content is hurt by its mode of communication, considering characterization, tone, coherence and medium.
And saying that Batman Begins is soulless and all about big explosions is completely missing the entire point of both Nolan movies so far.
Looking at many of the action scenes versus the dialogue within or bracketing them, I think he's somewhat close to the point.
Both films have interesting ideas, mind you. But their execution of them is often risible, or plainly damaging. Implication of a darker sort is often trampled over in order to assuage mainstream sensibilities .
This might be understandable. Certainly from a marketing perspective. But artistically?
What strikes me is that the Burton films remain more daring as artistic statements, whether relative to Batman movies or the sub-genre of comic book flicks.
Simply comparing the narrative lines of the two initiating entries confirms this, from my perspective.
That is, we have the typical Nietzschean man-into-god origin story from Nolan -- basically, the most basic structure of the comic book film. It just is what these films provide in their first chapters; although this is more understandable for a preternatural or chimeric creation like the Hulk than it is for Batman, wherein the latter gives us this storyline not be cause its needed but because its de rigeur.
The Burton outline flips the picture, giving us Batman in the film's opening scene. This subverts expectation and cliche of this mini-genre, and creates a more conflicted, complex model of Wayne/Batman in the process of being economical and elegant; that is, the opening plays with the idea of the iconic origin, but then undercuts it immediately. We see Wayne's nightmare being recreated as he watches from above -- god-like (and with a telling god-shot by Burton, that is also above Batman, underlining that his presence is somehow more theatrical than it is supernatural) -- giving us an understanding, visually, of what drives the character.
So the basic structure of Batman is an obsession with the title character. Particularly the character as the film's central mystery. By having Wayne's origin be summed up with a single, traumatic flashback the shorthand presents a psychological profile that centralizes that selfsame trauma: there's no moving beyond the event for Keaton's Wayne, and Batman is little more than an illogical construct of a frightened little boy that is now just a broken man.
To fully understand this I believe you have to understand Burton's work, in the auteur sense. Films like Edward Scissorhands play with this theme of broken people that are somewhere between childhood and adulthood; in that sense, Burton's short Vincent is a less twisted trial run for the psychological nature of his Batman.
This is very much counter to the Nolan method and assumption, which tells us explicitly that the death of Wayne's parents is an opportunity to learn from. A chance to improve himself and the world, as it has been with a long line of Wayne philanthropists.
Thus, the most tragic flaw of Begins -- its most illogical idea -- is its central conceit: that Batman is a logical creation.
The difference, then, is that Begins is about exposition and constant explanation, whereas the Burton film is about questioning the title character throughout: his sanity, his intent and his nature as an icon, within and without.
Nolan gives us a film that is about construction, -- thus, it's about justification of psychology and world to the audience -- while Burton deconstructs.
Even the opening credits of Batman visualize this thematic line.
Nolan finally brought back Batman to a complex, relate-able character,
I find the bolded standards to be a intrinsically contradictory when looking at the nature of this character.
It sounds as if you fast forward through all of the talking parts and watched the scenes with car chases and big explosions.
The interesting part is how disparate these pieces are to each other in Nolan's films.
Batman Begins explores the theme of fear from beginning to end from young Bruce Wayne's fear of Bats, to his using fear on criminals, to the total basis for the character of Scarecrow to do the same but for his own profit.
I find it very redundant to even mention this, since Begins spends so much of its running beating us over the head with sentences that feature "fear!" or a synonym.
Who could miss the point?
Perhaps Hitchcock's Vertigo is not as thematically intense, since it doesn't verbalize its ideas to the same degree.
Forgive any sarcasm. It's aimed at the film rather than its fans.
Strictly speaking, Batman Returns does not stick to the character the way that Batman Begins does.
But who would expect a Tim Burton film to provide a Chris Nolan character. Or vice versa?
It seems as if your biggest complaint is that the Nolan movies didn't show exactly how crazy Batman is.
That's rather like a bomb without a fuse.
Maybe that's important with you but Nolan had other themes to explore than how crazy Batman happened to be. Sure that's an interesting characteristic but it certainly isn't the most important.
I think that condenses the point: Nolan has big thematic ideas, and character is often subservient or even lost to the pursuit of them.
My biggest complain with The Dark Knight isn't this factor, as I accepted it, but that he also betrays many of the ideas present bv film's end.
Saying that Nolan made these movies to appeal only to the biggest audience is a real crime.
I thought it was an opinion.
One I would agree with.
I don't think that every person in the audience got that Dark Knight was a post 9/11 criticism of American politics and procedures.
In many ways, it could be taken as apologetics for a fascistic state, or dictatorial power.
Which ironically is very much the opposite of Burton's Batman.
As opposed to Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan had actually read a Batman comic before he directed the movies.
Funny thing, Burton understood that there were many contradictory versions of the character over time, and that his would just be another version.
Too many comic book fans either don't know this or wish to ignore it.
If anything, Burton focused much more on style than Christopher Nolan did.
So style cannot be substance? Expressionism has no place in cinema? Lighting, set design, wardrobe and camera angles mean nothing next to dialogue?
Then why even film a single scene, let alone an entire film?
You do understand that film is a visual medium, right?
Or do you condemn the medium, even as you bolster one of its productions?
Knowing that Tim Burton did not contribute at all to the writing of Batman Returns probably says something about the movie.
There's difference between being a "writer" and contributing to a script. If you compare Burton's film to the written page, it's obvious that he visualized many of the ideas that Waters originally verbalized.
Interestingly enough, that's another way of saying that style is often substance.
Further, the assumption you're making is that filmmakers like Hitchcock, Leone or Kubrick are lesser artists than Chris Nolan. After all, they didn't write their own scripts.
Yet I'd very much argue that they are far more powerful film auteurs.
Directors often work on scripts, and dictate what's in them. Ridely Scott, Spielberg, et cetera. That does not make them writers, but they also are not separated from their films or the content of the scripts for them.
It's known that Burton worked on drafts of the first film with Sam Hamm, and that he hired him for the project. He also commissioned an outline for the film that he wrote with Julie Hickson in the mid-80s.
Returning to Returns, he had almost full creative control on the production and dictated what would and would not be in the script. And how it would be presented onscreen.
Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #85 on: Oct 24th, 2011, 1:10pm »
Nick, I really had no idea what I was in for, did I?
Wow. I feel like I brought a twig to a Nuke fight. Also, that's a joke please don't over-analyze that sentence and break it down word for word on how I don't completely understand the history of metaphors. Just kidding. Please don't hurt me.
Those are really great arguments. I won't try to make this too long because I don't want to get emotionally tortured again. I guess all it comes down to is movie preference. As you said, Begins could work as a radio drama and Burton's is heavy on the more cinematic qualities. That's probably why I do like Nolan's movies more. I am more of a verbal learner than a visual one. I am a "Communication" major with the focus on interpersonal communication. I do admit I was unfair in saying all that about Nolan being better than Burton, etc. Most of that was impulsive and argumentative. I'm so glad its not 2006 when I joined or I would have been ripped to even tinier shreds that I have been now.
I don't think Nolan feels Batman is a logical creation. Bruce Wayne is convinced that he can go into a "war on crime" and that he can someday retire and hang up the cowl. Itís not as explicitly stated but Batman isn't saner in Nolan's universe than in Burton's. We're not all completely rational all the time. We may see things as plausible and possible at times that other would call us nuts for saying. Nolan's Batman is just as flawed. I don't think he was saying that every time there is a danger like Ra's, he will "not save" them as well. He could have easily "not saved" joker at the end because he is as much of a repetitive threat as Ra's was. Again another character flaw, but it was also a look into the cracked psyche of Batman. He didn't save Ra's for more personal reasons, stating the obvious I know but he was the Father figure that replaced his, and he was betrayed by this new father, yadda yadda. Maybe saving joker is an ego trip by Batman, subconsciously giving him the drive to keep being Batman but making the excuse that he will someday still give up, pleasing both sides of his personality. Nolan's Batman upholds this characteristic with its own amendments and extenuating circumstances. Itís not a perfect ideology but Nolan does express through the context of them movie just how amazingly difficult and horrible it is to uphold this fractured ideology. All Iím saying is that itís unfair to say that he drops it from scene to scene as he pleases.
That is just me making the one argument out of the many that I obviously can't. Just trying to save the least amount of face I could possibly come up with
I literally cannot argue with most of what you said because of A. actual applicable film intelligence and B. where the fuck do you get the time to write all that? Again, Great job! Meanwhile, anyone wanna pick up my slack and try to criticize the Burton films. Preferably a film/video major. I'm bowing out. Will, Not too sound to pedestrian but that was fucking awesome. Can I buy you a beer sometime?
Edit: Oh God! If you say you are not 21 yet, I'm going to blow out my brains.
Moving on hopefully.... So anyone play Arkham city yet?
Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #88 on: Oct 26th, 2011, 10:22pm »
First things first, it's great to see the forums again.
Now I'm almost afraid to post because I didn't think Year One was all that great (plus I never read the graphic novel which looks worse on my part) and I get the feeling I'm the only one who feels that way.
Loved, loved, loved the inner monologues. This is definitely based on a comic book (I only say comic book since many of them start with dialogue in this manner) and I wish there were more episodes/movies that used them.
It seems like with every release these movies continue to push what is acceptable for PG-13. Not since the beginning of 1989's "Batman" did I ever expect to see hookers in a Batman motion picture. I really enjoyed the gritty atmosphere of this Gotham and not the typical world we see in animation where people shoot at someone and never get hit by bullets. Never have I seen Batman take so much punishment from people ... and I liked it.
Voice acting all around was good, especially Gordon. I also had a big smile on my face when I heard Steven Blum's voice a couple of times. He did the voice on "The Big O" as Roger Smith who could easily pass as Bruce Wayne's son.
Speaking of "Jimmy" Gordon, I loved seeing him in action as opposed to a crime scene or behind a desk.
Was I the only one who caught the shot against Disney? That doll Catwoman tore up looked a lot like Toy Story's Woody.
The Catwoman showcase was good (and continued to push that PG-13 rating), but it wasn't as good as Dini's "Chase Me" short.
I really enjoyed seeing the B:TAS old school font for each of the dates submitted.
I'm sure there is more good that I'm forgetting as I'm very tired as of this moment so I'll take a big breath and move on to ...
The animation that pertains to anything involving transportation. The animation overall was good but every now and them (Justice League was guilty of this too) they throw it in a weird CGI image that looks completely out of place from the typical cell animation. Very distracting to the point where I'm relieved when it disappears.
Not enough Batman. I always want more Batman, but this was more like "Gordon: Year One". Reminds me of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies which should have been retitled as "Superman: Public Enemy #1".
64 minutes runtime. When the movie ended, I was like "That's it?" Surely there could have been more added to make it a little longer to explain ...
Why is Catwoman in this? Unless I missed something, she didn't contribute anything except for me to believe she use to be a prostitute .... with very little hair .... and she's a hooker all of a sudden.
Where was Bruce flying from at the beginning of the movie? Surely they could have had a flashback or something to explain where he was or what he was doing.
When did Gordon have a son?
So I'm led to believe Bruce talked to a statue of his father like he's Norman Bates, then stops as soon as the bat flew into the room??
Where does Batman get those wonderful toys? I would have liked to see him in the Bat Cave at least once, or to show him creating some of his equipment.
Barbara is next to Bruce in the garage and yet she can't see his face? That shadow effect where he looks like he's crying black paint buckets was terrible. Why bother if Jim Gordon is going to know Bruce saved his son in the following scene without using another hiding effect?
And the biggest question of them all:
Is this suppose to be a different continuity all together? It's interesting how this and Batman Begins both end with Gordon in the process of dealing with The Joker for the first time. I was under the impression there was going to be a Year One sequel.
Year One wasn't the worst DC animated movie (that honor goes to "Brainiac Attacks") but I was expecting more.
Re: DC Animation: comic adaptations!
« Reply #89 on: Oct 26th, 2011, 10:37pm »
I totally agree with you about modern CG animation. I don't care how small or big the budget, modern animated films that attempt to imitate the classic hand animated films of old all look absolute ass by comparison! Just compare any modern movie to something like Disney's Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. Those movies are a thing of beauty to behold on Blu-Ray. The sheer love and effort that went into those things is breath taking. It is so sad how the cheap, quick, and easy CGI has utterly destroyed the art of film making.
Now as for the rest of your complaints. I find it very interesting how almost every single one of them was not a construct of the movie, and rather an accurate translation of Frank Miller's source material. I get the feeling your distaste for Year One would be more to do with the book itself than the translation to film.
Oh, and yes, this and Batman Begins have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. Personally I see all these DCAU Movies as being in their own entirely seperate continuity, despite their sources. I include the two Superman/Batman movies together. But even Year One and Under The Hood I regard as entirely seperate movies in their own seperate universe. Maybe that's just me. ---
The one I will address. James Gordon Jr was born in Year One. If I recall he appears in The Long Halloween. He leaves with Barbara in Night Cries, and he returns in Scott Snyder's Pre-Reboot Detective Comics run.
The whole Catwoman hooker thing is something that has been very divisive over the years. Some writers have followed it up like Mindy Newell in Her Sister's Keeper. Others have tried to say she was just a dominatrix, some that she was just posing as a hooker to steal cash from the clients. Personally I like Ed Brubaker's approach which was to leave it deliberately ambiguous for the reader to decide. Still, even if she was a hooker, that's nothing compared to the way Judd Winick is writing her in the Reboot...