Lowering the Bat-Bar

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Lowering the Bat-Bar

Does Warner Bros. secretly want you to think The Dark Knight Rises looks bad?

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uh, Bob, this article reminds a bit of one of those "Nintendo is teh doomedz!" articles I grew tired of about three years ago. And not in a good way

I live in Pittsburgh, and They filmed at heinz field with some Steelers Players and about 20,000 fans/extras in the stadium. I was one of them, so i will be in the best film of all time :) They are still filming till the end of Sept. Liberty bridge/tunnel (an unusually long but very small circular tunnel with 4 lanes was closed on numerous occasions for filming. I would jog along liberty bridge and up mt washington during shoots, and saw some fatanstic driving sequences with the bat mobile and cat woman's motorcycle. At another shoot downtown pittsburgh, businesses were told that there would be a loud explosion along one of the streets. Man was it big! Rattled buildings about 5 blocks away. Many Pittsburgh Residents are excited to see the movie that has little marketing buzz, but I believe doesn't need it since Batman Begins and the Dark Knight were fantastic movies. I only wished that Heath Ledger didn't die so he could show up as the Joker in future movies. It will be very hard to fill his shoes as the next Villian.

Aiddon:
uh, Bob, this article reminds a bit of one of those "Nintendo is teh doomedz!" articles I grew tired of about three years ago. And not in a good way

How? He certainly isn't saying that the movie's going to be bad at all, in fact, he's more implying that it will be qood and that they're trying to hide that fact so people don't get too excited about it. He makes a good point saying that they'll never match the strength of Dark Knight, because lets face it, he's almost guaranteed to be right. Because of its success, the new film is guaranteed to be compared to Dark Knight, and it probably won't be favorably. "Oh, this was done so much better" "Nothing can match Heath Ledger's Performance" and so on. So the best way to manage it is to keep the hype as low as possible. It's impossible to eliminate expectations, and I know I have to struggle against my assumptions of the film myself, but it is possible to manage the output of leaked material. Whatever the case is, I'm going to see it, because of those same four words: In Nolan we trust.

I have never been over excited about the Nolan Batman films.
To me they have always seemed a tad soul-less and over hyped.

Well, to be honest I have mixed opinions about the Nolanverse. I thought the movies were decent, but I didn't think they captured the essence of Batman from the comics very well.

"The Dark Knight" benefitted from the hype generated by Heath Ledger dying. It being a good movie of course helped it's performance, but you can't underestimate the influance that had on it.

The third "Nolanverse" movie doesn't have anything so attention getting in it, and a lot of the changes to the characters we're seeing continue to demonstrate how far out of context Nolan has been getting with "Batman". As he hits his third movie it's becoming increasingly difficult to see any real connection between the characters in his movies, and the comics they are supposed to be from. Bane and Catwoman seem to largely just be action movie cliques, albiet probably well done ones, that are carrying the names of popular comic characters.

As far as a Lazarus Pit goes, that would be awesome, but truthfully I don't think it fits with the Nolanverse because it would have been a factor much earlier on. He'd kind of have to retcon the first movie to some extent, and something like that would definatly play havoc with his attempt to do this with very human seeming characters.

Truthfully I think these movies will be remembered fondly, but that nobody has yet to really do the definitive live action "Batman".

Batman Begins and Dark Knight were good movies but I thought Christian Bale's Batman was the worst thing about them. The costume where he can't turn his head was ridiculous and the "bat voice" was just laughable. I'm a big fan of the Batman mythology but I don't think the new one will bring anything to the table that the other two didn't already.

You know... that picture makes Ms Hathaway look more like Batgirl than Catwoman. Interesting...

What the eff is John Carter? It was a good article, to be sure, but that throwaway link to a trailer has me scratching my head more than anything. It was like a wierd mix of sci-fi, fantasy, western, conan, old timey london, lord of the rings, whatever. O.o

Now that I've looked it up I see that John Carter of Mars is old school golden era sci fi. Good stuff, I'm happy to see that kind of thing come to be big screen. It also explains why it felt so strange. Stuff from way back can hop between what we now classify as different genres like you wouldn't beleive. I should take a look at the Barsoom books....

Funny, just before reading this article I was thinking about how Rises would end up doing in the Box Office. Here's my conjecture:

Slightly before the movie comes out (2 months, 4 months, 6 months, whatever WB/Nolan decides is good) there will be something (probably a really good trailer) that kicks up a ton of hype. There will be a huge amount of promotion right before it's released. It'll top HP8's opening weekend, and if it's considered superior to TDK by reviewers and word-of-mouth AND has a breakout performance like The Joker, then it stands a chance of overtaking TDK.

Though, overall, it seems like the previous movie in a series has more to do with how much a movie will make than the movie itself (look at, say, X-men 3), so who can really know?

The Dark Knight Rises.... Lazarus Rises...

Bane breaks Batman's back, Catwoman puts him in the Lazarus pit to rise again and then take out Bane. In the meantime Ridder the person that will discover the Lazarus pit in the beginning of the movie will be on a crusade to figure out who Batman is, in the end he'll find out, but be left in a stalemate with Batman where Batman can't put him away without fear of Ridder revealing whom Batman is, and Batman will threaten to give Ridder's identity to Ra al Ghul's men whom will be looking for him for violating their circle and discovering the Lazarus pit in the first place.

Que credits

Therumancer:
Truthfully I think these movies will be remembered fondly, but that nobody has yet to really do the definitive live action "Batman".

You might not agree but in my opinion the first Tim Burton Batman with Michael Keaton was the best representation of Batman on the big screen.

Though none of them are even in the same league as the 90's Batman Animated Series

MovieBob:
But even that carries with it the same basic problem - right now, the main reason to be looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises is that The Dark Knight was awesome.

Nope. The main reason to look forward to TDKR is that The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Inception, The Prestige, Insomnia, and Memento were ALL awesome. When they say "In Nolan we trust" that rep carries the real weight of an impeccable resume.

The problem is, the fact that Dark Knight's heights are rather unreachable will be of no concern to those who do the box office reporting - "Dark Knight Rises Reasonably High Given The Circumstances" is not nearly as arresting a headline as "3rd Batman Fails To Equal Predecessor!"

Sorry Bob those who do the box office reporting will have the following headline - "Warner's Dark Knight Rises curb stomps Disney's Avengers"

The Dark Knight had a very similar marketing campaign (slow, for a long time), so I can't say I'm particularly worried.

"it's a whole different level of odd that she also doesn't look much at all like a cat."

Doesn't exactly fit into the realist approach, does it? And I thought the whole thing was because she had a hard-on for cats and she was a cat burglar?

I think another thing that really boosted the Dark Knight was the fact that Heath Ledger died. Some even said it was the movie character that did it. That right there builds a level of love for a film you can't get normally. A man was so into his role, and he played it amazing, that he succumbed to it himself? Yes please.

Wow- now that was a slow boil.
You were two pages into the article before you even got to your point.

Other than that, a good article. Not sure that I believe it, though.

To me the costume pretty much looks like Catwoman form the 1960s series.
image

rembrandtqeinstein:

Therumancer:
Truthfully I think these movies will be remembered fondly, but that nobody has yet to really do the definitive live action "Batman".

You might not agree but in my opinion the first Tim Burton Batman with Michael Keaton was the best representation of Batman on the big screen.

Though none of them are even in the same league as the 90's Batman Animated Series

Agreed with you on both counts, friend.

That's a really interesting idea and it seems like it rings very true.

I hope Batman does get a good buzz on release, although TDK and Batman Begins weren't very related they have been some of my favourite movies over the past years.

It's scary how much control marketers have over people's impressions though. It's easy to forget how much of what you think of something has come from carefully filtered and fed information. I have opinions on way to many games and films I've never played/seen :(

No more Ra al Ghul's please. Its like with Superman and Lex Luthor....his boring. Give me a different interesting enemy not just a smart human.

I very strongly disagree with him that Marvel has been making excellent movies.

irishda:
I very strongly disagree with him that Marvel has been making excellent movies.

I very strongly disagree that they HAVEN'T. In fact, Marvel movies of late have truly captured the imagination of both kids and adults while delivering costumed thrills, solid performances, stellar action, and comic-accurate authenticity to a world of heroics few comic movies have been able to match in years. That's not to say Marvel doesn't have some stinkers (Fantastic Four, Elektra, Ghost Rider, Wolverine: Origins), but they've far outclassed DC heroes on the big screen that aren't named Batman (Catwoman, Superman Returns, Green Lantern, Jonah Hex...)

But, on topic...

I'll be honest; I'm an 80's girl. I grew up with the highly stylized, gothic, dark masterpiece that was Michael Keaton and Tim Burton's Batman, which I think nailed it. It had a superior aesthetic (neo-noir), a superior soundtrack (Danny Elman's theme is the definitive Batman theme), a superior Batman (Michael Keaton's Bat-voice was deep, dark, and yet intelligible), and I'd even say an equally good Joker (Jack Nicholson was classy, creepy, psychotic, and still fun.)

I'll concede the new movies have better action and even better plots, however. But to me, Batman was never story-driven; it was a subtle, imaginative, larger-than-life, and even otherworldly experience, like being transported to a world that couldn't possibly exist anywhere else but in film and comics. The new Batman world is just Chicago/New York.

I remember reading that Michael Keaton even asked that most of his spoken dialogue lines in the movie be removed, because, accurately, he said "Batman is a man of actions, not of words", and the movie was better for it. He had a few one liners, but if you watch those movies you notice Batman barely speaks. He's a presence. An urban legend. Some even think he's a monster or demon. When he shows up, it's all action and business, and it's far more effective than Bale's "It's not who I am that defines me, it's what I do" and "I'm the hero Gotham needs, but not what it deserves" Hollywood pep speeches.

To me, the image of Batman, bloodied and injured, slowly crawling up a winding, dusty belltower to an inevitable final throw-down with the Joker, slow, dramatic, and tension-filled, was a far better Batman moment than Batman's punch-kick-growl finale with the Joker in The Dark Knight. The old Batman was quiet, subdued, methodical, and it took the time to create a sense of mood and atmosphere. The new Batman is loud, blunt, heavy on the philosophy and chit-chat, and just seems to play to the same Jason Bourne-crowd that favors realism over imagination.

I told a friend once that nearly every gadget Batman has in the first two movies exists in the new movies too... except in the Nolan movies, they spend a great deal of time explaining where these gadgets came from, who made them, how it got them... In the first movie, Joker just barks out "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" and leaves it up to your imagination. And that's the big deal for me; the movies LEFT a lot to your imagination on purpose. The new movie feels compelled to over-analyze and explain every aspect of its universe, where Batman came from, how he became Batman, where it got his gear, who he knows, why he fights or makes certain decisions. The old movies made the mistake of over-explaining the villains; the new movies over-explain their protagonist.

But that's just my feelings as a fangirl.

Besides, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill remain the best performers for their respective roles of Batman and Joker. The Animated Series nailed it, and by comparison both Burton and Nolan films fail to measure up.

I really think people have been overreacting about the Catwoman picture. It's one picture that we have no context for. It could be the Catwoman suit, or it could be some outfit she's wearing early on before she becomes Catwoman and has an "official" suit. Fans (including Bob here) need to chill out about this and wait to see a little more about the character before making broad assumptions.

I will put it this way... I ate ALOT of crow after Heath Ledgers performance as the Joker. I will not be foolish enough to doubt Nolan again.

At the end of the day, I will surely see it if for nothing else to see on the big screen how Nolan wraps it up. I freely admit twinges of worry due to Catwoman and Bane, but I chalk that up to flashbacks of other previous [shudder, twitch, vomit, rock back and forth] interpretations of the characters. I do also want to say that while goggle ears...don't cut it enough for me. Sorry. Give me some kind of visual hook or she might as well be in the MI:8billion movie ol Tom has coming out.

"The God of Thunder and The First Avenger exchanging a 'brofist' in the middle of an urban war zone".

That makes my cold, dead evil heart thaw just a degree.

Well if WB is looking for a League segue this needs to be their kicker. They're rebooting superman and may look at starting others. At this point they may be able to 'forget' the GL and just enter into the League, but this movie is their chance. The other thing too is the League isn't where Nolan's been going with this series.

Begins started with the comic book type Gothem, but TDK didn't really sustain it and stepped away from the imagery. To get back to the fantasy/sci-fi aspect that is the League, Nolan's going to need to incorporate some outside mythology. I totally agree with Movie Bob's reasoning behind the studio wanting this to be toned down but I'm beginning to wonder if it's because they want to move into the League continuity as well as to keep the movie hype down.

If any character out of the League is going to accomplish this segue - it's going to be Batman. Funny, the same thing happened with Iron Man - Human character with money and power acting as a vigilant to save the world and now working with aliens and super human beings... Anyone else get the feeling of déjà vu?

They are good movies, but they just don't feel batman-y to me. He is trying to make it TOO dark and realistic.

Also, I'm still mad that the Joker did not make any jokes. Sure, he was a great villain, but he was a terrible Joker.

It would make sense for them to not want the hype to peak too early, or reach too high. It will be a struggle to make The Dark Knight Rises be remembered as fondly as its predecessor, the whole business of being Heath Ledgers death and it being his last film made us think even more of the film. This may sound a bit depressing but the lower our expectations the more happy we will be if the film turns out to be really good.

On the subject of Tom Hardy as Bane, he can play a physical character but thats not all Bane is. Hes a genius, a master strategist who has a plan lasting (I think) three months that released most of Arkhams most dangerous inmates and exhausts Batman, then he figures out who Batman is, finds him and snaps his spine.

Thats the work of a strategic and deductive genius, a plan that exhausts Batman and leaves him weaker, figuring out Batmans identity is something only the Riddler (I think) managed to do besides Bane.

SonOfVoorhees:
No more Ra al Ghul's please. Its like with Superman and Lex Luthor....his boring. Give me a different interesting enemy not just a smart human.

How about a super smart and super strong human, jazzed out on venom? Thats what Bane is...

and Disney has much less riding on that film than WB has on Batman,

John Carter is about to cost around 300 million, has no buzz, no fanbase, a mediocre trailer, and that cost is even before P/A. So no, Disney is already bracing for failure which is why they want Lone Ranger to come down in budget

Prismatic Baron:
They are good movies, but they just don't feel batman-y to me. He is trying to make it TOO dark and realistic.

Also, I'm still mad that the Joker did not make any jokes. Sure, he was a great villain, but he was a terrible Joker.

Magic pencil wasn't a joke? I kind of thought that him switching Rachel and Dent would be his idea of a joke, sort of like a large scale "joy buzzer" or something.

I have faith in Nolan. I've accepted that it wont be as popular as TDK, because TDK really only got popular in the mainstream because Heath Leger died, so there was some celebrity gossip to spin it along. Excellent film, no doubt, but it wouldn't have been as wildly popular without the "A great actor died for this movie" drama.

JaceValm:

Thats the work of a strategic and deductive genius, a plan that exhausts Batman and leaves him weaker, figuring out Batmans identity is something only the Riddler (I think) managed to do besides Bane.

Hugo Strange and Ras Al Ghoul both figured it out, and I think Catwoman also knows, but only because Batman told her.

I like the nolan movies, but not THAT much. I liked Captain America, X-men: First Class, X2, Hellboy 1,2, Superman The Burton Batman and spiderman 2 more. I liked them about the same as Thor and the incredible Hulk

Therumancer:

The third "Nolanverse" movie doesn't have anything so attention getting in it, and a lot of the changes to the characters we're seeing continue to demonstrate how far out of context Nolan has been getting with "Batman". As he hits his third movie it's becoming increasingly difficult to see any real connection between the characters in his movies, and the comics they are supposed to be from. Bane and Catwoman seem to largely just be action movie cliques, albiet probably well done ones, that are carrying the names of popular comic characters.

People can really have an opinion on anything, can't they?

You have not seen the movie. You have absolutely no idea as to what you're talking about.

I don't understand why there has to be this mentality of "the best..."; I think of Batman (and most superhero stories, tbh) as being like modern folklore: each teller brings his or her own flourish to the tale. As such, there are merits to Tim Burton's vision as well as Christopher Nolan's. Honestly, I prefer Nolan's works, but that is mostly because it suits my mentality better-- most people who know me consider me a rather somber person. Heath Ledger is the definitive Joker to me, and Christian Bale's Batman fits my idea of what a multi-billionaire turned vigilante would be like better than Michael Keaton does.

Now, as far as Catwoman goes? Michelle Pfieffer, hands down. I'll fight you to the death on that one.

But Tim Burton's Batman was enjoyable... well, up until they started switching who was playing Batman every film. Then it got kind of silly. Heck, you could even make the argument that both directors owe a debt to Adam West and the Batman TV show.

What I'm trying to say is that the Burton vs. Nolan argument is somewhat of a useless debate: much like religion, PC v Mac, and politics, you're just going to get a lot of arm-waving and voice-raising, and not much will be decided, ever.

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