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Old July 10 2012, 11:46 PM   #16
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post


RandyS wrote: View Post
They were both great I've got both on DVD, along with both Supermans, Buck Rogers, and all the Flash Gordons.
I wouldn't mind checking all of those out along with The Phantom. The Green Hornet is on TCM on Saturdays right now.
I complete forgot about the Phantom. I'm off to Amazon now.

Thanks for the reminder.
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Old July 11 2012, 07:44 AM   #17
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
Unlike the lame animated superman used in the serials
Now just a damn minute. I think they integrated it into the action beautifully.

As for the Bats serials... I tried watching one once, I forget which. I normally love serials, but the acting was so awful I just couldn't get too far.
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Old July 11 2012, 08:38 AM   #18
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

It reminds me a bit of the animation used in some of the Universal Dracula films for the vampire/bat transformations.

It's a clever cost cutting measure, but not very effective for me personally. Even for a serial it's cheap. In a live action superman adaptation you should see a live action superman flying imo. The fact is Columbia didn't put as much money into their serials as Republic did and it shows.

I will say the animation is at least good animation.
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Old July 11 2012, 02:47 PM   #19
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
Even for a serial it's cheap. In a live action superman adaptation you should see a live action superman flying imo.
But Superman Returns used a CGI Superman for the flying scenes, and the Spider-Man movies use a CGI Spidey, and the Matrix movies used a CGI Neo, etc. The animated Superman in the '40s serials was the exact same principle, just with less photorealistic technology. Back then, people weren't as nitpicky about the realism of their visual effects as we've become. Images that look blatantly fake to us were impressive and convincing to them.

The "flying" Captain Marvel in the serials was just a motionless life-size dummy sliding on a wire in a straight line. The animated Superman of the serials flew with much more speed, dynamism, and fluidity. I think the latter did a better job of conveying the idea of what the hero was capable of, and that's more important to me than whether it was live-action.

And what makes you think it's cheap? Animation is a laborious, time-consuming process. And good animation, as you acknowledge this was, takes even more time and talent -- and therefore more money -- than bad animation. Not to mention the added complexity (and therefore cost) of compositing cel animation with live-action footage. It was probably a lot more expensive to animate those flying sequences in the Superman serials than it was to make a dummy and slide it down a pair of wires.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:13 PM   #20
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Considering what had been done with stunt work in the Douglas Fairbanks' Zorro films it's fun to imagine what a more serious Batman could have been like back then with the resources of a decent feature film.

A "fixed" image of the Batman using Photoshop.


From The Man Who Laughs (1928).


In a way it whets my appetite to see a retro Batman film. Something like what was done showing Captain America set in the '40s, which I thought was awesome.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:32 PM   #21
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

I think we're getting close to the point where retro may be the only way to go for superhero films. I mean, technology is getting to the point where maintaining a secret identity will soon be impossible, especially with innovations like this laser sensor that can detect trace amounts of any substance and even read through clothing from 50 meters away. Not to mention things like ubiquitous cameras that can track you just about anywhere, facial recognition sensors that can identify you from just a small part of your face, etc. Not to mention that the way journalism is changing makes it hard to tell stories about the Daily Planet or Daily Bugle anymore. And I've been saying for years that the Batsignal is an obsolete notion; by now Commissioner Gordon should be doing something like sending Batman a tweet.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:40 PM   #22
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

At the very least I would like to see some of DC's animated films be retro. I would love to see Superman and Batman animated in their original character designs.

Also the vast majority of the animated films are based on very recents comic stories. I wish they would use older material once in a while.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:43 PM   #23
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Donald Draper wrote: View Post
At the very least I would like to see some of DC's animated films be retro. I would love to see Superman and Batman animated in their original character designs.

Also the vast majority of the animated films are based on very recents comic stories. I wish they would use older material once in a while.
I could get into that too.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:44 PM   #24
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Warped9 wrote: View Post
A "fixed" image of the Batman using Photoshop.
I think 1989 was the first time we got some decent live-action bat ears. They never seemed to be able to get them right in the serials or the 60s series.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
In a way it whets my appetite to see a retro Batman film.
I'd love to see that for the reasons Christopher mentioned and because it's something fresher than just another modern take on Batman.

Christopher wrote: View Post
And I've been saying for years that the Batsignal is an obsolete notion; by now Commissioner Gordon should be doing something like sending Batman a tweet.
In the comics, the bad guys use an app that shows where Batman is. If someone sees him, they report his whereabouts and that info is available to all. I thought that was pretty funny.

Plus, think it would be fairly easy to put a small tracking device on the batmobile or even on Batman himself to find out where he goes. That's another problem right there.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:46 PM   #25
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Donald Draper wrote: View Post
At the very least I would like to see some of DC's animated films be retro. I would love to see Superman and Batman animated in their original character designs.

Also the vast majority of the animated films are based on very recents comic stories. I wish they would use older material once in a while.
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Donald Draper wrote: View Post
At the very least I would like to see some of DC's animated films be retro. I would love to see Superman and Batman animated in their original character designs.

Also the vast majority of the animated films are based on very recents comic stories. I wish they would use older material once in a while.
I could get into that too.
Have you guys watched "DC: The New Frontier" yet?
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Old July 11 2012, 03:49 PM   #26
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Christopher wrote: View Post
And I've been saying for years that the Batsignal is an obsolete notion; by now Commissioner Gordon should be doing something like sending Batman a tweet.
No doubt this is so for the purpose of summoning Batman, but authors have claimed that the signal has additional psychological roles, from intimidating criminals to boosting the morale of the city population at large.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:50 PM   #27
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

As Christopher mentions the suspension of disbelief becomes easier for a period piece. Yeah, you can still incorporate some mild sci-fi elements like the comics always have, but you can avoid a lot of complications that contemporary technology brings to the genre.

Part of why I loved Captain America was because they were able to straddle that line. It was a straight approach with just the right touch of humour and what little camp there was never became denigrating. And Steve Rogers wasn't portrayed as a damaged person. He was a man doing what he really believed was right. He was portrayed very close to how I think a period Superman could be done set in the '40s or '50s. It also generally avoided a hero popping off cynical and smart-ass remarks all the time.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:51 PM   #28
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Of course I have seen New frontier and that was a rare exception. Even than it was based on a modern retro style comic.

Superman will have been in publication for 75 years in 2013. There is much more material to draw upon than they have. There are a lof of great "imaginary stories" from the 60s which would make great animated movies.

Curt Swan had the longest run of any artist in Superman's history. I would love to see animation in his style.
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Old July 11 2012, 03:55 PM   #29
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
Have you guys watched "DC: The New Frontier" yet?
Yep, part of my dvd library.
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Old July 11 2012, 04:07 PM   #30
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Re: Batman - The 1940s Serials

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
A "fixed" image of the Batman using Photoshop.
I think 1989 was the first time we got some decent live-action bat ears. They never seemed to be able to get them right in the serials or the 60s series.
The problem has always been one of materiel. Fabric without any structure underneath simply isn't going to hold the right shape. Something like having cardboard or plastic within a dress shirt collar. Even so it will never really keep its shape like a more rubber like materiel or something like it.

But as period piece with some sci-fi elements you could have a good looking Batsuit and cowl even with a touch of retro design. Again Captain America's 1940's fighting suit isn't truly faithful to the comic's version, but it's unmistakably Captain America.

You'd also have to avoid Batman fighting just like another street fighter. It would add additional mystique to him if he was trained in diverse fighting skills that the average mobster or street crook would be totally unfamiliar with. It would also help seeing more of the Batman as detective to illustrate how much smarter he is in outthinking his opponents.

A retro Batmobile could be really cool. It could have unmistakable 1940's design cues yet I'd suggest not getting too outlandish like the '90's live-action films did.

As for the criminals and rogues gallery I like Nolan's approach best: make the villains distinctive in more psychological terms and with minimum of theatrical attire.

There are probably a number of ways you could do this and the trick would be to hit just the right note.
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