Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Warped9, Jul 28, 2012.
Or from having street criminals use violence against us.
I applaud Nolan for making the effort to make Batman seem credible as opposed to trying to portray a storybook fantasy with little resemblance to the real world. Watching Burton's Batman is like something out of a distorted dream. I'm never really moved because it's so obviously faked.
When I was seven years old I liked the Adam West series, but then I didn't recognize the camp and parody. I didn't understand it and only saw colour and adventure and cool gadgets. But within a few years I discovered the 1970's comics and a more interesting Batman. Along with that I had gained enough added perception to see how silly the '60's series was. I was then offended because I resented the mockery of what I saw as a great character.
Now I can occasionally smirk when I see the Adam West version, but at heart I still resent the extensive parody. While I don't agree with everything in the Nolan film's I appreciate him evoking something of what I saw in those 1970's comics.
I also appreciate that Nolan was going for something more in his Batman films. Just as science fiction can be a setting for raising questions and issues (even if you don't get definate answers) Nolan used Batman as a setting to pose questions and issues. And different people are going to get different things out of them.
More succinctly, The Avengers was a comic book movie (and an entertaining one at that). Nolan's trilogy are films that happen to have Batman in them. That kind of clever storytelling really clicks for me.
Probably was Bale was thinking was "This is what Chris Nolan wants, so this is what I'll do." If it had been Bale's idea and Nolan hadn't agreed, then Nolan would've had him do it differently. So the voice is what Nolan wanted it to be. The buck stops with him.
I've not seen the 40's serials (and by all accounts I'm not missing much) but I enjoy pretty much all versions of Batman a lot. As others have said, he's a remarkably versatile character (it's hard to imagine pretty much any other superhero being able to do the West series and the Nolan film styles equally well) and that's part of what I love about him. I, as disscussed recently in another thread, even acknowledge Batman and Robin does what it sets out to do fairly well even if it's not really for me.
In terms of sheer personal pleasure without any objectivity though, it's Batman Forever.
There is a curiousity factor to the '40's serials. I can't help but squint and wonder what might have been been with a bit more money, resource and dedication. But that would have been bucking the trend of how comic books were then percieved.
Zorro, an influence on the development of Batman as a character, does give some indication as to what could have been done if Batman had been taken a bit more seriously. There are also a good number of thriller, adventure and horror films of the 1920s, '30s and '40s that give you an idea of what could have been done.
I also look at the first season of The Adventures Of Superman with George Reeves as something of a template to how a more straight and somewhat more serious Batman could have been done.
It really comes done to someone's vision challenging current accepted conventions. Superheroes on film really didn't get serious minded until after the comics themselves had done so.
A fan looks at a favourite character and can express his appreciation to it being treated seriously. A non-fan will look at the same work and deride it for appearing to take itself so seriously.
And I still say that "serious" is not the only legitimate way to do comics. A comedy approach to Batman isn't mocking or insulting or bad, it's just developing different potentials in the character and the premise.
I guess the thing is, a lot of people formulate the question as, "Should Batman be a comedy?" I think I prefer to approach it as, "Should a comedy be Batman?" That is, does using Batman as the basis for a comedy result in a good comedy? And both Batman '66 and Batman: The Brave and the Bold have demonstrated that the answer is very much yes. Both were very funny and innovative comedies with rich imagination.
Comedy and drama are two sides of the same coin. The characters and ideas that can produce a good result in one can generally produce a good result in the other. If they're rich characters, if they have interesting lives or personalities, if they're in interesting or challenging situations, if there's a lot of emotional depth or complexity to them, then they can be great for either comedy or drama. The best dramas are often quite funny, and the best comedies are often quite moving. So it really doesn't make sense to say that a character or concept that works well when treated seriously is therefore a bad choice for a comedic treatment. If it's good for the one, it's good for the other.
The same for me too!
While this is true we've gone from Howard The Duck in the '70s to the much darked themed "humor" of Lobo. However I did love John Byrne's runs on She-Hulk's book and Petere David's run on The Incredible Hulk. I doubt if they're going to bring back Bat-Mite anytime soon.
Fair enough, but it still comes down to opinion and individual preference. I appreciate humour in Star Trek and even enjoy the occasional spoof, but I wouldn't like to see it done on an extensive basis. I can enjoy the humour in The Brave And The Bold, perhaps partly because it's animated, but it doesn't strike me as ridiculous as the '60's TV series.
Still that's my opinion.
Everything changes. Right now it is dark and serious is all the rage. In time the pendulum will start heading in the other direction. Fads come and go and at some point audiences will want superheroes that are a little more lighthearted.
I'd agree if comic books were still written for kids, the lighthearted approach is now even more grown up just not as dark as Byrne's runs on She-Hulk and David's run on the Hulk showed.
I'd say there is room for both. Look at how successful The Avengers and The Dark Knight were. Two very different movies, but both incredible successes.
I would like to see a future film be closer to the 70s and 80s comics, before Frank Miller changed the tone of the character. Still a serious detective. But also overtly heroic. With more of an adventurous, swashbuckling feel.
That might be a good approach for a film reboot that would be distinctly different from Nolan's version. Denny O'Neill's Batman as globetrotting adventurer, master detective, and romantic lead. Avoiding the camp and cartooniness of the Burton and Schumacher movies, but also very different from Nolan's approach. It would also fit more neatly into a shared Justice League universe.
I do agree that there will always be room for both. I wonder what tone Batman will take once it is rebooted? It is possible that the next director may steer away from the serious tone of the Nolan movies in an effort to make it different and to put his own creative touch on it. Or they may make it close in style to the Nolan movies because they were so successful. There are many options.
On the one hand, I'd almost like to see the next Batman go the Brave and the Bold route and embrace the wild, retro, comedy/fantasy/sci-fi side of Batman. But on the other hand, the Schumacher films tried to do campy, funny Batman and they didn't entirely work out well, since they took it to too much of an extreme.
I don't think they will reboot any time soon. Can't get the Joker right a second time. And nobody is going to reboot Batman without the Joker.
Ah, sorry - I see where you got the idea now. I was pulling quotes from several paragraphs under that main point. You are correct that in the quote I put up about Batman of the comics now, Anders is referencing a kind of charisma, which is way overplayed by a lot of writers these days, and comes off as pretty ridiculous. However, before he gets into that he speaks more of the kind of will I and Christopher described. Personally, I find that a more compelling part of a heroic character, because, as you say, the kind of charisma referenced doesn't actually exist and only serves to create a cartoon.
The two are not mutually exclusive by any means. Batman, or most any superhero, works as a wish fulfillment fantasy of someone to save us and/ or of being the one who saves people - but, like Ahab, can also be read in a grand symbolical manner if the material is there. It may be why Batman has a flexibility and resonance lacking in some other superheroes. With a deeply personal, all-consuming mission at the core of the story, you can alter a lot of details and keep the essence of the character. In contrast, Superman works on the same wish fulfillment level, but he saves people because he can, not because he is driven to. He's not engaged in anything that could be read as trying to prove something to himself, anyone else, or the cosmos.
You may not care for the symbolic reading of Batman or Moby Dick - that's the nice thing about stories, you can pay attention to what resonates for you and ignore the rest.
I disagree about Superman. He doesn't just defend the Earth because he can. He defends it because he already lost the world of his birth, lost his entire species, and he's determined to make sure nothing like that ever happens to his adopted home and people. It's not really that different from Batman -- he has to live with the loss he couldn't prevent, and he deals with that by doing all he can to keep it from happening again. True, he had a happier upbringing because of the Kents, but that inconceivably vast tragedy in his past still has a powerful impact on him, and his status as the only living Kryptonian brings a certain loneliness with it, motivating a powerful drive not to lose the people he cares about. The key difference is that it's more personal for Superman. Batman is driven to make sure other children don't lose their parents, but the people he's compelled to protect are mostly strangers -- and if anything, the people he is close to are the ones he draws into his fight and shares the danger with. Superman has more of a family, both adoptive and extended, and is closer to the people of Metropolis and the world, so he sees it more as taking care of his family and community. But they share a similar compulsion to prevent loss because of their personal experience with loss.
I would be totally on board for such a film.
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