Thursday, May 17, 2012



I've been meaning to write this post for a while.  JoBlo decided to have a little debate on its website over whether Tim Burton's Batman or Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins is better.  For the record, my vote is with Tim Burton.  J-Man weighed in and he got a couple of replies.  One guy said who cares about Batman in comics and the other guy submitted his resume and expounded basically that unless you think Batman Begins is superior, you know nothing about Batman.  Here is my rebuttal and I'm not posting it on that website because I may get a nasty reply one or both of those individuals, which will probably cause me to track down both posters and wring their necks.  Make no mistake, it is preferable to get snotty with J-Man than with me...he'll insult you sure, but he is too mature and wise to go beyond that...while I will happily go looking into the kitchen drawer for available carving knives...

Anyhow, my anger management issues aside, for the purposes of the post, I will dismiss the person who said who cares about Batman in comics.  This post will be about Batman in the comics (in a way), so that opinion has no merit here.  Likewise, if you're reading this post and have the same opinion, stop reading and shut down the page.  You won't care about what I have to write and you'll be wasting your time and my breath.  For the second person, he reminds me of a guy I ran into once online.  He had the same attitude as this guy (for all I know, he is the same guy) and the only thing I would have to say is you are a sad, sad individual.  You cannot have a normal conversation or friendly debate without insulting someone.  By the fact you had to make it personal, you both showed the ignorance of your opinion and that you obviously don't even believe that opinion yourself, because if you did, you would find no need to get personal in the first place. 

Anyhow, jackass posters on JoBlo aside, I have an interesting idea about Dark Knight.  Not Batman Begins, but Dark Knight.  Now, I want you to think about the movie.  Got it?  Good.  Now remove any mention of Batman, No Batman.  Okay?  Good.  Now, replace him with Green Arrow.  You know, Green Arrow, millionaire Oliver Queen, he has the arrows and all that, he's a DC character.  Good?  Now, think about it.  Would it not be the same movie?  It would?  Okay.  Now, here's my problem.  If you have made a good Batman movie, you should not be able to replace Batman with anyone.  In The Dark Knight, there is nothing uniquely Batman.  No cave, no car, no detective work, nothing.  He is a masked vigilante who they call Batman.  He bares some resemblance to the comic book character.  There are none of the character traits that uniquely make him Batman.

Now, wait a minute.  Do not start rocketing hate emails to me.  "Eff u, Dark Knight is the best, u go to hell!" I did not say it wasn't a good movie.  Christopher Nolan has made nothing but good movies (with the exception of Insomnia and even then, I've seen worse).  The man is bad movie proof.  He is a damned good director.  There is no doubt.  However, there seems to be this ground-swell since Batman Begins and Dark Knight Rises is around the corner, that Christopher Nolan has made the definitive Batman movie.  I beg to differ.  If you said Marvel has made the definitive Avengers movie, well, I would be more inclined to agree.  But Nolan?  No.  His movies are set in Batman's world and there are ideas that seem to be pointing towards Batman, but these are not Batman films.  They are films that are a spin on Batman, a different take.  Sure, fine, I'll buy that.  It's not Batman though and if you try and shovel that crap on me, you'll get it back in two fistfuls.  

So the debates rage as Nolan's trilogy wraps up.  I for one would be interested to see how people remember Nolan's films twenty years later.  People still fondly remember the Tim Burton films (or film as Batman Returns seems to me to be a tad unloved), but will people remember these films just as well?  For my money, the answer will be no and once again it has nothing to do with the quality of the films, but the spirit of them.  Nolan's trilogy is technically sound and impressive-looking, but lacks the passion for the source material.  I detect no love in them, just the mechanics of good filmmaking.  For people to declare that these are the best Batman films of all time shows an equal amount of dispassion for Batman.  I'm not saying that you have to be a Batman fan to enjoy the film.  But for a kid who grew up buying Batman comics off the rack simply for the experience of another great Batman adventure, I think I deserve something better than I have received. 

- Stephenstein

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