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  1. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I thought I understood what you were saying but I really dont, how is he a short term plus and a long term minus?
    Does leaving the security and order of justice in the hands of an outlaw vigilante sound "civilized" to you?

  2. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck_of_Death View Post
    Does leaving the security and order of justice in the hands of an outlaw vigilante sound "civilized" to you?
    I'm still not sure what your point is, it seems to have changed again though.

  3. #113
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    My point is that Batman inspires lunacy and lawlessness.
    He may always prevent an immediate threat, but the citizens of Gotham are fronted the bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck_of_Death View Post
    It was too much of a rehash. Blowing up Gotham is horrifying, but it has been done before. It is tired.
    Intellectual debate was established in this movie, but quickly dropped to show more 'splosions.

    It isn't the costumed weirdos or mobsters who are the TRUE villains of Gotham.
    They're a byproduct of an unjust, decaying society.

    Corrupt politicians, however, line their pockets and gain political power from crime.
    TDKR should have approached this head on.
    This would have been The Joker's "better class of criminal."

    Batman was designed to shake people out of apathy.
    While Batman fights on his end, the ordinary citizens must do their part.

    At the end of the day, this is their battle and no one else.

    This didn't happen. It was foreshadowed in Begins.
    The citizens drifted away into obscurity.

    Very sloppy writing.

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    You are absolutely right.
    However, The Nolans' argument come across as rather hollow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck_of_Death View Post
    You are absolutely right.
    However, The Nolans' argument come across as rather hollow.
    That will probably depend on your own political/philosophical outlook. It makes liking movies that run against it hard (I'm thinking of a certain INTPc member that hates most works of art because they offend his Objectivist-based principles).

    Can one fully admire Triumph of the Will while hating Nazis? Does the taint of that film carry over to the end scene for the first Star Wars movie? It can be fun to explore how your outlook colors how you view other people's work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    That will probably depend on your own political/philosophical outlook. It makes liking movies that run against it hard (I'm thinking of a certain INTPc member that hates most works of art because they offend his Objectivist-based principles).

    Can one fully admire Triumph of the Will while hating Nazis? Does the taint of that film carry over to the end scene for the first Star Wars movie? It can be fun to explore how your outlook colors how you view other people's work.
    I think that's a great discussion point.

    There are a few things that play into this.

    The most obvious is that it's not necessarily that one might perceive a movie as different, but that one perceives the movies as untruthful. Basically, people develop their own perspectives of the world hopefully based on some measure of truth (what they observe and experience, coupled with some kind of consistent rationality), and when a movie possesses a different view of what it thinks reality is, then it can come off as untruthful and thus rings "false." For some people, that is enough for them to like or dislike a movie -- whether it represents what they believe is true about the world.

    However, some people can overlook that. Instead, it comes down to other aspects, like craftsmanship or artistry. For example (well, an EXTREME example), take the work of Lars Von Trier. I very much disagree with him in terms of what he seems to believe is true about the world in the long-terms, or true about women, for example. yet I would still argue that the internal consistency of his work and his vision can still bring me to acknowledge that he produces pictures that make one think and also have some level of integrity. it is very much as when someone makes a brilliant argument for something, which I just think is fundamentally flawed because of its initial assumptions; I can still acknowledge that the argument itself is something to behold and well-made.

    Part of this sense of integrity also comes in the representation or BILLING of the movie, as a particular type of movie. For example, The Princess Bridge presents (overall) a positive outlook on life and love... true love overcomes hardships, it conquers all despite some setbacks along the way. The movie also is rather tongue-in-cheek, so it's not as dark as it might be otherwise. I might be more skeptical of the notion of true love, but I can still enjoy the movie because it properly presented and billed -- the tone of the movie supports the premises and underlying assumptions of the movie. It has internal consistency and validity. If I differ from anything in the movie, it's merely the assumptions. I think people of intellectual integrity can acknowledge the gap between poor logic and a mere difference of initial assumptions.

    I think one place TDKR is in its billing / internal consistency. TDK was far more internally consistent.

    With TDK, at least it knew the point it wanted to make, and it didn't waver from it regardless of how uncomfortable that point might be. The overall point was that humanity all is tainted to some degree, and thus not invulnerable from corruption. Even the most likely of people can be corrupted. Some of the criminals were the most obviously corrupt -- in the opening scene, they all shoot each other in the back literally, without argument, to get a larger cut of the take (although none end up surviving). Harvey Dent himself just needs to be hurt a little more badly -- his face ruined, his fiance killed -- and then he too (the white knight) falls. Ironically, it's the average citizens of Gotham who end up being the least corruptible -- or at least the few citizens who choose to stand up and refuse to mistrust the people in the other boat. However, they all know what is at stake, so it ends up seeming a victory of sorts, and it's never clear what is going to happen until it does. The Joker is essentially a catalyst, bent of putting people in situations that test their resolve and purity of heart; he doesn't really care about the outcome as much as the test. Batman comes out worse for wear but overall far more "pure" in his darkness than Harvey.

    TDKR just doesn't seem to possess this type of internal consistency. It wants to portray itself as some kind of complex movie as the last, but it really never engages the questions. For some reason, the acting Commissioner is a glorified weeniehead, then changes his mind without good reason to march with the police. Bane is Bane. Batman comes out of seclusion for some reason that we don't grasp; but then again, his motivations for going into seclusion are weak as well. Did anyone ever doubt what the resolution with "catwoman" would be? Not really. Basically, the forces of order were "good" at heart, and the forces of darkness were "bad" at heart. Even the surprise turncoat happens without us really getting any signals, it was just like, "oh, look, I guess they're evil after all," so it felt rather like a trick than something legitimate we could track (as in The Prestige, where all the clues were actually scattered through the movie but we were just consistently misdirected).

    I think that kind of thing can actually work -- it works in the Superman movies, it works in Star Wars -- but not in a movie that pretends to be something darker and more complex about the human heart. It was a movie rich in potential that didn't seem to follow its inherent essence, based on the tone, the marketing, the title, the predecessors, and the threads within it. I think it was still better than the bulk of superhero movies that have ever come out, but it was a disappointment in what it could have explored and just... hinted at the questions and didn't go there, it was far more conventional rather than thoughtful like the earlier movies. I'm also tired of having to excuse a movie "just because it's a superhero" movie; you know a movie is good when it doesn't matter what kind of movie it is, you can just say, "hey, that was a good movie!"

    It was too bad Alfred didn't get more screentime. Michael Caine really did an excellent job with the little he had to do in the movie.

    To get back to Star Wars.... I consider much of its view of humanity as bullshit, tbh... people just aren't that simple. However, I could take it on its own terms despite my disagreement, because the characters were well-constructed archetypes and consistently played, and it was a 'fun" movie. It didn't seem to take itself too seriously. So it was kind of endearing, and I could accept the movie for what it was. Maybe that was part of my issue with the latter trilogy, which seemed to take itself far more seriously than merited... becoming pretentious. I've heard at least one reviewer say the same about TDKR as well, that it was pretentious... and I guess that is the risk you run when you want to lay claim to heady ideas but don't really face the ambiguity of those issues head on.

    Again, there were elements of the movie I liked, especially those that harkened back to the first movie and carried some of those themes through (especially things Bruce's father taught him).
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #118
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    I don't really have an opinion built up for this movie, but after watching it I feel as if a loved one just died.

  9. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    That will probably depend on your own political/philosophical outlook. It makes liking movies that run against it hard (I'm thinking of a certain INTPc member that hates most works of art because they offend his Objectivist-based principles).

    Can one fully admire Triumph of the Will while hating Nazis? Does the taint of that film carry over to the end scene for the first Star Wars movie? It can be fun to explore how your outlook colors how you view other people's work.
    This is the most upsetting factor: I didn't derive any meaning from The Dark Knight Rises.
    Nolan didn't have anything profound to "say" with this one. In fact, it feels as if it was made simply out of necessity.

    In both movies, it was foreshadowed that Batman would evolve into The Dark Knight we know and love.
    Out the window. He isn't even in this movie. He mopes around and occasionally takes his flying tank out for a stroll.

    Researching the storylines, I figured he would use Prey and Dark Victory as reference points.
    Both fit perfectly within the world Nolan has crafted.

    A plot centric upon a masked dictator with his finger on a trigger is perfunctory and came completely out of left field.
    It was incredibly sloppy writing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I didnt mind him doing that with Preacher because that was his own thing, I think he was involved in the UK reprints of old Punisher comics in the ninties, the letters pages of the ones which I kept from then were/are gold for the debates about the character and contrasts which came out. Many comparisons favourable and disfavourable with Batman, especially since the Burton Batman story was not long out of the cinema, the first one, which was THE revival of Batman for many people, the first introduction to the character which I had.
    Okay, I wasn't sure where you came into Batman at. My introduction was in the Silver Age (70's), so I got to watch some things develop over the years. I had strongly mixed feelings about Burton's version. michael Keaton ended up working better than expected, so that is a plus for him -- it could have been a total disaster. I'm not even sure how to chalk it up. (It's kind of the same feelings I've had about james Bond over the years, which has been done by various directors and 6-7 different actors -- I used to like Moore a lot, but when I read the books as a teenager, I actually found that character more interesting in the books... and I think Daniel Craig is actually far closer to the original James Bond in Fleming's novels than any of the other actors who have played him. He's capable of being debonair in the right situation but actually is still more a taciturn, internalized thug in many ways... yet one that you feel bad for as well, because he's been kept rather isolated from making real human connection.) By the time the Batman movie came out in 1989, I think we had already seen The Killing Joke and TDKReturns released, which definitely did color the character. It also colored the Joker's character as well. I guess I didn't find the characters as psychologically complex as I like, but there were touches I enjoyed in the movie (such as when the Joker dies and he's got the laughing teeth in a bag that continue to laugh... it was perfectly eerie for the character).

    I didn't really see any of the UK stuff with the Punisher (or Judge Dredd, to be honest... I just never read the book although I worked in a comic store while at college and I was aware of what was coming out), I just saw the American stuff. The Punisher was never of much interest to me either, to be honest.

    Sorry it's taking me a bit to come to the point. I think I want to say that there seems to not be a specific interpretation of the character, just a broad one, so even the "original" version of a character is not really authoritative -- it is just the first observed facet of the character as portrayed. So yes, we might have had Batman in the 40's and 50's, but it's simply the Batman that was interesting to that culture at that time; the Batman of the 60's ended up giving us the Batman of the TV show (which is in itself a legitimate view fo the character); and if the Batman had been created in the 80's and 90's, then that variation would still have looked as it did, and IT would be considered "definitive" to those who view the first appearance of a character as definitive. As the movies state, the Batman it is being given is the Batman that it needs / that is definitive for its time. But in all of those incarnations (except maybe the TV show), Batman has always been dark, and a bit disaffected, born of tragedy and thus very different than Superman. Superman lost his parents as well, but it was a gift of love that sent him to earth, and a gift of love that he was adopted and brought up with a loving family that tried to protect him and give him a "normal" life. Bruce Wayne was robbed of his parents by an act of violence and nothing really ever made that up to him, and he was never "normal" due to his wealth.


    I wouldnt trash Ennis' stuff entirely, I liked his series "Born" which sort of showed that Castle was always "a bit like that" and engaged in punisher like behaviour in 'Nam, both his own troops and VC, and also the extent to which his family upon return was the only thing which allowed him to put the "punisher", represented as the skull motif, in the box. It leaves it to the reader, knowing the story, to conclude what will happen if the family ever perish.
    I know Ennis likes more grounded characters, rather than the superhero types, but I really don't know a ton about him except that I was bored and kind of turned off by Preacher. I didn't mind the level of violence/maturity rating, it was just kind of boring and crass to me.... If you think his Frank Castle stuff is better, maybe it's worth me digging it up to take a look at.

    Although the earlier Punisher was meant to be a veteran, war hero etc. because those were explicitly respectable credentials and experience, he was honour bound and honourific, he was also seriously scrupulous about not harming the innocent in the earlier comics and used some sort of strange ammunition in the earliest appearences in Spiderman, in which he was a marksman extraordinaire like Bullseye in the later Punisher comics, which did no harm to villains even "mercy bullets".

    In the first movie, which is dreadful, he was a cop and they used that in the more recent movie but one too, this was for the reason of making the character respectable too. That's important. Ennis threw that out. Instead I think Ennis is thinking too much of the "we're just retaliating" paramilitary "avengers" in Northern Ireland, which are far, far short of any of their stated punisher like traits and know it, I think Ennis recast the character like that, he even had something to do with the Punisher European missions which featured a mission in Northern Ireland and some of the same characters. That was all wrong. I dont mind it but it sort of has become the only Punisher motif there is, besides an equally unlikeable one in which he is something like Ironman or Spiderman in the costumed superhero sense.
    Ah. Okay, thank you for explaining this. Now I better understand your objection to how he was portrayed in the American variations of the character, where he really just comes off as a simplistic murderer for hire... a lot of the character has seemed lost at times. I appreciate you too making a comparison for me about Ireland and such, because I don't have that context to bring to any reading I've done... hey I grew up in rural Pennsylvania USA.

    yeah, I've found it kind of goofy when they stick Frank Castle in the company of the costumed good guys and treat him like a part of the superhero team... he just doesn't seem to fit.


    To be honest, I'm a fan of that book BTW and think it was one of the last good examples of Batman writing, I think that the second movie should have been split.

    They should have done the Joker storyline and a seperate Harvey Dent story line, there was no way that the character of the Batman was coming of darker than the Joker in that film, Ledger's great performance or no, and the subplot, which was just as important as the movie story arc altogether, about Dent, politics, legislation which was needed to deal with the problems which perhaps were a result of Batman working Gotham as a patch, ie it becoming a magnet for Joker types, and the fate of all of that if Dent's rep was ruined by two face was overshadowed.
    I think it worked for the movie, but as you say, there was a lot more that could have been done if it had been treated separately. I didn't really like the pattern of sticking two villains into each movie, a movie motif that I think started with Batman Returns (with Catwoman and the Penguin)

    Also, as you say, Batman wasnt really shown as a character in that movie which was terrifying to the criminal fraternity or had really begun to "fight fire with fire", Miller's Batman I think of as being similar to Big Daddy in Kick Ass only without the guns.
    Totally. I didn't really read the Kick ass comic (I skimmed it after the movie came out and found I liked the movie far more), but it was pretty obvious that Big Daddy was a Batman spinoff himself.

    If Moore's opinion didnt matter then it would simply be a matter of "who cares?", he's a big guy in comics and he's done lots of interviews and expounded his theories about particular characters and in many circles those are THE opinions of those characters which now hold water and are considered canonical. He's said a lot about how that character was meant to be Batman, then those theories have been passed off as "matter of fact" by many of the people I've read discussing Batman now, which I think is a shame because it wasnt about simply a "darker" batman, it was a pathologising of Batman as a basket case.
    I think Moore's a pretty talented writer in his heyday (I didn't find his later work as engrossing), but he's kind of an outsider and curmudgeon too who seems to react against the establishment... so it's ironic when the establishment comes to respect and incorporate his views. I wonder if that takes some of the edge off him. Anyway, I don't disagree with that; as I said above, the current incarnation is just a reflection of our times, he's the Batman that we can identify with as a culture. There seems to be some underlying assumptions about him (he has to be orphaned, he has to be rich, he should be a detective and savvy, he should not be superhuman but simply athletic and geared to the max, he's a "creature of the night" as his namesake), but other than that, there's a lot of details to be filled in by the culture who is examining him.

    So far as making Batman darker, he was originally pretty dark, Bob Kane had his character originally using a laso rope rather than the batarang or spear guns and if I'm not wrong he did hang some of the bad guys with it, even only by accident, I definitely remember him closing some windows on a laboratory and letting a mad scientist burn to death too. So that's been there. Although those were darker times maybe that this was just part of the commonplace action or dectective fiction.
    I'm not sure. I never actually read the detective pulp fiction, so I'm not sure how violent it was. I know by the 70's things could be kind of gruesome. I remember Batman seeming far more realistic to me than "pie in the sky" compared to some, and there also being an Ellery Queenish type of flair to him, if you've ever read any of those books. One of my favorite issues was a mystery solved by Batman, where he's being forced to investigate a murder of a mystery writer... I can't for the life of me remember the name or the issue. But he did a lot more detective work in the 70's, I think; and it was still 'dark' but not quite as cynical as some of the later Batman work that came out.

    This was kind of amusing:
    http://vimeo.com/16535931
    (interview with Denny O'Neil)

    This kind of validates what is said in the Wiki(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(comic_book)):

    In 1971, writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams came aboard the title and re-infused it with the darker tones of the 1940s.[21] O'Neil and Adams introduced a new villain named Ra's al Ghul,[22][23] and would also revitalize the Joker by bringing him back to his roots as a homicidal maniac who murders people on a whim.[24][25] Batman #237 (December 1971) featured a metafictional story by O'Neil and Adams which featured several comics creators appearing in the story and interacting with Batman and Robin at the Rutland Halloween Parade in Rutland, Vermont.[26] O'Neil said his work on the Batman series was "simply to take it back to where it started. I went to the DC library and read some of the early stories. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after."[27]
    So there was a reboot in the 70's back to the 40's from what the TV series had done to Batman and to the cultural expectations...

    Well, Bob Kane and a lot of the historians of batman which I read at the time I first got interested in the character, shortly after Tim Burton's movie, all talked about the Wayne had to be a millionaire because the alternative was to make him some sort of maverick spy or PI or government agent, which they did not want to do because it would be too difficult to make it plausible that he could conceal his identity from his paymasters. There were other characters like The Shadow, the film of which I did not think was a bad as a lot of people made out, which prefigured Batman and were only really unlike in the respect that they had city wide organisations and agents, like Dick Tracy, although Tracy was a cop working for the state, and those characters used guns, which Batman didnt apart from a few earlier or odd instances. So I kind of see it as a plot device, its not either a conscious or unconscious reflection of class struggles and I dont believe that really belongs in a discussion of the character, its reductive yes, but I also think its fundamentally mistaken and part of trendy liberals trying to trash old fashioned heroes or heroics.
    I guess when you and I have disagreed on this kind of point, it's simply that I don't see it as "trendy liberals" making this argument, even if some have -- I don't consider myself a trendy liberal at all, I just like the psychological complexity involved in letting someone wrestle with inner demons... as long as it makes the character more COMPLEX and thus realistic to me. Because I personally believe we are all complex. I don't much like making someone dark just to make them dark. That's a debasement of character, to me. It has to make sense, and it has to seem believable... and (ironically for me) there still has to be some element of hope involved, as nothing is perfectly dark or light.

    One reason why I liked Frank Miller's version of Superman in TDKR is that, while Batman basically views him with derision, as a patsy of the patriotic government, and while we can see why Batman believes that and that Supes IS kind of a pollyanna compared to Batman... we get to see Supes' POV and that he doesn't necessarily like having to give up his secret identity and work for the gov... he did it mostly to protect his friends and provide Bruce and others with amnesty. he's more collectively minded than Bats, and more apt to sacrifice himself for others. So in a way it gave a more complex twist to the glowy and kind of naive Clark Kent that was put forth by the original movies. To me, it was a version of Superman that still fit within the boundaries of what had been established for the character.

    So mostly I'm asking you just to give it a chance and not write it off as some kind of political conspiracy, when a character drifts in a direction you don't like; I don't think the changes in Batman's character in the last 20 years have been all about the "liberals," i think it's a natural reflection of a culture where morality is more ambiguous and mottled, and nothing is simple. I grew up around adults who thought Reagan was some kind of demi-god; accordingly, I relished a world where there was more complexity, and not all the good guys were pleasant-looking, and not all the bad guys were dark and wearing a mustache. Now, if Superman or a different character would be getting darkened unnecessary, I'd be more disappointed; but Batman has had the seeds within him from conception.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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