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He's an outlaw. He’s an inventor. He’s a detective. He’s got better gadgets than James Bond and he looks like Dracula. He's got everything.
August 3, 2012 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Grant Morrison's Guide to Batman on the Big Screen
posted by fearfulsymmetry (113 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
It hadn't occurred to me in any conscious way that The Dark Knight was "split down the middle, based on the idea of Two Face's coin," but yeah, it is! Neat observation.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 10:41 AM on August 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I love his summary of the '40s serials. I remember finding them on tape at the video store when I was a kid, and being really excited to see the original vintage Batman. I had always been very much into retro things, wanting to see the older versions and originals. And the serials were just ... incomprehensible. I didn't really understand it, and I always wondered what the deal was. Morrison I think really gets into what I didn't understand was off with it.

During the time of the 1989 Batman, there was a distinct atmosphere in the publicity that the Adam West Batman had been the utter opposite of what the Tim Burton films had been striving for. They wanted to make a clean break, and the Burton film really blew people away. I don't agree that the big sprawling mess of Batman Returns is better, though, there was so much more in the first Batman (excepting of course Michelle Pfeiffer's odd turn as Catwoman).

It's a shame, I don't think DKR lived up to what Morrison expected of it. But that's life.
posted by graymouser at 10:42 AM on August 3, 2012


I thought his contention that "fetishizing" Batman is "bad for the brand" was absolutely hilarious.
posted by clockzero at 10:46 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Batman is Tim Burton's attempt at making a Batman movie, and it's pretty good. Batman Returns is a Tim Burton movie that happens to have Batman-inspired characters in it, and it's awesome.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:47 AM on August 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


> He’s got better gadgets than James Bond...

He does, does he? Well, is his car INVISIBLE? Well, is it???

I rest my case.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 10:49 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Before you read his comments on Batman and Robin, take a refresher course.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:53 AM on August 3, 2012


Sure, the invisible batmobile is in most shots of the batcave. Take a close look. See? You don't? Well, then *I* rest my case.
posted by Cironian at 10:53 AM on August 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Since Grant Morrison is the one who brought us "Damian Wayne," Batman's long-lost son, I have about the same regard for Morrison's take on Batman as I do Joel Schumacher.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:54 AM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


"The Sixties Batman works because when you're a kid you take it really seriously and when you're an adult, you think it's pretty funny. But when you're an adolescent and you're getting into Batman as an idea of something cool and mysterious and reflection of your own darker moods – that's when you really hate that Adam West stuff. It's anathema to the adolescent concept of Batman as a tortured, angst-ridden loner. But obviously the older you get, the funnier it gets. "

...and that's why teenagers suck and the tendency from the 90s onwards for comics to focus excessively on teenagers and people in their 30s who never stopped thinking like teenagers is a horrible, stunting thing. Also why the new Superman movie will suck.
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on August 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


That and because the cheapo Ikea coffee table to my left has more of an acting range than Henry Cavill.
posted by biffa at 10:59 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I haven't quite seen anybody reaching this high. And I do not think [The Dark Knight] is going to be topped until the third one comes out."

I've got bad news for you...
posted by brundlefly at 10:59 AM on August 3, 2012


It hadn't occurred to me in any conscious way that The Dark Knight was "split down the middle, based on the idea of Two Face's coin," but yeah, it is! Neat observation.

I thought it was one of those Hollywood Scriptwriting Rules that there has to be some major turning-point event at the exact midway point of your movie. Seems a bit of a reach to attribute this to Two-Face's coin in this instance.
posted by yoink at 10:59 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


plot or character point every ten minutes, 30/40 min for reveals or reversals, yeah.
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


but that's for a 90 min film, things have gotten bloated these days
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on August 3, 2012


He says the next generation of Batman movies will be inspired by the Schumacker movies. At first that made me recoil in horror. But maybe a touch of camp could refresh superhero movies that strive to out "dark and gritty" each other.

That and I want to see Superman with nipple armor.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:06 AM on August 3, 2012


The Dark Knight always felt like two movies to me, but in a bad way. By the time we get to the two ships setup I'm yawning and looking at my watch.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:06 AM on August 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Since Grant Morrison is the one who brought us "Damian Wayne," Batman's long-lost son, I have about the same regard for Morrison's take on Batman as I do Joel Schumacher.

Damien is the best thing to happen in the Batman books in a long time. He's such a great character. A violent, petulant yet extremely competent brat who still wants to do good in his father's eyes. And with Morrison writing him he's one of the funniest characters in comics right now. How can you go wrong with a character who says things like this.
posted by thecjm at 11:09 AM on August 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


The structure of it is brilliant – split down the middle, based on the idea of Two Face's coin. Everything's upbeat in the first half of the movie, and then when you think, really, the movie should be over, the bad guy's captured, a whole new movie starts and everybody dies.

Yeah, um, that's less brilliant structure than it is two movies tacked together incongruously.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:10 AM on August 3, 2012


Also Dick Grayson and Damian had the best Batman/Robin rapport in years. Decades, maybe.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:12 AM on August 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


He says the next generation of Batman movies will be inspired by the Schumacker movies. At first that made me recoil in horror. But maybe a touch of camp could refresh superhero movies that strive to out "dark and gritty" each other.

Well, yeah. After Nolan you kind of have to take the franchise in another direction. I'm not sure campy Batman will ever appeal to me, personally, but if they wait a respectful amount of time I'd probably give it a look.
posted by gauche at 11:13 AM on August 3, 2012


After Nolan you kind of have to take the franchise in another direction.

Or but wait: Imagine a really realistic Batman, where this lonely and troubled billionaire grieves of his parents' death, spends years and millions of dollars training to become a vigilante, and then finally one night puts on a dark costume of terror and then immediately gets shot in the head by a petty thief.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:16 AM on August 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


I just want a Batman that is a true detective and crime solver, and not some nutcase who's more psychopathic than the bad guys. I just get so tired of endless brawls and explosions substituting for story.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:16 AM on August 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


munchingzombie: "He says the next generation of Batman movies will be inspired by the Schumacker movies. At first that made me recoil in horror. But maybe a touch of camp could refresh superhero movies that strive to out "dark and gritty" each other. "

I've been playing Batman: Arkham Asylum lately, and I think it strikes a nice balance between "campy" and "gritty". I'm not saying I'd like an adaptation, but something in that vein could be interesting.
posted by brundlefly at 11:16 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


My big problem with the Burton and Schumacher movies (well, one my big problems) is that it's readily apparent that their only source material and context for Batman is the 60's tv series. Tim Burton even brags in interviews about not reading comic books. At least with DKR (which I thought was a stinker), you see where they were taking actual moments and stories from the books and working them in to the movie.

If you want camp Batman by people who love the comics, you need to watch Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
posted by thecjm at 11:17 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Brave And The Bold proves camp batman can still make me smile. I have a soft spot for Batman Forever actually. It's silly and garish and cartoonish and I'm a sucker for the set design - it just has the same problem every Batman thing has, what tone to take. Forever wasn't nearly as funny as it thought it was but Returns is just as silly and goofy, it's the tone, taking all this goofy shit seriously kinda pushes it into a rarefied version of high camp.

I thought Begins was painfully slow and didn't do the "work Batman into the real world." thing. Dark Knight hits cause the only way to make a supervillian dressed like a clown scary in the "real world" is to make him the scariest motherfucker in the room.

and out of all of them B;TAS hit the tone sweet spot PERFECTLY, setting it a pulpy 40s detective universe that allowed for both "realism" and supervillians. It really shows when you see the occasional off episode, where everything is too broad or too strangely maudlin.
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on August 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also Dick Grayson and Damian

Batman without Bruce Wayne that actually worked, for a sustained period of time. I was kind of sorry to see Bruce back, but then we got Batman Inc.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


And I want my Batman movie with Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the Riddler as a Zodiac-style serial killer already dammit.
posted by The Whelk at 11:22 AM on August 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


My big problem with the Burton and Schumacher movies (well, one my big problems) is that it's readily apparent that their only source material and context for Batman is the 60's tv series.

Exactly. It's a "dark" take, not on Batman the character, but on Batman the 1966 TV show. It assumes that the camp and the hyper-energetic brightly colored supervillains bouncing around are foundational to the whole thing, rather than elements that were added or played up for a particular adaptation, and that they have to be there even if you go for "serious". Thus, a mess.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:22 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The best piece of Batman fiction in the last decade is pretty clearly Batman: Arkham Asylum.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:24 AM on August 3, 2012


Sometime I think I might love Brave and the Bold as much as B:TAS, or at least equally.
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on August 3, 2012


"Gorillas...riding pterodactyls...with harpoon guns...stealing a boat."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:27 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


They just need to do a batman from the POV of the beat cops and detective working a murder. Skip all the reboots and explorations of his origin, leave him as a mystery. He just shows up and does shit. A procedural where batman randomly appears and finds some clues or something. Maybe at the end he gets to beat up the bad guy.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:28 AM on August 3, 2012 [9 favorites]



Sometime I think I might love Brave and the Bold as much as B:TAS, or at least equally.

I like to imagine them as being written by the same person, but one is written with irish coffee and the other on whippets
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


That would be a movie of Gotham Central.
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I used to hate Michael Keaton as Batman, but, despite not liking the Burtman movies, I eventually grew to like Michael Keaton as Batman. I think he was probably my favorite, again, despite not liking those movies at all.

Val Kilmer was the most forgettable Batman. I always forget that he played Batman, and I can never remember which movie it was he played Batman in, either. Was it the Kiss from a Rose Batman? Christ, I love that song.

George Clooney was just kind of "there". He wasn't as forgettable as Kilmer, but he wasn't very endearing, either. Not that I have anything against George Clooney. The guy just isn't Batman.

Patrick Bat[e]man just played the role too straight. Like Clooney, he wasn't very endearing, and his Bat-voice was awful.
posted by Redfield at 11:31 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]




They just need to do a batman from the POV of the beat cops and detective working a murder. Skip all the reboots and explorations of his origin, leave him as a mystery. He just shows up and does shit. A procedural where batman randomly appears and finds some clues or something. Maybe at the end he gets to beat up the bad guy.


There's some talk that the possible Marvelverse ABC series will be just that (esp with the short films they've been making), no characters from the movies, just like the NYPD that occasionally has to have a shoot out with The Lizard.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 AM on August 3, 2012


How about lets just have a movie with Gary Oldman as Commish Gordon doing stuff in Gotham. Anything really. Shopping, gardening, walking his og, maybe some detective work with that earnest young cop. I would watch the hell out of that.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:34 AM on August 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


That would be a movie of Gotham Central.

Sounds good. It should be an HBO series though. It should be by whoever did Luther or Rebus. Maybe figure out a way to have Luther or Rebus show up and butt heads with Batman.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:35 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]



How about lets just have a movie with Gary Oldman

And nothig else. Gary Oldman waking up, Gary Oldman having coffee, Gary Oldman talking a walk around the neighborhood. Gary Oldman petting a dog and so on.
posted by The Whelk at 11:36 AM on August 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Heh. Luther is basically a superhero show.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on August 3, 2012


Sounds good. It should be an HBO series though. It should be by whoever did Luther or Rebus. Maybe figure out a way to have Luther or Rebus show up and butt heads with Batman.

What ever happened to CSI: Ankh-Morpork?

I was pissed The Magicians pilot didn't get picked up, but maybe it was really awful.
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would watch the HELL out of CSI: Ankh-Morpork, especially if they got Gary Oldman to play Vimes.
posted by namewithoutwords at 11:38 AM on August 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Let's all just follow Gary Oldman wherever he goes. We'll sleep in the bushes near his house, follow him to the coffee shop for breakfast, etc.
posted by whir at 11:44 AM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


It hadn't occurred to me in any conscious way that The Dark Knight was "split down the middle, based on the idea of Two Face's coin," but yeah, it is! Neat observation.

I thought it was one of those Hollywood Scriptwriting Rules that there has to be some major turning-point event at the exact midway point of your movie.


Sort of, but you and Morrison aren't quite talking about the same thing. Movie structure evolves as audiences get more sophisticated. Plots now are considerably more complicated than plots in, say, the 1940s. In standard three act structure, there has long been a rule of thumb that there should be a turning point of some sort in the middle of act two, effectively breaking it into two separate structural chunks. That's been there for a while.

An idea that came along, as best I can determine right now without doing a bunch of research in the early days of Spielberg and Lucas-style film making is the idea that that midpoint isn't just a high point in the plot, an action beat or something like that, but that it really does split the film into two distinct stories. In a lot of movies now, the midpoint is when the original story goal is achieved, but it's a "yes, but" kind of thing. The heroes have accomplished what they originally set out to do, but it turns out there's more going on than they thought, and now they have to do something else that will take up the second half of the movie.

Star Wars is always a great example for structure. Because everyone knows it, and because you could slice cheese on the structure in that movie. You'll recall that, at the beginning of Star Wars, the goal is just to rescue Princess Leia. Which our heroes successfully do... right about the middle of the movie. It's only then that it pivots to getting away from the Empire and getting the plans to the rebels so they can destroy the Death Star in the second half of the movie.

Similarly, the first half of Raiders is a race to find the Ark of the Covenant. At the midpoint of the movie, Indy finds it. Movie's not over, but a different story begins, one that's now about the battle for possession of the Ark.

So yeah, it's not surprising that Dark Knight would have done something like this. It starts out about catching the Joker, but when Batman does catch him, it turns out he's already got wheels in motion that then have to be stopped. I'm not sure the coincidence of Two-Face's coin really plays into it, at least as a deliberate thematic element. I suspect that kind of structure would have been there anyway.
posted by Naberius at 11:49 AM on August 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


I would watch a show where Luther, Rebus, Batman, Jim Rockford, Magnum all tried to solve a crime simultaneously. Rockford and Magnum pretty much solve cases by sleeping with random women until someone tries to kill them. Luther could frame an innocent person close to the actual perpetrator thereby forcing the perpetrator to confess. Rebus could sit in a bar and drink until the perpetrator shows up in the bar and somehow slips up, triggering Rebus to remember a 10 year old case which he also solves. Batman could just decide The Joker did it and toss him back into Arkham.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:53 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been playing Batman: Arkham Asylum lately

I always read that as 'Batman: Arkham Horror' and then it's all 'holy shit I would play that board game SO MUCH'

CSI: Ankh-Morpork

ALMOST AS MUCH AS THIS OOOOOOOOH GIMME
posted by FatherDagon at 11:54 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plots now are considerably more complicated than plots in, say, the 1940s.

I don't feel this way when I watch film noir.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:58 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Movie structure evolves as audiences get more sophisticated. Plots now are considerably more complicated than plots in, say, the 1940s.

Yeah, probably in general, but like Pruitt-Igoe said...those noirs. The Maltese Falcoln, The Big Sleep...
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 12:01 PM on August 3, 2012


Batman Beyond? No? Doesn't count?

But I agree with his evaluation of the 90s Batman cartoon. It (and incidentally a lot of TV in the 90s) didn't assume kids were stupid, and introduced my baby self to what would be come two and a half decades of unconditional love for one of comic land's least magical yet most complex superheroes.
posted by Mooseli at 12:02 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always read that as 'Batman: Arkham Horror' and then it's all 'holy shit I would play that board game SO MUCH'

The Bat-Things That Are Not to Be Named.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:02 PM on August 3, 2012


I like some of Morrison's stuff but I didn't see anything here that hasn't been said before and better elsewhere with the same amount of space (probably on Metafilter).
posted by snap_dragon at 12:02 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plots now are considerably more complicated than plots in, say, the 1940s.

Never mistake "bunch of shit happens" for complex plotting.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:03 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


"shit keeps happening that we try to piece together like we planned it all along in the last day of shooting" more like it.

Note this is surprisingly effective.
posted by The Whelk at 12:05 PM on August 3, 2012


Plot holes have also gone up 300% since the '40s [citation not forthcoming].
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 12:05 PM on August 3, 2012


But I agree with his evaluation of the 90s Batman cartoon. It (and incidentally a lot of TV in the 90s) didn't assume kids were stupid, and introduced my baby self to what would be come two and a half decades of unconditional love for one of comic land's least magical yet most complex superheroes.

I grew up on 70s Batman and I think a lot of my love for B:TAS stems from how much it reminds me of the better 70s stories (sometimes directly adapted from them).
posted by immlass at 12:06 PM on August 3, 2012


There's a difference between structure and plot
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:06 PM on August 3, 2012


I'm just going to leave this self link of alternate reboot ideas for Batman here and apologize to everyone.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:08 PM on August 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


Nolan's Batman is all will, but no planning. The next Batman will be the Crazy Prepared version, I think; that's the only one who can really work in the inevitable Justice League film.
posted by gerryblog at 12:09 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see the world's great detective do some ....detecting at some point.
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on August 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just want a Batman that is a true detective and crime solver

I'd like to lobby for a crossover between a more detective-style Batman and the BBC 21st Century Sherlock. I would pay many, many dollars to see that.

off to search for fanfic...someone has to have done this already, right?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:15 PM on August 3, 2012


off to search for fanfic...someone has to have done this already, right?

you have no idea the things I've seen
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Heh. Luther is basically a superhero show.

I think Idris Elba would make a badass Batman.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 12:21 PM on August 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm just going to leave this self link of alternate reboot ideas for Batman here and apologize to everyone.
2 — Wealthy orphan Bruce Wayne, on a quest to make himself a vigilante, travels the world perfecting his martial arts skills. As he’s studying one particular esoteric form of martial arts, he experiences a spiritual awakening. He decides violence is not the answer and comes back to Gotham to advocate for social change as a politician. While running for office, his opponents questions his years traveling, his country of birth, and even if his belief in peace makes him a communist. “Fuck this,” thinks Wayne, who decides to dress as a giant bat and terrorize asshole politicians exclusively for the rest of his life.
Are you kidding? I would watch this again and again!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:23 PM on August 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


bruce wayne is kind of insecure and self-loathing, decides on the stoned advice of his friend to dress up as character "buttman" and pretend to be mildly mentally disabled while 'interviewing' shoppers about their cars in a K-mart and nearby "Lane-Bryant" whereafter the footage is uploaded to his "tumblr"
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:37 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joey Michaels, I love idea #1.

Bat man has a friend who knows her way around a sewing machine.

"'Bat man', huh? The bad guys are all afraid of you! You could dress up like a superhero and rid the streets of crime! Here, I made you a costume."

"That's, uh, not really..." but, lacking money and resources, bat man puts on the costume anyway.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:38 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Batman Beyond? No? Doesn't count?

My dream is that the forthcoming Neuromancer film adaptation is both really well made and really financially successful. Right at the same time Warner Brothers is sitting around trying to decide how to reboot Batman. As is the way with film pitches in Hollywood (or so I'm told) a bunch of suits are sitting around simply trying to shoehorn recently successful plot material into whatever it is they are discussing that day. One suit says "Look, Marvel has the team thing cornered but people are really going nuts for this near future whosawhatsit.....Can we like maybe put Batman in the future?"

And then, sitting in the corner is one of us. Someone who knows this opportunity when he sees it.

Next thing you know, BAM! Terry McGinnis!

That is my dream.
posted by sendai sleep master at 12:41 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Looks like Morrison is pretty much wrapping up on DC stuff, BTW:

BEING GRANT MORRISON: FROM "HAPPY!" TO MORRISONCON & BEYOND

I like that the MBE makes him feel "evil".
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on August 3, 2012


Billy the Cat was cooler.
posted by Decani at 12:48 PM on August 3, 2012


Really nice interview with Morrison here.
posted by Artw at 12:58 PM on August 3, 2012


From the "alternate reboot ideas for Batman" link:

8 — 2012. Las Vegas. Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale have their annual get together where they get drunk and then watch George Clooney play Batman in Batman and Robin. They do a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 style commentary throughout. Adam West dubs all of Clooney’s lines and Keaton provides funny voices for all the other characters while Kilmer and Bale just get shitfaced.

Someone needs to make this happen.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:06 PM on August 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Yeah, #8 was my pride and joy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:10 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


#7 is my favorite, but #8 is pretty great. My only beef is that it seems like a party that George Clooney might actually host.
posted by brundlefly at 1:12 PM on August 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


For an alternate view on Morrison, The Comics Journal ran a pretty critical takedown of Flex Mentallo a few days ago. Also, because I guess I feel like being a downer today, looks like that Neuromancer adaptation is looking to cast Mark Wahlberg as Case.
posted by whir at 1:35 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Comics Journal can kiss my ass.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


munchingzombie: "But maybe a touch of camp could refresh superhero movies that strive to out "dark and gritty" each other. "

I don't think so. Spiderman 3 features a song and dance number by Tobey Maguire, and that film got skewered by critics and fans alike.
posted by I am the Walrus at 1:49 PM on August 3, 2012


There's a long long list of things that are wrong with Spiderman 3. The song and dance routine is one of of them because it's tone doesn't match the rest of the movie, and the reason it gets singled out is, well, see above.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on August 3, 2012


The dance scene is the only thing I like about that movie.
posted by brundlefly at 1:52 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's a dark, gritty urban avenger whose parents are dead. He's a zany, straight-edged do-gooder who always carries shark repellent. He fights crime!
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:05 PM on August 3, 2012


Dunno, Wahlberg has a kind of nondescript everyman quality he might be ok. Actually I think they should go with Casey Affleck, and not just for the similar names.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:07 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The biggest problem with Spider-Man 3 is that they took the best Spider-Man storyline in all of comics and perverted it to the point that Venom spoke with Topher Grace's voice.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:11 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I kind of think that if they'd have let Raimi do the story he wanted to do, then done a symbiotic costume story, dance routine and all, we'd be talking about how great that scene was. Then the studio could get someone else to do the stupid Venom film they wanted.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on August 3, 2012


Venom just isn't a good one-off throw-away villain. If they want to do Venom in the movies, they should do a trilogy of Spider-man movies where all the Venom setup occurs in the first movie and then Venom is just a fact of life in the city until the end of the trilogy. He needs to develop for the Spidey/Venom stuff to be compelling.

Also, anyone who likes B:TAS but has not yet seen Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker needs to do so immediately. It is legitimately in the top two or three Batman movies of all time and contains some of Mark Hamill's finest work (the sheer rage in his voice during the final confrontation with McGinnis sends shivers down my spine).
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:54 PM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, but make sure you get the uncensored version, because the censored version alters a pretty important sequence in a way that really hurts the movie.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:57 PM on August 3, 2012


Venom just isn't a good one-off throw-away villain. If they want to do Venom in the movies, they should do a trilogy of Spider-man movies where all the Venom setup occurs in the first movie and then Venom is just a fact of life in the city until the end of the trilogy. He needs to develop for the Spidey/Venom stuff to be compelling.

In all reality there should have been at least one complete movie where Spidey has the black suit and nothing bad happens except he slowly gets meaner, to the point that you pretty much forget the origin of the suit and just think he looks cool in black.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:00 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked Spider-Man 3. There, I said it. It wasn't as good as SM2, but it was a lot better than ASM. And I loved Topher as Eddie.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:07 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's all just follow Gary Oldman wherever he goes. We'll sleep in the bushes near his house, follow him to the coffee shop for breakfast, etc.

It's not as interesting as it sounds. The coffee shop has nice pastries, though.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:21 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I more or less understood everything Grant Morrison said there.

So...

Guess it's time to call a psychiatrist and find out what's wrong with me.
posted by Wataki at 3:24 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guess it's time to call a psychiatrist and find out what's wrong with me.

Don't worry; at this stage, you can expect to be contacted soon.

What happens next depends on how you answer the Questions.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:18 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


What happens next depends on how you answer the Questions.

Or, perhaps, on how you and The Question.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:57 PM on August 3, 2012


They just need to do a batman from the POV of the beat cops and detective working a murder. Skip all the reboots and explorations of his origin, leave him as a mystery. He just shows up and does shit. A procedural where batman randomly appears and finds some clues or something. Maybe at the end he gets to beat up the bad guy.

By David Simon?
posted by pmcp at 5:20 PM on August 3, 2012


And nothig else. Gary Oldman waking up, Gary Oldman having coffee, Gary Oldman talking a walk around the neighborhood. Gary Oldman petting a dog and so on.

I don't think Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy needs a sequel.
posted by straight at 7:46 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Heh.

It'll hopefully have several, but funny anyway.
posted by Artw at 7:53 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy needs a sequel.

Too late.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I grew up on the 1960s Batman, so all this dark stuff bums me out and I could rally go for a reboot of the '60s show, maybe with some grit like Grayson (previously).
posted by kirkaracha at 10:31 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously, Brave & The Bold. It's clever, it's hilarious, it perfectly captures the spirit of the Silver Age that Batman '66 was riffing on in the first place, and it has the odd musical number when you least expect it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:17 AM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


the batman evolution
posted by brappi at 5:29 AM on August 4, 2012


How to tell your children about Hush
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about '89 lately and what strikes me about it is that Keaton would have made a great Joker. All that weird manic grin and crazy eyes stuff that keeps peeking through when he's trying to keep his Bruce Wayne hat on, the small bits (like in Vale's apartment) where he's verging on out-crazying The Clown Prince and Nicholson looks actually sort of briefly put out by the competitive scenery chewing.

But then, I'm thinking, who is the Joker? What's he all about? He's Batman's foil, his dark mirror, the uglier, more chaotic derivation from similar axioms. The same elevation of the self as an agent of change, that vigilantism, the same adoption of cartoonism. Joker is Batman without the often self-conflicted dedication to both making the world a better and safer place and to using violence and terror to accomplish his goals. It's an old trope at this point: who would the Joker be without Batman? Who knows the Joker better than Batman? Who knows Batman better, even in his own fractured existential extremist way, than the Joker?

Michael Keaton as the presumed-dead, self-mutilated Bruce Wayne, gone nutso crazy under the weight of the guilt and conflict he felt as Gotham's volunteer dark knight, confronted one too many times by the collateral damage of his moral quests. Batman's gone, exiled or fled or killed, no one knows. But then, years later he's back, and then, as if on cue, so too is the Joker. And in a twin unmasking-type reveal, we find out that Batman is...not Bruce Wayne.

And that the Joker is. Keaton's manic side unleashed completely. The logical conclusion of a career dedicated to an unresolvable set of conflicts: Bruce cuts the Gordian Knot that is his own mind, and resolves the moral calculus by zeroing it out entirely. And so things continue. Being Batman is a death sentence, and the Joker is his afterlife; an endless loop of reincarnation lived in parallel.
posted by cortex at 9:12 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw will now point out like five comic arcs I haven't read that flirt with this idea.
posted by cortex at 9:14 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, there's Mark Millars rather jokeresqur anti-Batman in Nemesis, but that book is fuck awful...
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on August 5, 2012


the batman evolution

There's a reason Cracked magazine went under and the website opted for illustrated lists of top five tvtropes instead of that kind of "wacky" art.
posted by straight at 9:39 AM on August 6, 2012


Re: Cortex, I don't think there's ever been a storyline where that actually happens, but Joker himself certainly believes it – most notably in The Killing Joke, where he insists that even someone as sane and righteous as Jim Gordon is “one bad day” away from dying his hair green and painting smiles on fish. They've flirted with turning members of the Bat-family into new Jokers on a few occasions, but it's always because of torture or brain implants or something, not just their minds breaking under the constant strain.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:44 AM on August 6, 2012


e: Cortex, I don't think there's ever been a storyline where that actually happens, but Joker himself certainly believes it – most notably in The Killing Joke

What's more, the last panel sequence of The Killing Joke suggests he might be right, about Batman at least if not Jim Gordon. After everything else that's happened in that story, the two dissolve together into hysterical laughter over the same silly joke.
posted by gerryblog at 9:47 AM on August 6, 2012


I've been thinking about '89 lately and what strikes me about it is that Keaton would have made a great Joker. All that weird manic grin and crazy eyes stuff

So... Beetlejuice, basically?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:06 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Dark Knight Decides: Sovereignty and the Superhero, Part I
posted by homunculus at 4:13 PM on August 6, 2012


Metafilter's Own (TM) MightyGodKing's Gary Oldman Alignment Chart.
posted by straight at 12:00 PM on August 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama: Catwoman is the best thing in new Batman
posted by homunculus at 9:00 PM on August 7, 2012


In Defence of Flex
- not that the TCJ piece really needed responding to.
posted by Artw at 8:06 AM on August 12, 2012


Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Gotham City | Slavoj Žižek on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:56 AM on August 13, 2012


The Dark Knight Decides: Sovereignty and the Superhero, Part II
posted by homunculus at 2:47 PM on August 28, 2012


Cookie Monster Batman
posted by homunculus at 2:48 PM on August 28, 2012


Bat Man of Shanghai
posted by homunculus at 2:49 PM on August 28, 2012


How The Dark Knight Rises Should Have Ended
posted by homunculus at 5:13 PM on August 28, 2012


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