My problem with BATMAN BEGINS.

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 8, 2006 05:28
VIEWED: 1372
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Sunday, July 30, 2006 5:10 AM


I am of I think a very small minority in thinking that BATMAN BEGINS wasn't the BATMAN movie to end all BATMAN movies. I know that ever since BB came out, everyone's been saying that this is how Batman should be done cinematically and that it's one of if not the best comic book movie ever made and all this praise for the flick. Well, I'm a Batman fan myself and I saw the flick twice in theatres. But each time that I saw the movie, I dunno. I felt like there was something missing in the movie. There was something off about it that I couldn't put my finger on. Amazingly enough, it was me thinking about SUPERMAN RETURNS that made me finally figured out exactly why I didn't think BB was all that it was cracked up to be.

There was no mythic grandeur to it. Hear me out.

Batman has and will always be a creature of the night. Part of his effectiveness was his ability to get in and out unnoticed. To the people of Gotham, he has mythic proportions. There's a mystique about him that fuels the power he has over the criminal element of Gotham. If you compare the Burton Batman movies, Miller's Dark Knight Returns and the first Batman animated series, he does have that mystique. We the audience don't know too much about Batman and how he does what he does, so we the audience are in the same mind frame as the people of Gotham and the criminal element. We're both in awe and terror of him because we don't know how he does that.

But with BATMAN BEGINS, the movie spends all it's time explaining how Bruce Wayne became Batman. I know it's supposed to be an origin movie and all that, but so was BATMAN. And BATMAN only gave us the essentials to go with so that it can get to the main story, which was the Batman/Joker confrontation. BB, on that other hand, is ALL exposition. All it is is explaining how Bruce became mentally scarred, how he learned to fight, how he got his toys and how he got his suit. It spends so much time telling us how it happened that it robs us of any imagination we might have of the character. The Burton films and the animated series trusts us enough to just accept it and to go along with it. And there's a sense of awe and wonder to the two movies and the series because of it. But BB holds us by the hand and points out everything and repeats it three times. The mystique has been taken out of him, so he's no longer as effective as a mythic figure, which has always been part of his appeal. You're no longer looking at the screen in awe, but more in recognition of how the cape works.

Also, the environment around him plays a part. Batman has always been a larger than life character, and the world he inhabits needs to be as large as the character. Thus, Burton's German Expressionisitic Gothic Gotham (especially in BATMAN RETURNS, which I think is the best BATMAN movie so far) and the animated series' highly stylized 50's post-war noir look of the place contributes to the mythic grandeur. You look at the place and you realize that it's only in a place like that, that Batman could be spawned.

But with BB, by grounding us in reality in a hybrid New York City/Detroit that has the same lighting and rain as BLADE RUNNER, our disbelief has been brought back into play. Yeah, it's a shit-hole, but not a shit-hole that could inspire a guy to put on a costume and avenge his dead parents. Because Gotham looks like your average city, it takes away the notion that this God-forsaken place could produce a hero like Batman.

Those are my reasons, as well as the mis-casting of Tom's bitch, why I don't think BB is the Batman movie that fan's have been waiting for. That being said, I'm actually excited for Chris Nolan's next movie THE PRESTIGE. I think with this one, he realizes the necessity for mystique and will be amping up the what-the-fuck factor that BB should have had. I'm just wondering if you guys think I'm on the right track in my thinking, or if I'm off the mark and have completely missed the point.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"There's only one "Return" ok, and it ain't "of the King", it's "of the Jedi."

"Maybe we should start calling your friend 'Padme' because he loves 'Mannequin Skywalker' so much, Right? (imitating robot) Danger...danger...my name is Anakin...my shitty acting is ruining saga."

Excerpt of internet teaser for CLERKS 2.


Sunday, July 30, 2006 5:19 AM


You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.

I think he still has the same mystique even knowing where he does get all his wonderful toys from.
Seeing what he actually did, what he went through; not many could do that. It makes him hugely larger than life because you're watching him train and fly and experiment with what he needs and do all these things and you're just thinking "I couldn't do that. I don't know anyone who can do that. That is the stuff legends are made of!" Especially when he just keeps getting back up.
And most of the casting was dead-on. For once. And there will be a different girl in the next movie, so I'm really looking foreward to that.
And let's not forget how badly Burton messed up the story. That always got to me. It was all okay until I actually got some backstory and found out how these characters really should be portrayed and how the timeline went and, oh yeah, that the frickin joker doesn't kill the Waynes! I lost a bit of respect for basically all Batman movies, which was only restored by this one.




Sunday, July 30, 2006 5:33 AM


Right on, dude!!!

It was entertaining all right, but the mythic-ness was not there. It was too technical.



Sunday, July 30, 2006 8:59 AM


Myths can be interpreted in a variety of ways. One person's interpretation doesn't work for another because of the personal and cultural filters through which they will perceive a given myth. So interpret it however you want, even in multiple ways if you want. That's not only part of the fun, that's how it's supposed to be done. We all see different things. We all come away with different lessons. Myths let us break ourselves apart and examine the pieces, and try to figure ourselves out.

I liked Batman Begins for some of the very reasons you disliked it. Myths are the stories of us: real people, living real lives, getting through day to day. (Yes, people, that's right, heroes have to go pee.) Some nasty shit goes on in our individual and collective lives. Bruce Wayne reacted to the nasty shit in his life by consciously trying to make himself large enough to take on this monstrous, impersonal force of human predation so that no one else would have to suffer the pain that he did. It's going to be interesting to watch Bruce come to terms with the fact that, to an extent, he's become that which he sought to destroy.

Batman Begins is the story of a person - Bruce Wayne. It's only incidentally the story of Batman. If you don't expect that, don't know that, and / or don't really want to see the story of Bruce Wayne, then yes, Batman Begins is not your cuppa.

Mankind makes tools; we use them to augment our hands, arms and legs.
The computer augments the brain and this makes it very unpopular with totalitarians. - Charles J.C. Lyall


Sunday, July 30, 2006 5:38 PM


I have to agree with LaughingMuse here. Sure, Batman had mystery surrounding him, but he was a man, a normal mortal like you me and the next guy. Sure he had money, but there were alot of elements of the movies and the books that were too far fetched for a normal man to do. I liked the explination behind some of the elements in this because it made it more possible to connect with the character.


I'll be in my bunk.

"Live with a man forty years. Share his house, his meals, speak on every subject. Then, tie him up and hold him over the volcano's edge--and on that day, you will finally meet the man." ~ Shan Yu


Sunday, July 30, 2006 6:57 PM


It would have been possible to do a movie that dealt strictly with the mythos of Batman. Burton tried more of that approach, though he did also let us see into the person Bruce Wayne. He did have his own vision of the myth, which I enjoyed on some levels. Still, he wasn't so much interested in Bruce Wayne, or even Batman, as he was with the pathology of a society that would need Batman.

All of those approaches - the society that creates the need for such a figure, the figure of Batman, the process that made a person choose to become the figure - are valid parts of the Batman myth. Some people will connect more strongly with one version or another. But they're all part of the same story.

(...and I so way want the new Batmobile.)

Mankind makes tools; we use them to augment our hands, arms and legs.
The computer augments the brain and this makes it very unpopular with totalitarians. - Charles J.C. Lyall


Monday, July 31, 2006 5:18 AM



Originally posted by LaughingMuse:
(...and I so way want the new Batmobile.)

Ditto. She's a beauty.

We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.


Tuesday, August 1, 2006 12:24 PM



Originally posted by Cybersnark:

Originally posted by LaughingMuse:
(...and I so way want the new Batmobile.)

Ditto. She's a beauty.

It is nice, but it needs 'bat' fins on the sides.

Holy after-market Chrisisall


Tuesday, August 1, 2006 1:16 PM




Tuesday, August 8, 2006 5:28 AM


I get you're point, but I still like Batman Begins more than the others mostly. Here are my reasons:

-Though in your view Batman loses his mystique and wonder, by the story explaining away all of his toys and stuff, he becomes more realistic. At least in my way of thinking. The thing about Batman that I think the other movies were more or less lacking in, is the fact that Batman is human and not some mythical bat-like man. I've always been more partial to Batman over Superman because in the long run, it is more realistic (see below). Batman has always had more, if this is the right word, dimensions, than Superman could ever have. Batman Begins just reminded everyone that Batman is not some superhuman man who got his toys from God, but a man who was searching for revenge and found salvation.
-I never really likes Superman because he the character is just so fake, and in the recent movie, the kid even recognized the resemblance between Superman and Clark Kent. Sure, he's some super alien that looks human, but the quirky news reporter guy and super man just look so alike that I can't accept that no one in the story hasn't figured it out yet. It still makes me angry...

So there's my response. This is a fun topic btw.

"In the spaceship, the silver space ship, the lion takes control."
Always up for talkin' to my fellow Browncoats!






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