I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Green Lantern

tn_greenlanternGREEN LANTERN stands out among comic book movies for its combination of crappiness and expensive-looking-ness. The details that flesh out the classical super hero arc are dumb and juvenile, and the effects often look ridiculous, but it never seems like it’s due to a lack of resources. Just a lack of taste.

Very sophisticated, expensive animation of weird aliens who only ever stand on dark, rocky spacescapes. Motion capture used to create a corny green glow from the sinews of Ryan Reynolds’s muscles. I guess it’s hard to get around with this character, but some day filmatists gotta learn that green glowing energy is not really that cool looking. Call it the METEOR MAN rule.

Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, reckless hot shot test pilot who feels the need, the need for speed and has the habit, the habit of tardiness. In his introductory test drill he performs a daring trick that risks his life and the lives of people on the ground and destroys a multi-million dollar jet, but defeats supposedly unbeatable unmanned fighters. This scene demonstrates to us Hal’s fearlessness, his cunning and skill, but since the demonstration is for potential buyers of the unmanned aircraft it also makes him look like a class-A moron and an egomaniacal jackass. Later I was not able to side with Hal when a bunch of dudes who got laid off because of the lost contract ambushed him outside of a bar.

mp_greenlanternBut meanwhile, space. There’s this whole thing about the world of the Green Lantern Association of Space, a bunch of aliens with different animal parts (fish head, butterfly wings, squid body) who have magic rings that shoot green stuff after you charge them on a lantern. They are chosen for their lack of fear and are supposed to protect the universe from dangers such as, in the case of this movie, some kind of giant shit monster. One of the Green Lantern aliens crash lands on Earth where nobody notices it except Hal, because a magic green bubble carries him there. The alien gives Hal his ring, so he learns how to fly and give himself a green muscle suit and go to the rocky spacescape to attend large outdoor gatherings and be briefly trained by a pigman.

I watched the extended cut, which was probly a mistake. It’s not too long, but I think the extended part was a childhood prologue that puts the entire story in a ridiculous context. Hal is 10 or something, he already wants to be a test pilot, is called “my future test pilot” by his future boss (Tim Robbins), is already in love with this girl Carol, already making a kid named Hector (who will grow up to be Peter Sarsgaard as an alien expert turned giant-brained supervillain) feel jealous.

I don’t care if it comes straight from the comic book, you can’t ask adults to accept these stories where everybody important in the world grew up together. How many of you knew the love of your life, your enemy, your boss or your place of employment as a little kid? Probly very few of you. It’s like if Barack, Michelle and Mitt were all working out conflicts that began at Junior President Elementary School.

It doesn’t bother me so much because it’s so far-fetched and unrelatable, but because it’s asking adults to believe in a world view that only makes sense to a little kid that doesn’t know better. I didn’t check the deleted scenes but I bet there’s one where he makes a baby by giving a mommy a special hug.

This prologue also has Hal witnessing his test pilot father die in a fiery plane crash, even though it’s shown again in flashback minutes later. It seems corny enough in the flashbacks, we don’t need the full context of how much he wants to be like his dad and how telegraphed it is what’s gonna happen.

I would argue that this is a much worse movie than THOR, but so much more ridiculous that it’s probly more entertaining to some people. It similarly coasts on the charisma of its lead, though that’s less novel here since Reynolds is familiar from sometimes better movies. On the occasions where he gets a funny line in (“You better watch your back, Hal.” “That’s impossible, Bob.”) I assume he had to’ve ad-libbed it.

There’s a scene where he has a talk with his young nephew, who idolizes him. As they’re leaving the kid’s bedroom Hal presses a button on a toy race track that shoots a car across the room. I thought it was an odd little touch, then later on when a helicopter is crashing he uses his magic powers to manifest a race track that brings the craft down safely. Apparently they felt it was important to establish that Hal knew about toy race tracks. That’s the type of dedication they have to character.

But Hot Wheels can’t solve this conflict. In the childhood prologue, when Hal first crushes Hector’s balls by stealing Carol’s attention, he obliviously asks if they’re still going to trade Hot Wheels. But obviously trading Hot Wheels isn’t enough to build a real friendship. The bitterness overpowers the Hot Wheels trading history. Of course Robbins makes matters worse by pointedly (and in both eras) praising Hal in front of Hector, saying that he prefers “doers” to “thinkers,” and making fun of those weiners who read books and all that, like his son, fuck that guy. Hal politely acknowledges the importance of “thinkers” in creating airplanes for him to “do” shit with, but the movie around him strongly argues that heroes are irresponsible dudes who don’t fear death, and that villains are eggheads who mutate into ugly monsters, talk like John Malkovich, and instead of getting the girl are deservingly turned into skeletons by space blobs. Spoiler.

Even in his magic ass-kicking our hero is shown to be lacking in imagination. He could use his ring to create any kind of shape, but he always uses it for swords and cars and stuff. His mentor made fun of him for it during training – “How human” – but he never improved. Because who cares. He’s a doer.

Oh yeah, you gotta do each of these super characters separately first, you can’t just introduce them all at once in an awesome JUSTICE LEAGUE movie by the director of fucking MAD MAX. Great idea, internet. You really nailed that one.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 12:05 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

178 Responses to “Green Lantern”

  1. Made me LOL the tea right out of my mouth; thanks Vern.

  2. Great reveiw Vern!

  3. Never liked the comic Anyway… Is there a curse on adapting DC Comics or what (except for Batman of course)?

  4. The Junior President Elementary School line floored me.

  5. Darth Irritable

    April 17th, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Yeah, this was pretty terrible. Reynolds got some good lines, but you nailed it Vern – it’s like Thor, but with all the good taste of an early Marilyn Manson video – like Sweet Dreams (are made of this). I like shitty action movies as much as anyone, but really – you couldn’t learn from Fantastic Four – Rise of the Silver Surfist that shit-clouds make lousy villains?

  6. Darth Irritable

    April 17th, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Oh God, and I just realized it was directed by a New Zealander. Well, I guess if we can inflict Russell Crowe on the world, you fuckers can also deal with Lee “blowjob” Tamahori, and this guy.

  7. I like how quickly cartoon Hal Jordan accepts this whole “Green Lantern” business

    anyway I’m starting to get a little fatigued from all the Superhero movies (I’m sure I’m not the only one), don’t get me wrong, I’m still looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spiderman and The Man of Steel, but I remember when it was still a novelty to see a comic book movie, but now that novelty is gone (last movie I think where it still felt like a novelty was Watchmen)

  8. I’ve definitely reached the point of superhero fatigue. Of the three movies you mentioned, Griff, I’m only really that interested in The Dark Knight Rises. I’ve already seen the Raimi Spiderman movies so I’m not that interested in this reboot and I’m not exactly Zack Snyder’s biggest fan so that leaves out the new Superman. I’ll probably check out The Avengers in the theater, but that’s just about it for this year.

    One thing that really bothered me about Green Lantern is that after Hal quits the Green Lantern Corp, he still keeps the ring. You would think that they would have taken the ring away from him since its apparently a high powered weapon. If you quit the military, its not like they say you can take an M-16 just for old time’s sake.

  9. I’ve got a strange feeling The Amazing Spiderman might actually be worse than this movie, it’s got disaster written all over it imo.

  10. Sinestro looked perfect. Green Lantern could be a good franchise if they let Geoff Johns write the screenplay.

  11. I love a stupid action flick full of bright colors and surly pigmen as much as the next RETURN OF THE JEDI fan, but this was just egregiously bad. It’s the best example of what we were talking about last week, where studios and filmmakers pretend that they care about “story” and “character” by shoehorning in the most half-assed conflicts and motivations, when the movie would be a lot better if it was 25 minutes shorter and just stuck to the fun shit. That Hot Wheels track thing is telling: paint-by-numbers character development married to blatant product placement. Modern franchise filmmaking in a nutshell.

    I’ll be honest, the movie I’m most looking forward to this summer is AVENGERS because I still think there’s juice in the ol’ superhero movie when we move beyond the origin story. With AVENGERS, all that’s taken care of already. We know who these people are and what they can do. There’s no need for flashbacks about their daddies anymore, so we can just watch them do their thing. You know, like a comic book, where you don’t have to explain how the character got his costume in every issue.

    Speaking of comics, I’ve tried to read the GREEN LANTERN comic a few times and I always lose interest because no matter how intriguing the initial story concept is, it always comes down to a bunch of people dressed like a roller disco band flying around shooting lasers out of their hands. The only way I can tell which side is winning is that eventually someone will shout, “I think it’s working!” I’ll take the Punisher any day over that cosmic shit.

  12. Looking at the GREEN LANTERN poster of Ryan Reynolds, I was thinking; that guy has no ambition in being taken seriously as an actor…

  13. Normally, I respect that sort of thing. But he should have drawn the line at the creepy albino contact lenses. They could have at least been green, show some fuckin’ consistency…

  14. But the domino mask is green too. Green on Green would either clash if different shades, or would look like a blindfold with the same shade.
    As a fan of the comic, I personally didn’t think the movie was TOO bad, but could have been a lot better. Best part of it was Mark Strong as Sinestro.

  15. So, this movie is as bad and stupid as JJ Abrams’ Star Trek? People will love it and call it great fun and good, then. The filmmakers of GREEN LANTERN have nothign to worry about.

  16. I actually thought this movie would have been better if they had embraced the weird pulp sci-fi elements more. It seemed like they were building up to some sort of interplanetary adventure, and then halfway through the film they decided to go through the basic superhero motions.

    But I tend to like the superhero movies that embrace their bizarre elements, like the Spiderman movies and Captain America. Those films weren’t afraid of the goofy, absurdist history of the comic book.

  17. OK, out of joking, i can’t understand how Martin Campbel was responsible for such a debacle as GREEN LANTERN. He’s a really good director of entertaiment moives, as we can see for his two Bond movies (GOLDENEYE and CASINO ROYALE) and THE MASK OF ZORRO. Though he once screwed the pooch with the Zorro sequel, but then again, that one was writen by Roberto Orci, he genious who dumbed down Star Trek to Michael Bay’s levels of idioticy.

  18. Great review. We went to see this in theater its last day in town. We laughed so much. It’s so serious and reverent, but so inherently stupid. He’s fearless, but also deeply afraid. His girlfriend is his boss. He punches fear into the sun. California looks a lot like New Orleans. He can’t defend himself against yellow. He quits after two minutes, but gets to keep his power ring. And one alien was Michael Clarke Duncan, which reminded us of “The Slammin’ Salmon.” But it looks kind of great, like a 50s sci-fi novel. It’s an expensive failure, but more memorable than most films. I think it’ll become a camp classic in 15 years.

  19. Man, my wife & I gave this one 5 stars, and don’t see what everyone’s problem with it is. After reading your review, it seems the problem is the original subject material. Space is awesome.

  20. The movie isn’t an unmitigated disaster. It’s just kind of mediocre. There are moments that I thought were well done, especially in the first half of the film. The depiction of space was pretty cool, and it looked different than other sci-fi films. I also thought that Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively had some decent chemistry. The scene of them in the bar was well done. They seemed like people who were actually in a relationship at some point, rather than two animals introduced to one another in order to breed, which is how most couples on screen appear.

  21. The whiney en masse reviews shit me more and more these days, but this particular rant was funny enough for pass. No denying it’s not a great movie, and given budget and talent involved, like expendables, hard to to rate it less than ‘not good enough / 10 ‘

  22. Yes, AU, but what does our dissatisfaction with the filmatistical adaptation of GREEN LANTERN say about our sexual preferences? Are we merely bi-curious girly men or do we actually chug the cock on a daily basis? How many pillows out of ten are we biting?

    Sometimes I think you barely detest us at all anymore.

  23. Majestyk – your point about The Avengers gets me more excited. I hadn’t really thought about that – not only will they not have origins, but they probly won’t have to discover a chilling new thing about their past or what makes them tick or something. They just will fight whatever that big flying thing is. Could be refreshing.

    But your description of Green Lantern as “a bunch of people dressed like a roller disco band flying around shooting lasers out of their hands” sounds alot cooler than the movie turned out. Maybe they just need to change the music and add some rainbow colors somewhere.

  24. Maybe Green Lantern is big in USA, but outside the States, the character is pratically unknown or irrelevant. Batmanand Superman are Dc comics propreties that are known and loved the world over. Green Lantern is so under the radar, many people mistook the movie for THE GREEN HORNET when they were being advertized. I sure did that mistake.

  25. ..and who is GREEN ARROW again? GREEN LANTERN I thought was the guy the Justice League pushed in front of them when entering dark areas.

  26. Vern: Good point on the colors. Right now in the comics the Green Lanterns have been joined by Red Lanterns, Blue Lanterns, Black Lanterns, White Lanterns, Yellow Lanterns, Orange Lanterns, possibly Paisley Lanterns, I’m not sure. If they made a movie out of that it would like you’re watching a Laser Floyd show through a kaleidoscope.

  27. http://uweb.und.nodak.edu/~timothy.albrecht/war.jpg
    I think there’d be a real danger of epilepsy if a scene like this was made into a movie.

  28. Jareth Cutestory

    April 17th, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Asimov: I haven’t read a comic book since I was ten years old and even I know who Green Lantern is. All the kids here in Canada were wearing t-shits with his logo on it; for a while they out numbered Bat Man t-shirts 3:1. I think it has something to do with a well-regarded television cartoon that they made a few years ago. Maybe it never aired in Europe and you were spared Greenmania.

    Majestyk: How much of the AVENGERS movie do you think will consist of all the princple characters Learning to Play Nice Together? From what I’ve overheard, the appeal of the movie seems to be the heroes fighting each other.

    And won’t they still have to do the Origin Story of the Big Evil Threat, or was that already taken care of in all those other Marvel movies that I couldn’t be buggered to watch because the last X-MEN sucked so much?

  29. Jareth: I recognize that the Initial Misunderstanding That Leads To A Respect-Building Fight is crucial to a superhero teamup. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that particular trope in a comic book movie so I’m psyched about seeing it.

    And yeah, all their origins were dealt with in previous movies, except for Arrow Guy and Russian Redhead, whose origins are basically “can kick lots of ass for some reason.”

  30. Jareth Cutestory

    April 17th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I didn’t mean to suggest that the Initial Misunderstanding That Leads To A Respect-Building Fight would be a chore to sit through. In fact, because the audience knows the characters, it would probably be quite enjoyable if done well. And if it’s done as well as similar fights in the better kung fu movies, or even like the Morpheus/Neo sparring in THE MATRIX, it could be quite memorable.

    But the outcome of that fight is known in advance, the stakes are always low, and the Actual Real Bad Guy’s plot might suffer in comparison if the film panders too much to fan service.

  31. I don’t know, I think the character dynamics should be more interesting than the big action climax anyway. I’ve seen hundreds of alien invasions before, but I’ve never see a movie where the stars of a bunch of other movies have to find a way to work together. (Outside of my sixth-grade LETHAL WEAPON/DIE HARD/COMMANDO fan-fiction, anyway.) In any case, the harder the road they have to walk before they become bros for life, the more satisfying the inevitable “Avengers Assemble!” moment will be.

    I’m actually surprised by how excited I am. CABIN IN THE WOODS probably had something to do with that.

  32. Jareth Cutestory

    April 17th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    My responses to superhero movies generally range from indifferent to mild irritation, but I’ll admit that the trailer for AVENGERS looked promising.

    But they could have picked a better actress to play Emma Peel.

  33. Meanwhile the Spider Man reboot will take another 2 hours to say “A nerd gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gets spider powers. He isn’t responsible with them until his uncle dies so then the nerd becomes a superhero even though he’s still a nerd in real life.”

    I’d rather see Iron Man punch Thor.

  34. And Mr. M – Cabin in the Woods proved once again that Joss Whedon knows what the people want.

  35. The people want dragonbats!

  36. And Angry Molesting Trees!

  37. Just found out that Lou Ferrigno did the voice of The Hulk in the prevoius Hulkmovie and in the new Avengers. That´s pretty awesome in my opinion. For grunting, look no further than Ferrigno.

  38. I usually watch movies like this with my youngest son, and tend to see them through his eyes. The Green Lantern? Kind of entertaining, nothing special. By the way, his favorite “super hero” is Ghost Rider. Mine’s Rorschach.

  39. There seem to be a lot of people on the internet who really believe a live action green lantern movie could be good. I don’t know why. My brain just doesn’t have room for or can’t comprehend that possibility. How people were ever excited for this one is a riddle I’ll never solve.

  40. Asimovlives, if you think Martin Campbell can’t direct a bad movie, you should check out the mountaineering film he did some years back starring Chris “Robin” O’Donnell. It’s bad, really bad, entertainingly bad. Definitely worth checking out. Vertical Limit.

  41. It’s a shame that he did this right after EDGE OF DARKNESS, which I still hold is the most underappreciated piece of badass cinema of the past five years.

  42. I loved EDGE OF DARKNESS also. I really don´t know how to explain myself here, since I am trying to write and watch ATOMIC CYBORG (a.ka HANDS OF STEEL) at the same time.
    But a real powerhouse performance by Gibson and I always check my seatbelt after that movie.

  43. I kind of enjoyed this movie on a purely base level (colors, jokes, movement). Ryan Reynolds was fun, the Lantern stuff was fun (the two jets he summoned at the end to ski out of the implosion were pretty rad), but other than that, yeah, it’s pretty milquetoast. It seems like they didn’t do enough with what was a purported 200 million dollar budget besides render some crazy looking aliens.

  44. HANDS OF STEEL is alright. It’s no LIGHT BLAST, I’ll tell you that right now.

  45. Well, I was interested in HANDS OF STEEL since it was directed by Sergio Martino who made such awesome movies as MANNAJA ( one of my personal favourite westerns) and AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK. I have yet to see LIGHT BLAST,though. I first thought it was an alternate title for BLASTFIGHTER or something but I was wrong.

  46. LIGHT BLAST is an Enzio Castellari movie about Erik Estrada vs. lasers. BLASTFIGHTER is totally different and fairly awesome in its own right, even if the main character (the Swiss Army shotgun) spends most of the movie locked under some floorboards.

  47. That shotgun in BLASTFIGHTER is a metaphor for all the rage and anger inside Tiger Sharpe. That´s why he hides it away. He suppresses his anger. he wants to lead a quiet life away from his traumatic past.But then some redneck jerks push him too far. he finally yields to
    his built up rage, release the Kraken inside of him by picking up the shotgun and go apeshit at the locals. Then he smashes it against the tree, he hate himself and what he has become.

  48. The two things that I really liked about the otherwise VERY mediocre movie: That it’s not sshamed of showing lots of weird looking aliens or a villain with a giant head (take THAT, “gritty and realistic”) and that the hero at one points saves a lot of people by creating a catapult, right out of of a Looney Tunes cartoon and launching a fuel tanker with it (take THAT, “gritty and realistic”!)
    But yeah, it’s a very disappointing movie. I didn’t hate it, but damn, it was disappointing. Especially because of how much time they spent with letting Green Lantern Man doubt himself and his abilities as a hero. Come on, you are the star of this movie! We know that you have it in you. No reason to spend more than 2/3 of this movie’s runtime with it!

  49. “Oh yeah, you gotta do each of these super characters separately first, you can’t just introduce them all at once in an awesome JUSTICE LEAGUE movie by the director of fucking MAD MAX. Great idea, internet. You really nailed that one.”

    LMFAO well at least we still have FURY ROAD.

    This movie is the definition of untapped potential. A GL movie should’ve been good and NOT mediocre. This should’ve BEEN the STAR WARS of superhero fare but it looks like Marvel will now beat them to the cosmic superhero punch if the rumor the mid credits AVENGERS sequence is true.

    WB deserved this movie bombing for not putting people who had a concrete vision and actually gave a shit about that material in charge. They also deserve more shit for being so damn hands on with it and not trusting the people they hired to even create something competent in the first place. It could’ve been their next DARK KNIGHT but became their next BATMAN & ROBIN for those reasons alone.

  50. CJ – What makes it tragic is that so many of those odd looking aliens have such great personalities too. If this movie had either stuck to space and given us something where the scene with Sinestro’s speech felt earned it really really could’ve been something. Hell if they took the route of the FIRST FLIGHT animated movie and made it TRAINING DAY with Hal & Sinestro it still would’ve been way better. Even if they had restricted Hal and Sinestro to Earth for budget reasons.

    Making 2 of the GL’s greatest threats (Krona and Parrallax who had NO business being in the first GL movie in the first place) into one being and then making that being a giant turd looking cloud who’s menace isn’t even prevalent cause we don’t see it doing SHIT at all most of the movie is probably it’s greatest sin.

    The training sequence and Sinestro speech were cool on their own for me as a comic book fan but still served no purpose like the rest of the stuff in this movie cause of it’s sloppiness. Mark Strong was fantastically cast but so fucking wasted. I’ll give it credit for making the most boring and lame GL villain ever (Hector Hammond) entertaining to watch though partly cause at least Sarsgaard seemed to be having some fun. Seeing him in his John Carpenter meets Rocky Dennis make up chewing up the scenery is the only real memorable shit in the whole movie to me.

  51. Jimbolo – LEGEND OF ZORRO is also pretty bad. I like Campbell but he’s like Donner. Another journeyman director and not really a visionary. Nothing wrong with that cause when those guys are paired with great material they have some passion for and are surrounded by the right talent to help them make it happen well it really pops. But it’s a double edged sword in the sense that if they don’t have those elements in place they could dish out some really mediocre stuff.

    If this movie was bad I actually wouldn’t mind it but that’s why the fact that it’s just really mediocre makes it even worse. It’s not even as entertaining as a lot of genuinely bad movies in the first place. This movie needed someone like Nolan or Singer who for better or worse at least had a passionate vision about where they wanted to take the DC icons they approached. At least that made them competent films with substance even if I really didn’t like the substance at all in the case of SUPERMAN RETURNS.

    We’ll see what happens when they decide to reboot this once THE AVENGERS destroys the box office and WB feels they really need to get a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie going again.

  52. Broddie: I think GL really illustrated the limitations of the origin story. When half of your movie is devoted to showing how the character came to be worth having a movie made about him, you don’t really have much room left over to tell a story. It’s like if the first hour and 15 minutes of DIE HARD was about McClane’s time at the police academy and then you had to cram the entire “terrorists in a building” plot into the last 45 minutes. That’s why pretty much every origin story movie has the same general consensus: “Pretty good until about the 3/4 mark, then it fell apart.” Think about it.

    If GL had started with Jordan already on the job, with a couple of well-placed flashbacks indicating his origin (BATMAN ’89 style) then he would have had time for a grand adventure full of loveable characters, not a hodgepodge of trailer moments and cameos.

    Okay, fine, somebody go ahead make DIE HARD VS. POLICE ACADEMY.

  53. Come to think of it, all superhero origin movies have the same structure as Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN. Discuss.

  54. The Black White Shadow

    April 17th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Since you brought it up, I would very much like a Meteor Man review, please…

  55. You know what Campbell movie I love? VERTICAL LIMIT aka WHAT?! YOU EXPECT A REALISTIC MOUNTAIN CLIMBING MOVIE? FUCK YOU!

  56. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    April 17th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Giant shit monster? I’ll give it a watch then.

  57. Yeah, I’m pretty well done with origin stories.

    Comic book movies from here on out should just watch the first twenty minutes of Speed Racer and if they can’t do an origin story as great as that than they shouldn’t bother.

    I seriously fucking love Speed Racer, though.

  58. Now that you mention it, the Wachowskis could have made a kickawesome GREEN LANTERN movie using pretty much the same approach as SPEED RACER. Obviously John Goodman could have stuck around as Kilowog and shaved a shitload off the CGI budget.

  59. Vern, why are you wasting your time with this crap in a world where CABIN IN THE WOODS exists? 9/10 commenters on outlawvern.com agree that its better than getting a blowjob while riding a motorcycle while being a Viking.

  60. Mr. Majestyk – The origin story structure is definitely beyond tired when it comes to this sub genre. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves with the superhero movie resurgence that’s been happening since Singer’s X-MEN (which actually avoided the origin crap too even though I still think it really sucked). Every superhero movie wants to be SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE. It’s like “motherfucker how about being your own movie first?”

    As much as I liked IRON MAN I can’t imagine what kind of wildness they’d be running with in terms of the tech at his disposal & the overall scope in that franchise if Tony had already been IM for years by the first movie. I don’t think Snake Plisken is awesome cause I saw how he lost his eye; I don’t even know the name of the man with no name so why not just open with a story that will showcase this character in a light that makes us go “damn that guy is awesome” by the end anyway? and not “oh yeah him going through A and B resulted in C”.

    Everything starts looking the same after a while and I think that’s partly what has led to some being burned out with these movies in the first place. Your citing of Burton’s first Batman movie is actually a great example. We were thrown right in and learned to identify with the character and his world anyway because the movie sold all of it through solid entertainment.

    Which brings me to another pet peeve of mine with the current crop of superhero movies. The lack of nuances and reliance on exposition EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME. I didn’t need to hear 16 different speeches about why Burton’s Bats is who he is to identify with him. Seeing him retreat to his cave while hosting a gala in his mansion was enough to tell me that aspect of his life is all this guy cares about. Even when I was a 5 year old kid my first time seeing that movie.

    When you see him blind Kim Basinger with a light in his batmobile as she tries to get a closer look at his face you know that he’s not willing to just welcome anybody into his world just like the Batman in the comics; when he snaps at The Joker in her apartment as Bruce Wayne it shows me that his bottom line is keeping the innocent from being harmed and that being theatrical in his war on crime is a key to that. You don’t need to tell me “well this that and the other is his philosophy”. His actions show me his fucking philosophy.

    People forget that subtleties are more than enough to communicate certain things within cinema. Film is a visual art fuckers so learn the value of “show don’t tell”. To anybody who hated this movie but is open to watching a kids show I’d recommend Bruce Timm’s current GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES for some good GL adaptation.

    Hal’s already an established Lantern in it and actually fucking likeable because we get to see him be the brash and fearless Flash Gordon meets Errol Flynn hero that he could be and not moping around saying “I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a space cop and wield the coolest fucking weapon in the universe waa waa waah”.

    It doesn’t hold back in exploring the GL universe and the aliens within and gives him a solid supporting cast to bounce off of cause of this. It doesn’t waste time in showing why the villains are a threat and why alien technology is awesome etc, We get more depth and genuine emotion and interesting villains and narratives in that show’s first 3 episodes which are shorter in length than this theatrical movie than in any scene in the movie itself and that’s hilarious in it’s irony cause it’s an adaptation that had to dumb down elements of the GL mythos because it’s made for kids while the movie could’ve explored all that unfiltered.

  61. Mr. S,

    Absurd. Why would a viking need a motorcycle?

  62. Mr. Subtlety – I had hope for it and kept myself away even from the trailers cause I wanted to be surprised. As a horror fan that puts a fucking smile on my face that most of you guys here feel it’s that good. If one thing can be said about outlawvern.com aside from it being the badass cinema mecca of the universe is that motherfuckers here REALLY know their horror. The common cold side tracked me this past week and I had to turn down some hot girl who wanted to take me to see it this weekend. Now that I’m better I have to get on checking that movie out as soon as I possibly can.

  63. Dan, how do you think we get around here in Norway? Martin Campbell will always be a legend for what he did to the James Bond franchise with GoldenEye and Casino Royale.

  64. I’d like to think that Mel Gibson would’ve paid homage to his work MAD MAX and LETHAL WEAPON 3 by having vikings on bikes in his canned viking movie. Damn you Mel for being who you are. Your racist and misogynistic lunacy kept us away from such visual poetry.

  65. Dan — didn’t you see KNIGHTRIDERS? Same principle. That’s a sequel I fully endorse.

  66. I did like this more than THOR probably for the exact reason Vern suggested. It’s so much stupider and more ridiculous.

    I always thought GL was a weird character and didn’t know how they’d explain it to an audience. So they just did a narration prologue. And they still can’t make WONDER WOMAN or THE FLASH?

    The extended cut should have taken out the flashback if they were putting back the full childhood sequence. Half assed. But yes, it plays better when skimming over that in the theatrical cut.

    Great point about every character growing up together. A simple oversight that’s a dead giveaway for immature writing.

  67. GREEN LANTERN is actually pretty damn easy to explain to the audience. They’re space cops that patrol and guard the universe. Their Jedi that could drink and smoke and have sex. It’s really no more difficult to explain to a mass audience than any other sci-fi concept.

    The problem is these people didn’t even know how to really do that. Sure it didn’t do the movie any favors that Campbell was refused final cut and WB brass edited the shit themselves quite incompetently. But then again it seems that Campbell didn’t have much that he could effectively edit into a competent film himself anyway.

    How they spend over $200 million on a GL movie and got a movie that spent all it’s time with the GL out of costume and moping around on Earth is beyond me.

  68. *they’re not their.

  69. While I agree that origin stories are old hat now, aren’t they kinda vital in some examples? Green Lantern’s whole mythology(one space cop amongst thousands, chosen for their ability to overcome fear, powering their weapon that creates any form they imagine and powered by will) is a lot more complicated and in depth than Batman’s(rich guy’s parents are killed by a mugger. he dresses up as a bat to fight crime), and would require an equally intrusive mechanic to explain things to a general audience who today strikes me as far too demanding of having things spelled out for them and made clear. Like all the people who couldn’t just go with JOHN CARTER being set on Mars, and have to bring up how a FICTIONAL REPRESENTATION OF THE PLANET is different from the REAL LIFE version.
    Also, some comics world interesting or fun enough to make the origin worthwhile. For instance, should we ever get an IRON FIST movie, we better NOT fucking skip over him get his powers by PUNCHING A DRAGON IN THE HEART AFTER WINNING A MARTIAL ARTS TOURNAMENT TO EARN THE RIGHT TO FIGHT IT ONE ON ONE. I’d rather actually see that sequence that have it just mentioned or completely omitted.
    I also wish some of these properties just got a big screen ANIMATED adaptation, as I think that medium just makes the stupider stuff look better or makes ludicrous concepts easier to accept. DC may be lacking live action movies, and quality ones more so, but they’re animated DVD projects are a different story, though they have been rather reliant on Batman, Superman, Batman AND Superman, The Justice League and Green Lantern as subject matter lately.

  70. It’s also a shame that it flopped, because I suspect the movie was smaller scaled than it could have been not through lack of imagination but perhaps a long term plan to expand things with each movie
    First One- Introduction of main character, powers and mythos. Have him overcome a threat to planet earth.
    Second- Have him out in space more. Sinestro turns evil, Hal has to fight someone who up till now has been depicted as his better. Maybe has to fight other Lanterns because Sinestro has the benefit of the doubt.
    Third- Sinestro builds his army. Green Lanterns vs. Yellow Ones in a universe spanning war.

    And maybe along the way, an ex-marine architect, loudmouthed ginger, and lighthearted cartoonist all get rings too.

  71. The GREEN LANTERN ANIMATED SERIES still hasn’t spent much time going into all the mechanics of the ring at all and it’s aimed at kids. An audience that benefits from spoon feeding more than others; mind you they also have a greater suspension of disbelief than others so I may have disqualified that argument then and there.

    Still it really is as simple as “Hal Jordan is Han Solo if he used his body instead of a ship to fly around space and wielded a weapon that gave him the ability to bring any thought he felt like willingly bringing to life.”

    You really don’t have to kill the audience with exposition if you entertain them. Give them a solid adventure starring Hal Jordan and they probably won’t even give a shit about all that other stuff. The point is to hook them. It’s only when people are bored at something that they start to deconstruct it. I liked JC personally but I know many people that were bored with it and I’m assuming a lot of it’s critics are the same way.

    This is why they go “uh Mars wouldn’t be that way” cause they have no other way of expressing their disdain. It’s not like it was incompetently directed cause that can’t objectively be said. It’s not like it’s leads were planks of wood because that also can’t be objectively said. So they grasp at the only straws that they can grasp when critiquing it cause they don’t have much fuel for this gripes otherwise; and in this case it’s using real science to try to justify why a work of science FICTION is invalid. Which just looking at their aim alone should tell you to ignore them in the first place. Screw those ass wipes with their strawman arguments.

    Honestly every damn movie made including the ones revered falls apart upon deconstruction yet that’s not an excuse for all of them to be filled with exposition thankfully. A movie’s role is to connect with and engage the audience first and foremost.

    I think people understood the concept of how the rings work in this movie just fine. They did more than enough exposition from the opening scene through the rest of the movie to make the shit as clear as a window. That didn’t help it’s cause cause it still failed to connect and engage with the audience on a bigger level which is more important.

    Today’s audience is filled with confused fools; filmmakers shouldn’t cater to them filmmakers should show them what they need to be shown in the first place and that’s it. No need to go the expository route just because.

    The reason many of these things won’t go animated is because they will flop. The Wonder Woman animated movie is excellent and a fantastic enough adaptation that if even brought to live action verbatim would still make an effective WW movie. If it didn’t go DTV though it would’ve just died a quiet death at the box office like MASK OF THE PHANTASM did all those years ago.

    Shit some of those DC animated movies have a hard time surviving in the DTV format alone imagine on a larger scale? there would be no ROI in that investment. It’s not a PIXAR movie or another CG animated movie aimed at families were talking about here. It’s material that is usually mostly aimed at young boys who think they’re too cool for “cartoons” in the first place. Sadly that’s the reality especially when people in general see so many other superhero movies available in live action anyway so they wouldn’t want to waste their time watching some “cartoon”.

    I agree that the medium would do wonders for a lot of these properties but sadly in the society we live in it’s not worth the effort.

  72. Stu – They should’ve never “planned it out” in the first place. They should’ve made the best GREEN LANTERN movie they could’ve made for that budget and that’s that. Throw everything but the kitchen sink into making that first effort memorable enough to warrant a sequel in the first place. Not make the movie and think of all the things you want to save for a sequel while making it. How does that help the current movie that you’re making reach it’s potential in anyway? The whole approach to this project was beyond stupid. I have no sympathy for them I’m glad it crashed and burn and I’m a DC fan.

  73. I’d love a HAWKMAN movie(reincarnated egyptian prince version, not alien cop or whatever the relaunched version’s deal is). I think the biggest obstacle for it is making a non-laughable version of the costume in live action. That and maybe casting someone who can pull of both the savage warrior side and the intelligent, academic side. Jason Statham would be perfect for one, but pretty terrible for the other.
    If they could get it right, they could also exploit the eternal doomed romance element with Hawkgirl, and market her part in it to get some of that TWILIGHT/HUNGRY GAMES money.

  74. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 17th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    But Vern, did you LIKE the film? No need to be so on-the-fence about it.

    And that’s all I can say because I think, after “Buried” and “Blade 3”, I would rather watch another “Transformers” movie than suffer through another one of Reynold’s flicks.

    Oh yeah, one more thing… Majestyk, the reason you give for being excited for “Avengers” is the very same reason I’m excited for “Dark Knight Rises”.

    Oh, plus DKR is by Christopher Nolan. And doesn’t star Ryan Reynolds.

    I’m pretty undecided on “Avengers” right now. I’ll probably wait for DVD on that one, unless it gets some seriously stellar reviews. Can it possibly live up to the hype it’s getting? More than that, can it possibly combine that many characters / storylines (not all of which I liked, “Captain America” in particular as a film just annoyed me) and do it successfully? I hope so, but I’m doubtful…

  75. I just think space cops with power rings is a lot weirder than immortal dude who can fly or guy who shoots web and sticks to walls.

  76. the Burton Batman movies rock and in my opinion still hold up as some of the best superhero movies ever made, I love the surrealistic nature of the world where it’s bizarre, but not to the point of being stupid and campy like the later Schumacher ones

    and as much as I do love the Nolan Batman films, Batman fits better in a hyper-stylized world than a more realistic one, not that I don’t think a more “realistic” take on Batman is also cool and a worthy idea, it’s just not as cool as the surrealistic one, know what I mean?

  77. and now that I think about it, how cool would it be if after The Dark Knight Rises they bring Tim Burton and Michael Keaton back? just ignore the Joel Schumacher ones and have the “Nolanverse” be it’s own separate thing and return to the Tim Burton Batman world with an older Batman played by Michael Keaton, not unlike The Dark Knight Returns

  78. they could even get Kanye West to cover “Batdance”

  79. Yeah Burton’s duology holds up pretty well. I especially love his second one for all it’s expressionistic madness. They’re very rich movies in terms of how layered they are. I still pick up subtle moments of awesome when I rewatch them.

    I think a third movie from him would be amazing. If only to conclude the overall story he was trying to tell before WB fired him because he was “too dark” (the irony). It’d be neat for the studio too cause they’d have 2 Batman trilogies to sell by the guys the majority of the fanbase consider to be the only guys who got it right when it came to film.

    Then after that they could go on and find another awesome visionary with his own unique vision to reboot it with a new look and feel yet again.

  80. that begs the question though, where can else can they take Batman?

    the only thing I can imagine is a retro Batman, that is to say Batman in a retro 1930’s styled art deco Gotham City (basically a live action version of Batman: The Animated series from the early 90’s)

    or a movie version of the video game Batman Arkham City (which is Batman meets Escape From New York)

  81. They need to make a Batman movie where we can see him fight. We’ve never gotten a Batman film with well-shot action. He’s a master of all martial arts but we’ve never seen him cut loose! I think a tone like the 70s Batman comics would be great – it’s pretty much exactly between Adam West Batman and Chris Nolan Batman. It would be AWESOME to see Batman fuck up like 20 ninjas in a one-take cgi-free battle. Gareth Evans or the Ong Bak dudes should do it

  82. Im going to throw this out there. Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and probably The Avengers, were all movies I liked.

  83. Ryan Reynolds is good. His bits of BLADE III almost made it worthwhile, especially the scenes between him and Parker Posey.

  84. I absolutely love the idea of bringing Burton back for one more job. You could even play up Keaton’s age. It would be Batman’s last job, or something of that nature.

  85. Timmy, for the unptenth time, the fights in the Nolan’s Batman mpovies are suppose to be blurry ON PURPOSE because they are seen fromthe point of view of the guys who get their asses kicked by Batman and do not know where the beating comes from. It’s to emphasise the fact that Batman, in Nolan’s movies, is the top best ninja of the top best ninjas there ever was. He’s supposed to be almost super-humanly in his kick-ass abilities, and as such, no living human could match it, so the movie has to trick it up. Notice that so far only 3 people have mannaged to turn the tables on Batman, two of them through trickery (Dr. Crane and The Joker), and only one of them mananged to hold up in a fight (Ducard).

    Unlike most movies that use shaky-cam in movie to pretend to show exciting fighting, in the Nolan’s Batman movies the shaky-cam is used to depict an almost impossible fighter doing his stuff from the eyes of those who get punched out. So, those scenes are well shot because they present the scene exactly as it was intended to be seen.

    Really, this is so obvious, i can’t understand why people can’t figure this out right form the get go. Weird like hell.

  86. Since Nolan started making his Batman movies, all my nostalgia about the Burton’s Batman movies completly evaporated to the point of total oblivion. Nowdays, for me Burton’s Batman movies are only curiosities due to their aestetics and nothing else. Nolan’s Batman movies ARE THE BATMAN MOVIES.

  87. Jareth Cutestory

    April 18th, 2012 at 7:14 am

    I think that KICK ASS somehow managed to do much of the origin story stuff pretty well. Mostly it had something to do with that scene where Nic Cage shoots Hit Girl as a training exercise. That really worked for me. I was more linient on a lot of the nonsense that followed because of that scene.

    Obviously whether KICK ASS is an actual superhero movie is open to debate.

  88. Jareth Cutestory, you’re canadian, meaning, you are a neighbour to the USA. So much of your two countries’ culture overlap. Meanwhile, i’m from Europe. And in here, Green Lantern means jackshit. It’s virtually unknown. So yeah, a Green Lantern movie most certainly is desinted to flop if the movie doesn’t feature a charismatic actor as lead or does a very good job at introducing the mythos the character lives. IRON MAN mannaged to do both thanks in part ot the fact that Robert Downey Jr was always a well liked actor in Europe and the movie did exceptionally well in introducing the character to an audience that knew little of him. Iron Man is not that well known in Europe before the movie was released, and i’m one example of that.

    Green Lantern is as well known in europe as Tintin was to american audiences. Of not even less so.

  89. I’ll never understand why so many in the geekry oppose to origin stories. Orison storie,s of handled well, are a great source of pathos for the main character. they are also transformation stories, which means there is a lot of inherent drama associated with it. The classic tale of somebody discovering a higher purpose in their lives and how it affects them. Origin stories have lots of potential. It also helps put the audiences who are not familiar with the characters to have their entry point.

    The geekry assumes, falsely, that everybody are as familiar to the comic characters as they are. Which is untrue. Even the better known elements of a givne character, like Superman being from Krypton, are known in very superficial basic level. Which gives the filmmakers ample oportunity to invent or reinvent. Like how Nolan did with his origin story for Batman. Everybody knows that Batman’s first influence for becoming Batman was the murder of his parents, but little had been done to HOW HE BECAME BATMAN, and the movie milked a lot of drama out of it. This is origin story done right.

    Whenever i see anybody moaning about origin stories, it makes me think they are some sort of Michael Bay Action Bullshit Fanboys who are only satisfied if lots of shit blows up from begining to end of the movie,a nd all that character stuff and orgin story is getting in the way of their enjoyment of shit that blows up.

  90. “whether KICK ASS is an actual superhero movie is open to debate”

    Does it play by the usual superhero tropes? If so, then it is one. This shit is simple, it’s not rocket science.

  91. Asimov: Why doesn’t Nolan just makes us SEE what a great fighter Batman is, instead of just pissing us off by letting us guess if he really was too good for his enemies or if they just slipped on a banana peel?

  92. As, I can agree with your interpretation of the fights in BATMAN BEGINS, although I don’t agree that it was effective filmmaking. I get what Nolan was going for but I don’t think it works. But go back and watch the fights in THE DARK KNIGHT. They’re not shaky or blurry. They’re not meant to convey that Batman is an almost invisible force attacking from the shadows like a horror movie villain. They’re just badly staged fights shot with no panache, with an actor performing at half speed because his bulky costume doesn’t allow him the freedom of movement required to do convincing martial arts moves. If these fights are meant to convey that Batman is an almost supernatural fighting machine, they have failed utterly.

  93. Honestly, there are a lot of things I like about Nolan’s Batman movies, but the fact that he never convinces me that Batman is particularly good at his job will always prevent me from seeing them as anything but interesting failures. It’s one sour note that spoils the whole symphony for me.

  94. CJ – It’s because Nolan is admitted by himself not a very good action director. That and the choreography really isn’t strong enough to be all that interesting (if you any of you own the BB limited edition look at the behind the scenes stuff showing the choreography process). I like the style of martial arts they use but you could find better in most other movies that employ martial arts choreography.

    I think the hand to hand combat improved in the sequel though and at least was shot a little clearly. I also think the chase in BB is a snorefest but the man crafted one of the best chase sequences in recent memory in the sequel. So I suppose he’s gonna keep getting better at handling action sequences (both hand to hand and chase scenes) as he keeps going along.

  95. Broddie: I think Nolan got a handle on shooting action for the hallway fight in INCEPTION, so maybe THE DARK KNIGHT ALSO RISES will win me over to the franchise.

  96. I’m a bigger Batman fan than your average people. Been reading the comics for 24 years now and even though I’ve sold a lot of my old floppies I still own over 250 floppies (single issues not trades or graphic novels) from 1988 to now last time I counted.

    There are alot of things that I like about all the modern live action Batman movies (even the Schumacher ones) but I have yet to see any movie come even close to making me say “DAMN THAT IS THE DEFINITIVE BATMAN MOVIE”. I greatly prefer the comics to any of those movies and I feel that MASK OF THE PHANTASM though still flawed is the closest to a definitive Batman on film but even that one still falls short.

  97. Mr. Majestyk – Yeah despite how much I loathe INCEPTION that was pretty well handled. Though we also have to realize that it probably had solid geography because of the context (a lot of scenes with people projecting themselves across rooms in wide shots and a lot of slow movements because of the whole spinning room thing). Batman fights would have to be much more vibrant and kinetic to really work and not as shall I say “classy” and slower in composition like the ones in INCEPTION.

    I too can’t wait for TDKR. There is a lot of potential there since Batman was finally given a physically formidable adversary on film this time. I hope none of that potential is wasted and really knocks all our socks off. My cousin saw AVENGERS this weekend and told me that Whedon has officially shut shit down with all of the structure of all the Hulk fighting in that one (Hulk Vs. Thor, Hulk Vs. Aliens etc.) so I hope Nolan could at least match him on that front.

  98. As a guy who for a half-decade or so bought every Batman title on the stands (until Grant Morrison got involved and made me lose all interest), I agree. I don’t think the character has ever really been done right onscreen. I like certain aspects from most of the interpretations, but I haven’t seen one that has the mix of realism and gothicism, darkness and adventure, horror and action that I feel the perfect Batman movie should have. I think BATMAN RETURNS is still my favorite, but it still leans a little more to the goofy than I would prefer. The only good thing, for me, about this instant reboot culture we’re living in is that I won’t have to wait 15 years for another shot at Batman once Nolan and Bale finish their trilogy. That’s what I love about the character: You can do him a lot of different ways, so sooner or later they’ll hit on the one that really works for me.

    I agree with whoever said that Old Batman is the way to go for the next attempt, but I don’t think Keaton is physically imposing enough to pull it off. He worked as a young oddball but not as a grizzled vet. This is a Nolte role if ever I’ve seen one.

  99. Broddie: Did I give the impression that I’m looking forward to TDKR? I apologize, because I am not. I didn’t like the other two so I have decided to respectfully bow out and let the people who enjoy these movies have them. No hard feelings, but I’ll save my money and maybe check it out on DVD in a couple years when the hype has died down.

  100. The one thing I really love about BATMAN RETURNS is how intricate it was in exploring some of the greatest themes of the Batman mythos (tragedy, obsession, duality, revenge). I absolutely love how it takes the expressionistic format to do that by using it’s Gotham as an exploration of Bruce/Batman’s frail psyche.

    Having all these avatars within that environment that represent different layers of it from a rich orphan (The Penguin) to a vigilante struggling with duality (Catwoman) to a rich businessman (the Walken character) it’s all manifestations of some of the components that make Bruce Wayne/Batman who he is.

    They become tragic reflections of what he could’ve become if he had been abandoned by his parents (The Penguin); if he had no anchor to guide him during his vigilantism (Catwoman) and if he had no sense of altruism and became a cold hearted bastard (Walken).

    Then the way Keaton plays it throughout the movie. Picking up from where left off in the original one going from a heroic figure who even tried to save Jack Napier to becoming a brutal anti hero the minute he realizes who Napier really is all the way through the first 2 acts of BATMAN RETURNS. BATMAN FOREVER even touches on that with the speech Bruce gives Dick Grayson about killing Two-Face it’s one of the stronger points of Schumachers movies.

    It’s great in BATMAN RETURNS as he sees what he’s become within Selina/Catwoman and tries to save her and in turn redeem himself through that. But it could never be because their fate is grounded in tragedy and for better or worse the masks is who they really are. It’s very solid stuff that people tend to overlook because “oh oh it has penguins with rockets on their backs”. Their loss.

    With a new Burton Batman movie I think it should be sort of like how it was handled in KINGDOM COME. Bruce has used all his money to create robot Batman drones that patrol ALL of Gotham City at once as he monitors them from his Batcave. Something like that could work for an older Batman then he’s forced to suit up again one last time mid point through the picture and we go on to see him in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS (one of Burton’s biggest influences in his movies) mode to wrap up Burton’s Batman vision.

    I think Keaton has actually aged quite well. I remember that movie he did with Andy Garcia and was like (damn if only he’d been in that kinda shape during his Batman tenure). I think he could still get back in shape to give us a good old Batman romp and finally bring some closure to Burton’s narrative before the series moves on to the next step through a new iteration. Plus we’d get to see him and Pfieffer light up the screen with their explosive chemistry again and that is worth the ticket price alone.

  101. When it comes to Batman, The Animated Series plus the recent Arkham videogames are those two adaptations that I feel presents the character as I would like to see him. They have that aestethic
    larger-than life dark atmosphere without getting too serious and realistic.

    I really like Nolans-movies especially THE DARK KNIGHT. But more as movies in themselves, not as Batman adaptations.
    And I will always prefer Mark Hamill´s Joker over Nicholson´s (too much standup-comedian)
    or Ledgers (way too dark) approach. Hamills Joker seem to strike that perfect balance, which makes him so awesomely scary.

  102. I forgot to mention Burton´s two movies in the same sentence as TAS and the Arkham-games. Shame on me….

  103. One of my closest friends who calls me “the most die hard Batman fan you’d ever meet” has been trying to get me to play those games since ARKHAM ASYLUM first came out. Keeps going “Dude if someone would appreciate that shit it’s definitely you. They finally made the Batman game you’ve always asked for”.

    I was always iffy about Batman video games. When I was a kid and Burton’s first movie came out there was the game on NES which was just a side scroller NINJA GAIDEN type and as difficult as NG. Then they made an arcade game about a year was a smash which was another side scroller but of the beat em up variety like FINAL FIGHT with Batmobile stages in between regulars stages.

    That one is probably my favorite cause even though it was a generic beat em up it had Elfman’s iconic Batman music all throughout and the level design replicated Anton Furst’s oscar winning production design really fucking well. Then we got THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN which was yet ANOTHER beat em up but it was a cool thing to play if you’re a fan of TAS.

    Once we got into the PS2 I was like “ok they could really go to town this time; give us a game where Batman explores Gotham and encounters his rogues at different sections and does detective shit” but we got some shitty 3D game based on TAS instead. Since I never bought this generation of consoles I missed out on ARKHAM ASYLUM and ARKHAM CITY but since I keep hearing that they FINALLY got it right I’m very tempted with buying a PS Vita and just streaming it from my boy’s PS3.

    Still not quite there. I had BATMAN RETURNS for SNES again a fun game but just another generic FINAL FIGHT clone like the old 1990 arcade game.

  104. Holy shit I just realized that as I typed I pressed enter too much to the point that something that I meant to put in the body of my post ended up in the conclusion LMAO. Please ignore.

  105. Especially Arkham Asylum is pretty fuckin´impressive, since it is set in a confined setting on Arkham Island. And has a lot of atmosphere thanks to that.Even if the basic premise is ripped from Grant Morrision´s feverdream with the same name it´s a much better experience in my opinion. Great voice-acting from the same cast of TAS. Plus the “Beast of Hamill” could be unleashed thanks to a more adult-oriented piece where the Joker actually kills people. Amazing shit and one of my favourite games of all time. And as Batman you get to fuck people up. I mean REALLY.
    These guys takes one helluva beating from Batman. So fucking satisfying!

  106. “When it comes to Batman, The Animated Series plus the recent Arkham videogames are those two adaptations that I feel presents the character as I would like to see him. They have that aestethic
    larger-than life dark atmosphere without getting too serious and realistic. ”
    This. If they could do that in the movies I’d be in heaven. While I’m not advocating an adaptation, it is pretty clear how the two games have great high concepts for movies. Asylum is “Batman meets Die Hard”, City is “Batman meets Escape From New York”.

  107. Keaton and Burton coming back to Batman would be great too, especially if they did a bit on him becoming more paternal in how he took in Robin, who can be grown up as Nightwing(skipping the hard to sell era of a kid sidekick). Unfortunately, given how Burton had Batman have no problems with killing, who would Keaton-bats fight that would work well with his age? I don’t see them letting Bill Dee finally play Two Face.

  108. CJ Holden, did you read what i wrote? the whole idea is that Batman is far superior to what a human can do, certainly better then what a movie stuntman can do. A nd the whole point is to see Batman fromthe eyes of the recieving end of the shallacking. To augment the notion of him as a figure that comes out of nowhere and administer the mothers of all asskickings. It’s all a matte rof perspective.

    How hard is it to understand? How hard is it?

  109. Mr. Majestyk, but it is effective filmmaking. It did what it set out to do. At least Nolan knows how to use shaky-cam when it’s ned to. There is a purposae to it more then just to repeat the “cool” thing everybody else is doing.

    In fact, the shaky-cam thing starte with a very defined purpose. That assfuck hackshits like JJ Abrams and Michael Bay and the clueless idiot who directed QUANTUM OF SOLACE misused it to the point of parody is another matter. What Nolan did for BATMAN BEGINS is the right thing to do for the purpose he wanted to present. What Michael Shit Bay did for his Trashformers movies and JarJar Abrams did for his Scheisse Trek is mere gratitious imbecility becoming of the untalented hacks that they are. The diference is actually very easy to discern, if you care to see.

  110. Broddie: “It’s because Nolan is admitted by himself not a very good action director”

    That is a clear case of modesty, because Nolan makes better action then the vast majority of the filmmakers who are supposed to be the masters of the action genre. What many think they know, Nolan already forgot and is a whole staircase ahead of them.

    This notion that Nolan fails at making action is one of those strange fallacies that pollutes the internet geekry that just beggers belief that people actually believe in it. It’s as if people want to believe the repeated memes more then their own senses and judgement. Small wonjder then that crap like JJ Abrams can be mistaken for a good filmmaker that makes good entertaiment. I’ll never understand this. It’s like articles of faith the geekry has to believe for fear of not being “geek enough”. Silliness!

  111. “Keaton and Burton coming back to Batman would be great”

    What? Keaton who is pushing 60s (and who was never an energetic Batman to begin with and who had his ass handled to him by a fat rapper in the first movie) and Tim Burton who does nothing this days but self-parody? Why would i be even remotly interested in watching a Batman movie from this two guys? Unless i was an enemy of the Batman franchise and wanted to see it mocked to kingdom come.

  112. Personally, I think Nolan isn’t very good at action scenes not because I read it on the internet, but because I’ve seen his movies and they tend to be unclear, herky-jerky and edited too-rapidly. You can find some standout moments (the spinning hall fight in INCEPTION, maybe the tunnel chase in TDK), but pretty much any other time people are trying to punch or shoot each other in his films, the result is an ugly mess. And I say this as a fan.

    I don’t think he’s particularly gifted as a visual storyteller. His storytelling prowess comes more from his use of editing the play with structure and build tension. He’s good with crafty set pieces (like the heist at the beginning of TDK), but not so hot with kinetic energy, motion, spacial relations, and the other building blocks of a good action scene.

  113. Asimov, I just think that it’s a very bad excuse for shoddy filmmaking. Especially when you consider that Nolan brags about how “realistic” his take on Batman is, why should he portray him as a superhuman, who is too good a fighter to be caught on film? Apart from that: I could get that excuse when it’s used once. Maybe when we see Batman for the first time in action. But now he used it always in two full movies.
    And Stallone used the same “on the receiving end” excuse for his sloppy filmatism in THE EXPENDABLES. It’s just a stupid idea. Movies are at least 50% things, that we wouldn’t see in real life. Not not-showing things, because in reality we would see them that way too.

    Still, I have to point out that the post-action is the least problem that I have with Nolan’s Batman movies.

    And about INCEPTION: Yeah, the hallway fight was great, but come on, did you all forget about the unwatchable snow shootout in the same movie?

  114. I’ve never been a fan of Nolan’s action prowess but I didn’t think the snow shootout was that bad. I guess I didn’t need it to be a standalone setpiece since it was part of the collage of parallel climaxes that was going on in the movie at the time. Just seeing some shots of Roger Moore-style henchmen on skis and snowmobiles intercut with all the other stuff was enough for me.

  115. “What? Keaton who is pushing 60s (and who was never an energetic Batman to begin with and who had his ass handled to him by a fat rapper in the first movie)”
    He didn’t look it in THE OTHER GUYS. And if you think aging is a problem, then you simply adjust his approach. Play him up as an experienced strategist, who doesn’t simply react to random criminal acts, but has a plan for how to take down the gangs and mobs, and doesn’t do it alone. Have him as a mentor to Nightwing and Batgirl etc. Of course, then you make the villain someone who strips all that away and in the climax it comes down to him having to prove he’s still got what it takes on his own to win. Another take on Ra’s Al Ghul would be good for this, as he’s a planner and a guy with vast resources, but also has a personal connection to Batman, having wanted to make him his successor. Of course, since it seems like RISES is revisiting some of the League of Shadows stuff, maybe someone else.

  116. As for the depiction of the action in the Nolan films…yeah. I get the disorienting take on when he’s taking out random mooks, but that shouldn’t really have been applied to when he fought Ra’s, since Ra’s is evenly matched with him and WOULDN’T see him like that. That’s kinda why I hoped the sequels would have someone like Lady Shiva(played by Michelle Yeoh?) as someone who he’d have to take on, and we’d get a good fight scene out of that.

  117. The snow shoot out in INCEPTION isn’t, like, one of the all time worst action scenes or anything. But given it’s inclusion in an umpteen bajillion dollar movie, you’d expect it to at least be, like, coherent looking and cleverly staged. Instead it’s, like most of Nolan’s action, dull to the eyes and lacking in any good “oh shit!” moments.

  118. While I can’t believe we’re on this topic AGAIN, I’m gonna re-iterate that I think Nolan is mostly bad at shooting the hand-to-hand (too close up and choppy, not always for artistic purpose, also still resent him for avoiding a burning temple ninja battle in part 1) but good with the vehicle chases. Maybe someday we’ll see his take on the Green Lantern magic Hot Wheels track helicopter rescue.

  119. “That’s what I love about the character: You can do him a lot of different ways”

    that’s what I love about Batman as well and what, in my opinion, makes him the best Superhero of all time

    Broddie – any Batman fan on the face of the Earth should play the Arkham games, they are excellent, also is that a picture of yourself as your gravatar?

  120. Like I said before I think Nolan improved with hand to hand and the chase in TDK because I found those elements in BB frustrating as fuck to watch. He’s definitely superior with staging a great chase sequence than a hand to hand one though; most definitely.

  121. Yeah Griff I use the gravatar on other sites including ones by people I know personally so it’s a much easier identifier when they can see my face.

  122. Stu – I mentioned this before I guess it got overlooked but you don’t even need to involve the sidekicks. Ever read KINGDOM COME? old Batman has an army of Bat-Robots patrolling Gotham that he monitors from the cave. Later in the story he eventually suits up with some type of Bat armor. They could use that method before he suits up cause it would also provide some kick ass visuals.

  123. Guys, why are we talking about old shit when potentially mind-blowing events like http://www.avclub.com/articles/nicolas-winding-refn-may-be-involved-with-a-new-ma,72631/ are occurring as we speak?

  124. wow, that’s strange

  125. They should remake it as MANIAC NEIGHBORHOOD WATCHMAN to be more relevant with the times since the original was a response to police brutality/vigilante cops. Could we end up seeing a zombie Ryan Gosling? whatever it ends up becoming Robert Davi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Z’Dar MUST all make cameo appearances.

  126. Refn wants to do a Wonder Woman movie too. Not seen DRIVE or VALHALLA RISING YET, so I dunno how good a fit he’d be, but the current take in the comics for the character is a bit more horror-based.

    Broddie- Yeah, I’ve got KINGDOM COME, but I LIKE the sidekicks, and would loved to see them done well.

    Vern- “While I can’t believe we’re on this topic AGAIN”, I thought you were going to be referring to talking about batman in general. You must be pretty sick of it.

  127. ^VALHALLA RISING yet. Not referring to a prequel.

  128. can you imagine seeing Robert Z’Dar’s face on the big screen?

  129. No, but I can imagine Robert Z’Dar’s face BEING the big screen.

  130. Aww,shit. I guess this is as a good time as any to confess that I never watched the MANIAC COP´s. Any of them. I was going too.Really!I swear! But since news of a remake came before I got around too watching the original, it means I´m hardly in the position to start raging over YET another remake of movies I have not seen.
    But,please…..enjoy yourelves!

  131. MANIAC COP 1 is not really all that great, despite having the most Bruce Campbell in it. MANIAC COP 2 is the best one, with a witty script, some really awesome car stunts, and a copshop massacre that rivals TERMINATOR’s. MC3 is also pretty solid, with a rare lead performance from Robert Davi and a scene where the Maniac Cop does an entire car chase while on fire. Not the car he’s driving. Just him. You kinda gotta see it.

  132. And if it’s Robert Z’Dar nude scenes you’re after, MC2 is your best shot. And suddenly I think I sort of understand Refn’s interest.

  133. But isn’t that nude scene just flashback footage from the first one?

  134. Jesusk, i can0’t believe that people really complain about Nolan’s action stuff and call it underachieved without an hint of sarcasm. I can’t believe it! I’m an individual that prouds myself of being very hard to plase with action in movies. It’s not any old shit that will pleases me. And i have no complain whatsoever with any of Nolan’s action scenes in all the movies he made. Quite the contrary, they are always thrilling and smartly done.

    Something has to be a bit wrong when me who’s very hard to please are very pleased with Nolan’s action and it’s the action fanboys who are complaining. Something very weird i can’t find a logical explanation. Most action filmmakers could only dream being as thoughful and good as Nolan in his action scenes, be they car chases, handfights, gunfights, the lot. They would sell their left nut for that set of skills.

    Soddy filmmaking in a Nolan movie? Never happened, even in his first zero budget movies.

    Could this be a cultural thing? The complains came from an american cultural set of film appreciation? Could be it, a cultural thing.

  135. Refn doing a Wonder Woman movie? While it’s a strange proposition, in his audio comentary for VALHALLA RISING, Refn says he’s very willing to make a big hoywood blockbuster, he’s eager for that oportunity. But i though that it was the remake of LOGAN’S RUN, to which he has been attached to since VALHALLA RISING was released, that would be it.

  136. I haven’t seen Batman Begins since 2005 (I guess I need to re-watch that before Rises), but I do remember a couple of the fights scenes being pretty confusing

    however I thought the action in The Dark Knight and Inception was just fine, I understood what was going on the entire time

  137. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 18th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Doc Z – I was going to argue with you, but I actually have to agree that Reynolds’ performance was arguably the least objectionable thing about both “Blade 3” and “Buried”. It’s just that those movies were such a pain to watch. Although, honestly, as awful as “Blade 3” was, I think that comparing it to “Buried” – which is easily the worst moviegoing experience I’ve had in the last three or four years, perhaps ever – might actually be doing it a disservice. And that’s probably the last time you’ll ever hear me say that I’ve not given “Blade 3” enough credit.

  138. GrimGrinningChris

    April 18th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Not enough can be said about Mark Strong in this movie.

    He made the movie bearable… just perfect in the role.

  139. Stu – Don’t get me wrong I love the sidekicks. Grayson’s actually my 3rd favorite comic book character ever behind his surrogate dad (Bats) and uncle (Superman). It’s just that Burton’s Batman like Nolan’s is a loner so that wouldn’t really jive with that version all that well.

    Man you have to see those movies ASAP. Seriously. Refn has indeed said that he’d die to get his hands on a WW project.

    To quote: “I think my whole fetish and my interest in Wonder Woman came from three or four years ago…My daughter got obsessed with the Wonder Woman televisionshow. The old, ’70s version. I would watch them back to back with her and really enjoyed them immensely. And I’ve always been fascinated by her as a character. I’m not a knowledgeable comic fanatic, as a lot of other people are.

    But I was very fascinated by a woman of power. And I couldn’t come [up] with any other great role models for my daughter to, say, ‘That’s a woman.’ Besides her mother. So I started getting wholly, completely obsessed about Wonder Woman and saying, ‘I’ve got to make her as a movie.

    I’ve got to make my take on it.’ And then I met a comic book writer who told me the origins about her, which was very fascinating and I began to see that myself and the creator of her probably had the same fetish of women. And then I knew that I had to make this film… if it ever gets made.”

    Wow somebody actually passionate about bringing a DC icon to film besides Nolan. Too bad WB would be too stupid to even realize that they need somebody who’s passionate about such a project in the first place. At least if GREEN LANTERN is any evidence. GL is one of the few movies I could think of where the first draft (actually very comic booky and true to the source) was superior in damn near every way to the final product. How a script could actually get worse instead of better after the first draft is beyond me but they managed to pull off that rare feat.

    The only thing I don’t agree with him about is Hendricks as Diana. I’d rather see her as Giganta personally.

  140. Griff – I saw TANGO & CASH on the big screen as a kid. Suffice it to say when Z’Dar shows up driving a truck that Stallone ends up shooting at I was pretty traumatized by the size of his jaw on such a large scale. That shit belongs in a museum.

  141. Paul – Why the hate for Buried? I saw that on DVD and enjoyed it quite a bit. Pretty tense and claustrophobic with a better than usual performance from Reynolds. Even if you didn’t care for his acting or thought the film was boring, the amount of hate you seem to have for it seems excessive.

  142. Griff – You really thought the action in Inception was fine? I’ll give you that you could tell what was going on, but that’s not the only ingredient you need for a decent action scene. The action in Inception was just completely lifeless, it had no rhythm or energy. To me it almost seems like Nolan doesn’t care for action at all and just puts in a couple of perfunctory shoot-outs and chases because that’s what you gotta have in a blockbuster. The action scene in the snow especially was so dull I couldn’t wait for it to end.

    If only Nolan guy would just give up and hand his action scenes over to a good second unit director, then his films would be close to perfection. But he’s probably too big of a control freak for that.

  143. Mike A., trhank goodness i don’t think like you in regard to INCEPTION. Truly good movies are so rare this days i can’t afford to dismiss one just because of over-preciousness in regard to perceived bad action filmmaking that has little to do with reality. I can’t afford to piss on good movies made very well, like INCEPTION. I don’t have that luxery.

  144. I’m only now scrolling up to see this action discussion has been going on for a while. Ignore my comment if I’m just repeating the same old shit please.

  145. asimovlives – I do still love the hell out of Inception, the bad (imo) action doesn’t spoil the film because there is so much other stuff going on that is amazing. It’s undeniably a classic, I just view the action bits as the least enjoyable part of it.

    Had the action been better, then it would’ve blown my fucking mind though.

  146. Yeah, Asimov, sometimes you have to stop thinking in black and white patterns. People can criticise things and still like them!
    I like Nolan’s movies (apart from his Batman ones), but it’s clear that he is not an action director. While I didn’t love INCEPTION, I liked it a lot and just because the snow shoot out looked horrible, it was just one scene in a 2 hours movie. And if the awesome hallway fight hadn’t happened earlier, I probably wouldn’t care at all.

  147. Griff, the confusion you felt watching thje fight scenes in BATMAN BEGINS is ON PURPOSE. It’s deliberately done so. You think that Nolan and cineamtographer Wally Pfister suddently become retard when they made those action stuff and regained talent when they turned to other scenes? That’s absurd! The confusing effect on those fight scenes are done deliberatly to confuse you when you watch them. If you say those confused you, then you are giving the movie and it’s filmmakers a praise, because you reacted as they intended to.

    Nolan and his team are not like the hipster hackfucks like JJ Abrams and Mickey Bay who follow the latest trend so they can sell their hackjob movies to the lowest common denominator teen crowd. You should give Nolan and his team the recognition they deserve. I sincerely think that to invent complains about the great fine movie that is BATMAN BEGINS is an exercise in self-indulgence or a misguided atempt at hipsdom. Nobody gets to be cooler by pissing on a good movie.

    The thing i have loved about Nolan’s movies so far is that he doesn’t kiss the ass of audiences, and his movies do need some effort to get into the mood. That’s proper filmmaking. Movies and filmmakers shouldn’t kiss our asses, and we shouldn’t be just passive zombies having it all spoonfed to us. And Nolan does that in the blockbuster/commercial type of film. It’s a rare thing to see, and for that, Nolan’s movies should be tresured and respected and admired. He does what few others do, and he does it consistently and constantly. That and as long he does that he will get my wholesome respect, and i’ll gladly assume to be his movies’ Cerebrus among the geekry.

  148. Mike A., bad action in INCEPTION? What bad action in INCEPTION? There is no such mythical creature.

  149. CJ Holden, the problem is not the criticism. The problem is the criticism making sense. And so far, the complains in regard to the action fight stuff in BATMAN BEGINS is based on a wrong assuption. For some reason, it never occurs to the people the very obvious fact that ther eis a DELIBERATE purpose to how those fight scenes are done in the movie, which then contrast a lost to the style used in the other type of action that is found in the movie. Ther whole thing is that THER EIS A PURPOSE, and that purpose is VERY OBVIOUS. Very, very obvious. As i said before, the complains about Nolan’s style for the fights in BATMAN BEGINS all reduce to notion that suddently Nolan became completly devoided of talent and made a few crappy action stuff and when they were over he regained talent again. It’s absurd! But that’s how it reads. I cannot compreend how people can miss out on such an obvious thing as the purposely use of a certain style for a specific type of scene. The though that went to it is so obvious, it’s bewildering people can miss it.

    But then again, how often i have read people not getting the very obvous satire nature of STARSHIP TROOPERS and mistake it for a fascit movie or a mere braindead action flick? It seems that for so many, the notion that a blockbuster can be thoughful and filmmakers make deliberate aestetic choices for a given scene is a very foreign concept to them.

    If anything, it’s not me who has the black and white view, because i do not seperate movies in very difined lines between art-house and blockbuster. And i love when the two mix. Like in STARSHIP TROOPERS and BATMAN BEGINS. But it seems my more open attitude is not shared. The irony on people thinking i view things as black and white is so thick i would need a chainsaw to cut through it.

  150. Come on, asimovlives. The shoot-out in the snow? You’re gonna call that good action? There was no sense of purpose to that scene except Hardy’s character had to buy some time for the others to do their stuff. So he proceeds to kill off a bunch of random goons who all look exactly the same. There’s a random explosion here, he shoots some guys over there etc. There’s no weight to any of it, no sense of progress, no excitement.

    You just can’t call that good action and keep a straight face, I’m sorry.

  151. Or is it supposed to look vague and uninteresting because it takes place in a dream?

  152. As, we get WHY he did it. That’s not the issue. We just don’t agree with the approach. Not liking something and not understanding it are two different things. We get that Nolan was trying to make Batman a shadowy force of violence, but the effect that strategy had (on us, at least) was to fail to sell his abilities as a fighter. It was perhaps the right approach for that one particular fight, but it didn’t work on us and had a negative effect on rest of the movie because we never got the chance to be impressed by a guy we keep getting told (and not shown) is a great ninja warrior. I understand it wasn’t just some fuckup on Nolan’s part, but just because something is done on purpose doesn’t automatically make it awesome.

  153. The “it was done in purpose to look confusing” excuse is bullshit. Stallone used it for his crappy post-action in EXPENDABLES. Greengrass used it as excuse to make the BOURNE sequels unwatchable. MICHAEL BAY USED IT to let camera cars crash into each other in BAD BOYS 2!
    If you wanna portray someone as the greatest fighter in the world, LET US SEE THE FIGHT! If you wanna show the audience that all hell breaks loose, LET US SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING! Movie history is full of great fights and chaotic moments, that all look breathtaking and memorable, but still get their point across.
    To name just one example: Think of CHILDREN OF MEN! The movie has not one, but two “HOLY SHIT, IT’S ON! THERE IS CHAOS EVERYWHERE AND WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT!” – moments, but instead of showing them as blurry staccato editing orgy, we see them in long, clear, wonderful looking takes. And it works!

    Nolan and Pfister are a smart team, with an eye for beautiful looking moments. But they don’t seem to know shit about action and apparently bought into the “you put the audience in the middle of it, by shaking the camera and set a new cut every 3 frames” myth of modern action filmmaking.

  154. Jareth Cutestory

    April 19th, 2012 at 7:02 am

    The way Nolan shot Bat Man fighting always reminds me of Bullworth’s rapping: he knew he was rapping, he thought he was making a statement, the audience was unimpressed.

    But I am completely in favor of the use of the phrase “assfuck hackshits.”

  155. “The only thing I don’t agree with him about is Hendricks as Diana. I’d rather see her as Giganta personally.”
    More like Gigantatas, am I right…?

    Also, as to the subject of a Justice League movie, I would actually prefer to see them build up to that more gradually with movies about smaller team ups. A World’s Finest or Trinity movie would be good.

    And speaking of team ups

    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/04/17/batman-jay-z-comic/
    I would so buy this.

  156. I like how Refn openly uses the term “fetish” when talking about his love for Wonder Woman

    and I love the idea of Christina Hendricks as Wonder Woman because she is pretty much the only actress in Hollywood with big, natural boobies instead of being a skinny waif

  157. Jareth Cutestory

    April 19th, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I don’t know if you’re implying that Monica Bellucci is not curvaceous and natural, or if Monica Bellucci is not an actor.

    See also: Selma Hayek.

  158. Hey, guys, can’t we all agree that Nolan is the best director ever and there’s a good chance that Inception is the most perfect movie ever made?

    When did this place become like the rest of the internet? :(

  159. Well, the thing with GREEN LANTERN and, more importantly, the thing with Christopher Nolan is Batman is Batman, which often Batmans better than Batman’s Batman, but the real Batman would be better if Batman Batmanned more Batmans and the only way that’ll happen is if Batman’s Batman can be Batmanned by a true Batman. Of course, the best Batman was when Batman Batmanned that Batman that was Batmanning the Batmans when Batman wasn’t as popular for a while, but Batman got to Batman again when people saw that Batman Batmanning better than Batman. So maybe for the next Batman, they should try to Batman less Batmans but keep the original spirit of Batman so that Batman can be seen as my interpretation of Batman, the real Batman, and not the same old Batman that has been Batmanning the last few years as Batman.

    Just trying to fit in here, guys.

    Batman.

  160. Has anyone else seen the old 1940s Batman serials? Boy, those are racist!

  161. I submit that it is possible to discuss movies without connecting every subject to JJ Abrams and “Mickey Bay.” And I challenge Asimov to prove my theory.

  162. nananananana BATMAN!

  163. I have only one problem honestly with BATMAN BEGINS: Alot of the forced one-liners. I get Nolan was trying to get in the blockbuster spirit, but those lines like “I gotta get that car!” made me groan in the theatre. And this from somebody who otherwise was fucking impressed by it.

    (Fun story: I apparently loudly groaned after that particular line, and somebody in the theatre giggled at my groan. Interactive movies!)

    As for the action, I suppose the hand-to-hand shit could’ve been done better. I suppose also Katie Holmes didn’t need to be in this shit, but both are similar in that they both don’t take anything away from it. I suppose it’s like whining about a great painting being in too short of a frame. I mean you might have a point, but so what?

    (Except Holmes in her cases added nothing, but oh well. Her casting proof that as much as I admire Nolan, he’s not perfect.)

    Griff – Ah that mindrape TV theme. We can thank that for forcing Prince to learn to play it on the piano as a kid.

    Asimov – As much as I deplore the useless sack of shit like Bay and while Abrams I don’t mind as much as he might be overrated a tad too much at times by the peanut gallery. But yeah I have to concur with Vern: Spice up your anger. Bring in some new targets. Don’t get boring like Bay is.

  164. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 19th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Asimov – the fight scene where Tom Wilkinson is watching is EXACTLY what you say. It’s deliberately obscure because we’re seeing it from the point of Wilkinson. That’s the entire point. Whether it was wise to do it, and the ninja fight earlier on, is debatable. But I can’t agree with anybody who says the obscurity was unintentional.

    I’d still have liked a better ninja fight, less Katie Holmes, and am I the only one who didn’t like the Batmobile scenes? Not because they were badly done but because they seemed so out-of-place and took away from the more interesting stuff happening offscreen at the time.

    Broddie – you give a very interesting analysis of “Batman Returns”. While I think it’s the best of the early Batman films (excluding the 60s and animated ones from that definition, which were pretty much in a class of their own) I like the point you make about the characters reflecting different parts of Batman’s psyche.

    It’s interesting because I’d never thought of BR like that, but it is very similar to an analysis I did of “Enter the Dragon”, where Han’s character is primarily a combination of the worst parts of Roper’s, Lee’s and Williams’ characters – Roper’s amorality, Williams’ vanity, and Lee’s sadism. Not quite sure what to make of the similarities between the two films… or the fact that in “Returns” it’s the “hero” (quotes because Batman is never fully the “hero” of the story) whereas in “Dragon” it’s the lead villain…

  165. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 19th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Vern – but is it possible to do so without also mentioning the Star Wars prequels, the Expendables, or the Avengers? I think not!

  166. Okay friendo, sorry to do the annoying broken record routine, but when you drop the “I don’t care if it comes straight from the comic book” presumption, you just know it’s gonna get my geek dander up. Now, Green Lantern was without doubt a giant glowing megaturd. But by what stretch of the imagination has Hollywood and the much revered “Filmatic Language” proven themselves above producing giant turds? All on their own, that is. Since when has Hollywood proven themselves above lazy shoddy characterizations and story elements. So why the continued “…straight from the comic…” type presumption regarding said lazy shoddy characterizations and story elements. I assure you the Joker, neither Ra’s al Ghul had anything to do with the murder of Bruce Waynes’ parents in the funny pages. *Tying the villain directly into the hero’s personal tragedy* TM, being one of Hollywood’s oft repeated lazy lame tropes. Just sayin.

  167. All I mean is that might work in a comic book from the 1940s but not in this movie.

  168. A perfectly valid point friendo, when the asinine “everybody grew up together” plot device in question ACTUALLY DID come from the funny book, and the film makers forget that the most important part of adaptation is the adapting part. That just happens to not be the case with this specific asinine plot device. And I’m certainly not suggesting that every comic superhero’s funny page mythos achieves stellar literary excellence. Just once again, that Hollywood often brings their own velveeta keg to the cheesefest.

  169. Rogue4- Actually, just Hal and Carol grew up together, and their relationship makes sense in the context of him growing up to follow the same career as his father, including worker for his father’s boss, who Carol is the daughter of. He didn’t meet Hector till he was an adult.
    Also, where does it say in Begins that Ra’s had anything to do with the Waynes’ murders? Maybe very indirectly, because his organisation created the economic conditions that made the mugger desperate enough to do what he did, but that’s it.
    But yes, Hollywood sometimes make things worse with their changes to the source material(e.g. Jonah Hex and Wanted).

  170. Stu-man, the INaccuracy of the assumption that the “everybody grew up together” plot device simply MUST HAVE come from those “silly funnybooks” was exactly the point I was making. And in my opinion, Ra’s al Ghul’s dun,dun,duuuun party crashin revelation in Batman Begins meets the standard of the *Tying the villain (if not, technically, directly) into the hero’s personnal tragedy*TM, trope. Such tropes further contradicting the assumption that the more hackey storytelling elements in a Hollywood comic book superhero adaptation always come from the comic book half of the equation.

  171. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 25th, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Well for what it’s worth, I thought the League of Shadows was and is one of the best “amoral organisations with complex backstory” I’ve ever come across in film. And again, this is a Christopher Nolan movie, you know everything’s gonna fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. There are definitely occasions when it falls down (not bringing up the concept of “Limbo” earlier on in “Inception” for example – I love that movie, but there’s definitely a valid criticism of it there) but for the most part I find Nolan’s style works great for me.

  172. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    April 25th, 2012 at 5:04 am

    And you know what? Fuck Rachel and the fucking Batmobile. The secretive clan of ninjas and spies who infiltrate societies to “purge” them of corruption, who claimed responsibility for starting the great fire of London and the fall of Rome? Now that’s some cool shit right there. That’s what I want to see more of!

  173. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul, the problem with Katie Holmes in BATMAN BEGINS is not her character. It’s not even holmes herself, who does a pretty good job. The probem is that she was surrounded by some of the top best actors alive. She could be doing the job of her life and she would look poorly in comparison. She was overwhelemed.

    To give Nolan his due, she was not his choice. His first choices had been Emily Blunt or Natalie Portman for the role, and when he got the chance, he hired Maggie Gyllenhall instead for the same role in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Say what you will about Maggie’s looks, her beauty is not consensual, but she is a damn much better actress then Holmes. In fact, that Maggie is not a convential beauty i think helps the movie and her character, because then you can buy that the two fellas that loved her was because of who she was and her smarts, not just because she rocked an hardbody.

  174. This Wonder Woman jibber jabber reminded me of Johnnie To’s THE HEROIC TRIO, which I enjoyed, so I recently watched its sequel, EXECUTIONERS, co-directed by To. It doesn’t exactly get my recommendation, but it almost lives up to the awesome trailer
    http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi396755225/
    because it has some things going for it, including an insane, Seagalogical kind of ending where the bad guy, a radiation scarface mutant, breaks everything he sees. Instead of broken glass, there’s shattered church pews & other cheap set items. He does the Seagalian wrist grab-n-twist, and proceeds to break Michelle Yeoh and literally rip her apart. She survives just long enough to set off (I think) an explosive arrow head somehow (there’s 2 other comically poorly edited scenes involving explosive arrows), but that only maims him, so it’s up to our heroines Wonder Woman & Thief Catcher to punch him repeatedly in his bloody stump where his right arm used to be. It’s awesome.

    Other highlights (not enough to recommend you watch the entire film, though) for the EXECUTIONERS-curious with their finger on the fast forward button:
    -decent little fight scene at the 30:00 mark where Anita Mui does a nice split between punches,

    -55:00 mark — a masked guy, about to receive the nasty end of a rocket launch, grabs the barrel of the rocket launcher and bends it downward as it fires, essentially suicide bombing himself & his attacker.

    -strange part at the 1:04:00 mark where a guy punches through another guy’s body. Like, we see a close up squib & latex effect that shows his knuckles protruding from within the victim’s skin, and he holds it there to show he punched through the stomach & everything. Then Michelle Yeoh flies in and fights him, then there’s a truck being lifted by ropes and the Guy with the [still glistening with gore] Powerful Penetrating Fist rips off the truck’s door and grabs the tire, which causes it to explode (??), but Michelle still gets away.

    Not a good movie, but it has its moments. And it’s nice to see a strong female cast that isn’t treated like a total novelty. They act basically just like regular male superheroes, and the movie passes the Bechdel test, but there’s also a weird scene where the 3 lead hotties take a bath together and seem to fondle each other playfully underwater. It would be super hot except Wonder Woman also brings along her 7 year old daughter to bathe with the Heroic Trio in this scene. Potentially awesome sexual moment ruined. Maybe it’s Chinese cultural differences my American brain doesn’t comprehend, but I can’t get down when a little kid is present.

    Alright, sorry, back to BatmanBatmanBatman.

  175. I’m always up for movies where things combust upon being held or grabbed. Reminds me that some of us are just a little exposure to radiation away from being uber awesome. That some of us being like 0.5% of the world population but still.

    BATMAN THIS AND BATMAN THAT just reminded me that I’m through with debating nerd shit. I realized that after using up way more time (about 20 min and when time is money that’s unacceptable) than I needed to debating who’s the real guy Superman or Clark Kent in a superhero movie forum.

    I may not even comment on TDKR in anyway when Vern eventually reviews it. Circular debates about a guy in a cape that always parrot the same information and end up really heading nowhere is something I’m now comfortable with saying that I’ve finally outgrown. I thank people like asimovlives for helping a brother finally see the light.

  176. “Reminds me that some of us are just a little exposure to radiation away from being uber awesome.”

    Cancer and DNA degradation is awesome?

  177. No hence why I later state that only 0.5% of the world population could probably go through that experience as they would not get the life threatening mutations and cancer that comes through radiation exposure that other 99.5% of us will.

  178. Man random quick wit really is not effective once you have to explain it :(

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