Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still Awesome

I've seen The Dark Knight (only) 4 times now, and I still think it's awesome. It's a pretty complicated storyline and everytime I see it I understand it a little better. I think for the casual Batman fan, that may be a real downside to the film, but for the fanboys (or fangirlz) like me, it's not a big deal since we're all going to see it several times anyway. In a nutshell, everyone has a plan for Gotham except the Joker, who has a wrench to throw in everyone's plan. Harvey learns all about futility. Batman learns that his job will never end. The Joker learns that he and Bats are an even match, but that Gothamites are a little more human than he gauged them to be. We get a taste of Bruce's amped up Bat-perseverance and more of his better-practiced public Bruce persona. Awesome!

There are a lot of people out there who aren't really hip on the dark Batman/dark Joker portrayed in the film. and that's ok. Everyone has his own taste, and everyone has his own idea of who Batman is--depending on individual cumulative Batman experience, so this may not be everyone's Batman. I've been reading the comic books for a while now and I'm used to the current continuity of dark Bats and the darker Joker. I've heard some complain that there wasn't enough of a sense of humor in the film. There were some lighter moments, but they were more "heh" moments and not "ha ha" moments. The animated series that just ended its run on the now-defunct Kids WB had an annoying, goofy, bare-foot Joker. I was ready for dark.

In my opinion, Harvey's squirrelled away at Arkham even as we speak. Speculation on the possible #3 is already rampant, including some waaaay out-there casting. Nolan hasn't even formally agreed to do #3 and without Nolan, there should be no #3. I would like to see Catwoman along with whatever other villain they choose. She's a good foil for Bruce/Bats and with Rachel out of the picture, there's a need for a female character (...needs to be the current incarnation of Catwoman from the series that just--waaah!--ended with #82). Hush would be an interesting and non-mainstream villain choice, but the story would have to differ from the fabulous Jeph Loeb novel and the current Detective comic-book storyline Paul Dini's writing. I know there are other fans out there who feel the same way about these suggestions. But if there's a #3, it's still a ways away.

So DC says they are ready to start developing other DC characters for movies of their own. I read that they'd like to explore the darker sides of other heroes. I think it's a mistake to model everyone after one successful film franchise. Write to the strengths of the heroes that are chosen. Green Lantern and Superman...dark? Um. No. I read that they're planning on rebooting Big Blue again. Fine. I thought Superman Returns was ok, but I could do without the whole illegitimate son angle and with a better-cast Lois, and I would love to see any other villain besides Lex (with the exception of Mr. Mxyzptlk). It would be nice if filmmakers were more thoughtful and less greedy. Just because a certain tone works for one character doesn't mean it will work for everyone else. And remember that the comic geeks know their stuff and are a discerning audience. And we're definitely not all under 25. It's good storytelling that makes a good movie.

Commentary over. Radish back soon. First day-long staff meeting of the year tomorrow. I'm sure I'll get a few rough drafts out of the next couple of days. More fun ways to attempt to kill Broccoli...or whoever Broccoli represents.

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