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Celia Cyanide
06-14-2009, 07:36 PM
When I was a kid, I never did wonder why Batman fought crime. When I got a little older and I found out, I thought it was interesting, but I would have been able to enjoy the stories just as much without knowing.

It seems that every time we have a superhero movie, Hollywood has to start the story before the hero becomes the hero. Why is that? Why can't they just tell a story about a superhero? I think of how DARK KNIGHT was so much better than BATMAN BEGINS, and I can't help but wonder why they didn't just start there.

Mudcat
06-14-2009, 08:43 PM
I like Batman Begins much more than the Dark Knight - and I thoroughly enjoyed the recent Star Trek film which was all about origins - so I guess we are not on the same page on this issue.

I realize Star Trek is not superheros per se but as a rule, I get something out of knowing characters' motivations. Not just superheros but any character. Why? I guess the criticky thing to say is it allows me to become more invested in their actions and I feel more of a stake in the outcome. It can get into stuff like poetic justice and redemption, and produce a more satisfying catharsis.

You said yourself these origins stories can be interesting. That counts. People making movies want interesting stuff in there.

Celia Cyanide
06-14-2009, 08:54 PM
I like Batman Begins much more than the Dark Knight.

Why did you like it more? I like the Dark Knight because it was about Batman being Batman and actually doing something besides becoming Batman.


You said yourself these origins stories can be interesting. That counts. People making movies want interesting stuff in there.

Yes, I think they can be interesting to know. But you can include that information in there without the whole movie being just about that.

Toothpaste
06-14-2009, 09:12 PM
Why did you like it more? I like the Dark Knight because it was about Batman being Batman and actually doing something besides becoming Batman.
.

I prefer origin stories just for that reason.

Might be weird, but my fav part of every movie is the beginning, getting into the strange stuff. I just wrote in another thread about how I happen to enjoy the Night at the Museum movies. But as I was watching the second one, what I missed from the first was the slow build. The discoveries made by the main character. Not the mayhem and "coolness" of the exhibits coming to life, which is fun, but rather how the character makes that discovery. It's the same way I feel about disaster movies. I love the disaster part, but my fav bit is the calm before the storm, meeting the characters, watching their reactions to the news of imminent disaster, the warnings, the "you fools, you should have listened to me!", lol. When I re-watch "Independence Day" on tv, I tend to turn it off once they are all in the army bunker underground. I don't need to see them kick alien ass once I've seen them do it after a few viewings of the movie, I just want to watch them get to that point.

Same thing with Batman begins (and Star Trek), I like seeing a character learn, make mistakes, and then, at the end "become". That's why I love Star Trek (the latest film). The WHOLE movie is about bringing together what we know will eventually be the crew. It's the foreknowledge that these people are special, and then watching them discover it themselves that's awesome.

I love in Batman Begins when he's figuring out what works with his outfit and what doesn't. I love watching him acquire the Batmobile. I love his learning that Bruce Wayne is actually his alter ego, and the fun he has "playing" a selfish billionaire. And I love, LOVE, watching training montages.

Does that answer your question somewhat?

ETA: I also just love that moment when everything comes together. Like the end of Star Trek. He comes out onto the bridge, gives his best Shatner impression. We see all our beloved characters where they are supposed to be. We zoom out through the windows, we hear the classic music in its entirety for the first time, and then we hear "Space the final frontier . . ." Gives me chills every time. It's a combination of knowing, ie we know that in the end we are going to get this moment, and not knowing, ie watching HOW we get to that moment. When done well, when both come together at the end . . . magic.

Celia Cyanide
06-14-2009, 11:37 PM
Does that answer your question somewhat?

Yeah, somewhat. I guess some people just like what I hate. I don't like the training montages! :) I would already assume Batman trained like that, even if I didn't know. And sometimes, it's the things you don't know that make them interesting. Like The Joker. And some things are just plain obvious. I don't need to hear a story about why Wolverine calls himself Wolverine. He looks like one. But maybe a lot of it has to do with me reading superhero comics. I already know why Batman is Batman, because I had it explained to me in two sentences at the beginning of each issue. That was enough for me.

Cyia
06-15-2009, 12:00 AM
I prefer BB to DK. To me, there was a better story with Begins, even though Heath Ledger's Joker was amazing, Batman didn't seem to be the star of his own story in Dark Knight. After a while the movie degraded into "take actor, position in front of camera, blow stuff up."

dgiharris
06-15-2009, 12:57 AM
Might be weird, but my fav part of every movie is the beginning, getting into the strange stuff.

ETA: I also just love that moment when everything comes together.

Completely agree. I love this aspect in horror films. Probably one reason why I absolutely loved The Ring. IMHO, that movie is one of the best horror movies of all time. In particular, you will notice that the movie is a little light on traditional horror 'jump out at you' moments. Anyways, incredible build up and then at the end when everything comes together, it really just hits you like HOLY SHIT! I did not see the twist coming which made it even better, organic, and real. It made complete sense.

I think that some of the writers/directors don't have the rightful appreciation of the 'foreplay' of film. They just seem to be in a rush to jump into the good stuff sometimes.


I prefer BB to DK. To me, there was a better story with Begins, even though Heath Ledger's Joker was amazing, Batman didn't seem to be the star of his own story in Dark Knight. After a while the movie degraded into "take actor, position in front of camera, blow stuff up."

Yeah, I admit BB had a better story. But for me, Heath Ledger's performance was just too amazing to discount.

Also, I liked Christian Bale BETTER in BB than DK. Between DK and T4, he seems be have a knack for being outdone by his supporting actors LOL

Mel...

Celia Cyanide
06-15-2009, 01:05 AM
I prefer BB to DK. To me, there was a better story with Begins, even though Heath Ledger's Joker was amazing, Batman didn't seem to be the star of his own story in Dark Knight. After a while the movie degraded into "take actor, position in front of camera, blow stuff up."

Well, Batman isn't always the star of the story. The Joker is just as much of a main character as he is. Many stories focus far more on him than Batman. In the new Joker graphic novel, Batman doesn't even apear until the end.

The whole story of Batman Begins was just that, and it's a story I've heard a million times before, and I don't care as much about. I was much more interested in the story about the corruption in Gotham in The Dark Knight.

Diana Hignutt
06-15-2009, 02:45 PM
In the new Tarzan movie to be directed by Stephen Sommers, I understand they'e ditching the origin story. Now, whether that means it's assumed everyone knows who Tarzan is, or whether, he's just going to be some guy who happens to be good at swinging from trees, I don't know.

If I was going to write/produce/direct the next Superman reboot, I'd skip the origin story. Sometimes they're useful, sometimes, not.

James81
06-15-2009, 04:07 PM
Why did you like it more? I like the Dark Knight because it was about Batman being Batman and actually doing something besides becoming Batman.

I liked the Dark Knight because of the Joker. He stole the show. Sure, Batman was Batman, but that wasn't what made the movie good. That movie was all about the Joker.

Which actually feeds into your point. They didn't give an origin story on the Joker in that movie, and everybody loved him.

I'm with you on origins. I have a tendency to fall asleep during the first half of Batman Begins (even though I really liked the movie).

Same with Spiderman. Speaking of which, another thing about superhero movies that drives me batty is the whole "superhero loses his power and then regains it back" plotline.

Celia Cyanide
06-15-2009, 04:43 PM
I'm with you on origins. I have a tendency to fall asleep during the first half of Batman Begins (even though I really liked the movie).

Yes, that's it exactly. I did think it was a really good movie, but I can't get that into it, and I can't watch it again and again like I can with DK.


Same with Spiderman. Speaking of which, another thing about superhero movies that drives me batty is the whole "superhero loses his power and then regains it back" plotline.

I don't either, although most people seem to prefer Spiderman 2. I thought it was silly, but that's probably just me.

katiemac
06-16-2009, 03:46 AM
Yeah, I'm over origin stories myself. I mean, I do like knowing how/why people start their way to being heroes, but even more so I like watching the balance of real life vs. the hero life. Plus, I get annoyed where the hero's origin story has to mirror the villain -- that's the problem I had with Iron Man. Villain was just a lame mirror of Iron Man, whereas I'm hoping in the sequel they spend a lot of time on Tony Stark and his addiction. Because I'm dark like that, and I don't think heroes should have it easy. (One of the reasons I liked Spider-man 2 more than the first.)

Jcomp
06-16-2009, 05:28 AM
I love origins, but more so when we're introduced to the hero first, and then get an origin in retrospect. If you could guarantee every movie would turn into a successful franchise I think more directors would be keen to take that approach. Tell the story, offer clues to the background along the way. Tell the second story, wrap up all the clues to the background.

Thing is, if your movie turns out not so successful and never gets another shot now you're stuck without fleshing out the origin, and writers--particularly all the comic book writers I've been fortunate enough to know--tend to love origins. It ties into letting them build an entire world around their character.

Not only did I love Begins (though not as much as TDK) for its origins on how Bruce got his ninja training and ability to disappear and reappear almost supernaturally (it seems almost especially vital for this incarnation of Batman to have an origin, otherwise he's like the villain from I Know What You Did Last Summer inexplicably popping up anywhere he pleases), but also for the origins of Gotham City's devolution into a urban desolation.

katiemac
06-16-2009, 08:11 PM
Not only did I love Begins (though not as much as TDK) for its origins on how Bruce got his ninja training and ability to disappear and reappear almost supernaturally (it seems almost especially vital for this incarnation of Batman to have an origin, otherwise he's like the villain from I Know What You Did Last Summer inexplicably popping up anywhere he pleases), but also for the origins of Gotham City's devolution into a urban desolation.

And that's a really good point. There's more going on in the origins of Batman than, "I was bitten by a radioactive spider." I think that's where Batman works as an origin story more so than some others - the surrounding context is important. I liked Iron Man's quite a bit, too, since it also deals with the war.

Jcomp
06-16-2009, 08:39 PM
Yeah, I think origin stories for heroes who are basically regular dudes (Iron Man, Batman) are more important because it's can't really be reduced to "I have an awesome superpower, why wouldn't I use it?"

I mean, if you're Bruce Wayne or Tony Starks why would you go around fighting crime / injustice if you could just be a billionaire playboy? Even if you wanted to help clean up the world because you're a naturally good person, there are surely ways beyond getting directly into the line of fire while suiting up in your latest expensive war machine, right?

There seems to be a need to explain those kind of origins.

Celia Cyanide
06-16-2009, 08:45 PM
Thing is, if your movie turns out not so successful and never gets another shot now you're stuck without fleshing out the origin, and writers--particularly all the comic book writers I've been fortunate enough to know--tend to love origins. It ties into letting them build an entire world around their character.

Ironically, I love origin stories in comic books. I LOVED the revised origin of Two-Face, when they established that he had been hearing voices long before he was scarred. They were able to fix his face, but he tore it open again, because he wanted it that way. He got his two coin from his father, who used to come into his room every night and a play a "game" in which he would flip a coin, and if it came up heads, he would beat Harvey.

I guess what bothers me in movies is that they have to start with a world without superheroes, and then show how the superheroes came to be. It seems like Hollywood can't just accept that superheroes just exist, with an explanation of, "oh, by the way, this is where they came from," which is how they often do it in the comics.

katiemac
06-16-2009, 09:01 PM
I guess what bothers me in movies is that they have to start with a world without superheroes, and then show how the superheroes came to be. It seems like Hollywood can't just accept that superheroes just exist, with an explanation of, "oh, by the way, this is where they came from," which is how they often do it in the comics.

I agree. I almost don't want to go see the film when they're going to spend the first half with the origin story. It gets old quickly, especially if I already know the story (which I realize a lot of people don't). Still, not my favorite part of the hero stories -- like I already said, I think it's more interesting to watch them battle with the internal struggle of already being a hero than becoming one. One of the reasons I still like the Batman Begins/Dark Knight threads, because he doesn't have it all figured out yet. And when Batman does get it figured out ... well he's kind of a psycho himself, and I love that. (What the Joker was telling him all throughout DK.)