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View Full Version : Marvel: Chris Nolan's BATMAN was the Greatest Thing for Comic Book Films



Diana Hignutt
05-11-2012, 04:43 PM
The head of Marvel's films, Kevin Feige credits Chris Nolan with breaking comic movies out of the mold and invigorating the industry.

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=58996

He says he roots for all comic book movies.

He's probably right, but I think what Marvel has done with the Avengers is up the ante considerably.

Still, I thought that was neat, considering the comic book wars between DC and Marvel.

leahzero
05-11-2012, 06:21 PM
I'm sure I'll get flak for this, but...

IMO, Dark Knight is still the only good comic book movie franchise*. Which I think says two things: that Chris Nolan is exceptionally skilled, and that mainstream Western comics are poor sources for movies.

<flame suit on>


* Of mainstream Western comic book movie franchises--so, not counting Japanese manga adaptations, one-off indies like Scott Pilgrim, etc.

Diana Hignutt
05-11-2012, 06:33 PM
I'm sure I'll get flak for this, but...

IMO, Dark Knight is still the only good comic book movie franchise*. Which I think says two things: that Chris Nolan is exceptionally skilled, and that mainstream Western comics are poor sources for movies.

<flame suit on>


* Of mainstream Western comic book movie franchises--so, not counting Japanese manga adaptations, one-off indies like Scott Pilgrim, etc.

I don't know. I thought Watchmen was solid. And The Avengers has nudged the Dark Knight out of first place in my book.

Jcomp
05-11-2012, 06:38 PM
The head of Marvel's films, Kevin Feige credits Chris Nolan with breaking comic movies out of the mold and invigorating the industry.

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=58996

He says he roots for all comic book movies.

He's probably right, but I think what Marvel has done with the Avengers is up the ante considerably.

Still, I thought that was neat, considering the comic book wars between DC and Marvel.

I'm an unabashed TDK / Batman fan, and I'd say that The Avengers is probably 1(a) and TDK is 1(b) in comic book movie pantheon. I would agree that TDK broke the mold, but I agree with you in that The Avengers took it to a slightly higher level. I've enjoyed plenty of other movies and franchises, but Avengers was the first that, to me, seemed to completely embrace the comic book roots in the best way possible. In theory, it should have had too much going on to work on the big screen (alien invasion, whimsical sci-fi explanations for too many things to count, warring demi-gods, superhumans), but instead of trying to tamper it down, they just went for it, betting on expert execution to trump everything. And they were right. This movie restored my faith in the possibility that a fantastic, 21st century Superman movie is possible.

Celia Cyanide
05-11-2012, 07:44 PM
I'm sure I'll get flak for this, but...

IMO, Dark Knight is still the only good comic book movie franchise*. Which I think says two things: that Chris Nolan is exceptionally skilled, and that mainstream Western comics are poor sources for movies.

<flame suit on>


* Of mainstream Western comic book movie franchises--so, not counting Japanese manga adaptations, one-off indies like Scott Pilgrim, etc.

I haven't seen The Avengers yet, but I think Christopher Nolan did something amazing with the Batman movies. (Yeah, I know, everyone is like, so surprised to hear me that that...) It was the first time someone made a movie based on a comic book, and wasn't all, "Look, it's a comic book movie!" He just did an adaptation of a comic, the same way he would have done an adaptation of a book. He took it seriously. He just played it straight.

Toothpaste
05-11-2012, 08:02 PM
See I dunno, I thought the first two Xmen movies were straight adaptations as well, not campy comic book films, but movies based on comic books that took the issues of not fitting into society and a metaphor for civil rights and equality etc very seriously (it started with a really gritty scene in a concentration camp even). To me it was their success that prompted the subsequent desire to do more superhero films.

Celia Cyanide
05-11-2012, 10:50 PM
I will agree with you there. But even Batman '89 was played straight to a certain degree. The Dark Knight was just...different. I thought Iron Man was the greatest superhero movie I had ever seen until I saw TDK. TDK really made me believe that superheroes and supervillains could exist in our world. Even the Joker.

And it was the style. I thought Watchmen was good, but...why did they have to make it look like a comic book movie? In Nolan's films, there is absolutely nothing about the film, from the story, to the characters, to the dialog, to the cinematography that feels like it's aware that it's a superhero movie.

But at the same time, it did not consciously separate itself from the comics, because "comics are supid and silly." It simply took the comic as seriously as any other form of literature.

But I agree that the X-Men movies were awesome. I remember when Spider-Man came out, and people were saying it was the best comic book movie ever, and I was like, huh? X-Men was totally better.

Kaiser-Kun
05-11-2012, 11:06 PM
I like Avengers for its almost-perfect balance between action and story scenes, adding a lot of continuity nods and references, and tying... five movies? in perfect synchrony. The Nolan-Batman films were really good, but they are so serious they came across as silly to me. The Avengers are proud of their sillyness and compensate it with awesomeness.

Celia Cyanide
05-11-2012, 11:10 PM
The Avengers are proud of their sillyness and compensate it with awesomeness.

see, I haven't seen it, but I really don't like that. Because I don't think superheros are silly. Well, maybe some of the Marvel characters are, but not Batman. But I also recognize that being "proud of sillyness" is a characteristic of Joss Whedon.

Shadow_Ferret
05-11-2012, 11:11 PM
I guess I disagree about the fact that comic book movies were any good until whichever one this Nolan person did. Sure, there were some poor attempts here and there (most any movie by marvel in the 70s and 80s) but on the whole they've been pretty good. The first batman with Michael Keaton, the toby whatshisname Spidermans were good. X-men were all pretty decent.

Kaiser-Kun
05-11-2012, 11:16 PM
see, I haven't seen it, but I really don't like that. Because I don't think superheros are silly. Well, maybe some of the Marvel characters are, but not Batman.

It's always difficult for me to take Batman seriously, with all his awesomeness, as he goes around dressed as a giant bat. The same happened to me with the movie Kick-Ass with Big Daddy, who wiped out a truckload of bad guys... the long cape just screamed "cosplay!" to me.

Celia Cyanide
05-11-2012, 11:40 PM
I guess I disagree about the fact that comic book movies were any good until whichever one this Nolan person did. Sure, there were some poor attempts here and there (most any movie by marvel in the 70s and 80s) but on the whole they've been pretty good. The first batman with Michael Keaton, the toby whatshisname Spidermans were good. X-men were all pretty decent.


I agree, actually, I like most of them. However, I don't think that movies featuring superheroes were taken very seriously up until that point. When TDK came out, people thought of it as a serious contender for Best Picture. That wasn't very common for superhero movies before that. I think horror, as a genre is the same way. I still think a lot of those movies are great, but they don't get that kind of esteem.

But I agree, I still love Batman '89. And I liked Spider-Man a lot, I just couldn't understand why everyone I knew thought it was better than X-Men.

MttStrn
05-12-2012, 12:31 AM
For me, while both of Nolan's Batman movies are great and I think Nolan is an amazing director and filmmaker (been a fan since Memento), I don't get the sense of love and respect of the comics from him that I got from Whedon and the Avengers.

And I will never forgive Nolan for robbing me of the "Yes, Father, I shall become a bat," moment that should have been in Batman Begins. But that's me. YMMV.

Jcomp
05-12-2012, 01:10 AM
see, I haven't seen it, but I really don't like that. Because I don't think superheros are silly. Well, maybe some of the Marvel characters are, but not Batman. But I also recognize that being "proud of sillyness" is a characteristic of Joss Whedon.

I'd say in context of the Avengers movie, they do a good job of just going with the inherent "silliness" of the characters. They're still taking it seriously taking it seriously, but they're just like "screw it, of course Captain America's costume and shield are inherently ridiculous, but we're not going to try to tone it down or explain it away too much. We're just going to unleash him on some aliens and let him save the damn day."

I really liked the X-Men movies, X-2 in particular, but I do think they deliberately shied away from showing some of the more ridiculous aspects of their characters. They even throw a direct jab at the old costumes with the "yellow spandex" joke, for instance. Avengers just lets Captain America do his thing, star-spangled outfit and all. They roll out Hawkeye with his obsolete signature weapon and Black Widow with her augmented Jason Bourne skills and let them be awesome as they are in the comic books when, if taken too seriously, they'd just be ridiculous trying to hold their own with Thor and the Hulk. I made jokes about both characters prior to seeing the movie because, well, I like making easy jokes, but Whedon and Company did a fantastic job of making it work. They didn't over-sell it, underplay it, cook up explanations. Mind you, I'm not a huge Whedon fan, though I respect his overall body of work, and think he's prone to getting too cute at times. But with this, everyone involved just let the product sell itself, fully embraced the things people love about comic books, and gambled on the execution being good enough to make up for any inherent "silliness." And they were right. The end product was almost unreasonably fun.

SirOtter
05-12-2012, 02:18 AM
For me, while both of Nolan's Batman movies are great and I think Nolan is an amazing director and filmmaker (been a fan since Memento), I don't get the sense of love and respect of the comics from him that I got from Whedon and the Avengers.

Same here. The story structure of The Avengers was very reminiscent of the silver age Marvel comics I grew up reading. Stan Lee or Roy Thomas could easily have written it, which warmed the nostalgic cockles of this old school fan's heart. Nolan's Batman films, OTOH, went too far afield, IMHO. Batman Begins lifted the plot in toto from Alec Baldwin's turn as the Shadow, while TDK was not much more than James Bond in a bat-suit.

And why is it that no one in Hollywood credits Two-Face with being able to carry his own movie? He's my favorite bat-villain, and this is the second time he's played second banana.

BigWords
05-12-2012, 03:04 AM
FWIW, A History Of Violence and Phenomenon are still at the top of my "best comic adaptation" list, though I do have a lot of time for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Celia Cyanide
05-12-2012, 04:34 AM
And why is it that no one in Hollywood credits Two-Face with being able to carry his own movie? He's my favorite bat-villain, and this is the second time he's played second banana.

Well, he is kind of obsessed with the number two...

J.S.F.
05-12-2012, 07:50 AM
Batman Begins and its sequel were probably the best thing to reinvent the Batman franchise. While I didn't hate the Michael Keaton versions, they didn't really address the "How" of Batman.

As for cosplay, is Avengers any different? It's a lot of fun, plain and simple. Batman gives one the idea that the tech is doable whereas Ironman--even though I loved it--doesn't. Thor has his magic hammer and...can anyone say campy? I liked the movie but still...

Still, Marvel has managed to make a live-action film which dwarfs anything else. If DC could do the same thing for Justice League then it would be on the far side of awesome but including Wonder Woman would really make it too campy for me. I can see Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and the Flash teaming up. The S/F would be most doable but I still have a hard time working Diana Prince into the script somehow....

Yorkist
05-12-2012, 09:47 AM
*puts on flamesuit* (thanks, Leah, for letting me borrow yours)

I thought TDK was terrible and awful and that the narrative was incoherent and made no sense and had factual errors and the character arcs were terrible and the POV was unstable and didn't know what it was doing and... *deep breath* I hate it. Hate.

Batman Begins I only liked because of Ra's al Ghul, which I happen to love more than any other Batman villain... but looking back on it, it's flawed (not nearly so much as TDK, because the narrative was at least cogent, but still) and I don't think it holds up well. At all. Rachel's character should have been Harvey Dent. "Joe Chill" should be forgotten and never heard from again.

These movies should have been written by Jeph Loeb and/or Grant Morrison, who truly get Batman and who have enough sense to write coherent narratives. Christopher Nolan is an arrogant douchecannon and I'd be perfectly happy if he never touched a camera again.

In short, I think Nolan and Raimi and Snyder are the absolute worst things that have ever happened to comic book movies. They managed to take all the depth and psychological complexity of the narratives and turn them into the equivalent of flashy distraction 'splosions. I do not care, or like, and you can't pay me to see a comic book movie these days.

MMV.

Celia Cyanide
05-12-2012, 11:17 AM
"Joe Chill" should be forgotten and never heard from again.

What? He's dead.

And what factual errors are you talking about?

nighttimer
05-12-2012, 02:14 PM
I haven't seen The Avengers yet, but I think Christopher Nolan did something amazing with the Batman movies. (Yeah, I know, everyone is like, so surprised to hear me that that...) It was the first time someone made a movie based on a comic book, and wasn't all, "Look, it's a comic book movie!" He just did an adaptation of a comic, the same way he would have done an adaptation of a book. He took it seriously. He just played it straight.

Gonna disagree a bit here. I agree with the first part that Nolan did something amazing with the Batman movies. He got me to enjoy a Batman movie. I never was impressed by the two Tim Burton flicks which are triumphs of style over substance and are flawed by by an uncharismatic lead in Michael Keaton and shameless amounts of scenery-chewing by Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito.

Never saw Val Kilmer's turn as Bats and the less said about the franchise-killing Batman and Robin the better. Nolan wisely smartened up the material, cast a much more convincing Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christian Bale and surrounded him with formidable talent like Caine, Freeman, Oldman, Neeson and of course, Ledger (not so sure about Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhall).

Now if he could only get Bale to stop talking like Clint Eastwood with a really sore throat...

Nolan gave us an adult Batman that is driven enough to be a true Dark Knight. I still don't think he's pulled off a decent fight scene yet (something that should be resolved by squaring off against Bane), but Nolan certainly crafted a film so well-made he embarrassed the Academy Awards into changing their Best Picture procedures to make up for the gross oversight of excluding The Dark Knight.

The problem comes in when you have a director who doesn't like or trust the source material. That's when you get a hot mess like Ang Lee's Hulk. Lee seemed to want to do call-outs to the comic while demonstrating he had no feel for the material. Nobody doubts Lee is every bit as talented as Nolan, but he was totally out of his depth with old Greenskin.

Nolan and Joss Whedon succeeded where so many others have failed or fallen short because they both respect the original source and don't thumb their noses at the fans while attempting to over-simplify their super heroes to cater to the needs of the general audience.


FWIW, A History Of Violence and Phenomenon are still at the top of my "best comic adaptation" list, though I do have a lot of time for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

I like A History of Violence just fine, but I have to speak up for Road To Perdition as another comic book adaption most folks would never guess is one.

Yorkist
05-12-2012, 04:15 PM
And what factual errors are you talking about?

The bullet scene.

BigWords
05-12-2012, 04:19 PM
Christopher Nolan is an arrogant douchecannon and I'd be perfectly happy if he never touched a camera again.

Have you seen Inception?


I like A History of Violence just fine, but I have to speak up for Road To Perdition as another comic book adaption most folks would never guess is one.

There's that shootout though... That many shots - in a confined location, where cover is sparse - should have resulted in a scene with much, much more bloodshed. It's the same with a lot of the recent (from the mid-90s, anyway) comic adaptations - you get the ante being upped with each film (Azumi 2 having the nadir of WTF moments in the last twenty or thirty minutes) with the main characters being apparently immortal, even when canonically they aren't.

Yorkist
05-12-2012, 04:52 PM
Have you seen Inception

Yes. It sucked, IMO. I won't go any further out of respect for AW.

BigWords
05-12-2012, 04:55 PM
Just checking. :)

LongWave
05-14-2012, 10:35 PM
Now if he could only get Bale to stop talking like Clint Eastwood with a really sore throat...

Nolan gave us an adult Batman that is driven enough to be a true Dark Knight. I still don't think he's pulled off a decent fight scene yet (something that should be resolved by squaring off against Bane),

That voice almost ruins those movies for me.
And the fighting in Batman Begins made me feel like I was 80 years old. I had no idea what was going on. The camera bounced around like hell and had no style.

But I will disagree with you on Keaton -- I thought he had the most character out of all the batmans.

J.S.F.
05-15-2012, 10:18 AM
That voice almost ruins those movies for me.
And the fighting in Batman Begins made me feel like I was 80 years old. I had no idea what was going on. The camera bounced around like hell and had no style.

But I will disagree with you on Keaton -- I thought he had the most character out of all the batmans.
---

I consider Keaton a very fine actor, edgy, intense, but physically, he doesn't convey the same presence Bale did in the first two movies.

As for the fighting, I thought the scenes were handled well. Nolan deliberately cut the scenes close in order to give the impression of speed as Batman mowed down his opponents. The sword fight against R'ash Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) in the temple was a bit dodgy but the fight with Liam Neeson at the end was just fine.

Voice-wise, yeah, Bale was a bit over the top harsh in the second installment so we'll see how he does this time around. I really want to see this flick!

Marumae
05-15-2012, 11:59 AM
Completely agree with Nighttimer, Nolan I think did clean and smarten up the Batman series and make it take itself seriously again, not that there's anything wrong with the fun of the 70's series if someone likes it, I'm just not as fond of it with my Batman and I felt the Schumacher films turned into Parodys of Batman rather then, going with a different visual medium for the character and the setting. I prefer the serious edge that the animated series gave us with Batman, still the best adaptation of the comic IMO.

I don't know what he planned on doing with the movies if Ledger hadn't sadly passed on, I'd be interested in seeing how that would have turned out. I think Nolan does respect the original source material and understands certainly how to make a story with a tortured main character which is IMO perfect for Batman. Batman's universe can be and is quite dark (depending on how you look at it, a lot of the villains and characters in his universe had some pretty dark/creepy/nightmare fuel pasts and origins) and it's not something you can do properly if you don't truly respect and understand how the source material should be shown.

But these are perfect little self contained universes for the story. I know they plan on rebooting in a few years, perhaps I'll finally get to see a decent Poison Ivy or Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter (what I loved the Mad Hatter he's carraaaaazzzyyyy and one of my favorite villains).

I wish it wasn't so self contained so we could get a Justice League movie, but DC's gonna have to work on their other movies and not chicken out like before. Get your act together DC. Seriously,I love Ryan Reynolds but that Green Lantern movie was atrocious.

Celia Cyanide
05-15-2012, 06:51 PM
---

I consider Keaton a very fine actor, edgy, intense, but physically, he doesn't convey the same presence Bale did in the first two movies.


Physically, Bale looks a little more like you would expect Bruce Wayne to look than Keaton did. But Keaton, despite his physical characteristics, embodied the role more than Bale did. Keaton is not known for his looks, but I believed that he was Gotham's most elligible bachelor. And I saw two distinct personalities, one he was trying to keep hidden. With Bale, I felt like I never really saw the real Bruce Wayne. Because Bale didn't know who he was. I can tell he didn't really understand the character as well.

ETA: It kind of makes me wonder what Tim Burton's BFF, Johnny Depp would have been like. He's too old now, but at the time, he might have made a good Bruce Wayne.

BigWords
05-15-2012, 07:04 PM
Discussions on the Batman franchise always seem to ignore the two late seventies television movies - nobody has any love for those?

Depp can play both light and frothy characters and more emotionally complex and troubled characters, but he seems a little to "small" - given that 80% of Batman is the costume that might not matter, and it may have lent credibility to nobody suspecting Wayne... it would be a very different Batman to the chess master interpretation of recent years though, which I have a fondness for. The ability to plan ahead and figure out everything he needs to has never truly been captured in any of the films, not has the sheer brainpower. He's not called the Dark Knight Detective in comics without reason.

Stacia Kane
05-15-2012, 07:28 PM
But these are perfect little self contained universes for the story. I know they plan on rebooting in a few years, perhaps I'll finally get to see a decent Poison Ivy or Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter (what I loved the Mad Hatter he's carraaaaazzzyyyy and one of my favorite villains).


The Mad Hatter is so freaking creepy. I'd love to see him in a movie; for a silly little guy in a silly hat he's really unpleasant. :)



I wish it wasn't so self contained so we could get a Justice League movie, but DC's gonna have to work on their other movies and not chicken out like before. Get your act together DC. Seriously,I love Ryan Reynolds but that Green Lantern movie was atrocious.


Ditto. For me the big chicken-out one was Catwoman, though; let's totally ignore the psychological aspects of this messed-up woman, and instead make her Halle Berry being naive in a ridiculous plot while wearing shredded leather. Groan. They went straight for silly T&A instead of making an actual film; they totally assumed no one cared about the character or would go see a film about her. And because they chickened out no one DID go see it, really.

I'm tired of seeing women get shortchanged in movies and turned into airheads, you know? We can make a movie where Batman is portrayed in all his fucked-up glory, but oh, no, we can't possibly show a woman who's just as emotionally complex or deep or troubled?

They didn't even use her real name, which Hubs & I found particularly offensive seeing as how our older daughter was named after Selina Kyle (it's her middle name, but still).

And yeah...I love Reynolds and think he could have been a really good GL, but they just didn't try hard enough. Or they tried too hard.




The ability to plan ahead and figure out everything he needs to has never truly been captured in any of the films, not has the sheer brainpower. He's not called the Dark Knight Detective in comics without reason.

That's true, actually. I hadn't really thought of it before, but good point. We really don't see him doing a lot of investigating in the films as such, do we? And we don't see him making up his files and files of "What if"s, either. Huh.

Personally, I think Depp would be/would have been disastrous, but then, I'm so sick of Johnny Depp and his scenery-chewing that even his name makes me cringe these days.

MattW
05-15-2012, 07:55 PM
I think the evolution of comic movies is generally trending toward the better (even with major setbacks like Catwoman and any Hulk movie).

Superman I & II showed that it could be done technically, and that it didn't need to be just a kids movie from a kids medium.

Batman '89 took it to another level, with a grim and dirty Gotham that didn't have *KERPOW* and *BIFF* anywhere to be seen. Michael Keaton was a great choice simply because he wasn't a physically intimidating person - he was a beleivable Bruce Wayne more than Batman. And Prince. And Jack Nicholson turned up to 11.

X-Men 1&2, Spiderman, Iron Man and others all were well done movies, appealing to more than just a comic audience.

Batman Begins and Dark Knight went even further, making a comic believable, dramatic, and still true to the source material. Bale as Bruce Wayne is still a little oily and over the top, but the voice doesn't bother me anymore.

I have yet to see Avengers, but I hear onyl good things. I like Downey, and I enjoyed Captain America (on a plane though...). My issue is that I don't really like comics, but I am nerd enough to appreciate comic movies. Avengers never held any interest for me.

BigWords
05-15-2012, 08:09 PM
I think the evolution of comic movies is generally trending toward the better (even with major setbacks like Catwoman and any Hulk movie).

Considering comic strip adaptations have been around since the 1880s, it can't exactly be getting worse.


Batman '89 took it to another level, with a grim and dirty Gotham that didn't have *KERPOW* and *BIFF* anywhere to be seen.

It also heavily influenced Faust: Love Of The Damned and Daredevil in a rather heavy-handed way - the increase in "grim and gritty" storytelling is not something for which it should be applauded. If anything, the fact that it balanced numerous moods within the film (the romance, humor and horror elements) is much more admirable, and which I wish more films would have - one tone becomes monotonous.

There seems, especially from the magazines which are heavily focused on comic-book movies (the increasingly irrelevant Wizard for one), to be a complete disregard for the films which try to do something completely different. Conformity to a certain ideal is increasing (stupidly so (http://www.cracked.com/article_16176_8-pointless-laws-all-comic-book-movies-follow.html)), and the beautiful oddities get ignored. YMMV massively on this, but I don't want to be given something similar to that which I have seen. I want to be surprised.

If either the mooted Superman or forthcoming Spider-Man reboots do another version of the origin stories, I'm walking out the cinema.

jjdebenedictis
05-15-2012, 08:44 PM
I think making an excellent movie is what invigorates any genre. TDK was excellent, so yes, it did a lot for its genre. So did Spiderman 3. So will The Avengers.

A person's perception of a genre is a gut feeling brought on by their experience at the last handful of movies they've seen in that genre, coupled with how saturated the market seems.

See too many Catwomans in a row, and you'll hate comic book movies. See a few The Dark Knights, and you'll be obsessing over your costume for the next fan convention.

BigWords
05-15-2012, 08:47 PM
...coupled with how saturated the market seems.

There are far, far less comic book adaptations now (movies per year) than there were in the 1950s.

J.S.F.
05-16-2012, 12:51 AM
The '89 Batman was implosive as opposed to explosive, and Nicholson's Joker interpretation was a lot more interesting than Keaton's Batman. Dark and gritty? Close, but no cigar even though I liked the film but that's because I was hoping for a really good superhero flick so maybe I read into it a lot more than I should have. But I digress....

Batman has evolved a lot from its humble beginnings. Comic book-wise, he started off solving crimes, and then somewhere along the way got into the more exotic versions of crime-fighting. He's always been 'dark' and always will be, but the one thing I've always associated with him is his physical presence. (The psychological thing of a giant bat appearing is important as well). Keaton's Batman verged on comedy in some scenes while Bale's was dead serious. And physically, Bale looked like a superhero while Keaton looked like a runner.

We'll see what gives with DK3. Hoping for the best.

Celia Cyanide
05-16-2012, 01:37 AM
The '89 Batman was implosive as opposed to explosive, and Nicholson's Joker interpretation was a lot more interesting than Keaton's Batman.

Well, yeah, but Heath Ledger's Joker is more interesting than Bale's Batman. The thing is, Batman is always going to be less interesting than his enemies in movies, because Batman doesn't talk. In the comic, you have this incredible relationship with his mind, because he's constantly narrating. That much narration isn't used and doesn't work in film. But it's what makes Batman interesting in comics.

J.S.F.
05-16-2012, 01:49 AM
Well, yeah, but Heath Ledger's Joker is more interesting than Bale's Batman. The thing is, Batman is always going to be less interesting than his enemies in movies, because Batman doesn't talk. In the comic, you have this incredible relationship with his mind, because he's constantly narrating. That much narration isn't used and doesn't work in film. But it's what makes Batman interesting in comics.
---

True, and also true the villain of a piece is always more interesting in many ways than the hero. Ledger's Joker was a work of art, and I always thought of it as a version of Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor gone psychotic more than anything else from the way Ledger worked his tongue inside his cheek. A most brilliant portrayal and a true shame Ledger died so young.

SirOtter
05-16-2012, 02:31 AM
Considering comic strip adaptations have been around since the 1880s, it can't exactly be getting worse.

That seems a little early, but maybe you know of some I don't. The earliest one I'm aware of is Trouble in Hogan's Alley from 1900, based on the Yellow Kid. The earliest I've seen is the 1906 Dream of a Rarebit Fiend, from Winsor McKay's comic strip of the same name.

SirOtter
05-16-2012, 02:50 AM
There are far, far less comic book adaptations now (movies per year) than there were in the 1950s.

Truer of the 40s, as far as American comic books are concerned. The last major comic book adaptation of the 50s was the Blackhawk serial in 1952, unless you count the Adventures of Superman and Sheena TV shows, and a few theatrical releases cobbled together from Superman episodes. I suppose you could count The Sad Sack from 1957, although that really started out as a comic strip. There were quite a few comic strip adaptations in America in the 50s, in fact, although mostly to television.

BigWords
05-16-2012, 03:03 AM
There's numerous (i.e. hundreds, though only a handful of extant) shorts based on a one-page comic strip where a child stands on a hose, and when the gardener looks into the end of the hose the child raises his foot - resulting in the gardener getting a face full of water. It's a gag which has been re-used endlessly without crediting the original comic strip. There's also various other short form adaptations (mostly cribbed from Comic Cuts, Punch and other periodicals), but that is the best known for general audiences.

The first which could be considered of a noted character, rather than an unnamed character, would be 1898, with Ally Sloper.

ETA: I was thinking more along international lines, but if it is limited to US alone then the 40s (with the Blondie series, notably) would be the likely candidate - there were a staggering number of Chinese films taken from early manwha released in the fifties, and the numerous (often terrible) Turkish superhero films began almost as soon as the importance of US comics became apparent. YMMV on whether those count towards the official number or not.

SirOtter
05-16-2012, 03:56 AM
There's numerous (i.e. hundreds, though only a handful of extant) shorts based on a one-page comic strip where a child stands on a hose, and when the gardener looks into the end of the hose the child raises his foot - resulting in the gardener getting a face full of water. It's a gag which has been re-used endlessly without crediting the original comic strip. There's also various other short form adaptations (mostly cribbed from Comic Cuts, Punch and other periodicals), but that is the best known for general audiences.

The first which could be considered of a noted character, rather than an unnamed character, would be 1898, with Ally Sloper.

ETA: I was thinking more along international lines, but if it is limited to US alone then the 40s (with the Blondie series, notably) would be the likely candidate - there were a staggering number of Chinese films taken from early manwha released in the fifties, and the numerous (often terrible) Turkish superhero films began almost as soon as the importance of US comics became apparent. YMMV on whether those count towards the official number or not.

I've seen a few of those 'kid standing on the garden hose' bits. Didn't realize they were comic based. Cool!

Yep, there are scads of Blondies, plus four Dick Tracy features, and bunches of serials from the mid-30s through the 40s from both comic strips and comic books. If you include cartoons, that adds to the total significantly, including Popeye, Krazy Kat, Katzenjammer Kids, Superman, Toonerville Trolley, Casper and tons more, all from either strips or books.

BigWords
05-16-2012, 04:28 AM
There's a series of (Wuxia?) films based off Chinese comics, which probably has over a thousand sequels now, which I'm almost certain started in the late forties. I've been hunting for the linkage, but I seem to have misplaced it...

Diana Hignutt
05-16-2012, 02:22 PM
My problem with the X-men films was the way the characters were changed too much to fit the film. Rogue really pissed me off.

In the X-Men movies I got the feeling that they didn't trust the source material enough...and that's almost always the problem.

Even Nolan is guilty of this. He'll have no parts of the Science-fictiony villains, or the supernatural villains, yet in the comics Batman didn't have that luxury.

The problem is the inherent distrust of comic books.

Only Avengers has really trusted the source material in a loving way. Okay, so did Watchmen.

Celia Cyanide
05-16-2012, 03:07 PM
Even Nolan is guilty of this. He'll have no parts of the Science-fictiony villains, or the supernatural villains, yet in the comics Batman didn't have that luxury.

A friend of mine once said that he felt the Nolan films represented the reality of the characters, and the comics represented the myth that would be growing around them, if they were real. That always made sense to me. It's like Rorschach's origin story in Watchmen. It wasn't exactly real.

"Dude! The Joker wears clown makeup, and carved a smile into his face!"

"No he doesn't, man, that's his real face! The Batman pushed him into a vat of chemicals!"

It reminds me of one of the shorts from Gotham Knights. The one where the kids are describing the Batman they've seen. Some of them think he's supernatural or otherworldly, because they haven't really seen enough of him to understand what he is.

Diana Hignutt
05-16-2012, 03:29 PM
A friend of mine once said that he felt the Nolan films represented the reality of the characters, and the comics represented the myth that would be growing around them, if they were real. That always made sense to me. It's like Rorschach's origin story in Watchmen. It wasn't exactly real.

"Dude! The Joker wears clown makeup, and carved a smile into his face!"

"No he doesn't, man, that's his real face! The Batman pushed him into a vat of chemicals!"

It reminds me of one of the shorts from Gotham Knights. The one where the kids are describing the Batman they've seen. Some of them think he's supernatural or otherworldly, because they haven't really seen enough of him to understand what he is.

Yeah, I do enjoy the kids POV in Gotham Knights.

But, you don't see the hubris in claiming your movie adaptation of a comic book character is the real deal, while the actual originator of the idea is the myth?

But, Nolan pretends that Killer Croc, Manbat, Jervis Tesh, Firefly, Clayface, Mr. Freeze, et al don't live in his Gotham...

Celia Cyanide
05-16-2012, 03:40 PM
They don't live in our world, either. But in Nolan's movies, they could.

I suppose it's not that different than Alan Moore writing Watchmen and saying, "this is what superheroes would REALLY be like."

Diana Hignutt
05-16-2012, 03:55 PM
They don't live in our world, either. But in Nolan's movies, they could.

I suppose it's not that different than Alan Moore writing Watchmen and saying, "this is what superheroes would REALLY be like."

I'm not sure why I'm arguing with you actually, I love Nolan's work. It is the best presentation in film of the Batman. Okay, I'm go with the animated Batman and the Mask of the Phantasm, as the best, but Nolan's right there after that...

Celia Cyanide
05-16-2012, 11:51 PM
I'm not sure why I'm arguing with you actually, I love Nolan's work. It is the best presentation in film of the Batman. Okay, I'm go with the animated Batman and the Mask of the Phantasm, as the best, but Nolan's right there after that...


I would agree. I do think, however, that animated adaptations of comics have an advantage over live action, because they are also drawings. So I find it hard to compare the two.

J.S.F.
05-17-2012, 06:55 AM
Yeah, I do enjoy the kids POV in Gotham Knights.

But, you don't see the hubris in claiming your movie adaptation of a comic book character is the real deal, while the actual originator of the idea is the myth?

But, Nolan pretends that Killer Croc, Manbat, Jervis Tesh, Firefly, Clayface, Mr. Freeze, et al don't live in his Gotham...
-----

Diana, I don't know if he's pretending or not, but you have to figure in the 'reality' factor. With a comic book or cartoon (and I really enjoyed Gotham Knight) you can go to alien worlds, fight fantastic beings, do all the stuff of legends. On the big screen it's a lot harder to translate for certain characters without appearing over the top or totally unbelievable, whereas in Nolan's Batman it's semi-plausible.

Hey, I'd love to see a really good Superman with him against Darkseid or Doomsday but would it play all that well on screen? Probably not, IMHO, which is why those characters are better left to the animated world or comics. Whedon scored a hit with the Avengers because the villains were plausible and not overdone in any way.

A very skillful screenwriter might get away with doing something like that for Superman or the Justice League (i.e. figuring out which other-worldy villain to use) but it would have to be Whedon-type person. So far, no one's really been able to handle it. Superman II managed to get it across although it almost veered into camp but things have changed now. IDK if it could successfully be done.

Max Vaehling
05-19-2012, 02:43 AM
I don't know about the rest of the world, but in Germany ('cause we still have that distinction), Batman Begins was promoted as a comic book movie, but for grown-ups. Or "but not ridculous". Something as dismissive as that. Y'know, like a graphic novel movie. And I think they even quoted Nolan on that.

So much about him trusting the source material.

Nolan succeeded in transforming the Batman meme into something that worked great within the world he created, but he did that from a perspective of "nah, that won't work, let's do something else". (Pretty much like Ang Lee. I liked his movie but it was apparent he didn't want to make a comic book movie, and the Hulk scenes seemed as if they were cut in from a different movie.) And that's where Whedon comes in. He looked at his source material, and all he said was "I wanna do that"; equally successful, artistically, but from an entirely different angle.

Personally, I never really went for the Nolan movies. Batman Begins didn't convince me at all, despite some really good sequences, and The Dark Knight, though all in all much better on every level, just felt about half an hour too long. It's still one of the better takes on superheroes. (While I enjoyed the X-Men and Spider Man movies the first time around, they all felt pretty lame the second time around. The ones that led up to Avengers were flawed but much more enjoyable altogether. And Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman in Burton's second Batman movie is a landmark.)

So, as far as favorite superhero mvies go, there isn't much competition to Avengers for me, though a lot of them come close.

Of course, I always loved Mystery Men.

LongWave
06-01-2012, 11:16 PM
And Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman in Burton's second Batman movie is a landmark.)

Very much agree! She was awesome.

One thing I'd like to add to the general discussion is the feel that I got from the Burton films...I think the soundtrack was very powerful and the gloominess of the music, the city, and the people, just gave it a feel...but the more I think about it, Nolan's environment was necessary (chicago), and needed to be a sort of generic city, so that it could lend to the plot and action.

Also, I think Keaton came across as smart and quirky too, giving his Batman a bit of a Tony Stark attitude (not nearly as brazen as stark though).

I like this thread -- its making me want to go back and watch all the Burton and Nolan Batman flicks!

The305itself
09-15-2012, 02:06 AM
The end message of TDK is what really makes it number one to me. It's that anyone can be a superhero, you don't need a cape and costume. I know it sounds like an old message, but Nolan really showed us words in motion in TDK, and that everyone needs to become the hero because the bad guys have motives too, damn good ones, like the Joker.