ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why Can't Batman Hang Ten Anymore?

I really liked Christopher Nolan's take on Batman-- I like that they kept it "adult" in story without going the DREDD route of showing you how adult it is by having F-Bombs thrown in virtually every bit of dialogue.

They kept it adult by not using crazy costumed villains, instead, strange costumed villains that sort of made sense.

I thought Christian Bale LOOKED the part athletically, but I thought his take on the Dirty Harry Batman voice that we've been hearing since Michael Keaton encased himself in rubber for the first Batman big budget film in 1989 was weak-- to the point of ridiculous.  Might be the idea of a Brit trying to do an American Accent and then an American Accent with a Dirty Harry twist.  Too much for anybody.

I liked Michael Caine as Alfred-- he got the part perfectly.  Alfred the Butler started out as a competent sort of father figure when he was first introduced in 1942 in the comics then became a sort of bumbling Nigel Bruce figure beginning with the serial in 1943 which changed the character in the comics to match.  Alfred later became a pretty boring father figure again and then back to competent with Alan Napier in the '66 TV Series and later Michael Gough in the Batman films of the 80s and 90s.

But Caine has the sarcasm Frank Miller introduced to the character in the landmark DARK KNIGHT RETURNS epic from 1986 which found Alfred tolerating his master's bizarre behavior and understanding this was not 100% normal.

Nolan's films are too long-- that's something he struggles with, the last one was the longest and ironically never really dragged, but there is gold in editing to leave us wanting more.  Hopefully this brilliant director gets that someday.

Now Warners is looking to reboot Batman again, that's the plan-- allegedly its been the plan all along a new director gets a shot to make a Batman trilogy and then the reigns are past.   This is total BS of course, if Nolan said he wanted to make another one WB would gladly give him the chance-- they are not artistically inclined to pass up the billion dollar revenue for a vision.

Likely the next Batman film will be as part of the Justice League movie WB and DC are trying to put together-- since Marvel's AVENGERS was the biggest superhero film of all time they are not going to let that slide by-- a lot of it will depend on the new Superman film, out this summer.  If that's a big hit then the JLA will be greenlighted but I think they are missing the mark as to why AVENGERS was so big.

It was fun.

There's not a lot of brooding going on there.  The color palettes are not somber blues and greens, the characters aren't living in the past-- a DC movie-- which currently ONLY has Batman lined up for it in terms of success, Green Lantern being a huge flop and Wonder Woman stalled in film making hell, Marvel built up to Avengers with a series of films that were faithful to the core of their characters and appealed not only to regular movie goers but to longtime fans as well.

DC should look at that.