The Batman – Backstory of Ben Affleck’s Batman

Ever since I saw Batman v Superman, I’ve wondered about what kind of stuff this older (angrier and more hardcore) version of Batman went through in his 20 years career.

So I took the Grant Morrison-like approach to Ben Affleck’s Batman by assuming that every live action Batman films happened, in some form or another, to the Bruce Wayne that we met in BvS.

I pieced together some stuff from the Batman films and edited this video. What you end up with is a somewhat logical ‘biography’. All the stress, trauma, violence and the tragedies…it all led up to this darker and more brutal Batman.

I tried to create a logical story through the movies:

We start with the first two Nolan films where Batman wanted to get rid of crime in Gotham City and then retire as Batman. Then he met the Joker and he realized that the war against crime in Gotham is harder than he thought.

Gotham got darker and crazier after the fall of the ‘White Knight’ Harvey Dent and we move into the Tim Burton era. Bruce Wayne became more socially awkward and reclusive. Batman and his colourful villains affected the art and fashion trend of Gotham – gothic with neon lights. Robin and Batgirl added colour to Bruce’s life until tragedy strikes – Batgirl got shot and Robin got killed by the Joker.

Batman couldn’t deal with the loss and he got reckless – almost cost his life when his back got broken by Bane. Batman recovered, regained focus and defeated Bane.

Then Superman battled Zod in Metropolis and we know the rest…

In short: DCEU Batman’s 20 year career is a alternate version of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Batman 1989, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin and The Dark Knight Rises.

Batman 3 – What I want to see

What lies Ahead

He’s the hero that Gotham deserves but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not a hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.
– Gordon

There are two aspects that I think we need to think about that should give us a better picture of what to expect from the third movie.

  • The Main Theme
  • The Villains that relates to that theme.

Batman Begins was about Fear. It ties with the origin of Batman as we see Bruce Wayne overcome his fear of bats and eventually adopt the identity of Batman. The villains are related to this theme with Scarecrow using the fear toxin as his weapon of choice and Ra’s Al Ghul as the man who helped Bruce overcome his fears in the first place.

The Dark Knight was about Escalation or as Gordon puts it at end of the first movie, “We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing Kevlar, they buy armor-piercing rounds.” Batman’s crusade against the mobs becomes a double edged sword as it only creates more trouble. The epitome of this escalation is the Joker, the agent of chaos, who wants to bring Gotham’s citizens to their breaking point. Corresponding with the escalation theme is the rise of the idealistic Harvey Dent and his fall/transformation to Two Face.

Now comes the third movie and I have an idea for the possible theme of this one. Like how the theme of escalation was first hinted at the end of the first movie, the theme for Batman 3 was hinted during the final moments of The Dark Knight: The theme is Isolation. By the end of the second movie, Batman has finally become the Batman that we all know from the comics and the cartoons: a true outsider, a loner, the Dark Knight. He lost Rachel and Harvey Dent which means he lost his hope for a normal life. The police are chasing him thus he can’t work openly with Gordon anymore.

I expect a darker and grumpier Bruce Wayne as he starts getting a more pessimistic outlook on life yet can’t help to bring himself to stop fighting crime due to his hero complex (set this movie like 2-4 years after TDK to make it believable). And expect more detective work by the Dark Knight since he can’t rely on the GCPD now. Meanwhile, the cops are still hopeless in finding out the identity of the Batman (remember that scene early in TDK where the cop had Elvis as one of their suspected candidates for Batman). Just like how the mobs turned to the Joker in their desperate times, the cops also turned to “a man they don’t fully understand” for help.

Enter Edward Nigma aka The Riddler, a private detective/specialist hired by both the cops and the mobs (with both not knowing he works with them at the same time) to track down and find the identity of the Batman. He’s smart, a child prodigy, anti-social and highly obsessed with Batman especially with the dark knight’s detective skills. He finally find someone who can challenge him and is willing to do anything to achieve his goal, including creating an elaborate crime scene for Batman to solve.

Not only that, Batman has to face the idea that his privacy is being invaded as the Riddler slowly gets to know a lot of things about Batman (eg. Lucius Fox, batcave, identity). Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne starts dating Selina Kyle who leads a double life as the notorious thief, Catwoman. In the end Batman and Catwoman have to work together to stop the Riddler.

So how do all of this relates to the theme of isolation? In a way, the Riddler and Catwoman are the cure to Batman’s feeling of isolation. Following my idea that Riddler is a crazy Batman fanatic, I think he would probably leave clues/riddles that he knows ONLY Batman can solve and no one else. Therefore, Riddler would be the only one, aside from Alfred, who really understand Batman’s mindset. Unlike the Joker who just wants to mess with Batman’s head, the Riddler, or at least a version of him that I want to see in the next movie, wants to play games with him. In that way, Batman doesn’t feel isolated anymore.

As for Catwoman, well, that’s really obvious. Bruce Wayne is mysteriously drawn to Selina Kyle; she’s not Rachel Dawes yet she’s not like any of those other super models he flirts with. And Catwoman operates outside the law and enjoying it which is a perfect foil for Batman’s more serious attitude.

So yeah, I want the next movie to revolve around Batman’s growing isolation and how both the Riddler and Catwoman proves to be the answer to that problem (Batman is lonely and finds a new friend to play with & a new girlfriend). As for the casting of the two characters, I want Michael Emerson (Lost) as the Riddler and Carla Gugino (Sin City) for Catwoman. Meow!

The main reason why I think they should get Catwoman for the third one, aside from filling up the female character void left by Rachel Dawes, is that to the average folks she is one of the most instantly recognizable character from the Batman universe. One of the reason why Dark Knight is doing so well is because you have the most famous Batman villain, The Joker. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t put villains that haven’t been adapted to the big screen (eg. Clayface, Mad Hatter, Man Bat, etc) but if they want to draw a lot of people, Catwoman is their best chance. It’s also a chance to redeem the awful Halle Berry movie!!

So that’s what I want to see for the third movie. What do you think?

“I’m Not Wearing Hockey Pads!!”

If you thought that my review would be the last Dark Knight related post then think again :-p By now almost everyone on this planet have seen the movie which earned $609 million worldwide in about 20 days and the movie is seen by many to be the most likely candidate to dethrone Titanic off the Highest Grossing movie title.

What It Could’ve Been

“Wanna know how I got these scars?”
                                                      – Joker

Here’s a scan from The Official The Dark Knight Art Book. It’s one of the early concept for the Joker. I like what we have but damn~ just think about how freaky it could have been:

You can find more Joker concept art over at /Film

The Other Side of the Coin.

“I’m not wearing Hockey Pads!!”
                                              – Batman

Sick of hearing that the Dark Knight is a ‘Masterpiece’ or ‘the greatest crime epic ever’? If you’re one of those people who thought that the Dark Knight wasn’t the ‘Second Coming’ then you might be interested in this site: http://thedarkknightsucks.com/ which is self explanatory 🙄

Anyway, I want to offer my own criticism now that the my hype level is down and the shockwave that I had after watching the movie three weeks ago have died out (I’ve only seen it once! While everyone else have seen it hundreds of times…damn, I feel left out).

Here are some of the things that I annoyed me:

– Batman’s voice. I’m generally ok with his voice but when it comes to those long monologues like the end, you just kinda can’t take him seriously Hehe

– Speaking of Batman’s voice, there is this line in the beginning of the movie where Batman yelled, “I’m not wearing Hockey Pads!!” WTF The line has become a constant joke between me and my brother.

– After Batman saves Rachel from the fall, it just cuts to the next scene without showing what happened to the Joker after that. Did he just walk out party or something? Maybe a deleted scene in he DVD later.

– Speaking of deleted scene, what about the part after the Joker pissed off the man guarding him in the police station. Deleted scene? Maybe too violent for a PG-13? I have this wishful thinking that there is a scene involving the Joker using the hidden knife under his shoe and kick/stab the man on his balls :mrgreen:

 – Why does Batman have to take the fall for the murder committed by Two Face? Why can’t they just put the blame on one of the mobs? I know it serves the story, you know, Batman is heroic because he sacrificed his reputation in order to preserve the image of hope for Gotham but still.

I’m actually planning to write about my thoughts on Batman 3 but I realize that it would make this post long. So I’ll leave that for the next post 😉

I guess it’s ‘To Be Continue’ for now

Holy F*** Batman!! My ‘Dark Knight’ Review!

Saw the movie last night at the Empire Cinema and as promised, I went there wearing my black Superman T-shirt (read here to know the story behind it). Coincidentally, I saw a guy wearing a white shirt (or sweater I think) with the bat logo. Talk about being opposites hehe..which is kinda appropriate because one of the main theme of the movie was duality; not just between Batman and Joker but also between Batman and Dent or Dent and Gordon.

***Warning: Possible Spoilers***

The Dark Knight is not just a Superhero movie, it’s a two and a half hours long epic crime drama that touches on themes like law & order, the price of heroism and what people can do when their comfort zone get disturb. Did I mentioned that this movie is tragic? Things just get worse and worse every minute till the end. Nop Batman doesn’t die at the end but his victory comes with a heavy price. Hell, I think Batman isn’t quite the main character of the movie. The movie is about Gotham City and the efforts of three men (Batman, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent) in saving it from the Joker, the self proclaimed agent of Chaos.

Let’s talk about the Joker first. I knew that they were going for a darker take on the Joker but one important aspect of the Joker is that he’s funny…well at least he thinks he’s funny and the fact that he thinks it’s funny makes me laugh therefore I find him funny (does that make sense). Funny in a twisted and wrong way, that’s what I like about Joker.

So I was afraid that in this movie, he’s just going to be crazy and evil but not ‘funny’. Well, let’s just say he “put a smile” on my face after his ‘pencil magic trick’. We all went ‘Ooooo!!’ followed immediately with laughs.  Other funny moments includes him sliding down the pile of money, Joker cleaning his hands at the hospital and his amusement of getting beaten up by Batman. It was suppose to be an intense scene where Batman sort of crossed the line with his temper and two lives were in danger but I laughed when Joker seemed to enjoy the beat down.

There’s all this posthumous Oscar buzz for Heath Ledger and I think he deserves it. You don’t go “oh it’s Heath Ledger from Brokeback Mountain wearing a makeup“. His movement, his voice and everything changed.

Another highlight character is Harvey Dent played by Aaron Eckhart. Dent is an idealistic and a badass District Attorney who’s determined to clean up the streets of Gotham. Courage and confidence are his greatest strength which even impressed Batman who considered retirement because he saw Dent as Gotham’s new hero or hope. We get to root for Dent which makes his inevitable transformation to Two Face more tragic. I also like the way that Two Face isn’t exactly a villain in this movie which is fine because I never get why he suddenly turned into a mob boss like in the cartoon. I mean I kinda cheered for Two Face when he starts hunting down corrupted cops and mobs (led by Eric Roberts!! 😎 ). But he went overboard at the end.

Joker saw Harvey’s descent into madness as his achievement and this reminds me of the Batman comic called the Killing Joke. Remember reading it in the High School library, it’s about the Joker trying test his theory that it only takes one bad day to make someone crazy like him. In that comic, he tried it with Gordon by tying him up and force him to look at pictures of his daughter’s paralyzed and bloodied naked body after being shot by the Joker. Joker failed of course when Batman came to rescue Gordon.

***Highlight to see spoiler***

Harvey Two Face dies at the end. This shocked me because I was so sure that Two Face will be the main villain for the third movie. But I’m fine with his death because, like I said earlier, I’m not a fan of the “ex District Attorney turned Mob Boss” storyline. As for the Joker, it was a good decision to not kill him so that we get more Joker vs Batman storyline but Heath Ledger’s death complicated things. Recasting?? No way. 

Btw, this movie is dark and might not be suitable for children. Examples: a villain pointing a gun on a kid in front of his dad or the part where the Joker put a knife into someones mouth while telling a story of how he supposedly got the mouth scar is scary. 

The movie also touches on heavy themes like post 9-11 fear culture and how it drives people to break moral codes (Just wait till you see Joker’s big Social experiment involving ferries and bombs). Gordon, Dent and even Batman are bound by moral codes and laws. Joker comes in and tries to push them over their breaking point and exploiting their flaws. Gordon knows that he’s leading a police force that’s mostly corrupted but he needs all available men to fight crime. Batman is a vigilante and not bound by the law but refuses to kill because that would make him just as bad as the criminals. Dent has a  bigger problem because he’s a very public figure therefore has to keep up with his image as a promising, charismatic and strong District Attorney. He’s Gotham’s best hope in saving the city, the white knight. But beneath that image is a normal human being with emotions that sometimes overcome logic (his temper and his love for Rachel).

Image or symbol is another theme that plays a big part of the story especially the ending. The most important thing that can save Gotham is a symbol of hope which should be uphold at any cost. By the end of the movie, the characters die, lie and willing to be hated by many in order to keep that symbol/idea of hope alive. At least that’s how I saw it, I don’t know, I’ve only seen it once and I have to watch it again to dig up more.

So yeah, go watch Dark Knight! :mrgreen:

Oh, you might also be interested in hearing the Joker theme from the movie. Really freaky and random

Road to the Dark Knight

The Dark Knight, definitely my most anticipated movie in the last three years, will be out this week!! Planning to catch it tomorrow or anytime this week. And I will be wearing a Black Superman T-Shirt! Why would I want to do that? On my other post, I told you about what happened during the premiere of Batman Begins:

While we were waiting for the cinema to open, I notice that almost everyone was looking at me and giggling. Later I realised that I was wearing a black Superman T-Shirt. LOL So there I was in the premiere of a Batman movie wearing a Superman t-shirt.

So just for fun and for old time sake (and boredom too), I’m going to wear that same Black Superman T-Shirt.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of our ‘journey’.

June 2005 – Batman Begins

Here’s my review of Batman Begins over my first blog.

October 2006 – Heath Ledger as the Joker

When my brother set up his blog, one of the first movie news he posted was the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker. Although I was happy that he will be Joker but at that time I was still in a “Ledger’s cool but damn, if only Paul Bettany was Joker!!” camp. Of course I’ve now forgotten about Paul Bettany hehe. It was also around this time that Ledger said McDowell’s character from Clockwork Orange will be the inspiration of his Joker.

It’s also funny reading what was written by my brother at that time:

But don’t expect the usual Joker look with the heavy make up, green hair and purple suit

Well, he does have a green hair and purple suit!! Haha!

May 2007 – Joker revealed

I remember there was this viral site where you need to submit your email. With each email submitted, a single pixel of the first Joker picture is revealed. I contributed, my brother contributed and so did everyone around the world. Eventually, the above picture was revealed. When I first saw it, Jigsaw from SAW series came to my mind lol

July 2007 – Teaser trailer

A teaser trailer was released featuring only the Bat Logo, a dialog between Bruce & Alfred and the first reveal of the Joker’s voice by Ledger. My first reaction to the trailer was “Holy Shit! He nailed the laugh!!”

August 2007 – Wizard World footage

Fans who attended the Wizard World in Chicago were treated with an exclusive footage from the movie. It wasn’t leaked at the time therefore we only relied on descriptions written by those who were there. Now, that footage has been released and you can watch it below on YouTube.

Nov 2007 – Joker makes his debut on the cover of Empire magazine

When I started this blog back in November, I didn’t waste time making a post about The Dark Knight.

Dec 2007 – New Dark Knight trailer featuring the Joker

New Dark Knight trailer attached to the Will Smith movie, ‘I Am Legend’ immediately became a hit primarily because it’s the first time we get an idea of Ledger’s version of the Joker. Everyone starts saying catch phrases like “Why So Serious?” “It’s all part of the plan” and “Let’s put a smile on that Face

Jan 2008 – The tragic death of Joker himself, Heath Ledger

Luckily, he completed his work on The Dark Knight. His death created a lot publicity for the movie and his role as the Joker. Some say he had trouble sleeping because he was so physically and psychologically committed to his role as the Joker so he took a lot of pills. But I doubt that his role as the Joker led to his death.

April 2008 – Joker in nurse outift

As summer movie season approached, the picture of Joker in a nurse wardrobe got leaked. It was funny and creepy at the same. Later, various posters for the movie were released mostly featuring Batman and Joker. Finally, a new trailer was released shedding more light on the potrayal of Harvey Dent by Aaron Eckhart.

July 2008 – Early Reviews

Early reviews poured in and almost all of them were positive. Some have compared it with such movies like Heat (Dark Knight is more of a Crime Drama than a superhero movie), Godfather II and Empire Strikes Back (the latter two are examples of sequels that are infinitely better than their first movies).

***

Here’s a music from the soundtrack called ‘Like A Dog Chasing Cars’ to pump you up. Enjoy!

Is Dark Knight really that good?!!!

It’s July and that means my most anticipated summer movie will be released in few weeks. The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins and starring the late Heath Ledger in his final complete movie, will arrive in theatres on July 18.

Is this movie going to be good?! Are people only exaggerating the awesomeness of Heath Ledger’s performance just because he died? CAN THIS MOVIE LIVE UP TO ITS HYPE?!! Here’s the rundown so far of early reviews from movie reviewers I frequently check/trust:

Moriarty from AICN (easily my favourite and the more talented reviewer from that site)

…Chris Nolan accomplishes something that both WAR OF THE WORLDS and CLOVERFIELD tried to do, and with more grace and insight. Those films both used 9/11 imagery to resonate with viewers, and in both cases, the imagery is certainly arresting and upsetting, but to what end? Just to remind us? Just to tap into the fear we felt that day? Here, Nolan invokes 9/11, but he pushes past it to also deal with the fear that has stayed with us as a culture since that moment, and also the way it forced the world around us to change. This is the first mainstream movie to fully digest the events of September 11th and to deal with them in a way that starts to sort out who we are now as a result. Heady stuff for a movie about a dude wearing a bat suit who beats the shit out of criminals, but then… isn’t that the point?

Peter Travers from Rolling Stone

Go ahead, bitch about the movie being too long, at two and a half hours, for short attention spans (it is), too somber for the Hulk crowd (it is), too smart for its own good (it isn’t). The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination. It’s full of surprises you don’t see coming. And just try to get it out of your dreams.

From TIME Magazine

…Nolan has a more subversive agenda. He wants viewers to stick their hands down the rat hole of evil and see if they get bitten. With little humor to break the tension, The Dark Knight is beyond dark. It’s as black — and teeming and toxic — as the mind of the Joker.

And ComingSoon.net

While one might hesitate to throw around overused words like “masterpiece,” it’s refreshing that “The Dark Knight” is not a movie that can be viewed and easily discarded like so much other summer fare.

And 5 solid stars from IGN

…there really is no better way to describe The Dark Knightthan to call it a great work of art because it transcends both the boundaries of comic book moviemaking and even the parameters of good filmmaking. What Nolan and Co. have created doesn’t just function as a thrill ride or even a terrific movie, but rather as a substantive and philosophical examination of why we need heroes, and then when we need them, what they mean.

And then another perfect score from JoBlo..

Christopher Nolan’s latest is a near masterpiece that is smothered in atmosphere, and delivers all the thrills you’d expect and more

And finally comes LatinoReview:

There were too many characters and a good fifteen, twenty minutes could have been cut. Either trim down the love triangle mess or some of the unnecessary mob scenes to quicken the pace. Despite those negatives, The Dark Knight is an exciting movie to watch, especially on a giant IMAX screen. Just cover your kid’s eyes whenever Maggie Gyllenhall is on screen. It’s not the Joker’s face that will be giving them nightmares! Just kidding Maggie. I’d bang you in a minute. With a bag over my head.

ROFLMFAO!!! :mrgreen: But he still gave it an A- (almost perfect) so that’s still very good.

“When the chips are down, these civilized people will eat each other. You’ll see, I’ll show it to yah”