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July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?" 
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Post July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
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Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:52 pm
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
Firstly my deep condolences to the victims of Aurora.

In regarding this thread. Well , I wouldn't like to be in the shoes of the Director that will make the next Batman movie. Probably Warner Bross will have to wait that this generation of Batman's fan-boys grow up. There is a very mean core in this group where you see them brutally defending a Nolan's film without even seeing it. I wouldn't be surprised they will be attacking a new take of Batman just because Nolan did not make it.

On contrary of what JB writes I think that The Avengers movie is a sign that viewers want to lighten up after all Bin Laden has been death for more than a year and you do not have to be dark to be cool ;-)

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Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:15 pm
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
There is a way to make a future Batman movie that isn't Nolan's world and have it still hold up reasonably well. Has anyone here played Arkham City? It delivered a Batman that was more in line with a comic book hero, but it still did an excellent job exploring his Psyche as well as addressing a major question: why doesn't Batman kill anyone, and are there situations when he should? Any future Batman movie should use that follow that video game's lead and make use of its theme.


Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:30 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
Sorry, since when did 'Captain America' fail? The movie was oustanding!

Nolan has pretty much put the stopper in the Batman franchise. What on earth can stand up to what he's done?


Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:41 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
James Berardinelli wrote:

JB: you and I have certainly had our differences of opinion, most notably on the topic of George Lucas and his direction of the Star Wars franchise from 1999 onwards. However, by and large, I've found our opinions to be similar (which is why I came to this forum to begin with after reading your reviews on Rotten Tomatoes). In this case, your opinion and mine are on *EXACTLY* the same wavelength, as I completely and utterly agree with every word you said in this commentary. It is IMO truly saddening that you were unable to run this on CNN, though of course not as saddening as the senseless tragedy perpetrated by that asshole in Aurora (again: he should get the death penalty once convicted).

In a way, you could look at the way Nolan ended the trilogy as a kind of dare to other filmmakers to even try to continue the Batman franchise, and I'm talking about the very ending of TDKR. In a way, he also flipped off the studio with his ending.


Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:05 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Sorry, since when did 'Captain America' fail? The movie was oustanding!

I think JB was just referring to a failure on the part of CA to live up to high expectations rather than failing as a film of quality.

Dragonbeard wrote:
Nolan has pretty much put the stopper in the Batman franchise. What on earth can stand up to what he's done?

Right now, I can't think of a thing. Of course, greed is going to propel the studios to try regardless, the bastards.


Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:07 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I agree with JB that this is probably as dark as it gets with Batman without violating the fundamental traits of the character, so there is nowhere for the pendulum to go except back toward the light.

That isn't a bad thing. Batman has survived 73 years and counting of many different interpretations. No single one of them is definitive--though I admit the 1990s animated series comes close with its best-of-all-worlds approach. There will be more Batman movies, and it is not at all out of the question that they can be both lighter of heart and be good (perhaps better!) at the same time. Who knows what the future holds?

My only wish is that as the next round of movies inevitably goes forward, people become more aware of the creators who originally developed this enduring character. Everybody knows about Bob Kane, who, for legal reasons that are baffling and unfair, receives sole credit for Batman. But there are two others, just as important as Kane, if not more so.

I would like to see a big money Batman project with the balls to equally credit Jerry Robinson: like Kane, an artist who worked on the first incarnation of Batman, yet sadly receives only a tossaway consulting credit on these movies. And then there is Bill Finger, the original Bat-writer. He is responsible for giving Batman his name, animal theme, tragic past, detective skills, cowl, monochrome palette... in short, just about everything essential about the character. He took Kane's generic superhero prototype and turned it into the fiercely original creation that we know it to be. But don't bother looking for Finger's name in the credits. It's not in there.

It's as if Finger has simply vanished from history, been made an unperson like in some Orwellian fiction. There's no reason for his contributions to be buried by all but a select few colleagues who knew and loved his work, except that it's easier for a massive company not to pay someone his due if nobody knows what that person did in the first place.

While Batman's 73 year career is impressive, DC (and, by extension, Warner Bros.) has not changed its Depression-era attitudes toward many of the people whose characters turned it into an entertainment industry powerhouse. The situation has progressed well into the territory of corporate amorality. On the legitimately mythical legacy of Batman, this issue has been and continues to be an ugly stain. Heroic tales ring hollow when they're peddled under the aegis of the very sort of heartless greed that heroes are expected to stand against.


Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:42 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
I feel every franchise at a certain point should stop and not continue. Doesn't matter if it's going well and is making lots of money. They all have to stop sometime before rehashing and unnecessary sequels take place. People like Chris Nolan and James Cameron had the good sense to stop when they felt they told their stories for their franchises. Sure, they could have done more, but they listened to their gut and felt their storytelling was done.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:48 am
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
I'd like to see another see another film maker pick up where Nolan left us, if for no other reason than Joseph Gordon-Levitt deserves the opportunity. I don't know how palatable a Bruce Wayne-less Batman series will be to the general public but it's worth a shot. If they choose not to go that route the next best thing is to do a 180 and give us a Superman/Batman flick. Otherwise I have no real interest in a Batman reboot.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:35 am
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
I wish to start off this response with my condolences to the victims of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and would like to add my hope that people don't attempt to make a link between films like The Dark Knight Rises and the tragedy that unfolded (the individual involved could just have easily chosen to shoot randomly in any crowded milieu, say a shopping mall, school auditorium, etc.)

Now back to the main focus of JB's opinion piece: I agree with JB that current American society (at this stage anyways -- Canadians are similar in this respect as well) have a greater willingness to explore moral ambiguity, complexity and darkness in films than past generations, which has of course influenced various filmmakers in how they approach storytelling. That being said, I am somewhat skeptical about the extent to which this would affect the general public's appetite for the superhero genre.

It's worth keeping in mind that the vision that Nolan has brought forward in his Batman trilogy is very much in keeping with the darkness that is found in the original Batman comics as conceived by Bob Kane (as JB notes in his review of Batman Begins). So it's not as if Nolan is somehow inventing the bleak vision of Gotham out of whole cloth -- there is something there for him to work with here, and it took Nolan's talents to flesh out that vision into compelling filmmaking.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:54 am
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
Sorry, since when did 'Captain America' fail? The movie was oustanding!

I think JB was just referring to a failure on the part of CA to live up to high expectations rather than failing as a film of quality.

Dragonbeard wrote:
Nolan has pretty much put the stopper in the Batman franchise. What on earth can stand up to what he's done?

Right now, I can't think of a thing. Of course, greed is going to propel the studios to try regardless, the bastards.


Okay that's a bit more fair but I personally loved what they did!

If it must happen again, I at least think jumping off from Nolan's origin story is the way to go. I can't think of a better foundation for the character!


Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:02 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
Sorry, since when did 'Captain America' fail? The movie was oustanding!

I think JB was just referring to a failure on the part of CA to live up to high expectations rather than failing as a film of quality.

Dragonbeard wrote:
Nolan has pretty much put the stopper in the Batman franchise. What on earth can stand up to what he's done?

Right now, I can't think of a thing. Of course, greed is going to propel the studios to try regardless, the bastards.


Okay that's a bit more fair but I personally loved what they did!

If it must happen again, I at least think jumping off from Nolan's origin story is the way to go. I can't think of a better foundation for the character!

True, it would be nice to see some characters from the Bat-Verse that have never been on the big-screen before, like Black Canary.


Last edited by Vexer on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:10 pm
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
I agree completely with what Mr. Berardinelli has written. Another Batman reboot would be nothing more than a cash grab.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:01 pm
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
Whereas making these movies in the first place was a thankless labor of art.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:55 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
Ken wrote:
Whereas making these movies in the first place was a thankless labor of art.


Yeap, I'm pretty happy to believe that. As if Nolan didn't take a massive risk by removing virtually all the 'comic book fantasy' element from an established fantasy franchise (in the sense that it's never been "this could happen for real" before).

I'm not naive enough to think that money wasn't an issue but I also give Nolan credit for pitching it in such an idea that the studios practically handed him money bags with a dollar sign on the side.

Also, I noticed during the end credits for TDKR they took the time to mention that the entire thing was shot on film. To me, that's more evidence that Nolan is no charlatan.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:01 pm
Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
There is actually much precedent for removing the "comic book fantasy" from Batman... in the comic books.

If anything, the Frank Miller/David Mazzuchelli "Year One" storyline gave us a much more down-to-earth Batman than the movies have. And I guarantee that if anybody on this planet has read only one Batman comic book, that's the one. It was a smashing success, and it predates every cinematic take on Batman besides the 1966 movie and the old serials. I would not consider trying to mimic its success to be a risky strategy in the slightest.

I think the risk involved was simply in trying to resuscitate a franchise that was already a laughingstock in the eyes of the public. But come on. A character this old, this popular, and this appealing wasn't going to be out of the movies for long. And I suppose there was some risk was in signing Nolan, formerly a low-budget director with no track record for big tentpole action movies... but that's really only a risk if you're an executive producer who understands money but doesn't know shit from shinola when it comes to movies.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:20 pm
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
I'm sorry to hear that CNN decided not to run this piece - it's a good piece of critique that's discussion-worthy. To be honest, I don't think that the piece is in bad taste or disrespectful - I hope they reconsider and decide to run it in the future.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:33 pm
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Post Have Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon Killed Superhero Film
Spreading the net a little bit wider than the question posed in the thread title:

Quote:
Inexorably, over a span of seven years, Nolan has reinvented the superhero genre, and there's no going back. It's not just an issue for whoever reboots or continues the Batman narrative; the proverbial "game changer" impacts every filmmaker who makes a superhero movie. The simplicity of following a basic template will no longer work. We've seen hints of this in recent years with B-list titles like Captain America and Green Lantern failing to live up to expectations. Why? Because they followed yesterday's rules.


Quote:
This movie has the potential to revitalize the superhero movie genre... or kill it. The Avengers has raised the bar to a level where the more "traditional" approach of having a single superhero tangle with a supervillain or two may no longer be enough.


It's possible that Nolan and Whedon may have guided the comic book movie in general to a peak that it can never reach again.

In some ways its easy to say that Nolan may have very well made The Godfather trilogy of superhero films. The success of Coppola's trilogy didn't mean the end of gangster films. But it was a peak that only a few films (Goodfellas most notably) have been able to reach since.

When Steven Spielberg unleashed Jaws in 1975 he set the template for the summer blockbuster. FIlms since then have used the template and there have been some very good even great blockbusters. But Jaws was one of the few times that a blockbuster was totally firing on all cylinders and there've only been a few times where its been equalled (Alien/Aliens in 1979/86, Die Hard in 1988).

Jaws revitalized the action/adventure movie after the general public began geting weary from Irwin Allen disaster movies. Likewise, signs of superhero fatigue were starting to show up in the past few years. Aside from Iron Man and to a lesser extent its sequel, superhero films were starting to seem more of a warm-up formula than as legitimate movies that could stand on their own as demonstrated by the likes of Green Lantern, Captain America, even the relatively thoughtful Thor. Whedon went bigger and badder with The Avengers and the result may do as much to change the face of the superhero film as Spielberg did for action-adventure.

Yet the question is: is there anywhere else to go after this? Like JB pointed out, The Avengers and Nolan's trilogy exist on completely different levels. Yet both may have painted the genre into a corner. WHile I'd like to see a Justice League movie as well as that Wonder Woman movie that Whedon has been talking about for a while, it;s possible that superhero movies may have gotten to a level that they'll only recapture in isolated moments. We'll have to wait and see to find out.

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Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:23 pm
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
The title for James' piece: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?" may prove to be prophetic. The tragic shootings at a premier of "The Dark Knight Rises" appear to have been inspired to some degree by "The Joker". For public relations reasons I imagine Warner Brothers will not want to touch this franchise with a barge pole for many years.. at least ten.

Maybe that is no harm, as James says it's hard to imagine where the Batman franchise could go from here or how anyone could do any better than Nolan has.


Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:56 pm
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Post Re: July 20, 2012: "Has Christopher Nolan Killed Batman?"
For all his great ideas, Christopher Nolan is a journeyman director at best. There's been a lot of talk here about how these movies are done so well that they can't be done better. I find that pretty fatuous.

Again, not to take anything away from Nolan's conceptually inventive side, but he does have his weaknesses, and they're on full display in the Batman movies. I don't know if they will be done better, but to suggest that they can't be done better is shortsighted at best.


Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:52 pm
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