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 YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread 
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Wow, this is almost like IM-ing!

It has 4x as many pages as Chronicles Vol 1, but it's only 2x the cost. I thought it a bargain. Thanks for the rec. I hope you get to borrow the copy you gifted to your bud.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
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The Future Unreels


Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:25 pm
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Ace, reading and studying Batman: a Celebration of 75 Years has been really cool. It's given me ideas for more essays than I can possibly accommodate. :D It will be a matter of selecting 1-3 of them that I can justify in what is supposed to be an analysis of some cinematic adaptations of the comics. But, for the first time in the Rematch thread, I'll be working with a property that actually began as a comic book, rather than a comic adapted from either the film, or from a print short story or novel.

I'm glad you let me know about that book!

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:30 am
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Wow. This thread has now passed half a million page views.
When I looked a few minutes ago it was at 500572 page views.

Thanks to whomever is reading it! :heart:

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:32 am
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This Round introduces (formally) the Not-quite-a-Remake Rematch.
Actually, Hank invented this in Round Two when he asked me to compare Rear Window and Disturbia.
It's just becoming a regular feature, now.

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This NQRR is underway as of 20 Mar 2016
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This Rematch is COMPLETE as of 6 May 2016
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This NQRR is underway as of 20 Mar 2016
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This Rematch is underway as of 21 Mar 2016
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This NQRR is underway as of 5 Apr 2016
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This NQRR is underway as of 22 Mar 2016
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This NQRR is underway as of 27 Mar 2016
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This NQRR is underway as of 6 Feb 2016
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This NQRR is underway as of 17 Feb 2016
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This Rematch is underway as of 30 Mar 2016
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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:01 am
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These first posts are being being put up before I have all the icons ready to go, but if I don't start ...uhm...it will never get underway. :D

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:10 am
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This is the initial post for The Multimatch between The Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)


This Rematch is complete as of 5 August 2015.
Selected by Gort. Active 28 March 2015 to 5 August 2015 (131 days).


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Essays for the Multimatch of Batman films.


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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:11 am
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There is another Batman? Ai yi yi.

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"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
██████████████████████████████████████████The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov


Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:25 am
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I was aware of 3. But not the early 1930's one.


Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:51 am
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Quite-Gone Genie wrote:
There is another Batman? Ai yi yi.

Ace wrote:
I was aware of 3. But not the early 1930's one.

That's 1943, Ace. So it would be early 1940's. :D

When the Find-it post goes up in a few hours you'll see another serial listed from 1949. Just be sure you don't actually see that serial. KnowutImean?

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:07 am
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A Comparison of
The Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

To the Batpoles!

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Comic Books

DC has collected Batman stories into several compilations. The Batman Chronicles is currently up to 11 volumes, some of which are still in print. Here are some Google search results to get you started:
The Batman Chronicles: Google search results
The Batman Chronicles from Wikipedia
Batman graphic novels: Google search results

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Video Discs

The movies are all available in DVD format. Three are available in Blu-ray format. For Round Four the links are changing to Google search results to get you started on the quest for a particular movie, and from that you can select your own favorite supplier. Plus, the Google search will always show the latest links.

1943 DVD: Google search result for "batman 1943".
1949 DVD: Google search result for "batman 1949".
(The 1949 serial is listed here for completist obsessives and persons doing Batman Multimatches, only. All others should probably avoid it.)

1966 Blu-ray: Google search result for "batman 1966 movie blu ray".
1966 DVD: Google search result for "batman 1966 movie dvd".

1966 TV show Blu-ray: Google search result for "batman tv show blu ray".
1966 TV show DVD: Google search result for "batman tv show dvd".

1989 Blu-ray: Google search result for "batman 1989 blu ray".
1989 DVD: Google search result for "batman 1989 dvd".

2005 Blu-ray: Google search result for "batman begins blu ray".
2005 DVD: Google search result for "batman begins dvd".

2008 Blu-ray: Google search result for "the dark knight blu".
2008 DVD: Google search result for "the dark knight dvd".

Even though I don't focus much at all on the animated series and movies, here is a Google search for "batman animated movies".


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Soundtracks

Certain of these can be found on CD.
Some even on LP, perhaps, from used item vendors.
Some are available as mp3s.
The links below are Google searches, because they will turn up a lot of sources and alternative information for any of these soundtracks, in all formats available.

Google search result: batman soundtrack.
Google search result: batman 1966 soundtrack.
Google search result: batman 1989 soundtrack.
Google search result: batman 2005 soundtrack.


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Other Sources

Netflix
Google search results -- netflix batman disc DVD. -- netflix batman streaming.

iTunes Google search results -- itunes batman.

Amazon Instant Watch Google search results -- amazon instant video batman.

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Do You Like Posters?
Google web search results: batman posters. -- Google image search results batman posters. With these you should be able to find just about any Batman poster you want.



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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:22 am
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I found Batman and Robin (1997) in the Blu bin at Walmart. It had languished there for so long that it had been marked down to $4.88, I guess. That's what it checked out for.

I had never seen the entire film. Only clips and occasional snippets. That opening! Gah! The whole film reminds me of "The Power Rangers", which my younger son used to watch in the 1990s. For the stylistic angle I'd say it was cool enough, but something about everything being so over-the-top gets tiring after a very little bit (like the fight fight fight fight fight fight fight in Batman Begins does). I'd put this one down with Bartman Begins at the bottom of all the screen Batman flix. But in the case of this one, I'm not the only one shoving it to the bottom. It's got a 3.6 out of 10 at IMDb.

Schwarzenegger makes a pretty good comic villain. He might have been the (inconsistently) best of all. And Thurman, well she's always watchable. But them lines they done wrote. Agh my ears!

At least it's only background for the current Rematch, not anything I have to review.

I might try to watch Begins all the way through later tonight. (The thought of it fills the heart with dread!)

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:55 am
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I decided to start with my most negative review, just because dreading having to post this has filled me with procrastination for the past month.

It will be out of the way, and I should be able to move right along, now.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sat May 16, 2015 5:09 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

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IMDb link 8.3/10 with 816,417 user votes -- RT-link Tomatometer 85%/user rating 94% with 1,106,157 votes

Year: 2005 Director: Christopher Nolan -- Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Jack Gleeson -- Length: 128/140 min. B&W/Mono Color/Mono Color/Stereo -- estimated budget: $150,000,000; boxoffice US $205,343,774

In an extra feature on the complete Batman TV series Blu-rays, Ralph Garman ("best known as the host of "The Joe Schmo Show") says, "The first Batman you see is always the real Batman." In part I agree. And, although I can see the "real" Batman aspect of the 1943, 1966, and 1989 films, I cannot find any "real" Batman at all in Nolan's first Batman film. None. This is not (my) Batman. It is something alien to everything that Batman has ever been for me. I simply cannot get into the film. It's Jackie Chan in a Bat suit.

Honestly, I enjoy most of the Batman vehicles I have watched, but not Batman Begins. I just find terribly little substantial in it that resonates with me.

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You are free to love all three of Nolan's Batman movies if you wish. I am free to like only the middle one. You are free to think that Schumacher's Batman & Robin is the best Batman film ever made. I won't join you there, either.

Getting around to watching the film through for a second time was difficult. It had to be done for this Multimatch, but...

I didn't like the film when I spun up the DVD in 2007. Not at all. Not a bit. I watched it once all the way through in 2007. Since then, each time I tried giving it a second chance I would get so damn bored that I turned it off. I bought the Blu-ray of the movie in 2012, yet I couldn't even get into the pretty pictures, due to the dull content. But I had to watch it all the way through for this review. So, I decided to count the number of fight scenes. Yeah, that was my gimmick. It was enough to get me to not concentrate on what else I dislike. And I made it through, and I don't dislike the movie with quite the same intensity that I used to. Perhaps this will lead to my explanations below making sense, instead of being Bane-like rants.

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Here are some aspects of the film that I like and some I don't care for:

Like: It is a very stylish, stylized film. Gotham is not a real place. Batman is not a real person. Nolan doesn't try to make Gotham seem real.
Don't Like: Meanwhile, he doesn't do Batman the same courtesy. He tortuously constructs Wayne's martial arts training. A mystical mode for a character stripped of mythos altogether by this script.
Don't Like: But what's worse is that the no-longer-mythical Batman is pitted against dopey as hell Ra's al Ghul. A stupider less frightening villain has never appeared before me in the Bat-verse. Now, he might be bad enough in the comics, but not in this movie. He is yawn bait, and my yawns rallied to his presence. Or lack of it. (Did the flimsy attempt of the script to hide Ra's from you even work?)

Like: There is a little boy in the film (played by a future TV star) whose innocent worship of Batman reminds me of myself when I used to read the comic books. It is good that the kid is in the show. The character is what I mean, not specifically the actor. I think in order to be "dark" Nolan let himself get rid of too many lightening moments. Many more are left out than should have been. "Dark" doesn't mean "boring" or "depressing." It just means that you acknowledge that life doesn't provide happy endings on a regular basis, and that there are some mental and physical struggles to nearly every aspect of life. Hooray for this little guy.

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Don't Like: The tone of the film is so un-humorous that I can scarcely get through it. That increases its apparent length tremendously. I find myself wondering how much longer before it's finally over! With a dull as dishwater villain and no good jokes, this thing is just too boring.
Don't Like: Speaking of jokes, when I re-watched the film I realized that they tried to inject humor! It escaped me the first time...because the few jokes are so lame. I did actually chuckle at one, though. One. It wasn't memorable, but chuckling at it was.

Like: For a superhero movie most of the acting is pretty good. Except for Bale as Batman. He's just...has he ever read Batman?
Don't Like: Christian Bale as Batman. I guess that's clear by now. And Liam Neeson is unusually blah as al Ghul. But I guess he's taken on that non-personality style which has gotten him lots of action roles. Ka-ching.

Don't Like: To my way of thinking, Batman is not an anti-hero, as he is depicted more recently. He is a hero, whose heroism flourishes in spite of the heartaches of his past. Obviously, a billionaire would not have life hard in a physical sense unless he chose to do so. But even a billionaire can have it hard mentally. And you may adore the dark, twisted, crazy Batman, but I don't. That intensity of darkness is not what I saw in Batman comics as a kid in the 1960s, nor do I find it so intensely present in the very first stories about The Batman from the 1930s. And I just can't help but say, "It's not my Batman." You can claim this one if you want, and many of you do.

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Don't Like: If I wanted to see so many martial arts altercations I'd go to a freaking martial arts tournament, for Pete's sake. In the first 30 minutes Wayne is involved in six fights of various types. One of them stretched over a montage as his mentor blabbers crap about dung. Duller than dull. Fights don't advance either character development or the story for me.

Like: The Scarecrow's back story, how he became the Scarecrow and why, is implicit in who he's involved with. I revel in the fact that we don't have to sit through an hour of careful dissection of how he became that way.

Like: For once Batman has a movie nemesis who is just a regular non-costumed guy. A boss thug: Carmine Falcone. There were a lot of regular thug adversaries in the early Batman comic books.

Like: Lucius Fox, a new character to me when I first saw this film. But then, Morgan Freeman almost always makes whatever film he's in be a bit better. (Disclaimer: I may be prejudiced because at Christmas 1979 in a store called Service Merchandise in Memphis, I sold him either 4 stereos or 4 VHS VCRs as gifts to friends. He wasn't a big star yet. I didn't even know he was an actor. See, I can't remember for sure what he bought, but who could ever forget the man's freckles? Or voice?)

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Don't Like: Bruce Wayne is supposed to be on some kind of journey. An internal journey. But all he learns is how to be a more violent and aggressive version of who he already is. Thus, no change. He is a static character. Aren't static main characters boring?
Not that Batman has to change. You can make him start out one way and end the same way. That could possibly be good writing, although avoiding character development. Batman can be the same, just don't show him "trying to change" and then leave him eternally the same. That could be called bad writing because it implies character development that the writer doesn't deliver. Sure, that kind of thing happens in real life. But this isn't real life. It is a fictional film.

Like: The film has many rabid supporters, such as Scozzese at IMDb who wrote on Tue Nov 4 2014 at 21:39:47 in response to a question posed by DArKnight108 "Does anyone think this is the best Batman film?" -- "Batman Begins is the greatest of all Batman films." They don't even have to give a reason, their love is so complete. Keep in mind the statement I've made about films I don't like before: they didn't make this film for me. They made it for the millions who like it, and might even think it's the best Batman film ever done, instead of seeing it as an unholy stinker. That's the nice thing about film. Whether you like a specific one or not doesn't really matter, and there is always another one to go watch if the current one lets you down.

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The disliked aspects overwhelm anything else about the film (for me). The stylistic flourishes are nice, but I don't see the visual stylistic triumph that I spot in The Dark Knight. There is functionally no humor in the first film. At least Nolan remedied that in the middle film. Maybe it's the script for Batman Begins that is the crippling problem. The very concept of the enterprise. Nolan proved with The Dark Knight that he could have done a decent job with Batman Begins. But he failed to do so (in my eyes, of course). There should be less of a cartoon caveman's stone club used to bat you about the neck and shoulders when it comes to the concept "Batman is one sick puppy." For Pete's sake, after the first thud of that Bat-club against my skull I get the idea. The other 100 times he points this out are...unnecessary. He didn't exercise his writer/director's prerogative to doctor the script. He stuck with all his worst ideas. Now, all you who want "ultra-serious" Batman can see that it doesn't work out so well.

Or can you?

I have seen the first two of the Nolan films. The initial critical and fanboy negative response for the third film convinced me that I might as well not waste the hours and hours it takes to sit through it. That negative backlash was eventually washed away, and there are now nearly a million IMDb votes setting its rating at 8.5/10. I haven't seen it. Probably won't. As much as I'd love to watch Anne Hathaway be Selina Kyle, the trailers convinced me that I am pretty sure I don't want the rest of it anywhere near me.

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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sat May 16, 2015 5:09 am
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Ah, so if I wanted to put you in a certifiable bad mood I could tie you down and show you a double feature of Batman Begins followed by Sunshine! :evil:

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sat May 16, 2015 5:31 am
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A Comparison of
The Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

At the Helm


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Batman (1943) directed by Lambert Hillyer
Winner of coolest director name for this Multimatch, Lambert Hillyer started with silent films in 1917. After 166 confirmed directorial credits, he retired in 1956. Hillyer's films starring Wm. S. Hart made Hart a movie star. In 1943, the same year that he directed the Batman movie serial, Hillyer directed 8 other titles. IMDb asserts that Hillyer is the second most prolific director of Westerns of all time, having directed 106 Western titles between 1917 and 1949 (the winner is Lesley Selander, with one more title between 1935 and 1967). Hillyer also directed movie serials and horror films. His only work that I have seen is the 1943 Batman movie serial.


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Batman (1966) directed by Leslie H. Martinson
He was born January 16, 1915. He is still alive at 100 years old. His first director credit appeared in 1953, his last in 1989. The only work of his that I know I have seen is Batman, the 1966 movie. But Martinson directed a shipload of TV episodes, some of which were for series that my parents often tuned in, so I may have seen others of his works without knowing it. Martinson has the distinction of having directed 26 episodes of what a 2014 TV Guide list describes as the worst television series of all the 1980s: Small Wonder, which ran from 1985 to 1989.


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Batman (1989) directed by Tim Burton
Burton is the first director of something called Batman to have been generally regarded as an auteur. Although his first feature film was the bizarrely disappointing Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) he has redeemed himself with most of his efforts since. He is possibly better known as producer of Henry Selick's The Nightmare Before Christmas, though. IMDb lists 30 credits as director, although Burton has also been active producing and writing. I've seen 16 of his directorial features. Burton often manages to meld amazingly far-out design with a solid emotional core. Not that the result always works well as a film, but it is an unusual talent. Big Fish (2003) is incoherently very cool, and emotionally touching. The low points are Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), and Dark Shadows (2012). Only slightly better than those is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). I think his very best is Ed Wood (1994). But Burton always has a sense of bizarre style that I like in general, even though I don't always find it redeeming in a specific film project. His re-imagining of Planet of the Apes is fascinating to watch, but makes a lot less sense as a story than the original film, and lacks his usual emotional touch.


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Batman Begins (2005) directed by Christopher Nolan
With 10 directorial efforts under his belt by 2015, Nolan began his feature film career with Following in 1998, something which I never heard of until I bought a double-DVD package which bundled it with Memento. But I like the inventiveness of Following. This was the basic non-chronological platen for Memento (2000). Two different stories, same general story-telling technique. I have seen 8 of his 9 feature films. Memento convinced me that Nolan is a genius. But Insomnia (2002) put me to sleep (literally, not figuratively). I detested Batman Begins upon first viewing, but was impressed with The Prestige (2006). I loved the Dark Knight (2008) found Inception (2010) to be very similar to ideas I had sketched out in 1969, so I liked it pretty much. I skipped The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and finally watched Interstellar (2014) from DVD, for which I give Nolan a C for story and a B+ for concept. But it looks really pretty. A+, there. The ability to command huge budgets allows you to make things look pretty. But if your efforts lack story, well, you can still make billions of bucks, but not good movies. Nolan's output has been hit and miss with me for his entire career. In large part this is because he is an emotionally-distant filmmaker, only rarely able to command the sentimentality needed to ground a person in a movie. Intellect is wonderful, but if there is no core of caring, a viewer has to be also emotionally fairly distant in order to appreciate the result. Probably, the Nolan films which I like most are those in which he comes closest to admitting the validity of sentimentality. I applaud Hollywood for allowing him his head, but he isn't always such an all-round good filmmaker. He is an excellent box-office gamble, though, so we will see a lot from him in the future. All that matters to the movie companies is $$$. And Nolan delivers that! Fortunately, he is inventive for the most part, and that will allow him to make other films that will wow me. Eventually. No one is going to tell him to back off anything until the second one of his hundreds-of-millions-budget ideas flops. I think we are currently still waiting for the first of those failures.


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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Tue May 19, 2015 9:47 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

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IMDb link 6.6/10 with 1,135 user votes -- RT-link Tomatometer none/user rating 60% with 2,986 votes

Year: 1943 Director: Lambert Hillyer -- Cast: Lewis Wilson, Douglas Croft, J. Carrol Naish, Shirley Patterson
Length: 260 min. in 15 episodes -- B&W/Mono

There is no such thing as a Batman film being a great film, but there can be a great Batman film within the scope of all Batman films. I have not seen all Batman motion pictures, of course, nor would I ever make that a goal. It is more likely that a Batman movie will be "interesting" than "good." The character is interesting, but he is basically a detective, and detectives have a limited repertoire. All cop shows are alike at their core, the only major difference is the characters.

The villains in Batman have typically worn costumes as bizarre as the hero's own. But when the 1943 serial film was being developed, a choice equally as cliché was made: to use a somewhat more "realistic" villain. Doctor Daka is a Japanese spy living in Gotham City. It becomes Batman's undercover job as a Federal agent to seek him out and take him down. Batman and Robin have secret street identities, but Daka hides in his lair, which is disguised as a carnival haunted house ride: The Japanese Cave of Horrors. Amazingly, even in wartime Gotham City, there are young couples who still come to ride it.

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The plot is silly. But the cliff-hangers are gripping enough. I'm not sure I would have watched this all the way through if I had to buy a ticket each Saturday morning to go to the theater, or even if I had to tune in on a specific night to see it. My first viewing, in a theater when I was 14, was made up of all 15 episodes straight through, with cliff-hangers edited out, of course. The anti "Jap" narration was edited out. I don't remember whether the lines where the pejorative was used were left intact or not.

There are too many fights. They are too much alike. The stunt double used for young Croft is heavier and more muscular, and it is noticeable, but Burt Ward's 1966 stunt double doesn't look much like him, either. The 1943 stunt actor's height and proportional build is fairly close to that of the young actor's. Yet in this serial with Robin's legs being bare, the muscular difference is quite obvious between the 16-year old actor and George Robotham, the somewhat older stuntman. Also, Robotham's shoulders are proportionally wider than Croft's. Honestly, that is the major difference that you can see. But that difference becomes just one of the many unintentional cues for audience amusement in these 15 short episodes.

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Croft, left photo. Robotham, right photo.

Here are some aspects of the film and whether I like them or don't care for them:

Like: The brashness and nearly equal naivety exhibited by this movie serial are among its most charming qualities. Hardly anyone had done this before. No one had ever tried to make this comic duo into flesh and blood characters portrayed on screen by actors. Superman was first brought into the cinema two years earlier, but as Fleischer animated cartoons. Not as live action. Captain Marvel was the first live-action comic superhero to appear on the big screen, in 1941. Spy-Smasher made it the following year, so Batman was only the third effort to bring stories about costumed warriors to audiences through the magic of the movies. And Batman got three extra episodes to tell its tale.

Like: Linda Page (played by Shirley Patterson) is Bruce Wayne's girlfriend, and the niece of Martin Wallace, a factory owner who has been framed, and is finally released from prison. But Wayne always acts disinterested in everything, as if life is boring. So she has no idea that Bruce is the Batman. Dick Grayson warns Bruce that he is carrying the act too far.

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Like: The original music is catchy and memorable.
Don't Like: The original music gets stuck in my head, and it is damned tenacious.

Like: Actually, seeing something that was made when my parents were teenagers is kind of fun. Despite its shortcomings as a movie, the relationships between the characters are fairly good. Lewis Wilson doesn't look like Batman, but he plays the part with a certain concern that is nice to see, and as Bruce Wayne he is believable.

Don't Like: Well, I mentioned the fights above. But, damn, there are so many of them. And, as I also said above, they don't vary much.
Like: It is kind of amusing to try to catch the edits where Douglas Croft will play Robin up to a certain point in a fight scene, and then George Robotham will take over the role. Most of the time this is done after a cutaway to a different shot. But once or twice in the 260 minutes of mayhem there is a jump cut and suddenly Robotham is substituted for Croft! Did they think we wouldn't notice? Or are these just splices in the only copy of that episode that could be found for the DVD restoration?

Like: It is kind of interesting to see what Robin would be like if he were actually 16 years old. He's realistically impetuous, but I don't think they have him speak often enough. Many 16 year olds talk a lot when you don't want them to. Maybe Robin is more disciplined? As for Croft's acting, sometimes he's merely there, even when delivering lines, and sometimes he manages to actually draw something out of himself. It's not consistent. I suppose there is a parallel here to my interest in seeing Peter Pan in 2003, with a real boy playing the boy who wouldn't grow up. 1943 is the only time a live action teenager has played Robin the Boy Wonder.

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Like: This one and the next seem to be at odds but it's the truth, so I'll go with it. This reminds me so much of the shows I used to watch on TV in the 1950s and 1960s that were recycled from when I was in diapers. Shows such as The Adventures of Superman. There is something very soothing about the way they are shot, acted and edited that I can't define. Maybe it's not in the film. Maybe it's in me, and the way the world seemed when I was a little boy.
Don't Like: Maybe it's because I grew up in the golden age of television, but I saw this same kind of story told again and again in episodes of my favorite TV shows over the years. By the time I saw the ancient serial at a movie theater in 1966, it was old hat. Old, old hat. Spies, WWII, henchmen, fist fights. It was all creaky, overly familiar stuff, except for the presence of Batman and Robin. And their costumes were ridiculous. No wonder the kids in the audience cackled and jeered at it!

Don't Like: Okay, so Batman and Robin cruise around Gotham City in Bruce Wayne's limousine, driven by Alfred, Wayne's butler. Wouldn't that sort of obviate the effectiveness of secret identities? "Uhm, uh, oh yes, we, uhm, borrowed Mr. Wayne's automobile and his driver for the, uhm, evening." That's a fridge logic line, of course. But, come on. Low budget or not, who could fail to cackle at that flaw?

Don't Like: "This was part of a foreign land, transplanted bodily to America and known as little Tokyo. Since a wise government rounded up the shifty-eyed Japs, it has become virtually a ghost street." Really? The narrator actually said that? You don't have to be Japanese in order to hate that kind of crap talk.

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Don't Like: The truth is that before the motion picture industry was a half-century old it had run out of ideas. That wasn't something that developed in the late 20th century at all. This serial film is an excellent demonstration of that. The plot devices are time-worn: kidnappings, mistaken identities, bombs, spies, crooks, heroes, maidens in distress, rescues, fistfights. If you go to the unnecessary length of watching the 1949 follow-up you'll see most of the same things done again. And again. Only not as well.

Like: In the Japanese Cave of Horrors there is a figure of a cavemen, it just stands near the actual hidden door to Daka's headquarters. The figure is actually a bodyguard who poses there as his job! Later in the serial he attacks someone who is trying to enter Daka's HQ. I believe that is the only time the man playing him does anything other than move his eyes subtly to signal that he is real and not a plaster figure. Isn't that goofy? But as a kid I bought the idea.

Don't Like: Daka has many different devices, all of which are weird sci-fi gadgets from the minds of the 1940s. He can brainwash people electronically, and turn them into pliant zombies. But he also has a device similar to a television with which he can see remote locations to spy on his henchmen or zombies. How does he do this without cameras located there? Especially in 1943. Why does it bother me at all? No idea. It's just that camera-free electronic images don't make sense to my brain. It used to bother me when I'd watch Star Trek, and there would be a remote image from somewhere. I'd wonder where the camera was. But that was supposed to be the year 2264. Maybe technology would handle it with an unknown device. The Batman story is set in 1943. TV cameras were the size of refrigerators. That would be difficult to hide.

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I have to confess that I was disappointed by the audience reaction the time I saw this whole thing on the movie screen. See, like many of you pre-Batman Begins, I wanted Batman to be taken seriously. Here's the deal. The movie serial takes Batman and Robin quite seriously. But it comes off as silly. If you read the comics they are just like the serial, but they don't come off as silly.

Why?

I think maybe Batman exists in your mind. You fill in all the blanks, and within your heart there is a Batman, and a Batman story. To translate that to the screen creates the same kind of problems that the makers of the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon movie serials faced. It just can't be made to be serious. That's why I think the 1943 serial might be a bit of a misfire, yet it is fun to watch. It doesn't drag very often.

Here are the super-hero movie serials early in the history of super-hero films: Captain Marvel 1941; Spy Smasher 1942; Batman 1943; Superman 1948, but with animated flying scenes, Batman & Robin 1949. This was all "kid stuff" and made as serials because boys (and whatever girls were interested in such stuff) were out of school on the weekends. They could go to movie theaters on Saturday and catch the latest episode.

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In creating something like Batman there wasn't a whole lot of cachet to draw on other than Westerns. Lambert Hillyer was known for directing Westerns. And this seems a lot like a Western, a lot like a cop movie. That's in terms of plot, execution, the frequency of fistfights, and the style of dialog. I guess that makes sense. It's fun, in a cut-and-dried way. Like buying ready made clothing off the rack. No brainwork.


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Batman (serial) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "The film was made at the height of World War II and, like numerous works of popular American fiction of the time, contains anti-German and, in this case, anti-Japanese ethnic slurs and comments (in one scene, one of Daka's henchmen turns on him, saying, 'That's the kind of answer that fits the color of your skin.')."

Lambert Hillyer. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "Lambert Hillyer (July 8, 1893 – July 5, 1969)[1] was an American film director and screenwriter. He directed more than 160 films between 1917 and 1949."

Lambert Hillyer. IMDb. "A former journalist who came from a show-business family--his mother was actress Lydia Knott--western specialist Lambert Hillyer entered films in 1917."

Lewis Wilson (I)(1920–2000) IMDb.

Douglas Croft (1926–1963) IMDb. "Who was the first "Robin, the Boy Wonder"? No, not Burt Ward, but this popular, curly-haired child actor of the 1940s. In addition to being in the first "Batman" film, he appeared in many other major films, mostly at Warner Brothers."

J. Carrol Naish (1896–1973) IMDb. "Best known for playing East Indian, Latin and Arab characters."

Shirley Patterson (I) (1922–1995) IMDb. "She was an actress, known for It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), The Land Unknown (1957) and Batman (1943)."

Review: BATMAN (1943) Author: Mark S. Reinhart on Batman-On-Film.com "Mark S. Reinhart is the author of THE BATMAN FILMOGRAPHY." "Obviously, Batman was trying to bridge a rather uncomfortable gap between real-life threats to America and escapist entertainment. This combination might have seemed appropriate in the heat of the World War II years, but it will surely make 2005 audiences somewhat uncomfortable --many of the anti-Japanese sentiments found in Batman’s scenes involving Daka come across now as bigoted and hysterical."

Big Screen Batman: The 1943 and 1949 Batman Serials Danny Bowes on tor.com Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:41pm. "The Batman of Columbia’s first serial would bear some very striking, some might say fundamental, differences to the Batman of Detective Comics. For one, the Batman of the serial was working directly for the U.S. government as a contract agent. This choice was not arbitrary: in 1943, the United States was fully engaged in World War II against the Axis, and the entertainment industry was working in a far closer manner with the government than we, nearly seventy years later, are accustomed (or frankly, would be comfortable)."

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:18 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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Well, the short answer is, "No." Batman as presented in comics has changed across the years. The changes have been driven by responses from the writers and artists to various cultural phenomena, and even the sales figures of the comic books. The changes in the comic world have been mimicked by the cinema industry. The plethora of animated Batman movies and series occupy an odd interim situation where the drawings seem to move on their own; they are neither comic books nor "real" movies. Yet these are the most memorable Batman versions for some people.

While I was pondering what to write here I found a link on the Sploid blog (I think it was) to a Vimeo video, cut together by Jacob T. Swinney. There is a link to it below. It is a pretty good condensed view of all the Batman motion picture styles so far, except it leaves out the future Batman of Batman Beyond, because it includes only the first animated Batman film to get much notice. Swinney's video made it possible for me to see excerpts from the major Batman cinemincarnations without juggling optical discs and .wmv files on my own. And it's something that you can watch, too, to get a certain idea in a way that a lot of words written by me would not get across as well.

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The celluloid Batman doesn't get mentally bizarre or have questionable motives until 1989. Yet, there is a thread of benign menace that begins in 1943 and runs through all the incarnations apart from the William Dozier living comic book. In the 1943 Batman movie serial Batman and Robin are registered and sworn agents of the government of the United States of America. In the 1949 Batman and Robin serial they are allies who work closely with the Gotham City police department. In the Dozier series, they are duly deputized law enforcement officers of Gotham City. In 1989 Batman is a helpful vigilante, not being sought by the cops, but one who is tolerated.

To a greater extent than with even the animated series, the Dozier Batman movie and TV series transplanted the comic book characters to live-action with the unexpected result that much of the hilarity was from simply having actors and actresses speak and behave as the drawings in the comic pages had always done.

Dozier didn't totally ignore how crazy Bruce Wayne/Batman might have been. In fact there is one scene in the third season where Wayne/Batman is on the phone with two people simultaneously, and is supposed to be both his identities at the same time, having a conversation with one another. It is an acting coup for Adam West, showing that he plays Wayne one way and Batman another, but it's also rather multiple-personality and schizoid at the same time.

If you leave out the Dozier Batman, then the rest of the Batman live action films have made an attempt to translate Batman the character, but not the comic book itself, to the screen. The results range from watchable, but not arresting (1949), to boringly serious (2005), to vital but weird (1943), to quite strange, but engaging (1989). One of the four celebs who sit down with Adam West on the Blu-ray Complete Series extras disc says that whatever Batman you first see is the "real" Batman for you.

I agree that it's a supportable idea, but in this case (as in thousands of my life experiences) my own reactions to all the Batman incarnations doesn't support it. My first live-action Batman was the 1966 television series. And to my 13-year-old self this was not Batman, because I didn't see that it was (indeed) the Batman of the comic books I had been devouring. Thirteen-year old me also got to see the 1943 serial (all in one sitting at a movie theater as "An Evening with Batman & Robin"), but I didn't like it any better than the Dozier series. Instead, the first screen Batman that I liked was my third screen Batman: in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman.

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I was 37 years old when I met him. He seemed more like the Batman I remembered from the comic books I used to read. The Burton film doesn't lose the vision that Batman is at its base a silly idea, but it isn't quite so flamboyant as the Dozier show. "Not quite" is an important adjective, here. Flamboyance remains, of course.

I recently watched the animated DC Comics film Batman vs Robin (2015), and saw a new Batman on screen, that I hadn't ever seen before (oh, except in the Son of Batman graphic novel compilation): the father. Reluctant father, for sure, but someone who cannot totally disown the boy he contributed to with Talia al Ghul. I think Damian Wayne might be my favorite incarnation of Robin, even though my first Robin was Dick Grayson. Sadly, in the New 52 comic book continuity Damian has already been killed.

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Batman characters lend themselves to cosplay and fan created artworks. On the right is some fanart including Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Bruce Wayne and Alfred's hands. Superheroes all. Father's Day 2049. Could not trace to its source. But I like the image because it speaks to the fact that once Bruce Wayne took on all these various kids as his wards and to become Robin to his Batman, the commitment would be for life, just as with a real life father. Of course the various comic continuities have several others acting as Batman over the years, but outside of animation none of that has been brought to the screen.

If you have a favorite Batman incarnation, live-action or animated, which one is it? How does the presence or absence of Robin affect your understanding of that Batman? And it's okay with me if your fave Bats is the one from the 2005 film.



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The Evolution of Batman in Cinema from Jacob T. Swinney on vimeo "A journey through the evolution of Batman on the big screen and cinema as a whole. From the serials of the 1940s to the Christopher Nolan blockbusters, watch as the iconic character transforms within the different eras of filmmaking."

Batfamily fan art. 2049 father's day. Unable to trace to source.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:45 am
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Father's Day in the U.S. is a week from tomorrow (on 21 June 2015). I wasn't sure I could get this post up before then, but I did it!

I can't call or go to see my father on that day (or any other). If you still can and you don't hate him, give him a call or a visit.

If you hate him you probably have your reasons.

And if he hates you, he probably has his.

If you have a son or daughter whom you haven't seen in a while, and if that is maybe your doing, not an ex-Wife's or the kid's, then it might be a good excuse to renew contact, if you have a way.

And all that relates a great deal more to the Batman stories than it does to you, I hope!

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:55 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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First Celluloid Outing: the 1943 15-chapter Serial Film

Batman is possibly my favorite superhero. If he isn't, he doesn't lag far behind Spiderman. But before I ever saw Spiderman, there was no rival to Batman for my fan affection. For the record, Flash was in second place. I liked his ability to move with great speed. When I was a young teenager, I was unaware that Batman had ever been brought to the movie screen before the 1966 TV series.

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Of all the sets of films we've looked at together, this is the only one where everything is either a serial or a series. Think about that. No one has ever made just one self-contained Batman movie and left it at that. The first two celluloid outings are 15-chapter movie serials. The third is a 120-episode television series, plus a theatrical film. The fourth outing is a film with three sequels. The fifth outing is a film with two sequels.

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You have likely never heard of actors Lewis Wilson or Douglas Croft. But you have heard of two characters that they played in 1943. Lewis Wilson was the first actor to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. Lambert Hillyear, likewise not a household name, was the first film director to tackle bringing the story of a costumed detective and his juvenile sidekick to the screen from the pages of "the Batman Comic Magazine Feature appearing in Detective Comics and Batman magazines." Yeah, that's how they say it in the credits.

Even by 1966 the 1943 costumes and acting were laughable. (Which makes me wonder if they were laughable in 1943.) Plus, there are weird things that we didn't think to question at the time: There was no Batmobile. By 1943 the comic books had a Batmobile, but this film doesn't. Batman and Robin ride around town driven by Bruce Wayne's chauffeur Alfred Pennyworth, in Wayne's limousine. Wouldn't that blow the dual identity cover? Well, it doesn't in this serial film. At least when they change from Wayne & Grayson to Batman & Robin (apparently they wear their bat costumes beneath their street clothes at all times) they ask Alfred to raise the cloth roof on the car.

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They don't talk about Bat-this and Bat-that. Except the Bat's Cave. They talk about the Bat's Cave, and they go there. DC comics thought it was such a great idea that they added it to the comic books. Yeah, Victor MacLeod, Leslie Swabacker and Harry Fraser invented the Bat's Cave as they were writing these by-the-numbers episodes. And the secret entrance to the Bat's Cave is through a grandfather clock in the Wayne mansion.

It's very much like a radio play with pictures. Nothing truly astonishing ever happens. The dialog is light-weight. The plot is rarely complex. There is no character evolution from start to finish.

It is a solidly predictable tale of an Asian spy, Dr. Daka, attempting to take over the United States during World War II. The stakes are always so high in these serials! Buck Rogers saves the world. Nothing short of that. And Flash Gordon, well he saves the Universe! With those things already saved, only "the country" was left for Batman and Robin to preserve. But they had to be fighting against either Nazis or "the Yellow Menace" during WWII. The Joker would have seemed immaterial to kids in the middle of a war. Or the studio execs believed that he would.

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In 1966 the repackaged, pretty much full length serial film retitled "An Evening with Batman and Robin" was terribly goofy and laughable. When I see it as an old man, I realize that I am watching something that was on movie screens nine years before I ever appeared. It was something that had been heavily influenced by an event that was critical in 1943, but was only memories on TV by the time I was able to pay attention to much of anything. Combat, The Rat Pack, and such TV shows did the Western treatment to WWII. That's what the war was to my generation. TeeVee. So, because we thought those shows were goofy, we thought this 1943 Batman was goofy.

Well, that and the ham-handed plotting, and the silly costumes!

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As mentioned in the review, Douglas Croft, who was 16 years old at the time of shooting, played Robin without tights. Yep, those are his own bare legs that dangle from the bottoms of his Robin swim briefs and plunge into the pixie boots on his feet. Lewis Wilson (only 24 at the time) as Batman is slightly thick around the middle (as one reviewer reputedly wrote) not cutting a Greek statuesque figure in his tights, at all. And what are those things atop his cowl? Bat's ears? Devil horns?

Daka has a machine that brainwashes people and turns them into remote-controlled zombies. They are even referred to as "zombies" by Daka. He has a microphone (always with a cord, of course) that he carries everywhere in his lair, and can control the robots by voice command. He also has a trap door in his office that opens to (are you sitting down?) an alligator pit.

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An ultimate silliness: characters in the movie don't seem to realize things that they couldn't possibly ignore in real life. But this is fiction. Sadly, the second outing (1949) is much worse.

For those interested in older films watching the 1943 movie serial is a kind of an interesting diversion. But mainlining it is a mistake. I know. I did that as a teenager. Stick with this dosing schedule: one tablet in the evening by eye for fifteen days. Consume with a liberal side of laughter.


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Iron fist vs spiderman postd by Posted by batman4stealth2attack on comicvine.com

batman jpg from cartoonpics.net

The 8 actors who’ve played Batman from Den of Geek. by James Aquilone & Rob Leane. posted 5 Feb 2015 - 12:25 "Wilson was the first and youngest actor ever to play the adult Batman, and also the least successful. At 23, the unknown thespian donned the cape and the cowl in the 15-part 1943 Columbia serial Batman. While he looked the part of the dashing playboy, his physique was more Danny DeVito as the Penguin. One critic described Wilson as “thick about the middle.” Maybe that was why he wore his utility belt just below his chest."

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:52 pm
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A Comparison of
The Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

Soundtrack

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Batman (1943) music by Lee Zahler
"Music department (295 credits)", "Composer (123 credits)", "Soundtrack (14 credits)" are the legends on tabs that appear on the IMDb page for Lee Zahler (1893-1947). Where he is listed as composer, it means he wrote and conducted the music. Batman (1943) is in that group, and he gets a screen credit. Where he is listed as Music Department it means that he edited the music for the film, selected the cuts used in the film, but might not have written them. However, he is also listed as Musical Director - uncredited for the movie serial. The music he composed for Batman has staying power. It can get stuck in your head. There are a number of cuts that recycle throughout the serial, of course. Zahler also composed music used in 122 other motion pictures. He may have composed especially for the title, or music he composed may have been used in them. Beginning in 1940 Zahler gets more and more specific credits at IMDb, even though the studios are still picking up cuts that he composed for other films. His first composer credit appears in 1929 for College Love. His last is for Jack Armstrong (1947). He died in that year at age 53. He was the son of Austro-Hungarian parents who immigrated to New York. In a typically US story, he died in California.


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Batman (1966) music by Nelson Riddle
I grew up watching TV programs where the name of Nelson Riddle figured prominently in those announced aloud during the opening credits. IMDb lists 95 titles with Riddle credited as Composer, 79 for Music Department. Many of he motion pictures he scored were television series and episodes thereof. He is listed as composer for 93 Batman episodes, and for the 1966 Movie. Riddle's compositions were available to the public as LP recordings, and as sheet music for those who wished to play the themes themselves. His first credit as composer appears on Flame of the Islands (1956); his last was for a 1985 television special, International Championship of Magic. He was born in Oradell, NJ in 1921, and died in Los Angeles, CA 64 years later.


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Batman (1989) music by Danny Elfman
When his brother Richard Elfman needed music for the 1980 comedy Forbidden Zone, Danny Elfman was chosen. The IMDb says that the Elfmans had started a musical troupe in Paris a few years earlier. And that they created the musical group "Mystic Knights of the Oingo-Boingo" for the film. He is still composing, having reached 101 credits for release through 2016. Elfman crosses genres in both cinematic and musical terms. In 1985 he paired with director Tim Burton on the score for Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Over the years the two have merged their work on many of Burton's projects, including Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).


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Batman Begins (2005) music by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer
It always seems odd to me when a film "needs" two composers. There's nothing wrong with it, I always just wonder why. Howard has 149 Composer credits listed at IMDb starting in 1985 with Head office. Zimmer has 169 listed credits as Composer beginning with Success Is the Best Revenge (1984). Both men have reached the point where they work only on high-profile pictures. Both have credits on Batman Begins (2005), Zimmer goes on for The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

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Lee Zahler IMDb.
Nelson Riddle IMDb.
Danny Elfman IMDb.
James Newton Howard IMDb.
Hans Zimmer IMDb.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:52 am
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A Comparison of
The Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

The Writers

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Batman (1943) written by Victor McLeod, Leslie Swabacker and Harry Fraser
Victor McLeod garnered 116 writing credits between 1933 and 1967, starting out with comic or animated short films. He then moved on to serial films, then to television. McLeod dabbled in animation, composition of music, and producing during his career. During 1943 Fraser worked on both the Batman serial and The Phantom.
Leslie Swabacker has only 7 writing credits at IMDb. Batman is smack in the middle of those. If the database is to be believed, Swabacker did something else with his time except between 1936 and 1947.
Harry L. Fraser has more directorial credits than he has writing credits (84 to 75). His earliest credit is for acting, in 1915. He got his first writer credit in 1926 for The Sheep Trail. His first confirmed directorial credit was for The Wildcat (1925). His final directing credit was for Chained for Life (1952). Most of his work was in Westerns, which is no surprise. I think most B films made during those years were probably in that genre. His last writing credit was for the Western movie Wanted: Dead or Alive (1951), when he was 62 years old. He lived to be 85. Batman looks like his first venture outside the Western genre. The next year he was one of the seven writers for the Captain America movie serial. After that, back to Westerns.


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Batman (1966) written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
Although six other men have writing credit as creators of the characters in the 1966 Batman movie, Semple is given the credit "written by." He wrote between 1955 and 1996. Batman: The Movie is his first theatrical feature credit. His seventh feature credit is for Papillon (1973), which is in the IMDb top 250. His name appears elsewhere in this thread as the writer of the 1976 King Kong film. He also penned the James Bond screenplay Never Say Never Again (1983). After 1966 all his writing credits are for features (and only one is made for TV), except for the Batman TV series.


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Batman (1989) written by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren
Sam Hamm has nine writing credits on IMDb. Two of them are for Tim Burton's Batman movies. One is for Monkeybone (2001), one of my least favorite films during the entire run of human history.
Warren Skaaren has four writing credits. The fourth is for the 1989 Batman film. He also has a credit for Burton's Beetlejuice (1988). Skaaren was one of 7 writers for Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).


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Batman Begins (2005) written by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan
David S. Goyer wrote Death Warrant (1990) to kick off his writing career. Goyer later wrote Dark City (1998) and the three Blade film adaptations. Goyer has written video games, as well as all three of Christopher Nolan's Batman films. His current writing projects are The Forest (2016) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
I think Christopher Nolan is well-enough known as a writer that I can let it suffice to say that he was one of the screenplay writers for all three Batman films that he directed. You already know that he is known as a producer and director, mostly for films that he also helped write. His first theatrical release, Memento (2000) garnered a writing Oscar nomination for Nolan. And he has been at the precarious top ever since. He seems to be balancing well up there, though, so far. He often has writing credits alongside his brother Jonathan, and this is true for The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) who co-wrote the screenplays for those two films, and who co-wrote Interstellar (2014).


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Victor McLeod (1903–1972) IMDb.

Leslie Swabacker (1885–1955) IMDb.

Harry L. Fraser (1889–1974) IMDb.

Lorenzo Semple Jr. (1923–2014) IMDb.

Sam Hamm IMDb.

Warren Skaaren (1946–1990) IMDb.

David S. Goyer IMDb.

Christopher Nolan IMDb.

Jonathan Nolan IMDb.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
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Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:21 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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Second Celluloid Outing: the 1949 15-chapter Serial Film


Apparently the 1943 Batman movie serial had done well enough that a sequel seemed to be good business. WWII was over, and a super-criminal called the Wizard could be the villain this time. But they still didn't use a villain from the comics. Robert Lowery plays Wayne/Batman in the 1949 serial film Batman and Robin.

There is still no Batmobile. Batman drives a 1949 Mercury convertible sedan. The budget is so low that this serial had no chance of being good. I wonder if any kids showed up at their local theater to see the second episode! The music is earworm, though; that's for sure.

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To save myself the time of going through the entire 15 episodes of the serial in order to find a few stills, I took the not-unprecedented step of borrowing from websites. The link to my Google image search is posted below if you want to track down the credit sources for any of the images. Thanks to those from whom I stole.

One of the reviewers who posted a photo I borrowed here had the audacity to say that, "Batman made his screen debut well before Adam West and company turned the franchise into a joke" Sorry Daniel Strohl, it was a cinematic joke before 1966. Doesn't translate well to film. This 1949 entry is just as much a joke as the Dozier television series...maybe much more so, because these jokes aren't intentional. At least Dozier's people were honest with you.

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If the scheme to take over America seemed a stretch in the 1943 serial, the scheme in this one ups it once or twice. The Wizard has stolen a machine that can remotely control vehicles. How? Never explained. But with this device the Wizard seems to be able to make any specific vehicle do any specific thing: stop, start, turn, crash, break down...remotely. Did 9-year olds buy that silly idea? I'm almost certain that 12 year olds would have been too savvy to believe it possible.

The menace in this film makes no sense. As weird as Doctor Daka is in the 1943 outing, at least the idea of a spy trying to infiltrate an enemy nation has some kernel of possibility. The Wizard's vehicle remote-controller...well, that's even goofier than Daka's voice-command robot-zombie control. You don't even have to wait until after the film to apply fridge logic to question how The Wizard could pick out one car or truck from a line of traffic and make it alone do his bidding. [EDIT 150726: But take a look at this article I just discovered on Wired.com.]

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Somehow they work a red herring into the serial concerning the identity of the Wizard, but it's easy enough to figure out. Once again the villain has a hi-tech method of checking on who's standing at the door to his secret lair. In 1943 there was a fluoroscope (an x-ray device) that revealed a secret symbol embedded in a ring. The 1949 outing has a some-kind-o-scope that the Wizard looks into, and can see through the rock walls of his lair, apparently. Hmm.

Commissioner Gordon is present in this movie serial. He uses the Bat-signal to summon Batman. It works during the daylight at one time! And Batman uses a full-sized acetylene torch that he pulls from his otherwise empty utility belt in one scene. There is much hilarity in this outing, but it's harder to spot the difference between Johnny Duncan's Robin and his stunt man in this one.

In a quest for total realism, the dynamic duo stow their bat costumes in a file cabinet.

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Johnny Duncan had to wear tights when he played a strangely old Robin in 1949. (So did Burt Ward in the 1966 revival.) Of course, back in 1949 no one knew about Nightwing. Duncan was 26 when he donned the pixie boots, and the director had him cover up his hairy legs with those tights. Still, the only way I can buy Robin in this movie serial is to think of the Boy Wonder as a 19 or 20-year old ephebe instead of a boy. It was handy of the Ancient Greeks to give us a term (ephebos) to use for young men between the ages of 18 and 20 (I guess that was the age span of military service). But the 26-year old Johnny Duncan cannot conceivably be The "Boy" Wonder. And that's another of the aspects of the 1949 serial that just doesn't work for me. Duncan wasn't supposed to be playing that old a character.


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Watch this one only for historical purposes, or because you wonder what a truly poorly-made Batman vehicle would be like. 261 minutes after you begin, you will know for certain. (Do you really want to?)



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1949 batman and robin Google image search result. The source of all my images for this essay (didn't feel like pulling frame grabs from the DVDs).

Batman and Robin (1949) “Tunnel of Terror” 3 gifs from the episode posted at Raiders of the Lost Tumblr randar.com

The caped crusader and the COE, circa 1943 Hemmings Daily Written by Daniel Strohl Oct 20th, 2011 at 8am. "True comic book buffs know that Batman made his screen debut well before Adam West and company turned the franchise into a joke: A pair of serials in 1943 and 1949 featured the caped crusader as well as a unique armored car that’s caused us to suddenly pay more attention to superhero history."

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:32 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

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IMDb link 6.5/10 with 20,852 user votes -- RT-link Tomatometer 80%/user rating 62% with 138,008 votes

Year: 1966 Director: Leslie H. Martinson -- Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton -- Length: 105 min. Color/Mono -- estimated budget: $1,377,800

It is a matter of record that the motion picture based on the 1966 Batman vision was released in July 1966. The series premiered in January of that year, and finished its first 34-episode season on May 5, 1966. Some people say that the movie came out first, in order to promote the series. That was William Dozier's original idea, but apparently 20th Century Fox nixed the idea, although they were willing to have partial financial participation in the TV series. With the success of the television franchise, there was little question that a theatrical film would be released.

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The theater in Little Rock was packed when I saw the film with my younger brother in August 1966. I was disappointed that the Neal Hefti minimalist theme song was not used in the film's opening credits. I was disappointed that the animated opening was not used in the film. I was utterly crushed that Julie Newmar was not there to be Catwoman. Yet, Lee Meriwether's dual role gave me odd stirrings in my utility belt. And Burt Ward's arms gave me ideas about my own upper arms (more on that later). So, overall I thought my father's money was fairly well-spent when I left the theater to be driven home.

It is rather impossible to separate the 1966 film from the television program. The major difference is that the film is 1.78:1 screen ratio and the TV show is 4:3. Oh, and the film had a somewhat larger prop budget.

Here are some aspects of the film and whether I like them or don't care for them:

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These are the stunt stand-ins, not West and Ward, at least no Ward in the Batmobile!

Like: The film, and the series itself, take a "have fun with it!" approach to acting, prop design, set decoration and everything. Except for certain personality types this having fun on the part of the presenters leeches into the minds of the viewers, and makes it more fun to watch.
Don't Like: Well, if you sit down to watch the entire television series you will find out that the schtick doesn't hold up all that well. After a while it gets routine and maybe tiresome. But the schtick certainly holds up for an hour and a half.

Like: There is a definite "chemistry" between Burt Ward and Adam West as Robin and Batman. Even when they are standing there reading cue cards (which happens more often in the TV show than in this movie) they keep a bright rapport with one another. Neither seems to be trying to one-up the other. And they are fun to watch.

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Like: The writers throw so many of the Bat-villains into the story that there isn't time for any one of them to become as boring as he/she would be in a 2-episode TV script. Catwoman is always the best, as far as I'm concerned, no matter who plays her. I think it's because she has fewer affectations than the other costumed baddies.
Don't Like: Penguin, the Riddler, and the Joker are in this movie. I tire of "wack, wack, waaack!" and of "Haw haw haw haaaaw!" and of "Haaaaw haw haw haaaaw!" (The only appearances of the Joker on celluloid that I find okay are in the 1989 and 2008 films. The only one I really enjoy as an acting exercise is Ledger's.)

Like: There is a certain cleverness to the silliness. So unless you are totally put off by the goofy presentation of the characters and events in the film ("Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!") even that summer-camp-skit ambiance is part of the entertainment in the show.
Don't Like: Flippers on penguin's sub? I suppose I should like this (clever) but I don't. In fact, I think when that first sub with flippers scene flashed upon the screen in the movie theater, my soul got up and walked out while the rest of me stayed in the seat.
Don't Like: They tried to include too many bat-gadgets for the run-time they have. Of course, some of the footage found its way into 2d season TV episodes, but there are still too many in this movie.

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Like: In a wonderfully odd cameo, famous television exercise guru, Jack LaLanne, is seen leading a group of women in exercises on top of a building in Gotham as B & R fly over in the Bat copter. You are almost all too young to see it, having never seen Mr. LaLanne on TV. But his exercise show was on in many cities, as he was in Little Rock of the day, at 6:30 am. Every weekday. He has a certain way of moving that you can spot even when he's 1/2-inch high on the screen. And he taught me on TV that lifting weights could build my muscles.

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As a 14 year old I had matchstick upper arms. I admired Burt Ward's biceps and I wanted to make my arms look like that. But I couldn't save up enough money to buy dumbbells. Those devices were all still cast-iron things in those days. Why didn't it just occur to me that I could do push-ups daily and build my arms? No idea. Oh, maybe because I could only do 5 push-ups before I was the victim of spaghetti-arms. And I had no idea that Ward was nearly a decade older than me, or the changes that the upcoming decade would naturally bring about in my own arms. I was such an ignorant kid. Didn't know nothin'.

Your life won't be damaged if you never see this film (a statement that probably applies to every film). These days it is as much of a historical document as it is an entertainment film. Some of the jokes are definitely topical and temporal. Characters that wouldn't have been thought of as good to include, even six years later, appear in the series. The general color scheme of the comic books is used for the entire series, but once in a while psychedelic colors and patterns are used because they were becoming the next thing back in 1966.

If Batman Begins is the real Batman film for you, you might want to skip this one. There is only subsurface darkness in this film. On the surface it is bright, shiny and whimsical.


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Batman (1966 film) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Batman (TV series) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lorenzo Semple, Jr. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adam West From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Burt Ward From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alan Napier From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Batman: The Movie (1966) : This movie sucks IMDb. A forum thread. by tseybert: "With all due respect, people who don't like this movie should shut up their stupid fat faces and never share their opinions on any subject ever again. (Did that come off as a bit harsh? Maybe I've been spending too much time around Christopher Nolan fans.)"

Batman: The Movie (1966) IMDb.

Batman (1966–1968) IMDb.

The longest-running TV exercise program began in September, 1953, as a 15 minute local morning program in San Francisco, and continued until 1985. What is the name of this show? from BartCopE!

Robin (Burt Ward) batman.wikia.com "I remember why they cast Burt Ward. He was already twenty-one but sounded like fifteen." - Alan Napier

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:46 am
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I'm still reading through this, but I'll mention that I caught one of the '40s Batman episodes not long ago and it didn't seem much different than a regular detective show. Not much happened and the whole thing was basically a set-up for "next time on Batman!". The cable guide said it was Batman and I had to wait until the last few minutes before I could get confirmation by seeing the Batsuit that it was actually Batman. I think it was the 1943 series.

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Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:59 am
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Quite-Gone Genie wrote:
I'm still reading through this, but I'll mention that I caught one of the '40s Batman episodes not long ago and it didn't seem much different than a regular detective show. Not much happened and the whole thing was basically a set-up for "next time on Batman!". The cable guide said it was Batman and I had to wait until the last few minutes before I could get confirmation by seeing the Batsuit that it was actually Batman. I think it was the 1943 series.

Both the movie serials would have seemed like that for the most part. If memory serves correctly, there is actually more of a Batman and Robin presence in the 1943 serial than there is in the 1949. The latter one seems to be more focused on The Wizard than on the superheroes. Then again, because there are 15 episodes in each, the amount of B&R screen time can vary a bit.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:03 pm
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Not on current topic at all... and extremely late to the game... but I finally watched the 1990 Lord of the Flies yesterday. Wow. I thought it was great. I've been going through all of your essays to reread them. Bang up job on that rematch, YTMN. As always, your insights are a pleasure to read!

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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

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IMDb link 7.6/10 with 239,175 user votes -- RT-link Tomatometer 72%/user rating 84% with 906,632 votes

Year: 1989 Director: Tim Burton -- Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough -- Length: 126 min. Color/Stereo -- estimated budget: $35,000,000; US gross $251,188,924

If there is a "better" Tim Burton Batman film, I'd have to say it's this one. I like Batman Returns, if a bit less. (And, of course, I consider Nolan's The Dark Knight to be the very best Batman film ever made.) As for this film, I just don't think Jack Nicholson was good casting for The Joker. Going in, I felt a little daunted by the knowledge that Michael Keaton was going to play Wayne/Batman, but when I left the theater I was convinced that he was an admirable choice for the roles. Better as Batman than as Wayne.

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Once again, I repeat that for me Batman films are enjoyable fun, but not life-changing, so I'd never call a Batman vehicle a great film. But this one is well-done, and it doesn't drag like the 2005 rehash does. At first I felt the absence of Robin very acutely, but by halfway through the film I didn't miss the little dude at all. Truth is, except for the serials and the Dozier show, Robin is not always there. In some of the early Batman comic book tales Robin was absent, even after he was introduced in Detective Comics # 38. In fact, the second story in Batman #1 is a Batman solo mission.

Here are some aspects of the film and whether I like them or don't care for them:

Like: Without as much flamboyance as the Dozier productions, the film still allows the silliness of the idea of Batman to be there, just farther below the surface (most of the time). A couple of wink-wink scenes would have made Batman Begins more nearly tolerable. The Batman's 1989 costume looks both cool and ridiculous, as they all do, but not as ridiculous as the blue and gray costume of the early comics and the 1966 series. And Batman was the twisted side of Bruce Wayne in this film, but not quite as obsessive as the 2005 Batman would become.

Like: The style and execution of this production is very appealing. Somehow over the course of 4 movies the series morphed into what Schumacher did with Batman & Robin. But, this first one isn't like that.

Like: Over at IMDb in one of the message board threads for this movie I found a comment that the 1989 Batman is much darker than the Nolan Batman, because Michael Keaton's take on Wayne/Batman is that of a man whose whole reason for being has become twisted into vengeance. I saw the film (at least at first) as Batman being the manifestation of Bruce Wayne rising above his early pain. Maybe I missed something? I still like what I thought I saw, though.

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Like: For once The Joker is as nefarious as they come. The character first appeared in Batman #1 in Spring 1940. He appears in the first and fourth stories in the issue. Even though he is a murderer, he doesn't seem wicked as the creators of the comic clearly intended him to be.
Don't Like: Jack Nicholson's lip makeup is just...stupid looking. Whereas the acting portion of the character is pretty decent in this script, his visual presentation reminds me constantly of what a dopey-looking villain The Joker is in the comics. Thank goodness Chris Nolan's makeup people tried a different route with invoking the bizarre smile that the villain has in the comics for The Dark Knight. Actually, when will movie-makers learn that a lot that works when hand-drawn won't work at all for 3D CGI or for live action.


Like: Burton's Joker character is truly evil. Nolan's Joker character is truly evil. Odd that my two best-liked Batman movies feature a villain that I find utterly tiresome! Just goes to show you that you have to see 'em to understand 'em. If I had decided whether to watch based on knowledge of The Joker being The Villain, I'd have skipped both films.
Don't Like: There really aren't any excellent Batman villains, except Catwoman. Well, that's what I say, anyway. Penguin is tiresome. The Riddler is tiresome. The Joker is very bland in the comic books. Tiresome. Even Tim Burton can't make the first two anything but fawning whiners. I understand that you may disagree. But I think that's why Burton picked Catwoman as one of the duo of villains in his follow-up.

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So, some people think this is less campy than the 1966 TV show? What are they smoking? This is equally campy, because the comic book idea of Batman is campy. Always has been, always will be. He wears tights and a cape and has a customized car. Okay, so in the more recent versions he wears "body armor" but there are pointy bat ears on the helmet. Ha ha ha ha! Peeps need to grow up enough to realize that what's funny is just...funny. And there's no avoiding it. Attempting to make it more "serious" only funnies it up all the more.

In the Burton films there is a techno-cave beneath Wayne's mansion. Isn't Tim Burton's unabashed presentation of a mentally unbalanced Bruce Wayne an admission that the whole idea is silly? Even if we agree that Batman isn't as campy in this film, the Joker is as campy as ever. Actually, far campier than the '66 Joker played by Caesar Romero. But at least he is crazy-mean.

No matter, though. IMDb trivia claims this was the top-grossing film of 1989. It became a given that Tim Burton would get to make a second Batman movie.

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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:48 am
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Hank wrote:
Not on current topic at all... and extremely late to the game... but I finally watched the 1990 Lord of the Flies yesterday. Wow. I thought it was great. I've been going through all of your essays to reread them. Bang up job on that rematch, YTMN. As always, your insights are a pleasure to read!

The topic of this thread is...this thread. Anything in it.

I like both of the Lord of the Flies movies, for different reasons. But the 1963 version comes off as rather amateurish...until you read about how it was made, and how the boys' lines were all recorded far away from the ocean noise at night, and then post-synced to the pictures. Not ADR, just post synchronization with magnetic 16mm film, the 16mm work print, and lots of splicing tape!

The relative slickness of the 1990 remake is refreshing. But despite the jiggering around of things in the story, it still captures the feeling of the novel better than the 1963, I think. Glad you enjoyed it!

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
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Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:04 am
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A Comparison of
The Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

Behind the Lens

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Batman (1943) photography by James S. Brown, Jr.
Between 1925 when he lensed Some Pun'kins as James Brown, and 1974 when he shot the segment "Batman" for The Three Stooges Follies, James S. Brown earned 143 cinematographer credits for theatrical releases. He only lived to age 57. He photographed across the genres of film during his career. I can't tell from the list of titles how many were A level and how many were B's. It looks as if his first sound film was Sea Devils (1931). Through the 1930s he shot as many as 8 films per year most years, but he filmed 10 movies in 1938. Brown was the DP for several 1940s decade movie serials, for a number of films noirs, for Westerns, and comedies.


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Batman (1966) photography by Howard Schwartz
Three of his assistant camera operator credits were for The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Thing from Another World (1951), and Superman (1973). But Howard Schwartz was the DP for 86 theatrical and television productions from 1949 to 1987. His work is listed at IMDb as primarily television series and made-for-TV movies. He shot 108 episodes of my favorite Western series of all time: The Rifleman (1959-1963). Besides Batman: the Movie (1966) he lensed 58 episodes of the TV series. He also filmed Futureworld (1976), The Devil and Max Devlin (1981), and he lived only three years after filming his last TV movie. The movie was made in 1987, and he was 71 when he died in 1990.


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Batman (1989) photography by Roger Pratt
If you have seen The Meaning of Life (1983), Brazil (1985), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Chocolat (2000), Dorian Gray (2009), a couple of the Harry Potter movies, or any of an additional 38 titles, you have seen Pratt's cinematographic work. He has also been active in visual effects for Terry Gilliam and the Monty Python troupe, including assistant camera on the Holy Grail (1975). It is this man who lit and photographed Tim Burton's first Batman film for 1989 release. Roger Pratt continues to work in the film industry.


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Batman Begins (2005) photography by Wally Pfister
Pfister began as a second unit camera operator on a TV show Tanner '88 (1988), but was DP for The Unborn (1991) and has accumulated 42 cinematographer credits since then. He is still working, of course, with his latest completed work being the photography for The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Pfister has been Christopher Nolan's DP for many of his films, including the Batman trilogy. Over his career, Wally Pfister has been the lighting photographer for direct to video projects, theatrical and TV movies, and he has even dabbled in news programs for television.


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James S. Brown Jr.(1892–1949) IMDb.

Howard Schwartz (1919–1990) IMDb.

Roger Pratt IMDb.

Wally Pfister IMDb.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:19 am
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A Comparison of
The Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)

In the Cutting Room

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Batman (1943) edited by Dwight Caldwell and Earl Turner
Caldwell and Turner were the editorial team for the 1943 movie serial, but they also did the same job for the 1949 sequel serial Batman and Robin. Earl Turner got his start nearly a decade before Caldwell with Peaceful Peters (1922). He accumulated 94 editorial credits according to IMDb, with the last being The Three Stooges Follies (1974), which is odd, because he died in 1971. His last screen credit while living came with Jungle Gold (1966), a TV movie. Many of his credits are for movie serials. In fact, he is the editor for the 1948 Superman serial.

Dwight Caldwell garnered 112 credits as editor, some of them for multiple episodes of television series. His earliest editor credit was on Sea Devils (1931). He also shares the 1974 Three Stooges credit, but his last work while alive was for 23 episodes of the Lassie TV series (1960-1962). From 1940 to 1942 Caldwell edited 6 Ellery Queen films. I looked through both filmographies to see if I had seen any of their work besides the few serials that I've watched, and I didn't recognize anything but Caldwell's work on television shows.


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Batman (1966) edited by Harry W. Gerstad
A movie entitled Brazil came out in 1944. IMDb says that Gerstad was the uncredited editor for that flick. I've seen Gerstad's work in Gun Crazy (1950), Rocketship X-M (1950), Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), Death of a Salesman (1951), Adventures of Superman (1953-1954), Big Jake (1971), Ben (1972) and Walking Tall (1973). I'm familiar with a number of other titles that he worked on due to ad campaigns when I was much younger. Gerstad won an Oscar in 1950 for Champion (1940) and shared an Oscar in 1953 with Elmo Williams for High Noon (1952). The photo with the arrow above his head shows him receiving the Oscar for High Noon.


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Batman (1989) edited by Ray Lovejoy
This man, who edited films between 1958 and 2001 (with one released posthumously in 2003) has an astounding list of titles on his resume. I've see a dozen of his projects. They include an assistant editor credit for Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and Dr. Strangelove (1964). His first chief editor credit is for 2001: a Space Odyssey (1968). He edited The Shining (1980), Krull (1983), Aliens (1986), Year of the Comet (1992), Lost in Space (1998), ending his career with The Quickie (2001) and Vacuums (2003). He cut many high-profile films, and many that were financially successful. The photo above shows an arrow to Lovejoy's head as he kneels next to Stanley Kubrick on the set of The Shining.


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Batman Begins (2005) edited by Lee Smith
Smith is the only one of these five editors who is still alive. Since Dead End Drive-In (1986) Lee Smith has earned 27 screen credits at the cutting block. You would recognize several of the titles he's edited, including Robo Cop 2 (1990), The Truman Show (1998), Buffalo Soldiers (2001), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), X-Men: First Class (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Elysium (2013), Ender's Game (2014) and Interstellar (2014).



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Earl Turner (1884–1971) IMDb.

Dwight Caldwell (1902–1981) IMDb.

Harry W. Gerstad (1909–2002) IMDb.

Ray Lovejoy (1939–2001) IMDb.

Lee Smith (1960- ) IMDb.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:49 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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Third Celluloid Outing:
the 1966 Television Series, and Theatrical Film


I think the theme song to this television series was my first exposure to minimalist music composition. Eventually, that was about the only thing I liked about the show (until I watched it again, 48 years after it debuted on ABC TV stations all across the U.S.). It was January 12, 1966 when I heard that music for the first time. My initial reaction to the theme song was my first disappointment of the evening. (For the record: the theme music by Neal Hefti grew on me over the years.)

Even though the TV series premiered on my mother's 36th birthday in 1966, I have to admit that I was appalled by the style of the show that night, and didn't watch it again until several weeks after its premiere. Why did I go back? Because I read a quote from Bob Kane in TV Guide magazine saying that he liked the series. That it had the spirit that he had in mind when he started Batman comics in 1939. I figured that if Kane approved, I should not resent the bizarre style of the TV show. I have read since that Kane balked at adding Robin in 1940, and also that he did not like the TV series. Who knows the truth?

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To prepare for this Rematch your proprietor acquired the entire Dozier television series on Blu-ray disc. And (gasp) watched it all. There was a lot of it that I had never seen (most of the 120 episodes). Back in 1966 I watched the first episode. I watched the second a day later (the show was broadcast Wednesday night and Thursday night each week). I skipped a few weeks, then read Bob Kane's purported opinion of the series. I began watching again, but after the summer break I lost interest within the first two episodes of season two, and never watched the show regularly again. I did try to watch whenever Julie Newmar appeared as Catwoman. I didn't stop reading TV Guide.

By the way, either because I am a fool, or because I am not one, I haven't opened the trading cards box or removed the HotWheels Batmobile replica from its case. Also, because the TV show is on Blu-ray, I have no way to grab frames from it, so what you see illustrating this essay mostly comes from the 1966 theatrical movie (and some internet image scavenging).

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More running time was taken up with the character of Batman in the William Dozier incarnation from 1966 to 1968, than in all the other live-action manifestations put together. And that alone makes this Batman outing quite significant. The television series was derived from the comics of the 1950s and 1960s, but it added new villains, brought back Alfred the butler from death, and reinvigorated sales of the comic books. In fact, I have read that before the blood transfusion that came from the Dozier series, the Batman comics were already slated to be canceled by DC Comics. Who knows the truth?

But the Comics Code was still reigning supreme, and the stories were basically non-violent, unless you count fist-fights. There is at least one fisticuffs event between Batman and Robin and their nemesis of the night and his/her henchmen, in every episode. That's 120 fistfight sequences at least! Some episodes have two!

As I worked through the 120 episodes recently, it was astounding to me to find that the zaniness of the first season was dialed back from what followed in season two (1966-67). In the second season the direct borrowing from comic book writing was ramped up. Batman and Robin began to say things that their print counterparts had said in every story I had read as a pre-teen. Things such as, "Gosh, Batman, I hope our [plan detail] works!" In other words, foreshadowing exposition after the fact, but immediately before some plot event was shown, in order to clue in young readers that something is afoot. To show that doing work beforehand has prepared the Dynamic Duo for victory in the upcoming fight.

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On a comic book page this kind of exposition is no doubt heard in the voice of the reader. All the characters probably speak in the voice of the reader. So it isn't that weird. But just have an actor say one of these exposition lines out loud, and it's worth a chuckle, or maybe a couple of staccato laughs.

And that's basically what the Dozier ensemble did (especially in the second season). They made the writing more like 1960s Batman comic book writing, thus becoming more faithful to the original characters and stories, but it made the show into a hilarious comic romp. People called it "campy."

Thus, the trouble I had with this television show was only magnified in season two. As it says above, I stopped watching. But I still read the comic books, and I still loved them. For whatever reason, I didn't notice that the comics themselves (in those days) were as insipid and goofball in tone as the television series. Nobody truly got hurt! In an extras disc feature in the Blu-ray disc set, Jim Lee of DC comics points out that during the years of the TV program, the Batman comics of the day were even more outre than this TV show was.

The entire third season of the television series happened while I was looking the other way.

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My exploration of the entire TV show in March 2015 revealed a lot. For example, to watch the entire series over the course of three or four weeks reveals that the camera work and lighting got more cinematic and innovative as the series progressed. The scripts went back to being (mostly) less intentionally funny in seasons two and three. How "campy" the individual shows are depends on the writer and director for each one. And, when the show progresses the ideas become more and more watery as the gravy drains out of the pan, so to speak. Ultimately, the third season seems like the output of a show-crew that was floundering. Batgirl couldn't save the concept. Besides, there is a strange, slightly more serious tone to the Batgirl character than there is to the surrounding program: Batman and Robin and the villains. It somehow doesn't mesh well.

A couple of decades later Tim Burton would somewhat tone down the camp-skit quality in his film, but it wouldn't go away entirely. It was transformed into what would become 1990s-style camp. It has a kind of studied absurdist ambiance, but with a wicked quirkiness that is interesting. And then, thirty-nine years after the Dozier Batman glowed in dark living rooms, Christopher Nolan would grind Batman forever under his heel, with a mostly-humorless and grisly adaptation of the story. It would make him a billion dollars. And it would temporarily ruin Batman for many people. But in its own way, it would retain the most salient aspect of the whole franchise, a quality that you cannot expunge from the idea of the Batman: ridiculousness.

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One thing that I would not have expected in 1966, but about which I can ask, "Well, what would you expect?" these days, is that you can still buy brand new Batman toys based on the show. Not toys saved from 1966, but figures and such made nowadays for nostalgia value. Some of them are really sick cool, too. Or as I would have said when I was 13, "Neato."


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batman 1966 tv series intro Google image search result.

batman 1966 tv series Google image search result.

batman 1966 tv series toys Google image search result.

Actors Adam West and Burt Ward on the set of the movie "Batman" (1966) vintage everyday blog. "Most of these photos were taken by Richard Hewett in Los Angeles in 1966 for Look magazine."

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:04 am
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After spending all day yesterday working on Essay #9, I developed graphics for Essay #3 today, and posted it.

But now I'm considering posting #9, which was to be the last post of the Multimatch...because ready.

But I think I'll wait until later this week.

Having posts all built and ready to go is much like having money burning a hole in my pocket. :roll:

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:49 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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Fourth Celluloid Outing: the 1989 Theatrical Movie
(and three sequels)


Me, thinking, as a 37 year-old: Gaaaah!! Michael Keaton is going to play Batman? I'm not seeing that. It will ruin everything.

That's what I thought. But my wife and some friends and I went to the theater to see the film. She wasn't all that impressed, as I recall. But, wow, I was! My residual 13-year old self really resonated to it. This was what I had hoped the Batman TV series would be! Batman Returns was a bit of a let-down for me a few years down the road, even though my sons enjoyed that one a bit. I had some problems with the Penguin makeup (I have more problems with it now than I did then). But the 1989 "reboot" of the Batman cinematic enterprise was pretty spiffy to me. I adored the 1989 Batmobile. I missed Robin, but only a little. (Not nearly as much as I missed Robin in the 2005 movie.)

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Elsewhere in this Multimatch I've written about how I have never liked most of the major villains in the Batman comics. The Penguin, The Joker and The Riddler are my least favorite. The only major one I like, really, is Catwoman. Really don't care for most of the for-TV villains. But up pops the Joker as the major nem of Bats in the 1989 film. He is more evil than in any other Batman movie, including The Dark Knight. Catwoman got mudged up with Oswald Cobblepot in the first sequel, Batman Returns. I have not seen Batman Forever. Only recently, I found Batman & Robin in a Walmart cheapie Blu bin, and brought it home.

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Three different actors played Batman across the four movies. All three have surnames that begin with a 'k' sound. In the first two, Batman clearly lacks a "don't kill" policy. Michael Keaton/Tim Burton's Batman is truly much darker and more dismal than Christopher Nolan's Batman is. He is not empty, in the way the Nolan trilogy shows Batman to be, but he is warped by his childhood experience. He is focused on vengeance, but he is troubled by this. A much more nuanced and complex character than the version Christian Bale gets to play. I haven't seen Kilmer as Batman. Clooney's Batman is not as good as his Bruce Wayne.

This Batman still cobbles together his own gear and probably made the Batmobile, too, although it isn't clear how he would have. Surely with Alfred's able assistance. The Batmobile is never the same from flick to flick. In the first film he has a beautiful girlfriend named Vicki Vale. She is an early Batman comic book character, and appears in the 1949 movie serial as a wannabe girlfriend to Bruce Wayne. In the comics and in both 1943 and 1989 Vale is a photographer for a local newspaper. She disappears from the fourth series of films after the 1989 entry.

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The quality of this quartet of films attenuates as time goes by. The 1992 Batman Returns is also directed by Burton, and stars Keaton as Wayne/Batman. The visual interpretation of the Penguin is quite bizarre, but harkens closely to some depictions in the comics.

I haven't seen anything but clips and stills of Val Kilmer in Batman Forever, the first of two films directed by Joel Schumacher, but its IMDb user rating slips below 6/10. Batman & Robin crashes at 3.6/10. And that's all she wrote for this series of films.

Each film loads up on super villains after 1989. That kind of brings the films down. The same effect happens in a lot of super-sequels. "How do we top the first success?" seems to be on the minds of the execs. An easy way: put in a slew of adversaries for the redundant hero to fight. Yeah, that should make it more interesting. More action. Yeah. But it usually backfires. By the time Schumacher rounded a curve at twice the posted speed with Batman & Robin, crashing the vehicle for the last time, only Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze was of much interest, and that was spotty.

Could it have kept going? Perhaps. But at the same time Batman the Animated Series was serious-ifying the character, and it was very popular. Another animated series came out in 2004 and ran for four years on Kids' WB and in reruns on The Cartoon Network. I've seen zero episodes of it. The Batman introduces martial arts to the Bat-verse in motion. I suppose I could say in near ignorance that it set the stage for Christopher Nolan's fifth celluloid outing.

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Regardless, many fans were happy that Burton sailed the reboot into dark territory. And he did well with that, because Tim Burton understands darkness. He knows that something can be darkly humorous. The next director who would take over rebooting the Batman on screen would stumble with his first installment, confusing "seriousness" for darkness.


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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:56 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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My Favorite Batman Film

The Dark Knight. That's my favorite one. Yeah. Does it surprise you that I could dislike the bookend films, and love The Dark Knight? If so, you probably also don't understand why I watch making-of features and research unseen films until I know enough about the plot to determine that it's worth my time to watch!

You no doubt already know that one of my two least favorite Batman films is the predecessor to this one, by the same director. And just above my bottom two in poverty of quality is the 1949 Batman & Robin movie serial.

Believe me, I had to work some mental hoodoo to even get myself to watch The Dark Knight after the immense disappointment brought to my door by Batman Begins. But five years ago I bought the Blu-ray disk on the strength of the trailer, and personal hopes that Heath Ledger's final screen performance would somehow make the film different from Batman Begins. And it does.

Also, the Joker's twisted humor makes the film less serious than the first one. The darkness is all there. Just as dark and oppressive. The Joker in this film is as bad as the worst version in the comics. Evil, but funny, too. The second Nolan Batfilm is dark to the point of eclipse. But there is the Joker to show that not everything about this can be taken "seriously."

After all, Chris Nolan has an obvious sense of humor, no matter how emotionally distant his films are. There are absurdist angles all over Memento, and Inception. They aren't all presented directly as jokes, but they are after-viewing jokes. Little kinds of goofiness that move the story along, even goofy things that are crucial aspects of the tale (tattoos all over in order to remember things for a character who has short-term memory loss in Memento). Things you chuckle at after you leave the theater or slip the disc back into its case, or close the image window on your tablet. Risible, crucial, clever. Missing from Batman Begins, but quite apparent in The Dark Knight.

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It's as if the Joker character's line, "Why so serious!?" is meant to be Nolan's personal apology for the motif of the crash-and-burn prior film.

I wrote and included this short essay just to let you know that I have no hard feelings toward Chris Nolan for fouling up (at least in my view) on his first Batman movie. I don't hold it against him that he made one of the two shittiest and suckiest Batman movies ever attempted, at least in my view. He also made the very best Batman movie ever attempted, in my view. (I agree that Schumacher's Batman & Robin equals Batman Begins for suckiness, as well as inappropriate adaptation, but that's just my opinion.)

So, even within the Batman three-boot franchise, Nolan's tendency toward unevenness is clear. And it is entirely redeemed by the middle film. No question in my mind.


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50 Greatest Improvised Movie Scenes gamesradar.com posted by User #729212 on March 6, 2012. Source of image.

Does The Dark Knight Still Shine? patheos.com July 18, 2012 by Craig Detweiler. Source of images.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:12 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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Fifth Celluloid Outing: the 2005 Film (and two sequels)

My impression of Batman Begins lightened somewhat after I watched the Schumacher Batman and Robin and then Batman Begins back-to-back on the same afternoon. The first Nolan Batman film still disappoints me with its fruitless attempt to be "realistic," but I don't exactly hate it any longer.

In the review I told you that in order to get myself through the film a second time, I wrote down the start times of the fight scenes in the beginning part of the movie. There are six fights in the first 30 minutes. I think the film robs the Batman myth of...well, of its mythos. It wants desperately to be logical (not funny or goofy, or "campy), and to be mostly derived from events in Bruce Wayne's life prior to donning the black rubber suit. Again, a goal, and an idea that is better left to fanboy jaw-boning. By the way, analyzing all five of these Batman adventures on film has at least temporarily made me see the glaring absurdity of the whole idea of Batman, and at the moment I don't revere the filmic character the way I used to. (The rematch hasn't dimmed my love of Batman comic books.)

Now, I do understand the visceral desire of someone imagining a fantasy world and wanting it to be "real" on the screen. That desire within young YTMN was what turned me off the Dozier Batman TV show after a while (15 minutes, I think it was). But it was because I didn't grasp the essence of those 1960s Batman comic books I had been reading. I was a child. (Maybe if I had seen Batman Begins when I was 13, I would have liked it.) The comic books seemed more serious to me than they truly were. What I haven't told you is that I was initially excited to hear that Christopher Nolan was going to take a "realistic" approach to the story of Batman.

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In reality, Batman Begins takes 140 dull minutes to tell what Kane & Finger adequately revealed in 13 panels across 2 pages of a comic book in 1939. How Bruce Wayne became the Batman is not of absorbing interest (to me -- maybe it is to you). Perhaps that's my major problem with Batman Begins. What if Rob Zombie had made his remake of Halloween consist entirely of the prologue part that is unneeded, and cumbersomely tacked on to the nose-end of his otherwise okay re-envisioning of the John Carpenter movie? That's what Batman Begins is like for me.

When I recently decided to put The Dark Knight Rises into my Netflix queue (just so I could stop saying that I hadn't seen it), their star estimator predicted that I'd give it a 2.8 out of 5, even though 881,318 Netflix user ratings set the average at 4.4 stars. I sort of thought the Netflix algorithm was right. But the story about that viewing is weirder than it seems, and I'll tell you about it later in this essay.

Some have claimed that Nolan's Batman trilogy is more "realistic" than Burton's take. Really? Neither one is realistic. Nolan's attempt at making Batman totally "realistic" is a failure in my eyes. How can anything so creepily weird be either "realistic" or "serious"? If any Batman needed a kid like Robin to attenuate his freakishness, it was the one in the Nolan franchise. But a kid sidekick would not have been "realistic" so there was none. Robin Blake is tacked onto the third episode; his first name revealed only at the bitter end. Now, I do enjoy the generally realistic absence of "costumed villains" -- or would, if it existed in this film trilogy.

The villains of Batman Begins are mostly ninjas. Costumed villains. The Scarecrow is there with his burlap mask and psychosis-inducing gas. A costumed villain. The Joker dresses in his own strange style. Costumed villain. Bane looks similar to how he does in the comics. Catwoman, although not named as that, wears her skin-tight black burgling outfit. Oh, and Catwoman's ears are part of her night vision goggles.

Perhaps Batman Begins would have made worlds more sense if Nolan had thought of the line from Rises when he was writing that first script: the line where Wayne explains to Blake that the idea of the mask is that Batman could be "anybody." Kind of a lame excuse, but wouldn't it make the "realism" of the first film slightly easier to take if there had been such an attempt made?

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I suppose the existence of three films that try to answer the question "How could this Batman thing really happen?" is just fine. But, of course, it dulls down almost everything interesting about the story. As one critic pointed out, Nolan's Batman raids the corporate stockpile in order to become Batman, relying on those whose time he owns instead of creating the Bat-objects himself. Without the delightful Lucius Fox in this story, there would be no Batman! It's an off-the-shelf approach to becoming a super-hero. Again, relatively dull. To a guy like me, it's more fantastically interesting that Bruce Wayne and his jack-of-all trades butler Alfred Pennyworth unrealistically built the Batmobile, and outfitted the Batcave.

Nolan translated little of the Batman "darkness" to the screen in his hyper-serious Batman Begins. He was focused on "seriousness" and "realism" as well as the disturbed psychology of this vigilante: To make sense of how Bruce Wayne came to be so weird. That's not a story in itself. That kind of thing is for fans. For idle speculation; what you talk about over coffee or Red Bull after you've seen a movie that's got a real story to it. Not simply a hyper-extended backstory blown up like a balloon. And Nolan was so careful to not let anything about Batman be silly, or campy, or goofy. But it still is. Sadly, the idea itself is campy, and you cannot squelch that.

Yet, 77 years worth of Batman comics still exist, along with the prior four cinematic outings. They aren't lost. The Nolan trilogy simply exists alongside them.

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All Dozier did was translate the comics and the fantasy world they created, directly to the screen. The result was (unexpectedly to me) silly. This is because a costumed crusader is a silly thing, and you cannot film a guy wearing spandex (or even rubber and carbon-fiber armour) and flourishing a cape with a cowl over his face, without that basic fact becoming...obvious. Actually, more than merely obvious. But it wasn't only Dozier. The 1943 serial and the 1949 serial both tried a serious, realistic approach to the Batman story, and they fail at that. Because of a core truth about this costumed detective.

The whole idea of Batman is not only goofy...it is also quite cool. In my opinion, you really can't have one without the other. The coolness goes away when you purposely get rid of the goofiness. Mainly because the "goofy" isn't goofy so much as it is fun. Batman is ridiculous, but fun! And Nolan seems to have realized this between Film 1 and Film 2. By the time he wrote the second film I think he was beginning to "get" Batman. The third movie is a series of puffed-up pseudo-intellectual dialog with more characterization and less sploding. More or less, the recent style of Batman comics splashed upon the screen.

I'm glad Chris Nolan helmed The Dark Knight. I like the middle movie. I love the middle movie. But the evidence says he was way out of his depth with Batman Begins.

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In fact, with the freaking backstory out of the way, The Dark Knight is wonderful. It is just a Joker vs Batman tale. That's the kind of thing I go to super-hero movies to see. And for once the total inanity of the Joker character was glossed over just enough that I didn't get bored with him. Burton's Joker is nefarious but typically dull. Nolan's Joker is not dull, at all. I rather liked the knife in the mouth angle, too. It cut the edge of stupidity off the Joker's frozen smile, for me.

Needless to say, I re-watched Batman Begins only for the purpose of this Rematch. I own The Dark Knight because...well, it was one of the first two Blu-ray discs I blind-bought. And I did that on purpose. The middle Nolan film is also...well, you can read what it is to me in Essay #8. As for the third film, I skipped it. Entirely. Until recently. As I wrote above, I ordered it from Netflix only for completeness.

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Or so I thought. As I watched the third Nolan Batman film I realized that everything was so terribly familiar. I remembered the ending just a few moments into the movie. I remembered everything that was unfolding on the screen, and then it came back to me. I must have seen the movie before. I found the listing in Corrie Trends:
02/06/13---The Dark Knight Rises---Christopher Nolan---2012 and that meant the listing:
22/07/15---The Dark Knight Rises---Christopher Nolan---2012 is for a re-watch which I thought was a first viewing...until the film began. Only one other film (another superhero movie) ever totally escaped my recollection until I watched it a second time. That was X-men: the Last Stand. I think The Dark Knight Rises is a better movie, but the truest test I have for that comparison says they are both in the same category. Imminently forgettable.

At least the very ending segments of Rises tug at my heart strings. That's a lot more than Batman Begins ever does.

It seems possible that the more you look at Batman the emptier the Bat-glass becomes, so to speak. (Honestly, the same thing happened with my life-long love of Godzilla when I did that Rematch. And it has recovered.)

Perhaps a little bit of Batman is enough, and more is...too much? Or maybe it's an ill-fitting attempt to put realism into super hero movies. Nolan's and Goyer's Man of Steel ideas are also imminently forgettable...except in that case I recall that I watched the movie.



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The Complicated Legacy of Batman Begins theatlantic.com David Sims Jun 10, 2015. "... the sight of Ben Affleck growling through his Batsuit in the trailer for Batman v Superman earlier this year provoked waves of online derision. Here was the real-world grit and psychological complexity of Nolan’s Batman, only dialed to a thousand. If once Batman had been too silly, now he was too serious. And this is the complicated legacy of Batman Begins: Nolan’s film allowed that superhero franchises could exist with one foot in the real world, and inspired legions of imitators to do the same." Sims says Batman Begins works because it was never intended to be the first of three movies.


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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
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The Future Unreels


Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:49 pm
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That was an enjoyable update... I like seeing how you compare the Nolan Trilogy. TDK is my favorite as well. I think it works so well as a stand alone film whereas the others are kind of just on either side. I guess I see the first and last as mirrored bookends to a large degree. In structure (No batman, broke boy/man searches self, trains self, becomes Batman, saves city) and in importance (Without Begins, TDK would've never done as well as it did.. and without TDKR people would still be clamoring for another Nolan Batman).

I wish more comic films would take cues from the Batman/Joker relationship in TDK. Neither was given an origin story in that film and their dynamic was terrific. I am so tired of the comic films spending 40 extra minutes on someone's origin! I feel like the writers of these movies have "ridiculous origin of powers" mixed up with character development. Especially in these reboots. I've seen Spiderman's origin... do I need to see a slightly different version of the same thing that establishes essentially the exact same character over the course of half the movie? I have no desire to see the new Fantastic Four for this reason. They do it with each villain along the way too. Want to see how Electro became Electro? Let's take 25 minutes to show you that he fell into an eel tank while holding an extension cord! It didn't establish any suspense or plausibility or even had any depth to the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist... we just thought...well... just because. We don't need an origin to have a compelling conflict... it's quite the opposite, but I don't think they get that when writing these. If Die Hard was a current comicbook movie it would start with scenes of John's basic training... His rookie outings and then his marriage falling apart in New York.. and then Holly tearfully leaving him to pursue her career in LA while John sulks and turns to watching westerns for comfort... and shift to Hans studying architecture, buying John Phillips suits, reading up on Takagi and the Nakatomi Plaza. Later we would get a 15 minute flashback of Karl and his brother playing with toy trucks in the sand and Tony being picked on as a child so his older brother Karl turns to a life of lifting weights and honing his fighting skills to protect his glasses wearing brother. All in the name of backstory, but in reality just bogging the thing down.

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Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:06 am
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I wonder if anyone will check in here and defend those long back-stories. Maybe? Someone?

It would be interesting to read some thoughts on why they are a good part of all these films. Not that you and I would be likely to agree, but it might let us understand why they are a required feature of such movies. As I wrote in one of the posts, Rob Zombie even felt the need to explain how the shape became the shape, showing Jason's back story in his Halloween remake. Which seemed to take the scary out of the villain, to me. Not that he was really all that frightening, but the idea was fetching as a scary story in Carpenter's version.

Obviously, we agree on the reduced need for such segments of films. I guess they put them in there for the viewers who are too young to have read or seen the back story before. But, let them do research before, after, or during the movie. Who doesn't have a cell phone with them at the theater these days? :D

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:04 am
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I'm about to post Essay 7 and Essay 9. There might be one more essay to add, later, but it might be canceled.

There are two more tech posts to put up for this Multimatch: "SFX" which will introduce those who created the special visual effects for each of the four films reviewed, and "Design" which will dabble in listing a few of the names of those who created the look of each of the films, along with props, costumes and so forth. Not in any severe detail, though. I'm getting a bit worn down by this one. Essay 7 points out that I might have bitten off more than I can chew with this rematch!

The next one I pick will be a simple rematch between two films. Maybe an NQRR type.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:09 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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77 Years of Batman Comics

Bob Kane drew, Bill Finger wrote. They finally got the formula together for the 1939 May issue of Detective Comics (#27). A new kind of "detective." One who wears a cowl and a cape, and skin-tight clothing, but has no superlative powers. A millionaire, heir to a fortune. There was no Bat-cave, no Batmobile, no Bat-copter, no Bat-cycle, no side-kick. The orphan origin story appeared five issues later in the November 1939 Detective Comics (#33). One Bat-man (soon after spelled Batman) story ran in each issue. Five issues past the two-page origin tale (in DC #38), the "amazing weird figure of night" got a partner in crime fighting.

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The first Batman stories are set in New York City, not Gotham City. In 1940, in Batman #4, "Gotham" was first mentioned. It was a common nickname for NYC.

Kane was 23 when he first drew The Bat-Man for commercial purposes. His co-creator, Bill Finger, whom Kane cut out of recognition by what seems very much like a swindle, was about 25 years old. DC Comics is contractually still required to recognize Bob Kane, and only Bob Kane as the "creator" of Batman.

Concerning the dialog and stories presented, well the earliest scripts are clearly influenced by radio plays, and the drawings by silent films. Right down to the plot twists and so forth, they are like tales from those two media with hand-drawn pictures! Title bars appear in most frames in the early stories, taking the role of silent movie inter-titles.

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Eventually, comics stopped sounding like and looking like radio and movies. So did Batman. The particular ambiance that comics developed didn't settle well on the brows of 1950s Conservatives. Dr. Frederic Wertham wrote a book in which he accused Batman of setting up a scheme that will convince boys to become homosexuals. In response to this and other claims, the comics industry created the Comics Code Authority. The stories were made "clean," like 1950s television, and on page 56 of the Batman 75 year retrospective they write, "As a result of the restrictions, this era produced some truly strange issues." These were the stories that I first read in thin booklets that all had "Approved by the Comics Code Authority" stamps printed on the covers.

My first exposure to Batman was a decade after the Conservatives gutted comics because, you know, they see everything as corrupting youth (except extreme Conservatism). So what I learned to love was not the same sort of thing that Kane and Finger first devised. In the first year of the comics, the lone Batman fights a vampire for two issues, and several criminals return a second time, but he doesn't meet his first truly long-term nemesis until the Spring 1940 #1 issue of Batman magazine. The Joker appears for the first time in that issue, showing up in two of the stories. (Other adversaries had appeared in more than one story before then, but the Joker took off in popularity after this issue, and his appearances soon outnumbered any other.) In the twelfth panel of that first story there is a man killed by the Joker's poison gas, with a huge, hideous grin fixed on the dead man's features. It is the first of two men The Joker kills in that story. The last story in the issue shows the first return of The Joker, and he kills men on pages 2, 3, 4 (two on that page) and 8 of that story before being stabbed to (near) death at the end. There was always a bizarre melding of fantasy and science fiction (or even science-less fiction) in the Bat-mix.

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It was probably the summer of 1960 when I saw my first comic books. If I saw any before that time I didn't pay any attention to them. But a new friend (we had just moved to Little Rock from Hot Springs, AR) had a much older, college-age brother, and Johnny had a big big stack of all kinds of comic books. So we 8-year-olds sat on the front porch most of the summer reading Johnny's collection. The day we got "caught" with his stash he merely asked us not to tear any pages or mark on them. Of all the books, I liked the Batman and Flash comics best. Superman and Wonder Woman were okay. Thor stunk. Didn't like Archie at all, or Baby Huey or any of the (to my mind) cartoony ones. Over the years (we lived across the street from the family for seven years) there would be new titles added, and I liked some, didn't like others.

Eventually, I would get allowance (25 cents per week, if Dad had that much available) and I would gladly part with 10 cents of it to buy my own Batman comics. Or Superman. I also haunted the magazine rack at the Safeway grocery store reading the issues I couldn't afford to buy while Mom shopped.

Through most of my lifetime a single issue of a comic book has cost about the same as a loaf of bread. In 1962 comic books went up from 10 cents to 12 cents an issue (a 20 percent increase, mind you!). I wondered if I would ever be able to buy any again. I could not have imagined the price of one modern issue back then. By the way, bread outstripped the price of comics for a decade or so in the late 1960s and the 1970s, then comics caught back up quickly.

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I took on the largest project yet when I picked Batman as the subject of a Remake Multimatch. My knowledge is only at a very basic level when it comes to the Batman comics phenomenon. I've read a lot of Batman stories, but very few since the 1970s. So there are entire series of Batman tales that I am mostly unfamiliar with. For example, almost all the Batman tradition that is used for the Nolan trio of flicks was devised in print years after I was no longer a regular reader.

Yet, when I bought (at Ace's suggestion) Batman: a celebration of 75 years, almost everything I find in its pages is familiar. Nolan must have used a more obscure basis than I thought. Ra's al Ghul was something I never had heard of when I first engaged the 2005 film. That whole martial arts back story is still very marginal to me. I have enjoyed the few stories that I've read featuring Damian Wayne, who becomes the fifth Robin, and without Ra's al Ghul he couldn't exist. But the Nolan films use a Robin-less Bat-verse for their inspiration.

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Robin first arrives in Detective Comics #38 as "Robin the Boy Wonder" which he remains until August 1969 when he becomes "Robin the Teen Wonder" until January 1982. The first ten 1939 Batman stories feature a lone crimefighter. Reportedly Bill Finger got tired of having Batman talk to himself, and Kane got tired of drawing thought balloons. Robin started a craze: boy and teen sidekicks proliferated, even to genres that don't feature super-heroes. But remember that comic strip space hero Buck Rogers had sidekick Buddy in the 1939 movie serial. I haven't read anything that suggests that Buddy suggested Robin, but I can imagine the possibility.

The Batman "Universe" as they call it at DC, is always in flux. But that's true even in the first year of Batman. Kane hadn't decided on exactly how the uniform cowl should look, or how wide Batman's scowl should be. Commissioner Gordon knows Bruce Wayne in those early stories, and he knows of The Bat-man, but he cannot connect the two. Wayne is a fine and upstanding young Gothamite, while Batman is always making the police department look silly, in Gordon's eyes. As time passed, the Batman adventures spawned new and slightly varied villains. Batman either was or was not the darling of the Gotham City Police Department. Barbara Gordon either was or wasn't Batgirl.

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Over 77 years two Robins have died in the comic books, none have died on screen. Jason Todd was killed because of a vote by fans, who used The Joker as their stooge to draw the deed. In "A Death in the Family" The Joker acts in a truly detestable way; a way he never could have when I was reading as a kid. And then in 2013 Batman's own biological son, Damian Wayne, bites the dust in Batman, Incorporated #8. I have both "A Death in the Family," and the most recent Robin demise in Kindle format books.

Of course, in the world(s) of comic books no one stays dead forever. Remember The Death of Superman. Also, no association of superheroes is ever confronted by a super villain or any force that one of them (maybe a new character) does not have a super power or mad skill to overcome. A deceased hero or sidekick can be submerged in a Lazarus Pit (in the Batman Universe) in order to be resurrected -- chock full of new story opportunities.

The so-called "darker, grittier Batman" arrived while I was busy being a college student and a father and a business operator in the 1970s and 1980s. I didn't read any Batman comics from that era until I was in my 50s. The ideas in Batman Begins were a complete affront to my idea of Batman, but you must keep in mind that at that time I hadn't seen anything but clips from Batman and Robin (1997). The most recent Batman film I had seen was Burton's second one.

I wrote in a review that I don't really like Batman as anti-hero. Troubled person, I can buy. One thing that I merely tolerate in The Dark Knight is that Bruce Wayne seems equally as emotionally troubled, and shows almost as much muddled thinking as The Joker does.

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Because I got some unwanted slack time beginning in 2002 when I was 50, and beyond the age of consideration for any "real" job, I spent some of that time (after 2005) catching up on the printed world of Batman and Spiderman. I've read graphic novels that I enjoyed and some that seem totally out of range for my earlier experiences with either character. But some of the new Batman comic worlds seem to connect with me in the way that the 1960s Batman comic books did. I thought the supernatural stories were something entirely new, until I read Batman Chronicles Vol. 1 back in 2007. As noted above, in his first year Batman battles a vampire, and even some giants produced by a serum injection. That's relatively supernatural. Over the years the Batman comics have been more and then less realistic. Sometimes much less.

Jim Lee, a co-publisher at DC Comics, points out in the Batman Complete TV Series extra feature, "Bats of the Round Table," that during the time of the TV show "I actually thought the show was more serious than the comic books of that era," because the comics had Batman going to the moon, they had the zebra Batman, and other weird things, while the TV show was criticized for not taking Batman seriously. But when you have many voices, an effect that has only gotten greater in scope since the 1960s, the resultant monologues show society as schizoid. There is always someone who is going to have nearly any opinion you can imagine. And among those who have any particular opinion, there are always those who will say it - loudly.

And that is the kind of amorphous fan base that the comics have tried to serve over the decades. A lot of people, all with different ideas of how Batman (or any other fictional character) should be presented. I'm one of those voices when I gripe about Nolan's first Bat-film. I'm not the only one who had that reaction. The same goes for the comics. Perhaps Batman lasts because the writers and artists change who Batman is, from time to time.

Adam West, in the same "Bats of the Round Table" feature, declares that Batman can be done different ways. "And that's the wonder of Batman. It can be rendered, presented in any way; different levels. Universes, whatever, parallel..." and then Jim Lee interrupts him to make the comment about the weird comic book presentations of that era.

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The truth is that over the decades Batman has been a lot of different things. The style and content have changed frequently. Perhaps that's the way to serve the amorphous fan-base. You're going to piss someone off with each transformation. Just be sure it's a different group each time! Maybe that's why the movies are so different, too.

I'm sure there are people who faithfully support the over-the-top colorful, Were the World Mine-type, "Power Rangers"-sort of presentation in Batman and Robin. It is basically a Baz Lurhmann musical film without the music. There are Broadway set pieces all through that movie. There are also "real life" depictions of Gotham as I have seen it in ancient comics. Just as the 1966 TV series translated the comics rather literally to the screen, so does that 1997 film. It doesn't work for me. But it might well work for you!

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As for the comics, both reprints and new work, I still enjoy reading them. In fact, in May of 2015, I bought a Kindle edition of Vol. 1 of some new comics based on the 1966 TV shows. These are not the television plots, so much as riffs on the characters and style of the show, telling new stories. And, no surprise, it works quite well on the page as a comic. Doesn't seem campy any more than the 1960s Batman comic books did. But if you were to make these into television shows, they would instantly seem just as bizarre as the Dozier TV show. What works fine on the comic book page doesn't translate as "serious" to the screen.

I still enjoy reading new-to-me Batman comics. In June 2015 I bought the first volume of Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Philip Tan; and the original Morrison introduction of Damian Wayne, Batman and Son in Kindle format (which I have read before in paper format). The "Batman Reborn" story pits a former Robin (Jason Todd), against the new Batman (Dick Grayson) and the newest Robin (Damian Wayne), following Bruce Wayne's retirement from the cowl. The main reason for the existence of this comic book tale is to draw over-the-top grotesque images and to place human beings and altered human beings into positions of intense and violent confrontation. Very different from the 1960s Batman. Parts of it are nightmare fuel; and parts of it may stem from nightmares. Once again, any attempt to make this into live-action film would force the campiness to pop off the screen.

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Unsurprisingly, animated translations of the comic books to screen action often come across without seeming as hokey. Perhaps it is because the drawings in comic books buffer the reality of the experience. The "reality" of any comic is only in your mind, after all. It cannot seem "real" when performed by live actors. Superman almost gets there, but even then, the way he is shown to fly on the screen with actual movement is sillier than what I imagine from the still drawings on the comic pages. And Batman is affected in the same way by the influence of my imagination. When someone else imagines Batman and Robin for me, it just isn't the same. Remember that the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serial movies have exactly the same problems of translating fantasy to the more concrete world of cinema.


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Batman Wiki a fascinating source of all sorts of information about Batman

Batman’s Joker: Reinvention is nothing new keithroysdon Daily Archives: April 26, 2015 on wordpress. "There’s the unacknowledged inspiration for the 'look' of the Joker, taken from actor Conrad Veidt’s appearance in the 1928 movie 'The Man Who Laughs.'"

Gotham City Batman Wiki at wikia.com "Before Detective Comics #48, Batman's adventures were said to happen in New York City. Gotham is known to be architecturally modeled after New York City,..."

Gotham City From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "New York Times journalist William Safire described Gotham City as 'New York below 14th Street, from SoHo to Greenwich Village, the Bowery, Little Italy, Chinatown, and the sinister areas around the base of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.'"

DC killing off Batman’s ‘Boy Wonder’ Damian Wayne in new comic book NY Post.com. By Josh Saul February 25, 2013 | 5:00am "The shocking demise of the Dark Knight’s sidekick will first appear in issue No. 8 of the offshoot title “Batman Incorporated,” but the aftermath of his death will ripple throughout the DC Comics universe, the publisher confirmed exclusively to The Post."

2013 Ten Moments That Mattered. DC Comics.com "They were in shock because of his youth. At ten years old, he was only a child and unlike many children in super hero comics, he looked it. Fans were also in shock at how sudden it all seemed. It was announced mere days before the issue hit stands, a rarity in today’s events-driven industry."

Damian Wayne From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "After the events of Batman R.I.P. and Batman: Battle for the Cowl, he takes up the identity of Robin at ten years of age, becoming the fifth person to use the Robin identity"

Robin (comics). From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "Following two successful sequels, the monthly Robin ongoing series began in 1993 and ended in early 2009, which also helped his transition from sidekick to a superhero in his own right. In 2004 storylines, established DC Comics character Stephanie Brown became the fourth Robin for a short while before the role reverted to Tim Drake. Batman's son Damian Wayne then succeeds Drake as Robin in the 2009 story arc 'Battle for the Cowl', until his death in 2013 story."

Alternative versions of Robin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "In a Batman story from the 1950s, Bruce Wayne assumes the identity of Robin. Richard Grayson of Earth-Two carried on his Robin mantle long into adulthood. Post-52, an entirely new finite multiverse was discovered and created, and as such, a number of Robins may exist now on other alternative Earths. In one frame of the final issue of 52, a new Earth-2 is depicted, along with a character that resembles the original, adult Earth-2 Robin. Whether it is that character or not remains to be seen, as this Earth-2 is not identical to the one that existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths. In another case, Talon is an analogue of Robin, from the new Earth-3 where his relationship with Owlman mirrors that of Batman and Robin in the mainstream universes and maintained a romantic relationship with Duela Dent. Batman #666 depicts a future in which Batman's biological son Damian Wayne becomes Batman, having previously served as Robin."

Catwoman From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "The original and most widely known Catwoman is Selina Kyle. The character was partially inspired by Kane's cousin, Ruth Steel,[3][4] as well as actress Jean Harlow. In her first appearance, she was a whip-carrying burglar with a taste for high-stake thefts.[5] For many years the character thrived, but from September 1954 to November 1966 Catwoman took an extended hiatus due to the newly developing Comics Code Authority in 1954. These issues involved the rules regarding the development and portrayal of female characters that were in violation of the Comics Code, a code which is no longer in use."

Joker (comics) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "Introduced as a psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor, the character became a goofy prankster in the late 1950s in response to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, before returning to his darker roots during the early 1970s."

The Six Most Ridiculous Rules in the Comics Code entertainmentfuse.com. By: Mike Miersen | Comic Features | January 27, 2014. "A big chunk of their readers were adults. Weird right? You’d think that if there was ever a time when comics were meant most for kids, it would be the 50s. Not so. You see, there was this little skirmish overseas called World War II that called a lot of guys — usually pretty young, fresh-faced guys — over to fight."

Median Comic Book Cover Prices by Year comichron.com. "Median cover prices of all comics offered in the United States by All Publishers, and by specific ones, from 1961 to present"

Batman Hugs Robin. from comicnewbies.com 28 May 2014. "After Tim Drake’s, the third Robin, father dies at the hands of Captain Boomerang, Batman rushes to his side. – Identity Crisis #6"

5 Best Moments from Red Hood and the Outlaws (so far) stevetalksaboutstuff.tumblr.com. Posted in 2012. "Of course the best moment in the series to date is at the end of issue #3 when Jason’s most cherished memory is finally revealed to us. Before I get to what the scene meant on its own, I’d like to say that on a grander scale, this scene was the one to show the world how misjudged the series had been."

“Armageddon—2419 A.D.” by Philip Francis Nowlan (1928) pgs 41-96 – filmed as Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1939, 1979 PART TWO corrierino.com. posted by YTMN Feb 13, 2015 9:03pm. "The comic retained several features from Nowlan's story, including: the names of the main characters Anthony Rogers and Wilma Deering. But when the comic strip began, Anthony Rogers got the populist-sounding nickname "Buck" which he uses instead of Anthony or Tony. He is also nearly a decade younger in the comic than he is in the story. And Wilma is a member of the Allegheny Orgzone, not the Wyoming Gang."

“Armageddon—2419 A.D.” by Philip Francis Nowlan (1928) pgs 41-96 – filmed as Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1939, 1979 PART THREE corrierino.com. posted by YTMN Feb 13, 2015 9:03pm. "To be honest, I think the thing about the Buck Rogers phenomenon is not the original print story, or the comic strip and books, or even the movies and TV shows. It's not the images that Nowlan described in words and that bloom in your mind when you read the words. It isn't the ink lines on paper that create Calkins' vision of future things in your head. It isn't the moving series of still pictures that imitate motion and make you feel as if something is happening on that flat screen in front of you."

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:10 am
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Honestly, Essay 7 took me well over 100 hours of work to put together since last Fall when I started working on the writing parts of this Multimatch.

It would be nice if those of you who can log-in would let me know that you read it. At least. Maybe you have nothing to say.

How about, "Hi. I thought that essay sucked."? Or, "Damn, it took me nearly a hundred hours to plow through all that!"?

:heart:

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:12 am
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A Comparison of Batman (1943), Batman (1966), Batman (1989) and Batman Begins (2005)
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The idea of a homoromance between Batman and Robin (or Wayne and Grayson) never occurred to me until I saw a post a few years ago of some frames from the comic books over the years, that can be taken as sexual in tone, if approached with a particular frame of mind. Most people of my generation (Teh Boomerz) seem less likely to see the panels in this way, while Millennials, the ages of my kids, seem to jump to that conclusion! Anyway, I have to admit that the gay angle taken as a presumption when looking at certain covers and panels from the comics does provide a few knowing chuckles. So that experience led to this essay.

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As a pre-teen and teenage reader of the Batman comics, that notion never entered my head. Bruce Wayne was Dick Grayson's guardian, the equivalent of his missing father. He and Grayson shared orphanhood, so what better match for a father-figure than someone who could understand that empty ache? It all seemed very reasonable and realistic to me. But maybe I was raised in a very sheltered way. I had never heard of step-fathers and adoptive fathers sexually molesting their young charges. But it was going on, apparently. I suspect that even if I had known about that seamy side of real life, I still would not have attributed anything of the sort to either Wayne or Grayson. They were, you see, among my fictional hero figures.

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The title of the essay is a quotation from George Clooney regarding his portrayal of Batman in the 1997 film Batman & Robin. I've finally seen the movie, and I actually watched while looking for hints that Clooney was playing Batman as gay...but I couldn't see any. The only possible clue I could find was Batman's insistence to Robin that Poison Ivy is playing the youngster in order to kiss him to death. Robin thinks Batman is just being jealous because she likes youth more than maturity. It is possible that Clooney is playing Batman as jealous of Poison Ivy, not Robin. But, that's not for sure. Besides that, just your usual 1990s Batman movie stuff.

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Of course in the 21st century there are comic book characters who are actually intended to be gay. The DC Earth Two Green Lantern, for one. Marvel's Wiccan and Hulkling. DC's Batwoman. Marvel's Loki. Brandon Sharpe, Striker on Marvel Universe Earth-616. Marvel's Iceman. Comic Book Resources made a list of 63 LGBT Marvel/DC characters in June 2015. Archie comics introduced Kevin Keller. Even before that there were "suggestive" lines in the Archie comics. It wasn't just Batman. Check out the small army of links at the bottom of this post.

Batman and Robin were never actually intended to have any same-sex thing going on. But there has been a change in the way language is used and understood, which has led to much levity around the relationship.

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The question of a homoromance between the Dark Knight and his Boy Wonder was formally raised as early as 1954 by Dr. Frederic Wertham in his book Seduction of the Innocent. And even though Wertham's underlying scientific work was challenged in 2013 by a researcher who went through all the notes the doctor used in writing the book, discrediting both his sources and data as well as many of Wertham's conclusions, the notion was put out there mid-20th, and it never died. There are really two questions that this researcher's work raises: 1) Did Wertham connive to trash comics for his own nefarious reasons, and 2) Are Batman and Robin really a model for "becoming homosexual?"

The internet, especially, has a big time with the whole idea. Wikipedia has an article entitled "Homosexuality in the Batman franchise" and if you Google "batman gay" you get an ever-changing panoply of cherry-picked links. The Batman and Robin cosplayers below are among the least NSFW of many photos that appear in the google image search for "batman gay."

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Adam West and Burt Ward admit that they would occasionally play something with gay innuendo just for the hell of it, but the directors always caught it before it aired, and reshot the scenes. Ward reports that one executive said, "You guys can't do that! We'd be off the air in a week!"

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The second question above is kind of crazy. We now understand homosexual orientation as something born into a person. So those boys who were being "recruited" into homosexuality during the 1940s and 1950s and so on, were actually seeking out what they found, not the other way around. I can understand that parents didn't understand it that way. Your little angel is never the "evil" one.

In a book I bought as source material for the long-proposed (and not yet executed after eight years) thread to be called "A Technically Straight Man Looks at LGBT Cinema," there is a several-page dissection of the use of teenage sidekicks in comics and films of the 1930s and 1940s. The book is entitled We Boys Together: Teenagers in Love Before Girl-Craziness, and was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2007. It is by Jeffery P. Dennis, a same-sex oriented professor of Sociology.

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On pages 186 and 187 of the book a discussion of "Superhero and Sidekick" begins, with a historical analysis of Jimmy Olsen in the Superman comics, who was joined in the same month by Robin the Boy Wonder in Detective Comics. Dr. Dennis asserts that within a few months nearly every superhero had his own teenage boy sidekick.
Jeffery P. Dennis wrote:
The teenage sidekick may have originated in the Boys Next Door of radio sitcoms, but he was definitely an Adventure Boy, courageous and resourceful, with a physique as absurdly muscular as that of the superhero himself. For the men in the service and the high schoolers who would soon join them, the superheros and teen sidekicks became beefcake alternatives to the pin-up girls featured in Male Call and Jungle Comics. Robin the Boy Wonder was originally drawn as short, skinny, and barely pubescent, but by the time he celebrated his fourteenth birthday in Batman 10 (April-May 1942), he had the body of a very athletic young adult, displayed in a costume considerably more revealing than its inspiration in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938): a red vest tight enough to highlight "ripped" pecs and abs, green sleeves open at impressive biceps, and extremely short green trunks. His legs were bare, to facilitate his high-kicking fighting style.

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The Human Torch's Toro was a black haired teenage body builder, naked except for another pair of extremely short green trunks. The Eagle's sidekick Buddy wore a white muscle shirt and extremely short blue trunks.
At first Buddy was dressed as if ready for gym class, but in Weird Comics #17 he got a form-fitting, but full length costume that matches The Eagle's, complete with red and white-striped cape.

Dennis does not put forth the proposition that there were homosexual connections between the superheros and their sidekicks. He is asserting that there was a homoromantic angle to these pairings. Once again, he does not claim that there was sexuality in the teenage sidekicks' presence at all. But modern readers are liable to leap to conclusions when looking at these old mid-20th comics, and see homosexuality where only homoromance (or not even that) was intended. It seems that in the minds of many in my generation, and possibly most in subsequent generations, the idea that sex=romance is perceived to hold a germ of truth. Consequently, many modern readers of Batman and Robin comics see the potential of sexuality blossoming between the two.

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I still don't, although I can admit that the cues are there, if taken in a way that could lead to those conclusions. That's why I used George Clooney's quote to title this essay. He was asked if Batman was gay, and he replied, "No, but I played him as gay." If you are much like me, and look at the source films and comics that Jeffrey Dennis uses for his fascinating book, you are likely to see alternate explanations for what he sees going on. Or, perhaps if you are a gay person, perhaps even if you're not you will see exactly what he does. To me it isn't there. To you, whether you are gay or not, it might be clearly and unequivocally there!

So could it be that maybe the Batman writers and artists over the years have written and drawn Batman and Robin as gay, when they really aren't? Maybe they were aware of the homoromantic angle, but didn't see it as sexual to any degree at all? Were the artists blind to what they were doing, naive in what they wrote and drew? Is it a case of language being used differently across the decades of Batman's cultural presence? Is all this in the eye of the beholder, as they say? I think it's probably the latter case. You see what you see when you look at any art, including comic strips and comic books. Films, too. Others see what they see, and it may not match your vision.

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Do you want Batman and Robin to be very much father-son like (in the traditional sense)? Or do you want them to have a homoromance going on, bonding them together, but never getting physical? Or, do you want them to be having some undrawn, off-page or off-screen intimate moments? The intentions of the writers, artists, and actors involved in the creation of the art are merely the signals. The messages appear in your mind when you observe the works they have created. And if it pleases you to see an alternate vision, then all the better, I think. The purpose of these comics and films is to provide you with moments of pleasure, after all.

I guess part of the pleasure is debating the question in forums online! There is no consensus, except that the Dynamic Duo are not gay, but.... People come down on both sides of the question. It's really amusing.

As for the Batman meme itself, that isn't meant to be subtext, or a mere suggestion.

Following the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality in June 2015, Neatorama.com reblogged a comic post from batsVsupes.tumblr.com. It was simply the latest installment of this internet meme: the comic is entitled "Love Wins, Robin Loses." Poor future Nightwing.

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Homosexuality in the Batman franchise From Wikipedia, the gay encyclopedia "Homosexual interpretations of Batman and Robin have attracted even more attention during the Modern Age of Comic Books, as sexual and LGBT themes became more common and accepted in mainstream comics."

Scholar Finds Flaws in Work by Archenemy of Comics NYT Feb 19, 2013 by Dave Itzkoff. "Other examples show how Wertham omitted extenuating circumstances in the lives of his patients, who often came from families marred by violence and substance abuse, or invented details outright."

Love Wins, Robin Loses from Neatorama. posted 30 June 2015 by Miss Cellania Love Wins, Robin Loses Original batsVsupes post.

The Gayness of Batman: A Brief History [Opinion]. At comicsalliance.com by Andrew Wheeler April 30, 2012 1:00 PM "When we talk about Batman’s gayness, we talk about presentation and perception. Writers as diverse as Bill Finger, Alan Grant, Devin Grayson and Frank Miller have all said that Batman is not gay; but they have all been asked the question. It’s not a question that generally gets asked about other heroes, but in the public imagination it’s one of the first questions asked about Batman."

15 awkwardly sexual moments in Batman Comics... from funnyordie.com. By Mikepattonfan (Sean Warhurst). Published February 12, 2012 49k views. "Much has been made of the perceived homoerotic subtext that runs through Batman and Robin's unique relationship. Although for the most part it appears that some people are just looking too deeply into things in order to satisfy their own sexualised desire..."

75 Years of Ambiguity: Batman’s 10 Gayest Moments. the quire.com. Posted on April 21, 2014 by Sean Davis. "It could be the tights, his boywonder or the rubber nipples but there is no denying that Batman is the most-recognizable [not] gay superhero and here are 10 of his gayest moments."

10 Weirdly Sexual Moments Between Batman And Robin. whatculture.com. Josh Wilding. "And it’s pretty hard to resist some of the clearly inappropriate and often hilarious examples of when everyday moments between the two take on a very different context when they’re re-examined all these years later…"

Is Batman gay? thread post #39. by Rareless09 01-09-2010, 06:46 PM "Robin isn't gay, Batman isn't gay. But this does give me the opportunity to post this piece of comic awesomeness."

Is Batman gay. Thread from comicvine.com/forums. "#95 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (82980 posts) - 6 years, 4 months ago - Show Bio. I guess its my fault for thinking any sort of mature debate on the subject of homosexuality would take place."

Batman Comic Book Writer: Batman is ‘very, very gay.’. HowGay.com. Quoting Grant Morrison: "'Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense. All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care–he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid.'"

Another gay interpretation? thread at comicvine.com Posted by Spastic Man (10 posts) - 7 years, 1 month ago. "But let’s see what the creators think:"..."Devin Grayson: 'To answer your second question first, do I agree with people imposing their own 'readings' on establish FICTIONAL characters? Of course. That's the whole point of reading, to bring your imagination and experience to the text, and to come away feeling inspired or entertained or like you've made a connection with the universal (because as I keep insisting, fiction is about truth, not reality)... So now, specifically, is he gay? Well, I guess it depends who you ask, doesn't it? Since you're asking me, I'll say no, I don't think he is. I'm pretty attached to the idea of him having the impossible romance with Selina, and I also think he's someone who lives pretty far outside sexual self-expression as a general rule. I certainly understand the gay readings, though. There's lots there to play with and I think that's fun and cool. And, of course, had you asked me about Nightwing's sexuality, well, you might have gotten a very different answer.'"

The gay Green Lantern wins his first battle, against One Million Moms. io9.com. Lauren Davis. Filed to: green lantern 6/02/12 5:15pm. "Since DC Comics announced the identity of its newly gay superhero: Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, there's been lots of discussion about sexuality diversity in comics. But this Green Lantern has already done one good turn in his early gay life: bloodying the nose of hate group One Million Moms."

Want to know which DC Comics superhero is coming out of the closet? Cyriaque Lamar Filed to: Comics 6/01/12 7:00am. "And who is it? According to Earth Two author James Robinson — who we spoke with a few weeks back — it's Alan Scott, better known as the Green Lantern of Earth Two's Justice Society. Robinson elaborated on the decision to change the sexuality of the first Green Lantern (who debuted in 1940) for the newly rebooted DC Universe."

10 Great LGBT Superheroes (And Superhero Couples). From newsarama.com.
by Alan Kistler, Newsarama Contributor Date: 14 February 2014 Time: 06:00 PM ET. "With her father as her aid, Kate wages war on Gotham's criminals as the Batwoman. She has been romantically linked with Reneé; Montoya and, more recently, with Maggie Sawyer, an old friend of Superman's."

Celebrate Pride Month with This List of 63 LGBT Marvel/DC Characters. Comic Book Resources. Sat, June 27th, 2015 at 7:58am PDT. "To celebrate a Pride Month for the history books, we've compiled a massive -- but still nowhere near comprehensive -- list of the LGBT heroes, villains, allies and civilians that populate the pages of Marvel and DC Comics."

The Eagle and Buddy the Daredevil Boy! posted at Again with the Comics.com by Brian Hughes Friday, April 25, 2008. "From Weird Comics #15, meet the Golden Age's shirtless anvil-smacker The Eagle and his Daisy-Duke clad teenage "ward" Buddy the Daredevil Boy. Another Obscure '40's misfit bound to be sumptuously painted by Alex Ross sometime in the next year or two, The Eagle soaked his cape in anti-gravitation fluid and took to the skies in pursuit of googly-eyed amputees, as you'll see when you read 'The Beast and the Blindness Formula'."

We Boys Together pages 186+. From Google books.

Kevin Keller (comics). From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater explained that including an openly gay character is a way to keep the world of Archie Comics inclusive and updated. 'Archie's hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books.'"

The Eagle-"Lester Raye"-1941 Kamis, 02 Agustus 2012 at Comics SR blogspot. The full 15-pg story.

Flying the flag: the superpatriots of the early 1940s from Comiczine FA.com. by Tony Keen 28-Apr-14. "A later appearance of the Eagle and Buddy, cover-dated November 1941, by which time their costumes had been modified to make them appear more patriotic – note especially the red-and-white-striped capes."

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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:15 am
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All right. The two longest essays are finished and posted.

Now for a couple of shorter tech posts. There just aren't enough quotes in these films to do a Quotes tech post, so once the SFX and Design posts are in here, the Batman Multimatch will be finished!

My personal calendar has the next Reel Future pair of posts for The Fly scheduled for August 1st. But I might miss that by a week. Or I might hit it right on the head. Not sure.

Will want to take a break, and probably won't get the last Bat-posts up until later in the coming week.

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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:47 am
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Quote:
It is basically a Baz Lurhmann musical film without the music.

This made me smile... and it seems to ring very true, never thought of it in that way!

What a great read, YTMN!
My experience with Batman comics is quite different than yours, obviously. I read comics since I was young. Had the local comic store pull my favorites for me every month. No Batman comics were included... that is until I saw this on the shelf one day:
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I loved that cover. I loved that issue. And then I hunted down every one in the mini series before it and added my first Batman to my pull box. Batman slowly became my favorite superhero. I'm not nearly the collector that I used to be (I mostly read TPBs and graphic novels these days) but that didn't stopped me from owning some really cool Batman comics along the way. I could list some of my favorites, but I won't ... I will say that I remember when I finally got a copy of Batman 181... the first appearance of Poison Ivy... what a moment! I thought she was neat in that she was unique from the other villains in my mind... kind of the way you describe Catwoman from the Adam West show.

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Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:55 am
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I'm enjoying the fact that nearly every more-recent Batman collection is available as Nook and Kindle editions. They don't take up space in the room, the pages don't wrinkle, the ink doesn't fade. (You can even find individual issues as Kindle editions.)

Holding the pages is nice. But I can read and collect a lot more volumes that electronic way. I've spent about $200.00 on print and electronic Batman comic book collections since I started the Batman Multimatch, not to mention the Blu-ray expenses!

But it's been fun. This morning I finished re-reading A Death in the Family. The electronic version includes A Lonely Place of Dying, which is the Tim Drake introductory story. I hadn't read that one before. I read the first 17 issues of Batman Incorporated as Kindle, and saw poor widdle Damain Wayne bite the dust in issue #8 of the collection. It wasn't any more grisly than the 1983 death of Jason Todd...few things could be, actually.

From a careful re-reading I noticed that Ra's al Ghul was featured before 1983 in Batman stories that were happening while I was separated from comics by those things I mentioned in the essay. Our local library has a few collections that were new to me before I checked them out to read. But I haven't been using the library much for the past two years. I need to go check which ones they have in hard copy that would be new to me.

I guess I retain enough of that kid in me that I still enjoy reading comics! At least Spidey and Bats comics.

:heart: I appreciate you talking to me in here. It makes me feel as if I actually still exist! :D

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:19 am
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A Death in the Family is a good one. Have the TPB... and the individual issues. Haven't re-read it for a couple years though. Have you read The Long Halloween? That's the series that really got me into Batman. My wife actually bought me two pieces of Tim Sale original art: a page from the Long Halloween and a page from it's follow-up Dark Victory.

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Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:41 am
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I've not read The Long Halloween. It keeps coming up in my Amazon recommended list, though. And it's listed as an important story line in the 75 Years of Batman collection.

There are 640 titles listed here (Batman TPB Complete Chronology) that contain Bruce Wayne, but that includes cameos. Do you mean you have all of the Batman trade paperbacks, or only The Long Halloween? Oh, the writer says these titles in his list haven't all been assembled into TPB yet.

EDIT: I figured it out. The TPB reference is to A Death in the Family. The only TPB I have at the moment is Vol 1 of Chronicles.

Original comic book art can't be as expensive as a Picasso, but it can't be cheap!

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
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Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:14 pm
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YouTookMyName wrote:
I've not read The Long Halloween. It keeps coming up in my Amazon recommended list, though. And it's listed as an important story line in the 75 Years of Batman collection.

There are 640 titles listed here (Batman TPB Complete Chronology) that contain Bruce Wayne, but that includes cameos. Do you mean you have all of the Batman trade paperbacks, or only The Long Halloween? Oh, the writer says these titles in his list haven't all been assembled into TPB yet.

EDIT: I figured it out. The TPB reference is to A Death in the Family. The only TPB I have at the moment is Vol 1 of Chronicles.

Original comic book art can't be as expensive as a Picasso, but it can't be cheap!

The Long Halloween is a who dun it type story where Batman is investigating a serial killer and it was cool to play detective along with Batman. I also loved how when a murder was taking place the art shifted to black and white. I recommend that you listen to Amazon's recommendation list. It's just a fun little 13 part story. Dark Victory follows it up and brings in Robin along the way. Both are written by the same guy as Hush... if you've read that one. All three (TLH, DV, and Hush) are pretty good.

I'd say I own about 25 or so Batman TPBs in total. I also own a couple hundred single issues of various Batman comics.

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Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:46 pm
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I just requested The Long Halloween from the local library. Should be available in a few days. Also, they have Hush Returns and Hush Beyond, but apparently no just plain ole Hush.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
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Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:09 am
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In your post 77 years of Batman comics: The second image from the left of Batman kissing Catwoman and the image of Batman clenching his fist on the gargoyle (titled Batman A Celebration of 75 years) in your post were originally drawn by Jim Lee as part of the promotions for Hush. Hush was another special moment for me... so its hard to look at objectively in some ways... Jim Lee was one of the artists that inspired me when I was young. I collected all of the variant covers for X-Men #1 that he drew and used to lay them out on the floor to see them combine to on large image. I followed all of his work. If he drew it, I owned it. I went with him over to Image when he co-founded the company and created WildC.A.T.s . So, when he teamed up with Jeph Loeb, the guy who wrote the Batman book that got me into Batman... well... I was beside myself. Hush is pretty famous for having a modern day Batman v. Superman arch in it. I would let you borrow my Absolute Edition of it, if you lived a little closer. :P

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Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:59 pm
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I see. Well, perhaps I should buy and read the Kindle version of Hush before I read the other two.

Waiting for the requested books made me want to go to the library. Haven't been since last year.

Got this stuff today. Anything of interest you can see here?

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A 4-times bigger version if you can't read the titles.
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Also, picked up a PB of Catcher in the Rye, since I've read so many books that claim to be "similar to Catcher in the Rye" and I thought I should see for myself by reading the original.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:34 am
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