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BATMAN 2010 POSTERBATMAN 2012 MOVIE

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE???
Movie Reviews

Review by Andrew Kosarko

With the recent hoopla over Christopher Nolan playing “godfather” to the new Superman franchise and unofficially “officially” being confirmed for Batman 3 – the questions arise: what do we need/want and can expect? Luckily, I’ve tailored my fanboy experience by following the productions of Begins and TDK with a magnifying glass. So I’ll have an edge on the rumor mill once it really starts rolling. But for now – let’s take a look at what I think we need out of this film:

The Title – “Batman Begins” was a far fetched title to uh… well, begin with. We always thought it was going to be “Batman: The Intimidation Game” as that was the code name they operated under to keep production secret. Then, Nolan started production on a little film called “Rory’s First Kiss.” Never heard of it? Oh, well that’s because it was the code name for The Dark Knight – also a nod to Nolan’s son. So to be expected, when we hear the “codename” of Batman 3, it ain’t gonna have anything to do with the real title. Now I’ve heard every possible fanboy idea for a title for Batman 3 = The Caped Crusader, The Dark Knight Returns, Gotham City and the every popular “Shadow of the Bat.” Frankly, I feel like all of those suck. If any, Shadow of the Bat is the one that sucks the least, but the point is that none of these titles really put a final stamp on the trilogy. And that’s what the point of this film is – to round out Christopher Nolan’s Batman arc. This is the last one for him folks (at least in the director’s chair). The title really need to hold a promise of the grand finale. Something exciting and complete.

The Main Character – It’s no argument that Wayne/Batman are the focus of Batman Begins. However, the Dark Knight takes a back seat in the same titled film to the Joker, Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon. He closes the film with what comes off as a last minute arc, but the focus of the film still doesn’t lie on him entirely. The third film needs to refocus on him as the main character. We need to be following Bruce through 80% of this movie, at minimum.

The Plot – there are a lot of aspects that need to be addressed in this film. Mainly, how and if Batman and Gordon pulled off their cover-up of Harvey Two-Face’s actions from the end of Dark Knight. Several people, including a mess of police officers and Gordon’s family know the truth. We will need to see the effect of these actions on both the characters and how it will lead us into the plot of this third film that can quickly move into it’s own story.

This story, needs to take a step away from the action and more into the detective thriller aspect of Batman. That’s one of his greatest strengths that hasn’t been fully addressed on screen. Batman is a master detective. And what better villain to bring out the brains of Batman than the Riddler? If you’ve watched the recent film “Zodiac” directed by David Fincher, I’m talking that kind of mental block.

The thrill of it all will draw the characters, especially Batman, back to the main focus of the film. On the flip side of the same coin – we need a human emotional arc for Bruce in this film. Which, of course, leads to Catwoman/Selina Kyle. How is Bruce handling the aftermath of losing Rachel Dawes to the Joker’s explosion? Can he allow himself to love again? What happens when he finds out the truth about her and is torn between the happiness of a solid human foundation and all that he has sworn to stand by?

The truth of the matter is, Batman’s story in all mediums is a tragedy. It never works out with rays of sunshine shining down on him smiling as he stares out into the distance. That’s how you cap this trilogy off – by ending the humanity of Batman. He ceases to become Bruce Wayne anymore and is fully engulfed in the realm of Batman. He becomes obsessed. A crazy man. Driven for one single purpose. While still tragic, this can be a very uplifting moment of a man embracing his destiny and doing it with a will power that is unrivaled by any character in thematic history.

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Up the Stakes – as much as I hate to say it. We have to kill someone else off. I know Rachel was a big loss to Bruce in Dark Knight, but as an audience it really didn’t emotionally connect with me. I especially didn’t feel her death was a result of Batman, but more of her relation with Harvey Dent. There is, however, one man who is somewhat expendable to Bruce and would force him into a smaller world of isolation. Lucius Fox. It’s pretty much a given that once Nolan leaves, his cast will too. And I have no idea how anyone can follow Morgan Freeman’s footsteps. Alfred and Gordon are the only two safe bets for Batman 3’s survival area, and even that’s not a guarantee. But while we’re on the subject of killing off…

Let’s not keep offing villains please – Ras Ahl Ghul could have survived. Scarecrow and Falcone are in jail. Lord knows where Zsaz is. Maroni survived ( I have no evidence to support this – but trust me. He lived.) And the Joker is thankfully locked in Arkham. Ok, that’s acceptable up until the closing moments of Dark Knight when Two-face broke his neck. There are several different ways to remove Harvey Dent from the equation without killing him, but they off’d him anyways. This is unfair to fans who wanted to see a different aspect of that character that was definitely not shown in the 30 minutes the character has. Somewhere down the line another director may want to highlight something or add something new to the mythology of the villains and it’s unfair to limit what they can and cannot do.

Don’t cast Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp – I’m sorry. They may be great actors but they’re too perfect for the parts and too cliché of suggestions to play characters. I don’t want people who I’ll see on screen and think “Oh that’s Johnny Depp as the Riddler.” I want to see someone and thing, “that’s the Riddler.” These two are people who have too much hype around them. That’s not to say there can’t be stars in the roles, but just someone against the type. I trust Nolan’s casting ability so I’m not entirely worried, and you shouldn’t be either.

Speed up and slow down – The Dark Knight is a solid film, sure. But damn is it long. The pacing of the film overall is quite slow, even for so much happening so fast. It’s an editing thing. It’s alright to simplify the story a bit to save on time. But some of the key moments in the film need to slow down the pacing. Nolan has a habit of cutting away from shots that should hold a bit longer at key moments. This kind of judgment needs to really be focused on in order to avoid complaints about a fully cerebral plot that takes too long to get across. Film is about emotion – return to the style of editing used in Batman Begins – but keep the fighting editing style from Dark Knight and you’ll be on to something.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTShooting format – You can film the whole thing in IMAX if you want this go around. But remember, 95% of the audience is going to see the film in a standard theater. When shooting, stick to the 2:35:1 boxes and just let everything else be some nice breathing room. The IMAX sequences, at times, during Dark Knight can have some terrible framing. I’d like to avoid that if at all possible. Also – don’t go the 3-D route. Please. I beg of you. I don’t care to see Batman in 3D. Especially with the kind of thematic respect you’ve already attained from you excellent storytelling abilities.

So that’s what we have at the moment. This is what I’m hoping for. It’s not all that specific, I realize this, but the truth is I’d rather let Nolan fill in the blanks so that I can enjoy the film. Last go around I was a spoiler hound and while it didn’t completely hinder my experience of the film, I was left wondering if I would have enjoyed it more if there was less I knew about it. But hold on to your hats folks, I told you a couple weeks back the DC Entertainment peoples would be knocking down the door with awesomeness. And soon enough, Chris Nolan and his team will be storming the house fully armored with amazingness.

Stay tuned, same Bat-time, same Fanboy Source Headquarters

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