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Batman Begins A great looking Gotham

henzINNIT

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Begins is the Nolan film that totally nailed the city of Gotham in my opinion. It feels grim, foreboding and ever so slightly stylised. The film felt like it was in a unique place, and the sets just bled crime and corruption.

I was sad to see it become more generic in TDK, and was so hoping TDKR would rectify it. This stands out to me alot when looking at the series.

Anyone else love the city in this? Anyone else a bit disappointed by the change?
 
Gotham as shown in BB was not really suitable for the story of TDK and TDKR.

having said that, I liked its look but then some villains that would have suited that kind of Gotham were - Hugo Strange, Black Mask, Zasz and Pyg.
 
Apart from the Narrows it was the same Gotham.
 
Well, it did lack the monorails
The monorails can be seen in TDK and in RISES, so that's not true at all. It's safe to assume the monorails were scaled back by the city after the events of Batman Begins. But they can be seen in both sequels to Batman Begins.

Fudgie said:
Apart from the Narrows it was the same Gotham.
Agreed. The Narrows don't re-appear in TDK and RISES because it's safe to assume they have been whiped clean and boarded up.

The Narrows was just a set, and ultimately the only difference from the other films ... where as the rest of the film is filmed on location in Chicago.

Lower Whacker Street is used in BEGINS and TDK for chase scenes. It keeps a visual flow through.

Also, the removal of the Narrows after the end of BEGINS makes sense why Wayne Tower changes from BEGINS to TDK and RISES.

After the train crashes into it and blows up, it's reasonable to think Wayne Enterprises packs up and moves there stuff to a new building.

While TDK and RISES has Gotham looking cleaner, more sterile, and not as many pitch black night time shots ...

It's to reflect the change and dynamic of the story. In BEGINS Wayne establishes the theatricality of Batman in the pitch black of night.

In TDK as his legend and mystique grow he's brought out at dusk and slight hints of dawn.

In RISES he's brought out fully into the day to bring the dawn to Gotham the way Dent promised in TDK.

The city looks cleaner starting in TDK because it shows the impact the Batman has had on crime in Gotham. It all makes sense stylistically and thematically.

It's not a totaly different continuity feel the way B89's dirty, opressive and grim Gotham changed to RETURN's Goth circle jerk Gotham, and then changed to the Fruit Loops Gotham City of Shumacher's vision.

There is plenty of visual connection and continuity between films.
 
I felt Gotham was just Chicago in TDK.

In TDKR, it was Manhattan NY with a lot more bridges, no Bronx, some of Los Angelos skyline and streets, and Pittburgh. You can even see the Empore State Building, the Queensboro Bridge, the new WTC being built in the background like in real life and US Bank Tower in scenes.

I think they should've stayed in Chicago for TDKR for consistency stake.

BB got it perfect, since it help differentiate Gotham from real life cities by using the monorail and Wayne Tower I. This could've been done in TDK and TDKR, but still be clean and such.

Hoping the next film version of Gotham is based off a New York City that hasn't recovered from crime since the 70s, bad zoning, lots of gothic and art deco buildings with some modern ones, and utilizes the map from the comics more.

Wonder how Zac Synder is gonna make Metropolis unique.
 
Hoping the next film version of Gotham is based off a New York City that hasn't recovered from crime since the 70s, bad zoning, lots of gothic and art deco buildings with some modern ones, and utilizes the map from the comics more.

Wonder how Zac Synder is gonna make Metropolis unique.

Yep. I agree. Bad zoning is key - it needs to look like, as Anton Furst said in '89, there has been corruption on the city planning bureau for decades.

I think Snyder will go for a very realistic Metropolis, probably like Nolan did with Gotham in TDK and TDKR. But to me, the fictional cities are what give DC an edge over Marvel's films. I hope they don't make it too generic.
 
I very much agree that Batman Begins had my favourite Gotham. Although, like others have mentioned, it would be more accurate to say that it had my "favourite parts of Gotham", because only the Narrows really differ from the rest of the city portrayed in the other two films.

Also, cinematography and colour play a very important part in this preference : BB's light brown and yellow tones created an atmosphere that was very unique aesthetically, while TDK and TDKR's blueish / grey tones were more generic, or let's say more "realistic" for lack of a better word.

My ideal Gotham is not a city that looks like any other. It should have fantastical elements, and over-the-top architecture. The Narrows's studio feel worked very well.

TDK's Gotham really feels like an almost unaltered Chicago.

I think it was a good idea to try and mix up so many cities in TDKR, to end up with a very unique blend. Yes, some landmarks are still recognizable, even to a European, but the Pittsburgh scenes especially added a very different taste to the whole picture.

I agree with all of this.
 
The monorails can be seen in TDK and in RISES, so that's not true at all. It's safe to assume the monorails were scaled back by the city after the events of Batman Begins. But they can be seen in both sequels to Batman Begins.


Agreed. The Narrows don't re-appear in TDK and RISES because it's safe to assume they have been whiped clean and boarded up.

The Narrows was just a set, and ultimately the only difference from the other films ... where as the rest of the film is filmed on location in Chicago.

Lower Whacker Street is used in BEGINS and TDK for chase scenes. It keeps a visual flow through.

Also, the removal of the Narrows after the end of BEGINS makes sense why Wayne Tower changes from BEGINS to TDK and RISES.

After the train crashes into it and blows up, it's reasonable to think Wayne Enterprises packs up and moves there stuff to a new building.

While TDK and RISES has Gotham looking cleaner, more sterile, and not as many pitch black night time shots ...

It's to reflect the change and dynamic of the story. In BEGINS Wayne establishes the theatricality of Batman in the pitch black of night.

In TDK as his legend and mystique grow he's brought out at dusk and slight hints of dawn.

In RISES he's brought out fully into the day to bring the dawn to Gotham the way Dent promised in TDK.

The city looks cleaner starting in TDK because it shows the impact the Batman has had on crime in Gotham. It all makes sense stylistically and thematically.

It's not a totaly different continuity feel the way B89's dirty, opressive and grim Gotham changed to RETURN's Goth circle jerk Gotham, and then changed to the Fruit Loops Gotham City of Shumacher's vision.

There is plenty of visual connection and continuity between films.

This post is full of win.
 
I never noticed the monorails in TDK and Rises (the third, admittedly, I've only seen twice, but I've watched TDK a zillion times)--there are some of the Chicago L-train tracks in a few scenes in TDK but they are far from looking like the monorails in Begins.

TDK's buildings look a lot more generic than in Begins, as well--just look at the shot of the Wayne building in Begins versus the one in TDK. One is much more art deco, the other is more streamlined--it's like the Chrysler building versus, say, a Trump building, Trump goes more for that streamlined, utilitarian look, which is very modern but also makes the buildings look somewhat generic.

Rises on the other hand by incorporated some visuals we usually don't see in movies (such as some of the buildings from the Pittsburgh shoot--the city hall for instance) and I thought it looked more interesting visually than most of the city in TDK.

TDK
on the other hand is a movie very much built around its action set pieces--the visuals of the city just don't matter as much as the layout--for instance Lower Wacker Drive isn't great to look at by itself, but it made for a good chase scene.

EDIT: Oh, one final thought: the use of color saturation is different in all these films. Begins often puts things through an orange-like filter in many scenes, TDK seemed basically visually neutral, and Rises is more of a washed-out, blue-filter.
 
Begins is the Nolan film that totally nailed the city of Gotham in my opinion. It feels grim, foreboding and ever so slightly stylised. The film felt like it was in a unique place, and the sets just bled crime and corruption.

I was sad to see it become more generic in TDK, and was so hoping TDKR would rectify it. This stands out to me alot when looking at the series.

Anyone else love the city in this? Anyone else a bit disappointed by the change?

Agreed. Of all the films, Gotham looked it's best in Begins. It looked like a city in Decay and on the brink of imploding. TDKR Gotham felt too much like NYC to me.
 
Yeah definitely it looked perfect in Begins, they should have stuck closer too it in the follow ups infact Begins is the darkest of the lot, maybe why its my favourite Batman movie.
 
I don't think Begins is the darkest of the lot. There's no severe casualties like in TDK with Rachel and Harvey, Batman becoming a fugitive for several murders etc, and the villain's plot is decisively defeated. The ending is a feel good ending, too.

TDK is the darkest. Darker villains, darker plot, and more tragic consequences in the story.
 
I don't think Begins is the darkest of the lot. There's no severe casualties like in TDK with Rachel and Harvey, Batman becoming a fugitive for several murders etc, and the villain's plot is decisively defeated. The ending is a feel good ending, too.

TDK is the darkest. Darker villains, darker plot, and more tragic consequences in the story.

I'm talking visually dark its much darker than the other two in my opinion
 
It had the least amount of day time scenes in it, I'll give you that. TDKR had too many.
 
I have to agree that Begins was perfect with how Gotham looked. Had that great balance of looking like an American city, while featuring dark, grimy, dirty sections like the Narrows. Sure, it wasn't Gothic (except for some shots in the film), but I've never always viewed Gotham as being really Gothic. I imagined it as being a dirty and grimy industrial city, with some Gothic architecture. I pretty much got that with Begins.
 
It had the least amount of day time scenes in it, I'll give you that. TDKR had too many.

Yeah what was with that in Rises I wonder of they couldn't get certain buildings they wanted at knight. I know Nolan was on about Batman earning the right to come out in the daytime but I don't always buy that.
 
Begins is the Nolan film that totally nailed the city of Gotham in my opinion. It feels grim, foreboding and ever so slightly stylised. The film felt like it was in a unique place, and the sets just bled crime and corruption.

I was sad to see it become more generic in TDK, and was so hoping TDKR would rectify it. This stands out to me alot when looking at the series.

Anyone else love the city in this? Anyone else a bit disappointed by the change?
I did not like the city at all. I think the exact contrary as you. Unique, was it clearly not.It was boring, no identity at all, just the random Chicago/Pittsburgh places. Boring as hell. On a complementary note, I find Chicago beautiful, but Gotham city has a unique a very visual character that was totally absent from the trilogy. That said, The director knew how to build an atmosphere or how to shoot the city in order to create what he wanted.I suppose. But unique?? Most certainly not. Boring City is Nolan city. I thought New York in Spiderman 1 from S.Raimi had more personnality.
I thought the city was the same in the 3 movies, maybe it was a bit more developped inthe third with all those tunnels. That was cool. Not that onecould have hoped to see alligators in it, oh well.
 
I thought the city was the same in the 3 movies, maybe it was a bit more developped inthe third with all those tunnels.


Definitely not. I didnt recognize any landmarks in the first 2, although it was easy to put myself in the spot there since it looked like any major American city more or less (sans Narrows), but with 3, it was predominantly NYC even with the freedom tower, and I live 15 min from Manhattan for 11 years and Im there very often, so its like my home city and I recognize every corner and every street. For me TDK happens in Manhattan, which actually adds positives to the atmosphere cause I can identify with this city and put myself on citizens' spot, and it feels like it directly involves my area

But yeah, Nolans Gotham works for many reasons for me, but I agree it certainly cant be described as unique. And that wasnt even Nolans point, as he specifically said he wanted an ordinary city which can be any city in US.
 
Yeah, I was surprised by how much of TDKR used the NYC skyline--I thought part of them filming in Pittsburgh was to use the Pittsburgh skyline because it's not usually used in movies and so would seem a bit more unique. But only specific scenes were filmed there apparently--so many of the placement/setting shots were of NYC.
 
I didn't have any problem with the Chicagoan parts of Gotham, but it was horribly jarring to go from Chicago, to a soundstage (the Narrows) and then back to Chicago again.

If Nolan's goal was ever to create a living breathing city all unto itself - ala Blade Runner - then he failed pretty miserably.
 

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