Characterization of the Knight - Nolan and Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman - Part 2

Discussion in 'The Dark Knight Rises' started by Thread Manager, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. BatLobsterRises

    BatLobsterRises Lobsterized

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    Nice post. I think TDK showed this in a small way by having Bruce choose not to kill The Joker in the end despite being just as devastated at the loss of Rachel (if not more) than Dent. But then in TDKR, he really has everything taken from him and his enemies are intentionally attempting to break his spirit, but they fail.
     
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  2. The Guard

    The Guard Well-Known Member

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    That's called having an opinion about art. I've said this before...I'll say it again. I assume that people are intelligent enough to realize that just because something is stated definitively on here...that doesn't mean it's not still just their opinion.

    Why?

    Why would anyone reasonably take that as a personal or direct insult if it's not phrased as such?

    What I actually was "On a different level or in a different manner". It was a single thought contained in a single sentence, and encompassed both varying opinions and those posters who say things like "Why can't you just enjoy it for what it is". I wasn't just saying "Those who enjoy it on a different level". I made a statement that included both.

    And you know what? There are some people who view these films in a more artistic sense, and care more about the structure. But I made no value judgement about viewing a film on a different level. I simply pointed out that it happens.

    Yes, it could be boiled down to that...if you completely read into what I said, despite the lack of any inference whatsoever about any of that.
    You're being a tad oversensitive here, I think.

    What I wrote shouldn't come across as condescending at all, and certainly shouldn't come across as "Enjoy your flawed mess of a movie and let the big boys talk" unless you're really reading things into it that aren't there, and refusing to take what I said at face value.

    That's because, from a writing standpoint, there are people who recognize that it's essentially a repeat of what we saw in BATMAN BEGINS. They consider that a creative weakness, and to be not at all brilliant.

    While I think Nolan did enough with the concept the second time around that he didn't present it in the exact same manner and there were some interesting thematic possibilities explored, I certainly don't consider it "brilliant". I consider the League of Shadows inclusion in the film to be relatively clever in the sense that it does bring things full circle and further develop some of the parental/legacy themes, but at the same time, its a fairly obvious story point, and fans have been speculating about the return of the League of Shadows and even Bane returning with the League of Shadows since BATMAN BEGINS.

    Arguments go in circles and frustration builds, not because people have different opinions, but because very few people around here are anything
    resembling open-minded about creative aspects of film, writing, acting, etc.

    It's not so much about whining about other people's opinions...its this idea that people who see flaws in the film are somehow trying to destroy someone's personal enjoyment of the movie.

    Except that it's not that simple. While there are gray areas to be sure, there are also objective standards in the movie industry and among writers in general for what constitutes "good" and "bad" writing. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy what's in the movie, but this is what I'm talking about when I say that people who like TDKR seem to have this assumption that this means the writing is good.

    On another note, I keep seeing posts about how people have been ripped or blasted or said to have lower standards for not liking certain things. That is just not what I see on here. I see debate. Intense debate from time to time, to be sure, but debate nonetheless. While there's been some namecalling and general immaturity (there almost always is), I am really not seeing this widespread "belittling" that's being talked about. I think some of you are being a little bit oversensitive.

    I don't know how "making things up" can be taken as anything but "making things up" unless you willfully ignore what I have said. It has a definitive meaning: Imagining things. Coming up with things out of thin air.

    When you say things like "suggests a certian nuance", do you know what that suggests to me?

    That you are making things up and conjecturing and reading into what I have said, despite the fact that by saying "making things up", I have made a rather concise point that really needs none of that to be understood.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  3. Fudgie

    Fudgie Well-Known Member

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    Bravo, Guard. Bravo.
     
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  4. BatLobsterRises

    BatLobsterRises Lobsterized

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    But see, I said it "seems" to imply, which is my way of saying that it could be taken that way even if that's not necessarily the intention. For instance, in your original post that I was responding to, I didn't think you were trying to insult anybody, yet I can see why others might find that tone condescending in a more subtle way...because let's face it, this is not a schoolyard and there are rules we have to abide by here. And I know I wouldn't be the first one on here to sense a trace of that in your posts, even if it's totally misplaced. No one likes to feel condescended even if they can't be sure it's the intention, that's just human nature. There are ways to get under people's skin without technically breaking any rules.

    That said, I think you're a very intelligent poster whose input I always enjoy reading even if I don't agree with it 100% of the time, so let's get that straight.

    Fair enough.

    I know that. Hi, I'm one of those people too. :woot:

    I'm glad that's the case. You'll have to excuse me, my guard (pun intended) does tend to go up big time when I feel there's even a hint of condescension being thrown into a debate. More of a personal pet peeve of mine, though I'm sure I'm not alone in that.


    I don't really disagree. The return of the the LOS was one of the first things I speculated about when I was trying to theorize what a potential third film would end up being. I just don't think it being an obvious story point is necessarily a bad thing if it's the most organic story point. I don't think it's "brilliant" in the sense that it took a genius to come up with it, just that it was a very disciplined choice to make when you have the prospect of so many other iconic Bat-villains that the audience would have eaten up. It was the right move, and it was handled sufficiently differently than in Begins.

    There's a select few who are definitely trying to make a bit of a mockery out of the movie. Not you, not The Joker, but there are certainly others who have taken up a more aggressive and antagonistic tone. Power to 'em I say. But it just shouldn't come as a shock when the other side gets riled up and nastier.

    I get that. Hey, I've taken Screenwriting 101 like I'm sure a bunch of us on here have (thought I wouldn't consider myself a writer). I just find that a lot of the criticism I've seen here has to do with what themes should have been explored more, etc. That has nothing to do with structure and the type of more objective analysis that one can do on a screenplay. It's more about "this is what the movie should have been." Which is a totally fair line of discussion, but I think it sits squarely in that grey area you're talking about.

    And just to show you that I'm on the same page...the lines from Daggett explaining the clean-slate were the most blatant pieces of exposition ever, and to top it off it's exposition on a McGuffin that's extremely cliche and not all that interesting. Didn't hurt my enjoyment of the film whatsoever, because it's just a small patch of story mechanics in what I found to be an engrossing emotional experience.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  5. BatmanBeyond

    BatmanBeyond Shadow On The Run

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    Like I said, considering the debate was just getting heated up and the timing of your comment, I chose to read that particular phrase in a certain way. Perhaps I was wrong. Let's move on.
     
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  6. BlueLightning

    BlueLightning Caballero de la Luz

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    That's a nice post. You know, I think the Nolan team made some bold choices. Like for example, it is customary for a superhero film (or a superhero story) that the hero makes the sacrifice. But here, since Bruce already did that in TDK, in Rises the stakes are different. Bruce is fearless of death, in fact he longs for it. Yet at the end he choses to save himself, and continue to live a normal life.
     
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  7. BatmanBeyond

    BatmanBeyond Shadow On The Run

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    "You don't fear death, you welcome it."

    I was a bit surprised when realising recently just how much Nolan and Co. borrowed from Miller's DKR in terms of Bruce's state in TDKR, including the aspect you mentioned. I hadn't actually read DKR until recently, I had just read about it. Then again, it shouldn't surprise me considering Nolan's made a habit out of taking particular aspects from Batman comics and graphic novels and adapting them to fit the story he was trying to tell.
     
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  8. Anita18

    Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    That's the part that really gets me. Bruce (and likely Selina) don't know how to live a normal life. They've never experienced one.

    But they're taking the plunge anyway and embarking on that adventure - together. :yay:

    I dunno, that just gets me right in the feels because I'm getting married soon and that's what I imagine marriage to be like. :yay:
     
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  9. kvz5

    kvz5 HBIC

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    They'll have their own kind of normal. Those two are too adventuresome and too full of energy and skills to just fade in the background. That's my head canon for them. :D
     
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  10. BlueLightning

    BlueLightning Caballero de la Luz

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    Congratulations Anita!

    And talking about it, it is really different from what could one expect it from a Batman tale. It is a happy ending, and it is subtle and appropiate. And as spectators, one could not help to feel happy for Bruce. It was very nice.
     
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  11. Anita18

    Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    Oh of course. My fiance and I are not quite that normal either. The thought of buying a house and settling down is disgusting to both of us. :hehe: I mean, we're both boring introverts, but there is a certain amount of distaste about the whole idea of doing what society thinks married couples should do.

    In the same vein, it'll be the first time that Bruce is functioning without being driven by pain, and it'll be the first time that Selina is functioning without being driven by desperation. So that's their new adventure - getting a handle on all that baggage and being optimistic about it.
     
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  12. kvz5

    kvz5 HBIC

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    Congratulations! And yeah, don't let yourselves be dictated by what society does. As long as you're together and happy, you can define your own "normal". :hrt::yay:
     
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  13. AnneFan

    AnneFan Hathaway #1

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    I agree. I think they'll get up to mischief. Or mischief will come to them. I can see them having fun in any case. :woot:
     
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  14. kvz5

    kvz5 HBIC

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    (click for bigger image)

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  15. The Caped Knight

    The Caped Knight Shield Avenger

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    this really put a nice wrap up to Gordon & Batman's relationship.
     
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  16. Fudgie

    Fudgie Well-Known Member

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    Yup gotta admit I did like that.
     
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  17. Brain Damage

    Brain Damage Everything Under the Sun

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    I loved the idea itself very much but thought the execution was very ham-handed. Actually, that applies most of my problems with the film.
     
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  18. Visceral

    Visceral A Shadow

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    How?
     
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  19. Brain Damage

    Brain Damage Everything Under the Sun

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    It was just kind of silly. Batman says: "A hero can be anyone, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know the world hadn’t ended."

    First off, it spells the major theme of the movie right out for everyone.

    Second, Gordon was a cop in Gotham City. I'm willing to bet he's probably put his coat around a lot of young boy's shoulders to let them know the world hadn't ended. The fact that he's able to instantly recall doing so to Bruce Wayne seemed forced to me. Now, you might say that Batman reveals his identity in a similar way to Rachel towards the end of Begins, but consider the difference. In Begins, he utters a specific phrase that Rachel had told him before at most a few weeks (if not days) prior. In TDKR, he recalls a moment that occurred thirty years ago, vaguely, I might add.

    Third, in the moment when seconds are counting down till the bomb blows off, Batman chooses to become the Riddler (as Kevin Smith very funnily pointed out) and leave his only real friend standing in confusion trying to figure out what he just told him. Eh.

    Now, I'll say these, none of these things completely ruin the moment for me. It's still very powerful and emotional scene. But it's the most superficial kind of emotional scene. There's no subtlety involved. It's a moment in which the story is quite clearly dictated by the fact that it's a story meant for an audience, if that makes sense. Rather than having a natural build up to the reveal it's thrown in there at the last second simply because, well, it's gotta happen sometime and Bats and Gordon aren't gonna get a chance to speak to each other again.

    Thus. Ham-handed.
     
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  20. Brother Jack

    Brother Jack Believer

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    That line works as a thank you and farewell from Batman to Gordon and as a summation of Batman's mission considering it's the last line he ever has.
     
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  21. Tequilla

    Tequilla Well-Known Member

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    Its magnificent. One of the highlights of Rises, that encapsulates the 3 movies. It is also very well executed.
     
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  22. Visceral

    Visceral A Shadow

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    Wow. Do you have anything good to say about the film? or was it all ham-handed?

    I don't mean to berate but I look at this board and with the exception of a few posters all I see is negativity. Apparently the writers who infused Batman with influences like existentialist Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Neitzche, and Charles Dickens, completely fumbled the ball on this film. And not just in a couple of scenes but the entire film. According to some of you EVERY SCENE has something wrong with it.

    And don't think that I think the film is perfect, I don't. But overall the film is like all of Nolan's films, dealing with extreme intelligent themes not seen in the great majority of the superhero genre. And I don't think that you need to like the film, or any single scene for that matter. You don't have to like the influences and you don't have to think that the film is intelligent. But you come off completely inconsistent.

    The writers who made Inception and the Dark Knight are all of a sudden complete buffoons. This is the Characterization of the Knight, not the what would you change thread. Say something positive about the ideas of the film to make me think that your criticisms actually hold weight. Don't say the scene was powerful but superficially powerful. That's an oxymoron.
     
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  23. Brain Damage

    Brain Damage Everything Under the Sun

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    Yes, I do. And no, it was not. You asked me to defend my rationale against a single scene in the film, how does that immediately lead you to believe I have nothing good to say about the film at all?

    First. What does this have to do with Batman's reveal to Gordon? Second. Are you saying that because someone has done fantastic work in the past they're immediately immune to ever fumbling the ball? What does the fact that they "infused Batman with influences like existentialist Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Neitzche, and Charles Dickens" have ANYTHING to do with the quality of THIS SPECIFIC film?

    Martin Scorcese is my absolute favorite director of all time. He's created some films that have affected and entertained me in ways no others have. In my opinion, he's an absolute master, a genius. But that doesn't change the fact that I've never once sat through Gangs of New York all the way through without checking the time at least five or six times, or the fact that I found the plot twist in Shutter Island to be incredibly predictable.

    Scorcese is a genius, but he, like anyone else, is perfectly capable of fumbling the ball. Same with Nolan.

    Yes, it does deal with intelligent themes. But to me and to a lot of other people it does not deal with them nearly as intelligently as Nolan's previous films.

    Don't assume I hate the film, either. I don't. In fact, I quite like it. I pre-ordered it on Blu-Ray and I'm quite excited to watch it again, I think it's a very entertaining film. And I've praised many parts of it in various posts I've made throughout this forum, but we weren't talking about that - we were discussing Batman's reveal to Gordon.

    I'm sorry, but are Nolan and I in a Freshman workshop class or something? Why do I have to say positive about the ideas of the film to make my criticisms hold weight? First off, you asked me to elaborate on how I thought that moment was ham-handed, now you're reprimanding me for doing that? Second, did I ever say the writers of Inception and TDK are buffons? No, I did not. Thirdly, refer to my above point about Scorcese. Just because they've done great work in the past does not mean they will continue to do great work in the future.

    Not really. It's powerful in that it tugs on our emotions and is well acted, but it's superficially powerful because that moment isn't earned by the film, it's just thrown in there. A lot of films do this, and a lot of them gain the title of "Awards Bait", films that show us images that they know will move us and cause an emotional reaction, but that do so for the very reason of causing an emotional reaction, not because the story demands it.

    It's appealing to the audience. It's giving them something they want simply because they want it, not because the world of the story or the characters demand it.

    Compare the sheer amount of character development that occurs when Batman takes off his cowl in front of Gordon in No Man's Land and Gordon turns away and refuses to look.

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    In that moment we learn so much about both characters. About their friendship, about their motivations and the differences in their character.

    Now, I'm not saying the filmmakers should copy that scene or try to imitate it any way. I'm just comparing the impact both scenes had. Enlighten me, please, what character development occurs in the moment when Batman reveals his identity to Gordon through a reference to something that happened thirty years ago?

    And don't say "Gordon learns who Batman really is".
    That's not character development. That's a plot point.

    Also don't say "it brings it full circle".
    That's not character development either and it's not a good enough reason to include such a big moment in your story.

    I will say though, since you so adamantly insist I include something positive in my criticism, I thought Gordon's line about the people of Gotham knowing who saved them: "It was The Batman", was brilliant. And yes, that moment does play differently when you know that he really knows who Batman is. But that's not an excuse, in my opinion, for the ham-handed way in which the reveal was played out.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  24. The Caped Knight

    The Caped Knight Shield Avenger

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    I disagree, If Bats had said he was Bruce Wayne or unmasked then I'd agree it was executed ham-handed. But that wasn't the case. He revealed his identity in a similar manner like he had previously to Rachel in "Batman Begins" "It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me." only this time he reveals to Gordon that his simple act of placing his father's coat around him as a boy was an inspiration to him and he consider Gordon to be even more of a hero than himself.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  25. BlueLightning

    BlueLightning Caballero de la Luz

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    Well, I think it is a bold assumption to make that Gordon took his coat to give it to every traumatized kid he encountered, I don't say that he didn't had noble gestures but I believe it was a very special thing. It was Bruce Wayne after all, who else with all the resources that Batman has could be the man behind the cowl. Gordon is a very smart man after all. Bruce Wayne saying that to Gordon at the end of Rises means that Bruce considered Gordon his hero. And visually and thematically it makes sense.
     
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