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Discussion in 'The Batman' started by Detective Conan, Feb 27, 2022.
Cuz Nolan didn’t wear his influences on his sleeves either.
I guess I can watch Heat, Bladerunner, Phantasm etc instead of TDK/BB and get more out of those movies cuz they have better scripts and atmosphere..
Strange argument to make. That’s like writing off all of Tarantino’s movies for wearing his influences on his sleeve. It’s all about the sum of its parts.
But idk, its like with music. Some bands show their influences but create something new and amazing from it, while other musicians just cut and chop together elements other musicians created. That's how I feel here, Nolan clearly had his influences, but also created an "album" (to belabor the analogy) all his own, whereas Reeves created a mixtape. There were definitely some good tracks on that mixtape, but it lacks its own distinct vision and flow.
This is exactly how I see it. The Batman exists for me and is enjoyable when watching, but at the same time, it almost feels like it's pulling directly from other films with a Batman paint on it so to speak. I do think there's room to go different in the sequel though and Reeves has set that up.
Disagree. It felt like its own vision to me. The entire album is a banger with a great flow from start to finish. The Batman to me is like a masterpiece concept album.
There’s literally only one comic book movie that I’ve given a 5/5 to and that’s The Batman.
You're all quickly heading for a dead end by debating what will ultimately come down to a matter of taste.
Like @shauner111, I can personally and distinctly identify the creative identity of "The Batman". But I can also understand, intellectually, where this "patchwork" impression can come from.
I'd say there's a good chance that this will (or could) disappear in the next film, as it's not uncommon for the first installment to be where a director is taking his marks before really unleashing his creativity later on. I mean, I could argue that in the same way, Burton and Nolan first Batman film were showing their influence while their second film was really where the singularity of their vision was finally cemented.
For the record, when I went to see TDK, I was actually a bit surprised by the atmosphere of the movie, which was not exactly what I was expecting after Begins, and even the trailers.
That whole Blade Runner thing that everyone was talking about (which in the end was honestly quite shy) was completely gone. But at the same time, other aspects remained and asserted themselves to definitely define Nolan's Batman.
So yeah, my point is that Reeves is still at the beginning of this journey. His approach to that universe will continue to refine to become more and more unique. Those who didn't immediately fall in love with it are maybe in for a slightly longer game of seduction...
I actually agree. I'm honestly expecting this to be the more likely scenario for a sequel. It's one of the reasons I'm still excited for the sequel because I do think there's a lot of unexpected that will most likely come out of this from Matt. I don't really know where he'll go next and that, in and of itself, is cool to think about. If it doesn't go that way, then at least we'll have a new set of Batman films that are fun and enjoyable, despite not being something that I'm totally in love with.
Yes but as you've said in the past, you're not really a fan of 'comic book movies', so this doesn't strike me as a particularly high bar you're ranking The Batman above lol.
So I'm curious. The Batman was my first Matt Reeves film, I have not seen any of his previous works. Does he have certain quirks as a director or a particular visual style of his own? Does TB feel like a Matt Reeves film?
Hey that's awesome, not trying to take away from your enjoyment at all
And like Drangel said above, he may well hit his stride for me in the sequel
There are comic book movies that I rank pretty high though. Logan, Joker, each film from TDK trilogy, The Crow, Burton’s Batman movies, Raimi’s Spider-Man. 3.5/5 to 4.5/5 for all of those movies.
One of the things I love about both Batman Returns and The Dark Knight is that the directors were bold enough to kind of reinvent the whole thing in a lot of ways, despite having a successful first film that people loved and a simple "part 2" of that probably would've still succeeded. It's become a tradition of many great sequels, and in this case Batman sequels in particular. So I definitely am hoping Reeves will find a way to make it fresh and not repeat the formula of the first movie, which already felt a little overly familiar for me. This can also simply be a side effect of being older, having seen more movies at this point in my life than I did when Batman Begins came out, but it's there. It also an issue of, I think Nolan was one of the first to attempt using these types of Cinema™ influences in a comic book movie. It felt pretty revolutionary at the time. It was the Donner approach to Superman, but taken to the Nth degree. I guess X-Men kind of got there first, but I think the magic combo was taking this approach with a character who has no superpowers. Right off the bat you're starting off with a world that feels a little more believable. Now this kind of approach feels a bit more common, with films like Logan, Joker, even stuff like Winter Soldier trying to be a 70s political thriller, etc.
The difference for me is while Nolan did that, he also did so within a framework of his own sort of cinematic language he was developing and it felt like it was still being filtered through something that was new and emergent in filmmaking. It's the same reason to me a movie like Interstellar just feels like a Nolan movie to me, even though it's clearly taking influence from Spielberg and Kubrick in some major ways. The Batman feels a bit more like of an attempt to synthesize a lot of genre elements, including some TDK Trilogy influence among the many things its pulling from and commenting on in a way, even though the actual style and level of stylization is totally different. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I do feel like this is maybe our first truly "postmodern" Batman movie in a way.
I don’t really think any of that matters. I just want a good Batman movie sequel that is a good reflection of the source material, that also continues the story in a logical way and digs deep into the psychology of the characters again. War for the Planet of the Apes was different from Dawn so I’m not worried. I also don’t care who is considered an auteur or who isn’t. Having your own style doesn’t make you a good filmmaker. I’d consider Snyder and Bay and Von Trier auteurs and yet I hate their movies. If there is one defining element that ties Reeves’ movies together, it’s how he puts you into the point of view of the lead. He’s an adaptable filmmaker otherwise. And that’s fine, as long as your **** is good lol.
I think this movie has its own identity BUT I do understand how Burton’s and Nolan’s films feel more like a definable “this comes off like a NOLAN Batman movie not a ——“ and well...I’m gonna be that ******* and say it’s probably because they’re following their own thoughts on the character instead of following the source material. Reeves is more invisible that way. His ego doesn’t get in the way of his stories when he’s adapting something. That’s why you put the good or bad quality argument over to the side and just look at Burton’s Apes movie vs Reeves’ Apes movies and you can tell who’s got a hard on for themselves and who doesn’t. Batman Returns falls into that too. I respect it and enjoy it but not every director tackling Batman needs to make something that has their own fingerprints on it, to the point where their own style is overshadowing the thing. I just want good Batman **** that feels like I’m opening a page of one of my favourite graphic novels. Get your ego out of there.
I'm not saying it's a bad thing that Reeves is a bit more of a chameleon. That's kind of its own skillset that's quite impressive in its own way. Also, I would fully agree that Reeves' Apes movies obviously wipe the floor with Burton's, but I also would say that Burton's PoTA movie kind of marked the beginning of an era where he started losing a lot of what made his style unique and seemed like he was coasting on some cash grabb-y "reimaginings" of IPs. I don't know if ego per se was the problem with PoTA so much as I don't know if he was as passionate about it as he was with his earlier work. At least it didn't come across to me that the passion was there. And that is definitely something I will give Reeves a lot of credit for, is that he seems completely incapable of just showing up and going through the motions, he has to get a project where he's fully emotionally invested before he can direct something which is something I think he has in common with more traditional 'auteurs'.
At the same time, I'm also often attracted to a distinct creative voice in whatever art form, be it music or film, comics, whatever. It helps me connect to something in a way that feels more personal. When I look at my all-time favorite Batman comics/graphic novels-- I still feel the authorial stamp of the writer/artists. They still feel like a distinct creative vision. That's why I tend to push back on the idea of "the comics" as a blanket statement of what Batman should feel like, when there are so many different ones you could point to over the entire 80 year history. Batman wouldn't be the icon he is without all the bold artistic reinterpretation over the years, both on the pages and on the screen. Including some real paradigm shift moments in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
I don't think Reeves is entirely without some signature elements, either, to be fair. There's a parallel there with how he really dives into the POV of his central characters with Caesar and Batman. Creates an intimate feel within a large scale. Brings out another side of Giacchino with darker and more psychological material. So there's that. I think he's definitely got a certain style of tackling these types of big IP blockbusters in a personal way, even if it's a bit harder to put your finger on.
I've actually said that The Batman is the Greta Van Fleet of Batman films.
(If you're a rock fan you know what I mean)
Nolan had influences, yes - but never did I feel he was taking too much or not being his own thing. I got that sense from Reeves, because I was often taken out of the film due to me going 'oh, this reminds me of Se7en' or rather.
Oh god stop. I hate Greta Van Fleet. Don’t diss the Batman like that. What was like Se7en other than a rainy city and a villain who turns himself in?
Yes but this is still an adaptation at the end of the day. The way Villeneuve approached Dune is how I see Reeves with Batman. I’m with you on what you said about being attracted to films that have a distinct creative vision behind it. That’s what I usually like to watch too. But I make exceptions for adaptions (at least when I’m aware of what the source is).
Reeves added some elements that weren’t quite there in the comics (just like Burton, Nolan) but he also stuck to the source a lot of the time. I guess I’m just at that point where I see director’s adding their own touch so often (Phillips’ Joker) that i’m craving the other side of it. I think I’m becoming a bit of a purist haha. I mean, I wouldn’t go THAT far because I still consider myself to be flexible and I don’t like the “you CANT do that!” attitude. So purist isn’t the right word. But I find myself leaning on the comics side more than these Hollywood takes. Not saying Reeves is bringing everything to the table directly from the page bc he’s obviously avoiding the heavy fantastical elements, and doing new things with Bruce Wayne, showing us an imperfect Batman etc. “It’s all been done before by Nolan or Burton!” Ummm no lol. Some ppl need to go to sleep But Reeves seems content with not getting in the way of the story no matter what he’s doing. Nolan has his Tenets and Inceptions which are pure Nolan. Respect. Reeves isn’t that guy. I don’t even “love” his past work that much (I like them all but I feel closer to his Batman). But his lack of “maaan this guy stands out in a crowd” vibes is not really a concern for him. At least I don’t think it is. He just makes movies that he feels close to. Batman or Apes never needed the visionary stamp. I couldn’t tell you who made Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the first time I watched it. Which is fine. He’s adaptable. He’s the Catwoman of modern blockbusters! Minus the sexiness I guess.
I just find it funny that now the criticism is “his movie didn’t have its own voice” and I’m here lookin at the MCU like really? Let’s compare! Let’s! So I find that reaaaaally extreme. Then there’s the other side of it. Where I’m like okay well MAYBE just maaaaaybe a lot of the elements we see from Seven’s filth and Taxi Driver’s narration and Klute’s male & female push & pull and Godfather’s gangster elements.....hmmmm....maybe that stuff is already in the comics? All of those influences are pretty much all in the comics, like let’s just call a spade a spade.
Calm down, have some dip.
Not every criticism is worth a sensitive rebuttal.
It's not exactly a criticism per se, more of an observation on my part. I think he's got a good thing going, and a lot of great stuff to build off of with his take- but I'm also interested to see if there's something 'bigger' that emerges from it besides the film noir angle. Maybe that's the key angle, and that's fine if so, but I'm still curious/hopeful to see how he evolves it. I guess I'm coming at it more from a "what's he attempting to say with this?" sort of view. I don't personally view it quite the same as a book adaptation like Dune, because that is a single, set narrative that is being adapted. To me something like Batman is more of a sandbox-- there's a world, there's iconic characters and locations and certain touchstone elements, but it's up to each creator to carve a new path through all of that and attempt to say something new with it all. And with movies or any isolated take outside of the comics (including one-shot graphic novels), there's a luxury there of not having to be tethered to decades worth of continuity too.
It's just interesting to look at the differences in approach and where we're at in the cinematic evolution of the character. Mainly because this is a franchise with a history of directors putting their stamp on it AND I think Batman specifically is one of the characters that really benefits from strong creative voices. At least I think that's a big part of what has interested me about it over the years. I don't think it's 100% necessary, but I do think it's something that Batman has been uniquely suited to in a way that other franchises often aren't.
I get what you're saying though. I feel that way about most other franchises and adaptations, where I just want to invest in the world and not think too much about who's behind the camera. Batman is a bit of a unicorn there for me in that regard. I think it's partly because it's probably the first franchise where I even understood the concept of what a director did and how that influences a movie. That became super clear for me even as a kid watching Burton's other films and then going from Returns to Forever . So for better or worse that idea has been kind of baked in with me for a long time.
But yeah, I mean, compared to the MCU..., yeah no. Don't take it that way. The Batman has a level of craftsmanship and quality to it that MCU movies don't even attempt to get near, nor do I think they're even really "allowed" to get near. For all my nits and picks, I will say it until I'm blue in the face- it's still a beautifully made movie and it's a strong adaptation. I definitely overall have an appreciation and respect for what Reeves managed to pull off on the 10th(?...not sure how to even count them at this point) movie in a long-going franchise with some extremely memorable films, both good and bad. But at this point I'd say that I'm most interested to see where he takes it next and in what ways the sequel may differ.
You dodged the question about Seven nicely though lol
Anyway I’ll be back on the hype when there’s interesting news about the Penguin or The Batman 2. Time for me to take a break from all things Batman related. Not really feeling any of the discussions lately so I’ll do what you guys ask and stay away from the criticisms. I can’t really bite my tongue when I strongly disagree about something so the best thing for me to do is dip and let you guys do your thing. Peace.
It was pretty harsh, funny, but harsh lol
F*** Greta Van Fleet. I would only make that comparison if Pattinson had been running around in Black Thermals screaming "Where were the other drugs going!?! Swear to me!!" the whole time
Sorry bud, didn't mean to bring you down. At this point though, months out from release, is when you tend to see the most harsh criticisms, when the shine has worn off but the nostalgia hasn't kicked back in yet. Give it one s**ty Batman project (gotham knights maybe) and everyone will come back around
There's nothing wrong with thinking the film is good but not the masterpiece some are making it out to be. we can have issues with the movie and still enjoy it for the most part, which is where I currently stand. This movie is far from flawless and that's okay.
I'd certainly say so, but it's kinda like comparing Raimi's Spider-Man movies to his Evil Dead movies (as someone who's only seen Let Me In). It definitely has his flair to it, but it also wears how it's very much a comic book movie on its sleeve. Difference here is while Raimi's Spider-Man movies has 60s Lee and Ditko on its sleeve, this more feels like a really good Batman graphic novel come to life.
13 viewings in… initially it was an 11/10; and I want to keep cranking that score up.