Saw Batman Begins. On the whole, I still prefer Burton's take.
Adam Lipscomb: Burton's version was interesting, and a good bridge from the campiness of the Adam West Batman, but it just wasn't as solid as Nolan's. Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of Tim Burton, but his Batman just didn't ring as true as this one did.
Nolan's a clever director, but what he lacks is vision. Seems consistent with all his films.
Le Nubian: liked Burton's first movie. But...Kim Basinger just about fucked up the movie for me with all her crazy screaming. Burton really needed to reign her in. I believe it would have been a much better movie with some restraint shown by Basinger.
I'm not sure I agree that Nolan has no vision. Do you really think so?
Well--take Gotham. Everyone says it recalls Blade Runner, but I remember the cityscape there, and this one just looks like bits of New York and Chicago mixed together. I was wondering if anyone worked as production designer (Burton's first had Anton Furst, a real genius (tho I really much prefer the second overall)). I can barely pick out that subway train of Wayne Senior, it just looks grungy where, say, the trains in Guillermo del Toro's Mimic were memorably grungy--not just abandoned, but haunted as well.
There's a difference between clever and visionary, I think.
jdlc: I think the only people that will be disappointed with it are those with impossibly high (and greatly hyped up) expectations, those that are expecting lots of heavy action, those that are expecting the campy fun from the previous films and those that have short attention span.
Didn't think Burton's films were at all campy fun. In many ways they were more disturbing than this one...because they found the darkness in the middle of laughter.
It's like with Mark Twain--people remember him as a comic writer, but in the middle of Huckleberry Finn are some very real horrors, all the more startling because they were hidden in between the comedy.
Sometimes humor has its uses.
jdlc: I've always thought the first four batman films were campy in one way or another. You have Jack Nicholson spouting every one-liner they could come up with as the Joker to Danny de Vito's over-the-top performance as the Penguin. The only difference for me between the first two and the next two is that the first two Batman films have its Gothic charm while the later films were just plain ridiculous and too cartoonish for my tastes.
Campy is often defined as either "someting outmoded or banal or unsophisticated it's considered clever or amusing," or "something effeminate or homosexual." But Burton's Batman didn't have camp, it had wit--visual wit in the first film's designs (by Anton Furst), and verbal with in the second film's dialogue (by Daniel Waters). And DeVito's Penguin had a melancholic subtext: he's like that because ever since he was a child, he's been abandoned--by his parents, by Max, by the city, and finally, by his gang. He's a Dickens grotesque.
I don't even think of the Shumacher movies.
Gary Oldman was decent. But...Tom Wilkinson as a Carmine (who'd have thunk?)? Katie (I'm so clueless) Holmes as a District Attorney? Wholly Hilarious Example of Miscasting, Batman!
And the music? I heard Elfman's music over ten years ago and still remember it (dananana da NAAA na!). Saw Begins only a few hours ago and I couldn't remember the music. Could you?
X44: Nope. And to think Begins had two scorers. Of course, when those scorers happen to be uber-hacks Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, what's to remember?
Two composers! The mind boggles.
Actingwise, everyone, except maybe for our Ms. Holmes, was pitching in, giving as close to all as they could. I liked Oldman here, too. And enjoyed Rutger even if he was playing another stock corporate snake. I hoped his disapproving looks at the playboy Wayne with the two European models would go off into an interesting character tangent but nope, he had to be just another bad guy in the end. Doh. But he was OK. Still, you can only do so much with a script this messy. And the dialogue, eh? Terrible.
Dialogue? What dialogue?
"How could you! I'm a woman--!"
"I'm sorry--" (Offers hand to help her up)
(Whips him off the roof, catches hisarm with the whip and hangs the handle on a TV antenna) "--I'm a woman, and therefore not to betrusted. Life's a bitch; now so am I."
Now that's dialogue!