Cerebrus: Lots of fans invoke guys like Miller (contrary to what most think---DKSA wasn't bad), Moore, et al, without really understanding what their approach towards the character was all about.
I like what Frank said about Batman (from Christopher Sharett's Twilight of Idols interview): "There's a tendency to see everything as a polemic, as a creed, when after all these are adventure stories. They can have a lot of ramifications, they can bring in an awful lot of other material, but anyone who really believes that a story about a guy who wears a cape and punches out criminals is a presentation of a... viewpoint, and a presentation of a program for how we should live our lives..., is living in a dream world."
If you subscribe to Miller's vision (and I do) and considering how we've been hearing Nolan say that Begins should "keep it real," then yes, Burton's Batman is indeed closer to what the Dark Knight is all about.
That's the reason why I wasn't really taken in by all that's being said on a more "realistic" take on the character.
Good point! Realism isn't all that. It's a style of storytelling, no more, no less, and no more superior than an 'artificial' style like Burtons'.
Cerebrus: I thought Nolan's version was vindicatingly doing great---right until Batman showed up, that is. And if it didn't unravel midway up to the end, I suspect fewer people (even the discerning ones) would gripe about "vision" that much.
So it's a matter of craftsmanship too.
Granted, I've been complaining about the details (tho isn't God in the details, and what does a vision consist of, exactly? Philosophical questions, I'm asking). Does Nolan's film have the unity to be a vision? As you pointed out (and I agree), it can be broken into two halves, one 'gritty' and operating on 'street level,' the other on a bigger scale (tho not as big as Burton's).
Cerebrus: That's the thing. It's hard to imagine a "realistic" Batman that would look good on the screen. Nolan could've nailed it the closest.
Hmm...John Irvin? Actually, Scorsese, if anyone can bring him in? Geoff Murphy, Roger Donaldson, Lee Tamahori? Major filmmakers who did wonderfully realistic films (but with unique looks) in their own countries, then went to Hollywood to do diddly-squat?
How about Ringo Lam? His Hong Kong films are wonderfully gritty--City on Fire comes to mind. And his action scenes are kickass.
I'd argue they're as interesting if not more so than Nolan.
spiderdude: Noel: challenging question...Burton's batman was scary because of the music and when we see batman he doesnt talk...we feel the music and fear just as we see batman....kahit sa cartoon ganun rin.
Nolan's batman naman reminds me of Frank Miller...the way he talked and the dark inks/background was so Miller. That said everyone loves Miller(he's batman is so good kc)...if every batfan makes a batman movie, I am sure it would be very similar to Miller or Nolan's.
Good point! If you gave the reins to a batfan, it would be exactly like Miller's. Why do on film what's been done well on paper already? I want something different. I want to be surprised. That's why I speculated in my article that the best relationship between filmmaker and fans in making a comic-book movie might be an antagonistic one.
One last thought: Bale's Batman seems darker and grittier but he wimps out on actually killing people; Burton's Batman seems more kid-friendly but goes on to kill thirty to a hundred criminals. How does that go? "It's not what you are, it's what you do"?
If that's the case, Burton's Batman crossed the line. He's further gone, more psychotic, more disturbing. He's acting hero, but is he really a hero? Or the kind of massive psychosis that bends and pulls the world around it, creating supervillains to fight along its wake? Do these kinds of questions have as much relevance to Nolan's Batman?
If Burton makes Batman's killings a punchline, that's not Batman's fault; he didn't choose the camera angles or the timing of the cuts that made it hilarious/horrifying. Again, I'd say it's the director undercutting Batman's actions--acting as his enemy, so to speak. Do we see this in Nolan's Batman?
No I suppose Burton's Batman isn't easily likeable (tho I can't help but notice he enjoyed bigger boxoffice at this point in his commercial run, especially if you adjust for inflation). But that's the way I like 'em: outwardly colder, more chill, more distant. You have to think about it to realize that his is the darker vision, think about to realize that his Batman is more lost, more lonely, more in pain. You have to think when you watch Burton's Batman.Think because it's got layers. Like an onion.