Aug. 3rd, 2012

starfire11: (Default)
You know I never really wrote a post about how it was watching the movie. SPOILER ALERT! Be warned!

I guess it's a bragging post. I don't mean it to be that way. It's more of a reflection on the writing process and how I look at stories. I find it interesting that I was able to predict so much. I'm usually not like that in movies. Well... good movies, anyway.

So I didn't know who Joseph Gordon-Levitt was playing from watching the trailer, and I didn't do any type of research into the movie other than glancing at a few early-released stills of Catwoman and the big fight with Bane near the end.

I also don't know much about Bane beyond the fact that he's typically related to steroids of some sort and a lot of strength.

So the first thing we found out was the JGL plays a cop, who tries to push Gordan to getting the Bat back.

Instantly I know a) he's gonna find out who Batman is, isn't he? Is Gordan going to die? Is he going to be Gordan 2.0? Is this where Gordan shoots himself? Where's Barbara?

And then he just goes to Bruce. He just knows. And it's like "oh, it's Robin." And then I kind of teetered between "is it Robin is it NOT Robin". When they were making out like Bats was going on a suicide mission... yeah, I knew for certain.

When Alfred made the reference to the vacation spot, a red light hit me. "There's WAY too much here for this to be simple and just extra explanation. This has to happen later in the film somehow. Either they die and go to heaven or they really end up here for some reason." And then Bats went on his suicide mission and I was imagining the ending montage of what "everyone else" was up to after his "death" - Fox, Alfred, Blake, Catwoman... and I knew they were going to end up there.

I was like 90% sure he wasn't dead. I have yet to read a comic where Bats stayed dead. Sure, you can kill him. He doesn't stay that way for long. If he actually died in the first place. What I was really teetering about was whether they would blatantly show us that he wasn't dead or not. They could simply imply. Showing us everything would provide more footage for a sequel. Implication would end it better.

Compare this to the fact that the other characters could die. A Robin has died in official cannon. Gordon kills himself. Alfred passes away. So THOSE characters were possibly expendable. Batman? Not so much.

Here's the thing. I knew from the start that something was screwy with Tate. For starters, unlike most action-hero movies, Bats hasn't changed his romantic connection with a new movie. He kept his attraction to Rachel - and no one else, models for show aside - for two movies. There was really no one else. Heck, the only other major female character in movie 2 was a dirty cop.

Tate was a new variable in a realm of old variables. Blake was the only other newbie. Bane was the villain. He wasn't a rogue variable (other than not really knowing his game, we knew which side he'd be on... mostly). Beyond them we had the mayor, who was murdered, then we had Catwoman, Gordon, Bats, Alfred, Fox... a useless whatever that dude who died at the end working with the cops was...

It might have been harder to catch if we hadn't known who Catwoman was before the movie came out. Also - if we hadn't seen her out of costume elsewhere in the same general scene. So she wasn't Catwoman. She wasn't Bane. She wasn't Barbara/Batgirl or Batwoman. She wasn't Poison Ivy. I've never heard her name used before in the comics I've read and the shows I've watched and the bios I've read. She hasn't been in the past two movies. There's no record of a former liaison between her and Bruce in any way. Plus, there's the money. Powerful people scream bad things to me, since there are two well-known rich people in the DC universe: Batman and Green Arrow. That's it (as far as I'm aware). Everyone else is evil. Lex Luthor. Penguin (on occasion). Catwoman (when she's wealthy, she's typically a thief). Ras al Ghuul... who is more often evil than not. Or psychotic good(?). Vandal Savage.

So I didn't know where she fit. I wondered if she was just Batman's Woman Now That Rachel's Dead. Which doesn't really fit... but whatever. She kept sending off warning bells in my head whenever she showed up. When Bruce gave her control of the company. When she was down in the water place with Fox. When she and Bruce got it on.

The not-sex scene also sent off warning bells. Three movies in and this is the first almost-sex scene anywhere. It was like they were turning it into a Bond film and it just... didn't fit. Admittedly, all I've seen of Nolan's work (from what I know) is Inception and the two Batman movies. But he hasn't used sex scenes in three films. I didn't think he'd make it just... THERE to be there in this one, especially with so much riding on it. Admittedly, I wondered if it was JUST that - the missing element from the story. In the classic comics, Bruce was often with one woman or another. While it would have been weird, especially considering the path of more recent comics and animations concerning Bats... it would have been okay. And traditional, all things considered. When I read the article on Nolan looking over some older Batman comics for source material, it made sense that he would use stuff like that.

Anyway. It was too convenient for him to give the company to Tate. Just too convenient. Bruce owns Wayne Enterprises. If not him, then one of his Batfamily or Alfred. Maybe Fox. But no one else. Also - I didn't get why Bruce lost all the money, other than supplying plot for why he wasn't do up the high life in Gotham to maintain his cover or because this was the "let's shit on Bruce Wayne/Batman/primary protagonist" movie. So the fact that it led to him basically GIVING AWAY the company? Warning bells.

Although I personally think anyone who didn't see the fusion reactor and think "oh, I see a Plot Weapon" was probably a moron. Especially with the throw-in of the dude's name we knew from earlier in the movie. Which was supplied. By Tate. I think. Or at least she said that he was dead and Bruce supplied the name after the fact. WARNING BELLS I TELL YOU!

I had a big issue with the "Bane backstory through hallucination" bit. I figured it was cheese. Three movies for a strong franchise, they can use a bit of cheese. But besides the fact that it was just blatantly stupid, I've never heard of Ras having anything other than a daughter: Talia. He has lots of minions. But no one else, that I'm aware of. And I've certainly never heard of a connection of any closeness between him and Bane. It made me wonder about the parts of Bane's bio that I didn't know about (which was most of it, although the revamps I've seen base him out of South America, while I thought that Ras was based out of either the Middle East or Asia). They could also retcon a storyline. Heck, they added Rachel to Bruce's story. Why not make Bane... Ras al Ghuul's son? It was weird but I went with it. Still stank to me.

I also noticed that every time they did a flashback to "Bane" as a kid... there were no similarities I could see to Bane as an adult. Yes, he's bald and wearing a mask over his face. But that kid didn't look like Tom Hardy. I also kept noting the use of "the child" and the lack of gender pronouns. They could have easily called the kid a "he" and chocked it up later to translation error. But they specifically called the kid a "child". Nothing else.

The "protector" was also an odd variable. Why was his face covered? Was this the kid's father, in hiding? That didn't make sense - he went away, didn't he? I think he was off screwing with Gotham at the time, creating the League of Shadows (planning/going through with the murder of Bruce's parents). My most likely answer was that it was Ras. Although that didn't make sense. For starters, why would he let them do what they did to his lover? Also, this is a man who can take down a LOT of people. And he sucked THAT much down in that prison? Really? Bad as it was, the image didn't fit for Ras.

Ras as the protector was the most likely suspect, but I didn't like it. After that, it was just an unknown that was just an explanation for how "the child" survived such a place. They could have killed him off. I was almost expecting it. It would have been very strange, but they could have. If we hadn't known that the doctor was around doing something like being a doctor, he was my third choice after Unknown Helper.

Tate in Gothan Under Siege struck me as odd. While we did see at least a couple female cops in the gathering near the end when the 2nd-in-command gathered some together to fight the mob in the streets... Tate was the only female other than Catwoman to show up and fight in the city. The looters were almost entirely male. Bane's people, as far as I can remember, were male. The only "besieged" people we saw were the people in the Boy's Orphanage (note, not just an orphanage - a BOY'S orphanage). While I believe there were some women there (maybe), there weren't all that many. And we didn't see them after that. The only other woman we saw was the 2nd-in-command-cop's wife. Heck, Catwoman's friend from earlier (and elsewhere) didn't even show up after the fingerprint trade-off. And all of Bruce's servants just vanish. I'm willing to forgive the cops going into the tunnels. You couldn't really tell genders. I'm pretty sure I saw mostly guys, but I really just saw a sea of black hats and uniforms.

So there's this SINGULAR woman offering to help? Did no other women help? What makes Tate so special? She's a rich lady. At least Fox is a technological genius, Gordan's wily, Blake's with Gordan, and the Boy's Orphanage is, well, staying together. The only thing we know about Tate is that she can put on galas and wants to help make the world a better place through clean energy. Using techniques she didn't design herself, by the way. Wayne Enterprises did that. Sure, she's a smart talker... but that's about it. Also... she escaped the mobs. She hasn't demonstrated knowledge about Batman or any physical prowess. WARNING BELLS I TELL YOU!

So then they reveal her as Talia. I really should not have been surprised. At that point I think the problem was getting over the cheese, counting how many women were involved in the scenes (I'll give you a hint - not many), wondering WHY Batman suddenly thinks he can take on Bane and how stupid his voice sounds and what the HECK are they fighting over anyway... this anarchy for no reason story is just ridiculous.

Also... Tate. Talia. -headdesk-

Also, SelenaxBruce is a thing and has been for ages (there's apparently one storyline where she gives birth to Helena Wayne, who becomes the Huntress). I was wondering if they were actually going to do it, just hint at it, or leave it for another movie. So that happening was just "oh, about time".

Also, anyone who did not realize that sending the cops into the sewers the minute it was announced as a thing by Gordan either hasn't seen "Batman Begins" or... well... they might also be a moron. Certainly they should have figured it out when they were watching every. Single. Cop. In. Gotham. Going into the sewers. That's just... that.

The fact that the jealous CEO-wannabe was just a catspaw and not a mastermind (and would also die)? That's rather typical in the DCverse. The only people who retain control over what goes on who are also rich and well-known are, well... maybe Lex Luthor. If Brainiac isn't involved. Bane was obviously running him. The fact that someone was running Bane... well, it occurred to me. I kept thinking of him not as the "Head" of the League of Shadows, but as a hired assassin. Literally, that's what I saw. So I was wondering who ordered the hit on Batman/Bruce Wayne, and why.

Was it a good movie? All things considered, yes.

Was it predictable? For the most part, yes. Was there cheese? Actually quite a bit of it.

Having read at least some of the comics used as source material, am I okay with how the story came out? Exceedingly so. You can see many direct ties into "The Dark Knight Returns". Turning Wayne Manor into an orphanage. The creation of a new Robin. Batman coming out of retirement. Gordon heading TOWARDS retirement. Catwoman not being in The Life as trying to get out of it. A world looking eerily like something post-apocalyptic, where everyone is a rule unto themselves. "Tanks". Bruce's use of braces to keep his body moving after age and injury. There were also some tie-ins to Batman: Dark Detective (at least I think that's what it calls). A very weird romance. Bruce not understanding how relationships work.

Unlike the first two movies, I don't see myself rewatching this. Yes, it was a good movie. Did I like any of it? No, not really. Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a great job (pointless heroics aside, bloody cheese). And he's adorable. Tom Hardy, dumb speeches aside, was a very intimidating villain in a very different role (woot for branching out in good acting ways!). Anne Hathaway... fought the cheese, and mostly came out on top. She wasn't as amazing in my opinion as everyone made out, but she could have been the best live-action Catwoman. Hey, when you have no competition...

Morgan Freeman and Michael Kane were great in their roles. They weren't revolutionary. They didn't make the film. Neither of them featured greatly in the film, all things considered. I don't exactly remember what happened to Alfred during Gotham's takeover. Fox was mostly off-screen or, well... captured.

Gary Oldman did good as a saltier Gordan. I got annoyed when he insulted his friend by basically saying he was hiding behind his wife's skirts. Heck, they're still THERE aren't they? They aren't with the mob! Give the woman some credit for, well... surviving. Yeah, it's the script writers... but anyway. The best scene in the movie (him taking out the assassins) would have been better if we'd seen how he did it.

Marion Cotillard just... she did fine in her role.

Liam Neeson had his cameo. He didn't MAKE the film, especially since he had part of his cameo in the biggest cheese moment of the film.

Do I know what else they could have done? No. At least they didn't take the route of lesser villain, like The Amazing Spider-Man is getting hate for. I think it would have been more interesting to see Poison Ivy... but the Rogues Gallery of big names for Bats is rather limited outside of the Joker, Scarecrow, Catwoman and Two-Face without getting into real cheesy villains (like the Penguin or the Riddler). Mr. Freeze would have been a VERY weird live-action movie. I'm thinking Avatar: The Last Airbender with, well... Batman. Also, sticking Poison Ivy and Catwoman in the film would have been weird. And would have been hit for catering too much to geek fantasy, and not decent storyline.

I didn't come out with any interesting dialogue bits. The thing with Alfred was cutesy, but, well... that's about it. Would it be interesting to see a movie on Robin? Yeah. Do I honestly, at this moment, care? Not so much.

Whatever. In my opinion, it ended the trilogy. It did an okay job, when all's said and done.

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