Thursday Open Thread

Fight trainer Justo Dieguez, Heath Ledger, and unknown from the set of The Dark Knight.

Fight trainer Justo Dieguez, Heath Ledger, and unknown from the set of The Dark Knight.

44 comments to Thursday Open Thread

  • Matt Helm

    Still waiting for a definitive Batman movie, or at least one that tops Batman Returns, without the campy nod to the 60s TV show. One from a director who has style, and more respect for the source material.

    • JimmyC

      If the Dark Knight trilogy wasn’t good enough for you, Matt, you might as well give up now. It’s like saying that Peter Jackson’s trilogy wasn’t a definitive enough adaptation of the LOTR books.

      • Matt Helm

        Right into the trap, boys.

        • You’ve mentioned this disappointment before, but we have yet to hear you’re penning the definitive script. You could be keeping that on the D/L, though. 😉

          • Matt Helm

            I actually wrote that to set a trap for people I knew would weigh in, but perhaps I fell into a trap of Floyd’s, in doing so. The Nolan flicks had some hits with a lot of misses, for me. There are already definitive stories in the comics/graphic novels that they could use as source material, that you don’t need an original script. I look at superhero movies’ story lines as whether I would enjoy that story if it were written in comic book form. Iron Man I and II (parts of 3), The Avengers, and even Thor to some degree, would be worth reading, but Nolan’s Batmans wouldn’t be.

            • Why would you want to see beloved stories rehashed on the big-screen? Just a difference of opinion, but I’d rather a film writer/director look to those as sources/inspiration to a large degree, but come up with their own ideas. Nolan pulled it off in my opinion, as did Burton. Ditto Favreau and, to a slightly lesser degree, Black with the Iron Man movies. They did have the good fortune to have Robert Downey Jr. absolutely owning that role, though.

              I realize the latest Wolverine had its story problems, but due to some nicely placed nods to the Frank Miller/Chris Claremont limited series, I overlooked them, walking out pretty damn happy.

              • Matt Helm

                I wouldn’t mind beloved stories rehashed, or used as source material, the same way that any other movie bases itself on any story/book. That’s like saying you wouldn’t want a faithful film adaptation of your favorite story/book. I just don’t think Nolan had a feel for the character, or visual style for the genre.

                As for Jimmy’s LOTR analogy, Jackson rehashed that successfully with fidelity to the characters, and with great visual style. To me, there’s no comparison between bringing the books to film, especially when Nolan wasn’t depicting any specific book, and has a mediocre visual style for the genre. Bane was not the Bane of the comics. The Scarecrow became ridiculous throughout the Nolan movies. Catwoman was pathetic. It’s too bad that Nolan didn’t learn from Favreau, since Whedon’s Avengers was after his last Bat flick. I’m sure that Zack Snyder’s Batman in the next Superman movie will be truer to form (even with Affleck playing him). Snyder will be referencing a beloved story and has a greater visual style than Nolan.

                • A book’s a book, though (or trilogy as it can be), while comics have much broader points of context, over the course of many years and various media with characters like Batman and Superman. I’m no expert on either, but knowing enough about them over the years, your definitive Bat or Supes movie’s potentially different from another generation’s. Who defines what’s faithful? Heck, look at the various interpretations of Shakespeare or Austen through the years. Long story short, agree to disagree.

                  Also pretty sure I’ve recommended it before, but just in case will mention Bill Uricchio and Roberta Pearson’s “The Many Lives of the Batman.” 20+ years old at this stage — and I really should track down my old prof Bill to see what he thinks of Nolan’s trilogy — but lots of great stuff exploring Gotham’s Caped Crusader.

                  • Matt Helm

                    I agree to disagree (though I’m a comic and film aficionado) on what’s been on film. I’m just pointing out things I’m disappointed in with these movies. No one, so far, has made a definitive Batman movie, in my opinion. No one here has countered my opinions as to why they think Nolan has made a definitive Batman movie, or whether he could have made a better one. And if he could have … what would you have liked to have seen?

                    Asking anyone if they’ve written a script to movies they don’t like is a moot point.

                    • >>Asking anyone if they’ve written a script to movies they don’t like is a moot point.>>

                      Fair enough, though not really. With the way the new media’s giving amateur filmmakers unprecedented avenues to getting lo-fi shorts noticed, can never hurt to have a go with one or more of your ideas (says the guy who’s barely made a few dents with too many projects). Your girlfriend seems to have some access to old school talent, who might know some new blood. Ditto your brother’s awesome network of entertainment contacts. Just puttin’ it out there, nudgin’, encouragin’.

                      As to Nolan, while I think each of his movies has had their respective uneven spots, Dark Knight being the strongest from start to finish, from what I know of the Batman character and universe, I like the pro-justice and moral rightness themes, with Batman/Bruce understanding sometimes you have to bend but not break the rules. That’s me, though, a person who identifies with the Frank Miller Batman stories. I don’t know the multitude of characters outside of that world, the campy TV show, Super Friends, or the Burton movies … and as much as I like the Nolan movies, the Burton ones are still my favorites, even if Returns unfortunately ushered in the dreaded “too many villains” motif of the Schumacher entries. I also really dug Anne Hathaway and her take on Catwoman. Again, admittedly don’t know the comics version(s) of Selina Kyle, so the character arc the Nolans gave her in Dark Knight Rises worked for me, quite well. So there you go, doing my best to give the Matt Helm people what he wants. 😉

                      I also proffer this: why the need for a definitive movie, or trilogy, when so many alternate media offer comparable (or better) options? I don’t play video games, but from what I’ve gathered from the 3D crowd (and my work colleagues in the WB Games department), the Arkham Asylum series has given so many people the buck-bang they didn’t get from the movies, making choices which may not (or may, who knows?) have worked on the theatrical level.

                    • Matt Helm

                      Regardless of whatever media that portrays a well-known character, they need to portray them with fidelity. I do appreciate Nolan’s messages in his movies, but not enough to give him a pass on his faults. Conrack doesn’t have the time or, the mental clarity to write anything other than lesson plans and office referrals during the school year, never mind a script. I’m working on a novel during summers/breaks that has taken whatever creative energy I have left.

              • Matt Helm

                Haven’t seen the latest Wolverine movie, but I did like bits of the last one, even though it wasn’t that good.

        • JimmyC

          You said something that was wrong, and we told you you were wrong. Yeah, that’s some elaborate trap you lured us into. A real Rube Goldberg-level of complexity there. 😉

  • -fritz-

    Moving this here, since I think you all may have a vested interest in it, and I posted it late on Wed. OT!

    Read it and weep! The estimated figures for your new Obamacare coverage are rolling in!


    • -fritz-

      I still fail to see how the SCOTUS did not throw this thing out as unconstitutional! If for no other reason than the way it was ramrodded through the Congress without anyone knowing what vile evil it contained! Affordable healthcare, my rosy, red “A”!

  • -fritz-

    Coffee, krullers and kudzu!

    Las Vegas is turning into Florida. Yesterday we had another round of rain and thunderstorms, for the umteenth time since mid July! The only thing missing is the pesky gators,…and the kudzu!

    Yes, I am rather agitated this morning. My back is at it again, and this Obamacare thing has me so torqued I could spit fire!

  • Loyal Goatherd

    Portland bar owner must pay $400,000 for kicking transgender patrons out of bar

    Transgenderland Storm Troopers are on the march. Bow to my desires, you haters!

  • Scott M.

    Question…do you have a movie that you love that no one else loves?Mine is “Empire Of The Sun”

    That’s Christian Bale,by the way.

    • JimmyC

      Signs. Nobody else agrees with me (other than Roger Ebert, who gave it four stars), but I think it’s a brilliant movie. The way Shyamalan builds and sustains tension, the way he includes small, character-building moments and big themes like fate and God, and interweaves them into the overall alien invasion story, is masterful. It’s too bad he lost his storytelling mojo after that movie.

      • I would agree – except for the alien, at the end. Either don’t show it – or get a better one, after all that build up.

      • Matt Helm

        I liked it for those reasons up to the end, which didn’t make sense. If water kills Sleestaks then how come the water vapor in the air didn’t even make them a little sick? And it’s not like this thing was waterboarded, it was a glass of water. A shotgun should’ve been written into the script and they should have popped a cap in his ass. Shyamalan has some good ideas, but he needs to hand them over to real screenwriters.

  • -fritz-

    I really hate to bring this up, but…Syria is Bush’s fault according to James Carville!

    Check out the first comment from a G T Horvat!

    • -fritz-

      Here’s a really good comment from the article:

      M40 the old Yankee • 2 hours ago ?
      I think it’s Bill Clinton’s fault. After all is said and done, he was the one who set the precedent. He showed the world’s leaders that it’s perfectly okay to send in the storm troopers to gas women and children to death (and then light them on fire), as long as you call them a ‘cult’.

      Now we have Syria (who hates us) doing it to their dissidents (who also hate us). Is it wrong? I guess it depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

  • -fritz-

    Interesting…from August 2, 2013:

    I have a friend who is a missionary in Russia, and word is there that Putin has become a Christian. Not confirmed, but that could explain his outlawing homosexuality in Russia.

    This could be a blockbuster if Russia ends up with a Christian democrat (small “d”) leader, and America with a Godless communist for a leader!

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