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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Dark Knight Rises (Spoilers)

   
Author Topic: Dark Knight Rises (Spoilers)
Stone_Wolf_
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So my wife and I saw DKR today, and I must say I am disappointed. I knew going into it that I would likely be disappointed due to how much I loved DK. But I was not prepared for the utter let down that was Bain. I was not ready for his Gandalf the Grey after a night of drinking voice, not his lack of a particular personality, nor how thoroughly he whupped Batman, and then how he didn't, and how the big final fight between Bain and Bats was a boxing match. I didn't like the pacing, the editing, or the theme, which was convoluted.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it. Catwoman was well done, Robin was well set up. In fact the entire third act was enjoyable, yet still suffered from such a poor set up in the second.

The first movie was all about how Batman became Batty, and did it well, even without a convincing villain.

The second movie excelled, taking the real world Batman they had established and developing the story with a most fascinating villain, the Joker. The battle for Gotham's citizen's soul was real and interesting.

This third installment's baddy falls flat on his weird voice, poorly explained mask, bad back story, never explained, overly loyal henchmen with a pitifully inane goal which recycled the worst part of Batman Begins. The anarchy on the streets, the French Revolution style trial by people, the scenes that showed the poor and downtrodden tripping the rich apart physically were all hints of something deeper that never actually materialized. In the end we saw the cops with all the Bain commandos in custody, like a nice neat little package.

We find Bruce a broken shell of man, not even really Batman anymore. And when he does again don the cape and cowl he can't stop the villains, gets all his money stolen, drives Alfred away and ends up sleeping with some random woman who ends up being -the real villain-. Meh!

All and all it was not compelling, it was annoying, confusing, and rather dumb. C-

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Aros
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When a director or movie series is constantly praised, it affects the output of later films. Directors and editors become more self-important. They start giving more fan service. They start incorporating elements that branch out from the main storyline.

In some movies, this is helpful. The Harry Potter movies got better and better. The Avengers successfully incorporated everything that people liked from the previous movies, while omitting everything that people didn't.

But look at the X-Men and Spiderman series. The third entry in both films became a by-the-numbers sequel that tried to offer more of the same, while adding novel fanservice. Yes, we got to see the full team in action against Phoenix. Yes, we got to see Spiderman with the black symbiote. But both efforts fell flat because the fan service wasn't successfully tied into the storyline.

Nolan is getting a big head. I don't have a problem with the villain -- DKR had villains that were >= those in Batman Begins. But the story meandered greatly. The narrative was scrambling and all over the place. There was too much inconsequential action. The pacing was poor. There wasn't enough overall plot to account for the long run-time.

One of the basic tenants of writing is to cut scenes that don't advance the plot. If the Nolan brothers had done this, it would cut almost an hour from this movie. Why do we need to see Gordon driving the Batmobile? It isn't funny. It isn't fun. It doesn't advance the plot. Why do we need Gordon at all in this movie (apart from the Harvey Dent angle)? Though his character was interesting, why so much focus on Blake? Sure, setup for sequels is one thing, but we probably lost a half hour to Blake scenes. This is supposed to be a freaking conclusion to the Batman series. Why couldn't they focus more on backstory for Talia and Bane? Or on Bruce's recovery. Why was Bane's voice dubbed over and seemingly coming from everywhere?

This flick was unfocused. We didn't need fanservice. We didn't need to fill a 2.5 hour runtime with action sequences. A strong, linear story and a well made villain (see The Dark Knight or Inception) would have been a superior effort.

I'd love to see what Whedon or JJ Abrams would have done with Batman. Or Bryan Fuller. Well, there's always next time around.

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Raymond Arnold
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I was disappointed by the boxing match and other things Stone Wolf points out.

Mostly I'm weirded out by the 99%/Wall-street stuff. I'm trying to figure out if it's *actually* saying anything (deep or otherwise) or if its just a bunch of evocative imagery that's pretending to say something.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Whedon Barman...I would run over a jogger to see that! Or at least nudge them with a fender.
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SteveRogers
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I think they did dub over Bane's voice specifically because the mask made it nearly impossible to understand him otherwise. I can't speak for what effects they may have used on the audio once they did dub it over though.
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AchillesHeel
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The next go around is gonna have to fit in with a Justice League movie in the style of The Avengers, so you need a Batman movie that meshes well with godling aliens who look perfectly human and people in tights with magic rings. I think it is doable but then again I actually read comic books, I'm not sure if the rest of the audience would like the same movie I would.

I would have been happy with Bane if they had simply given him a different name, because that was in no way Bane. Bane was born in Santa Prisca (notice that they never said the name or location of the prison, this would designate Bane as being in one way or another from South America) and raised by a priest and the varying levels of criminal masters present. He grew up to be a brilliant young man, powerful too. When he was introduced to venom he used it to become one of the dangerous cartels on the continent. Bane is not insane, he is not a sadist or driven like a religious fanatic. He is a warrior and a business man, he first goes to Gotham to prove to the world that he can defeat the unbeatable Batman. His luchadore mask is his flag in a city filled with theatrical psychos.

Tom Hardy played a religious fanatic on pain killers. Talia was more Bane than Bane in this movie.

Also, remember that Hardy is only 5'9. So next time you watch the movie pay attention to how he is never standing next to anyone, but they really work hard on the camera magic to make you think he is big. They could have hired so many other people who are big, who could have passed for South American and Nolan hired the average sized brit who ended up sounding like my impression of a James Bond villain.

Levitt's performance was good but his character was superfluous, and the whole Robin thing at the end was pure nonsense.

I like how they explained Catwoman's ears, very clever.

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SteveRogers
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I actually thought Hardy did a really good job as Bane. Any problems with the character I felt were a result of the script.
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Tarrsk
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I agree with SteveRogers, and would go so far as to say that description fits almost every character in the movie. The actors in TDKR do universally stupendous work, but the script is so deeply flawed that the characters still feel underdeveloped and erratic. Bane's a brilliant idealogue! No wait, he's just a henchman. Bruce Wayne needs to get over his fear! No wait, he actually needs to get over his parents. Or is it that he needs to get over Rachel? Okay, never mind, he actually needs to learn to fear death. Except the climax involves him embracing death? Except he doesn't actually die? wait uhhh what was the point again

Also, Chris Nolan really needs to hire a second unit director for his action scenes. And a better editor. Some of the continuity errors made me cringe.

I thought it was interesting, and symptomatic of the problems with the film, how the ending of TKDR is almost note-for-note identical to that of "The Avengers," but where the latter worked like gangbusters, the former left me cold. Tony Stark's near-sacrifice soared to an emotional high point and then released the tension in one of the most satisfying "HE'S NOT DEAD" moments I can remember seeing. Whedon manages, somehow, to give the audience the relief of Stark's survival without subverting the thematic heft of the sacrifice itself. In contrast, TKDR's ending follows the same exact story beats, but never really resonates in the same way. It's missing the small touches that pull the audience into the emotional texture of the moment, like how Tony Stark attempts to call Pepper Potts, or closes his eyes before letting the nuke loose. Instead, you get a close-up of the big ol' Batnose and a distant mushroom cloud, followed by a dialogue-driven montage that leaves you wondering when, exactly, Batman bailed out of his plane (and how said plane survived the nuclear explosion).

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AchillesHeel
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That was not the same 'Bat' as the one he used. After his personal/company armory had been used to arm the League of Shadows Fox must have had no other choice but to open the once secret collection to the scrutiny of the company and the government. Those techs were going over the master software as it was before the campaign on Gotham, the passage of time was never really easy to follow in this movie but Bruce had plenty of time to finish reprogramming The Bat.

As to whether or not there was another physical and operational Bat in the armory at the time of take over, we don't know. Even if there were the presence of any aircraft above Gotham would require escalation from the federal government, with only Tumblers the threat was contained to the island itself allowing the League to keep the military out. If they had shown an ability to transport the nuke the threat would apply to anywhere and everywhere within probable military-grade aircraft range.

Although I have a huge problem with where exactly was The Bat the whole time Bruce was in Notsantaprisca? was it in Gotham? how was it available to him? was it Whereevernotsantaprisca is?

They flat out wrote that it into the movie. As much as I love Whedon, I would rather the team behind BSG have done this movie. Those folks don't miss anything.

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Jeff C.
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I thought the movie was better than the second one (although the first is still my favorite).

The biggest complaint I hear from people is about the villain because they compare him to the Joker. Let's be honest, though, you can't beat what Heath did in that role. It was unrealistic to expect something better with the villain. If Bane had been the villain in the second film and the Joker had been in the third, you probably wouldn't have complained about it.

What's more, the second movie didn't have much of an arch for Batman or Bruce Wayne. Sure, there's a little bit of development but compared to the first or third movie, he barely has any real presence at all. The movie is completely overshadowed by the Joker. That's fine, but these movies are supposed to be about Batman, not the villains. This movie gave Bruce an arch that brought the series full circle. He really develops as a character, possibly more than any superhero in any superhero movie before this. That's probably because these aren't your typical superhero films; rather, they're character-driven stories that happen to involve a man with a cape on occasion (if you notice, Batman doesn't even suit up for the first 45 minutes of the film).

I thought it was a great way to end things. I had some issues with a few things, but to expect the end of a trilogy (which, by the way, was never planned to be anything more than a single film in the first place) to close up every hole or do all the things you want is unrealistic. With what they were given (one story at a time), this movie somehow managed to act as if it was planned, referencing key scenes from both movies and truly concluding the archs of its characters. That's a very difficult thing to pull off, but they somehow did it, and that's impressive.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Did it bug anyone else that Bain was able to transport Bruce to his well prison and Bruce was able to get back just...instantly...I mean, sure I guess it could have taken time, but it was like, when did Gotham get a God forsaken desert prison with in walking distance?
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Tarrsk
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Edited: This was in reply to AchillesHeel.

I don't mean to say that Whedon would have done a better job with TDKR, nor that Nolan is an incompetent (for the record, I friggin' loved "The Dark Knight"). Just that TDKR is plagued by issues at the script level and that "The Avengers" offers an interesting counterpoint given how the two films came out so close together. I could also compare TDKR to its immediate predecessor in "The Dark Knight," which also featured bravura performances from its actors, but which was propelled by a fantastic script that delivered on the levels of tone, theme, story structure, and character.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:

They flat out wrote that it into the movie. As much as I love Whedon, I would rather the team behind BSG have done this movie. Those folks don't miss anything.

Without veering off too much into BSG territory, that show had its problems too. Character motivations constantly shifted to support the storyline in ways that weren't often true to character. Vague example: Lee was often the show's conscience or most morally strident character. Except for when Helo was in the same storyline; whereupon Helo would become the conscious, and Lee would become just as corrupt as his dad.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Did it bug anyone else that Bain was able to transport Bruce to his well prison and Bruce was able to get back just...instantly...I mean, sure I guess it could have taken time, but it was like, when did Gotham get a God forsaken desert prison with in walking distance?

It took a few months. Regardless, it's easily explained when you consider that Bruce Wayne is an international figure with connections all over the planet. Even without his vast fortune, he still has friends in high places.

The prison is in the middle east, not anywhere close to Gotham. Remember that the bomb took five months to blow up and Bruce was gone for most of that time.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Gone...recovering from a broken back with aid of...rope.

Blurg!

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:

They flat out wrote that it into the movie. As much as I love Whedon, I would rather the team behind BSG have done this movie. Those folks don't miss anything.

Without veering off too much into BSG territory, that show had its problems too. Character motivations constantly shifted to support the storyline in ways that weren't often true to character. Vague example: Lee was often the show's conscience or most morally strident character. Except for when Helo was in the same storyline; whereupon Helo would become the conscious, and Lee would become just as corrupt as his dad.
Don't forget the Mcguffin they use over and over at the end: Angels did it.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Gone...recovering from a broken back with aid of...rope.

Blurg!

The broken back was only in the comics. In the movie, he just had a vertebrae pushed out of alignment.
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Tarrsk
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quote:
The biggest complaint I hear from people is about the villain because they compare him to the Joker. Let's be honest, though, you can't beat what Heath did in that role. It was unrealistic to expect something better with the villain. If Bane had been the villain in the second film and the Joker had been in the third, you probably wouldn't have complained about it.
The comparison is made not based on the acting (general consensus seems to be that Hardy did a great job with what he was given), but on the writing. IMO, Bane worked quite well up until the moment his entire arc is upended by the reveal that Talia was the brains behind the operation the whole time, which instantly reduces him to little more than a lovelorn henchman. So much for two hours of slow-burning character development!

quote:
What's more, the second movie didn't have much of an arch for Batman or Bruce Wayne. Sure, there's a little bit of development but compared to the first or third movie, he barely has any real presence at all. The movie is completely overshadowed by the Joker. That's fine, but these movies are supposed to be about Batman, not the villains.
The second movie has a great character arc for Batman - a classic fall from grace, summed up by the line about how you either die a hero, or live to become the villain (and directly paralleled by Harvey Dent's more literal fall). The bitter tragedy of it is that Batman never deserves the fall, but embraces it because he believes that it would be best for the city. That's a hell of a sacrifice, and one that pays off the themes that Nolan plays with for the entire rest of the film.

quote:
This movie gave Bruce an arch that brought the series full circle. He really develops as a character, possibly more than any superhero in any superhero movie before this. That's probably because these aren't your typical superhero films; rather, they're character-driven stories that happen to involve a man with a cape on occasion (if you notice, Batman doesn't even suit up for the first 45 minutes of the film).
Absence of cape != character. Again, I have to mention "The Avengers," which demonstrates how one can make a character-driven superhero movie that's actually, y'know, about the superheroes in question.

As for TDKR, the problem is not the presence or absence of an arc - it's that the arc Batman is given is incoherent. There are actually two arcs for Batman that Nolan is trying to execute simultaneously, and unfortunately, they work at cross purposes to one another:

(1) Batman needs to let go of his personal tragedy and learn to live as Bruce Wayne.
(2) Batman needs to be broken and rebuild himself as Batman ("Rise"!), protector of Gotham.

Those are two fundamentally orthogonal arcs. Batman cannot both become the superhero he was meant to be AND also learn to give up the Bat. And yet that's what Nolan attempts to give us. As a result, Batman's "rising" rings false, given his conversations with Alfred - but in the end, he sheds the Batman persona, rendering the "rising" itself hollow! It's character arc Mutually Assured Destruction.

quote:
I thought it was a great way to end things. I had some issues with a few things, but to expect the end of a trilogy (which, by the way, was never planned to be anything more than a single film in the first place) to close up every hole or do all the things you want is unrealistic. With what they were given (one story at a time), this movie somehow managed to act as if it was planned, referencing key scenes from both movies and truly concluding the archs of its characters. That's a very difficult thing to pull off, but they somehow did it, and that's impressive.
I don't disagree with this, actually - recent film history is littered with the graves of trilogies whose third installments couldn't fulfill the promise of the first two. But in this particular case, I sort of wonder if anyone actually felt like there needed to be closure to the "long term arc" of the trilogy. I mean, "Batman Begins" was all right, I guess, but I didn't leave the theater wondering what happened to the League of Shadows. I certainly didn't walk into "The Dark Knight" going, "Oh boy, I hope we find out what happened to R'as al Ghul's criminal superorganization that doesn't tonally fit into the gritty cityscape of Nolan's universe anyway!"

"The Dark Knight" succeeded so well because it was a stand-alone piece that introduced and paid off its story elements internally. The only greater mythology it needed was an understanding of what Batman himself is. And I think TDKR would've been better served taking the same approach, rather than trying to tie Bane's arc back to the League of Shadows stuff. Focus on paying off Batman's story, not his conflict with the ghost of Liam Neeson, which honestly nobody really cared about anyway.

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Ginol_Enam
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I think everyone needs to keep in mind that, in this instance, the Dark Knight does not inherently refer to Bruce. That's really the whole point of this movie (leaping off from a point made in Batman Begins). This is as much John Blake's origin movie as it is the Bruce Wayne's final adventure. The title of the movie doesn't refer (at least, only refer) to Bruce's "rise" and return to Gotham as its protector, but the concept of Batman rising to encompass the full ideal and not just be one man.
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Stone_Wolf_
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RE: Tarrsk

I'm going to frame those last two paragraphs and hang them on my wall. Well said!

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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by Ginol_Enam:
I think everyone needs to keep in mind that, in this instance, the Dark Knight does not inherently refer to Bruce. That's really the whole point of this movie (leaping off from a point made in Batman Begins). This is as much John Blake's origin movie as it is the Bruce Wayne's final adventure. The title of the movie doesn't refer (at least, only refer) to Bruce's "rise" and return to Gotham as its protector, but the concept of Batman rising to encompass the full ideal and not just be one man.

John Blake's origin was a fantastic one hour television episode. Unfortunately, it was surrounded by an hour and 45 minutes of Batman's Dueling Angst Arcs, a Catwoman romantic comedy, and the Secret Adventures of Talia al Ghul, Ultrachild-Turned-Billionaire-Financier-Turned-Supervillain.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:

They flat out wrote that it into the movie. As much as I love Whedon, I would rather the team behind BSG have done this movie. Those folks don't miss anything.

Without veering off too much into BSG territory, that show had its problems too. Character motivations constantly shifted to support the storyline in ways that weren't often true to character. Vague example: Lee was often the show's conscience or most morally strident character. Except for when Helo was in the same storyline; whereupon Helo would become the conscious, and Lee would become just as corrupt as his dad.
Don't forget the Mcguffin they use over and over at the end: Angels did it.
A flaw in the writing that leaps off the screen in serial viewing, is that the show recapitulates the same character developments and catharsis repeatedly, and often, for the same characters. You get literally the same character development over and over again: Adama realizes he's gotten too attached to his crew. Then he realizes he's gotten to attached to his crew. Then he realizes he's gotten too attached to his crew and the ship. He doesn't trut the Cylons, but learns to trust thm. The he learns to trust them again. And again. Tigh comes to grips with his alcoholism 6 or 7 times. Thrace learns the demands of leadership and grows... Several times. Baltar realizes that servicing his ego has led him to make decisions tht hurt his relationship with others, like 20 times.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarrsk:
quote:
Originally posted by Ginol_Enam:
I think everyone needs to keep in mind that, in this instance, the Dark Knight does not inherently refer to Bruce. That's really the whole point of this movie (leaping off from a point made in Batman Begins). This is as much John Blake's origin movie as it is the Bruce Wayne's final adventure. The title of the movie doesn't refer (at least, only refer) to Bruce's "rise" and return to Gotham as its protector, but the concept of Batman rising to encompass the full ideal and not just be one man.

John Blake's origin was a fantastic one hour television episode. Unfortunately, it was surrounded by an hour and 45 minutes of Batman's Dueling Angst Arcs, a Catwoman romantic comedy, and the Secret Adventures of Talia al Ghul, Ultrachild-Turned-Billionaire-Financier-Turned-Supervillain.
I wasn't entirely sold by the Talia story. What was her motivation? We didn't really get enough of her backstory to understand why she'd want to complete the work of the man who once abandoned her and her mother.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarrsk:
quote:
The biggest complaint I hear from people is about the villain because they compare him to the Joker. Let's be honest, though, you can't beat what Heath did in that role. It was unrealistic to expect something better with the villain. If Bane had been the villain in the second film and the Joker had been in the third, you probably wouldn't have complained about it.
The comparison is made not based on the acting (general consensus seems to be that Hardy did a great job with what he was given), but on the writing. IMO, Bane worked quite well up until the moment his entire arc is upended by the reveal that Talia was the brains behind the operation the whole time, which instantly reduces him to little more than a lovelorn henchman. So much for two hours of slow-burning character development!
I actually agree with you about that, but as soon as they started talking about Ras' child, I knew it couldn't be Bane. Ras had a girl and her name was Talia, so I pretty much figured out the twist near the end of the first act. Maybe that's why the twist didn't do anything for me.

quote:
The second movie has a great character arc for Batman - a classic fall from grace, summed up by the line about how you either die a hero, or live to become the villain (and directly paralleled by Harvey Dent's more literal fall). The bitter tragedy of it is that Batman never deserves the fall, but embraces it because he believes that it would be best for the city. That's a hell of a sacrifice, and one that pays off the themes that Nolan plays with for the entire rest of the film.
Yes, he fell, but that's not much of an arch. If it is, then I would argue that Harvey Dent did it better. The focus and the hype surrounding the film, when you ask general audiences, is the Joker. Batman didn't really develop as much as he did in the first or third movies (how could he? There was barely enough time for Bruce Wayne like there was in the others). There was no major journey of self discovery, just a major loss and the acceptance that he had to fall in order to save the city. In other words, he never bounced back. That's all well and fine and I'm not complaining about it; for a second act, it made more sense than doing it any other way, but the movie didn't feel as complete as the others in terms of what happens to Bruce Wayne. In fact, I think you can say that of the three, the third movie is the one that is most about Bruce Wayne.

Speaking of the second film, though, I think it did its job perfectly as the middle of a trilogy. It's essentially the Empire Strikes Back, taking the darkest possible situation and destroying the characters and most of their hope. It reminds me a lot of that movie, actually.

quote:
I mean, "Batman Begins" was all right, I guess, but I didn't leave the theater wondering what happened to the League of Shadows. I certainly didn't walk into "The Dark Knight" going, "Oh boy, I hope we find out what happened to R'as al Ghul's criminal superorganization that doesn't tonally fit into the gritty cityscape of Nolan's universe anyway!"
I wasn't really talking about that so much as I was referring to Bruce Wayne/Batman. He's the main character. The villains are really only there to provide him with a reason to change and grow. The fact that Nolan decided to go back to the League just seemed, at least to me, another means to that end.

quote:
"The Dark Knight" succeeded so well because it was a stand-alone piece that introduced and paid off its story elements internally. The only greater mythology it needed was an understanding of what Batman himself is. And I think TDKR would've been better served taking the same approach, rather than trying to tie Bane's arc back to the League of Shadows stuff. Focus on paying off Batman's story, not his conflict with the ghost of Liam Neeson, which honestly nobody really cared about anyway.

I can totally agree with you there. Unfortunately, we'll never see that movie and we'll never know what it would have been. Supposedly, if Heath Ledger had not died, he would have reprised his role in the sequel if there had been one, but that didn't happen. Either way, I think most people expect the end of a trilogy to have some sort of conclusion to the characters and their overall development. If they had not done this, then ended it, I'm pretty sure most people would feel cheated.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:

They flat out wrote that it into the movie. As much as I love Whedon, I would rather the team behind BSG have done this movie. Those folks don't miss anything.

Without veering off too much into BSG territory, that show had its problems too. Character motivations constantly shifted to support the storyline in ways that weren't often true to character. Vague example: Lee was often the show's conscience or most morally strident character. Except for when Helo was in the same storyline; whereupon Helo would become the conscious, and Lee would become just as corrupt as his dad.
Don't forget the Mcguffin they use over and over at the end: Angels did it.
A flaw in the writing that leaps off the screen in serial viewing, is that the show recapitulates the same character developments and catharsis repeatedly, and often, for the same characters. You get literally the same character development over and over again: Adama realizes he's gotten too attached to his crew. Then he realizes he's gotten to attached to his crew. Then he realizes he's gotten too attached to his crew and the ship. He doesn't trut the Cylons, but learns to trust thm. The he learns to trust them again. And again. Tigh comes to grips with his alcoholism 6 or 7 times. Thrace learns the demands of leadership and grows... Several times. Baltar realizes that servicing his ego has led him to make decisions tht hurt his relationship with others, like 20 times.
Lol, I never really thought about that until you mentioned it. Still, at least those situations were entertaining [ROFL]
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Stone_Wolf_
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Had they called the movie "Robin Begins" I might have liked it better.
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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
I actually agree with you about that, but as soon as they started talking about Ras' child, I knew it couldn't be Bane. Ras had a girl and her name was Talia, so I pretty much figured out the twist near the end of the first act. Maybe that's why the twist didn't do anything for me.

The twist didn't do anything for me, either, except ruin what was building up to be an interesting arc for Bane. You can have Talia in the story without having her reveal turn Bane from a genius supermerc into a sad puppy who is unceremoniously disposed of thirty seconds later.

I mean, he literally goes from badass to subject of a punchline in under two minutes. That has to be some sort of record.

quote:
Yes, he fell, but that's not much of an arch. If it is, then I would argue that Harvey Dent did it better. The focus and the hype surrounding the film, when you ask general audiences, is the Joker. Batman didn't really develop as much as he did in the first or third movies (how could he? There was barely enough time for Bruce Wayne like there was in the others). There was no major journey of self discovery, just a major loss and the acceptance that he had to fall in order to save the city. In other words, he never bounced back. That's all well and fine and I'm not complaining about it; for a second act, it made more sense than doing it any other way, but the movie didn't feel as complete as the others in terms of what happens to Bruce Wayne. In fact, I think you can say that of the three, the third movie is the one that is most about Bruce Wayne.
Harvey Dent didn't "do it better." Harvey Dent did it in parallel with Batman's own arc. Dent's fall serves to draw the important distinction between a true (Two-Face) versus false (Batman) descent into villainy.

In other words, one fall reinforces the other. The arcs of Dent and Batman weren't in competition.

quote:
Speaking of the second film, though, I think it did its job perfectly as the middle of a trilogy. It's essentially the Empire Strikes Back, taking the darkest possible situation and destroying the characters and most of their hope. It reminds me a lot of that movie, actually.
See, "The Dark Knight" doesn't remind me of "The Empire Strikes Back" at all, because it's not written as a middle chapter. It's a fully self-contained story with a beginning, middle, and end. It just happens to be chronologically sandwiched between two other movies.

It's actually one of the least ESB-like middle chapters I can think of.

quote:
I wasn't really talking about that so much as I was referring to Bruce Wayne/Batman. He's the main character. The villains are really only there to provide him with a reason to change and grow. The fact that Nolan decided to go back to the League just seemed, at least to me, another means to that end.
First of all, I disagree that villains can't be an interesting end in and of themselves.

But more importantly, I disagree that using the League in TDKR did anything to enhance Batman's personal growth. What did Talia's or Bane's backstories add to Batman's arc? Absolutely nothing, except perhaps to jog a glimmer of recognition from those in the audience who remembered "Batman Begins." All they really did was further muddle up what was already a needlessly convoluted plot.

quote:
I can totally agree with you there. Unfortunately, we'll never see that movie and we'll never know what it would have been. Supposedly, if Heath Ledger had not died, he would have reprised his role in the sequel if there had been one, but that didn't happen. Either way, I think most people expect the end of a trilogy to have some sort of conclusion to the characters and their overall development. If they had not done this, then ended it, I'm pretty sure most people would feel cheated. [/QB]
Yeah, unfortunately, I think this is where the problems began. Nolan made no secret, before the release of "The Dark Knight," about the fact that his intended "third film" was supposed to feature the Joker ("I think that you and I are destined to do this forever," after all). Ledger's death obviously threw a wrench into the works, and from what I've read, deeply affected Nolan personally as well - which, I suspect, is why TDKR doesn't even mention the Joker once.

But that meant that Nolan had to start from scratch with his story for TDKR, and for whatever reason, he decided to go back to the "Batman Begins" well instead of learning from the success of "The Dark Knight." That might have worked OK if he hadn't also decided to cram Bane, Catwoman, Robin's origin story, and a boatload of poorly-conceived and frequently nonsensical political allegory into his script as well.

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Jeff C.
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On a somewhat related note, where do you guys think the reboot will go and what kind of tone do you think it will take? Supposedly (and correct me if I'm wrong about this), DC wants to set up a Justice League similar to how Marvel did the Avengers. What's the best way to do that?
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SteveRogers
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I don't think DC has enough successful franchises to justify a Justice League movie, and I think being second to the plate with a big ensemble super hero movie will hurt their chances at developing successful franchises after the hypothetical Justice League movie.

I just don't think as many people will turn out for a Justice League movie. The awareness isn't really there on as big a scale for the characters.

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AchillesHeel
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Take more notes from actual comic books, rather than breeze through some trade paper backs and write any story you want while ignoring established characters and backgrounds.

The Justice League title from the last year alone is perfect for a film adaptation. They had to restart the entire universe with the New 52 reset, and they did it well.

I just want them to re-cast Common as John Stewart. There was going to be a Justice League long before the Nolan movies and I never really understood why they stopped just as they had begun pre-production. But the casting was good.

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Marlozhan
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:

They flat out wrote that it into the movie. As much as I love Whedon, I would rather the team behind BSG have done this movie. Those folks don't miss anything.

Without veering off too much into BSG territory, that show had its problems too. Character motivations constantly shifted to support the storyline in ways that weren't often true to character. Vague example: Lee was often the show's conscience or most morally strident character. Except for when Helo was in the same storyline; whereupon Helo would become the conscious, and Lee would become just as corrupt as his dad.
Don't forget the Mcguffin they use over and over at the end: Angels did it.
A flaw in the writing that leaps off the screen in serial viewing, is that the show recapitulates the same character developments and catharsis repeatedly, and often, for the same characters. You get literally the same character development over and over again: Adama realizes he's gotten too attached to his crew. Then he realizes he's gotten to attached to his crew. Then he realizes he's gotten too attached to his crew and the ship. He doesn't trut the Cylons, but learns to trust thm. The he learns to trust them again. And again. Tigh comes to grips with his alcoholism 6 or 7 times. Thrace learns the demands of leadership and grows... Several times. Baltar realizes that servicing his ego has led him to make decisions tht hurt his relationship with others, like 20 times.
Well, that probably doesn't make for good storytelling onscreen when you repeat the same character growth, but as a counselor, I can tell you that this kind of repetitive personal growth is quite realistic, lol. So many people learn the same lesson about a bajillion times before noticeable behavior changes start.
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Stone_Wolf_
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My wise old grandmother told me a story about a man who was walking down the street and fell into a hole. The man struggled and struggled and eventually crawled out of the hole, all though it took huge amounts of effort.

A few months later the same man was walking down the same street and fell into the same hole. He manages to climb out again and while it still very hard, it is a bit easier then the first time. As he dusts himself off he says, "I will remember this hole is here next time!"

But a few months later he falls into the very same hole. This time climbing out is not that difficult.

The next time he walks down that street, he remembers to be careful of the hole.

The next time he takes a different street.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
On a somewhat related note, where do you guys think the reboot will go and what kind of tone do you think it will take? Supposedly (and correct me if I'm wrong about this), DC wants to set up a Justice League similar to how Marvel did the Avengers. What's the best way to do that?

Ugh. Why? I find those films to be an absolute chore. You know, as RLM have been saying lately, I also find it sad tht we now apparently live in an age where there will be absolutely no discretion regarding the persuit of easy money in entertainment. people talk about "unnecessary" sexuals, but what they're really taking about is decency. It's not a new thing, lack of decency -many composers wrote "sequels" to Beethoven's 9th, for example- but Hollywood has become truly indecent in this particular genre. The crash seems innevitable.
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Orincoro
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quote:
onscreen when you repeat the same character growth, but as a counselor, I can tell you that this kind of repetitive personal growth is quite realistic, lol. So many people learn the same lesson about a bajillion times before noticeable behavior changes start.
Fixed media is unforgiving of regression. It's one of the inherent weeknesses of serial television: character development is a transitory property, and the way serial drama is written today, with huge casts to account for, consistent growth of character is difficult to maintain when individual episodes also require momentary instances of drama. In the past, tv avoided this by just having the characters *not* change. The Roddenberry model had the characters as essentially ideal beings, only capable of innocent mistakes. Now we get big extremes: The Wire and The Sopranos, where the characters are imperfect but *incapable* of change, and then BSG and lost, where the characters are flawed, but too capable of transformation to control easily.

One of the few things I found redeeming bout the last few episodes of Lost, was an exchange with two side characters and the main cast, who the side characters point out, are constantly embroiled in the same repetitive conflicts, to no discernible purpose. It felt like the writers suddenly realizing that their relentless exploitation of their characters for drama had left them with a cast that had no real identity. That you couldn't look at the paths they had followed and discern any purpose in their lives beyond the needs of a plot that demanded they care desperately what happens to them.

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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarrsk:
quote:
Originally posted by Ginol_Enam:
I think everyone needs to keep in mind that, in this instance, the Dark Knight does not inherently refer to Bruce. That's really the whole point of this movie (leaping off from a point made in Batman Begins). This is as much John Blake's origin movie as it is the Bruce Wayne's final adventure. The title of the movie doesn't refer (at least, only refer) to Bruce's "rise" and return to Gotham as its protector, but the concept of Batman rising to encompass the full ideal and not just be one man.

John Blake's origin was a fantastic one hour television episode. Unfortunately, it was surrounded by an hour and 45 minutes of Batman's Dueling Angst Arcs, a Catwoman romantic comedy, and the Secret Adventures of Talia al Ghul, Ultrachild-Turned-Billionaire-Financier-Turned-Supervillain.
Oh, I didn't realize that. Now I hate the movie.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
On a somewhat related note, where do you guys think the reboot will go and what kind of tone do you think it will take? Supposedly (and correct me if I'm wrong about this), DC wants to set up a Justice League similar to how Marvel did the Avengers. What's the best way to do that?

Ugh. Why? I find those films to be an absolute chore. You know, as RLM have been saying lately, I also find it sad tht we now apparently live in an age where there will be absolutely no discretion regarding the persuit of easy money in entertainment. people talk about "unnecessary" sexuals, but what they're really taking about is decency. It's not a new thing, lack of decency -many composers wrote "sequels" to Beethoven's 9th, for example- but Hollywood has become truly indecent in this particular genre. The crash seems innevitable.
I honestly don't understand this mindset.

What is it about the existence of such films (that is, highly successful movies you think lack artistic merit) that so offends you?

I'm genuinely asking, 'cause I don't get it.

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Jeff C.
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I have to say I'm with Dan on this one. Hollywood makes movies because they make money. I'm not sure what surprises you about that. As long as superhero movies make money, it's not going to stop.

Furthermore, these are movies based on comics. Think about that for a second. How many times has Marvel reset their continuity? How many times have they retold Superman's origin story (or Spiderman's, for that matter)? How many thousands of different characters have they created or given an entire series of books to? There's a reason they keep doing it. This stuff makes money. Why should movies be any different? It's called Brand Recognition. It works pretty well in pretty much any form of storytelling.

Lastly, a Justice League movie set up similarly to the Avengers should be a good thing. Consider this: DC keeps putting out stand alone franchises that end and restart because they fizzle out (older Batman) or conclude (newer Batman), with absolutely no connection to any other DC franchises. Marvel said they're done rebooting because now everything is in a shared universe (although Spiderman and X-Men are still owned by other companies, so those don't count), which means every Iron Man we get from here on out will be in that universe. They have even said that, once the contracts run out, they're willing to get other actors to fill the roles for the sake of maintaining this continuity. That's a pretty large commitment to make when you really think about it.

DC is the complete opposite. They've done nothing but reboots and reimaginings of their franchises, choosing to make everything exist in its own universe. By committing to the Avengers mindset, they're essentially saying that they're going to keep the stories moving forward. It's a large risk on their part, but it's a pretty good thing for the fans.

/two cents

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Dan_Frank
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It's more than that, Jeff.

Comic books, and comic book movies, don't just make money arbitrarily in a vacuum.

They make money because people like them. To say that it's "indecent" to provide people with a product they enjoy seems really... weird.

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Jeff C.
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I know, Dan, but I was trying to speak from a business perspective.

You're completely right about the affinity that people have for the genre. It's the driving force behind the success and, consequently, the insane amount of money that comes with it.

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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
On a somewhat related note, where do you guys think the reboot will go and what kind of tone do you think it will take? Supposedly (and correct me if I'm wrong about this), DC wants to set up a Justice League similar to how Marvel did the Avengers. What's the best way to do that?

If they do get around to building a JL movie do not reboot Bats. Have him mentioned as "the scary guy in Gotham" or something like that. We don't need to see another batman movie anytime soon. (Even if he's the only superhero besides Superman that WB an acally make work)

As for the other heroes? Have them mentioned in articles Kent is working on in Man of Steel. Then release origin movies for Wonder Woman and Aquaman, ignore the GL movie but include the character in the team movie.

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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by T:man:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
On a somewhat related note, where do you guys think the reboot will go and what kind of tone do you think it will take? Supposedly (and correct me if I'm wrong about this), DC wants to set up a Justice League similar to how Marvel did the Avengers. What's the best way to do that?

If they do get around to building a JL movie do not reboot Bats. Have him mentioned as "the scary guy in Gotham" or something like that. We don't need to see another batman movie anytime soon. (Even if he's the only superhero besides Superman that WB an acally make work)

As for the other heroes? Have them mentioned in articles Kent is working on in Man of Steel. Then release origin movies for Wonder Woman and Aquaman, ignore the GL movie but include the character in the team movie.

They've already announced that they're rebooting the Batman franchise. They announced it prior to TDKR being released. There was no timetable, but I would expect they hope to have a new Batman in 5 years or so.
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T:man
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Oh I know, I just don't want it to happen.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
On a somewhat related note, where do you guys think the reboot will go and what kind of tone do you think it will take? Supposedly (and correct me if I'm wrong about this), DC wants to set up a Justice League similar to how Marvel did the Avengers. What's the best way to do that?

Ugh. Why? I find those films to be an absolute chore. You know, as RLM have been saying lately, I also find it sad tht we now apparently live in an age where there will be absolutely no discretion regarding the persuit of easy money in entertainment. people talk about "unnecessary" sexuals, but what they're really taking about is decency. It's not a new thing, lack of decency -many composers wrote "sequels" to Beethoven's 9th, for example- but Hollywood has become truly indecent in this particular genre. The crash seems innevitable.
I honestly don't understand this mindset.

What is it about the existence of such films (that is, highly successful movies you think lack artistic merit) that so offends you?

I'm genuinely asking, 'cause I don't get it.

I think you may be making this too complicated. I don't dislike them for particularly meta-analytical reasons, or on general principle. I am bored and exhausted by the prospect of having the same story told again, in what is likely to be weaker form. In the way that one would find it indecent for an amateur to stand up in front of an audience that gathered to see a professional perform, and to do so *after* a master performance has been given, I cringe with embarrassment at the idea of these films being made *yet again* and quickly, when a stellar example already exists. It is the act of stealing that allure and grandeur which has not been earned, and using it to glorify one's self unjustly that my heart and soul objects to. It's like stealing- its not stealing,but it's like stealing. I feel the same way about a lot of really derivative or purely profit seeking art. It is the desperate act of the imposter to follow a great work with its own lesser shadow- and this kind of thing is just Hollywood doing that collectively.

Great artists avoid doing this because they know that it is the coward's way. Sometimes I think Hemingway was writing about this in his first novel, about Bellmonte and the young bullfighter: the true artist brings tragedy as close as it can come, and the aficionado will recognize that the danger is intact real, while the masses will prefer the imitation of that danger, which appears to the few as a gaudily false charade.

It's a matter of taste. I am honestly disturbed, made uncomfortable and depressed, by the prospect of art which is in bad taste. And while it is of course conceivable of an immediate reboot that is tasteful, the very proximity to the predecessor virtually guarantees that it will not, cannot, and I'll not even try, to work wholly on its own as a work of art.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
It's more than that, Jeff.

Comic books, and comic book movies, don't just make money arbitrarily in a vacuum.

They make money because people like them. To say that it's "indecent" to provide people with a product they enjoy seems really... weird.

Does it? People enjoy a lot of things. You can wring some enjoyment, and money, out of a lot of schlock. That doesn't mean your work is a benefit to people, that it provides catharsis, that it advances the world of art and the human condition. And don't give me "it's a comic book," that's crap. There's real art in what anolan has done, and to cash that in for all it's worth isn't right just because you *can*. In art, there is great power, and to use that power, even more to borrow it for someone else and waste it, is a pity and in sme ways, a crime.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
I know, Dan, but I was trying to speak from a business perspective.

You're completely right about the affinity that people have for the genre. It's the driving force behind the success and, consequently, the insane amount of money that comes with it.

I'm realistic about where this all goes. One of my favorite quotes is from Almost Famous: "they will ruin rock and roll, and destroy everything that you love about it." That film is about the critic's dilemma: loving the art more than the artists do. It's something I discovered when I was a student, that I often understood the work of others far better than they did, and vice versa. Producing great art takes an un-self conscious commitment that precludes you, as the artist, of knowing what is in your work for other people.
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El JT de Spang
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Tarssk: email me through the forums, please. I have a question for you.
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SteveRogers
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It's a trap!
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Raymond Arnold
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Oh No!
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Oh No!

[ROFL]
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Stone_Wolf_
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Comics, Everybody! The History of Bane Explained.
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