Monday, July 04, 2005

Jingle bells, Batman smells

Thoughts on Batman Begins:

1) In 2002, The Onion reported on the Cannes Film Festival, and one of the award-winning films was Turkish Batman. Yet Batman Begins had nothing to do with the river, city, or province of Batman, all found in Turkey. A batman is also a unit of mass equivalent to either 2.97 kilograms or 16.4 metric tons. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

2) Prequel madness! And Batman Begins bears some similarities to the second Star Wars trilogy. Both Bruce Wayne and Anakin Skywalker are dealing with lots of anger from the murder of their parent(s), and are trained by a shadowy fellowship, but end up turning to the other side and opposing their former teachers, and take on a new identity that involves wearing all black and speaking with a deeper voice. The difference is that Anakin turns from good to evil, and Batman is trained by the dark side but turns to good.

3) Unlike Superman, Spider-Man, and the rest, Batman doesn't have any superpowers, just really cool gadgets. Therefore, Batman is more "realistic" than other superhero stories; you don't have to accept x-ray vision or a "spider sense", but only a focused microwave beam that can vaporize the whole water supply. Even so, it was beyond any suspension of disbelief that a proper British butler like Alfred would misuse the phrase "beg the question". That error was unforgivable.

4) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay addresses the role of superheroes in our culture. When the problems of our world are too great to bear, we construct an escapist fantasy in which the superhero (from the Golem of Prague to Radioactive Man) solves them for us. In this light, the reference in Batman Begins to Jungian archetypes had to have been self-referential.

5) Was that the same elevated train line they used in Spider-Man 2?

6) I'm looking forward to Batman Continues and Batman Ends.


  1. I haven't seen Batman Begins, but the elevated train line used in Spiderman is the #7 line in Sunnyside.

  2. a few of us saw Batman Begins the other night and enjoyed it thoroughly. Rob Levy asked the important question, "why didn't the microwave emitter, which turns water to steam, vaporize the humans (who are mostly made of water)?"
    it seems to be another small flaw, but i still liked the movie a bunch.

  3. The trian in Batman Bengin whips around the loop in Chicago, so I doubt it's the same as in Spiderman. The movie had lots of nice Chicago shots, nice to see a city other than NYC depicted as the cutural and economic capital of the world for once.