So, soon we’ll be having Batman movie night. Batman has always been my favorite comic book character. He’s smarter, he’s darker, he’s a crazy detective, he’s relentless, he’s not invincible. He’s most likely just as insane as the villains he helps take down. I like that.
I’ve been a comic book & especially Batman fan since I can remember. I’m sure it had to do with the 60’s TV show being rerun in my youth in addition to Super Friends and Batman popping up on Scooby Doo for whatever reason. As a kid, I remember digging the Hulk (even though I ran out of the room during the transformation scenes), Spider-Man, and especially the Greatest American Hero. I want to say I even used to play with my aunts’ Barbie-doll sized Batman & Robin action figures.
The Dark Knight Rises (a.k.a. Magnus Rex) has been filming in Pittsburgh. Anyone with an ounce of geek cred or anyone that lives in or around the ‘Burgh knows this. There are a bunch of photos, videos, & spoilers and crazy stuff all over the place if you do a quick Google search. I won’t bother re-posting/rehashing here. (Here’s a cool article about the day. …And another one here.)
I went to one of the open casting calls but wasn’t called… but it worked out better as the wife & I were both able to do some unpaid extra work thanks to BeInAMovie.com (peep their Facebook page for possible spoiler photos)! It was all in all a really long but incredibly fun day. It was cool to see a bit of the daily grind on a film that’s sure to be a blockbuster. When else will I get to say that I was an extra in a movie… let alone a BATMAN movie? Ha ha. That’s just awesome. Whether we make the cut or not, it’ll be an experience we’ll never forget.
In an email from BeInAMovie.com after the fact…
What gracious and appreciative people are the family that Warner Brothers are.
And they so appreciated each of your participation and how you came dressed for the scenes. And stayed through rain and heat and humidity.
AND Chris Nolan was awed by your acting ability when Bane and Mercenaries blew up the stadium and mayhem was everywhere.
In with all that, I’m just a fanboy at heart… so we arrive (again) at Batman movie night. The wife & I hosted a series of Star Wars movie nights that were a good time, a good excuse to get together, and a good excuse to nerd-out with a group of people… fellow fanboy geeks & newcomers alike. (On a side note… we never did get past the movies proper… we’ll perhaps have to revisit these to delve into the Ewok & Holiday Specials, Fanboys, then the cartoons & parodies.)
Whereas Star Wars is one man‘s singular vision (with a couple of ridiculous re-writes), Batman is an iconic character open to many valid interpretations. Some of the old Legends of the Dark Knight books would showcase this, as well as the recent Gotham Knight movie.
This brings us to… the movies I’d like to show:
Why not Batman Begins out of the Nolan series? I’d argue it’s all about Batman vs. the Joker here. Sure, some other villains clutter up the ’66 movie, and I ought to include something animated with Mark Hamill & Kevin Conroy… but 3 movies in one night is about all this attention span can handle. The Joker is as mad & random as Batman is cold & calculated. The characters play of off each other so well. In the comics anyway, Batman won’t kill. He won’t cross that one line to become a madman. (And after the early 40’s, he wouldn’t use guns either.)
I love all of these interpretations of both of the characters. The ultra-straight-laced Adam West & zany Cesar Romero are a great pair. They play off of each other well in the campy style of the old show. I remember being old enough to think “Mr. Mom is going to be Batman?” in the late 80’s, but Michael Keaton was a stellar Bruce Wayne/Batman. He played such an odd person, and it worked. I also remember thinking Jack Nicholson was too fat… the Joker in the comics & in novels was very tall & lanky. I was surprised on both counts. Nicholson plays a maniacal psychopath like no other. Christian Bale is gruff and guarded, and Heath Ledger has redefined the Joker for a whole new generation, effectively making Dark Knight a Joker movie, not a Batman one.
We’re looking at Sat. Aug. 27th for Batman movie night. Let me know if you’re interested! We even got Batman cookie cutters!