The Dark Knight. Second viewing. (The first). It’s not good enough to carry its thematic weight. But Ledger is brilliant. That scene meeting with the mob… (“You’re crazy.” / “I’m not. No. I’m not.”) …chills.
Batman Returns. It had been a long time since I’d seen it. This Christmas tale also begins with a birth, but it’s so much more desperate and twisted than the traditional one. Too bad Catwoman is the only villain that stresses me out. Penguin is just kinda lame and pitiful. :( I like the staging and framing for many of the scenes. Like during Penguin PR speech, back at the mansion Alfred is decorating the Christmas tree while Bruce watches TV. (Speaking of, kinda funny how Batman learning about about rising threats through television seems so dated now.) And there’s some silly-exhilarating stuff, like when Kyle falls through layers of awnings. That scene at the masquerade (Superfreak!) is a masterpiece. Lovely to look at, and charmingly mental, but the story progression is too herky-jerky for my tastes, and not as fun as the 1989 for me.
George Herriman, 1921
Different heroes have different values, different roles, and they tell different stories. For much of the audience, Superman is the virtuous hero, and a story that doesn’t explore this is not a Superman story. And really, the makers of Man of Steel did not seem overly interested in telling a Superman story.
Ditto everything in this essay.
Thor. Funny to compare this to my experience watching The Dark Knight Rises. While just as gee-whiz/fun/bad, this one was much less ambitious and much less exasperating. A lesson in expectations. I expect Captain America to remain my favorite of the Marvel series, followed by the first Iron Man, then Thor, then Iron Man II. I guess that leaves The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers on my to-watch list.
Iron Man 2. It’s really pretty when things are blowing up. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie with a lot of ‘splosions, so I’m behind on the state of the art. Lots of eye candy, though. The main villain face-offs felt really low-stakes and awkwardly paced. Really erratic writing. I felt like the first one was funnier? Captain America is still my favorite of the few Avengers movies I’ve seen.