4 Sep 2013

Batman vs Superman?

I had intended to blog about this a lot earlier. Then I saw a discussion on facebook about Ben Affleck being the new Batman which had a link which included many of my thoughts. And then the breakfast team on TV1 discussed it and I realised that the topic was stale. Currently the interwebbery is focussing on crying about the casting decisions of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Why Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledelare better choices than Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnsonis a topic I have little interest in personally. But if anyone has any strong opinions I am happy to discuss it in the future.

However it has come to my attention during the various Ben Affleck discussions that the upcoming Batman and Superman movie planned to be released in 2015 may be a total dog. 

Now my comments in this post may come across as a little dated, especially as allot of my thoughts have been already aired by others. I guess that this is a timely reminder to post swiftly otherwise you just sound  derivative. 

Initially people were displeased with the choice of Ben Affleck. The facebook discussion like many others  centred on should the actor who starred in  Pearl Harbour and Gigli be the new Batman? However after this link (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/7987-Batfleck)   was posted, opinions appeared to warm to Ben Affleck as the new caped crusader.

Very  briefly the article said the Affleck was exceptionally talented award winning artist who admittedly has made some bad movies, but so what which actor hasn't. There was also a comparison to the  to Robert Downey jr being cast as Tony Stark in  Ironman.The article makes several excellent points which I agree with, however I remain unconvinced. 

Yes it is unfair to say he is a bad choice  based on some previous bad movie roles, and I completely agree that Ben Affleck is an exceptionally talented actor, writer, director and producer.  But does that mean that this combination makes good casting choice? Woody Allen, Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood are award winning actors, writers and directors, but none of them should be Batman. Well OK maybe Eastwood as a really old batman, how cool would that be?
But seriously you need an actor that can have the range to do Bruce Wayne (well that’s easy) and the Batman (not so easy). Also you need to have an actor to work alongside Cavill's Superman? I am not sold that Affleck is the best choice, and I think that it is a bit of a knee jerk reaction to cast an A list actor ensure the success following the criticism of  Man of Steel.   

I think the best choice, as suggested by my beautiful partner should be Karl Urban.  He is successful and well known, but not famous enough to overshadow Cavill. Urban also has the talent and the range to portray such an iconic character. Look at his performance in Dredd for example of how dark he can go.

I am Batdredd.....Judge Bat?
However Alea iacta est, (or Alea fleck est?). No what this post is about the disturbing comment that it appears that the movie will be based on Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns.  Miller a talented misogynist who also created the comics  Sin City, and 300, also created the highly acclaimed comic series Dark Knight Returns where Superman, a stooge of an oppressive American government battles an ageing Batman who the establishment feels is a threat to their authority. Now while I initially liked the story line of an aging Batman having to come out of retirement to save a city that resents him, the next part of the story I didn't enjoy at all. You see unlike other DC comic in the Dark Knight Returns Batman and Superman are enemies.

This bothers me alot.

One of the problems with Man of Steel for me was the terribly long fight scenes. For some reason a lot of movies are suffering from over indulgent, overly long, and frankly dull fight scenes.  Fight scenes can further the plot and still be exciting and dramatic. But too much of a good thing becomes dull. Consider Michael Bay, now that you have  you see my point. 

From memory  Miller’s Dark Knight Returns has a substantively drawn out battle between Superman and Batman. Do Warner Brothers think, "Hmmmm Man of Steel only made $290 million dollars, what went wrong? I know we need longer fights scenes for the next film! Maybe 107 minutes should do it." 

But possibly more of an issue is that the Superman from  Man of Steel is humane, and independent. The end of Man of Steel quite clearly defined that character as not a weapon of the government. At the end of the film when Superman is speaking to General Swanwick  he says" I'm here to help but it has to be on my own terms." Henry Cavill's Superman is clearly not Frank Miller's Superman. 

So why are they fighting? Ummmmmmmmmm no good reason? The two heroes compliment each other as much as they are at opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to type. The concept just doesn't gel with me at all. Clark Kent is one of the few real friends that Bruce Wayne has,  these guys are mates.
Zack says no more Batsies for you Clark
OK I understand why some people like Ben Affleck might think that he would make a good Batman, but I don't. And I understand why some people like Frank Millers  Dark Knight Returns,  but I don't.  I didn't mind Man of Steel  and I was interested in a sequel and the inevitable Justice league movie but the Dark Knight Returns  storyline leaves me cold. 

Zack Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay while Snyder directs. I can only hope that they really go in a different direction or they will probably kill the franchise deader than Joel Schumacher and his nippled Bat suit.


  1. I just don't know if anyone can do Batman justice so soon after the Dark Knight triolgy. I fear it'll be like rebooting Iron Man in 2016 without Robert Downey Jr. Perhaps in 15 years it might be worth revisiting the character. Also a "story line of an aging Batman having to come out of retirement to save a city that resents him" sounds like ground pretty well covered in the Dark Knight trilogy.

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