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Having read it, I'd say that Hamm's original Batman script was pretty good, actually. Not perfect, but definitely a confident step in the right direction. It needed some refining before it would have been great, but the first Batman film definitely failed to do it full justice.

His Watchmen script really wasn't.

I forget if his was the one with the owlarangs, mind...

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If it's the godawful one I read (Rogan posted it here a year or two ago), I agree totally. Just thought I'd defend his work with Batman, because I rather liked it, and wish Burton had made more of an effort to capture the essence of the character as well as Hamm did. He scripted a cracking extra-length 3-parter in Detective Comics #598-600, too, around the time of the first movie. It's available in trade, as Batman: Blind Justice, and is more than sufficient evidence that Hamm 'gets' Batman.

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If it's the godawful one I read (Rogan posted it here a year or two ago), I agree totally.

Couldn't tell you for sure... all I know is, I had an evening some months back wherein I dug up at least two (and maybe even three - something clouds my memory. Can't think what :p) erstwhile scripts for Watchmen, and died a little inside after I'd finished reading them. And that one of them had owlarangs.

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If it's the godawful one I read (Rogan posted it here a year or two ago), I agree totally. Just thought I'd defend his work with Batman, because I rather liked it, and wish Burton had made more of an effort to capture the essence of the character as well as Hamm did. He scripted a cracking extra-length 3-parter in Detective Comics #598-600, too, around the time of the first movie. It's available in trade, as Batman: Blind Justice, and is more than sufficient evidence that Hamm 'gets' Batman.

 

I don't remember the particular details of that story arc, but I do remember truly and completely hating and despising it when it was first published. It was one of those events that seemed to me to encompass every horrible trend inflicted upon comic readers and I have no problem saying that arc was one of those moments that signalled my eventual walking away from comics entirely.

 

I have no idea what Hamm's original Batman script was like, but I can't think of one redeeming feature in the entire movie.

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I'm with you on that much of the point of Watchman, is it's groundgreaking use of the comic medium.

But that still leaves you with still a very inspired plot and story.

 

It's comic hereos referance comic book history true, but comic book films themselves are growing too.

Watchman the film made by celluloid genuises (and right here my argument implodes) could referance filmed comic book heroes.

 

Politically, like V for Vendetta, Watchman and it's ending has full circled and is more relevant post 911 then it was post it's inception.

 

Bits like John walking nonchalantly through Viet-fucking-nam are dying to grace widescreen.

Gibbons mentioned that there were loads of things Moore had written that he could not achieve with his art (dust particles dancing in the Sunlight etc).

 

The whole point is mute ofcourse, as I'm talking about very goodfilmaking here.

 

Re-the very ending of Watchman, the newspaper is only really taken seriously by people like Rorshach anyway.

Plus the ending is deliciously ambigous.

 

Sam Haim's Blind Justice doesn't get enough credit.

Isn't that where Liam Neeson's original character comed from?

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I don't remember the particular details of that story arc, but I do remember truly and completely hating and despising it when it was first published.  It was one of those events that seemed to me to encompass every horrible trend inflicted upon comic readers and I have no problem saying that arc was one of those moments that signalled my eventual walking away from comics entirely.

 

I have no idea what Hamm's original Batman script was like, but I can't think of one redeeming feature in the entire movie.

 

Fair enough - tastes differ, after all, although I do think you're being a bit more harsh than is fair about Batman. It's a deeply flawed comic adaptation, and a marginally less-deeply flawed piece of cinema, but entirely devoid of redeeming features? That's a pretty damning assessment, and not one I agree with at all.

 

The Blind Justice arc does indeed feature the first appearance of the Henri Ducard character. I'm not claiming it's an untrammelled masterpiece, but there's a lot to like about it, to my mind - particularly an excellent grasp of the split in the Bruce Wayne/Batman persona, which, like Hamm's original movie screenplay, borrows heavily (and effectively) from Steve Englehart's definitive portrayal of the character in his Detective Comics run, but still manages to be both distinctive and intriguing. There are other aspects of the story which have aged less well - an excess of brutality, bordering on sadism at times, and a slightly contrived "recovery" from crippling injuries which stretches credulity somewhat. Still, on the whole, I'd say it still stands up pretty well, warts & all.

 

If I recall correctly, though, you had some serious issues with Miller's Year One too, so I suspect it's fair to say that our tastes in Batman comics don't entirely coincide.

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I don't remember the particular details of that story arc, but I do remember truly and completely hating and despising it when it was first published.  It was one of those events that seemed to me to encompass every horrible trend inflicted upon comic readers and I have no problem saying that arc was one of those moments that signalled my eventual walking away from comics entirely.

 

I have no idea what Hamm's original Batman script was like, but I can't think of one redeeming feature in the entire movie.

 

Fair enough - tastes differ, after all, although I do think you're being a bit more harsh than is fair about Batman. It's a deeply flawed comic adaptation, and a marginally less-deeply flawed piece of cinema, but entirely devoid of redeeming features? That's a pretty damning assessment, and not one I agree with at all.

 

If I recall correctly, though, you had some issues with Miller's Year One too, so I suspect it's fair to say that our tastes in Batman comics don't entirely coincide.

 

Problems with Year One?!

What did you think of Batman Begins then?

(I can rant till i'm blue in the face, and then still painfully concede that it's still the best Batman movie).

 

Incidentally rewatching Gattaca and thought Loren Dean would be a great Batman or Bruce Wayne.

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What did you think of Batman Begins then?

(I can rant till i'm blue in the face, and then still painfully concede that it's still the best Batman movie).

 

Me, I loved it to pieces, although a few month's distance have helped me to acknowledge that it was, in it's own way, still deeply flawed. The flaws this time were more in the film-making than in the adaptation, though, which was about as good as I could possibly have imagined - and which bodes very well indeed for the sequel.

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The Blind Justice arc does indeed feature the first appearance of the Henri Ducard character.

So he does appear again in the Batman series?

If off of the top of your head you remembered where let me know.

 

My personal fave were bits of the Starlin/Aparo run.

The Aparo look is still my definite Batman. But i understand how Blue/Grey just doesn't work now).

Ten Knights of the Beast was one of the first comics i ever read.

 

Now um...Watchmen oh yes....

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What did you think of Batman Begins then?

(I can rant till i'm blue in the face, and then still painfully concede that it's still the best Batman movie).

 

Me, I loved it to pieces, although a few month's distance have helped me to acknowledge that it was, in it's own way, still deeply flawed. The flaws this time were more in the film-making than in the adaptation, though, which was about as good as I could possibly have imagined - and which bodes very well indeed for the sequel.

 

Not to mention flaws in film physics, but thats something that still doesnt bother me after many repeated viewings of that film...

 

So shall I take it that, as much of the joy of Watchmen comes from how Moore played around with the medium, no one really thinks the story could hold up on its own on the big screen? I think it's pretty good, at the very least you have a diverse and interesting set of characters to work with...

 

I remember someone remarking about how they made significant changes to the scripts to accomodate for the end of the cold war. Now this is something I don't get, apparently you can't film it as a story set in the cold war anymore because that wouldnt be relevant? Why does it have to be so relevant?

 

Most of those who have read it were no doubt living in that time or at least have a pretty good idea of the fears that people had! I've seen examples where stories in various media where the story was effectively able to convey the fears of that era. I don't see why it must be updated. Having said that, if the script improved on the story because of the updated scenario, then it wouldnt be so bad. But updating something for its own sake, surely there are better ways to adapt the source material.

 

Just because you try to make it relevant to the contemporary audience hardly makes the end product any better, as the hamfisted attempts to update V for Vendetta for the war on terror showed...

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I've kept my views on Batman Begins off this board because I know they won't be popular, and I honestly can't be bothered wasting my life arguing about a film that I really don't care about.

 

I can admit that the film is a good action/adventure genre piece. I would have no issues with it if was just some generic superhero film. I can't, in all honestly see it as a good Batman film.

 

A short list of my problems with the film include (but are not limited to):

 

-- the logic/physics/etc of the water plant/big finish scenario

 

--the characterization of Lucius Fox (yes I know I'm old school, but I like Fox as a young, smart, capable, business guy -- someone who is an equal or a challenge to Bruce -- not a wise old mentor who gives Bruce all his toys with a knowing wink)

 

--the entire "fact your fears" mumbo jumbo with that bats

 

--the Katie Holmes character and her interaction wth Bats/Bruce

 

--the fact that what's his name who plays Bruce (I'm blanking right now, it's late and I've had a long, hard day) has absolutely no shoulders (sorry I realize that's really picky, but that scene when he's sitting on his bed shirtless, I just wanted to scream, "I've got a better build than that")

 

--the car design (and the fact that it was the same crappy designer who "designed" all those other shitty Batmobiles since the first Burton movie

 

-the wanton destruction of private/public property by Batman

 

--the fact that according to this "new" origin, Bruce essentially owes his entire career/training to Ra's and his buddies (again I'm old school enough to remember that Bruce met Talia first and the he only met Ra's after Robin was "kidnapped" and while I recognize why that origin wouldn't work for the movie, I really don't like the sense of indebtedness that this version set up)

 

--The fact that Bats had to argue/debate with Ducard, not with Ra's himself. Again, I understand why that happened, based on the actors involved, but I wanted to see the great detective match his wits with the demon himself

 

I'm sure there are a pile of other things that bugged me, but I'm sure this gives you the general idea. It isn't any one thing with the movie, it is a bit of everything.

 

 

As for Year One, I think I've discussed most of my feelings before, but a lot of it comes down to the continuity nut in me. I have no respect for anybody who just tosses out and/or contradicts large chunks of a character's history just because he doesn't like it. There are ways a writer can ignore history, but I'm really uncomfortable with wholesale rewriting just because a person can.

 

As I've said before at that time I was impressed with real retroactive continuity, not the revisionist history that is now masquerading under that title. I spent a lot of time really learning Batman history and lore and the series was an affront to all that.

 

In addition, I really hated Gordon's characterization in that book. I know most people just loved him for his "human weaknesses" but I really disliked Frank's version of the character. Gordon really should be Batman's/Bruce's opposite number in every way possible, including sticking to the rules and maintaining an ongoing, positive relation with his wife -- something that Bruce will never be able to experience. The whole cheating subplot really annoyed me to an extent that I can't express here. I don't care if it could happen. I could understand Gordon being tempted, I can understand the decision torturing him, but I don't think he should have caved in. That strength and inherent fairness/goodness/call-it-what-you-like makes Gordon the type of man/character I came to know and to respect. It just didn't ring true to me.

 

It has been a while, but I also don't remember thinking too much of Sarah Essen, but that's not a surprise. I really (with the odd exception) hate the way Miller treats female characters.

 

You also have to keep in mind that when I encountered these books I was a much younger girl. I didn't have the luxury of coming to them as an adult (male) who had been away from comics for a long time and who had just picked up a trade version and got enchanted by the "gritty realism" (or whatever phrase you want to apply). I had been firmly entrenched in the Batman universe for years. I grew up with him, and it was primarily the way the main characters were portrayed that kept me coming back. I really didn't (and still don't) care about the meanest/coolest/most powerful bad guys and the wickedest/coolest/badest/etc. explosions/fights/whatever. I didn't mind characters growing and evolving naturally, for example, I had no problem with Dick growing up and going off to College, or Bruce moving away from the city and back to the old manor, (or moving away from the country and into the city in the first place) etc. I just didn't feel that Frank showed enough respect to the character's "true nature" (for lack of a better phrase) and their history.

 

Enough said on both topics. My book is closed on both of them.

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I wont mention any of the rest (for example, I dont quite get how you object to a vastly superior retelling of the Batman story just cos it doesnt jibe with previous decades of stories that don't light a candle to the Frank Miller stuff but I guess thats just subjective) but I will strongly object to any claim that Christian Bale has no shoulders. The guy has a fucking impressive build - one viewing of American Psycho and a prole like me feels inferior. I have no idea how you missed his shoulders. He's built perfect - six foot and 200 lbs. You can't not have shoulders with those stats. I also remember watching this thing where they showed aspects of his workout rebuilding his body for Batman Begins after the hell he put it through during The Machinist. He benches 250 lbs that man. As a very amateur athlete, I know what kind of shoulders that takes. Maybe it was the lighting or something in that scene. I remember the scene and I really dont recall him looking anything less than impressive.

 

So say what you will on all other topics but no one disses Christian Bale's physique on my watch :biggrin:

 

I agree with you on the Batmobile thing though. I didnt particularly care for it after my second viewing.

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So say what you will on all other topics but no one disses Christian Bale's physique on my watch  :biggrin:

He has a more convincing build for a superhero than Ben Afflek does, put it that way...

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The shoulders not withstanding, I second your Batman Begins points.

 

Ultimately the script is written by David Goyer.

Those are his faults that permeate the film not Nolan's.

 

"Why do we fall Master Bruce? So we can get back up again."....Brokeback Christ.

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The only thing I didn't like about Bale was the weird overbite thing he had going with his upper teeth. Very offputting in the Batsuit scenes.

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That's just the way he talks most of the time. Some roles he doesn't do it as much though.

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The shoulders not withstanding, I second your Batman Begins points.

 

Ultimately the script is written by David Goyer.

Those are his faults that permeate the film not Nolan's.

 

"Why do we fall Master Bruce? So we can get back up again."....Brokeback Christ.

 

I wasn't at all familiar with Goyer, so I looked him up. I think you're right. Using IMDB I also see he has now got his hands on The Flash and Captain America. I guess those are two more comic book movies I'll be skipping on the big screen.

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That's just the way he talks most of the time.  Some roles he doesn't do it as much though.

 

Well it wouldn't be a problem, except when he's playing Batman his mouth is the only bit of his body that's visible.

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That's just the way he talks most of the time.  Some roles he doesn't do it as much though.

 

Well it wouldn't be a problem, except when he's playing Batman his mouth is the only bit of his body that's visible.

 

 

Too true.

 

I loved that he tried to make his Batman different from and more frightening than his Bruce Wayne, but he growled and spit just a little too much.

 

And how tall is Liam Neeson? He made Bale look like a dwarf in some scenes....

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I loved that he tried to make his Batman different from and more frightening than his Bruce Wayne, but he growled and spit just a little too much.

 

And how tall is Liam Neeson?  He made Bale look like a dwarf in some scenes....

 

The growling was obvious and terrible.

He needed the monotone Voice Bats would use in Dini's animated series.

Far more subtler and infinitely unnerving.

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Would Vin Diesel make a good Batman, do you think?

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Would Vin Diesel make a good Batman, do you think?

Give me Whoopi Goldberg, as long as it's not Keanu.

 

Christin Bale was an amazing Bruce Wayne, but personally a bad Batman.

It's not his acting, I just think that's how he was directed.

Fair enough if the argument, is that it's still early days in Batman's career and he's still working on the persona.

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Would Vin Diesel make a good Batman, do you think?

Give me Whoopi Goldberg, as long as it's not Keanu.

 

Christin Bale was an amazing Bruce Wayne, but personally a bad Batman.

It's not his acting, I just think that's how he was directed.

Fair enough if the argument, is that it's still early days in Batman's career and he's still working on the persona.

That's a fair point.

(Mind you, Michael Keaton was a much better Bruce Wayne than he was a Batman as well, so it may not have been deliberately directed to set that up...)

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It's not easy to be interesting as Batman, because in a comic it's cool, but in a movie it usually comes across as corny or trying to hard.... In my opinion.

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It's not easy to be interesting as Batman, because in a comic it's cool, but in a movie it usually comes across as corny or trying to hard.... In my opinion.

This is precisely why so many films of comics stink, sadly.

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