1 Reason Not To See The Dark Knight
The release of The Dark Knight is only a few weeks away, and lead-up hype has reached a fever pitch. I can tell because a picture of Christian Bale is on the cover of my latest issue of Tiger Beat. And while the massive success of the first film, Heath Ledger’s final and reportedly masterful performance, and numerous glowing previews aim to make TDK the Summer Blockbuster of 2008, I'm about to break a news story that could rock the very foundation of the franchise itself, and leave The Dark Knight’s spine broken across the knee of the Bane of poor box office reception. For you see, there was one Batman authority you forgot to ask. And Adam West does not approve. West, the original TV Batman and sometime cartoon mayor, has said that while he’s only seen “bits and pieces” of the new Batman films, he prefers the old days, when things were more “silly and funny.” Like how when Bruce’s parents got shot, instead of blood coming out, it was cotton candy! West also praised the original series for being “Shakespearean,” a clear reference to the famous series finale, wherein The Penguin fed Batgirl’s corpse to Batman through the clever guise of meat pies, then revealed the same in blank verse soliloquy. Well, I can’t in good conscience see this movie until I’ve taken all pertinent viewpoints into account, so as I see it there’s only one solution: a trumped up and self-important comparison of the two franchises, arbitrarily determining an ultimate victor. To that end, I proudly present:
THE LAST BATMAN COMPARISON GUIDE YOU’LL EVER NEED
(Unless you want to include the Burton or Schumacher movies)
Faithfulness to the Source: The Nolan Batman films take the original Bob Kane comic and update it for a modern audience by embracing the darkness of the themes and motifs and drawing inspiration from the bat itself. The original series, on the other hand, drew its inspiration from a rambling journal Kane wrote while tripping balls in the Mojave Desert.
Clear Winner: The Original Series.
Visuals: According to West, the new Batman films are “dark, gothic, sinister, and full of explosions,” whereas in the old series they “didn’t rely on special effects so much so everyone was challenged to use their imaginations.”
Clear Winner: The Nolan Movies.
Dialogue: The new films feature sparse, matter-of-fact dialogue that keeps the action moving while remaining as transparent and on-theme as possible. The original series strove to put the word “bat” into a new word each and every episode, and often flashed the word “KaPOW!” onscreen.
Clear Winner: The Original Series, mainly for effort.
Plot: While the new films slavishly follow a traditional Fieldian three-act structure, the original series took chances with a looser structure that could telescope to fit the needs of each episode, and/or to make room for the inclusion of a new Bat Dance.
Clear Winner: The Nolan Movies.
Characterization of Batman: Batman’s been everything from a slick do-gooding playboy, to a troubled, brooding force of blind justice, to Adam West, who I can’t really describe with mere words.
When not blogging for Cracked, Michael is valiantly watching movies in your stead as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!