Monday, November 07, 2005

Begins, again

Yes, yes, of course I picked up the DVD of Batman Begins right away, and of course I got the 2-disc version with bonus bat-goodies.

I headed straight for the extras, and enjoyed them all. Nothing spectacular, mind you; I wish there'd been a commentary track (I'm a sucker for those), and the "Interactive Comic Book" menu makes for an annoying interface (it is kinda hot, but it's a pain to have to navigate through it to get to a conventional menu). The hard-copy comic included in the package reprints one chapter of The Long Halloween (gotta push that back catalogue) and two origin/early-days stories I didn't have. All in all, I gained a lot of insight into the making of a blockbuster circa 2005, and I saw just how seriously the writer and director take the Bat-mythos and their part within it. (Sorry, I hate that word "mythos," but what the hell.) And let me just say there are some migh-tee hot men involved in the making of that mythos.

In one of the featurettes--maybe the one on the fighting technique Batman uses--there's a note of explanation that the notorious/controversial quick cuts in the combat sequences are meant to convey what an encounter with our hero would look like from the perspective of a bad guy: lightning-fast, impossible to follow, and then it's over. Makes sense, but this and some other passing comment made me realize that, once again, filmmakers feel that Batman himself is not interesting enough to hold a film. In the Burton/Schumacher era the emphasis was on the villains (in ever-increasing numbers each time), and for Nolan it's Bruce Wayne in his pre-Bat days. And I just don't agree. Both classic tv incarnations--the 60s show and the 90s (?) animated one--place Batman, AS Batman, at the center of the story, and that's just where he belongs. Wayne and the baddies need to be there, but they're not what have kept me transfixed for the last four decades.

Sermon over. DVD good. Waiting on pins and needles for the next installment of the Nolan/Goyer saga. Here's hoping they're both along for the long haul, too.

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