Batman vs Superman vs Everyone

Alright let’s get this over with. The world doesn’t need another article about superhero movies, they make enough money and don’t need defending by lone gunmen like me. HOWEVER Batman vs Superman has come under so much fire I feel like I need to say something. Because I like it. I like it a lot. Yes, I’m a DC kid, always have been, so I am biased but I never went in for the tribalism. I love Marvel and think the films are great too and they’re certainly “winning” (if this were a battle, which it isn’t). The reason I wanted to write this is because with the DVD release of BvsS the vitriol tap has been reopened and I get a little annoyed at the rhetoric that implies I shouldn’t like this film as a sane person: it’s garbage and if you like it you’re stupid, seems to be the overall line which really annoys me because I, without irony or concerted effort nor turning a blind-eye, really like Batman vs Superman.

Why?

Well let’s deal with the problems first. Most of the dislike is a matter of opinion. People do not care for the sombre, serious, murky world Man of Steel and BvsS inhabit. Marvel by contrast is bright, wry, wisecracking and fun. What warner bros are doing is quite sensible, don’t try and beat Marvel at their own game, they’ll lose. As such, the DC film universe is entirely different. My argument would be if this came out 10 years ago people would have lost their shit over it but whatever, no point ‘what-iffing’. BvsS was roundly lambasted by critics and fans, therefore there must be problems with it and there are, or rather there is. One main problem. The script.

Like every hollywood blockbuster these days, to justify the ticket price and get the most bums on seats you have to have a long film that has a universal appeal to adults and younger audiences, for lighter tone movies this is easy (Marvel strikes this balance exceptionally well) but a ‘darker’ movie will struggle. In short the script is too long, bloated and way too convoluted to be generally entertaining and despite the run time too little time is given over to development. The pacing is strong but leaves a lot behind and there are a lot of plot holes. Not to mention the confusing “Martha” plot hinge. Generally its a bit of a mess. You know, just like pretty much every major hollywood blockbuster of the last 10 years. In fact at least the Villain’s plan didn’t rely on getting captured for once like Dark Knight, Avengers, Skyfall, etc etc. Prometheus is a good example of a film destroyed by its script, it could have been great but I hate that film purely because of its script. So yeah there are script issues, lots, but no less or more than any Marvel movie it just came under greater scrutiny and comparison. When you’re up against the biggest movie series of all time and the most critically acclaimed Batman movies you can’t succeed sadly.

Then there’s Jesse Eisenberg’s repeat of his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg as Lex Luthor. I won’t defend it, it’s a bad misstep and doesn’t fit with the tone. And is pretty annoying. BUT his motivations and his plan make as much sense as ANY other film at the moment. But yeah, Lex was a misfire.

So if we ignore my bias and accept the fact the script is droopy and flawed why do I love this film? It boils down to one reason. One word in fact: Imagery.

I know I boil everything back to Poetry but Imagery is a powerful tool in any medium and as I said waaaaay back in my post reappraising Man of Steel the iconography used is deliberate, the same is true here. Gods and Monsters, heaven and hell, Jesus and the Devil, this kind of symbolism is inherent in comic books and superheroes and was deconstructed in the comics very well. BvsS transfers this imagery to the screen, very successfully in my opinion.

I get the impression everyone hates Zack Snyder which means you should give props to Warner Bros for staking the entire series of films on a single auteur. I don’t mind him and like Watchmen a lot too. But, despite protestations, Batman vs Superman is NOT badly made. Badly written? Yes. (But for me no worse than any other blockbuster) but it is not badly made. Want to see badly made? Watch Party Monster. This will seem like Citizen Kane afterwards. Snyder, to my mind, is actually the only true blue comic book filmmaker working today because he uses the imagery and iconography of the comics for his screen interpretations, way more than Marvel does. Freeze frame any part of BvsS and it will be a (admittedly dark and murky) classic comic book panel and that is what makes my goosebumps come up. Bruce running into the cloud, Superman hovering in the air over the woman reaching out, the statue, the dream sequences, the dilapidated Wayne manor, in fact almost any frame of this film is a picture and nearly all of them reference one or many comics: Dark Knight Returns, Year One, For Tomorrow, Death of Superman and many more get visual references and I squeed a little every time. Snyder and Team have deliberately gone in a (literally) more operatic direction. The imagery of Man of Steel was the same, continual Biblical and Greek references including the hints of Darkseid as what looks like a literal devil in BvsS plant the flag pretty heavy in the ‘Serious’ camp. For a stupid superhero film where they beat seven bells out of each other this is clearly problematic and it, understandably, lost a lot of audiences. I was so happy in Man of Steel to see Zod and Supes beat the crap out of each other. If Gods did fight that’s what would happen.

In short BvsS is much more philosophical, and akin to the comics of Frank Miller, Alan Moore, et al, than any other superhero movie – which I loved – but is why I think everyone else hated it. These films are for entertainment and perhaps discussions of theology, senate hearings, heroism as a political act and personal soul searching is a bit much for people who just want a popcorn movie. Saying Batman vs Superman is ‘cerebral’ is silly, but it does ask more questions than any Marvel film does, its just not any questions an audience wants asked. Except me apparently.

This is to say nothing of Batman and Alfred being my absolute favourite screen incarnations of those characters ever. Batfleck and Irons are just EXCELLENT in those parts and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Gal Gadot kicks all kinds of arse too, her introduction at the end was a delight for me and I look forward to her own film with relish. Also, and I will happily fight for this one, the score is better than ANY score of any blockbuster I’ve seen of late. Zimmer is a notorious thief and false advertiser of a composer but by golly he makes music that is SO memorable and attuned to the scene Marvel should actually be ashamed. It saddens me to hear Hans won’t be doing anymore such films but if it were up to me I would make it a priority to find someone with as sensitive an ear as him to score the rest.

I won’t deny there are problems with Batman vs Superman but I honestly believe it has come in for a lot of unwarranted stick that boils down to expectations and just general opinion. It can’t fight that sadly and whether we like it or not we’re grandfathered in to a million more of these films that frankly even I am sick of now but whatever. I like Cavill, I like Affleck, I like Gadot and I like Snyder. The series needs work if it wants a more favourable response next time but I really hope that doesn’t mean sacrificing all the things I like about this movie.

In short, I’m just asking for some perspective please and to stop making me feel guilty for liking this dumb film instead of your favourite dumb film about dumb superheroes hitting each other. This is all stupid and we’re all taking it too seriously, including the film I’m defending but can’t I just enjoy my favoured bit of idiocy without being made to feel more of an idiot than we ALL are for sponsoring this kind infantile nonsense? You want better films? Stop watching these. Or better still, make your own…

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P.S. If you want a more rounded response to some of the things I like about BvsS this has a lot of it (but is actually too fanboy for my likes, it defends stuff that shouldn’t really be defended and ignores parts that should be pointed out but generally I agree with it) but equally this is a good reference point for a lot of the major issues (though, again, it leans too heavily on some pretty petty stuff and – like most people – really really hates it so kinda skews the supposed objectivity). This was written in response to my buddy Matt Post making a video about why he didn’t like it so basically FUCK YOU MATT! YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT! IMMA CUTS YOU BITCH! (Seriously though he makes a good point, but it is a point I feel can be made about every superhero movie of the last 6 or 7 years).

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Looking Back at Man of Steel

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Its been a year or so since Zack Snyder’s epic reboot of one of my favourite comic book characters and now the dust has settled and we’re a long way off from the sequel still, I wanted to take another look at it from a safe distance.

I liked Man of Steel when I saw it at the cinema and seem to be in the minority in this opinion but re-watching it again recently for the umpteenth time I am still curious as to where the backlash came from. It is very clearly not a BAD film at all. It meets a good standard in all points, matching a lot of the much drooled over Marvel offerings in recent years. Yet the vitriol aimed at it on release was astonishing. I admit I am a fan of the character and as a comic book reader I still volunteer myself as a DC and not Marvel supporter (despite the fact Marvel’s comics and films are vastly superior today) but I’m not wholly biased. Green Lantern was an unmitigated disaster, very similar to Iron Man 2 so there’s never a perfect formula but I genuinely feel Man of Steel’s hate was misguided and unnecessary. Why? Well let’s look at the main criticisms people had first of all:

The first thing that people trumpeted high and low as the films most pernicious message and damning fault was its ‘Christian Imagery’. Okay, well spotted, there is a lot of christian imagery in it. My riposte to this is: “So what?” As anyone who knows their comic book theory,  or even Nietzsche, or just cultural theory should realise the Ubermensch or Superman theory. The notion is dealt with best in ‘Watchmen’ and the sublime ‘Kingdom Come’ but also a lot in X-Men, essentially it is the notion that all Superheroes are Gods themselves. A jump of evolution to God-head. An aspirational notion that makes us question our ideas of God and who we are as beings. A noble and valid theological query. Superman himself, taking the name directly from Nietzsche’s theory, is the emodiement of that. In the fantastic Superman comic series ‘For Tomorrow’ Brian Azzarello looks at similar themes questioned by Watchmen and has a priest as a main secondary character, set after a Rapture-like ‘vanishing’ of the world’s populace. Superman and the Priest have numerous theological discussions on the idea that Supe himself is in fact a God. As such, damning Man of Steel for utilising christian iconography that is hardly subtle or hidden to make its point about aspirational attitudes is slightly redundant in my view. Its actually quite an interesting sub-text and lets not pretend these do not exist in other superhero films. I wrote an entire post about the deliberate and various political subtexts within the Dark Knight trilogy right here, not to mention the wild and varied sub-texts in the numerous Marvel universe films. That kind of additional iconography adds a certain amount of depth to a film but if people are for some reason worried it is trying to push a christian agenda: Fuck off. Doctor James Smith discusses Man of Steel’s atheist message much better over at Everyday Analysis (they have a book out now by the way) but even in blunt terms, Jonathan Kent is clearly an atheist. He laughs cynically at the notion of “divine intervention”, there is no sign of religious ephemera at his home, in his car, etc. Also why is no one tubthumping about its scientologist agenda? Aliens occupying other planets? Old spaceships before the birth of man? Or why does no one complain about the blatant facist ideology? Zod AND Jor El’s notion of eugenics is the main theme. Zod is even pictured in a Stalinist relief when shown to Clark. Or what about the environmentalist imagery? Jonathan makes the argument that being a farmer is enough to aspire to, the destructive force of those oil rigs, the constant imagery of nature (Whales beneath the sea, stills of butterflys, etc) should it not be lauded for that? No, people picked up on a theme that is practically unavoidable in superhero stories (assiduously avoided by Marvel thus far and outright refuted in Thor) and had a knee-jerk reaction to it. I am no christian but do not feel its imagery was in anyway pernicious, if anything it added to its depth.

There are, I confess, numerous plot holes in Man of Steel too. The iffy science of the Kryptonian and Earth atmosphere is a bit of rubber band reality that doesn’t quite square at times (how can he breathe in outerspace then?). There are numerous other inconsistencies but in truth I can overlook them, in the same way the Joker needs to be omniscient for his plan to work in the Dark Knight and why on Earth did Loki need to be captured? All pretty stupid but that’s movie logic. Read ‘Which Lie Did I Tell’ where Goldman rewrites a scene as if it happened in real life and you’ll see what I mean. Additionally problematic is the film’s pacing. It is overstuffed and the plot makes substantial jumps in time that are not noted and commented on. The Nolan-esque flashback/flashforward editing technique does a lot to make it lucid but it is tightened to an almost emaciated level and has very little breathing room. Avengers, despite its whizzbangs, had a very steady pace to a grand finale, Man of Steel rushes to cram everything in. But to that end Snyder tries his hardest to fit in tonal shots and character beats. The odd gag goes a long way in it and occasionally harks back to the fun of the Christopher Reeve originals, but those shots of nature, the chats with Dad, the chats with Mum, the hitchhiking, all add up to a well rounded film. If they had simply cut some of the action towards the end and made a few scenes longer and shots stretch by a few seconds it would not have felt as rushed as it does.

The one problem that I concur with and I struggle to get over is its somewhat callous preoccupation with destruction and mortality. A LOT of people die in this film and a LOT of buildings and private property is destroyed. In itself this is not necessarily awful but it misses out the depiction of people’s safety that other superhero films go a long way to point out. The Avengers takes great pains to rescue the citizens of New York and the police are constantly pictured rushing people to safety and the public are shown afterwards safe and jubilant at their rescue. For reasons best known to itself, Man of Steel will show people in peril but never shows them rescued or saved. Superman rescues but one soldier – catching him in the air, so when asked if he wants to join Zod his passion for humanity being saved doesn’t ring that true, especially after questioning whether they can be trusted or not. Christopher Reeve wonderfully delivers the line “Stop! The People!” in the Superman 2 and that was almost all you needed, instead Cavill’s Supe is so desperate to save the family in the station at the end he breaks Zod’s neck, murdering him and we see him briefly tortured by this murder but we don’t see the family alive and grateful of rescue and nor does SUPERMAN’S CHIEF MOTIVATION FOR NEVER KILLING get dwelled on beyond his pained scream. Having said all that Man of Steel did have the fight scenes I’ve always wanted from a Superman film. With Gods flying around the cities I’ve long wanted to see some mass and epic destruction in a film such as this and Snyder delivers. But just the briefest shots of people surviving and the notion of mortality would have allayed a lot of criticism. I don’t think it was deliberate however, merely just pressure for time and squeezing stuff in.

Those being the main criticisms why do I love it more and more? First and foremost its a beautiful film. It is shot with a very keen and earthy eye. Snyder makes great use of the natural beauty of this world and Krypton’s. Every scene is beautifully lit in high contrast with lush filters and lots of saturated grain. It is a visually arresting film, probably why the iconography is so eye-catching. The CG is also wonderful, Snyder if nothing else is much better at getting the right look for his CGI. Marvel’s take is big bold and bright, Snyder manages to seamlessly integrate his CGI into the naturalistic camera style and colour palate. Clark’s flight round the world and ascent to the skies is particularly energetic and thrilling. The CGI punch up in the streets is also what I’ve been waiting for in a Superman film since I was 4.

The performances are uniformly excellent. The Man of Steel is a big set of Red Boots to fill especially after so many have done it so well (I thought Brandon Routh was an excellent Superman in a dogshit awful film) but Cavill absolutely nails it; soft enough but tough enough, firm and confident but shy and diffident, confused yet sure of himself he manages the full range and has a great chemistry with the equally great Amy Adams. The Kents are a master stroke of casting, Costner is perfect as Jonathan and steals every scene he is in. Shannon steals it for me though. Zod is a frankly preposterous villain when it comes down to it, even his name is dumb but Shannon gets right into the skin of an unhinged general that’s gone ‘Full Kurtz’ in the reaches of space. The worst villain is the one who makes sense and Shannon puts a lot of effort into making his arguments convincing but equally does the shouty aggression well too. He is a constant and growing threat after his appearance halfway through and is genuinely frightening, more than a match for the Man of Steel. The fantastic line toward the end “Where were you trained? On a farm?!” making him all the more threatening.

The music was never going to be a match for John Williams’ utterly faultless Superman theme which will forever be indelibly linked to the big S but to Hans Zimmer’s credit he doesn’t try. Film scoring has long since dispensed with the symphonic characteristics of its forebears, something I mourn personally, where a film used thematic music for characters and events and places which was a hangover from Opera and the like. Instead today in a postmodernist world music scores for emotion in less Romantic fashion and utilises noise and sound in a modernist way. Zimmer has been honing this skill for decades and has brought this full force to bare in recent years, unlike say Danny Elfman who has simply been repeating himself. With Dark Knight, Inception, Sherlock Holmes and Man of Steel Zimmer has found percussion, synth style noise and the odd key hook to be most effective and whilst he never burdens anything with a ‘Theme’ as such he finds the right key sound for every moment. Relying more heavily on all American military brass sound he captures the Big Blue Boyscout perfectly but equally undermines Zod with the same synthy brass by crashing him about in a Montagues and Capulets way. The finale is particularly rousing.

Also Snyder just gets the tone right. All of these things add up to a film that has real world feel, obviously pushed by Nolan’s Dark Knight popularity, but equally has that slightly high key, pastoral old-cinema effect you want from a comic book film and certainly from a Superman film. Donner nailed this too and it shows, subsequent attempts to revive Supe have never had the deliberately nostalgic, slightly dreamy and yes RELIGIOUS aspect to them. Snyder proved he was a comic fan with Watchmen and Man of Steel is further proof he knows the medium extremely well. Marvel benefit from having an entire studio set up from the comics themselves so cannot help but fall into the comics being a major influence. Warner Bros overall disgust with the fact they have to make Superhero films and DC’s inability to market anyone but Superman and Batman is a massive hinderance but Snyder is proving his passion for the source is just enough to get a truly faithful adaptation to the screen.

The Man of Steel suffered from a backlash of over marketing, bad timing and public and critics jaded by Superheroes in general. Behind the, lets be honest, minor quibbles people level at it, is a decent and enjoyable movie. No its not for everyone, no its not perfect but I am hoping in time it will be seen as more than worthy successor to the original two, which lest we forget were high camp, flared trouser waring, time altering, silly messes of movies too. What you want from Superman, and all superhero films/comics is simple. Clark Kent is a lost soul who struggles with who he is and turns out to be an incredibly powerful being. In short, Clark is all of us. Far from being christian or religious the message of Superman is totally humanist. We don’t know who we are or where we are going. The reason superhero films and comics continue to hold such cultural value is because they speak to us. Theses are written on this topic everyday but at the root of it Superman is the original and the ultimate and Man of Steel nobly addresses this fact. Whilst it doesn’t pose those questions itself it leads us to ask the questions which are tough for anyone. But equally the notions of family, love, isolation and growing up are themes we all understand. Give Man of Steel another try. It really is super.

And Krypton was awesome!

Curt-Swan

Batman: The Animated Series

Okay, so, like, I’m really mature and grown up and stuff and have totally read big people books and watch international films and so on but… But. But. But.

I recently invested the enormous sum of £9 Sterling on the boxset of the first Series of Batman: The Animated Series. Now, when I was young I used to love Batman anyway (because I don’t indulge in such childish things these days… *ahem*) and was an avid collector/reader of his comics, the classic Tim Burton films were apparently too “mature” for me but I still managed to see them thanks to my brother, a VHS recorder and a mate of his with Sky. Shortly after this the Animated series was created to cash in on the growing popular interest in the Caped Crusader. It had a large success in the States and was transferred to the UK where it was shown on the ITV programme ‘What’s Up Doc’ on Saturday mornings. I was a Live & Kicking kid myself (well Going Live actually but I don’t want to show my age) so it goes to show how important this cartoon was that I was willing to change channels and watch the cartoon on the other side. I loved that cartoon because it was Batman, even so far as to use up a precious 20 minutes on my own video tape but upon watching it now I am truly flabbergasted.

With each episode my respect for the creators grows. Both 28 episode series’ are a cavalcade of original and intelligent stories, with well thought out dialogue, fantastic performances, wonderful (and actually famous) guest stars, jaw dropping orchestral scores and production design so pretty I want to hang it on my wall.  I will deal with each of these points in turn;

  • Stories: The adherence to the source material is not merely faithful it is dogged. Being a nerd in these matters the frankly staggering unearthing and reworking of barely known villains such as the Clock King and Mirror Man is not only a delight but great fun. Each episode treds a fine line between being snappy, energetic, fun and exciting yet paradoxically uses lengthy periods of silence to build tension and normally has a good old fashion mystery behind it (the corner-stone of Detective Comics). Bruce and Batman are fleshed out with no mere broad strokes but very subtly, Robin is not as annoying and even then is dispensed with when the series feels like it.  Narrative is frequently pushed well beyond the limits of your typical weekly serial and in my humble opinion would give the likes of Sopranos, Dr. Who et al a run for their money. In similar ways as Buffy the Vampire Slayer did, occasional episodes will be told from different perspectives  (three children for instance), a drip-fed two-part episode revolving around a flashback, begin with no explanation (a blackmail meeting on a bridge) or with a narrative ‘twist’ (three varying explanations of the same scene by three different characters). Even the stock ‘dream’ episode is exceptional, it may even be the best one. Of course there are token crowd pleasing episodes, normally including the Joker, but even these are dealt with in an off kilter manner. A particularly memorable episode finds a Joe-Everyman in a traffic collision with the Joker who then takes his name to call in a favour  at some time then flashes forward six years when he does. No two episodes are alike and no villain repeats himself. A phenomenal achievement in itself. For instance, I just watched an episode that could be seen to directly reference Terminator, Philip K. Dick’s Bicentennial Man, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner (I know ‘Androids Dream’ on which Blade Runner was based is by Dick too before anyone points that out, I mean the film). Not only that, in a sly nod to Blade Runner, William Sanderson who played JF Sebastian in the film voices roughly the same character in Batman.
  • Dialogue: In cartoons this is tricky especially when dealing with exposition in a 20 minute episode as well as laughs, puns and character development but again it is managed with aplomb. There a cheesy one-liners and glib, pithy remarks, but there are startling amounts of quotes from Shakespeare, Carroll and even Kafka (I shit you not). Some jokes are genuinely witty and original, colloquialisms are adhered to and exposition is kept short and punchy. Seeing as this is the mark by which a cartoon can rise or fall due to it being the only “real” element this rises well above the rest.
  • Performance: The above would be nothing without the delivery. Due to the cartoons’ setting and aesthetic (we’ll get to that) the voices must reflect that and the choice of actors is brilliant. Kevin Conroy was the first actor to perform Batman with a different voice for Bruce Wayne and Batman and does not play Bruce as a vacuous billionaire playboy as previous incarnations have. He returned for the computer game and in my opinion should dub over Christian Bale’s gravelly, monster voice in the next film. Adrienne Barbeau is the other noteworthy voice in the cast giving a wonderfully silky yet husky voice to Selina Kyle/Catwoman as a femme fatale in the 30’s style. Much was and is made of Mark Hamill as the Joker which is notable as he is in it a lot but what is more astonishing is that he voices other characters too, to an imperceptible degree. Apropos; The guest cast list is something to behold – Roddy MacDowell, Ed Asner (from ‘Up’), Ron Perlman, Jon Glover, John Rhys Davies, Academy Award Winner Paul Williams and Adam West to name but a few, all give nuanced and not overstated performances as various and nefarious villains. A favourite of mine is Michael Ansara as Dr.Fries who’s crackling radio monotone is literally chilling. Exceptional quality for something of this ilk.
  • Music: Not only was the main theme composed by Danny Elfman each episode had its own score with full orchestral backing. This is one of the two most noticeable things that push this series well beyond normal quality for me. Symphonic scores are taken for granted in big films and even some major TV shows. A bad show can be made better with good music, you’ve seen it, montages at the end of episodes, ‘musical’ episodes and so on. The smallest bed of strings can drag tears from your eyes in an otherwise mediocre scene and can propel action in the coolest way. Much has been made of the scores for the recent Batman film scores and Daft Punk’s score for Tron that incorporate electronica and ‘beats’ into symphonic scoring. This is brilliant but the fact the symphony orchestra is still there to give the emotion. Batman: The Animated Series realises this and not only creates a unique ‘theme’ for each episode introduced in a 5 second overture (accomplishment in itself) but also sticks to the aesthetic provided elsewhere in the cartoon. I cannot praise the music highly enough, every cue is perfect and wouldn’t be out-of-place in a major motion picture which again lifts the cartoon well out of the ordinary.
  • Production Design: This is the killer. Bob Kane and Bill Finger first introduced Batman in 1939 on DC’s ‘Action Comics’ line and this is where Warner Bros. picked up. The whole series is a minutely detailed exploration and retrospective of 30’s and 40’s Art Deco style. The architecture, iconography, typography, vehicles, design, fashion, everything is tailored to detail. Even the technology which is intermittently modern and ‘vintage’ smacks of classic serials like Buck Rogers and Dan Dare. I remember as a kid seeing anything that looked Art Deco and describing it as “Batman-style”. Naive maybe, but that kind of attenuation of an entire style/movement into bite sized chunks is not just rare in modern television it is non-existent. This kind of aesthetic, along with the period plotting and “traditional” performances didn’t just mean it was fanboys praising the original strip, it was still cool, action packed and just looked beautiful. The background plates are all airbrush paintings with stunning gouache touches to give texture to surfaces, a typically Deco art style also. The animation itself is also much more subtle. Whilst remaining simple every character has a much more unusual distinguishing feature and whilst ‘acting’ is basic the voice acting lifts it well above any other at the time or even now. The episode “Perchance to Dream” being a particular hackle-raising one at the end.

I do not write all this just because I am a nerd and I love Batman – which of course I am and do – but because it is not held today as it should be. Pixar are permanently lauded and seem to be the only animation studio in the public consciousness however people seem to forget they made the atrocious ‘Cars’ and mind numbingly dull ‘Ratatouille’ and I still don’t see what all the fuss is about the ‘Incredibles’ but whatever. Batman has been passed over in popularity and cult resurgence in favour of honest crap like the Real Ghostbusters and (let’s be honest) Thundercats, etc. Batman was innovative, un-patronising, faithful to its source and just plain good fun. If you liked the Burton Batman films I insist you invest in one of the boxsets. From what I have seen the 2nd series is the best but either series will do. I cannot praise it highly enough. Even if you don’t care for Batman, the series is a feast for the eyes, ears and honestly gives you something to chew on mentally. It is also a nice contrast to the modern ‘gritty’ incarnation.

I also reckon Christopher Nolan drew inspiration from this series and not just for the Batman films. Watch the episode “Perchance to Dream” and you’ll see what I mean…

Also, I will be attending the world premiere of Batman:Live. It could be crap but Alan Burnett wrote and directed several episodes of the Animated series so if it is anything like the series it should be good.

Over and out.