We dive deep on the Matt Reeves directed Robert Pattinson starring batman movie.
- The Batman Blu-Ray
- Matt Reeves Dolby Interview, Cinematography
- Matt Reeves Dolby Interview, Audio
- Before The Batman (Prequel Novel)
You can find an archive of all episodes at batlessons.com
Send your comments, questions and corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at us @batlessons
Podcast Artwork by Sergio R. M. Duarte
Podcast Music by Renzo Calma
[00:00:00] Alex: Welcome to bat lessons. The Batman history podcast. I am Alex Cash and I am joined today by Brian, the caped Crusader Andrews. And today we're going to be talking a little bit about the 20, 22
moving picture film entitled the Batman.
Have you seen this moving picture? Film, Brian?
[00:00:15] Brian: Yes, I have. I'm very excited to say that I have, it took two tries,
um, which seems kind of ridiculous, but
um, just, well, it's just bad luck is what happens. So a little bit of background for me is that I worked at a movie theater in my hometown for five years while I was in college. Um, and yes, I did take five years to finish college.
And so when I worked at the movie theater, I had a lot of experience in the booth, like running the film and, and all that stuff. And that's just background. Today I don't do any of that crap. So my wife and I went to the mall here in San Jose to watch the movie very, very amped for it.
Very excited. Tried to see nothing ahead of time. We wanted to go in as blank and like no assumptions as
[00:01:03] Alex: Like had you seen the trailer?
[00:01:04] Brian: I had not seen a trailer. I saw a teaser like two, two years ago, but I
[00:01:08] Alex: Okay. I think I know the one you're talking about the fandome one,
[00:01:11] Brian: Is it like reveals his suit or something like that? Or maybe just the cowl
[00:01:17] Alex: the one that they showed at fandome, it's the, it's literally just the first scene of the movie where they're walking through the crime scene or whatever, and Yeah, He steps towards the camera and he's in the suit and that's like the end of it.
[00:01:29] Brian: yeah, yeah, yeah.
So I saw that one. And so went in, sat down. It's one of the nice theaters where you, like, you put your feet up and all that stuff. And so we're watching the movie we get about halfway through, and really quickly spoiler alert. If you haven't watched this movie, you should stop listening to this
[00:01:49] Alex: yeah.
this episode's not for you. I think we, at this point, like we're, it's been four weeks since the movie came out three weeks since the movie came out when we're recording and it's probably not gonna come out for five or six weeks that.
you're listening to this. So we're assuming the moratorium is up.
We're we're spoiling this. Come back, go watch
[00:02:05] Brian: Yep. Yep.
[00:02:06] Alex: Come back. Listen to
[00:02:07] Brian: Uh, so about halfway through, there's the part where, what's his name? The da, um, has, has the neck bomb goes off. It goes off and there's that loud explosion. And as the audience you hear like the ringing, you hear, like, you hear that whole movie effect where like an explosion has happened and you're hearing what Batman hears, which is like nothing.
And then he wakes up and they're like trying to decide whether or not to take his mask off. And, and we just couldn't hear anything that anyone said. We
[00:02:40] Alex: there's still sound.
[00:02:41] Brian: the soundtrack. Yeah. We could hear the music. We could hear sound effects.
We could hear zero dialogue. And what I know about theaters is that usually there's like five to seven major sets of speakers.
The ones on the sides do this, the sound effects and the music and the one behind the screen that's right up in front of you usually does the dialogue.
[00:03:02] Alex: The center channel.
[00:03:04] Brian: Yeah.
And I'm pretty confident that they blew that speaker and because of the explosion. And so, and it was really, this is a weird effect and I've tried to explain it to a couple of people.
I don't know if I'm going to do well here, but like for, for some strange reason, there were captions on for the whole movie,
which like, I know some people really hate, I was fine with it. I like captions.
[00:03:27] Alex: Was it descriptive? Like sometimes they say like, music is playing or like a crashing sound. It's like for hearing
[00:03:34] Brian: it wasn't over the top. It wasn't full, full, closed captions, but it was the kind of captions that are like, are they, Maria is playing
in the background kind of stuff, you know? Um, or like inaudible voices or whatever. But there were parts where like people were talking and we knew what they were saying because
[00:03:54] Alex: was a, you could read
[00:03:54] Brian: the, the, subtitle.
Right. But, couldn't hear what they were saying, but there was this weird, like echo as if you couldn't hear what the person was saying, but you could only hear it bouncing off the walls.
[00:04:05] Alex: right. Because it's like surround sound.
[00:04:07] Brian: Yeah. And so we could, it was very like whisper quiet.
You could hear the echo of what these people were saying really,
really, really quiet.
[00:04:15] Alex: it's one of those situations where you have to decide like, okay, I'm going to watch the rest of the movie like this. Like, is this, are we doing this? Is this a thing that's happening? Like
[00:04:22] Brian: No, it w the question that we were asking, cause we were looking at each other is like, is this intentional?
Is this how the movie is. And after like two or three minutes of that, we were like,
no, this is not how the movie is. And then the question was, do we have to be awkward and go like find a manager?
And I was like, I've worked at theaters. Um, I'm not watching
the movie like this, I'm going to find a
manager. So I went out, yeah.
I went out and I found someone and I said, Hey, I'm in whatever theater and the sound screwed up. And I tried to explain it to them and they looked very skeptical. And so I brought them in and I showed them and I was like, you, you can hear that speaker works and that speaker works, but these two speakers are dead and you can't hear anything that anyone's saying behind the screen.
And they were like, oh shoot. Yeah, that's not right. Well, let me talk to my manager. And so they did that
[00:05:17] Alex: Meanwhile moves
[00:05:18] Brian: in like, yeah, the movie's still running. And, and like, this
is COVID times and it was like a Wednesday night.
Because that that's the night where, my son hangs out with his grandparents. Which is like our date night.
And, there's like, no one there, it was like us. And like one other couple in the entire theater, it was kind of a great set
[00:05:38] Alex: sure. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:05:39] Brian: but they, they went up and they, turned off the whole system and they rebooted it, hoping that the reboot would clear it up. And then they jumped to the same part in the movie.
And it wasn't fixed. And so I was like, well, I'm, I'm not watching this movie this way. And so we all, uh, all four of us left and we got, basically voucher tickets for some other time to see any movie, but I really just wanted to see the Batman.
[00:06:10] Alex: And like, that takes a minute, like dear listener, if you do not have a toddler and you don't understand what it means to miss your date night, right? Like you got to wait for another one to come around.
[00:06:20] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. So I like was talking to a friend about this yesterday, yesterday, and they were like, oh, so you went to the theater the next day, obviously. Right.
[00:06:29] Alex: I'm
[00:06:29] Brian: was like,
no, I waited till next Wednesday. Like it was the week later. And they're like, oh, a week later. And it was like, it was like holding a sneeze for a week is like it, cause the movie seems so awesome in that first hour plus or whatever.
And then I have no idea if it was a good movie because the ending is pretty crucial. Like that last hour is if it wasn't important, they wouldn't have it. And so, and so like, it just seemed so awesome. And we came back and we watched the whole first half all over again and then the second half and the, it got to that point where there was the explosion and we were like, like holding hands and kind of like fingers crossed, like,
[00:07:11] Alex: Are we going to make it we're going to blow another set of speakers right now.
[00:07:14] Brian: And then after two or three minutes, we were like, okay, this is fine. We're good. We're good.
So in, we were able to finish the movie. And yeah, it was great.
[00:07:24] Alex: I, so I have, I have things that like, stories like that as well. And it always, always, always seems like coincide with the movies that I care about the most, like you and I are both like very big star wars fans and like both with the last Jedi and rise of Skywalker, I've just have awful stories. Like I showed up for the last Jedi, like, I don't know, 10 minutes before my showing was supposed to start on the, on the day it opened,
[00:07:45] Brian: I was with you.
[00:07:46] Alex: you were there for that.
Oh my gosh. It's I had invited a bunch of my friends, including, and like one of my friends was late.
[00:07:52] Brian: Yeah. It was good. How was it, Chris?
[00:07:55] Alex: No, Sam was late
[00:07:57] Brian: Sam? Yeah, it was Sam that's right?
[00:07:59] Alex: He was bringing, uh, you know, one of his, many, uh, various dates. And he was waiting for her. Um, and he showed up late. And so, but like, it wasn't a big deal.
Cause it was still before the time that the movie was supposed to show And we were all waiting out front, waiting for everyone to show up and I was like eight of us.
[00:08:13] Brian: And you'd, pre-ordered all the
[00:08:14] Alex: I preordered all the tickets
[00:08:15] Brian: opening day or whatever.
[00:08:17] Alex: cared. Yeah,
It was like, you know, the thing where the movie opens on Friday, but was like a Thursday at seven o'clock and we went in and we go to scan the tickets and they're like, oh, this showing isn't actually available.
[00:08:28] Brian: no, no, no, I'm sorry. That's not what happened.
[00:08:31] Alex: Okay.
[00:08:31] Brian: We scanned in and we went to the theater and there was a person at
the door of the theater with a clipboard and they said, you're not allowed in here. And then you had to go back.
[00:08:41] Alex: And we went back to the, to the front and we said, Hey, this person says this showing we're not allowed in because we're not on the list. And they're like, oh yeah, that's a corporate showing. We sold you the tickets on accident. We sent you an email to let you know that you didn't actually buy these tickets.
And I'm like, what do you mean? Didn't buy these tickets. Like I have a barcode, you scanned it. Like I, and I was so pissed and they're like, oh, it's okay. We have another auditorium for a different showing for people who, for this specific purpose. Like, it's a showing for people who were supposed to do it, but it started 10 minutes earlier and you can go now and the movie's already going.
And so we go and we sit in like the next to the front row and our like next, or like craned up. And like the movies already started. And I was seeing like, you know, how on your apple watch? There's um, it listeners, if you have an apple watch, it has all kinds of cool features. But like, one of the features of this is it tells you that your heart rate's been elevated for too long.
[00:09:30] Brian: Well, it's,
specific for if your heart rate is like highly irregular and it's not sensing motion. So like if you're not working out
[00:09:38] Alex: your heart's going, like you were running, but you ha you're sitting still it's like telling me, like, and I'm just like, I was so enraged.
[00:09:45] Brian: i, so I remember you telling me after the fact, like we're sitting there watching this movie. I don't know how much I've missed
[00:09:51] Alex: Yeah,
[00:09:52] Brian: it. I don't know if it was important. It's the first five 10 who knows how long of the movie. And my watch is just like buzzing at me that I'm dying.
[00:10:01] Alex: Yes. Yes. It's like, you are actively having a heart attack, seek medical
[00:10:06] Brian: Yeah.
[00:10:07] Alex: and I'm trying to pay attention to Starbucks.
Here's the thing Like I don't yell at people like who are, um, doing service jobs. Cause like, I understand how crappy It, is to like, be a person who's like
it's not up them. Yeah.
it's not their fault. Like they didn't buy me the tickets. It's probably their manager. Like some company came in and like bought out that auditorium for like way too much money. And they are greedy. And so they said, yes. And then unsold us the tickets. And like that manager is the person that should be yelling at.
But like in those moments when you're seeing red, like you don't care. Like I just like, I, and I didn't yell, but like I came as close as I do. Like Alex Cash, like faces red, just like shaking. Like I'm like so mad. Cause like. I care about this movie so much, the same thing happened slightly different thing happened with rise of Skywalker, where I drove to Salinas, which like, I don't know if you're familiar with California, is a long way from where I lived and union city at the time, again, to see it on like a Thursday night, that was like, that was the way I was able to get a ticket the night before it came out and I bought it through, um, Fandango. Right.
And it just looked like a totally normal listing. And like, I went back after the fact, look at the sell, you know, the receipt and the listing, and like, to make sure that it was a Spanish language showing this movie. So we went in, I have not told you this story.
[00:11:20] Brian: No, I haven't heard this
[00:11:21] Alex: So we go, we sit down, we got popcorn, we're waiting for the thing.
And it like rolls the music plays. And it does the, you know, it's cause at the beginning of star wars movies got the yellow text that goes away from the
[00:11:30] Brian: Yeah. Duh.
[00:11:31] Alex: and it's in Spanish. And we're like, oh no, like, have we made this terrible mistake? And then I'm thinking well maybe it's only the text That's in Spanish and it's going to be captioned.
And so we're waiting and I don't want to, do you remember the beginning of rise of Skywalker, but the first like 10 minutes in the movie, there's no one speaking like Kylo Ren shows up on the planet and like he's walking through this temple and it's totally silent. And so we waited, it was like 15 minutes into this movie when the first person talks and it's in Spanish.
We're like, just darn it. Like
we go out and then like, again, I'm like talking to the person they're like that. They said that it was a Spanish showing and I'm like, Fandango, didn't say that it was a Spanish language showing. And so like we had to get, uh, like a pass to come see it on a different day.
It was the worst we have like resolved, never to buy tickets from Fandango ever again, which is like a hard thing to do. Like I think I've done it since, but like I was so mad. Just the most mad.
Here's the thing I like, I think my perception, I want to ask you about this. My perception of star wars, last jedi I think is inextricably tied to that moment. Like I had such a negative experience watching that movie that like, I think it's part, it's part of the movie for me now is that like watching
it was so horrible. Like it's it's I had, I went into, like, I had a negative bias before the film even started. Like, do you feel like you will always remember, like seeing, you've seen this movie 1.5 times.
[00:12:50] Brian: Oh, no, no, no, not the Batman. I, I dunno. I th this is one of the things that I think is like a difference between you and I is that you carry your anxiety a little bit differently. Um, and there are a lot of things where I, there, there are a lot of things that I care a lot about. Like, if, if there's an injustice, I'll probably never, ever forget that for the whole rest of my life.
Like, those are the types of things that stick with me, but if it's just like a fluke or like a inconvenience or as bad luck, whatever, it's like, that stuff usually rolls off, like, oh, that happens, you know, and I roll with the punches. Um,
[00:13:29] Alex: That's good.
I wish I could be like you
[00:13:31] Brian: your statement about the last Jedi specifically is I've in my experience has been true. Like, anytime we talk about the last, I, you're not just critical, you're like angry, critical, and I
[00:13:41] Alex: So here's the
[00:13:42] Brian: those feelings coming back
[00:13:43] Alex: I'm so glad that you're bringing this up.
Cause like, I think that's a good segue because we're going to start talking about our feelings. And, and one of the things that I think is, I think, I don't know what we, cause we haven't talked, I've very purposely tried to avoid conversations with you about this movie.
But one of the things that happened with us with the last Jedi is that I think, and correct me if I'm speaking wrong. I think that's a movie that we both really like a lot. Um, but like we've had arguments over what is wrong with that movie or not wrong with that movie that like, I won't say it almost ended our friendship,
[00:14:17] Brian: no, no, no. no. It derailed a little bit. Yeah, yeah,
yeah. For sure. Yeah, no doubt.
Well, but would also say that that was like, it was like four years ago or something like, I think I've changed a lot since then. And the way that I handle different situations, especially because of like how work has, has more for me to be in more like negotiations and
stuff. So I think if, yeah, if I was in the same situation, I think I would have handled it really
[00:14:42] Alex: I probably would have to, but I guess the point is, is that like, I don't know, but I, I think he probably liked this movie a lot. I'm spoilers. I liked this movie a lot, but I'm just a critical person. Like I've, I've tried very hard to prep things that I were positive that were positive. Like I have statements about like why I liked this movie, but like it is, it is likely that I'm going to spend after I make that statement, the rest of the episode being critical.
[00:15:06] Brian: yeah,
[00:15:07] Alex: it just, that's just like a heads up. So like everyone knows and like, hopefully we don't end up arguing.
[00:15:10] Brian: yeah. Yeah. So I think there are like two things on that that I think we need to hit on is that one we both speak very industry where. Um, and so I, when I talk, I don't usually give things the amount of energy that it really deserves. I can, I can make something seem really big when it's not really that big to me.
I I'm just speaking really strongly. I think you said it really well once, which is like, I, I'm not, I don't, um, I'm not, I don't feel this with the same conviction that I'm saying it or something like that.
[00:15:41] Alex: sure, sure, sure,
[00:15:42] Brian: The second thing, is that going back to the whole, like, I I'm a generalist and you're a specialist or whatever you would describe that as is that I foresee that I'm going to talk a lot about how like the movie felt as I watched it and stuff.
And you're going to talk a lot more about like, cinematography and like film theory and stuff like that. Because, because that's been my experience when we talk about other movies or like when we talked about Batman forever, that one time is I was like, oh, it felt good. I liked the way they did this.
They brought me joy, et cetera. And you were like, um, there's bad script writing that they did this thing and, and Chekhov's gun and all
[00:16:19] Alex: sure,
[00:16:19] Brian: stuff, you know?
[00:16:21] Alex: Opening thoughts? What did, what do you what do you think about this
[00:16:23] Brian: So, I texted you what I thought and you said, oh, snap, say no more, save it for the podcast. And what I said to you was, and I'll still hold true. I've said a few of the, to a few other people, I think. And I know this is contentious, please don't hate me. This is just my personal opinion. That doesn't matter to anyone.
I think this is the, best Batman movie of all time.
[00:16:48] Alex: I think that's, that's bold, sir. You know, when, when people would ask me after the first few days after I saw this movie, what I thought about it, I would say, I don't know. Cause I, I, it took me a long time to digest and I think it's worth noting that like, I'm, I'm a little over two weeks out at this point and you're what three days.
[00:17:06] Brian: Uh, yeah, Wednesday. Yep.
[00:17:08] Alex: So I think one of the things that Brian and I talked about before we recorded is like, maybe we would do another episode about this. Like maybe in six months we would both sit down and watch on HBO max together and then like chat and see if we still feel the same way. but
[00:17:20] Brian: I I foresee that I'm going to watch it like five times or something
before we talk again. Yeah. Like I, cause I want to have a much more kind of mature perspective on it and because I've only seen it one and a half times.
[00:17:33] Alex: Yeah. Fair enough. And I've only seen it once. So I will let you continue to share your thoughts, but, but just, just on the note of like, whether I think it's the best Batman movie or not, I want to get more into comparisons later, but like, no, I don't, I actually don't think this is the best Batman
[00:17:48] Brian: sure. I have not met another person who agrees with me.
[00:17:52] Alex: oh really That's interesting because I have had other people like Bri actually, when we were walking out of the theater, she said, she thought it was the best Batman.
[00:17:59] Brian: She's really smart.
[00:18:00] Alex: she, this, this, this is my wife by the way. Sorry, uh, audience, who has no idea who that is. yeah. Tell me, tell me more.
[00:18:06] Brian: So I wrote down some notes and I think a lot of it has to do with comparing to the other Batman's to begin with, just if we were to walk through them, there's like the Michael Keaton Batman's that, Tim Burton did and did that are, fairly comic booky, but I don't think they hold up that well.
Like I, I think there's a lot, there's like th they're trying to do this balance between like the ridiculousness of a comic while being real. Cause it's all live action, you know? And so they've got like Jack Nicholson who does a really good job, but he is goofy. He's goofy in a way that like is unrealistic and like the way that they're killing people in the movies, like they've got the big smiles that are ridiculous, you know?
Um, and so I just, I feel like that hasn't aged really well in the way, which I think is based off of like how movies were made at the time.
[00:18:59] Alex: Hmm. It's definitely the worst, like soundstage movies, which is not a thing anymore. Like, it is not the case that like you go in and you create like 10 sets and then you shoot the entire movie in a warehouse.
[00:19:09] Brian: We might, we might do that again with how like the Mandalorian has done stuff,
[00:19:13] Alex: it's true.
[00:19:14] Brian: incredible,
We might get back there. But then walking forward to there's the Schumacher movies with their Batman forever and Batman and Robin, which are clearly very ridiculous.
They're intended to be the most comic booky and campy. Um, I do really love them and enjoy them because they're a lot of fun, but like nobody, nobody really dies. Nobody really gets hurt. You never see any blood, just stuff like that, where it doesn't live in reality in, in any way, you know?
And so those age, a little better, but not a lot better Batman and Robin was just like bad coming out of the gate and Shoemaker, has, effectively apologized for that movie.
Then there's the Dark Knight trilogy that Christopher Nolan did, which I think arguably is, I would say from my perspective as a contender for the greatest Batman series of all time, it probably is your favorite.
Cause I know you love tophno.
[00:20:12] Alex: he's he's an incredible filmmaker,
[00:20:13] Brian: yes he is. Um, and I think it's interesting that we talk about those as the Christopher Nolan, Batman movies, not the
[00:20:21] Alex: the Christian
bale I think there's a reason for that, but,
[00:20:24] Brian: You're right. Yeah. I think those are excellent. Those are done really well, but they're action movies and one thing I really like about Batman and why I enjoy the cartoons and stuff like that is the detective angle.
And it's a. It's more of a thinker, than it is about like fighting and stuff like that. Whereas, like, cause, cause like my comparison, like I did last time would be James Bond where like every time there's a new actor, it's uh, it's technically a different James Bond. It's a different world. They have different types of technology.
And so I feel like what we've done is we've gone from like Pierce Brosnan who is, his, his double oh seven was way over the top. And ridiculous. I mean he was parasailing on a piece of a ship that he was riding on the tsunami caused by, um, icebergs calving in the Arctic ocean. Like it was just like layers upon layers of ridiculousness
[00:21:20] Alex: of an ice hotel and a BMW.
[00:21:22] Brian: exactly.
And so then they flip that over to, um, Daniel Craig who is like super low fidelity, almost no technology at all. very realistic. Only did stunts that like could actually be accomplished by human beings and stuff like that with, with real physics. And so, so I would say, I don't want to make the comparison.
I don't want to, I'm not trying to say that like the dark Knight was Pierce Brosnan and that's not at all what I'm saying. But every bond changes and so it's the same thing with Batman, every Batman changes. And so we've got the dark Knight trilogy, which are really awesome plots, really awesome scripting, great pacing.
They're really incredible movies. I mean, eight or nine stars out of 10, each of them, you know, they're really, really excellent movies. But I don't think they, they hold like the dark Knight was close, but I don't think they carry the darkness and the chaos of Batman as well as the Batman
does because, in my opinion, like one of the reasons Batman has so much staying power over time is that all the villains go to Arkham asylum.
Cause they're crazy. They're not, they're not like traditional terrorists or whatever. They're insane. And the main protagonist being Batman is also insane. It's just, thankfully he points his insanity in, in like a good direction. And then, so we stepped from the dark Knight rises or the dark Knight series to, um, the more recent DC justice league stuff
[00:22:58] Alex: Yeah. I was wondering if you were going to skip batfleck, like you, you were comparing,
[00:23:01] Brian: no, I'm, I'm going to
[00:23:03] Alex: directly to Pattinson then.
[00:23:04] Brian: yeah, so, I actually, I really liked Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman, but I don't think those were good movies, if
[00:23:12] Alex: not. yeah,
[00:23:13] Brian: so like I think Ben Affleck playing an older, portrayal of Bruce Wayne and Batman seemed fairly fitting for things that were closer to the dark Knight returns.
You're going to have to help me on that
[00:23:27] Alex: Dark Knight returns. Yeah.
Is it's very clearly. And I'm going to talk about this in a minute. Like Zack Snyder is like, he read the dark Knight returns and it was like, that's it. I know enough. Like, I don't know that he ever really referenced any other material.
[00:23:39] Brian: Yeah. Well, that's, that's supposedly the same thing with Christopher Nolan is that he doesn't know very much about Batman at all.
[00:23:46] Alex: I, Yeah,
I'm gonna talk about this in a minute, but like he clearly read Batman year one and like maybe the long Halloween and was like, okay, I get it. It's like, it's not that he doesn't reference like source material, but like, I don't know. I'm sorry to cut into your time.
Cause like this ties in with what I'm getting ready to say, but like, you know, there's a scene in the dark Knight rises where like Bane takes Batman over his knee and breaks his back, which is
[00:24:08] Brian: right?
[00:24:09] Alex: like a panel from like, not even a panel, that's a cover from a comic book
that's a very important moment to the early nineties Batman. And there is zero chance that Christopher Nolan read Batman knightfall like Z, like absolutely. Like it,
is superficially, uh, a reference to a thing that happened. right?
Likewise, um, in, in Batman vs Superman, like there's the scene where Batman goes and he's like looking at a Robin suit and it's like, we're implying that, that, that Robin has died.
And there is like zero chance. I'm like, I've just made like very loud zero chance. Like absolutely did not happen that Zack Snyder read a death in the family because I don't know if you know this, that isn't like a zany book. Like the joker becomes the UN ambassador, um, for Iraq. Yeah.
[00:24:54] Brian: no kidding.
[00:24:55] Alex: He's the UN ambassador for Iraq, uh, in that book and like involves like helicopters and, and like jumping out of planes.
And like, it is just a ridiculous, ridiculous story. And. It is true that it has become part of the Canon that like, he, that was the one that died, like the Robin died and it was like a big moment. It was important. And like Zack Snyder has a reference, a reverence for it in that scene that it very clearly comes from like a fan telling him that this thing happened and zero chance that he went the booklets associated with that moment in time.
[00:25:27] Brian: Yeah. For the, for the listener, um, I, I can see you and you're jesticulating very loudly when you're saying zero, like your arms up over your head. There's zero chance
that he did that.
So why do I like this movie so much, um, is because I think it captures the layers of Batman really well. It's got like the detective element it's really dark. He's really angsty. It's very clear that Batman is his identity. And Bruce Wayne is his like alternate identity, which I don't think any other Batman movie has captured.
They're all like rich Playboys that like, they, they might play the Playboy act, but they're like Rachel dudes who like, use their, their technology and influence to become Batman. Whereas he's Batman and like, is like, kind of does the Bruce Wayne thing when he has time for it, but he doesn't want to do that.
It's like, he's hiding from being Bruce Wayne.
[00:26:27] Alex: Yeah, that that was, um, a tone that Tim Burton set actually very much on purpose. if you ever like read any of the like supplemental material or watch extras on the, on the DVDs? Like Tim Burton felt that like Batman wasn't super relatable. And so he intentionally leaned into spending a lot of time with, Bruce Wayne out of the suit. and like every movie sense has, sort of followed that. And it's, very much true that the Batman is about Batman. It's not really about Bruce Wayne. So it's a, it's a good observation that you have.
So for my, for my opening statements, um, I, like I said, I'm going to, I'm going to try to be as, as positive up at the front. So, cause I want you to understand, I love this movie. I think it's a very, very good movie, but it's just like my tendency to be critical. And so like I'm going to be spending probably a lot of episode sort of nitpicking or talking about things that, that I didn't like, or that were problems for me.
But if I was going to talk about what worked for me, I think, this is the first Batman movie that has, a deep and abiding and authentic respect for source material. I was just talking about how. You know, like Zack Snyder, red dark Knight returns and decided he was good. And like Christopher Nolan red, um, year one, and like maybe the long Halloween and decided that he was good.
And Tim Burton didn't read anything, you know, Schumacher didn't didn't read anything. And like maybe had like co-writers and like studio goons that were telling him like, oh, this thing happens. And so you have these like superficial references. this movie was written by, uh, Matt Reeves but also I think his name is Peter Craig, let me look yeah. Matt Reeves and Peter Craig, they wrote it together. If they weren't Batman's fans before they really took their time and like did research and there are things from throughout the sort of cannon that they're plucking from and like everything that happens in this, except for maybe the, the sort of Zodiac elements, like they very much just decided that, you know, the Riddler was going to be Zodiac and they they definitely decided that like they wanted to lift as much terms of like structure from Zodiac and seven as possible.
Like those are
[00:28:23] Brian: Yes, yes, yes,
[00:28:25] Alex: Right. Um, th those, those are the only things I think, you know, the elements that they listened to from seven and Zodiac, that are not from Batman. Like everything else very much is. so. Like
[00:28:35] Brian: I think there's more,
[00:28:36] Alex: I mean, it may, it may be the case that I'm not familiar with those things, but, um, so for example, like the contact lenses that are hooked up to the back computer, that's the thing that comes from Scott's Snyder's run on Batman in the new 52, you have things like, he has this green vial of liquid that he injects himself. And you're like, someone who hasn't read Batman, they're like, oh, that's adrenaline, but someone who has this, like, is that venom, right?
Like, that's a, that's a thing that happens in the
[00:28:59] Brian: Oh, I didn't think so. Like what, like bane venom or what.
[00:29:04] Alex: Yes, but I don't want to spoil it, but like, yes, there's this whole storyline called Batman venom before the introduction of Bane where substance is introduced. yeah,
[00:29:11] Brian: Okay. Cause yeah, I thought it was adrenaline. Cause I
[00:29:15] Alex: might be, you know, but like they, it's definitely one of those things where like he's taken venom like That that goes, that's a storyline.
That there's a
[00:29:22] Brian: That sounds more fitting though,
[00:29:23] Alex: Sure. Yeah.
[00:29:25] Brian: Yeah. Like based on his reaction that's that seems more fitting. Yeah.
[00:29:28] Alex: th that's a, that's a thread that they may not pull, but they're doing it on purpose. Likewise like the fact that we have a serial killer, who's doing different murders and like Batman is turning up at the scene and trying to figure out that is, that is the long Halloween.
Right. Um, we
[00:29:42] Brian: I haven't watched it or read it. I actually, I was going to try and watch it before this because I was, I read the trivia and MDB and
[00:29:50] Alex: it. You should read
[00:29:52] Brian: I know you actually, you gave me the books and I
haven't read them yet. It's
[00:29:55] Alex: my favorite Batman story,
But, then you have, uh, elements like, Falco and Carmine Falcone becomes a friend of Thomas Wayne after,
uh, Carmina shot. That is an element from the long Halloween.
That event happens. Right. He gets shot and they, he catches him up cause he can't go to the hospital and then they become friends. likewise like, this was something that was in the doc and I don't want to spoil it for you, but like you're asking, it was like, it was Martha Wayne, a always an Arkham and like, um, no, but that's like a Batman earth.
One thing like that is a, that is, that is a thread that has been pulled before. Right?
[00:30:28] Brian: Okay. So it's not new.
[00:30:30] Alex: no, this is, this is an idea that has been introduced before. And like there are thematic elements about like, sort of the corruption in, in sort of Gotham of like, well, you have the PDs. Corrupt is like very much a year, one thing, but like the politicians and like the sort of, the, the, the infrastructure of the city being corrupted is a Scott Snyder, you know, Batman thing, like, I don't know, there are so many like the narration, right, where he's got the journal and he's writing it down and you're hearing his thoughts.
That is something that is very, very, very comic booky. And so what I love is that there's, a respect for the source material. There's a mining of the source material on a much deeper layer. And so if you're a comic book fan, you're saying, I see this, I see that I see this, and it's not superficial.
It's not like Batman has a car that's called the Batmobile. And he has these things. He throws that are called the batterangs, right? Like it is on a very deep level. It has, it has a respect for the source material. And so I love, love, love that. I also think there's an, if I had Matt Reeves and I would love to talk to Matt Reeves like if anybody knows, like, keep me up, like your people talk, talk to my people.
But like, um, we don't have people as that's a joke, uh,
[00:31:42] Brian: it's just us. Yeah.
[00:31:43] Alex: We, we, um, th th the sort of thematic element that I love the most, and I hope that this is a seed he's trying to plant, and I'm not imagining that this is a thing it's like, one of the themes of the film is authorial intent.
The idea that.
like someone is it's, it's, it's meta textual, right. It's like someone writes fiction and it's interpreted by someone to mean something. Right. And does that match what they, when people receive it, receive it and like, take it to mean something does that match? So like, for example, like when, when Calvin and Hobbes is written, like literally named after like famous philosophers, right.
When that's written, is that a story about innocence or. Right. And, and the people who take the sticker and put it on the back of their, you know, Ford pickup truck, you know, at three 50 with the lift kit and like Calvin's peeing on the Chevy logo. They very clearly took the message that, that Calvin and Hobbes was about a reverence, but D was the author making about innocence.
Likewise, that same guy with the three 50 and the lift kit, right on his trailer trailer hitch, he's got a Punisher logo. Right. Was that book about how it's like totally rad to merch people without due process? Or is that book about grief, right. And a broken human. and this is something that really, really bothers me about like the Zack Snyder movies.
And I I'd hate, you know, maybe he's, he's, he's sort of mad to actually making a statement about the, the Batman movies that came before. Maybe it's not right, but like, you know, Zach Snyder read, you know, the dark Knight rises or return. Sorry. And he did this with like Walker Watchman too. And he's like, it's totally rad that there's this dude that like beats the shit out of people.
But like, is it is the story actually about like someone who's lost faith in the next generation and the youth and, and a young person comes and proves to him that there's reason to have hope. Right. What is that story about? Right. And did you receive the message? And I can't help, but think that there's so many ways that this movie is like hitting this theme of like, the Riddler thinks that he's working with Batman, right.
He thinks that what the Batman is doing is punishing and the Batman in some ways is saying that he's saying I am vengeance. Right. And, and you know, when the Riddler thinks about what he's doing, he's doing the same thing, right. He's seeing people who have done wrong. He's seen people who have been done, you know, our corrupt, the mayor, the da, right.
Who, who are bad people. And he's, he's punishing them the same way that the Batman at the beginning of the story is beating the crap out of the Joker gang. That's like given this poor man on the train, platform. He sees them as punishing. And so when he's leaving these notes, he said he frames it as like I'm leading you to the next thing.
And we're working together because what we're doing is the same. Right. And there's the moment at the end of the movie where the, the Batman, unmasks the person, who's the member of the, the riddler gang and the guy says, I am vengeance. Right. And then afterwards, we have this moment where Batman is having this internal monologue and he's saying, well, shoot, like, have I been sending the right message?
Right. People who see Batman's going around, beating up people and saying like, I am vengeance, am I being a symbol for what's right. Am I being a symbol for justice? I'm going to being a symbol for hope, or am I being a symbol for violence and retribution. Um, and I can't help, but feel like that's the sort of like primary thrust of this movie.
And that speaks to me on a very deep level, because like I am of a generation, you know, I was born in 1989. And I'm a white male. And so I remember watching fight club for the first time being like 14 years old. And like being with a bunch of other people that are like, this movie is super cool because like, I like to punch things and this is about punching things and like, you know, feeling like I'm taking away a different thing than everyone else's, you know, the same with like the matrix.
Um, and there's, there's so much of our popular media that is just like fundamentally misunderstood, um, that people don't don't get The, message that it's trying to say. And I think in a way this movie is about that, and I think that's really cool.
[00:35:56] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. The, on the fight club thing, like my, my perspective on that or the matrix too. The people who get that feedback out of it are people who only watched it and didn't listen to it.
The, because like I walked away and was one of the reasons I like fight club so much is I walked away with a completely different perspective than like the, the like male muscle porn or whatever
[00:36:22] Alex: Sure. Well, and I think, you know, what's so beautiful about cinema and about many forms of art, right. Is allegory is symbolism. Right? And there's something that I think our, our, our sort of pop culture has to grapple with in this sort of moment, which is like, are we properly sort of preparing people to understand symbolism, to understand allegory, right.
Is Batman literal or not? Because like Zack Snyder goes to Comicon every year and says like, I'm sorry, Batman kills people. You don't understand this character. And I, uh, frankly, I don't think he understands the character. Right. Cause if his takeaway is that like Batman kills people and it's rad, like he's missing the forest for the trees.
[00:37:06] Brian: yeah, yeah, totally. Can I make two points about your
vengeance thing? So, um, one thing that I thought was interesting, cause I, I like to read trivia about stuff AF like especially movies. I wa I read the trivia like right after I watch it. Um, in one thing is that like the working title for this movie was, uh, was vengeance
[00:37:26] Alex: Oh,
[00:37:26] Brian: and and they changed it to the
[00:37:28] Alex: I didn't know that. That's cool.
[00:37:29] Brian: And then the second thing is that when he says I am vengeance in the, subway station, after he beats up those guys, so like the guy's been knocked out and he punches him two more times while he's already knocked out. And then he says, I am vengeance the punches and the, that line were ad-libbed by Robert
[00:37:49] Alex: no joke. That's crazy.
Um, that's wild because I think so much of the movie hinges on that moment.
[00:37:58] Brian: I agree. I w I, it stopped me in my tracks when I read that, I was like, how can that, how can that be true? Because
there's so much in there.
[00:38:08] Alex: it's interesting. Um, so yeah, I think, I think those are the sort of positive things I have to say is that like it, Yeah, incredible respect for source material. The first movie that like very clearly minds the comic books at a deep level, and has some really, really strong thematic material that it's, sort of wrestling with, in a way that a lot of comic book movies don't do, even ones that have like an interesting sort of thought experiment for you to be had, like black Panther is a really good example where you've got, you've got Killmonger who I think is a villain that introduces a interesting thought, to the audience and says, go off and think about that.
And then we have, you know, a five minute, you know, CGI fight at the end and like, doesn't really wrestle with it, you know? I think the Batman forces you to think about these things and sit with it. And I, I really appreciate that. So, those are my opening thoughts. And I thought maybe now that we've both had a chance to talk about how we feel about the movie, generally, we could go down, I've prepared some bullet points of like different
aspects in which we can talk about the movie.
And I suspect that that's where I'm going to get a little more critical, but, yeah. do you want to talk about like the different actors
[00:39:21] Brian: Yeah, let's do it. I've got some interesting notes about them as well.
[00:39:25] Alex: Sure. So Robert Pattinson, what did you feel about his performance?
[00:39:29] Brian: I mean, I thought it was really good. You'll love this. So, you know, how. There's that Nirvana song that plays towards the beginning. And I, like, I really liked the, you would know the word for this, but I liked the way that they transitioned that into more than just soundtrack, but also something he's actually listening to.
Cause when he turns the volume knob down,
[00:39:50] Alex: Oh,
[00:39:51] Brian: goes down. So it shows
[00:39:52] Alex: I forget the name for that There's a word for that
[00:39:54] Brian: yeah, so there's yeah. Yeah. So,
[00:39:57] Alex: the movie, but it's also
[00:39:58] Brian: yeah. And so, it showed that he, that, that Bruce Wayne and Batman listened to Nirvana, they listened to
that, that type of music. And so some background on there that's really interesting is that, Nirvana and Kurt Cobain specifically were partially, the inspiration for this version of Bruce Wayne because, uh, Kurt Cobain was a musician and all he wanted to do is make music and like hated that he was famous.
And he was very quiet, very morose, really, reclusive. Right. And, and so that was a big inspiration for how they, designed this, this Bruce Wayne. But Robert Pattinson was in mind from the very beginning because of that sort of reference because he's a, he's a good
[00:40:45] Alex: Not just in mind. Matt Reeves, was like coming up with the movie and like, agreed to do it, like, like, not just like, it would be cool, like it was his choice, his only choice. Like he really, really wanted Robert Pattinson to play Batman from the
[00:40:56] Brian: yeah. When you read through the trivia, like, there's this, there's this interview that, Matt Reeves has where he's saying like, yeah, I've spent all this time, like building up this idea of having Robert Pattinson play him and Robert Pattinson has no idea and I'm going to go meet with them.
And boy, won't this be awkward if he's like, no,
[00:41:12] Alex: Yeah. I don't, I don't know if he's given, you know, Matt Reese has probably given the same interview like a dozen times, but, um, there is, a pair of two hour long interviews that he did with. That
are like, they're kind of advertisements for like Dolby vision and Dolby Atmos, like the last 10 minutes of each one, has them talking about how great those technologies are.
But the first, like 50 minutes of both of those interviews are like solid gold, because they're talking about sound designer. They're talking about cinematography. And, and it's like one of the primary things I'm going to be referencing when I when I'm like talking about different ideas going forward.
But he talks about that specifically about coming up with the, the Nirvana song first and like coming up with Robert Pattinson first, like they worked for the music out a lot in this movie.
[00:41:51] Brian: You should link those in the show notes. Um, yeah, I haven't watched them. I really want to watch him to,
[00:41:57] Alex: It's worth it. Yeah, for sure.
[00:41:59] Brian: So this is like a quote straight from, IMDB, but he says, that in this way, in the way they were designing this, Batman is his identity, not Bruce Wayne. So the, the quote is, Robert Pattinson on his, Batman at the beginning of the movie. So Bruce is obsessed with being Batman.
He has no desire to be Bruce and he wants to just throw it away. He hasn't gotten over being a 10 year old boy who in his mind, let his parents die for him. Being Batman is like a strange kind of therapy. He, he thinks this is the way he can save himself by living in this kind of a Zen state as Batman.
Where it's just pure instinct and no emotional baggage. It feels like he has a death wish going out at night. I always get the impression that he wants to keep recreating the night when his parents died in his mind, every single person he's fighting is the person who killed his parents.
[00:42:59] Alex: That's interesting. I think. You know, it definitely feels to me that for this interpretation of Batman, like for, for that, sort of version where, where that's the note they're trying to hit of like someone who's obsessed and like trying to recreate the, the night when his parents.
died, et cetera. I think Robert Pattinson nailed it on the head. Right,
Like, I think he's very much the right.
portrayal person to portray that version. I don't know if I would choose Robert Pattinson to be my Batman. Like if I was doing a Batman movie, he doesn't necessarily have the physicality that I think of when I think of the build and the way they move and those, you know, sort of the, the martial arts of it all.
But like, there's, there's no denying that like the, the sort of, emotionally detached and removed and sort of sullen, vibe that he's giving in his performance, even when he has, which is a hard thing to do. He's wearing, uh, a thing that covers like 75% of his face for most of this movie, lot of the acting he's doing his body language and, and like just eyes and mouth, you know, he doesn't have, you know, foreheads to like furrow a brow.
He doesn't have like cheeks to, like he does the range of motion is, is, is very limited. And he's able to sort of evoke this feeling of like, Yeah. Uh, of just being, relentlessly driven, but like not in a sort of his energy comes from a place of negativity almost. And you can feel
[00:44:21] Brian: Yeah. Well, in his, his presence is really solid in that. So when you're watching the movie, this. Behaves as a Batman in a way. I don't think we've seen before where, there's that like Martinez guy who was like, oh, this creep, we don't want him here. Whatever. And later in the movie, when he went, Batman is in , the Riddler's, apartment and he's going through stuff and Martinez is the guy who's, who's like doing security there and he's like, Hey man, I, I don't think you're supposed to be here.
And, and Batman just kind of looks at him for a second. Doesn't react. Doesn't respond to him. Doesn't answer any questions. Just doesn't say anything at all. And just goes back to what he was doing before. And it's that presence of like, you're in my way. I'm not in your way. Like come fight me or something, you know?
[00:45:12] Alex: for sure. It's, it's a singular focus wherein he is so deeply comfortable with the task at hand. He is so focused at the task at hand, but he's actually really deeply uncomfortable with the social interactions. So there's the opening scene. that was part of the DC fandome trailer way back when two years ago, where they're walking through, the, the crime scene where the mayor's been killed.
And th it's, it's sort of this weird moment where, there's all of these police officers and what is this masked dude you to showing up? Which is, again, a moment we've never seen in a Batman movie where he's like very much a fish out of water. They're very uncomfortable. And Gordon is putting his neck out to like, say like he's coming here.
And he doesn't make eye contact with like anybody. Right. He's like, so focused on like looking at, different, clues or different parts of the environment. And like, they're all looking at him and he's like tuning them out. Same, there's this emotional beat where, you know, Catwoman at later in the movie is trying to have an emotional moment with him.
He says, do you even care about me? And he's like very focused on like, setting up the earpiece.
[00:46:12] Brian: is that the lenses? Yeah.
[00:46:14] Alex: oh, is that what
[00:46:15] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. So he it's really fresh for me. So, she was like, you didn't even care about me at all. And he, and like, to her, it looks like he turns and he grabs her kind of, and he's like looking me in the eyes and she looks at him and it there's this long suspense as if he's about to say, like, I do care or like, I'll take care of you or everything's gonna be okay.
Like the thing you would expect from a movie and he looks there and he goes, yeah, they look good as if like, cause he's looking at the lenses and you see her body like slump, like,
oh, okay. I guess I am just like a tool to this guy.
[00:46:51] Alex: I think it's a characterization of, of someone who Yeah. Is very, very comfortable, comfortable, not even the right word, um, is so singularly focused on the task at hand. He He's uh, eschews everything else, right? Like he doesn't have a social, the same one, like he's showing up to the funeral and like, everyone's like trying to get his attention to then talk to him.
And he's like, doesn't even know how to act. He's like a deer in the
headlights in all of these social
[00:47:14] Brian: He's like not talking to anyone or anything. Yeah.
[00:47:16] Alex: And I think that's a really great performance.
are you ready to move on to okay. Catwoman.
[00:47:21] Brian: Yeah. I was talking about Catwoman.
[00:47:23] Alex: So it's interesting to hear you talk about that, that scene where like, cause I think, I think Batman so well in that scene where, so Joel Kravitz is like, you know, asking him if you even care about me.
I think his performance is really great. And I think the script writing is really great, but like pivoting to, to Catwoman. I actually, I think this is a part of the movie that I didn't really like is, she has a really great performance as someone who has a reason to care and is very invested in like solving this mystery.
But like also has this interest in Batman that I don't really understand. I think the chemistry actually doesn't really work. There's a scene where they do. have a kiss in the movie and my wife and I having a conversation after. And she's like, I don't understand why she likes him. Like, I don't
understand why they're
having a kiss.
There's no. Oh, tell me, cause
I don't get it either.
[00:48:05] Brian: Okay. Okay. So here, this that's one of my bullet points at the end is, was the romance forced and I think no based on their characters. So Catwoman establishes early on. She has a thing for strays. Batman's very lonely. He's, he's clearly his own thing. He's somewhat of a stray. Also she works in an industry, um, where she doesn't see a lot of upstanding people.
She watches the corruption happen all the time. She, she realized that all the people that present as nice are actually jerks, um, are untrustworthy. They are the types of people who beat around girls and stuff like that. And so she's met this guy who is somewhat of a stray, who also is very respectful to her, even though he's using her as like an undercover agent or whatever.
He's nice to her. He respects her. He asks like he talks to her like a human being and stuff. And I think that alone is like what starts to win her over. Um, and she,
[00:49:08] Alex: You know, I don't know if I agree that the, that the legwork was done of like, he's, he's a stray, Right.
Like he's a loner. He doesn't have anybody. How was she supposed to know that, like, she doesn't know anything about his history or background. She doesn't know that he's pretty Bruce Wayne.
And like you say
[00:49:22] Brian: no, no, no, definitely.
[00:49:24] Alex: And I don't even know that that's true. Like he forces her to go into this club and like wear these pieces. And like, I, you know, I, I get what they're going for. It very much makes sense to me what they were trying to do. And I think, again, because of the respect to the source material, like I, I think that they are meant to be different sides of the same coin
they have very similar circumstance where they are orphaned. Right. And they do face hardship and, they do, you know, unlike many people see Gotham and see the world that they're in as sort of like fundamentally flawed. And that they need to do something about it and go in different directions for that reason.
Right. And so thematically like Batman and Catwoman being people who do ultimately, you know, have this opposites attract moment makes sense to me. But I don't know if I saw it in the film, you know?
[00:50:14] Brian: Yeah.
[00:50:15] Alex: but I hear what you're saying about like how, how.
[00:50:18] Brian: yeah, I would say like one, one point of clarification with what I was saying is that she you're right. She doesn't know who Bruce Wayne is. And that wasn't part of my, calculus there. I, I think that it would be easy to assume that anyone who dresses up as a Batman is a loner.
[00:50:34] Alex: it's an interesting idea. Yeah, I'll have to turn that over. I'm excited to see it again.
[00:50:38] Brian: But then
like, but so the next step on that is, is like, okay, we can establish that she might get a crush on him, but when does it flip? When does he start to like her? And so what I think is what you were saying before is he is so focused on his goals and he sees people as resources and stuff that he wasn't seeing her really, as a woman, he was seeing her as like a person.
And when she kissed him that first time he went, oh, oh, there's, there's something that could happen. Like, I think that was the first time he realized like who she was more than what she was, and then was, and once that was cracked, after that, you can see him, being a little bit more caring toward her.
But, but in the end, her point was made that like he's already spoken for, and that he's in love with Gordon, you know, not, not romantically, but
[00:51:32] Alex: I didn't read that. I didn't read it that way. I, I think,
um, that's interesting. I will have to pay closer attention when I'm watching the next time, because I think, you know what, I have listened to like a lot of podcasts and like consumed a lot of media about, about this movie, like after the fact. And like, one of the things that people keep citing is that like, the scene at the end where they're on the motorcycles and they get to the fork in the road and she goes left and he goes right.
And he stops and he thinks about it. And he's like, maybe he's going to go left. And like, it's this emotional beat for people of like, oh, they have this kinship. It's not that I don't understand that that's what they're trying to do in that moment, but I don't feel it. Like it's not, it's not this impactful emotional moment, you know?
what else about, do, do you have any other thoughts about, Catwoman and her performance in this movie?
[00:52:13] Brian: So one other thing about the connection between those two is that, this is the trivia also Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz were friends for about a decade before being cast for the film.
And Matt Reeves said because of that, the two already had great chemistry and a natural connection, right.
From the beginning of the shoot Pattinson and Kravitz appeared very early in Reeve's head, um, when he was writing the screenplay.
[00:52:37] Alex: Interesting. I didn't know that.
[00:52:38] Brian: Yeah. I thought she did a great job. I mean, I th I liked, like I have to split my mind a little bit between like the actor versus the character.
I think that the actor did a great job.
I think there weren't any moments where I was broken out of it and thought of her as anyone other than, Selena Kyle Catwoman, you know, like I think she portrayed it very well. She, her, she did her job in a, in a great way. And that's, that's about all I have to say about that. cat woman, I think was a really good cat woman.
Her motivation seemed genuine, and aligned with my understanding of Catwoman, which is like not, she's more along the lines of like emotional justice than true justice. Like she wanted to kill Falcone. Um, she wants to get that retribution, you know, but she is motivated by herself. Like she wants, like she was stealing that money.
She wants to take care of herself and she wants to do what she thinks is right. So it, she's not quite a villain, but she is not a hero either.
[00:53:46] Alex: It in fact, I think, I think she's probably the one that actually moves the story forward in the most significant way. One of the things that, um, was kind of pointed out on, on the most recent episode of Batman, Batman is that like, Batman is kind of the Indiana Jones, uh, in, in Raiders and lost arc of this movie if like he doesn't show up.
and doesn't do anything. The movie ends almost the same way it does with him in it. Right? Like he doesn't stop anyone from getting murdered at any point. he doesn't catch, you know, the Riddler before he wants to be caught. He doesn't, um, you know, he has next to zero, it much like Indiana Jones, you know, is, is the speed bump on the road to which the Nazis get, you know, the lost Ark and open it because that's what they wanted to do the whole movie.
And then they did it. Um, Batman has that, but like Catwoman is, is the person who does the legwork to figure out, you know, that, that Carmen is responsible for, um, sort of the, the sort of corruption of, and, and the, the government running drugs. Right. And is the one that captures him and takes him to the rooftop and is ready to, to, you know, kill him.
And like the only thing that Batman does is prevent her from doing that. w w which I think, um, is, is a pretty ballsy move, like in a Batman movie to like, have her probably be the most important character in terms of plot. And I think it works. I, I, the, the problem that I have with her character is, is a hundred percent with the relationship that, that she had with, with patents and, and not really believing the chemistry, but like, yeah. th what you're saying about like her as she's like doing the, the safe cracking and like the costume that she has, the physicality, the performance that she has of like someone, you know, if, if Pattinson is Solon and angry and, or sorry, Solon and removed, then, you know, Kravitz is like angry and like, w you know, her sort of like motivation is like this fire that burns for a call to action.
Whereas like, you know, patents in is more of like this, this, this drive to like relive this pain and you feel that those motivations very strongly. So I think it's a, it's a good performance. Um, she does very well
[00:55:53] Brian: Yeah, she does really well
I don't think we've ever had a bat, a bad cat woman.
I think I even like the standalone cat woman movie that like the movie wasn't very
good, but yeah, but I think that, Halle Berry is a really good actor and I think she was a good cat woman.
She's got a bad script, you know? Um, but, but yeah, I mean, Michelle Pfeiffer and, uh, Anne Hathaway, one of my, um, like secret long-time crushes. great, great job, super Catwoman, you know? Um, and it was interesting to see like this version of Catwoman because, this was, I mean, you're talking about being dour and, and being, I don't know.
It's, it's not that she was. Poor or anything. It was that she was like in Batman year one, Selina, Kyle, I'm pretty sure as a prostitute.
[00:56:49] Alex: That's correct.
[00:56:50] Brian: Yeah. And so like,
this was the
[00:56:51] Alex: like DC would very much like you to forget. They really?
don't want you to think about
[00:56:56] Brian: Oh, that's funny. This is like the closest to that that we've seen in a Catwoman, you know? and, and I, not that I want like cat woman to be a prostitute by any means, but like, I think coming from that angle, like that background,
[00:57:12] Alex: Yeah. I think, you know, in movies, it's, it's very, and, and, and sort of like family friendly media, it is often the correlation between people who have, done bad things or done things they regret or are, have to make choices that, you know, most people wish they didn't have to make. and those people being poor is one that's like not often dealt with, Right.
Like we, we see people who are delts, bum hands, and then like rise above. And we see people who do bad things or do things that are regrettable. And we, we don't really see the reality, which is that like, you know, most people who, do crime right. Or are making life choices to, you know, have a career that, you know, might be viewed as, untoward right.
Are doing so because they have to write that, like people who, are, you know, have poor material conditions, Right, People who are, you know, experiencing poverty, are those that have to, take actions that are commensurate. right, And so I think there's something that rings very, very true about the fact that like, you know, she is not portrayed as a, as a prostitute in, in this.
Uh, per se, but like it, you definitely get the sense that she's getting paid to mingle with people in a way that is, uncomfortable, right,
Like that we w you know, she's being used by people. right, And that, that
is, uh, um, something that she has had to do because of, of the fact that, you know, she was, um, disregarded by her parent. right.
And that is a story of anguish and that story with pain. and it's brought into focus in a, in a really great way. And I, you know, I do appreciate that, that, that they choose to do that. And it is a very different Catwoman than, you know, we see it in the Christopher Nolan movies where, yeah. she, she has a sort of a disdain for those who are moneyed.
Right. Um, and we get the sense that, you know, she's poor or not have means. Right. But we don't really see it. Right. Like we don't see that anguish. We don't see that, that reasoning. And so, this is a powerful portrayal for that reason,
[00:59:24] Brian: I was thinking of some stuff while you're saying that, which is like, she, so Batman became Batman by choice.
He is very wealthy and he could have, done therapy in a whole bunch of different ways. He decided to put a suit on, learn how to become like a martial arts expert. And go fight for justice. Whereas Catwoman, I think her motivations are a little bit more relatable in that like her job is not necessarily above board.
she is intermingling with like some, unsavory characters and her fighting skills and her toughness and stuff are a matter of necessity and survival in her life. Not so much a choice, you know? So, so I think that like the Zoe Kravitz's, Catwoman, uh, made that a little bit more clear to me than like, and Hathaways or, um, Michelle Pfeiffer's did.
And then, and then, um, Holly berries, I think was just kind of a cat burglar. I haven't seen that movie in a long, long, long time though.
[01:00:29] Alex: yeah, I, I, and I think it plays Right.
Um, when, when you have that scene, when she wants to kill Falcon and, Batman tells her not to,
[01:00:38] Brian: yeah, you've paid enough. right,
[01:00:41] Alex: right. But, but, but also, like, she feels this feeling of like, She doesn't have a choice because that has been her life. She has done things because she has no other choice.
Right. And there is a sort of tension that is unspoken. Right. Because she doesn't know who that he is, Bruce Wayne. Right. That like he has had the luxury to choose not to be Batman at any point in time. Right. She became Catwoman because, because that was her life. Right. it's a, it's an interesting theme.
[01:01:11] Brian: She did say at one point I love the line, that, uh, you, it was like something like you, you talk like, like a wealthy person, you know?
And I was like, dang, like that's, that
[01:01:24] Alex: because he has the freedom of choice. He has the luxury.
[01:01:26] Brian: Yeah. And you know, that was the thing is he was saying like, you have choice, you know, and she was saying, you, you talk like a rich person, you know,
[01:01:33] Alex: Yeah.
Jeffrey Wright as Gordon,
[01:01:36] Brian: loved
it. so I thought it was super fitting. Um, it was interesting cause like, to me, he's, I can't remember his name, but he's the CIA agent in the Daniel Craig double seven movies.
[01:01:49] Alex: Oh, okay. Yeah,
[01:01:50] Brian: And so that's, I mean, I recognized him immediately. That's kinda what I was thinking. And he plays a good cop that, you can tell is like a, he's a good investigator, but someone out of his element and that he's doing it in a different way than like the rest of the police want to do it.
And I think that that's driven by the corruption or this driven by the like inter politics or inside baseball or whatever. And he's just like trying to solve murders. Uh, and that that's, I guess my critique of, of Gord or my review of Gordon, that I thought he was, he was great. And, I especially liked the whole thing when they're going into the old, um, orphanage and Batman's like, no guns.
And he's like, Hey man, that's your thing, not mine. And he keeps his gun, you know? And that's, that is a reference to something I, that that was really reminiscent for me. I'm pretty sure there's another thing maybe in a cartoon,
um, like your, your one or something where that kind of thing happens. I'm not sure.
[01:02:53] Alex: that might be a beat from a comic, but I don't remember it.
[01:02:55] Brian: yeah. And, no, no, no, it's an Alfred. I could probably find that Alfred who says, like master Wayne is the one who doesn't kill people, but I don't, I don't hold that same affliction or whatever. And he's like cocking his shotgun. Like he's going to protect,
um, Wayne monitor. Yeah. I could probably find that.
but yeah, mean, I'm pretty sure that's, uh, that's from Alfred anyway. yeah, I thought that was awesome. I thought Jeffrey Wright did a great job. I thought he, fit it. Well, he, um, wasn't over the top. He wasn't too subdued. He seemed to kind of balance things out in that he was a thinker. I mean, he
[01:03:32] Alex: Yeah. My, my, my, my feeling is that like the, you know, the Gordon that appears in a lot of the comic books about early Batman, like year one, and the long Halloween is one that. Sort of has to balance this, this feeling of like, he needs to take care of his family. Like he has a pregnant wife and like he needs to look out for himself and he doesn't want to stick his neck out too far.
Right. But like, at the same time is like very much an opposition to the corruption of, you know, the, the police force and the, and their desire to look the other way or be on the take or, or not do their job as well as they should. And, despite having this sort of conflict of, of, you know, his desires and like needs and wants as, as a human decides to sick stick his neck out for Batman.
And like, um, that is a theme that they were able to sort of touch on without saying anything about it. Right. Like we, we just start and like, it's very clear that like he and Batman had been doing this for a minute. Right. And that they have a relationship and that they're there. Like they see each other as equals, which I think is really cool.
They're having conversations with each other. They're sort of figuring things out together. They're going places together. Like they, they show up to the, the drug scene, like, and try to catch Oswald together. They go to, you know, the orphanage together and they're like very much, they've got each other's back and they're, they see themselves as partners.
And he, for whatever reason has been possessed by the sort of need to like see justice come. And for whatever reason, it becomes sort of like kindred spirits and like sees a kinship,
uh, with, with this person who's like, actually like insane, like a nut job and says like, we have the same goal. And like, we are going to be friends, like without saying it, they don't, they just show us, they don't tell us, which I really appreciate.
[01:05:19] Brian: Yeah. That's a, that's a really good point about how he is able to acknowledge that he puts this deep trust in someone that like, by all presentation is a psychopath, you know, and, and like his ability to like see past that crap, see and see, and like that, that's almost like a, a, a bullet for like diversity to say, like, you can see past all that crap to the person that's inside, you know?
And, and what's important there.
[01:05:49] Alex: And what, what gets me about Gordon in particular is that this is a relationship and a theme and, and a, and a sort of, you know, character arc that we've seen before. Like, and I think almost perfectly in the Nolan movies, Gary Oldman. I think turns in just an, an incredible performance. I think the scripts are written so perfectly and they hit all of those same themes. And somehow in this movie, you know, Jeffrey Wright is hitting those same things. It doesn't feel like beating a dead horse. He's, you know, living in that same space, they're doing it with, uh, more with less honestly, that he doesn't have that, that those many, many scenes, he doesn't have that many lines.
And like, it just works, right. Like we're in that moment and we're feeling it and, and that's, that's great.
[01:06:34] Brian: Yeah. And he's not like delivering any speeches or anything. He's, he's really quiet as a character.
[01:06:40] Alex: Colin feral as Oswald copper, copper pot,
[01:06:43] Brian: Yeah. So blew me away after I watched it, when I found out it was Colin Farrell, because the whole time I was like, man, this guy looks kind of familiar. There's something reminiscent
[01:06:56] Alex: It doesn't look like I'm at
[01:06:57] Brian: And I, there were like more than one time where, when I was watching it where I thought like, could it be possible that Robert DeNiro is under there?
Because that, like, there was something about like the eyes and the delivery,
uh, that it was
like that. Yeah, for sure.
But he's like, got like that Boston accent or whatever. And it just was like, this is reminiscent of like a Robert de Niro kind of portrayal, you know, or, or delivery. And, um, yeah. Blew me away that it was Colin Farrell side.
Probably one of my very favorite actors. I love Colin Farrell. Oh yeah. Yeah. I love him a lot. And so, yeah, there's just delightful to find out that he's the dude under there. I have a note here, um, that when he was doing all the prosthetics and stuff, he went to a Starbucks to see if the makeup for penguin, would work, you know, and nobody recognized him despite getting a couple of odd stares from people, which I imagine you would.
[01:07:55] Alex: but yeah, you'd have
[01:07:57] Brian: Um, yeah. And he said he revealed the suit to his son who was quote, utterly horrified at the side of his transformation into penguin during production. He says, uh, when my kids saw me for the first time he was utterly horrified. I have it on iPhone. He was horrified, which I think is
[01:08:16] Alex: good. I think one of the criticisms I have of this movie is that, it's, it's an unrelenting Lee dour. I think, we have, you talked about it a bit in your, in your opening statements that like, we have trended to more realistic and more serious with time and every movie fills the need to sort of one up the previous in terms of like grittiness.
and that is something that, Batman 66. I'm being my first Batman. I think he's actually a character that can be bright and happy and jovial and, and I've, I've gone through a great pain to saying, I think there are many different versions of Batman and they're all authentic. And I, and I try to view them through the lens at which, you know, what they're trying to achieve.
but, but it's just, it's just such a dark movie and, and, and three hours of just like VE it's very dour. And what I love about Oswald in this movie is that he's, he's the lone person that gives us permission to laugh. Right? Like he, he is the comic relief for the movie, you know, there's, there's the scene where he's like yelling about them and the fact that they've confused, law and law.
[01:09:19] Brian: It's LA LA rata. Am I the only one here that speaks Spanish?
[01:09:24] Alex: Yeah.
And like, um, at the, at the end of the car chase And he's upside down and he's saying, I got you, I got you. I got you. Or whatever. he is chewing the scenery, right? like, he's very much having fun. and I think, you know, breaking the fourth wall or whatever, like he's very much, he's acting for you in that moment of like, you know, that this is a bit too much and that's okay.
[01:09:47] Brian: when he's handcuffed, when he's handcuffed, he's like, you do realize I'm still here. Right. And they just leave this. So funny.
There was a
note that I, saw
[01:09:56] Alex: I appreciate his character for
[01:09:57] Brian: that at that point, when he's wearing, he's got was ankles and his, uh, wrists are handcuffed and he's, waddling away like a penguin.
there, there was supposed to be some potentially some sort of reference there. Um, but yeah, I think he did
a great job,
[01:10:14] Alex: pay attention.
[01:10:15] Brian: but I think that what you're saying there about how he's the only one who's like happy in the movie is a reference to the overall like steaks and, and, and the timing, like you keep referencing that this is kind of year one, and they say in the movie
at some point that it's kind of year two.
Right. Um, and it's like, it's so early that like, Gordon doesn't really know how to interact with them. Like candy, bring him into crime scenes or not.
And there's all that kind of stuff. And like, he hasn't developed the trust of the public yet. Um, and, and like, to me, that's why he's such like you were talking about Robert Pattinson's, um, size is like, he's a martial artist, but he's in that he has.
Dave had the time to develop into like the hulking body that he needs to get to by
the end of his like Batman career, you know? And, um, and so when we're coming into this movie, it's super dour because that is the state of Gotham. Whereas later on, it would make sense for like other people to be happy because they've seen the impact of Batman.
So right now this movie is really dark and dour because it's Gotham kind of a terrible place and the less you're the correct people. And that would be the penguin and falconry who are both like living it up there, high on the hog, because this
is that's the that's the beginning, you know?
[01:11:35] Alex: I think that's a really, really, really interesting idea. Let's put a pin in it and come back. Cause I want to talk sequels.
but that you gotta get, you got a really good idea there.
[01:11:45] Brian: Okay.
[01:11:46] Alex: Paul Danno as the Riddler.
Yeah. What do you think?
[01:11:49] Brian: Um, so I acknowledge they did a lot of work to hide that he is the Riddler that, that actor played the Riddler. Um, which ma, which makes sense. Like he was the big baddie and that's, this is not the first time that they've tried to like, hide who the villain is in a movie. but yeah, I mean, he, the Riddler in this, like the portrayal of ruler in this movie, he's the Zodiac.
I mean, he there's like direct rips from like one of the only times that there was a survivor of a Zodiac attack, the way they described it, the glasses over the top of the mask, et cetera. Um,
[01:12:27] Alex: about them now, like that he bought his stuff from army surplus. And then like later in the movie, we we've come to find that all the stuff that he's wearing, he buys from army army surplus. like they
[01:12:35] Brian: Yeah.
And like in his like big, scary mask is actually just like a, a winter mask for it's like a face warming mask for army people and stuff, et cetera. And so, yeah, I really liked that at the end, you discovered that he was this like really skinny, like not athletic geek type, who like it, it just, the, the character made a lot of sense to me that, that at the end of the day, like, like his, his costume would make him look scary.
It would deepen his voice by masking his voice and all this stuff, and then you'd be afraid of him. But then like when you meet him in person, he is essentially a dweeb. And that is like the way that they set it up. And, and so I thought that like, by choosing him, uh, was masterful and I have liked this actor for a while.
Like, I've, I would not say that I've followed his, his career by any
[01:13:35] Alex: been in?
[01:13:36] Brian: he's been a
bunch of stuffs. Um, so he was in like the girl next door, which is,
It's an old, like, uh,
uh, okay. It's like a sophomore Eric, like coming of age movie
[01:13:48] Alex: Does he do any serious roles?
[01:13:50] Brian: Um, yes, he does. He was in, um, there will be blood So he is like, I think he's a twin in that movie or something.
I, I it's been a while since I've seen it, but he is like a very self-righteous Reverend type he is a, he's kind of a crazy antagonist in that movie. Um, so yeah, he's done other serious roles. And so like, based on actually his work and there will be blood, I think really set him up to take on a role like the Riddler where it's serious, crazy serial killer, kind of off his rocker, et cetera.
I did read that, the scene where he's like, just on his cell phone, in a room by himself and he shot it like 200 times before he got it the way he wanted, crazy. I can't imagine how much time that took.
[01:14:40] Alex: I do know that they, like, they specifically looked for like the, the correct, like Chinese, like Android phone, like, you know, $50, you know, from like 2014 or whatever. Like they were trying to find the perfect, like crappy sensor that like to get the picture that they wanted. Um, for all of those videos, which I thought was like a cool, sort of like note on cinematography, but
[01:15:03] Brian: Yeah. That's a cool detail. and, and, , Matt Reeves has stated that this version of the rattler was well, partly but was inspired by it, the Zodiac killer.
[01:15:12] Alex: They, they definitely, you can't not
[01:15:15] Brian: yeah, yeah. yeah. but yeah, I love it. And I loved that this rattler, this whole world was plausible. And so it's like, one of the questions I have later on is like why the Riddler, um, and, and I'm sure we'll get into that, but like, w I think why the Riddler works in this, this scenario is that he was the one who was capable of finding the corruption because he was the backstory works.
Like he was an orphan. He's had all this injustice in his life. He's probably. W with, with like the influence he has on the internet, and he is a forensic accountant. And that's what allows him to be able to look in the books and like, identify something that's going on. That no one from the outside was able to see.
And he was the one who went after the vengeance, you know? And so like, all of that adds up and in the way that he would have to, if he had no Bron, he only had his mind. And he had to like any seemingly based on like his outfit and where he lives and the type of apartment he has, he is not of means, you know, so he has to come up with these like clever ways of getting his point across to like find his retribution, um, because like just suing the pants off, people wouldn't work, especially knowing that everyone that he would be fighting is corrupt anyway.
[01:16:46] Alex: Yeah,
So I think I agree with most of the things you're saying, and, and this is, this is where things kind of go off the rails for me. I think there's a lot that works and, and, and, that I appreciate about, their choices with the Riddler. And there's a lot that I, I have come to the more I think about it, it's kind of strongly dislike.
And, I think, Paul Daniel's performance, the physicality that he has when we see him in the suit, um, and he's not talking like there's the opening scene where, we're playing Ave Maria, and he's looking through the binoculars and we hear him breathing, I think is, is really haunting and really successful.
And then we, you know, he shows up in the apartment behind the mayor and he doesn't have the catch light. So you don't see his face, which is like a classic horror movie trope. And like, which is like a really unsettling thing, like to th actually like a totally normal way of like how people will appear.
Like, people don't have lights straining at their face, but like they do in movies and said like, when you don't do it, it feels wrong. And you're not, you're not sure why. And it's like, actually just cause they don't have a light,
[01:17:42] Brian: yeah,
[01:17:43] Alex: is pretty incredible. Like there's the scene that was in all the trailers where he's like opening the duct tape and like, the scene at the end when he's in Arkham, I think is really successful where he's, he's talking about, like he, they do the head fake where they make us think that he knows who Bruce Wayne
Right. Um, and once he, once he's able to have that. moment, it's incredibly successful. You know, he's, his mask is off. He's got This,
performance that I think is working. I think unfortunately the entire section of before that, where he's got the mask on and he's talking from. Really doesn't work in any way at all.
Like these moments that you're talking about, where he's, he's doing these like YouTube, like random videos and like, you know, there's a point it's like the most 20, 20 moment ever where he's literally having a FaceTime call with Batman phone. It's like, okay, well we're all doing video chats now. just doesn't, it just doesn't do it for me because he's, he's trying to do the sort of like, I'm crazy.
And the way that I'm going to tell you that I'm crazy is I'm going to talk really quiet and then I'm running to talk really loud. And then like, you know, I'm all over here and I'm over there and I'm Laney and that's how, you know, I'm insane. And like, I actually think that like, one of the things that I think there's still a reckoning to come with on, on sort of Batman and like, his mythos in Arkham asylum is that like the, the sort of like improper way that we deal with mental illness of like, that's actually a remarkably normal thing to have mental illness.
Right. And like, th that is something that is like treatable and like, shouldn't be stigmatized. right. And like, so like part of it is like, by sort of social feeling about like how we should view, like our fellow humans and like these characters are not helpful. but at the same time, like when I see the joker
in the dark night ice, that portrayal works for me on every level.
I believe that that guy is like so far gone like that. He is so. You know, that all of the affectations and the ticks and the things that he has, if they're speaking to me in a way that like Paul Danno, for whatever reason, it just doesn't work for me. And I think, I think it is the sort of like video calls and like the ransom note, like YouTube video thing, like to me in that moment, and this is something that Patrick Willem said and a video that he did, is like, it's just making me think of better movies like that movement that moment's been done before and has been done better.
And it's, and it's, that's just, that's just kind of the, the mode that I get into, I think also his motivation. You, you talked about like how it does make sense that he's kind of a guy that, um, doesn't have Braun, he's kind of, not financially well to do we learn that he wasn't orphan. Right. And he, he wasn't the, in, in the orphanage and like views himself as having been wronged by the sort of elite.
And that works for me for all of the serial killing, Right. Like he's killing people who are related to this corruption, right. That we see, with, you know, the government's running this drug ring and like, um, they're in bed with the crime families, right? Like, when there was the Moroni bus, which happens off screen, right?
Like those things make sense to me. But when we get to the third act or the, um, the very end of the movie and he blows up the, the seawall and there's water flooding in, and then he has guys like that are going to shoot up the victory party at the Y what's he trying to achieve, like before he's like trying to tell the public about this corruption of the, of the elite.
And then he's like in to kill a bunch of random. Like civilians, like, it's, it's just like, he's the bad guy and he's going to do the bad thing. And he wants to watch the world burn. It's like, well, but he doesn't want to watch the world burn. And that wasn't his character. Like, that's not a thing. Like, it's not clear to me what the motivation is like, does he, is he trying to kill the new mayor?
If so, why? Because if, is she corrupt as well? Did we see that? Like, what is the, what is the purpose like to me, all of it feels like we want to have this reveal. Like we have in seven where like, he's already locked up and he has this, this next act. And it's like, oh, you're just doing seven.
[01:21:29] Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[01:21:30] Alex: what's, but what's the reason, like why, you know, it doesn't work for me.
Um, especially, especially like you have the, the, the, the sort of like 50 goons that are all wearing the same get up. And it's like, it just feels like the studio was like, we need to have a big set piece. Like the final action scene. We just need another one. Like, it needs to be big. It needs to be, you know, we've got these suits hanging around, like, we'll put the guys in the suits and they'll snipe people from up top for some reason.
Like, I struggle with it. So like his performance is one that I feel conflicted about. I will say I read. Um, so there's a novel, that's a prequel to this movie, that, it, it it's novel. It's very short. Like you can get it on audible. Um, I wouldn't cause it's like 40 bucks or whatever.
However much they charge for an audio book, 25 bucks. It's a lot of money for like an hour and a half. Like you can listen to it in a podcast. And it gives backstory that I think is super helpful. Like he, one of the things to understand about the orphanage that the orphanage is Wayne Manor
[01:22:26] Brian: What,
[01:22:27] Alex: yeah, so Thomas and Martha donate Wayne Manor to become an orphanage and move to the city.
That's why he lives in the apartment. in the city.
[01:22:35] Brian: that's an apartment. I thought that was main manner
[01:22:39] Alex: no, that's, that's, that's Wayne tower. He's living in an apartment and Wayne tower in the middle of town instead of being Wayne Manor. That is a mansion in the outskirts.
[01:22:47] Brian: I totally thought that that was like, did you ever watch gargoyles the 1990s?
Yeah, so he was, um, uh, shoot Z, uh, there, the rich guy in that X, I can't remember his name, but like he had this big skyscraper and just lived at the top floor of that. That happened to be a castle, you know? So that, that's kinda what I was thinking is that Wayne Manor in this portrayal was basically the top few let's top section of this major skyscraper.
interesting. Cause like, in my notes later, I have some comments about like that choice, they mean
[01:23:24] Alex: yeah. And I mean
I, it is something that happens in the comic books. Like he lives in Wayne tower in the seventies for a while. right.
He cause he wants to be in the city and closer to the people rather than like in his Villa, like, you know, in the burbs or whatever on the outskirts of town. and, and so it's, it's not unprecedented.
but it's this cool. It's a really cool idea that like, it's not just this renewal project, right. That like when awry, um, it's like he is growing up, seeing a picture of like Thomas Wayne every day that his, his supposed savior, because it's giving him a place to live. He's living in Wayne Manor, he's growing up, but it's like actually like a really awful life.
And like, there's like, I think it's actually a picture of the family and there's Thomas and there's Martha and there's Bruce and there's this kid who lives in the lap of luxury for what reason? Like he was just born into it. And so he grows to have this hatred. Right. Which. Of Bruce, right. Not a Batman, which is really interesting that he can so love the Batman and so hate Bruce.
And like, it, it makes that the movie better in my mind for that book, it's not a great book, but like there's so much there's nuggets in there that you can tell that like, these are the things they wanted to put in the movie. And didn't like, this novel exists. Not because they were like someone go commission, like do this thing.
This is stuff that's on the cutting room floor. And I'm like, just wishing like his motivation. I just wish there was a little bit more to tell me why he's doing this. Cause it makes sense until it doesn't and that's so hard for me. yeah, So that's how
[01:24:47] Brian: yeah, yeah, I th I think, but so one of the things about the regular there, that's interesting is I like earn your points. That's interesting about the Riddler is I would like to hear what a, clinical psychiatrist has to say
or a clinical psychologist, because it could be that his, the way that he's he's zany and has his voice inflections all over the place in those recordings that might be spot on for someone who has like severe
[01:25:14] Alex: it could be, it could be, It just, it just comes off as trite to me. And like maybe that's my thing. Like that's my hangup. It just it's it's been, done is the thing,
[01:25:22] Brian: It has been,
I know I don't disagree
[01:25:24] Alex: think it's not real. It's that like, you know, trophy a little bit.
[01:25:28] Brian: Yeah. So that, that, that, that's the question I have is like, is it a caricature or is it accurate? You know, like that, that's what I would be curious to know. And, If, if like the concept is predicated on, like, he's this really smart guy that doesn't really live in the same reality that the rest of us are do.
Um, then like it's possible that his leaps in logic, just like he thought Batman and him were on the same side, that his leaps in logic extend further to say like, oh, I'm, I'm mad at Bruce Wayne. I have to take him out because I've been mad at him since I was a child, but it's not logical, you know, et cetera.
So like, I agree with all of your points that they don't, they it's not necessarily consistent across the board, but it does make me wonder more about like what was going on in his head. Like, is there a way to make it make sense, even though it doesn't make sense to me?
[01:26:19] Alex: yeah,
for sure. And I like, again, I love this movie. It's not so much as to make me, say I didn't like it it's like it. I trip over it a little bit. It keeps it from being the best Batman movie ever. Right. Like when I think back to things like the dark night, you know, there are elements in there that, like I said, you know, it is not as respectful to the source material.
It is, it is very distinctly a Christopher Nolan movie, as much as it is a Batman movie, he does his own thing. Right. But at least it like holds together, like everything about that is logically consistent. I understand everyone's motivations for every moment of that movie. And like the joker has a thesis and I really appreciate that.
Right. and, and that, that's where I stumbled with this movie a little bit.
[01:27:00] Brian: sure. Very fair critiques. Yeah. You haven't said anything that I think are ridiculous by any means.
[01:27:06] Alex: I'm glad to hear that because it's not going to tear apart our friendship. This is going better than the last Jedi chat. I'll tell you that
[01:27:14] Brian: Yeah, definitely.
[01:27:15] Alex: But also like Jim Carey's Riddler is like one of your favorites, right?
[01:27:20] Brian: oh, for sure. But, but, and I would say that Batman forever is one of my favorite Batman movies. However, they, this is kind of like the NPAA a little bit in that, like, it's really hard to compare these artists because they're so different like that, that Riddler or that, that Batman was intended to be ridiculous.
Like it was designed comedic and over the top, very like silver age, you know? and like that Riddler wasn't really trying to hurt anyone. He was. And like all the technology that he created was like completely fantastical and out of this world. and he wanted to foil Batman. He didn't want to like, absolutely destroy Batman.
And like, there was even this moment where, where like, two faces gonna shoot him and he's like, no, wait, if you kill him, he's not going to learn nothing. You know? And that is like, not reality, you know? Like if, if that character really was like trying to remove all sort of, barriers to their success, then like killing Batman would, would be a really good move, you know?
And I think that like had this, had the Riddler in the Batman had, Paul Dino's Riddler been in that same situation, realizing that Batman was not on his side, he would have just killed him, just like all of his henchmen were trying to do, you know,
[01:28:49] Alex: I think, you know, you have described, The Batman forever Redler as sort of silver age silliness a few times. And I think it that's true, but you know,
he's really what he's doing is he's, he's doing a Frank caution, right. And Frank, Frank Gorshin is, plays the Riddler on Batman 66.
[01:29:06] Brian: watched any of that.
[01:29:07] Alex: he's, the reason that he's doing that is, is because, he is the definitive Redler, from, from that moment, I think all the way until we get to the Batman, it's the case.
So I, you know, I was talking about like how this movie is so respectful of source material. It's so steeped in sort of the literary Canon. it's definitely true that.
there, there isn't really a definitive Riddler story. Like no one has written it, people have tried to like Tom king wrote a story called the war of drugs and rentals and it didn't really work.
and it's, you know, it's because, the, the Riddler is not an important character historically to the comic. And, and if you go back to, and we'll get there, uh, on the show and talking about the history to, to Batman 66, uh, bill who's, the executive producer on their shows kind of was the creative director read like three comics, you know, and just so happened to pick one up that had the Riddler on it, but was not a significant character, right?
Like had not been in many appearances before and would not afterwards. Yeah. So he is a character that is famous because of the television show. And so I
[01:30:09] Brian: Wow.
[01:30:09] Alex: you know, another way in which they're able to be so respectful of the source material, and this is so clever is they want to do the Zodiac.
Right. And what character can they do rev instead of creating their own? Well, let's just, let's just projected on this character that doesn't really have an identity. Like no one has a favorite Riddler story. Let's just do something else. which I think is really clever. and it does go in such a different direction, but like they do keep the sort of core of the identity, which is.
He does rentals like that is the defining characteristic of the Riddler and there can do something different on every other avenue and it's still authentic. Right. so it's very smart.
[01:30:48] Brian: That's really interesting. I've always liked the Riddler, like as a character in general, like the idea of like the trickster who is trying to like outsmart Batman and stuff. and, but you're right that like the Riddler, as we see him is usually more, um, the, the jokester trickster type and not, not one with like really clear motivations other than goofing on Batman, you know, like, uh, Batman, the animated series, or, um, Jim Carey's Batman, or I don't know whatever that guy's name is from the, I haven't seen that show, but I'm familiar with the concept of the Riddler in that TV show and how, he, he goofed with Batman,, you'll have to correct me if I'm wrong.
But I think the 1966 Batman TV show is silver
age. Right. Okay.
[01:31:39] Alex: Yeah. Um, yes, coinciding, um, with, with the silver
age. and, and, and, and, but it's, it's an interesting thing where like so much of the comics at that time, and we'll get into it are defined by the show. Right. And this is something that happens over and over and over again is like comic books, fill the need to like realign to the more popular medium.
So like, it's not just DC that does this. Like when, you know, in, in Thor, Ragnarok, like, um, Milner gets destroyed, right? Like, well now in comics, like Thor can't have, can't have the hammer cause it doesn't have them in the, in the movies. Right? Like there's these constant sort of realignments to match the, the depictions that people are familiar with.
Um, and, and so much. The, the comics at that time are defined by the show and vice versa. Right.
Like, um, we'll, we'll get into it.
[01:32:25] Brian: Just talking
about Andy circus.
Yeah. I loved it. I will say that like, so going back to, The, the concept that this is like a young Bruce Wayne, this is not an old Bruce Wayne. So like he's still building, he's got all this anx, he's still building his maturity. And it does make sense for him to say, like, you're not my father, you know, and like have that, that frustration, um, and wanting to turn away from, from Alfred in this.
And you, you kind of get to see the coming of age in their relationship in this, in this movie where he did fear for offered his life, you know, and I think Andy circus doesn't often play roles like this. but I think he is truly one of the most skilled actors in the industry. he's just, doesn't get a lot of credit for that because of the type of roles he often takes.
Um, but I think he, he nailed this and I really liked this version of Alfred. this was an Alfred that was a, a mentor to a, an unwilling mentee, I guess.
[01:33:30] Alex: Or at least on grateful.
[01:33:31] Brian: yeah.
Ungrateful that's, that's a better term, I think. But like, if you compare that to other Alfred's, they w they were friends or there, there was that like father, connection and stuff, like, like, um, the way that Michael Kane, as Batman, you know, it's, it's a, a Cohero, I don't know what the right word would be there, but like, they, they work together to like solve the crimes, you know, and, and that's like his role.
And that's how it is. And like Batman, the animated series. And that's how it is with, uh, like Batman forever, his Batman, uh, offer it. I don't remember that guy's name. but like. This one was kind of interesting in that, uh, Bruce Wayne never expected anything from Alfred. He never wanted Alfred's help. And Alfred just kind of injected himself in where he was like, oh, I'm, I'm kind of familiar with, with cryptography.
I mean, with ciphers, I could probably like help you out on this. And then like found his way into like the Alfred role in the way that this is like a very, very early Batman. Um, so, so like, if there are to be sequels, I'm really curious to see how that develops and was really happy that he, um, didn't die.
[01:34:45] Alex: I think for me, I understand the love and appreciation that people have for Andy circus. And I think he was incredible as Caesar and the point of the apes movies, which Matt Reeves also did. He did not do the original plan of the apes. He did the sequels he um, rise and Dawn or something like that, war. and
Dawn, something like that.
I think I understand the sort of positioning that they have here, as which is like as a, Yeah.
A partner to Batman. But perhaps one that, is not necessarily appreciated or wanted, but he is anyway, he makes himself a partner and that's something that's echoed in, in, in the prequel novel as well.
And that works. What doesn't work for me is the sort of like parent and son relationship where they're expressing sort of care for each other in the hospital. And I think that is because I'm thinking about medical cane. I don't think that there's a more definitive, like of all of the characters and all of the Batman movies, you know, you could say that Heath ledger is the definitive joker. I don't know that. I agree. I think we've actually seen incredible joker since he fled her already in a very short period of time. you could say that like, you know, Robert Pattinson is, is the definitive Batman. And again, I don't know if I would agree.
I think you could very easily say that, um, Michael Cain is the definitive Alfred and I would agree, like, I think it's very, very hard for, to measure up against that. And I think that's just, cause I love Michael Kane, like anything he's ever been in, like, um, I just, I just have a deep and abiding love for Michael Kane.
and so it's hard for me to not see that, especially when it's the context of like, that relationship that they have, the father son relationship,
[01:36:17] Brian: The hospital scene did make sense to me because, um, I think. Considers himself, a Wayne considers himself like a member of the family has a deep love and care for, Bruce Wayne slash Batman. And like, this was the first time that, that Bruce Wayne ever reached out to him for love to say, like I N N so I think Alfred always wanted a better, like more familial connection with Bruce Wayne.
And it was just not there because of like the tragedy and the circumstance with which they were associated. and then he was saying like, he was not saying, but saying Alfred, I love you.
[01:37:04] Alex: I think that's right. I think, I think you're a hundred percent correct. And that's what they're going for. And I think too, Matt Reeves credit and Peter Craig, so much of this movie is, you know, they're trusting you, to understand something without showing you, or even telling you, like, they're starting in the middle of the story they're jumping in and they're, they're going to get it.
You understand, like you don't need to see the Maroney bust to get it right. That's the thing that happened. We're going to talk about it. and for the most part, I think that works. I think that I understand what they're going for in that scene in the hospital. I just don't think it's earned. Right. Like it didn't work for me because we don't see any reason for him to think he's a Wayne.
We don't see any reason to have them have any sort of relationship or any sort of nurturing. Right? Like that's all offscreen and we're just supposed to accept that that happened. And so just feels hollow for me. It's not, it's not that I don't get it it's that it doesn't work. Um, from my perspective, I trip on it when I'm watching it.
Right. Like it's, it's not, it's not hitting in the way they want it to hit. Right. so I mean that, that's just kind of, kind of how I feel about it.
Let's talk about cinematography cause I want to desperately.
[01:38:04] Brian: Okay.
[01:38:04] Alex: Um,
[01:38:05] Brian: it.
[01:38:06] Alex: That's a, that's a take, Um, w do you want, do you want to talk about that at all before I get into why don't
[01:38:13] Brian: so I would say like the two elements of the cinematography that I enjoyed a lot, um, were like a, it was really dark. Um, they had some interesting angles where it was, it, it was much more a movie that was made in this decade where like GoPros are common and you can like stick those on the sides of cars or whatever.
So like the car chase, the fact that like the camera is in a spot where you can see behind the car, but you can also see the penguin at the same time. I think it was a really solid move. And like some of that stuff worked very well. I would also point to, I guess in my perspective, a really bad cinematography choice, which was to do the there's like self facing GoPro camera on Batman when he jumped off the building, he did the,
[01:39:00] Alex: I think that's awful. yeah,
[01:39:02] Brian: I thought that was
really, yeah. I th I thought that it was in line with some of the other choices they made, but was not a good one. but the other thing that I really want to touch on that I loved, and I haven't seen a lot of people talk about, I guess, is the, um, the hallway scene when the only
lighting in the scene is the gunshots and.
Uh, it's really reminiscent of like Darth Vader in, in rogue one. Yeah. And how the hallway is only lit up by the blaster shots and the lightsaber. Um, and it just creates this different type of atmosphere for the battle. And, and it lined up with the music very well. It was, uh, that was probably top five, scenes from the whole, movie that I really loved.
[01:39:51] Alex: Yeah.
Incredibly successful. I think that shot, is, is incredible. I highly encourage you to go watch those Adobe interviews because they talk a lot about why they chose to shoot the movie they do
the way they do. but there is some jargon and, and I don't think it would be an episode of bat lessons if there wasn't some history
[01:40:11] Brian: Oh, I
[01:40:12] Alex: some lessons to, to talk about because some of this might whiz over your head if you watch the video without knowing it,
[01:40:18] Brian: yeah. And I'm, I'm really, excited to hear this portion because like, I know enough about like San photography sound and music to like be dangerous. Um, but I'm nothing compared to you. And I always like hearing your take on movies because it gets really deep in these areas that I don't, I barely pay attention to because you're, you focus a lot more on the, mechanics of how to make a movie, whereas I just sit and absorb it and just have the fields, you know?
I'm, I'm very excited for you to take over and just run this section.
[01:40:50] Alex: The technology is super, super interesting to me. And I think, for Matt Reeves, he is, he is deeply, deeply sort of involved with the technology as well. And I think that drives a lot of the decisions he makes. are you familiar with what, what anamorphic film is?
[01:41:07] Brian: I'm familiar with the term, is it, just give me one second. Is it
anamorphic? Is that. When the film, is it like scope filming where you've, that's how you accomplish, like the wide, the wide lens?
[01:41:20] Alex: yeah. It's one of the ways that they,
[01:41:22] Brian: I have a scope lens in my living room, actually. And that's it's for anamorphic film,
[01:41:30] Alex: Very cool. Yeah. So, so, most film, throughout history has been shot on 35 millimeter film and what that 35 millimeter film is referring to the size of the frame diagonally. So if you measure from one corner to another it's, it's 35 millimeters, but beyond just being 35 millimeters, they've they standardized, the academy did the,
[01:41:54] Brian: Aspect
[01:41:56] Alex: Yeah. They, they standardized on an Aspect ratio, called the full academy gate. and, and that is 1.375 to one, which is like a really weird number, but It's super close to four by three, which is like the, the size that CRT
televisions used to be. That's a little bit wider than it is tall, but it's very close to square.
And, in, in like the thirties and forties, like all movies were shot and four by three or 1.3, seven, five to one, and they were shot in full academy gate because that's what the film stock that they standardized used. and like some really snooty movies now are filmed in this way. So grand Budapest hotel was shot in full academy gate.
Zack Snyder's justice league was shot in full
academy gate and he made a big deal about, Yeah,
all my original vision was that I needed to be four by three because, you know people think it makes, it makes them more artistic. Um, but, but, um, which is funny, cause like I love grand Budapest hotel and I think it's a piece of Arkin Zach Sanders justice league is
[01:42:50] Brian: So, but like to, to like poke on that a little bit, um, when you buy, when you used to buy DVDs, you had the wide screen version and the standard version. Right. And it was basically about whether or not you want a black bars when you watched it, if your TV was big enough and movies that were being filmed at the wide screen, which is like 16 by nine ish, usually, depends.
Right. But it's roughly that. And, uh, what they did was called pan and scan, which I know, you know, a lot more,
this is me talking to
the audience was pan and skin, which meant that they clipped off sections of what was filmed to be able to zoom in and take the black bars off. Um, and so I think there, like, in my mind, there's like an interesting distinction, little difference between for me, what are standard aspect ratio, movies that are, uh, a, that are caused by pain and scan, which are just generally worse compared to a movie that was filmed at that size that would actually show you or potentially show you more top and bottom, um, in the film at once.
[01:43:54] Alex: Yeah.
I think, it's, it's a really fascinating, we're going to get into it a little bit here in a minute. That there's, there's a difference between sort of like information in terms of like composition of the frame. So when you say it shows more, Right.
Like there could be more people because It's like zoomed out more like there's stuff that's cropped off the side and bottom.
But when we talk about like more information, like resolution, like in terms of like detail that you can resolve there may or may not be more. And so in the fifties, right, they decided to decided to start making movies wider and wider. And, if you've ever watched the credits, in movies where they, it, it comes before, or even if you've watched credits all the way to the end, you might see brand names like, cinema scope or Panavision.
And you wonder what those things are. These are the lens creators that invented the technology that we call anamorphic. And, and they're the ones that decided, uh, or created the way we can make this wider. but films did not stop shooting on. 35 millimeter film. They continued to be shot on 35 millimeter academy gate foam all the way until the early two thousands.
When we started shooting movies digitally. So how do you take this four by three picture and turn it into one that's really wide. Well, you do it in an anamorphic sense. This is not the only way to do it, but this is the way it was done for a long time was you would take the lens and basically what it does is it, it focuses, right.
It captures the light, in a sort of compressed way. So you take a really, really wide field and you focus that down. So it fits on the 35 millimeter. And if you were to project that for 35 millimeter film, it would be vertically squished. So like everyone would be really, really
[01:45:28] Brian: yeah, it stretches. It's the stretch, this a vertical stretch distortion. yeah,
[01:45:34] Alex: it is a horizontally squeezed distortion,
[01:45:39] Brian: yeah,
[01:45:39] Alex: Um, but the light that it's capturing is horizontally squeezed as the way that it works. And then when you go to, projected again, you have, uh, an inverse lens that does the, the horizontal
stretch, right. yeah.
Um, to get it back to where it was.
And that's um, how widescreen D was done for a very, very, very long time and the benefit of shooting, widescreen that way is that you keep all of the possible resolution. You can, the more picture that is put onto the film or the more square millimeter of film you have.
per picture, the more definition there is, the more detailed there is.
There's another way to do widescreen called superscript 35. and the, the person that is famous for using super scope, 35 is James Cameron, which is where, you take 35 millimeter and you just crop it off the top and bottom. So you have a lens that just covers up the picture. And so like, you're literally putting a black bar at the top of the bottom on the film, and he did that for
[01:46:37] Brian: that's the point that I was going to make about information and like it, and like a different way to say what you're saying. And you can correct me if this is not, not right, but
is the, the more light that hits the film, then the more information you have and that's, and that's a high, higher definition that you can project out onto the screen.
and, and so, and, and that is, and this is all driven by the standard film size, which is a 35 millimeter. If they could like change film size all whenever they wanted to, then it wouldn't be a problem. But since they're stuck on 35 millimeters, because that's all of the projectors in the world are 35 millimeter at re at the time, then they were doing this critical thinking to come around, like to problem
solve around how to
do Y with as much
information as possible.
[01:47:30] Alex: So why, why in the nineties, does James Cameron decide to use a method that uses less foam? Right. So they're, they're actually capturing less light by chopping off the top and bottom right there. They're using less of that 35 millimeter frame to represent their picture, to get something that's wide.
Right. He does that with Terminator. He does that with Titanic, right? Why does he choose to do that? Because like you just said, the more of the film, I can use that more detail I can get the better, the picture is going to be. Well, the, the reason is because, this anamorphic trick where we're like squeezing the light, generates a lot of distortion and some of this distortion is like stuff you actually might appreciate.
Um, so like lens flares, if you take your iPhone and you pointed at the sun, right? The, the, the, the flare that you're going to get is going to be circles. So you might have concentric circles of like one really big one. You know, image of the sun that is offset from the actual sun and then another one that's smaller and another one that's even smaller. Right.
But they're perfect circles and an anamorphic because you're stretching the picture. You're squeezing the picture, stretching up, back out again, the lens flare is this massive line. So you'll actually have the circle pinpoint pinprick of light, but then you also have a big line across the whole frame of the picture.
And that's because of the way that the glass is interacting with that light. And it it's, it's a distortion. And so like JJ Abrams is like notorious and like famous for like doing these, um, lens, flares that are fake. Right. And so you have movies that are shot, not anamorphic. And then all of a sudden there's a digital lens flare that's over the thing that's like doing the line across the whole screen, or sometimes he does shoot anamorphic.
Right. and that, that is probably the distortion that like most people are familiar with. but there are other distortions that come with anamorphic, which, which, um, especially when they're first doing it in the fifties, sixties and seventies, where they don't really know how to make the glass yet.
And that is that focus falls off the further from the center of the
frame you get.
[01:49:14] Brian: yeah.
[01:49:15] Alex: so you can have like, in, in, in, in film, you, you have, um, lenses that will do different depths of field is, which is what they call depth of field, which is like how much, how are of the distance away from the, the picture is in focus.
So you could imagine one, one lens that is capable of doing about 10 feet in focus at a time, and you can move that those 10 feet. So like maybe starting at five feet from the camera and going to 15 feet, all of those objects are in focus and then you move it to say, okay, everything at 20 feet, isn't focused to 30 feet by 35.
It's not right. and anamorphic has, uh, by, by definition usually has a fairly shallow depth of field. So, you know, you might only have a four feet or three feet that are in focus, right. So that's one thing that happens. But also what happens is that's at the center of the picture. So like if I'm in the middle of the, of the frame, my face isn't focused, but everything falls off to the side.
So something could be. Ju the same distance to the camera. Like my hand, if it's on the right-hand side of the screen, it might be only six inches closer to the camera than I am, but it might be out of focus because the way that the glass works, it's just imperfect. Right? Like the further from the center of that, just the less focus it
[01:50:20] Brian: Yeah, I can, I can enter this as well. So as far as depth of field goes, like I think, um, people, my age probably used Instagram when it was fairly new, and that was one of the filters that you use to have like a line of InFocus and like stuff that was out of focus around it, which was to emulate that depth of field thing.
Um, it's common in like phones now, especially when they have like multiple cameras. Um, and like, I think the easiest way to kind of like, uh, describe that in a, in a scenario would be like, um, you're trying to take a picture of like a Coke can on a table and you can see the Coke can is in, was, is in focus and like the table that is at the same depth away from you.
The like the wood grain is also in focus, but the, the further you go behind that the wood green would go out of focus. And the further you are in the closer you come from the can, the wood grain on the table would be out of focus as well. And to show that like the depth of field is exactly where that can is, and no more or less, whereas like there are other, like really wide depth of the field where you take a picture and like everything is in focus.
but, but it is flat. Like you can't tell how far things are. back in the distance, it's like portrait mode on your phone. Usually like it tries to make you and focus and like the stuff behind you is out of focus, that's depth of field.
[01:51:40] Alex: There there's all kinds of like, in, in, in film and photography, there's they have different ways of describing the characteristics of that blur, right? So like the, the quality, of a blur, if it's it's particularly pleasing and soft and circular, you might hear someone called that Boca. Right. Um, that that's something that they're intentionally doing.
They want focus, things that are distant behind you to be out of focus. Um, it's pleasing to the eye, they call that Boca. Right. but, but with an anamorphic, you know, frame, you have something that is unintentionally happening that, that sort of falls outside. The rule set that Brian is describing where everything that is sort of on the same plane should be in focus and everything that's further
should be out of focus.
[01:52:18] Brian: too.
[01:52:18] Alex: Go
[01:52:19] Brian: So, um, so the, so there are two, so I'm talking about the lenses that I have out in my living room, but they are from like a very, very old, like mid sixties, uh, film projector that we had at the movie theater. And when we got rid of that projector to replace it with like a fresh new digital one, I got to keep the lenses, but that was a real thing.
Like when you run the film through, and then you put the lens on the front that matched the film that you were playing on, if it was going to be four by three, you do the flat lens. If you was going to be, we call it scope, but if it was going to be a scope, um, you'd, you'd put the longer lens on it, which does the anamorphic.
Um, and every single time you started playing a movie, the first thing you do is you twist this knob to adjust that depth. And you would be trying to find the focus point in what you're watching and get that as close to the middle as possible so that you don't have anything that's wildly out of focus.
You're not going to have everything in focus, but if you put the focus line at the bottom, you know, that the top is going to be much worse than if you put it in the middle. Whereas the top and bottom are just like half as bad. Um, and so that, that's my experience with that. And like the imperfection in the lens, like you were describing.
And, uh, how you have to like, find that center line to kind of balance out the out of focusness.
[01:53:38] Alex: and, and the thing is that like we've gotten even like today when we were shooting on film or sorry, on digital, where we can have these perfect captures at the sensor that are perfectly tack sharp, like you're still fighting the glass, right. We still use glass lenses, but the technology has gotten much, much, much, much, much better.
We have lenses that, that are perfect per perfectly in focus, across the frame, um, when you want it to be a, not when you don't, and we don't have focus fall off, so things to the sides of the, of, of the image and up blurry. and we don't have what they call vignetting where things to the, again, to the corners or to the sides of the frames get darker.
[01:54:15] Brian: Yeah.
[01:54:16] Alex: and it has been a criticism of some people as of late that, movies have been too perfect and too tack sharp. And the wording that they'll sometimes use is like sterile. It feels like, especially because so much of the movies end up being digital, right, where we have these digital composites where someone needs, it has to be perfectly and focused, right.
Because you need to be able to cut out the blue screen behind them, or because we're going to need to put something digital into the frame that, is, is by definition made by computer. And we have a really hard time emulating things like motion blur and, um, focus, fall off and things like that because it needs to mesh as well as possible.
We get the cleanest T Taka sharp, you know, you know, most perfect image we get, we can in the, in the camera. So that, that it composites well. Right. and so th this is a criticism that people have of, of the Marvel movies that they all feel kind of cookie cutter and sterile. And, Matt, Matt Reeves, I think.
Is is, is intentionally sort of like pushing back against it. So when you hear him talk about the cinematography and these Adobe videos and in various interviews that he's done since the movie, they talk about going and trying to find these misfit lenses, like they, they they're intentionally looking for bad lenses, right.
That are, that are capturing things in, in a poor way on purpose. So they're looking for things with focused fall off. They're looking for things that vignette and have, um, all kinds of distortion. They want these crazy, um, sort of lights. and they, they, we even went further than that, right? So beyond just like choosing these bad lenses, after they edited the movie, the, which this movie was shot on a digital, by the way, on a 6k camera.
So they start the whole thing on digital. It's a very, very clean picture. Um, aside from the lenses that are in front, after they edited the whole movie, they actually, did a print of the movie onto 35 millimeter film. And then, did a capture of that again, back to digital. Um, and they even did a third kind of the movie where they do an intro positive, which I'm not gonna explain.
Uh, but like, because we don't have time. but they did, they did a print the same way you would have with a camera. You're going through a color process, the way a film camera would have. And then they went shot by shot through the movie. And in the digital editing software, they said, do we want the digital version of the shot?
Or do we want the film version or do we want the enter positive? And they would choose which one they actually wanted to use, because, you know, when you go to the film and back, you get grain, Or if you go to enter positive and back, you get different color distortion. And they very, very much are trying to make it look like a 1970s movie and there's they're successful.
Um, and it, it is beautiful. I think it is, indulgent, I think is the right word for it. it brings something to the movie in many cases, Until it doesn't, I think it can be distracting.
[01:57:05] Brian: Yeah. I think I would say that this could be argued on both sides pretty easily,
[01:57:10] Alex: I think that the it's really hard for me to, sort of explain my feeling of like I can, I had this uneasiness where I felt like I could tell where like they're moving from one shot to another, in the same scene where they're choosing to use a lens that is sharper because they need to, for that chart or there, or they're using a lens that has more lens flare cause they need it for that shot.
And the next one they don't, or they've chosen to, you know, I can't honestly say that. I, I could, I could pick those out. Like if I was trying to go shot for shot, for shot to say, this is the one where they, they did a digital composite because they did have special effects in this movie. and you can tell that the, the, the film grain is less and the next one in the same scene doesn't right? Or, you know, I don't know If I could actually do that, but I did have this feeling of like, they were changing things up as I was going, I had this sort of unease about like the picture quality was changing and that did bother me in a way that like, maybe it, wouldn't someone who isn't trying to pay attention
to those things.
[01:58:09] Brian: If you're not seeing it, it's not bothering you, but yeah. Like I guess what you're describing kind of seems like when you're watching good CGI versus like bad CGI, like when you notice like that, that doesn't look right, that that breaks your suspension of disbelief a little bit. You go, oh, I'm in a theater,
[01:58:28] Alex: Exactly. I think they were so focused on craft. They're so nerdy about it. Like I am like, they care about this stuff so much that, they indulged themselves, right. They decided we're going to do this cool thing because it's cool. And a couple of times it sort of breaks the veil. Right. And you're focused on the craft instead of the film and they do it a few times and you brought one up, actually, I'm glad you did, which is the hard mounts.
So they made a purpose. They purposely wanted to do all of the action sequences in wa even when they were using digital effects and composites and do it in a physical way. So like everywhere a camera is it could have plausibly been. Um, and So when they're, when you're talking about a, like a car chase, right.
They wanted it to be, have a, uh, a visceralness and a physicality of like there's no sort of like third party observer where you have a camera that is like in a wall, which like, is the thing that happens in the, in the Christopher Nolan movies of like there are cameras in places that he could never have been if there wasn't a crane or a helicopter, or if they were actually in a
[01:59:28] Brian: get what you're saying. So like kind of like a sitcom. There's no way that, that there could be a camera there because there's a wall missing specifically, so
[01:59:37] Alex: yes,
[01:59:37] Brian: it. Yeah, I got
[01:59:39] Alex: that's right. They cut away half the building and you're looking into the other half. Right. It's kind of weird it's and they very purposely did things in a very physical way. And they get so into this idea, which is a good one, right. Of hard mounts. And they, they there's, there's a moment in this Dolby video when he's talking about like, they started from the shots backwards and they just said where all the places on this car, you. can hard Mount a car.
And they tried everyone. We're getting hard mounted car camera here. We're going to have. Yeah.
there and there and there and there, and they go through 50 different places of where you can hard Mount a Camera, and they're just getting all these shots and then they edit together because, because it meets this criteria of this rule of like, it needs to be physically based.
And then I'm just in this movie and they're like, we're going to do another shot where like, looking at the back of this car and the moment, the moment that you cited, where they had the hard Mount on the on his head of like, well, it's, it's a little stupid, like it's, it's breaking this, it's breaking the sort of mold of like, they've got really into this idea of like, we're going to do this thing because it has this quality to it.
And we like that quality and they do it Just like 20% too much. Right. they get really into the idea. He talks about it in the video as well. He's really excited about Batman coming out of the shadows. Right.
And there's multiple scenes in this movie where we're looking at a dark shadow And we hear the boots on and go clump, clump, clump.
first time it's really cool. And then the second or third time. Yeah. But like the third time, you're like, this is a three-hour long movie, you know, and then they do it with the car and there's the shadow and the car turns on and the engine, it goes growls. And like, they're just gushing
[02:01:08] Brian: And the
Zodiac does that are announced Zodiac. Ooh, that was a good slip. The joker does that too. Um, in the beginning and the mayor, like it's all dark and then like suddenly he's there, he came out of the shadows, right?
[02:01:19] Alex: Oh Riddler. Yes.
[02:01:20] Brian: Oh man. A double, double slip. Yeah. Riddler, not joker and not Zodiac Riddler.
[02:01:27] Alex: Yeah. So there's this theme that they repeat over and over and over to think again, of things coming out of the shadows and it is a strong idea and they execute on a well, but I think they've indulged themselves that they, they think this idea is so good that they do at one time too many,
right. Like for me, I've heard people gush about the, the Batmobile first appearance. And like, to me, it is almost immersion breaking. Cause we have gone to such great lengths to like, make this feel real. And like all of a sudden there's a car with a blue flame coming out the back and I'm like, really like, it's that moment didn't work for me.
[02:01:59] Brian: Uh, on, on that thing, they there's actually like a little tidbit in the trivia about how the, I don't even know if I put in my notes or not. Yeah. So Matt Reeves, he said, I like the idea of the car itself as a horror figure, making an animalistic appearance to really scare the hell out of people.
Um, Batman is pursuing
and there is absolutely a horror genre aspect to this movie.
[02:02:21] Alex: I think that's true. And parts of it work,
but, That very first shot of like, it's coming out of the shadow. And like, he, I don't know if he like pops the clutch to kind of, it's a little weird, like a, it kind of like a false start. and it happens with the music too. I think the sound design again is incredible and there's so many things that are going so, right.
There's one moment in the movie that, that blows my mind if like, they were using a, like an angle grinder to like cut the lock off of, uh, off of a, uh, door. I think it's when he, Batman is coming back to the, to the 30 below or whatever the name of the club is like the third time or it's right before the scene where they there's the scene in the hallway where, where it's
[02:03:00] Brian: I know what she's talking about. I think he's chopping through the power lines.
[02:03:04] Alex: Oh, that's what he's doing. That's all right. That's Right.
But like, it's this shrill screeching that's so loud and the pitch perfectly matches with the music that comes in afterwards. And you're like, that's such a cool sound design moment where like the sound effect turns into the music. and that works so well, but like at the same time, it is a very loud movie.
And like, they lean into like these visceral sound effect moments of like, they want you to feel it. And it like, by the end of that third hour, we're in the third act where like, I don't understand why we're in Madison square garden right now. And like, it's just relentlessly loud. I'm like, I've, you've given me, 20% too much, or 10% too much.
This is like just past the line of like, um, and so, and so from a filmmaking perspective, I think that's my problem with it is that like, they have these really, really, really cool ideas and they are so focused on their craft and they have so many cool things they want to do and they, they just do it just a bit too much.
And it feels indulgent. I think that's, that's the word I have. So that, that's my feeling on, on the cinematography and the sound. Oh, the other thing on the, on the music, is that not just the, the, um, not just the song from Nirvana, but the GEA Keno score. They actually, he actually wrote that song first too.
And this is another idea that you can tell when he's in the interview with that, Matt Reeves loves, loves, loves that. Like they started with that and they worked outward. and that is cool because the performance is informed by the music and it's supposedly like Reeves had it, you know, the, the G G Aquino score, like on his iPod.
And it was like listening to it and like, you know, um, the lighting, they, the thing that apparently they decided like the color red is something that they wanted to
play with very early on. And, that's cool. except, I feel like the music, the theme is really strong, but it doesn't go any places.
Like there's only, there's only that one note, it goes, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop. And like, by the time we're on the third hour, like we're just doing that theme again, you know,
[02:04:55] Brian: to me,
it's really reminiscent of, uh, the Imperial March actually.
[02:05:00] Alex: sure. That's fair. I think what, what works about the Imperial marches that it's amongst like four other also hummable and recognizable tunes by John Williams and like, this is the only song in the whole movie, you know, besides the Nirvana song. Right? same with like the, the, like they get really into the rain.
Like they, they came up with cool ways to shoot the rain. Like they, they smudge Vaseline on the lens so That, the water would stick to the lens and like, it's so cool. And also like it's always raining in Gotham. There's like four scenes in this movie
where it's raining and you're like, is the Seattle, or is it?
[02:05:36] Brian: That, that was a,
supposed to be a choice to sh to show how like oppressive the city was. Is that like, it's just constantly raining, like nothing, nothing.
[02:05:46] Alex: that.
[02:05:46] Brian: know?
[02:05:47] Alex: And I think, you know?
again, I should reiterate, I love this
movie. It's a very good movie, but I think there's a lot of choices where they get into an idea that they really like it. And they're like, we're going to do it over and over and over and over, over and over again. And I'm thinking if they did it once, then I think they're making a statement about the rain, but it's amongst all these other things where they've, they've kind of leaned into this idea that they really like so hard,
[02:06:10] Brian: But
[02:06:10] Alex: that feels
[02:06:11] Brian: there are, so there there's actually like another layer on that rain that's kind of interesting is, so like Batman, he becomes Bruce Wayne. He goes up to meet with Alfred it and he puts his sunglasses on because like the lights bright, like he looks over and he's like, you know, when he squints and he puts the sunglasses on because he just became nocturnal, like he said, in his like beginning narration, and by, and it's raining all the time.
And then at the very end of the movie. they have shown this resolution that the oppression has lifted because the rain has stopped and the sun comes out and he can look directly into the sun and he's not squinting.
[02:06:47] Alex: Mm, interesting. Yeah. This cool symbolism for
sure. that's pretty much all the thoughts I had about cinematography and music. Did you have any other thoughts about music and,
[02:06:56] Brian: there was one other tidbit on the music that I enjoyed, learning about was that, like you were saying, they tried to match up all the beats with the music. So like all the visual beats with the music. So like even when he's walking, he's walking at the pace of the music and usually
when he's walking every fourth step is a harder step than the others, in the sound effect as it is, it connects to the soundtrack.
[02:07:21] Alex: I didn't know That,
It's almost a rhythmic and he's making a beat
[02:07:26] Brian: Yeah. Or like that, uh, incredible hallway scene where they're shooting and stuff. It, all the shots lineup with the music and stuff.
[02:07:34] Alex: It's
so cool. that's that's that is a
triumph. Like I get salty about like them overdoing things about their craft. They are so talented, like the fact that they are doing these things that no one else is doing is incredible. Like they deserve all of the praise in the world for zigging when everyone
else is zagging. so even if I don't appreciate certain parts of it Yeah.
It's so unique and it, it stands out, you know?
[02:08:03] Brian: I, so I want to take this in a particular direction.
[02:08:06] Alex: Sure.
[02:08:06] Brian: so we're talking about cinematography. You're talking about wanting to make it look like a seventies movie, et cetera. And I think all of that plays into this, this question of like, when does this take place? And, and I have some
like, kind of geeky thoughts about it, um, which is like the stylization of the world that like the universe that they've created is like eighties, New York city, like kind of the worst, worst crime of the time, very dark, lots of pollution, et cetera.
However, they have like bleeding edge, possibly even futuristic technology. Um, which is something that I really appreciated in, uh, like Batman, the animated series. so for homework in a previous episode, you asked me to watch some, um, oh no. For an upcoming one, you asked me to watch the 1943 serial for Batman.
and we'll talk about how awful it is another time. but like watching it really connected the dots for me on some of the modern Batman stuff. So like Batman, the animated series, I now understand why they're wearing suits and fedoras and why, when they're in cars, they're all like these really, really old, like stylized cars, but they have like computers and stuff and it is like playing on my eyes back to the early, um, like the first time Batman was on the silver screen.
in the 43 serial. And like, I kind of see that a little bit in that, the way they've stylized, like a lot of the cars or a lot of the buildings or whatever is like a time that's past, like eighties would be 40 years ago, but they have this super modern technology, like the, um, the contact lens, it's a camera, you know, and, and stuff like that.
So, so my, I guess, response to my own question of like, when does this take place is kind of like, it, it takes place in a timeline that we don't live on. Like, it's, it's
very much its own universe. So it's both the 1980s and the 2020s, but, but also neither of them, because it's in Gotham,
[02:10:13] Alex: I agree with that observation that like Batman in a way is a man out of time and a character out of time because, he was created in the thirties. Right. And so when you go back and you read the origins, it has all of these trappings of this moment. That is, it's a bygone era. right.
And so he's constantly recontextualized and it is impossible to make it fully modern and not backward-looking in a way.
And so you're right. When, when you are seeing the Burton Batman, it is hearkening back to the thirties and forties, because that is, that is where Batman comes from. Um, and I think this is hearkening back to the seventies and eighties, not just because Matt Reeves is like super into movies from that time, which I think part of it is especially sort of mystery thrillers of, of that era he's into.
but also because I think that is an era that he thinks speaks to the social commentary and speaks to the themes that, that he's trying to show, right? Like, the way we like to think of like a broken New York city that is crime ridden and overrun and needs fixing is that, that is a moment that like has passed, right.
We don't think of New York city that way anymore. and so w when we think about crime and, and cities that are sort of off the rails or, that, that need this sort of like savior figure. It is something that is backward looking. So like yeah, you're right. Like we do have technology. He does have like, they, their cell phones all over the movie.
There's like Batman FaceTimes with, with the Riddler, but like the, the, the movie is a wash and orange, which is like of, of, of high pressure sodium lights, which like street lights don't use anymore. Like they're all LEDs.
[02:11:49] Brian: That's a good point. I hadn't thought about that at all.
[02:11:51] Alex: yeah. Uh, I wish it was some observation that I had that was super clever, but Matt Reeves talks about it in one of the interviews he did.
but yeah, it's, it is out of time and I think, I think that's really cool for sure. one of the things that, that Kevin Smith said on, on Batman on Batman is that like Christopher Nolan, if Christopher Nolan brought, made Batman real and brought Batman into the real world, then, um, what Matt Reeves has done is he's made Gotham real. Right? I think he, he has taken special attention and care and detail to like making the city feel like something that is, could plausibly exist.
Like, I love, I love, love, love, and I think in a lot of ways they're better movies, the Christopher Nolan movies, but it's like Batman's in Chicago, right. it
is not, they don't take care to try to make Gotham something of this real. And in, in like, you know, the Burton verse and th the, the Schumacher verse, like Gotham is very distinctive, but again, it does not feel real.
It feels like, uh, like a
cartoon or a comic in a way. And, and this is, I think the first time we've seen someone say, well, what if a city was broken in this way?
[02:12:51] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. that does raise another question that I have, which is, so you're talking about like, how real it is and stuff. And that's one of the things that I really liked about this movie in general is that like it's high-tech, but lo-fi, um, everything is plausible. and this was the first time we've seen like the sweaty Batman, like, like, cause like, uh, and Christopher Nolan's Batman, like when he takes the mask off, the paint around his eyes are just like suddenly gone.
He and his hairstyles, like usually pretty good. And he he's dry, you know? Whereas like this Batman, like when you, when he takes the mask off, like they, they made it a lot more real where like, when he's, after he's being Batman, he gets on his motorcycle. You can see that like, there's this sweaty, nasty, like black, paint
or makeup around his eyes.
That's like bleeding down on his cheeks. Yeah. Is running. or like, there are a couple of times where like, he's on the motorcycle or he's like going into a building and he's clearly carrying like a rucksack that hat or a backpack or something that has the Batman suit inside of it. Cause he's like, I can't be Batman right now.
And he goes into a building and then changes, you know, and then he becomes Batman. Uh, he did that at, um, when he's going into Falcon, he's at the very end, the iceberg lounge. he goes
in like as a
[02:14:07] Alex: th
yes, there's multiple times where they, they're trying to call out the ridiculousness of what he's doing, where like the, it, it rhymes, right. He shows up at the door and knocks on it as Batman, and they say, who's you, who are you? Right. and then he does it again. He has, the, the lines are identical.
He says the
[02:14:23] Brian: Bruce Wayne, you
[02:14:24] Alex: Right. yeah. And it sort of highlights how stupid, like in no other movie. And in fact, I D I don't like it because I like my Batman to be mysterious, but I, you know, I accept it as, as they're trying to realize it right there in no world. Does Batman show up to the front door of an establishment and knock, right.
Batman like shows up inside and you have no idea how we got there, like, because we don't need to, because he's, you know, a ninja. and there, there is a there is a realism to that that I do appreciate. likewise, like, you know,
he, he does, he, he jumps off the building and we have the hard Mount shot that we both hate.
but like, after that, like he pulls his parachute and like hits a bridge and like gets messed up. and like seriously hurt. And like, that's a moment that like in Spiderman has played for laughs. And like, I did kind of have a nervous laugh, but it's not supposed to be funny. Like this dude gets like, w you know, there's a realism to, like, he doesn't really know what he's doing.
[02:15:17] Brian: Yeah. Your, your three doors thing actually, I think is, is learning. You're we're seeing him learn. He goes up and he knocks his Batman. It doesn't work. He goes in as Bruce Wayne and it like, kind of works, but he was really depressed at the time. And the third time he snuck in and I think that symbol learning that like sneaking in was by far the easiest and from now on, I'm just going to sneak into buildings.
[02:15:40] Alex: Yeah. It's a, it's a cool idea for
[02:15:42] Brian: Yeah. so then it running on this posibility thing, what'd you think of the vehicles he's got, he wrote on a motorcycle most of the time, you kind of stated some of your thoughts about the car in general, but, this is a D like kind of a different context on the question,
[02:15:58] Alex: the book is one of the main characters of the prequel novel. Um, so I have a hard time divorcing myself cause I did read that.
[02:16:03] Brian: the bike,
[02:16:04] Alex: no, the car,
[02:16:04] Brian: oh,
[02:16:05] Alex: the Batmobile.
[02:16:06] Brian: Got it. Sorry. I thought you said the book.
[02:16:08] Alex: in the book.
[02:16:09] Brian: Oh, okay. Sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry. I
[02:16:12] Alex: He builds the Batmobile.
[02:16:14] Brian: Got it. I'm with
[02:16:16] Alex: And so like, despite the fact that I don't like that, it, it blows blue fire flame out it's but like, that's probably the only part I don't really like.
I think it works. I think the idea that's kind of a hot rod. It's not a tank, right. it. is something that a dude built in his garage. right? I like that. I like that he rides a motorcycle. There's nothing special about it. It's just a motorcycle. Yeah.
it, it works for me. I think, um, there is something that's really cool about.
Like I have a bat wing Lego bat wing, hanging up on my wall. I have built Batmobile calls. I think there is something cool about that playing, you know, an important role as a character in the movies. You know, the tumbler is part of, the Batman begins in a way that I don't think the vehicles are really a part of these movies and that's okay.
Um, yeah. What about you?
[02:16:58] Brian: Uh, I really dig it. I think these are, vehicles that make sense at the beginning of like a Batman storyline, is that like, as he becomes more advanced or more developed in his technology will get better and his cars will get better and stuff. I see why they might have felt a little bit cornered on, um, doing the flame thrower thing that the, I guess, jet on the back, because that's like every Batman has had that.
[02:17:27] Alex: Oh yeah, It's just, it's just a little stupid,
[02:17:31] Brian: it it's. Yeah. It's not very realistic. I agree.
[02:17:34] Alex: Yeah, When, when we have it in the Christopher Nolan movies, it is as a jet engine to use, to be used to help it jump over the, like the hanger, they hang a lantern on it. They say this thing is a little stupid, but we're going to give you a reason to
exist. And in this, w we've gone even more, we're trying to make the movie and the setting feel even more realistic and we have this fantastical element and we don't try to explain it. And it just, I trip on it. Right.
[02:17:58] Brian: yeah, exactly. And it's, it's like, how do you. it's, it's one of those things, like as an audience member, you can go, okay, I see why they had to do this. But like, if this was the very first time he'd ever seen Batman, you'd be like, why is there a jet on this car? You know, like, like I see where
they were like,
we have to
have a jet, how do we add a jet and make it look realistic?
[02:18:21] Alex: I hate to change it. Like, I, I feel like you're in the middle of something, but this like, has this, I feel I have the perfect segue, like at the spark, the thing, speaking of things that they felt like they had to have and like don't really fit, Um, the scene with the joker where he goes, you know, Riddler is checked into Arkham and he's having the conversation and there's a person that we don't really see, but he laughs like the joker and they're instant friends and, it doesn't move the plot forward in any way.
It doesn't, it doesn't really it, I guess I'm interested. I shouldn't, I shouldn't jump to a conclusion. I'm interested in your, in your take about like what, what purpose do you feel like that had? Do you feel like you appreciated it?
[02:18:59] Brian: so to me, the, the big argument for this is about, it sets up, um, a SQL, like, I think that's the only reason that as there is to be a cliffhanger for you to come back and say, oh, the Riddler is not done.
The next movie is going to have the Riddler and the joker fighting together. Or maybe the third movie will like they've, they've already said that Robert Pattinson signed for a three movie deal. So it would be,
[02:19:25] Alex: And Matt Reeves has expressed interest in coming back, but he has not said that he's for sure going to do a trilogy.
[02:19:30] Brian: we know he's done sequels before, because he did two of the, planet of the apes. Thank you. The plan of the S movies. So like. It's clearly, he's not opposed to doing sequel movies in general, you know, as a, as like a career move. So, this, this has been successful enough that I think, um, Warner brothers would be just silly to not make another one.
and Robert Pattinson's already signed on for three. so I, I think there has to be another one. And I think the only reason, the literal only reason that they had that scene was to, as, as like a marketing move, the cliffhanger to start now building for the, was it like a 20, 25 SQL?
[02:20:17] Alex: Yeah. I hope you're wrong. I just, just desperately, desperately hope you wrong to me. The two explanations, that would be more satisfying than that, that I have that I have heard, um, you know, thrown around are one is the studio made them do it because it's the joke. I like Batman movies gotta have the joke out.
Like everyone, you know, like cigar chomping, like people don't understand that like the joker is a part of the Batman universe and not the Batman universe. and the other explanation I've heard is that this is Matt Reeves taking him off the table. It's him saying? Okay, look. Yes, of course the joker exists in my universe and um, you're never
[02:20:55] Brian: Oh, but he's
[02:20:56] Alex: Like he, yeah, he he's, he's important right. To the mythos. He's important to my character and I'm not going to do a movie with him. And I, God, I I just hope that the, the, the dark night, okay. Is, is a movie in 2009, right? We are, we are not even, you know, we're barely a decade,
[02:21:19] Brian: Oh, they had the joker movie also
and we've had it.
[02:21:24] Alex: right.
[02:21:25] Brian: Sorry.
[02:21:26] Alex: That's what I'm saying to 2009, right. We're very barely a decade past it. He ledger wins an academy award for best actor for that performance. And we have had to count them two jokers since then. Right? Like we, we had, the, the joker movie and then we also had the joker for the DCU in Batman vs.
Superman and suicide suicide squad. and like, it is just, I'm just joking out, man. Like I
[02:21:48] Brian: oh, and you ain't even talked about Jack
Nicholson. Who's the first one, right?
[02:21:52] Alex: Yes. But at least there's time has passed since then. You know
saying? Like it just, I
[02:21:57] Brian: if you're, yeah. If you're stretching out, like all of the Batman movies and you say, how many of them have a joker in it? It's more than half of
[02:22:05] Alex: yeah. yeah. Oh yeah. It's a lot. It's a lot. And, and I think, there's something that's so refreshing about the Riddler in that, like, he is someone that we haven't seen that much of it's people identify with it. They know it, but like it, it is a new and fresh, exciting take.
And like there are places to go in the Batman universe and I'm interested to hear
what you want from SQL. but, but you know, there are places that we can go like that we never have before in a movie, like we could have a clay face, we could have, you know, a quarter vowels we could have, you know, a mad Hatter. Like there are places to go, you know, as, as, although we did have, as, as in, in, um, the birds of prey, that was pretty, pretty great.
you know, there are villains that we haven't had before. and I think, you know, when we talk, when I talk about the, the mood of this movie being so dour, right, and so serious and so dark, and you talk about things like at the end of the movie, you know, the sun comes out and the rain stops and he looks into the sky and we have this hopeful note of like, maybe, Hey, maybe I'm vengeance is like, not the thing we need to go.
I'm hoping that. Um, uh, a shift that things could get more fantastical, that they could get more positive and that we could see an evolution of like, maybe we do see someone who becomes over time, more comfortable being Bruce Wayne, right. Or, you know, and maybe that's not millionaire Playboy, but like, you know, that this character has an evolution and go somewhere and does something different because I don't think I could handle as much as I loved this movie.
you know, I don't think I could handle another, you know, thriller where like they're trying to do tension for the whole thing. And they're trying to, do sort of like these themes of like retribution and like anger and like, you know, I want them.
to go in a different direction. I'm interested to hear what you, what your, what you would hope
[02:23:52] Brian: Yeah. So there's a, there's a lot wrapped up in there is like, I, I think that, so what are the themes that make this movie relevant B because this is the first of a trilogy, so they had to land it. So what were the themes that worked well? So, um, one of the morals of the story is that, is that vengeance doesn't work.
He needs to be justice, not vengeance. Right. And that's something that he learned in this movie. Another thing is they're setting him up as a detective. Um, but he was kind of a crappy detective, like with, like you said, without Catwoman, like kind of making the, connecting the dots for him, he wouldn't have solved this, you know?
And so like there, he's got a lot of room to grow on being a better detective, corruption in the world. Like today is a really big theme. And so justice for corruption that this seems like an obvious theme between like the year 20, 22 and this movie that would like bring people, bring audiences to the theater, the antiestablishment sentiment.
That's also really huge. It's been huge since like the mid 2010s, you know? Um, and then also,
[02:24:54] Alex: Occupy wall street, right.
[02:24:56] Brian: yeah, and so this last one is like touching on joke, but like not joke is that emo is making. Um, like, like I'm not kidding. Like there are, there are big emo bands that are like reuniting and doing reunion tours and stuff.
And like, we've got the big, uh, when we were young to her that's CA or a festival is coming up in October, you know, like emos may come back. So like the, the reset, the youth, the realism, like all these things like stacking, um, the, the angst genus, they all stack up to, like, I see why this movie can happen now and couldn't happen 20 years ago, you know?
so then why would they pick the Riddler? So my, I guess, hypothesis on that is that they had, because it had to be something that people would want to see. Cause they had to pick a villain that they haven't done recently, but everyone knows which means they have done it before. And so it had to be realistic.
So they couldn't do Mr. Freeze because how does Mr. Freeze with his like ice gun exists in this very realistic world is making any sense?
[02:26:10] Alex: I mean, I desperately want him to further record, like I, would, I would love them to try. I want that to
[02:26:17] Brian: I, I think that's possible in sequels when the technology develops, when he becomes a better detective, et cetera, but, but for the first movie, it doesn't land. we don't want to do another joke or, I think that like a poison Ivy could have worked, but the focus really would have been on like pollution and, being green and sustainability and that kind of like global warming angle.
So I don't see that landing quite as well. And so like, I think the realer with like the anti-corruption and stuff, like it makes sense of the very small deck that they were able to choose from. Now they've established, they've landed. This is a good movie. And with a sequel, they can do anything. They can, they can do what you're describing and pick characters or villains that, we've never seen on, on, in the movies before from the comic books, they could create villains that have never existed before at all.
[02:27:15] Alex: they're
[02:27:17] Brian: to
face could be a thing,
[02:27:19] Alex: care so much about, sorry. I was just going to say, I think they care so much about the source material. It's so clear in this movie that
[02:27:25] Brian: That's the smart move in my
[02:27:26] Alex: um, Yeah. Sorry
[02:27:28] Brian: Yeah. And, and like, to face could happen. That makes sense. But it has to be set up. So to face might be the third movie, the second movie, possibly it might be the creation of two face in the second movie, but I feel like if you were going to do two face, you'd want that to be the F the final villain.
and, but I think that you could have as, as, or a mad Hatter, or I feel doubtful for clay face. Cause that would be like pretty
[02:27:54] Alex: it'd be so good. He's one of my favorite characters. I get it. Yeah. It's it's the, the Mr. Freezes and
the clay faces probably aren't going to happen despite the fact that I think they have some of the coolest ideas and it's because it's not, well-rooted like I don't have an affection for killer croc the way I do for those characters.
But again, it's like, that's, that's feels out of place with this universe. I think.
[02:28:17] Brian: Right. Um, and so like with this universe, like, I, I think that the future is bright on what the sequels are going to be like, as long as they can like follow it up B, because like that that's one of the discussions we've had with like star wars for example, is like the original trilogy was so good. It's like, how do you follow it up without disappointing people?
You know? And like, I've made the bold claim that this is the best Batman movie of all time and what do they have to do to beat that, you know? And they've just set the bar extremely high. what do they
[02:28:48] Alex: they have, and I think, you know, so much of SQL's for me are how, how they continue the phrase, right? Like how do? they play, You know?
sequels that are okay, but aren't super successful are ones that just do the same thing again. So like Ghostbusters too, like was a fun movie, but it's just the same thing again.
Right. likewise I think so much of the SQL trilogy, and I know we disagree on the SQL trilogy deeply in some ways, but so much of what didn't work was that they did not try to work together. Like those individual movies all have strengths and none of them have anything to do with each other and that's a problem. right. and, and so I hope that for sure, and I hope that they're able to make changes and grow and do something different while still feeling like a continuation. Because I will say for as all of the problems I have, right. That takes us away from being an, a plus plus plus movie and make it like probably an, a minus for me of like a very good movie that has problems.
Like for all of that, if they have a SQL that knocks it out of the park, it will, it will elevate this film. Like Batman begins is as a movie is like probably a C on its own. Let's be real. But like the, the strength of the SQLs that come after it make that trilogy work. Like it is everything to me that, it is of a piece, uh, with something that is better and it is better for its sequels.
And I hope that happens with this. Like, I hope my, my love deepens right. And, and grows over time. Um, but It's they've got to bring the heat. Right. And I think. at risk of like at, at the three and a half hour, mark, like opening up another can of worms. I want to see him be a detective. Like he wasn't this movie, but I want to see a mystery.
And like this movie has, you know, things that we're trying to figure out. But to me is not a mystery, like in that, we actually see the Riddler do his crime. So like we know it's a dude in a green
suit. Right. And like, yeah.
we don't know his identity, but we don't even know any suspects at a time. So it's not, it's not like, you know, um, death and denial or murder on the orient express where like there are people and we're trying to figure out which person it is.
Right. It is just like, we're on this, it's a thriller we're on this journey with them while they're trying to figure out the reason that this is happening. And that's interesting to me, because we get to see him do D do detective work, but it's not a mystery. Right? Like, um, I'd love to see that. And it's, it's not to say it needs to be this totally different thing.
I want it to be an evolution. I want to see the themes continue and change and, and evolve and get more brighter and get more fantastical. And, you know, I want to see them go
[02:31:19] Brian: Yeah. I definitely agree with that a hundred percent. Yeah. on the star wars note, when you edit this out all you want, but like, do I like each movie? Yes, I do. Do I have problems with each movie? Yes, I do. Do I like the trilogy? Not particularly.
[02:31:39] Alex: They don't work well
together. It's a
problem. I'm glad we can come together on that.
[02:31:45] Brian: no.
[02:31:46] Alex: I think we probably agree. a lot more on those movies than we do
[02:31:50] Brian: Yeah, I think so.
[02:31:51] Alex: Any other closing thoughts before we, before we go?
[02:31:53] Brian: just sometime when we're together, I think it'd be interesting to talk about what they did to Thomas Wayne's character and what you think about that, but it doesn't need to
[02:32:03] Alex: For sure. Yeah. Let's, here's the thing in six months or four months or whatever, in a while let's, let's schedule a time for you to. We'll get together. We'll watch this again on HBO max and we'll record right after live in-person. Cause I think we ha we ha we have another four hours in us on this and I I'm interested to see if my thoughts evolve with time and if you're as evolved with time and we'll do this again.
[02:32:28] Brian: Yeah. Yeah.
[02:32:30] Alex: All right. That about wraps it up then. If you'd like to show, you can leave us a five star review on apple podcasts, recommend us and overcast. Tell your friends about the show And help us find an audience so we can keep putting out episodes. You can find all of our episodes and show email@example.com.
You can send us comments, questions, or corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can tweet at us at bat lessons until next time. I'm Alex Cash.
[02:32:56] Brian: And I'm Brian Anders
[02:32:56] Alex: thanks for listening.