And Catwoman Is His Mom

I don’t know what’s going on, maybe because I have absolutely nothing else interesting happening in my life, but as I get closer and closer to finally watching this stupid Batman movie, I’m having trouble containing my excitement.

I figured I was just completely over “comic book movies” as a whole encompassing genre. Despite it being an overall pretty solid movie, I felt nothing after watching The Amazing Spider-Man. Maybe it was because I was sitting through the fourth Spider-Man movie in ten years, but it could also have been because I kept expecting the Lizard to shout “I am not going back to the Caribbean Night at AEPi!” while they were fighting, and then being disappointed that he didn’t (oops, spoiler). I wasn’t even all that hyped up about The Avengers…which as a concept, blew my mind when they announced it like four years ago. I don’t know what it was, maybe it was all this social pressure to adopt the nerd stereotype and obligatorily wet my pants at any movie that had a Marvel or DC stamp on it…but a lot of these movies are just not that great. And the novelty of being previously familiar with the source material in a different medium wears off after a couple dozen times. I remember being as excited about Sin City as much as I have ever been excited about anything, and then somehow actually being very disappointed after watching a movie that was pretty much literally a visual shot-for-shot recreation of the comics. Comic books being made into movies is just not an interesting thing by itself anymore, it’s got to stand up on its own as a movie.

Maybe that’s why I’m still so excited about The Dark Knight Rises (I wonder if Nolan ever kicks himself for not naming the first one “The Dark Knight Begins”). How excited? When I saw some cartoon network had enlisted the original voice cast of the classic animated series for a professionally (like it was done for money, by actual people who were paid to do it) recut version of the trailer, I straight creamed my pants. I mean it’s one thing for random fans to do it, but if you can get Kevin “I Am Batman” Conroy to lead his distinguished vocal chords to the effort? I mean that’s something else. I was even afraid to read articles about the Denver shooting because I’m just paranoid that article comments will contain spoilers (because if nothing else, crazy gunmen should reinforce your belief in the criminal capacity for evil) or worse, if spoilers were in the actual article itself. What if it was something like…

And just as Bane removed his mask to reveal himself as Thomas Wayne onscreen, so did the gunman reveal himself to the crowd in a rain of bullets in a tragic twist of Wayne’s own ultimate fate.

That would totally be something some dude would write! I mean I’ve never seen someone sensationalize a news article with the words “ultimate fate” in there, but I can’t risk it. Too dangerous. But why do I care so much about this movie, when I barely gave the insanely ambitious Avengers a second thought? What’s different about these Batman movies? Maybe it’s because they seem like good movies that just happen to have like the second most iconic superhero of all time in them. They’re not really conventional comic book movies, which is both good and bad, but mainly just different. You get the sense that middle aged women who don’t know anything about comics are just as likely to watch this movie as hardcore comic book nerds, and get the same thing out of it. It’s pretty easy to argue that a comic book fan got far more out of watching The Avengers team up on screen than a non-comic book fan, despite the fact that it was still a very decent movie. But I don’t know if it goes the same way with the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, and I think that means there’s a element there that stands apart from the comic book association, that there’s some sort of good stuff in there that almost happens despite the fact that the original source material is a comic book. That it’s not just name recognition and novelty, there’s actually maybe some objective quality under there. The appeal of these Batman movies is not restricted to a narrow band of nerd demographics..and that means the underlying comedy there has a wide ranging appeal as well.

But really…it’s the voice. The absolutely ridiculous voice, which still somehow impossibly works within the context of the movies, but when taken out of context and tone…becomes the most hilarious thing ever.

CollegeHumor has an assortment of examples, I suggest maybe starting with this one and working through the rest of them at your leisure.

The whole juxtaposition of the super serious voice with anything outside that super serious context is kind of like instant comedy. Just plug it in and print it out, barely any actual punchlines required. For example, the ultimate juxtaposition of Batman concepts…the addition of 1960’s Burt Ward Robin. I actually think it works out okay. But it’s really that simple, it’s such a volatile, reactive element…just mix it with anything remotely comedic, and it explodes.

And if there’s one thing we can take away from these Batman movies and that Batman voice, it’s that Batman comedy is now absurdly easy to pull off with just a Batman suit. In fact, the only thing that works better than one Batman costume…is of course, two of them.

Saying goodbye to the Batman voice is probably my biggest regret about this whole thing coming to an end. Even if it does free up Nolan to do more stuff like Memento or The Prestige or Inception…none of those have the Batman voice in them. So it is a sad end to an era no matter what will follow after. All the other stuff I couldn’t care less about, especially considering the very likely possibility that Warner Brothers will reboot this franchise in five years anyway. We will be watching Batman and Spider-Man reboots until we’re dead, that’s just how things work now. The trick I guess is to find something new that amuses you each time.

Swear to ME!

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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