And right on cue after yesterday’s observation that everyone is entitled to an opinion, the internet obliges me by providing a highly entertaining round of OMGENRAGED responses to this morning’s revelation that a new Batman has been cast. It’s still early days yet, but poor Mr. Affleck has already been condemned. Given the time difference between the UK and the USA, he’s possibly been horribly condemned before he even wakes up.
Let’s just get one thing out of the way before I go any further. I didn’t think Christian Bale was ‘all that’ as Batman. Sure, he had a couple of decent film scripts to work with, but I never felt comfortable with him in the role. I’m afraid I’m one of these people who would much prefer a comic-book feel to comic-book adaptations instead of layer on layer of ‘real-world’ angst. Yeah, yeah, Batman is about as angsty as they come, but he’s still a comic book character. Let’s have more of the deliciously over-the-top villainy and less of the ‘argh, terrible inner torment’.
Tim Burton’s Batman back in the eighties captured, for me, the look and feel of the whole thing beautifully. It was deliciously gothic and Michael Keaton just carried off the character so well. (We ignore George Clooney and Val Kilmer, OK? They never, ever happened. There was only one Batman film). I enjoyed that film enormously. I also liked the second one – although not as much – and thought that Danny DeVito was an outstanding Penguin. But if I’m brutally honest, I’ve never been much of a Batman fan anyway. I’m entertained at the fallout surrounding the announcement of Ben Affleck filling Christian Bale’s ranty shoes, though.
I used to read lots of comics – now… not so much. I never really got into DC, being more of a Marvel girl (X-Men, mainly, with some Spiderman thrown in for good measure). I found them more… breezy and entertaining. After all:-
I loved the reboot of several Marvel series, with the Ultimate range. Ultimate Avengers was one of the best things I’ve read for a long time in comics, but was totally made for me by the sheer beauty of Bryan Hitch’s artwork. Every frame in that comic was so well drawn, and the gatefold battle scene was just eye-popping. I’m one of those boringly traditional types who prefers detailed artwork in comics to the minimalistic approach that you see every now and then. But – to reiterate yesterday – that’s just my personal opinion. It’s what I like.
In large, the comments I’ve read this morning in reaction to this news have all been of the ‘OMG, it’s doomed’ ilk. Strangely, this was the general reception that the internet gave to the announcement of Heath Ledger’s casting as the Joker. Most people seem happy enough to sing his praises in that role (although I still prefer Nicholson’s take) and it can’t all be down to the fact the poor bastard died, right? Ben Affleck was frankly awesome in Dogma. Yes, he’s been in some pretty dreadful films, but let’s get a bit of perspective in place. The role is that of a fantasy super-hero, not a biopic of some great philanthropist. Superhero movies should be fast, furious, tongue-in-cheek and above all else entertaining. Give the man a decent script and for the love of all that’s good and holy, give him a chance.
But you won’t do that, will you Internet? No. You’ll happily condemn him, arrange his execution and start digging his grave before his alarm clock has gone off and I Got You Babe starts playing. (Film cross-pollenation; see what I did there?)
Give the guy a break. Get over yourselves. Be grateful that they’re still prepared to fund Batman movies at all and enjoy it. Also, have this for good measure.
Meanwhile, the sun is shining, Project: Carpark awaits my loving (snrk) attention and Project: Comeuppance is all but edited. And I have another week off work to look forward to. My husband and son are in the next room, my cats are basking in the sunshine… these. These are the important things in life. (The lamentation of the women is also cool, but… well. Not today).