Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

I’ve let this concept slide for a while, so it’s time to get back on track.  I’m going to try to shift my focus to include more bloggers, small websites, and positions I disagree with from now on.

“Batman and the Problem of Constituent Power” – David Graeber (guest post at De Dicto 10/28/2012)

I’m a fan of David Graeber as a critic of capitalism; as a critic of film and pop culture, however, I’m much more ambivalent.  This is his take on The Dark Knight Rises (and superheroes in general) vis-a-vis the Occupy movement.  The main problem with the essay is that it starts out with cliched and at times incorrect or overstated claims about the superhero genre. To put it bluntly, Graeber comes across as someone who is not well-read enough in the existing criticism of superheroes to be writing about them.  Because of this, I’m guessing this essay will lose (or enrage) most comic fans and critics early on as he seems to be appropriating something without studying it thoroughly, and doing so in order to make a point about one specific film that he could have made without such overgeneralizations.  That said, the concluding arguments about how The Dark Knight Rises ends are worth pushing through to the end and considering.

“The Myth of Meritocracy” – Christopher Powell (The Practical Theorist 11/14/2012)

Powell is one of those relatively rare, practicing academics whose public writing is written clearly, with a minimum of jargon, and without arrogance.  He often deals with difficult theory but doesn’t try to make concepts harder than they need to be.  I’m a big fan of that.  In this essay he lays out the structural inequalities that affect student academic success.  Upon reading it, the points he makes seem so obvious that you tend to just nod your head like you knew this all along, which you probably did even if you never articulated it clearly.

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The Future of Batman Films

Posted: September 27, 2012 in Comics, Film
Tags: , ,

The always engaging blogger known as trashfilmguru has spent way too much a lot of time thinking about what would make for a great post-Christopher Nolan incarnation of Batman on film.  These musings are, at the moment, 10 posts long.  I have no idea where he(?) finds the time.

While I haven’t finished the entire series, and I suspect there will be some points where I’ll disagree, I highly recommend any Batman fans out there check these posts out.  They’re smart and the author is well-read on the world’s greatest detective.

You can find the first post here: “Which Way Forward for the Batman Movie Franchise? Take One.”

Each of the subsequent posts can be found by viewing the author archive (unfortunately in order of newest first, so scroll to the bottom) HERE.

batsblackmirror

My review  of The Dark Knight Rises (minor to moderate spoilers therein) is up over at Modern Primate.  Chris rightly held off on publishing it due to what happened in Aurora, but I did write it immediately after seeing the film on Friday and still feeling the initial shock of the whole situation.  I posted some thoughts on that and the inevitable, irresponsible media coverage in my last entry here.

So, I’m still thinking about those who died, were wounded, or lost loved ones, and I’m very unhappy with the way the media is turning the shooter into a role model for future spree murderers and seeking to profit off tragedy.  Despite all this, I do still want to discuss specifics about the film itself, as separate as possible from the killings.

Spoilers abound below the cut

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I had an awesome streak of reading excellent books and seeing pretty good films for a couple months.  Which is, in part, why the last few weeks have been pretty disappointing in these same departments.  Each of the following are things I had high hopes for but didn’t end up feeling very satisfied with, written up pretty briefly and without major plot spoilers.

Among Others – Jo Walton

This book has won or been nominated for a ton of major fantasy and science fiction awards, and I’ve seen a lot of glowing reviews online.  I went in pretty much blind, assuming by the hype that it would be, at least, something I’d feel I should have read.  After finishing it, however, I have to say I’m pretty unimpressed and found it mostly forgettable and mediocre.

Among Others is told from the first-person, diary-style point-of-view of Morwenna (Mor), a Welsh teenager who sees fairies and is convinced in the reality of magic.   Mor also happens to be disabled, which seems to be a thing in YA lit recently (I don’t have anything insightful to add on this, but I’m sure it is  worth thinking about).  The novel uses the frame of the boarding house story and focuses on typical teenage themes, albeit in the framework of a world with hidden magic going on (from the protagonist’s p.o.v. anyway).

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The imperatives of blockbuster action films and the composition of The Avengers’ team make for odd bedfellows

Hawkeye wouldn’t stand a chance if Hulk smash

Almost a month after everyone else, I finally got around to seeing Joss Whedon’s The Avengers this past weekend.  I was impressed.  Though I’m certainly not an Avengers super-fan and have only read a few Avengers team comics, I felt Whedon does a great job doing justice to what I know of the source material and character continuity while still creating a compelling action film.  I initially worried a bit about Loki as the villain falling flat, but Tom Hiddleston’s acting and Whedon’s writing/direction pulled it off much better than I expected.  One thing that stuck out as a weakness, however, was the make up of the team that Whedon has to work with: the pairing of superhuman heroes with exceptional humans who happen to be at the top of the mere-mortal scale of physical ability. This comes through most clearly in the final, climactic battle scenes, which are mostly thrilling but had me feeling I was actually consciously suspending my disbelief.

[spoilers follow]

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