Batman at the Movies
A brief history of my history with the Dark Knight.
Batman’s a pretty big deal to me. I learned how to use a VHS player as a small child by watching and rewatching all the Batman movies of the 90’s with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney. My dad and I went to go see The Dark Knight on opening day in 2008. And I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to get tickets to see Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice a few days early in 2016. During my senior year of high school, my two best friends, Dan and Trevor, introduced me to comics, and especially Batman comics with books like Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and Black Mirror. The first Batman single issue I started collecting with was a second print of Batman #21 from 2013. It was the first issue of the Zero Year storyline from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and the reprint sported a red cover that drew me in with a color scheme that made me think of Clooney’s Batman & Robin (for better or worse, but definitely better).
This past weekend my girlfriend and I went to go see the latest Batman movie, simply called The Batman. We were on a weekend getaway with one of her friends and her husband in Niagara Falls. We did plenty of sightseeing, as much as you could on the New York side that is, but there was one extra thing I had to remind her of; it was opening weekend for the new Batman movie and I needed to see it. Last Christmas we watched Batman Returns together, which is both my favorite Christmas movie and also my favorite Batman movie too (not the best, but my favorite). I didn’t realize then that that was her first time seeing a Batman movie, and pretty much her first exposure period to The Caped Crusader. She enjoyed it, but we haven’t gotten around to watching the other Batman movies just yet. We’ve been busy, and we were also watching one of her favorite movie series, the Twilight Saga. Those movies would be my first exposure to Robert Pattinson (I’ve since seen The Lighthouse now too). So for this weekend, it was the ultimate compromise for us; I get to go see Batman, she gets to go see Robert Pattinson. She ended up loving Zoë Kravitz more, but I don’t think anybody would blame her for that.
The Batman is great. I was nervous about a 3 hour Batman movie being too bloated, but it’s an awesome detective noir story that is unlike any other live action Batman movie. It’s dark, grimy, violent, and pretty scary, but it’s definitely Batman. It recaptured in me the feeling of watching those old VHS’s over and over again, what almost feels daily, just in hypnotic wonder of seeing this dude in a Batsuit kick butt. And as a nice bonus, seeing it with Amber was a lot of fun too. She’s new to Gotham, so during the movie she was asking me questions like who Carmine Falcone is, is Gordon the one with the mustache, does Riddler wear a Zodiac mask in the comics too, and if that Penguin guy in this movie is the same as the one eating the raw fish and showing off his French flipper trick in the last one she saw. And how did Bruce Wayne’s parents die again? That last one cracks me up the most because I’ve known about Bruce’s origin story and how Thomas and Martha Wayne die for my entire life. I’m pretty sure I knew coming out of the womb about the Monarch Theater and Crime Alley. The fact she didn’t know until now was a little surprising, but a lot of cute. We’ll get her learnt.
Coming back from Niagara Falls and seeing the new movie had me wanting to do two things when I got home; listen to the awesome new soundtrack again and read another great Riddler story I know of, Batman: Zero Year. There’s a fine art I think to how you set up your reading station when diving into a great trade, and this was mine tonight. The only thing I felt was wrong with my setup here was that I had the wrong tea… it wasn’t Earl Grey.