The Batman – The Trailer

The Batman – The Trailer

Here it is.

Look at it.





People whose opinions I normally respect are wetting themselves over this thing.  

I’m clearly not seeing what they are seeing or else I’m seeing through what they’re seeing. 

I admit I’m a little jaundiced about this movie because I know just how sleazy the backstory of how it came into being actually is.  You may remember that Ben Affleck was supposed to have a Batman project of his own, however, there was a mass execution of Warner Brothers executives after Batman Vs Superman underperformed.  The new crowd went light years out of their way to sabotage the Snyderverse.  They were stuck with Wonder Woman and Aquaman, those were in mid-production, but they were determined to get rid of Henry Cavil and Batfleck.  

Cavil appears to be gone for good, now.  His last hope of being Superman again was Black Adam.  It’s now official that Black Adam’s enemy is going to be Hawkman.  Henry Cavil has given up on Kal-El and moved on with his life. I wish him luck.

However, Ben Affleck had an ironclad development contract, so the Warner executives opted to make his life hell with a constant barrage of production notes, rewrites, (literally) random firings, and budget cuts.  They already had a script based on Batman Year 2 that they wanted to produce.  When Affleck threw up his hands and walked, they put their plan into motion.

Then there was another round of executions after Justice League bombed, and that crowd went to the wall. Walter Hamada was made the head of the DC films division, and for Batman, he hired Matt Reeves who was hot off the Andy Serkis Planet of the Apes movies.

Those movies are the reason people seem to think he’s an exceptional director.

I am willing to say he’s as good a director as JJ Abrams. Because JJ learned how to be a director from Matt Reeves.  Reeves is the guy who taught Abrams how to use cinematography tricks to create the illusion of good direction.  Take a good look at Planet of the Apes and compare it to any JJ Abrams film, it’s obvious they are using the same cookie cutter.

Anyway, Reeves wanted Ed Skrein (Deadpool, Alita) for his Dark Knight but Walter Hamada wanted to bring in a younger audience, and for a change, he didn’t go super-woke to do that.  His plan was almost worse.  

Hamada: Forget Skrein. The kids are all into Twilight, right?

Reeves: Those movies from ten years ago?

Hamada: Yeah, the kids are super into those.  I’m hiring the Vampire and his girlfriend.

Reeves hated the idea, but Hamada wasn’t budging.  I suppose he should count himself lucky that Kristen Stewart gave it a hard pass when she found out who was playing Batman.

A director that doesn’t want you for a certain part is a terrible position for an actor to be in. None of your takes will be “any good,” what few notes you get are along the lines of “take acting lessons,” and you will be shot in the least flattering ways possible. It doesn’t take a lot to make a good actor look bad.  Consequently, if you are an actor in that situation, you work your ass off for that director in the hope of winning him over.

Pattinson famously had a more relaxed approach to his situation.

“Honestly, Michael Keaton is probably in better physical condition than Robert Pattinson.  Sparkly Batman had nothing to do during the Lockdown but get himself in shape for a movie that requires him to look like he can convincingly beat up stuntmen the size of linebackers.  Pattinson appears to have spent all those months sitting on the floor eating spaghetti and ice cream.  He showed up both skinny and potbellied. Good trick! His excuse was that an over-rated ham from the 1950s never got in shape for any o[ his parts either.”

Reeves was furious and wasn’t quiet about it.  Then Pattinson came down with Covid which shut down the production again.  

Although, somebody seems to have finally gotten through to Sparkly Batman that this is his last chance to get away from Twilight and if The Batman bombs everyone is going to be blaming him. He is now exercising and being very public about how hard his workout routine is.

As for the trailer itself, the first shot is an homage to the famous diner painting, Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.  Because homages to famous images are part and parcel of the Bad Robot school of filmmaking.  It makes your work good by association, you see how that works?

The cops show up and haul away a guy who surrenders without a fight.  The camera slowly pans over the latte and to the surprise of no one it has a question mark in it.  Since the Riddler wasn’t the barista (and it was a diner, not a coffee house) how the hell did it get there?  Don’t know! Doesn’t matter either because non-sensical imagery that looks cool is also a Bad Robot hallmark.

The Riddler is the enemy this time and in keeping with Abrams’ unoriginality, Reeves based his Riddler on the villain from Seven. Again, an homage to something better makes your movie better.  Admittedly, it has to be better than Jim Carrey’s version. Regardless, I predict with complete confidence that Riddler will provide a fountain of mystery boxes, that will never be explained.

Batsignal is shown with some voice-over to establish some rising tension. We see our first image of Batman’s suit.  

Well, at least it’s better than Keaton’s Batsuit. The head can move, which is a plus.  But Reeves has gone with a heavily armored, mass-monster Batman, who can walk into a bullet storm. This means he was determined to pursue his vision despite the reality of the situation imposed by the physical limitations of the actor he was assigned.  It was more Bad Robot, flashy over common sense cinematography, masquerading as direction.

If you are stuck with an actor who is going to look like he is 90 pounds soaking wet no matter what, then you go with a ninja-style Batman parkouring his way over the roofs of Gotham. Not a tank.  But Reeves had his heart set on a flashy bullet storm.

In the few clear shots we get of Pattinson, Bruce Wayne looks like a strung-out heroin addict.  Well, that is new I guess.

Zoe Kravitz is playing diverse Catwoman, if you are going to go that route then your Catwoman better be in Eartha Kitt’s league because she set the bar and Kravitz just doesn’t meet it.  But she is better than Anne Hathaway, I’ll give her that.  She is apparently, Bruce Wayne’s emotional support villain. 

“We’re like two sides of the same person.”   

Yeah, they are going that route again.  It’s not like you are going to get something original from the Bad Robot school of filmmaking.

Then we see Andy Serkis as Alfred… and NOT the Riddler? Are you shitting me?  This casting goof is the biggest indication I have that Matt Reeves is a drastically overrated filmmaker. 

The Batmobile just looks like a muscle car and you know what? I’m totally okay with that.  Dull design, to be sure but it’s long past time to tune the Batmobile’s appearance down.  Each new variation has been more ridiculous than the last as it tries to top the previous incarnation. This is a vehicle that is only meant to be on city streets and transport Batman from one place to another. I admit it, Reeves got that one right.

Everybody is also going on and on over how Colin Farrell in his Penguin makeup doesn’t look anything like Colin Farrell.  Which is true but he doesn’t look like a human being either.

Lots of people are excited by this trailer so it did its job.  I’m sure it’s going to make money since it doesn’t need to be good to do that. It just needs to look like the result of competence.  It will likely succeed in that illusion but I for one, remain unconvinced.

Okay, I’m done here.

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