The Batman – The Trailer

The Batman – The Trailer

Here it is.

Look at it.

LOOK AT IT!!!

That.

Was.

Awful.

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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Comments (15)

  • Mike Reply

    Yeah, I made a comment on Twitter that I thought it was “meh”. I think 18 months in solitary confinement masked up has weaned me off super hero movies.

    October 22, 2021 at 12:40 pm
  • douglas Whiddon Reply

    To me, it looks okay. By witch, I also mean “meh”. Nothing special. A factory-made popcorn film with no real redeeming qualities. I’ll probably go see it. But, I won’t care much.

    October 22, 2021 at 2:29 pm
  • Wazdaka Reply

    Mediocre at best. You’re taste has not been dulled by the last 18 months of dross

    October 22, 2021 at 2:30 pm
  • Bibliotheca Servare Reply

    I watched Drinker’s review of the trailer, and it got me a little more interested in it…not enough to go see it, but maybe enough to do my Jack Sparrow in cyberspace impression after it’s been out a while. We’ll see.

    October 22, 2021 at 5:17 pm
  • Robert W Reply

    Christopher Nolan did this right in the Batman series:

    No riddler
    No penguin
    No Poisen Ivy

    Something he failed with:
    Catwoman

    Batman has a tremendous rogues gallery. Not all them were meant for film. The above 4 certainly are not, although Gotham season 1 gave them great credibility by dialing the world back to a small scale.

    October 22, 2021 at 5:32 pm
  • Linguavert Reply

    After listening to Professor Geek’s lectures on what Batman originally was and ought to represent, I’m less than wowed. A belated thank you, DH, for recommending his channel!

    October 22, 2021 at 6:42 pm
  • Malcolm Vu Reply

    Pattinson was stiff as a board as a Bruce Wayne type in Cosmopolis. Although he looked the part more in that film.
    I like the car. One of these days, I’d like to see them just go really crazy-practical and use a Chevy Blazer for a Batmobile.
    I’ve never seen Zoe Kravitz look attractive in any picture.
    This movie looks cheaply made. Everything in small dark locations.

    October 22, 2021 at 8:41 pm
  • Eidolon Reply

    So I’m not crazy. I thought it looked terrible. I thought it was hilarious when sad little Batman ineffectually punches the glass.

    He seems like such a wuss, but at the same time we’re going with Armored Tank Batman, which takes a lot of the stakes away from the character (assuming as always that no one is able to aim at the face).

    Dark Edgy Riddler is a not a good idea. If you want that just do The Long Halloween. It’s just not a character that works well in that style. Jim Carrey’s character is at least lively and not dour and boring.

    We’re going with a detective story here, but what fun is a detective story if the detective can’t be shot? What does he have to lose? You’re going to make gangsters the bad guys but he’s immune to bullets? What kind of opposition would he even have?

    October 22, 2021 at 9:02 pm
  • Talos Valcoran Reply

    The only way this movie will be interesting at all if heroin-addicted Bruce Wayne goes murder-hobo!Bat.

    October 22, 2021 at 9:03 pm
  • jorgen Reply

    People seem to be impressed that Batman’s suit is a very black shade of black and the scenes take place at night and its dark. That’s all it takes apparently.

    October 23, 2021 at 3:00 am
  • Christopher Lopes Reply

    Let’s face it, Nolan’s Batman is a very hard act to follow. Affleck, as much as I was skeptical of his choice, might have been able to compete on that level, but not Sparkles. He’s an emo Tiger Beat type that just doesn’t work as the terror of criminals everywhere.

    October 23, 2021 at 7:41 am
  • furor kek tonicus Reply

    the “good” about the trailer:
    – they’ve got that bass vibrato thing down
    .
    the Bad about the trailer:
    – Sparklepants Batman looks like he should be a heroin junkie villain of the movie when he’s in his tuxedo.
    – why is tuxedo Wayne pouting and standing by himself in the middle of the crowd? tuxedo Wayne IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE MODERN DAY ZORRO, in public a bejewelled and bedecked fop who is a popular party boy because he’s paying for the party.
    .
    the Stupid about the trailer:
    – bulletproof Batman? what, he’s kryptonian now? it was excusable in DKR because the armor was supported by a powered exoskeleton.
    – punching reinforced glass, NOT SCRATCHING THE GLASS and also not breaking his hand. HOW WOULD THIS BE INTIMIDATING? why is his hand not broken? i mean, i guess if he’s going to carry that much armor that he can glissade through a bullet storm, another couple of pounds in his gloves wouldn’t make much difference … let’s hope nobody decides to fill his lower jaw up with bullets.

    October 23, 2021 at 6:25 pm
  • furor kek tonicus Reply

    question:
    is the upside down, walking towards the car shot at the end stolen from Mad Max?

    October 23, 2021 at 6:33 pm
  • Neurotoxin Reply

    “is the upside down, walking towards the car shot at the end stolen from Mad Max?”

    No, Captain America: Winter Soldier.

    October 23, 2021 at 10:23 pm
  • Codex Reply

    Hammer of Freedom has obviated any of the Hellmouth’s attempts at dark and edgy superheros.

    October 24, 2021 at 1:30 am

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