Thursday, July 26, 2012

20 best and 20 most embarassing moments in Nolan's Batman movies so far.

By Sati. Thursday, July 26, 2012 , , , , ,
As much as I think both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are fine films, the amount of things that are great in them are equal to the amount of times I either rolled my eyes or thought "oh, balls!". Those are films that could have had much better scripts but their execution is fantastic. If there ever were films that truly benefited from watching them on the huge screen - well those are Nolan's Batman movies.

Neither of them holds up too good on rewatch - the novelty and the epic factor works the first time, but then it wears off and you are stuck with moments that either feel out of place or silly. Thankfully, there are two things that will continue making me rewatch these two films - first there is excellent score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard that really adds a lot to the movies. What I love is that the main theme is present throughout both films, yet the soundtracks are very different as the composers used new theme for the Joker. While Danny Elfman's scores for Tim Burton's Batmans are fantastic, Zimmer and Howard really brought their A game here and I think this main theme will ultimately be more memorable than Elfman's one.

Then there is the Joker. As I was rewatching both movies yesterday I couldn't help but think that while Batman Begins is overall a bit better constructed film in the sense that its weakest act is the first one, so it only get better from there and with TDK the longer the film goes, the worse the plot gets., TDK still wins but that is solely Heath Ledger's doing. While I think Hong Kong scenes are a total bore and the sonar, Two Face, bullet and fingertips experiment and ferries are moronic, I still give this movie 9/10 because with all honesty what Ledger created in TDK is legendary. It's probably in my top 5 best performances in the history of cinema.

I was trying not to fill up whole "the best" list with just his scenes and it was tough. Ledger is so good that ironically it weakens the movie - you simply wait for him to appear and when he is not on the screen with his fascinating delivery of lines, charisma and maniacal laughter something is visibly missing.

So here, on the heels of me watching The Dark Knight Rises, are some of the moments from BB and TDK I consider the worst and then some I simply love.

 The most embarassing:

20. Christian Bale's haircut as young Bruce
19. "Mind your surroundings" line being spoken at least 3 times in this movie.
18. Rattle their cages!
17. "Rachel...it's not who I am" aka Bruce making an ass out of himself
16. Droopy dog
15. The editing that comes right after the Joker finishes his story. He has a knife stuck in this dude's mouth then quick cut to other dude being scared and then we see the dude the Joker was threatening collapse. wait, huh? What, did he die in matter of seconds from having a cut in his mouth?
14. Excruciatingly long, boring and pointless Hong Kong sequence.
13. Sometimes Batman just feels out of place. Like in this scene.
12.Harvey Dent being all wounded, hurt and having his face muscles out having the greatest idea in the World - let's start doing shots.
11. No more dead cops!
10. Dent missing half of his face is not only running around - he also becomes invincible as he comes out of this little event with a car below without a scratch. It got to the point I was sure he will rise up in the end after his fall, even if his spine would be sticking out.
9. The whole cliche ridden silly ending scenes that instead of focusing on the greatest villain - The Joker - used Two Face losing his shit in really boring and annoying matter. And we obviously have the standard prop in such scenes - frightened child.
8. Batman's voice in his last conversation with the Joker - it's like he has some sort of mutated version of TB and he is smoking 5 packs a day, while doing shots along with Dent who is missing half of his face. Maybe they are playing a game - Batman wants to sound more ridiculous and Dent wants his wounds to sting more.
7. Batman sure knows how to calm women down. "Stay calm....you were POISONED"
6. Two Face's make up. Apart from few shots of Batman everything in Nolan's movies looks realistic. But this was just stupid. If half of his face burnt I'm pretty sure the eyeball would go too. But since it didn't...Dent would basically need eye drops every 3 seconds.
5. Batman jumps out to save Rachel and leaves The Joker and his psycho sidekicks with entire penthouse filled with innocent people. And it's not like he is in the rush to help them after he saves her. They chat on the roof of the car. After all who the fuck cares about some innocent people. Certainly not Batman and the attorney.
4. Fingerprint-off-bullet nonsense. Even James Bond would do face palm.
3. "I won't kill you...but I don't need to save you". In other words Nolan did sneak in some of Batman's psychological issues here because the whole "I won't kill anyone, hug me Alfred" business is nonsense. When you push someone you kill him. But when you let him fall you kill him too. Batman and his antagonists should differ in their goals - it doesn't matter if he kills. If he killed the Joker so many people would be saved and wouldn't die in vein. But no. Bruce would probably never recovered from trauma no matter how many deep monologues from Alfred he would hear after offing some psycho monster.
2. How did Batman beat the Joker? The sonar! I cannot believe people complain about cloning device in the Prestige but the sonar they have no problem with. Even Morgan fuckin' Freeman had problem with it!
1. And of course the ferry sequence. Two ferries - one has criminals, another has ordinary citizens. Both have bombs on them. People are given detonators and if they blow up another boat the Joker tells them they will survive. In real life those criminals would go sky high. In summer blockbuster happily reformed black dude throws detonator over the window and then he sits down and looks all melancholic and shit.

The best:

20. "It's a black...tank!"
19. Alfred's tears as he is rescuing poisoned Bruce
18.Quick moment when we see the peeler among Joker's knives.
17. The first time we see Joker's face
16. Alfred and Russian ballerinas
 15. Silent moment when the Joker sticks out his head out the window like a dog.
14. Awkward "Hi" and subsequent conversation with Harvey adorned with moment where the Joker cannot remember Rachel's name, though he just killed her.
 13. "Charming!"
12. The montage with the judge's car bomb, commissioner's acid glass and the Joker crashing the party.
11. The video the Joker sends where he is questioning Batman copycat which incidentally features insanely creepy moment when he shouts "LOOK AT ME!"
10. Bruce rising while the swarm of bats is flying around.
 9. The biggest "Nolan has balls!" moment is the way the Joker switched addresses making Batman think he is saving Rachel while in actuality he saved Dent and Rachel was blown sky high. Mid-sentance too.
8. The way camera frantically turns around when the Joker is telling Rachel how he got his scars.
 7. -Name? - Um....Bruce Wayne.
 6. The Joker dealing with mobsters with his quick wit, accurate and sarcastic way of describing the events and the pencil trick.
5. The Joker blowing up the hospital.
4. The Joker being nonchalant as he is locked up with the cop whose friends he killed.
3. "Why so serious?!" story
2. The Joker's sadomasochism clashed with Batman's inability to kill - Hit me, come on, hit me!
 1. The interrogation scene with the Joker describing the world to Batman and then collapsing with laughter as he makes Batman realize that he doesn't care about anything and because of that Batman will never win with him. "You have nothing, nothing to threaten me with. Nothing to do with all your strength"is always the moment when my jaw drops.
To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.

36 comments:

  1. Haha, I loved that the majority of best moments are with the Joker. Because he's fucking awesome! And I rarely use the f-word, so I'm obviously honest.

    However, I loved the half -- if not more -- of embarrasing moments.

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    1. Yeah, he has the best scenes out of those two movies, for sure!

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  2. that's right... both films have some pretty stupid moments. Sometimes I think they're jokes, like Batman's ridiculous voice. But then, even if it's funny, the atmosphere is serious, so I maybe it was just a bad move. But I'm really glad you ended this post with the best moments, because though they have some embarrassing bits, they're still pretty awesome films.

    I'm watching Batman Begins tonight, slowly getting ready for The Dark Knight Rises premiere on Aug 2! Haven't watched it in ages but gosh, I am NOT looking forward to that hair cut.

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    1. Yeah the serious tone really makes those silly moments stand out, what's worse is that Bale's Batman voice sounds progressively worse, it wasn't that bad in the first Batman scenes in BB but TDK...it was hilarious.

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  3. Excellent post! I honestly laughed out loud at "oh, balls". :)

    Worst: "No more dead cops!", the poisoned line, and the sonar sequence for sure.

    Best: Agree on all of them. Though, I'd put Bruce rising with the swarm of bats at #1.

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    1. It's really iconic image isn't it? The poisoned line had me in stitches!

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  4. What?? The scene where Batman escapes from the building in Hong Kong into the plane is cool!!

    But, yeah... The Joker played a large part in The Dark Knight. My number one cinematic character.

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    1. It was cool in the sense of execution but it bored me to tears.

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  5. Joker is still my favorite character of the entire trilogy. The scene of him walking out of the hospital is classic.

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    1. He is definetly the best character, I haven't seen TDKR yet but I'm sure no one can top him.

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  6. Hmmmmm...interesting embarassing choices. I like most of them, apart from Bale's young Wayne haircut. Jeeeeesus, I've never seen anyone with that haircut!

    It would seem you love the Joker, huh? He's what makes The Dark Knight so great. Heath Ledger's performance is in my top 5, as well. I think my favourite moment was the hospital scene - so great.

    One embarassing moment that annoys me to no end is in The Dark Knight when Batman says "I don't need help" and Cillian Murphy says "Not in my diagnosis." Soooooooo horrible! That's pretty much the only thing I don't like about TDK (don't shoot me for saying that).

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    1. Yeah, it's awful isn't it? Especially for such a rich guy to have one.

      I LOVE the Joker, he is the best. Hospital scene was awesome, for him to bring in slapstick to this was brilliant.

      Yep, Murphy wasn't the best in tDK. I found his cameo to be quite useless.

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  7. I love how your best moments list is still mostly Joker, even though you tried not to fill it up with Heath Ledger, haha! They are both awesome lists though - oh my goodness, I always give a little snort when I see 'young' Bruce Wayne's haircut in the courtroom scenes!
    Ohh, MIchael Caine's tears - he was such a good choice for Alfred (in case you can't tell, I love the Batman films!) I actually really like the final Two-Face scene in TDK and the way Harvey Dent sorta lost his mind, though I agree he can't compare to Ledger. And Two-Face always felt a little weak in previous adaptations.

    By the way - have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm6bW4OF0Fw Cracks me up!

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    1. It was just not possible to find something that was better than his scenes :)

      He is fantastic as Alfred, isn't he? Really brings in a lot of charm and depth to the character. I think the idea of Two Face is awesome but it's hard tot translate it to the serious film, that make up was really bad.

      That is hilarious!

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  8. I love how nearly all your best moments circle around the Joker. He really is that brilliant.

    Lol at the sonar thing. I didn't really mind it, and I loved Freeman's character at that point. Also I like the "most embarrassing moment"- I don't know if the criminals would actually go sky high. I liked the humanity shown there. In an another, more "superhero-y" film, the civilians would have probably blown the ship too, for justice and whatnot.

    Batman feeling out of place is hilarious :D

    Great post.

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    1. He really is!

      I think what happened here was actually the big cliche - you know there is an ultimatum, someone dies or someone else dies and then bam! nobody ends up dying because of heroic gesture.

      Thank you!

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  9. The best thing is, it always has to be about The Joker. Heath Ledger did not just portray the character, he became The Joker himself. What a marvelous actor. May he rest in peace.

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    1. That's so true. It's such a big loss, he delivered so many great performance and had he still been around us I'm sure there will be more of them to admire.

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  10. Great post Sati! Nailed the good and the bad elements in both films perfectly. Rest assured there are plenty of face palm moments in the third instalment too!

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    1. Oh my. I'm seeing it tomorrow I hope it won't piss me off as much as ferry sequence did.

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  11. It seems that Joker really won over the trilogy, huh? well, after you watch TDKR you should put Miranda's last scene (won't spoil you or anything). I really dislike it and it made me look Cotillard not as high as usual. Nice post indeed!

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    1. He really did. I did hear it's ridiculous, maybe it will beat "Hands off!" from Prometheus.

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  12. Bruce's "young" hair is pretty ridiculous. That I can agree on! Just who's idea was that?!

    Alfred's tears in his eyes is one of my all time favourite bits in Batman Begins. Just Michael Caine's face and the score music accompanying that scene. Brills.

    A lot of your top moments are Joker moments!

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    1. I really don't know he looks so stupid with that hair!

      He was awesome, Caine is probably oen of the better casting decisions Nolan made.

      Yeah, he is just too awesome!

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  13. Fun read Sati. Freeman had a problem with the sonar nonsense on a moral level -- thinking it was far too intrusive on Gotham City.

    You make some good points -- and yeah, Dent would've need a whole lot of eyedrops. Not to deny your points on Batman's voice. Which all of us know is equally laughable and bad.

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    1. I know but his disgust mirrored mine, as much as our reasons for it differed :)

      I was really relieved during TDKR because he didn't sound as stupid as he usually does.

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  14. I'm glad to see someone else mentioning the silliness of some of the plot points. I liked The Dark Knight, but I was laughing out loud in a couple places and thinking WTF in a couple others. In addition to the ones you mentioned, I'd add:

    1. The best possible person in a city of 12 million people to drive a truck is the Commissioner of Police? And he's so much better than everyone else that the bad guys will know to expect him, so they have to fake his death just so he can drive the truck without the bad guys knowing it's him?

    2. The Joker threatens the safety of the city. The good guys check every single tunnel and bridge thoroughly, but still decide to play it safe and not use them. Instead they use two ferries (for 12 million people?) to evacuate the city. And on one of those are major criminals? And none of the hundreds of people on these ferries ever looks below the deck to check the safety of the ferries? And how did the Joker get all those 55 gallon drums of explosives below the decks of those two ferries over the course of hours with no one seeing him?

    3. The entire city will lose hope if they find out that Harvey Dent was driven insane by his injuries and did bad things? Okay, let's say that's true: why does Batman have to take the blame for his crimes? No one saw who did them (otherwise they would already know it was Dent). Is there anyone else that might be blamed? Maybe some psycho who's been doing other bad stuff around the city? Maybe one who would even be proud to take credit for Dent's crimes? Hmmm. Let me think. (This was my biggest WTF moment.)

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    1. Glad you agree! I mean I'm all for loving movies even if they are not so good but come on let's admit that there are some flaws. eg. I love Prometheus but HANDS UP was just fucking awful.

      1. The thing with fake death was bizarre to say the least. And that hilarious moment when his wife slapped him.
      2. Exactly. And how lucky that one ferry has good people and another only bad :)
      3. I know. This baffled me to. I think batman is a great character, but all this stuff with no killing and that wacko idea about protecting Dent was really weird. I get it they wanted a symbol for Gotham and he was a convieniet one but hey, Batman just stopped Joker they could have go with that and get the respect of people of Gotham and let Dent be remembered for the crap he pulled off.

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  15. Ha..ha.. fun post, Sati. Bale's haircut as young Bruce is kind of Rick Astley-ish, I mean Nolan, that's so 80s man :)

    Agree that the best scenes in TDK consist mostly of The Joker and glad you included that 'awkward Hiii' scene as my hubby and I imitate that a lot, ahah.

    I like Batman Begins despite some of the flaws, but seems like you don't mind Katie Holmes?? I wish they had cast someone else. But yeah, that whole "Rachel...it's not who I am" line is kinda cheesy and the worst part is the way Bale says it in that ridiculous voice, like he's out of breath every two seconds!

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    1. 'Hi' floored me. He was brilliant in that scene. One of the absolute highlights of the movie.

      I think she is weakest in the cast and I don't know why Nolan chose her. But she wasn't too bad and to be honest she was at least pretty while Gyllenhaal wasn't plus she was bland. I know! That whole scene was really weird and Bale's voice is kinda like he is choking on something and then he is relieved he can breathe again.

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  16. Batman Begins definitely has a lot more embarrassing moments than The Dark Knight, that's for sure, but I loved Harvey Dent, and it was a really good rendition of Two Face - including the make-up - but it seems you're not a fan of his character, which is understandable I guess, Two Face is a hit and miss a lot of the time in the comic world, but I think Nolan did an excellent job here.

    You could pretty much add any TDKR scenes in your embarrassing moments list now, if not all of them.

    (And dear god that haircut is not right, not right at all.)

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    1. I think Two Face is great but it's really difficult maybe even impossible to translate that on screen. It was just too much, too fast. For me tDK is definetly more flawed than BB but because of the Joker I liked it more.

      I really liked TDKR apart from the look Bat, Cat and Gordon had during Miranda's final scene. Their opened mouth and them standing still was too funny.

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  17. An amazing compilation of screenshots. Ha Christian Bale's haircut as young Bruce. I think Tom Cruise went to the same barber for a while when he was with Katie ( :

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    1. He probably has some special scientology barber on call :)

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  18. Ahaha this is fantastic! When I was rewatching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight pre-TDKR I missed a lot of these things, but adored most of the same things that you did (mostly the Joker parts, and Alfred being a the ballet dancers' bitch!).

    I love your still of Katie Holmes "You were poisoned" haha!

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    1. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing during that moment when Batman was rescuing Rachel, I mean he was really saying all kinds of wrong things :)

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