Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm Not Feeling It.

Some people get uptight when a book is adapted for the big screen and moments they feel are important are eliminated in the translation.

Some people will argue that records "sound better" than a CD.

Me? I get in a twist when a comic book, or Graphic Novel as the real uptight fanboy might insist, is adapted for film and the filmmakers alter important elements of characters.



In both of these pics from the new Batman film it appears as if the Joker is wearing make-up to create the white skin and green hair. I might be wrong, but...

Why?

Do they not understand that the Joker is insane largely because of the permanent change in his appearance? The Joker isn't an alter ego he has created. It isn't his Mr. Hyde. It isn't the Hulk to his Bruce Banner, but a part of him that was always there and that he gladly embraces. The disfigurement is a physical manifestation of who he truly is. Uncureable and unrepentant, he is totally changed. There is no prince hidden beneath the clown, he is wholly the Beast. Chaos. Batmans opposite.

I'm already skeptical.

Thanks to Tankboy for these images.

14 comments:

Doc said...

Amen. let them screw around with Superman. Let them make Aquaman gay. Let them create Wonderwoman as some man-hating bitch, but please, oh please, don't screw with the Batman legend. It is like trying to rewrite the bible with aliens, and pigs who can talk and they explain how they want to be eaten, by the Jews don't buy it.

Criminal. Just criminal.

Doc

Flannery Alden said...

Hey, wait a minute...no one messes with Wonderwoman!

Geo said...

Wow. I am so feeling it. Got a script overview a year or so ago and think it'll rock. And I don't believe that The Joker's wearing makeup if I remember correctly.

I mean, Heath Ledger is clearly wearing makeup to look like The Joker, but I don't think there are scenes where The Joker applies pancake makeup and all that.

Pacifist Viking said...

Has anybody read Andy Medhurst's "Batman, Deviance, and Camp"? It gives the impression that they already drastically altered the Batman mythology by turning him into the solitary "dark knight." Eh, they can do what they want, I'll watch.

Dave said...

I still think the Batman and Joker should be C.G. characters. Kinda like the Spiderman movies. C.G. would help Joker achieve a certain "lurky-ness" that his character deserves.
I wonder what kind of research H.L. did on The Joker?

I wonder if this movie will try to generate some lame Joker origin.

Joker with make-up??? I don't know. It seems that filmmakers try to put a "Well, in the real world..." grime on comic book characters that is successful in many hero cases (Spidey, Batman, Superman, F4) and with the villans like Dr. Doom, Doc Oc, but The Joker is different. He's not so much a villan as he is a monster. He has a more common world view with Carnage and Godzilla and Jason Vorhees than he has with Lex Luthor.

Dave said...

p.s. Phil- AMEN! Testify!

Phil said...

Doc - Yeah. Batman holds a special place for me to.

Flan- Word. She is an Amazon Queen.

Geo - I don't know, sure looks like make-up to me.

PV - Hey, welcome! I haven't read any Medhurst, but I'll check it out. What I could find about the essay through Google indicates that Medhurst's focus is 60's Batman/gay angle. Which is fine. My research on early Batman points to a lone crusader. Eventually that Batman gave way to the Batman of the 60's which Medhurst seems to focus on. So I'd dispute that Batman wasn't originally a 'Dark Knight.' But this speaks to how we all discover a legendary character at a specific time and that becomes the image we cling to. Our standard for what all images of this character should be. My bias is for the Batman I found in the mid-eighties. Alan Moore and Frank Miller's Batman. But I admit it isn't the only one.

I will also go see this on opening weekend, so, whatever...

Dave - For my money, the best movie version of Batman is Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. I'm not sure if Live-Action Batman film will ever be a great Batman film because of it's limits.

Regarding the Joker, I always liked the doctors description in Grant Morrison's, 'Arkham Asylum.'

" The Joker's a special case. He may be beyond treatment. In fact, we're not even sure if he can be properly defined as insane... It's quite possible we may be looking at some kind of super-sanity here. A brilliant new modification of human perception... He can only cope with the chaotic barrage of input by going with the flow. That's why some days he's a mischievous clown, others a psychopathic killer. He has no real personality. He creates himself everyday. He sees himself as the Lord of Misrule and the world as a Theatre of the Absurd."

Tankboy said...

Well, I do know from close-ups that the Joker's mouth is scarred. Make-up or no make-up I'm pleased he looks more like the comic-book psycho and less like the TV/big-screen clown.

Also, after the last movie, I totally trust Batman in Nolan's hands.

Tankboy said...

Oh, and Dave, H.L. has said the Arkham Asylum has a huge influence in his read of the Joker.

-D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-eDGass said...

Yep, not feeling it. Maybe I need to "dumb it down" a bit.

Michael said...

The realism of a psychotic person putting on clown make-up makes the Joker scarier and creepier than the comic book-ish "Clown Prince of Crime". In today's world, we want Hannibal Lecter out of criminals....real, but raging psychos under that human exterior. I'm excited to the "new" take on the Joker....and to see Harvey Dent get half of his face burned off.

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