Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I still have faith in Batman

Yeah, how d'ya like them apples?

Batman is my absolute favorite superhero.  My first exposure was Batman The Animated Series on Fox.  I used to rush home after school so I could catch the full episode.  Since then I've loved everything Batman.  Batman is a total badass regardless of the incarnation, but as a character, an idea, he's had some ups and downs. (Who hasn't?!)

The recent news that has fans and critics foaming at the mouth is that Ben Affleck has been cast to play the Dark Knight in the upcoming Superman/Batman movie.  The popular consensus is that this is a horrible idea and that Mr. Affleck will ruin the whole movie.

Two people taught me valuable lessons that apply to the current Batman/Ben Affleck/Batfleck nerd crises on the intarwebz.

1) Christopher Nolan has taught me not to put so much weight on casting choices.  I questioned Christian Bale and he turned out great.   I questioned Heath Ledger and he turned out amazing.   I questioned Anne Hathaway and she turned out great.   Here's a few other controversial casting choices in just the comic world alone that turned out fine:

Michael Keaton as Batman
Henry Cavil as The Man of Steel
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner
Kelsey Grammer as The Beast

I'm more interested in the director and writer.  Here's the math as I see it:

[Great Acting] + [Terrible Writing/Terrible Direction] = (more often than not) Awful Movie.
[Terrible Acting] + [Great Writing/Great Direction] = (worst case scenario) Tolerable Movie.

You can have the best acting in the world, but if the story is shit and the direction is nonexistent  you'll be watching a hot mess on-screen.  However if the acting is sub-par but the script is gold and the direction is on-point, then at absolute worst-case scenario you'll get an okay movie at the end; Most often it equates to acceptable and somewhat entertaining.  By this math, the acting doesn't have near the weight as writing and directing. 

No one is going to know for sure what this particular movie's formula is until its actually complete and we all either pay for insanely overpriced tickets to see it in the theater or break the law and stream it into our living rooms on our laptops.  And this leads me to the second person & lesson:

2) My mother taught me 'Don't judge a book by its cover.'  That advice can easily be modified to fit many circumstances, like 'Don't judge a makeup product by its price,' 'Don't judge a person by their clothes,' and 'Don't judge a movie by its lead actor(s)/actress(es).'

No one knows how well this thing is going to turn out until its actually turned out.  So STFU internet... and wipe your chin, you still have a little foam there...

It doesn't matter who plays Batman, who writes the story, if the next incarnation is a graphic novel, an animated series, or a live-action, if its a reboot, prequel or sequel, and regardless if it blows my socks off or sucks ass...

I still have faith in Batman.

To those of you who say 'Daredevil,' I say 'Good Will Hunting.' :P

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