Ambivalence, Thy Name Is Zimmer: 6/19/2012

So this is…good…news?

Hans Zimmer has officially been chosen to score the new Superman film from Zach Synder. Which is good news because he is a great composer. Remember his iconic score from………you know the one that went like………..um……you know its the one that started out big then when small like……uh………..you know the one that……………well….you remember the horn sound effect off “Inception” right?……..awesome.

This is the sad reality kids. Hans Zimmer has written scores for over a 100 films, almost none of them memorable or noteworthy in any way. Think for a second and see if you can remember any iconic Zimmer themes. Got anything? Well let me help you a bit: “Crimson Tide”, “The Last Samurai”, “Nine Months”, “Gladiator”, “The Dilemma”, “Broken Arrow”, “Shark Tale”, “The Weatherman”, “The Da Vinci Code”, and “The Holiday”. Anything ring a bell? Of course not, because (regardless of the films merits) there is nothing in Zimmer’s work worth remembering. No defining attributes, embellishments, or trademark themes to hang his hat on. In fact the more I read of his “accomplishments” and all the film’s he’s produced soundtracks for, the more it seems he is just a throwaway guy, the guy you bring in not because he does any memorable or outstanding work, but because he is just “good” enough to get by. He’ll make a score that only rises to the level of “serviceable”; not harming the film but not good enough to improve it in the slightest. I don’t see why anyone, irregardless of the films Zimmer has worked on, would want to hire him after hearing that he scored Madagascar 2, not to mention “Spanglish”.

Amazingly enough, the overwhelming mediocrity of Mr. Zimmer’s work seems to have escaped the majority of the film blog-o-sphere’s notice. They are actually…….(sighs)….excited about this news:

http://www.slashfilm.com/hans-zimmer-takes-thankless-task-scoring-zack-snyders-man-steel/

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/hans-zimmer-to-add-some-braaaahm-by-scoring-zack-snyders-man-of-steel-20120618

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/06/19/one-u-turn-later-hans-zimmer-latest-batman-alum-to-join-man-of-steel/

http://www.firstshowing.net/2012/hans-zimmer-will-officially-be-scoring-zack-snyders-man-of-steel/

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Man-Steel-Feature-Music-Hans-Zimmer-31457.html

http://comicbook.com/blog/2012/06/18/man-of-steel-to-be-scored-by-hans-zimmer/

Besides some initial reservations that Zimmer, working under Dark Knight director and Superman producer Christopher “realism” Nolan, will produce a score too dark to fit Superman’s specific timbre, reaction to this news is almost overwhelmingly positive.

Angie Han over at slashfilm.com writes that:

“if anyone stands a chance of measuring up to the bar set by Williams, it’s Zimmer.

Ben Person at firstshowing.net says he is confident Zimmer will:

“produce some amazing work for Man of Steel. Though his success has generated a lot of copycat composers in the past few years, Zimmer is still at the top of his game.”

Are we listening to the same composer? Why are we expecting great things from the guy who just got done scoring “Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows” and “Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted”? Don’t they see he is a hack? Have our expectations really dropped that low?

I’m not saying that a change couldn’t be a good thing. John Williams wrote a score for Superman that is the musical embodiment of everything that character is. As Richard Donner (director of the original Superman) stated “if you listen to the [John Williams’]music, it literally says Superman”. Williams score carries such a weight that it can be almost impossible to craft a film, and create a world for any character (let alone a more modern Superman) to live up to it. I understand that a different director, in different times, can bring a different aesthetic to the material. Synder should at least have the opportunity to craft his own version of Superman from the ground up as it suits his personality and individual spirit. My only complaint is that, in seeking to explore (originally) his specific vision of Superman, he’s hired (meaning Nolan hired for him) one of the most unoriginal composers of the 20th century.

Want to hear a preview of the bland Superman theme we could get from Zimmer. Have a listen to his Dark Knight score.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1B3Mgklfd0

Now of course you automatically think of the film “The Dark Knight” because its most obvious  association(from the description), and a timely point of reference (being as the movie is only 3 years old). However, I can honestly say that if I didn’t already know from description that this was Zimmer’s Batman theme, I would think it sounded only slightly more above average than what you would hear on an episode of “CSI”or “The Closer”.

Now compare that with Elfman’s Theme from Burton’s Batman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9vdzumXOxI part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi-HHuZpzME part 2

As well as Elliot Goldenthal’s re-imagined theme for the Schumacher sequels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pexxk6tMKLQ

Two very distinct, striking, imaginative and haunting scores. Even if I had no knowledge that these two pieces of music had been written for a “Batman” movie and I was just hearing a random score, I would never for one second, confuse the complexity and genius of their work with the mediocre musicianship of Zimmer’s post modern prime-time TV aesthetic. Like Zimmer, you may claim that Goldenthal was a similarly D.O.A composer before he got the Batman gig, but if you were to compare their credits side by side you’ll find that Goldenthal, even in his mediocrity, produced work infinitely more interesting that Zimmer ever did even at the top of his game..

If anything this signals a bad sign for Synder’s Superman. Nolan as producer seems to already have his hooks buried deep in the project, apparently trying to bring it down to the level of unimaginative realism that he brought to his Batman franchise. How else are we to interpret the hiring of average Zimmer with his accompanying flaccid style. If Synder would have stuck with frequent collaborator Tyler Bates maybe we could have got something at the very least more interesting than standard fare. Not that Bates is in anyway a great composer, but his scores for “Dawn of the dead”, “300” and “Sucker Punch” at least show evidence of someone who is refusing to do anything ordinary or run of the mill (even if Bates mostly just remixes pop classics into frenzied rock apocalyptic anthems, as he is known to do, he will at least, if only by association, have a higher degree of imaginative output with his few films, than Zimmer ever did with his hundred). Instead we are stuck with the slightly better than prime-time player Zimmer. Alas, it seems the Dark shroud of Nolan is beginning to cloud all.

P.S.

Betcha a hundred bucks, that even if Zimmer hits it out the park, his Superman score wont even match up to this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZVRm1KcZY

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About celluloidhumanoid

Celluloid Prophet

Posted on June 19, 2012, in Film and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I really don’t want to sound rude, but I absolutely disagree with you in every possible way.

    Zimmer has produced some of the most amazing movie scores I have ever heard. My personal favorites are The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean (the whole series), The Prince of Egypt, Inception, Driving Miss Daisy, The DaVinci Code, and that’s just off the top of my head.

    The way Zimmer scores is not in a way so that you have a cute little tune stuck in your head when you walk out of the theater. He seeks to create emotionally powerful music that blends right in with the themes of the movie, it’s characters, it’s landscapes. And it works really well. Go and listen to Why So Serious and tell me it doesn’t embody the Joker. Watch the third trailer to The Dark Knight Rises and tell me that music wasn’t moving. Rewatch the scene in Inception when Fischer meets with his father and tell me the music doesn’t increase the emotion.

    And you managed to finish off this article with one last nugget of artistic ignorance by calling Nolan’s version of Batman “unimaginative” and essentially implying that they are second-rate movies. Zimmer is one of the greatest composers alive today, and as you can see by those other websites you linked to, almost everyone else but you sees it.

  2. Henry,

    You are not in any way being rude. You are wonderful. You gave me a dignified response without any malice or ill intent. We are just two film lovers sharing our opinions. Thanks you for being you.

    I’ll give you pirates of the caribbean but other than that nothing. When I look at the other film titles you mention, I am immediately able to recall specific moments from each film, powerful moments of cinematic artistry. However I am not able to recall the any of the score for any films you listed. I don’t recall the score for Miss Daisy, Prince of Egypt, or inception. They just don’t seem to stand out to me. Too in the background and too plain for me, sort of how to score thriller for dummies.

    I would also charge you to give credit where credit is due. There is nothing cute about the imperial march, or superman’s theme, indiana jones theme, elfmans batman score, his edward scissorhands suite or his pee wee big adventure score. They are unique, wonderful pieces of music, equal parts stirring and majestic, but not by any means cute. Cute scores are the ones that accompany most romantic comedies. Listen to the score for You’ve Got Mail:

    Now thats cute

    This isn’t:

    and neither is this

    I listened to why so serious…….the first part was interesting but only as a neat little trick. We get it, the joker appears and the violins cresendo. After that its nothing really special. It just sounds like something from an episode of ER. Compare that joker theme with this one

    Think about it. The only unique thing about why so serious is the violins. Well alot of songs have high violins. I don’t consider that a defining factor for a score as much as I do a gimmick. I consider a score to be a complete functioning movement, not just a cool gimmick or two used as garnish on an otherwise bland dish.However the theme from the animated series is the musical embodiment of the character of Joker. The music answers who the joker is and whats he all about. You get the sense of a complete jovial spirit colored with a sense of dread. I believe you’d get a better answer of who the joker is from the animated series (shirley walker) than from the dark knight (zimmer)

    Its the same thing with fisher and his father. The music is interesting for a second as the scene starts, but (except for the horn sounds) the music is pretty much par for the course action/thriller stuff. Nothing iconic. Just ok, but nothing to define a character, nothing worthy of superman.

    Here is another reunion scene with a better soundtrack that will stick with you

    Admit it, that music perfectly captures that scene and leaves a unique stamp. Did you hear the woodwinds. So Beautiful. Haunting.

    The only thing I’ll give Zimmer credit for is his ability to stick around and hover at a grand level of mediocrity. We deserve better. In fact we’ve been given better and the fact that people are actually happy that he will be handling Superman is baffling to me.

  3. I agree with CelluloidHumanoid. But please, keep Nolan out of this. Nolan is a great director, and his “realistic style” is only an art direction, which you can like or dislike – but you cannot dislike his movies. I dare ya. I double dare ya to dislike his movies.

  4. Zimmer didn’t compose the brilliant Pirates of the Caribbean theme, by the way. That was Klaus Badelt.

  5. Thanks for replying Darthnixa

    I would be glad to keep nolan out of that but the fact is, Nolan already beat me to the punch. He leaves himself out of the discussion concerning talented modern directors by the way he approaches his material, with his lame, personality lacking, tv quality direction, fashionably dark and nihilistic, yet depth lacking technique

    Fell free to subscribe to the blog

    • Lol? Should I even comment on this? These criticisms are ridiculous! Most of the criticisms look like they were made up by a 14-year-old. The main criticism is that you need a degree in Law to understand what’s going on (implying you aren’t really cut out for serious movies and should stick with cartoons), that the art-style is too serious (who gives a fuck about the art-style?), and that Bale is a bad actor (which is simply wrong). The Dark Knight is a great movie exactly because it distanced itself from the childish comic book adaptations, and created a serious, more meaningful environment, and more realistic characters who weren’t just 1-dimensional archetypes.
      They only way I can see someone disliking The Dark Knight is: 1. They’re a kid 2. They’re not really into serious movies, prefer action flicks and comedies 3. They were big fans of Burton’s Batman plus one of the above

      You don’t have to reply to this, especially not if you intend to say that this is my opinion or insult me. This is not my opinion, these are facts – a criticism that a movie is too serious is completely ridiculous, not to mention all the rantings about how Joker differs from the comic books. Who gives a fuck? It’s not like I read comics. We’re talking about the movie here, which not only is serious, but tackles interesting topics with ease, including observations on Anarchy, Justice, and Morals in an extra-human perpective, which is similar to some of Nietzsche’s work. If that’s too serious for you – okay. Everyone has his own taste. If Burton’s Batman is your kind of Batman, then by all means, enjoy the hell out of it. Don’t worry about any other films.

      • Darthnixa….

        My brother…or sister.

        We are not here to harsh on one another. Take a Bat Chill Pill. I posted that video cause I found it an amusing way to demonstrate my distaste for the nolan films. Its wasn’t meant to be taken as gospel (although I think the video is astute on alot of things).

        I think that you responded kind of on the offensive. We’re here to listen to one anothers opinions and grow from how we agree or disagree with them. Don’t use your love of the dark knight as a weapon. In fact i would like very much for you to explain some of the things you said.

        1. Why was bale’s performance so great.

        2. What are some of the themes you enjoyed in the film

        Oh yeah by the way. The cartoons are for children thing isn’t really the truth man. Why Dont you do some research on Mel Blanc. You’ll be surprised to learn that he never intended the looney tunes to be for children.

      • I never said Bale’s performance is ‘so great’. It’s a solid performance. Nothing more. Though he as an actor is capable of much more, as he has shown us multiple times (American Psycho, The Fighter, Machinist). Themes I enjoyed? I found it the whole idea of ‘enriching’ a common blockbuster movie with deeper motives and more intriguing plotlines a great one.
        There’s almost no cliche scenes… and there are some that are, on the opposite, quite original – take the scene where Joker has put Dent and that girl in separate places. We know Batman’s gonna go for the girl.. we also think maybe he’ll somehow save them both… but what happens? The Joker has switched the addresses! His girl dies, and Dent becomes irrationally angry at the world and the Batman, which gives him a believable excuse to become one of the franchise’s most iconic villains. As if that wasn’t enough.. he also delivers some cool “boring monologues” (as your video says), about chance, and his thoughts on it. Is chance truly the “only true justice”? This might be true, if we take the human concept of justice out of the equation. The whole thing is very interesting.

        The other motive that drives the movie is of course, rules. Do we need rules? Should we break the rules to do what we think is right? Joker breaks the rules all the time, he believes in chaos… We frown upon his mocking of society, his ‘breaking of rules’. But then we witness the same thing with our hero.. when he is driven by this Joker to break the rules himself, the law even, to catch the him. But we don’t hold Batman to be the villain, right? Why not? He broke the rules to do what he though was right.. just like Joker… Anyway, those were some of the motives that I found interesting.

        I know why you’re angry at this movie. Because not all the people who like it, can explain things I just explained. They read such stuff on review websites and absorb their opinion. Many people are sheep these days. You ask another TDK fan the same questions you asked me, and you’ll probably get a weaker response. It’s like, people feel smart if they say they like the right movies, even though they can’t name the reasons. Not to say all TDK fans are sheep, but there are more than a few. Also, kids. Though, not all kids like TDK because it’s more mature.

        But those are all problems with the people, not the movie. The movie’s great.

        P.S. The score? Well, it was okay. The Burton’s Batman is miles ahead, of course, but then again, it wouldn’t fit right in TDK (maybe you’ll agree). Some scores perfectly fit some movies, even though they aren’t something special by themselves. I agree with your opinions on Zimmer.

  6. Also, what did you think of the score?

  7. LegendInMyMind

    This is truly one of the most idiotic, closed-minded arguments I’ve ever read concerning Hans Zimmer, Chris Nolan, and nearly everything in between. For starters, to link that stupid “The Dark Knight is overrated(overused word, btw)” into your article in any fashion, not to mention the god damn comments section in which you’re defending your “argument”, severely discredits any semblance of objectivity you bring in to it. The guy lost all credibility inside a minute(actually by default because of the retarded robot voice) by saying he actually enjoyed Schumacher’s raping of the character and all those related. I know I’m not necessarily the most objective person, because I love Nolan’s films and Zimmer’s scores on every one of them, but I’m not the one writing an Op-Ed(pretentious as it may be) here, am I?

    To call Nolan’s approach “unimaginative realism” is an oxymoron. The fact that he’s managed to take a superhero and adapt it, faithfully to the characters, in a realistic, visceral, gut-punching way shows all the creativity and imagination in the world. He didn’t shackle the franchise, he freed it. He allowed all the great things about Batman’s character, which Bale performs beautifully I might add, that draw in the (real) fans to hit home with the general audience in a way never before seen.

    And your main argument about Zimmer seems to be that you can’t hum any of his tunes in your head. Nice debate tactic there, pal. I’ll trust the opinion of his peers over yours, thanks. He happens to be an incredibly well respected composer, the best working today, perennial “Oscar Watch”, and just because there may have been better scores and/or composers out there doesn’t mean anything different.

    And fyi, the man is incredibly respectful of John Williams’ original theme. That’s part of the reason that he was so hesitant to take the job in the first place. But it’s not as if they were EVER going to reuse John Williams’ theme, that’s not in the cards. This is a new beginning, one the character is dying for, and with that goes even the things you like straight out the window. It’s the way it has to be. And I’d rather the guy who’s taking over/following that be a guy like Zimmer who’s used to facing unfair criticisms by pretentious jackasses after following fan favorites and, in Danny Elfman’s case, even surpassing them. Yes, I said it, Tim Burton’s Batman was weaker than Nolan’s in every category, ever single one. The only reason I don’t absolutely hate them(well I really, truly dislike Batman Returns and I grew up with it too) is because that frustration is alleviated by the real, definitive series.

    Back on point, Zimmer is THE guy you want for the gig. He can handle pressure, he can deliver beautiful scores, he’s an artist, not a trendsetter. No need in being overly critical because of YOUR inability to hum a damn tune. The Lion King, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, the Last Samurai, Rain Man, all great scores. But yeah, I can’t whistle “Gladiator” so it must suck, right? Your entire article is misconstrued and assumptive. You honestly, HONESTLY think that two professionals like Nolan and Zimmer would just ape the fucking Batman score for Superman? Are you that bleeding dense?

    • Geez, that comment about Nolan was just a small part of an article that really had nothing to do with him. I seem to have offended the Nolan fans even in that small insignificant way. But N=never mind.

      I thought that video about why the dark knight is overrated was a funny thing to share. I wouldn’t ever think to use it as a definitive argument for my stance about Nolan (even if I do think it exposes some of his key flaws). Also lets not discuss credibility and objectivity as we all have our different viewpoints and unique stances on things. We share our thoughts and debate their merits to become more well rounded people, sharpening and shaping ourselves off one another.

      With this in mind, lets go through you post one section at a time, and see if we can’t come to some sort of resolution.

      “To call Nolan’s approach “unimaginative realism” is an oxymoron. The fact that he’s managed to take a superhero and adapt it, faithfully to the characters, in a realistic, visceral, gut-punching way shows all the creativity and imagination in the world. He didn’t shackle the franchise, he freed it. He allowed all the great things about Batman’s character, which Bale performs beautifully I might add, that draw in the (real) fans to hit home with the general audience in a way never before seen.”

      Can I ask you what he freed the franchise from? What do you mean by this?

      Here is a link to a great review by the critic Armond white that explains my views on Nolan and his take on the Batman Franchise in general. I always say if someone says it better than you, just use what they said instead of trying to measure up to it with your own words and failing.

      http://nypress.com/knight-to-remember/
      http://nypress.com/despicable-inception/

      “And your main argument about Zimmer seems to be that you can’t hum any of his tunes in your head. Nice debate tactic there, pal. I’ll trust the opinion of his peers over yours, thanks. He happens to be an incredibly well respected composer, the best working today, perennial “Oscar Watch”, and just because there may have been better scores and/or composers out there doesn’t mean anything different.”

      I never said that the main problem with Zimmer is that you couldn’t hum any of his tunes. I never wrote that. I wrote that “there is nothing in Zimmer’s work worth remembering. No defining attributes, embellishments, or trademark themes to hang his hat on. In fact the more I read of his “accomplishments” and all the film’s he’s produced soundtracks for, the more it seems he is just a throwaway guy, the guy you bring in not because he does any memorable or outstanding work, but because he is just “good” enough to get by. He’ll make a score that only rises to the level of “serviceable”; not harming the film but not good enough to improve it in the slightest.” In my estimation Zimmer a complete non-entity. Someone who doesn’t add anything to a film or take anything away. Also, why would you trust the opinion of his peers over my own (or your own for that matter). We’re the ones that have to listen to his work. Its the general audience that has to be subjected to what he produces. I would say that the audience are the most important people in Hans Zimmer whole career. Also, if you haven’t already noticed, the Oscars have become kind of become a sham. A big budget fashion show with the occasional award for cinematic artistic achievement given out. I leave it to my man Armond White to once again explain it to you: http://nypress.com/wake-up-and-smell-the-oscars-they-stink/ Also, if you will notice, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was nominated for best picture………best picture. This among other obvious things should firmly establish the view that people should never ever trust the Oscars to ever be a complete barometer on what is good and bad cinema.

      And fyi, the man is incredibly respectful of John Williams’ original theme. That’s part of the reason that he was so hesitant to take the job in the first place. But it’s not as if they were EVER going to reuse John Williams’ theme, that’s not in the cards. This is a new beginning, one the character is dying for, and with that goes even the things you like straight out the window. It’s the way it has to be. And I’d rather the guy who’s taking over/following that be a guy like Zimmer who’s used to facing unfair criticisms by pretentious jackasses after following fan favorites and, in Danny Elfman’s case, even surpassing them. Yes, I said it, Tim Burton’s Batman was weaker than Nolan’s in every category, ever single one. The only reason I don’t absolutely hate them(well I really, truly dislike Batman Returns and I grew up with it too) is because that frustration is alleviated by the real, definitive series.

      You don’t get a pass for being incredibly respectful of someones work. Alot of people are. I am.

      I’m okay with a story changing its artistic direction. Remember what I said in my article…..”I’m not saying that a change couldn’t be a good thing. John Williams wrote a score for Superman that is the musical embodiment of everything that character is. As Richard Donner (director of the original Superman) stated “if you listen to the [John Williams’]music, it literally says Superman”. Williams score carries such a weight that it can be almost impossible to craft a film, and create a world for any character (let alone a more modern Superman) to live up to it. I understand that a different director, in different times, can bring a different aesthetic to the material. Synder should at least have the opportunity to craft his own version of Superman from the ground up as it suits his personality and individual spirit. My only complaint is that, in seeking to explore (originally) his specific vision of Superman, he’s hired (meaning Nolan hired for him) one of the most unoriginal composers of the 20th century.” Also I think you confused being pretentious with having high standards.

      Moving on.

      “Back on point, Zimmer is THE guy you want for the gig. He can handle pressure, he can deliver beautiful scores, he’s an artist, not a trendsetter. No need in being overly critical because of YOUR inability to hum a damn tune. The Lion King, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, the Last Samurai, Rain Man, all great scores. But yeah, I can’t whistle “Gladiator” so it must suck, right? Your entire article is misconstrued and assumptive. You honestly, HONESTLY think that two professionals like Nolan and Zimmer would just ape the fucking Batman score for Superman? Are you that bleeding dense?”

      Firstly, you forgot some Zimmer scores on your list. “Point of No Return”, “Renaissance Man”, “Nine Months”, “Muppet Treasure Island”, “Broken Arrow”, “As Good As It Gets”, “Chill Factor”, “The Road To El Dorado”, “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”, “Johnny English”……….., “Shark Tale”………., “Thunderbirds”………., “Madagascar”……….., “The Da Vinci Code”, “Kung Fu Panda”, “Madagascar”Escape 2 Africa”………., “Kung Fu Panda 2”, “It’s Complicated”, “Megamind”, Sherlock Holmes 1 and 2, and “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”.

      Once again, I never mentioned hum-ablity in any part of my article. A tune being catchy is not my concern. A tune actually having any sort of presence in a film, or relevance to the story, or actually having impact on the plot however is my concern. All three of these things however, do not seem to be Zimmer’s concern at all. I will agree with you on Nolan and Zimmer being professionals. In a way that a road worker or fast food server is a professional. However, as artists with unique, relevant, powerful voices they are sorely lacking.

  8. LegendInMyMind

    Armond White mentioned something about heavy commercialism in Nolan’s Batman, while praising Burton’s as art. False. Last I checked, Nolan didn’t have the musical stylings of Prince stinking up the joint. And also, “Unlike Nicholson’s multileveled characterization, Ledger reduces The Joker to one-note ham-acting and trite symbolism.” Is he sure he didn’t say that backwards? Seriously?

    That review’s, and I’m assuming Inception’s as well(didn’t read), biggest flaw is too assume that only “kids” like what Nolan has done, or that it only appeals to the “hip” crowd, which is just plain wrong, no getting around it.

    What Nolan “freed” the franchise from is the thought that Batman had to be dumb, mindless fun in order to be worthwhile and that superhero films couldn’t be genre transcendent. Regardless of my argument of how superior a representation of the characters Nolan’s films are, there’s actually no true, definitive version of Batman given the character’s MANY, vastly different incarnations throughout the years. So Nolan’s Batman is THE best representation of modern Batman, with some 70s, 80s, and 90s(still ‘modern’ I suppose) thrown in, and any fundamental criticism anyone has of it is their own personal issue with the character.

    And he also erased Schumacher’s travesties from the minds of the masses. I only used the word “freed” because you made it seem as though Nolan had dumbed everything down to the greys, but quite the contrary, by cutting to and focusing on the core, defining characteristics, and allowing for the audience to really feel the threat of every moment, he’s filled the series with brighter, more spectacular colors than Burton and Schumacher ever did, proverbially speaking. I mean, this isn’t Law & Order or NCIS we’re watching here, the scale is absolutely enormous, made even more so by Wally Pfister’s cinematography.

    Regarding the rest of it, are we even listening to the same guy? Hans Zimmer is one of the most adaptable, creative composers I’ve ever heard. He carries the moment, builds tension/drama, and increases story impact better than any (consistently) working composer today. I really have no idea what you’re hearing, or not hearing. He’s consistently praised in the departments you’re condemning him in.

    • Armond White mentioned something about heavy commercialism in Nolan’s Batman, while praising Burton’s as art. False. Last I checked, Nolan didn’t have the musical stylings of Prince stinking up the joint. And also, “Unlike Nicholson’s multileveled characterization, Ledger reduces The Joker to one-note ham-acting and trite symbolism.” Is he sure he didn’t say that backwards? Seriously?

      Movies themselves exists at various levels of commercialization, which is inherent in getting them made and distributed (show and business). Dark Knight may not have had prince, but it did have video game tie in’s, toy deals, food distribution deals, so on and so forth. I don’t see how you can judge one film harsly in its commercial aspects and not see how Nolan’s Batman is just as commercial or even more so. Also I would caution you not to confuse the specter of an idea’s origin with its produced worth. I think prince did a fantastic job with the songs he produced. He happens to be a very talented musician. They fit the story very well in my opinion. That is the most important thing. Whether or not you like prince…not so much.

      Also, Heath Ledger joker character was a mess. Pseudo intellectual speeches on chaos and rules all wrapped up in a strained trying to be different voice. All he did was make nihilistic sensationalized speeches with no follow through. Jack Nicholson was able to produced more gravitas in his performance with out even changing his voice. He just had a better angle of approach.

      Also, didn’t you find it funny how Nolan’s joker preached chaos, yet he had some of the most well coordinated, military like executed, terrorist strikes ever seen in a film.

      Nolan’s Joker:

      “Yes I believe in chaos, that is why I hired and trained these 100 men, made a detailed plan, and took over the city” Ledgers joker was a hypocrite.

      That review’s, and I’m assuming Inception’s as well(didn’t read), biggest flaw is too assume that only “kids” like what Nolan has done, or that it only appeals to the “hip” crowd, which is just plain wrong, no getting around it.

      You can be a kid in more ways than just being little. Also I would encourage you to check out the Inception review, as it lays out perfectly why I think nolan is an insufficient director.

      What Nolan “freed” the franchise from is the thought that Batman had to be dumb, mindless fun in order to be worthwhile and that superhero films couldn’t be genre transcendent. Regardless of my argument of how superior a representation of the characters Nolan’s films are, there’s actually no true, definitive version of Batman given the character’s MANY, vastly different incarnations throughout the years. So Nolan’s Batman is THE best representation of modern Batman, with some 70s, 80s, and 90s(still ‘modern’ I suppose) thrown in, and any fundamental criticism anyone has of it is their own personal issue with the
      character.

      So you are saying that because Nolan’s batman accurately reflects the modern time (and not Nolan’s own neuroses) it is above criticism.

      • After reading your replies to both my post and Legend’s, I have come to the conclusion that arguing with you is futile. I’ve made my opinions clear in my post, and so has Legend. My work is done here and, if you’re unable to consider any alternative perspectives but your own, so is yours.

  9. I’m sorry we couldn’t come to a more amicable conclusion in our conversation. I don’t ever think good conversation about film is futile, as long as there is respect and temperance involved.

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The Film Colony ♛

with Alicia Mayer

Things 90s Kids Realize

A warm & fuzzy cup of nostalgia for my fellow 90s kids.

Streamline | The Official Filmstruck Blog

Streamline is the official blog of FilmStruck, a new subscription service that offers film aficionados a comprehensive library of films including an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films.

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