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Old 04.11.2015, 01:20 PM   #1
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What was the better late 80s comic book film noir?
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Old 04.11.2015, 02:12 PM   #2
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I watched Batman more. don't remember much of Dick besides the grotesque characters.

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Old 04.11.2015, 02:55 PM   #3
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The first two Batman films, (especially Batman Returns) were two of my all time favorite movies for the longest time.

It wasn't until both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight had been released, and I went back to compare them, that I realized how one dimensional the first films really were. They felt dark and almost shockingly grim back in the '80s and '90s, but now they feel like really half-assed stories that should have taken more directly from their own source material.

I still think DeVito's Penguin was the best part of either movie. What a fucking sick adaptation of a DUMBASSED character? DeVito may have influenced Ledger's Joker performance more than anyone else. But aside from him, and that wonderful score by Danny Elfman, the first two Batman films were more style than substance, and now the style looks dated, and the whole thing looks like it was shot in miniature on a soundstage.

Dick Tracy is the opposite. It felt ridiculous at the time, didn't it? I thought so. It still is of course, but only in intentional ways. Looking at it now, it holds up much better than I thought it would. Al Pacino got an Oscar nomination for his distorted performance... The visuals are excellent. And it's really dark as hell!! Moreso than the Burton Batman films, possibly. And definitely in more deceptive ways. What felt childish at first now seems almost gratuitous in Tracy. What felt dark and violent now seems silly and slapstick in Batman... Especially the first one. Nicholson did a shit job.

I love Batman, but Nolan just obliterated all four of the previous Batman films. Whole new level. When I'm 60 maybe I'll look back at the Dark Knight Trilogy and think IT was crap compared to some future reboot, but I honestly doubt it.

Why is this post in Non-Sonic Sounds?
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Old 04.11.2015, 03:07 PM   #4
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Agree about dick tracy, in its time it felt campy but watching it recently it was much better. Im still a sucker for tim Burton's batman. Nicholson > heath ledger
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Old 04.11.2015, 05:14 PM   #5
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Agree about dick tracy, in its time it felt campy but watching it recently it was much better. Im still a sucker for tim Burton's batman. Nicholson > heath ledger

Aww, you serious?!

First of all-- that's just not the joker. They borrowed that origin story from an Alan Moore's annual. The Joker isn't a petty thief with a story that can just be told like everyone else's. Maybe he was once, but Moore's story was about Commisioner Gordon (and Barbara Gordon)... Everything else happened in a vacuum, and the comics have long since stuck to the "no name, no face, no ID... Just pockets full of knives and lint" story that Nolan upheld.

It's just a much scarier and more realistic depiction of chaos and evil.

Also, the whole premise of the Burton films was whack. They didn't take ANYTHING else from the comics, except for the here-and-there mentions of Harvey Dent. The roles are shallow. The characters are shallow. Batman Returns invented it's own primary villain, for God's sake. The Penguin was good. Michael Keaton worked well for Batman but didn't know how to be any kind of Bruce Wayne.

Nolan's films were a 360 makeover, correcting every mistake that's ever been made by a cinematic adaptation of Batman.

The Dark Knight is just one of the best crime/action films I've ever seen. It sounds way more fanboy than it is. I just think it was totally excellent, through and through. But at least Dick Tracy had a great cast and storyline. Nothing like the comics at all really... like, not one bit. But still, a great film adaptation.
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Old 04.11.2015, 06:12 PM   #6
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I understand your comic con level beef with the burton films as a whole, and after the first onr the rest really just suck. But i stand by my statement, Jack Nicholson's Joker is legit yo, Heath Ledger was too extreme, the Joker has traditionally always been more of a dander amd Nicholson pulled that off but adding just enough edge so as not to be the pansy of TV or animated versions. I thought Heath Ledger created a distinct character and was brilliant in it BUT it was so extreme to basically ruin it like Passion of the Christ did with the Crucifixion.. it became distasteful
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Old 04.11.2015, 06:31 PM   #7
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haven't seen Dick Tracy since it came out. maybe its better now but I don't feel like ever seeing it again. even as a ten yr old I thought it was a little embarrassing while watching it with my grandparents.

last time I saw Batman on tv it was a little cheesy. no comment on the Nolan films.
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Old 04.12.2015, 06:13 PM   #8
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I like Tim Burton's first Batman, and I like The Dark Knight quite a bit. I think the thing that I take away from the Burton version of Joker is how the whole toxic chemical origin of The Joker feels more like a Marvel origin story, since so many Marvel heroes and villains get mutated and altered by radioactivity or chemicals, it feels more like a Marvel standard than a D.C. standard. I think I do like the idea of The Joker being just The Joker, with no other alias, which the Burton film didn't do. I think Burton's Joker walked this line between creepy and campy. I know the big criticism of Nolan's Joker is that there is no fun with him, he's just all violence and mayhem with no fun, but being a fan of horror films I can appreciate that dark depiction of The Joker as well.
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Old 04.13.2015, 07:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LifeDistortion
I like Tim Burton's first Batman, and I like The Dark Knight quite a bit. I think the thing that I take away from the Burton version of Joker is how the whole toxic chemical origin of The Joker feels more like a Marvel origin story, since so many Marvel heroes and villains get mutated and altered by radioactivity or chemicals, it feels more like a Marvel standard than a D.C. standard. I think I do like the idea of The Joker being just The Joker, with no other alias, which the Burton film didn't do. I think Burton's Joker walked this line between creepy and campy. I know the big criticism of Nolan's Joker is that there is no fun with him, he's just all violence and mayhem with no fun, but being a fan of horror films I can appreciate that dark depiction of The Joker as well.


Yeah, Marvel origins are either overlong or whack as hell.

The story for Time Burton's Batman came right out of Alan Moore's Red Hood story. It was a one-off, much like Alan Moore's Death of Superman (from the '80s), and it didn't exist outside of the single issue.

I just always wanted to see the Joker done right, and even when the Tim Burton films were my holy grail of comic book adaptations, I felt shortchanged by the convenience of the story. Jack Napier?!? Come on. What a cop-out. Especially since by 1989, there were SOOO many kickass joker stories to pull from. Yeah it was a thin line between darkness and camp, but in the end it's just camp.

And Nolan's films had plenty of giggle moments. It's just that they were dramatic and intense and epic (rather than just "dark"), so those moments did little to soften the blow of the films as a whole. But Batman really was never intended to be a goofy funny fucker of a superhero. He's always had a dark, shadowy, Jungian feel to him. Nolan's films did things with the story that I thought couldn't be done. And for all the talk of Bane being a disappointment, he was actually bad as hell, and downright terrifying most of the time. Tom Hardy did an excellent job turning a ridiculous villain into a really goddamn unsettling one. Much like the Bane from Kinghtfall would have been, had he lost the wrestler mask and chosen his words a bit more carefully.

I guess I am kind of a rapid Batfan.
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Old 04.13.2015, 07:48 PM   #10
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So your beef with the Nicholson is the writing more so than the acting? Meh
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Old 04.13.2015, 10:12 PM   #11
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So your beef with the Nicholson is the writing more so than the acting? Meh

No, actually. I think Nicholsen was typecast. I mean, he's THE Hollywood "crazy guy," right? But his performance in the shining (post-madness) was more Joker-like than his performance as the Joker. He was way too cute and goofy (and wayyy too fat) to pull off that role. He just acted silly-crazy... Not a tough job for him.

He had some good up-close moments, like "wait'll they get a load of me" and I thought it was really creepy when he put on skin-colored make-up to look "normal."

That is, I thought it was creepy until that moment in Dark Knight where Ledger, posing as one of Gotham's finest, shed all make up to appear in the firing-squad so he could take a shot at the mayor (who died without ceremony in TDKR) ... I know it was only a split second, but seeing him dressed as a cop, with those scars on his face, fucking with rifles like someone who actually knew how to use them... That was a jump out of your seat moment if ever I saw one.

Ledger's joker was a master combatant. A truly skilled marksman and an explosives expert (though how he acquired those skills is entirely up to us as viewers to decide... Former military? Special forces?)
He was so formidable. He took down that burly detective who he coaxed into laying hands on him while he was still locked up, and SECONDS later to my genuine surprise he had the guy overpowered, and taken hostage with a stray piece of glass held against his throat.

The off screen implications of Ledger's joker were truly fucking scary. He even beat Batman's ass in the end. It's a goddamn shame that an actor of that caliber left the earth before he really had a chance to prove himself. I remember thinking he was as good as Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood... Better than Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. He was just electric.

So my beef really isn't with anyone. I'm just saying Leger danced around Nicholson like a butterfly. He owned that role forever, and fuck DC if they even think of recasting the joker in any live action capacity before Ledget's versipn has had a decade or more to linger in the public consciousness.
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Old 04.13.2015, 10:26 PM   #12
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Its funny how opposite our perspective is
. I feel like its Nicholson who danced around ledger. You're right that he created an epic character BUTto ME that kind of sociopathic violence WAS NOT THE JOKER.in a way ledger created HIS OWN character but IVE always thought of the joker as being precisely the kind of campy but edgy performance we got from Nicholson. Are you familiar with the Joker from Batman the Animated aSeries? I think THAT is the epitome of Joker, dark, twisted, but sincerely funny.

I want to know what demonrail thinks.
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Old 04.14.2015, 01:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Its funny how opposite our perspective is
. I feel like its Nicholson who danced around ledger. You're right that he created an epic character BUTto ME that kind of sociopathic violence WAS NOT THE JOKER.in a way ledger created HIS OWN character but IVE always thought of the joker as being precisely the kind of campy but edgy performance we got from Nicholson. Are you familiar with the Joker from Batman the Animated aSeries? I think THAT is the epitome of Joker, dark, twisted, but sincerely funny.

I want to know what demonrail thinks.

Yeah, demonrail's always good for this kind of discussion.

To be fair, you're right that the joker has been the campy, pompadoured, acid-squirting-flower holding, high-shouldered-blazer-wearing, fedora sporting gag villain in the past. But he became less riotous, less slapstick, less comic in the late '70s and early '80s.

By the time Death In the Family came around, Joker was a ruthless killer. The "schemes" and elaborate stunts of the gold & silver age started to appear less and less often, and when they did, they started to serve more as distractions to throw Batman & Gordon off, so he could complete some true objective that was far less theatrical and far more insidious. Like, I don't know, shooting Barbara Gordon in the spine and crippling her for life, or beating Jason Todd to (semi)death with a fucking crow bar.

Admittedly, this had more to do with the edgier writing Alan Moore and Frank Miller brought to the table (along with the escalation in comic book violence brought on by the emergence of competitors like Image and Valiant) than it did with Bob Kane and his original character design. But still, by the time Nolan took the helm of the cinematic world of Batman, the Joker was pretty much exactly what Nolan and Ledger showed us.

Now the comic books seem to steal a bit from the films in that regard. Check out Grant Morrison's "The Joker," a story that was honestly almost too dark for its own good. Told by an acquaintance and brief "friend" of the Joker's, an impressionable ex-con who idolized him and wanted a position pf power in Joker's gang, it took everything down to the make-up and costume from Ledger's version, and told a truly fucked up story of a crime lord who walks the streets like junkie, and simply never stops unleashing bloody fucking hell on everyone around him, friend or foe.

I think Nicholson's Joker came around early enough that it still matched up pretty solidly with the where the character was on an evolutionary level, so for 1989 maybe Nicholson's performance worked. I don't think the fist Batman would have been nearly as successful if it featured a Ledger-esque portrayal of the clown prince of crime. The movie probably would have been slapped with an R-Rating, and it may have done damage to the franchise.

But if Nicholson's version had been used in 2008, nobody would have spent hours waiting in line to see the movie, and it would have been a campy tame weak mess compared to Batman Begins.

So maybe we're both right. We probably are. But regarding which actor delivered a better performance? ... Come on, SFAD. Nicholson just acted like Nicholson. He did an ok job of being Jack Nicholson-as-the-Joker.

Ledger scared the hell out of people. He brought something to the role that he'd never even hinted at in any of his previous performances. He wasn't doing "Ledger-doing-the-Joker," he was doing "the Joker," period. There's no hint of Ned Kelly or whatever-his-name-was in Brokeback. It was like Heath Ledger wasn't even present.

In a straight battle of acting chops, Ledger wins hands down.

Of course, Nolan's films had the benefit of time, money, and a cultural revival of graphic literature in their corner. Tim Burton did fine for the time, but if anything from his movies stands out, I swear, it's DeVito's Penguin.
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Old 04.14.2015, 01:40 PM   #14
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Again, its a matter of taste. Personally i think ledger went a bit too evil, i prefer Nicholson. Im waiting on demonrail because he is a Nicholson devotee

Admittedly im not in any way shape or form interested in the comics or the comic history and evolution so you and i are coming from entirely different perspectives on this.
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Old 04.14.2015, 02:34 PM   #15
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Dick Tracy (the movie) sucks so fucking much. I can't believe anyone still watches that fucking piece of shit. What a goddamned nightmare it owuld be to have to watch that horror again.


Dick Tracy was outdated in the 50's! fuck Dick Tracy. fuck that shitty ass comic strip.

Batman is GAWD.

Heath Ledger was OK, as Joker. He was NOT funny. The Joker was and always will be FUNNY, as well as a psychopath murderer. That is why Ledger's Joker (actually Nolan's Joker, since he wrote it) is not as great as I hoped. I come from a long familiarity with the source material, and the Joker was never so heavy handed as to strive so much to "prove" anything to anyone, especially not Batman.

The whole point of the Joker is that he is the anti-thesis of Batman. He has a sense of humor. He does not follow logic. He does not follow crime's "rules", etc. The Joker in Nolan's films was more of a standard Hollywood psychocreep, with perfectly laid plans, to achieve specific ends. That is NOT the Joker!

Jack Nicholson SUCKED shit too. I loved that batman movie when it came out, having been such a huge Batman comic fan, but Jack did not understand the character he was playing. He just went for the "zany psycho Jack Nicholson-as-a-clown" angle. His Joker is dull. I only really liked the part where he destroyed works of art, but left the Francis Bacon, because it spoke to him. (more details like that would have bettered Ledger's Joker)
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Old 04.14.2015, 03:22 PM   #16
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Bane sucked. his character sucked in the comics and it sucked in the movie. stupid pointless character.
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Old 04.14.2015, 03:33 PM   #17
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Alan Moore wrote the Joker as a hilariously insane nut (The Killing Joke)

Frank Miller wrote the Joker as a hilarious mass-murderer psychopath (Dark Night Returns) and as a deranged criminal who was not too funny (Year One)

I prefer when he is funny, as when he kills Letterman an Paul Shafffer
 
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Old 04.14.2015, 03:36 PM   #18
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Old 04.14.2015, 03:46 PM   #19
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For me Nicholson's Joker had the tone of voice and manner of speaking that in my mind defines the Joker, crazy, funny, but also deathly serious too.. really i think that Nicholson w Oi uld have been best an animated voice over.. and yes Batman Begins is a terribly boring waste of time like watching the val kilmer batman flicks.. it tried too hard and yet did not try hard enough.

Rob, what you think of Batman the Animated Series Joker? I think that character bridged the gap between Nicholson's and Ledger's Jokers, insane, sadistic, funny, needlessly violent, sarcastic, but smart.
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Old 04.14.2015, 04:10 PM   #20
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I think the producers of the Burton Batman reigned in the "insanity" because they still felt Batman was a movie for little kids.

The animated series Joker is GREAT. but then again, those people doing that series understand the whole point of comic books, and do not try to feed us heavy melodrama and nihilism, a la Nolan.
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