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The DONK DONK Knight

Nobody could possibly care here, but since I said I’d put my thoughts together about The Dark Knight, let me try being a man of my word for once.  I mostly enjoyed it as I watched it, at some points quite a bit.  And there are some very, very strong parts of this film.  The performances, led by Ledger and Eckhart, are pretty universally great.  The direction isn’t perfect but the technical stuff is pretty impressive.  They invented stuff to make this movie!  But if you spend any time thinking about this film it falls apart like a first-year-teacher’s ability to love.

For one thing, I, like T., was pretty bothered by the utter dour seriousness of the material; not because I think superheroes can’t withstand that sort of treatment, and not because I don’t like serious material, but more because of the utter self-importance of it all.  “This isn’t just some roller-coaster boom boom movie with Batman!”  (Yes, actually, it is.)  “This is about DEEPER THEMES!”  You can tell it’s about deeper themes because the goddam script hits you over the head with it.  There are points of this film where the dialog makes me want to pee in my eyeballs.  Whenever a character starts one of the damn speeches about heroes and deserving and etc., hitting the goddam theme on the head . . .that’s just bad text, not subtext.  The dialog was also cliche-ridden and silly (in a non-fun way) often, which could be excusable if the movie didn’t demand to be taken so seriously.  On the good side, Ledger’s Joker clearly had some great lines, especially when he didn’t say much.

Speaking of dialog, Bale’s annoying “Batman voice” gets even more ridiculous when he’s using it to have a conversation beyond “I AM HITTING YOU!!!”  This is actually just a symptom of a larger problem of Batman in this film.  They took such pains to make this as realistic as possible that the few fantastical elements they kept look completely foolish.  You’ve got, basically, an action-packed Law and Order episode except there’s this weird guy who talks like Super Dave Osborne walking around in a costume.  DONK DONK.  When you ground it THAT much and you’ve still got this sculpted, sci-fi outfit, it diminishes both the seriousness and the fantastical.

Batman is the least interesting character in the film by a good deal.  By the last torturous scenes I just didn’t want to see him anymore.  Bale’s Wayne is actually a far more interesting character than his Batman, who stands around, looks silly, and gets involved in vague, uninteresting fight scenes.  I like the point a friend made that Bale really gets that it isn’t that Batman is the real person and Bruce Wayne is the mask.  There’s the real Bruce Wayne who has two masks:  dumb playboy and Batman.  The real Bruce Wayne, even in this film, is pretty fascinating until he puts on the Batman mask.

And that costume . . .we get plenty of time, wasted celluloid, explaining EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT IT.  Oh, it’s made of that.  Oh, the joints work like this.  Oh, he can turn his head.  Oh, the things on his arm shoot out.  Etc., etc.  It gets explained to death in a failed attempt to make it not look like it’s completely out of place in this real-world-based film.  We even get over-detailed bits about how he got the Hong Kong gangster out (a fun scene, not really necessary for the plot, especially at such length and doubly especially with the beyond-pointless ballet-boat stuff).  But the Joker?  The character we’re actually fascinated to watch no matter what?

No explanation for anything.  How does he, for instance, get hundreds of barrels of oil and explosives onto municipal ferries?  Uh, no idea.  Unless he has magical powers, there’s no way that could happen, especially in such a realistic movie world.  The same goes for wiring the hospital unseen, getting DNA of all his enemies . . .everything the Joker does is pretty awesome, and if this movie didn’t want to be something other than a summer flicker, it would maybe have gotten away with just that.  But, no.  It wants to be serious.  So how the hell did any of that stuff happen?  The amount of pre-planning and work that any single part of his scheme would require . . .it completely falls apart if you think about it.

The film wants to have its cake and eat it, too.  It wants to be a fairly critic-proof boom boom explodey movie, but it also wants to be a critically-acclaimed deeper piece on 21st century life.  It’s possible to do both; difficult, but possible.  I’d even posit that something like Iron Man, which keeps a sense of humor about itself and realizes it’s an explodey film, makes more headway with making deeper points than the spoon-force-fed stuff in the Dark Knight.

It’s not a terrible film.  Like I said, the performances are almost all, at the very least, very good.  But the screen-writing on this thing was just rife with bad choices.  This could have been a rollicking summer action flick or a morality tale grounded firmly in the real world; it could MAYBE have combined the two.  But the manner in which they tried to combine it made both the fantastical and the real seem silly and shallow.

126 Comments

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 12, 2008 at 5:49 pm

“This isn’t just some roller-coaster boom boom movie with Batman!” (Yes, actually, it is.) “This is about DEEPER THEMES!” You can tell it’s about deeper themes because the goddam script hits you over the head with it

This is what I don’t get – you seem to be complaining because you feel that the film doesn’t think of itself as a rollercoaster film – which you rightly point out it is – but then complain that it hits you over the head with it’s themes in the script…
Of course it’s going to, it’s a roller coaster ride – you can’t risk leaving someone behind.

That said, Christopher Nolan had his brother co-write with him this time. Now his brother wrote the story Memento was based on, but not the script.
The only other script they’ve co-wrote was The Prestige, and it suffered in the writing department as well.

But the manner in which they tried to combine it made both the fantastical and the real seem silly and shallow.

So the biggest critique is that it’s like every other roller coaster ride film?

Except it’s so dour and self-important that it fails at being the roller-coaster.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 12, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Except it’s so dour and self-important that it fails at being the roller-coaster.

I dunno, seems to be a ride people like taking.

I’m starting to think they’ve played a trick.
It’s total roller coaster ride, but they’ve dressed it up so that roller coaster ride fans think it’s deeper than it is,
BUT now people who also like serious films have picked up on that dressing, and it’s switched their brains into the wrong mode for this movie.

It’s like with Batman Begins. I was stoned the first time I saw it, and it seemed really deep and psychological and everything Dark Knight wants to be, and I loved it.
However, I realised that how I perceived the film may not be how the film is at all, so I’ve made a point of never watching it straight, and I still love it.
You just need a similar system.

How does he rig a hospital to explode? How does he arrange for two buildings to explode? How does he find out where the gang bosses are meeting?

He just does. Thats why he is scary. As for how…? He has tons of followers even at the begining. Lots of kids and losers want to get onto his psycho bandwagon. He has cops in his pocket, he has mob goons at his disposal. How does he NOT get it on the ferry?

For someone complaining about how it was so obvious at points, you don’t seem to have followed it well.

“No explanation for anything. How does he, for instance, get hundreds of barrels of oil and explosives onto municipal ferries? Uh, no idea. Unless he has magical powers, there’s no way that could happen, especially in such a realistic movie world.”

It kinda seems like you’ve missed the point of The Joker, as presented in the movie. The contrast between Batman (the guy whose entire process is explained) and The Joker (the guy we know next to nothing about) is very deliberate. The Batman is order, The Joker is chaos- it’s one of the themes the movie beats us over the head with. Of course, The Joker is more of a “planner” than he claims to be, but they’re the sort of crazy plans that could fall apart in 100 places along the way.

I just attributed the insane lack of security to the fact that Gotham is so corrupt that Joker, sitting on sixty million dollars or whatever he got out of the bank, was able to bribe his way into getting whatever he wanted / needed.

And he went after “low-importance” targets, like the ferries and the hospital – not the bridges, city hall, or Gotham Central. That’s what was so scary – he was proof that everything couldn’t be protected, and forced Batman to literally attempt to watch everything in order to catch him.

“For one thing, I, like T., …”

Not fair to the reader to reference someone with so little information.

I have nothing but respect for Joe’s intelligence, but yet again my response to his argument is “true enough as far as it goes, but not really all that important.”

The first Nolan Batman wasn’t about a man resolved to be, or present himself as, a Superhero™ but about a man presenting himself to his prey as a demon, as a supernatural force.

His next Batman movie pitted him against a terrorist who was resolved to confront society with the hypocrisy that is the foundation of corruption as we know it. We can kill half a million civilians arbitrarily invading and occupying Iraq, because it’s going according to a plan. Endanger the life of one little ol’ mayor and everyone becomes unglued, because it represents a lapse of (the pretense of) control. Even the film adaptation of V for Vendetta refrained from dramatizing its protagonist embodying Anarchy as a force of nature, and instead presented him as a superhero.

Your complaints are that these are cliches, but what other movies have presented what I’ve described these movies presenting?

Oh, Joe, what a glutton for punishment you are.

The entire movie is over-the-top. The sci-fi is over-the-top. The Batman voice is over-the-top. The level of corruption (if we’re to take that as explanation for the Joker’s ability to do stuff like get the barrels of gas on the ferries) is over-the-top. And the silly speeches and “deeper themes” (to use your terminology, Joe) are over-the-top. What is there about this movie to take seriously? Nothing.

Which is why I wholeheartedly enjoy the movie. You say that “they went to great pains” to make the movie as realistic as possible, but, did they really? Near as I can tell, the ridiculous outweighs the realistic rather substantially. The explanations of the suit, etc. came off not as attempts at realism but as sci-fi wankery. “ooooh look how cool this is” kinda thing. Worthless, but they just thought their ideas were cooler than they were.

Really, where in the movie does it make a legit attempt at seriousness? I don’t see it. People praise this movie and Batman Begins for their “gritty realism” when what really makes them work is that there’s nothing realistic about them. They’re very solid summer popcorn movies. If there are attempts at seriousness, they fail so drastically that they mesh perfectly with the rest of the over-the-top roller-coaster ride that is The Dark Knight.

Oh, and, Joe, you were entirely right about “Will I Still Love You if I Wet the Bed?”

Let me preface my comments by saying that I enjoyed “The Dark Knight.” Along with “Iron Man,” I think it’s set the bar for superhero films that much higher.

That being said, I did have problems with the film’s attempt to ground the story and characters in contextual reality. I think the Nolans made the mistake of assuming that “realism” equates to “believability.” In the case of the film, however, I think it actually had the opposite effect (at least on me). The world inhabited by the characters and the circumstances of the film were rendered with so much deliberate “realism” that it became that much harder for me to “believe” that a billionaire would resort to wearing a bat-themed costume to fight crime, instead of, say, using his vast fortune and resources to launch a “more realistic” social/political/economic campaign to reduce criminality. The filmmakers’ successful attempt at fostering realism in the film, I think, ended up accentuating the inherent silliness of the adolescent fantasy of punching problems to make them go away.

Granted, this isn’t a problem unique to the Nolan Batman films… to some extent, it’s this same mistaking of realism for believability that mitigates my enjoyment of Alex Ross’ superhero art or the plotting/design aesthetics of Millar-Hitch’s Ultimates.

I must be the only person who doesn’t have a problem with Bale’s Batman voice. I agree it can be a bit much when Batman talks at length but what are you supposed to do? Lip-sync to another guy’s voice? Hire a person with different strengths and weaknesses as an actor but a good Batman voice? Not use a different voice for Batman at all? Didn’t the animated series Batman have a special Bruce voice but the same voice with the cowl on or off around Alfred? Would that even work for live-action?

And ridiculous costumes are one thing that I accept as a viewer “because it’s a superhero movie.” All I care about is that they look pretty cool. Batman’s costume didn’t bother me though I wished he would have been working from the shadows at times (and that probably leads to technical, cinematography issues with lighting a black costume). I thought the Joker costume was fine and that Two-Face looked bitchin’!

“I’m starting to think they’ve played a trick. It’s total roller coaster ride, but they’ve dressed it up so that roller coaster ride fans think it’s deeper than it is,
BUT now people who also like serious films have picked up on that dressing, and it’s switched their brains into the wrong mode for this movie.”

I would mostly agree with this but the only reason I was expecting more from The Dark Knight was because of the previous movie. The reason my brain was not prepared for a sloppy, fun action movie was because of Batman Begins which I thought was a good film all around. And the only reason I went to see The Dark Knight at all was because of how universally well reviewed it is. If had gotten more Rotten Tomatoes, I wouldn’t have seen it at all despite liking the previous movie. Everyone said Spider-man 3 sucked, so I still haven’t seen it though I really like Spider-man 2 (except for “It’s OK, Spider-man. We won’t tell nobody.”)

Yeah, the movie can’t have it both ways – the Joker is a force of chaos with mentally ill followers, and yet he is a highly organised sociopath with competent, obedient followers. And Gordon told the cops to search the hospitals but this wasn’t brought up again; the issue of the clowns/doctors in the building at the end could have been resolved in one phone call (and we know Fox and Batman had access to all the cell phones!) The closer it got to the end, the more organised and controlling the Joker was, and the more chaotic and deceptive Batman and Gordon were!

I’m not here to argue, my post stands as it is. You agree or don’t, no problem. But Lilac and Zulu bring up stuff that I didn’t state so well, because of the way that I am stupid.

And Eliot, ha! That’s good to hear!

Speaking as a huge fan of the movie, i really have to thank you. DK is a movie i’ve spent hours thinking about, but since your main point seems to be that the movie falls under the weight of its own self-seriousness if you think about it too much, so i thought i’d hold it up to closer scrutiny to see if i could pull the movie into sharper focus…and i have to say it holds up and then some.

First of all, the problems some people seem to be having with the alleged realism of the movie is one i had with Batman Begins, a movie i used to have tons of problems with and, frankly, started disliking as soon as DK was over. Begins tried so hard to make the world around Bruce Wayne feel real, to make every choice seem rational that in the end Batman, along with every other bullshit superheroish aspect it shoves down your throat, seem completely out of place.

Not so with DK. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but every aspect seems to fit, at least to me. In part, Batman just is, he’s a given. In a way, he makes sense precisely because he doesn’t. Yeah, it’s pretty unrealistic that a millionaire would choose to dress up as a bat and punch criminals in the face instead of using his money to do something that could actually help the city, but the way it plays there’s enough disconnect between all of Wayne’s facets (Bruce Wayne, Playboy Asshole Wayne and Batman) that it’s pretty safe to question his sanity. At least Joker does. And also, there’s the matter of Nolan paving over Begins’ silly, silly Gotham City in order to build something much more believable, something that feels like an actual place and not a soundstage. I believe in this Gotham City and i don’t care if it’s realistic or not…it seems to me like that’s hardly the point.

But what i’m really getting to is this: Even though there’s “text” in the movie it doesn’t mean there isn’t any subtext. Just like all good art, Dark Knight leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and just because a character is saying something it doesn’t mean that’s exactly what the movie is saying. I’ve heard people describe the movie as blatant propaganda; Steven Grant posted some guy’s thoughts on it, claiming Batman represents America, and Grant himself corrected him, believing Batman to represent Anarchy. To me, this is a movie about ideology, about 3 men having their belief systems put through the wringer. About believing in something so much that you’re willing to make sacrifices for it. For example, at the end Batman says the reason Harvey fell is that he was “the best of us”, and i’m sure Batman believes it, but i don’t think it’s true, i don’t think that’s what the movie’s getting to. Harvey, quite frankly, just wasn’t what everyone cranked him up to be. The dream of Gotham became unsustainable for him because his loss destroyed him, and you know what? Maybe that’s what Gotham needed of him, someone willing to make sacrifices.

And even though Batman claims not to be a hero, his final gesture is way more heroic than anything Harvey ever did. True, Harvey lost a lot more than anyone else, but Batman sacrificed his own image as a force of good in order to give Gotham’s citizens the kind of symbol they really needed. He gave them Harvey Dent, not the man (which is what he was all along, just a man), but the image, the inspiration. To me, this is the story of how Batman became a hero, and all the gloom and doom throughout just seems to punctuate the fact that the ending’s full of hope, even if it doesn’t seem that way.

Now, seeing as all this hope resting on what is basically a lie, does that mean the Nolans believe every Symbol to be a lie? Does the end justify the means?

“I mostly enjoyed it as I watched it, at some points quite a bit. And there are some very, very strong parts of this film. The performances, led by Ledger and Eckhart, are pretty universally great. The direction isn’t perfect but the technical stuff is pretty impressive. They invented stuff to make this movie! But if you spend any time thinking about this film it falls apart like a first-year-teacher’s ability to love.”

This seems to be a common theme in negative reviews of this movie – the reviewer initially enjoyed it, but then talked themselves out of that.

Which is fine, just interesting to me. I liked the movie both while I was watching it and later, but I’m not going to talk anyone who didn’t into changing their minds.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 12, 2008 at 11:12 pm

This seems to be a common theme in negative reviews of this movie – the reviewer initially enjoyed it, but then talked themselves out of that.

And that’s why superhero movies should be watched whilst under the influence!
You get so caught up, there’s no talking yourself out of anything.

Except for Ang Lee’s Hulk.
You just end up hating it more.
And yourself for watching it again.

Dark Knight failed for me as a superhero movie, mostly for taking itself too serious as you have pointed out correctly. It worked for me just fine as a crime movie, a modern take on The Untouchables

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 12, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Dark Knight failed for me as a superhero movie, mostly for taking itself too serious as you have pointed out correctly.

And yet (almost) ironically, Watchmen doesn’t look like it’s taking itself seriously enough.

Thought a lot of these comments were interesting … as a Batman fan and someone who loved Batman Begins I thought The Dark Knight was powerful and filled with great performances and scenes but the movie as a whole … well, like Joe Rice wrote, Bruce Wayne is the mask for Batman and the plot for a lot of the movie was about Batman quitting? Seemed forced, especially taking into account Batman Begins, and didn’t make a lot of sense like a number of scenes/beats in the movie. Plus, not sure Batman would elevate someone like Dent into the savior role like he is in the movie and then the consequent cover-up with the ending didn’t strike me as “Batmanesque”. Interesting thematically but also seemed rushed towards the end as the movie dealt with so much and, again like Joe Rice said, a lot of speeches that I think took away from the movie’s power. I think the movie peaked with the Joker in prison and after that kind of tried to push too much/cram a lot in that minimized the movie rather than elevating it. Also, the plot and even some of the action was a bit confusing the first time around, especially that building scene in the end. The movie might have been better served stretching out and breathing instead of compressing so much into it – though, it did have the effect of leaving you on the edge of your seat.

So, yeah, I thought the movie was problematic and head-scratching at times. Also thought a lot of it was terrific and really powerful – the scenes that worked really were awesome.. Great to read interesting comments as well …

Yeah, the movie can’t have it both ways – the Joker is a force of chaos with mentally ill followers, and yet he is a highly organised sociopath with competent, obedient followers.

I know he says the word “anarchy,” but does the Joker actually say the word “chaos?” Alan Moore points out in V for Vendetta that anarchy and chaos are not interchangeable terms.

“And that costume . . .we get plenty of time, wasted celluloid, explaining EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT IT. Oh, it’s made of that. Oh, the joints work like this. Oh, he can turn his head. Oh, the things on his arm shoot out. Etc., etc. It gets explained to death in a failed attempt to make it not look like it’s completely out of place in this real-world-based film.”

did they really spend so much time on it? i just thought it went from batman getting bonked by the wall because he couldn’t turn his head to a short “here’s your new head turning suit, mr wayne” scene with lucius, and that was that.

“the Joker is a force of chaos with mentally ill followers, and yet he is a highly organised sociopath with competent, obedient followers.”

i rather liked the idea that he’s constantly making out to everyone that everything he does is a bit random and “woo, insane”, but really anyone can see he’s about the most organised one out of the lot. i’m surprised the good guys didn’t realise this (or at least, didn’t seem to) considering every single thing they planned would then immediately be unraveled in meticulous fashion.

“I know he says the word “anarchy,” but does the Joker actually say the word “chaos?” Alan Moore points out in V for Vendetta that anarchy and chaos are not interchangeable terms.”

he tells harvey he’s an “agent of chaos” in the hospital from what i remember.

@FunkyGreenJerusalem

The Prestige “suffered in the writing department “? I couldn’t disagree more. Actually, in my (not so) humble opinion it’s Nolan’s (and Bale’s) best movie.

Bernard the Poet

August 13, 2008 at 5:04 am

Joe Rice’s main point seems to be that The Dark Knight is having its cinematic cake and eating it, being both a realistic crime drama and a check-your-brain-on-the-way-in-blockbuster. With that in mind, I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the character of Reese. Does anyone believe that a major television network would put him on live television, without first asking him who the Batman is, and asking to see some evidence. And even if they hadn’t demanded some evidence, surely a quick background check would have revealed that he was a highly placed executive at Wayne Industries. You wouldn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to join the dots.

The Dark Knight was a long film and it would have been better if they had cut this unnecessary sub-plot out.

Overall, I loved the film and am greatly heartened that such a plot heavy script can get so many bums on seats. There is hope for Hollywood afterall.

Nah, The Prestige was a pretty terrible script. It sacrificed almost all the characterization from Priest’s original novel in favor of a twist ending that’s really far less interesting than exploring the differences in Borden and Angier’s perceptions of events would have been, and on top of that, it devoted way too much time to the leaden romantic subplots created for the movie. Admittedly, that second one wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if Johansson hadn’t been so miscast in the part.

Joe – Great review. I have to say that I just about completely agree with everything you’ve said here.

I agree with the review, except I think it was a terrible movie.

Oh well, I’ll go see the third one if Catwoman is in it.

The prestige has one of those horrendous over sights, a key feature that kills the film for me, Like the squiddies in the matrix not having infrared vision. WTF!? In the prestige it was the fact that …

***SPOILER***

They had created a cloning machine! And no one in the film, NO ONE, seemed to think that there was anything special about this! I know its meant to point out how obbsessed the characters were with their art, but there is a limit

***SPOILER END***

“Like the squiddies in the matrix not having infrared vision.”

I promise not to send us hurtling off-topic, but I’m curious and can’t remember – what would the significance of them having that have been?

“Does anyone believe that a major television network would put him on live television, without first asking him who the Batman is, and asking to see some evidence.”

Considering how lax cable news networks seem to be in terms of checking the credentials of experts I’d say thats one of the less impossible things in the film.

D. Eric Carpenter

August 13, 2008 at 9:33 am

Anyone else remember Sidney Mellon?

It seems every time I read one of Mr. Rice’s reviews, I’m instantly transported back to reading those columns in Amazing Heroes.

@Dave, The Prestige is based on a novel? I wasn’t aware of that, thus I can’t say how it compares to the original. Still, as a stand-alone work, it’s pretty much great.

And yet (almost) ironically, Watchmen doesn’t look like it’s taking itself seriously enough.

I’d argue the opposite, it looks like it’s taking it just as seriously as the source material was. It’s the fans that I think over the past two decades started taking Watchmen TOO seriously. I have faith in what I’ve seen so far of the movie.

My wife, a former ballerina, pointed out one of the major flaws in the movie that I haven’t seen being discussed: the ballet troupe is much too top heavy to actually dance ballet. Increasing bustlines have been the sad end of many promising ballerinas.

“the ballet troupe is much too top heavy to actually dance ballet. Increasing bustlines have been the sad end of many promising ballerinas.”

Alfred the Butler was head to say something about “more failed Ballerinas please!” as he continued to rub lotion onto their backs on a beach somewhere.

Bruce Wayne is still missing a butler, and we urge the ballerinas to return him safely to his owner. Reward offered.

Finally some people who didn’t think this was the greatest movie ever. The review was DEAD ON and perfectly explained the problems I had with it. One thing i would add. The two sides of Bruce Wayne was not shown enough and makes a nice thematic similarity with Harvey Dent.

The only things lost in the adaptation of the Prestige to film are things that could only be done in prose.
As a big fan of the book (I read it back when it first came out, being fond of the “real” Christoper Priest’s work), I consider it one of the more successful adaptations to film that I have seen.
The change to the twist ending it seemed to me was just a perfectly reasonable way of maintaining surprise in a situation where the “spoiler” was basically readily available to anyone who could be bothered well before the release of the film, though I’ll admit that the surprise aspect was unnecessarily overhyped.
The only thing I really missed, the present day scenes, would have been a big problem, both in time and coherence to do in film without a clunky device like narration, so I find the change more than forgivable.
If you’re going to have irreconcilable problems with the changes made in adapting to the Prestige, then you might as well just jump on the “no adaptations from one medium to another, ever” bandwagon.

Also, though this is not an adaptation issue (as it’s directly from the book), some guy above gave as his unforgivable sticking point:

“They had created a cloning machine! And no one in the film, NO ONE, seemed to think that there was anything special about this! I know its meant to point out how obbsessed (sic) the characters were with their art, but there is a limit”

Well no. Part of the point is that there really _isn’t_ a limit.

I think Funky’s dead-on right. The main problem is when anyone tries to think of The Dark Knight as “cinema”. It will only disappoint you.

There will never be a Batman movie which is great cinema. The subject matter and that goal are mutually exclusive. You’re not supposed to analyze it beyond the moment of viewing. It’s like trying to figure out why sex feels good. That’s called “killing the mood”.

Don’t kill the mood. Just lean back and let Batman make you feel good.

Hey, I don’t know if there’s a new writer on this blog- but after a few sentences of the cursing and capital letters, I skipped the whole article. I was looking for a review. This site used to give respectable reviews.

There is a writer credit right below the title, Daly.

Oh there it is.

My problem is that the film version of The Prestige basically turns Borden into an completely unsympathetic character almost immediately when he’s responsible for the death of Angier’s wife. Accidentally causing the miscarriage of Angier’s child was one of the most clever ideas in the book, because throughout the entire story, Borden had no idea what he did to make Angier hate him so much. By contrast, in the movie Borden is aware of exactly what he did from the beginning, and he comes off as an utter sociopath the entire time as a result. Therefore, the third act where our sympathies are presumably supposed to switch from Angier to Borden rang completely false and never succeeded because the twist ending really only made Borden seem even more despicable despite the fact that Angier is pretty blatantly played as the “villain” by that point. By the time the twist came, I didn’t even care because all the characters had become completely unlikeable and largely two-dimensional.

I actually only read the book after seeing the movie, which is partially why I’m even more disappointed with the end product in reflection. But even before reading, I thought The Prestige was by far Nolan’s weakest film.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 13, 2008 at 5:57 pm

The Prestige “suffered in the writing department “? I couldn’t disagree more. Actually, in my (not so) humble opinion it’s Nolan’s (and Bale’s) best movie.

Feel free to disagree, but it did.
None of the characters had a personality – even before becoming obsessed with revenge all we got was Jackman ‘loves his wife’ and Bale ‘wants to be best’ (still more character and motivation than Caine or Johansenn are given).
The film spends at least half an hour totally stalled in the second half, where nothing really happens except what we’ve already seen (one does new trick, other studies it, and then bests it),
not to mention the stupidity of Jackman never bothering to translate the end of the diary before setting off on his journey,
and then we get one of the sutpidest endings I’ve ever seen, where there is a clone machine that was invented by Tesla.

That’s less a twist, and more of a ‘we tricked you into thinking it was set in the real world but it wasn’t’.
Even Phillip K Dick had more respect for the rules of a story universe than that.

Yeah, but, I still thought the movie was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

The device comes directly from the book. Are we talking in absolute story terms (in case which your criticism should be with their choice of source material rather than the idea, which the filmmakers didn’t come up with) or in terms of adaptation (which is largely what I’ve been talking about; I enjoyed the book, thought the movie adapted it as well as could be expected of a visual medium, and had been inured to the idea of the Tesla cloning machine for some years already).

Also:
“Feel free to disagree, but it did.”
That’s kind of arrogant, isn’t it?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 13, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Never heard of the book, and it’s irrelevant to the film.

That’s kind of arrogant, isn’t it?

Objectively it’s not a well written film.
The characters aren’t really characters, just plot points, it has an ending that breaks the rules of the universe it had set up, and the framing device of flashbacks within flashbacks actually hinders rather than helps the story.
Throw in a few massive plot holes, and there you go.

Objectively it’s not a well written film.

I haven’t even seen that film, so I have no stake in this game. But, wow, that’s a hilarious statement. “Objectively” – do you even know what that word means? What are the objective standards that can be applied to judging a screenplay?

Because, I pretty much guarantee that, whatever you claim they are, there will be well-written screenplays that violate them.

Art is not science, no matter how badly some people want it to be.

Daly, sorry about the cuss words. I live in Brooklyn and kind of have a hard time not cussing. Don’t judge this wonderfully-named blog on my account.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Because, I pretty much guarantee that, whatever you claim they are, there will be well-written screenplays that violate them.

I think I mentioned where the short comings in the script of the prestige are already.

Why can’t Batman be “cinema”? Why isn’t it cinema? All film – all art – basically springs forth from the same well. Some are just marketed better or has more cash concerns than others.

FunkyGreenJerusalem –

Well, if you’d read my post you would see that I’m objecting to your use of the word “objectively”, not to your criticisms of a film I haven’t seen.

But, maybe you mean that those criticisms are part of your “objective” standards for screenwriting. Let’s take a look!

None of the characters had a personality – even before becoming obsessed with revenge all we got was Jackman ‘loves his wife’ and Bale ‘wants to be best’ (still more character and motivation than Caine or Johansenn are given).

Well, that seems pretty subjective to me.

And for that matter, there are movies that I consider well-written that have rather personality-less characters – 2001: A Space Odyssey comes to mind. Love it, but not because of the characters (HAL is great, but really doesn’t have much of a personality, to be honest). AFI rates this as the 15th greatest movie of the last 100 years, so I’m in good company in liking it, too.

The film spends at least half an hour totally stalled in the second half, where nothing really happens except what we’ve already seen (one does new trick, other studies it, and then bests it), not to mention the stupidity of Jackman never bothering to translate the end of the diary before setting off on his journey, and then we get one of the sutpidest endings I’ve ever seen, where there is a clone machine that was invented by Tesla.

Yep, those are so subjective that it’s hard to do anything with it.

So, do you have “objective” standards that can be applied to a screenplay? Because I think my point still stands.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 13, 2008 at 10:54 pm

From the post where I mentioned ‘objectively’:

The characters aren’t really characters, just plot points, it has an ending that breaks the rules of the universe it had set up, and the framing device of flashbacks within flashbacks actually hinders rather than helps the story.
Throw in a few massive plot holes, and there you go.

“Objectively it’s not a well written film.”

Bullshit.

Gotta say, I’m with Joe. There was a good film here, unfortunately, it’s interrupted every ten minutes by some character giving a five minute speech on the theme and why this isn’t just a superhero movie, it’s a superhero movie with a message ™.
It’s a movie that feels compelled every few minutes to justify its existence, as though its ashamed of itself. And, let’s be honest, it is. It’s a superhero movie that wishes it was a complex character study making some sort of ineffable statement on the nature of human experience.

Unfortunately, it does this by rabbiting on with a series of pompous self-important speeches about heroism and responsibility and the nature of humanity and need and blah blah blah.

Seriously, it’s like sitting down to a fine meal and having the chef interrupt you every few minutes to tell you about how wonderful the food is.

I KNOW IT’S WONDERFUL, I’M FUCKING EATING IT!
STOP TALKING TO ME AND LET ME ENJOY IT!!!

I was expecting trash as far as the Joker and Two-Face were concerned. But they actually were really really good. Joker was still funny despite his dumb looking scarface(His serious angry voice was laughable LOOK AT ME!!) and Dent’s character was just awesome. Bale as Bruce Wayne remains awesome.

Everything else is pretty much crap though. Every piss-poor action sequence is edited and filmed in ways to make them barely intelligible and if that was not enough, Nolan feels this obscene need to cut away from the action to some crap extra who spouts a one-liner and each time I wonder “Why.”

For example, the major car chase. They cut from the action no less then 17 times, 11 of which were to the mysteriously silent driver who absolutely wasn’t anyone important(yeah right). It was just terrible. Joker shoots the van “I’ll take more then that!” Joker pulls out an RPG “Is that a bazooka?!” Jokers shoots the bazooka “OH SHI—!!!”. Explosions everywhere “This isn’t good” MORE EXPLOSIONS “THIS IS REALLY NOT GOOD!” What gives? How is that “masterful” or “brilliant” anything. Even during the sequence were Bats chasing after a falling character, we must cut away to an extra sitting in his cab drinking coffee, then back to the action for a second before we cut back to the extra seeing people fall from the sky and being shocked.

Also, no one in this movie knows when to shut up. From the very start, when the banker is lying on the ground with a shotgun wound in his gut. He manages to sum up the state of affairs in Gotham today, how things were in the past, and gives us “keen” insight into the Joker(WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN?!) in case the face paint and ruthless killing wasn’t enough.

Bernard the Poet

August 14, 2008 at 4:48 am

“Every piss-poor action sequence is edited and filmed in ways to make them barely intelligible”

That’s not unique to this film, the previous five films have negliable action sequences too. I blame the bat-suit, it is pretty clear that the actor inside can’t move, so more often than not the action sequence has Batman pushing buttons while remaining safely seated in his Batmobile.

Batman has a half decent punch-up with Ras Al Ghul at the end of Begins, and a kinky wrestle with Catwoman in Returns, but other than that nothing very memorable. Certainly it seems pallid stuff when you put it along side the Bourne films or Casino Royale.

I say for the next film they should bring back the tights, the satin cape and some Adam West styled fisticuffs.

Don’t kill the mood. Just lean back and let Batman make you feel good.

That’s great advice….for Christopher Nolan. Really wished he followed it.

This is a movie that, a few years from now, people are going to wonder what the fuss was about.

“There are points of this film where the dialog makes me want to pee in my eyeballs.”

Lines like this make me remember why I love your work so damn much, Rice. Well, that and reading this in spite of my very strident attempts to not be spoiled on anything in the movie, since I am the last man on earth who has not seen it.

“The characters aren’t really characters, just plot points, it has an ending that breaks the rules of the universe it had set up, and the framing device of flashbacks within flashbacks actually hinders rather than helps the story.
Throw in a few massive plot holes, and there you go.”

Those are all subjective criteria, even if I agreed that they all applied. Depends on what the film is trying to accomplish.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 14, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Bullshit.

Thanks for weighing in…

Those are all subjective criteria, even if I agreed that they all applied. Depends on what the film is trying to accomplish.

Not really, a script with those problems is not a good script.

It’s just flat out not.

“Not really, a script with those problems is not a good script.

It’s just flat out not.”

Prove it.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 14, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Prove that a script with characters who are just plot points, with a twist that breaks the rules of the universe it set up and a framing device that hinders rather than helps and has massive holes is not a good script?

I think it proves itself.

Actually, never mind: you can’t.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 14, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Actually, never mind: you can’t.

Well it depends, are you asking me to prove how The Prestige suffers from these, or are you asking me to prove why these elements guarantee a bad script?

Sorry, missed the hop…

Look, Funky, it doesn’t matter if you think it proves itself. So what? You want me to think you know what you’re talking about, you have to prove that it proves itself.

Except, seriously: you can’t, because it doesn’t. It already hasn’t!

Missed it again!

I was responding to this: “…a script with those problems is not a good script. It’s just flat out not.”

“Flat out not.” Strong words. Find one counterexample and the point is blown, I suppose?

But a script is not a movie. Not a finished comic book either. So what makes a good script? Are you really going to tell me that’s not the teeniest bit subjective?

Five comments from now we’ll be shouting. You can’t do it. It’s impossible. It’s been tried.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 14, 2008 at 11:21 pm

Find a good counter example and I’m willing to hear it.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 14, 2008 at 11:24 pm

But a script is not a movie.

Never said it was.

I think The Prestige is alright as a film, it’s well directed, the acting’s good for the most part, and it has some momentum to the story (it’s a bit uneven, but several times it gets a good momentum going).

That said, I think it’s a terrible script with some major flaws that stopped the rest of the film from being great.

If you read back, I brought up The Prestige to show that I don’t think the Nolan brothers write good scripts.

“Find a good counter example and I’m willing to hear it.” No. My point is that if a single counterexample could be found, it would prove your contention wrong. QED. But you could always reject the counterexample’s validity on the grounds that it doesn’t fit your definition of “good”. Then we’d start arguing about whether or not that value is subjective. It’s turtles all the way down, I’m afraid.

Particularly given: my point about a script not being a movie is that if there’s ever been a good movie made from a bad script, then you wouldn’t be able to point to any way the script was executed as proof that it was good to start with. Turtles again: just what does make a script — just a script! — “good”?

Let’s just not get into the whole thing.

Of course this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think the Nolan brothers write shitty scripts. It doesn’t even mean they don’t write shitty scripts! It just means there’s no formula like “if a script has features X, Y, and Z, it is never any good.”

Sorry, I may have come off a bit dickish here, but it’s that “flat out” business. It just pushes my buttons.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 15, 2008 at 12:03 am

No. My point is that if a single counterexample could be found, it would prove your contention wrong. QED. But you could always reject the counterexample’s validity on the grounds that it doesn’t fit your definition of “good”.

Not really, but if you brought up something like El Topo, I’d point out that it’s not a good script, it’s a good film.
And I’d be right, but I’d get accused of trying to worm my way out of it.

Sorry, I may have come off a bit dickish here, but it’s that “flat out” business. It just pushes my buttons.

I stand by it.

I know you all want to scream that you can’t have an objective set of criteria for bad script – but look at the problems I laid down as equating a bad script.
One of those is enough to kill most scripts, but all of them?
It’s a bad script.

“And I’d be right, but I’d get accused of trying to worm my way out of it.”

Right or not, you’d still have to prove it, for it to be proven. You couldn’t just say it, even if I agreed with you, and call that proof.

“I know you all want to scream that you can’t have an objective set of criteria for bad script – but look at the problems I laid down as equating a bad script.”

Again, thanks but no thanks. Why don’t you prove to me that they do equate to that, and then we’ll talk.

“I stand by it.”

Maybe so; but the question is, will it stand by you.

“It’s a bad script.”

So what if it is? That’s not what we disagree about.

joker has half of arkham’s crazies working for him, he set shit up in advance, oil in ferries was someone in gc transport who owes him, or a loony killed a night watchman.

joker went through a half-evacuated hospital planting c4 or something.

batman is boring, coz – well.. he is boring. hes a constipated gargoyle.

and the sound is called a doink doink, not donk donk.

janitors have access to stuff like a judges personal area, easy enough to find a brush.

the guy who runs into the office of comish leob is really sus.. he might be working for maroni, and joker “bought” him.

argument points refuted!
[makes whoosh sound as he runs off with hand in the air]

So basically, less than five percent of all the movies ever made have “good scripts” in terms of at least one of the criteria in the list being argued over?

[...] at best on that front. It helps that this is a stand alone story and not a tie in to that movie everyone has seen but me, actually, because they don’t have to adhere to the movie’s schedule [...]

@ Joe

It’s not a terrible film. Like I said, the performances are almost all, at the very least, very good. But the screen-writing on this thing was just rife with bad choices.

All you did in the post was nitpick the “bad” things. If that’s the only means you have to pointing out why a good film is bad, then that’s not a very convincing argument.

Omg, the mayor wore too much eyeliner = bad film. Nope, sorry.

Yeah, Batman’s voice was a little gruffer than usual. Is it that much of a big deal? No. Yeah, Batman was overshadowed by the Joker: but that’s how it’s SUPPOSED to be. The Joker steals the show.

No explanation for anything. How does he, for instance, get hundreds of barrels of oil and explosives onto municipal ferries? Uh, no idea.

You complain about the movie hitting you over the head with its own themes, but then you want it to explain every mundane detail that happens in between? Would the film be more “realistic” if the characters took bathroom breaks?

And like the other commenters were saying: The Joker is about chaos. He just exists. Why does the viewer need to know every little detail about HOW that chaos happens? That just takes the chaos out of the Joker’s chaos. It would be boring if we knew how he operated; he wouldn’t be as fascinating as a character.

And I think you were missing the point about what the Joker actually means by plans/schemes vs chaos. “I just do things,” he tells Harvey. He’s not talking about plans as in I-don’t-have-plans-because-I-never-think-ahead, he’s talking about plans as in order, as in trying to control things. The Joker is chaos: He does whatever he wants out of impulse. Listen to what the Joker tells Harvey in the hospital scene—he says a lot to explain what he means.

@ Eliot Johnson

When they said the film is more realistic, they were talking about two things. For one, the film has less CGI than most films do anymore today. Audiences are jaded and a lot of times don’t even realize the difference anymore. The truck flip? Real. The hospital blowing up? Real. Kudos to Chris Nolan for not taking the easy way out and making the film more enjoyable.

Second, the film is more realistic because Batman is a superhero that has no superpowers. He’s just an ordinary guy whose wealth allows him to have awesome, high-tech gadgets. The Joker has no superpowers, either.

You combine those two points and you get a film that makes you feel like, “Hey, this could actually be happening.” And that’s freaky as hell. Sure, like with any fiction you have to employ your suspension of disbelief. (Joe doesn’t seem to think so, he wants to know every detail.) That’s just to be expected.

Why do people have to nitpick everything? Can’t they just enjoy a movie instead of being harsh about everything? Meh.

Wow! There are a lot of failed angry writers on here…

It was the perfect summer blockbuster. Its sales figures so far show that the Nolans have actually managed to cover pretty much all the bases.

If you wanted arthouse Batman, forget it! It was NEVER going to happen… AOL Time Warner want money. Simple.

The reminders “every ten minutes” are aimed at your average American filmgoer, who (in Batman Begins for instance) keeps turning around and saying “huh? what? why’s he doing this again? Who is that?” And it seems to have worked…

Heres hoping for number three to be even bigger and better.

And remember… It was better than the Schumaker films put together… (and Ledger wiped the floor with Nicholson’s Joker – finally the Joker no longer suffers from Middle-Age-Spread! sorry Jack…)

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Right or not, you’d still have to prove it, for it to be proven. You couldn’t just say it, even if I agreed with you, and call that proof.

Hey, you’re the one who wants to disprove me, and the best way to do that is to test what I’m saying.

So basically, less than five percent of all the movies ever made have “good scripts” in terms of at least one of the criteria in the list being argued over?

No, if it has them all – which is why I find it odd that people are getting bent out of shape.
That was a bad script, and I used objectively to highlight that it wasn’t out of anything to do with taste in film etc that made me think that, just the script had undeniable flaws on most levels.

Everything else has come from other commentators putting words in my mouth.

“Hey, you’re the one who wants to disprove me, and the best way to do that is to test what I’m saying.”

You want me to test your wild claims for you? Why don’t you test them yourself? If you said the sky was green, and I said “prove it”, would you really tell me that no, it’s on me to disprove it? How about this, instead: I think there are objective criteria for determining the absolute worth of bold assertions, and you’re not meeting any of them.

Again, I’m not trying to be a dick — but you just put some words in my mouth, there, Funky, because I’m not at all interested in disproving you, and never said I was. You have not proved what you’re saying, is my one-and-only point. And I don’t know how to make it any more clearly, so perhaps I’d better not try anymore.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 25, 2008 at 12:49 am

Why don’t you test them yourself? If you said the sky was green, and I said “prove it”, would you really tell me that no, it’s on me to disprove it?

Any screenplay with characters who are just plot points, with a twist that breaks the rules of the universe it set up and a framing device that hinders rather than helps and has massive holes is not a good screenplay.

You previously said that any film that had these and succeeded would prove my claims of objective problems in the script as false.
That really should be easy enough for you to do, just like if I was to say that the sky was green, the easiest way to disprove my statement would be to show proof that it’s not ie taking me outside and pointing up, or showing me a photo.
Test my statement if you don’t believe it, because otherwise, I don’t really care. It’s an objective statement, so it really shouldn’t be hard to prove subjective if that’s the case.
I’m comfortable with my statement, so if you want to see it disproved, it’s up to you to do that.

Oh, for the love of…

“Any screenplay with characters who are just plot points, with a twist that breaks the rules of the universe it set up and a framing device that hinders rather than helps and has massive holes is not a good screenplay. You previously said that any film that had these and succeeded would prove my claims of objective problems in the script as false.”

I didn’t say it, Funky; logic said it.

What I’m saying is that I don’t even agree with your premises in the first place, because I find them so incredibly subjective that they’re practically tautological. A script that “hinders” instead of “helps” is not a good script, my my…why don’t you just go ahead and say that a bad script is a bad script due to its badness? “Massive” plot holes — is that a comparative to something? Well, we know you’re not telling! And, a script that “breaks its own rules” — why should anyone even care about that sort of thing, when it’s being talked about in terms so broad? SO. VERY. BROAD. Not to mention that’s you’re churning up scripts with the movies that are made from them — I could make a damn shitty movie from the script of Chinatown, but what would that prove? What makes a script good or bad, as distinct from what makes an overall movie good or bad? Obviously, again, you’ll never tell. But it’s clear that your opinion of The Prestige isn’t universally subscribed to, so the point is moot anyway: objectivity, if nothing else, oughtta be able to convince, but you haven’t even convinced me. Hell, you haven’t even tried! So it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are with your statement, you still can’t back it up, and that means it’s already no good at all.

You still think it’s reasonable to answer my “prove it” with “you disprove it”, but it isn’t. You can’t prove your point. YOU CAN’T PROVE YOUR POINT.

That’s me, pointing at the sky for you. See green up there if you want to, but I’m done.

Oh, except just to say this:

“Test my statement if you don’t believe it, because otherwise, I don’t really care.”

I have tested it, thank you, though I suspect you would not call the test valid. But, it’s not my concern if you would or wouldn’t, because I’m completely satisfied with my results, and ready to close the book on it. Glad we didn’t degenerate into a shouting-match. See you around.

And so this concludes my thread-hijack.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 25, 2008 at 9:02 pm

A script that “hinders” instead of “helps” is not a good script, my my…why don’t you just go ahead and say that a bad script is a bad script due to its badness?

Actually, I said the framing device hinders rather than helps, and as it’s a flash back into a flash back into a diary reading into a flash back – it’s like Wuthering Heights, except it just offers confusion without a real need.

“Massive” plot holes — is that a comparative to something?

No, the script just has holes that if one stops to think about don’t work.
In the case of this film – why do the twins confer on everything, except the one key piece of information requested at the funeral?
Why doesn’t Jackman finish reading the diary he’s translated before setting out to the other side of the world?

And, a script that “breaks its own rules” — why should anyone even care about that sort of thing, when it’s being talked about in terms so broad?

Because when the end of your movie relies on a sci-fi twist and it’s not a sci-fi movie, in fact it’s been very desperate to ground itself in the real world, you are breaking the rules of the universe that has been set up.

I could make a damn shitty movie from the script of Chinatown, but what would that prove?

That it had a good script and that you were a bad film maker.
In the same way that something like The Dark Knight can have an average to poor script but be a good film.

You still think it’s reasonable to answer my “prove it” with “you disprove it”, but it isn’t. You can’t prove your point. YOU CAN’T PROVE YOUR POINT.

My point is that The Prestige was a bad script. Not subjectively bad in the sense that it was solid, but I didn’t like it, but that it was objectively bad, in the sense that had serious problems which brought down the film as a whole, and even a fan of the film would admit that the script isn’t the strong suit.
I cited the problems I saw in the script.
Everything is else is just carrying on from you and others demanding I prove, PROVE, that these problems automatically make a bad script – I say the proof is in the pudding.
As you are the one’s who have the problem with my assessment, I have asked you to show me (or just mention) a script with all of these problems that is good.
This has not been done.
You want to disprove my statement, go for it. I’m all up for eating humble pie, but instead you just keep asking me to restate and restate.
Step up to the plate, or let it rest – you’re arguing my point with no proof to the contrary.

I have tested it, thank you, though I suspect you would not call the test valid. But, it’s not my concern if you would or wouldn’t, because I’m completely satisfied with my results, and ready to close the book on it.

Of course I wouldn’t accept it, you say you have, but haven’t given any examples of scripts with the ‘problems’ I cited that is a good film.

Glad we didn’t degenerate into a shouting-match.

I figured you were doing enough of it, that I didn’t have to.

I keep asking you…my God, can I have read this right, I keep fucking asking you to restate your thunderingly obtuse talking points, is that the line you’re inviting me to swallow now?

What a prick. I’m gone.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 25, 2008 at 11:27 pm

is that the line you’re inviting me to swallow now?

Yeah, it’s the one I’ve stuck to since the get go – since before you joined in on the discussion – so don’t crack the shits at me for changing my line, because I haven’t.

REALLY. You’ve been sticking to the line that I’ve been asking you to restate yourself, from since BEFORE I joined in on the discussion? And you say The Prestige breaks its own rules. I’ve been asking you shit from BEFORE I started asking you shit? I’ve changed my mind, I’m going to come back to this post again and again, to point out to people what a bad-faith argument looks like. ASTOUNDING. I’ve been asking you to repeat yourself from since before I started asking you to repeat yourself. That is so cool.

You’re rumbled, friend.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 26, 2008 at 1:49 am

You’ve been sticking to the line that I’ve been asking you to restate yourself, from since BEFORE I joined in on the discussion?

Yes.

And you say The Prestige breaks its own rules.

Yes, it breaks the rules of the universe it laid down.

I’ve been asking you shit from BEFORE I started asking you shit?

No, others did before you came in. The comments are all still there though, so you an take a look.

I’ve changed my mind, I’m going to come back to this post again and again, to point out to people what a bad-faith argument looks like.

Cool.

I’ve been asking you to repeat yourself from since before I started asking you to repeat yourself. That is so cool.

No, there were others commenting before you, and I restated my position for them.

They also yelled and screamed that it was impossible to say objectively ‘that screenplay is good’ and ‘that screenplay is bad’ – and to have good rules for doing that (like ‘no confusing framing devices’ and ‘don’t break the rules of your universe’ and ‘make sure there are no plot holes’), but failed to bring up a counter example – literally no one has done that, despite constant assurance that I’m so wrong, and just one counter example would prove me wrong.
2001 was brought up – to show a script where the characters don’t have a personality (it doesn’t have any of the other problems though). Now, I could argue that the characters do have personalities, Heywood Floyd has a different one to Dave Bowman for instance – but I’ll let it stand.
Does 2001: A Space Odyssey have a good script? No.
But it’s a great film.
The only other film brought up was by me, and that was El Topo.
Again, not a good script, but the films power isn’t from the script.

But that’s neither here nor there, not really.

The script for The Prestige has so many flaws, and isn’t well written, that it can be called, objectively – that is, without personal taste getting in the way – bad.

But yeah, I never claimed you were asking me to repeat myself before you asked me to repeat myself.
That’s just ridiculous.

You’re rumbled, friend.

Not sure what that means, but why not?

Ho ho ho, it certainly is ridiculous! Allow me to quote from what you just said. Ready?

Quote #1:

“You’ve been sticking to the line that I’ve been asking you to restate yourself, from since BEFORE I joined in on the discussion?”

“Yes.”

It’s awesome already, right? Okay, now for Quote #2:

“I’ve been asking you shit from BEFORE I started asking you shit?”

“No, others did before you came in.”

Hilarious! But let’s just do one more, to show the depth of non-reading of other people’s comments you’ve got going on here. Quote #3 is Quote #1 plus a couple lines that immediately follow it, just like this:

“You’ve been sticking to the line that I’ve been asking you to restate yourself, from since BEFORE I joined in on the discussion?”

“Yes.”

“And you say The Prestige breaks its own rules.”

“Yes, it breaks the rules of the universe it laid down.”

To which I can only say: dude, are you Eliza or something? Because that is some stunning failure to parse, right there. But wait, there’s more! And this one is the kicker of ‘em all. Quote #4:

“But yeah, I never claimed you were asking me to repeat myself before you asked me to repeat myself.
That’s just ridiculous.”

Oh it is, it is…and the very most ridiculous part of it is that you totally did too claim that, just one comment ago, and then you just did it again in Quote #1, and now you’re saying you never did it at all! I mean, you’re not even saying you were mistaken, or that you misspoke, or that (heaven forfend!) you were guilty of not reading carefully enough to understand what the fuck I was saying in the first place…no, not you. You are claiming that it never fucking happened.

Awesome! Hopelessly factually inaccurate, of course. But awesome! It never happened, because that’s just ridiculous.

“You’re rumbled” means, basically, “your cover is blown”. And oh boy is it ever. But the good news is, I don’t think you’re a prick anymore, just…I don’t know, high on Nyquil or something?

Must be Nyquil.

Carry on! And by the way, if you feel like copping to that whole “wasn’t paying attention” thing, we can get past that bad blood in about a half a second. Not that I particularly expect you to cop to jack, as that seems not to be your way. But either way, this shit just got perversely enjoyable.

This went to a weird place.

Plok – I questioned FunkyGreenJerusalem’s use of the word “objective” before you did, so he has been standing on the same point since before you showed up. You seem to have worked yourself into a rage over this, actually, and now you’re not making sense. Since we were on the same side of this discussion, that’s too bad – you’re not helping us now.

FunkyGreenJerusalem – I don’t even particularly disagree with the standards you propose, although we might disagree on the application of them (I might think something has giant plot holes where you think it doesn’t, etc.). So giving you counter-examples is completely beside the point. What I do disagree with is calling these standards “objective”. They are subjective. That’s the disagreement. (At least, that’s my disagreement, I don’t know what Plok’s so pissed about anymore.)

I’m not one bit pissed, Tyson. Not even a little. I was getting there, until I realized Funky simply wasn’t reading anything I wrote for comprehension. Hence his stubborn adherence to the idea that repeating the claim is the same as proving it, his airy two-word dismissals of what I took to be some cogent arguing on other folks’ part, and most tellingly his radical misreading of my two-sentence post expressing incredulity at his bullshit. To read “are you fucking serious about telling me I asked you to repeat yourself, when I clearly haven’t done any such thing, in fact have only asked the opposite” in such a way as to make the answer “yes, and I’ve been serious about that all along, even before you got here” rather gives the game away: he’s just not paying attention, so there’s no point talking to him.

But what makes it comedy is when he says he never replied incoherently at all. Hmm, I guess I should’ve asked questions better-suited to the replies he was planning to give, then! All my fault, clearly.

Hope that makes sense, Tyson. Also, our side doesn’t need any “help” — Funky’s already been disproved a couple of times, he’s just refused to acknowledge it. Because naturally, The Prestige itself is the magical counterexample, isn’t it?

More comedy.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Oh it is, it is…and the very most ridiculous part of it is that you totally did too claim that, just one comment ago, and then you just did it again in Quote #1, and now you’re saying you never did it at all! I mean, you’re not even saying you were mistaken, or that you misspoke, or that (heaven forfend!) you were guilty of not reading carefully enough to understand what the fuck I was saying in the first place…no, not you. You are claiming that it never fucking happened.

Dude, I NEVER claimed you were asking me to repeat myself before you joined the thread.
Not one of my posts says that, and not one of the parts you quoted me above has me saying that.

Did I claim that I’ve stuck to the same argument from before you joined the thread? YES.
Do I feel that your points are pretty much the same one’s I’d already heard in this thread? YES.

Carry on! And by the way, if you feel like copping to that whole “wasn’t paying attention” thing, we can get past that bad blood in about a half a second. Not that I particularly expect you to cop to jack, as that seems not to be your way. But either way, this shit just got perversely enjoyable.

Whatever mate, you’re being rude, and putting words in my mouth, that I never said.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I don’t even particularly disagree with the standards you propose, although we might disagree on the application of them (I might think something has giant plot holes where you think it doesn’t, etc.). So giving you counter-examples is completely beside the point. What I do disagree with is calling these standards “objective”. They are subjective. That’s the disagreement.

As I said before, I consider the script to be objectively bad – as in, my own taste doesn’t come into it, it’s a poorly written film – it breaks enough rules of the trade to earn that.
I can already hear people saying ‘but great art breaks the rules’ but I’ve heard that said about Liefeld as well – there’s a difference between setting out to tread new ground to break the ‘rules’, and just breaking them.
My argument is, and it has been since I first said it, is that with this many problems the script is ‘objectively bad’.
The individual problems, or elements may not be objectively bad (except breaking the rules of the established universe, that is objectively bad), but when all put together, make for an objectively bad script.

That said, I think that if you were to take a long hard ‘objective’ look at the script to The Prestige – or watch the film and ignore anything that would have been added after the scripting stage – you would note the exact same problems I did.
Why?
Because they are problems in the script – Nolan may distract you so you don’t sit their thinking about the problems, because he is a good director, but they are there, and there are many of them, and any in-depth analysis of the film or script would have to acknowledge them.

(At least, that’s my disagreement, I don’t know what Plok’s so pissed about anymore.)

Yeah, we left things I’ve actually said a long time ago.

I haven’t put a single word in your mouth, actually. Although you’ve tried to put a truckload in mine.

I consider that rude.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 26, 2008 at 10:55 pm

I haven’t put a single word in your mouth, actually. Although you’ve tried to put a truckload in mine.

I consider that rude.

Then be offended.

I have just re-read all of my posts – not once do I attempt to put words in your mouth, heck, I haven’t even rephrased anything you’ve said to suit me.

Look, I’ve told you the problems that are in the script – Plot holes, No characters, Breaking rules of own universe, Narrative device hinders rather than helps – you can continue you to rant and yell and even isolate those who started on your side of the debate, but I’m not sure what else you want.
There is a difference between a good script and a bad script – not ones you personally like or dislike, but one’s that are good, and one’s that are bad.
They may not necessarily lead to good or bad films – the script is just the blue print after all.
The Prestige is a bad script.
Objectively bad.
My personal taste plays no part in that.

The reason I keep sticking to what I’ve said is that I feel anyone reading them can see what I’m saying – not agree necessarily (we’ve already learnt at this blog ‘objective’ seems to be a subjective word) – but understand what I’m saying.
Tyson questions how I can call something a plot hole, but a plot hole is a plot hole – where something happens, that doesn’t make any sense.
The Prestige for instance, has several key plot moments hinging on events, that when thought about, don’t make any logical sense, but need to be there for the story to progress.
You can say it’s subjective, but it’s not – I know of several movies with plot holes that I enjoy.
So you can say you want me to restate, or re-explain, but it’s pretty clear what I’m talking about, to the point that I can’t see a way of re-explaining that would make it clearer.

To make it clearer, I’ll quote you from earlier in all this:

It just means there’s no formula like “if a script has features X, Y, and Z, it is never any good.”

Yes there is – if a script has too many problems it ceases to be a good script.

And to stop the arguing before it begins, we aren’t talking about features, we’re talking about problems.
And yes, you can identify a problem in a script as a problem.

“So you can say you want me to restate”

BWAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…!

Oh, mercy. Come on, a joke’s a joke, but this is too much. Never put words in my mouth. Right. Sure.

My God, who in the world do you think you’re fooling?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 26, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Seriously Plok, I have no idea what you are going on about.

Not sure any others do either.

Oh, it’s quite painfully apparent you have no idea, Funky, don’t fret about that!

You really think that’s what I’ve been doing, don’t you? Asking you to restate and re-explain your position.

When all along I’ve been asking you to stop doing that.

Sigh. And now you’re probably going to explain it to me again, aren’t you? Oh, very well…if you must…

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 27, 2008 at 12:17 am

Oh, mercy. Come on, a joke’s a joke, but this is too much. Never put words in my mouth. Right. Sure.

When did I put words in your mouth?
Show the quote.

My God, who in the world do you think you’re fooling?

I’m not trying to fool anyone.
I’ve stated my stance in this.
I’ve even answered questions about it.
I’ve thrown the offer out there to disprove my stance.
By your own words it would take one single example to prove me wrong.
You have yet to offer an example, yet say you have already disproved it.
I can’t find that post.

I’m happy to discuss this, I think I’ve shown that, but if it’s going to be to someone whose idea of debate is to go ‘Prove it! Ha you can’t! Go on, Prove it! Ha, you can’t! I already disproved it’ – which is how you sound to me right now, with several extra dashes of just flat out rudeness – then what’s the point?

Oh, it’s quite painfully apparent you have no idea, Funky, don’t fret about that!

Um…

You seem to have worked yourself into a rage over this, actually, and now you’re not making sense. Since we were on the same side of this discussion, that’s too bad – you’re not helping us now.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 27, 2008 at 12:25 am

You really think that’s what I’ve been doing, don’t you? Asking you to restate and re-explain your position.

It seems you need it – you don’t seem to be talking to me at all about the things I’ve actually said.
Hence the assumption you’ve not actually understood what I’ve said.

When all along I’ve been asking you to stop doing that.

And yet rabbiting on as though you aren’t understanding what I’, saying – that there are such things as good scripts and bad scripts, at an objective level.
You disagree and demand proof, and as I’ve said before, the proof is in the pudding.
By your own assertion, one counter-example is all that is needed to disprove me.
One has yet to be provided.

Sigh. And now you’re probably going to explain it to me again, aren’t you? Oh, very well…if you must…

Well if you’re going to challlenge them without providing anything to challenge them with, yeah.

You may disagree with me that my statements stand, and that’s fine, but if you want me to see that, then actually find this counter example – a script that has these problems (or features if you prefer, but they are problems), yet is still a good script.
You may not feel you have to, but if you wanted me to come around to your point of view, that would be the way to go about it.

Unless you’re just here to toot your own horn, in which case, carry on.

I showed the quote. It’s “so you can say you want me to restate.” It’s absurd. You’re just not listening. I don’t want you to restate. How much clearer can I make it? Why do you keep saying I’m asking you to restate, when I keep asking you not to? Why do you continue to put those words in my mouth, and then say you don’t, as in the same breath you do so?

And as for “I’ve even answered questions about it”

No, actually, you haven’t. Repeating your manifesto to all and sundry isn’t answering questions, it’s not answering questions.

By the way, the rage/isolating allies thing really doesn’t cut any ice with me. And I’m not here to toot my own horn, I’m here to make rude noises at the way you stubbornly persist in distorting and/or none-too-cleverly avoiding my previous comments. Well, but there’s rude and rude — and what is it about all your distortion and ducking, that should merit my politeness? The craziest thing is when you go on about how I want you to repeat yourself. I mean, how even to get to anything else, when you’re just cemented onto that absurd thing? And so incredibly, obviously, provably DEAD WRONG about it, but my God you simply will not let it go. If you can’t concede you’ve been off-base about that, then clearly you can’t be trusted to concede anything else either, so why should I debate you? Debate? This isn’t a debate, it’s a tape-loop. You want to really show me up, break the loop and answer this one question directly:

Do you really believe I’ve been asking you to repeat yourself?

I dare you to make this good faith gesture. Answer the question. It’s just one question, but it’s a crucial one.

If you don’t…well, there are always rude noises to make, I suppose.

Or, you know, the hell with it, or something.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 27, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Well, but there’s rude and rude — and what is it about all your distortion and ducking, that should merit my politeness?

What is it about my posts that requires that much swearing and accusations of being high?

The craziest thing is when you go on about how I want you to repeat yourself. I mean, how even to get to anything else, when you’re just cemented onto that absurd thing? And so incredibly, obviously, provably DEAD WRONG about it, but my God you simply will not let it go.

But no one has proved it wrong.
Tyson made the most of the attempt, you’ve just told me I’m dead wrong, and it’s so easy to prove, but you haven’t actually.
Hence, my ‘stubborn’ refusal to concede my point – I don’t feel it has been disproven.
Saying it’s easy to disprove is different from disproving it.
Saying it can’t be proven isn’t the same as disproving it.
Calling me out for not going into it in greater and greater detail isn’t disproving it.

There is such a thing as a bad script.
There are key elements that seperate a good script from a bad script.

Do you really believe I’ve been asking you to repeat yourself?

No, but my point has been distorted several times and so restating what I’ve already said keeps my points from getting dragged away from me and changed.
I stated my view – as a tangent to my point when starting this disucssion – and you and a couple of others got worked into a huff about it.
I had no interest in debating the point, but I want people to actually say why I’m wrong instead of just telling me I already am – and yet at the same time getting worked up because I’m the one not backing my points up?
I’m sorry, but that’s bullshit.

So once again, I shall restate an argument from before:

I know you all want to scream that you can’t have an objective set of criteria for bad script – but look at the problems I laid down as equating a bad script.
One of those is enough to kill most scripts, but all of them?
It’s a bad script.

If you want to prove me wrong, disprove that – my proof is that there’s never been a script that is good with these problems.

Note:
You not being able to separate a script from the finished film isn’t my problem, so please don’t bring that in again.
It only makes your argument seem weak.

Okay, seriously, check this out:

“The craziest thing is when you go on about how I want you to repeat yourself. I mean, how even to get to anything else, when you’re just cemented onto that absurd thing? And so incredibly, obviously, provably DEAD WRONG about it, but my God you simply will not let it go.

But no one has proved it wrong.
Tyson made the most of the attempt, you’ve just told me I’m dead wrong, and it’s so easy to prove, but you haven’t actually.
Hence, my ’stubborn’ refusal to concede my point – I don’t feel it has been disproven.”

In that passage you quote from me, I am saying you are provably DEAD WRONG about me asking you to repeat yourself. You respond as if I was talking about something else.

Do you understand the problem?

Do you understand that Tyson didn’t say anything about it?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 27, 2008 at 6:59 pm

In that passage you quote from me, I am saying you are provably DEAD WRONG about me asking you to repeat yourself.

I assumed you were talking about the issue we’re debating, and whether there are objective standards in a screenplay.
Often it seems you are arguing points I’m not making or saying, and as such, I repeat my stance so that the goal posts aren’t shifted

I couldn’t care less if you’ve asked me to repeat myself or not, if I feel I have to for my point, or to emphasise that I don’t feel you’ve addressed what I’ve stated, I will.

You respond as if I was talking about something else.

As if you were talking about my views that you are opposed to?
The thing I was interested in discussing?
Yeah.

Do you understand the problem?

You’re hooked on me misreading a line from a post before or something?
I really don’t know – you’re getting quite obscure.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 27, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Do you understand that Tyson didn’t say anything about it?

If you re-read the comments from the top, from before you joined in, you will see Tyson arguing my point.

You may not recognise it as such, because he does better than posting ‘Prove it’ and then directly after making another post that says ‘You can’t’.

If you don’t want to argue the actual point, then just let this die.
If you do, actually do it.
You haven’t been thus far.
No.
You really haven’t.

Oh, stop your whining, you damned fool. Don’t you even realize what it is that you’ve admitted? Are you really that fucking dense?

What shamelessness. Absolutely disgraceful.

Plok, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to make any sense of your posts. Really. I don’t agree with Funky’s position, but he (or she? I don’t know) hasn’t been particularly unreasonable about it. Meanwhile, you’ve been getting angrier and angrier, for no readily apparent reason.

So just chill out, realize that you don’t agree with Funky, and let it go. It’s fun to argue about comics, right up until you stress out and your head explodes.

Beg to differ, Tyson.

And as I said before, I’m not angry.

Beg to differ, Tyson.

Meaning you do think it’s still fun to keep arguing after you’ve stressed out and your head exploded?

I’m kidding around here, of course, but that post was a good example of what’s weak in your arguments. Saying “I don’t agree” is not an argument. It’s a disagreement. An argument is when you say why you don’t agree.

I argued with Funky’s statement by pointing out that I believe judgements about screenplays are inherently subjective, not objective. Funky kept asking for examples, which is kind of besides the point, and you just kept saying “you’re wrong, you’re wrong!”, until you then decided to start swearing and calling Funky names.

I’m afraid my recollection of events is somewhat different from yours, Tyson. But, maybe we can just agree to disagree about that.

I do think I’m done with bankrupt old Funky, though, since at this point I can’t imagine him misquoting me any more aggressively. And so there’s probably nothing left to look at, here. Sorry you didn’t find my comments sense-making! I thought yours were right to the point.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 28, 2008 at 12:26 am

Oh, stop your whining, you damned fool. Don’t you even realize what it is that you’ve admitted? Are you really that fucking dense?

Sorry about before, I can see your point, I was definitely the rude one in all this.

What shamelessness. Absolutely disgraceful.

Yeah, it’s the way I refused to let you frame the debate that really irks me – if only I’d played by your rules, we could have avoided all of this.

I argued with Funky’s statement by pointing out that I believe judgements about screenplays are inherently subjective, not objective.

So you think a plot hole in a script isn’t an objective problem?

Or do you feel that labeling something a plot hole is subjective?

Funky –

Okay, this is my final attempt. I don’t care about the contents of your list of rules. I care about calling the list objective. It’s really that simple.

So, you could have the rule “good screenplays don’t have plot holes”, or it could have the rule “good screenplays don’t have characters named Bob”, and it wouldn’t matter. Because I don’t care about the contents of your list of rules.

If I agreed with every single rule you propose it wouldn’t matter. I don’t care about the contents of your list of rules.

If I came up with examples showing that your list was incorrect, it would have nothing to do with my position. Because I don’t care about the contents of your list of rules.

My position, stated several times, quite clearly, is with calling your list, or anybody’s list, objective. I think it’s absurd to call a subjective set of aesthetic opinions “objective”. People have been trying this for thousands of years in different arts, and their rules all tend to fade away, because they aren’t objective. What makes art good is subjective, not objective.

Now, I am not a moral relativist, so if we were using the word “good” to denote “morally good” instead of “aesthetically good”, maybe I would agree that there are some objective rules. “Screenplays glorifying National Socialism are bad”, or “Screenplays encouraging people to behave responsibly are good”, etc. But that’s not what you were saying. You were trying to lend some sort of authority to your post by saying “objectively” instead of saying “in my opinion”, and you got questioned on it. (And, then you got badgered by a third party, but that’s not my fault.)

So, to sum up, you are perfectly free to discuss plot holes, of course, but that will not have anything to do with arguing for or against my point. Defending why you think your list of rules is “objective” will.

Must you bring me in on it with the “badgering by third party” thing, Tyson, I mean was there really no other way to make your point? Did you so badly need to distance yourself from remarks which anyone can see you had nothing to do with anyway?

I reject the characterization, as Funky will reject your well-reasoned argument.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 28, 2008 at 10:45 pm

You were trying to lend some sort of authority to your post by saying “objectively” instead of saying “in my opinion”, and you got questioned on it.

I wasn’t trying to add authority, I just believe that there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ when it comes to writing.

You’ve got to leave this BS about ‘art’ behind and look at it from a distance – of course there’s good and there’s bad writing, you’re free to like the bad stuff as well, but you should be able to acknowledge it’s bad, because liking it alone doesn’t make it good.

And as such, I would put The Prestige’s script in the category of bad.

I’m also having trouble understanding why it’s wrong for me to call a plot hole bad writing… it’s a hole in the plot, of course that’s bad – part of the script doesn’t make sense… in and of itself it doesn’t make sense.
That’s bad writing.

If a script has enough moments of bad writing, the accumulative effect of them is that the script is bad.

I know it may sound like poor form to strip a script of it’s romance and ‘art’ status and get technical about it, but there’s no reason not to.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

August 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Golden and Silver age comics are full of examples of bad writing.
There’s a Superman comic where Jimmy goes to investigate a fair for unsafe rides.
The first thing he does when he gets there? Go on a ride because it looks fun.
That’s bad writing.
After Superman has saved him from the ride – of course it malfunctions and Jimmy is thrown off it from a great height – he then goes over for a look at the bottomless pit, where he takes a photo down the pit and says ‘this will make a great scoop for the Daily Planet’.
Taking a photo of a hole is a great scoop? A photo of a hole that is on public display is a scoop?
That’s bad writing.
(even if the hole does lead to an ancient civilization).

You’ve got to leave this BS about ‘art’ behind and look at it from a distance – of course there’s good and there’s bad writing, you’re free to like the bad stuff as well, but you should be able to acknowledge it’s bad, because liking it alone doesn’t make it good.

That quote perfectly summarizes how you don’t understand what I’m saying. I don’t know if the communication breakdown is on my side or yours, but I really am trying to make it clear. Switching from “objective” to “bad” doesn’t in any way change the argument you are making. You are trying to say that you and I and Plok and Joe and everyone else should acknowledge the same set of criteria for judging screenplays. I think that this is not a well-thought out view.

For me, good art (and I include writing in the word “art”) moves me, bad art doesn’t. It’s not about technical execution, or cleverness, or anything else. The good stuff moves me, the bad stuff doesn’t. That is my only criteria.

Your good stuff may not be based on it moving you, but instead on some set of technical standards. That’s fine – but that’s why this is subjective, not objective.

I’m also having trouble understanding why it’s wrong for me to call a plot hole bad writing… it’s a hole in the plot, of course that’s bad – part of the script doesn’t make sense… in and of itself it doesn’t make sense.
That’s bad writing.

You need to step back and look at that quote from a distance – you’re making the assumption that the plot matters enough to effect whether the script is good or bad. Their are screenplays (and books, and comics) where the plot is almost irrelevant. You probably don’t like those kinds of stories. Fair enough. You not liking them doesn’t mean that they’re objectively bad.

Every sentence you’ve written when you try to support your “objectivity” has been full of these kinds of subjective assumptions. My views on art are driven by my assumptions, too, but I don’t try to make universal rules out of them by calling them “objective”.

I’m not much of a fan of Golden and Silver age Superman, so I can’t really comment on the examples you give there.

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