Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

Josh Steinberg

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Josh Steinberg
What I particularly like about the Nolan films, and this is something that the film medium was great for, was the unofficial premise of the films. That is, if there could be an actual Batman, what would that look like in real life? It’s obviously a work of fiction with creative license and technology and physics that exceed the possible, but it all strictly falls within what Walt Disney would have called “the plausible impossible”.

That kind of approach doesn’t really work with most other superheroes but there is a window to do that kind of take on Batman if you set aside crossovers with superpowered heroes and villains. Nolan’s world doesn’t allow for the existence of a Superman or a villain like Killer Croc. It adjusts some of the character details to fit an expectation of reality: the Joker is a terrorist wearing war paint rather than a gangster who fell into a vat of toxic waste; Bane wears a mask that delivers an anesthetic to alleviate chronic pain rather than a steroid that he’ll instantly shrink to a scrawny guy without. Even Batman himself is portrayed as a guy who is trying to accomplish a specific task and then give it up, rather than someone planning on carrying out that role forever.

It probably can’t be the definitive Batman for all that it leaves out; but it creates (for me at least) a very exciting portrait of what this would look like if someone tried to do it for real. It’s a take I hadn’t really seen or imagined before and one that still resonates with me.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Take Nolan's handling of the Joker. The first Burton film had a change to Batman's origin story to support a too-clever-by-half "I created you" … "No, you created me."
Yeah, I always hated that change. Way too cutesy.

IIRC, Bob Kane claimed in 1989 that he loved the change and they would've made Joker the Waynes' murderer decades earlier if they'd thought of it, but I think he was just playing nice to promote the movie...
 

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