Posts Tagged ‘Scarecrow’

Scarecrow

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Character
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Doctor Jonathan Crane, like the better Batman villains takes an aspect of his adversary, and takes it to an extreme level.

Better known as Scarecrow, Dr. Crane uses a toxin he created to get people to hallucinate their greatest fears. Batman uses fear, but in more natural way of freaking out thugs, he uses the dark to play on people’s senses and once they get into a vulnerable state the caped crusader uses intimidation to finish off the bad guys.

When Scarecrow is used effectively he makes an excellent opponent, playing Batman at his own game, sometimes giving the hero a taste of his own worst fears.

Fear is something that has to be used sparingly. Or else it gets tiresome, and just becomes a bunch of tropes. The best uses of it tend to be where you don’t realize whats going on until the very end. Like the episode in The Animated Series where Batgirl falls to her death in front of her father, and Commissioner Gordon hunts down Batman, Robin, and Nightwing because in his eyes, they are just as guilty as whoever made her fall. The spoiler ending is that she was unconscious, dosed with some fear toxin giving her┬áthe most dramatic nightmare. It’s one of the better episodes near the end of the series, and well worth a watch.

I thought Batman Begins had an unexpectedly well thought out version of the character. In a cinematic telling origin story of Batman, Scarecrow isn’t exactly at the top of most movie goers lists.

Scarecrow can be an effective villain against Batman, it’s just difficult to find the proper place where he can foil Batman convincingly.

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Batman Begins

Posted: June 16, 2014 in Movie
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The Batman movies that started In 1989 went from being a more serious take on The Bat to an almost re-imaging of the Adam West Batman tv series in four movies. The last one Batman and Robin almost killed off the Bat movies altogether, and there weren’t any for a good long time.

Until someone had the bright ides of taking Batman back to where it all began. I don’t know if Christopher Nolan knew he was in for a whole Batman trilogy at the start, but the first one wasn’t half bad.

Taking Bruce Wayne from being a man, to The Batman hadn’t been told in a movie yet. And barely glimpsed at in other media. To be fair, Batman Begins still skips a lot of the journey, but does take place where the interesting things happen.

Christian Bale is a decent enough Bruce Wayne, his Batman is a little to be desirable, but after George Clooney it was awesome.

Having Scarecrow be the main villain at the outset was a nice choice, but if you know Batman, then Ra’s al Ghul being in the movie meant there was going to be something else going down behind the scenes.

The movie itself is as you would expect. A pseudo year- one Dark Knight introduction. It doesn’t really change anything to the creation of the Bat mythos that might cause a fan to get upset, like silly costumes or terrible dialogue. It just does Batman.

Begins throws in a few new characters into the mix, Ducard played by Liam Neeson is the one who trains him in the League of Shadows, who turns out to be the main antagonist all along. Surprising as I was, as soon as it happened I should have seen it coming. Ra’s al Ghul is a clever villain. The second “new” character was Katie Holmes character Rachel Dawes, Bruce’s childhood friend, and secret crush.

Ducard was all about deception, making Bruce think Ra’s had died and the League of Shadows disbanded when Bruce refused his offer. It’s a good twist. A lesson learned, you can’t get rid of the League of Shadows, and their reach is beyond what you could ever comprehend.

However.

Rachel Dawes is a terrible character. If this had been a new movie with never before seen characters, I would’ve been ok. The existence of a MaryJane to Peter Parker equivelant for this universe’s Batman seems wholly unnecessary. If she is integral to whatever story they had, the storytellers could get there in a better way. I just want to poke her with a stick and ask “why are you even here in this movie”. Rachel doesn’t do anything of importance. There are at least two women better suited for Bruce’s attention. Even if you want to say, yeah, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle have known each other since they were kids, Catwoman is a way more interesting character than Rachel, and they have the perfect chance to have Talia al Gul in the movie setting up their whole love/hate relationship for a later movie. No. Instead we get someone new, dull, and not worth their side of the story.

Other than that, I thought this was a good movie. Michael Cane as Alfred was great, and Gary Oldman as James Gordon was an excellent choice.

Depending on whether you think Bruce Wayne should know who killed his parents, certain scenes might be a little maddening, but Batman Begins tries going to the core of who Batman is like no other theatrical release has. Not only does Batman tackle two big villains, but the major a crime syndicate and it’s lord. A trifecta of justice if you will.