Category: the Batman


 

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Bob Kane created Batman.  We know this because we’ve seen his name in the ‘Created By’ credit for more than 70 years now.

Bill Finger is the person who, among other things, came up with the idea of the Bat logo on the chest.  And wearing a cowl instead of a domino mask.  And Bruce Wayne.  And Gotham City. And the Joker. And the blue and black color scheme. And ‘the Dark Knight’.

All of which begs the question…

HOW IN THE BLUE HELL IS BILL FINGER ONLY RECENTLY GETTING HIS DUE?!?

The Hulu documentary ‘Batman and Bill’ is the most comprehensive single piece that tries to rectify this creative wrong.  The short version of this story is classic Hollywood: Bob Kane was connected to the publishers and personality wise much more driven by celebrity and public validation.  Bill Finger (as the second paragraph alone illustrates) was more the ‘creative genius’ type, more interested in craft and ideas than notoriety.

Marc Tyler Nobleman is pun intended, the hero this story deserves.  I won’t ruin all the details of the journey for you; I will warn you that on a human level that has nothing to do with comics, you’ll feel a level of pity, disgust, and contempt at how the lives of Bill Finger and Bob Kane played out as Batman became one of the most iconic characters in the world.  Thankfully, ‘Batman and Bill’ ends on a happy note.  With a level of sarcasm, I’ll say it ends with one of the best parts of ‘Batman v Superman’…

The hardcore fans will find it; if you like documentaries and ‘behind the scenes’ stories, it’s excellent in that regard as well.

 

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Never had any desire to go to Coachella…

But now feel like I need to scalp my way into the next Hans Zimmer show…

Enjoy (cause you know I am…)

 

 

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It’s a dope trailer.  And the song of course, clinched it for me.

To borrow another title from that catalog, Don’t Let Me Down Warner Brothers.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Been on a Hans Zimmer kick all day.  Of course I’m biased, but after John Williams I’m pretty sure he makes my favorite scores.

This movie was divisive, but the score was great (in my opinion).

Enjoy!

 

 

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As I’ve expressed to those close to me, I’ve officially made the transition from ‘being surprised/relieved’ at being happy and content most of the time, to now accepting this is my default attitude.

So as I have peace and optimism in my home, I can refocus my anger, resentment and theatricality in a constructive way, with the skills I’ve acquired over the years.

 

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Warner Brothers, you sneaky studio…

When the world is more in a mood for a silly Dark Knight, we get the silliest of them all.  ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ is the latest animated film from WB Animation, and it’s a homerun (for what it is).

Reuniting Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo who was the introduction to Batman for most kids, this film is silly and absurd in all the ways the 1966 TV show was.  Only Julie Newmar is still living on the villain side, and she reprises Catwoman along with three great sound alikes for Penguin, Joker, and the Riddler.  The plot is ridiculous, and only makes less sense as the movie goes, but so what?  Animation is the reason the original actors can reprise these characters, and animation opens the door for a TON of in jokes for the adults, that cover everything from the homoerotic nature of a grown man living with a teenage boy, to Frank Miller to the Tim Burton films to the Chris Nolan films.

Is this an all time classic?  Nahhh.  But you want a version of Batman you can watch with your youngest with no worries?  Here you go.

Must see for Batman completionists.

 

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Things are looking up and getting wrapped up in a way I can allow myself to think about the next #MalikWeek, which is already themed ‘Dark Knight of Cups’.

As I’m in a high mood, treat yourself to another very, very lovely George Benson cover of a Beatles song.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Gordon: “I never cared who you were.”

The Batman: “And you were right.”

Gordon: “But shouldn’t the people know who saved them?”

The Batman: “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know the world hadn’t ended.”

(Gordon realizes the civilian alter ego of the Batman.)

One of the few days in the past few years where all of us put our cynicism aside was the story of the Batkid in San Francisco.  What started as a slightly outsized Make a Wish request turned into a story that took over social media and had people around the world captivated for one day.

‘Batkid Begins’ gives a pretty good behind the scenes look at how it all came to pass.  The initial request from the boy (“I want to be the real Batman”) to his explanation of why the Dark Knight (like a lot of us, he was pulled into re-runs of the 60s TV show and even at that age, he caught on to maybe the single greatest appeal: he has no superpowers).  How calling in favors to the Mayor’s Office and the Police Chief exploded into a city wide and then worldwide phenomenon (thank you social media).  It’s still a great story.  Even the cynical question of ‘the city has better things to spend money on’ was corrected by a wealthy couple who ended up footing the bill (this went down near Silicon Valley after all.)

You want to feel good about people again for a couple hours?  Relive the story again through this movie.

Now streaming on Netflix.

kareem

Quite a month for me.

A sports fan dream weekend (minus the actual game) and time spent with two legendary fan bases.  An Indian mendhi and a Muslim wedding in Pasadena.  A black church funeral in Inglewood.  Even by my normal standards, I think it’s very possible I touched on every single element of my personal identity the past few weekends.  It’s been a wild stretch.

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You can’t be all things to all people (and you really shouldn’t even try.)  But I take a lot of pride in the bonds I’ve made and nurtured over a lifetime, all without crossing over to the point of being phony.  And having said that, I know there are still people who I don’t see enough of.  And there are still relationships I’m actively looking to create.  As my comic book alter ego could be described, I can be ‘comfortably alone but never lonely.’

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The end of the ‘Malik Fall Tour 2016’ has been an unplanned but welcome visit from my father.  When he arrived, I asked him what restaurant in L.A. he wanted to go to, and naturally he chose Popeye’s.  As we ate in comfortable silence, ‘Let It Be’ came over the restaurant’s loudspeakers.  It drew an amused smile out of me.

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I infamously and truthfully spent years putting other things in front of my health and my personal life.  A job that would ‘change everything’, the next big party, the next object of my lust, the next ‘you only live once’ experience.  And I own all of it.

But it seems even before I course corrected, I was a ‘good enough’ dude to build these meaningful relationships to carry me through my adult life.  I’m reminded often that ‘having people’ is not any kind of a given.  I won’t detail any of it here other than to say I’ve been humbled to the core of my being repeatedly over the past month by those who think the highest of me.  If anything can describe why I push myself the way that I do, it’s because I don’t always feel like I am this person that my loved ones describe me to be, but I’m trying to live up to what they see in me.

(Is that real enough for you?)

Onward and Upward.

Batman: the Telltale Game

 

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First and foremost, it’s not the Arkham series.  That’s still the standard for Batman (and probably all superhero) games.

But Batman: the Telltale Series is great in all the ways that it’s different.  It’s not a button masher at all, but still very much a Batman game.

The beauty of this game is in how it makes you consider the ramification for each aspect of the character.  What type of Dark Knight are you?  A completely psychopathic ‘beat all criminals to near death’ like Batfleck, or do you see the Dark Knight as more of a symbol and a scare tactic like Malik Aziz?

Then there’s the public persona of Bruce Wayne.  Do you carry yourself like an oddball recluse like Michael Keaton, or do you lean more into the pretentious, flippant guy in the Armani suits who has a taste for beautiful women, like Malik Aziz?

And there’s the aspect the movies rarely dig deep into: the legacy/relationship of the Wayne family to Gotham.  You’re the oldest of old money.  Your parents were well known philanthropists.  As the last standing Wayne, did your parents’ murder make you into an idealist like Batman Begins Christian Bale? Or are you a pragmatist who understands how the sausage gets made on the highest levels, like Malik Aziz?

The game branches out based on the choices you make, Choose Your Adventure style.  It’s a mental exercise in making important choices on instinct and dealing with the ramifications (like life), not a brawler.  (So you can’t really ‘die’ as much as not finish fights as quickly.  Not like you’d lose anyway, you’re Batman right?)

High recommend here.  Must play if you’re a Dark Knight fan.