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"Batman Versus Robin" Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Apr 7, 2015.

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"Batman Versus Robin" - Discuss and Rate this Movie!

  1. *****

    11.1%
  2. ****1/2

    22.2%
  3. ****

    11.1%
  4. ***1/2

    22.2%
  5. ***

    11.1%
  6. **1/2

    11.1%
  7. **

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. *1/2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. *

    11.1%
  10. 1/2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    Yeah. I think the Nolan version also did?

    Would be waste if they didn't. Time will tell if they will appear in later Batman movies. Lucius Fox, as well.
     
  2. RoyThomasConan

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    I originally though this film was a itty-bitty step up from the vacuum of lackluster Son of Batman, but upon further viewing, I'm shocked at how little though was put into this film (or how complacently foolish they expect the audience to be).

    Why, why why does the Court of Owls attack Bruce on the expressway? They could've killed him, themselves, and caused a ton of damage (they did do a lot of damage, and injure Bruce). Why not nab him after he parked? No reason within the film or logic at all. The real world answer: for an ill-conceived chase to up the action in the film.

    Why, when the Court is surveying Batman in the sewer and drug him, do they not unmask him or restrain him? Besides the fact that they could've learned who his is right then, they just let him roam around to cause them trouble again later? Are they Lex Luthor in Super Friends?

    The action scenes are incredulous. Besides the child abuse during the Damien vs Batman set piece (I don't even want to touch that debate), it's virtually impossible to believe Batman actually had to put up a fight against Damien. He could have easily restrained him. Especially if Dick did it in the previous film.
    Besides that, Batman is punked by ninja zombies in the museum, and would have been actually been killed if they didn't melt to puddles.
    And then Talon beats the snot out of Knightwing and Batman, and Damien in turn bests him in a fight?!? What kind of nonsense is this? Is Damien the greatest physical combatant in the Batman world now? I mean, that couldn't have come from Ra's al Ghul, who to paraphrase Dick in the film, got his ass kicked in every confrontation he had with Batman.

    While Bad Blood was a bad movie for critical thinking, this one is akin to rampant, paper thin fan fiction, and it doesn't really hold up to the slightest scrutiny. I don't take these films too seriously, but I do take them seriously enough, and expect new entries to hold up to snuff with previous films. The criteria for judgement is the same.
     
  3. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    At that point in the movie, the Court of Owls didn't know Bruce was Batman. They were (and more or less still) a secret society. Jumping a famous billionaire in a public parking lot where paparazzi were waiting would expose their existence to the public. They were likely using the common boxing technique, that even police employ, to force Bruce to detour to a secluded location where more Owls were waiting to neutralize Bruce then take him to the secret base.

    The subtext in the conversation between Grandmaster and Batman was the Court was still underestimating Batman and stuck to their M.O. of grandiosity instead of uneventfully restraining him. The fact they didn't unmask him further highlights their arrogance and in light of the next scene of Robin revealing his secret identity, they found out anyway.

    Hyperbole. It seemed obvious enough Batman was holding back. Plus, it's only been a few nights later and Batman is not 100%. He's still nursing the beating from the 3 Zombie Talons and the car crash.

    At that point in the movie, that was the first time he encountered the Zombie Talons. In any medium, Batman thrives at being hard to beat when he has enough time to analyze, prepare and formulate a strategy. It is in these first encounters he is most vulnerable. It also didn't help they jumped him when he was lost in thought about his family.

    Again, Batman was nowhere near 100% and neither was Nightwing when they fought Talon. Batman had the above injuries I listed, fought tons of Talons, then took some impact from Talon crashing the Batmobile into him. Nightwing was grappled through his shoulders and legs before he fought Talon. Only Damian was in shape to fight. Talon lost for a couple reasons and it wasn't really because Damian was a superior fighter. He went nuts by that point in the movie and wasn't thinking straight to be in top fighting shape like he was earlier in the movie, he got whupped by Batman in the study, and he crashed the Batmobile (given it should be armored enough to resist a crash, this was a rather unconventional crash). If Talon hadn't gone screw loose, he would have killed everyone in the Batcave, imo.
     
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  4. RoyThomasConan

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    What you call hyperbole isn't fair, because that negates the seriousness of the matter. I could call what you wrote apologetics, as the "subtext" you claim seems to be your own contrived justification for the events. But I guess we'll continue to disagree, in an agreeable manner I hope :)
     
  5. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    Calling it child abuse is hyperbole, 100%. I understand you're trying to warp things into your own perspective to tear these titles down, but calling it hyperbole is pretty laughable and misguided. If you call that hyperbole, then you need to go back through all the other superhero cartoons, comics, etc where a youthful ward or young sidekick was in a fight or put in danger and classify all of that as child abuse, as it follows the same basic principles of a young child fighting against an adult. Yojimbo is right on what he said above and I believe the creators behind these titles have enough decency and common sense not to advocate something so terrible.

    As for Damian I don't mind his advanced fighting abilities. Given the genetic tinkering done to him and his aggressive training by the League, I can believe it. Given that he's meant to become someone like the Heretic, who can easily take down the Batman, I'm not surprised how well he can hold his now.

    Batman vs Robin is maybe my favorite of the "Damian Wayne" trilogy. I like the Court of Owls aspect and find the development to Damian's character pretty palpable and his arc well done.
     
  6. RoyThomasConan

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    I didn't call anything Yojimbo said hyperbole. And in superhero comics when a younger character is abused by his mentor, it has resulted in backlash; see All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.

    Look, I get that as you said Batman vs Robin is your favorite of these Damien films this far, but I'm just bringing up things in it that I felt were substandard. Batman & Robin is my favorite Batman film, because of nostalgia and entertainment value. People have plenty of valid reasons to call it out for being poor.
    On the subject of Batman vs Robin, @Yojimbo brough up reasons he felt I was wrong. We disagree. But we're not going to get anywhere because I didn't convince him of anything and he didn't convince me of anything. So I let it go, respectfully enough I hope.
    I'm a fan same as you. I'm criticizing what I percieve to be unbiasely poor. I watch films objectively and grade based on content. I buy these things on multiple formats every single release and will continue to, I have the right to form my own critical analysis; likewise I have a responsibility (I believe) to check myself and make sure they're fair. I'm not trying to "tear these titles down" because they're my favorite form of entertainment right now. You're seem to be trying to trivialize my opinions or shut me up; calling my beliefs %100 hyperbole means to imply you are right, I am wrong, and the chapter is closed. That to me seems wrong on a board about discussion and occasional civil debate.
    Anyway we're here to discuss the movie, not each other. My opinion remains, as does yours, and that's perfectly fine.
     
    #26 RoyThomasConan, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  7. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    Ah ... ok. Look man, I don't consider my opinion any more or less important than the next commenter here. I also love encouraging discussion which my posting history hear will attest you, but I don't and won't justify myself to you. There is one thing I severely dislike in the fan community is this growing sense of entitlement among fans, that some fans are better/more entitled to their opinion, etc, than others because they've read certain books, buy certain things, know certain facts, have been reading for a certain time and so on. I disagree with your opinion and find it lacking, but that's my opinion, which is no more relevant than yours. I'm not trying to shut you up because there's no point to nor would it be fair of me. I'm just not going to waste my time on something I don't agree with nor find worth debating. We disagree, end of story. I'm not going to drag this out for the sake of the moderators and other posters here. You want to continue giving me some sort of lecture, drop me a PM. My apologies to the moderators who have to deal with this type of stuff.

    As for Batman vs Robin, I'd definitely like to hear how people place it in the trilogy of the Damian Wayne titles.
     
  8. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    If it's any consolation, I know for sure they at least addressed why Talon defeated Nightwing or Batman in the movie's commentary during the Wayne Manor incursion.
     
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  9. #1 defender

    #1 defender Member

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    I thought Batman vs Robin was a wast improvement and overall really good after the thoroughly disappointing Son Of Batman, which instantly became my least favorite movie in this entire line. I've since softened up on the latter a bit, but would still rank it at the bottom as far as my enjoyment goes. What rubbed me wrong about it the most was how they handled Damian from beginning to end, as well as some other baffling creative decisions. Somebody mentioned genetic manipulation in one of these threads, has that been mentioned about him in any of these last three movies, or is that just an assumption based on the villain reveal in Bad Blood (or the comics)? Because that might alleviate some of my misgivings.

    What it comes down to for me is that they tried too hard to make him a badass in Son Of Batman, and in all the wrong ways. I am aware that all superhero media plays it fast and lose with physics and even normal humans regularly show incredible jumps or feats of strength, and i can turn a blind eye on it most of the times, but stuff like Damian being able to match Ubu and Deathstroke in a sword clash, kicking Ubu across the room, or swim 50 miles or so off coast to an oil rig is just too much. Not to mention getting stabbed through both wrists, pulling one wrists through the blade, pulling the second blade out with the freed hand and just shrugging off the injury in order to continue the fight and beat the physically superior opponent, who is also supposed to be an accomplished martial artist (although i suppose there's a reason why they had Batman get the upper hand on him within a handful of strikes, but that's another can of beans).

    I mean, i get that they wanted to show off how cool Damian was, being the son of Batman and Talia and the grandson of the Demon's Head, but come on, that going way past badass and shooting into utter ridiculousness. That whole aspect really disappointed me about SoB, because it felt like there wasn't put any thought into it. It's ok to exaggerate a bit, but you can still somewhat ground it in reality, otherwise i find it hard to care what happens to the characters. For example, why can't you show off how extraordinary Damian is by relying on his speed, agility, skill, deceptive techniques, you know, things that a ninja would be good at, instead off making it seem like he can evenly match adults twice or thrice his size and weight in sheer strength? Don't have him swimming 50 miles off shore in full equipment as a punchline to a character saying he surely couldn't do that, because he really shouldn't. Instead, show off his resourcefulness by having him use a vehicle or device to get there. And skip him getting stabbed through both wrists entirely.

    Thankfully, i thought that all of this was addressed in Batman Vs Robin, for the most part. Suddenly the fight choreography did just what i wanted, it showed off his skill, agility, and speed, without having him physically overpower adult opponents. Sure, he still had quite a few victories, but as Yojimbo has explained before me, i thought that all of them were justified in one way or another. Batman was obviously holding back on him during their rooftop fight and started out blocking and countering most of what Damian threw at him, until that just wasn't enough due to Damian's tenacity. Even then he didn't go really hard on him and in the end even protected Damian from the fall with his body. The way the fight with Nightwing was going it seemed like Nightwing had the upper hand in the end, until Damian caught him off guard after a personal remark that cut into Dick's insecurities. In the fight against Talon he got knocked down pretty quickly intially. After that he got a few sucker punches in when Talon turned his attention to Bruce, and after that he managed to knock away the sai from an emotionally unraveled Talon, which i can still buy as it's more about skill than strength. The one feat of strength in BvsR that i thought was a bit much was when Damian pulled Dollmaker towards him in the snow, but compared to everything else they have done right regarding Damian, i could turn a blind eye on it.

    Anyway, i thought these small touches in BvsR have completely turned around my perception of Damian, as well as the overall quality of these two movies. I also liked the story and the handling of the thematic elements in BvR much better, but that's a story for another time.

    Although, if i had one complaint about the action in these movies, maybe they could tone it down a bit with the injuries if you're going to have the characters continue to fight a few minutes later. Nightwing getting skewered like he did in BvR was a bit much, considering how he was jumping around just a little bit later, but at least he couldn't put up much of a fight against Talon. Batman also got hurt pretty bad early in the film, with several stab wounds. I can somewhat look past it, because it's the nature of the medium, but it would be nice if they could either tone it down a bit or show more of the consequences if a character gets severely injured. Have some stakes.

    I'm just a random guy on a message board, but if Jay Oliva or anyone else from the crew cares enough to read this, i want them to know that i really appreciate it when it seems like there has been put some actual thought into these things. It goes a long way to making me as the viewer care about what happens to your characters. Of course the stories need to be engaging in the first place, but storytelling through action shouldn't be underestimated either, especially since superhero cartoons are so heavy on action.

    Just so i don't talk exclusively about the action, there's something i wanted to say for a while. I know this is a thorn in the side of a few forum members here, but personally i don't mind if these movies occasionally bring up some adult themes and i don't immediately write them off as attempts at being edgy. However, if the filmmakers do feel like bringing them up, please do something with them, don't just put them in the room, just to immediately sweep them under the rug in the next moment.

    I was really disappointed when Talia practically admitted that Damian was the result of date rape, only for Batman to reply with a "humpf" when she said that he still enjoyed it. I know this was part of the source material, but if you're going to bring up such a heavy subject, have the characters properly react to it, if you can't do that for one reason or another, then i'd prefer it to be cut entirely. Especially since i remember Batman being pretty pissed off in the corresponding scene in the source material. As i said, i'm not opposed to some more adult themes in these features and i understand that this medium isn't the right outlet for thorough examinations of the human condition, but if you feel like bringing up stuff like that, at least have characters react properly to them, let the impact be felt. By the way, this isn't exclusive to Tucker's run, i also had this issue with some of the features produced by Timm.

    To get back to these Batman features, one of you guys was interested in how others rank these 3 movies. As i said, Son Of Batman disappointed me across the board and my immediate reaction was that it was the weakest film in the entire line. I have since softened up on it and can appreciate some aspects of it enough to be able to rewatch it, but i'd still rank it the same. Batman vs Robin was a massive improvement for me on all fronts and it fixed pretty much everything i didn't like about SoB, from the action, to the character interaction, overall story and handling of thematic elements. There are still some nitpicks i have about it (for example, how did Batman escape the Court after he was drugged?), but then so do most of these movies, even the most acclaimed ones. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that these things come down to a lack of budget/runtime most of the time, sometimes things just have to be cut, which can leave some things unexplained. But overall i really enjoyed BvsR and thought it was one of the best movies in this line in the last few years. I'm a bit sad to say that Bad Blood didn't quite live up to my expectations after that. While the action was once again well choreographed, i didn't feel like there was a scene that particularly stood out. I like it when Jay Oliva goes a bit anime, with especially dynamic framing, but i didn't think there was anything like that in this one. Don't get me wrong, overall the action was well done and diverse, but it felt a bit meat and potatoes compared to his previous features. I also wasn't a fan of the CGI elements in Bad Blood. I know it's been a reality in 2D animation for a long time now, but i found the CGI especially jarring in BB, most notably the exterior shots of the watchtower.

    Also, i felt like they regressed a bit in regards to the Damian related action. Was it really necessary for him to take on the "muscle" on Heretic's team? I think putting him up against Onyx or Hellhound would have been a better choice. I liked Batwoman's addition, but thought that Batwing was a bit superfluous and rushed, and i didn't particularly enjoy what he brought to the table action wise. I would have preferred if he sat this one out in order to dedicate a bit more time to Dick and Damian playing the dynamic duo, as well as some more development for Batwoman and/or Heretic and Talia. Also, all of those accidental villain deaths were awfully convenient, especially since they all knew Batman's identity. These seem like a lot of cons, but overall i enjoyed Bad Blood, just less so than BvsR, where i had some minor nitpicks at best.

    So there you have it, BvsR is by far my favorite of these three features, a notch below is Bad Blood, with SoB being the low point of the entire line for me. I have to say i have been quite surprised to see some people (not just here), completely dislike BvsR, or like it, but think that Bad Blood is much better. There are even some folks who enjoy SoB the most and last but not least those who don't like any of these recent movies at all. It's interesting to see how different people appreciate or dislike different things about these features, in order to come to these various conclusions. I suppose that's the beauty of artistic mediums like film in this case, one's garbage is someone else's treasure and vice versa. We may find it hard to comprehend sometimes how someone could have so diametrically opposed views to ours, but the least we can do is to be tolerant of each other and maybe try to see things from their perspective every now and then.


    Edit: Sorry about the wall of text, i didn't realize i wrote so much. :sweat:
     
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    #29 #1 defender, Feb 9, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  10. RoyThomasConan

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    Thanks for the info as always, will definitely give it a listen when I get the time.

    I agree with your points on the exaggeration on Damien and his abilities in the action sequences, but ^this^ is the kind of issue I have a hard time stomaching. The way they tend to gloss over things like this that could be great for Batman's internal struggle and acceptance of Damien, and it deserves to be reflected on because of just how wrong it is. Some might say it's fine because Talia and Ra's are socially dissociative or even evil, but that's not what I'm arguing. It's not wrong for the story, it's wrong the way it's handled, basically ignored.
    Gods and Monsters dealt with a similar issue when Zod "raped" Laura by imprinting his DNA on baby would-be Kal-El. And it's handled in an appropriately heavy and frightening manner, and the revelation has a fair amount of weight on Superman later. That film in general spent a lot of it's run time telling story instead of setting up action set pieces, that's just my general problem with these Batman films lately. For the record, I do believe Batman vs. Robin is still an improvement on Son of Batman, at least aesthetically. Jay Oliva has a great eye for framing action and executing it fluidly and pretty darn hard-hittingly, I'll admit.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post man, don't apologize for length, everyone does it :)
     
  11. Egon

    Egon New Member

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    This one I felt started ok, the thing with the dolls was effectively creepy. But it went downhill from there.
    I actually laughed out loud at Thomas Wayne's embarrassingly clunky exposition on the Court, and when Future-Damien donned his Punisher cosplay. And at the Bat-Mecha scene.

    I was also confused, since when they were hitting Bruce while he's in his car, I figured it was because they came to the perfectly reasonable conclusion of him being Batman, and correctly understood that it'd be easier to take him out while he's not in the suit. But then it turned out they not only didn't know he was Batman at this point, but roughed him up just because they wanted to get him to join their club. Why not just ask him? Seems like it'd go down a lot better.
     
  12. -batmat-

    -batmat- Active Member

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    Egon, are you Frankie from the TV.com forum?
     
  13. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    7/30/16: Phil Bourassa posted an earlier version of the nightmare vision - Batgirl was in it but they removed her to reveal in Bad Blood instead. And as they said in interviews before, I believe, started as in the more classic look.

    4/17/17: Jay Oliva posted layout for a deleted scene.
     
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