US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

The Boston Underground (archive)
Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this feature | View comments | Email this feature | Printer-friendly version
Review :: Media
Review: Batman Shrugged
24 Jun 2005
Modified: 27 Jun 2005
What if Ayn Rand and Mussolini got together to write a Hollywood movie? The result would look something very like Batman Begins--the new blockbuster prequel to the Batman screen franchise.

Now, admittedly, the Batman worldview--be it in comic, graphic novel, or movie form--has never been very progressive. But its timeless noir myth about a good-but-flawed man fighting for his own kind of justice in a cruel world has resonated with people across the political spectrum for decades now. Because it's hard to argue that there aren't nasty criminals, bad cops and corrupt politicians out there in dire need of some comeupance. And I'm sure it was refreshing back in the 1930s when the original comic series was launched to see a hero comfortable enough with his sexuality to fight crime in a tight-fitting bat suit.

Still this latest Batman film outing leaves much to be desired--despite the many promising innovations that have steered the movie series away from the fantastical and towards the more recognizable, but still properly archetypal, settings and plot devices that clearly relate to viewers everyday lives. Director Christopher Nolan, famed for the 2001 cult hit, Memento, actually made realism his mantra for the movie--according to interviews on the Batman Begins website. For example, aside from a futuristic monorail system and a Dickensian paupers' quarter ("The Narrows"), Batman's hometown, Gotham, looks pretty much like any modern metropolis. It's also worth noting that, surprisingly, there was not a single recognizable "product shot" in entire film. Not a Coke (or Nokia, or Lexus) logo in sight.
batman copy.jpg
Batman Shrugged (Movie Review)
Moving on to the film's problems, the actors, with the typical exception of the villains, aren't given much to work with--and they don't work much with what they're given. Christian Bale, as the winged one himself, does a serviceable job with his character. But Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise's latest Scientologist Stepford girlfriend, sleepwalks through the whole affair as if she's been smacked upside the head with a baseball bat covered in hallucinagenic ointment. Which may explain the script's frequent use of heavy drugs to advance the plot. Liam Neeson is a bright spot as Randian uberdude, Ducard. Michael Caine plays himself in the role of Batman's butler, Alfred, and nails it. The other actors are adequate--with the standout being the freaky and possibly transgendered Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane. Morgan Freeman has a small part playing a standard "black guy who saves the white guy hero so that the white guy can save the world and get all the credit" character, and does what he can with it. This is, by the way, one of those post-modern films that doesn't want to show people of color in a bad light; so it chooses not to show them at all. Batman Begins' Gotham is whiter than the New York City of TV's Friends.

Then there's the plot itself. Alright, we've got a tormented billionaire. [Check.] And his parents are killed by a criminal; so he hates crime. [Check.] So he grows up, still tormented, and becomes a criminal himself to learn more about what makes criminals tick--managing to become a deadly martial artist sometime between his pampered boyhood and his gangland salad days. [OK, still plausible.] And he does this in China--becoming fluent in Mandarin in the process. [OK, sorta weird, but still not outside the realm.] Then, while in a remote Chinese prison, he's recruited by some kinda of "League of Shadows" that seems like a cool possibly buddhist crime fighting outfit that wants nothing more than to make his kung fu the most deadly it can be, but turns out to be kind of a psychotic bunch of wannabe Nietzchean supermen who must wipe out cities in order to restore "balance" to decadent civilizations that have lost their way. [Hmmm, that's kind of odd, even for a superhero movie.] And the main indicator a civilization is decadent? Poverty and crime. [Yeah, I guess.] And the first way the mysterious stereotypically quasi-Asian League tries to kill Gotham? Using "economics." Yet, the idea that billionaires like Batman himself might have anything to do with the poverty, crime, and "decadence" is never even mentioned let alone considered. [Now you're losing me.] And getting kinda Mussolini on me. And it turns out that criminal kingpins (bad capitalists) and kinda Asian weirdo ninja Ayn Rand reading Nietzche loving superesque human death machine League guys are going to use psychotropic panic-inducing drugs to get everyone in Gotham to kill each other--starting in the poor section of town. [OK, I'm going.] And what will stop this convergance of sorta vague eviltude? The aforementioned tormented billionaire. And, by the way, he wears a bat suit while stopping them. [I'm gone.] And it seems like all the poor people get killed after all. [D'oh!]

The best hero Hollywood seems to be able to propose is a good capitalist. This was also true of the recent cartoon movie, Robots, although at least that flick had a workers' revolution in it. In Batman Begins, regular people don't even exist except as junkies, serial thrill killers, and maybe ninjas. Oh, yeah, and there's one cute poor kid. But he presumeably buys it with the rest of the poor town crowd at the rather muddled end of the film. The very idea that crime is often largely a byproduct of economic inequity is literally mocked in the film, when the guy that kills Batman's parents is let off due to a combination of stooling on a mobster cellmate and his defense attorney bringing up his impoverished background. The idea that people organizing collectively can change much more than the crime rate of a given city, but can eliminate much poverty and suffering in entire societies (or even, gosh forbid, in the entire world) is totally absent from Batman Begins, and from the entire Batman universe.

What's perhaps most disturbing is that Batman ends up in full-control of a multi-national corporation with a state-of-the-art defense division, but rather than pull a Bill Gates and at least devoting lip service and some inoffensive chunk of his fortune to alleviating some poverty and helping some people with AIDS somewhere in the world--or better yet, giving away his fortune to organizations fighting the corporate behemoth that sits astride this globe like a. . .giant bestriding thing--he's gonna put his fancy bat suit on again, and make a sequel fighting some nutjob called. . .that's right fans. . .the Joker.

Maybe it's a little too much to expect Hollywood, at this particular moment in history, to produce films that show corporations and capitalism itself as the source of more of the world's problems than their solutions. But maybe it's at precisely such moments that artists like filmmakers need to think a little more carefully at what kind of action heros they throw up as models. Because the Batman of Batman Begins is probably not the kind of hero we need in a fin-de-millinneum world. Perhaps the watusi-dancing Batman of the late 1960s would be more appropos.

Or maybe some other kind of hero. Or heros. That clearly identify what's wrong with the planet. Who is doing the dirty deeds. And what kind of positive alternatives might be constructed through the action of millions of people. There are precedents for such heros, both in life and in art. It would be nice to see them again. Coming soon to a screen near us.
See also:
http://www.massglobalaction.org/blog/serendipity

This work is in the public domain.
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.

Comments

Re: Batman Shrugged (Movie Review)
24 Jun 2005
this does not deserve to be a feature.
Re: Batman Shrugged (Movie Review)
24 Jun 2005
Come on man, it's a movie... it is escapist entertainment, not a serious commentary on social stratification and the proletarian struggle. This article belongs in a college newspaper or something, not Indymedia.
Re: Batman Shrugged (Movie Review)
24 Jun 2005
its nice to see people have standards for indymedia. lol
Re: Batman Shrugged (Movie Review)
24 Jun 2005
Indymedia is what we want it to be. Culture and the corporate domination/perversion of it is a serious topic. Pramas does a decent job of analyzing a piece of crap.

What is Indymedia for but to talk about ourselves, our lives, and what's important to us, our communities or the world? To me, indymedia's narrow scope only hurts its appeal and limits it's audience.

If we can get people who are actually going to these stupid hollywood flicks to actually think about what they just saw all the better.

Indymedia is not supposed to be a circle jerk for self interested summit protestors, it's based on media access and social and economic justice.

Anything is fair game. Take the world, and turn it upside down.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
24 Jun 2005
Frankly, I don't care about the stupid flick.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
24 Jun 2005
So if you don't care then.... Stop looking at your belly button and stare reality in the face. Stupid shitty corporate flicks happen.

Thing of google, maybe batman fans will get directed here. heh heh.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
24 Jun 2005
funny you should mention that, Danny

the review is currently number 5 on Google news under the search "Batman review"

:)
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
I probably won't be the only one to tell you that Mussolini's son had a hand in making 2 movies from Ayn Rand's "We The Living"
And her books are selling 500,000 twenty-three years after her death. What a woman.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
machetejames,

escapist entertainment is never just that. If we are to define our own culture and create its future, then we must analyze that which is promoted by our cultural artifacts.

I find this review to be quite a step above the mainstream movie reviews available elsewhere, as it actually has something to say about the art.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
Interesting that the author neglects the suffering of tens of millions(more than the nazi's by the way) that the soviet union caused by people organizing collectively to sacrifice some other people.

Interesting also that the author doesn't realise that there are only 3 ways for humans to deal with other people. Violence, which results in mass killing. By dealing with others based on pleading that you are suffering, it makes people bring out the suffering and the worst aspects of themselves since that is what they get rewarded for by others.
Then there is the 3rd alternative such as trade, which is people looking to the best in themselves and other people. Trading for mutual value. If you condemn trade, what are you left with except the disaster of the other two.

I suggest you look at carefully that which you condemn and what you have thrown the support of your words behind.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
get over yourselves. movie reviews are important and progressive and can definately be radical. honestly, if indymedia did more journalism like this it might break out of the activist ghetto.

oh, and its nice to see that maus has moved onto trolling boston from nyc.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
Michael,

Actually there are 3 ways to organize an economy...

1, Markets - (as in the US and most of today’s world, markets are destructive and might lead to the end of civilization in that it is impossible for them to value human life, heath or well being, all that matters in the bottom line)


2, Central Planning - (As in the old USSR and China, which as you rightly point out are literally dungeons where a few high seated planers make all the decisions for the people and take more for themselves etc)

3, Participatory Planning - (A fully direct democratic economic system that has not been tried on a large scale yet, some very interesting ideas meant to replace the undemocratic economic system we have now...you might be interested in reading about it. www.parecon.com)

Also it might be good to understand that most activists are not Pro-USSR and most are not Pro-central planning, they favor some kind of fully democratic economy even if they might be about to articulate it.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
Gee, Jonny, I would've looked up your "participatory" whatever, and actually read it, but it seems that your archnemesis, the Businessman, has seen fit to park their content. Maybe you can sum it up for us, so I can evalute whether it's worth a damn or if it's some more postmodernist garbage.

Seriously, I don't get it. When I buy something at the store, I am partcipating. If enough people don't "vote with their dollars", the product fails. Sounds democratic to me, unless a "democratic economy" means making businesses subservient to the will of the majority.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
apparently a test film featuring Moby as a vegan Batman liberating abused pets from wealthy capitalists and then leaving them to die in dumpsters didn't score well with focus groups.

So we're stuck with the Ayn Rand/SoupNazi/Illuminati/CIA/Pentagon/
Microsoft/CubanExile/Roswell/PrisonIndustry/
Balfour Agreement/Halliburton/DonKing apology piece.

Personally, I gave up on it when they failed to cast Moby and go with the "Batman: War against Red Meat" script.
actvist ghetto
25 Jun 2005
yes, time to break into the reviewing-mainstream-media-we-all-know-is-spectaclist-crap-anyway ghetto!
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
25 Jun 2005
Maybe you ought to go back and see the movie again because it's obvious that you didn't pick up on a few things.

The first being the message of corporate responsibility/morality as a necessity touched on when the issue of Wayne Enterprises making money off of weapons is raised (something the movie makes clear Bruce's father would have opposed). Through their lust for more money they threw morality to the side, creating the "secret weapon" which led to destruction throughout Gotham and potentially the deaths of all of it's inhabitants.

Secondly, the Wayne family's legacy of giving back to the community and trying to improve Gotham for ALL of it's citizens, not just the rich. This was played on VERY heavily in the movie and it seems to me you're merely complaining because it wasn't thrown it for a bazillionenth time at the end. Which would have been unnecessary, in my book, especially since the movie was long enough as it was.

Sure, it wasn't some "anarchist super film" but seriously, how about getting the activist stick out of your ass and lightening up a bit? This was hardly an Ayn Rand meets Mussolini flick as you claim.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
Ayn Rand studied Ninjutsu?!?

Kewl!!!

I'm going to name my new katana Ayn!
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
Try this temperary site: http://www.zmag.org/parecon/indexnew.htm

The problem I see with the "vote with your dollar" theory is that each person has differing amounts of money and therefore some have many many more votes than others while some have zero votes.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
I read about 5 minutes of that...and, so long and thanks for all the fish.

Get a life and realize that voluntary agreements between the laborer and the capitalist are NOT fascist nor oppressive.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
Hollywood owes the good people of America the truth? It's Hollywood's job to show us what's going on in the world? And give us heroes? I bet you think it's Burger King's job to keep America in shape too.

I went and saw my deserved share of pure brain candy. My analytical functions were in the OFF mode. I found the movie fun and exactly what I expected: entertaining and fun science fiction. And, Hey; They even had a black man as a cool scientist dude, who single-handedly invented all of batman's shit. He wasn't just servin' flapjacks; he was creating other-worldly materials and equipment. You must think that batman stole the show with his brute force ninjitsu (as you imply: the greatest role), while the pore old nigga puts his CalTech degree to work.

What about the black police commissioner? Or the shinobi clan?

It's cotton candy for the brain, and not a thesis project. I think someone like yourself could better serve the land of the free by waiting till your intellect is fully developed. Like RealPolitik, try to put the truth of shit that matters into perspective, rather than psycho-babble on the net.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
Corporations and Capitalism are problems?? Wow, they're the things that brought us out of the poverty and muck that came before it.

Sincerely,

Craig Haynie
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
The "us" being the 5% of the world’s population that has 3 square meals a day and has benefited from corporate capitalism...the other 95% must all be lazy mud people. How dare they say we stole from them and oppress them? What are they thinking, I mean seriously we are all that matters, they need to get that through their underdeveloped little brains. Honestly, asking for access to the water and land and food and education and healthcare in their nations? The very nerve! These things belong to "us" we own them and we have a god given right to make as much profit as we can off them. And you know what if they cant afford it, they die and too fucking bad. Yeah “us”, lets roll.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
I haven't seen an analysis this unintentionally comical since televangelists were asserting that the smurfs were seducing children into embracing Witchcraft and Satan.

BTW. was Ra's Al Ghul's mountain refuge a Montessori school, because try as I might, I can't think of a single thing about the place or this film that reeks or Ayn Rand. But I struggled to make the aforementioned connection between Smurfs and Satan too, so maybe its just me.
Re: Review: SEIU Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
Movie Review gets centered because is has a Cambridge Communist critique of Batman. LOL I love the priorities. Where are my tissues? Bravo!
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
no, seriously. it is awesome to see the "independent" media giving so much time and space to detailed critiques of self-evidently run of the mill corporate drivel. surely it wouldn't get enough exposure otherwise, and then we would never be able to BREAK OUT OF OUR ACTIVIST GHETTO!!!
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
Great review.
Makes me almost want not to see it(??)
;P

I'd just suggest that, the way the world worx, there is little chance of Hollywood -- or anything else capitalist -- being reformed in any way you're hoping above: let alone its actually reforming itself (not to say that they won't be opportunistically producing knock-offs of a wildly-successful revolutionary cinema in future... think "Blaxploitation", etc.)

The way the world worx, it will be left up to _other_ areas of the planet -- areas outside of the control of Hollywood producers, dirty trixters or mercenary/vigilante/CIA/military black ops teams -- to produce the kind of cinema we're all actually hoping for: the *real* "subversive" stuff. The stuff that gets people thinking -- and out in the streets (think of bio-pix of revolutionary heroes -- and revolutions -- for instance...)

I suggest to you, instead, that we keep an eye-out for an emerging, hard-hitting and wholly revolutionary *latin-american* cinema (maybe european again too).
With subtitles.
Even if we need to sneak it into North America inside plain brown wrapping-paper (or e.g. "bittorrent" 'wrappers', for that matter.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
yes, how right you are. As we speak, Mexican film makers are putting together a projekt called Che Begins.

supposedly it relates the special story of how Che Guverra gains his special ability to execute political prisoners.

burn hollywood burn!
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
26 Jun 2005
well i liked it

but i wasn't going in there trying to politically analyze it, because it's BATMAN

jeez calm down
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
27 Jun 2005
Let me echo Robert Bidinotto's review of your review:

["]You're absolutely right about one thing, fella: This Batman is the antithesis of your entire sick, parasitical, eat-the-rich, blame-the-victim-not-the-criminal, sacrifice-the-individual-to-the-collective-gang view of human nature and society. In the form of a mythic pop hero, Batman Begins presents a heroic, self-assertive and unapologetic view of human potential, individual self-responsibility and larger-than-life entrepreneurship. Batman is a fantasy archetype of heroic American individualism.["]

Varian
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
27 Jun 2005
If Ayn Rand and Mussolini wrote a movie together . . . .?! Given Mussolini's hatred of capitalism and individualism, fat chance of that happening. Had they hit it off, however, maybe "Il Duce" could have rescinded the Fasscist ban on the movie version of her novel, WE THE LIVING.
batman rediscovered
27 Jun 2005
although I agree with many points the author makes on this article, I think it fails to also point out some of the highlights of the movie (which I just watched yesterday):

- it talks against killing for vengeance
- Batman's "girl" is not his girl at all and if anything puts him in his place time & time again, challenging his place of privilege while rejecting his egotistical drive to be the hero and save the day
- Batman's biggest critic is the bad guy or leader of organized crime in Gotham. He tells him how he'll "never understand desperation" because he is such a privileged person. And indeed, Batman never does. It's fascinating how the bad guy has an understanding of just how bad things can go in a place filled with corruption and is taking advantage of it. If you'll notice, the worst bad guys in the movie are thinking machines and not just crazies.
- Batman is a symbol for justice which I think is fascinating given that, many flawed people (like Gandhi, MLKing, Mother Theresa, etc.) have become symbols themselves of an ideal
- It also talks against terrorism in the way of "punish all of those who deserve it, even if they don't deserve it" kind of mentality
- AND, it talks about about corruption and how it can erode every branch in a system, which is exactly what is happening in this country (and many others) today

As a thinking machine myself, I say meow for Batman this time around...
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
27 Jun 2005
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
27 Jun 2005
Thanks, Benito, for the sharing the probably bogus quote often attributed to your namesake, and beloved by shallow Leftists with access to the Internet. Assuming your spiritual dad said it, what do you think he meant? By corporations, was he referring to the Italian concept of "corporatismo," meaning the State's control of various special-interest groups (including labor unions) roughly equivalent to mediaeval guilds? Or by corporatism, was he referring to something like in ATLAS SHRUGGED, where various Soros-like plutocrats try to influence the State to grant them favors? (They're the bad guys, by the way).
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
27 Jun 2005
Participatory economics is crap.

Read "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific"

Engels is way cooler than Michael Albert, who is a pompous anarcho-idiot blowhard.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
28 Jun 2005
*Sigh*

No im afriad centrally planned socialism is in fact the "crap".
No more ruling classes that have all the decision making power while the people and workers have none! No more elitist power abusing coordinators!

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is the simple truth that central planers cannot seem to understand. The problem is not who is in power so much as it is the power itself.

A fully democratic and participatory economic is, I think, what we should be striving for. And ParEcon offers the most comprehensive thoughts as to how that could work. It’s defiantly worth reading and discussing regardless of what the old vanguard spews.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
28 Jun 2005
Mussolini’s transition from left wing socialist to right wing fascist is an interesting one to be sure. And it is true that that particular quote is only attributed to him, however given his political and social leanings at the time I have little doubt that he would have agreed whole heartedly.

While leading Italy one of the first things he did was to ban unions, this is typical of right-wing fascists.

It is also interesting to note that US capitalists and industrialists (including FDR) before WW2 revered and admired both Hitler and Mussolini for their pro-big business and anti-worker policies.

The bottom line here is that corporations are tyrannical and strictly undemocratic organizations that most me abolished and all those institutions must be brought under democratic control by the people. That is if we actually value this thing called true democracy.
Dictatorship of the proletariat
28 Jun 2005
The working class must rule. Parecon is a petit bourgeois ideology for people who hate workers power as much as they hate capitalism.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
28 Jun 2005
batman is just another rich kid.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
28 Jun 2005
Fine review.
I'd reccomend that anyone else interested in Hollywood summer eyecandy that is ripe for analysis go see George Romero's new film, "Land of the Dead." I thought it had a lot to say about the war on some terror, war profiteering, urban decay, cities vs. small towns, imperialism, oil dependancy, and Manichiean views of the world. And it had a really cool armored vehicle, too.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
29 Jun 2005
"Mussolini’s transition from left wing socialist to right wing fascist is an interesting one to be sure. And it is true that that particular quote is only attributed to him, however given his political and social leanings at the time I have little doubt that he would have agreed whole heartedly.

While leading Italy one of the first things he did was to ban unions, this is typical of right-wing fascists. "

And of left wing communists!
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
29 Jun 2005
directed by the same guy who directed memento, with morgan freeman, michael kane, liam nielson

COME ON YOU KNOW YOU LIKED IT

the article posted above is completely useless. if you don't want o enjoy a movie then for the love of god don't go see it and then make a feature article using political rhetoric for such an inane topic. this isn't the new black hawk down or something offensive like that.

save this for your blog, next time, where no one will accidentally read it thinking it's important
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
29 Jun 2005
so many blogs; so little time--right-wingers sure don't like this review. . .

http://bidinotto.journalspace.com/

http://chaosinmotion.blogspot.com/2005/06/batman-begins-review-from-peop
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
01 Jul 2005
I loved this movie. I am not usually a fan of the comic book superhero genre, but this is not your cookie cutter popcorn action flick. This is a well written, smartly made, philosophically satisfying film. Batman is portrayed as a man of intelligence, integrity and justice. His power is not superhuman strength, but strength of will and character. His greatest ability is the ability to master his fear.

I loved the line at the end of the film. Detective Gordan says, "I never had a chance to thank you," to which Batman replies, "And you'll never have to." Batman is a moral giant motivated not by a desire for approval from others, but by his own vision of an ideal Gotham. Batman is Howard Roark in a cape.

The fact that a movie this good is wildly popular is a very hopeful sign for mankind.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
03 Jul 2005
funny, funny, good, entertaining, smart review.

I love good guy/bad guy movies - I'm really pleased to read an intelligent and not overly serious review of the same here on indymedia.

go jason.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
03 Jul 2005
Just read through the comments on this review and I have to ask - why get worked up about having an article that is about art, entertainment, fun in indymedia. I can see disagreeing or critiquing the review...but why critique its very presence here?
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
04 Jul 2005
well,i loved this movie, because its a movie. a movie. fake. fantasy. based in the 1930s, modernized, keeping that same old formula of good and evil...good must win. batman's cool. i sound dumb,i dont care, its a movie, i loved it.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
08 Jul 2005
. . .even more whining from the right-wing:

http://badanalysis.com/catallaxy/?p=993
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
09 Jul 2005
Enjoyed the review. One comment though: I had to laugh about the line "pull a Bill Gates". Bill Gates is no more a model for what to do with vast wealth than Andrew Carnegie. Both men "earned" their wealth through abusive market practices that end up hurting people by hurting innovation and competition. (Carnegie was also wretched to workers.) And while I'm happy that both men did philanthropy with some fraction of their wealth -- as opposed to doing something much gross -- this philanthropy ought to be viewed with a jaundiced eye. The philanthropers get substantial tax breaks for spreading their largesse. And they get to mark territory in a huge way, spreading their name all over monuments, institutions, organizations, buildings, etc. [Which is why we see, everywhere we look, the names of men, white men, wealthy white men. Streets, buildings, monuments, etc.] All this serves to rehabilitate their reputation, while not doing a damn thing to remedy the problems that their wealth-building caused or exacerbated. Indeed, their fortunes continue to build using the same behaviors. They build an empire, sit on it, and risk nothing but gain a lot by spreading some (to them) chump change to the masses.

To bring this back to Batman: watching the movie at all involves some willing suspension of disbelief, and I would argue that the crime-fighting / evil criminal worldview is part of the suspension of disbelief. If you look at it that way, then, Bruce Wayne is an activist, actually putting himself on the line in a way that neither his father nor Bill Gates nor Andrew Carnegie would have dreamed of doing. Gotta give him props for that.

... As for the debate on whether film reviews belong on Indymedia, count me among the 'hell, yeah!' crew.
(1) as judged by the comment thread it's pretty important to a lot of people - clearly a lot of people who read indymedia also saw batman begins!;
(2) keeps activists' mind sharp to engage critical faculties in different ways, not always the same old tired 'wal-mart sux';
(3) culture is an important part of life & like it or not hollywood blockbusters are a significant source of cultural consumption for millions of people -- or should indymedia become an elitist organ, only critiquing cultural products that are NOT actually distributed to and consumed by the masses of people?
(4) and yeah it broadens the audience, reaching new people in new ways. who knows? maybe some young fan is reading this review & saying 'yeah! i never thought of that before but that makes sense' and now she'll go out & become the media.

if i can't dance, i don't wanna be in your revolution. -- emma g.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
11 Jul 2005
lighten the fuck up. we all need to be able to laugh at oursleves and our world sometimes. true, this is no "black hawk down," but...
okay, just kidding, but seriously, there are more important cultural icons to focus our energy on than a man in a bat costume who cause fourteen cop cars to be permenantly disabled.
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
27 Jul 2005
now-playing. . .right-wing German criticism

http://kapitalismus.blogg.de/eintrag.php?id=244
Re: Review: Batman Shrugged
31 Jan 2006
if your going to review the film do it with a little style
Myoma
14 May 2006
Thanks for fwding your homepage address to me. Will definitely be visiting your page again. Update it frequently, ok? At least that way, i will be able to know what you have been up to, even after we both grad and head our separate ways. Really hope all your dreams will come true. It was gt to have had the chance to work with you on SSA.. got to know you so much better.
http://www.wwwomh.com/