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Borderline Sci-Fi/Fantasy

All sci-fi movies which have too many fantasy elements/unexplained phenomenae to classify properly as science fiction.

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Old Jan 28, 2010, 06:02 PM   #1
Amboy Road
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Question How would Chris Nolan depict Robin & The Penguin?

I've read several reports around the web that Nolan won't have Robin & will not depict the Penguin because Penguin's "difficult to portray on-screen" as Nolan put it IIRC. But what if Nolan changes his mind? How do you think Nolan should or would depict the Penguin & Robin?

Me? I'd rather not see another pitiful penguin freak-man like Louie DePalma's penguin. I'd like to see a Penguin that was a serious version of Burgess Meredith's iconic Penguin from the 60's Classic Batman camp series & movie. Penguin should be a slick, possibly mafiosi, gangster thug. Someone like Paul Castellano or James Burke {Jimmy Conway in "GoodFellas"}. It can be done.

Robin? Same thing here. I'd like Nolan's Robin to be a serious version of Burt Ward's camp Robin. You should skip over, but briefly address Robin's origins with The Flying Graysons. Maybe via flashback or commentary.

I assume most folks know Robin's real moniker is **** Grayson yes?

FYI, for those who don't know, The Penguins real name is Oswald Cobblepot.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 04:39 AM   #2
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: How would Chris Nolan depict Robin & The Penguin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amboy Road
I'd like to see a Penguin that was a serious version of Burgess Meredith's iconic Penguin from the 60's Classic Batman camp series & movie.
You hit the nail right on the head there, my good fellow. The penguin is pure camp and there isn't much that you can do to 'serious' him up. Devito's fine performance in Burton's wonderfully absurd Batman Returns is the closest that we're likely to ever get. The Penguin can be scary in a creepy kind of way if you put him in a Gothic fantasy world context like that, but there's only so much that you can do with an umbrella-themed bird guy who goes "Waugh! Waugh! Waugh!". The sort of gritty action movie "realism" (and I use the word very conditionally) that the Nolans have going has no room for him. Why do you think that our waddling friend exchanged his tuxedo for a barman's apron and his hilariously lethal umbrellas for a filthy rag in Frank Miller's seminal The Dark Night Returns?

What Heath Ledger did with the Joker was brilliant. But then he had a creepy homicidal clown to work with. As silly as that can be, it also happens to be a classic nightmare archetype. Not so with the umbrella-themed bird guy. That's why Alan Moore wrote The Killing Joke rather than The Killing Umbrella.

Quote:
Robin? Same thing here. I'd like Nolan's Robin to be a serious version of Burt Ward's camp Robin.

If you're going to look to TV material for a 'serious' Robin, might I suggest ignoring the campy live action show and setting your sights on the excellent early 90's animated series instead? This generally awesome show, I should point out, also relegated The Penguin to his proper role as comic relief.

Quote:
The Penguins real name is Oswald Cobblepot.
Which once again proves my point

Last edited by SF_not_Sci-Fi : Jan 29, 2010 at 05:33 AM.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 01:29 PM   #3
Camfan
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Re: How would Chris Nolan depict Robin & The Penguin?

First and foremost I will say I'm not up with Batman lore, nor am I ever likely to be. As for the Penguin, I certainly think there's scope for the character, the casting wold be undoubtedly vital. But then what are our alternatives? The Riddler has been mentioned, Johnny Depp or no, a generally weedy guy who puts riddles out there to solve? Surely it would degenerate in to more of a Die Hard with a Vengeance type thing with Batman racing across Gotham to unscramble the riddles and save the day, which ultimately is no Batman film I'd like to see.

As for Robin, personally I think he should be left out of the Nolan series entirely. What makes the character of Bruce Wayne so interesting (especially now they killed off his lady) is the very fact that he's alone and dealing with the weight of the world (well Gotham at least). From a purely character standpoint I think the next film, dealing with the aftermath of his emotional loss and the majority view of Gotham's citizens that he is a 'bad guy', could well prove to be the most interesting. Adding Robin in would dilute that isolation.

In any case, for the male companion (as long as Michael Caine continues) we've got Alfred, I don't think we need another, plus there's surely going to be another love interest introduced, whether that be Vicki Vale, or go the Batman Returns route and make it a damaged evil woman with the chance of redemption, Catwoman, Poison Ivy etc.

All in all in my opinion, Penguin yes, Robin no.
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Old Apr 1, 2010, 03:25 AM   #4
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: How would Chris Nolan depict Robin & The Penguin?

While I actually like what the Burton film did for The Penguin, I think that the one-dimensional caricature of "The Unstable Damaged Woman" that passed for Cat Woman in Batman Returns was pure weak-sauce. I like to see Cat Woman as she has generally been portrayed in the comics and the early 90's animated series- the skilled cat burglar who is neither a cackling villain nor a basket case. The Cat Woman who is the only sane mask in Gotham (admit it- Bats is as batty as any of them) is my favorite Cat Woman by far. The Cat Woman who easily shifts from enemy to ally and back again as far as Bats is concerned not because she's unstable, but because she makes her alliances situationally. Because she isn't "evil," but simply has a personal code of morality that lies outside of the legal code. This is the sort of ambiguity that would work perfectly in the new series, and Batman's new status as outlaw would be a perfect way to introduce his complex relationship with Cat Woman.

Also: Poison Ivy is not into dudes.

Last edited by SF_not_Sci-Fi : Apr 1, 2010 at 03:31 AM.
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