I’m Batman

BatmanBegins8Growing up I read comic books. And lots of them. X-men, Spiderman, Superman, Spawn, and in turn also watched their subsequent movie versions. Some I liked while others I didn’t. There’s one character whose comics I never got into reading but greatly enjoyed the movie versions. And that’s Batman. Okay, let’s forget the last one Batman and Robin with George Clooney as Batman. That one was a mistake and should never have been made but Batman Begins with Christian Bale as Batman makes up for it, and in a big way.

So what is so appealing about Batman? Here is a character that has no super powers but yet is as old as Superman. He can’t fly, but glides. Can’t dodge bullets, but has a bulletproof suit. Can’t magically disappear, but uses diversions (smoke bombs, shadows) to escape. Then why is he such an intriguing character? Maybe, he is dark and at times just as vicious as the villains. Maybe, that is why he is referred to as the Dark Knight. Maybe, he is more human, and therefore, more flawed than any superhero out there.

Here are 5 reasons why I’d want to be Batman:

1) He is a billionaire. Who wouldn’t want to be filthy rich and be the owner of a company like Wayne Enterprises? Wayne Manor looks like a mini Medieval Castle. Not only does he get to do charitable work through his company he also has money to spare on toys.

2) With that extra cash he can develop whatever he wants, and he does, the Batmobile. Here is a hot rod that looks super cool and also has a jet engine in the back that can blow fire! Not to mention the numerous concealed weapons this vehicle has. Speeding ticket? Shazaam! Tailgating? Kapow! Parallel parking between two cars? Bang! Problem cleared.

3) Obviously, where is he going to park his Batmobile? He can’t just pull up in front of his driveway, open the garage door and park his one-of-a-kind vehicle without having some annoying neighbour ask him stupid questions, like, how much gas does it take or fast can it go, or even how much is the insurance. So, he creates the Bat Cave. A secret, state-of-the-art underground hideaway, developed underneath Wayne Manor, where he can park his Batmobile without anyone knowing. The Bat Cave also has a huge TV screen.

4) He’s rich, has the Batmobile and also the Bat Cave so what does he do? He goes and helps those that are in need. But he can’t just do that looking like an average Joe. So he gets himself the Batsuit. A full black, Kevlar suit, with muscles already chiseled out, and a mask that would strike fear in any super villain. Plus, the Batsuit comes with a utility belt that has all the gadgets he’d ever need: grappling gun, smoke bombs, batarangs.

5) He’s got everything he needs, but he still needs someone to watch over him, someone to confide in, and someone to mentor him and get him out of tight spots. He needs Alfred, his butler and surrogate father. Without him Bruce Wayne would be nothing but a rich, spoiled kid. It is Alfred who guides him and is there for him when he needs him.

Above all, Batman feels real. If you get the above YOU too can be Batman.

As a kid when I saw the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker, I remember getting chills and excited with those now immortal lines when Bruce Wayne in costume is holding a thug off a ledge and the thug asks him, terrified, “W-what are you?”

Bruce Wayne pulls him closer and calmly and icily says, “I’m Batman.”

Greatest Movie of All time

As this is my first entry in ‘this is not a blog’ I figured why not start of by making a bold statement. I know there is no such thing as the greatest movie of all time, just as there isn’t one great book of all time. All books in general are great, that however can’t be said for all movies. Movies nowadays are laden with special effects combined with fast-paced-in-your-face action. This movie that I’m talking about does not contain a single second of special effects and by today’s standards (or perhaps even from its own time) can be considered extremely slow.

This movie won 7 Academy Awards.

This movie was released over forty years ago, many moons before I was born. Calling it long would be an understatement. The director’s-cut version is over 216 minutes – that over 3 ½ hours! Who would want to watch a movie that long, unless it’s another movie by Peter Jackson, which happen to have hobbits or gorillas? No. This movie has no such creatures or characters. It is neither fiction nor fantasy. It is based, perhaps loosely, on true events but those events are extraordinarily riveting.

This movie has lots and lots of sand.

It was shot in Jordan, Morocco and Spain, spanning over 2 years. It was shot in the most ungodly climates with temperatures that could boil, melt, and fry a brain. It was shot in the desert. Did I mention not a single frame is computer generated? This means all those desert scenes could not be created inside an air-conditioned room. It had to be on location, regardless of how devastating nature could be. Steven Spielberg, who, according to reports, watches this movie before starting working on each and every one of his films, has said if this movie was shot now it would cost over $300 million.

This movie has lots of camels.

It is a vision to see, with its long canvas scenes that fill the entire screen and evoke a sense of being there. It has perhaps one of the most beautiful and heart-stopping scores ever written. At the time it contained an ensemble cast that was the envy of it’s time. It has action sequences that would rival any movie today, excluding those with computer special effects, of course. It has a script that is top notch, with dialogue that sticks in your memory for a long, long time.

This movie has Peter O’ Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, and Anthony Quinn.

By now you’ve guessed which movie I’m talking about, unless you’ve spent your entire life with no TV, no magazines, no newspapers, no movies, no internet, no nothing. In short you’ve been living underground like a mole and have just come out and somehow stumbled upon this website (how you learned to use a computer or the internet I don’t know). This movie that I think is the Greatest Movie of All Time is…David Lean’s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia.