Saturday, September 29, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
GEORGE F***ING LAZENBY!!!
**It is perhaps worth noting that there is no title song in this Bond, ostensibly because the producers felt it would be too much like a "Gilbert and Sullivan" opera if such a long title were turned into a song lyric. Instead, there is a musical love montage, featuring "We Have All the Time in the World" by Louis Armstrong, which would turn out to be his last recorded song.
Friday, September 21, 2012
To really understand this fortuitous collaboration, one must first place certain events in their historical context. First, Bond, and spy films in general, were hugely successful and outrageously popular at this time during the 1960s, so there was a huge budget for YOLT. Though by this point Sean Connery had expressed his desire to retire from the Bond franchise, he was essentially bribed with a contract far larger than the entire budget of Dr. No, plus a promise of 12.5% of the film's gross earnings. Second, The Cold War was steaming away, so the opportunity for Bond to literally stop World War III from breaking out betwixt the USA and USSR seemed almost too good to be true from a production stand point. Finally, the James Bond cinematic franchise was very popular in Japan, so the opportunity to shoot the movie (which would be based on a book that one screenwriter referred to as "essentially a travelogue of Japan") on location was impossible to pass up.
Which while we are on the topic of "passing up," the director Lewis Gilbert tried repeatedly to pass on directing this movie, but a personal call from producer Albert R. Broccoli, who said, "You can't give up this job. It's the largest audience in the world,” luckily changed his mind. So with production locations much more difficult to find for the next Bond in the pipeline, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (and I should mention that certain prints of the film Thunderball contain the closing credit that: “James Bond will return in OHMSS”) the producers chose to revamp what was the last Ian Fleming James Bond novel published during Fleming’s lifetime (the rest were released posthumously), and so came the delightful You Only Live Twice.
The making of You Only Live Twice wasn’t all plum sake and cherry blossoms though--there were definitely some obstacles to be overcome. First and foremost, the novel has little to no plot, at least not one that could appropriately serve as the basis for an epic action film. To solve this problem two separate screenwriters were brought in. First, a man named Harold Jack Bloom was given the task, and while the producers didn’t like his outcome, they used enough of his ideas to give him the “additional story material” credit. The second person was an inexperienced writer (in film, at least) and friend of Ian Fleming’s, who would go on to have tremendous literary successes of his own: Roald Dahl.
Yes, that Roald Dahl, who wrote many beloved children's novels (one of which was adapted into the cinema classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and others which were made into memorable films such as The Witches, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and the more recent Fantastic Mr. Fox) was commissioned to write the screenplay. The novel didn’t really leave him much to work with, but the man definitely had a fantastic imagination, so he ran forward with a big, broad, epic sweeping story, which he said was the best he could do with the “formula” that he was told to work with. Personally considering the influential outcome (most notably inspiring huge parts of the Austin Powers Film series--which I was trying to avoid mentioning in these reviews--particularly Dr. Evil as an obvious parody of the fantastic performance of Donald Pleasence) of the film, I think he did a more than adequate job.
It should be noted however, that YOLT deviates from the “formula” in certain ways: Bond spends almost the entire movie in one country (Japan) and rides in a Toyota. YOLT is actually the only film in which James Bond never drives any car. Also, the car he rides in is a custom “roof-less” model, made to look like a convertible in the film, but the cars (only two of which were ever manufactured, with one currently in the James Bond Museum and one in a private collection) had to have their roofs removed for filming, not necessarily to look “cool,” but because Sean Connery was simply too large to fit in the car with the roof. Moreover, YOLT is also the first film to deviate substantially from the original novel: the only matching elements of the stories are the characters of James Bond and Kissy Suzuki and the country of Japan. Thus, almost the entirety of the script is a result of the sheer genius of Dahl.
Dahl wasn’t the only genius involved in this production; director Lewis Gilbert also exerts his cinematic talents to the fullest. Most notable was his work with set designer Ken Adams to achieve the fantastic look of the film. Even very early on in the film, this writing/directing/set-designing trilogy of geniuses work out all sorts of issues, like how Bond should be briefed by M and Moneypenny if he is never to step foot in Great Britain (he meets them in a unique office within a British submarine) and how he is going to receive his traditional Q branch briefing without going to their offices either. While on the Topic of Q branch, Desmond Llewelyn returns yet again to equip 007, except in a clever twist to include the gadgets (and therefore stay within the “formula”), Bond requests that “M send Little Nellie and her Father.” Little Nellie is the name the franchise gives to the Wallis Auto Gyro. This was a real, working, mini-helicopter on which Bond has one of his most memorable scenes of the entire franchise: he fights off a whole wing of angry enemy helicopters in an epic air battle that was a tremendous feat of filmmaking so essential to the rest of the production that it consumed over five hours of film and a camera person's foot, which was severed in the process.
Another outstanding part of this film is Ken Adam’s amazing volcano set, which is stormed by an army of ninjas. The volcano is the setting for the finale of the film at the evil villain’s super-secret lair (and was also the inspiration for Dr. Evil's lair in the first Austin Powers movie)--easily one of the most recognizable artifacts from this film. In real life, the volcano base, which was constructed outside of London at Pinewood Studios, was almost 150 feet tall, could be seen from 3 miles away, and really had a working heliport and monorail. Clearly without the tremendous budget allocated for this film, such an extraordinary set would not have been available to the production staff.
Many have said that You Only Live Twice was only successful because it followed the standard James Bond Formula of "girls, gadgets and action," but I would espouse that the film’s success comes from its producers following the far more classic formula of a creative script, a budget that spared no expense, a talented group of actors and production workers, and superb timing.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
So if you read my review of Thunderball, you probably remember that there was a prolonged legal battle stemming from the very beginning of the film. As part of the settlements, one of the original collaborators, Kevin McClory, was awarded the film production rights to the story. In 1983, Mr. McClory, and Warner Brothers film studios put those rights to use and released the extremely controversial Never Say Never Again, in which the entire story of Thunderball is re-imagined. This was not an “Official” James Bond film, as EON productions released Octopussy the very same year, and as such I will not be writing an official review of the film, (at least not with this collection of essays.) I do, however, believe that this film deserves some note and so this ever brief commentary will serve as such.
I like this film. I find it amusing. However, I feel Thunderball is infinitely better. The plot is essentially the same. In what may be the most shocking case of "cash-making-someone-eat-their-words" in Hollywood history, the Bond is the same; a "retired" Sean Connery was coerced into reprising his role. Despite Connery's usually welcome presence, this is one of the huge gaping flaws with the film. Bond looks super-duper old, borderline geriatric, and the fact that he is staying at a health farm during the start of the movie should come as no surprise, because compared to his Bond of almost two decades before, he looks decrepit. The film also has a very beautiful actress playing Domino, a very young Kim Basinger, who I will gladly admit is great in her role, exceedingly beautiful, and actually a better casting decision than the aged Connery. But for my money, she’s no Miss France, Claudine Auger, who is so beautiful I currently have one her press photos from Thunderball as the wall paper for my phone.
The one part of the film that I will concede to be better than Thunderball is the yacht. The yacht is bigger, which was mostly due to that fact that 20 years of yacht building technology had happened, and yachts had gotten bigger. This isn’t even to say I don’t like the original yacht because I do, but the new one is certainly bigger. The yacht also highlights for me where this all went wrong: the movie lacks all the standard class of James Bond. The new yacht is named the English translation of the old yacht’s name (The Disco Volante became the Flying Saucer).
This "dumbing-down" underscores the common critical complaint about this particular Bond: almost all of the usual class and suave has been removed from the character by various directing/script decisions. As far as I am concerned, the rest of this movie is tasteless, and in a way almost only worth viewing as a sideshow piece to be compared to the canon of true Bonds.
Monday, September 17, 2012
by Jay Maronde
Sunday, September 16, 2012
This column, however, is very much about law school, but was rejected because the editorial board of BLS Advocate agreed that the point I was trying to make wasn't clear. I will let you decide for yourself and comment. This is unedited.
The next NIED column for BLS Advocate will be #16. #15 will not appear on BLS Advocate unless by way of reference.
*Seehttp://flyinghouses.blogspot.com/2012/09/batman-in-brooklyn-mission-statement.html (a very long piece on the Batman film I will make), http://flyinghouses.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-dark-knight-rises-dir-christopher.html (a review of the newest film, qualified immediately below in this note), http://flyinghouses.blogspot.com/2012/08/special-comment-batman-in-aurora.html (the piece referenced), http://flyinghouses.blogspot.com/2012/07/killing-joke-alan-moore-and-brian.html (a review of a famous Batman comic), http://flyinghouses.blogspot.com/2012/06/dark-knight-returns-frank-miller-with.html (a review of a famous Batman graphic novel). As a side note, I saw The Dark Knight Rises again last weekend, and after a second viewing I will fully admit that it is a flawed film, and suffers from an extremely "non-creative" script. The first half of the film is excellent, but I might go so far as to say the second half of the film is laughable (sample line: 1: So, you came back to die with your city? 2: No, I came back to stop you. --Should be changed to-- 1: So, you came back to die with your city? 2: No, I just wanted a rematch.). Regardless, my rankings stand (still feel Dark Knight Rises eclipses Batman Returns) and I still believe everyone should see it. (Though--other side note--I am very much looking forward to the forthcoming review of License to Kill for The Bond Project....)
Notes below represent edits/comments related to the "unpublishability" of "Exams/Grades."
They owe us a duty (to foster our understanding of an area of law)
They breach that duty (by testing a concept that they gave short shrift in class)
They cause an injury (to the student's grade because the student could not prepare to answer a question which the professor did not indicate would be tested on the exam)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
*The Fontainebleau Hotel was embroiled in litigation before Goldfinger was made. This case (decided in 1959) has not been referenced on Flying Houses before, but was one of the more memorable topics in Property. The Fontainebleau's owner did not like the neighboring hotel's owner, so he decided to construct an addition which would block the sunlight from the other hotel's pool and tanning area. The court referenced the "ancient lights" doctrine and noted that it had been universally repudiated in the United States, even though it had been recognized in England (perhaps the producers of Goldfinger were enraged by such a notion, and used the location as a political statement--but it is highly doubtful). The court ruled that the addition could be constructed, even though it was quite clear that the idea arose out of a personal dispute. I could not stop writing about this case on my Property exam because I felt it had been so badly decided. Of course, the neighboring hotel will suffer economic loss because people are not going to Miami Beach to tan in the shade. -JK
**By my math, Goldfinger would have lost $750,000 in 2012 dollars.-JK
***Which leads me to wonder what Batman Forever would have been like had Michael Keaton retained the role.-JK
****One hopes that the writer of these reviews will be able to deliver a ranking of all Bond films after Skyfall is released. It is difficult to tell whether he prefers Goldfinger to From Russia, With Love, though it seems clear that while he has great admiration for Dr. No, he does not consider it as strong a film as its two immediate sequels.-JK
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Animal Collective played Pitchfork in Summer 2011--the only other year I missed besides 2008, which appeared to be the best line-up of any year, but I digress....I did sort of see Panda Pear at the 2010 Festival while waiting for LCD Soundsystem, but as has been the rumor, live, their band(s) does not seem to inspire excitement, but confusion, delirium, boredom, and incredulity.
It's all hearsay I guess, since I've never made an effort to see them live because of such fears, and because I like listening to their albums over and over just fine. That said, I believe I stated that Merriweather Post Pavilion was the best album of the 2000s (better than Kid A), and that LCD's This is Happening would be remembered as one of the best of the 2010's (even though we are still in the early stages of the decade). Where then, does Centipede Hz. fit in?
I am not going to open myself up to ridicule and claim that this album is better than Merriweather. But I will say that the visual component of this album gives it another dimension that should be taken into account in any review. Now true, most people do not want to put on a 53 minute collection of psychedelic visuals to complement the same 53 minutes of music. You simply have to be on drugs in order to give yourself away to such a meditative exercise. However, it is worth doing at least once. I have done it at least five times, I think.
On the basis of the music alone, I might be inclined to agree with Pitchfork's 7.4/10 assessment of the album, but taking the visuals into account, this album deserves a score in the early 9's. While the visual accompaniment is nothing new, it is a throwback to more innocent times for me. It reminds me of going to see concerts at Irving Plaza ten years ago where, in between sets, the big projector screen would descend, and DJs would play either music videos or random songs with crazy visuals that only made sense on the most esoteric level. This was way better than standing awkwardly for thirty minutes, trying to think of something to say to your friend when you are amidst a spectacle and are curiously bereft of other interesting topics of conversation.
Centipede Hz. is basically made for this--but I have to be honest and admit my suspicion that it is also made especially for stoners. Animal Collective albums have always been "druggy," but this album goes further than any of those and into all-out psychedelia in its visuals. Sometimes they are exhilarating, hilarious, profound, spine-tingling, beautiful, or just awe-inspiring. None of the videos seem professionally shot by the Collective's contemporaries, but rather appear to be pieces of "found footage" with a few self-made lo-fi shots thrown into the mix. There is lots of repetition and sometimes the lyrics reflect the visuals, which is usually when it is most hilarious. Like when there is a lyric about a "See-saw" and you see two horses on a see-saw. Or when darker sounding songs include black-and-white videos that look like they came out of Cold War propaganda, or really sad/scary Disney-type animation. In particular the openings of "Mercury Man," "New Turn Burnout," and "Amanita" just make me very excited for what is about to come.
But every song is good --there are about three great songs, and about four or five really good songs, and a remaining three or four sounds that are only merely good.
This is not as high a percentage as Merriweather, but these two albums are quite different. Merriweather is unabashedly mainstream--or least as mainstream as you can get with Animal Collective. Centipede is the 2nd most mainstream album they have made, and it is the 2nd best album they have made period, in my opinion.
I am sure that other people will claim Feels and Strawberry Jam and even Sung Tongs are better (to say nothing of comparisons to Panda Bear's solo work) but it depends on the kind of person you are, and the kind of mood you are in. If you like your music fast, loud, weird, and thought-provoking--this is your album. However if you like it slower, more contemplative, quieter, potentially pleasant-nap-inducing--surely Feels or Sung Tongs is up your alley (or Panda Bear's albums). If you like an album that's a ridiculous mish-mash from beginning to end but builds to an undeniably mind-blowing mid-album 13 minute two-song suite, then Strawberry Jam is a good option. And obviously if you like hearing highly-polished Animal Collective at their least weird and most poppy, Merriweather is the place to start (as it should be for anyone new to the band).
This is not a perfect album - I fully admit that a few songs I can look away from the visuals and do some reading or something - but most of the time my attention is too closely drawn, and the songs are just too awesome. Particularly great is "Amanita" as a closing number, which, along with "Rosie Oh" and a couple other songs, has at least three distinct "parts" which you can't easily define as a verse or chorus, but that add something new each time so the song evolves, while still keeping its basic rhythm. "Rosie Oh" and "New Town Burnout" are the two Panda Bear songs here, and while I want to say they are the best, I cannot. While they are certainly among the best, you have to include several Avey Tare songs with them that are on just as high (if not a higher) level. "Amanita" is the culmination of everything they do on this album, and in a way, their career.
The last album reviewed here was on July 8, 2010. It was Wolf Parade's Expo '86, which I praised. That is [probably going to be?] Wolf Parade's last album, as they are now on indefinite hiatus. I do not mind so much because if Handsome Furs and Sunset Rubdown ever toured together, it would become apparent that Wolf Parade is not greater than the sum of their parts.
Another review right before then was This is Happening which most people believe is the final LCD Soundsystem album. I'm not trying to jinx Animal Collective by writing this. I just write reviews of albums when I think they are special, or deserve comment. The visual aspect of this album is what makes it incredible--and song-wise it's not too bad either. But I hope that more bands in the future will take a similar approach to joining video and music--not necessarily in the expected music video format, but something like this. It's true that Sonic Youth did a similar thing with Goo, but those videos are all, distinctly, music videos, usually directed by then-obscure, now-famous directors (Sofia Coppola, Todd Haynes, et. al.) and the album does not hang together as a cohesive whole but just feels like a collection of songs (and even though they're really good songs--the vast majority at least--the effect on the listener-viewer is nothing compared to that of Centipede Hz which is so powerful as to almost totally remove the spectator from reality).
And it is in my humble opinion, that removing the spectator from reality is one of art's highest aims--even if for only an hour, and even if reality must be faced again--these new, dream-like sensations nurture the soul, and may contribute to a person's happiness (if not long term, at least in the short term) and help them find a way to overcome the obstacles that the 2012 daily existence throws in their paths.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Because it is a Batman movie. All Batman movies are important at the time of their release (though opinions may differ, mine is that two of the films--or three--or four--are mostly forgotten to history, but five films endure). Batman in Brooklyn will be important when it is released. We are aiming for a release date of December 20, 2013. The premiere must take place, of course, in Brooklyn. Preferably at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
But aside from the excitement that each new Batman movie generates upon its release, Batman movies are important in general because they reflect society via metaphor (as all films should aspire to do). This metaphor has been written about here previously (see "Batman in Aurora" post) but is essentially the struggle between good and evil--that is, the choice to be good or evil.
It is essential that Batman in Brooklyn be made because Brooklyn is Batman's true home. Yes, I know Gotham City is his true home, and most people associate Manhattan with Gotham--but there are plenty of signs that Brooklyn is a more realistic setting for Batman than Manhattan (See The Dark Knight Rises denouement. See also Bloomberg's decision to divert all traffic in Manhattan so that a "g**d*** Batman movie" could be shot, in the words of Keith Olbermann).
I think it practically goes without saying that Batman is the most commercially successful comic book character film franchise--and will never be topped. Not by Superman. Not by Spiderman. Not by Iron Man. Not by The Avengers. No. (Not by Twilight. Not by Hunger Games. Not by Harry Potter. And not by Fifty Shades of Grey either, or the Lord of the Rings for that matter.)
Those movies do not get nominated for Oscars.
Lord of the Rings did, but I challenge anyone to argue that that Trilogy is better than the new Batman Trilogy. I do not think there is any better Trilogy except for the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. I would rank one other Trilogy in the same class:
1) Star Wars (excluding the 3 new movies)
2) Indiana Jones (excluding the 4th)
3) "The Dark Knight" Trilogy
4) Back to the Future
The difference is that those films (ALL OF THEM!) are unrealistic action-adventure fantasy epics. Batman is very much the story of modern society and all of its attendant psychological uncertainties. (There may be some dispute as to whether BTTF is unrealistic, but most scientists agree that time travel into the past is impossible.)
Batman in Brooklyn is essentially a remake of the original Batman (1988) but elements have been added to the make this film entirely something new. Here are the key differences:
Batman had a massive budget, and was the most successful film in box office history (by opening weekend receipts) at the time of its release. Jack Nicholson became the highest paid actor in film history (until Leonardo DiCaprio copied his idea for--surprise,surprise--Christopher Nolan's one-non-Batman movie amidst his trilogy--another highly-acclaimed film). But it took about ten years to make, numerous script revisions were made, and a last minute horse-riding accident necessitated re-casting the female lead (Kim Basinger subbing for Sean Young). Roger Ebert's review (which gave the film 2 stars) said that it was beautiful to look at, but did not appear as if anyone had any fun while making it.
Batman in Brooklyn will be filmed on the most meager of budgets. The special effects will be a joke. But it will be fun to make. And while it will exist in a metaphorical world where Marc Drier is not in jail in 2012, it will be directly situated in real world events. While the make-up and costumes and art direction may suffer from some aesthetic deficiencies, it will be the quality of the performances that take the film out of the "remake genre" and into the "update genre."
Some films need to be updated, and some do not. Superman was definitely in need of an update, and we will see how Man of Steel stacks up next summer, but Superman Returns was certainly a disappointment. The original Superman is not bad at all - from what I understand (I've only seen most of Superman 2 - which I think most people consider comparable to the first) - but it is certainly a relic of its time. Batman Returns is more of a relic of the early 1990s than is Batman, and so in a sense might be the better film to remake. However, Batman Returns is a significantly more complex film. Ebert also gave it 2 stars.
2) Not directed by Tim Burton.
Let me make this clear: I do like Batman Returns--a lot. But, as Ebert I think correctly points out, the film is very episodic and lacks a coherent plot. There are wonderful scenes--the opening scene is probably the most heartbreaking scene in any Batman film, period. Danny DeVito does what he can with the role of The Penguin--but I believe the film suffers from "Burton-vision."
Let's delve even deeper into Burton and Ebert. Interestingly, Ebert gave Beetlejuice 2 stars. Beetlejuice may not be a 4 star film (which I would give it), but at least deserves 3. Ebert concedes that it is a "fairly original" plot (understatement!) but then goes on to denounce Michael Keaton's performance! He claims that every scene with Keaton is a misstep. I believe this is patently false and time has shown that performance to be a stroke of comic genius.
(Note: I have not yet read the review of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure but I suspect it got 4 stars...)
It is interesting to note that Burton made Edward Scissorhands in between Batman and Batman Returns. Ebert also gave Edward Scissorhands 2 stars (he may have given it 2.5, I can't recall). Again, Ebert is wrong. Note here that most of the time, I totally agree with Ebert. I do not LOVE Edward Scissorhands, but it is better than 2 stars. Deserves 3. Many people would say it deserves 4. Some consider it a classic film.
And then look at what Burton went on to do (everything?). He directed Batman at age 29 (another reason I am meant to make Batman in Brooklyn). He took Johnny Depp as his de-facto star, and in the 20 years since Batman Returns, became a Hollywood icon of the most unlikely sort, creating a visual style completely his own.
Also interesting to note: Tim Burton's first film was Frankenweenie--a live action film judged to be unsuitable for children. Tim Burton's upcoming film is Frankenweenie. Not live action, but "Nightmare Before Christmas-style" live action. I do think it is important to remember that Tim Burton has made these films since 1992: Ed Wood (excellent), Mars Attacks! (underrated/misunderstood), Sleepy Hollow (boring), Planet of the Apes (a remake worse than the original, as they usually are--See The Parent Trap), Big Fish (excellent), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (a remake worse than the original--but not without its certain charm and visual originality that Apes lacked), Corpse Bride (excellent--and though I may be in the minority here, an improvement upon Nightmare Before Christmas), Sweeney Todd (a film I could not watch for more than five minutes - boring), Alice in Wonderland (a remake worse than the original, and lacking a certain charm despite supposed visual originality--too weird), and Dark Shadows earlier this summer (never saw it, heard it was not good). Frankenweenie will be out before the end of the year and looks to be a very emotionally compelling film. (Trivia: Johnny Depp is in 8 of these films and has appeared with alarming regularity since Charlie.)
With Frankenweenie coming out, and Tim Burton's career coming "full circle" in some sort of sense, which includes more than its fair share of remakes, this is the perfect time to make Batman in Brooklyn.
The Mayor of Brooklyn is not Mayor Borg - but Mayor Bloomberg. He is undoubtedly one of the most ridiculous mayors in American history, and his time will soon be up in New York. Batman in Brooklyn is, on a sub-textual level, a critique of New York City Post-9/11. It is a critique of capitalism and the fraud that it necessitates. It is a critique of politics and media coverage. Finally it is a critique of humanity--or rather, inhumanity. That is, "silent/helpless observation," or "apathetic one-dimensional thought." Whoever is next elected Mayor of New York has a great task ahead--but it will be their leadership that determines whether this city sinks (like in the 1980s) or is restored to another period of glory (2001-2002, late 1990s, mid-1960s, etc.). Batman in Brooklyn will be the cinematic equivalent of The Prince - a text that informs the powerful how to best govern the citizenry.
4) No famous actors.
Batman in Brooklyn was going to be very important if D.A. Hynes of Brooklyn were to play himself, but word has recently leaked out that he is no longer interested in the project. While this rumor has yet to be substantiated (I call statements made by press secretaries "rumors"), if it proves true, the project must go on regardless.
While Jay-Z might be a very good celebrity to get involved (or Brooks Lopez, who is apparently a big fan of Batman), we simply lack the personal connections to make such a business arrangement feasible. But the project continues to evolve, and new forms of serendipity seem to affect it on a weekly, if not daily basis. Anything is possible--until the scenes are shot.
5) New sub-plot.
The new sub-plot will make the film much more coherent than the original Batman because it will bring in more "macro" concerns that the "Dark Knight" Trilogy has been so good at incorporating. I am being purposefully vague so I do not ruin the surprise.
However, I must state that some discussion of including Superman as a villain has taken place. The final decision on this matter has not been made, but while there is a strong presumption in favor of including Superman, adding said element could be the proverbial straw to break the camel's back, given the apparent extraordinary difficulty of making Batman in Brooklyn in the first place. Everybody wants to see Superman in a Batman movie, but we run the risk of turning the project into more of an absurdity than it already may be considered.
Why Would Batman in Brooklyn Fail?
Because I am not a professional director. I did not go to film school. While I will concede that this film is likely to be a failure, it will be completed, even if it gets to the point that I need to play (almost) every single role there is in it. Batman in Brooklyn is a personal statement for me, and my love for film, and my love for Batman.
When I was about 6, I wrote a screenplay for "Star Wars Part 4" (which probably would have been better than The Phantom Menace proved to be about ten years later). When I was 18, I opted into Blockbuster's 30 rentals for 30 dollars for 30 days deal - and I went to the store every single day to get a new film (most of them were Woody Allen movies). I went to NYU, ostensibly for film school, but decided against it at the time. I did not like the rigid structures that those students had to adhere to, and I did not see how I would make any money straight out of it. So I focused on writing first.
And I tried to work in the real world. And I wrote novels, short stories, memoirs, essays, and book reviews.
And I went to law school. This is the real turning point in my life. My writing dreams have been dashed due to my own personal belief that the book industry has died due to mass-ADHD-outbreak, where the only books that get read are those that are turned into massively successful film trilogies. And because I have gotten mired in the rigidity that is an education in legal doctrine, I rediscovered my love of film and the freedom such expression entails.
I do believe that law school has improved my writing (this post excepted--for various reasons, primary amongst them its personal nature) and Batman in Brooklyn is my attempt to show the world that just because I did not go to film school, just because it is not made with even "adequate" equipment, just because the players are not actors--but mostly law students (which requires a certain measure of acting skills, to be sure), just because there is no financing, just because it's probably a minefield of copyright and trademark infringements, just because I'm incredibly busy as a 3L looking for a post-grad job, along with balancing my coursework and all the other extracurricular commitments I've foolishly bought into, and just because nobody knows who I am, I can make a film that is truly different and great.
And I do believe, that while Batman in Brooklyn is likely to be a failure, it is a necessary failure--for it is only the first step in a planned set of four films (Back to the Future Part 2: Present to be released October 21, 2015; The Parent Trap Redux to be released November 18, 2016; and Older Wayne's World to be released October 27, 2017). I know from my experience with writing novels that the first, at least for me, was primarily a learning experience. I only hope that my experience with film will not cause me to abandon all future projects because of the extreme difficulty of it all.
I know that making a film is not an easy thing, but Batman in Brooklyn is not supposed to be easy. However, it is supposed to be fun and if we have fun making it, even if it fails to find an audience, then it will bring me much happiness and personal satisfaction.