Episode 55

The Indoor Kids

Batman Batman Batman!

The Indoor Kids #55: Batman Batman Batman!

Given the Batmania that the country has been infected with, we decided to do a podcast salute to the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, Gotham’s Savior, World’s Greatest Detective, Bats, the weirdo in the outfit, etc. and so on. We discuss all Batman movies, most Batman games, some Batman comics, and a few Batman cartoons – and who better to join us than a fellow superhero, Hulk, aka Film Critic Hulk (in Bruce Banner mode). Don’t worry, we don’t discuss anything about The Dark Knight Rises until the very end, and we give a lot of warning before the spoiler-filled discussion.


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  • I have to say, while the Dark Knight is an epic movie, it get’s thrown on this pedestal that it just doesn’t deserve. I mean, the acting is great across the board, but the story is really not that good. The boat scene that everybody talks about being so awesome is really just game theory 101 (as is the scene where Batman has to choose who to save). Harvey Dent goes from a good guy to a bad guy in the span of a five minute conversation with the Joker. It’s filled with the same sort of muddled storytelling as both Batman Begins and the Dark Knight Rises.

    Having said that, I think Nolan made the best superhero trilogy ever and even the best superhero movies period. But I don’t think the Dark Knight is best of the three. It’s really the overarching story that runs from Batman Begins to the Dark Knight Rises that makes it so amazingly good.

    Also, without spoiling any part of the movie: (but if you haven’t seen the movie yet, please stop reading here)

    Nolan set DC Comics up for life with the ending of Dark Knight Rises.

    -I think you guys missed the point, throughout the film they keep telling him that his problem is that he invites death… so him dying at the end would not make sense for the themes introduced earlier.
    and to Jacki… this movie was not Inception (far from it as they all touched on in this podcast). there is no will the top fall or not ending. Bruce is very much alive. Why would Selina be with Bruce at the cafe instead of Rachel if this was the imagination for Alfred? better y

    I don’t mind the end, if only because there is precident. There are happy endings with Batman involving Catwoman. The original Earth 2 Batman ended with him and Selina together. When Batman dreams of his future, it is basically playing Alfred to Robin-as-Batman. Batman Beyond series is that Batman. After all the darkness that surrounds Bruce Wayne, it is nice that he is allowed to have a happy ending while Robin is allowed to choice to fight darkness. Batman is now a choice instead of something that comes from grief and loss.

  • The Dark Knight Rises ****SPOILERS****


    Every “fault” mentioned durin ep 55 can be summed up by Nolan’s real-life interaction with this movie– he never wanted to make it, he KNEW it could never top TDK, and he wanted to make sure that HIS Batman would no longer be.

    Bane the lackey– Bane is an assassin for hire. technically, he’s always a lackey.

    I don’t think Wayne ends up “happily ever after.” But, much like INCEPTION, Nolan leads the audience to a possible conclusion, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it ends there. He could get bored of that lifestyle and grow to miss the chase.

    I think Nolan did a good patchwork of several comic book story lines. The beauty of his trilogy is that he managed to ground Batman in reality (for the most part), so instead of a comic-book movie (movies) we get “okay, with unlimited resources and training, this COULD happen.”** (**except for the giant tank he drives, I suppose). Throwing in enough info for the die-hard comic book fans (Talia, “Robin”, Bane, “Catwoman”… while tying it together in a way that (might bastardize the true origins) but makes it believable in the world created in the movies.

    Nolan’s Batman is arguably the best trilogy (batting LOTR– and no picking/excluding movies from a longer-than-three-movie franchise). He went out on his terms, and much like the Batman of specific writers, so did that Batman.

    Final thought– Nolan has made it VERY clear that he is done with the Batman franchise……but he’s NEVER said he wouldn’t do a Robin movie. =)


    Putting aside the reaching nature of the theory, not to mention the film ISN’T Inception, it makes no sense for one simple reason:

    As an ambiguous reveal, it has no narrative value.

    Until that moment, everyone (Alfred, the audience) have been told, and ACCEPT Bruce is dead. We get little clues in the build up to the reveal (the missing pearls, Blake’s coordinates, the fixed autopilot) but all of those are easily explained in otherways. The only, ONLY reason the film gives to Bruce alive is this scene. The film could have ended before this scene and it would have the same impact. Only not ambiguous. It would only be there for the meta-impact which is effectively the same as a cheap jump scare in a horror film (which, given Nolan’s ability at crafting narratives, i feel he is better than)

    The ambiguous ending in Inception has a narrative reason: Cobb doesn’t care whether he’s dreaming or not, he’s gained his goal, and he’s finally been able to put his guilt for his wife’s death behind him.

    The only narrative reason here would be that Alfred has gone insane in his grief. Which not only is ridiculously depressing (and out of touch with the hopeful scenes before it) but it has no set up or basis before (we dont see him ever showing such signs – the first dream sequence ISNT a dream sequence, its the visual representation for the audience of the IDEA Alfred has.)

    *deep breath*

    Why can’t people be happy with a happy ending?

  • Why does everyone refer to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character as the hero Robin when they talk about him? The name was just a nod, a little in-joke for fans; people keep saying they could do a Robin movie, but that doesn’t make any sense, he’d be Batman. That would be like Bruce Wayne putting on the suit and calling himself Bruce. Some guy I work with keeps saying maybe they’ll do a Robin movie and I feel like a super nerd when I have to explain why that doesn’t make any sense.

  • Jeremy-

    a “Robin” movie could definitely work. He could try out the name “Robin,” but realize it doesn’t strike fear– then changes it to Nightwing (yes I know that’s Dick Grayson’s character)…since Nolan is not necessarily keeping true to the comics, anyway… just borrowing ideas.

  • Seriously.. seriously!


    Disappointing that you guys just nitpicked to the high heavens.

    Don’t be those guys.. .
    It’s a comic book movie..what more could you want

  • There’s one piece between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight that doesn’t line up with your timeline. Jim Gordon’s son is a toddler in Batman Begins and can be seen crying in a high chair as Gordon is taking out trash. In The Dark Knight, Gordon’s son is 8-10.

  • Great show as always had to stop it at the spoilers though. I have a guest suggestion as well, with all the batman talk you need to get Chris to hook you up with Kevin Smith (or you may know him I don’t want to assume) so he can be a guest on the show.

  • I think the idea that TDKR is just a cynical addition to the series, or that it lacks a point, is mistaken. To me, the whole point with TDKR was to transform it from a very specific, principal-driven crime series into an heroic epic… Retroactively. Mind you, that’s not a change in direction; it’s actually more realistic to frame it that way retroactively. No one knows they’re going to be a legend until they’ve already become a legend. To treat it as an epic, legendary story prematurely would compromise the realism that they hold so highly. The whole crisis in Gotham is not unlike the social crisis dealt with in Watchmen… It’s the only thing big enough to solidify Batman’s legend (without getting political).

    I mainly don’t like the idea that a happy ending is always insincere. It’s the same as that complaint about Return of the Jedi; there’s a claim that George Lucas kept Han and everyone alive in RotJ so that he could keep making toys. That rumor was actually brought to the surface by Gary Kurtz, who was understandably bitter about being shoved out because he and Lucas didn’t gel. Still, it was never substantiated… Think about it. It’s silly. Why would the death of a character prevent Lucas from making toys? In the long run, they’ve made multiple toys of every character, dead or not. Irrelevant. But I digress…

    No, to me, the sad ending is the cynical ending. Not cynical about the film, but cynical about the world… The idea that nothing good can happen until lots of good people die. Frankly, lots of people just make movies because they hate all the hopelessness, and they want to defy those ideas by bringing some kind of light to the world (Lucas more so than Nolan, but still… Nolan wouldn’t have made Batman films if he weren’t moved by the matter of good versus evil). Even if a happy ending is an artistic flaw, it’s not automatically cynical.

  • I loved the the new Batman. I disagree with the Hulk on this one. I think the main theme was legacies. I think the sub theme would be pain. Does out past define us? Can we escape it? I don’t think it was a cash grab.

    Perhaps Haters just gotta Hate.


    The ending was perfect for that trilogy if you look at the series as a whole. Nolan wanted to give Bruce Wayne an ending that he will never, ever see in the comic books or in cartoons. In essence Batman is dead, people saw him take the bomb away from the city and then blow up, leaving him as a starting symbol for the change that happened within the city.

    In Batman Begins, Bruce is a broken child after his family is killed. Gotham itself is covered in corruption and broken at its foundations. As he goes through a year of fighting crime, which was the time between Batman Begins and Dark Knight, more people begin to see that change can occur, there is still some corruption, but not at the lengths it once was. Then in Rises, Batman “gives his life” after seeing that the city no longer needs him to guide them as evidence by the cops charging into battle to face off against the bad guys, willing to give their lives to save the city that they vowed to protect.

    Bruce said in Dark Knight that once he knew the city wouldn’t need him that he would step away as his job was done. While he didn’t get to have Rachel, in found instead a kindred spirit in Catwoman who was just as broken as he was and looking for a clean slate.

    It wasn’t a happy ending just for the sake of having a happy ending, but as a way to wrap up the whole goal of Bruce Wayne/Batman that started years ago.


    As a eprson who takes the underlying themes and character motivations to heart, I actually wasn’t annoyed that this movie was lacking ina strongly worded theme. I think it worked and was a good way to end the trilogy. I think the lack of a clear theme coupled with the “fan service” nature of the film felt like a good “Thank you and goodbye” for Nolan. I think too much is being rested on the idea that this needed to be compared to TDK. I don’t think it’s even a remotely apt comparison. Each film stands as a piece of the whole and I think DKR stands as an excellent goodbye piece to the trilogy. It wraps stuff up, it gives you a clear ending and ends on the idea of Batman being an idea, not a person.

    My only “complaint” is that Catwoman was a much more interesting character and I would have liked to explore her motivations and characterization more.

  • – SPOILERS —

    When Bruce kept climbing up the pit and falling, all I could think about was “How heavy is that rope that he’s tied to?” The higher he got, the more rope he had to climb with, and thus, more weight. So, I’m thinking, take the rope off. The kid didn’t have a rope.

    So, when it was determined that he needed to risk the climb without a “safety net”, it made total sense to me.

  • See, I didn’t like TDK much because it seemed to me a very Bush-friendly film. In that it’s about this terrorist the Joker and how you have to go off books and find darkness within yourself to combat him. Rah rah Iraq, it seemed to me.

    So when TDKR has rich Batman vs the guy leading a poor people’s revolution, that seems unsurprising at this point. Nolan’s series is fairly right wing and pro-rich and always has been.

    A fun podcast though. I like the hostfulls the most but this guest is probably your best.

  • I love the podcast, but Film Crit Hulk is my least favorite guest. Can we please have a discussion about the film next week that isn’t 30+ minutes of shitting on a generally loved film? One of the things I love most about the podcast is the enthusiasm that Kumail and Emily share about whatever they’re talking about. I’m not much of a video game fan, but I love the love that they feel for the subject. With this I didn’t feel anything but disdain and cynicism coming from everyone. Please have another discussion about what you actually enjoyed about the film. I absolutely love the podcast and I feel bad for even complaining about something that’s 1. free and 2. I generally enjoy a great deal, but I felt the need to. Anyway, thank you for the podcast.

  • Holy poop. I thought I was over my worst nerd rage days, but hearing Film Crit Hulk be so obviously wrong and poorly researched on nearly everything discussed, yet being treated like an authority, was maddening!

    Film Crit Hulk is good at film criticism, but please don’t ever use him as an authoritative source on anything Batman ever again. This whole episode was a case of the blind, deaf, and dumb leading the deaf.