Ruth's Diary



Yes I'm fully aware I haven't come on here in a while (a month!) but I generally felt I had nothing to talk about or didn't want to talk about anything. Right now I'm on my way home from Manchester, having paid my brother a visit.

Now Watchmen. Oh Watchmen. This movie had so much riding on it that I felt the need to see it at night on its release day (yesterday). I saw it with Nathan and his flatmate Ernie (in a sold out screen nonetheless!) and none of us were disappointed. That movie was so great! I got completely lost in the world the characters dwelled in and it was such a joy to watch. Although I can't help making comparisons between this movie and Batman: The Dark Knight, which I didn't see 'til...this morning. At the end of TDK I felt happy, at the end of Watchmen not so much. Not because the ending was bad, it was more open to interpretation and morally questionable, which is fine considering that we can't really have happy endings all the time. But boy I left that cinema last night on a high: I had spent my money well and I had a blast with the movie's story, plus the effects were spectacular (and believable) and...Watchmen is just one of those perfect movies. I don't care if it's long, I think it's perfect, and just what we need in our dull moviedom.

Now The Dark Knight...not a perfect movie, although very very good. The thing is, that Batman movie has somehow become addled with problems or differing opinions. A lot of people don't like Batman's voice (different from Bruce Wayne's), some people felt Two Face shone more than The Joker (the voices of all those three started grating on me at the end), I personally don't like the representation of Gotham City and there are even those who think Christian Bale can't act. I'm sure there are many more problems and qualms, my personal one being I don't like the representation of either Batman or Bruce Wayne in any Batman live-action movie, the best one is Kevin Conroy's in any animated version. There's no denying that The Dark Knight is the best movie in the live-action Batman franchise, but it also shows that every live-action adaptation suffers from some kind of problem. I'm not sure what exactly. Maybe Bruce Wayne is too complex a character to reveal in a series of action-heavy villain-focussed 2-hour movies. In fact, that's probably it considering very little time in The Dark Knight dealt with Batman/Wayne himself, it was more a philosophical/ideological struggle. Still cool though.

Now while on the thoughts of Batman history, I got an idea regarding the relationship between Batman and The Joker. There have been all kinds of TV shows, DVD extras and interviews that look at why their relationship works so well. It's the fact they're complete opposites: Batman's level-headed, Joker's psycho and random, Batman's dark, Joker's brightly coloured, Batman's calculating, Joker's hyperactive, Batman's goal-driven, Joker's emotionally driven, I could go on. But what one DC creator said was, it's a surprise they work so well as hero and villain because it's not as if bats and clowns really have anything to do with each other traditionally. Well I have an idea why they work so well: bats and clowns are scary. See, people are a bit tetchy around bats, especially when it's dark, even though they realise that bats are actually harmless rodents that feed on insects. Clowns however are traditionally nightmarish. Not sure why, they simply turn up at children's parties, blow balloons and make people smile. I think the fear is that the joviality is a sinister masquerade. I also think there's a Pied Piper/Rat Catcher fear associated with clowns, the general fear that a child could be nabbed. One thing that makes The Joker so clever is that he sometimes puts people at ease through his charms and joviality, before turning sinister and doing whatever he feels the need to. So The Joker is basically a psychopath who brings some Pied Piper/Paedophiliac fears to the helm, while Batman uses a bat as a fear-inducing emblem in the criminal underworld.

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