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OK, so I've seen The Dark Knight now. Much better than Batman Begins, to my taste, and another very visual movie that makes me pleased to have blu-ray despite irritations that the machines don't remember how far they played a disc last time*.
As often happens, I only become moved to blog a subject if I come upon a more or less philosophical idea about it. This one is: we hear often (and many times in the extras for this film) that Batman is the coolest superhero because he has no super-powers...
But is this really true? Sure, ostensibly he hasn't. It's stated that he's just a human, albeit highly trained and disciplined. But let's face it: is there a single human being on the planet who can do what Batman can? Build and use super-gadgets beyond any others on Earth? Swing between high-rises on a thin line? Beat up big gangs of thugs with guns, night after night, year after year?
I think not. Ergo, he is super-human. And if he wasn't, he wouldn't be a super-hero. But it shows that the argument is fallacious. He is cool not because he is not super-powered, but because he is.
Another issue entirely is: Batman is only Batman by being really violent. Is this truly a hero? Do we really want to admire a highly violent person? But I guess that's a bottomless philosophical issue.
*Actually I've established now that this seems to be established by the disc not the player, since the Bat Bonus disc is being remembered, unlike all other discs I've played. Odd, why do they want to do that?
Update: The Dark Knight is, like Hell Boy II: All My Sins Remembered, a movie which takes pride in doing as much as possible in-camera rather than in the computer, and is better for it. Particularly its car chases and crashes are very impressive.
Also impressive is the "Bat Pod" (has a built-in iPod?), the motorcycle-like thingy that Bats has. I must admit I thought it was faked, it does not look like it would be able to turn at speed with those wide tyres. But they actually built it, and though it took a world-class driver to handle it and it's very different than a motorcycle to drive, it actually works. Neat.