Random Sample: The Superhero

I took Maya to see The Dark Knight yesterday, and I asked her on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest), how would she rate it?  “8.5” was my answer.  I ask why she chose that number, and her answer was simple:  it was too long.  I have to agree.  This is the second time I’ve seen this film, and while I didn’t notice the lengthy running time  when I first saw the movie (owing in large part to the fact that I was really stoked by what I was seeing), this second trip to the cinema had me shifting in my seat a bit.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first, but it seems the rise of Harvey “Two Face” Dent from hero to semi-villain dragged. They could have trimmed about a half hour from the last act and it would have been a sublime film.  Still, for those of you who haven’t seen it, I would enthusiastically recommend the film.

Now, on to the music!

“Merchant of Death,” Ramin Djawadi (Listen Here) Except for Spider- Man in this little sampling, superheroes are not so much imbued with special powers than they are inventive mortals who use technological innovations to help them fight their enemies.  Iron Man is a prime example.  His powers are really the work of gifted mind who can not only design super cool gadgets, but has the wherewithal to manufacture them, too. I’m sure there have been academic papers written on the psychology of the superhero, but there’s a passage in Freud’s Civilizations and Its Discontents I’m thinking about that speaks about humanity’s desire for god-like powers, and our uses of technology to attain those powers. He draws unfavorable conclusions about our love of technology, but I wonder what he would have thought of Iron Man?  My guess he would have been the first in line to see it, and would have theater-hopped to other movies to get in on some freebies.  Yeah, Freud seems like a theater-hopper.

“Sealing,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Listen Here) One of the problems of being a superhero is the loneliness.  Most probably admire the fact that they have these cool powers that can, well, overpower others. But then there’s that whole “responsibility” thing that puts limits on said powers. Spider-Man has had a tough time with his powers and is often frustrated with his inability to fully connect with MJ on a  human (and functional) level.  We in the audience, however, are just screaming at the screen: “Oh, just kiss her and get on with it!”  But he can’t, can he?

“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” U2 (Listen Here) This was a very “by the numbers” Batman movie, but the soundtrack had quite a few good songs. However, one of the biggest mistakes they made in making this film was “lightening” the tone — oh, and putting nipples on Robin’s suit. Okay, that’s two mistakes. Sure, there’s more I can add to this list, but were these elements really supposed to attract “younger viewers?” Ha! C’mon, it’s Batman. Tim Burton knew any film depiction of Batman would have to include an exploration life-altering wounds. This is dark psychological terrority, and really it’s surprising that Burton was able to do as much as he did.  But once the money started rolling in, and the Suits started meddling, well, it all went to hell after the second movie — until Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

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