The May 6, 2022 installment of Jake Schoeneberger’s random entertainment opinions
Early May is finally here and there are tons of good entertainment offerings on the horizon. Later this month, Kenobi and Stranger Things 4 are arriving. But until they drop, I’m watching some other things in the meantime.
Here are some random thoughts about the entertainment I’m currently consuming.
Random Jacob Schoeneberger Thoughts on The Batman
*This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the movie yet.*
I’m writing this as I watch the film so that I can provide a real-time journal of experiencing the movie. I’ve heard great things about this film, so I’m excited to finally get to see it.
“They think I’m hiding in the shadows, but I am the shadows.” Batman’s narration that opens the film does a great job of setting the stage for what’s to come. Reeves gives us a dark and brooding picture of Gotham, and that’s really the kind of setting I like best for this character. Batman was born in shadows and works best as a character in shadows.
Pattinson has become one of the finest actors of his generation and even with just his narration and the first fight scene with the Joker thugs it’s already obvious he’s doing justice to the Batman character. His movements and speech pattern are subtle and deliberate, and I’m already drawn to his interpretation. (And those Joker thugs establish that the Joker exists in this version of Gotham, so that gets the wheels in my head turning.)
Watching this film with Batman’s narration is like reading a moving graphic novel. I applaud Reeves’ vision, it’s really captivating. I was very surprised by the Riddler’s murder of the mayor in the opening scene. It seemed somewhat brutal for that character, but it’s obvious Reeves is going for a dark vision here.
Serkis is always awesome and even in his first scene as Alfred he’s already proven he’s perfect for this role. The interplay between Alfred and Bruce Wayne is superb. We’ve already established they’re somewhat at odds about what Batman should be and do.
Kravitz as Catwoman is perfect casting, she’s exceptional in this role. Every actor seems ideally fit to their role in this film. Wright as Gordon, Farrell as Penguin, Turturro as Falcone, Sarsgaard as Colson – all impeccable choices for these roles. This film features some incredible actors.
After the Riddler killed the commissioner it’s pretty obvious that Dano and Reeves are going for a much angrier, more brutal rendition of the character. Riddler is usually more calculating than rageful. This Riddler is almost reminiscent of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. I told myself I’d try to keep comparisons to Nolan’s Batman trilogy to a minimum, but it’s hard because I think those three films are the perfect representation of the character. So if I’m drawing comparisons to those movies already, it’s a good sign that this movie will be really good.
While the vision for the Riddler may be dark, this is an absolute gem of a Riddler mystery. Each riddle is well-executed, each device more nefarious than the last. The movie plays like a taut, tense whodunit.
Jacob Schoeneberger loved how Batman hesitated on the roof during his escape from the police station. It was a nice subtle clue to show he’s new to being Batman. He hasn’t had years and years of running around on rooftops yet so he’s still a bit afraid of heights. Nice touch.
Huge props to the new muscle car Batmobile. Now there’s a Batmobile you wanna have a beer and watch the football game with.
Riddler drawing Batman in and making the pair into a “team” was nothing short of brilliance. This storyline was woven together with such mastery; this film is nothing short of a masterpiece.
And its ending was superb. From the catastrophe, to Batman realizing he can’t be just vengeance, to Selina and Batman racing away from each other, to the laughing friends in Arkham. Everything about this film was excellent.
This film felt like Batman meets Se7en. So very, very glad a Reeves sequel is already greenlighted. Hope every one of the cast reprises their roles. This was exactly what the Batman character needed right now – new life.
Random Jacob Schoeneberger Thoughts on Moon Knight
*This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.*
I just finished the season finale of Moon Knight. Hmm, I’m torn on this one. It did answer some of the questions I had about the role of the Egyptian gods, and the stakes of what would happen if Ammit came to power, but I’m still grasping to understand what the heck is going on.
Jacob Schoeneberger gets why Mark and Stephen had to come to terms with existing together in one mind, but what was with the end? Who is the third personality? Why did he kill the Hawke character? When he is in control, Mark and Stephen are just completely unconscious?
I almost found it all a bit too complicated. And for a show called Moon Knight we actually got precious little actual Moon Knight action. The final fight scene was cool, but it seemed like we spent too much time waiting and hoping Moon Knight would come out, only to be disappointed with so little screen time for the character.
The real reason I’m torn is that at the end of the day, all MCU stories have an element of fun. No matter the character, you can walk away from an MCU work and say to yourself, “That was fun.” I can’t say that about this show. I can’t deny it’s good. I can’t deny it had action. I can’t deny it wasn’t well acted. But was it really fun?
And add to that the whole confusing and winding storyline and those talking animal gods (which, while I respect Egyptian heritage, I have to say I found quite jarring seeing them in an action story) and it just seemed a bit strange. I’ll have to think about it more and maybe even rewatch it at some point when I can binge it faster and maybe appreciate it more.
The Jake Schoeneberger Random Entertainment Thought of the Day
I hope Phoenix will reprise his role as Joker in the next Batman movie. Seems like Reeves’ vision would fit that darker Joker character very well. But if not, how about Poison Ivy as a villain? It would be nice to see that character done justice in a well-crafted storyline.