FILM: The League of Bats (Ranking the Caped Crusader) - #3

Can you hear the haters sing?  No, no you can not.  When Ben Affleck was announced as Batman the entire world’s social media timelines blew up with “Not-fucking-Batfleck!” and though I had issues with how he threw the Daredevil movie under the bus after the opening reception had cooled I said time, and again that directing better actors had made him a better actor.  Boy was I right.  Affleck’s take on the Dark Knight, though a little younger than how Frank Miller coloured him in 1986, is equally as jaded but he has something else.  He’s witnessed him employees (family) die.  He’s seen his business home destroyed by what was essentially an intergalactic terrorist attack and he is traumatised by it.
Even Matt Murdock could see that Ben Affleck's Batman... is INCREDIBLE!
There is a beautiful moment before he travels to Lex’s home for his gala ding-dong that has Affleck’s Bruce Wayne captivated by the unmanned batsuit.  He stares, unblinking, into the hollowed out eyes of the cowl and all but utters what would you have me do?  The suit wants to be taken out.  Bruce Wayne wants to do this next bit as Batman but it must be Bruce.  The destruction of Metropolis has torn open the eternally raw wound that is his parents’ death and in doing so has made him more cold-blooded, more ruthless, and more cruel than he’s ever needed to be.  Affleck is perfect.  The finest ever Bruce Wayne, the best Batman and the brightest star in the DC crown.

3. Batman Begins (2005)
Christian Bale || Batman

Eleven years on and it might be easy to underplay the importance of this film.  Batman had been cinematically dormant for eight years (the same length of time Bruce Wayne was inactive between TDK and TDKR).  Failure at this point would have set the character back decades and it wasn’t the first imagining of Batman they had tried to get off the ground post Batman & Robin.  Wolfgang Petersen was at the development stage with a Superman vs Batman movie which didn’t get out of the script stage.  Then you had Darren Aronofsky’s Year One which would have seen a young Bruce Wayne living with a garage mechanic but Warner thought it moved too far from the origin.  Finally you had George Miller’s (Mad Max) vision for the Justice League and we even had a Batman cast in Armie Hammer but the writer’s strike put an end to that.
Gratuitous up-cape shot 
When Christian Bale stepped into Wayne Manor he did so with a universal acknowledgement that his Batman would be a different kind of Batman.  With the director of Momento and Insomnia behind both script and camera this was a vigilante for the “real world” and in all that Nolan delivered.  Not only did he serve up an origin story that managed to hit everybody’s expectation but a Batman movie that had him in the cowl for a long time, and squaring off against a different kind of villain than we’d seen before.

Heroes of Hollywood Boulevard is available on Amazon in paperback and on Amazon Kindle in the mass market "Stars & Bars" cover and an Amazon Exclusive "blank variant".

Stu Hogan is idolized by every child walking Hollywood Boulevard apart from his own.  Working the star-studded street as a Batman impersonator alongside good pal Brian (Superman) and steroid shooting Ricky (The Incredible Hulk), Stu's love of alcohol, gambling and strippers have left him behind with his alimony, down on his luck and looking for a quick fix for both.

Seeing an opportunity to change his circumstances, Stu enlists his fellow superheroes for a daring heist that has the impersonators fall short of their counterparts' lofty standards causing friendships to fracture and divisions to become deadly.

Click [here] for the FREE zero chapter.


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