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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A Merry and Dark Christmas is now...

I never seen the Dark Knight Trilogy to be fair. That is until I actually watched The Dark Knight Rises movie. Or to put it accurately, it's only the latter half of the movie. Yet, I really teared up for most of the movie even until quite a few minutes after the show ended. So now here I am, doing my own half assed analysis on what truly made Christopher Nolan's Batman so dark, yet still humane. Without a doubt, Nolan had truly surpassed the Tim Burton legacy. And here's my half assed analysis why:


The difference between Part 1 and the remaining two
Is it just because of the naming? To me, there might be a hidden reason behind why the first movie is called Batman Begins while part 2 and 3 carried the vital term "The Dark Knight". To me, Batman in this very context is not just the beginning of Bruce Wayne's life as a vigilante hero, but above all the difference between Batman and the Dark Knight is a constant conflict between idealism and cynicism respectively. But is it truly that simple? Cynicism will always be birthed forth by idealism as in we can pretty much call it the worst case scenario. Or rather the most ideal answer 9 out of 10 times. Yes, this is me being a wee bit sarcastic. I might truly be way worse off than Jahat-ludin/Jamilah-din.

Batman Begins
A particular review on The Dark Knight rises actually stated that while Bruce Wayne is part of Gotham City, the identity of Batman/Dark Knight is something truly belonging to the city itself. In fact, Batman/Dark Knight IS indeed Gotham City. Have to say that I totally agree with that intelligent bloke (although I need to search again for that said review in my Google+ afterwards). But let's go onto Part 1 first.

Simply put, Batman Begins is not just about the idealist Bruce Wayne who managed to transform hatred into something so much more. But above all, Ra's al Ghul was the only reason why Bruce Wayne can be Batman (and subsequently the alter-ego called Dark Knight). Ironically, Bruce Wayne had to kill his ex-mentor-turned-enemy due to a conflict in ideology. Or perhaps the most damning of them all, the League of Shadows being the sole reason causing the chain of events leading to the brutal murder of Bruce's parents. Even more ironic is the truth that the people who had grown somewhat decadent were the rich and powerful rallied by the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne due to Thomas' decision to play the altruist via his own hard earned fortune.

Now come to think of it, perhaps Ra's al Ghul's greatest defeat wasn't down to arrogance, let alone Bruce Wayne. It's basically the knowledge that he had caused the death of Bruce's parents, that he's really out to make amends only to be clouded by his own ideals at the end of the day. Read: Henri Ducard might have actually threw it due to guilt, not arrogance.

Which now comes to the conflict of life lessons given to Bruce. While Henri Ducard/Ra's al Ghul preached a message of conquering one's fears to manipulate the enemies' fears, Thomas Wayne's ideology was actually all about conquering one's fears being the only way to march forward in life. The first half is basically the same logic, but not so the second half. Ultimately, Henri "Liam 'Badass' Neeson" Ducard actually became the winner of round 1 post-death. Something no different, yet far more subtle/philosophical than how Oberyn Martell achieved the same feat over Gregor "Mountain that rapes" Clegane.

The Dark Knight
We all know Bruce's journey. That everything was all about knowing the criminal mind in order to seek a greater calling. The only problem? There's a marked difference between Batman and Dark Knight. Both belonged to the same person, yet two direct opposites. It's just like seeing a coin. You can't say both sides are tails/heads. There has to be a head and tail. A mirror image of two polar existences. That's how I see Batman and the Dark Knight. In fact, the Joker might not even be merely an antagonistic character. To me, he could be deemed as the kind of person that Bruce Wayne would end up be had not for Ra's al Ghul's intervention. The entire struggle henceforth, is not just for the soul of Gotham City. It's actually Batman vs another Batman. Or rather Bruce Wayne vs Bruce Wayne. Of course, in a very real sense, the Joker actually won. Not Bruce Wayne the Joker, but rather the literal character Joker. In fact, Joker's words were actually laced with sarcasm far more than admitting defeat. Why? Because Joker understood Gotham City far better than Batman, i.e. his statement that Batman is indeed incorruptible. In YET another twist of irony, Joker's final words actually managed to let us all know why Bruce Wayne was able to complete his mission and relinquish the mask to the future generations.

Which now comes to the significance of Harvey Dent. When Joker gave him an opposite appraisal most damning, it means that more than anybody else (including even Rachel Dawes herself), Joker was that one bastard truly understanding Harvey Dent. And why is that the case was down to Joker understanding that there's nothing much separating Harvey and Gotham. In short, Harvey Dent despite being a somewhat altruistic attorney actually represented all that is wrong with Gotham City itself. The very Gotham City that the League of Shadows were out to annihilate and above all, the Gotham City that Batman was fighting against. In short, Harvey Dent's new identity as Two-Face can be seen as a stroke of metaphorical genius, intentionally or not. Harvey had not only lost Rachel Dawes, but above all the reason to live his own former life. Which indirectly means that he valued his own self  identity way more than the now-deceased Rachel, NOT basing his own identity around her. In short, Harvey Dent's spiral into corruption and insanity was basically the actual face of Gotham City and it truly showed via his brand new visage. Two-Face is not about the hypocrisy of man, but rather the hypocrisy brought about by reality. That more often than not, we will always run the risk of being a hypocrite without even noticing/acknowledging it due to circumstances beyond our control/perception/anticipation.

Of course by the end of The Dark Knight, Bruce chose to take the fall for Harvey because he had never agree with Joker's assessment, be it himself or Harvey.

The most ironic cold hard truth? Batman had truly became the Dark Knight by then, because the methods Bruce employed were no different from Joker and the rest while Harvey Dent was merely a victim of situations truly shit outta luck.

The Dark Knight Rises
I've heard that a lot of reviewers said that part 3 didn't really lived up the hype of the last two movies (although it's most likely due to random plot holes and some other illogical stuff). Now I don't want to make any comparisons due to the most obvious, but the theme for the third movie is actually a middle ground between the first and second. If BB is all about the beginnings of an ideal justified by methods most cynical, then TDK is all about an all out self-sacrifice as we can see via the latter case's ending.

In short, TDKR is actually a story of redemption after a roller coaster ride in and out of the fires of hell. First things first, let's not kid ourselves. Most of The Dark Knight Rises was truly far darker than the last two put together due to a constant theme of betrayal justified by a jaded ideal without any supposed value.

Initially, Bruce Wayne was indeed betrayed by the cops who have forgotten why Gotham City had survived thus far. Secondly, Bruce Wayne was betrayed by Alfred not because of how Alfred tried to dissuade him from donning the suit, but above all Alfred FAILED the entire Wayne family by not revealing the most damning truth about Rachel Dawes, i.e. she would end up marrying Harvey Dent anyway even if Bruce opted for a permanent retirement. Of course that also means that Rachel had unwittingly betrayed Bruce as well, but yet given the duty tasked upon Alfred, we all know who should be the guiltier sod.

And lastly, Bruce got betrayed by Miranda Tate for reason most apparent.
Selina Kyle? Well, I'm gonna have fun with this one later on.

Of course nothing else truly hurts the most when you end up realizing that you're actually the greatest betrayer to yourself. Yes, folks. Bruce Wayne BETRAYED Bruce Wayne. And this truly was shown when we saw how Bane brutalized him unto a state of near paralysis, not to mention getting thrown into a Mid-East slammer. You see, if Henri Ducard symbolized Bruce Wayne's hope, then Joker was the symbol of Bruce Wayne's what-if. As for Bane, he's truly Bruce Wayne's antithesis. The enemy he must prevailed over, not literally, but rather metaphorically. As per so aptly stated by some old hobo locked inside as well, Bruce Wayne's problem was down to the fact that he has NEVER understood fear. He tried conquering his fears, but he didn't know that only by confronting it and accepting it can he truly rise again. Bruce had never feared death because he had never considered such a notion to be a reality. To him, dying is not the problem literally. This was no different from Ra's al Ghul's teaching, but yet totally contradicting Thomas Wayne's own brand of overcoming.

And hence we have to talk about bats. Why? Bruce Wayne's every fear was basically personified into such a creature and by adopting his own means of vigilance, everything was no different from how a bat hunts it's prey. But it's only just that. Bruce tried to be his own hunting bat, but he failed to overcome this very figment of fear. Generally speaking, you can say that his fear towards bats was basically his own show of cowardice, not a show of him overcoming everything.

In short, the fear of death is something not to be ashamed of. This is the one thing that makes us truly humane. Bruce Wayne is not God and neither should he try forcing himself to be one. Ditto for all of us as well. It's only down to how you deal with it that really matters the most, i.e. accepting your fear. In fact, one of the most poignant scene was when we see how Bruce managed to climb out of Bane's Mid-East slammer pit. He tried to do so with a rope aid. He failed. He tried to do so without any aid. He actually succeeded. That old hobo might be bullshitting intentionally when he said that Bane was that child performing this very feat of inhumane courage and still the only one prior to Bruce equaling the record. But to Bruce back then, it's something truly not bullshitting. The little child he envisioned was still Bane himself (although it's actually revealed that kid was Miranda Tate herself. More on that later).

In fact, when all the hobos united themselves and chanting that "funny word", it's actually an embodiment of hope that Bruce truly represented. These blokes were not part of Gotham itself, but yet Christopher Nolan's stroke of genius again struck once more:
What he's trying to do imo is to create a foreshadowing on the actual battle soon to be fought in Gotham City by the residents of Gotham City. Batman was merely a symbolic hero rallying the call. That's just it.

Of course now we really have to touch on the romantic front since this was actually far more character driven than otherwise believed in. Actually, I've already more or less finished touching up on the Gotham City part, so let's move onto Selina Kyle and Miranda Tate.

You see, it's extremely easy to say that Catwoman betrayed Batman, but it's only oversimplifying the picture. Firstly and foremost, I never said that Anne Hathaway's character is a good character apart from the fact that she would only steal from the richest of the rich while having an idealistic streak. And this was where the fun truly starts. To me, Selina Kyle IS the idealistic picture Bruce Wayne truly wanted to be, but not truly there. Will it be a long shot for me to say that this might be the reason why Bruce was attracted to her despite going at opposing ends more often than not?

On the other hand Miranda Tate was all that Bruce had became on a positive basis. She's not merely Ra's al Ghul's daughter, but above all a mere tool of whatever legacy pursued by the League of Shadows. In short, Bruce Wayne managed to find his own direction no matter how flawed. Talia al Ghul aka Miranda Tate, on the other hand is just merely a living dead. She had her own feelings and emotions, but she's never her own person. This was actually exposed via her romance with Bane. Ra's forbade their relationship, but Talia didn't really fight back. Not for anyone else, but only for her happiness and future which by right should be hers. On the other hand, Bruce had gone through countless hell even unto the extent that he ended up seeing the ghost of Ra's so as to speak. He managed to claw his way up and we all know the rest.

Pragmatism, death, and legacy
Is it truly so hard to follow the rules? One of the key factors behind the salvation of Gotham City is this: It's one thing to obey the rightful law and quite another to see every social norm AS the law. This is the problem with Gotham City. The folks forgot about Batman not because he really broke the law (although I can never deny that acts of vigilance are considered illegal), but rather they're starting to believe that Batman shouldn't be existing. And why? Because the social norms dictated that a person employing questionable methods shouldn't be considered as a hero. This was actually brutally exposed during the aftermath of Bruce's decision to take the fall for Harvey. In a very real sense, we can also say that Bruce Wayne was also betrayed by the society he tried so hard to save and protect.

But yet at the end of the day, who are the true blue callous bastards? Not the people of Gotham City, not the Gotham City police as well. It's the reinforcements coming from other sources and perhaps the external powers that be as well. Simply put, they didn't really give a flying damn on whether Gotham would still be there, they didn't give a flying two hoots' damn on whether the people of Gotham City live or die. Remember John Blake's standoff with all the "foreign" cops? Yes, that's the one scenario I'm deriving this logic from.

Do they fear death? Surely. Do John Blake fear death? I believe so as well.

And here I must highlight Joker's words again. Bruce Wayne IS indeed incorruptible. That's why only HE can have the moral high ground to rally Gotham City even unto the extent that all those local cops are willing to answer his call! Yes, we're talking about the same kind of assholes out to bust Batman far earlier in the beginning.

And herein I must invoke this quote:

"A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulder to let him know that the world hadn't ended."

And guess what happened to John Blake?
Hint: He's still alive quite obviously

A happy ending despite a dark struggle gone
This is basically a replay of Tim Burton's second Batman movie. The only difference? Bruce Wayne has indeed found his peace. With Selina Kyle no less. And herein I must conclude what Alfred might be seeing here:

That Bruce Wayne the crusader had died when he decided to sacrifice himself in the only way possible.
Yet, Bruce Wayne the human is still truly alive.
Or perhaps merely reborn for all we know.