Spoilers: Batman’s identity, but not much else really…
I’ve been thinking about firsts recently, because it feels important, after turning thirty (I feel like if if you’re over thirty and reading this you’ll be thinking, pfffft, that’s so young what’s she on about, or if you’re under thirty, you’ll be thinking omg don’t make me think about being thirty that’s so old, but that’s just me judging you, hello.) that I keep on doing things for the first time. On my birthday I’m sure I did something for the first time, although who knows what it was unless I wrote it down, because it’s totally gone. I definitely did something and then totally forgot about it. Guess it’s another first I can look forward to!
This week, I saw an animal being born for the first time (maybe more on that soon), and then I did something that felt more adventurous but less terrifying; I went to the cinema by myself.
I fed the cats and put my boots on, and packed a small bottle of water and a box of grapes, and I walked to the cinema.
I’m not entirely sure how radical going to the pictures by oneself is, but I’m pretty sure it’s a more normal thing for men to do. The only friend I’m sure told me they like to go to the cinema by themselves is one of those tall and confident men, who I bet would have a hilarious quip at the ready if anyone ever commented on their solo expedition. I’m not sure I know any women who’ve been by themselves. It feels on the verge of dangerous, despite being a pretty quiet Wednesday evening, like walking back home afterwards did in the empty town centre; but when the audience put their phones away, that feeling drifted off into accepted cinema quiet-ish etiquette, and we watched the film together.
The independent cinema in Gala doesn’t seem to have someone to work the ground floor box-office at the moment, so you have to walk up the two flights of stairs to the popcorn kiosk to buy your tickets. My still-recovering-from-covid lungs paired with the N-95 mask made me breathless and slightly sweaty when I asked for a ticket to “The Batman Film Please” which looks less silly written down than how it felt to say, because I probably didn’t need to tell them it’s a film. Pretty sure I sounded like an idiot.
I bought a medium popcorn, and when I received it remembered I usually get a medium to share with whoever I’m with, and now have far too much.
The weird TV style adverts have started when I enter the cinema – it’s one of the smaller screens. Not, I think, the smallest, but I don’t really get hung up on it not being the huge screen. There’s a kind of vertigo that leans into me when I’m at the biggest screen, like in a dream and the sloping floor is falling away downhill towards the bright rectangle.
The stupid TV adverts finish and the trailers begin. I mostly love the trailers. Even if I don’t want to see the film, I get the best jokes if it’s a comedy, and the entire plot if it’s some kind of drama. I like to quietly compare notes on prospective next visits with my companion(s), but alone I can only make mental notes. The next Jurassic Park (terrifying), Dr. Strange, Morbius, The Lost City, The Norseman (Northman?)… I’m feeling pretty keen for most of them, but that’s what the trailers are designed to do so…
I think I’m the only solo person in here. I have a good seat, in the centre, a couple of rows down from the back. I had the row to myself until two people came in during the opening scene, and then left abruptly in the middle of a fiery explosive car chase halfway through.
What’s left of my teenage emo heart leapt for Robert Pattinson as this desperate, suffering Batman / Bruce Wayne (spoiler alert oops). There’s something in the breaking of a line where we see eye makeup running down his face, after (from memory, I’ve seen most recent Batman films but won’t dare say I’m a fan, please don’t hate me if I get it wrong) it was miraculously washed perfectly clean when he took off the mask in all his other incarnations. The eyeliner and the look of grief tie Batman and Wayne together like I’ve not seen before, there’s a tension through that makeup that seems more permanent than the actual scars being Batman has given him. After all of the Twilight films, it felt like he’s finally gotten dark enough to live up to what I thought he should have been like as Edward Cullen (wistful sigh). I actually feel a bit bad for talking about Twilight, because for me it didn’t really age well, and Pattinson has played more interesting roles since, but vampires do live forever, so…
Nirvana’s Something In The Way and choral renditions of Ave Maria fix a closer Gotham than my last DC universe watching in Gotham (the series) and Titans (also another Netflix series, not as good imo), both of which I can’t remember a thing about the soundtracks. Gotham starts to almost feel like a real city, not a comic book city, and apart from the music I’m not sure how they did it.
I liked, while trying to not turn this into something like an actual review, that Wayne’s billionaire status was challenged, I mean, it had to be, right? With increasing inequality in this universe and billionaires becoming richer and more incredible, so there should be someone telling Batman to get over himself in the DC universe. I just wish it didn’t have to be a psychopathic villain trying to (spoiler) his hometown. Catgirl/woman/Selena Kyle nearly gets there, but their lovely sunrise scene just didn’t quite hit it because I was too busy being annoyed at there not being enough sexual tension for their single kiss to be actually exciting to witness. My heart usually leaps when the right characters kiss at the exact right time in any TV or film, like, it’s so close to being one of them, either of them, I can’t take my eyes off the screen, and it’s like a dopamine rush just having the satisfaction of seeing it finally happening, but here… nah. Maybe, it’s that the romance was so strongly stated in the trailer that I felt like I knew it was going to happen, or I thought I’d already seen it happen. However it went, I was too distracted by them kissing (or them shouldn’t have been kissing!) to let me figure out what Batman was thinking when she can tell that he’s come from wealth.
I was disappointed to see less of Wayne than Batman, too, because a) the top two thirds of his face are also nice to look at, and b) I needed him to be held more accountable for the implications that the Wayne Foundation’s activities were (being spoilered) by (spoiler) – he would have been more of a hero to me for doing something about that than (spoilering) in the (admittedly satisfying) climactic scenes where he (spoilers) a bunch of (spoilers) by risking (spoiler). I’m just enjoying putting (spoiler) in here a lot okay.
Think I’ll leave my Batman / Spiderman comparison for another day, just don’t make me choose between my superhero fantasies.
Find out if they’re still showing The Batman in Gala here.
As always, if you enjoyed reading, please think about paying me for my work on this blog! You can click the links at the top and bottom of the page that say buy me a coffee to send me £3 (or more!). I’m hoping to get a patreon thingy organised soon and a mailing list and everything, but before then, you can subscribe via WordPress or follow me on Instagram (@jessiegrowden_video)