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Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

It's been 8 years and someone happens to see through Bruce's bullshit.

I would think it would take more than that for someone who does not at all know Bruce on any personal, substantive level to figure out his secret identity.

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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

Which is exactly why making him purely a philanthropist wouldn't work: simply throwing money at things doesn't automatically make them better. It's deeper than that.

It also wouldn't make a great movie either.

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Originally Posted by agracru View Post

I would think it would take more than that for someone who does not at all know Bruce on any personal, substantive level to figure out his secret identity.

The citizens of Gotham, having an honest-to-God superhero flying around the city, would be obsessed with trying to figure out who he is (just imagine the internet!) - especially kids.

That considered: you have 8 years (plus the time he was Batman before it), similar backgrounds, his mysterious 7-year disappearance before coming back, his reappearance coinciding with the arrival of the Batman, then his reclusiveness taking place around the time the Batman stopped showing up. On top of that, he's a public figure who shows up in the media for his shenanigans and is one of the very few in Gotham who holds as much wealth as he does (making him one of the people you'd think had the money to be able to do it). On top of that, the guy's a cop who becomes a detective due to his knack for thinking outside the box and piecing shit together.

Honestly, what more do you want? Him to find the left behind Bat-wallet that happens to contain Bruce Wayne's driver's license?

A[quote name="Cylon Baby" url="/community/t/144220/the-dark-knight-rises-post-release-thread/3000#post_3436746"]


Well, sure, anyone in his position would enjoy the "life". But recall how Bruce describes the Charity Ball to Talia in TDKR: it could easily be the rant of a Occupy Gothamite. And he lives as a vagrant in BB, and feels terrible when he first puts on his Playboy act and Rachel sees him. And by TDKR, he's not interested in leaving the house. So all in all, a mixed bag.
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Good points, and I respect Wayne for taking time to 'walk the earth' (I've posted before that I want an entire prequel about his time living anonymously), but I'm just saying that when you come to the 'Occupy Gotham' politics of the final film, I dunno, I don't view Batman as a 'man of the people'. He's a rich guy with issues who is living out a very odd fantasy. As a human being and American citizen, I don't look at the fictional character of Bruce Wayne and see a guy who has ever had to walk a mile in my shoes. He was always just one phone call away from the untold billions in his name.

To answer Shaun, Bruce Wayne could have done more good by making himself a political boss, perhaps a senator who answered to no one (since he wouldn't need campaign contributions). If Bruce wanted to help Gotham there were intense, full tilt efforts he could have made to that end given the resources at his disposal, efforts that still stop short of "becoming Batman".
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Originally Posted by agracru View Post

I would think it would take more than that for someone who does not at all know Bruce on any personal, substantive level to figure out his secret identity.

Look at it through the eyes of a child, where imagination and creative deducing comes into play. "We used to make up stories about you. Legends." To the mind of an orphan, their hero who funded their home... to make some kind of connection to Batman was probably not a difficult thing to do.

A[quote name="Carnotaur3" url="/community/t/144220/the-dark-knight-rises-post-release-thread/3000#post_3436753"]It also wouldn't make a great movie either.
[/quote]

Oh I like Batman as a character, don't get me wrong. He is my favorite costumed vigilante. But I also have a very sober, critical opinion of just what kind of man conducts himself the way Bruce Wayne does.
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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

Honestly, what more do you want?

Something that doesn't stretch credulity. Maybe something more substantial than, "Oh, hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but we're both orphans, so you're clearly Batman, baby". It's the thinnest example of deductive reasoning possible.

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Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

To answer Shaun, Bruce Wayne could have done more good by making himself a political boss, perhaps a senator who answered to no one (since he wouldn't need campaign contributions). If Bruce wanted to help Gotham there were intense, full tilt efforts he could have made to that end given the resources at his disposal, efforts that still stop short of "becoming Batman".

Did you miss the whole point about reprisals spread throughout the trilogy?

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Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Something that doesn't stretch credulity. Maybe something more substantial than, "Oh, hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but we're both orphans, so you're clearly Batman, baby". It's the thinnest example of deductive reasoning possible.

And one I wouldn't take literally. He had a feeling, a suspicion, but was young. I imagine it to be a thought he held onto and was only reaffirmed as he grew up and had more pieces to put together. We're only a few steps away from complaining about Rachel knowing he's Batman despite him not removing his cowl just to be sure. (I'm being facetious.)

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Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post


Good points, and I respect Wayne for taking time to 'walk the earth' (I've posted before that I want an entire prequel about his time living anonymously), but I'm just saying that when you come to the 'Occupy Gotham' politics of the final film, I dunno, I don't view Batman as a 'man of the people'. He's a rich guy with issues who is living out a very odd fantasy. As a human being and American citizen, I don't look at the fictional character of Bruce Wayne and see a guy who has ever had to walk a mile in my shoes. He was always just one phone call away from the untold billions in his name.
To answer Shaun, Bruce Wayne could have done more good by making himself a political boss, perhaps a senator who answered to no one (since he wouldn't need campaign contributions). If Bruce wanted to help Gotham there were intense, full tilt efforts he could have made to that end given the resources at his disposal, efforts that still stop short of "becoming Batman".

Forcing himself to live as a poor person for seven years... You're right, he's not living in our shoes. I think he understands it better than us.

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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

You're mostly right, except that Talia was active in the League alongside Bane until he was kicked out. This was probably followed by her leaving, too, until she forgave Ra's, came back with Bane, and became the rightful heir:

"The League took us in; trained us. But my father could not accept Bane. He saw only a monster... He excommunicated Bane from the League of Shadows..."

That last line, in particular, about being excommunicated, as well as "his only crime was that he loved me" really shows in Bane's face. He's not only emoting over loving Talia, but that he was a true believer who was kicked out for an unfair reason.

I forgot about that line! So, yeah. I'm with you.

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Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

My view is that Bruce should have just spent his money on normal philanthropy and activism. The mob doesn't need Batmen to crush it, a non corrupt police force with strong political backing will do just fine.
To paraphrase Homer Simpson, Bruce Wayne is the cause of and solution to the majority of Gotham's problems.

Except in the films, it's quite clear he is NOT the cause. Gotham's own culture of corruption, egged on by the League with the goal of self destruction, are the prime causes. The appearance of Batman is, ultimately, a mixed blessing at best. Yes, much good is done, but a shitload of stuff that would've never happened also occurred as a direct result of his crimefighting. The Joker, the return of the League, Dent's corruption and death, Rachel's death, etc. The best argument for Batman's existence is the League; he helped prevent the destruction of Gotham twice. But the cost was incredibly high for the city, and there's no guarantee Blake donning the cowl will help balance the equation in the right direction.

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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

I still don't understand the confusion surrounding the politics of this movie. After TDK and its supposed (up for debate) pro-Bush agenda, it seems people wanted yet another straight-forward approach. Problem is, I don't think that was ever Nolan's approach in the first place, and we shouldn't have been expectant of it just because of a previous movie. If you pay attention to not just the words Bane is saying but his body language it's more than apparent that he's jerking everyone around.

I think TDK does end up, intentionally or not, being an apologia for Bush's policies.  It's not a straightforward one, but those themes are important to the movie and feel appropriately ambiguous because at least Batman himself is engaging with questions about security and privacy and ethics and honesty.  Batman is completely disengaged from the class issues that dominate so much of TDKR.

If, as you say, Bane is just jerking everyone around with his rhetoric, then the subtext is still troublesome.  Because there is no honest figurehead of the Occupy Gotham movement presented in the film; the entire thing is a manipulation of those (stupid, stupid) poor people, who require the sheltering hand of a very rich man* to protect them from their own disastrous mistake in turning on the elite.  Which I actually would prefer to my confusion as to his motives; it may be repugnant, but at least its coherent at that point.

*and I don't give a crap if he doesn't really care about the money.  Having a bunch of money makes you rich; it doesn't matter how you spend it or how you feel about it.

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Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

I think TDK does end up, intentionally or not, being an apologia for Bush's policies.  It's not a straightforward one, but those themes are important to the movie and feel appropriately ambiguous because at least Batman himself is engaging with questions about security and privacy and ethics and honesty.  Batman is completely disengaged from the class issues that dominate so much of TDKR.

If, as you say, Bane is just jerking everyone around with his rhetoric, then the subtext is still troublesome.  Because there is no honest figurehead of the Occupy Gotham movement presented in the film; the entire thing is a manipulation of those (stupid, stupid) poor people, who require the sheltering hand of a very rich man* to protect them from their own disastrous mistake in turning on the elite.  Which I actually would prefer to my confusion as to his motives; it may be repugnant, but at least its coherent at that point.

*and I don't give a crap if he doesn't really care about the money.  Having a bunch of money makes you rich; it doesn't matter how you spend it or how you feel about it.

I'm under the illusion that Nolan's commentary on the Class Warfare is that it's complete and utter bullshit on all sides. And that is why Batman/Bruce is disengaged. Because it's not a real ideology. It's a smokescreen for more devious acts by people threatening to take down our society and turn it to ash.

In the real world, there has to be people with money and with power. They have to be inspired, not taken down to another level.

For what it's worth, I actually liked that is was an emotional, rather than logical, connection that led Blake to Batman's identity.  Yes, there could of been an interesting plotline of him following clues and detective-ing his way to the realization, but I pretty much feel like this movie had too much plot as is.

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Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

The thing is, setting TDKR 8 years after TDK allows for a few things:

1) Batman to grow as a legend/myth

2) Gotham to be lulled into a false sense of security: the trauma caused by Joker would have taken years to fade. Note how no one even seems to remember Joker, but do remember Batman? I think that is deliberate.

3) Being lulled by the absence of street crime, more fundamental forms of corruption (the sleazy Congressman,  Daggat, 1,000 criminals apparently being held without parole) take precedence.

4) Allows the League to exploit the underclass, which in Gotham seems to consist entirely of orphans, to create their underground army.

5) Creates a much more pronounced shock when things go from normal straight into the shithouse. I wonder if this isn't Nolan channeling the 2008 Financial crisis.

After watching TDKR again I realized that the League of Shadows is simply a Revenge Factory. No agenda other then murder and blow shit up, motivated by the personal traumas of Ras Al Ghul and Daughter. Plus they lie, cheat and steal at every opportunity. What a bunch of hypocrites!

I know the conversation is bouncing around a it but just bringing it back to the eight years problem, do you think the film would have worked better if it had taken place eight years after Dent's death and a year (or two) after "the last known sighting of the Batman"? As in, Bruce battled on for a few more years before giving up.

I just have a huge problem buying the city mythologising this guy who ran around for a year eight years ago.

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Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

I think TDK does end up, intentionally or not, being an apologia for Bush's policies.  It's not a straightforward one, but those themes are important to the movie and feel appropriately ambiguous because at least Batman himself is engaging with questions about security and privacy and ethics and honesty.  Batman is completely disengaged from the class issues that dominate so much of TDKR.

If, as you say, Bane is just jerking everyone around with his rhetoric, then the subtext is still troublesome.  Because there is no honest figurehead of the Occupy Gotham movement presented in the film; the entire thing is a manipulation of those (stupid, stupid) poor people, who require the sheltering hand of a very rich man* to protect them from their own disastrous mistake in turning on the elite.  Which I actually would prefer to my confusion as to his motives; it may be repugnant, but at least its coherent at that point.

*and I don't give a crap if he doesn't really care about the money.  Having a bunch of money makes you rich; it doesn't matter how you spend it or how you feel about it.

I don't think you can properly depict the character without making him fascist.

That said, I'll disagree about it being primarily pro-Bush. You have the element that he's crossing the unethical line in order to apprehend the bad guy, yes. But, to me, the importance equally lies with what he chooses to do with that technology afterwards.  He doesn't keep it for later, just in case. He makes the argument that sometimes lines have to be crossed, but he equally gives up that power so that it can't continue to be abused (and lose the trust of his most important ally). If that scene didn't happen between him and Lucius and we didn't see it self-destruct, then there'd be no argument from me.

There's no figurehead of the Occupy Gotham movement for a very simple reason: there isn't one. This isn't a group of people who peacefully came together to challenge the system. They were threatened into it. You're right: it's an entire manipulation. That whole storyline wasn't about class warfare, but merely to just use its existence as a tool to stir up shit. I think too much emphasis has been placed on the Occupy movements' relevance ever since the announcement of possibly shooting there came into play.

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Originally Posted by Mike's Pants View Post

I know the conversation is bouncing around a it but just bringing it back to the eight years problem, do you think the film would have worked better if it had taken place eight years after Dent's death and a year (or two) after "the last known sighting of the Batman"? As in, Bruce battled on for a few more years before giving up.

I just have a huge problem buying the city mythologising this guy who ran around for a year eight years ago.

I think it's best to approach it to how you, your city, and the world would react if this silly guy dressed as a bat appeared and wiped out organized crime in a short period of time before disappearing after supposedly murdering a high-ranking city official.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

I think TDK does end up, intentionally or not, being an apologia for Bush's policies.  It's not a straightforward one, but those themes are important to the movie and feel appropriately ambiguous because at least Batman himself is engaging with questions about security and privacy and ethics and honesty.  Batman is completely disengaged from the class issues that dominate so much of TDKR.

If, as you say, Bane is just jerking everyone around with his rhetoric, then the subtext is still troublesome.  Because there is no honest figurehead of the Occupy Gotham movement presented in the film; the entire thing is a manipulation of those (stupid, stupid) poor people, who require the sheltering hand of a very rich man* to protect them from their own disastrous mistake in turning on the elite.  Which I actually would prefer to my confusion as to his motives; it may be repugnant, but at least its coherent at that point.

*and I don't give a crap if he doesn't really care about the money.  Having a bunch of money makes you rich; it doesn't matter how you spend it or how you feel about it.

Yes, but my key point continues to be that once Occupy Gotham starts, Bruce is dirt poor.

If Bruce always had the mindset of a common man, but was "faking it" according to Dr Harford, then he's finally become that common man.

This is a bit of a circular argument, and I don't have much more to add. I agree that the execution is muddy, but only because screenwriting gymnastics in terms of plot and characterization had to be attempted in order to maintain thematic consistency.

Every time Selina insults "Bruce" it's his public image, and even then they forge a bond. When Bruce and Blake are alone together it's not Batman and Robin, it's the same comfortable Bruce that is neither masked vigilante nor billionaire playboy.

The guy has money but we never see him revel in it in an honest fashion. I think that's what ultimately makes the difference. That's not to say, however, that it completely puts him on the same playing field as the rest of us.

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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

I don't think you can properly depict the character without making him fascist.

"Of course we're criminals. We have to be criminals. We've always been criminals."  - Bats, as quoted by Superman, in a judiciary hearing in Miller's Dark Knight Returns.

But yes. Batman is an extreme response to extreme (or perceived by him to be extreme) circumstances, a response that ignores a lot of nuance and process and goes right for bottom line results. And the Nolan films rightly question this as something good for Gotham.

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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

That said, I'll disagree about it being primarily pro-Bush. You have the element that he's crossing the unethical line in order to apprehend the bad guy, yes. But, to me, the importance equally lies with what he chooses to do with that technology afterwards.  He doesn't keep it for later, just in case. He makes the argument that sometimes lines have to be crossed, but he equally gives up that power so that it can't continue to be abused (and lose the trust of his most important ally). If that scene didn't happen between him and Lucius and we didn't see it self-destruct, then there'd be no argument from me.

Fox's line about the cell-based sonar helps solidify that it's not about an unabashed embrace of Bushian tactics: he says it's too much power for one man, and it wasn't ethical. Batman agreed and left Lucius in charge of the technology. Which was destroyed. And calling the film an apologia for Bush-era* tactics also ignores a main theme in the film, which is that Batman's very presence is the reason the Joker comes forward and starts fucking shit up.

*Sadly, much of that crap has continued under Obama, too.

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Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post

Every time Selina insults "Bruce" it's his public image, and even then they forge a bond.

How she looks at him literally changes when Bane reveals his identity in her hearing. Hathaway does a lovely job with just a few seconds of screen time conveying Selina's opinion of both Batman and Bruce Wayne significantly shifting.

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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

The guy has money but we never see him revel in it in an honest fashion. I think that's what ultimately makes the difference. That's not to say, however, that it completely puts him on the same playing field as the rest of us.

But again, the money issue is irrelevant. Anybody could have been a hero, anybody could have been Batman. Even Selina Fucking Kyle realized this at the end of the movie.

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Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

"Of course we're criminals. We have to be criminals. We've always been criminals."  - Bats, as quoted by Superman, in a judiciary hearing in Miller's Dark Knight Returns.

But yes. Batman is an extreme response to extreme (or perceived by him to be extreme) circumstances, a response that ignores a lot of nuance and process and goes right for bottom line results. And the Nolan films rightly question this as something good for Gotham.

Fox's line about the cell-based sonar helps solidify that it's not about an unabashed embrace of Bushian tactics: he says it's too much power for one man, and it wasn't ethical. Batman agreed and left Lucius in charge of the technology. Which was destroyed. And calling the film an apologia for Bush-era* tactics also ignores a main theme in the film, which is that Batman's very presence is the reason the Joker comes forward and starts fucking shit up.

*Sadly, much of that crap has continued under Obama, too.

Also, although I called it a gift from Lucius in an earlier post, technically Bruce steals all of his equipment from Wayne Enterprises. This continues a trend he started when he was a professional thief, stealing from his father's company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

That said, I'll disagree about it being primarily pro-Bush. You have the element that he's crossing the unethical line in order to apprehend the bad guy, yes. But, to me, the importance equally lies with what he chooses to do with that technology afterwards.  He doesn't keep it for later, just in case. He makes the argument that sometimes lines have to be crossed, but he equally gives up that power so that it can't continue to be abused (and lose the trust of his most important ally). If that scene didn't happen between him and Lucius and we didn't see it self-destruct, then there'd be no argument from me.

There's no figurehead of the Occupy Gotham movement for a very simple reason: there isn't one. This isn't a group of people who peacefully came together to challenge the system. They were threatened into it. You're right: it's an entire manipulation. That whole storyline wasn't about class warfare, but merely to just use its existence as a tool to stir up shit. I think too much emphasis has been placed on the Occupy movements' relevance ever since the announcement of possibly shooting there came into play.

The argument about how there are lines that shouldn't be crossed, but sometimes...is such a hollow one, though.  I'm reminded of the line from Game Of Thrones about how "nothing a person says before the word 'but' really counts."

I actually forgot about the thing about shooting actual Occupy protests.  I don't think Nolan meant to comment on the movement, which hadn't gotten started during the period when this would've been written.  I think in his mind he was thinking more in terms of class warfare and revolutions in the abstract, with the French and Russian revolutions as the touchstones.  Then during production this thing sprang up and all of a sudden his movie is way more topical than he anticipated, and functions as a condemnation of a current political movement.  It could be that having Bane be essentially insincere about this stuff was an attempt to soften that blow, but that just makes the Occupiers look stupid rather than sinister.

But there's a death of the author thing going on here, too.  I don't know Nolan's personal politics or who he votes for or donates to; but he's produced two superhero blockbusters that function as subtextual defenses of the Right in contemporary American poltitics.

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Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post

Yes, but my key point continues to be that once Occupy Gotham starts, Bruce is dirt poor.

If the "dirt" in this scenario is actually "access to tens of millions of dollars worth of specially-tailored military gadgets and suits and the assurance that his vast personal fortune will be restored in time," then yes.

Schwartz, I fucking love you.

Back at you, chief.

See how nice things can be when we all sit down and make a concentrated effort to exclude nooj?

"Name the devil and he appears!"

(Just trying to beat nooj at his own Bane quoting game!)

Quote:

If the "dirt" in this scenario is actually "access to tens of millions of dollars worth of specially-tailored military gadgets and suits and the assurance that his vast personal fortune will be restored in time," then yes.

We're talking about Bruce Wayne, the man who chose to be poor for 7 years even though he didn't have to. The man cares nothing about the money, except that he can use it as a force for good.

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Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

We're talking about Bruce Wayne, the man who chose to be poor for 7 years even though he didn't have to. The man cares nothing about the money, except that he can use it as a force for good.

Nothing that comes before the word "except" really counts.

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Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Nothing that comes before the word "except" really counts.

How so? Has his money made him a happy man?

     Quote:


Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

"Name the devil and he appears!"

(Just trying to beat nooj at his own Bane quoting game!)

"He's here."

"Who?"

"The nooj-man!"

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Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

How so? Has his money made him a happy man?

Money didn't make Ebenezer Scrooge happy, but it's fair to say he cared about it.

But the point is that whether or not he's greedy, Wayne is rich.  Because he has a bunch of money.  I'm not sure how to break it down any further.

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Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Money didn't make Ebenezer Scrooge happy, but it's fair to say he cared about it.

But the point is that whether or not he's greedy, Wayne is rich.  Because he has a bunch of money.  I'm not sure how to break it down any further.

You don't have to. It's been understood.

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Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Back at you, chief.

See how nice things can be when we all sit down and make a concentrated effort to exclude nooj?


And you think this gives you power over me?

BEHOLD!  ...how my presence is felt even when I stay silent!

Now dat's powah you can't buy!  Dat's the powah a feee-uh!

... (no more dead cwops)

I'm actually really enjoying the current discussion going on.  Hence me butting in less.

PROCEED.

Now, to dig the knife ever deeper.  Remember when Bruce kicked Alfred out and then calls for him like a child when someone rings the doorbell after a nap?  Yes, I know you do.  Can't escape that privilege no matter how much he decides to be poor for a bit (with always the option to back out!).

What an awful movie.

Take a good look. At my thought process, my punctuation, my inability to resist replying! I see "Oh, yeah, forgot the guy who's been like a father to me around since birth suddenly left" not "Answer the door, buttle-bitch!" I see the power of belief. Of the fanatic. I see the League of Shaun resurgent!

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Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

"Oh, yeah, forgot the guy who's been like a father to me around since birth left"

So privileged!  Hahahahah.

And deluded if he thinks Alfred... 'left.'

Either that, Bruce banished Alfred a lot as a kid and just got all mixed up.

<glances nervously left, then nervously right>

I still haven't seen this movie.