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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fan-Film Roundup: Batman - Defenders of the Night

As long-time readers may be dimly aware from the one time I've mentioned it--when I unleashed the Seasonal Greetings of Gunther--I have a sort of rule against posting YouTube videos here on the ISB. I'm not sure why I think of posting a video as any more of a cop-out than just scanning a panel from Jimmy Olsen and offering it up without comment, but in general, it's just something I try to avoid.

Tonight, though, I am compelled to make an exception by reader Ralph Burns, who emailed me something that I consider to be the single greatest piece of art ever produced by the hands of men.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...


And now, my commentary:

0:01: If there's one thing we simply do not see enough of in today's modern comics, it's Batman hanging out on a windy suburban rooftop in the middle of the day.

0:55: Little known fact? The Batcave's state-of-the-art training center is actually designed to look like the back lot of a local Hardee's, in order to simulate battle conditions. Seriously, it's in 'Tec #433. Look it up.

1:12: OWNED.

1:27: This is the single greatest line in anything, ever:

"I've been looking into something. There's a series of robberies all over... a bunch of technology companies all over. At least seven or nine security guards have been killed already."

2:28: Your eyes do not deceive you: This is basically the best fight scene since The Octagon, and it all ends with Batman hugging someone until they are knocked out.

2:25: Oh man. Oh man. Just the way he runs! This is genius.

3:25: Mark my words, folks: In twenty years, the Joker and Two Face are going to seem like also-rans when you stack them next to Hoodie Guy With A Tree Branch. Just listen to the terror in Batman's voice!

3:57-4:09: ...Or as I like to call it, the greatest shot in the history of film.

4:20: Remember, kids! When struck in the head by the twirling cane of a madman in cargo pants, just walk it off!

5:00: Yes, the Riddler is cawing like a rooster. No, I have no idea why. Yes, it is hilarious.

5:15: Whoa! Apparently Robin took that comment about his balls a little harder than anyone expected! Good thing Batman's there to set him straight!

See? In every way, a masterpiece. And on the off-chance that you're still standing, allow me to blow your mind one more time:

There's a sequel. And it involves both the most fantastic Commissioner Gordon ever, Robin stealing a dog, and a few close contenders for the second best line in anything, ever.

Believe it!

Labels: , ,


Blogger Jonpaul said...

Fuck yeah. I can't even believe this exists.

4/25/2007 1:17 AM

Blogger nightfly said...

"No Robin... we'll leave him for the police. That's justice. And be sure to leave him his weapon so he can escape before they get here."

Can do!

Word verification - "gnohdfnv" - which really should have been splashed across the scene when Hoodie Guy swatted Bats with the branch: GNOHDFNV!

4/25/2007 1:52 AM

Blogger Dylan Todd said...

Why isn't this called Defenders Of the Mid-Afternoon? Riddle me that.

4/25/2007 2:01 AM

Blogger McGone said...

Holy Fuckity Fuck... what the hell was that?

To be fair to the filmmakers, however, there is no way anyone would look at that Batman and think "Yep... that has to be millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Only he would fight crime in sweat pants that extravagant." Well played, Thrift Store Vigilante.

4/25/2007 2:22 AM

Blogger COOP said...

It's like seeing God's skidmarks.

4/25/2007 2:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Where are you Robin? It's been too long since I've heard from you.
There must be something up."

Giggling like a schoolgirl, dude.

4/25/2007 2:59 AM

Blogger Jamie said...

I'm not sure which made my brain swell more, Wayne Manor-cum-efficiency apartment or when "Batman" and "Robin" were holding hands while walking off into the sunset. Sweet Christmas, someone should find these guys and either give them better-paying jobs or kill them. Otherwise, there's a chance they'll do another one and destroy humanity.

4/25/2007 3:33 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

The sequel is, quite possibly, the best movie I have seen on all of You Tube.

"This house looks like it's been broken into"
"Those dogs are angry, Robin must have done something here"
"This is where Robin's been hidden. That thug told me."

4/25/2007 5:18 AM

Blogger Lorne said...

Robin finished of his Roof Thug first-- then saved Batman from Tree-Branch Guy-- then made the comeback for the save against Riddler.

Batman: Worst combatant ever, or best fight-trainer of tighty-greeny wearing sidekicks ever?

4/25/2007 5:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching that sequel, I think I never need to hear the phrase "old chum" ever again!

Seriously though, thanks Chris!

4/25/2007 6:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here literally shaking and crying with laughter. It was the way Joker looks down to make sure his crotch isn't touching Batman's when he's choking him; the way Batman finishes him off with a vicious "ooosh" near the back of the head; and then Joker caws, "Cawd Damn!"
Can a piece of satire truly be this subtle and knowing? Or are these guys just the biggest 'tards in suburbia?

4/25/2007 9:33 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

Oh, this was terribly, horribly, UTTERLY magnificent in its sheer ineptitude.

I have to say that I love the Riddler, especially the way that he runs.

For an acrobat, Robin sure seems to get winded just climbing up a wall or through a skylight.

When they walk hand-in-hand into the sunset though, it just brings a tear to your eye. And then they danced the batusi at the end!


4/25/2007 10:00 AM

Blogger Teddy said...

Agreed Mutt. The fight at the end with added punching sound effects-- "Booosh!".

So sweet.

4/25/2007 10:02 AM

Blogger Renegade said...

This is great!!!

Check out Renegade's BS

4/25/2007 10:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh cawd, I just watched the sequal. They actually did this out in public where people could see them! Them's balls.

btw How could I type a whole comment thinking Riddler and typing Joker? Sad.

4/25/2007 11:44 AM

Blogger AfKaP said...

The steely towers of Gotham are what amaze me! Genius indeed! Now we can all identify!

4/25/2007 12:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually had to stop watching at the beginning when Batman struggled a little to stand up from a kneeling position. If the rest of it is funnier than that, I'd need to discontinue my meds and plunge into a deep depression to watch it without dying of laughter.

4/25/2007 1:30 PM

Blogger Trent Jensen said...

Has any conversation captured the Gordon/Batman dynamic as well as this?

Gordon: Whew, you startled me!
Batman: I didn't mean to startle you.

Man, the sequel is even better. Well, longer.

4/25/2007 2:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, if Man With Tree Branch and the astounding tag team of Smug Card Player and His Cautiously Optimistic Pal ever join forces, Gotham is doomed.

4/25/2007 5:11 PM

Blogger Trevor said...

Why couldn't Shumaker's "Batman and Robin" have been this good?

4/25/2007 5:43 PM

Blogger Caleb said...

Wait, is Sims Batman or Robin?

4/25/2007 6:52 PM

Blogger Blogfoot said...

That couldn't have been any better.

4/25/2007 6:58 PM

Blogger confessing7girl said...

this is just too amazing :D
damn funny!!!!!!!!

4/25/2007 7:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just saw the sequel -

"where's Robin?"
"where's Robin?"
"where's Robin?"
"in the warehouse by the water"

- Best Interrogation Ever

4/25/2007 7:39 PM

Blogger Cibbuano said...

I couldn't stand the first minute, but it got better and better, retroactively making every spent second exponentially better.

I hope they didn't intend to make it funny. I hope that they were making a real film.

4/25/2007 8:10 PM

Blogger Michael said...

If the shot of Robin's crotch as he's crawling up the side of the bridge (or whatever it is) doesn't settle the vast internet debate of what a softie buldge looks like in spandex, then nothing will.

4/25/2007 8:16 PM

Blogger halcyon said...

Six minutes of my life that I will never, ever, get back.

4/25/2007 8:17 PM

Blogger Jeff said...

The second films' dock-side warehouse is absolutley priceless. No contractor in Gotham will spare the expense of adding columns and statues to even the most utilitarian of buildings.

4/25/2007 8:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we actually did it, AHOLE chum?"

Excuse me?

4/25/2007 8:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good heavens! I enjoyed that much more than I should have. I guess it's because I was once a 12 year old boy.

Does Batman have a slight speech impediment?

4/25/2007 9:05 PM

Blogger Pagan Mnemosyne said...

Yes, the "AHOLE old chum' was the final touch of awesomeness.

4/25/2007 9:26 PM

Blogger SilverPantsBlue said...

OK, I'm very glad the AHOLE CHUM was not a figment of my imagination, and if it was, at least it's a mass hallucination.

As for the videos, they are indeed magnificent. Part of me desperately wants them to be doing this as a tongue in cheek funny funny, but there's really an added dimension to the story if it's a serious effort. For better or worse.

4/25/2007 10:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so bad it is wonderful...

Luckily for us they have a camera and internet connection.



4/25/2007 10:39 PM

Blogger Jamie said...

Just watched the sequel:

Robin: Batman, you're a great hand-to-hand combat fighter.
Batman: You're not so bad yourself.

Pure genius.

4/25/2007 10:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truly, they have mastered the wide angled shot. Next, they must figure out just what editing and sound are.

4/25/2007 11:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

[i]"Why isn't this called Defenders Of the Mid-Afternoon? Riddle me that."[/i]

Because then it wouldn't work for the Broadway musical version that is sure to come:

Hearing is believing,
Riddler is deceiving,
Hard as lightning, soft as Robin's tights,
Dare you trust Defenders of the Night...

4/25/2007 11:41 PM

Blogger Dan said...

It was very courteous of the Riddler to wait patiently while Batman, the world's greatest athlete, and Robin, a trained circus acrobat from boyhood, took eight frickin' minutes to climb up a wall and over a railing. Courtesy's an overlooked quality in master criminals, dontcha think?

I say the hell with Bale and Nolan - these are the guys who should be making "The Dark Knight."

4/26/2007 12:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first episode is filmed in the Presidio in San Francisco - the "bridge" leads to a tennis court behind an abandoned hospital.
The 2nd 'sode is at Palace of Legion of Honor - you see a SF MUNI bus go past before the interrogation starts.

This truly is the money melon of cinematography.

4/26/2007 12:39 AM

Blogger David said...

Not the suburbs, that looks like it was filmed in the Presidio of San Francisco http://tinyurl.com/yp4x3b

4/26/2007 12:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

and for the love of pete - (2nd episode) what is with Robin's first attempt to kidnap a Bichon? He breaks in, he comes out, he goes back in, he BARELY emerges with a dog...he passes Batman on his way out...

the tension is withering.

that, and the laundry on the floor of Gordon's office.

old chum...p

4/26/2007 12:46 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

If these guys do not, at the bare minimum cameo in The Dark Knight, then the world will have lost something beautiful.

4/26/2007 12:54 AM

Blogger Matt "Max" Van said...

It's Kourosh Rahimpour! Rawk!

4/26/2007 1:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Way.

I can't even watch the whole sequel yet. The first minute and a half - oh I can't take it...

The tragic brilliance. Or brilliant tragedy. Mwah!

4/26/2007 1:28 AM

Blogger Chance said...

I believe that's "We actually did it, EH, OLD CHUM?" not "We actually did it, A-hole Chum."

But I can see why people would think that.

4/26/2007 1:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the sequel at the 1:41 mark, when Gordon says, "Ware gonhavta breng em in, thays no utha choice" has to be the funniest thing I've seen in a long long time. 5 minutes later and the tears are still pouring out of my eyes.

4/26/2007 2:41 AM

Blogger Napkins63 said...

I liked the part w/The Joker

4/26/2007 8:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

how appropriate that the keyframe is a toilet.

4/26/2007 8:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen the future of film, and it has a sequel!

4/26/2007 10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curiously, if Chris ever gets around to labeling his old posts, this won't even be the first one to earn the "violence via tree branch" label.

4/26/2007 10:56 AM

Blogger Kip W said...

The first one is debatable. In the second, they seem to have gone over to the camp side of the force. Gordon waving that file folder with its clumsy hand lettering? The fake Robin suddenly sprouting a beard? Climbing into a public sculpture and finding an entire office building inside?

I think they overplayed their hand a bit.

But hey, didja hear about the Sergeant at Ft Eustis, VA, who made one of his subordinates dress up as Superman and simulate sex acts? It's at bOINGbOING.

4/26/2007 12:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, very vunny. And fucking terrible.

4/26/2007 12:21 PM

Blogger Franklin said...

Wow... I'm going to have to go to a nudie bar at lunch to wash the gay off.

4/26/2007 1:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet Adidas, Robin.

4/26/2007 2:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it that Batman molests a man into submission. Now thats grim and gritty.

Commissioner Gordon deserves an oscar. Damn near wet meself watching him.

4/26/2007 2:31 PM

Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Oh. My. God. That was amazing. I cannot accurately describe how amazing that was.

It took Batman and Robin 5 minutes to climb that wall and Riddler's just standing there twirling his cane like a goof. Lol.

4/26/2007 10:40 PM

Blogger rachelle said...

I just enjoyed that with a drink in my hand and tears streaming down my face. Truly incredible. I couldn't breathe when I was watching Robin trying to scale that wall. What a useless sidekick.

And your commentary was hilarious.

4/26/2007 11:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the scene is in daytime, yet it's called "Defenders Of The Night" Simply hillarious.
Really good stuff.

4/27/2007 1:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm completely lost for words!


4/27/2007 6:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could be mistaken, but this looks like it was shot in the Presidio in San Francisco, in the apartment complexes just up the hill from Baker Beach. I lived there for a while and there were definitely the kind of kids about who would end up making something like this. Freakin' hilarious.

4/27/2007 2:37 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Ok for me the best part is in the sequal when Batman unmasks the fake Robin and all of a sudden he's 30lbs heavier, wearing black pants, and has a goatee. I didn't know a little green face mask could conseal so much. God bless the internet.

4/27/2007 2:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. At the end there, I swear I could hear Rod Stewart singing "Tonight's the Night." Oh, Boy Wonder, if you knew what you were in for...

4/28/2007 5:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because man can doesn't necessarily mean man should. Another example of art which supports Ted Kasinski's (the unibomber) thesis on the consequences of mankind's misapplication of technology. Still a better representation of the dark knight than Clooney's though..... Kind of like Adam West crossed with Pee Wee Herman crossed with Steven Hawking. Finally art which strips camp of it gay sense of style and leaves it only with it's core lameness.... Bravo?

4/29/2007 7:00 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Definitely "Eh, old chum." Don't you guys remember Bob and Doug McKenzie?

4/30/2007 3:17 PM

Blogger madsquirrel said...

Two words: microphone wind screen.

4/30/2007 3:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was actually better than Batman and Robin.

5/02/2007 2:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a new one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpr_yzwXqHw

5/17/2007 12:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This commentary is great. Sweatpants Batman should win an Oscar, with best supporting actor going to Hooded Thug.

5/20/2007 1:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was just about the great thing I have ever seen.

Now we know why there are no superheroes in the real world -- because they would look just that ridiculous.

6/05/2007 3:04 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

nyahahaha! its funny! :))


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