Tim Tan Huynh

Thirteen Angry Men

  • 14 Feb 2024
  • I've watched two movies of different genres, but they both involve meting out justice.

The Batman

The Batman poster features both The Batman and Bruce Wayne. It also shows The Riddler, The Penguin, and Catwoman.

I watched the most recent live-action Batman movie a few months ago. I put off watching it, despite being a Batman fan, because I wanted to avoid superhero movies and shows for a while. My self-imposed moratorium, if I could call it that, lasted about a year and a half. Besides part of one episode of The Boys, I haven’t consumed any other superhero content. I watched this 2022 movie in the fall of 2023 by streaming here and there.

It’s all right. I’m reluctant to admit that Pattinon has the best stature and voice. I view Michael Keaton’s Batman as one views a parent and Christian Bale’s Batman as one views a spouse. I suppose Pattinson’s Batman would be a mistress. (I haven’t seen any movies with Ben Affleck’s Batman.) The Battinson suit might be the best as well, and it’s now available as an add-on to the Arkham Knight video game. I almost want to play again.

The story resembles the sequel that I had wanted following The Dark Knight. My envisioned sequel and The Batman both lean farther into the realm of crime thrillers. Batman faces off against a clever and determined serial killer in The Riddler. The World’s Greatest Detective has a tenuous relationship with Gotham Police, though. He can’t always rely on Jim Gordon’s help, either. His real foe is the infrastructure of corruption that motivates The Riddler.

My dream sequel to The Dark Knight had been something like Seven with parts of Fight Club. The influence of the former is obvious in The Batman. My issue is that the influence is too obvious and the movie is (10 years) too late. The TellTale video games have an obvious influence as well. Like those games, the story tries to subvert expectations of Batman fans. That is, interpretations of certain characters deviate from the norm of Batman media.

I can’t avoid the inevitable sequels, although I’ll pass on the spin-off show. I know others who’ve also experienced Batman burnout, but I want the character to endure. Nobody wants to see their favorite superhero be denigrated, even if for one story. I’m still a big enough fan to boycott anything to does Batman wrong.

12 Angry Men

The 12 Angry Men poster shows all 12 jurors to which the title refers. The most prominent one is Juror 8.

This movie should be required viewing in schools. Forget that it’s in black and white, from the 1950s, and has an all-male cast. Its story and storytelling are admirable. It has the simplicity of a play, but it has enduring themes. 12 Angry Men espouses individual courage–against social pressure, in particular–and collective knowledge. It shows the value of critical thinking.

I learned about this movie from a YouTube channel that praised it. I put off watching it like I did with The Batman. I was expecting it to be good, but I wasn’t expecting to be enthralled early into the movie. I felt like I was watching a play because of the stripped-down setting and continuous movement, despite the mundane premise. A former colleague of mine shared his admiration and his first-experience of the movie.

He had watched it as part of a criminal justice course. People studying legal systems based on due process are, of course, an ideal audience. So too, are people studying drama and film-making. But anybody whose discipline involves investigation and discourse will benefit from watching. These activities apply to social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. If I were a teacher in high school or even middle school, I would fit this movie into my class somehow.

It’s not as well-known as Batman movies, but I’m more envious of 12 Angry Men.