"Perchance to Dream" Vs "For The Man Who Has Everything" (Spoilers)

Which imaginary episode was better?

  • Perchance To Dream

    Votes: 37 52.1%
  • For the Man who has Everything

    Votes: 34 47.9%

  • Total voters
    71

b.t.

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at the risk of completely derailing this thread (heh, like THAT'S gonna stop me), i went back and re-watched "normal again" last night....whoah, i'd forgotten, it's REALLY dark!....buffy actually trying to murder the scoobies, one of the creepiest bits in the entire buffyverse canon....

anyhow, what struck me this time was another "ftmwhe" parallel: the villain's motivation for disabling the hero with an immersive dream world is, once again, the same in both stories (and "perchance..." too, for that matter)... basically, just to keep the hero out of said villain's way...

...which is actually pretty dumb, when you really think about it! in all three stories, there is a moment when the hero is completely incapacitated, lost in la-la land...c'mon, bad guys, take a moment to KILL the sucker!

you could argue that mongul might be worried that he's just not physically powerful enough to kill superman, i suppose...and tetch, while seriously pissed off at batman, might be just humane enough to stop short of actual murder....


hey, and maxie: as usual, you make valid points, but i'd have to say it all sounds kinda dry and academic....you exhaustively state why "ptd" should THEORETICALLY be the more successful story, but i always follow my gut (sometimes to my peril, admittedly)....again, i haven't seen "ptd" in years, so i'm not really trying to argue against it, but , viscerally, i think "ftmwhe" might just have the edge overall....i grant you, tetch has the more complex personality, and kevin conroy, of course, RULES...but on a purely "craft" execution level -- direction, storyboards, animation, color design, etc -- "ftmwhe" clearly blazes brighter....also, i agree with those who say clark's fantasy family FEELS more "real" than the somewhat stock waynes, so, points for that....

(by the way, we made a conscious effort to make clark's family life not TOO perfect...someone here made a valid criticism of "a knight of shadows", to the effect that j'onn's family was just too idyllic to be at all believeable, and we took that to heart....once again, the internet is your friend!...thus, van's a little bit contemptuous of farmer dad, even talks back a bit ("i know, i KNOW") and dad gets ticked off at him over the krypto-poop incident...jor-el and clark even have a testy little exchange ("oh, so you're a scientist now"), hinting at some argument in their past....we wanted clark's home life to have as much verisimillitude as possible...it really took some fine tuning at the script stage...for instance, in the first draft, van entered the story by jumping into bed with his parents, merrily blurting "happy birthday!"...it's a subtle thing, i know, but it just didn't feel "honest"...being a husband and dad myself, i KNOW it's not all sunshine and bliss 24/7...also, notice that there's no background score throughout the entire first segment of clark's dream....we were REALLY tempted to play warm, copeland-esque "americana" under it,to establish how happy he was there, but decided to play it "straight", with just ambient bg noise, etc, to immediately immerse the viewer in clark's world....)

and, finally, KICK-ASS fight scenes! ya gotta admit, no contest there....

(and no wicked invisible jet in "ptd", neither :D...)
 

Doomsday

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I don't know...
FTMWHE I think has an edge one PTD because of whats going outside of the dream. In PTD Batman has no real reason to leave his perect word but in FTMWHE Superman has to come out of his dream or Batman and Wonderwomen would die. Now I don't believe Mongul will take over the planet but will kill Bats and WW. This was big to me because not of WW getting toss around but because of Conroy voice work for Batman. This is the first episode that Batman felt useless and scared for his and WW's life. He was starting to get pissed that he couldn't help WW and she die if he can't get Sups out of his dream. Also the dream worked so well how theres some effects from Batman trying to get him out of it and his voice work at the end was the best I ever heard from Newbern. Really moving. The fight scenes were really great and the scars from battle were really painful looking. I'm only hoping now that there will be more JLU episodes with the voice work is this good with some awesome action as well. As for what episode is better, I can't really say how I haven't seen PTD in years but I'll try to find it by the end of the day so I can say more later.
 

Fone Bone

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b.t. said:
at the risk of completely derailing this thread (heh, like THAT'S gonna stop me), i went back and re-watched "normal again" last night....whoah, i'd forgotten, it's REALLY dark!....buffy actually trying to murder the scoobies, one of the creepiest bits in the entire buffyverse canon....
So dark, it was hard for me to watch at times.
anyhow, what struck me this time was another "ftmwhe" parallel: the villain's motivation for disabling the hero with an immersive dream world is, once again, the same in both stories (and "perchance..." too, for that matter)... basically, just to keep the hero out of said villain's way...

...which is actually pretty dumb, when you really think about it! in all three stories, there is a moment when the hero is completely incapacitated, lost in la-la land...c'mon, bad guys, take a moment to KILL the sucker!
Not the first times a villian should have dispatched the hero when they had the chance. I remember from the Mickey Mouse comics the Phantom Blot's "soft heart" which made him leave the room every time he set a death trap for the mouse.:D
you could argue that mongul might be worried that he's just not physically powerful enough to kill superman, i suppose...and tetch, while seriously pissed off at batman, might be just humane enough to stop short of actual murder....


hey, and maxie: as usual, you make valid points, but i'd have to say it all sounds kinda dry and academic....you exhaustively state why "ptd" should THEORETICALLY be the more successful story, but i always follow my gut (sometimes to my peril, admittedly)....again, i haven't seen "ptd" in years, so i'm not really trying to argue against it, but , viscerally, i think "ftmwhe" might just have the edge overall....i grant you, tetch has the more complex personality, and kevin conroy, of course, RULES...but on a purely "craft" execution level -- direction, storyboards, animation, color design, etc -- "ftmwhe" clearly blazes brighter....also, i agree with those who say clark's fantasy family FEELS more "real" than the somewhat stock waynes, so, points for that....

(by the way, we made a conscious effort to make clark's family life not TOO perfect...someone here made a valid criticism of "a knight of shadows", to the effect that j'onn's family was just too idyllic to be at all believeable, and we took that to heart....once again, the internet is your friend!...thus, van's a little bit contemptuous of farmer dad, even talks back a bit ("i know, i KNOW") and dad gets ticked off at him over the krypto-poop incident...jor-el and clark even have a testy little exchange ("oh, so you're a scientist now"), hinting at some argument in their past....we wanted clark's home life to have as much verisimillitude as possible...it really took some fine tuning at the script stage...for instance, in the first draft, van entered the story by jumping into bed with his parents, merrily blurting "happy birthday!"...it's a subtle thing, i know, but it just didn't feel "honest"...being a husband and dad myself, i KNOW it's not all sunshine and bliss 24/7...also, notice that there's no background score throughout the entire first segment of clark's dream....we were REALLY tempted to play warm, copeland-esque "americana" under it,to establish how happy he was there, but decided to play it "straight", with just ambient bg noise, etc, to immediately immerse the viewer in clark's world....)

and, finally, KICK-ASS fight scenes! ya gotta admit, no contest there....

(and no wicked invisible jet in "ptd", neither :D...)
Interesting. FTMWBHE DID seem more real than Perchance to Dream and I appreciated all the little touches you guys put in there. The thing that REALLY bothered me (which someone already mentioned in the episode thread) was that when Superman cleaned off the dog doo he forgot to wash his hands before going back to the pancakes.:eek: As someone with OCD, that's a no-no.:D
 

StClair

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Maxie Zeus said:
Sorry, but you guys really aren't remembering the end of "Perchance to Dream" very well.

Batman comes out of the dream and advances on Tetch. His voice quivering with rage and his jaw locked so that he can barely articulate his words, growls out a furious "Why?! Why did you do it?!" It looks like Bats can barely contain himself is on the verge of beating the crap out of him. That's not "shrugging it off" or being "mildly upset." The tag scene with Gordon is quite a bit later, after he's had a chance to calm down. And Tetch isn't anywhere around to irritate him. So your claim that Superman showed more emotion is way off base.
All true. And I'll also note that to my ear, Batman didn't sound flippant when he described the helmet as "the stuff that dreams are made of" - more like subdued and mournful of what he gave up, even if it wasn't real.

It's a great twist, rammed home by McDowell's performance, to have the Hatter claim to be the real victim.
McDowell was very good at playing quiet, well-mannered, thoughtful characters who finally explode when pushed too far by "unreasonable" frustrations.
 

b.t.

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ok, just got done watching "ptd"....and, well, i'm sorry, but anyone who thinks that it's remotely in "ftmwhe"'s class must not have seen it in awhile, must be reacting to their memory of it...i found it to be clumsy and heavy-handed every step of the way....the dialogue is painfully "on the nose", the animation's REALLY pretty bad, even the score seemed to be oddly inappropriate throughout....kevin's performance IS good, but i honestly think he's done better....i will say that roddy's performance is SPECTACULAR, even better than i'd remembered....but everything else, i dunno.... :shrug:

maxie, i know your copies of BTAS aren't in the best shape, but seriously, watch it again...i'd be amazed if your opinion of it stays the same...
 

guinaevere

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Sorry to the Mods that Be. I'm not comparing the two episodes. They're two different classes, in my mind.

Ace the Bathound said:
In all seriousness, I think the Abraham/Isaac connection to FTMWHE is wildly cool.
ehhh... Ace, I credit much of what you have to say. But I just don't see this. At all. It would be cool if I could buy it, if that means anything. :D

GohanWinner said:
And Bruce’s thoughts lingered on his dad beating the snot out of the guy who killed his parents because he always wanted to see the guy get what he deserved.
I've been thinking of this scene, as at first, it creeped me out. (I have trouble with kids relishing violence. It's a bit too unnatural and too much of a red flag, not to be addressed, when observed in children.) But as I contemplated the issue of young Bruce seeing his Dad spring to action, it began to feel, not worrisome, but completely justifiable.

First, the young Bruce witnessing his Father beat the villian, is not a young, innocent child, but rather, an old, jaded, and very tired man. One who lost his parents, and consequently has taken on the burdon of defending the innocent, without them ever able to even thank him for the covert selfless acts he abuses himself to commit. So we have this worn man seeing not through childlike eyes, but through the eyes and body of a child, his father taking on the role that he ought to have been able to; of protecting his family competently and judiciously.

For one who was robbed of this very necessary paternal component, the smile and zeal with which he watches, is understandable. Consider the circumstances of the Black Mercy induced dream state, it would have been abnormal for this scene not to play out for a prolonged duration.
 

Maxie Zeus

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Fone Bone said:
It's true he was mad at Tetch. But it didn't quite enrage him in the same way the Black Mercy did Superman.

It sounds to me you're basing this solely on the fact that Batman didn't beat the crap out of Tetch. This isn't your standard, is it, that the degree of rage can only be measured by whether you're throwing punches? Anywy, in PtD, Batman is moving toward physical violence as he advances on Tetch: his hands are raised and his fingers clenched as though he is just about to strangle him.

Fone Bone said:
He [Superman] LIVED that life and it was real to him so when he lost it he was truly broken.

So I believe it was MUCH rougher on Clark and that made it a richer episode in my estimation. I LOVE tragedy (see above Buffy post) and this episode had it in spades. Truly phenomenal.

The more I mull over the Black Mercy device in FtMWHE, the less happy I am with it.

1. In what sense did Superman "live" the life on fake-Krypton? Well, he had a memory of having the life; he "remembered" all sorts of things in that dream. But I "remember" lots of things when I dream: I've dreamed that a tunnel connected my kitchen and my work office, and while walking through the tunnel "remembered" that built it with my own hands to make a short cut. But that doesn't mean that I "lived" the life in which I built that tunnel. He certainly didn't "live" thirty-odd years in real time in his dream, otherwise he'd have aged thirty-odd years in the real world. (And don't say that he dreamed that whole back life really fast, because we see his dream life moving at the same approximate speed as the real world is moving.)

2. In what sense has Superman suffered a "tragedy"? Fake-Krypton (and his son) haven't been destroyed, because they were never real. (If they were "destroyed" when he woke up, how many worlds have you destroyed by waking out of a dream? Is the tragedy that he was put into this dream, or is the tragedy that he woke up? If the tragedy is that he was put into a dream, why are you so sympathetic with the dream characters who (through no fault of their own--if they could have a fault, which they can't, because they're not real) are victimizing Superman? If the tragedy is that he woke up, why isn't the villain Batman for taking Superman out of it? Is the tragedy that he suffered a terrible, disorienting and traumatic mental earthquake? But that's not a tragedy, that's a crime perpetrated by Mongul.

3. What is the difference between what Mongul does to Superman and what Dr. Destiny did to him? In both cases, Superman was made to suffer the delusion that something that was false is actually true. The only difference I can see is that Mongul's illusion was pleasant and Dr. Destiny's was unpleasant, with a consequent reversal of emotion when the illusion was punctured. Why is it more interesting, more tragic or "richer" to wake from a pleasant dream than to wake from a nightmarish one?

4. Given that there was no reality to the dream, and hence no basis for sympathetic involvement with the dream characters; given that there is no "tragedy" involved with waking from a dream; given that we, as viewers, aren't (and can't be) fully exposed to the charms of life on fake-Krypton, but only have to take Superman's word for it that it's wonderful: All of this explains why, even as I was watching the episode, I kept muttering, "This is all very lovely and well-written and cunningly thought out. So why I don't I care?" I felt no--zero, zilch, nada, the big goose egg--emotional involvement with Superman's fake-Krypton life. And it's taken me this long to figure out why.

It's because it's the story of a really sweet dream that Superman has, one he's not happy about waking out of. Well, boo hoo. I've had lots of really sweet dreams that I've hated to wake up from, too; and I'll be damned if I'll claim that I've suffered the equivalent of Superman's "tragedy" at least once a month since I was seven.
 

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b.t. said:
ok, just got done watching "ptd"....and, well, i'm sorry, but anyone who thinks that it's remotely in "ftmwhe"'s class must not have seen it in awhile, must be reacting to their memory of it...i found it to be clumsy and heavy-handed every step of the way....the dialogue is painfully "on the nose", the animation's REALLY pretty bad, even the score seemed to be oddly inappropriate throughout....kevin's performance IS good, but i honestly think he's done better....i will say that roddy's performance is SPECTACULAR, even better than i'd remembered....but everything else, i dunno.... :shrug:

maxie, i know your copies of BTAS aren't in the best shape, but seriously, watch it again...i'd be amazed if your opinion of it stays the same...
As one of the folks who considers them in generally the same class, I may as well justify my position by pointing out that, despite the similar plot situation, the two episodes really do have very different functions for their respective characters, all thanks to specific and crucial structure differences. The more I think about them, in fact, the less they even seem like the same plot.

You're right that Perchance to Dream does not hit as hard on an emotional level as For The Man Who Has Everything, which is far more raw and bristly thanks to Superman actually having something (albeit fabricated) sundered from him - his son. Batman does not lose anything in Perchance to Dream that he has not already lost, and his fury against Tetch is more of a matter of righteousness than Superman's seething hatred at Mongul's audacity. And yes, even though I haven't rewatched it in a while, Perchance's animation is only servicable, as opposed to For The Man's really beautiful renderings. (I'll have to stick with your call on the music, as like I said, I haven't watched it in a while.)

But what I like about Perchance to Dream is what I like about folks like Tom Stoppard; they share a playful yet serious-minded approach to a significant intellectual and moral quandry, without ever revealing all the answers. I like to think of it as the Mad Hatter forcing the tables to turn on Batman, putting Wayne in a situation where he is the delusional one and seeing if he'll buy into the fantasy. (Compare this with For The Man's Black Mercy, where buying into the fantasy is more of a sure thing, and therefore making it more difficult to let go on your own.) The key thing is that Bruce finds a single piece of proof of the fact that the world he sees around him is a lie, and he chooses to acknowledge the evidence than ignore it - which is exactly what all the members of his Rogues' Gallery refuse to do. Any evidence that their path is not the best one is brushed aside so they can live the fantasy. The scene with the Mad Hatter in the lighthouse is so brilliant because it's Jervis Tetch trying to sell Bruce Wayne on insanity.

Anyway, that's how I look at it, and why I think both episodes are tip-top examples of great storytelling. Of course, b.t., you're a documented perfectionist (I think we all remember you picking out the details of things you'd want to change during the two commentaries of On Leather Wings and Heart of Ice :D), so I'm not surprised that the return visit to Perchance to Dream was less than satisfactory. Maybe 12 more years will put a different spin on For The Man Who Has Everything. :)
 

guinaevere

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Maxie Zeus said:
2. In what sense has Superman suffered a "tragedy"? Fake-Krypton (and his son) haven't been destroyed, because they were never real.
I don't know that he suffered a tragedy. But I can see the frustration and anger.

Can you imagine if you're given a perfect Maxie Zeus-centric Nirvana? It doesn't have to be real. You only have to believe it is. And then to wrench yourself from it. (Remember, he did not just walk away, but explained to a delusion he cared so deeply about, that it broke his heart.) I'd be a trifle miffed, myself.

And it wasn't just that he's upset that Mom came and woke him from a good dream to go to school. Mongul had every intention of destroying Earth. That was his reason for putting Supes out of the picture. I see that as something that warrants a reaction.
 

GohanWinner

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guinaevere said:
I've been thinking of this scene, as at first, it creeped me out. (I have trouble with kids relishing violence. It's a bit too unnatural and too much of a red flag, not to be addressed, when observed in children.) But as I contemplated the issue of young Bruce seeing his Dad spring to action, it began to feel, not worrisome, but completely justifiable.

First, the young Bruce witnessing his Father beat the villian, is not a young, innocent child, but rather, an old, jaded, and very tired man. One who lost his parents, and consequently has taken on the burdon of defending the innocent, without them ever able to even thank him for the covert selfless acts he abuses himself to commit. So we have this worn man seeing not through childlike eyes, but through the eyes and body of a child, his father taking on the role that he ought to have been able to; of protecting his family competently and judiciously.

For one who was robbed of this very necessary paternal component, the smile and zeal with which he watches, is understandable. Consider the circumstances of the Black Mercy induced dream state, it would have been abnormal for this scene not to play out for a prolonged duration.
I never actually thought of it that way, but, yeah, that sounds completely right.

And I apologise for the quote being four times the size of my actual post.
 

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GohanWinner said:
… The way the Black Mercy seemed to me was that it creates a whole new life for you in a short amount of time. Or something to that effect. It seemed Kal-el had lived that entire life, and grown attached to his life there.
"It's a dream, Jim., but not as we know it" :) Our dreams tend to be very non-linear and highly illogical, and no matter how bizarre they are, they make perfect sense to us in the dream state. Superman's experience is something entirely different.

Like you said, Superman could have felt like he had lived his entire life on Krypton. Although there isn't really anything concrete in the episode to suggest that, it's pretty clear that Superman's dream is not the kind of experience we humans have when we sleep, or even the kind Superman would normally have.

Mongul actually says the plant reads a persons inner most desires and creates a totally convincing simulation, and goes on to say it's far deeper than any dream, so it's not really up to the viewer to compare Superman's experience to a good dream and make a judgement on how he felt about his loss. Superman has undoubtedly had dreams about living the good life on Krypton before, but this was something else, and his reaction, when he wakes up, tells the viewer how profoundly it affected him.
 

Maxie Zeus

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b.t. in two different posts said:
hey, and maxie: as usual, you make valid points, but i'd have to say it all sounds kinda dry and academic....you exhaustively state why "ptd" should THEORETICALLY be the more successful story, but i always follow my gut (sometimes to my peril, admittedly)....

i'm sorry, but anyone who thinks that it's remotely in "ftmwhe"'s class must not have seen it in awhile, must be reacting to their memory of it...i found it to be clumsy and heavy-handed every step of the way....the dialogue is painfully "on the nose", the animation's REALLY pretty bad, even the score seemed to be oddly inappropriate throughout....kevin's performance IS good, but i honestly think he's done better....i will say that roddy's performance is SPECTACULAR, even better than i'd remembered....but everything else, i dunno....

on a purely "craft" execution level -- direction, storyboards, animation, color design, etc -- "ftmwhe" clearly blazes brighter....also, i agree with those who say clark's fantasy family FEELS more "real" than the somewhat stock waynes, so, points for that....

and, finally, KICK-ASS fight scenes! ya gotta admit, no contest there....

(and no wicked invisible jet in "ptd", neither :D...)

After the above post, I do owe you a post in the Talkback explaining why FtMWHE is such a terrific story. For the moment, I'll just say: You can tell that JLU is impressing the hell out of me, because I'm unsheathing my critical claws. :evil:

I still think PtD is much better FtMWHE, and I'm not going to dial down my enthusiasm for it--even though I just got through rewatching it and there's not much you say about it that I disagree with. The animation is really pretty blech (unless it's those old tapes getting in the way again) and the look is pretty wretched. (Except: I love the church tower and the scudding sky over the graveyard, and I love one shot of Wayne walking across a room with enormous windows in the bg.) But the debate about the "look" PtD vs. the "look" of FtMWHE would go back to the debate about BTAS vs. post-STAS style; PtD may be a worse example of the former and FtMWHE a superior example of the latter, but a lot of people still love the BTAS look. I like it enough that I'll forgive it quite a bit, even though I still prefer the later look.

But I won't let the visual flaws detract from my enjoyment of the ep; otherwise I'd have to knock "Mad as a Hatter" off its pedestal.

Music: I'd like to know GMahler's opinion. I think you're right about it, though, now that I've given it another listen. It's very dependent on three themes, if I hear it correctly: Batman's theme, a kind of a hurrying "stress" theme, and the Hatter's theme. Overall, it is pretty flat.

Dialogue: No mistake, there are some very bad patches and they outnumber the places where the dialogue is good. IIRC, the script had a very troubled history (it's got three names on it), and it really could have used a good buffing. On the other hand, the situations might be impossible to write for. What do you say to a parent you thought has been dead for twenty years? I'm inclined to be charitable.

Yeah, the Waynes are flat and the -El's (if that's the right way to refer to them) are a lot better. But as Revelator pointed out, the Waynes have probably always been flat. They are "idealized," and no one seems inclined to crack the plaster on their shrines.

Am I taking back all the good things I've said about PtD? No not even a comma.

This is hard to describe, but there are some stories that work on the surface but don't have anything underneath, and there are other stories that work underneath but don't work on the surface. I don't mean that some stories are shallow and others are deep; and I don't mean that some stories work "in theory" while others work "in reality." I mean that some stories are terrific at an immediate level of gratification even though they don't really stand up to repeated inspection, while others can sink in after awhile really alter your perceptions.

I think Citizen Kane is an instance of the former. It's a great movie, fully deserving of all the praise it receives. It belongs somewhere near the top of the all-time great lists. But it also doesn't bear close scrutinization. It pounds home the theme of Kane's needing "love on his own terms" relentlessly and without variation; it is maudlin and sentimental about "mother love"; and Kane himself hasn't many dimensions, a fact disguised by Welles' amazing performance. The more you concentrate on what is "there" beneath the bravura filmmaking technique, the more you realize that it is a pretty trite story. I don't mean this as a criticism, mind you. I only mean that Citizen Kane is the brilliant product of a brilliant toymaker and is at its best advantage when you take it from that angle.

Vertigo is not a deep film, and it also hasn't got much "there" there. It's also starkly fantastical film--the premise is nutty and it can only be borne if you can get past your own sense of incredulity. And it has patches of bad and banal dialogue and places where exposition lies heavy on the screen. But Vertigo, it's been observed, is a film about obsession that also causes obsession. Once you let it get its grip on you, you can get lost in it--not in any complex themes or amazing cinematic trickery, but simply in the dreamlike situation. Vertigo, if you let it, can get inside you, in a way that is very hard to describe.

I don't call either of these films "better" than the other; they work in different ways, but they play on you differently. FtMWHE is more like the former: It brilliant and facile and shiny and ingenious and tremendously well put together; but the more I think about it, the more it tends to fall apart. It's very fragile. PtD, for all its flaws, has gotten inside of me. And that's because its virtues aren't surface values. The episode works (IMO) because it has so many fascinating implications.

I suppose I could admit (or, better, should recognize) that these virtues might not be those of PtD, but virtues of the character of Batman. It's an odd thing: the more you poke around his character, the more corners and twists and unexpected passages you find. It's as though everything that you throw at him--every adventure or plot contrivance or throwaway bit of dialogue--adds some new dimension to him. So maybe it says less about PtD than it does about Batman himself when I say it is endlessly fascinating for the way it opens up Batman's character. At the end of PtD, I feel that I know Batman far better, and know far more disquieting things about him. At the end of FtMWHE, I've learned that Superman is a nice guy. Which I already knew.
 

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Supremus said:
"It's a dream, Jim., but not as we know it" :)

"It's worse than that--he's dreaming, Jim!" :D

guinaevere said:
I don't know that he suffered a tragedy. But I can see the frustration and anger.

Can you imagine if you're given a perfect Maxie Zeus-centric Nirvana? It doesn't have to be real. You only have to believe it is. And then to wrench yourself from it. (Remember, he did not just walk away, but explained to a delusion he cared so deeply about, that it broke his heart.) I'd be a trifle miffed, myself.

Oh, I understand him being angry. I'd be miffed, too, for just the reasons you describe. I only bridle at the word "tragedy" being thrown in and at the implication that something profound was going on. I don't think it was profound, and I didn't find it profoundly moving. Why is he crying at the end? He's weeping because he's losing an illusion. Maybe I'm just unsentimtental about the attractions of wishful thinking or self-deception, but I'm not sad to see such things go. When I discover I've been deeply wrong about something, my reaction isn't sadness at the loss of my innocence but anger at having been deluded. That is why Superman's anger is something I've no quarrel with; that's what I'd feel.
 

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Well, at least we learn that Clark dreams in color while Bruce in black and white! When first watching this, I paid it no mind, as it was a 'flashback". But then I thought, was the decision to use black and white to help the viewer recognize this was a past event for Bruce, or that Bruce only sees things in terms of black and white, (right and wrong)? Perhaps reading too much into it, but it's fun nonetheless.
And as for the portrayal of Bruce's parents as flat: well, yes. My memories of the DCAU don't give me any indication of what his parents were like. Though there seems to be genuine affection there, for all we know they could be jerks! Perhaps in young Bruce's life there was some trauma before the big trauma, if you will, which may fill in the blanks as to why he chose the path he did over other people who have had similiar horrors in there childhood, but someone they managed to get over it, unlike Bruce
 

Alex Weitzman

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Maxie Zeus said:
Oh, I understand him being angry. I'd be miffed, too, for just the reasons you describe. I only bridle at the word "tragedy" being thrown in and at the implication that something profound was going on. I don't think it was profound, and I didn't find it profoundly moving. Why is he crying at the end? He's weeping because he's losing an illusion. Maybe I'm just unsentimtental about the attractions of wishful thinking or self-deception, but I'm not sad to see such things go. When I discover I've been deeply wrong about something, my reaction isn't sadness at the loss of my innocence but anger at having been deluded. That is why Superman's anger is something I've no quarrel with; that's what I'd feel.
It's all about the boy. Clark Kent is a man who values love and family above all else, and so while he's not especially sad about the loss of everything else in his dream world (since they're things he either has in reality or lost well before he was old enough for loss to be palpable to him), it's his son, a son that by all accounts of his "dream memory" he raised for years, that is being forcibly removed from him. Van-El may not be real, but Clark's feelings for him were ironclad. By putting Superman in a position where his eventual escape (I really think Mongul expected Superman to remove himself from the Mercy, because it makes the cruelty complete) would end up destroying his own child, or at least, something that fully occupies the position of a loved son in his mind, it is like Mongul gave Superman a beloved son and then killed him. That's where I see Superman's fury coming from.
 

guinaevere

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GohanWinner said:
And I apologise for the quote being four times the size of my actual post.
So long as you're quoting me, I think it's a brilliant move, Mr Winner, sir. :D

Maxie Zeus said:
Why is he crying at the end? He's weeping because he's losing an illusion. Maybe I'm just unsentimtental about the attractions of wishful thinking or self-deception, but I'm not sad to see such things go.
Oh, fine. Go all mature on us.

No, I see where you're coming from. I agree to an extent. But I also see where he was coming from. He loved the illusion.

As you yourself have pointed out, dreams have no sensibility in their flow, there is no rationale for what occurs. In the time the Black Mercy and he enmeshed to create this world, Kal-El loved his son completely.

(Haven't you had dreams where it was vitally important that you get somewhere on time, or do some thing or other? When one wakes from such a dream, it's a relief. Whew! Thank goodness! And then, upon reflection, you realize the panic and dread you fully experienced in the dream made NO sense at all?)

and the -El's
And the -El's. :D Hangin' with the -El's. I have this sudden desire to write a rap song.

Phantasm said:
Yeah...why was Bruce's dream sequence black and white?:confused:
I think the sepia tone of Bruce's dream was an artistic device to portray the contrast between Supermans dream, which was colorful, joyful, full of love and life, and Bat's, which was, quite clearly and understandably, devoid of these elements.

Remember, these are two very different people. Clark is a man raised in a loving family. His dreams reflect this. Owing to circumstances, Bruce does not see the world like this.
 

MAXIMUS

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wow just popped in and realized I almost through this thread outta whack...but the Whedonverse has that affect on people.


Just thought of another reason why I loved this ep. When Kal finally says goodbye to Van, its a pretty gut wrenching moment, then we get a bigger gut wrencher when Bruce goes back to the memories of his parents death. I can;t remember it ever really being shown except in obscure dream sequence/delusion, but I just felt so sad for that little boy who just lost his world and his trust in it. :sweat:
 

Revelator

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[QUOTED: Maxie Zeus]

IIRC, the script had a very troubled history (it's got three names on it), and it really could have used a good buffing.

I'm not basing this off of any evidence, but I'd guess that what's good in the script is based on the contributions of Joe R. Lansdale, an interesting writer who IIRC also contributed to "Avatar" and the shamefully underrated "Critters."

Yeah, the Waynes are flat and the -El's (if that's the right way to refer to them) are a lot better. But as Revelator pointed out, the Waynes have probably always been flat. They are "idealized," and no one seems inclined to crack the plaster on their shrines.

Yes, and had the plaster been cracked in PtD the episode might have been truly great rather than an acceptable dramatization of a terrific premise. I've never understood how writers expect readers to feel for Bruce's loss if all he's losing are two bits of cardboard.

Citizen Kane is the brilliant product of a brilliant toymaker and is at its best advantage when you take it from that angle.

Or as Pauline Kael said, it's a great masterpiece but a shallow masterpiece. How the tale is told makes the tale seem deeper than it really is.

Vertigo is not a deep film, and it also hasn't got much "there" there.


You obviously haven't taken many film theory classes:p. Vertigo is daffy on the surface but practically a stew of neuroses and lovesick imagery at heart, and what it has to say about gender has already filled volumes. It's one of the most bottomless films ever made.

FtMWHE is more like the former: It brilliant and facile and shiny and ingenious and tremendously well put together

Yes, and also more succesfull dramatically, which puts it more alongside Vertigo than the flamboyant Kane. Ptd is a gimmic episode and so is FtMWHE, but the latter wrings more emotional blood from the gimmic. PtD is really more related to Kane in its conceptual audacity that doesn't allow for a genuine emotional connection.
 

b.t.

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Supremus said:
Like you said, Superman could have felt like he had lived his entire life on Krypton. Although there isn't really anything concrete in the episode to suggest that

actually, there are a few things: as i mentioned in another thread, kal and jor-el's testy little exchange ("oh, so you're a scientist now"...."DA-ad...") hints at some discord in their mutual past, so the viewer instantly knows they DO have a shared history....subtle, i know, but....

the other example i can think of is in kal's farewell scene with his son....in moore's original story and marc's drafts, kal says, "i was there when you were born" and then goes right into "...but i don't think you're real"....which, at the last minute, didn't sound right to me, it was merely a statement of fact, it didn't sound like he really HAD been there...so i elaborated on it a bit, having him describe his own experience of it, how it FELT to be there.....kal's descriptions of van's "beautiful little face" and "tiny fingers", etc is perhaps overly sentimental and somewhat trite, but it IS a common reaction from new fathers -- trust me on this one -- and i think it DOES convey that he's DEEPLY immersed in the fantasy, as opposed to it being just a pleasant little fantasy....
 
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