Mamo #378: It’s Not Batman


As moviegoing continues to die and digital content takes over, we look at how Fox’s Gotham is getting it wrong, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (may be) getting it right, and Netflix is getting us all headed towards the future with its Crouching Tiger 2 deal. Plus, the velvet funnel.

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Sean Kelly

I like GOTHAM enough to keep watching on a weekly basis. I guess you missed Bruce Wayne “testing himself” by burning his hand with a candle in the second episode (named after Selena Kyle, who only becomes a factor in the plot towards the end). Also, The Penguin is by-far the best character on the show.

As for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON 2, I suppose a day and date release for a martial arts film isn’t as bad as it happening to a Hollywood blockbuster. However, I have since read that 2 out of the 3 major US theatre chains are planning to refuse to screen the film.

I am someone that will always choose to see films theatrical first, even if it’s available on Netflix. For instance, a few of last year’s best documentary nominees were released on Netflix before playing theatrically in Toronto, but I waited and saw them at the Bloor.

Yes, the spectacle of big blockbusters are good and all, but I just like seeing films on the big screen for the escapism of it all.


I also choose to see films theatrically every time, if possible.

Hell, I’d sit through the entire run of True Detective in the cinema if the opportunity presented itself.

You just can’t beat huge scale and audience response.

I saw a preview of Gone Girl on a massive screen. I don’t know why someone would choose to see a cam torrent of it or would choose to watch an Itunes etc download of it on an ipod / ipad.

Kurt Halfyard

Also got a preview of GONE GIRL, it’s really quite astounding, even if it doesn’t scream ‘big screen’ (mostly set in houses and offices) seeing it that way makes a huge difference.

Robert Reineke

I think you forgot HBO event films like BEHIND THE CANDLELABRA and THE NORMAL HEART when discussing HBO’s film credibility. Granted, neither of them are event films like CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON 2 promises to be, but if HBO enters the theatrical game, which it won’t as it’s a part of Warner Bros., they’ll have plenty of credibility and be able to attract name talent.

I don’t disagree much with any criticisms of the pilot of GOTHAM except that I liked some of the characters. Harvey Bullock and The Penguin especially. I think the gangland rise of The Penguin has a lot of potential for long form storytelling, especially since something like that hasn’t been covered on tv, but yes, they’ll have to step up their game.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still suffers from the problem that their main characters just aren’t interesting. The plot is a bit more interesting now, but it’s carrying the characters along. I couldn’t care less about Skye’s parentage as I couldn’t care less about Skye.

Philip Poirot

Gotham is 91% Fresh (a decent sample of 78 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes. I think it’s just one of those instances where Mamo is in the minority (e.g. Lone Ranger, Pirates 3)


I thought the pilot for Gotham was pretty disappointing, not helped by the fact that a 20 minute season preview was mainly describing the pilot episode.

Ep 2 kicked things up a notch but it still isn’t great.

I was really excited about it, expecting Smallville for the Batman universe but now I’m really lowering my expectations. Poison Ivy’s 8 for fcuk’s sake.

I thought the Mamo guys were spot on with their comments, e.g. unrealistically nice James Gordon NY / Gotham apartment. I know this is an American TV trope (Friends etc) but even so. By the time he’s police commisioner he’s going to be living in Buckingham Palace at this rate.

Matthew Fabb

As a long time fan of the MAMO, I have and would appreciate any spoiler warnings. There’s been a number of times when you have gone in detail into movies I’ve yet seen and I just skip ahead in the podcast to figure out when you guys have moved onto a different topic.

Watching a movie the first time and repeated viewings are two very different experiences. I find going in cold into a movie, knowing as little as possible greatly improves my experience of the movie. When there is a movie I really want to see I simply avoid trailers, or if the trailer is playing in the movie theater I simply close my eyes. I’ll watch the trailer after I’ve seen the movie and marvel how badly they ruin a movie giving so much of it away.

So please, keep the spoiler warnings in MAMO before you are about to dive deep into a movie’s plot.

Matthew Fabb

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is getting a VR experience that will tour 4 movie theatres in 4 cities in the US. Basically, what I was saying a few months ago about big movies getting their own VR experiences to promote the movie is happening. I expect a lot more next year with the final release of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift and the release of the Samsung mobile phone version (powered by Oculus) coming out this fall.

Rick Vance

As someone who is continuously pulled in all directions by all kinds of entertainment from Books to Video Games there is a facet of it that is lost.

I think a large part of it is still if you are going to see a movie once make it in the best way possible so you never have to again. I enjoyed both Transformers 3 and 4 for example, those are both movies that play exceptionally well on the biggest screen you can find, but boxed up and put on at home I would probably turn both off in 30 minutes.

One of the defining things for the movie watching experience for me is the Big Screen Big Sound of it so not only do I seek to see all I can in that, I feel strongly that any movie that actually plays better out of that environment isn’t as good as one that plays better on the big screen with the full sound system.

Movies are a collision of sound and images in a much more pure way because of the theater experience than any other form of art. I would be sad if that went away for all movies or only existed in the most expensive form or worse.


I thought Gotham was better than your commentary makes it out to be. I think its far too early determine conclusively if the show is good or bad.

The complaints here seem a bit odd. The show loses sight of the fact that Gordon is the star. The younger versions of the characters act exactly like their adult counterparts. The apartment Gordon lives in is too lavish.

Gordon may be straight laced and boring now, but that doesn’t mean he will be throughout the show. In Year One, Gordon did the right thing in his day-to-day job. His demons came in the form of an affair with a coworker and turning a blind eye, in the beginning, to his corrupt partner. There is room to add complexity and depth to the character. The seeds of conflict with Bullock have already been planted.

I believe the main plot of Gotham is not how did Detective Gordon become Commissioner Gordon. But who shot Martha and Thomas Wayne? And Why? Episode 2 hints at a mystery and perhaps conspiracy.

I would agree that the younger versions of the characters act like their adult versions. Its pure fan service. I think you are either on board for some Batman fan service or you are not. I get wanting character development and having younger versions that grow into their adult versions through trials and life experience. I also get WB wanting casual viewers to recognize characters from the Batman universe.

I also don’t know what show you were expecting to find on network television with a Batman property. It can’t be as gritty as Year One or the Killing Joke. The Batman universe is too valuable to WB to take any real chances with it on network television. SPOILER ALERT: The Joker is not going to shoot Barbara Gordon, strip her and take pictures to try and break Jim Gordon in Gotham.

For me whether Gotham is a good or bad show is TBD. I know that I enjoyed the first two episodes. Is Gotham better than the best HBO and AMC have to offer? Nope. Is it better than CSI, NCIS, Blacklist and other network dramas? For me, it is. Outside of Amazing Race its the only network tv show that I watch. The combination of the Batman universe and a detective show has me interested to check out a few more episodes.