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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Epic Ripping Apart of Petty Plotholes In the Epic Conclusion to the Batman Trilogy

Warning: If you haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises as yet, stop. Find out where the movie is playing closest to you. Call them up and ask for availability of tickets. And then take a flight to Mumbai and watch the movie on the IMAX screen. Major spoilers follow.

Last night, I laughed, exclaimed, gleed in delight and wept (manly) tears as Nolan gave us an extremely satisfying (Epic, Indeed) conclusion to The Dark Knight Rises.

While I agree that everyone is entitled to an opinion on if the movie was a fitting finale to the trilogy, what I find difficult is to accept 'The Critics' cry their throats hoarse over plot holes in the movie.

Now you might accuse me of being a Nolan Fanboi, but here is something that you should understand:
Plot holes. Don't. Happen. In. A. Nolan. Movie.

Or, to bastardize a phrase bandied about in the trilogy: "I believe in Nolan".

Yes, sir.

Now I would like to proceed to tear these 'Critics' a new one, with your permission, of course.

Please understand that the explanations are my opinions, and Nolan would have (most likely) had something completely different up his mind when it comes to the following scenes.

1) How did Batman survive the Nuclear Blast?
Science, bitchez. It wasn't a nuclear fission blast in which radioactive components are released. The reactor from which the core was taken out was one that operated on a fusion reaction. Even if a fusion reaction goes horribly wrong, the worst case is that it could release enough heat to rival the sun. None of those radiation sickness that follows a fission bomb. Read it up on wikipedia sometime, the information will boggle your petty minds. 

2) Why does the Batman need to stage his own death?
Before I answer this question, I need to answer another one, as the answers are related.

3) Why does the Batman have to stage a pyrotechnic display? Couldn't he have used his time for something better?
Answer to both questions: The Batman's dress code is 'Black, Skin hugging, Armor', for a reason. And no the reason isn't A) because that's his kink, or B) because he lost a couple of fancy dress competitions in his adolescence. The reason quite simply is that such an outfit, makes him more than an individual: A Symbol. And symbols are powerful things. They can drive hate (think Burning Crosses), they could create joy (Clowns, sometimes) or they could drive fear (Batman). One thing that Nolan had clearly depicted was the drop in morale of Gotham's finest. The final battle was one that the Batman couldn't have won alone (All of Alfred's talk around this finally sunk into the kevlar helmet, but only after Bane did the honors of breaking the Batman's back). Towards this, he needed the full strength of Gotham's finest. And if he had to spend some time announcing his return, then goddamn it, that is time well spent. 
As for the specific answer to question number two: Alfred's repeated insistence that Bruce Wayne couldn't go on wearing the cape as if he was a young cadet from the League of Shadows would have been the most obvious motivation for Bruce Wayne/ Batman to fake his death, and hang up his cape. Also, nothing like death to get people singing praises of an individual, never mind Shakespeare's opinion on the longevity of the evil that men do. The theme of TDKR has been Rise, and very clearly there would have been no better opportunity for the Fallen Dark Knight (Which he was at the end of TDKR) to redeem himself, to Rise.  

4) How the fuck does Batman travel from Jodhpur to Gotham?
A) No one said it is fucking Jodhpur. It is just a place in 'another part of the world'. Could be the Grand Canyon for all you know.
B) As has been seen how the Batman painlessly extracts the accountant guy from a fucking police state (In The Dark Knight), I am assuming he still knows a few guys who owes him a favor. Also, as Selina mentions, when the rich goes broke, they don't go broke all the way.
Also, entering the city shouldn't be a problem for him as he is the guy who has probably figured out every nook and cranny in the city. Remember what Ra's Ul Ghul told him about mastering his environment. I am assuming kicking ass in Gotham would have been easier if he had figured out quick and easy insertion/extraction points.

5) They show cuts of the Batman piloting the Bat right until the moment the bomb goes off. Either he had to jump off in the sea, which would have been visible, or he is dead.
A) Wrong. This is an interesting notion that I am, ahem, borrowing from reddit (Can't find the thread), as the last scene is an intercut of the kids looking at the Bat, of Det. Blake looking at the Bat, and the cut has been clearly made from the perspective of these individuals. If the Batman would have ejected from the Bat earlier, then this wouldn't have been visible to Det. Blake and the kids. They would have assumed that the Bat was being piloted by the Dark Knight, and would have mentally pictured him flying away to his doom. An Unreliable witness is the only plot hole that Nolan is guilty of here.

6) Bruce Wayne's back. I would love to have those regenerative powers.
This is a tricky one. Let us for one second, assume that the pit that Nolan is thrown in, is actually the Lazarus Pit. Now the Lazarus Pit is special because it has powers to bring back the dead to life (Hence, Lazarus). Does this tie up the loose end nicely? I appreciate Nolan for his creative liberty with this one, because he didn't make the Lazarus pit something in which you lie around waiting to get healed. You have to actively take part in your healing, and literally Rise from the dead. Gave me goosebumps thinking about this one. Just because Nolan grounded the series, doesn't imply that there is no scope for the mythology of the Batman Universe

7) How did the bikes get into the stock exchange?
Now we are just getting petty. It has clearly been established that wherever there is an access to underground facilities, it is just waiting to become Bane's Bitch. If you don't agree, please let me know what they do with the crap from stock exchanges (No, not the financial crap, the real crap).

8) How did The Bat get in the Alley?
Well, Batman owns the night. I think it is quite possible that he could have stowed it away where he felt he could reach in case he got into trouble

9) Where did the famed security at Applied Sciences go?
Yes. Because we suddenly switched movies and went into Mission Impossible, where even a drop of sweat could trigger a damn alarm. Also, how hard is it to believe that for someone with full access to the utilities system of a city, knocking down an alarm system is complex?

I intend to continue this thread, and intend to tear apart these so called 'Critics'. I laugh at your lame attempts at driving traffic to your petty blogs by pimping a contrarian view, that is, to put it nicely, Bullshit.

When logic has ripped a new hole for you, you will have my permission to be ridiculed.

P.S. If you want a plot hole, here is one: Bruce Wayne clearly runs his hand over the scar which identifies Miranda as a fellow student of the League of Shadows. Why then did he not figure this out? Could this be a classic case of blood pumping into the wrong head? :P I know this plot hole would contradict my initial statement, but I am sure there is an edited scene out there that explains this (Fingers crossed)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Webcomics Cheatbook

As a few of you may have noticed, I have started to work on a new comic blog, Comicrophone. One of the major problems that I faced with the comics were in bringing them from the analog (sucky) domain to the digital (smoking hot) domain . Since I couldn't afford a tablet or an e-pen of any sorts, let alone a scanner, the only option available to me was to click pictures of my doodles. This process consistently resulted in images that were a shade of gray, like so:

We should use Ujala to make this comic strip white

Now for most readers(barring myself), this image would be unacceptable. They would keep coming back to your blog in pretty much the same way Chetan Bhagat would try blocking someone again on twitter. In simpler words, never again. Unfortunately, we now have a gray and dull looking comic that, coupled with zero experience in using Photoshop or any of the other advanced photo editing software, is hurtling towards Comic Strip fando(o)m.
Which is when our hero, Paint.NET, makes a colorful entry to save the day. Quite simply, this tool is one of the most user friendly image processing applications out there. That Paint.NET is freeware, makes the whole deal sweeter. Download it now, as you would need it to carry on with the remaining few steps.
Now that you have downloaded the software and installed it, the important step is to start it up (Duh). This is usually accomplished by double clicking on an icon that says Hot Nekkid Girls* Paint.NET. Next, open the snap for editing by Paint.NET. Once this is done, we must select the Magic Wand (Shortcut key: S) from Tools. On messing around with this tool I realized that instead of following the broken lines that we doodle, its way more easier selecting the empty space that we DON'T want. My trick is to select all the white space using the magic wand tool, and then invert the selection to give us our doodle, our daily spread. The settings that I use for the magic wand tool are:
Selection Mode: Add (union). Essentially we are collecting all those regions that we don't want in our final comic. In this comic, for instance, there was a tiny spot of ink that came about while sketching: The poor sucker did not stand a chance to the Magic Wand. Hah.
Flood Mode: Contiguous. I have no idea why I use this, but it works.
Tolerence: 26-30%. This setting is subjective. If we increase the tolerance, there is the risk that parts of our drawing may get selected, especially the shaded regions. If the tolerance is reduced, even minor differences in the gray regions will have to be selected manually.

Dude, I think we got selected

After I had selected the region that I didn't want, I used the 'Invert Selection' (Shortcut key: Ctrl+I) option found in the Edit menu to get me the doodle, the whole doodle and nothing but the doodle.

Whitespace: the final frontier
Once we have our selection, getting a clean white doodle is as easy as selecting the 'Paste into New Image' option. This way, one does not even have to be aware of the complicated 'Layers' mumbo jumbo. However if you are comfortable working with layers, Paint.NET has the ability to separate an image into multiple layers.
Fair and Lovely FTW!

As you can see, the end result is pleasing on the eye and would also make life easier if you want to color your comics. I hope this walkthrough has been of some help to you and your webcomic. Do write in and let me know of the tricks that you use in your webcomic.

*-Oh come on, we all know that you have it on your desktop! *Wink*
P.S. As always, blogger throws my images' aspect ratio out of whack. Please click on the image for a larger version.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Brief History of OCSL and ROFL

A lot of folks on twitter have confronted me with the question "When are you going to quit twitter, for good?". Of course, my rather poor jokes and even worse observations have played no small part in contributing to this situation. I have been able to shrug of this question with the reply "I shall quit twitter, once I get my invite to Quitter". Har. Har.
Recently though, I am being flooded by the question "What the Hell/F*ck is OCSL?". In a world of 140 characters, people tend to notice an additional 4 characters being pushed into their twitter time lines.
To introduce you to OCSL, I would like to take you back to the time when I used to tweet all day and drink coffee analyze functional modules of code at work. I was having a light hearted conversation with Anjana, about how people are never actually ROFL (That is Rolling on The Floor Laughing, for those from the stone age) or LMAO even though they claim to be. Seriously though, just think of it. You are engrossed in your work when a hilarious tweet pops up on your time line. You double over laughing out loud, managing to slip from your chair and finally landing with a dull thud on the carpeted ground. The boss, shocked at the sound of loud hysterical laughter, comes running over to your cubicle to see you on the floor, separated from your posterior, which somehow managed to detach itself from the rest of your torso. Highly unlikely, Isn't it? Especially when you have a boss whose idea of fun is working over the weekend, trying to propose improvements to that patched up piece of junk code that you are struggling to maintain.
Who are we kidding? Its a well known fact that we react to those jokes with a smile on our face, a hand over our face the only thing preventing us from looking moronic to our colleagues.
This is the phenomenon that Anjana and myself christened as On Chair Stifling Laughter. In the greatest traditions of the internet, it got a four lettered abbreviation: OCSL.
Quite naturally, the next step was to make this christening official. I tried submitting OCSL to that great registrar of arcane abbreviations on the internet, Urban Dictionary. They turned down my entry stating that my geek credentials weren't good enough.
I had a dream, one where OCSL rubbed shoulders with ROFL, LMAO and LOL, and it seemed that Urban Dictionary was hell bent on ensuring that it never materialized into reality. Driven to the bottle out of despair thanks to the weekend, I was ready to sell my soul in exchange of my dream being a reality. Which was when Kristopher rings me up and informs me that his OCSL entry to Urban dictionary was accepted.
Being an honest interpretation of facts, our friends on twitter began to popularize the word in their tweets. Of course, initially Anjana and myself had to indulge in a lot of shameless plugs to set the ball rolling. Pretty soon, it was also covered in the mainstream media.
And that, my friends, is the story of how OCSL came into being, punched its way into Urban Dictionary and gave ROFL, LMAO and other such abbreviations a run for its money. As for Anjana and myself, we got the sadistic satisfaction comparable to the kings of yore, who must have gotten their kicks by adding a couple of pages to our thick history text books every time they waged a war or constructed a mausoleum.