too much typing—since 2003


actually a superhero based on Thelonious Monk would be way cool

I just watched Batman Begins via Netflix (yes, as usual, I'm way behind the movie curve...). I liked it pretty well, although I thought the beginning of the film was a bit draggy. One of the best minor bits, though, was that they hired Thelonious Monk to write the little piano bit that opened the access to the Batcave via the library. Okay, not really (note to the chronologically challenged: Mr. Monk has been dead lo the many a year) - but the plinky little theme of three notes doubled in parallel seconds had a certain Monkian piquancy. (Mmmm...piquant monkey! Or so Bucky Katt would say.)

Actually, I think I returned the DVD too soon: now I can't check this, but I wonder if whoever came up with that little theme was consciously paying homage to the Batman TV series theme. Those interjections of "Batman" (along with horns) which gave that theme a very distinctive texture? Parallel seconds.

In fact - and now I might be stretching it, and I really wish I still had the DVD and a copy of the Batman TV theme to compare - remember in the TV theme those horn blats that went along with the famous BIFF!! BANG!! action graphics? I seem to recall that they went in a sequence of note/lower note/higher note...which is exactly the sequence of the piano-key key to the Batcave in Batman Begins. A really clever composer would have used the same notes.

Or at least, a really geeky composer.


yellojkt said...

The new Batman movie is so gritty and different from the TV series, they are better off staying far away.

2fs said...

I agree - but it's the sort of super-obscure homage that doesn't interfere with tone at all, so it wouldn't bother me if my supposition is correct and that's what it is. It's not as if the movie is utterly bereft of humor - like Funky Winkerbean or something.

James said...

The theme and incidental music for the 60's televison show was composed by Neal Hefti, who arranged music for Count Basie's band for many years, so there is a definite connection to jazz (at least as the show was concerned - the movie, I don't know).

Interestingly enough, the score for the 1966 spin-off movie was composed by Nelson Riddle, of all people.

I don't know, I liked the opening sequence of the movie. Though I questioned the idea that Bruce Wayne would set fire to a room full of people - even deadly assasins. But that's just me being geeky.

2fs said...

Well, that's part of the problem: if that's the closing of the opening "scene," it was about 25 minutes or more into the movie. I just think that section of the movie could've been tightened up quite a bit with no real loss to the story or characters.

Anyway, Bruce was kinda out of his mind for a while there, wasn't he - that, at least, was established (and should have been) - so I sorta buy it, as well as its being a motivation for the "maybe revenge isn't such a good idea" thing. Or maybe I'm confusing it with last night's Simpsons...