Chances are you plan on seeing The Dark Knight Rises at some point over the weekend. It’s the most anticipated, most hyped, and probably the most disappointing movie of the year. I’m sure it will be good, but the vibe I’m getting from Batman fans at large is that it’s going to be as good, nay, better than The Dark Knight, one of the top 20 movies* of the early aughts. That’s not happening. As some early negative reviews have shown, people don’t want to hear this news and have, regrettably, lost their minds and made death threats towards critics for bad reviews over a movie they haven’t seen (In conclusion, the internet is a place where everything is taken way too seriously and people just like to be angry. Why so serious?).
* If I have to make a decision, I say There Will be Blood is the best movie of 2000-2009. I could be persuaded with other movies though.
The Angels are, in a way, the MLB equivalent of The Dark Knight Rises. Tons of hype, tons of money poured into it, and no matter how good/successful they are, they’re bound to disappoint. They have the 9th best record in baseball and sit 2 games ahead of Detroit for the top wild card spot. Both of those are fine, but when a team is as hyped as they were, you’re looking for more than a team that’s likely already out of contention for its own division.
The Angels and the Batman universe are kindred spirits. I thought it would be a fun fluff piece to see which Angels members compare to characters in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, mostly because the Angels and Batman are all I’ve really thought about this week.**
** And Dwight Howard possibly becoming a Laker. Oh and my wife, I guess.
Onward to forced comparisons!
Rachel Dawes (played by Katie Holmes in Batman Begins, then played by Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight)
Easiest one on the board. She’s played by two different actresses. Likewise, you never really know which Ervin Santana is going to show up. Is it the good one from 2011, or the crappy one from 2012? Unfortunately, the uglier later version shows up more often, and that one has a tendency to get blown up.
Alfred (Michael Caine)
Oh Alfred. So loyal, so good at making breakfast, so British. Alfred is always helpful to the audience because he serves as a Greek chorus for the stupid American movie audience that can’t follow a non-Transformers plot. His presence is comforting, if unspectacular. Nobody walks out of a Batman movie thinking “Ya fine it was good, but holy hell Alfred was the bee’s knees!” But Alfred bears a lot of Batman’s emotional weight and offers guidance, making him an integral character and a good middle man for the Bruce Wayne/Batman duality. In this way, Jerome Williams won’t ever wow anyone with his stuff, but his presence and performance is essential to keeping the Angels running. Also, the Angels don’t have a British player.
Finch (Larry Holden)
He got whacked about halfway through the first movie. You probably don’t remember or care about him. He was Gotham’s DA, who meddled too much and paid the price. That’s Mickey Hatcher.
The Joker (Heath Ledger)
Agent of chaos that enjoys screwing with Gotham. His presence is a physical and emotional burden not only to Batman, but all the citizens of Gotham. While active, he manages to turn the populous against Gotham’s leadership, be it the mayor, the DA’s office, or even Batman.
Tony Reagins, you are that agent of chaos.
Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy)
Maker of psychedelic drugs.
CJ Wilson, probably.
Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman)
Similar to Alfred in that he often offers Bruce Wayne counsel. But, more importantly, outfits Bruce with the newest gadgets and helps patch up weaknesses he sees in Batman’s arsenal of toys. In The Dark Knight, Lucius has a moral dilemma after Batman develops what is essentially surveillance on Gotham; Fox must decide if helping Batman in the present is worth possibly sacrificing future security.
God only knows how much all these toys will cost Wayne Enterprises, but it probably won’t matter in the long run because a) Wayne Enterprises can obviously afford it, and b) Batman has a new TV deal (With Fox! This writes itself) that will mitigate the financial risks. This is clearly Jerry Dipoto.
Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart)
Represents the good in Gotham: an undying willingness to stop crime and corruption. That is, until he sustains an injury and takes a turn for the worse. In very brief time, he sets out and attempts to undo all the good will he’s earned from Gotham. At The Dark Knight’s conclusion, it still wasn’t clear if Dent was a man permanently effected by his injuries or just suffering a brief relapse.
Get well soon, Dan Haren.
Lau (Chin Han)
Sits on top of a s*** load of money. Come on down, Albert Pujols.
Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson)
Knowledgeable and skillful (mob) leader, eventually done in by Scarecrow’s psychedelic drugs. The high dosage prevents his brain from working properly on occasion, as he just utters the comforting phrase “scarecrow” because his brain latches on to something tried and true.
This sounds an awful lot like Mike Scioscia***every time Kevin Jepsen enters the game. “The game is tied! How can I possibly put in Downs or Frieri? And Jepsen has great stuff. Jepsen…Jepsen…scarecrow…scarecrow.”
*** For the record, I appreciate that Scioscia has seemed to alter his bullpen management, which for years has been my biggest criticism of him. I like that the team doesn’t have a set closer.
That menacing prisoner in The Dark Knight on the fairy that throws the bomb detonator out the window (Tommy “Tiny” Lister)
Mark Trumbo, not afraid of bombs.
Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman)
Uh, let’s just say Jered Weaver. I couldn’t write this and leave out the Angels best pitcher and one of the core members of the Batman trilogy. How about this: Gordon took a bullet for the mayor in The Dark Knight, and Weaver resigned with the Angels before hitting free agency. Sacrifice! Get it?! Ok, moving on.
Batman (Christian Bale)
Mike Trout. Because duh. The hero of the tale, Trout even has the useful “saved the Angels season” narrative going for him. That’s not entirely true, but he is indispensable for the Angels. If he gets hurt for a lengthy period, the team may be doomed.
And, like Batman, there’s an animal in his name. You call it coincidence, I call it destiny.
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