Sunday, September 21, 2014

[GOTHAM] The Legend Reborn part 3

The main reasons why I've been writing reviews for each segment of Gotham: The Legend Reborn are (1) Posterity's sake in such a way where I want to chronicle my thoughts pre-show so I can go back to them and see if some of my assessments and assumptions have been answered by the series based solely on the documentary footage that the showrunners and production crew have shown in these videos; (2) This would serve as practice for my upcoming episode reviews once September 22 comes along because this is truly the first time I'll be writing them EVER; not to mention I also have NBC's Constantine to review for my Hellblazer blog. So I want to ensure that I can meet my self-imposed deadlines regardless of whatever pressure I may have in real life. I need to harness a new level of dedication and diligence if I am to review two comic book-based shows AND comic books themselves alongside them. The previous blog entries are there to help me cope with this kind of writing atmosphere which I should maintain in the next months or so until the first season ends. I'm actively excited and scared of the process! A part of me will enjoy the journey but there is also a part of me that dreads having to push through writing my thoughts and insights for each episode as timely as possible. But then again, I had that same feeling when I was doing the first wave of my Batman comics diet and I got through that impressively with a total of ninety-six individual issues reviewed! I guess the trick is to treat it as a job and not procrastinate writing even if that tends to happen here and there. True focus is the key!

The third installment of The Legend Reborn is entitled Beneath the shadows which tackles the production sets and visual effects of the show. This footage only ran for five minutes and twenty seconds, the shortest of the flicks, but it gave us a more in-depth look concerning the people who worked behind the scenes and their contributions. As someone with a Broadcast Journalism major in Mass Communications, I have personally been a part of productions not just for news sets but for movie sets though they were small-scale compared to a network television production. However, I always enjoy finding out how a production team sets the mood and atmosphere of the show and the visual textures they'll apply to truly capture that 'vibrancy of the city' they wish for the viewers to get transported to. One of the striking references to me while watching this was the fact that they mentioned the science-fiction movie Blade Runner as one of the inspirations which made me helplessly giddy because I love the cinematography and landscapes of that world and if Gotham intends to go for the same tonality in their shots and locations, then count me in a hundred-percent! I am a bona-fide Batman fan and Gotham is my city of nightmares, so you can only imagine my glee when they characterized the city as something that is both of our world yet beyond our world. They want to establish Gotham City as a timeless world yet still in line with the present day which is only expected. As I've discussed in my part 3 review yesterday, Gotham is a modern-type Rome and has allusions to the 1970's crime wave of New York City.


Speaking of New York, it's only understandable that they'd pick it as the primary location because based from my understanding of that city from countless television shows, movies and books, it's a place where it's always alive especially at night. Things happen in the shadows and everyone looks as if they are always in constant motion regardless of the destination they want to reach. A location can also do wonders with the actors who are in the story because they get a better sense of the roles they are playing if the setting they are surrounded and encapsulated in is a vivid and as atmospheric as it's supposed to be. Another thing they talked about for this segment is the Gotham Police Department precinct which did look extraordinary. I immediately noticed those tall windows that seemed to occupy the space, giving it an easily house-of-mirrors vibe. I also noticed the long-winding dark arches in those windows which is, in a word, gothic like something from a very exceptionally done Tim Burton film. On a related note, WHAT ABOUT 'EM GODDAMN GARGOYLES, EH? The visual effects team showcased their outputs in regards to the overall wide-screen shots of the city. They reproduced gargoyles and other foreboding statues which are then scattered across the skyline every time the camera does a moving panel shot. That was another thing that got me so giddy because I can just picture Batman himself standing near or on top of a gargoyle which, if you know your comics, essentially act as the symbolic guardians of Gotham whose presence also give you the creeps, making the city look like something from medieval times where appearances are deceiving in the most unsettling sense. These gargoyles are hands-down the very first thing I will keep an eye for once the pilot comes out tomorrow.


Stay tuned for the last part of my review of Gotham: The Legend Reborn. And yes, it would be on a Monday since I don't live in the United States and I have to wait at least a day before I can watch the actual episode and then review it. I intend to post episode reviews during the middle of the week (most probably on a Wednesday).

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