Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Superhero Flicks, Part 2: Batman

From first superhero to...hey, who was the second superhero? Was it Bats?

Well, anyway, Batman.

Batman: The Movie

The film-

Yeah, we're starting with Adam West.
I probably shoulda started with George Reeves in the Supes one, but...I ain't seen "Superman vs. The Molemen".

Yeah, I went through a snotty phase of looking down on this one, and treating it like MST3K.
Didn't everyone?

Well, the dark Batman has nested in everyone's collective consciousness long enough, and won the respect the creators were struggling for, so, now we can look back at this as the bit of fun that it is, instead of something to be overcome.

(And...he's kinda reincarnated in "Batman: The Brave & The Bold")

I dig it. Adam West is a hoot.
I love him on Family Guy, I love him in these old things, he's just great.
I don't think I ever disliked him, even as a snotty teen.
Naw, never did.

Anyway, this has all the Bat-villains teamed up.
And they're a delight.
So, lest people blame the shitiness of "Batman and Robin", on "too many villains", bullshit, this film rations the screentime perfectly.
I mean, come on, if "too many characters", fucked up a movie, how to explain "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", being an eternal classic?
No, "Batman and Robin", was fucked up by studio suit interference, and hack writing, and the people who could have prevented it not growing a pair, and fighting.

Like Batman woulda. ;)

The history-

They've rerun the shows since I was a kid, although, they haven't been on TV lately in a helluva while.
Haven't seen Classic Trek in ages either.
Oh, but "King Of Queens", is on every fuckin' channel.

Anyway, I think this is one of the many flicks I watched with Hyla & Spencer.
Sure of it.

Oh, I do remember they re-released this on VHS with a deceptive box when the Burton Batman came out.
The "trick the uninformed grandma", gambit.
Dirty trick!
I mean, yeah, this flick has its charms, but, come on, a kid wanting Burton-Batman...wants Burton-Batman.
It's like wanting chocolate ice cream, and getting coffee.
Didn't happen to me, but, I thought of it when I saw it in the drug store.
They're still doing this, now, there's a DVD of the 40's Batman serial in a cover using a logo very much like on the Nolanverse Batman.
Come on, corporate America, the Ferengi switch has to always be on?


The film-

Eh, it doesn't hold up as great now, especially Kim Basinger.

From here...

Kim Basinger buys a town 
Vaguely remember this...y'think something like this woulda stuck with me more...
Oh, yeah, she was an abysmal bimbo in the Burton Batman, and worse still in "Cool World", so, I didn't want to hear from her.
That's what it was.

I did love it then though, it was a revelation, and it's wild to think it came only 2 years after Superman 4, seems like they were decades apart somehow...

More on this in the Batman Returns review....

The history-

From the review of Batman/Hulk here... very first comic book, was Batman #307.
Can still remember it.
THEN, the Tim Burton Batman came around, and all the great Bat-stuff like "Dark Knight Returns", and "Year One", and "Killing Joke", were reprinted to cash in, and I devoured those, and became a full fledged Bat-fan.
Heh, I remember my mother subtly hoping this book wold wean me over to Batman, because Hulk just threw tantrums, but Batman used his mind. took awhile, but..:)


Batman Returns

The film-

See below...

The history-

From here...

I saw this at the theater, and was appalled to see small children there.
Now I find it hilarious.
The older this gets, the more I see it as a punk rock middle finger from Tim Burton, and the more I laugh and applaud.
Very subversive little film.
Even to the first one.
It left a bad taste in my mouth the first time, cuz it was so relentlessly gloomy compared to the wacky antics of Jack Nicholson's Joker...but no, it's perfect.
Catwoman is going to be in the third Chris Nolan Batman film, it'll be interesting to see what take they go with for the character, because the Pfeiffer version has become pretty iconic.
But so too had the Nicholson Joker, and look how Heath Ledger blew that out of the water.
Anyway, this is easily my favorite of the Burton Batmans.
I'm grateful the 90's started with goodies like this.
Fuck Pretty Woman.

Anyway, that part of the post ignited a lively debate with Max that was never properly concluded....

Batman Forever

The film-

Ehhh, it gets lumped with " ...& Robin", and it has its blowful qualities, but, it it was like the comic book...

Once you include Riddler, and cast Jim Carrey, what did you expect?

Tommy Lee Jones's Two-Face however is awful.
A total Joker ripoff, and not a good one.

Val Kiler's*wavey hand*

The history-

Hyla hated it from the get-go, I defended it a little, not as much nowadays.

One thing, it was either Hyla, or Spencer, who nitpicked acid (aaaciiid!) giving Two-Face a purple face, but, when I worked at Zaitlin, we used an acid to test paper grades that turned certain papers purple, like litmus paper, so we could sift the purple-turning shit out.
I was told, if you got that shit on your flesh, it would eat out the fats and oils, and turn you purple.
So, there you go.

Batman & Robin

The film-


The history-


Batman Begins

The film-

From here...

Best Batman flick ever until "The Dark Knight", came out.
Hmm, Patrick think...Bale thought it was an American Psycho prequel?

The history-

Didn't catch this at the theater, saw it on DVD months before "Dark Knight", came out.

The Dark Knight

The film-

From here...

Still love it, still holds up.
Been said a million times, a million ways, but I'll reiterate it anyway.
One of the best superhero films, if not the best.
Indeed, it transcends its genre, redefines it,'s one of the great films, that just happenes to have a superhero in it.
Truly, a decade defining film.
Heath Ledger's Joker will go down as cinema legend.

The history-

Saw it in the theater.

The Dark Knight Rises

Hurry up and get here!!!!
It hurts!! It huuuuuurts!!!!!

Update: The long wait is over! My DKR review!, that's those.

Up next..oh..I about miscellaneous live-action DC flicks?


Philip1978 said...

Out of all the superheroes, Batman is the one I think is my favourite.

The Dark Knight - not the protector they wanted, the protector they needed.

I think Burton's first film was his best, I think Keaton caught Bruce Wayne well and Nicholson was a brilliant joker - but then it got a bit out of hand after that Schumaker needs his trousers setting on fire - fucking nipples on the Batsuit and to do that to George Clooney, for feck's sake!

Then Nolan came along.

He finally fucking nailed it.

Bale - now here is where I give major credit to his acting skills - a man decides to shove on a load of body armour, dressed as a bat and proceeds to go beat the shit out of people. You can do this in comics. You can draw him doing all kinds of shit, he's in a comic, you can do that.

Nipples or nothing, you have a guy on film dressed that way and you have to accept that he can do that. Bale is the man who carried that off.

Batman Begins was a brilliant film - the only nipples seen were attached to Katie Holmes - the film was epic. Set Batman back on the tracks, someone the audience could cope with.

Then came The Dark Knight.

Now THAT was Batman. That is the ugly world of Gotham. The Joker. Two Face. Nolan didn't only nail this, he fucking nailed it.

The ending alone with Gordon saying the immortal lines - I cannot say enough about how good it was. How refreshing it was.


hyla2 said...

Thank you, D, ever so, for kicking off the Bats post with . . . ze Adam West.

I grew up watching Batman reruns, and to me, as a squirt, THIS WAS Batman. Okay, this and the Superfriends version. Set my whole perception of the character. The camp flew right over my head, hell I was 4. I loved it.

Ah, memories . . .

hyla2 said...

Now, to poop on them memories. Y'know, I look at that pic of Adam West and Burt Ward in costume, looking down upon the streets of Gotham . . . And all their expressions say to me is:

AW Bats: "Mm. You see all them bitches, Robin?"

BW Robin: "Yeah. Yeah. We gonna fuck all them bitches."

AW Bats: "Yes, Chum. Yes . . . we are . . ."

(fun fact--the word verification code for this comment? NAPIER! Like the guy who played Alfred on the Adam West Batman! . . . And I think they used it for Joker's real name too . . .)

Diacanu said...

Yes, yes, I've read the West and Ward biographies myself.

I toyed with weaving that stuff into the review...but that's better left to comments. ;)

hyla2 said...

I read the Adam West bio once, back in the day--it was either you or Spencer that lent it to me, I think--but never got hold of the Burt Ward one.

Surely there was within no ribald recollections of seedy sinister smut?

Diacanu said...

The Ward one was full on triple-X porno.

But, West said it "was full of enough baloney to open a delicatessen".

And this is a guy who admitted to some wild stuff.

So, I dunno....

hyla2 said...

Well, can you blame the guy who played the sidekick in pantyhose for wanting to spice his side of the story up a bit? Make himself look all studly awesome?

But, it WAS the '60's.

I still snicker now and then over West's recollection of the time he and Frank Gorshin got invited to a Hollywood orgy, didn't know what to do with the situation, then ran around this swanky room full of bombed, naked starlets and producers improving Batman -vs- the Riddler for shits and giggles. Magical.

hyla2 said...

That's supposed to be 'improv-ing' as in improvisation. Looks like improving, as in to improve.

Dunno if there was a better way to put that. Probably.

Diacanu said...

Nah, I gotcha.

Run into that problem myself, I think "improv-ing", with the dash does the trick.

Anyhoo...I'm hammering out the next entry right now.

Sheesh...after Bats and Supes, it's a lot of black licorice in the bag.

Diacanu said...


Sorry for leaving you out, but you said it all in regards to the Nolans.
Nothing I can add there.
Believe me, I tried.

hyla2 said...

Maybe a double-'v' would've done it?

Anyway, don't be all down on the black licorice! Chaw up a mouthful of that and you can pretend you're an internally ruptured Luxan!

(ahh, some nurd-cred redeemed . . . ;})

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