Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's wrong with being 'girly' or not

I like Hello Kitty, baking, watching Say Yes to the Dress and wearing pink....I also like roleplaying games, comics, horror movies, and That's what she said jokes...however I'm either too 'girly' or 'not ladylike' according to today's standards. Either I have feminists saying that my love of the color pink is taking us back to the Dark Ages or I have older men telling my that my dirty joke telling is shameful behavior not befitting a lady.

Femmephobia seems be catching like a bad cold. For those new to the word, Femmephobia is a fear of things that could be considered feminine: this could be anything from the color pink or just things that or considered feminine like talking about your feelings or being caring. This is sort of like slut shaming expect your being shamed for wanting to bake cupcakes. What makes this type of shaming even more humiliating is that it's being hurled by other women at women.

The above article by Deborah Schoeneman is a little more than condescending at times. Her phrase 'woman-child' is a comparison to the 'man-child' that have never grown up, that our enjoyment of 'childish' things is actually harmful to society and that doing and enjoying these 'girly' activities we are hiding our fear of the real world and how scary it is....that they have no clue how to be serious. For those not wanting to read the whole article here are some great bits.

She's a counterpart to the "man-child" stars of Judd Apatow movies; she would rather rally girlfriends to see The Hunger Games than the more peer-group-appropriate What to Expect When You're Expecting. From sporting sparkly nail polish to religiously reading every bestselling young adult novel, these women seem to be reliving their teenage years with real gusto.

My friends and I saw a trailer for What to Expect and we all agreed that it looked like a waste of $20 and these are 'adult' woman, one is a mother with two boys and the other works at a prison and we agreed that The Hunger Games was a better movie with a better message about being a strong person and self sacrifice from both men and woman.

A "woman-child" is the type to prioritize her female friendships as if she were in a high school clique by posting pictures of her girls' birthday dinners or boozy vacations on Facebook while her peers post wedding and baby pictures with similar zeal. She truly believes that women are in it together and is all about helping her friends start businesses, meet guys and pick out a cute outfit for a big event. Competitiveness among females in the workplace is perceived as totally 80s. "Women-children" are increasingly looking back to create a new common ground and it's a warm fuzzy ground.

I love my female friends and they come from all over the place, married, single, kids, no kids, fur children, ect. Do I have pictures of me and my friends cos-playing at Devil's Carnival yeah...I also have pictures of me and niece and at my friend's wedding with my husband. She makes is sound as if being there for your friends (male or female) is a social disease of some sort and we should all hang our heads in shame. I also work in a pretty much all female office place and my co-workers range from my age group to old enough to be my grandmother, we work hard at our jobs, but because we aren't competitive and ladder climbing something must be wrong with nothing is wrong with wanting to work in a positive workplace where for the most part people get along because at the end of the day our job is to help our clients and provide a good service. Our boss who is female doesn't put up with the petty backstabbing and makes us work together in a positive fashion because it makes us look bad at the end of the day it reflects well on us and makes us look like a team of professionals that other people want to work with. No we're not competitive, but we work hard.

"Women-children" certainly seem to be enjoying themselves more than their peers who struggle with the motherhood/career conundrum. The trend has crept into my peer group, too. It's as if some of the women around me still want to be girls because girls just want to have fun. Girls certainly don't obsess over a feminist article in The Atlantic or the dearth of female directors in Hollywood.

I actually had a debate with myself in the middle of a toy aisle about buying my niece a pink tea set because I was worried about her having a clearly female gendered toy...than I said fuck it she's two and I had tea parties all the time with my grandmother and my toys when I was kid and it was fun. I had fun pretending with my pink tea set as a child and I don't see why she shouldn't have the same fun just because some people can't deal with a color scheme. 

I also dislike how this writer tends to throw around the issue of woman not having children or not in relationship as not acting like an adult. I know lots of woman (myself included) who don't plan on having children for one reason or another and a lot of those woman are in serious relationships with serious careers.  I know woman who are single and have good careers and don't want to settle right away because they want to focus on becoming a better person.

I own a home, car, have low debt, a good marriage,a college degree and have worked myself into helping my boss with some serious projects that she wants to present to her bosses, but because I don't have a baby and like My Little Pony the 2010 version I'm a girl who can't have a serious thought in my head at any given moment. I thought we were past the age where marriage and family defined what is a woman and what is a girl. 

On the flip side I have men in the media telling me what being a woman married a vagina you didn't get one and until you get one you can't tell me what makes me a woman. The greatest example of this is the great Todd Akin stating that his rival Claire McCaskill was more 'ladylike' back in 2006 and 'came out swinging' during their debate. What was she suppose to do? Ask for the ok to speak, offer you a sandwich, not understand the issues at hand...please tell me. He stated that she had more confidence when she was 'ladylike' What made her un ladylike? Really I want to know what made her less of lady. I have one group telling me that being 'nice' is wrong, but you have another group saying that being to aggressive is wrong. 

Would someone please tell me how I'm supposed to act, dress, behave, ect so that I'm not ruining the world?

I was always told when I grew up, moved out and got my own home and a job that I could do whatever I wanted because I was an adult...well guess what...this adult has to go to work tomorrow, I have game to attend this weekend and I need to buy my niece an outfit for her pictures this weekend....I might even buy her a dress....something pink with bows on it. 


Other readings to enjoy....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Gen-Con: Hits and Misses

Sigh....another 361 days till the next Gen-Con.

I always have an amazing time when I go to Gen-Con and every year it seems to get better and better as more games and extras are added each year. This year had it's fair share of great events and fun times and here is mini list of the things that I loved and loathed about this year's Gen-Con. (The love list is much longer than the loath list)

Loved-The Coupon Book: I know some people were complaining about the lack of SWAG Bags, but for me personally I prefer just getting the coupon book. It's less I have to care and most likely pitch when I get home. The past years had things I just didn't care for in the bag other than the coupon book and maybe my free D6. With all the stuff you get over the four day span the SWAG bag just got lost in shuffle so this made life a little easier.

Loved-The all night pick up and line speeds-I only had to wait in a line for less than 15 minutes to get my badge and tickets in the afternoon. Granted the line was long, but the booth workers did their best to make sure everything was fast so you weren't waiting that long. Plus you could always leave and come back later and not worry about closing.

Loathed-Cthulhu Dark-I didn't think it was possible to make a Cthulhu game boring and than I found this and I've had more fun at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned than playing this. The event was called Christmas in Berlin and the description was that a family was found murdered and Germany spies are suspected and the local infantry is hot on the trail of the prime suspect and it's set during WWI. Seriously this sounded like fun and I was really excited about this and it was the only Cthulhu game I was able to get into.

A good game makes the time go by so it doesn't feel like four hours and I felt every second of this four hours. So Cthulhu Dark has one of three modes and this was from the mouth of the GM-Investigate, Run or be is this fun?  I know Cthulhu games are about investigating and mostly likely being killed or going crazy, but to not even give the players a fighting shot at combat is just sucky. You have to come up with your characters on the fly and than try to work from there. It also felt like I was being railroaded at every turn and was just there to listen to the GM tell a very boring story. One of the guys I game with had the follow up game to Christmas in Berlin and had it with the same GM and also complained about the boredom he felt playing. I will not by doing this system ever again, it was not worth the four dollars in ticket price or the four hours of my life I will never get back.

Loved-Camp Bloodbath and Spectum Games-This made up for the horrible Cthulhu experience. Camp Bloodbath was a horror comedy game run by Spectum Games and the GM was Cynthia and she made the game fun and let us do what we wanted to do. The system was easy to learn-Take D10, D8 and a D6. Your bad stats are the D10's and the really good stats is a D6. The goal is to get matching numbers
(Get four 6's one your D6) to not be killed and either flee your killer or fight back. Genre points are also helpful and are a little like drama points. Some characters get them right off the bat and the players can earn them by doing typical stupid horror movie things-IE-Going off alone to see what is that noise or in the case of our game, each time we got a horror movie reference or amused or GM.

 I was actually a little bummed out that we wrapped up an hour early. The system is called Slasher Flick and it takes all the horror movie troupes and places you in the roles of horror movie characters and you just go from there. At no time did I feel railroaded or bored with the group I was in. Roleplaying is stressed so if you have a group that really enjoys acting up this is the game for them. Fight scenes are light, but can be fun. I went to the website but it's still a work in process so please give them time.

Loathes-The lack of Saturday night events-Saturday night was always the busiest night for events and now they don't seem to have a lot of late night events. We were walking around at 1 am and people were still just milling around the ICC and the event guide really didn't have a lot past eleven. Events that used to be later on Saturday: TOVA Auction, the Costume Contest, the Dance, ect  seemed to have been moved up to earlier time slots leaving the evening kind of ho hum. Yes there are plenty of bars and late night hang outs which are good, but if I don't wanna drink or eat and game instead my options were limited.

Loved-The food trucks-I never thought I could get good Mac and Cheese off a truck and I was proven wrong this weekend. The trucks offered a lot of variety (Pizza, Cujan, Cupcakes, ect)  for a good price and the area near the ICC was nice was relaxing and having a quick dinner with folks.

Loved-The City of Indy and the Locals-The 1st year I attended Gen-Con it was clear the city had no idea what it was getting into. A lot of places were actually running out of food on Saturday night and the city just seemed overwhelmed by what was going on. Flash forward nine years and the city pulls out the welcome mat for us and make sure we have a good time each year. I have rarely had a bad dining or being out and about experience while in Indy during the con and that's in large part thanks to the locals and people who work in the service industry.

I heard from one waitress that the gamers are the nicest and best group of people to come in. She complained that the people who come in for The Brickyard tend to be the rudest group of people she waits on all year. She complained that they talked down to her, held up tables for hours while they got drunk and than left her a two dollar tip. She said we come in, we're fun, we're polite and we tip the best. One bell boy summed it up the best while we chatted waiting for the car.

"I see people all the time and most of the time it's for work or something else and they are just unhappy or not friendly at all. You guys come to town and you're happy and fun and it's just nice for a change to see happy people!"

Damn straight were happy people because we're at the best place on earth!!!  GFY Disney you don't have shit on Gen-Con!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Seven-The Dark Knight Rises.


There the warning has been issued so no whining can occur. Oh my god...I think this might be my favorite in the trilogy as of right now. I'm writing this after viewing it so I'm still coming off the high of watching it and just being in love with how the story came together perfectly without missing a step. This won't contain a second by second summary, but an overview and thoughts on the film. 

We jump eight years into the future with the city of Gotham still in a state of mourning for it's fallen hero Harvey Dent with a holiday and laws have been passed in his name, they elevate him to almost a state of sainthood. The city of Gotham is finally free of it's corrupt officers and organized crime due to the Dent laws. Batman is still vilified for taking away their hero and Gordon is seen as a relic of a past that Gotham would like to forget. Bruce has become a hermit in his own home and life as the party goes in Dent's name. I love the fact that we see these two people struggling with how Rachel and Harvey deaths. Bruce has the luxury of hiding from the world and wallowing in his pain, while Gordon has to deal with the public, hiding his pain and losing his family and friend. The happiness of the city they love comes at a heavy price for both of them. 

I love the fact that we finally get a decent live action Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Anne Hathaway was amazing and just fun to watch on screen. Any time she was on the screen you never knew where she was going to go and how you were supposed to feel about her. We didn't get a lot of background on her character and I really didn't care where she came from or any of her back story, I cared about where she was going. Her desire to get the 'Clean Slate' program seemed be just another game to her. Even if she did wipe her identity as Selina Kyle could she give up who she is? Hathaway held her own against some serious heavy weights and stole the scene almost every time. I know that this was Nolan's last film, but if they were to do another Catwoman film I would love to see this version of Catwoman/Selina Kyle.

Tom Hardy as Bane was one of the best performance's I have seen next to Heath Ledger's Joker. Not only did this man use physical fear to bring people in line, he was unbelievably charismatic to bring people under his sway and get them to do anything for him, even die in plane crashes or kill themselves without revealing anything.  Due to the theater I was in it was hard at times to understand some of Bane's speeches, but the scene where he just kicked the snot out of Batman and Bane's men look away speaks volumes how terrified they are of this man. (Just a small geek moment for me-Bane's right hand man was played by Josh Stewart who plays William LaMontage Jr on Criminal Minds and I had a small fan girl sqee)

I was half spoiled/half guessed that Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) was Talia al Ghul and the surprise of her turning against Bruce was sort of ruined for me, but the character was another one that was fun to watch on screen trying to finish her father's work of ruining Gotham. I have to give this character credit for waiting over eight years to have her revenge. It speaks to the type of character she is and if they were to have a movie just about her and how she came to be I would like to see it. 

If someone had told me years ago that the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun would become a great blockbuster star and be in a Batman movie I would have laughed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the best casting choice for this role and all the scenes he had with Gordon and Bruce were just great to see. I'm still not sure how I feel about him figuring out that Bruce was Batman all on his own when he was younger when no one else ever had.

The best moments in this movie come between Bruce, Alfred and Gordon. All three of these men are trying to come back from the darkness and the lies they told to protect what they loved and it's clear the emotional toll it has taken on them. The scenes between Alfred and Bruce were almost heartbreaking to watch. The moment were Alfred tells Bruce that he wishes he hadn't come back to Gotham because he wanted him to be happy was even more heartbreaking than when he finally tells him the truth about Rachel's letter. The moment when Gordon sees the repaired Bat Signal was touching, even though he wasn't physical there it was Bruce's way of telling Gordon that they were still friends and that he could still count on the Batman.

This was the perfect way to wrap up the series and I love the fact that even though we get a passing of torch we get a perfect wrap up and for once Bruce gets a happy ending by hanging up the cowl and had this been in the hands of any other director I don't think this would have been handled as well and wouldn't have been as satisfying. 

Thank you for following the series. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Six-Batman Begins and The Dark Knight

So after the mind numbing badness of Batman and Robin people were done with non animated Batman movies for what is a long time in entertainment and movie time. The only good thing to come from Batman and Robin was that we have our current series of films and since these films are recent I'm not going to do the summary, I'm just going to give my feelings and thoughts on these two films.

At first I really had no desire to see Batman Begins. I just didn't care and wasn't interested since it was first leaked around has Batman 5. I honestly didn't pay any attention to any of the hype going on since I was in school full time,work part time and a bad case of personal BS. It wasn't until my dad offered to take me and my than boyfriend (now husband) to go see it and I never turn down free movies. Holy shit...this is what happens when I don't pay attention to the hype, I'm treated to a surprise and a great movie. I have to give Nolan credit for making a Batman movie for people who haven't read a single comic from the series or who might not of had a clue who Batman was. This was the perfect blend of intro/reboot. I still enjoy the 1st Batman from 1989, but this had a much better story that would be easy for a non comic/superhero fan to follow and they actually have emotion and heart in the story that make you think instead of the dumb fun that was found in the 89 Batman. 

I love the fact that were treated to the building of the relationship between Gordon and Batman, something that was never really addressed in the other films and we build on the corrupt police department aiding the mob and gangs that was briefly touched on in the 89 film, but not brought to a good conclusion or really built up. I also enjoy the fact that we see Bruce not only becoming Batman, but creating the persona of a rich playboy so that when people look at him they don't see anything worthwhile in him. Bale did an amazing job playing the three parts of Batman- Rich, Out On the Town Bruce, Batman and the Bruce that we see when he's not the other guy. Keaton did a good job playing the normal Bruce, but he lacked the other two parts and well let's not talk about the other two Batman's. 

The only weak link in the first one is Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes. I just don't care for Katie Holmes so it was hard to lose myself in her character. She just felt silly and out of place next to all her male counterparts who took each scene and owned it. Every time she was on screen I just wanted her to go away.

On the other hand I paid attention to all the hype around The Dark Knight and by the time is came out I didn't go and see it because I didn't want to deal with the crowds going to see it and I wanted to watch it after the hype went down to see if it was as good as everyone was going on about. Somehow I managed to stay spoiler free until the movie came out on Blu-ray and I was able to enjoy it at home. This is so far my favorite in the Nolan series and close to being my favorite Batman movie overall. 

Since I paid attention to the hype surrounding The Dark Knight I was treated to all the first wave bitching about casting Heath Ledger as the Joker, the changes made to his back story and the re-casting of Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes. I couldn't count how many times I had to listen to some uber fan boy cry foul about this re-imagining of the Joker and back story. I listened to whining about how Heath Ledger was a rom-com guy and had no business rubbing make up on his face and playing Joker. Than the trailers came out and than Heath Ledger passed the uber fan boys did a massive turn around really quick after the trailers and his passing. Suddenly enough praise couldn't be given to his performance and the re-telling of his story. Now I'm not saying that his performance doesn't deserve the praise, he is amazing to watch on screen and if I hadn't of know that was Heath Ledger I would have been surprised. He disappeared into that role and I lost myself in that character. I do wonder though if he hadn't of passed would he gotten the same praise, what work would he being now and would it have been as good as this performance? 

The other bitch I heard, but not as loudly was the re-casting of Rachel Dawes. I really hadn't seen enough of Maggie Gyllenhaal's work to form any opinion of her so I walked into this movie with a clean slate and I like her. One compliant I heard was that she wasn't as pretty as Holmes and to that I say 'Who gives a shit?' She actually felt like a fleshed out character that could actually act and be equal with her male counterparts and compared to vapid girls of Batman's past I say yeah. 

I think I did the right thing waiting until the buzz had died down so I could watch the movie without a lot of people pressuring me to like it. The story was one that caught your attention and held it the whole time, even the sub-plots held your attention and that is saying something. All the actors in this film were amazing to watch and I know a lot of people were buzzing for a Oscar nod for Ledger, but I felt that Aaron Eckhart should have gotten a nod for something. This guy made you like him from the second he stepped onto the screen and to watch him slowly turn from the nice guy to the disfigured killer is a huge leap and he did it so well and without missing a beat. His turn to being a 'bad guy' felt like it should happen and even when he was the bad guy you still felt sorry for him and wanted him to come back.I'm going to see The Dark Knight Risestomorrow after I leave work...I hate dealing with crowds at movies so this is the best way I know to go see a movie. In the afternoon on a weekday. So far I've managed a media black out about movie details and look forward to 

Both these films had a great story, great dialogue, the way they built each relationship felt real and they made you feel for each character and never once do you feel cheated or short changed with any of the story or plot points. I know that a Batman reboot might happen in a few years so that Warner Brothers can do a Justice League movie, but I think they're going to be hard pressed to top the story telling in this series.

We're nearing the end of our review project and I hope people have enjoy reading the series. I'm going to see The Dark Knight Risestomorrow after I leave work...I hate dealing with crowds at movies so this is the best way I know to go see a movie. In the afternoon on a weekday. So far I've managed a media black out about movie details and look forward to seeing the final chapter.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Five-Batman and Robin

Before I start this blog, I feel that a moment needs to be taken to address the tragedy that happened yesterday during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. My thoughts are with the people who simply wanted to go out and enjoy a movie with friends and family. I haven't gone to a midnight showing in years, but it's no different than going to a con or a concert. It's all about the experience and having a good time with a group of like minded people. It's just a sad day in general. So far there doesn't seem to be a lot of finger waving or general blame games being hurled about. We shouldn't blame the media, religion, politics, or any other standard that goes up when events like this occur. This was the cruel act of a very ill person and as of this moment I say we focus on the victims and their families members. Let's focus on the healing....and laughter is the best cure in my book so I hope that people get a laugh or two out of this.

It's been years since I've seen Batman and Robin and I'm starting to remember why...because it is a bad movie. Sweet cream Jesus this movie is bad and I don't understand why it's so bad. I remember being really excited for this movie when it was announced since it was going to have two of my favorite characters in it: Bat-girl and Poison Ivy. Finally we were going to get some female leads again other than Bruce's love interest for a change and the 12 year old girl I was so happy.  Than I went and saw the movie and I honestly have no memory of how I felt when I walked out of the theater. I remember being really excited and than it was like I lost two hours of my life and than I went shopping my mother's birthday. I just watched it last night and I can't remember what the hell happened. 

So Batman Forever was a huge success so the heads a Warner Brothers decided to fast track a sequel. Schumacher was quickly re-hired to director, however Kilmer was not ask to renew his role as Batman since Schumacher found him difficult to work with the first time around. Schumacher also decided to pay homage to the campy Batman of the 1960's with this film and even the actors on set found it difficult to work under. Chris O'Donnell would later go on to say- " It just felt like everything got a little soft the second time. On Batman Forever, I felt like I was making movie. The second time, I felt like I was making a kid's toy commercial."  According to John Glover who played Dr. Jason Woodrue, Schumacher would sit on his crane and before each take tell the actors that they were making a cartoon. Comparing this to the Batman Animated Series is like comparing a really expensive sport car to a rusted out school bus. I would rather watch a cartoon than watch this again, at least the cartoon as a plot.

People have gone of to say some of the harsh reviews and bashing of this movie stems from some the homoerotic innuendo in the film, I honestly didn't see it has a twelve year old and has twenty seven year old I really didn't care if it was there or wasn't there. I cared that the story was lacking and the characters were boring and I don't understand how they could be boring. Mr. Freeze is one of the best villains in Batman's Rouge Gallery and he could have carried the movie solo. Poison Ivy is a fun femme fatale who doesn't need a man to do her work and let's not even get started on Bane. Bat-girl we finally get Bat-girl and I hated her...they made my 12 year old self hate Alica Silverstone. I was the biggest fan girl of Clueless and they made me hate her. The actors have actually apologized for ruining Batman this movie was that bad we once again open up with no really build up, we're just thrown into the movie with Batman and Robin getting ready and close up and butt cheeks and cod-pieces. Not funny. God I can't even remember what happened and I just watched it last night. So they go off to do battle with Mr. Freeze and I guess this is their first encounter with him, but for some unknown reason they have built in ice skates and heat lasers and god this movie sucked. Mr. Freeze is supposed be a tragic villain, he was trying to save his wife and was 'killed' by his boss in a lab accident and wants revenge on his boss. Paul Dini who wrote the Batman Animated Series episode Heart of Ice admitted to crying when he wrote it since it was so sad what happened to this man who just wanted to save his loved one. This is the stuff that those Twilight fan girls eat up, this story should make you feel sorry for this guy. Instead we get Arnold Schwarzenegger tossing off one liners about cold and freezing. If I had been running against Arnold for Governor all my campaign ad's would have been clips from this movie and asking the people if we really want this guy running our state. So they fight Mr. Freeze and his Mighty Duck rejects and Freeze gets away in a rocket ship....what the French Toast. I think I started playing Triple Town at this point in time. So Mr. Freeze is going to let his rocket ship crash and Batman says it will kill thousands if he does, however Batman and Robin blow it up so I'm confused and than I think there was some sky diving and surfing going on, the effects are just really bad and not getting my attention.  So they fight and Mr. Freeze uses his freeze ray on Robin and than tells Batman how to save him. Face-palm and I start working on a new high score.

We than cut to South American were Dr. Pamela Isley is working on trying to make an animal/plant cross breed so that plants can fight back...and totally throw off the whole eco system I don't know what is going on. She's upset that the project isn't working and she thinks it's because her boss keeps taking her venom samples for his own projects. She hears something from his lab and goes to see what it is and it turns out her boss is using part of her research to create super soldiers from South American prisoners and sell them to evil countries. He turns one of this prisoners into Bane. Well of course she confronts her boss, he asks her to join him, she says no and he pushes her into her plants and chemicals thus killing her. Ok if you find out your boss is capable of creating super humans and working with terrorist countries than maybe pissing him off isn't a good idea. Anyone else notice this re-occurring them in the series. Confronting your boss or co-workers will get you killed and sometimes give you awesome powers, but most of the time if just leads to you dying.  So when she comes back she is transformed by the chemicals and venom and able to kill with kiss. She burns down the lab and takes Bane with her to be her henchman. 

Now I really don't care for this version of Poison Ivy. I know the comics based her looks off the late Bettie Page, but this is supposed to be one of the really smart villains in Batman and she's so annoying in this role. This lady teams up with no one and suddenly she takes Bane has her lackey. She doesn't need them she's more than capable of handling things and like I said we're not going to talk about Bane, another very smart villain reduced to a very dumb role. It was like they decided to take three of the smartest Batman villains and make them stupid.

So other stuff happens and we're introduced to Alfred's niece Barbara and I don't even want to figure out the time line for her family since Alfred is like eighty and she's only twenty at the most so how old is her mother. I was more than a little annoyed at this change in the story. Barbara is supposed to be Gordon's daughter and they actually could have used this to show some relationship between Gordon and Batman since the other three movies have forgotten that part of the story, instead this sub plot is just shoved in for reasons unknown.

I'm sure other stuff happens, but I can't remember. I can normally remember what happens in these movies even two or three days later, but this time I'm just drawing a blank since I was so bored the whole time. We'll just cut to one of the dumber scenes in the movie. So in order to trap Mr. Freeze who uses diamonds to power his suit Bruce Wayne is going to loan one of his family diamonds to a charity auction and somehow he got Batman and Robin to attend. I'm starting to think the people of Gotham know that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but no one wants to hurt his feelings. did a rather funny video about this so go check that out. The auction is going on and than suddenly Poison Ivy is stripping out of a monkey suit and walking on oily half naked guys and seducing the crowd with her magic pixie dust. She than gets the guys bidding on her and than Batman and Robin start bidding over her and I feel dumber just writing this...Batman pulls out a Batman credit card. "Never leave the Cave without it!" Really who the hell thought this was funny none of this is funny. The 1960's Batman was funny, this is just stupid and boring and it made my head hurt. Freeze shows up and is captured and tossed in Arkham and I'm really sorry for H.P Lovecraft being referenced in this movie.

 More stuff happens and we find out Alfred is dying....really where the hell did this come from. It turns out that Alfred has the same illness that Mr. Freeze's wife has and of course he has the cure for the stage that Alfred has. But before they can go and talk to him, Poison Ivy and Bane break him and and break the laws of Physics by jumping out of the building and going at least a thousand feet down. We're also shown a really out of nowhere scene with Bruce and his new girlfriend. They been dating for almost a year and she still hasn't figured out he's Batman. Normally they find out or figure it out within a few weeks, but I guess Bruce finally got a dumb girlfriend for a change and she asks him to marry her and he doesn't response and why is her. We get no set up for her, no story closure and no explanation of what happened to Chase. We couldn't even get a one liner about what happened? 

I'm just going to skip to the end because even writing this bores me to tears. The guys are still fighting over Poison Ivy, Barbara figures out that the guys are Batman and Robin and despite being on his death bed Alfred still finds time to make her not one, but two costumes plus all the gadgets that go with it. This guy is devoted. So they beat Poison Ivy and Bane, Mr. Freeze turns a giant telescope into a freeze ray they beat him and than I fell asleep. I'm serious I fell asleep with only ten minutes in the movie left. It was like my brain shut itself down to cope with what I was watching and than I woke up to the credits. No I did not go back and re-watch the last ten minutes because I don't think my psyche could handle it. I think if I could have watched this is group with a few drinks it would have been funnier, but I was sober and my husband was playing The Secret World and didn't want to watch the train wreck.

I will give it some credit, had this not happened we wouldn't have the amazing Nolan films we have today.

Next time-Batman Begins and The Dark Knight

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Four-Batman Forever

Ok, I'm just going to be honest right now about my feelings towards Batman Forever and I'm ready for the abuse. I like this's a totally guilty pleasure movie. If I'm home on a Saturday afternoon doing some chores and this is on TV I will watch it while folding clothes or have it on has background noise. This movie kind of makes me feel like I'm ten again going to movies with dad and so it has a special place in my heart. However, I am willing to admit that this movie is flawed, campy and over the top a lot of the time, but it still holds a special place in my geek heart.

So after Batman Returns came out a lot of parent groups complained that this take on Batman was not something they wanted their children to see and were upset that such an 'adult' take on Batman was being marketed to children. (Clearly my parents didn't care...) Even though Batman Returns made a ton of money the heads at Warner Brothers figured even more money could be made if they branched out to a wider audience and made the series more 'family friendly'. With that in mind, Burton was moved to a producer role and Joel Schumacher was brought in to direct the film. Schumacher actually wanted to reboot the whole series or do a prequel based on Batman: Year One, but Warner Brothers said no. Keaton was offered $15 million to play the role, but he turned it down since he was unhappy with the direction the series was move. Johnny Depp, Ralph Fiennes and William Baldwin were all in the running to replace Keaton, but Val Kilmer was cast after Schumacher saw his work in Tombstone. Tommy Lee Jones was offered the part of Two-Face after his work with Schumacher on The Client even though Billy Dee Williams played Harvey Dent in the first Batman and was really looking forward to being Two-Face in the sequel. Jones only took the role because it was his son's favorite character.  Marlon Waynes was also cast and had actually signed to play Robin in this film after he was cut from Batman Returns. However, they decided to replace him for reasons unknown....Waynes says it was because they wanted somebody white to play Robin...(I think he was joking...maybe). Leonardo DiCaprio was in the running, but lost out to Chris O'Donnell.

So our movie opens up with really no set up at all has Batman (Val Kilmer) is already to go and stop crime. It's revealed that Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) has taken a bank hostage and killed two people. Ok let's back up...I know how Two-Face was created, but does everybody else know his story? Harvey Dent/Two-Face is a really interesting character and we really don't get any sort of back story on him. It's just 'Poof' here's our bad guy and the conflict. The animated series told a better back story than a major motion picture. We actually saw in the animated series that he and Bruce were friends, that he was having rage control issues that caused a split in his personality and that Bruce/Batman actually feels really horrible that he failed to help his best friend in his time of need. This was a two hour movie and this could have all been explained in a five to ten minute flashback. Instead we're just introduced to the character and I will give credit were it is due, Jones's delivery of Two-Face's opening monologue is fun to watch and his reveal and look is close to the animated series look, well the cartoon type look is there.... but why is he so pink? For 1995 the make-up is ok, it really doesn't hold up though compared to movie make up effects today.

Batman gets to scene and we're also introduced to Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). She's there to help the Gotham PD profile Two-Face...or get under Batman's cape I'm really not sure what she's trying to do. I will give admit though it was fun to see one of Batman's love interest let us know right out of the gate that's she's crazy. So after a really long action scene that ends with Two-Face crashing his helicopter into the Statue of Liberty or a very close look alike...seriously when did Gotham get the Statue of Liberty? Two-Face jumps out with a parachute and Batman just falls into the ocean and both live to fight another day.

The next morning we get to see Bruce Wayne doing Bruce Wayne stuff as he makes a visit to one of his offices that deals in technology and we're introduced to Edward Nygam or Jim Carrey. This casting brings up another glaring issue with this film. Even when I was kid watching this I didn't see Edward Nygam or the Riddler, I saw Jim Carrey and if you think about it too much it can take you out of the film. Carrey doesn't give a bad performance, he's simply doing what is asked of him and at times he can be fun to watch, I think the reason I didn't care for him is that I'm not a Riddler fan so take my thoughts on this with a grain of salt. So Nygam has an idea for a device that would manipulate the brain waves and beam the TV show right into your head, it's like 3D on crack.  The interaction between Nygam and Wayne is really awkward to watch, the comics show the Riddler has a very smart and collected person, this guy comes off almost like manic pixie dream girl trying to get the boy of her dreams to pay attention to them and the line reading from Kilmer is kind of dry, monotone and at times comes off a little douche-like, but for the most part he's just boring to watch. Needless to say Wayne's rejection of his dream project doesn't go well and thus sets up our second bad guy.

Bruce is called away by the Bat Signal and goes to meet with Gordon only to find Dr. Meridian there trying to get under his cape. He informs her that the Bat Signal is not for booty calls...yeah he's sees that she's crazy and maybe he'll stay away from her. Seriously she's supposed to be a well respected doctor and she's throwing herself at Batman like a drunken prom date saying she wants to help him.  No bad female lead...bad...I know we all have needs, but come on it's taking it to a whole different level when you start using the Bat Signal to get a date. So Batman flees into the night as Gordon shows up in his PJ's trying to figure out why the doctor he called in to help profile a killer is dressed like a Victoria's Secret's model playing with the Bat Signal.

On the other side of the plot Nygam is working on his 3D Blender. (seriously it looks like a blender with a glow stick) Which of course he's found out by his boss, this leads to knocking his boss out and using him to try out his new toy, and than we find out that his 3D Blender can suck things out of your mind and Nygam gets them and it makes him smarter. I don't even know how that works, but ok whatever plot. So after threatening the crazy man who tied him up and used him like a lab rat, the boss is killed by being thrown out of a window and falling into a giant waterfall. They really need to start using a shatter proof glass in these offices, less people would be killed if they did.

The next morning Bruce is watching the news and this is when we get our 20 second explanation of why Two-Face wants Batman dead. Dent was questioning a mob boss, mob boss managed to sneak acid in and toss it at Dent, Batman tried to save him and failed....why not kill the mob guy or the dude who didn't do the check right before he got into court or maybe Two Face did and we don't know since developing character isn't important. So Bruce gets a call that their was an accident at the office. Bruce goes to work and the cops are trying to figure out why the manager guy jumped out a window. Nygam forges a letter and somehow doctors the security cam footage to make it look like he jumped and since he fell into a giant waterfall the body will never be found. Oh it's so perfect. So Bruce is confused about why someone would kill themselves at his office and finds that he's been left a present in the shape of riddle. I will say whoever was in charge of making those pop up stalker cards did a good job and I will give him props for making them.

So we're than treated to Nygam making another pop up stalker card and than he drives out to the middle of nowhere and tapes to the gates of Wayne Manor. I find it a little hard to believe that Bruce doesn't have cameras at the front gate of his house, considering he had them in his own home in the 1st movie. But this handy little detail gives Bruce a reason to go visit Dr. Meridian. Oh Bruce when will you learn to stay away from the crazy ones? So this interaction is a little funny to watch, she gives off the vibe that she can't stand him and it's more than just because he broke her office door. She just seems annoyed that he's there and questioning her diagnosis about his stalker all the while Bruce is tripping over himself to ask her out. Despite the fact he broke into her office and she seems to not care about him she agrees to go out with him to a charity circus event.

Now I know a lot of people complain about the color scheme of this movie, but for this scene all the really bright neon colors make sense here. It's a circus with clowns and the like it should be loud and colorful. Plus this movie seems to actually move around Gotham unlike our last movie where we seemed confined to a few places. We're introduced to the Flying Grayson's...oh no I know where this going already even when I was ten I knew nothing good was about to happen here. Despite that this is a really cool scene to watch, Mitch Gaylord was Chris O'Donnell's stunt double in this scene and this is a guy who won Olympic metals back in 1984 so to watch him perform is just amazing even it's only for a few seconds. Of course someone has to ruin all the fun we're having and Two-Face shows up and takes everybody hostage with a huge bomb until someone comes forward with Batman. So they start raising the bomb to the top of the arena and hey the Flying Family thinks they can do something so they start trying to get the bomb out of the tent. Meanwhile Bruce is the only person to start kicking some bad guy ass and no one finds this odd not even Gordon comes to help him and he's the police. So Dick gets the bomb and starts to get it out and Two-Face notices that someone is messing with his bomb and...well falling over 70 feet when you're not set up to be the love interest is always bad. (Seriously Catwoman was pushed out of a window well over 70 feet and landed in some snow and only went crazy....maybe the snow was padding) So after saving all the rich and powerful of Gotham, Two-Face gets away after murdering the family who saved everybody leaving Dick an orphan. I feel a scene is missing here...the one where Bruce takes Chase home after their 1st date. They seemed to be having a really good time, right up until they were taken hostage, he ditched her to fight bad guys and they watched three people fall to their deaths. How do you set up a second date after that?

The next morning Dick is taken out to Wayne Manor since Bruce agreed to take him in. Now this made scene when Dick was a child in the comics and animated series, in this setting not so much. I'm going to guess that Dick is about seventeen. (a very old looking seventeen) and had been with the circus since he was a kid and no one was willing to look out for him there and when he goes to leave Bruce says the circus must be halfway to Metropolis by than. They didn't even stop to mourn the fact that three long time performers had been brutally killed the night before. That's just cold in my opinion. So Dick wants to track down Two-Face and kill him for what he's done and Bruce talks him out of it with a broken down motorcycle that Dick can keep if he fixes it and stays. The drive to avenge his family is stopped for the time being. We also get some flashbacks from Bruce here about his parent's funeral and he blames himself for what has happened to Dick's family and compares it to his own family's lost. This is cut short when Bruce gets another riddle from his stalker in the mail. Wow these guys are easily distracted from vengeance and brooding by a good side project.

We're also treated to some filler scenes of Nygam trying to work on his bad guy identity and Two-Face trying to kill Batman again until we get to Two-Face's hide out. Somehow using his glow stick blender Nygam found Two-Face's hide out and Two Face is ready to cap him until he offers Two Face a deal, help me get money to fund the glow stick blender and somehow he'll figure out who Batman is. I really don't think Batman has time to watch TV that's on 3D crack, but ok I'll follow along. So we get some more filler scenes between Two-Face and Riddler stealing a bunch of cash and filler of Dick spending time with Alfred at Wayne manor and I find myself enjoying the little interactions between Alfred and Dick more than the bad guys sub plot. The quip about Master Wayne's dead wives behind the locked door and the look on Dick's face was funny and more entertaining than all the filler stealing money scenes.

No one questions where all this money came from to start his company and we're treated to another round of filler scenes has Nygam's company starts and he's sucking the brain waves from Gotham. I never realized before how many filler scenes this movie had until I had to really sit down and think about it. They really don't add much to the plot, story or add character development to the movie, it's just there to kill time really. So after all the filler is finished, we're back to Wayne Manor and Dick breaking into the locked room and into the Bat Cave...I never realized that Alfred just hung out in the Bat Cave when Bruce isn't there, does he take tea down there what is he doing in the Bat Cave? And were is Bruce?

He's either on a date or having a session with Chase, it's hard to tell. They seem to have being seeing each other for awhile which even though we don't see them it makes the idea of them having a relationship some what more believable than the prior love interest who only had one date with him. So they're talking about Bruce's repressed memories and he sees all her Batman Fanfiction and has a little hissy fit about her work. She explains that she's fascinated by why he does what he does and she needs to know why. The moment starts to get tender but is interrupted by Alfred paging Bruce on his watch cam like he's James Bond right in front of Chase and she doesn't seem at all interested in the fact that her boyfriend has a wrist cam and is talking with his British butler about how Bruce's ward has disappeared and stolen a car.

Somehow Dick has stolen the Batmobile and is using it to pick up hookers. I just want to know how he found the keys and why Alfred didn't stop him? Hooker pick up is interrupted by a damsel in distress and Dick leaves the Batmobile with the hood open and keys inside and none of the hookers thought to take it. I'm disappointed in these hookers. Dick gets into a fight with the lesser version of the Insane Clown Posse and is about to get his ass handed to him when Batman shows up and saves him. Dick repays his savior by trying to punch him in the face for getting his family killed. They go back to Wayne Manor were Dick explains that all he wants is to avenge his family and all he thinks about is killing Two-Face. (He must have finished that bike) He asks Bruce to train him to be his partner. This goes over like a lead balloon and Bruce tells him no.

We than jump cut to Bruce, Chase and Dick going to a Nygam-tech party has a new version of the glow stick blender is about to come out that beams images into your brain. We're treated to another awkward scene of Bruce and Nygam interaction and even Nygam hitting on Chase and her going off with him to dance. Why....I don't know? So Bruce is tricked into using the machine and while this is going on Two-Face breaks into the party, tried of waiting for his partner to delivery the goods and wants Batman. So Bruce sneaks out and has a Batsuit hidden in the car. Dick also sees what is going down and sneaks out too and has his own suit in the car. The bad guys are really getting sloppy about watching the exits and that car has a lot of room. Batman comes in and saves Chase and they kiss, she clearly forgot she came with a date and tells him to come to her place at midnight. Batman takes off after Two-Face only to end up in a death trap almost buried alive, until Dick comes to his rescue. We're taken back to the Batcave where Bruce is being patched up...did he go back to the party to let Chase know he was ok? Seriously every time you two have gone on a public date people die or get taken hostage don't you talk about that? Dick is once again begging Bruce to train him. This scene would actually be moving if the line delivery was better on Bruce's part.

 Bruce presents what his life is like since he sought vengeance on the killer and how it is just soul crushing at times and it never ends and Dick doesn't care and he won't stop until he gets Two-Face. Dick leaves and Bruce scolds Alfred for encouraging Dick. Alfred explains that he needs someone to help him through this and that Bruce should know that better than anyone. Bruce is confused about Chase she seems to want Batman more than him and Alfred encourages him to go to her. So Batman goes to Chase and he's ready to let her have him and she tells him she loves someone else. Wow this lady is tease, but Batman doesn't care and leaves with a really creepy smile on his face.

Two-Face is mourning the fact that his death trap didn't work and that Batman got out alive. Riddler cheers him up with the fact that he has figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman with the help of the glow stick blender 2.0. On the other side the plot Bruce is telling Dick that he is giving up being Batman for Chase and the chance for a normal life. He plans on telling her everything and he wishes Dick luck. Dick takes his costume and his fixed bike and rides into the night. Chase comes over for dinner and Alfred is passing out Halloween candy to children who clearly walked miles with no parents to get some candy. This works out great for Two-Face and Riddler they now have a way to trick an old man into opening a door. Bruce is in the process of spilling everything to his girlfriend/shrink and just has she figures out he's Batman they are rudely interpreted by Two-Face and his gang. Riddler breaks into the Batcave and blows it up while Two-Face's gang is getting their asses kicked by Bruce and Chase. Two-Face sits off to the side flipping his coin and flipping it until it gives him the ok to kill Bruce. Now he flips it repeatedly which is going against his character, once it said no that should have been it. But he keeps doing it until he gets the answer he wants and he shoots his best friend and really doesn't seem to care. The bullet grazes him and he falls down a marble staircase. Two-Face is ready to finish the job as the goons grab Chase, but Riddler stops him and leaves another clue for Bruce.

Bruce wakes up later...Alfred should have gone to medical school considering how many times he's fixed him up and tells Bruce that the cave is ruin, Chase has been taken and Dick ran away. What a way to wake a guy up Alfred, why don't you tell him his dog died while your at it? So they sit down with the riddles and figure out that Nygam is the Riddler. So somehow only one Batsuit remains and the Bat-plane and Bat-Boat survived. Oh hey look who's's Dick in a much better suit with the R for Robin. Alfred also should have gone into being a a fashion designer since he just whipped that costume up while Bruce was out.

So let's just cut to the end shall we, our heroes go to take out the bad guys, they get split up, Robin gets a chance to kill Two-Face and has a change of heart and gets taken by Two-Face, Batman has to choose between Robin and Chase and manages to save them both by breaking the giant glow stick blender driving Nygam crazy. Two-Face goes to kill them and has second thoughts since Bruce is his I wish we could have worked that into the whole story. He goes to flip for it and Batman tosses a bunch of coins into the air and Two-Face falls to his death much like Robin's family and Robin seems pleased with karma and gravity. Our movie ends with Riddler locked up in Arkham and telling Chase that he is Batman. Chase tells Bruce that his secret is safe and they kiss while Alfred looks on creepy like and the Duo goes on to fight crime. The end...

I know I have poked fun at this movie the entire review, but I still love it despite it's flaws. I chalk it up to nostalgic reasons that this movie makes me feel like a kid again. It's just plain don't think about it fun like the 1st movie. I like the fact that we see more of Gotham this time despite that fact it looks like a neon glow stick blew up in town. The dialogue in this actually good, it just not deliver well or with a lot of emotion. The story could have been worked on had we dropped some of the filler scenes and focused more on Bruce's relationships with the people in his life. I do miss Danny Elfman's score, but the soundtrack is still fun to listen too. I am guilty of listening to Kiss from a Rose on repeat when I was kid and watching the music video a lot when MTV still had music videos. All in all this isn't a bad watch if you want to kill two hours and I find this one to be more child friendly than Batman Returns and would let my nieces and nephews watch it and not worry about it being overly violent.

Next time....oh and Robin review.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Three: Batman Returns parents really did not care what I watched as a child. I just finished watching this and I should not have been allowed to watch this when I was seven. This movie really did not like women or children and god it's creepy at times and filled with plot holes. Holy Plot Holes Batman!!! Now this isn't a bad movie, I think if I had just shut my mind off and watched it just for fun I would have loved this like I was seven again. But, I was watching it to review it so I was thinking about it and that's what was bugging me.

So after Batman made a crap ton of money, Warner Brothers wanted to strike while the iron was still hot and in 1990 they started planning a sequel. However, trouble started right off the bat when Burton wasn't sure if he wanted to come back and went to direct Edward Scissorhands. He only agreed to come back if the script was good and was granted more creative freedom. After several re-writes that included-Robin,  Catwoman and Penguin hunting for hidden treasure or Penguin freezing Gotham (that sound familiar to anyone) Burton came back and filming started in 1991. 

The movie also went through several issues of cast changes. Keaton only came back after a pay increase. (He made $10 million dollars) and it went through several ladies wanting to play Catwoman. Annette Bening was originally picked, but than she caught a case of getting knocked up and had to drop out. Madonna, Cher, and Susan Sarandon were just a few of the names that tried out for the role. Thankfully we got Michelle Pfeiffer. Marlon Waynes was also supposed to be in the movie playing a street punk who fixed cars and was supposed to be our Robin in the series and even went in for a fitting, but was shelved until the next film. 

So this movie starts off with what would happen if Paul Rubens and Diana Salinger had a baby. Now even when I was kid this movie scared me a little and just reinforces that my parents didn't care what I watched...they put a baby in a cage and it eats a cat in front of a Christmas tree and his parents don't even blink. Oh the numbing effects of booze on parents in the 1960's. So they opt for the most humane way of killing their child, tossing it off a bridge, into freezing cold water and locked in a baby carriage. Really....I'm not for baby death, but this seems really complex and un-needed. Somehow like Moses our little bad guy floats around the sewer and ends up at the zoo. Who made this sewer system by the way? He never ends up at a waste water plant?

So our movie cuts to 1992 and the newspaper crier....oh by the way don't you love the fact that Gotham still has newspaper criers shouting about the 'Penguin-man' in the sewers? With all the press activity in this film it does suck that we don't get Knox back. ^_^ Our camera than pans up a billion stories to where a late night business meeting is going on between our newest mayor and Max Shreck (Christoper Walken) He's a business man, who looks to own a chain of department type stories and he's pushing some sort of power plant in Gotham. It really makes no sense why he wants this power plant, but he's willing to do anything to have it including threatening to impeach the mayor to have his power plant. That's not the best way to go about getting what you want is it...threatening the guy who has the power to give you what you want? 

We're also introduced to Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), Shreck's personal assistant. Now in the animated series and comic, Selina is just a cat burglar stealing for the fun of it or to help others in need. This Selina is someone we can relate to, the broken down office lady. She's a sadder version of Milton from Office Space and is clearly mistreated by everyone in her life: from her boss to people leaving messages on her her machine.

Shreck and The Mayor go to light a Christmas tree and we are treated to some great acting by Walken. I mean this guy is giving a speech about Christmas and how he wishes he could do more for the people of Gotham and he is just a treat to watch with how monotone he is. I'm pretty sure I've had more emotion ordering cake, but it's Walken so it's fun times! In fact I really don't even see a character I see Walken. Than we get a giant wrapped box from nowhere!!! Really where the hell did that come from? With the Joker it made sense where he got his stuff he was a mob guy with connections. The Penguin has the Insane Clown Posse doing his bidding and I don't see where they get their money. 

So the last movie didn't feel like a Burton film...this feels like a Burton film here. Really the only thing missing is Johnny D. So the Insane Clown Posse comes out and starts killing folks, wanting to kidnap Walken and giving me nightmares for years to come. Oh and the guy who plays his son Chip is just as wooden as the father, but no where near the fun level of Walken. So Walken runs away and no one goes after him. (Weren't they there for him?) Gordon decides it's time to turn on the Bat Signal and we get one of the coolest shots in the movie. The Bat Signal lights up Wayne Manor and there sits Keaton looking like a bad ass! Yeah!!!!! This movie is a lot darker than the first one and if you had any doubts about that it's confirmed when Batman shows up and sets a man on fire. Batman flat out killed somebody. He didn't drop him or kill him in a fight defending himself, he turned his car around and set a dude on fire. Damn that was cold Batman...

In the chaos poor Selina is taken hostage, but saved by Batman. Oh she is so cute and awkward to watch and he just gives her this whatever look and walks away. This poor lady is shit on by everyone in life, even the dude who saves her. But she does get an awesome stun gun out of it. Meanwhile Batman and Gordon are talking about how the Red Triangle Gang is back in town and Batman promises to get to the bottom of it and than the Mayor realizes that the blackmailing Walken is gone and ponders where he is. Despite just walking away from his kidnappers they seem to know where he is and kidnap him.

He wakes up surrounded by carnival people, penguins and Danny DeVito. This is where I've heard a great deal of complaining when people talk about this movie. In the 1960's TV version and most comics pre-dating this movie The Penguin is a smooth crime lord who is short, fat, likes birds and carries spiffy umbrellas around. This version of Penguin is just gross looking and you want to cringe watching him on screen. DeVito doesn't give a bad performance, the problem is he is just so out there and freaky looking you don't want to watch him. But this performance and look has been the one to stick with people the most and has influenced how animators have drawn The Penguin in the animated series and comic books since. You actually feel a little for Penguin in this scene when he's asking Walken for help finding his parents and getting back to the normal world. For a brief moment he seems like someone you can feel sorry for, unlike the Joker who was just crazy. When Walken says no that second of feeling sorry for him goes away and he reveals himself to be a very smart man bird person who has a shit ton of dirt on him, including a chopped up former business partner. After that lovely Christmas present Walken agrees to help. (Wow my parents really didn't care what I was watching when I was a kid.)

Meanwhile we cut back to poor Seline who has gone back to work to help prep for a very important meeting that Walken has with Bruce Wayne about his power plant project and Oh No someone found the hidden files about how the power plant really isn't a power plant. Whatever could this mean for her? The scene between her and Walken is actually really good. "How can you be so mean to someone so meaningless?" is really sad. She really thinks of herself as a meaningless person and she actually seems scared of Walken. Than we get a scene that breaks the laws of physics and gives us another plot hole. Walken pushes her out of a window that is we're going to say is at least twenty stories up and she lands in an alley with a light dusting snow. Now I know this is movie and surviving at fall from that height is not an issue, despite the fact a normal person would have been pancake batter in the alley. That's not it at all...the issue is Walken leaves her 'body' there. It was already set up that this is a man who leaves nothing out to be found, from shredding documents to chopping up old business partners this is a guy who ties up all loose ends. He simply looks down at her, the broken window and shrugs...someone has to fix that window. Plus I know Gotham is a dirty and crime ridden city, but someone is bound to notice said dead lady in the alley unless dead ladies are just an everyday thing in Gotham. After living through that she somehow manages to get home and this scene is epic, the trashing of her over the top cute apartment...those poor stuffed animals and creating her Catwoman outfit. So aren't neighbors in Gotham the worst, Vicki Vale had gun shots going off in her apartment and Seline is in her apartment screaming and trashing shit and no one seems to call the police or even check up on her. I don't know my neighbors, but if I heard them screaming I would call the cops at least.

So the next morning the Mayor is trying to fix this mess in a PR stunt in front of the big Christmas tree with his wife and baby sitting next to him. Oh cute baby...wait what is that clown not the baby!!!! Oh god you can't do flips with a baby. God this movie hates children they are always ending up in sewers. So this is another PR stunt created by Walken and Penguin where the Penguin is waiting with a giant rubber duck to come up to the surface. Really where does he get this stuff? So after the baby is returned Penguin becomes a local celebrity and asks to have access to City Hall's birth records so he can find his parents and talk with them. Really how would that chat go?

"Hey remember me? I'm the kid you tossed in a sewer and left to die..." Seriously how do you go talking to these people. Bruce is watching this press conference from home and hey Batman is in this movie. This is something that people also complain about, the lack of Batman in a Batman movie. They tend to focus more on the bad guys and less on Batman. Batman is not buying the 'I don't know who my family is' story and starts trying to find a link between the carnival people and Penguin. Which he does manage to find and starts stalking his new villain. While Batman is doing this Catwoman is off killing mugger/rapist people and doing back flips. So psychotic breaks cause people to not only be crazy, but you suddenly learn how to kick ass and do backflips. Note to suffer psychotic break so I can learn how to use whips and look hot in black leather.

Seemingly the next morning Penguin has found his parents grave, he forgives them and his local celebrity status reaches new heights and the city loves him. Oh hey Bruce is back to have a meeting with Walken about the power plant thing. So Keaton doesn't want to invest and informs Walken that Penguin is creepy and Walken gets offended I guess and he tells Bruce to leave and hey look who lived through her twenty foot fall and Walken's face is priceless. He is surprised to see he clearly didn't even call anyone to pick up her body. Selina takes Bruce out and Walken confesses to son that should she black mail him he will drop her out a higher window. Did he just confess to his son that he tried to murder his personal assistant?

Bruce and Selina have a brief talk and it's clear that she is out there and Bruce seems to like them crazy. Seriously I could see why Bruce was attracted to Vicki she seemed normal at first. Selina is off her rocker the second you meet her and Bruce wants to ask her out. Bruce really likes them crazy...

So Walken decides to use Penguin as part of his plan to impeach the mayor and place Penguin in the chair of power to get what he wants. This part of the movie was to show not all bad guys have to wear a mask or have to be crazy. This whole scene with Walken setting up Penguin is so bizarre and disturbing. Penguin hits on the female PR lady and than tries to eat the nose off the male PR guy in a room full of people. How do you work for this guy after seeing that? So Walken and Penguin make a plan to whip the town into a frenzy and want to impeach the mayor using the carnival people. 

So they come back to destroy stuff and beat people up and Batman shows up to save the town and blow up bad guys up. Really he takes a bomb, puts it on a bad guy and blows up a bad guy. Bad guy bits everywhere. All the while Catwoman is having fun blowing up the store part of her 'former' boss's store. Batman meets up with Penguin and they have a exchange, but the real shiny moment is when Catwoman comes out of the store doing backflips, up to Batman and Penguin and they have the same WTF looks on their faces looking at her. Building goes boom, bad guys flee and Batman goes after the hot bad guy because even when he's Batman he likes his bitches crazy. 

We get a really good scene between Catwoman and Batman fighting on the roof and I love how Catwoman throws in Batman's face that he hit a girl and he actually goes to help her up. Mind you this is a guy who just blew someone up and he goes to help up the chick who just blew up a building. Oh Batman, who says chivalry is dead? So their fight ends and we cut to the next morning where Penguin is using last nights craziness for his campaign and when he goes back upstairs who should be waiting for other than Catwoman. Now this movie gets credited for the trend of 'super villain team ups' and it works in this movie because it's not what the whole movie is focused on. Catwoman's plan is to frame Batman and Penguin is about trying to kill Batman with his own Batmobile when they are done. Yeah!!!!!

Selina is now having second thoughts about wanting to kill Batman, after all he is hot and she runs into Bruce who clearly has his crazy lady beacon on and finds her. After meeting her once and not even talking to her for twenty minutes and really not having anything in common they agree to go out on a date. Too bad it's on the same night as she is supposed to be helping Penguin kidnap a hussy and help kill Batman. Oh those zany kids it's almost like a 90's sitcom gone wrong. 

So Penguin kidnaps a hussy and manages to kill her by knocking her off a building with bats. Now she only fell about ten stories but somehow this fall kills her. Physics will pick and choose when they want to behave in this world. Clearly bats means that Batman killed her and the people hate him for it. They were totally ok with him blowing up bad guys, but killing hot girls is not allowed. Batman is forced to flee from the cops who just open fire on him. But, oh no his car has been tampered with and Penguin goes back to his trailer that has a little Batmobile in it that controls the real thing. Seriously were did he get that?! Batman manages to punch a hole in the floor of the car and rip out the controller and record what Penguin says about the citizens of Gotham. 

The Batmobile needs repaired and we get this really fun little scene between Alfred about security and Bruce looks at him and reminds him that Alfred broke security when he let Vicki into the Batcave. "I was just sitting there working and it's like oh hey Vicki come on in!"  We never get another Bruce and Alfred scenes in these movies.

So after this Penguin and Walken call a press conference and Batman plays the recording and just as quickly as he rose he falls and they start throwing veggies at him and even Penguin questions where the hell the veggies came from an opens fire on the crowd and runs away. The Gotham police follow and try shooting at him. The Gotham PD will open fire on anybody won't they?  The Penguin jumps back into the sewer and goes back to where he started from. So the grand master plan is relieved and Penguin plans to kill all the 1st born sons of Gotham by drowning them in toxic water. This movie really hated women and children and they even hated Fat Clowns.  RIP Fat Clown...

We get another Bruce/Alfred moment when Bruce is working on the car and Alfred asks Bruce if he wants to attend Walken's X-mas party and he says no. Alfred rips up the invite and than Bruce is like...oh hey maybe hot chick is at the party. The look of brief annoyance on Alfred's face is just great. So we're treated a Christmas Costume party where Super Freak is being played by a band. Oh Tim Burton you funny man. So Selina is there and this scene between them when she tells Bruce that she plans to kill Walken and the kiss is really good and even though these two people really haven't known each other that long they do have some chemistry right here and when they figure out who they really are the looks they give each other and Selina asking if they should start fighting is really good and simple.

Of course this awesomeness can't last long as Penguin blast through the floor riding his rubber ducky of doom, tells the rich folks he's going to murder their children and kidnaps Walken. Now the Insane Clown Posse is kidnapping children and this does not look like the good part of town. Plus these are the rich people so these children must have nannies so what happened to the poor nannies? Batman saves the children and than sends Penguin a cute little note on Batman stationary...I really need some of that. So Penguin sends out his rocket penguins and a rather anti climatic fight scene happens with penguins shooting off little rockets and bats flying out of the Bat Plane and knocking Penguin into the toxic water...that the penguins had just swam in...wait huh.

Walken manages to get out of his bird cage and he falls into the toxic water and instead of drowning him Catwoman pulls him up and he pleads for his life and she's about to kill him when Batman stops her. Walken gives some great WTF faces here when Selina and Bruce are revealing themselves and his line delivery is just great. "You're fired!" Walken tells her....I assumed that she was fired when you pushed out the window, but maybe he needs to make it official with HR. So Walken pulls out a gun that he got off the the dead Fat Clown and shoot Batman and than shoots Catwoman like five times and she still manages to get up and zap Walken with the stun gun of death. Batman gets up and tries to find the bodies only finding Crispy Walken. Sorry I couldn't it. Oh hey there is Penguin and he's spitting up black blood from being in the toxic water and falling a few feet and well his death was lame and gross and he gets put back into the water by large penguins.

Our movie wraps up with Alfred picking up Bruce and Bruce looks so bummed after winning and he sees what he thinks is Catwoman and he makes Alfred stop the car and he only finds a small black cat. Bruce picks up the kitty and plans to head home and we see the Bat Signal and the shadow of Catwoman.

So I know I poked a lot of fun at this movie, but it is a good movie and all the actors gave great performances. It was a bummer that we don't get Keaton and Burton back after this movie because what is coming up next is just makes me sad on the inside. Plus I have to give props to the people who handled the animals on this set. The make up and costuming in this movie still hold up really well. This movie is a good watch if you shut your brain off and don't over think it the way I was for review purposes.

Come back next time, same Bat Blog for Batman Forever!!!!