Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Three: Batman Returns

Wow...my 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 doing...no 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 her...so 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!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Batman Re-watch Project-Part Two-Batman 1989 summary and review

So in the first entry of this project I stated that this version of Batman has taken a beating since the release of Nolan's Batman's and people compare them unfairly for two reasons.

1. The Batman Origin story
2. The Joker. 

Tim Burton really didn't want to go into the background story of Bruce Wayne and wanted to focus more on Batman and the Joker. So in the opening of this film it is rather unclear with how long Batman has been in Gotham City, but it's clear that the criminals of Gotham fear this new 'boogy-man' and the two criminal sitting on the roof talking about him is almost like two little kids comparing scary stories about the monster under the bed. Batman comes in and quickly takes out the two criminals. His entrance and exit is imposing and you could see how the criminals of Gotham would be terrified of this figure.

So we cut to the mayor, Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon (Lee Wallace, Billy Dee Williams and Pat Hingle) at a televised dinner pledging to stop crime and take out the mob.  (By the way it was a nice Easter Egg to see a Bruce Wayne name tag at the head table, but he's missing and no one seems to question it.)   

We than go to Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) watching Dent saying that Gotham is a city for decent people and Napier remark that decent people shouldn't live in Gotham. Now this is where the movie gets compared again to Nolan and gets unfairly shit on. Now when Nolan first announced that Heath Ledger I can't count how many times I heard or read the bitching about this casting. (He's too pretty. What the hell! Jack Nicholson was the best!)  Afterwards, everyone turned around and shit all over Jack Nicholson's performance, mostly that Nicholson was campy, over the top and not scary.

Ok both actors turned in good performances for what they were asked for. Ledger was asked to be a version of madness and chaos unleashed and Nicholson was asked to crazy, murderous and in control. People say this Joker isn't scary...he poisons the city of Gotham with freaking make-up, murders three mob bosses to take over the crime underworld (One of these bosses was killed in the middle of a press conference on the steps of city hall), maims his ex girlfriend and shoots his head guy and kills him. And all the while gloating to the city officials of his crimes and yet he still lures the people of this city to parade where he tries to kill them. How is this not scary to people? This Batman was the first to be serious and this version of the Joker was more to the comics and actually inspired how they used him in the animated series. 

Meanwhile we find that the press is starting to dig around this story. Alex Knox (Robert Wuhl) is at the scene of the latest scene of the Batman sighting. He gets shut down by Lt. Echardt (Williams Hootkins) who is our cop on the take for the mob and meets up with Napier who wants Echardt to keep Dent and the Commissioner away from the mob's business fronts. 

Meanwhile Knox is getting shit from his co-workers about his wanting to find 'The Batman'. Now I like Knox. He seems like a cool guy. I was sort of bummed that we don't see Knox after this movie or a version of him in the Nolan films. He would have been cool to see as a TMZ sort of guy that Batman uses as a mole in the press. So Knox gets the best surprise of his life when he gets a hot girl sitting on his desk. We're now introduced to Vicki Vale. (Kim Basinger)

Now this is one of the only problems I have with the movie. It's not Basinger's performance that is the issue, it's how Vale is written and she flips back and forth. One second she a cool, sassy, smart and independent woman who has a kick ass job and wants in on the Batman story. Than she flips into helpless whiny maiden who needs a saving. We'll go into that later in the movie. Right now let's focus on sassy Vicki.

So Knox wants to talk to Gordon, but isn't having any luck with phone interviews. But he's going to be at a charity function hosted by everyone's favorite millionaire. Vicki has managed to get them into this function and her and Knox make a plan to get an interview. The interaction between Knox and Vale is fun to see, he honestly thinks this hot famous photographer is here to screw with him about his story and she seems honestly interested in what he's doing when everyone else is mocking him. They make a good team.

So we cut to the the party and wow the late 80's fashion on Basinger is amazing. I really wanted her dress when I was kid, it was so white and puffy. Basinger said it was her idea to have the Vale character dress in white to contrast how 'dark' Batman/Bruce was. Well played Basinger...well played. So party stuff happens and Knox is getting nowhere with the interviews and he and Vale set aside to talk about the party and mock their host Bruce Wayne and his house. Now a lot of this movie doesn't feel like a Burton movie, expect with the architecture and decoration. This house, the decor and the city of Gotham have the Burton feel to them. 

So while mocking their host he just happens to walk in. Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) comes in and yeah!!!! Now Keaton's performance is also of victim of getting shit on about his performance and I can't figure out why. He didn't do a bad job...I think I have it figured out why he gets shit on. Keaton is not...the most attractive man in the world. When you look at this man he doesn't strike you has a rich million playboy that Bruce Wayne is pictured to be. He's not ugly, but this is a guy that actually has personality...compared to who we have coming up in the rest of this series. ^_^(). Keaton's entertaining to watch, he seems so awkward as 'Bruce the playboy', but serious and collected when he's in 'serious' Bruce mood and down right frightening when Batman. 

On the other side of the plot we have the mod boss Grissom pissed that Dent is getting close to some of their front businesses, namely a chemical plant. Napier suggests trashing the front offices and steal all paper work tying them to this business. Grissom tells Napier that he will be leading the charge on this. It's soon revealed that Napier is being set up by his boss since Napier was banging his girlfriend. He could have just pulled out a gun and shot him where he stood, but that's too easy and would ruin our movie fun.

When Gordon leaves the party to find out what's going on with this raid and with Echardt. We than get this funny little scene between Bruce, Alfred, Vicki and Knox. Alfred is letting Bruce know that this is something he should look into and Bruce is trying to get rid of Knox and Vicki. "Get Knox a grant!" says Bruce before running away to be Batman. 

At the chemical plant Napier figures out that he has been set up and that Echardt is there trying to kill him. Chase scene happens between cops and mob members. When Batman shows up he starts quickly taking mob guys out. Napier is trying to make his escape when he runs into Batman. Now remember this is a man who kills for the mob and yet when he sees Batman the look on his face is sheer terror and Batman just picks him up like a rag doll. Bob the Goon threatens to shoot Gordon so Batman has no choice but to let him go. Instead of taking his out, Napier takes a shot at Echardt killing him. Round two between Batman and Napier starts only it doesn't end well for Napier this time has he ends up dropped in a vat of chemicals. It's a little unclear if Batman drops him on purpose or if he just slips out of his grasp. Either way our hero decides to ninja vanish and the cops who have been denying the Batman now have no choice but to hide what they have seen from the public and the press.

Of course Knox isn't buying that Napier committed suicide and he and Vicki think that the Batman may have something to do with this. Knox wants to take Vicki to dinner to talk about their story, but she's ditching him for Bruce. Now I can see why the initial spark is there, he's rich and witty and she's smart and hot. Their date is rather low key for a millionaire and this seems like Bruce Wayne being Bruce Wayne. He doesn't want to be the playboy with her and this guy seems like someone you want to date and not someone who dresses up like a giant bat. The little remark about him not being sure if he had ever been in that room was funny and how they spent their date in the kitchen with Alfred was sweet. This is how Bruce should be. 

Meanwhile Napier is really not happy with his former boss and his reveal as The Joker in just cool. He just walks off the elevator, expresses his displeasure with being set up over a set of boobs and lays waste to the old man while the happiest music in the world plays and he dances. I'm sure I heard this tune in a Disney movie where animals dance. I really love Danny Elfman's score it just always fits everything without even trying. With his boss out of the The Joker now turns his displeasure towards the Batman.

Now I would be fine if the rest of the movie was just about Batman and The Joker, however we have to deal with Vicki the love interest. This is were she flips from sassy Vicki to whiny Vicki and it's annoying. After her date/happyskippyfuntime with Bruce, he fibs about leaving town and instead of just chalking it up to this guy is an asshole and dropping it. She stalks him like Single White Female and follows him around town taking pictures. I'm surprised she didn't rat him out as Batman after they broke up out of bitterness and spite. She seems like the crazy girlfriend type from out of nowhere after coming off as a career driven person. It almost takes you out of the movie because it makes no sense where this is coming from. They only had one real date and they haven't known each other for a week at this point in time when she goes crazy for him. She's almost Bella Swan like for Bruce and she barely knows him. 

So The Joker decides to stalk Knox since he's on the Batman story and makes quick work of taking over the Gotham crime lords and yet all his fame and glory are going to Batman and this line is just great. "What kind of a world do we live in where a man dressed up as a bat gets all my press!?"  This is classic Joker material. So his plan is to just start randomly killing people with beauty projects is great. Oh another great Easter egg is when you notice the reporters look like they haven't showered in days after one of their own dies from using Joker Products. Taking something that people don't think about and use everyday to terrorize the city is great. But his sudden stalking of Vicki...groan...I know it has to be there to tie the stories together, but it just seems out there and forced. But it gives us a cool scene in a museum with Prince music. 

So we're treated to Vicki being an idiot again. She gets tricked into thinking that Bruce has asked her on another date, but since she's running late she calls Bruce to let him know. This of course clues Bruce into the fact that something is rotten in the city of Gotham. Instead of trying to call Vicki and stop her from going he lets her go. So she goes to this restaurant and waits for what we can only assume is a long ass time until she gets a present sent to her table and it's a gas mask and than people around her start dropping like flies. Now I can understand her being scared out of her mind when these people start dying around her and being in shock to not hide. However, once The Joker sits now, starts making not so subtle threats, shows her how he disfigured his other girlfriend and than tries to disfigure her...run bitch run...She throws a pitcher of water at him and than he starts screaming like a girl and she goes to comfort him. WHAT...run bitch!!!!! He just murdered a room full of people and tired to kill you. Don't baby the bastard! 

Batman comes to save our damsel of course and for a few minutes we get smart Vicki again as she tries to get pictures of Batman in a fight with The Joker's goons. This fight scene is very well done, the goons finally figure out that the Batman is mortal underneath his body armor. Once again it's like kids finding out the monsters aren't real. So Batman takes Vicki to the Batcave and the driving scene is well shot, the music is perfect and it feels like a Burton film. He reveals to her how The Joker is killing people and asks her to take it the press. She's clearly confused by this attention and than we cut scene to Vicki back in her bedroom and missing her film. 

The press quickly runs with the story and Joker is once again pissed at the Bat for spoiling his fun. Meanwhile Bruce is on the verge of revealing to Vicki that he is Batman and I don't understand why. Yeah he likes her, but he barely knows her. The Vicki part of the story is annoying and feels out of place in this movie. It kind of slows the whole movie down and takes down from a five star to a four star movie. So than we have this bit between The Joker who has stalked Vicki to her home, Vicki and Bruce. So really the movie kind of snags between this scene and the end so we're just going to cut to the end battle.

The end battle is set up by The Joker who has lured all the citizens of Gotham to a parade where he is giving away free money and calls out Batman to fight him. Bruce has figured out that Napier was the one that killed his parents. This is a little unneeded, but Burton wanted it this way and than Alfred brings Vicki to the Batcave. Really...one date and she's forever now...really? So The Joker plans to kill everyone with his balloons of death and a Prince song. Batman saves the people by taking out the balloons. The Joker shoots Batman's plane down. Vicki almost kills Knox trying to get away and than gets taken hostage again and than we get our semi epic fight between The Joker and Batman. Batman starts the trend of killing our bad guy at the end of all superhero films and Batman gets his Bat Signal and for a second it looks like Batman is about to drive off into the night with our crazy lady.

Now after watching this Batman I can see where Nolan took some beats and made them better: a city overrun with mobs, gangs and officers on the take and turned them into a serious crime drama with a caped crime fighter. I really enjoyed this movie and really if we could have tightened up the story line with Vicki and made her maybe a little less stalker like, more sassy and less whiny. Batman and Joker were done well and it  could have been a good one shot movie, but it did set up what could have been a go franchise had...oh we'll get there soon.

So come back next times, same Bat Blog for Batman Returns.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Batman Re-watch Project-Part One - A little history !!!!

On July 20th, the third and final Christopher Nolan Batman film: The Dark Knight Rises will be released. Granted it will only be a matter of time before it gets rebooted so DC can finally have the Justice League movie that nerds have been begging for since Marvel showed that a superhero team movie can be done and done well. Until than we should just enjoy what we have. With the release of this final movie, I was feeling a bit nostalgic for the 1st run of the Batman series. So to prepare for the final movie...for now... I'm going to sit down and re-watch Batman. Yes all it. From 1989's Batman to The Dark Knight to the animated series and if I get a chance to read some of the comics that the world is based on. So let's dig in to the granddaddy of this series the Tim Burton's Batman.

Since the release of Nolan's films people have turned around and have been at least in my opinion have been negative towards this film. It's rather unfair, this isn't a bad movie....trust me we'll talk about the train wreck known as Batman and Robin later. The comparisons to the first Batman movie and to Nolan's movies come from two places.

1. This is Batman's Origin story
2. The Joker.

Comparing Nolan's Batman to Burton's Batman is like comparing apples to oranges in some cases. These are two very different directors who wanted to tell two very different stories with a different version of how they saw these characters. But credit should be given where credit is due, if not for Burton taking Batman in the direction he took it in, Nolan might not have gotten the chance to have his run at Batman.

It took over ten years and was also one of the most expensive movies created when it came out in 1989. This was the first time that Batman was being treated as a 'dark' character unlike the 1960's TV show that the general public was used to seeing.  It got a lot of flax for people they had attached to the project. Burton was just coming off Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice and they handed him on of the biggest budgets ever seen at that time 30 to 48 million dollars. Keaton's casting earned them scorn in The Wall Street Journal and over 50,000 hate letters to come to the studio People sat down and hand wrote the hate they felt for this. Even now I still hear people bitching about Keaton's casting as Batman. I'm really not sure why, he's not a bad actor and he turned in a very watchable performance. Even now Keaton, Bale and Kevin Conroy (The voice of the animated Batman) are in my mind the three best Batman. *I am ready for the hate and vile to come my way* The making of this movie was an uphill battle, but once the trailer was release and the marketing started the hate turned around and the fan boys lined up to see this and it ended grossing 43.6 million in America on it's first weekend and was one of the first films to earn $100 million in ten days. While this seems like pennies to what today's movie cost and gross this was the late 80's so this amount of money was mind blowing.

This was not planned to be a franchise, it was planned as a one shot deal so the fact that we got three movies after it (some better than others) is surprising. The 80's were known for horror movie squeals and the last Superman film had come out in 1987  those had been planned as a two film deal and than the last two failed in the eyes of the public. So getting this movie out the door and earning what it did was amazing at the time and it set the stage for the super hero movies we have today. It helped create the type of  marketing we have for blockbuster movies now and they did this before the Internet and managed to stop haters from hating.

So next time...a review of the 1st Batman

Saving Scully

"Are you sure this is the one?" asked my husband.
"Yeah...she seems to like us." The handler nodded and told us that she would get the papers for 'Tulip' and we could take her home. She left the room and 'Tulip' went over to my husband and begged for another treat. After nearly a year an half of debate we were finally getting our first dog.

My husband grew up with dogs his whole life: from puppy to the very end. I on the other hand really didn't have dogs. I mean we had dogs, but due to moving, parents lack of money, or they got tried of taking care of dog so we never got to keep the dogs they got us. So after awhile I just stop getting attached to the pets, since it was just going to be taken away. It wasn't until my grandmother got me my cat-Luna and flat out told my mother that the cat was to stay. I got Luna when I was 13 and she was with me until I was 26. So to say that she was was a large part of my life is an understatement and despite the fact my husband said he hated her at times, he was also upset at her passing.

We had talked about getting a dog for awhile, but after Luna's passing it was really hard to think about getting another pet. I still have a thing about looking at cats in pet stores, they still make me sad. So it was almost seven months before we started talking about getting another pet. Our work schedule made it impossible to own a puppy, so it was decided that an older dog would be our best bet. It would be another two months before we started looking and it only took us a week to find her.

We agreed that we wanted a beagle, it was the only breed of dog he had ever had and since we've been together I've gotten attached to his parent's beagle dog: Suzie. Plus beagle's are awesome and really family friendly and are really easy going. So after looking online at some of our local shelters we only found two beagles that were up for adoption, one was at a shelter over an hour away named Honey and the other one at a shelter only ten minutes from our house a two year old named Tulip. She looked cute, but also a little sad. We printed out the forms for adoption and made plans to go meet her.

Our 1st meeting didn't go as planned. I had called on Thursday to ask the shelter if she was still there and was told her was. I asked if we come and see her on Friday and turn in the adoption papers. The clerk said she was still there and that we could see her on Friday. So Friday we went in to see her only to find out that she had been taken out that day for an adoption event and wouldn't be back until closing. We were both kind of disappointed that she wasn't there, but according to the girl at the front desk no one had called in from the event to say she had been adopted.

"It's good that someone is finally looking to adopt her. She's been here for two months and no one has looked at her." This worried us a little bit, she looked like a good dog so why didn't anyone want her. We left our papers to be looked over and we were promised that she would be back in the morning. Disappointed we left, went to dinner and than went and looked at dog stuff. The next morning the shelter called saying we had been approved for adoption and that we could see Tulip. So we drove back to the shelter and this time we finally got to meet 'Tulip'. She was skinny, very skinny and shy at first. After treats were given she seemed to settle down a bit and let us pet her. The handler told us that she had been found as a stray the day after Christmas and that no one ever came to look for her and that no one had been interested in her.

So we figured one of two things had happened to her. One was that she had run away, but still how do you not go looking for your family pet the day after Christmas? The other one was that someone had just tossed her out for really no good reason. So she came home with us and refused to come to her name 'Tulip'. We had always talked about what we would name our dog if we got one. If it was a boy: Sheldon...if it was a girl well...

"Scully!" She gave us a look and we called her name again. "Scully!" She was still at little scared at first but she came to us. It's been a lot work-she needed re house broken. She didn't seem to like me at all when we 1st brought her home and we're still working on her freaking out when we're apart. But she seems to be doing ok right now, after almost three months she is our little puppy shadow. Scully takes turns with who she likes to follow around the house, at nights she'll either sit on the sofa with me and watch TV or lay on the floor while Jason is playing computer games. She's just an amazing addition to our lives. I forgot how awesome it was to come home to a pet...she's always happy to see you. No matter how shitty the day has been it's just nice to have someone who just wants to love you for no reason at all and really doesn't ask for anything back...well treats and pets.

Well right now someone is begging for attention. Scully's looking at me with those great big eyes and is begging for her walk.

Next Blog-The start of the Batman Re-watch Project kicks off the the 1989 Tim Burton Batman!!!!!