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.