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Worst To First: Ranking the Batman Movies

Next Friday, Superman and Batman will appear on the big screen for the first time.  Leading up to the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’ll be looking back at the cinematic history of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.  Last week, we ranked the Superman movies.  So now it’s Batman’s turn.

On the whole, Batman has fared better than Superman at the movies.  But overall, most of his movies still aren’t very good.  Before we get started, a couple of ground rules.  I’m only looking at live action Bat-films.  So no Mask of the Phantasm or Lego Batman.  Also, we’re starting with the ’89 Batman.  The Adam West movie was an offshoot of the TV show anyway.

arnie batman and robin

8. Batman & Robin (1997)

Summary: Batman & Robin is infamous for nearly killing not just the Batman franchise but the superhero genre in general.  Following the commercial success of Batman Forever, Warner Brothers was in a hurry to get more of the same.  And that’s exactly what they got.  With only two years in which to make a sequel instead of the usual three, Joel Schumacher rushed out a movie that did all the same things as the previous movie, but did them bigger.  Eager to sell as many Batman toys as possible, Batman & Robin was crammed full of even more sidekicks and villains.  Unfortunately, nothing about the movie in which Batman, Robin and Batgirl team up to protect Gotham City from Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane works.

What’s Good: This is a big budget Hollywood summer release.  No expense was spared in making Batman & Robin.  You can see the money there on the screen.  There was some good design work on display in the movie.  Yes, I’m struggling to find a silver lining.

While George Clooney has spent years apologizing for Batman & Robin, he’s probably the last person who should.  Clooney actually gives a good performance in the lead role.  He knows this is a silly Batman movie and he gives his Bruce Wayne an appropriately light tone.  In a better movie, Clooney’s Batman could have been great.

What’s Bad: Just about everything else.  Arnold Schwarzenegger spends all of his screen time making painful ice puns.  Uma Thurman looks terrible buried under ridiculous wigs and make-up and doing a kind of Mae West thing.  If you weren’t annoyed by Chis O’Donnell’s abrasive Robin in Batman Forever, odds are you will be in this movie.  Alicia Silverstone is lost playing a Batgirl who for some reason is supposed to be Alfred’s niece but lacks any kind of English accent.  Bane is wasted as a mute henchman.  Oh and did I mention the Bat credit-card?

Verdict: Few movies waste as many resources as completely as Batman & Robin.  A lot of talented people worked on the movie.  Over $100 million dollars was spent to make and who knows how much more to promote it.  And in the end, it committed the cardinal sin of being boring.  Batman & Robin proves that the camp of the sixties TV show was harder than it looks.  Get the tone wrong, and this is the result.

Next: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Posted on March 18, 2016, in Movies, Super Heroes, Worst to First and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. Since the request was to rank by favorites and not by what was best, my ranking goes as such:

    BATMAN
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    BATMAN BEGINS
    BATMAN RETURNS
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    BATMAN FOREVER
    BATMAN AND ROBIN

    Technically, THE DARK KNIGHT is a better movie than BATMAN, but my heart will always belong to that 1989 Michael Keaton version. How the heck could you rank it fourth? How the heck could you rank it below THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, which is kind of an overlong slog? I even put BATMAN RETURNS over TDKR because of Keaton and Pfeiffer (I never liked DeVito’s Penguin). The last two are, of course, indisputably the worst.

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  2. jeffthewildman

    My ranking

    The Dark Knight
    Batman Begins
    Batman (1989)
    Batman Returns
    The Dark knight Rises
    Batman Forever
    Batman and Robin

    The Dark Knight. It’s the one superhero movie that does for the genre what The Godfather did for crime films and Apocalypse Now did for war films: It transcends it. To me, it’s the one superhero film that can be watched as more than pure entertainment even if I think the viewpoint that it’s an Iraq war allegory is ridiculous.

    Batman Begins has its flaws (most notably some of the Scarecrow’s dialogue sounded similar to Mr. Freeze’s abysmal punnery in Batman And Robin). But it kicked the series back into high gear. It may not have the depth of The Dark knight and the 1989 Batman may offer more pure entertainment. But to me, it’s near the zenith. Idiosyncratic yes. But lists of this type should be.

    I agree with LeBeau’s comment that the 1989 Batman hasn’t aged that well. It’s probably the most purely fun Batman movie and the one to watch for pure entertainment. Recently though I found myself watching it and noted that it comes off as more style than substance. Fantastic style. That’s true of most of Burton’s work as a whole though.

    Batman Returns is a good Burton film. But it’s less of a Batman film than his first. I rank it as high as I do because it’s so successful as a Burton film.

    The Dark Knight Rises is far form bad. But after the greatness of the first two entries. anything was bound to seem like a letdown. It works as well as it could. It isn’t a bad movie. But it’s the Godfather Part III of Nolan’s trilogy.

    Batman Forever hasn’t aged well at all. In fact, it seems to have been pretty much forgotten, Most of the public remembers Batman and Robin as a disaster. But BF has faded. It’s main undoing was casting Tommy Lee Jones and having him try to out Jim Carrey Jim Carrey.

    Batman and Robin. What a ridiculous mess of horrid dialogue, camp overacting and over-the-top cartoonishness that wasn’t as fun as it should have been.

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    • I have a feeling I’m going to come out in the minority for Dark Knight Rises. I actually really liked it. I’d much rather sit down and rewatch it than Batman Begins which is pretty dang boring. It probably helps that I read a lot of 90’s Batman which was the basis for a lot of what happens in TDR.

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    • I too think that Batman Forever like the 1989 film, has in many respects, not aged very well. As you get older, it’s easier and easier to notice the various flaws in it:
      *Chris O’Donnell being way too old to play Dick Grayson at his starting point

      *Tommy Lee Jones’ needlessly hammy performance (in hopes of “out wacky-ing” Jim Carrey) as Two-Face

      *Nicole Kidman’s “doctor” character giving nothing to do except drool over Batman (Chase Meridian could be considered a “good girl” variation of Poison Ivy)

      *The uneven balance between dark, psychological, philosophical stuff (keeping in line w/ the Tim Burton films) and colorful, hyper-kinetic, campy, goofball stuff.

      *The Riddler’s “master-plan” involving brain waves (to make himself the smartest person in all of Gotham or some stuff like that) not making a lick of sense.

      Batman Forever,is pretty much the odd man out so to speak among the 1989-97 set of Batman movies (at least among the follow-ups). It isn’t as controversial (at least among parents and corporate sponsors) as Returns and it isn’t as universally despised as Batman & Robin. Forever was truly the “middle of the road” Batman movie.

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  3. I’ve been a Batman reader since I was a little kid (Batman #423, read it). All the movies except B&R have moments that work for me.

    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
    I always enjoy this movie and I love the look of the TAS style. The voice work is excellent.

    Batman (1989)
    Michael Keaton’s offbeat Bruce Wayne is underrated. Jack is Jack, of course. Kim is not an asset, but she’s not a liability either in my eyes.

    Batman Begins
    I enjoy Christian’s Bruce and Michael Caine’s Alfred. Bruce’s motivations don’t work so well for me and the train sequence really brings the movie down.

    Batman Returns
    Michael and Michelle, yes please. Danny DeVito, no thank you, though the scenes with Jan Hooks trying to form him into a candidate are fun. Christopher Walken’s role is multi-faceted and interesting.

    Batman Forever
    I like the attempt to explore what makes Bruce tick. Nicole Kidman as Chase is fun, playful, and sexy. Robin is a mess of a character. The less said about the villains, the better, though Debbie Mazar and Drew Barrymore as Two-Face’s henchgirls are nice.

    The Dark Knight
    Heath’s Oscar is well earned and the entire Joker plot is very well done. What drags this movie down for me is the love triangle. Maybe it would work better for me with a different person, but Maggie just isn’t my type; that Bruce would consider dropping his war on crime for her leads back to some of the motivation issues I have with Bruce’s motivations from BB.

    Batman and Robin

    Ugh.

    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

    If we’re ranking theatrically released Batman movies of the modern era, I’ll include my favorite for number one. 🙂 I won’t vote since MotP is not on the list and I haven’t seen DKR. (Be on TV more!)

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    • Now I am kicking myself for forgetting about Mask of the Phantasm.

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      • If that was a choice, I would’ve ranked that #1 (I’ve already mentioned my fondness for the animated series, but I also really liked all the animated films attached to it, and I think “Mask of the Phantasm” is the best of those. I also think the main song in the film sung by Tia Carrere also hauntingly sad and perfect for what the storyline was).

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  4. While Holmes might have been the weakest point of Batman Begins I also didn’t really feel that Gyllenhaal were right for the role either (the chemistry with the leads is lacking).

    My ranking:

    The Dark Knight Rises: An unpopular view but I felt this one was the most entertaining.
    The Dark Knight
    Batman Begins
    Batman Returns: Pfeiffer wins over Basinger of course.
    Batman
    Batman Forever
    Batman and Robin

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    • I agree. Holmes, though very attractive is a weak actress but Gyllenhaal, though more talented was a dreary figure who lacked chemistry with either Eckhart or Bale. Her role is also weirdly dated and perhaps a tiny bit sexist considering how recent the film is – essentially she exists to die tragically as a motivater to two men.

      I’d agree with your ranking too – Pfeiffer (by far the best female lead in all seven movies) pulls Returns ahead of Batman 1989.

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    • I’m with you on Dark Knight Rises. It is the most entertaining movie in the series.

      For me, what puts it on top is it is the only movie where Batman genuinely seems like the underdog. Bane seems stronger, a better fighter, and smarter than Batman, and he proves it in the first half of the film. The other villains may have had some of those qualities but not all three.

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      • In the comics, Bane was basically evil Batman. He had Venom which made him stronger than Batman, but also made him dependent which was a weakness Batman could exploit. Dark Knight Rises uses elements of the story Knightfall in which Bane breaks Batman’s back. In the comic, Bane slowly wore Batman down by releasing all the criminals from Arkham. After Batman was spent from apprehending all of his foes, Bane showed up in the Batcave and beat him handily. Then Bruce handed over the cape and cowl to someone else (which was the entire point of the storyline). We got an edgy, new 90’s Batman who gave the readers what they thought they wanted. A darker Batman who would kill. Of course Bruce recovered and reclaimed the role for himself. Bane, having served his purpose in that story, never really was as good of a character again because from that point on he could never equal Batman.

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  5. The release years for THE DARK KNIGHT and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES are mixed up.

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  6. jeffthewildman

    The best thing about Batman Forever.

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  7. For just over a decade the original Batman was my all time favorite movie. It took the Lord of the Ring Trilogy to knock it from the top. It was the first time a superhero movie had an overall dark tone (Superman movies had their moments but overall they were lighter). It had a huge impact on the tone and style of the modern era superhero films (i.e. 2000-today), even if we’ve gotten away from the Burton aesthetic.

    As for my ranking, it is similar overall with some minor differences. I think Dark Knight Rises is the best Batman film, Batman Begins #2. #3 is practically a tie between Batman and Dark Knight. They each have elements I really like and others I really dislike. I could change their ranking from day to day. From there, like your list, it is the 90s films in the order they were released. I consider Batman & Robin so bad that I’d rank the 60’s Adam West Batman movie above it.

    By the way, I just got back from a week at Disney World. Had a great time, but could see the problems you talked about. Your posts over the last year are even more interesting now that I have a feel for the place. I’ll probably post something about the trip in the comments section of your article from several weeks ago.

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    • I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. Despite the severe cutbacks, I was fairly confident that you would have a great time. First-time guests don’t tend to notice the problems because they didn’t experience the resort when it was offering a superior product. But also, you were two adults staying at a very nice hotel. You’re not going to be bogged down with all the stuff that comes with a family WDW vacation. So it’s pretty easy not to get dragged down into some of the things that sink a trip for a family of four.

      I would love to hear more about your experiences.

      Over time, I have come to appreciate the 60s Batman as a very legitimate take on the character. If I included it here, people would be shocked by how high I would rank it.

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      • Superhero Films – Chapter 32: Batman (1989)

        http://haphazardstuff.com/Batman1989

        The summer of 1989 would see the release of many highly anticipated movies. It would be movie heaven for fans. As my one friend has said, “The best summer of our lifetime for movies was definitely 1989.”

        As the summer of 1989 approached there would be one film in particular that would dominate the season, one movie that would be the most anticipated film of the year helped along by endless hype of merchandise and billboards – Batman.

        Anyone around during that summer will recall how you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing that Bat logo on t-shirts or cut into people’s hair! Batman would be a big-budget attempt at a much darker Batman than general audiences were familiar with. While most people were asking, “Where’s Adam West?”, comic book fans embraced the idea of a more faithful telling of the caped crusader. That is until they heard Michael Keaton would be wearing the cowl. Huh???

        With a huge budget, a young director by the name of Tim Burton, Jack Nicholson getting a huge payday, complete secrecy from the set and an early movie trailer that ignited the spark in the eyes of everyone who saw it, when the film finally hit Bat fans and everyone else swarmed theaters to make it a huge hit. I go back and revisit Burton’s Batman.

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  8. My order was exactly like the order of the write-up, but I struggled some in where to put the 1989 film. I still really like it, but I couldn’t really mix in in with the Nolan films (some have said those pictures are like crime dramas that just happen to have Batman in them, and I agree with that, but there isn’t anything wrong with that direction either). So in a rare case for me, logic beat nostalgia.

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    • That’s my thinking. It’s no coincidence that my rankings are lumped by director. The Nolan movies aim higher than the Burton movies. So I ranked them higher. Back in 1989, I liked the original Batman a heck of a lot more than I ever liked Batman Begins. But I can’t really sit down and watch the 89 Batman today.

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      • I did consider “The Dark Knight Rises” for the top spot, but that wicked left turn it took (great with Catwoman, not so with Talia, or the climax) just made me leave it as is

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  9. off topic quesiton but does costner have suprise cameo in batman vs superman or something ?. Because imdb lists him as being there as johnation kent . Any chance it is a mistake or is he in there. if you click on link scroll down you can see it. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000126/?ref_=rvi_nm

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  10. yes but i just found out on imdb today he is cast in it. it was not confirmed before . i never even heard him talk about being in film and trailer never mention him. man of steel all flashbacks for him but he was advertised. it must be small role. maybe his involvement was surprise.

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  11. plus outside of imdb no websites indicate that he is cast in it. It would be good to add his name to at least another hit even if it bit part. it will probably be smaller then the man of steel part given with all the things going on in the movie there probably will not be room for a lot of john kent flashbacks.

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  12. lebeau have you heard any Thing about kevin involvement in batman vs superman. more websites would have indicated it

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  13. I didn’t know TDK was commentary on Iraq war or something while I’m sure most American don’t support Iraq war or bush but I appreciated his efforts in convicting Sadam Hussein cuz I’m from dictatorship country and know what it feels like to live with dictator, he’s one step ahead in dealing terrorism though but can’t say same for Obama, sry for political comment though

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    • I don’t know, I respect the training, I just don’t think certain wars, seems America just gets too nosy (he he, like that Kim Basinger deal:-).
      It’s just a philosophy of life: sure, no one wants an oppressed…ahh, nevermind…

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  14. Biggest mistakes that Tim Burton made w/ his Batman movies?

    In my humble opinion:
    *Alfred casually letting Vicki Vale into the Batcave w/o any repercussions (sans a throw away line by Bruce in Batman Returns) or proper build-up.

    *Wasting Billy Dee Williams’ Harvey Dent and Pat Hingle’s Commissioner Gordon.

    *Trying to make us feel sorry for when the Penguin dies in Returns while at the same time, wanting us to root for Batman to defeat him. Basically, this all goes back to how Burton seemed to be more indulgent in what went on w/ the villains instead of Batman in his own movie.

    *Not showing more restraint w/ the weirdness, cynicism and somberness in Returns. In other words, not making a movie more in line to the semi-realistic, film-noir tone of the 1989 movie. Returns for better or worse, plays more like a live-action variant of The Nightmare Before Christmas (a surreal, dark fairy tale) w/ Batman characters in it.

    *Not making a more direct sequel to the 1989 movie (thus, allowing more development for Bruce Wayne’s character) and instead making Returns feel like it’s part of a separate universe.

    *Making Bruce Wayne/Batman a secondary character in his own movie (it was especially worse, in Returns). I mean, you know that something is off when the Joker has more character development than Bruce Wayne.

    *Making Joker responsible for the murders of Bruce Wayne’s parents instead of Joe Chill. Maybe it’s me being a purist or maybe I felt that it was way too incidental and contrived. Also, it sets up a bad precedent for Returns, from the standpoint that Batman simply has little else to go except “doing his thing”, after avenging his parents deaths.

    *Maybe this was something far out of Burton’s control, but working through the 1989 film w/o a fully realized script (thanks in no small part due to the 1988 Writers’ Strike). Also, working w/ a script in Returns that lacked focus due (presumably because of all of the rewrites) simply having way too many subplots.

    *Not having more “perspective” or “audience avatar” characters like Vicki Vale and Alexander Knox in Returns to ground things better into reality (if that makes sense).

    *Since it’s inevitably going to be brought up, Batman going around killing his enemies (which was probably closer in-line to the early Kane/Finger comics from 1939) w/o any or little remorse (basically, making Bruce Wayne the Punisher in a Bat-costume) or caution/restraint.

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  15. Batman V Superman: Ranking Every Movie From Worst To Best

    http://whatculture.com/film/batman-v-superman-ranking-every-movie-from-worst-to-best.php/2

    Batman & Robin

    There is no debate over Batman & Robin’s out-and-out awfulness; it was pretty much an accepted fact even before release (an issue that marks it as turning point in the rise of internet journalism, although that’s a conversation for another time). Every video critic worth their salt has gone back and revelled in its garish, campy ridiculousness. But there’s more to it than constant ice puns, nipples (something that actually originated from Batman Forever, but we’ll get to that) and the Bat Credit Card.

    No, Batman & Robin is a step beyond its so-bad-it’s-good reputation. A movie that despite its slight length is incredibly aimless beyond trying to contrive ways to sell more merchandise; for reference, its subplots include Alfred getting ill, Bruce Wayne as an eco warrior and a Batman/Robin/Ivy love triangle. It’s almost like a homage to the Adam West TV series done by someone who doesn’t understand the Adam West TV series, although to say that gives too much credit to Joel Schumacher.

    This was a movie that sank so impressively it altered the story of blockbuster cinema; not only did the character take an eight year hiatus, only returning in a totally opposite form, and the superhero genre reduced to a gibbering mess, but the entire ideology of mainstream cinema, particularly that of Warner Bros., needed a top-down refresh. Of course, it all worked out better than alright in the end, so if anything we should be thankful to Schumacher… sort of.

    Batman Forever

    Batman Forever often gets something approaching a free pass due to it not being quite as bad as Batman & Robin. Which is a bit like saying The Quest For Peace is great because there’s always Supergirl. Make no mistake, it’s painful.

    From the very opening its clear that Joel Schumacher (or rather his studio overlords) has no interest in continuing in the style of Tim Burton, instead veering into a day glo sensibility that would ultimately put the character to sleep; it all feels like it was set on a soundstage and the drama never rises above that. It’s a box-ticker, distilling the marketable aspects of Burton’s first film and clicking repeat; Jim Carrey plays mid-90s Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones play Jack Nicolson’s Joker and Val Kilmer is cast as Batman for no real reason.

    To its credit, Forever does have a narrative (Batman & Robin is merely a chronological ordering of events) and that may be its one redeeming factor. For all its sanitized laziness, the movie does offer one genuinely intriguing twist on the Batman mythos; Bruce Wayne gets over his parents’ death. This will have explicitly motivated by Warners’ desire to make Batman more kid friendly, removing his long-standing angst to have a more vibrant character, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was an interesting idea.

    Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

    Batman V Superman is inexplicably worse from Man Of Steel, showing Zack Snyder learning from none of his mistakes and adding a whole bunch of new issues into the mix. There’s the same needless destruction (albeit it with post-production inserts clarifying the lack of bystanders), the same poorly defined supporting cast, the same flippant approach to comic book lore, and through its incoherence Snyder really hammers home his insufficient skills as a director.

    And the director is the problem through and through. He takes style over substance as a badge of honor, letting the choppy story play out with not a care for continuation or contrast. It feels intermittently loose and rigid, with the rare good idea buried because there was a snazzy low-cut dress to be filmed or a sudden action sequence needed to break out.
    He couldn’t even get the central conceit to work. Despite being well over an hour into the film, the fight comes out of nowhere, pushed along by previously only hinted-at motivations, leading to one minute of good stuff before it devolves into a short bout in a toilet and a resolution that is genuine parody. Jeez. You had one job, Zack, one job.

    Batman

    Batman 1989 is still regarded with a real air of unquestionable respect. With Reeve’s series spluttering to an end, Tim Burton took the superhero baton and showed Richard Donner’s big screen realization of comic books was more than a fluke, defining the Caped Crusader for an entire generation in the process. However, as culturally impactful as it may have been, it doesn’t quite hold up as a movie.

    Some of its choices wouldn’t go down very well nowadays – giving the Joker a detailed backstory and working him into the origins of Batman in particular – and other elements simply don’t work – I’ve never got the gallery sequence – but the biggest knock against the movie from the passage of time is that what was once lauded as dark and brooding now comes across a bit silly. Not necessarily in a bad way, and definitely not as much as what followed, but you need thick nostalgia goggles to claim this isn’t a bit kitsch.

    Aside from the casting – we all know Michael Keaton wasn’t a popular fan choice to play Batman, but it turned out to be inspired – what really holds up is the design of Gotham. Realized through a mixture of matte paintings and massive sets, the city feels like a living, breathing machine, all sharp-angled buildings bathed in smog. That alone makes it worthwhile.

    Batman: The Movie

    Adam West’s Batman may be one of the most misunderstood comic book movies of all time. For decades it has been regarded as as campy misstep, taking a character with innate darkness and turning him into an embarrassment. Heck in the first ten minutes Batman fights off a clearly fake shark using Bat Shark Spray – how dumb were people in the sixties to take this seriously?

    But that’s missing the point – they weren’t taking this seriously. Batman 1966 is a comedy first, superhero spectacle second, and pretty much every moment you cringe at now was intended to be utterly bonkers then. What the endless parody in everything from Only Fools And Horses to The Simpsons forgets is that this was rooted in a Batman from a different time – this was pre-Dark Knight Returns and deep in the Silver Age, where Batman was a more ridiculous character and the illusion of darkness almost begged a parodic slant.

    Watch it through these googles and it suddenly transforms into this awesome little romp full of self-aware gags and an almost retroactive commentary on where the character has gone (expect Will Arnett’s LEGO Batman to take a similar approach). West is spot on as the delusional Caped Crusader, Burt Ward captures the Boy Wonder’s simplicity perfectly and while it does stretch the joke to a degree, it never lets up long enough to bore. An underrated delight.

    Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm

    There’s been all manner of cartoon movies featuring Son of Krypton and Bat of Gotham in various forms and canonicities, but only one of them has had a proper theatrical release. That’s Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm, and it’s as good as you’d expect from a film jumping off from the landmark Batman: The Animated Series.

    You know the drill; looks great (even if it is a puffed up TV movie), is well written and boasts an incomparable voice cast. And, going back into Batman’s origins without just doing a beat-for-beat retread of the basic story, it’s an intriguing introduction to the stellar cartoon world.

    The only real downside is the mystery about who’s behind that mask, which is a problem Batman stories have faced in all forms; when introducing a villain with a mysterious identity, due to the size and distinction of Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery it’s either going to be the one major new character introduced (Hush) or a pre-existing character in a new form (Arkham Knight). In Phantasm it’s the former, and the twist is patently obvious from very early on. Thankfully there’s enough to the very-Gotham crime story elsewhere to make it interesting elsewhere.

    Batman Returns

    After the success of Batman, Burton was given free reign on a sequel, with Warner Bros. rightly presuming much of the first film’s success came from his unique stylings. What they didn’t realize was how much Burton had held back; Batman Returns is an altogether darker film, both visually and tonally. The result is the best movie to come out of the original Batman run, even if it didn’t quite strike with audiences as much as the studio hoped; they were inundated with complaints from parents over its unsuitability for children and a lower box office. It’s not wonder Schumacher was brought in.

    Like with the original’s contrasting success, this again looks to be a case of different times; it would be crazy to suggest there isn’t something deeply unnerving about Danny DeVito’s Penguin or highly adult in the costuming of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, but similarly pitched modern movies can go darker without fear of reprisal. And, viewed outside of any controversy of the time, Returns is where Burton’s kitschy-yet-gothic sensibilities work just right (for my money it’s his best film, Batman or otherwise).

    Batman Begins

    If there was going to be any more Batman movies after Batman & Robin, something would have to be majorly different. Warner seemed to have locked onto the idea of going right back to the start and adapting Year One in some form, with various projects in this vein floated, but it was ultimately Christopher Nolan who took it through to fruition in spectacular fashion.

    There’s been plenty of imitators of the Batman Begins formula, but none have managed it with the same confidence; The Amazing Spider-Man tried to go for the same prolonged origin story, yet baulked at the mid-way point and shoehorned in a basically unrelated villain plot. Taking Bruce Wayne from aimless drifter to iconic vigilante, with plenty of time to fill in what happened to him previously, we get a full lock on the character of Bruce Wayne, and an immediate understanding of the two masks he wears; the playboy and the crime fighter.

    Unlike the later films, where Nolan managed to wrangle more creative freedom and thus deliver on his distinct, glossy-yet-grounded style, there’s a sense of honoring blockbuster conventions in Begins. Lest we forget, at this point he was simply the wonder kid from Memento – he hadn’t yet become a named brand in himself – and so some box-ticking was still required. That the film works in spite of that is testament to his versatility.

    The Dark Knight Rises

    It sucks that every time you want to praise The Dark Knight Rises you have to do so from a point of defense. Such has been the backlash against the film since its release that it’s now regarded as a lackluster story, another threequel that fails at rounding off its trilogy.

    And I just can’t get on board with that way of thinking; it functions expertly as both a standalone adventure and a finale to The Dark Knight Trilogy, drawing a line under its theory of Batman as a symbol rather than a man in a manner few other series would do due to a fear of finality (even if Nolan fell short of actually killing off Bruce Wayne).

    There are issues with the film, particularly when it comes to plot contrivances, although they’re only quoted as movie-ruining issues because this is Nolan and people love to jump on his narrative inconsistencies. In terms of actual plot, there’s something literary epic about Bane’s plot that takes comic book ideas to higher levels.

    On a side note, does anybody feel that the idea of an older Batman getting back into action to take on Superman in Dawn Of Justice was originally conceived with Christian Bale under the cowl, with a new take only instigated when he turned it down?

    The Dark Knight

    The biggest mistake anyone could make about The Dark Knight is thinking that it is the definitive Batman movie. It’s the best, there should be no debate there, but definitive? It’s a Chirstopher Nolan film, an excellent crime picture that happens to star Batman. And yes, I’m aware that’s one of the most common statements regarding the film, but it doesn’t make it any less true; the fact they could reboot the character less than four years after Bale hung up the cape and cowl is testament to the character’s versatility.

    Nowhere is this better seen than with Heath Ledger’s Joker, an absorbing performance that for the first time shows the character’s brimming psychosis (it’s the only acting Oscar win for a superhero movie), and yet one that doesn’t draw a line under the Joker. Not only is Jared Leto playing the Clown Prince of Crime later this year, but he’s doing so without the pressures of trying to top Ledger because what Heath did was so unique and different (the main thing he seems to have permanently nailed into all characterizations is the voice).

    Batman doesn’t work in only one way. The core character idea is one that is applicable to variety of approaches, be that different directing styles, time periods or genres. And isn’t that incredible?

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  16. Ranking the Batman Movies From Worst to Best

    http://variety.com/2016/film/news/ranking-the-batman-movies-from-worst-to-best-1201738049/

    “Batman & Robin” (1997). You’d never know, from watching Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman grimace and grind their way through one cartoon pose after another, that Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy are among the most compelling villains in the Batman annals (though perhaps these superb episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series” might convince you otherwise). The two decades that have passed since the release of this hysterical campfest have done nothing to diminish its transcendent awfulness. With the arguable exception of the director Joel Schumacher himself (who still had the kitsch explosion of “The Phantom of the Opera” to look forward to), it remains a career nadir for just about everyone involved — a rare misstep for George Clooney, a major career setback for Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone, and a movie that turned the words “written by Akiva Goldsman” into a permanent harbinger of dread.
    “Batman Forever” (1995). It’s a sign of just how uninterested this movie is in being interesting that Harvey Dent’s origin story (later dramatized to wrenching effect in “The Dark Knight”) is relegated here to a quick flashback. Clearly it was much more important that we watch Tommy Lee Jones shriek up a storm for two hours, all while sporting a Two-Face makeup job that suggests a Dadaist take on PB&J. Notable in retrospect for being less embarrassing than “Batman & Robin,” yet still showing warning signs of the horrors to come, “Batman Forever” stars Val Kilmer as a stiff-as-a-board Bruce Wayne (perhaps trying to compensate for Jim Carrey’s flailingly over-the-top Riddler), milks a few poignant moments from Robin’s childhood trauma, and features Nicole Kidman as a sexy psychologist named Chase Meridian. Presumably Wella Fargo was already taken.
    “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016). Not a great movie in general, and not much of a Batman movie in particular: The Caped Crusader gets pretty short shrift compared with the Man of Steel, and while Affleck gives very good brood, he’s embodied here with an icy, mechanical ruthlessness that feels more dramatically expedient than rooted in character. The questions that screenwriters Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer are trying to get at — about the limits of heroism and the rejection of divinity — are legitimately fascinating and provocative. But you leave the movie wondering exactly why Batman had to be the one posing those questions, which require him to transform into the sort of grimly paranoid, by-any-means-necessary enforcer who might give even Dick Cheney pause. Snyder has learned how to appropriate the grim weightiness and thoughtful texture of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, but he continues to mistake dourness for depth.
    “Batman” (1989). “The movie’s darkness is essential to its hold on us. The whole conception of Batman and Gotham City is a nighttime vision,” Pauline Kael wrote of the movie that first kicked off this cycle of eternal recurrence. Admittedly, that malevolent spell it cast on audiences back in 1989 no longer exerts quite the same hold. The script never allows Michael Keaton to make Bruce Wayne more than a psychological sketch, and Jack Nicholson’s interpretation of the Joker, while memorable in its rictus-grin insanity (“He’s all entertainer, a glinting-eyed cartoon,” per Kael), is a prime example of how an actor can dominate a movie without ever really haunting it. Still, kudos to Burton for nudging the series away from the bright, cheery colors of the Adam West TV series and closer to the enveloping eeriness of Bob Kane’s original comic-book conception.
    “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). The least of the three “Dark Knight” movies movies still has much to recommend itself: It may be a muddled vision, but there’s no denying it’s a vision, as Nolan’s attempts to ground his superhero saga against the backdrop of a major metropolitan city becomes, like Gotham itself, a sprawling, majestic ruin. Fittingly torn between its light and dark sides — between the impulse toward comic-book levity (provided by Anne Hathaway’s skillful turn as Catwoman) and the brooding grandeur of its superior predecessor — “The Dark Knight Rises” never fully jells. But it shoots higher, and deeper, than any movie of its comic-book kind, and it remains the most vividly cinematic entry in the series: Nolan’s staggering Imax panoramas remain burned into my brain, long after the impenetrable boom of Bane’s voice has left it.
    “Batman Returns” (1992). Burton’s willingness to push deeper into ever darker and more surreal corners of his imagination paid off quite well with this more fully realized, still under-appreciated follow-up to his original “Batman.” It’s not just that Danny DeVito’s irredeemably grotesque Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s fiercely felt Catwoman are two of the strongest baddies in the series’ history; it’s the way those characters dovetail with the movie’s sympathetic understanding of what freakdom really means, for heroes and villains alike: The Penguin, Catwoman and Batman are all, in the end, seeking an elusive sense of justice, one that drives them all to embrace urges of a literally animalistic nature. Many complained that the result was too twisted, too somber, and not nearly enough fun, setting off a debate that has come to define the Batman series and, indeed, the entire Marvel/DC Comics cinematic cosmos: Are these movies too frivolous for their own good, or are they top-heavy with their own self-seriousness? Regardless, it’s a shame that Burton’s unswerving devotion to his own artistry caused the series to be placed in different, far less trustworthy hands.
    “Batman Begins” (2005). All comic-book origin stories should be as intricately, rigorously imagined as Nolan’s reboot, which brilliantly set the template for a new kind of superhero neorealism: an anti-escapist vision of Gotham City where the Batmobile is an unsexy, tank-like behemoth and the criminal underworld springs to life with a thickly inhabited reality. Most of all, it’s a place where Bruce Wayne’s transformation, rather than being relegated to an afterthought, is fully and richly dramatized, showing us firsthand the peculiar alchemy of childhood dreams, grown-up disillusionment and intense physical training that brought Batman into being. It’s astonishing, in retrospect, that Nolan was the first filmmaker to really seize on the notion that this transformation — far from being some hasty, expository afterthought — might actually be a compelling source of drama, and the very reason why Batman is interesting in the first place. And he was just getting warmed up.
    “The Dark Knight” (2008). Arguably Nolan’s crowning achievement, a triumph of genre filmmaking and one of the key studio movies of the past decade. It not only gave us one of the great villains of modern cinema, but also succeeded in making that villain a constant, menacing presence — even while wisely restricting Heath Ledger’s performance to just a handful of scenes. Writing about the movie a few years ago, I noted that it “feels like something sculpted in the Joker’s demonic image — it’s as if Nolan had succeeded in bottling the very essence of criminal anarchy in narrative form.” I also called it “the greatest comic-book movie ever made,” and “one of the finest sequels Hollywood ever produced.” There is no reason to revise that opinion now, or indeed ever. “The Dark Knight Rises” may have brought Batman back into the light, but it is to the deep, lingering shadows of this magnificent middle chapter that we will always long to return.

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  17. Revisiting ‘Batman Returns,’ The Weirdest Superhero Movie Ever Made

    http://uproxx.com/filmdrunk/batman-returns-revisited/

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  18. Every Batman Movie, Ranked
    By
    Will Leitch and Tim Grierson

    http://www.vulture.com/2017/11/every-batman-movie-ranked-from-worst-to-best.html?utm_campaign=vulture&utm_source=fb&utm_medium=s1

    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and The Dark Knight. Photo: WB Animation and Warner Bros.
    When people argue about which version of Batman is best, the debate usually boils down to a preference between Adam West’s fun-loving TV version; Tim Burton’s nervy, bizarro treatment; and Christopher Nolan’s elegantly somber reboot. (Folks who try to bring up Joel Schumacher’s abominations are politely shown the door.)

    But now, of course, we have to make room for the newest Batman, the one played by Ben Affleck. His first stab at the role resulted in last year’s Batman v Superman, a film that made a ridiculous amount of money and most everyone hated. He’s donned the mask yet again for this Friday’s Justice League, which finds the Caped Crusader joining forces with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash. Justice League will also probably be a massive hit, but is it any better than Batman v Superman?

    We decided to weigh the film against the other Batflicks that have come our way over the last 50 years — including Adam West’s Batman movie and other recent features like Batman: The Killing Joke, The Lego Batman Movie, and (dear god in heaven) Batman v Superman.

    First, some quick bits of housekeeping. For this list, we decided to forgo the 1940s Batman serials. Also, direct-to-video Batman animated movies didn’t count. And, finally, we dispensed with any films in which Gotham’s champion is merely a supporting character — so that disqualifies The Lego Movie and Suicide Squad. What we’re left with is 13 bona fide Batman movies — six of which we think are at least pretty darn great, and two more that we’d happily rewatch right now. This list was compiled by two people who think Batman is the best of all superheroes. We’re grateful that (for the most part) he’s been represented so well at the multiplex.

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
    Sheesh, where to start? How about the fact that Batman — whose whole existence is based on not killing people — just mows people down with Batmobile machine guns and bombs like it’s nothing? Or the glum tone of relentless, thudding dipshittery? Or Jesse Eisenberg’s manic, what-in-the-world-is-he-doing Lex Luthor? Or the Martha thing? (Yeah, it’s probably the Martha thing.) It’s not Ben Affleck’s fault that this movie is so terrible and deadening, but his morose, glowering, joyless Batman has to serve as its public face regardless. This is worse than the worst of the Joel Schumacher movies because, at their worst, those were just dumb and cheesy. This is an all-out assault on the senses and the soul: It makes you feel bad for liking Batman, or movies, at all.
    Batman & Robin (1997)
    Give Joel Schumacher this: When he makes a calamity, he goes all the way. The costume designer turned filmmaker has often been at his best at his boldest: Think of the feverish angry-white-guy character study Falling Down or his relentlessly stripped-down war drama Tigerland. But for his second Batman film, Schumacher’s worst impulses took over. Yes, Batman & Robin really is as terrible as you’ve been told: a witless, hyperactive, childish cavalcade of terrible action sequences, campy performances, and unfunny lines. Worse, it’s all delivered with a petty impertinence, as if cast and crew want you to know how little they think of the material. Because Arnold Schwarzenegger was, deservedly, lambasted for his wooden portrayal as the pun-spouting Mr. Freeze, history has forgotten how equally disastrous Uma Thurman is as the awkwardly slinky Poison Ivy. When Batman & Robin opened in the summer of 1997, L.A. Weekly’s Ella Taylor observed, “There’s so much happening in the movie that it feels like nothing is happening at all.” Honestly, nothing happening at all is preferable to sitting through this monstrosity.
    Justice League (2017)
    The best you can say about Justice League is that, well, at least it’s not as terrible as Batman v Superman, which introduced Ben Affleck as the latest incarnation of the Dark Knight. Batman is front and center in Justice League — which, like Batman v Superman, was directed by Zack Snyder (with an assist from Joss Whedon) — but Affleck’s uninspired portrayal of the iconic character is at least mitigated by the presence of Bruce Wayne’s super friends, most notably Gal Gadot’s righteous, compelling Wonder Woman. Affleck can be an affecting actor — ironically, he was really good in Hollywoodland, where he played George Reeves, the man who played Superman in the 1950s — but he seems completely thrown by Bruce Wayne’s haunted, melancholy essence. His Batman isn’t a figure of profound darkness — he’s just a mope, sucking any semblance of joy out of this unwieldy would-be epic. Batman may be the leader of this ragtag group of heroes, but Affleck lacks the charisma to make you believe anybody would follow him anywhere.
    Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
    The famously polarizing Batman comic book lost quite a bit in the transition to theaters. It has all the hallmarks of the popular Batman: The Animated Series, including Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker, but the desire to darken the film up to an R rating took the character a step too far. This is basically Batman’s version of Logan, only animated and without the emotional resonance. The film also makes the strange decision to add a prologue for Batgirl, one that isn’t in the comic, in which she and Batman have sex. Is that something you want? Here it is:

    The whole thing has a nastier vibe than you might want from your animated Batman movie. Hamill taking the Joker into scarier places has its appeal, but not enough.

    Batman Forever (1995)
    Imagine a world in which Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, and Nicole Kidman were all in a movie together. And U2 and Seal both had big hits on the soundtrack. It happened 22 years ago … in the live-action Batman movie that’s probably least remembered. Other Caped Crusader films were bigger disasters, but Batman Forever’s grandest failing is how disposable it is. Taking over for Michael Keaton, Kilmer plays Bruce Wayne as a faintly put-upon hero, battling not just supervillains Two-Face (Jones) and the Riddler (Carrey), but also the lusty advances of a psychologist (Kidman) who wants to get under his Batsuit. Now most fondly known as the less-terrible Joel Schumacher Batman flick, Batman Forever is what happens when this inherently somber property decides to loosen up and have some fun. But — and this is important — it’s devoid of the smarts and impish wit that distinguishes a few lighter Batman movies higher up on our list. The only thing worth saving from this listless enterprise is Carrey’s go-for-broke portrayal — it’s a cackling, inspired performance of joyful dementedness that desperately needed a Burton or a Nolan to give it true epic force.
    Batman (1966)
    Made as a sort of promotional transition between the TV show’s first and second seasons, this is basically a long episode, albeit one that makes sure to get all the villains together. The Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman — played by Lee Meriwether, rather than Julie Newmar, who had a scheduling conflict — band together to create “The United Underworld,” and, of course, the Dynamic Duo tries to stop them. This doesn’t particularly expand the show’s canvas, and it mostly just keeps that same wacky tone that Adam West & Co. cemented in the public imagination for decades to come — which is a feature, not a bug. In the wake of West’s death in June, there was a renewed appreciation for the innocence and fun of this era of Batman, and while we’ll confess to being more interested in Batman’s dark side, rather than his campy side, it’s impossible to deny that this Batman is fun.
    The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
    2014’s The Lego Movie was a kaleidoscope of fizzy pop-culture jokes and giddy, frenetic action sequences. And Will Arnett’s tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the oh-so-dark Batman was one of its consistent pleasures. (“Darkness! No parents!”) The spinoff film is a full-on spoof of the Caped Crusader’s big-screen legacy, mocking all the different Batman iterations. Most specifically, though, it targets the brooding ethos that was at the heart of the Dark Knight trilogy — and, by extension, eviscerates the poisonous self-importance of Zack Snyder’s lumbering, atrocious Batman v Superman. Sure, that’s a one-joke premise, but The Lego Batman Movie ends up being surprisingly dexterous, as director Chris McKay and his bevy of screenwriters attack our modern glut of superhero movies from every angle. Meta to the max, The Lego Batman Movie rewards all of us nerds who have wasted so much of our lives obsessing over Batman minutiae, throwing in nods to obscure villains and costumes from the Adam West series and the 1990s animated show. Plus, no Dick Grayson has even been more fragile or adorable than Michael Cera, playing the sweet orphan who may just teach this blowhard how to get in touch with his feelings.
    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
    In between Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s Batman films, Warner Bros. produced the innovative Batman: The Animated Series, which was surprisingly sophisticated and serious for a kids’ show. This iteration of the Batman legend came to the big screen for Mask of the Phantasm, an impressively complex 76-minute tale that deftly mixes a love story, Bruce Wayne’s tragic past, the scene-stealing Joker, and a mystery into a intricate, flashback-laden narrative. Juilliard-trained actor Kevin Conroy plays Wayne, who is reacquainted with Andrea (Dana Delany), an old flame who mysteriously dropped out of his life years ago. At the same time, he’s forced to contend with a new menace in Gotham: A shadowy, murderous masked figure whose cape makes him look an awful lot like Batman. While it reimagines Wayne’s past as a trauma he shares with Andrea (she lost her mom), Mask of the Phantasm is surprisingly sexy, touching, and emotionally astute. And Mark Hamill nicely channels Cesar Romero’s lunatic laugh for his portrayal of the Joker. If you’re looking for a Batman movie to get your young kids hooked on this superhero for life, Mask ought to do the trick.
    The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    It would have been impossible to live up to The Dark Knight — and this doesn’t, something Christopher Nolan seems to concede by steering the franchise into more traditional comic-book tropes. (Before this film, it would have been impossible to imagine Robin in a Nolan universe.) But just because this feels like a letdown after The Dark Knight doesn’t mean it’s not still a crackerjack work, full of the big swings that Nolan can’t help himself from taking. Tom Hardy is a hulking force of nature, even if the movie’s nods to Occupy Wall Street don’t quite land; you still see the chaos of Bane on the horizon. The sequence in which Bane sets off bombs throughout Gotham is still one of Nolan’s great set pieces, particularly if you were fortunate enough to see it in Imax. And Anne Hathaway is low-key solid as Catwoman (as much as anything can be low-key in these movies). The ending still feels perfunctory and even a little pandering, and you sense that Nolan was just about out of ideas at this point, but it still does the trilogy proud.
    Batman (1989)
    In the decades since Adam West’s cheeky Batman television series, the Caped Crusader’s handlers have yo-yoed between presenting the superhero as a ludicrous, self-mocking figure (the Joel Schumacher films) and a brooding, somber tragedy (the Christopher Nolan films). In retrospect, what’s most satisfying about Batman is that director Tim Burton got to have it both ways. At the time, this urban, Gothic action-thriller seemed incredibly dark — way kinkier than the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, and certainly edgier than West’s show. But in the nearly 30 years since it debuted, this Batman now stands as a surprisingly funny comic-book flick, one that cares about the psychology of its characters, but also enjoys making light of the weirdness inherent in grown men running around in costumes. Playing the Joker as a whacked-out showboat, Jack Nicholson doesn’t have time for your complaints that this once-titanic actor has devolved into a shameless ham — he basically dares Michael Keaton’s buttoned-down Batman to stop him. The imbalance in their performances is what gives Batman its spark: Our hero is noble, but muted and tormented, while his nemesis is a gloriously unhinged man free of such hang-ups. Who’s to say which character is really the more troubled?
    Batman Returns (1992)
    The first, massively successful Batman gave Tim Burton the cachet to make his own, truly Burton Batman, and the result was this weird, lonely, aching blockbuster about a bunch of souls in pain who also happen to be extremely famous comic-book characters. Danny DeVito’s Penguin is grotesque and repulsive, but he’s also another of Burton’s damaged souls; the first image of the movie depicts his parents abandoning him. Batman himself is lost and terrified — remember, the culminating image of the finale features him tearing his mask off and begging to be loved. The key to this all was Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, who is sexy and scary and forever in danger of spiraling gloriously out of control. This movie was way too strange to be the tentpole Warner Bros. wanted, and they quite reasonably, if ultimately foolishly, tried to steer the franchise back to steadier, more mainstream waters. But this film, in a way, is peak Burton, before Burton receded too far into Depp Blockbuster Land: His own obsessions, the lives of outcast weirdoes, splayed out for the whole planet to see.
    Batman Begins (2005)
    You could argue that the modern comic-book movie — and Hollywood’s obsession with dark reboots of its biggest franchises — began on January 27, 2003. That’s when Warner Bros. announced it was tapping Christopher Nolan to direct a new Batman film. “All I can say is that I grew up with Batman, I’ve been fascinated by him and I’m excited to contribute to the lore surrounding the character,” the director said at the time. “He is the most credible and realistic of the superheroes, and has the most complex human psychology. His superhero qualities come from within. He’s not a magical character.” That emphasis on the Caped Crusader’s dark mental makeup informs every moment of Batman Begins, which didn’t just wipe away the neon inanity of Joel Schumacher’s mid-to-late-’90s installments, but created a template for other studios to follow to revive their moribund properties. Here was a film that actually took Bruce Wayne’s childhood trauma seriously, casting Christian Bale as a distant, uncertain playboy who was crippled inside — becoming Batman not because he loved the gadgets, but because he desperately needed a way to exorcise the pain of seeing his parents murdered. Beautifully cast from top to bottom — Gary Oldman was a sublime choice for James Gordon; Michael Caine a delightfully droll and compassionate Alfred — Batman Begins brilliantly kick-started a trilogy that would compellingly examine how darkness can consume both heroes and villains. And the follow-up was even better.
    The Dark Knight (2008)

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    • I lost like for “Batman Returns” (like what we talked about, the story is all over the place). I like the performers, but in different films (Michelle Pfeiffer in “Grease II”; okay, just kidding).
      Wow I learned Brandon Maggart was in 1980’s “Dressed to Kill”. You know who he is? The father of my favorite singer of all time, Fiona Apple (deeper than fish, and as great as an ocean)!

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      • “Batman Returns” in kind of a strange round about way, is kind of like Zack Snyder’s DC superhero movies. Tim Burton has an excellent visual style and unique imagination, but he can’t seem like Snyder, be able to tell a coherent, focused story. In effect, it’s just style to cover up the lack of substance.

        With the 1989 movie, Burton I’m sure had people who had better judgement in his ear to tell him to not do this or that. But with “Returns”, it was just a big circle jerk and ego trip on Burton. I’m assuming that Burton was surrounded by “yes-men” who couldn’t tell him to tamper down on his crazier ideas (or like what happened with Dan Aykroyd’s original approach to “Ghostbusters” for example, make his ideas make sense).

        Burton had to introduce all of this supernatural crap and vulgarity to “Returns” (which feels like the first Batman movie on acid) instead of just picking up where the 1989 movie left off.

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        • I think that’s a great point; like “Batman Returns” and other Zach Snyder films, they danced around the concept but didn’t quite bring actual life to the characters; it was like “boom, there goes the dynamite” (or “boom” something else). All I need to know is where one can get rid of a bomb, or drop a bomb on me (okay, I have the second part covered; to drop a bomb on me, I need The Gap Band, who seemed to not shop at The Gap:-).

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  19. JUSTICE LEAGUE was…okay. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is still the standout. She’s perfect. Despite me liking Batfleck in BvS, he was the weak link in this one. He just kind of did not much. Superman was better in this than the previous two films. He was happier, brighter, not dour or depressed, or shot in blue-gray lighting. Cyborg was cool. The Flash is fine, although he’s not very much like Barry Allen personality-wise, and that suit still has to go. It will still take me some time to warm up to this cruder version of Aquaman. I’m used to the Aqua Boy Scout and he ain’t it. Steppenwolf sucks. He is a wholly CGI character and his design is poor and looks bad throughout the entire movie. Speaking of bad CGI…You can tell which scenes Henry Cavill had to come back and shoot. They are the scenes where he obviously has a CGI face – where they had to digitally delete his mustache. It looks terrible. What I DID like about the movie was the group dynamic. I liked seeing these characters together on the big screen. It’s just too bad it wasn’t in a better movie. The mid-credits scene and the post-credits scene show great promise. I really think we’ll get better than we got with this one. I liked JUSTICE LEAGUE better than MAN OF STEEL, BVS, and SUICIDE SQUAD, but it is nowhere near as good as WONDER WOMAN. Wonder Woman rules this DC film universe. More of Gal!

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  20. I think I’m just gonna skip Justice League. Yeah, Wonder Woman was good but considering I wasn’t fond of either BVS and Suicide Squad and just thought of Man of Steel was meh, I’ll just skip this one. Maybe I’ll check out the future ones if I hear good things. Maybe.

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