And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


The Top 5 Dumbest Things in Batman Forever

Because of our obvious love for Batman, we present this video supplement to our review of Batman Forever.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYLN5kQA.x?p=1 width=”640″ height=”388″]

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The Quick and the Dead (1995)
Now there's a halo legend...

Now there’s a halo legend…

A lot of people rightly praise Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy, but I’ve always preferred his…”more mature” feels like an obscenely inaccurate phrase, so I’ll just call them his “middle-period” pieces. Between Evil Dead 2 and Spider-Man, Raimi struggled for mainstream success, feeling – like every decent genre director in the ’80s and ’90s – that niche audiences and cult success are all well and good…until you looked at the numbers. Besides, Universal wanted to create its own TV channel. Who better to make that happen than a writer/director/producer triple threat?

These struggles cost him fans and failed to win him the wide audience Hollywood’s power brokers and spreadsheet psychics insist every director must possess before they’re allowed to sit in the Front Room with the Grown Ups, where they might accidentally/on-purpose break the studio’s Nice Things (like, oh, I don’t know, say…a profitable superhero franchise). While Darkman and Army of Darkness are “kinder” and “gentler” films than either previous Dead movie (and easier to follow than the Great Black Mark on Raimi’s pre-Spider-Man career, Crimewave), I’m going to own up another Fanboy Heresy and admit I actually prefer them to the original Dead duology.

Not that I don’t love the Dead movies, but I prefer flicks with characters over flicks with mobile viscera containers (that just so happen to speak and/or emote). Why do you think I go out of my way to avoid “art house” or “Sundance Channel” films? Continue reading



Batman Forever (1995)
And is that...Bat-lipstick?

And is that…Bat-lipstick?

This is where I fell off the boat. I was twelve in 1995, when the Batman blitz began again, and from the start, things felt different. For one thing, I’d started paying attention to the news. This new thing called “the internet” was suddenly driving up everyone’s phone bills, an instantaneous worldwide communication network that quickly became the ultimate gossip and pornography distribution system. And the gossip surrounding Batman Forever set all my Red Alerts ringing.

Everyone learned all the wrong lessons from Batman Returns. And I mean everyone. America’s Moral Guardians learned that Tim Burton was a demented genius, something any of Burton fan could’ve told them a decade before, had the assholes bothered to ask. They complained his film was “too dark,” that it had stained the eyes of their precious Children with twisted sexuality and Danny Devito’s idiotic one-liners. Economics compelled Warner Brothers to Think of the Children and consign Burton to a Producer-in-name-only-credit (he was off making Mars Attacks).

Replacing him, Warner Brothers hired the director of 1993s Falling Down and 1994’s smash hit, The Client: Joel…God help us all…Schumacher. And, true to his reputation as an all-around nice guy, not at all deserving of the jokes I’m about to make at his expense, Joel brought along The Client‘s writer: Akiva…fuck me running…Goldsman. Continue reading



Batman Returns (1992)
What you mean? What so strange about two people in rubber costumes making out on a rooftop?

Nope. Nothing creepy going on here.

As with its prequel, I have a long history with Batman Returns. It was Friday, June 19, and my cousins and I were suffering through the annual summer visit to the grandparent’s house…in Alabama. My southeastern U.S. readers know what that means. Everyone else: imagine being trapped inside a fat man’s wet towel. Now imagine that fat man is obsessed with wearing pine-scented cologne and rolling around in fire ants. Welcome to Alabama in the summer time.

I saw a lot of movies during those summer vacations. Batman Returns was everything a nine-year-old could want and more. It terrified our grandparents for the same reason it entranced we children of Batman. The two villains on the poster tell you everything you need to know. Batman Returns was a doubling-down for everyone, from the top brass at Warner Brothers to the runner who spiked Tim Burton’s coffee with acid every morning. The marketing for this film promised twice the everything. More action. More Gotham. More goddamn Batman. Continue reading



Batman (1989)

So it’s 1989 and I’m six years old. For my birthday I’m allowed the fifty-mile car ride down to the nearest theater to see one film. Like every other kid in 1989, I chose Batman and one of the results of that choice is the website you see today.

It’s impossible to underestimate the historical importance of this film. We have to remember that, before 1989, the only superhero to achieve real success in the only true mass medium was Superman. And before 1989, Superman was a fluke: a one in a million shot. A creation of the go-go Regan years that was already on its last legs in 1987, when Christopher Reeve’s ego brought Superman IV: The Quest for Peace down upon us all.

Before this film, Batman’s only real cultural cache came from Adam West’s notorious TV show, which remained popular enough to justify continuous re-runs on at least one channel per year since is original cancellation. Burton changed all that, and in one film he rescued the Golden Age of the American superhero movies from history’s dustbin. Continue reading



Batman and Robin (1997)

Joel Schumacher shows what he really thinks of us.So here it is: the final nail in the coffin, the death knell of the Golden Age of superhero movies. As with any artistic Age, it’s boundaries are plastic and open for debate, should any nerd care to distract him- (or her-) self. But you’d be hard pressed to find a nerd who doesn’t view this movie for exactly what it is: the lowest of the low, the scum of the fucking earth, the most useless, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat out of Hollywood, a town ruled by effete assholes who see not at all wrong with dumping toxic, imaginative waste straight into their target audience’s eyes, so long as there are as many eyes as possible.

Sorry. Channeled Trainspotting there for a moment. Where were we? Ah, yes…we were marveling at Joel Schumacher’s continued slide into camp and self-parodying idiocy. All in the name of keeping this franchise “family friendly.” In practice, you and I both know this means, “so dumb your trailer-trash, hick cousins from Possumscrotum, Texas, will beg, cry, scream and, eventually, drag their parents into theaters. We’ve spent the last six months stoking their little, ADD-addled minds with trailers and toy commercials. If we don’t get their butts in those seats, our Japanese masters stand to loose hundreds of billions of yen! We can’t allow that!” {More}