And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Green Lantern (2011)
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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



Catwoman (2004)

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Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
Yeah, Hal...you should be scared.

Hey, Jordan...Clark Kent wants his cowlick back.

I’ve always liked Green Lantern in theory, but I’m one of those annoying bastards who only started paying attention to the title after annoying bastard de jure Kyle Rayner began leaving a trail of dead and depowered girlfriends across the DC Universe. For the longest time I only knew Hal Jordan, the Silver Age Green Lantern of the 1960s and still (apparently) a fan favorite to this day, in his Darth Vader persona, Parallax.

Then Hal died and came back to life again, as popular characters are so wont to do, and by 2005 he’d returned to his former role and his own book with nary a “Sorry about that little attempted genocide.” Gotta love those Cosmic Reset Buttons. Couldn’t have happened at a better time. Back in 1994, when Hal first went power-mad, superhero movies were a punch line…especially if they stared Alec Baldwin. The year after Hal died (that first time) Joel Schumacher killed Hope itself with a little atrocity called Batman and Robin. Ah…but today… Continue reading



Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
"We've got to help her. She's the only one around with a head bigger than her arms."

"We've got to help her. She's the only one around here with a head bigger than her shoulder muscles."

Well bisect me with a light saber. Here I am, ready and willing to take a break from hating everything and review another superhero cartoon before the October Horror Movie season and DC Animation, in their infinite (sarcastic airquotes) “wisdom,” gave me this one. I really couldn’t be happier. Because its exactly half-bad.

Apocalypse is the direct sequel to last year’s Public Enemies, as you’ll hear from the Gotham City talk radio DJ in the precredit sequence. “A rash of meteor showers has lit up the country from coast to coast this week following the destruction of a giant Kryptonite asteroid by our own Dark Knight.” {More}



Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

Hey, a cowboy actor made it. Why not Ol' Bald n' Evil?As you’ve no doubt guessed by now, my personal political views fall somewhere to the left of Mikhail Bakunin. So, as you’d expect, I experienced quite the nerdgasam back in the year 2000 when (through a convoluted story line tonight’s film rightly jettisons without the slightest nod) Lex Luthor became President of the D.C. Universe’s United States. Finally, I said to no one in particular, given that at the time I had no friends, someone in comics understands the f-ed up mess we’re in.

But all good things must come to an end, and since this is D.C. Comics, that “end” must engulf the entire world in some form of world-engulfing peril, preferably one stolen from the plot of a popular summer sci-fi/action movie. Because you can’t throw D.C.’s most insanely-powerful superheroes at just any-old idiotic inhabitant of the White House.

Or can you…? Here again, the Justice League TV series captured my heart by daring to actually ask this question several times to continually ass-kicking effect, only chickening out when it looked like their show might be canceled, necessitating the Climactic Battle restore the status quo. I’ve waited three years for a cartoon that dares to look into the actual nuts and bolts of superheroing during the Luthor Administration. All I can say is, I’m still waiting. In the meantime, at least we’ve got Public Enemies. {More}