Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"Post No. 658"

With this being the 20th. Anniversary of the first serious Batman movie, I've decided to continue with my opinions of the four films prior to those starring Christian Bale.


This time I want to discuss Batman Returns, the second with Michael Keaton in the role (and his last as "Batman"), released in 1992 three years after the first.

One of my objections to the way Batman was protrayed in this flick (produced again by Tim Burton) was that the thing we've always been preached to in DC Comics;The Batman does not kill! In this film he kills at least two villians. One time he even burns a villian to death with the exhaust flames from the batmobile.

Secondly, although this movie was only 126 minutes in length, there was several draggy parts making it seem like four hours. Batman's a dark character, natch, but this is more than just "dark"; it borders on grossness. Blackish blood flowing from The Penquin's mouth, Danny DeVito in a "fat suit" (not that he's the thinnest actor around as it is) and him walking around in his underwear for half of this movie. I didn't put down an admission fee to the film to see DeVito's butt cheeks for 45 minutes of it, Mr. Burton, and this isn't one of your corpse flicks. It's a comic book hero, so please no more tries at such. Just stick with your animated films in which you excell. Had you learned a lesson from your excellant effort producing the previous Batman movie, this would have ended up being a much better production.

Which brings us around to Mr. DeVito's performance. Well...he had a script and followed it and acted like some sort of deranged mutant. It's not his fault. It's the fault of the one who wrote The Penquin "this way' in the script. Obviously they had never read a story in a Batman comic book title which featured "the bumbershoot villian".

The Penquin, if nothing else, always had class. He dressed very well (as did all of the villians created by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson) with a cut-away jacket, spats, dress pants and polished shoes and a topper. It was The Penquin's trademark appearance. Here he looks very sloppy...nasty, even. He may have liked sardines but he wouldn't be mesmerized by a raw fish and devour it like some beast. And The Penquin always kept his hair neat and short, combed back and not that straggly long mess. Someone needs to fire anyone remotely connected to the make-up department on him in this movie that created such a look. No. I didn't care for this version or "alternated vision" of The Penquin at all.

So let's move on to "The Catwoman". She's NOT a blonde. Movies such as these try to rely on "big name stars" to carry the film. Instead they need to rely on accurate use of original source material and at least try to remain true to basic concepts. On the other hand, I thought Michelle Pfiffer's acting was "okay". A bit overdone at times perhaps, but she portrayed The Catwoman much better than DeVito did as The Penquin.

And...some of the things I DID like.

Keaton did a satisfying job as The Batman again; shame he didn't do a third one in the series. I was pretty surprized when he pulled off a believable "Bruce Wayne" as I was very disapointed when I first heard back in '89 that he had the role. I mean, this was the same guy that portrayed "Beetlejuice", which was a fun film, but as The Dark Knight??? Common! Frankly he surprized the crap outta me to my delight.

Something else that I liked was that he showed me one thing in the film that The Batman is, foremost, a detective. His being a detective is part of his original history and I do applaude that being shown.

Another thing---"the batmobile", which looked much better in this film that that stretch limo version used previously that looked impossible to even turn around. This time it was smaller with those neat twin fins, and over-all, just looked much better.

The only other thing I DIDN'T like about this flick was that everyone always seems to find out Batman's secret I.D.. In the first flick it's Vicki Vale, in this one it's The Catwoman and Chris Walken's villian character, and later on in other films it's Dick Grayson, The Riddler, Two-Face, etc., etc. (enuff, already).

I actually went to see this movie when it first came to the theatre some odd 17 years ago because I had really liked the first one, but this one let me down.

However-----

It was world's better than the next two made after it.

In closing comments regarding The Batman movies, I feel that no one has yet made a decent adaptation of "the caped crusader"; not even the two most recent efforts. DC/Warner/"whoever", needs to start from scratch with actors that really look their parts and have taken a good, long study of the material on hand before they do another one.


And, finally.... I want to comment on the news that Disney productions has purchased Marvel Entertainment.

Personally I feel that Disney purchasing Marvel will turn out to be one of the very worst things that could have happened to their fan following. It will limit the freedom of their artists and writers causing their publications to lose any quality they have left and the films will certainly suffer from an ever pounding of political correctness that any true inspiration will disapear. To me, Disney has become a dictatorship over the years and just another huge corporation attempting monopolies by acquiring as much of the media as possible to sway The American Public and the world at large into "their way of thinking".

The late Walt Disney, himself, probably has turned over so many times in his grave that he's burrowed through the bottom of his casket and currently resides in China due to what's happened to his dream since he died.

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