Monday Night Movie Club ♯5

This week it's simple, we review Batman. 2000 words only, so don't waste them all on savaging Batman & Robin. Next week will be Lord Of The Rings.

JR19759

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2 Responses to Monday Night Movie Club ♯5

  1. Batman: 1943 serial released by Columbia Pictures.
    Starring Lewis Wilson as Batman.
    Directed by Lambert Hillyer.
    Plot: Batman is depicted as a patriotic government agent chasing Japanese saboteurs led by Dr. Daka during WWII.
    Unique elements: Introduced the Batcave and its grandfather clock entrance, as well as a skinny Alfred.
    Why it was good: Flawed as it was, its the very first appearance of Batman on the silver screen.
    Why it was bad: It was filled with so much racism that Batman should have worn a white hood.
    Quality rating: 1 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 5 of 5.

    Batman and Robin: 1949 serial released by Columbia Pictures.
    Starring Robert Lowery as Batman.
    Directed by Sam Katzman.
    Plot: Batman and Robin chasing (and finally unmasking in Chapter 15) an original villain called the Wizard.
    Unique elements: The first on-screen appearances of both Vicki Vale and Commissioner Gordon.
    Why it was good: It ditched the previous patriotic jingoism and was much more faithful to the comic.
    Why it was bad: This serial had a budget that was found in the cracks of the producer’s couch.
    Quality rating: 2 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 2 of 5.

    Batman: 1966 film released by 20th Century Fox.
    Starring Adam West as Batman.
    Directed by Leslie H. Martinson.
    Plot: The Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman attempt to kidnap a group of leading UN delegates.
    Unique elements: Introduced new versions of the Bat-Copter, the Bat-Boat and the Bat-cycle. Plus, it had a shark.
    Why it was good: If you like over the top camp and/or lots and lots of weed, then this is the film for you.
    Why it was bad: If you don’t like over the top camp that simply rehashes the 60’s TV show, this film sucks.
    Quality rating: 2 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 4 of 5.

    Batman: 1989 film released by Warner Brothers.
    Starring Michael Keaton as Batman.
    Directed by Tim Burton.
    Plot: The Joker terrorizes Gotham City until Batman hunts him down and kills him.
    Unique elements: The Joker was given a name and replaced Joe Chill as the killer of Bruce’s parents.
    Why it was good: The Gotham City setting. At first I thought sure it was shot on location in Cleveland.
    Why it was bad: The Batplane just happened to have the right gadget to destroy the right number of toxic balloons.
    Quality rating: 4 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 5 of 5.

    Batman Returns: 1992 film released by Warner Brothers.
    Starring Michael Keaton as Batman.
    Directed by Tim Burton.
    Plot: Penguin and Catwoman team up with Christopher Walken to take over Gotham City and raise Cain.
    Unique elements: The Penguin was ret-conned as a mutant and Catwoman as a blonde crazy person.
    Why it was good: Danny DeVito’s Penguin was truly evil, and Catwoman was truly mad. Plus, Pee Wee!
    Why it was bad: Yet again, Beetlejuice unmasks himself simply to get into his girlfriends knickers.
    Quality rating: 3 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 4 of 5.

    Batman Forever: 1995 film released by Warner Brothers.
    Starring Val Kilmer as Batman.
    Directed by Joel Schumacher.
    Plot: Two-Face teams up with the Riddler to mind-control all of the good citizens of Gotham City.
    Unique elements: First depiction of Arkham Asylum, where Bruce Wayne’s psychiatrist/girl friend works.
    Why it was good: Bruce’s new girlfriend helps him deal with the trauma of witnessing his parent’s murder.
    Why it was bad: The director aped the style of the 1960’s television show without any of its dubious charms.
    Quality rating: 2 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 4 of 5.

    Batman & Robin: 1997 film released by Warner Brothers.
    Starring George Clooney as Batman.
    Directed by Joel Schumacher.
    Plot: Cramming as many characters into the film as possible to cover the lack of a coherent plot.
    Unique elements: Four words: rubber nipples and neon.
    Why it was good: It wasn’t.
    Why it was bad: This would require four more articles of this size.
    Quality rating: 0 of 5. Some portions reach negative numbers.
    Bizarre rating: 5 of 5. But not in a good way.

    Batman Begins: 2005 film released by Warner Brothers.
    Starring Christian Bale as Batman.
    Directed by Christopher Nolan.
    Plot: Bruce Wayne betrays his mentor Ra’s al Ghul, who follows him home to Gotham City for revenge.
    Unique elements: First live action film depicting the Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Lucius Fox and Wayne Enterprises.
    Why it was good: It used an absolute minimum of CGI to achieve rather spectacular stunts and effects.
    Why it was bad: The film threw out 30 years of admittedly convoluted continuity to combine the Golden and Silver Ages.
    Quality rating: 4 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 2 of 5.

    atman’s new origin story.

    The Dark Knight: 2008 film released by Warner Brothers.
    Starring Christian Bale as Batman.
    Directed by Christopher Nolan.
    Plot: The Joker and Two-Face, both of whom are nuttier than squirrel turds, are supreme agents of chaos.
    Unique elements: Batman’s Orwellian super-mega-hyper-ultra cosmic magical eavesdropping device.
    Why it was good: Heath Ledger as the Joker got a well deserved (and sadly posthumous) Academy Award.
    Why it was bad: Several rather gaping plot holes will distract the critically thinking audience members.
    Quality rating: 5 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 4 of 5.

    The Dark Knight Rises: 2012 film released by Warner Brothers.
    Starring Christian Bale as Batman.
    Directed by Christopher Nolan.
    Plot: Talia al Ghul, Catwoman and Bane combine forces in order to destroy Batman and take over Gotham City.
    Unique elements: First live-action appearance of Talia al Ghul, and Jim Gordon learns Batman’s identity.
    Why it was good: The convoluted plot and its many twists put M. Night Shamalamadingdong to shame.
    Why it was bad: Several more gaping plot holes are overshadowed by the fact that Batman RETIRED!!!
    Quality rating: 4 of 5.
    Bizarre rating: 3 of 5.

  2. great reviews, I enjoyed it.
    I wasn’t even aware of the older ones.

    Thanks!