Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Big Picture: "Batman Revisited - Part III"

"Batman Forever" this week.

9 comments:

adminsmithee said...

Next week, Batnipples

Sanunes said...

For the longest time I did believe that Joel Schumacher did hurt the franchise because of the changes, but after awhile I had a Batman-a-thon and really saw the issues that all the movies had and they are fairly similar, its just that Schumacher decided to go bright and neon for Forever. After that I relized that my issues with the movies weren't the script/director/neon-based design it was the actors they had playing the parts for they felt souless compared to other movies I had seen.

One mistake I have made and just corrected is that I forgot that Batman Forever was done before Batman and Robin and that could have been also why I believe he ruined the franchise for I do consider Batman and Robin to be the worst movie of the four.

I just wonder if he really did keep yelling before every take something along the lines of "Its a comic book movie", for that just seems to make it sound even campier to me.

Lord Slithor said...

Very interesting! Personally, I never really felt that Batman Returns was the big PR disaster you made it out to be. True, I remember some parents being displeased it not being quite so kid-friendly, but it was hardly the kerfuffle you said it was. The way I remember it, it was more the adult fans - including myself - being disappointed that the movie was too dark and dreary and not as fun as the previous film. So I was glad when Tim Burton stepped down. At that time, Joel Schumacher's take felt like a breath of fresh air that I welcomed. And a lot of the things you enumerated on for Batman Forever also happened to be the same reasons why I liked it as well. To this day I consider it one of the best Batman movies, and that Schumacher gets unfairly maligned, I think for his work. Much of his negative perception, though, comes from Batman and Robin more than Batman Forever. But you said you'd go more into that next week.

SirRosser said...

Hmm...well, I must say that you've made me rethink this movie a bit; perhaps I've been overly-hard on it due to popular opinion. Think I'll go ahead and give it a second look after all these years. For a bonus, after watching this and doing some light research, I've found that I've been pronouncing the word "quixotic" incorrectly this whole time! So I learned TWO new things today!

Popcorn Dave said...

Damn, Schumacher was planning to adapt Year One!? That just blows my mind, imagine if he'd tried to adapt Frank Miller in the same garish style he used in Forever!

Really enjoying these videos Bob. I think you should do more retrospectives like this, it's interesting to see how different things look in hindsight.

Serial Wordsmith said...

The franchise lightening up and Batman becoming less grim and psychotic reminds of what Darwyn Cooke did in the New Frontier series. He was explaining the transition between the grim Golden Age Batman and the brighter more Adam West style Silver Age Batman. Weirdly enough, both involved Robin coming in to the picture.

Love the show!

Lee Kalba said...

I have to disagree on this one. Batman Forever is objectively worse. When you favor style over substance (as all of these did) but the style chosen is garish and painful to look at, it's not simply a mater of opinion. Forever, basically wiped its ass with color theory and filled the screen with glaring neon primary and secondary colors, especially pink, purple, green, and red, conjuring all the worst stereotypes of 80's cartoon background design.
Also, Dick Grayson is like 24, why the hell does he need a guardian? Not to mention the same origin blunders as the original, with Two Face being the one who killed Dick's parents.

SK said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that enjoyed Batman Returns. It was good for it's time, although a bit too campy. And Batman really matured as a character compared to the previous ones.

It was Batman & Robin that ruined it for me.

@Serial Wordsmith: It's no coincidence. Robin is Batman's moral anchor, he's the one that stops Batman from becoming The Punisher. He's the reason why he got rid of his gun (believe it or not folks, Batman had a gun in the Golden Age. And killed. This probably got retconned with all the crisis crossovers though).

While I still WORSHIP Christopher Nolan's realistic take on Batman as the best adaptation of the caped crusader that ever existed, I must admit that the absense of Robin in those films makes Bruce's decision to never kill seem to come out of nowhere.

Chris Cesarano said...

@Lee Kalba:

You basically just described some of the colors most commonly used in old-fashion comics, you realize?

I was never aware Schumaccher (sp?) was a big comic guy. I did watch Forever recently, though, and I actually found it to be an interesting combination of Tim Burton's Goth sensibilities with the tone of the Adam West show.

Maybe I'm completely off-base, but I feel that Joel was taking a lot of elements from the Adam West era and implementing them here intentionally. It just comes off with that sort of 1960's camp, only dressed up in 90's leather and neon lights. I felt that was an interesting choice to go for, but unfortunately not one people wanted.

Sort of like the Wachowski Brothers making Speed Racer take the style of the cartoon in a big way, be it in visuals or just the acting.