Sunday, April 26, 2009

FILM: RETRO REVIEW: The Original Batman Anthology

Here's a quick review of the first four Batmans, judged by their 10 most important categories.

BATMAN (1989) - Tim Burton masters the gothic look of Gotham and the dark side of Batman

Michael Keaton - A surprise casting choice, but he perfected the brooding Caped Crusader. Still the best Batman ever. (10/10)
Jack Nicholson - They needed a big name to sell the film, and they got it. Nicholson's performance is more funny psychotic, whereas Heath Ledger is going for scary psychotic. The only gripe is that he's kind of a pudgy, old Joker. But he nails the role and keeps the tone from going too dark. "Never rub another man's rhubarb!" (8/10)

Kim Basinger - She sucks, and so does her story line. The only appeal is her looks. (4/10)

Cinematography - Everything about it (the city, the mansion, the streets) fits the mood of the story well. (10/10)
Plot- It's the origin story for the Joker. Some people have long criticized this move because it leads people to sympathize with him a little bit. After he becomes the Joker, he unleashes his chemicals on the city, killing them and putting a smile on their face as well. Batman fights and eventually conquers him while Vicky Vale is caught in the middle of this. This works well as the plot. 8/10

Ending - The Joker falls to his death and we get up shot that pans up and up above the buildings to the roof where Batman is perched. 9/10

Music - Danny Elfman did the incredible soundtrack that even people in Paraguay enjoyed. Also the parade song is good. 10/10
Costumes - Batsuit looks good, although restricting. The Joker's makeup is also fun. There are some dumb 80's clothes, so it doesn't feel timeless. But I guess it could be worse. 7/10
Supporting Characters -Superb: Grissom, Alfred, Eckhart, Bob, the Mayor, Gordon, and Knox. 10/10

My Personal Ranking: Deservedly Iconic (9/10)



- A very good sequel that understandably can't stand up to the original.

Michael Keaton - Still awesome as Batman. I love the shot of him sitting in his office in the dark and the signal lights up the room. And then he stands and looks menacing. (10/10)
Danny DeVito - Not many other people could look the part of the Penguin, a short fat guy with a temper. But I'm convinced that no one else could play him either. The Penguin is equal parts evil and sad, and we feel every bit of it (8/10)

Michelle Pfeiffer - An improvement upon Kim Basinger, but only because she's the villain, too. Her Catwoman voice is hot, and the love story is actually entertaining since they are both trying to hide who they are. (7/10)

Cinematography - Same as the first. It loses its uniqueness, but it doesn't screw it up either. (8/10)
Plot- The Penguin first tries to prey on the sympathies of the public as he runs for mayor, but Batman foils him and then they start brawling. Also in play is Catwoman's origin story, which is a good one. 8/10

Ending - The sad little penguins push the big fat Penguin into the sewer after he's killed. Bruce and Selena's relationship is iffy, but we get another building shot (this time Catwoman is perched atop). Well done. 9/10

Music - Much of the same. 9/10
Costumes - The Batsuit is back. The Penguin and Catwoman costumes are a step up from the Joker's look. 8/10
Supporting Characters -CHRISTOPHER WALKEN. You don't really need anyone else, do you? 8/10

My Personal Ranking: Great Sequel(8/10)


- New director means new vision that is noticeably worse. Did you know that before WB ousted Tim Burton, he casted Marlon Wayans as Robin, there would be no Two-Face, Michael Keaton would be back and maybe Catwoman, too?

Val Kilmer - Underrated as Batman. Yes, he's not as good as Keaton or Bale, but his Bruce Wayne is very good. It's just his Batman voice that is disappointing. (7/10)
Jim Carrey - He's good as the Riddler. Too bad the Riddler isn't much of a villain. (6/10)

Tommy Lee Jones - Two-Face is a great villain, and I think Tommy Lee Jones is terrific. The only gripe is that, in the end, he's pretty much the sidekick to the Riddler, and dies because of a quarter trick. Plus, when Two-Face shoots Bruce in the head, he keeps flipping the coin until he gets the desired outcome. That NEVER happens in the comics. (7/10)

Nicole Kidman - Hot, but worthless. (2/10)
Chris O'Donnell - This is when the series nuked the fridge, jumped the shark, and moved the Island. 1/10

Cinematography - Campy and glow in the dark. 4/10

Ending - All goes well until.....the endshot where they run in the tunnel. 6/10
Art Direction - Cool villains, but the new Batmobile look just starts things down the slippy slope. 7/10
Supporting Characters -Drew Barrymore and the publicist from Entourage? 4/10

My Personal Ranking: Good, not Great (5/10)


BATMAN and ROBIN (1997)

- One of the worst and most laughably made comic book movies ever. Did you know that if this film had been successful, Batman Triumphant would've been made with Scarecrow, Man-Bat, and Harley Quinn (as the Joker's daughter, not love interest) as the villains. One sequence would've had Scarecrow using the fear gas on Batman, resulting in him dreaming up the return of the Joker (a cameo by Jack).

George Clooney - Terrible. (1/10)
Arnold Schwarzeneggar - Horrible dialogue. Do you buy him as a scientist? (1/10)

Uma Thurman - Hot, but lousy.(2/10)

Alicia Silverstone - sigh..... (1/10)
Chris O'Donnell - Cool motorcycle race, right? Wrong. (1/10)

Cinematography - Even more glow in the dark. 2/10

Art Direction - INFAMOUS BAT NIPPLES!!! 1/10
Supporting Characters -There is nothing memorable about this movie at all (but Elle MacPherson plays the love interest). 1/10

My Personal Ranking: Not as bad as Carnosaur...(1/10)


No comments: