Cineplex’s MOST WANTED MONDAYS are back again. This month you, the people and quadrupeds voted! Like every month, I put my faith into the system and the majority of you silly gooses chose Batman Returns! How do you guys know every time!?
So just to keep up appearances you should take a moment from my jolly site and head on over to Cineplex.com (more specifically: http://www.cineplex.com/Events/MostWantedMondays/Home.aspx ) and vote on January’s film! AND just for good measure the first person to comment on this post and who can get to the Scotia Bank theater here in Montreal by their own means will win a pair of tickets to Batman Returns, December 17th, at 7PM!
Before the Nolan Trilogy, Batman had a very bi-polar relationship with the silver-screen. From the soaring heights of Batman to the sad nippletastic pits of Batman & Robin; the people either flocked in masses to see the Dark Knight or called it quits in favor for the better comedic version starring TV’s Adam West.
I grew up on The Batman. West may have been my first, but Michael Keaton was my idol. Long gone were the grey and blue spandex cape and cowl in favour for leather and plastic. Upgraded was that matchbox convertible and it’s place was the long-bodied black beast Batmobile I got for Christmas 1992.
What I enjoyed as a child was the dark nature of this film. Once again, I was raised right. I had a steady diet of films far too adult for a four year-old’s eyes. The Godfather, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, Scarface and Lethal Weapon were all films I loved by the age of four. So to see Batman taken into the darkness away from giant ball-bombs was awesome-sause.
However, in my age: 24 years young; I have come to see the campy/Burton-ness in these films. Does it make Batman Returns any less enjoyable? NO! What I now see is that this film doesn’t take itself seriously. While believing in itself, Batman Returns winks to the hip audience aware of it’s Westacular past.
Batman Returns is directed by Tim Burton. The same man responsible for Edward Scissorhands and Big Fish plus many many more films that have people in desperate need of a hairbrush. Starring in this film are some of Hollywoods finest: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Gough and Pat Hingle as forever dopey Commissioner Gordon.
Our caped crusader (Keaton) is tasked with stopping a corrupt business man and The Penguin (DeVito) from taking over his city: Gotham City, while Catwoman (Pfeiffer) has other things on her mind.
Let me just also say that Tim Burton definitively has a style: Unkept and frizzy. Pfeiffer is sporting a hair style that is now known as “The Crazy” or “The Helena Bonham Carter.”
– The Score. Probably some of the most memorable music of my childhood. Danny Elfman captured every sound, every emotion that is surrounded by Batman. Deep and dark for the Dark Knight while light and playful for the more dopey moments of the film.
– The Balance. I mean this because somehow Burton just had it dialled right. There was this terrific dark tone that was accented by some campy shots or scenes that kept the people intrigued and laughing. Something the Schumacher films couldn’t do.
– Michael Gough. He was my Alfred. With all the respect in the world to Sir Michael Caine; Gough had a certaine attitude that I feel could have been honed for the Nolan Trilogy as well. He had a peculiar smugness to him like Desmond Llewelyn as Q in the James Bond flicks.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
– The Script. Well at least the dialogue. This is where the campiness didn’t help the overall feel of the film. Moments where people should have been speechless or flabbergasted, they just had to have a quip. Overall, hurting the film.
– Commissioner Gordon. This isn’t a knock at Hingle what-so-ever. This is more about how the character was written in all four films. Because alongside Gough as Alfred, Hingle is the only other person to play their role in all for Burton-Schumacher films. It seemed like he god dumber as time went one.
Well the people of Canada voted this film in over three others. Therefore proving that it isn’t just me who likes it. This is a Tim Burton film so you’re bound to get some odd stuff coming out. Batman was just a dip in the Dark Knight pool for Burton and Batman Returns was Burton flexing his director muscles. While dark and more inline to the real Batman of the comics, Burton didn’t forget how Batman was previously portrayed on TV. All of this leads Batman Returns to be Verified Awesome!