If you’ve read my Dark Knight Rises review (Christopher Nolan love letter), you no doubt know that I have a non-sexual fictional male crush on Batman. He is the greatest hero in comic book history. By all accounts, nothing about Batman should work. He wears bat ears, has an acrobatic sidekick, no powers, and fights villains that typically only suffer from manic depression. Countless people have done their best to destroy the Batman legacy. They have tried to destroy the symbol of the Bat in the 90’s. Here are the prime offenders of the tarnishing of Batman. Let’s only hope that no one destroys the Nolan legacy with upcoming Batman movies.
|Batman meets his match with a Pillow Pets Shark|
Holy Shark Week Batman! I understand and realize that “Batman: The Movie” from 1966 is meant to be campy fun. I’m just not sure Adam West was ever in on the joke. There are several embarrassments to the Batman legacy in this movie, but the shark scene has to be the worst(best). Batman is trying to climb a very long ladder into the helicopter, piloted by Robin. But Robin is a terrible pilot and accidentally dips Adam West in his pajama wearing glory into the ocean. As he is pulled out, a 10 foot shark is attached to his leg. The only way for this rubber shark to move was for Adam West to shake his leg. Batman is a great detective, so he does what we’ve all been taught to do “in case of sharks,” he punches it several times in the nose. That doesn’t work, but thankfully Batman remembers Robin has a canister of Bat Shark Repellent. So Robin descends the ladder (who is piloting the chopper now?) and hands it to Bruce. After the incredibly effective repellent is sprayed, the shark falls back to its ocean home, but sadly explodes as it hits the surface…. Huh? Oh well, at least Adam West delivers the classic line, “Yet, that exploding shark was pulling my leg.” Shame on you Adam West.
|Some scars might be an improvement for you…|
Now I’m just being mean. I generally love Nolan’s casting decisions, but his decision on Katie Holmes and Jake Gyllenhaal’s sister are the few weaknesses of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I don’t know why Katie Holmes didn’t agree to be in the 3rd biggest film of all time. I blame Tom Cruise, Mad Money, and even Dawson Creek a little bit. Leave it to Maggie Puppy Face to make me miss Katie. How could anyone believe that the two most powerful men in Gotham are in love with this 4 out of 10 (at best). Sorry Bruce, but the Joker did you a favor. I can’t imagine if another actress played her in the Dark Knight Rises. We would have been stuck with Tilda Swinton, I’m sure. I blame Katie Holmes for this one.
|When Fanboys Cry|
In 1989, Tim Burton made his mark on the Batman franchise. When it was released, it was the greatest superhero adaptation since the original Superman movie. Many fans still think of Jack Nicholson when they think of Batman’s greatest nemesis. He did a great job, as did Michael Keaton. But, because this movie was made in a big transition from the 80’s to the 90’s it is incredibly dated with bad music. I’m not talking about Danny Elfman’s fantastic score. The capitol offender here is Prince, or whatever he calls himself these days. The entire Batman original soundtrack is done by him/her and does not fit at all. Apparently everywhere the Joker goes, his goons blast pop hits by Prince. I’m sorry, but the clown prince of crime who indulges in chaos would not be blasting top 40 hits. I’m going to blame Prince and Tim Burton.
|With such high interest rates, the banks are Robin us blind…|
“Never leave the cave without it.”
You have got to be kidding me! In “Clooney and Robin”, both George Clooney and Robin are vying for a dance with Poison Ivy. (I refuse to say that Clooney ever played Batman) Clooney bids 7 million dollars. Then pulls out his Bat credit card (cha-ching sound effect and all). I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the expiration on the card says “Forever.” Batman…forever….. I’m dying inside. I have a conspiracy that Clooney is actually a great Batman villain that knew he would take down the Batman franchise.
|I hate you Joel Schumacher|
Continuing on with the Batman and Robin abomination. I could say that Joel Schumacher is the worst thing to ever happen to Batman. He showed his neon colors in Batman Forever, but he murdered the Dark Knight character in the follow up. There are so so many terrible things in Clooney and Robin: Sky Surfing, Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy, the Bane embarrassment, I could go on and on. But the ultimate low point of the series, yes, even worse than the 1966 Batman movie, all comes down to 2 horrible words.
I feel sick. I need to get this taste out of my mouth.
It’s time for the BEST BATMAN MOMENTS
I prefer Batman Returns to the first movie. Michael Keaton was no longer in Jack Nicholson’s shadow and Michelle Pfeiffer was as hot as ever. Her incarnation of Catwoman still remains my favorite. Batman and Catwoman had a few great scenes, but the best moment took place at the masquerade ball. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle danced and joked about how they’re tired of wearing masks. Suddenly they find themselves under mistletoe and recall a conversation that they unknowingly had in costume.
Selina: “You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.”
Bruce: “But a kiss can be even deadlier… if you mean it.”
They realize who the other person is at that moment. Great stuff.
My favorite scene in The Dark Knight Rises is when Alfred finally tells Bruce about Rachel’s choice to be with Harvey. It’s a last ditch effort to stop Bruce from meeting his tragic end. Michael Caine as Alfred had been the character with the most heart in the series. Oftentimes, he was comic relief. But he truly is the father figure for Bruce, and finally realizes that he can’t take anymore of Bruce constantly flirting with death. This quote speaks for itself and yes, brought me to tears.
Alfred: “You are as precious to me as you were to your own mother and father. I swore to them that I would protect you, and I haven’t.”
As great as the Tumbler was in Batman Begins, there was nothing cooler than seeing the Batpod rise from the wreckage of the Tumbler. I remember everyone in the audience were amazed at the beauty of this 2-wheeled motorcycle. Then as the Batpod bounced and rotated off the side of a building, the entire audience shared a collective Bat-gasm. Awesome and still maintained its coolness in The Dark Knight Rises.
The greatest performance in any Batman movie belongs to Heath Ledger. He shut down all naysayers and became one of the greatest movie villains of all time. I could put every Joker scene on this list from the bank heist, his stories about how he got those scars, and the interrogation room. But the most unforgettable Joker scene kept it simple. He flippantly walks into a crime boss meeting and says what he expects from them. When someone challenges him, he quickly shows the pencil trick and makes it disappear….into his eye. I remember the entire audience whispering to their friends, “Did he do what I think he just did?” Yes, he nailed it.
It’s a very simple line, but it just works. A petty crook asks the mysterious figure “Who are you?!” This set the pace for the character of Batman on the big screen as the dark, brooding crime fighter he is. At this point you could not mistake him for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man or the boy scout Superman. The greatest hero of them all had arrived.