Thursday, April 30, 2009

Riddle me this Batman (and Robin) ...

*WARNING* (added after I completed the post) - this is a longer than usual post - please make sure you have adequate refreshments by your side to prevent dehydration. Yeah I mean coke or something. Ok now - Up, up and away... (oops, that's a Superman quote isnt it?! Talk about a Freudian slip!)

Before I say anything else - I want to state for the record, that I love, ok lurv, the 2 latest installments in the Batman franchise - Batman Begins and The Dark Knight...

That being said, back to the quandary in the title... Why, oh why, did this movie get made? The 1997 installment I mean.. You'd think that the collective talent of George Clooney, Chris O Donnell, Uma Thurman, John Glover and even Alicia Silverstone - would help the movie float - atleast a little... But sadly... no. Na-ah.

Why did I watch this movie? I was bored. And it was available for instant viewing on NetFlix. By the way, this is the second time I watched this movie - yep, I can hear those eyes rolling - only, the last time was, I was a kid & cable was free.

The other reason I watched this movie - again - was I remembered how yummy George Clooney looked in a black turtleneck. Can you tell I heart him yet? No? Ok - he got me hook, line and sinker in One Fine Day. There I said it.

Ok now back to the movie, for those of you who haven't seen it yet - well done!

Mr. Joel Schumacher, I am willing to put this movie aside and leave your track record unchanged.

With Arnie as Mr. Freeze, (or was it Dr. Freeze?) and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy - yeah, a 2 for 1 deal no less, the bite was still missing... the "action" sequences were laughable, which is something I rarely say of Hollywood movies. The villains were funny. Compared to Heath Ledger's Joker, they felt like villains from Sesame Street. Sorry kids!

Just goes to prove even truckloads of greenbacks can't help a bad screenplay.
Bad *cough*cheesy*cough* lines? Plenty! Sample this:

Poison Ivy: Hi there.
Robin: [walks over to Ivy] Is your thumb the only part of you that's green?
Poison Ivy: You will just *have* to find out!
Robin: I want us to be together but, I also wanna make sure your serious about turning over a new leaf...
Robin: [sits down beside her] I need a sign.
Poison Ivy: How about 'Slippery when Wet'?
Robin: Of trust. Tell me your plan.
Poison Ivy: Kiss me and I'll tell you.
Robin: Tell me and I'll kiss you.
Poison Ivy: Freeze has taken the new telescope and turned it into a giant freezing-gun. He's about to turn Gotham into an icecube.
Robin: [he turns to go] I've gotta stop him!
Poison Ivy: [pulls him back to face her] One kiss, my love... for luck.

Really? I mean, really?

Uma Thurman's (so-not) sexy slur was a turn-off - no man in his senses (Batsuit optional) would find that enticing. No way. No earthling in their senses, for that matter - not just men. It's almost like they couldn't decide if she had a Brit accent or an American accent.

Sarcasm aside, this movie made me realize how good the new Batman movies really are - Gotham, in both Batman Begins & The Dark Knight, is totally believable. "Gotham" was mostly Chicago and other locations, but the story could actually be set in Chicago and it still wouldn't take anything away from the plot.

In complete contrast are the ostentatious, giant statues right in the middle of Gotham in "Batman & Robin". I mean come on, in real life, that would be a logistic nightmare - the traffic, the sheer volume of pigeon-poop on the statues.. I could go on. Oh and the glow-in-the-dark goons and the "bike race"? Yawn.

This has been said before, but Christopher Nolan has definitely revived the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight has indubitably achieved cult status. "Why so serious?" Still gives me the creeps.

Now onto leading men - Christian Bale is no George Clooney & vice-versa. These Batmen (possible new word into the Oxford dictionary!) were written differently and it shows. Mr. Clooney breathes life into an otherwise 2-dimensional character. Chris O Donnell & Alicia Silverstone looked like they were fresh out of college. The only character that came close to giving me even half a goosebump was John Glover's mad scientist. Now he fit the part to a T.

Before I put my pen down - err, stop typing on this post, I'd like to highlight where I loved these actors separately:

George Clooney: As Jack Taylor in One Fine Day (I didn't need another movie to be won over) - that journalist thing was totally his element

Chris O Donnell: As Meredith's vet boyfriend Finn in Grey's Anatomy (now that's Chris aged to perfection)

Alicia Silverstone: in Clueless (extra points for Paul Rudd's presence)

John Glover: As Lionel Luthor in Smallville (the only Luthor who is even remotely believable)

Uma Thurman: in Gattaca, even The Avengers (I haven't seen the Kill Bill series yet - I'm a little queasy)

Hot bods, pretty faces & tight suits can't save a movie. This flick proves it.

Wish I could call dibs on a first day first show ticket to the next movie in Nolan's Batman trilogy - nevertheless, I'll be waiting...

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