24 September 2009

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batman '66 Movie

Too many villains ruining your superhero movie? Then 1966's Batman movie, featuring FOUR big name super villains may not be for you. After the smash success of the first season of 1966's Batman live-action series, a feature film was "bat-apulted" into theaters. Its pretty crazy to think that they used to make movies so quickly, but to be fair, in a lot of ways (including actors and style) its just a long episode.

This first Batman film saw Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman teaming up to take on the Dynamic Duo. Good thing they wore masks, or their identities may have been compromised... Their nefarious scheme involved dehydrating members of the UN Security Council. Batman got plenty of chances to flex his wits, to use his utility belt-luckily it was stocked with bat-shark repellent- and to bust out a fleet of bat-themed vehicles (bat boat, chopper, and of course mobile).

The movie was a moderate success which led into two more seasons of the campy series.

Up Next: Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder

22 September 2009

Superman Narrowly Dodged a Speeding Bullet

In the late 1990s, Tim Burton was all set to reinvent Superman for the big screen as he had successfully launched the Batman film franchise in 1989. His ideas included casting Nicolas Cage as Superman. Now, that alone should give you pause. And seeing Nick in a photoshopped Superman suit is even worse. BUT, it turns out I had no idea how bad things could have been...

Just yesterday, a supposed image of Nick in his costume appeared online. Now I am not sure if this is real or not, but it is ridiculously horrible. For all the negativity Superman Returns has received, it seems like it was leaps and bounds ahead of this near monstrosity.

If you aren't convinced yet that Burton's Superman would have been an abomination, imagine Tim Allen or Jim Carrey as Brainiac and Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen (this must have been Burton's pre-Depp days). The movie would have involved the "Death of Superman" story, and would have built on concept images like the one seen below. When all was said and done, some $30+ million was spent on this movie which fell apart.

So, will we ever get another Superman movie? Who knows. But you have to remind yourself, maybe no Superman movie, or at least a long wait for a Superman movie is not really the worst case scenario. Much better for "the Cage" to take on Ghost Rider than the Man of Steel.

21 September 2009

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) - Film Capsule

Hero: Batman (The Original and Batman Beyond)

Villains: The Joker, or an imposter?

Diabolical Schemes: Years after his death, the Joker is back and he knows Batman's identity. Leading a gang of punks, the Joker is intent on taking down his old nemesis.

Coolest Moment(s): The flashbacks to Robin's reconditioning and the ultimate fate of the Joker were pretty chilling and surprising.

Comic Book Logic: Only in a comic book could the improbable reveal of the Joker's identity not completely derail the movie. But here, it worked just fine.

Review in 50 Words or Less: One of the best direct-to-DVD superhero movies and dare I say one of the best Batman movies period. This surprisingly dark story set in Batman's future has mystery and action. And even though its not the original Batman behind the mask, Terry McGinnis proves himself more than a mere sidekick.