Tag Archives: catwoman

Top 20 Batman-On-Film Moments

I don’t wanna cause a Bat-overload on here – as my last review was Batman Returns. However in light of the last 24 hours on Twitter, and the reveal of a new promotional image for the final film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises – I thought I’d use this Sunday afternoon to countdown my top 20 Batman moments on film to date…. Just to ease whatever tension :-)

20. Rachel Dawes using the tazer on Scarecrow (Batman Begins)

Late in the movie, Dr Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) is busted out of Arkham Asylum by his ‘hired goons’, and goes to town on horseback. Only to be met by Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) and a nice dose of voltage to the kisser… Ouch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. “What A Day…” (Batman)

Presumed dead after the incident at the chemical plant, Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), now ‘The Joker’, visits his old boss, Grissom (Jack Palance) – seeking out retribution

18. Catwoman’s Origin (Batman Returns)

After being murdered by boss Max Shreck – Timid secretary, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) gets a taste for milk as she arrives back at her home after being revived by numerous stray cats. Never really ‘got’ the whole idea of this, but Tim Burton and the insatiable taste for the supernatural go hand in hand. Anyway, unnerving scene ahead

17. Playing The Odds (The Dark Knight)

Commissioner Loeb’s memorial service implodes into chaos, leading to District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) apprehending one of Joker’s henchmen and showing a certain side of his personality that would eventually dominate him. Tension by the barrel and an impressive performance by Eckhart.

16. Power (Batman Begins)

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) returns from Princeton University and confronts mob boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson), proving to be the catalyst for Bruce’s desire to seek out vengeance on organised crime in Gotham. A pivotal plot point in the entire film and a great scene directed by Christopher Nolan.

15. “Never rub another man’s rhubarb!” (Batman)

Funny shit! The Joker deals with a crazed Bruce Wayne the only way The Joker can…

14. Carrey’s Riddler (Batman Forever)

Batman Forever is without a doubt one of the more disappointing films in the series. But I’ll be honest… I loved Jim Carrey as The Riddler. Sure he’s campy as hell and it probably didn’t please the fanboys. But I love Carrey and he does what he does best here. There you go, shoot me if you wish. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJit_tLOV7E&feature=related

13. The Will To Act (Batman Begins)

Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul begins his training for Bruce in the mountains. Using the art of ninja and methodically delving into Bruce’s dark past. A superbly edited sequence.

12. Robin Revealed (Batman Forever)

Again, a bit of a guilty pleasure. Remembering my favourite character, Robin, from the amazing Batman: The Animated Series, I couldn’t wait to finally see Robin in the flesh on the big screen. Sure, it’s a cheese worthy performance looking back – but the scene where Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell) in costume descends the flight of stairs into the Batcave really was one of the high points of my childhood.

11. “I Am The Batman” (The Dark Knight)

Harvey Dent makes the ultimate sacrifice in light of The Joker’s continual reign of terror. Another stellar scene showcasing the talented Aaron Eckhart

10. Ohhh, what a world! (Batman)

No secret that Jack Nicholson portrayed The Joker to sheer delightfully wicked perfection in Tim Burton’s 1989 film. As Kim Basinger throws water in the face of Napier after he torments her, he retaliates in the most appropriate way possible… :-)

09. No Need To Thank Him (Batman Begins)

After successfully defeating Ra’s Al Ghul and The League Of Shadows, Batman visits Jim Gordon – where the newly promoted Lieutenant voices his fear of escalation in the criminal world. But Batman declares they will find a way, working together. As Gordon produces the calling card of a certain Clown Prince of Crime – we are left in anticipation of what Mr Nolan has in store for us.

08. The Bat Vs The Cat (Batman Returns)

Batman (Michael Keaton) nearly gets his ass handed to him… Then he gets molested… Then he gets nailpoked, go figure.

07. Bank Heist (The Dark Knight)

Filmed in IMAX, Nolan’s prologue to the greatest superhero movie ever gives us a brief taste of things to come. And of course introduces us to Heath Ledger in a defining performance as The Joker.

06. Flass Attack (Batman Begins)

Batman continues his relentless assault on the mob, as well as bent cops. After robbing a food vendor, Detective Flass gets his just desserts as The Dark Knight terrifyingly demands for information. A scene that shows the ‘fear’ that Bruce wants to instil in his enemies.

05. Harvey Two-Face (The Dark Knight)

Another brilliant scene from Nolan’s sequel. While recovering in hospital after the warehouse explosion – Harvey Dent is visited by Gordon, who is attempting to uncover the trace of events. The new Commish is awkward and uneasy in his questioning, and Harvey doesn’t take the bait. Before he finally reveals his horrific injuries to Gordon and vowing vengeance against him. Two Face is born.

04. Starting Tonight (The Dark Knight)

Heath Ledger purely inhabits and revels in his role as The Joker. This scene, filmed on a handheld camera, shows our favourite clown with one of Batman’s copycats tied up and beaten – while Joker threatens Gotham and its citizens on the news. Ledger’s knack to deliver such contrasting and vivid elements to his performances is simply mind-blowing.

03. “Gotham needs its true hero” (The Dark Knight)

The final scene from the film. Jim Gordon, reeling over the murders committed by Harvey Dent and the subsequent ramifications, is taken aback when Batman declares the blame be put upon him. As Harvey must remain a beacon of hope for the city – even in death. While Bats rides off, Gordon calls in a squad to pursue the Batman. Gordon Jr asks his father why he has to run from the police… and Gary Oldman then delivers a closing monologue that has become one of my favourite quotes of the last decade. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psSGVhTd0i8

02. Punchline (Batman)

Batman finally gets his hands on The Joker, who is still insistent on laughing in the face of adversity – even to the end. Jack Nicholson truly at his finest…

01. The Interrogation (The Dark Knight)

Of course, what else would it be? A dazzling performance from Heath Ledger and Christian Bale. It’s relentless and intense as can be as Batman nearly reaches breaking point through The Joker’s provocation and constant taunts . A scene that made Ledger’s posthumous Oscar a thoroughly deserved one.


#19 ‘Batman Returns’ (1992)

Cast:-

*Michael Keaton

*Danny DeVito

*Michelle Pfeiffer

*Christopher Walken

Director:- Tim Burton

With such a rich history, Batman is one of the most iconic and recognisable figures in modern culture. With the overwhelming success from the Nolan Bat-revival and the acclaim received from next-gen Batman computer games – there’s a huge inflation in popularity for The Dark Knight.

But in the late 80′s and early 90′s. before the shambles of one Joel Schumacher… Batman was the talk of Tinseltown. Visionary director, Tim Burton, known for his kooky style and gothic influences took the reigns of 1989′s ‘Batman’ – The first feature film (aside from the 1960′s made for TV Adam West starring film) for the legendary character. Michael Keaton, an accomplished comedian, was a surprising and in turn a very successful casting for such a well-known dark, brooding character. The film was a huge hit and was well-received for Burton’s direction and styling, along with Keaton’s impressive portrayal of Batman – it spawned a sequel, Batman Returns, 3 years after.

With a backdrop of a wintry Gotham City, Batman Returns boasts an impressive ensemble cast. With the returning Michael Keaton as the titular vigilante are screen icon Christopher Walken as the unhinged millionaire business mogul, Max Shreck, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito as the classic Bat-rogues Catwoman and The Penguin respectively.

For many people, Batman Returns is a firm favourite of the back catalogue of Batman movies. Tim Burton has an extremely one-dimensional approach in his direction and method of storytelling – there are elements with this film where it does enough to pass off as the genuine article, but also effectively hurts it because of its overabundance. I often read or hear people saying that Burton, thematically and in tone, got Batman ‘right’. From a point of view of someone who has never read a Batman comic, i.e me, it would be a safe assumption to accept. However, to fans of Batman lore, the history, the back story – would it be conclusive to just say – “Well Batman’s a dark character, he wears dark clothes, he’s a ‘bat’ and his parents got murdered – and Burton’s a whizz at the dark and gloomy stuff”? No, of course not. In essence, yes, you would initially believe by what you see – that the styling, tone, method of direction and set-pieces would fit a ‘Batman World’. Unfortunately, that isn’t the be all and end all. It works to a point, but then it goes completely overboard and you’re left bemused and questioning what the hell happened. The problem is that Tim Burton is too reliant on the same shit…. And that’s a real marker on this.

Mr Burton applies to Batman Returns, what I like to call ‘The Burton Overload’. A condition where he doesn’t just put his own touch to a story or narrative, but rather unpleasantly corrodes it with his own personal dreams and manic brainwaves. A few recent culprits of this are his ‘re-imaginings’ of Alice In Wonderland and Charlie and The Chocolate – the former is much more guilty however, due to the film’s unwelcome revelation that Wonderland is actually called ‘Underland’, just because it sounds more ‘Burtony’. A painfully pointless plot point which absolutely served no purpose other than to disengage the audience or to purely remind them, this is a Tim Burton film.

It really does become painfully obvious with this film that this isn’t an entirely faithful depiction of Batman, rather a Tim Burton film that happens to have Batman in it. Tim has had his wicked way with this.

His treatment of the Penguin character (tweaking him into a grotesquely disfigured, hunchback-like social outcast that literally only has penguins as friends), the film’s alternating black/grey/dark blue and white ‘gothic’ hues, and Danny Elfman’s beautiful, but dare I say predictable music score stick out like sore thumbs for me.  The abundance of outlandish action scenes, a cringeworthy dose of nose chomping and Catwoman’s ‘birth’ also left me feeling more indifferent to the film. It’s full on and there’s no respite… It just seems like Burton really only made this film because he was asked to, and had absolutely no intention of investing time into Batman as an actual character and his motivations, but more like a plot device.

The lead character seems to be on the back-burner for this film – with Michael Keaton glum as can be throughout his scenes as Bruce Wayne, and little to no development or characterisation. Save for the one exposition piece that we’ve all seen before and does nothing but waste precious time. It’s a pretty massive hole if you think about it.

In Returns, the focus is on anyone but Batman. With an impressive cast to work with, there are major hits and misses. Pfeiffer, as Catwoman, has some shoddy and clunky moments in terms of dialogue – but is on the flip side sexy, charismatic, and impeccably alluring in her performance. A fair mention though is the little chemistry that brews between herself and Batman. There were certainly embers of a real fire beginning to show - though it’s watered down eventually by an awkward scene involving the two in their civilian personas.

Christopher Walken is a made to measure Bat-villain, combining charm, menace and a sociopathic nature that could have easily been a more branched out, more pivotal role. Alas, he is the merely the gear that turns the cogs in the antagonist machine. Little more than that. Hollywood’s favourite little actor Danny DeVito has a real troublesome time as The Penguin (aka Oswald Cobblepot) – his physicality is reasonably accurate for Cobblepot, but his back story implies him as a sympathetic character at first - but is oddly contradicted by the actions and decisions he makes throughout the duration of the film’s 2nd and 3rd acts. Aside from this, DeVito rarely shows the prowess that has made him such a commendable performer.

Batman Returns, though it does boast some stylish visuals and a few memorable moments of dialogue, would’ve benefitted from a simple case of ‘less is more’ and a more focussed and coherent narrative. It’s certainly not the worst Batman film, but it won’t be a memorable one for years to come.

6/10


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