Posts Tagged ‘the dark knight rises’

The winds of a distant winter are rising. Cold fronts, like chilled custard, are gradually consuming the Midwest and with it Chicago. Those summer dresses that make ladies seem so dishonestly ephemeral are quickly disintegrating to the temporal safety of jeans and sweatpants. The summer is coming to a close and, as Ned Stark would say if he had an issue with premature ejaculations (referring specifically to the archaic definition pertaining to elocution), Fall Is Coming. Finally, I’m able to cast aside my vibrant colors in favor of dour earth tones. I no longer need to repel the incessant whines of “Andrew, you should try shorts, you’d look adorable” because it wouldn’t be adorable, it would be as horrifying as looking into the Ark of the Covenant, doesn’t anyone understand I AM EXTREMELY INSECURE ABOUT MY PASTY LEGS.

Well, for a Summer of Film, like any good night of sex, there is a shit load of build up and anticipation, a middling execution with some high points (and seriously low ones) and finally a required and sleepy denouement. This is that sleepiness. A decomposition, if you will, a digestion, that special walk that you take after Thanksgiving Dinner in the hope that burning about fifty calories will offset that Herculean gorge-fest that was that five course monstrosity. Perhaps these will take the form of awards and, if they do, they will be more important than the fucking Oscars (because, honestly, what isn’t?). Perhaps they will take the form of rants. Perhaps the form of an elaborate and labyrinthine puzzle, dragging you through the depths of your own psyche, revealing grotesque truths about the human condition before finally revealing what I actually thought about a shitty film franchise. Perhaps. I haven’t decided yet.

Oh Summer of 2012, what a beast you were. You had such dazzling highs and such confounding lows. You were filled with aimless, drunken wanderings through the streets of Chicago, ending with confused mornings waking up in puddles of Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches (true story). You were riddled with dates and drunken make-outs. Midnight showings and Bat-a-thons. You were epic and understated at once. Much like my fifth grade math teacher, I entered you a boy and a left you a man (not a true story). I have gained some loved ones, and lost some (you will be missed, Donnie. New York doesn’t deserve you). I went from living with four wonderful and crazed souls to living alone. And I saw both The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus. I will be forever changed. So, now that I’ve arbitrarily decided to structure this like a rewards show, lets get this thing on the road. Without further ado…here are…

ANDREW’S SUMMER MOVIE AWARDS 2012!

Welcome, welcome ladies and gents. It’s been a wacky and wild roller coaster this summer, hasn’t it, Jane?

(Insert painfully unwitty, overly-enthusiastic response from once-pretty co-host whose face looks like it’s had more nips and tucks than a fucking French pastry)

Hilarious, Jane. You’re so on point. Well, let’s get to it!

Most Mediocre Movie I’m Glad I Missed

Winner: The Amazing Spiderman; Runner Up: The Borne Legacy

OH NO! MECHA-GOJIRA! Nope…my mistake. It’s just boring.

So, I know these were both on my list of “Movies I Will See and Hate Myself“, but guess what, other than a few noted exceptions, this was not a summer of self-harm. I read reviews of Spiderman. My friend told me it was, and I quote, “Totally Fine.” You know what? Fuck totally fine. I don’t want totally fine. This is the summer. If I want ‘totally fine’, I’d be in January. This is the time for RPX/3D/IMAX/ VHS/ADHD/CPS/SIDS to melt your mutherfucking face off. If I’m not feeling some facial phase-changes, then it has no business being in the summer movie line-up. I like Andrew Garfield, but it was so infuriatingly clear in every ad, clip and interview he was trying to be a total badass. You know what? No matter how many times you shove a lightning bolt up a corpse’s ass, you don’t get reanimation, you just get the suffocating smell of cooked, rancid meat and charred hair. My Peter Parker will always be the animated one that awkwardly fought the Green Goblin on Saturday mornings…and then got all weird and sexy with Madame Web and…well…let’s not talk about that. Also, The Borne Legacy, I heard Jeremy Renner was wasted. For that, I say, you deserve a penis in the ear. That is the one place no one likes a penis. Well, I’m sure someone does. Anyway, it’s invasive and unpleasant. You’re welcome.

Most Pissed Off I Got That Nobody Would Drink a Fifth of Jack With Me and Watch

Winner: Battleship, Runner-up: Piranha 3DD

YOU GUYS, IT LOOKS SO GOOD! SERIOUSLY! YOU GUYS!

Seriously, like, seriously guys. Why would NOBODY watch Battleship with me? Of course it’s moronic. Of course it’s about as worthy of sense as Gary Busey on the third day of an acid binge. Of course Liam Neeson will cash a paycheck. But still…COME ON. I heard there was an old person montage! And Rihanna acting! And Tim Riggins on a Boat! (For the record, I do not know, nor do I care, who Tim Riggins is. He has a cool name. Discussion over). I tried, time and again, to Shanghai someone to sneak a bottle of bourbon into the movie theater with me and drink every time someone said the words “Ship”, “God” or “Hey, isn’t that the guy from True Blood?” This summer has been seriously lacking some Transformers, over-the-top, misogyny-riddled, nonsensical action and I need my shit-fix. Why did you all abandon me? WHY?

Piranha gets honorable mention because, honestly, it’s a Piranha movie and those cannot be missed. At the same time, I heard it sucked massive elephantitis-balls. Like, globe-sized, Jack-and-the-Beanstalk-style giant testicles. And not in the good way. More in the, “just got back from rowing the Atlantic ocean and am suffering from about 12 different fungal issues in the nether-regions…do you still want to do this?” way.

Most Forgettable Movie of the Summer

Winner: I can’t remember; Runners-Up: Men in Black III, Brave

It’s that one movie…with the thing…and that guy, from that other movie…

It’s only logical that the least memorable movie was one that literally forgot its existence. This has happened numerous times. Some of the more memorable least-memorable films would be…um…that one with the cops…a black one and a white one…maybe the one with a scary thing in the something or other…or when that one person was on trial for something and somebody was trying to do something with the…it was by John Grisham, I know that. So, here’s to you, the least memorable movie of the summer! I might have written an article about you. Maybe. Maybe I didn’t because you were so fucking forgettable that my brain forcefully rejected your existence the moment I left the theater/my living room. Not because you were bad. No, bad movies deserve remembrance. You have committed the worst crime of all existence: you have stolen time out of my life that, not only will never be returned, but I cannot recollect. You’re a black hole of blandness. A vortex of vapidity. A nebula of nebul-‘eh’. So, movie that was positively pointless, thank you.

The other two runner-ups are nearly as blameful. Men in Black III was fine, without a capital ‘f’ because it doesn’t deserve such frills. It was a movie constructed by the corporate machine, placed in the hands of jaded, half-spent celebrity and given nothing to do other than make a really amusing joke about Andy Warhol. Otherwise, the film was so inoffensive and uninteresting that I literally forgot I saw it until I looked back at my articles written for this summer. And, Brave, you just stick that fucking bear tail between your legs (do bears have tails? I can’t remember. NOT THE POINT). You’re a Pixar, not some poxy by-the-numbers bullshit excreted by Lionsgate. You have a legacy to uphold! Now, yes, I enjoyed the film just fine (there’s that word again! I know grammatically the sentence is incorrect, but the issue is the same. Oh US parlance.) Semantics aside, Brave attempted a few things and succeeded. The issue was one of scale. I return to the face-melting essential nature of summer film. Wall-E fucking sublimated my entire head. Up transformed me into a sobbing, weeping, sniveling husk of mush. Brave? Brave made me shrug my shoulders and go “It wasn’t terrible.” Fuck that noise. I expect more from you people. I expect my very dreams to be haunted with your cartoonish mugs. I expect my bowels to loosen during the opening credits. I expect…

Holy shit. I just remembered what the most forgettable movie was. It was…wait…gone again. Oh well.

Most Good Movie Until a Super-Zombie Showed Up

Winner: Prometheus; Runner-Up: Um…Prometheus?

This is much more accurate depiction of that movie: people doing things that bear no relation to other things

You know how it is in the morning. You wake up, make yourself a cup of coffee, discover an alien planet that probably instigated all of evolution on planet earth, take off your fucking helmet because you “think it’s oxygen” and everything is forgivable and fine until a fucking SUPER ZOMBIE jumps out of nowhere and wrecks every non-named character? Know what I’m sayin’? No? That’s never happened to you? Well, Prometheus, I would like to thank you for obliterating the last twinkle of hope I held for modern science fiction. Thank you for taking such a deliciously dense, fertile, deep and compelling premise and the injecting it with Michael Bay cinema-herpes-riddled spunk. Much like the chaos-black stuff that infected and fundamentally transformed your characters, so did this Bay-Semen attempt to latch its genetic material onto yours. And, in self-same fashion, instead of becoming stronger, better and more interesting, you just became a fucking super-zombie, roaring like an idiot, throwing people this way and that, and eventually being crushed under the wheel of good fanboy taste. Yes, Prometheus, you are a dumb asshole. Not only that, but you built my hopes, you promised so much! And yet, as I drew back the veil, ready to place a ring on that finger and pledge my love to you, I instead discover the whale-vaginal, made-up visage of Guy Pearce peering back, Charlize Theron forgetting that human beings are capable of lateral movement and a big white dude giving forced fellatio to a crustacean.

It breaks my heart. It really does. Well, Prometheus, I really want you to be happy. Just…not with me. Bu-bye now.

Most Batman

Winner: The Dark Knight Rises; Runner-up: Moonrise Kingdom

Surprisingly Batman

This was a difficult category to decide. The list of contenders was long and contentious. We were offered an entire platter of Bat-films. Who could forget when the Dark Knight helped that family in Dark Shadows beat the evil witch’s curse? And when Bruce Wayne traveled back in time to help the Union get the silverware past the vampire threat in Abraham Lincoln: I Still Can’t Believe They Made This Movie. And, in one of the more memorable moments of summer film, who would ever lose sight of the iconic scene where the caped crusader gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Judy Dench after a fatal Over-British-Dose in The Best Exotic Marigold HotelUndoubtedly, however, the award for Most Batman goes to The Dark Knight Rises, fearlessly having Batman in as many as six scenes! They did so well to make sure the cape and cowl had its due, featured in a whopping more than three action sequences! It takes a lot of strength, determination and creative prowess to offer so much screen time to an icon of the common imagination so immensely awesome that it naturally eclipses and obscures all sense of nuance and depth. But they did it.

Our runner up may seem like a surprise, especially with movies such as The Avengers which are simply blatant love notes to the amazingness that is Batman. I mean, they deliberately put all these mediocre characters together in an attempt to make some sort of kind-of-decent Comic-Book Voltron, composed entirely of Stan Lee’s penis inner neuroses. And they were completely and utterly successful in their attempts to show that the Dark Knight does indeed rise above the rest. However, Moonrise Kingdom takes the proverbial cake for second-place Most Batman. In fact, it’s one of my favorite origin stories of all time. X-Men: First Class was a campy/sexy mess; Batman Begins only scratched the surface; and Spiderman was about as subtle as a bottle rocket tied to my scrotum. Moonrise Kingdom charts the unlikely tale of a young Bruce Wayne, his family killed before the film even begins, falling for a young weirdo outsider whom we have to assume is Rachel Dawes (again played by Katie Holmes who really looks like she’s aged a lot since the end of TomKat) and running away from his captors (Ed Norton as a pre-police force Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Willis as Mr. Freeze before earning his PhD in ‘cold things’). I tell you, casting Bill Murray as Clayface was inspired and Frances McDormand as Harley Quinn was a stroke of genius. So, I thank you Wes Anderson, for filling in the missing pieces of Bruce’s journey. 

Least Batman

Winner: The AvengersRunners-up: The First Half of Dark Knight Rises, Magic Mike

This movie poster is still dumb.

Ok, I lied about The Avengers being a love note to The Dark Knight Rises. It was, instead, the Beethoven-esque, ovary-busting overture celebrating the eventual and glorious birth of one Mr. Joss “Fucking Finally” Whedon, a man that has been flirting with commercial greatness and total fangirl vomitoria for years. Throughout his career we have been fed tasty morsels of wonderment, from the episode Hush in Buffy season 4 to Serenity. We’ve also been plagued by Alien Resurrection and Joss Whedon fanboys (I’m not going to make any friends saying this, but if ANYONE begins singing Dr. Horrible around me, I will personally gag them and mail them to Nicaragua). The bald/ginger behemoth of pure nerdom has been gestating in a womb of ridiculous female caricatures and self-referential nonsense for years, only to bloom into a snarky, badass epic ball-buster that was The Avengers as well as the beautiful and hilarious send-up of horror films that was Cabin in the Woods. This was, in no uncertain terms, the summer of Whedon. I shall award him the honor of Least Batman because, contractually, the is no fucking way Batman can appear in the Marvel universe and, more importantly, the overall manic tone of The Avengers couldn’t haven’t been further from the Dark Knight’s noir necropolis. So, well done, Avengers. You did us proud.

The runners-up are slightly less Least Batman. First of all, the first half of The Dark Knight Rises does an incredibly admirable job of pretending to be about Batman and yet teasing us constantly with the fact that the caped crusader doesn’t show up for about THREE FUCKING HOURS. Yes, I understand pathos and that this is the first ever Batman movie that is actually about Batman. But c’mon! I want bat-antics (you know what they are because they’re labeled!)! I want gadgets! I want action scenes! I want to see Batman do something that makes my fanboy panties need a serious deep-clean on the ‘Teenage Boy Without a Girlfriend’ Cycle. The other runner-up, a film I did not see, seemed extremely not-Batman. Because, if the sixties taught us anything, there is nothing gay about Batman. Magic Mike looked super homo. Also, Matthew McConaughy is like anti-Batman. Not in that he’s something awesome like the Joker. No, he’s like buttered toast that falls on the ground butter-side down. He’s like getting a hang-nail while cutting lemons. He’s like Halle Berry’s Catwoman.

Very not-Batman indeed.

Best Movie of the Summer

Winner: Moonrise Kingdom; Runners-up: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises

So surprising. Yes, it was the best. Deal with it.

Commence ‘Serious Face’ (TM). Yes, my favorite movie of the summer was indeed Moonrise Kingdom. Honestly, that movie cut me deeper than anything I’ve seen in some time. Deliriously funny, oddly dark and so whimsical that my testicles almost bloomed into Mumford and Sons and played a pop-folk concept in the middle of nowhere. It is probably the most entertaining modern tale of what it’s like to be a child I’ve seen in years. It was truthfully the most affecting thing I’ve seen in a while, both due to its examination of the child’s experience and because it makes you REALLY uncomfortable about how close to naked the little girl gets. *AWKWARD* That aside, thank you, Mr. Anderson, for serving us the same dish every single time and that same dish is absolutely fucking delicious.

Honorable mentions go out to the already lauded and fellated  The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises. So, yes, congrats, good movies. You’ll probably be the best movies I’ll see for a while. Unless someone FINALLY watches Battleship with me.

Movie I Wish I Had Been Drunker For

Winner: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Runner-up: Men in Black III

This poster is the most disconcerting thing I have seen since…well, this movie.

Seriously. My head was already fucking spinning, like that silver-coated axe wielded by our less-than-fortunate-looking 16th President of ours. So many things branded into my memory would have been offered the forgiving haziness of Jack Daniel-instigated inebriation. Perhaps Dominic Cooper’s horrific accent wouldn’t have pained me so. Perhaps I would have chocked up the absurdity of certain scenes to my waning control over basic motor skills. Perhaps I might have excused the nonsensical nature of the, well, the everything. Maybe Temur Nab-I’m-Not-Going-to-Look-up-How-To-Spell-it-Cus-Fuck-That-Guy-bakov would have been praised in my review for creating Inception-like complexity within his work. Instead, I had to watch it with a shitty Starbucks Latte in one hand (sorry for the redundancy of ‘Shitty’ and ‘Starbucks’) and my crumbling self-worth in the other. At least I had candy, but that can only do so much.

The runner-up here was Men in Black III solely because, if I had created a drinking game where the only rule was ‘Drink every time Will Smith is purposefully non-threatening to white people’ I might have been so drunk by the final scene that I might have involuntarily slept through the utterly hackneyed, inorganic and confusingly weep-tastic conclusion. But, hindsight is 20/20.

Movie I’m Really Upset I Missed

Winner: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Runner-up: Battleship

Come back! I can see Battleship another weekend!

So, I heard Beasts of the Southern Wild was one of the coolest, prettiest, most exhilarating films of the year. Its trailer had me crumpling my blanket in shoving into my mouth in fear that I might swallow my tongue due to a sudden wave of Cute-Black-Child-itis. Of course, I can’t really write anything about it and I don’t have a good reason for why I didn’t see it. I suppose time simply slipped away from me. Hours flew by, days even, and soon the only screen in Chicago playing its beauty allowed it slip away, quietly into the cinematic aether. And here I am, complaining about pieces of shit portraying presidents as Sarah Michelle Gellar’s only claim to fame and missing movies starring Rihanna as, well, a human being. Here I am missing true art and complaining that everything is decomposing into a massive stew of imaginative fecal matter. Here I am. I wish I had seen it, experienced it, written about it. Perhaps I’d be a different person, instead of a bitter jerk fuming over Michael Bay’s legacy. Perhaps. Lessons for the future, I suppose. A cautionary tale how lamenting about the terrible clouds our understanding of the good. Aye me.

The runner-up is Battleship. All pathos aside I REALLY WANTED TO SEE BATTLESHIP.

Most Hilarious Response to One of My Reviews I Have Ever Received

Winner: Fahrenheit 451; Runner-up: Batman Returns

So, this is the Internet. Though it is filled with wonderful things such as my blog, the blog of Raving Mad Scientists (check those ladies out, they are awesome), Netflix and every porn site ever, it is also home to less savory things. Like Goatsie (google it) or /b/ or every porn site ever. In expanding my writing to the World Wild Web I have braced myself for accidentally tapping into the vein of anonymous hatred that sneaks surreptitiously between sites, and allowing a deluge of trolling and nastiness. Luckily, I have not actually experienced any of this…yet. I have had a couple of amusing moments. My favorite of which was in response to my severely uninformed (and openly so) analysis of Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451:

“Well….I guess you gave it a good college try. You missed it on some of the facts (Wikipedia isn’t the end all and be all of information). Actually, Truffaut had originally set Werner to play the role of the captain (eventually played by Cyril Cusack – father-in-law to Jeremy Irons). When Stamp bowed out, Werner did not want to take over the role of Montag — but Truffaut pleaded and cajoled (they had worked so well together in Jules and Jim). Werner (in real life) experienced Kristalnacht in Vienna and saw more than his share of book burning. He had a hard time with the way he felt Truffaut ‘triviliazed’ the book burning scenes. Half way through filming, the two would not even talk to each other and had to use go-betweens to get their messages across. Werner wanted to add more sympathy to the character of Montag than Truffaut did, etc. etc. I completely agree with you about how miscast Julie Christie was. Unfortunately, at that time, she was the biggest thing in box office and the film would not have been funded without her in it.” ~film fan

Thanks for the info, ‘film fan’! I do take your criticism about lack of research beyond Wikipedia and offer, in return, a gif!

And in not quite close second, after my Batman Returns piece:

“Burton himself has said that Catwoman wasn’t meant to be supernatural but ambiguous and have that whole 9 lives vibe and motif going on. When she is pushed out the window (a brilliant scene “actually, it’s a lot like that!”) she hits at least 2 awnings and falls into a mount of snow. And she only falls about 6 stories (Jackie Chan did a similar stunt for real in Project A). After this she has a pyschotic break and develops a new personality not bound by morals or society. A force of nature. The cats wander around her as they live in the alley and are suspicious and hungry. The backflipping and martial arts skilled are explained in an earlier draft when she tells Bruce about how she was a gymnastics champion as a kid and took many self defence classes but her teacher told her she wasn’t any good as her mind wasn’t clear. She replies that it’s clear now.

But a great review, I enjoyed the read.”

That was from the enigmatically monikered ‘G’. Thank you for the compliment, it will not be forgotten. But seriously, that is some serious Burton-Knowledge. All I can say is:

In all honesty, thank you for reading, all of you. I love comments. Of all kinds. I met my internet friends that way. And seriously, we all know these blogs are an attempt to find people throughout the universe that aren’t related to you who might like something you wrote. Fleeting passes of digital connection, helping us avoid feeling the crushing weight of loneliness if only for a moment.

Also, if you want to call me on my shit, bring it. I HAVE SO MANY GIFS TO WHIP OUT.

Well, now we must wait for the Oscars to collectively jerk off our tear ducts in an attempt for studios to garner those self-congratulatory golden dildos. Get ready for movies with Abraham Lincoln not fighting vampires. Movies that make you cry, though you keep telling yourself that you’re watching trite nonsense. Also, The mutherfucking Hobbit. I’m only entirely excited. And now…a contentious list of megachiroptean action movies from best to worst.

All Batman Movies Ranked from Best to Worst with Comparisons to Things that Get you Drunk

The Dark Knight – Like an aged Scotch, smokey, mysterious and surprising. With a dead guy in it.

The Dark Knight Rises – Hendricks Gin. Solid, delicious and makes a summer night worthy of enjoyment.

Batman Returns – Maker’s Mark. Makes you say hilarious things and surprisingly delicious. With hints of Walken.

Batman BeginsA wine. Not fine, but tasty and good with a helping of Neeson. You drink it before it’s done breathing. Like an idiot.

Batman: The Movie – Tequila. Gets you fucking drunk. And maybe a little homosexual.

BatmanAbsinthe (sans Wormwood). You think it’ll be more fun than it was and it tastes vaguely of something made in the mid-eighties but without the fun.

Batman ForeverAbsinthe (con Wormwood). Should be illegal in the States and makes you feel like you are tripping balls. Jim Carrey might appear wearing all green and torment your worst nightmares.

Batman and RobinHomeless Person’s Vomit. Self-explanatory. And it might give you a staph infection.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – Christopher Nolan (Dir.), Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman…let’s be real, pretty much the cast of Inception.

Disclaimer #1: I can be slightly irreverent at times. Well, extremely irreverent most of the time. In this ‘review’ I’m going to use harsh language, sarcasm, overly extended metaphors and general jackassery. However, this is purely in the spirit of fun and film criticism. My jokes and nonsense are meant in no way to belittle the horrific events at the midnight screening in Aurora, CO. My thoughts and prayers go to the victims of this tragedy. If you want some light-hearted ribbing/brutal emasculation of a major film franchise, please read on…

Disclaimer #2: Another one. Sorry! Well, I’m not sorry. Deal with it. This is for everyone wary of the dreaded ‘S’ word. That’s right…Shitzus. None of those yapping little fuckers will appear in this review. There will, however, be spoilers. I have demarcated them clearly. You’ve been warned.

It has arrived…through the ceiling apparently.

Here is a dramatization of me seeing this movie. Last time on ‘Andrew Meets Girls That are Actually Movies: Prometheus’

“Oh hey, I’m Andrew.” “Oh hey, I’m Prometheus. I’m pretty but I actually suck. Wanna make out?” “Any human contact is welcome. Even if you are simply a heavy-handed metaphor. Thank you!”

I’m back at another party, weeks after having surreptitiously exchanged mental saliva, if only briefly, with Prometheus in a closet. It turned out the movie/girl of my dreams was just that. An illusion. Well, the party is thumping but I’m standing in the corner gently swirling my beer in a shitty cup that is always red for some reason. Or blue. Any primary color other than yellow. I’m bored, checking my watch, ready to head home.

“Hey.” She’s right behind me, looking, for some deliriously (and wonderful) reason, like Anne Hathaway in a skin-tight cat suit. I am about to comment on how inappropriate it is based on our recent weather…and then I realize I need to shut the fuck up before I do something stupid, you know, like scare away a hot lady in a cat suit. “How’s it going?”

“Oh. Good. Thinking of heading out…”

“I just got here though.” She smiles at me. I’m interested (read: extreme understatement).

“What’s your name?”

The Dark Knight Rises.”

I finish my drink. “I’ve heard about you. You’re supposed to be pretty amazing. But I’ve already been burned once this summer… Not sure if you know Prometheus…

“That’s a shame. It’s also a shame that, not only am I hot, but I’m also surprisingly emotionally poignant, politically relevant and filled with Oscar-winning actors.” I take pause for a moment and consider the last item on the list. I’ve heard weirder things. I’ve done weirder things.

“That’s awesome and everything. But the last girl who said that wasn’t, well, all there…”

“Really? Not smart? Or deep? How about me? I’m a sprawling epic about class warfare, reminiscent of the French Revolution, all the while threading together a narrative of intense emotional destruction and, at the same time, extensively exploring these themes in relation to the concept of parental abandonment and societal isolation”

“Oh.” I grab someone else’s drink and down it. “Well…in that case…”

And then we make out. Everywhere.

“Who the fuck is Rick Ross and why the fuck is he in my police report?” ~ Batman, a Rick-Roll virgin.

We have finally reached it. After Nolan’s years of puttering with forms and structures, he has at last reached his eventual goal of inserting true thoughtfulness and literary considerations into a product so commercial it practically has a McDonalds ad taped to its nut sack. This is probably the closest we will ever get to a legitimate movie masquerading as a blockbuster film. Now, I know to some of you lugheads, that might not sound so appetizing and so, in response, I offer you this: Anne Hathaway in a fucking cat suit (#drool) and, for the ladies, Tom Hardy is only mostly disfigured (meaning he could still take on Matthew ‘Duller Than Matlock and Impossible to Spell’ McConaughey in a prettyboy-off with one check bone tied behind his back). There are action scenes! Joseph Gordon-Levitt is likable! Michael Caine cries! Twice! (It’s like watching an angel weep, if that angel has a grizzled British accent, has killed multiple people with a sawn-off shotgun and once stole a bunch of Italian gold). Apparently, Mr. Nolan decided to put in a little bit of everything for everyone which might explain why this movie is almost THREE FUCKING HOURS LONG. But I forgive him. I also forgive him for the fact that I only slept like three hours last night because I was so fucking excited about the end of the movie I couldn’t pass out, like a child terrified of closing his eyes in fear of wetting the bed once more (Editor’s Note: totally never happened to me. Totally never.)

That day, rock/paper/scissors ended terribly.

What’s it about? I refuse to give away much (like some other phallus-gobbling reviewers out there. I’m looking at you ‘The Guardian’ and David ‘How Have You Been Doing This For So Long?’ Letterman). So. Batman. He’s sad. Bane. He’s evil. Bane wants to fuck Gotham up. Batman doesn’t. Gotham gets fucked up. Batman gets fucked up. Aaaaaaand Anne Hathaway helps a generation of boys become men. That’s all I’ll give you. It’s as complex as a Dickens’ novel, if Nicholas Nickleby used his armory of ultra-tech to do battle with a severely steroid-jacked Oliver Twist (Note to Self: TV series idea. I’m thinking…Lifetime Channel?) It also, structurally, has about five fucking acts packed to the gils with twists, turns, ups, downs, side-to-sides and Anne Hathaway in a cat suit, as well as a half-way point that basically screams INTERMISSION. I expected a Pythonesque curtain to descend and John Cleese to try to sell me an albatross. Alas, that dream shall continue to go unfulfilled. This thing is so long and all-encomapassing that you eventually leave the theater a crushed shell of your former self, as though Bane has pummeled your innards into a veritable pea-soup of fanboy glee. Sense, patience and the ability to stand long monotonous barrages of tribal drums will be melting out of your fucking ears as you stumble from the multiplex. If that doesn’t entice you, stay the fuck away. This shit ain’t The Avengers. Yes, there are some witticisms (this should be fucking shocking coming from Christopher “Humorous as a Holocaust Vigil” Nolan) but this is an EPIC. Not in the sense of assholes with backwards caps and popped collars going for the record number of jaeger shots to be ingested by way of their rectums, but in the Homerian sense of omnipotent narrative brutality. It’s a marathon. If you don’t train and prepare, bringing with you acceptable sustenance (a jumbo popcorn, a hotdog, three packs of snow caps and a roast turkey should do it) you might die. No joke. It’s that draining.

In the apocalyptic dance-off, Batman realized that he had no way of competing with a perfect landing of a triple sow-cow.

As the years have passed, Nolan has been secretly weaving together a tapestry of immutable acting talent and, like that fungus at the bottom of my pantry, is growing with each delicious morsel that he consumes. I’m not sure if he signs a contract for these actors’ souls or if he’s just pleasant to work for, but Nolan’s Harem of Beautiful Men is on full display here. We have Tom “Watch Bronson Right Now, You Little Whores” Hardy acting the fuck out of this thing, even with Darth Vader’s fist lodged in his mouth. Also, there’s Morgan “God – I will keep making that joke because it is still funny to me” Freeman given more to do than simply point and spout at fancy gadgets. Marion Cotillard is back as Nolan’s shadow, steadily murdering all of his dreams and driving him mad with boner-popping desire (she is a very attractive woman, even if she a frenchie). Also, finally, Mr. Oldman is allowed to come into his own, truly stretching out those Oscar-pants he so graciously tried on earlier last year in Tinker Tailor This Sounds Like A British Porno Spy, and offering up a performance packed with so much heartbreak you’d think it was a bad day in the trauma ward (my thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families affected by Grey’s Anatomy day at Northwestern Memorial Hospital). I would also like to say, for all of the attractiveness of Ms. Hathaway and her figure that simply will not quit, even if you take it’s stapler, stop paying it and move it down to the boiler room, she delivers one hell of a performance. While most of the film is a mirthless cortege of unending barbarity, Ms. Hathaway is positively delectable as Selina Kyle, expertly adapted to stick just close enough to the comic’s conception without ever dipping into the realm of painful punnery or Pfeiffer whippery. She seems to be the only person here enjoying herself, constantly gobbling each scene with cat-like don’t-give-a-fuckery and impenetrable confidence. Both she and Cotillard aid in a pleasant departure from Nolan’s usual sausage-fest offering, providing at least two women in Gotham who can be classed at a level above ‘District Attorney/Wet-Blanket Barbie’ (Side Note: there was a limited edition of Wet-Blanket Barbie’s released in the mid-90s to help with menstrual education. It was a limited edition for a reason. Side Side Note: There will never be a ‘District Attorney Barbie’ for the obvious reason that legitimate employment hurts chances of marriage). We must also offer her the age old honor of ‘props’ for making herself both likable and engaging enough to survive some of the more ridiculous shoe-horning of her character into the latter half of the film. Honestly, she has no place being there…but no one is going to argue. Trust me.

There are two standouts, however. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is as shiny as a new nickel playing the ingeniously conceived John Blake. From a structural point of view, the wide-eyed and almost impossibly intuitive cop provides an emotional spine for a good deal of the movie while our heroes, Oldman and Bale, are otherwise indisposed (which really sounds like they’re on a sex holiday. That would have been incredible.) In the hands of another actor, Blake would have been limper than a penis in a Phyllis Diller convention. But this boy is erect as hell (That metaphor went to the wrong place). Joe Levitt is that wonderful intersection of young talent, endless charisma and 3rd Rock From the Sunness that we need in our new acting generation. Never once does he lose believability and literally every time his character is threatened onscreen, the audience gasped. They didn’t even do that for fucking Batman and the movie is named after him. On that note, let’s talk about Bale. Yes, the bat-voice is still here, intermittently. Finally, though, he has crafted a human being on screen that we actually are interested in. No longer is the hot-headed billionaire-jackass but a reclusive drinking-his-own-urine type of shut-in (you know, like that famous one…Hugh Hefner.) He’s hurt, physically, emotionally and metaphysically; and he’s looking for a way out. Instead of seeing the Bat as this infallible machine of pure ass-kickery, we get a glimpse of the human underneath and the fact that nobody’s physical form can take that kind of depreciation and still face off against Tom Hardy. His performance truly forms the missing piece of the emotional puzzle, bringing his arc into full-body over the three films. Though we barely even see the Bat throughout the nine hours of this film’s length, we see a shit load of Wayne. And it couldn’t be more necessary.

Bruce just made a really off-color joke. He hasn’t realized that ‘negro’ is no longer acceptable nomenclature.

Of course, since this is Batman, we must discuss the villains. While the last we saw of Bane was the Hulk as though he’d been roped into an impromptu S&M convention, this one is simply a bastard of such dickish proportions he’d give Stalin a run for his proletariat, with arms the size of my head and a mouth with more metal than a Slayer tour. It’s an interesting, though not wholly sense-worthy, departure from the manic insanity of Heath Ledger’s divinely-inspired Joker. This antagonist is deliberately sadistic, fully in control of his hatred and completely lacking in anything resembling empathy. While there was an irrational sense of safety in the fact that there was no rhyme or reason to the targets of the Joker’s malice, Bane is coolly calculating and evisceratingly vengeful. When he has your number, he will pound your ass harder than a fist-ended jackhammer. Granted, his plan to turn Gotham into a sinewy fiefdom is so far-fetched it makes the horizon look close but it certainly makes for some exciting cinema. Especially the hilariously out-of-tone court hearings overseen by a gleefully disheveled Cillian Murphy. In the end, however, this villain is far closer to the heart for Bats than the mad-dog off the leash, even if the titanium crab attempting to emerge from his esophagus does reduce his facial emotive capacity to zilch. There is nothing comparable to the Joker, but the rest of this film beats the hell out of Harvey “Your Yelling Voice is Kinda Whimpy” Dent and Eric “Smarmy Ass #4” Roberts. Advantage: Rises.

*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*

Alrighty, boys and toys, ladies and babies (Editor’s Note: no baby should see this movie on account of having to explain the fact that Selina is in a momentary lesbian relationship that never really comes up again. Though babies have a keen sense of lesbianism and alternative sexuality, their capacity for disjointed character traits is nil) have you all seen the movie? If so, continue. If not, STOP READING AND WATCH IT. IT’S AMAZING. If you don’t plan on watching it, well, then, I guess…to each their own. Batman ain’t for everyone. Well, intrepid readers, ahead thar be plot-points! Tid-bits! In-depth discussions of thematic arcs! Jokes about Inception! You have been warned.

Now, the big thing that people are doing is directly comparing this movie to The Dark Knight. This isn’t fair for a multitude of reasons. Dark Knight existed in a vacuum, providing something rarely seen in the span of human existence: intelligence in blockbusters. It discussed some stuff in an adultish manner, had thru-lines, characters attempted to exist and the Joker was in-fucking-credible. What The Dark Knight Rises does is tie together the disparate elements from both the first and second movies which, to be honest, seemed so fucking divergent they could be a Chicago-based young adult novel. This is the keystone, holding together this at-once muddled mass and at-twice a sprawling examination of chaos/order/fear/parental loss. We all watched Nolan wrap his lips around the massive sausage that is this franchise, expecting him to gag on it, predicating a vomitous explosion of akin to the Schumacherian efforts of the earlier series. However, unlike any other Brit in existence, this gentlemen seems to know how to chew after biting off too much. He artistically deep throated this comic book, bringing it to a climax so titillating you can…well, we’ll leave that metaphor to finish itself (INNUENDO). Not only that, but like the master of the shadows it portrays, this movie stands alone, without any aid from its predecessors.

At the curtain’s close, after the sneakily named-Robin wanders into the Bat-cave and we get a glimpse into Wayne’s new freaky-deaky life as Bonersaurus Rex alongside Sexelina Kyle, just pounding it out Florentine style (with some added Alfred action) we have been treated to a comprehensive view of this hero, a fully-developed arc stretching all the way from the homicidal little ass who gets the shit slapped out of him by Katie Holmes to the infringer of basic civil liberties while fighting the Joker to the broken shell of a man who almost loses all principles in search of final vengeance. Going into this film, they clearly hint at Wayne’s demise, offering a thematic thread of a man who is seeking his own destruction before realizing that death is by far the simplest option. That, coupled with his unhealthy obsession with a woman my friends described as ‘Sarah Jessica Parker on a good day’, is beautifully juxtaposed with the twisty tale of a forbidden love affair between Talia and Bane. It’s the only moment of humanization Hardy is afforded in the entire film, just a ephemeral glimpse of that angelic face before being maimed in the name of love (not the Bono name of love, the name of love where you are vigilantly stopping an entire prison from raping a small girl. You know, Twilight love). In that second, this codification of the purest of evils transforms into nothing more than a star-struck lover, a guardian of the only thing in life that he cares about. A love that would blow up a fucking city. Yo, Bella, would Edward take an entire metropolis hostage with a weaponized nuclear core and systematically murder dissenters just out of pure affection? No? Bane’s a real man. Also, he’s a psychopath. So…he’s like pretty much every dude after their balls drop.

Batman…I’m your father. Well…in a metaphorical sense. I didn’t mean to get your hopes up. Please stop crying.

I will say that I had some issues with plotting etc. Batman’s ‘death’ was a little too reminiscent of both The Avengers (without the wit) and Heroes season one (without the terribleness). Also…if he was vaporized by a neutron bomb…what the fuck did they bury at the end? There was a patch of disturbed ground under his tombstone… Did Alfred bury his Wayne sex-doll as some sort of perverted effigy? We all know he has one. Also, we harp so hard on him getting his shit wrecked, when he easily just appears at the end with Selina, I expected the camera to pan down and see a spinning top spinning away. It just seemed so easy in comparison to the rest of the film. No doubt, my inner fanboy was pissing himself with relief, as this continued to confirm the fact that Batman is, in fact, immortal. Seriously, though, if I were Alfred, after the emotional fecal maelstrom Wayne had put him through over the course of this 20-hour ordeal, I would have walked right the fuck over to that table and punched Bruce in the nut sack. Then hugged him. And then the nut sack again. What a cock.

Finally, here is a list of absurd plot devices throughout the film that didn’t fit too well into reality: the fact that the core decays in EXACTLY the amount of time Batman needs to heal his spine; the fact that Batman is suffering from a decay of cartilage (a chronic disorder) which is then completely ignored after his back is miraculously healed…who are these guys, the dudes from The English Patient? Geographically, it makes sense, temporally…not as much. Also: why does no one ever shoot Bane? Or Batman? There must have been stray bullets going everywhere in that final fight. None made contact? None? Also, I know Robin is meant to be the ‘Boy Wonder’, but that doesn’t make him fucking Miss Cleo. How the hell was he predicting all the bullshit he goes through?

But I can forgive all that. Why? Because Batman, that’s why. Because this is thoughtful, delicious entertainment of the highest order. Because watching this movie is like a 2 hour 45 minute Swedish Massage, it’s gonna get that deep tissue and it’s going to fucking hurt…but a pretty lady is touching your naked back and the next day you feel like a million bucks.

*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*

The only time since Transformers 2 that I’ve ever wished I were a motorcycle.

Nolan’s come a long, long way. So often his films are pretty and heady as hell, but lacking the emotional core required to draw in someone of my particular tastes. I, shock and horror, didn’t care all that much about Inception. It had a shit load of style, it was kind of smart in places, but it’s a soulless demon of a film experience. Even The Dark Knight felt unfairly manipulative in its designs. You felt as though Nolan was more on the Joker’s side than the Bat’s, gleefully obliterating hope and life in the goal for more excitement. Here, however, you never once doubt that Nolan is with the Bat, pushing him along, praying that he’ll win out against this foe so evil, even Aleister Crowley would be reticent to invite him to a goats-blood and virgin-rape party. This movie, unlike anything Nolan has really produced in the past, is about people. Hurt people. People searching for redemption. And we want them to get it.

Hopefully, this movie changes things. Hopefully, we’ll finally get the better class of blockbuster we, as a people, so deserve. Perhaps audiences will reconsider seeing Transformers 4 in favor of something a little less intellectually necrotic. This is the new wave and Batman is the banner man, charging into the darkness of popular taste, waging war against mental sloth and lackadaisical pop-shit gluttony. We need more Nolans. We need more Whedons. We need the good shit to be the norm. And we need to celebrate it, unfettered, unadulterated and unashamed. Go see The Dark Knight Rises. Let movie companies know that this is what we want. Tell them to shove their What to Expect While You’re Expecting and their Expendables 2 up their rectal channels, along with the rest of the shit they plan on laying out over the next few years. This is a revolution. A revolution of the smart blockbuster.

Also, I hear the IMAX is awesome. That’s not part of the revolution. That’s just pretty.

The Dark Knight (2008) – Christopher Nolan (Dir.), Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts…basically everyone again

Dude, it’s behind you…

As we have witnessed this franchises lowest lows, so must we visit its soaring high. As the flashing neon of Schumacher and the pop music of Burton drift off into the distance, Grand Master Nolan reaches down from the grit-covered heavens and offers us entry into the darkest most decrepit vision of the Bat-world. If The Avengers hadn’t soared its glorious way across the silver screen this last summer, The Dark Knight would have to unequivocally be the greatest comic book movie ever made. Other than Ang Lee’s HULK, of course. But I’ll go off about that work of brilliance another day (read: sarcasm). I remember when I was living in England, the trickle of news about Ledger’s joker infecting the news waves, tickling our fanboy titties, just teasing us with the titillating temptation of the Dark Knight’s greatest villain. Honestly, all I was hoping for was a musical interlude in an art museum and purple berets. I was sorely disappointed when that was replaced with ‘good acting’. What pish-posh! Thematic depth? Well constructed character arcs? Get yourselves out of my genre of goofy bullshit and go back to that Ishiguro movie. The one with Keira Knightly where she maybe gets naked. Maybe not. I haven’t seen it. The point remains the same, who let you be so fucking good at this Chris Nolan? Did Zeus descend from Mt. Olympus disguised as a ‘talented director’ and impregnate your mother (thinking it was, after all, Rob Reiner circa 1985…ewww)? How did this happen?

Most violent game of duck, duck, goose ever.

Well, let’s check out what’s going on here. After Ra’s Al Ghul took the phrase ‘getting on like a house on fire’ the wrong way and got off at one El stop too late (i.e. the one where he dies) Batman is cleaning up Gotham like a champ. And he has groupies! One of them being a hilarious dude wearing hockey pads (side note: Andy Luther, the hockey pads dude, is an amazing Chicago actor and stand up guy). Well, mob bosses are all wetting their panties in fear of the Bat, they hire the world’s worst kids’ entertainer to, well, I believe the technical term is: fuck shit right up. And he does. In increasing maniacal and vicious ways. All the while, we have Bruce pining after a woman who looks as though the original version of her was kidnapped and forced into slavery by Scientology (and nobody minds) and Aaron “Chin of the Year” Eckhart is trying to be the best DA in town. Well, shit gets nasty, stand-in-Katie-Holmes gets blowed up, Aaron’s beautiful, beautiful face gets a healthy dosing of the Courtney Love Vagina treatment (don’t ask what that is), a truck flips over on Michigan Ave, Batman gets a new motorcycle-batpod-thing and Heath Ledger dresses in drag. It’s a feast for the eyes! Basically, Nolan has taken the basic premise of the chaos vs. order dichotomy and injected it with a vicious dose of Heat (all the parts without Val Kilmer) as well Goodfellas (without Ray ‘Exasperated all the Time’ Liotta) and The Untouchables (without Kevin ‘American Robin Hood’ Costner. And no, I will never let him live that one down. The bastard). It’s complex. It has something to say. And, like a goth stripper with a PhD, it will let you know in the most boner-inducing, gorgeous way possible.

Okay, so, the movie is good. It’s got a solid script, decent set pieces yada, yada, yada. What elevates it from the mantel of ‘Pretty Good’ to ‘Ball-Blazingly, Seizure-Inducingly, Melt-Your-Face-Off-Good’ is Mr. Heath ‘That One Time in the Mountains With the Cowboys’ Ledger. Holy shit. While we were watching, doing our regular jackassy thing, the room fell silent whenever the Joker entered. He has Scenes, with a capital S. You know, for Actors with capital A’s. Every other mutherfucker unlucky enough to be dumped into a comic book franchise barely even phones it in. I believe Chris Walken mailed it in, that’s how little of a fuck he gave. Ledger, on the other hand, crafts something otherworldly. It’s a performance that reminds you plebs out there that actors don’t simply interpret, they create. Ledger was a fine artist who, of course, will be sorely missed. But day-um. What a way to go.

Harv, the Crypt Keeper called and he wants half his face back. Also, he was wondering if you were around for poker on Tuesday. Are you guys seriously friends?

Unfortunately, by contrast, the rest of this A-list cast looks closer to a matinee performance of the Mikado in Bum-fucktonville Idaho. It’s not that they’re bad…they’re just adorable in comparison with their ’emotions’ and ‘gravitas’. This is probably my favorite role of Eckhart’s other than Thank You For Smoking and yet, whenever he has a scene with Ledger, you almost feel bad for him. You want him to be as good, you pray for him to be as good, but his scary half-face looks as intimidating as a fucking corgi. The man just doesn’t have the ABs (that’s Acting-Bollocks, a technical term for when Marlon Brando would pull down his pants and slap his adoring audiences with his 400lb nut sack. True story.) Oldman is still around kicking tail as Gordon as is Morgan “I had a friend named Andy Dufresne” Freeman. But, Mr. Bale…oh Mr. Bale. Can someone please tell Chris to clear his throat? Or stop eating cigarettes? Or stop using the bladed dildo? Who ever thought that impression of a gravel road was an acceptable form of communication? It’s fine when he’s demanding to know where the drugs are going, but when he’s having a simple conversation with Harvey Dent, he seems more likely to begin coughing up radioactive phlegm rather than plot points. Just take a lozenge, you silly man.

Also, let’s be real. For all it’s titty-twisting beauty, this isn’t without its flaws. First and foremost we have the extended Tom Waits impression that is the Bat-voice. Next we have far too much footage of the Bat-pod. Seriously, I know you spent a really long time building that thing and it looks fun as hell, but Mr. Nolan this isn’t a meditation on how totally sweet Batman’s wheelies are. I think, if you remove half of the batpod footage, you’d get this monster of a film down to an acceptable length. Another bone to pick: we are led to believe that Batman is a stand up guy, making sure to never murder any perps…but he doesn’t seem to give a single, voluntary, airborne fuck when it comes to collateral damage. Every chance he gets, he’s blowing up parked cars or walls or malls or glass or…what is he, a nine year old who found the cheat code to the tank in Grand Theft Auto? Also, if anyone has read my review of Mississippi Burning, you know some of my fury when it comes to the conservative undertones of this movie, specifically in regards to police brutality and the whole cell-phone radar conceit at the climax. I mean, it’s a debatable thesis and I won’t get into it again, but I will say this… The Joker is holed up in a totally abandoned building filled only with hostages, dogs and thugs. How can Batman use cell phone radar in the entirety of the structure? Are the bad guys live-tweeting their murder of civilians? Are the guard dogs instagramming the whole affair: “W/ Joker LOL. Here comes Batman! Charge! Oh he punched me! ROFL!”

Also, a lot of dogs get thrown down elevator shafts. What does Nolan have against dogs? Is he just kind of a dick? Is he simply a cat person?

The Joker: Most Unnerving Blackjack Dealer Ever.

On a serious note, for once, what Nolan did with movie is rarely achieved. He took something in the popular domain that, honestly, has a rather basal approach to thematic exploration and doesn’t really have any huge dwellings on the Human condition, and turned it into something good. I’m talking The King’s There Will Be No Country For Old The Hours in Love with Atonement good. It raised the bar for what we expect in a summer blockbuster. We’re not just here to sink into our jumbo buckets of heart-attack-corn, only to have our brains numbed by an onslaught of visual and cranial anesthesia. His work on this franchise takes all other major titles to task. Forever more, summer movies will be judged against this work of pure panty-wetting bliss. It’s a movie like this that would force a studio like Marvel to do something drastic such as hire a veritable madman to almost single-handedly craft their golden child of a film franchise into whatever he pleased. Now, The Avengers is by no means nearly as deep or thoughtful as The Dark Knight, but it isn’t a piece of shit like everything else that parades across our eye-testicles every summer. It had quality acting, taught directing and fight scenes that made sense. This is becoming the norm. I hope. Give people something juicer to mull over during the waning summer days, not just more sugar-coated schlock to make us ever more artistically bankrupt than we already are.

So, Mr. Nolan, you have raised your bar high. Perhaps too high. Bring it home with what could be one of the best blockbusters of all time. Or else. You bastard.

Well, this is the end of our Bat Saga until the grand opening of the Film Du Jour. As a celebration, my friends, Alex and Kevin, joined me in competing for the ‘Best Bat-Voice Impersonation’. The prizes were of the highest caliber. Here is a little smattering of how fucking ridiculous my friends are:

Alex as Emotionally Supportive Boyfriend Batman:

Kevin as Batman rehearsing with his cat:

And, finally, me as Batman ordering movie tickets:

I believe I ‘won’. My prize, well, let’s just say the emotional roller coaster it put me through upon its reception could be best summed up with this picture:

There are no words.

Well, now for some serious Tweetage.

Kids, this is what happens when a smurf farts. #batathon

I like that all the clowns really want to give exposition. #batathon

Oh Heather Ledger, work the fucking balls. #batathon

Yes, nobody will notice the school bus that came out of the building.#batathon

“I’m not wearing hockey pads!” Batman has been drinking way too much Jack drenched in cigars drenched in Phyllis Diller. #batathon

“Sir, Batman just left. He left when you were talking to him. How rude.” #batathon

“Oh Maggie Gyllenhaal. She looks like Sarah Jessica Parker on a good day.” ~ Kevin. Wrong. #batathon

“I want your trust. And a mustache ride. Not in that order.” ~ Dent to Gordon, still a better love story than Twilight. #batathon

“Look at my whore, Rachel. This is how I impress women.” ~ Wayne. #batathon

“No ballerina would have tits that big!” “Have you seen Barishnakov’s bosom? He is a well endowed mutherfucker.”#batathon

Wait, everyone shut the fuck up. The Ledger is approaching.#batathon

“You’re a hard man to reach.” “You’re a hard man to reach around.” “What?” “Don’t worry about it.” #batathon

Did Morgan Freeman start a Meth Lab in Wayne Industries? Hey…Walt? Jesse? #batathon

And starring Maggie Gyllenhaal in the new sitcom from Fox: “Oh that bat!” It consists of her shaking her head with a smile in every scene.

And then Alfred had sex with everyone on that boat. Man, woman, child, mineral, vegetable…it was a veritable sex-topia. #batathon

“Why So Serious?” “Um…you have a blade in my mouth. Do you really want me to answer?” ~ Ended terribly. #batathon

“Leave your cell phone.” “I use that one solely for bitches.” ~ The Freeman. #batathon

“John Woo should have directed this scene. You don’t understand, there are doves and people jumping with two guns EVERYWHERE in China”

“That card completes my Pokedeck!” ~ The judge, about to be mercilessly murdered. #batathon

“That bitch behind him has some awkward tan lines happening.” ~ Meg. Vigilant. #batathon

“Let’s get drunk and sexually experiment. I mean…let’s just get drunk.” the commissioner, lonely #batathon

“Hey, Maggie, remember that movie where I made love to your brother? This is like that, but with less cowboys.” #batathon

“You remind me of my father. I HATE my father.” ~ With a knife. How Harry Reid gets the Senate to vote in his favor. #batathon

How did Batman not die from that height? Also, they forget they left the Joker with a room full of innocent rich people. #batathon

Batman…were you just standing there for like 20 mins until we got here?…that’s kinda creepy. #batathon

“A riddle…Riddle-er” “Shut the fuck up.” #batathon

“I don’t think we need a minigun to do that.” “But it’s sooo cool.”#batathon

And Joel Schumacher was allowed to direct a single scene. You know, the one in the gay night club. #batathon

“Anyone in this town you can trust?” “Bruce.” “Okay, anyone you can trust who won’t put his penis inside you?” Silence. #batathon

“I was literally a block away from you. We should torture suspects together.” “Sounds hot.” “Sounds like a sitcom.” Batman/Dent high five

“What will you have me do, Alfred?” “Endure.” In fairness, they had the same conversation when he wet the bed as a youngster,#batathon

I wish Aaron Eckhart’s chin had more press conferences. #batathon

“Ok, that’s NOT good.” ~ Thank you Greek Chorus of idiocy.#batathon

You know…that’s not how physics work…but it’s okay. Because it’s amazing. #batathon

Batman, you suck at braking. #batathon

Gordon is wearing a turtleneck! You know, I shall let that one pass.#batathon

“Glad we have mood lighting so that Batman totally can’t hide behind you.” Seriously, there is one door. How didn’t he notice him come in?

“Like a leper!” “I’m not a leopard. I’m a bat.” “I said leper.” “I’m NOT a LEOPARD.” “Um…let’s move on…” ~ Batman, mishearing

“This is the WORST SURPRISE BIRTHDAY EVER!” ~ Dent before a severe facial. #batathon

Wait…wouldn’t the GCPD have a unit in the areas next to both Dent and Dawes? Isn’t that how Police works? #batathon

“Let’s play a game. I spy something beginning with B. That’s right! Barrel of gasoline! Harvey…Harvey?” #batathon

Chris Nolan: “We’re playing for keeps. The only female character gets mercilessly murdered.” #batathon

“The guys at the station bought you this dildo. It was a joke and I didn’t have money for another present. So…I guess, here’s a dildo.”

On the upside, Harvey, your teeth look REALLY good. #batathon

“Fuck plans! Plans are pathetic!” ~ Joker, the man who plans the entire elaborate climax to this film. #batathon

GTA. Either Gotham Transit Authority, or the City of Gatham encourages violent rampages and sex with hookers in a hilarious manner #batathon

And then Mr. Freeman discovers the center of the Matrix. He uses to watch all the penguins in the Antarctic for narration purposes.

“Mr. Wayne, you don’t have to use the silly voice with me. I know who you are.” ~ Lucius Fox.

Remember, kids, wear a seatbelt or Two Face might murder you.#batathon

Wait…whose cell phones are they using here? The SWAT teams? “I’m on the roof, LOL” #batathon

And Gordon chooses his favorite thereby making every Thanksgiving far more awkward for years to come. #batathon

Batman falls like three stories and we’re worried he’ll live. He also fell from a penthouse onto a fucking car and was fine. WHAT?#batathon

“Dad, why didn’t Batman sign my tits?” “Because you don’t have tits, son. You don’t have tits.” ~ Gordon and his son, confused#batathon

YAY! The Batathon is over! The Dark Knight Rises, you better not fucking disappoint, or I will murder EVERYBODY. #batathon

And so, I’m seeing The Dark Knight Rises on Friday night. Be on the lookout for the review on Saturday.

Batman Returns (2012) – Tim Burton (Dir.), Michael Keaton, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito

It’s a totem pole of emotional disorders!

The date was set. The players had returned. We converged, a rag-tag bunch of sarcastic assholes ready to ridicule, jeer and jest once more, all the while bleeding our useless opinions across the the Twitter-scape. And, much like any Hollywood sequel, it was surprisingly difficult to coax the original cast members back. Kevin (The Giggle) got stuck on a bus. Ryan (The Dragon) had to very un-dragonly wake up at 6am. Meg (The I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck) didn’t really, well, give a fuck and Huntsberger (Poop in a Vault) was ‘busy’. However, with coaxing, promises of sexual favors (regular roommate stuff), the stage was ready. The double-sided DVD was in the player and two bottles of white were ready for consumption.

Let me preface (as I am like to do): I had only seen Batman Returns once back when I was about 12. It scared the shit out of me. Specifically the part when the Penguin is eating raw fish and bites a dude on the nose. So, like a claustrophobe clambering into an elevator with a bunch of fat people, I charged back into the fray ready to take it on. Firstly, this movie is fucking AMAZING. I was all ready to go with all these goofy jokes about the early nineties, seeing as the first movie was a bunch of steaming 80s-Prince-infused mess. I came up almost entirely short. Apparently, between the two films, Burton descended back into his cave to gestate, emerging a fully grown goth-butterfly. This movie is a Burton film to the extreme. Soap-Operatic Danny Elfman score? Check. Insane art direction that makes no logical sense but is pretty as that girl who always serves you coffee and you’re pretty sure you’re in love but she probably isn’t into it? Double check. Dreariness that makes its way into your very soul? Triple check. Paul Reubens? Um…well, a little bit. Just enough, I feel.

PLOT SUMMARY! So, there’s this guy. He looks like Albert Einstein and he talks like he is constantly having a stroke. Turns out, it’s Chris Walken, settings up to UBER-WALKEN (a notch above Super-Walken and a notch below SUPREME-BEING-WALKEN. I’m still waiting for that last one to occur. I believe it’s the third sign of Ragnorok). He’s a douchebag business man? I guess? Doesn’t matter. Well, he decides to adopt crime king, orphan and Humpty-Dumpty impersonator Oswald Cobblepot and help him become mayor of Gotham. In doing so, he pushes Michelle Pfeiffer out a window. By the magical power of cats having sex on her, Pfeiffer comes back from the dead, shifting her sexy settings from Vespa (fun to ride but you don’t want your friends to see you on one) up to “Um, I have to change my pants”. Stuff blows up. Pfeiffer whips things (whips them good). Circus performers murder people. Danny DeVito BITES SOMEONE IN THE FUCKING NOSE. Oh. And Batman is in it too. A little bit.

“Just the pussy I’ve been looking for” ~ The Penguin making everyone feel uncomfortable.

So…this movie is hilarious. Every single line that escapes Pfeiffer’s amazing and man-making lips after she goes from World’s-Greatest-Twilight-Fan to Please-Murder-Me-With-Sex is a one-liner. And she delivers every single one perfectly. This movie is made of goof. Macabre, well-designed goof. But seriously, when have you ever seen a giant present explode and homicidal stilt-walkers attack a city? Or when the Penguin murders the fat clown? This thing as more goof than a fucking Disney-Dog convention. However, in no way is it a bad thing. While the first was confused with it’s cutaways to Nicholson doing unspeakable acts all the while looking like he wants to urinate on your face for sexual purposes while listening to Prince, this had a beautifully aligned aesthetic. It’s fucking crazy. But it’s ALL fucking crazy. Nothing in it dares take a walk on the wild side into ‘sanity’. Nope, pure, uncut, Columbian bat-shitness all the way through. You think, this can’t be as insane as it seems all the way through, and yet, frame after frame, its coated in a thick layer of delicious bat guano. Do not get me wrong. It’s AMAZING. I genuinely laughed out loud multiple times at actual jokes. Burton made funnies! Like when a random woman says of the Penguin, “He’s like a frog who grew into a prince!” and another dude says, “No, he’s more like a Penguin.” That amused me.

Time for the bad. Throughout the film, with Walken declaring that he’ll push Pfeiffer out of a higher window and Devito looking like he fellated Papa Smurf, I figured out what the issue with Burton’s two movies is: Batman. He doesn’t do anything. Ever. He’s barely in either movie. And, when he is, either he’s entirely nonchalant or he’s MERCILESSLY MURDERING PEOPLE. There is a scene near the beginning of the film where he incinerates a human being. And later, he comes up against a big dude who he can’t hope to take down because, let’s be honest, my 110 lb sister could give Keaton a run for his money. Batman forces a bomb into the guy’s pants and kicks him into a hole where he explodes. Correct me if I’m wrong…but isn’t the point of Batman that he doesn’t kill people? Yet, scene after scene he’s throwing acid at women, running baddies down, kicking them off of buildings and all the rest of it. After a while I just closed my eyes and hoped it would stop. Mommy, make it stop.

I think Devito should try the ‘Flattering Onesie’ look more often. It really brings out his munchkin-ness.

Also, at the beginning of the film, we see Wayne sitting around staring off into space (brooding…I guess? Or just really lonely and sad that the other multi-billionaires didn’t invite him out to play?) and the bat signal comes up. Three, not just one, but THREE fucking bat signal reflectors shift the symbol into his sitting room. Firstly…how does it know where he is in the house? Secondly, isn’t it a ‘secret’ identity? Who comes to Wayne manor, sees the massive Bat-Encrusted signal reflectors and thinks “Hmm. Totally not Batman. It’s just TOO obvious.”

Honestly, though, this has got to be my favorite movie in the Batman canon after The Dark Knight. I won’t call it a Batman movie because the guy isn’t even fucking in it. And he wears an ascot. That alone took my rage sparked by his foray into turtleneck apparel in the first movie and shifted it into the realm of Russell-Crowe-With-A-Phone-In-Hand. However, Devito as a human bowling ball, Walken being a tasty helping of terrifyingly unhinged and Michelle Pfeiffer doing anything at all (those cheekbones could cut diamond. Or my heart… NO Andrew! Don’t fall for Catwoman. She’ll only urinate on you, demand things that you can’t give and hate you for no other reason than the fact that she thinks she’s a cat. Also, there’s no knowing if during sex she won’t suddenly decide that she wants to bite your face off. Fucking cats.) they all come together to make one hell of an entertaining movie. Logic be damned. This was Burton at his best, crafting beauty from his dark-as-dirt imagination, transmuting the horrifying aspects of fringe geek culture into something palatable for the masses. What do we have? A tasty morsel of nightmare, coated in delectable sugar.

Oh Burton. What happened to you? You were so good. Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood are modern-day classics, unparalleled in their use of costume and set design, perfectly crafted to both undercut and stimulate our imaginations. But…sometimes you just need to lay your flowers at the base of the artistic grave of a great, let him go, allow him to rest, even as his reanimated corpse stumbles around Hollywood sinking his teeth into long-dead franchises, hoping to bring them back into life. Yet, as these cinematic abominations lumber across the silver screen summer after summer, we see they are all pale, pallid forms of their former selves, brainless and hungry for yours. The Burton we love is dead. We should just cock our sawn-off shotgun and blow his brains out before he can infect more. It’s what’s best.

*Wipe away tear. Apologize. Pull the trigger.*

The one and only time in Walken’s life where he seems not-insane by comparison.

And now…more tweets!

Oh my god! Pee Wee! Seeing him makes me want to touch myself in public places. #batathon

And so Tim Burton has found his creative penis and he will wave it in your faces, whether you like it or not. #batathon

Who let Alfred out of the house? And who the fuck is he buying presents for? He has no friends. #batathon

Why is Michelle Pfeiffer calling herself a corn dog? Is this going to turn into a porno? #batathon

Walken is the only man who can make unconditional love sound like a watch that’s been up his ass for years. #batathon

“What’s in these presents?” “Oh no it’s herpes!” ~ Huntsberger #batathon

Do you think the penguin put an ad in craigslist for murderous circus performers? #batathon

“I knew those stilt-trippers were a worthy addition to the bat mobile.” ~ Batman, proud of himself. #batathon

Who the fuck is the Penguin’s tailor? Jeffrey Dahmer? #batathon

I think Danny Devito ate the Ninja Turtles. #batathon

Michelle Pfeiffer said ‘bone’. Giggle. #batathon

“How industrious.” ~ Walken. “Baubles.” ~ Walken. No joke. Just truth. #batathon

NEVER TRUST THE WALKEN WHEN HE SMILES! #batathon

There’s one thing cats love, that’s a fresh corpse. #batathon

“Helena Bonham Carter as ALL THE CATS” ~ Huntsberger.

Milk was a bad choice. I mean a great choice. Fuck you all. ~ Catwoman. #batathon

“Rediscover your roots. Lavar Burton. Good friend. Black people. What was I talking about?” ~ Walken. Adlibbing. #batathon

‘Walken adlibbing’ is redundant. #batathon

“When you abandon your child you don’t want to leave a tag with your name on it. It might come back. That kinda misses the point.”#batathon

“Michael Keaton is a small dude. I don’t think he’s a poon dragon at all!” ~ Ryan. #batathon

“I’ll drop her out a higher window” *bow tie fix* YEEEEEAAAAAHHHH. Chris Walken invented David Caruso.#batathon

“Here comes the dirty onesie! Look for the stains!” ~ Kevin.#batathon

That raw fish made me nauseous for the entirety of the 90s.#batathon

NOSE BITE! Rahm Emmanuel does that like twice a day. Get over it.#batathon

Catwoman, backflips aren’t the only way to travel. #batathon

“I brought my pussy, Miss Kitty. Also, my cat, Englebert.”  ~ Catwoman #choices‪ #batathon

“He looks like a fucking Gringott’s goblin. And we KNOW they’re jews.” #batathon

“That bitch knows why the caged bird sings.” Catwoman played by Maya Angelou. #batathon

“He knocked me off a building right when I was feeling good about myself.” #deargodcatwoman #batathon

ANOTHER ASCOT? AND EATING A CARROT???? Batman what have you become? #batathon

Selena looks like she came out the wrong end of Busey Coke Party.#batathon

“That’s not true!” We’re apparently watching Batman Retorts.#batathon

Apparently if your rewire a dildo to an RC control, you can take down the bat mobile defenses. ~ Kevin. #batathon

“Literally, people throw fruit at him. It’s that kinda movie.”~Huntsberger #batathon

Instrumental Superfreak? Did Donald Trump plan this fucking dance? #batathon

“That is the laugh of cocaine.” ~ Meg #batathon

Kids, this is what happens when you eat black licorice. You become Danny Devito. But fatter. #batathon

Dead fat clown. The gift that keeps on giving. #batathon

Now Batman is wearing a RUBBER TURTLENECK. I’m done. I’m just done. #batathon

Only Walken’s third most awkward kiss, after Sleepy Hollow and his the one he gives your mother every night. #batathon

Well, that’s all for now folks. Like a schoolboy who has just discovered that having an older girlfriend means unlimited sex, we’ll be back for round 3 on Sunday. Next time we’ll be playing the Adam West Batman: The Movie drinking game. One rule: Drink every time it’s the 60s. Watch me document my death from alcohol poisoning on Twitter! 9pm CST.

Batman (1989) – Tim Burton (Dir.), Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

Did every poster in the 80s look like someone crapped on a VHS jacket?

And so it begins. The Bat-a-thon is here, it’s slew of mismatched, hodge-podged insanity bleeding across my television, through my brain and then out onto my keyboard. We began, just five intrepid explorers of Gotham city, only to emerge changed. Granted, this is only the first and decidedly tame encounter, but it’s only downhill from here. Well, until Nolan enters the fray. The watching crew was set: Huntsberger “The Wit”, Kevin “The Giggle”, Meg “The I-Don’t-Really-Give-Much-of-a-Shit”, Ryan “The Dragon” and Mooney “The Me”. Armed to the teeth with a DVD player, one and a half bottles of terrible Trader Joe’s wine and a jug of craft beer that remained unopened, we took the plunge together. And oh what a plunge it was (said the plumber to the toilet). To those of you who followed, I live tweeted as fast as my fingers could move.

What do we have here? I’m sure the world was ecstatic when they discovered that Tim “Goth White Kid Wet Dream” Burton was taking on the dreariest of DC super heroes. And I will say this, for all of its weirdness and Burton-esque crap (not that much, surprisingly), it’s a pretty decent movie. There are certainly caveats to that statement, but when placed next to the shit-buckets we’ll be watching down the line, this is conspicuously not-egregious. We’ve got Batman’s best villain played with gusto by Jack Nicholson. Did I say ‘gusto’? I meant “Bat-shit whiskey-fuelled insanity that ends up with a weekend inside of your mom”. We have Kim “The Legs” Bassinger. We have Danny Elfman’s absolutely iconic score. We even have Billy Dee “Not Just an Initial But His Actual Fucking Middle Name” Williams being smoother than a silk martini. On the other hand, it’s the 80s. Dear god it’s the 80s. I was agonizingly reminded of this fact when the name ‘Prince’ appeared as a musical collaborator. *facepalm*. I was amazed by the fact that the art direction didn’t commit suicide until the Joker showed up around the forty minute mark. Burton really kept his shit in line. Well done there.

I imagine that this is what St. Peter looks like. Afraid of clowns? Too fucking bad, wimp. No heaven for you!

So…what is hilariously wrong with this movie? Well, first we have the Bat himself. Michael Keaton is a man known for usually extremely subtle, ironic performances, usually on stage. He’s a respected actor. And, other than haunting my every childhood second with his ‘What the fuck was that?’ performance in Beetlejuice, he seems like a totally reasonable guy. You know what isn’t intimidating? Reason. When he first says “I’m Batman” you think he’s about to follow it up with “And I’m an alcoholic.” And then the dude he’s about to beat the crap out of welcomes him to the support group, they sit down and discuss his movement on his fearless moral inventory. SERIOUSLY. Keaton is just sort of nonchalant. Also, every time he shows up extremely awkwardly, he lifts his pleather wings high, usually with a campy little flick, looking more as though he’s presenting himself for mating rather than about to kick some Joker ass. Even with his final one-liner before he mercilessly murders the Joker (um…okay…) he just sort of mumbles. Like it’s something he needs to add to his Whole Foods shopping list later.

But this movie ain’t about the Bat. Nope. In fact, he’s missing for about half the run time. No, this movie is about making Jack Nicholson look like he’s trying to swallow three penises at once after emerging from the wrong side of a five-year-old face-painting death-match. Honestly, I don’t think they even gave the man a script. They just let the cameras roll and good old Johnny just went for it. He hoots like an owl…for no reason. He flounces about, giggling to himself. Perhaps he was having a stroke and nobody realized. Anything is possible. One thing is for certain, however, this is the best performance of a dude high on something just meandering about a film after David Carradine’s genre-defining role in The Serpent’s EggAs Huntsberger reminded us, people did a lot of cocaine in the 80s.

This displeases the Bat Man.

As a whole, Burton did an amazing thing. Say what you will about Prince appearing out of nowhere and Nicholson vibrating violently (I think this is what the natives call… “Dance” or “The Nicholson Shuffle”). He resurrected the Dark Knight from the clammy, hammy paws of the sixties, reinvigorating the franchise with some much needed macabre. Is it there yet? Fuck no. I mean…where the hell did the Joker suddenly find all of this carnival-themed murder weaponry? Did he pull it out of his ass? Now, I’m sure far weirder things have taken the amazing journey to the center of Johnny Boy’s rectum, but it was stretching the realm of belief a little bit. Also, we had far too many random back-flippy dudes who are easily overcome by the their severe weakness “A Bat-Foot in the Face”. But you know what? Before Batman Begins entered our fanboy lives and showed us the light, this was the fucking pinnacle of Bat-cinema. It also inspired the 90s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series. You should all watch all of it immediately. You’ll want to rub the DVDs all over your private parts. It isn’t sexual. It’s about marking territory. You’ll understand this if you have roommates. That’s why I urinate on all of their beds once a day. It’s all part of my plan for total-house domination.

A goofy movie, yes. Also, Lando Calrissian is conspicuously not drinking Colt 45. But a bad movie? I don’t think so. We had to do something to offer an outlet to Nicholson’s insatiable id before he exploded into a Dante’s Inferno of pure masochistic apocalypse. It’s like a pressure valve or human sacrifice. If you don’t give him something insane to do once every decade, like playing with a dildo in The Departed or chasing Olive Oyl with an axe, the whole of existence will collapse into Nine Levels of Nicholson, each one based on a different drug. Don’t get stuck on the Viagra level. Come to think of it…we haven’t had him do anything nutballs in a while. Perhaps the pressure is building… MY GOD. 2012. The Mayans were right!

“Hey guys…I’m a billionaire. I have a fucking cell phone. Can’t we just use that?”

Well, in lieu of the oncoming Nicholocalypse, here are some of the highlights from the Twitter-fest last night:

“Starring Helena Bonham Carter as commissioner Gordon” ~ Kevin #batathon

“Billy Dee Williams is not allowed to not wear a cape.” ~ Huntsberger #batathon

Do you think Nicholson takes viagra before acting? I imagine his entire body is a massive boner.

“Where is Bruce Wayne?” “I could tell you but I turn into a snowman at midnight.”

Batman doesn’t wear fucking glasses. Why? BECAUSE HE’S BATMAN. #batathon

Sorry, those are his ‘TV watching glasses’. #batathon

“I can’t think of a good pun to go with this hanging situation. Oh! Wait!…nope, still drawing a blank.” ~ Batman before Schumacher.

The Joker, making children terrified of split pea soup for the entirety of the 90s. #batathon

“Dude, if I could poop in a vault, I’d poop in a vault every day of my life.” ~ Huntsberger. #batathon

“Hey Mr. Elfman, we need more significant music. Yeah, just slap the accordion with a ham. That should work.” #batathon

Burton: “I want a mime. but make sure he’s fat. NO QUESTIONS.”#batathon

“I feel a lot of the Joker’s danger is lost when you realize he’s really into collage.” #batathon

The bat mobile…ribbed for her pleasure. #batathon

Batman, like dogs, can’t look up apparently. #batathon

Nicholson is mugging so hard you could drink some fucking hot chocolate out of that mutherfucker. #batathon

Wait…why does Batman have listerine? In the bat cave? WHAT?#batathon

“I have something to tell you. I’m Beetlejuice. Wait. The other one. Let me try that again.” ~Keaton and Burton never collaborated again.

Do all villains come equipped with a boom box in the late 80s?#batathon

I didn’t know Batman was a scrapbooker. I’m really sad the new movies haven’t focused on this as much. #batathon

WHY IS BATMAN WEARING A TURTLENECK??? #batathon

“This is when it poops the bomb. Watch. It’ll do it.” ~ Ryan.#batathon

And then Ferris Bueller shows up and ruins the ENTIRE parade.#batathon

How do we call the Bat? By this incredibly inefficient method.#batathon

So, until next time kiddies, when we tackle deformed Danny Devito, cat-lady Michelle Pfeiffer and crazy Chris Walken. I mean, regular Chris Walken. Same fucking thing. Tune in later this week for the next installment of the Bat-a-thon with Batman Returns. 

As you might notice, this is not a film review. Oh no! This is a warning, to all ye of weak stomachs and balls not of brass. There is really only one more pantie-wetting extravaganza coming this summer and that is, of course, The Dark Knight Rises. As with all men who were once adolescent, I have dreamed of standing atop a gargoyle, my cape billowing in the cool night air, peering down on my city, my people, readying to fly down and destroy evildoers. But then my mother would yell, in a weathered British accent, “What the bloody ‘ell do yer think yer doin’ with your pants on yer head? Get down from the yer wanker!” (My mother’s previous profession before raising me was ‘Guy Ritchie gangster’.) There is a love for Batman that no other comic book has ever been able to match. Mr. Wayne has managed to batarang his way into the hearts and minds of children everywhere, joining the likes of Spiderman, Indiana Jones and Han Solo. But Batman is the Night. Don’t fuck with the night.

Be ready, bitches.

So, in honor of this grand occasion (and in no way building this all up to be the biggest case of fan boy blue balls since, well, Prometheus I guess. Man, it’s hard being a fan. People constantly letting us down…) I have decided to take on a task, nay, a feat of will. In this month leading up to the fabled coming of Batman-Christ (in that version of the Bible, Jesus doesn’t die on the cross, he uses his Roman-Repellant and grappling hooks to safety to watch over his jews for all time…) I will watch, observe, assimilate, digest, regurgitate and defecate the entirety of the live-action, post-war Batman canon. I will live tweet each experience as we go and finish with a good old ‘reactions/review/word-vomit’. Yes, there are some whorish stinkers in the mix, including the painfully existent Batman and Robin. However, all shall be watched. Some will be loved. More shall be ridiculed. I wish to also state that I have purchased all of these films. Thus, I shall measure each experience based on “Amount of Money Movie is Worth” divided by “Amount I Spent” to get a true shit-to-value ratio.

Like a saunter through the depths of Arkham, we shall pass every level of Batman-induced insanity. The line up is as follows:

Batman (1989) – Tim Burton (Dir.), Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson – The first flavors of Burtonesque oddity. You think stuff won’t get any more bizarre after Jack Nicholson’s foray into rap artistry in the Gotham Museum of Art. You are so, so wrong…

Batman Returns (1992) – Tim Burton (Dir.), Michael Keaton, Danny Devito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken – How do you make the first movie crazier? Add Walken to the mix (clinically proven to make any movie 63.4% more fucked-up in the brainal region) and have a deformed Danny Devito bite a dude on the nose.

Batman: The Movie (1966) – Leslie H. Martinson (Dir.), Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero – Holy Crapfest, Batman! Buckle your seat belts, you’re about to get a serious dose of insane logical leaps and the infamous ‘Shark Repellant’. In this trip down crazy lane, this would be Batman’s id just ripping off his panties and slapping his penis about a couple of hippies.

It’s like that sex dream I once had…

Batman Forever (1995) – Joel Schumacher (Dir.), Val Kilmer, Chris O’Donnell, Nicole Kidman, Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones  – Joel “Epileptic Fit” Schumacher takes the reins and Tommy Lee loses a bet. See Jim Carrey at the height of his power and Val Kilmer on the precipice of getting fat. Also, Chris “Who?” O’Donnell and Nicole “Taller Than Tom Cruise” Kidman join in the fun.

Batman and Robin (1997) – Joel Schumacher (Dir.), George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone – The turd bucket to end all turd buckets. Clooney fires his agent. Arnie attempts comedy (sort of). Nipples on the Bat-suit and art direction that would make Stevie Wonder say ‘Damn son, that shit is loud as hell’.

Batman Begins (2005) – Christopher Nolan (Dir.), Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy – Thank the jesus. Quality finally makes a much needed return with this reboot. We get a movie that made enthusiasts and plebs alike slobber uncontrollably, forcing theater-owners to plastic cover their seats whenever a new Nolan movie is released.

The Dark Knight (2008) – Christopher Nolan (Dir.), Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal – Theater owners everywhere thank the lord that the plastic wrapping was in place as fans and non fans, pretty much anyone with a pulse, simultaneously shit themselves with glee at Heath Ledger’s performance. Goddamn. I’m getting uncomfortable just thinking about it. Give me once second and I’ll take care of this…

Follow me on twitter @filmicignorance and I’ll give a heads up when the games will begin. It has been discussed that the final evening will culminate with a Batman themed dinner and Batman voice contest that I intend to film. The first of the bunch is tentatively scheduled for this Sunday June 24th around 8pm CST. Join the party, nerds.

by Andrew Mooney

The temperature is rising. The rains are coming. The sun isn’t being such a dick anymore. Puxatawny Phil lied to us. As Ned Stark wouldn’t say: Summer is Coming. We know it comes every year and, no matter how much we think we can prepare, the result is a vomitous mess of wasted celluloid and fried neurons. We no longer measure summers in lost loves, days trickling away on the beach and road trips. We measure them in blockbusters, Twizzlers and jumbo buckets of popcorn, monstrosities we know are going make us want to throw up and yet we keep coming back for more because…because it’s free refillsIt’s free food! WHY WOULDN’T YOU TAKE IT?

Summer movie season will be upon us soon. As I practice how many Reese’s Pieces I can force down my gullet without purging, the parade of mediocrity that is the Summer Movie Preview begins its dirge. So what do we have this year? What films will play across our faces as we question what we are doing with are lives and why we’re not in grad school and, seriously, Tom Hardy has like a thirty pack, how is that even possible?

I have split the bigg’uns into four categories: Movies I Want to See, Movies I Will See and Hate Myself, Movies I Will See Drunk, and Movies I Would Rather Be Diagnosed With an Awkwardly Placed Fungus Than See. So…let’s get started shall we?

MOVIES I WANT TO SEE

The Dark Knight Rises

Bane? Bane! Hey, Bane! You forgot your mask! Hey Bane?

Alright, alright. Let’s get my fanboy panties out of Christopher Nolan’s butt and just come out and say it. I love Batman. Not just that he is an enjoyable character with intriguing flaws as well as equally complex villains to complement him. I love him. I want to be him. I always have. This is no joke. If he actually existed (that’s a begrudging ‘if’) I would attempt to steal his heart and force marriage. Perhaps by way of a faked pregnancy. I haven’t thought it through.  Thus, when Batman Begins charged its ways into theaters back in 2005, I was about ready to put a hit out on the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane when he declared it “Meh.” Meh? MEH? Batman is the night. You know what doesn’t give a fuck? The night. Because it comes, whether you like it or not, every night. They even named a part of the day cycle after it because it’s not-giving-a-fuckness hit such levels of magnitude, it had to be respected.

So, there is this movie. I still get hot flashes when I think about the truck chase in The Dark Knight. Granted, the trailer for Rises had some…odd stuff in it. And I still have not forgotten Ken Watanabe’s hilarious accent in the first one. But seriously, on paper, it’s like Christopher Nolan went into my dreams and took everything I have ever wanted in a film: Batman, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, my insatiable crush on Anne Hathaway in leather body suits and… Wait…that is my dream. Did Nolan…?

My god. He is the Master of Dreams. All hail Nolan.

The Avengers 

This poster is terrible, aside from Iron Man playing invisible basketball.

Alright Joss Whedon. You have my ear. Now give me something good.

The movie that instigated this re-scouring of classic film was actually one of Whedon’s. I saw Cabin in the Woods twice in one week. I loved it that much. Seriously, if you enjoy horror films like I do, go see it immediately. You will have a blast. Ok…so, now onto this 4-year marketing campaign in the making. This film better be fucking worth it otherwise I’m forming a fucking posse and we’re gonna ride into Hollywood and drag Whedon out by his ass. And then we shall brand him, on the rump, “Thanks for wasting out time. Jerk.” I know it wouldn’t really be his fault, but someone must pay.

Ang Lee’s Hulk was one of the worst pieces of fecal matter I have ever had the pleasure to witness at 30,000 feet. And, as everyone knows, all movies are 40% worse on a plane. That’s science. I vowed, then and there, that I would never see another Hulk movie. And then Ed Norton decided to take a career nosedive and 2008’s The Incredible Hulk was born. This time, 100% less credible! Well, I saw it. No, not because it looked good or that it had fine reviews, but because Robert Downey Jr. was in it for thirty seconds. I watched two hours of unrelenting mediocrity because of The Avengers. So, Whedon, you have been warned.

In all honesty, it looks kinda cool. Yes, the only interesting part of Thor is back (Tom Hiddleston, not Chris Hemsworth’s abs. Put it back in your pants, ladies). Yes, I get Scarlett Johansson in a cat suit…again. Yes, Jeremy Renner shoots a bow…or something. Whatever, he was in The Hurt Locker so he is infallible. Yes, Samuel L. Jackson yells (he better fucking yell or Whedon is getting branded). And of course Mr. Robert Downey “Just Dare Me to Give A Fuck, I Dare You” Jr. as Iron “The Nice Version of Batman” Man. I’m a teeny bit excited. And apprehensive.

Your move, Whedon.

Moonrise Kingdom

Have you ever noticed that every Wes Anderson poster is the same thing? Quirky people standing in a line according to height?

That’s a lot of cursive. Cursive is intimidating.

I’m gonna lay down some truth bombs. I am white. I am male. I went to liberal arts college. I believe I am legally obligated to love Wes Anderson. Of course, the budding hipster, yearning to escape my body every day I think to myself, “Which vest goes with this shirt?” shudders with restrained excitement at the thought of Wes “No Big Deal” Anderson committing a new image to celluloid. The love affair began with Rushmore, as it did for so many blossoming detentes of the millennial generation. It grew from a tryst into true, codependent adoration with The Royal Tenenbaums, had a sexy vacation with The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, lost the luster slightly trapped on a train with The Darjeeling Limited and then rediscovered the passion with the divinely-sent Fantastic Mr. Fox. As his similarly named counterpart traversed the Matrix in order to bring down the robot hierarchy, Mr. Anderson traverses human emotion to bring down our hearts. Aww. But seriously, if you like him, his movies are hilarious. If you don’t, well, you are probably a lot more fun at non-hipster parties than us.

I owe Anderson several life debts. 1) Fantastic Mr. Fox. My entire childhood development, if it could be blamed on any one person, was crafted by Roald Dahl. This book was perhaps may favorite of all. This is a movie, that no matter how crappy I feel, how lost, how tired, how depressed, I can switch it on and feel a wash of bliss subsuming my every doubt that, in the end, everything is going to work out. That is, until Michael Bay announces ‘Ninja Turtles‘. Head…about…to…explode… I mean, since Fox, whenever I really am feeling down, I think to myself “I wish I were Fantastic Mr. Fox”, because then I would be George Clooney. And Clooney is a fucking god.

2) He reanimated the jaded, bearded corpse of Bill Murray, siphoning that sarcastic Ghostbusterian brilliance into the bitter, distant father of humanity that he has since become. It’s incredible to see such a nice man act like such a brutal jerk, seemingly drunk at all times and finished with life. And yet, instead of murdering himself, he continues to trudge through each day, shooting down the young and sneering at the optimistic. His acting is amazing. Unless he isn’t acting then…well, I would certainly regret inviting him to my 21st birthday party.

This movie looks great. Surly Bill Murray? Check. Throwing shoes at Ed Norton? Check. Quirky, hipstomatic color scheme shot square in every scene? Check. Bruce Willis? Um…sure. Why not? Sometimes you need to invite the older kids to the party. It’s just polite.

Brave and Paranorman

Oooooh. Puuuurdy.

Now, it’s not really fair they don’t both get a section each, but I have pretty much the same thing to say for both. Brave is the newest Pixar film. Disney has been successful in convincing me that, no matter what happens, the world exploding, Mitt Romney becomes president, Newt Gingerich reaches the moon, one thing will always, always be true: Pixar films are amazing (unless the word Car is in the title). The Incredibles, Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, Wall-E, Finding Nemo and Up weren’t just formative moments in cinema for me…they reduced me to a weeping, giggling, spitting-up child, squirming with glee as I gobbled the rest of my Reese’s (I bathe in them. The love affair is that deep). I can count dozens of moments that took my heart and twisted it into a tiny ball of fear, anxiety, stress and longing before allowing it to explode out of my face in the manliest tears possible (given the situation of course). That being said, Pixar gets a pass. The trailer for Brave is beautiful…it has Scottish people in it. Yeah, the jokes fall a little flat and the story doesn’t seem as mind-bogglingly brilliant as their other stuff. But then, what did we say about Up’s teaser? Lawyered.

Worst. Metal band. Ever.

Paranorman, on the other hand, is from the same studio that produced Coraline a few years ago. Since growing up with those apexes of literary brilliance that are Wallace and his pensive canine companion Gromit, I have adored stop motion animation. Yes, I was that ass with a Nightmare Before Christmas poster in college. Also, I’ve been known to pop a boner or two for Neil Gaiman, on occasion. Coraline, though flawed as all hell (the second half devolves into a video game, essentially), it tickled every Roald Dahl bone in my body. And there are a lot because, after my accident when I was a boy, I found his grave and took several pieces of… I’ve said too much.

Paranorman looks fun. Zombies. Scary things. Imaginative stuff. In the end, it probably won’t be anything to write home about. But then we remember we have the Internet and everyone loves to write home about everything. So…yes, it will get written about.

Prometheus

Bask in its glory.

Ok, boys and girls, this is it. This is the big kahuna of the summer. I would like to believe that, if there were seven and two half words that could collectively drop fanboy panties through the outer crust of the earth, they would be: “Ridley Scott is making a new sci-fi film”. And then we hear it’s a ‘prequel’ to Alien. Thanks to George Lucas, the word ‘prequel’ is about as palatable as a UTI. Also, there have been so many Alien films and only two of them have been good. Lastly, Damen Lindeloff, a man whose name is synonymous with ‘Fanboy/girl Blue Balls’, wrote the script. At that point, I dusted off my hands, looked out into the sunset and declared, “I think I’m done here. See you all in hell.”

And then the trailer was released. Even with my best Clint Eastwood poker face (equal parts concrete, disgust and ‘wow this cigar tastes terrible’) disintegrated into something closer to a gelatinous mass of anticipatory euphoria. Michael Fassbender…Noomi Rapace…a soundtrack that seems deadly close to Inception’s…Charlize Theron…Idris Elba…ALIENS…CREEPY ALIENS… SCREAMING…IT’S IN MY SKIN…

I can’t explain the religious epiphany I had in that moment. If this movie isn’t good, I won’t be upset. There will be no posses, no branding of Scott’s heiney. Rather, I will sit in the grass outside the movie theater (let’s be real: tarmac) and weep. For Beckett was right. We are waiting for something that will never come. Something greater than ourselves. Something to give meaning to this universe and its backwards existence.

And that thing, of course, is another good Alien movie.