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Dusty-ass people talmbout dusty-ass bat flicks

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Mask of the Phantasm is hands down the best damn Bat movie ever. Do yourself a favor and see it Axels.




So I just finished "reading" this book, and one of the things discussed in it, is how Batman forever and Batman and Robin really focused on the camp of the West/Ward era intentionally and that (aside from being bad movies), the climate for camp-style bat movies just was not there. People wanted/needed darker batman - which to your point, could make sense if people are now getting excited for a West/Ward reunion movie. Maybe that's the Bat we want now?

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You know that animated movie with Adam West and Burt Ward that everyone's getting excited about? That's pretty much Barman and Robin if any of its actors knew how comedic timing worked.


yeah i can see the camp there, no doubt - but nobody was checking for that as the next bat-film in the 90s, i mean even after the weird-ass burton flicks and whatever forever was, you don't think cranking it up to 11 was a weird decision?

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yeah i can see the camp there, no doubt - but nobody was checking for that as the next bat-film in the 90s, i mean even after the weird-ass burton flicks and whatever forever was, you don't think cranking it up to 11 was a weird decision?


Of course it's weird, it's Joel fucking Schumacher. I will admit that it was ahead of the curve but other than the lack of comedic charisma on the acting front there's nothing actually wrong with the movie. Batman Forever was the same thing with a bit more of a slant toward the sexual undercurrent of Batman and superheroes in general. Also, tons of gay subtext.


Nobody wants a West and Ward Batman unless it's West and Ward.


Speak for yourself, tons of people are excited about this. ASC is excited about it and he has no soul.

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One of my colleagues at CHUD did an article on it ages ago, it's not my full thoughts on the movie but he hit on a lot of them.




The other big contribution that Schumacher brings to his inaugural outing with Batman is the inclusion of Dick Grayson a.k.a. Robin, the Boy Wonder. This is the area where the film overwhelmingly succeeds, because Schumacher decides to make this superhero story personal by adding in a not-so-thinly-veiled ode to homosexual love. Though implying a homosexual relationship between Batman and Robin was once utilized as part of Fredric Wertham’s demonization of comic books in Seduction of the Innocent, it eventually became nothing more than an easy joke for most people. Schumacher has been an openly gay man for the majority of his career, and he’s never been afraid to make his sexuality a part of films (cult favorite The Lost Boys is a great example of this). Although Batman Forever can’t be literal with its romance between Bruce and Dick, it’s all there to pick apart. During their first exchange, Dick takes a very unsubtle jab at Bruce by asking him if he “hangs out at a lot of biker bars,” but Bruce turns this negatively themed joke into something positive: he uses Dick’s love of motorcycles to tempt him to stay at Wayne Manor (Bruce, of course, has an enormous collection of incredible motorcycles that he offers Dick to be the mechanic on, even being able to keep one as a fee). And once Dick discovers that Bruce is Batman, Dick is relentless in his desire to become Bruce’s “partner”, culminating in one of the most affirming handshakes in cinema:



Robin is even put into the same “damsel in distress” scenario as the films requisite heterosexual interest, Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). I haven’t mentioned her up to this point simply because she is exactly that: unfortunately necessary. Kidman is gorgeous and appropriately sultry, but her romantic entanglement as Bruce’s psychiatrist falls flat next to the more tender (this movie’s theme song is “Kiss from a Rose.” How much more tender can you get?) and well-executed romance between Bruce and his new ward.


Even Edward Nygma is given a homosexual twist to his origins. He has magazine covers featuring Bruce Wayne plastered all over his workspace and at his apartment, and he proudly says that Bruce hired him personally because Bruce’s name was on the hiring slip (which Nygma kept, of course). When Bruce refuses to sponsor Nygma’s invention, Nygma reacts like a jilted lover a la Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.


Bruce himself seems to be struggling with his *ahem* lifestyle choice and even quits being Batman at one point, not wanting Dick to follow him down the same path. At the film’s climax, he comes to the realization that he can be both Bruce Wayne (a successful and functioning member of society) and Batman (accepting of his more wild nightlife and darker urges). Though most people would view this moral in a snarky way, I feel the whole film is a great message to gay and lesbian viewers that you can be who you are on the inside and not be forced to accept what society deems as “normal” while still being a regular and respected member of that society.


This viewpoint wasn’t completely lost on people, and even the later season of Batman: The Animated Series poked fun at Schumacher’s use of the Batman world in this video clip, which admittedly illicits a fanboyish chuckle, but also feels a little icky twenty years later:



Also, other people have pointed out that the batnipples and gratuitous crotch and butt shots are absolutely and completely the exact same thing that hetero men have been doing to female characters for decades and the outrage to it by straight men is a completely un-self-aware reaction to the very thing they often defend when women complain about it..

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