Running Diary of Madness: Batman Returns

Batman-Returns-batman-returns-14752890-655-492
devito’s in the middle, obviously.

Running thoughts as I watch this movie again:

  • Paul Reubens played the Penguin’s dad.  No further comment.
  • Christopher Walken looks so out of place in this movie.  He just appears to be Christopher Lloyd on downers.
  • I know that it’s campy and since it’s Batman it’s OK, but who in the villain organization mandates the silly costumes?  Why did I see a guy with an Uzi riding a unicycle?  Googely-eyed skull helmets?  I can understand face paint to conceal identity, but isn’t there a more efficient way?  Yes, I should suspend disbelief, but it’s hard sometimes.
  • Tim Burton is a bit of a magician in these Batman movies; he pays homage to the camp of the old TV show, but it’s OK because it’s so well-executed.  Even the most ridiculous moments are tempered by the fact that it’s a perfect shot, with the perfect lighting, with the perfect everything.
  • The Penguin is just ridiculous.  It’s a terrible villain to do live-action.  Danny DeVito somehow makes it work.  Somehow.
  • To believe that a woman that looks like Michelle Pfeiffer is having troubles finding a significant other is preposterous.
  • Why does it say “Hello There” on Selina Kyle’s wall?  What is that supposed to mean?  No wonder she’s lonely.  I’d be freaked the fuck out by that.
  • Wow, Selina Kyle socially engineered Schreck’s password.  And this was in 1992!  This movie was ahead of its time!
  • This scene where all the cats come to Selina Kyle’s almost-corpse had to be either the cutest or most horrifying scene to film.
  • Yes, a woman who keeps stuffed animals in her mostly-pink apartment also has a black leather outfit just hanging out.
  • Now the sign says “Hell Here” after she broke some of the sign in a rage.  Oh.
  • Penguin, your dad is Paul Reubens.  He jerked off in a movie theater a year ago.  Happy therapy bills!
  • Do you suppose anyone told Danny DeVito “you’re the only one who can play this part”?  And if so, isn’t that the shittiest thing?
  • If you google “the penguin casting batman returns,” the sixth result is an Angelfire page here.  I love the internet.
  • I think everyone should already understand that anyone who wears a thick striped suit is either evil or Satan.
  • Wow, Walken could barely hold in his contempt with that “badder fish to fry” line.
  • With every passing outfit, Max Schreck time travels another 30 years in the past.
  • “Mayor Cobblepot” sounds like an Adventure Time character.
  • Jan Hooks sighting!
  • Why wouldn’t Schreck just snap Penguin’s neck and get someone to run for mayor who doesn’t heavy mouth-breathe?
  • I figured out why all the henchmen dress weird: they’re all meth addicts.  It’s the only way.
  • I’m pretty sure you could gross $100M with 1992 Michelle Pfeiffer doing cartwheels alone.

    cat
    framing, at its finest.
  • Batman just blew up a dude.  Like, he’s chunks now.  Wowsers.
  • There ain’t no way that an umbrella helicopter could hold up the Penguin.  This isn’t a fat joke, it’s a physics observation.  Fine, I’ll suspend my disbelief.
  • “You’re just the pussy I’ve been looking for.”  This is a PG-13 movie with exploded dude and a line from a porno.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer licking her arms would gross another $100M.
  • So this is technically a Christmas movie, right?  Not that it would make any lists.
  • OK, I think the camp is too much.  I said Burton was a wizard earlier, but this is…a bit much.
  • And he just punches through the bottom of his bulletproof tank-car.  Yes.
  • “Schreck, and Cobblepot, a visionary alliance.”  Um.
  • He put a Batman logo on his CD-ROM loader.  Bruce Wayne has no life whatsoever.
  • Oh, and the CD-ROM is also a turntable that Bruce Wayne can riff on.  Brilliant.
  • Who brings lettuce and tomatoes to a speech?  Oh, the movie acknowledges this.  Does this make it OK?
  • He dove into a tiny creek!  Fucking follow him!  Oh whatever.
  • Pfeiffer is really making lemonade out of this lemon script.  Probably the most remarkable thing about this movie.  Aside from the Bat-CD-ROM-Turntable.
  • I wonder where you get a person-sized bird cage.  They sell those at Home Depot?
  • WHY WOULD YOU USE A CHOO CHOO TO KIDNAP CHILDREN CARS ARE FASTER METH IS A HELL OF A DRUG
  • He’s talking to penguins.  He’s talking to penguins about children’s erogenous zones.  This is happening in a movie.  A Batman movie!  Is this real?
  • I have learned that there are some things that not even Danny Elfman music can fix.
  • “The penguins are moving above ground.”  Oh my.
  • This is the cutest, most adorable terrorist attack I’ve ever seen.
  • And of course, Batman’s radar has penguin-shaped icons.
  • THE LITTLE PENGUINS HAVE ARMOR OH MY GLOB
  • IS BATMAN GOING TO MURDER THE PENGUINS OH NO I AM SO TORNfapface
  • He didn’t murder the penguins.  Though he did make that one dude explode.  So he’s still a monster.
  • Batman’s penguin radar even makes a penguin noise on each pulse.  Amazing.
  • Batman’s radar also has duck-shaped icons, along with duck-sounding pulse.
  • Batman movies prove the adage, “there is an app for that.”
  • “A die for a die.”  Just.  Uh.
  • BAH GAWD IT’S THE TASER KISS THE TASER KISS THEY’RE ELECTROCUTED AND EXPLODING
  • Then the Penguin gets up, says some dumb words, then dies.  Does that mean penguins only get two lives?
  • OH MY GOD THIS IS THE CUTEST FUNERAL MARCH OF ALL TIME
  • The penguins are marching the Penguin’s corpse into the water, if you didn’t realize what was happening.  I still don’t realize it.
  • “Good will toward men.  And women.”  IT SHOULD GO WITHOUT SAYING WAYNE CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE

It’s still OK.  It’s flat-out ridiculous, and it’s ultra-campy, but Burton’s direction really does make it tolerable to sometimes great, most of the time.

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