Batman For Ever & Ever
With a new director in charge, Joel Schumacher, a new lead actor took over to play Gotham’s champion. Val Kilmer got a new suit, a new car and his very own sidekick- Robin, to fight the charms of a doctor played by Nicole Kidman and the ill-doings of an eccentric Two Faces and Riddler played by Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey respectively. In this version, Batman was more in a psychological conundrum than in the other parts. The star studded cast made it watchable but again Batman took second precedent to the performance of on fire Carrey. However, it smelt afoul as all that we loved in the Tim Burton version was slowly being reverted to a new genre ill-defined for that moment. With Robin spawning that Metallic haul joke at the near end of the movie, the director’s agenda seemed to unfold if not briefly on what to expect later.
Batman and Robin Fest
It was a couple of years later and Batman was now Joel Schumacher’s baby in full. Val Kilmer read the script and did not get the feel for the movie but with Batman Forever a success, Joel was given a tremendous budget and a great ensemble to provide a great cinematic feat but all that came out in the end was a mockery to somewhat feed his fetish for the 1966 version. George Clooney was not the adequate actor to play Batman, Chris o Donnell reminded us why we hated Robin; Schwarzenegger proved again he was a forced comedian despite being paid 25 M and Uma Thurman’s wooden acting all contributed to a abysmal flick. To add insult to injury, Batgirl surfaced and while nobody understood why she was present, the movie started to feel like a Wrestlemania tag team extravaganza. If that was not enough, later, homosexual subliminal coding was remarked in this movie as Schumacher seemed to focus a lot of his camera on the bat butt, crotch and those famous nibbles of George.
Batman Dead End
The plans for a 5th Batman movie with Clooney was in the works by 1999 with the Joker returning and Scarecrow played supposedly by Steve Busemi being the antagonists of the film. Sadly, with a net loss of 14 % on the former movie,WB canned the project and went soul searching. With studios still deciding where they wanted to go with their valuable character, it took a privately funded project to spark a light. Montauk Films found 30000 $ and put Actor Clark Bartram in the colors of the old Batman and in 8 mins was left to fight not only an escaped Joker but Aliens and Predators. For a fan film, it was very well made and it deserved to be seen and nearly be on par with everything harboring the Batlogo so far. The stage was set and this was the Batman we wanted to see… may be without the Aliens and Predators for now.
Batman Begins Again
As reboots started consuming Hollywood deeper and deeper, Warner Bros decided it had to go back and reintroduce a different kind of Batman. Christopher Nolan was given the helm andChristian Bale was given the task to convince us that there was more to Batman than his car, his suit and his empty philosophies. Truly an ode to the mythos, we were emerged in a 2 hour saga that summarized Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman in a new and fashionable manner. With enticing dialogue, riveting cinematography, apt performances from well chosen actors and substance to back our Cape Crusade’s aspirations, emotions and fears, this acclaimed version took its audience by storm and even people who would never go to see a superhero based movie were lured to the theaters to witness probably the first descent portrayal of a superhero and the man behind the mask.
The Dark Knight
As Batman Begins saw this fictional idol of the comic realm transcend without blemish into a version fans could really relate and be ecstatic about, a new sequel was warranted in the name of The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan again was directing and had to work his magic and unorthodox approach to make this installment better. The story was really overachieving in many senses that Nolan was not content with a straight forward plot but something elaborate and complicated that would puzzle many. But the true enhancer of this Batman movie was Heath Ledger who played the Joker and died only a few months before the film was released. The result culminated to the first movie in a while to hit 1 billion $ with the box office home and abroad. Ledger’s performance was iconic; Bale brought some more ambiguity to his character while Aaron Eckhart gave his unforgettable presence to a motion picture that really pushed the envelope in several departments. The only one regretting she was not present was Katie Holmes but we all know that after sharing that revised sex scene with Eckhart on Thank You For Smoking, Tom Cruse didn’t want the two to have seconds.
For part one of this story: www.beepwire.com/examiner/x-32442-Montreal-Film-Examiner~y2010m4d21-Batmans-Cinematic-Evolution-Pt-1