Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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Ice to See You!

So I'm watching Batman & Robin, in celebration of my just obtaining the full score by Elliot Goldenthal. I know it's an unpopular thing to say, but this is my favorite Batman movie. It keeps me consistently entertained, has the best Batman/Bruce Wayne (the script is not Clooney's fault), and features Alicia Silverstone, who I will always have the hots for. Besides, Akiva Goldsman and Joel Schumacher understood the importance of Alfred better than previous filmmakers. Alfred being my favorite character, this is tres importante to me.

Mind, I also love the Elliot Goldenthal score. Much, much more than Danny Elfman's Batman score. It should have gotten an Oscar nomination, at least over As Good As It Gets.

How can you hate a movie whose first lines are:
ROBIN: "I want a car. Chicks dig the car."
BATMAN: "This is why Superman works alone."

Or a villain whose first three lines are:
"Mercy? I'm afraid that my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy."
"In this universe, there is only one absolute: everything freezes."
"You're not sending me to the cooler!"

My God, and the writer has an OSCAR! That is mind-blowing! And Schumacher's reasoning on the Blu-Ray commentary? Because Freeze is a "Nordic, cold figure", so they wanted to make sure the audience "got it". I mean, how the fuck would the audience understand otherwise? His name is only Mr. Freeze!

(Of course, Schumacher frequently insists that this was intended as a kid's movie. Indeed, the reason they chose Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze is because he asked his six-year-old godson who his favorite Batman villains were. Good taste, kid: Mr. Freeze will always be my favorite.)

Recently, we watched Myra Breckinridge. I loved that, too, but not in an ironic sense. It's a genius film that's ahead of its time. Anyway, my roommate pointed out something interesting. Raquel Welch's performance was...familiar to us. Any idea why?:

Some years back, Tim Burton, writer David Ives and songwriter Jim Steinman attempted to make a Batman musical. The Joker was the villain, Catwoman was involved, and Batman was a crybaby. The fools! Don't make a serious Batman musical, adapt Batman & Robin! The score, the production design, the nipples: they demand to have song-and-dance numbers to support! How much fun would that be? Dear God, the Flower Ball alone is a symphony of music, dance, costuming and overacting. Mr. Freeze may be after the diamonds, but this is the real jewel of the film.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead, give it another chance! If you need a little "extra help" to get through it, do it! It's just such a fun fucking movie!

UPDATE: Forgot to mention this. At the same time,  there's something actually beautiful about the film. Call me crazy, but the scenes with Alfred and Mr. Freeze's wife move me. Like, to tears. Is it the manipulative music? Or is it my own love for these characters? Whatever the reason, the scenes are effective. Thought I should mention this, else you might think the movie is just entertainingly bad. No, people, there are some genuine moments in Batman & Robin, courtesy the performances from Clooney, Silverstone, Michael Gough and AH-nuhld.


Brandon said...

My favorite is probably Batman Returns, where Burton really gets things right and imprives on the first film a great deal.

TomS said...

I have watched "Myra Breckinridge" several times, and have found it amusing. I'm not sure what it is that would be familiar about Raquel's performance...care to share your thoughts?

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Twister: Batman Returns is my #2. Christmas? Batman? Christopher Walken? Hell yes.

TomS: Uma Thurman's delivery of her Poison Ivy lines has the same intonation as Raquel Welch's in Myra Breckinridge. Maybe it's just me and my roommate, but listen again. IT'S THE SAME.