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Look! Tim Flattery’s Batman Returns Concept Art! With Penguins!

The wonderful Tim Flattery has posted up some of his concept art from a whole host of his past projects, including Real Steel and Spider-Man 2. However, his concept work for Batman Returns caught my eye. Partially because I am a Batman fan, partially because I love Batman Returns more than most and partially because… well, penguins with buzz-saws! I’m waiting for the PETA complaints to begin. There’s also some concept art for the Batmobile from Batman Forever included below. Which is not the worst thing about that movie.

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Non-Review Review: Batman! (1966)

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

I have to confess, I think that Adam West’s Batman! gets a bit of an unfair time from comic book aficionados, movie fans and even casual pundits. In the years since the iconic movie and television show, fans have acted like camp and comedy are elements that have no place in the world of the Caped Crusader. There is – of course – a reason for that. Darker portrayals have since come dominate Batman’s characterisation, from Tim Burton’s Batman to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. However, I think one of the most endearing aspects of Batman as a pop culture icon is his ability to adapt. “I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be,” Batman tells Gordon at the climax of The Dark Knight. Sure, sometimes we need him to be a staunch and iconic hero triumphing against adversity. Other times we simply need him to whip out the Bat Shark Repellent.

Batman was “Urk-ed” by the Penguin’s plan…

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Batman: Bride of the Demon (Review/Retrospective)

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises this week, today we’ll be reviewing the complete “Demon” trilogy, exploring the relationship between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul.

Bride of the Demon is generally agreed to be the weakest of the Demon trilogy. Written by Mike W. Barr, with artwork from Tom and Eva Grindberg, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t the most conventional story in the set. While Son of the Demon and Birth of the Demon both justified their one-shot graphic novel status by telling fairly unique Batman stories, Bride of the Demon feels like an adventure that could have been written during Barr’s run on Detective Comics. That’s not to say that it isn’t an entertaining story, or that it doesn’t fit within the context of the trilogy, just that it feels relatively straight-forward and a tiny bit mundane.

Things are heating up…

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Batman: The Animated Series – Almost Got ‘Im

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. Given that we looked at Batman: Gotham Knight earlier today, I thought we might take a look at another series of vignettes related to the Batman – this time from the perspective of his bad guys.

Greetings, Batman! You have taken the bait, as I knew you would. Now, prepare to meet your end, within my Aviary of Doom

Aviary of WHAT?

Yeesh, Pengers! How corny can you get?

Fah! Just because you mundane miscreants have no drama in your souls! Anyway, there he was in my av… uh, big birdhouse…

– The Penguin, Poison Ivy and the Joker discuss the state of theatricality amongst modern supervillains

Batman: The Animated Series perhaps represents the best adaptation of the Batman mythos in any medium outside of comics. No other iteration of the character has successfully managed to take in virtually all facets of the Caped Crusader without breaking a sweat – the show can do drama, action, gothic thriller and even comedy. Almost Got ‘Im is a fun little episode which centres around a bunch of supervillains trading stories about that one time that they almost killed the Batman. It’s mostly entertaining just to watch Batman’s eclectic selection of bad guys sitting around and playing cards while talking about business and “you know who”, but each of the schemes is a wacky and crazy death trap straight out of a hokier comic (from a giant dollar coin to exploding pumpkins to laughter-powered electric chair). The episode works because it treats all of this like it’s a regular occurence in Gotham, and these ridiculous plots are just what the villains get up to when there’s nothing better going on.

Card-carrying villains...

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Non-Review Review: Batman Returns

I adore Batman Returns. It tends to be a rather polarising film, and certainly a polarising Batman adaptation. It was famously too dark and too weird for mainstream audiences, with too much creepy and freaky stuff serving to distress the parents of children who gobbled up Batman-themed Happy Meals. I think it holds up the best of the four Burton and Schumacher Batman films, because it finds a way to balance Burton’s unique approach and style with that of the Caped Crusader. While Burton’s Batman occasionally struggled to balance the director’s vision with a relatively conventional plot (to the point where Vicki Vale stuck out like a sore thumb, and the movie wasn’t the most coherently plotted of films), here there’s a much greater sense of balance at play, and a feeling that Burton isn’t compromising, and yet is working with the characters.

Shine a light…

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