Advertisements
    Advertisements
  • Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

  • Advertisements

New Podcast! The Movie Palace – “Batman! (1966)”

I’m currently caught up in the middle of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, but it’s not all festival coverage this week.

I had the pleasure of joining the great and generous Carl Sweeney on his excellent classic Hollywood podcast The Movie Palace. Recovering a bit from last weekend’s Oscars, Carl decided to take things a bit lighter this week, and so invited me on to talk a little bit about Batman!, the classic Adam West adaptation of the Caped Crusader, and one of the defining images of the Dark Knight in popular culture.

The discussion was quite broad, covering everything from the origins and appeal of the Caped Crusader to the charm of Adam West, and the lasting impact of the various “special guest villains” on later interpretations of the characters. The whole thing was a delight from beginning to end. It’s always a pleasure to talk films with Carl, but especially to talk Batman.

You can listen to the episode here, back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

Advertisements

Peter Milligan and Kieron Dwyer’s Run on Batman – Dark Knight, Dark City (Review/Retrospective)

23rd July is Batman Day, celebrating the character’s 75th anniversary. To celebrate, this July we’re taking a look at some new and classic Batman (and Batman related) stories. Check back daily for the latest review.

Peter Milligan and Kieron Dwyer’s Dark Knight, Dark City shot to prominence when writer Grant Morrison incorporated some of its elements into his expansive Batman epic. This three-issue 1990 Batman story arc garnered a lot of attention and even earned a reprint in 2011 as part of the DC Comics Presents line. That is certainly deserved, as Dark Knight, Dark City is a genuinely classic Batman story.

Milligan hits on a lot of the themes that he would develop over his subsequent Detective Comics run. There’s a sense that the writer is scripting a version of Batman that owes at least as much to the tradition of horror comics as it does to traditional superhero narratives. Indeed, Milligan could easily have reworked most of his Batman stories for Hellblazer with only a minimum amount of changes.

Suit up...

Suit up…

Portraying Batman as a strange and surreal character inhabiting a strange and surreal world, Milligan paved the way for a lot of occult weirdness that would become a fixture of the Batman line into the nineties and beyond. It is very difficult to imagine Grant Morrison’s extended run without Milligan’s influence. It could also be argued that Milligan paved the way for the distinctive and stylised portrayal of the Dark Knight in Doug Moench and Kelley Jones’ mid-nineties run.

Haunting, thoughtful and influential, Dark Knight, Dark City is an underrated masterpiece.

Who is afraid of the big, bad bat...

Who is afraid of the big, bad bat…?

Continue reading

In Defense of Jim Carrey’s Riddler…

I had the misfortune of sitting through Batman Forever a few weeks ago. I also stumbled upon it at the weekend with the better half, who was curious to know what a “terrible” Batman film looked like. We got as far as the intimate “Bat-ass shot” before we simply gave up and tried to wipe our short-term memories. However, I found myself sticking up for a most unlikely part of the production: Jim Carrey as the Riddler.

Surprise! Something's that not that terrible about Batman Forever!

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Batman Forever

Was that over the top? I can never tell!

– Edward Nygma, aka The Riddler

Yes, Edward, that was over the top.

“Yeah, Tommy, you got something juuuust here….”

Continue reading

Absolute Batman: Hush (Review/Retrospective)

Hush is a divisive story arc. It seems that you either love it or you hate it, there seems to be no middle ground to speak of. Depending on where you stand it’s either a compelling exploration of Batman’s insecurities featuring a worthy new opponent for his rogues’ gallery, or it’s a hackneyed and poorly-conceived mystery which relies on an overly convoluted resolution. Honestly, I can see both sides of the argument. While I won’t argue that it’s a prestigious masterpiece in the mold of Year One or The Long Halloween, I must confess that I quite enjoyed it. Teaming up veteran Batman writer Jeph Loeb with superstar artist Jim Lee, this is very much a Batman blockbuster. It’s epic in scale, spanning most of the DC universe, with more than a few interesting (if jumbled) ideas thrown into the mix.

… Don’t say a word…

Continue reading

Riddle Me This… Is The Riddler Really An Ideal Choice for Batman 3?

Last week I outlined why I didn’t think that Harvey Dent should be brought back for the sequel to The Dark Knight. If Nolan comes back, I trust him to do whatever he feels like doing with the franchise – he’s demonstrated that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to directing Batman. If he wants to recast the role of the Joker – or if he doesn’t – that’s fine with me. So, it’s ultimately futile to speculate about films that haven’t even entered production, but that’s never really stopped me before, has it? It keeps coming down to the Riddler – Johnny Depp or Eddie Murphy or whoever. It seems that everyone is expecting The Riddler to be the villain (or at least play a supporting role) in the next film. But I’m skeptical.

When the Riddler heard he was the new host of Bullseye, he didn't know that people would take the title so literally...

When the Riddler heard he was the new host of Bullseye, he didn't know that people would take the title so literally...

Continue reading

Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (Review/Retrospective)

I guess… I guess I always knew that this was how it was going to end. That we didn’t have him forever. That one day someone would say, ‘Hey, Jim. Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader?’ I’d tell them. ‘Pretty much what you’d expect. He’s dead.’

I just didn’t think it would be today.

– Commissioner James Gordon

I actually quite enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, even if I wasn’t overly in love with it. The prospect of doing a final, definitive Batman story – one not anchored in a particular event, but designed to encapsulate the history of the Dark Knight – must be daunting. Even Alan Moore’s sensational Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? served as a fond farewell to one particular iteration of the Man of Steel. Gaiman’s “last ever” Batman story is a tad more ambitious, bidding goodbye to alliterations of the character. I’m not entirely convinced that it succeeds, although it makes a more than valiant effort.

Clowning around!

Continue reading