Tag Archives: Batman

Batman vs. Superman

I’ve said many times that I don’t think there could ever be a good Superman movie, because of the eponymous Superman Problem.  Superman is just so powerful as a character that the only way to make him face a challenge is for him to be so stupid that he forgets his own powers.  That’s just not interesting to watch.

But if you make Superman the villain, then he becomes an incredibly daunting challenge himself.  If that challenge is faced by someone with much weaker superpowers*, that could be interesting.

I’m not convinced that Batman vs. Superman will be good.  I have plenty of reservations about Ben Affleck, and plenty more about Zack Snyder.  Especially after the steaming pile of crap that was Man of Steel.**  But unlike most Superman movies, Batman vs. Superman could be good.  So I’m cautiously hopeful.

* Yes, Batman does have superpowers.  He has the power of infinite money.  And in many incarnations, he also has the powers of magic technobabble, rapid healing, and making everyone around him stupid.

** There are a lot of bad things you could say about Man of Steel and how it betrayed the whole point of Superman.  But I never even got to that point because it violated the only absolutely unbreakable rule of movies/screenwriting, which is never be boring.  It was so dull that I quit watching after an hour, and never even got to the parts that everyone else hates.  (Other than the scene where he stands around with his thumb up his butt and watches his father die for no reason, which gave me a taste of how little I was missing by not continuing to watch.)

Movies We Still Care About – 1989 – Part 1 of 2

(For an explanation of this, read the Introduction.  Other posts in this series can be found here.)

Movies We Still Care About

  •  Batman
  • Field of Dreams
  • Heathers
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Say Anything
  • When Harry Met Sally

Other Fond Memories

  • Dead Poets Society
  • Steel Magnolias

Other Notable Movies

  • The Abyss
  • UHF

Best Picture Nominees:

  • Driving Miss Daisy (Winner)
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Field of Dreams
  • My Left Foot

Top Grossing Films (US)

  1. Batman
  2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  3. Lethal Weapon 2
  4. Look Who’s Talking
  5. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
  6. Back to the Future 2
  7. Ghostbusters 2
  8. Driving Miss Daisy
  9. Parenthood
  10. Dead Poets Society

Rotten Tomatoes Top Movies

  1. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (98%)
  2. Say Anything (98%)
  3. Do the Right Thing (96%)
  4. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (94%)
  5. The Little Mermaid (92%)
  6. Parenthood (92%)
  7. Glory (93%)
  8. Crimes and Misdemeanors (93%)

Movies We Still Care About

Batman

In my 1978 entry I discussed how Superman created the comic book tentpole movie that would come to dominate the 2000s.  But that genre more or less disappeared for 11 years, until being revived by Tim Burton’s Batman.

It also greatly improved on the genre.  While Superman was purely a spectacle movie, Batman had a real plot, character development, and one of the all-time most memorable movie villains.

Its design for the dark and crime-ridden gotham has been copied by pretty much every Batman adaptation since.  Purists may point to earlier comic book incarnations of Batman, but the Tim Burton version is the world of Batman that most people know.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams is a movie about baseball, faith, country life, and a man’s relationship to his father.  I’m a non-religious Angelino who doesn’t care the slightest bit about baseball and was raised by a single mother.  So this movie really doesn’t speak to me personally the way it does to others.

To those who do care about it, it’s a wish fulfillment fantasy about reconnecting to a lost father, combined with a redemption movie where those who have sinned can find peace.

 

Heathers

This movie speaks to teenagers who feel like they are outsiders, which in reality is most teenagers.  It’s a revenge fantasy against the popular kids, combined with a rejection of the trendy and a celebration of the abnormal.

It didn’t do well in theaters, but found an audience on home video as a cult classic beloved by those who feel marginalized.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I consider this to be one of the greatest action movies of all time.  While the original was a pure spectacle movie, entertaining us with amazingly fun action, Last Crusade maintains that sense of fun action while adding in a complete story and character development.

River Phoenix as young Indiana Jones and Sean Connery as Indy’s father provide much more depth to a character that we had previously only seen traveling around the world kicking ass.  For example, here we see his father using wits rather than strength/athleticism to defeat an enemy:

And by the end, we see Indy using the lessons he learned from his father to pass the three trials:

And finally he sacrifices the object of his quest for what’s truly important.  (Sorry, I couldn’t find that scene on YouTube.)

To be continued tomorrow (Thursday, July 31)

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Do you disagree with any of these choices, or think that I missed something?  Leave a comment below.

25th Anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman

I found this Buzzfeed interesting.  Someone who was 10 when the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie came out watched it with a 24-year-old who had never seen it.

This gives a fresh perspective on both a genre-creating movie that helped launch the idea of summer blockbuster comic book films, as well as on the late 80s in general.

Definitely worth a read for anyone who remembers the movie.  (And if you don’t remember the movie, it’s worth rewatching.)