ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Batman Forever/Batman and Robin (1995)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Joel Schumacher

Starring:
Val Kilmer/Bruce Wayne
Jim carrey/Riddler
Chris O'Donnell/Robin
Arnold Schwarzenegger/Mr. Freeze
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
In Batman Forever, Batman (Val Kilmer) faces off against Two Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey). In Batman and Robin, George Clooney in a Batman suit takes on starring in one of the worse and most misguided films ever made.
THE LOWDOWN

I was initially only going to go re-visit BATMAN RETURNS. That led to many of you wanting me to take on Burton’s BATMAN. So I did HERE; which had me go to glow-stick hell for y’all… yes I speak of re-watching BATMAN FOREVER (DON'T WATCH IT HERE) and BATMAN AND ROBIN (DON'T WATCH IT HERE). I saw both of them on the big screen upon their initial releases (1995 and 1997). I was so-so on BATMAN FOREVER at the time and BATMAN AND ROBIN blew my mind as to how ABYSMAL it was. Did my opinion change on either one of them tapping them today in 2016? WHO GIVES A SHIT! But for those who do… READ ON!

BATMAN FOREVER: Because McDonalds got lots of heat for pimping a Happy Meal promotion connected to the violent and racy BATMAN RETURNS; Warner Brothers decided to take HamBurglar’s side of things. Tim Burton was ditched as director of the second sequel (and given a producer credit) and they "kiddied" up BATMAN for the masses in the name of bagging more bank. NOTE: The original cut of BATMAN FOREVER was much darker at first and 2 hours and 40 minutes long; but the Studio made sure to neuter that before the release. END OF NOTE. And this was the result of all that cooking! To be honest the first 40 minutes or so of BATMAN FOREVER impressed me. Val Kilmer's Batman had an iconic presence about him and he also made for a low key yet intense Bruce Wayne (pimping that turtle neck Michael Keaton wore so ably). The visuals of the film were often beautifully stylized (Schumacher has mucho talent - he has proven that in many films), the use of slow motion effective, some of the set/costume designs hit home (the Batmobile was slick stuff) and a handful of the action scenes worked like a charm (I loved that crazy car chase).

Moreover, even though I preferred Danny Elfman’s score in the Burton movies, Elliot Goldenthal’s Batman theme was pretty money! I'm still humming it as I type now. Alas, it was all downhill when the villains and their lame-ass master plan kicked in. Next thing you know I entered monologue overload and overacting hell from both Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones and I stopped giving a hoot and quickly at that. The intrigue failed to grab me, the action scenes became sloppy, the pace lagged, tacky Bat-Nipples and a Bat-Butt shots surfaced and not even Nicole Kidman at her hottest or the inclusion of Robin (ably played by Chris O Donnell - his Robin was bang-on) could save me from Bat-Boredom. I saw the film a couple of days ago and I honestly can’t remember the last hour of it for my life, that’s how unmemorable it was. Hence although I did feel nostalgic now and again while tapping it, I doubt I'll ever watch it again.
Rating: 4 on 10.

BATMAN AND ROBIN: When Burton did BATMAN in 89, it made all kinds of coin hence the Studio gave him more leeway and the result was Burton at his best with BATMAN RETURNS. Here, BATMAN FOREVER broke the bank, the Studio gave Joel Schumacher more leg-room and the outcome was one of the worst films ever made. Watching BATMAN AND ROBIN then came off like the writer (Akiva Goldsman that is) and director dropped ecstasy before getting creative. Watching it today – same deal. BATMAN AND ROBIN took what I hated about BATMAN FOREVER and went ALL THE WAY with it. Shit, it made the 60’s TV Show come off like BATMAN BEGINS… that’s how tacky this one was!

Bat-Butts, Bat-Nipples, Bat-Crotches, then Bat-Tits… what the f*ck am I watching over here? BATMAN written by an 8 year old?!? COME ON! I was also bombarded with countless shit-tastic monologues from our overacting villains (Uma Thurman and Ahnold made fools of themselves here), a languishing pace that almost put me in a coma, awful action sequences/fight scenes in terms of choreography/execution, crappy looking production design (the miniatures were a Tonka toy joke) and stupid ideas period (Bat Ice Skates… Sky surfing... sigh…) To add insult to insult, they turned Bane into a mono-syllable moron, the corny one-liners simply wouldn’t stop (Mr. Freeze and all of his cold related quips, Robin had some awful ones too, so did Poison Ivy for that matter...), the cartoon like sound effects were nauseating and George Clooney was the dullest Bruce Wayne and the worse Batman ever put to screen. Not only was his performance unconvincing and lacked edge but his Batman was just George Clooney being Clooney in a mask and suit.

Am I going to address the lovely and talented Alicia Silverstone being miscast and not selling me as a badass? Nah, no need for that. She was the least of this film's problems. Anything nice to say about the movie? I dug the "Alfred is dying subplot" (how Michael Gough managed to keep a straight face throughout this travesty is beyond me) and Robin’s final (Nightwing inspired) costume was damn cool. In all honesty, everything wrong with BATMAN AND ROBIN could have gone down much smoother if the film wasn't such a freaking bloated chore to sit through. I'm sure a much tighter edit (like shaving it down to an 85 minute run time instead of 2 hours) would have helped out. As-is though, I’ll take jerking off with a cheese grater dipped in salt over seeing it ever again! Rating: 1 on 10.

T & A
Batman Forever: Debi Mazar looked hot in that dominatrix outfit.

Batman and Robin: Uma Thurman sizzled in that skin tight outfit.
BOTTOM LINE
BATMAN FOREVER came off as promising early on! I was digging Schumacher’s aesthetics, the early action scenes rocked, Nicole Kidman was at her sexiest, Chris O' Donnell made for an efficient Robin and Kilmer was much better as Bruce/Batman than I remembered. But then the last hour put me to sleep with a lame villain (s) master-plan, too many ZZZzzz inducing monologues/corny moments, overacting galore and a bland denouement. On its end, BATMAN AND ROBIN took everything that I loathed about BATMAN FOREVER and doubled down on resulting in an overlong, putrid dialogue filled and puke inducing mess that could have been enjoyable in a so bad it's good way if it wasn’t so f*cking boring. And it needs to be stabbed: George Clooney simply didn't work for the role, jawline aside - he was an AWFUL casting choice. So that ends my late 80’s-90’s BATMAN ON FILM retrospective. In short BATMAN RETURNS OWNS, everything else... not really. We should all thank Joel Schumacher for these! He dragged the Caped Crusader down to such a cheesy, idiotic and immature level that the Studio had no other choice but to go as bleak as possible to bring him back to the big screen with BATMAN BEGINS!
BULL'S EYE
Batman Forever: Tim Burton's 3rd Batman film would only have starred The Riddler. Too bad we never got to see it.

Val Kilmer was Batman creator Bob Kane's favorite Bruce Wayne/Batman on film.

Batman and Robin: Jeep Swenson (who played Bane) passed on just after the film was released.

George Clooney has admitted in interviews that he played his Bruce Wayne as gay.
Strikeback
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11:59PM on 05/14/2016
i rewatched these a year ago and had a hard time watching them the whole val kilmer giving up because he fell for nicole kidmans character i thought WTF stop two face and riddler first must have been some good poontang if he just said fuck it im hanging it up and the less said about batman and robin the better both movies had me groaning and rolling my eyes
i rewatched these a year ago and had a hard time watching them the whole val kilmer giving up because he fell for nicole kidmans character i thought WTF stop two face and riddler first must have been some good poontang if he just said fuck it im hanging it up and the less said about batman and robin the better both movies had me groaning and rolling my eyes
Your Reply:



9:03AM on 05/16/2016
Good point man! That Kilmer giving up on Bats cause of Kidman subplot did suck.
Good point man! That Kilmer giving up on Bats cause of Kidman subplot did suck.
3:34PM on 05/14/2016
I loved to see your thoughts on the Burton Batman films but I never would have asked you to revisit these two. Glad you did, because I love seeing your opinion on genre movies good or bad and I completely agree with you on everything you said here. I also learned something new, never heard that Clooney played Bruce Wayne as gay but it makes total sense now. Especially in the scene where his relationship status with Julie Madison is brought up.
I loved to see your thoughts on the Burton Batman films but I never would have asked you to revisit these two. Glad you did, because I love seeing your opinion on genre movies good or bad and I completely agree with you on everything you said here. I also learned something new, never heard that Clooney played Bruce Wayne as gay but it makes total sense now. Especially in the scene where his relationship status with Julie Madison is brought up.
Your Reply:



4:34PM on 05/14/2016
I had enough reader request to take the plunge, sadly :) BTW, Clooney's exact quote: "Think about it, I was in a rubber suit. I had rubber nipples. I could have played him straight but I didn’t. I made him gay."
I had enough reader request to take the plunge, sadly :) BTW, Clooney's exact quote: "Think about it, I was in a rubber suit. I had rubber nipples. I could have played him straight but I didn’t. I made him gay."

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