Movie Moment — 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies: Batman Returns


When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

(the imdb)


Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Ruebens and Diane Salinger, who was Simone in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, do the ol’ cameo-for-a-pal gig as the Penguin’s parents. Ms. Salinger has also appeared in Ghost World, Charmed, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.



[Screenplay writer Daniel] Waters “came up with a social satire that had an evil mogul backing a bid for the Mayor’s office by the Penguin,” Waters reported. “I wanted to show that the true villains of our world don’t necessarily wear costumes.” The plot device of Penguin running for Mayor came from the 1960s TV series episodes “Hizzoner the Penguin” and “Dizzoner the Penguin”.

(the wiki)


Something about the filmmaker’s eccentric, surreal, childlike images seems to strike a deep chord in the mass psyche: he makes nightmares that taste like candy.

(David Ansen. “A Gotham Gothic.” June 22, 1992. Newsweek.)




Burton’s given this borderline schizoid an equally unsettled love interest: Catwoman also has a double life. Formerly Max Shreck’s gawky, lonely secretary, Selina Kyle, she’s hurled out a window by her boss when he discovers she’s on to his nefarious scheme, and emerges from near death as the whip-cracking, man-hating avenger Catwoman.

(Ibid.)



Waters’s script never makes the rules of Selina’s back-and-forth switches into Catwoman clear, but what twisted, dirty fun Pfeiffer has with this role! …

They’re doomed lovers for the age of alienation, turned on by each other’s kinkiness.

(Ibid.)



Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.

But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.

Mmm, no. Not really. Ingesting mistletoe is way worse. You can check it out, but I’m pretty sure the numbers will back me up.


All damaged children in disguise (none of them heroic), the dysfunctional half-menagerie can’t help but understand one another.

(Rita Kempley. “Batman Returns.” June 19, 1992. Washington Post.)



Even back in the days when Batman lived in comic books, his world was a little darker than, say, Superman’s. There was a shade of film noir in Gotham City, in contrast to the deco 1930s optimism of Superman’s Metropolis.

(Roger Ebert. “Batman Returns.” June 19, 1992. Chicago Sun-Times.)


You said you were only going to scare the Ice Princess.

She looked pretty scared to me!


Let me guess — rich goody-goody type?



But when it comes down to it, who’s holding the umbrella?


Click to enlarge the note. It reads, “Dear Penguin, The children regret they’re unable to attend.” I would have definitely guessed that Batman’s chosen handwriting style was printing in all caps, but I could not have predicted the personalized stationery. He is full of surprises.


Two lives left. I think I’ll save one for next Christmas.

I wish I could hand out World Peace and Unconditional Love, wrapped in a big bow.

You can’t go wrong with Christopher Walken! Crank it up while you’re wrapping gifts.


via.

For a movie that almost didn’t get made, Batman Returns did well for itself. It is a commercial sequel, yes, but as an entertaining and visually delighting film it’s a supreme success which rises head and shoulders above the dross and dreck like “Shrek the Halls.” A highly tolerable holiday film.

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3 Responses to “Movie Moment — 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies: Batman Returns”

  1. Steve Says:

    I saw this article, and 5 paragraphs down was one line that just made me think of your blog (Obviously!)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/dec/16/christmas-party-people-police-officer

  2. Eric Says:

    When at first I learned that Batman was going to be made by Tim Burton, with Michael Keaton, I felt sick; I had to admit later that they nailed it(with significant help from Jack, and Kim, and JACK), so I had little concern that Batman Returns would be any less appreciable(again with significant help from Chris, and Danny, and MICHELLE)(I only slightly missed Vicki Vale).

    What were they thinking with Val Kilmer, and George Clooney? Oh well. I haven’t seen the last two so I can’t say anything other than, There will only ever be one Catwoman for me after this movie.

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