Thursday, July 24, 2008

The First Annual GeniusboyFiremelon Bi-Coastal 24-Hour (Non-Consecutive) Film Festival: Batman and Robin (1997)

The only possible retaliation against Richard Oldstate's deployment of the Batman Forever gambit was to attack with what is considered the worst superhero movie in history: Batman and Robin. But here at film fest HQ, we didn't just want to watch the fantastical adventures of George Clooney and his band of merry men. We wanted to gain only the deepest insight into the creative process behind the film, so we turned to director Joel Schumacher--or to his commentary track.

Schumacher teaches us a few things about filmmaking, and here are the important lessons everyone should know:

1) Feign ignorance, or, if that fails, actually be ignorant. Schumacher acts surprised when he says people compared this movie to the Adam West television show, with its campy humor, bright colors, and cornball dialogue.

2) Don't be afraid to ask a six-year-old. Schumacher had no ideas for the sequel to his previous Bat-box office smash, so he asked his little godson which characters he liked, and that's why Mr. Freeze is in the movie, and Poison Ivy, and Bane. Even though there's no story that links them together at all logically.

3) Movies are for selling toys. Why all the silly vehicles and costume changes? Schumacher was told to have those things to make the movie more "toyetic."

4) Alicia Silverstone is a skilled actress. Who else can play a mildly retarded young woman with a puffy face and a speech impediment who's really good at computers. "I can do it. I'm a big girl!" she seems to say, in that Life Goes On way of hers.

5) Nicky Katt rides motorcycles.

As terrible as Batman and Robin truly is, we at film fest HQ found it far superior to Batman Forever, largely due to the math involved. While Jim Carrey = Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Tommy Lee Jones < style="font-style: italic;">Batman and Robin is a better looking movie than Batman Forever. And not having to listen to the dialogue while Schumacher droned on about how much contempt he has for the source material, "It's just a comic book movie," he repeatedly declared--well, that was painful gravy.

Richard Oldstate was unavailable for comment.

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