Frankenweenie (2012)

I’ll admit than when I saw the trailer for Frankenweenie, I was cautiously enthusiastic. When it comes to upcoming films (and videogames… any media, I guess) I try not to get too hyped about them, because that makes the bitter sting of disappointment that much greater when things don’t pan out. In this editor’s opinion, Tim Burton hasn’t made a great film since Big Fish (2003). Now, put down the pitchforks, I said great, several are still good films, just not great. Perhaps coming from another director my expectations wouldn’t be as high, but I’ve always been a fan of Burton, especially his earlier works, such as Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and though he didn’t direct it, the very much Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). His newer offerings, such as Alice in Wonderland (2010), Corpse Bride (2005), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) have all had amazing visual style, but are simply lacking enough of the typical Burton charm to elevate them from being decent films to being amazing. Corpse Bride was especially disappointing to me in this regard, because I’m such a fan of stop-motion, and Corpse Bride looked amazing, but the story / writing was simply lacking any memorable impact.

But enough about disappointments, Frankenweenie is a return to form for Tim Burton. From the opening shots of a suburban sprawl (heavily echoing that of Edward Scissorhands) to the character designs that immediately bring to mind his other stop-motion works, this is a film that feels like something the director would have made at the early stages of his career. Perhaps that’s because it is, in a way, because it’s based on a live-action short Burton did in 1984 by the same name (a short that was supposed to be released alongside the Pinocchio (1940) re-release, but was pulled by Disney because it disturbed children at test screenings).

The plot is fairly straightforward; Victor (Charlie Tahan) is an introverted boy who likes to make movies, his only real friend is his dog, Sparky. Victor’s suburban town of New Holland is populated by a suitably bizarre cast of characters, from a girl whose cat (named Mr. Whiskers) apparently leaves prophecies in the litter box, to the new science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau). Unfortunately for Victor, Sparky is hit by a car, and Victor’s solution to his grief is to bring him back in tried-and-true Frankenstein (1931) fashion. He is, of course, successful, but must hide his resurrected friend from his friends and parents (voiced by Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short). This all goes awry when his secret is discovered by his classmate, Edgar ‘E’ Gore (Atticus Shaffer), who demands to know how he’s managed to cheat death, and Victor concedes, with the stipulation that no one can know. Naturally, with the big science fair around the corner, Edgar can’t resist telling other students, which leads to a chaotic, horror-film-inspired third act.

This might be the best part of the film, which has nods to Gamera (1994) and Gremlins (1984) amongst others. In fact, the entire film is chock full of horror references; the storyline itself loosely follows that of Frankenstein, the parents are watching a Dracula film (voiced by Christopher Lee) in one scene, the poodle next door ends up looking like the Monster’s Bride from Bride of Frankenstein (1931), a model in one of Victor’s films looks almost exactly like Rodan from the 1956 film of the same name… I could go on, but you get the idea. It’s clear that Frankenweenie is Tim Burton’s homage to the films that inspired him in his youth, and perhaps Frankenweenie is his pseudo-biography in stop-motion form.

Frankenweenie’s only major flaw is perhaps its pacing, the time period between Sparky’s resurrection and the action-packed third act feels too slow for the events that precede and follow it, despite the fact that it contains more or less vital plot points. Despite this, the film is still a very enjoyable watch, and has plenty of humor to go along with its somewhat dark subject matter. As a matter of fact, I could easily see very young children being scared of this film, and it’s almost surprising that they got away with a PG rating, though in comparison to many films from the 80’s and 90’s a PG rating isn’t that far out of the question, political correctness be damned.

In summation, Frankenweenie does have problems here and there, but all the different parts are stitched together in such a way as to make the first Tim Burton film in a long time that really feels like it belongs to the director, as opposed to something that seems like he was talked into at a studio board meeting. If you long for Burton’s glory days, Frankenweenie just might fit the bill.



Batman Begins (2005)

When Batman & Robin was released in 1997 I was 11 years old. By the time Batman would return to screen in Batman Begins in 2005 I was 19. The wait was unbearable, especially with little teases in the 8 year gap including those On-Star commercials that advertised a walk on role in the next Batman film (upon which I would immediately search the internet and cruelly discover no Batman films were currently in development) and the ridiculously obnoxious Scooby-Doo teaser trailer in 2002 that was edited to look like a Batman film.

By the the time 2005 rolled around I was what I refer to as a “film elitist”. By this point I would ridicule anything “too mainstream”, would only watch a movie if it was either “art house” or “in black and white” and would much sooner watch Broken Flowers or Me and You and Everyone We Know before giving Fantastic Four or Serenity a moments look. Things have changed, obviously, since then and I rediscovered my roots of loving all things big and small scale from Star Wars or Switchblade Sisters to Breathless or The Artist. However, circa 2005 I was not an easy critic to impress.

Around this time I would become friends with a co-worker at the movie theater, a young lad by the name of Josh Helms, who will forever remain one of the smartest people I’ve met and an extremely talented violinist. Josh and I had many common loves like Daniel Day-Lewis performances or Danny Elfman scores, but the three passions we had most in common were Batman, Christopher Nolan and Samurai cinema. How lucky we would be to have all three come together in a time when I had given up on “mainstream cinema”.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is unlike any other movie series in the history of film. Its not solely a tongue-in-cheek action series like Star Wars or Indiana Jones, nor is it the serious melodrama that is The Godfather trilogy. Its a blend of both worlds. With the Batman films and Inception, Nolan has combined the seriousness of an art house film, the performances of an Oscar-caliber Hollywood picture, and the exploitation of a summer popcorn blockbuster into one, tight, cohesive package. A movement that has changed the Hollywood blockbuster as we see it today. Hollywood is rapidly turning to the Independent filmmakers to bring something fresh and new to the old Hollywood formula, (i.e. Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, Duncan Jones’ Source Code).

Now of course, Nolan isn’t the first filmmaker to do this. Spielberg and James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis and Peter Jackson have been bringing their own artistic brilliance to big Hollywood pictures for years, yet nobody has taken their source material quite as far as Christopher Nolan has. No one has taken a genre so far past the congratulatory “pat-yourself-on-the-back” special effects stage and so deep into harsh cinematic voyeurism.

Kicking off with a striking image of a swarm of bats that begin to make up the new Batman logo, Nolan’s film is a quick-fire piece of storytelling. We see the childhood Bruce Wayne fall down a well and has his first horrific encounter with bats. An edit later and were in the middle of an Asian prison where a young and bearded Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) fends off attacking inmates. The young Wayne is taken under the wing of Henri Ducard (the best mentor ever, Liam Neeson!) and practices under the tutelage of Ra’s Al Ghul (Academy Award nominee Ken Watanabe) and his League of Shadows, an organization of ninjas bent on eliminating criminality and serving “true justice”.

The brilliantly choreographed and Kurosawa evoking training sequences are intercut with the story of Bruce Wayne and the death of his parents. We see young Bruce become frightened during a theater production (the dancing figures that appear like bats are killer imagery) and his parents are soon gunned down while leaving the auditorium by average thug Joe Chill. Flash forward years later and Chill is up for parole after providing the D.A. with leverage against mob boss Carmine Falcone. Bruce is back for the hearing accompanied by childhood sweetheart and new assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) and her pleas for justice are disputed by his vision of vengeance. Bruce comes face to face with Carmine Falcone (a wickedly good Tom Wilkinson) and splits town in search of something more.

Using his newly acquired skills in martial arts, deception, practicality, knowledge of the simple nature between right and wrong and a clear will to uphold justice, Bruce Wayne returns home with a mission to rid Gotham City of organized crime. With the help of his confidant Alfred Pennyworth (the great Michael Caine) and the head of the Applied Sciences department at Wayne Enterprises, Lucius Fox (the infallible Morgan Freeman) Wayne develops a high-tech costume and weapons arsenal and becomes the heroic symbol…Batman. Using the forces of Sergeant James Gordon (the legendary Gary Oldman) and Rachel Dawes, Batman is able to take on Falcone and the psychotic psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow (the brilliant Cillian Murphy) who plans to disperse chemicals into Gotham’s water supply that will evaporate into a fear toxin. A nemesis of Batman’s past reemerges to share in on the fear.

As you can see the story is quite a bit more complex than any other superhero film up till that point. In fact Bruce Wayne doesn’t show up in full Batman costume until halfway through the film. The first fight sequence where Batman takes down a group of Falcone’s drug-running thugs is brilliantly shot and edited to where Batman is but a mere blur. As the attacks come from all sides, what is actually seen is the terror in the criminals faces, something more akin to a horror movie. This display puts the viewer in the dizzying point of view of a criminal being taken down by an giant unseen bat.

The performances are superb around the board. Christian Bale is the first actor to give Batman three different faces. First there’s the real Bruce Wayne, the tortured soul who wishes to fight injustice and reestablish order in Gotham City. Then there’s the persona Bruce Wayne has adopted in order to maintain anonymity as the Batman, the persona in which he is the typical millionaire playboy, douche bag with a hot foreign model on each arm. And finally there’s the performance of Batman which holds its own unique stances, movements, and a gruffer voice than any Batman since Kevin Conroy. The ability in which Bale can switch from any of these three faces to another is a credit to the power of Christian Bale’s acting. More on that in The Dark Knight review.

As much as the first film is very much Christian Bale’s movie, the supporting players are all top of the line in every endeavor. Michael Caine brings a loyal, lovable and warm father-like presence to Alfred Pennyworth. His character throughout the trilogy will become more and more the man of moral conscience in Bruce’s life and Caine delivers an Oscar worthy performance in each. Gary Oldman is powerhouse as the incorruptible James Gordon. Its a refreshing change to see Oldman portray a character so right as opposed to so wrong and any film that lets Gary Oldman drive the Batmobile is a perfect 10 in my book.

Cillian Murphy and Tom Wilkinson bring a more traditional interpretation to the proceedings. Wilkinson’s Falcone is a larger-than-life interpretation of the Italian gangster and his delivery of a monologue about the power of fear is one of the film’s many highlights. Murphy meanwhile has the delivery of a classic madcap Batman villain, his delivery of “Who? The” has the kind of tone and subtle beats that recall Frank Gorshin’s classic portrayal of The Riddler in the 1960s series.

The always classy Morgan Freeman is the show stealing comic relief and each exchange he has with Bruce Wayne is well-written, comedy gold. Katie Holmes is surprisingly good as Rachel Dawes and pulls off the hardboiled D.A. role well. And who can forget Rutger Hauer shows up as Wayne Enterprises new CEO Willaim Earle and Memento’s very own Mark Boone Junior shows up as a sleazy, crooked cop.

Oh my god and the Tumbler. I can’t forget about the Tumbler. That thing is the bomb. A massive tank-like vehicle, The Tumbler is the new form of Batmobile. The big car chase (one of the film’s few action sequences) is the greatest action scene of that year: the images of the all-terrain roadster pancaking cop cars is one thing but the sound of the Tumbler’s engine as it roars is utterly breathtaking. The sound quality in this sequence should forever be shown in film school’s as an example on the importance of sound effect creation and editing.

Batman Begins is a phenomenal start to the new franchise. I wasn’t hundred percent blown away in 2005, I had problems with the quick editing of the sequences, the brazing over the death of Wayne’s parents, the lack of action. But in time I learned that all these were a part of Nolan’s intention. Now I can no longer fault the film for skimping on the early images of Batman (when clearly Nolan wanted audiences to salivate for the full revelation of Batman in costume) or the brazing over of the Wayne’s parents deaths (because we’ve seen it in four films already) or the lack of action (the action filled climax in Begins flows wonderfully into the intro to The Dark Knight).  What I learned was that Nolan was more interested in Bruce Wayne’s struggles than a CGI heavy showdown of Batman and The Scarecrow. That the story was more about the citizens of Gotham City, the line between good and evil and the imagery of Batman. That Bob Kane and Batman were finally getting the movie they deserved.


Batman & Robin (1997)

The moment has finally arrived. This weekend saw the release of The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s final installment to his epic, game-changing Batman franchise and with it a chaotic few days of good news and bad. The good news is that (in this viewer’s eyes) the final film fully delivers and more on what has become one of the greatest film trilogies in cinematic history. The film debuted with 249 million dollars worldwide and counting, making it the 3rd highest debut for an opening weekend and the highest for a non-3D movie (suck it post-converted Avengers!).

The weekend unfortunately has also brought with it tragedy in the form of a mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. The act is equally unspeakable and devastating. The theater to many is like a temple, a place for people to come together and share in amusement. The fact that someone would destroy the sanctity of that amusement with such a heinous display of selfishness, immorality and pure unjustifiable evil is unbearable.

I was hoping to have finished off the Batman posts last week as a lead in to the opening day’s premiere. However between a much needed beach vacation, the post-vacation scramble to catch up, and the business of working at a theater for a movie like The Dark Knight Rises time is not something I’ve had in bucket fulls. Throughout the week I’ll be posting the last of the Batman run including a full (and very spoiler-filled I’m sure) review on The Dark Knight Rises and featuring a new Batman header by our own Adam Baldwin.

When we last left the franchise Batman had defeated the likes of The Joker and Catwoman but couldn’t defeat his greatest nemesis yet: Joel Schumacher. The studio had scrapped Tim Burton’s Gothic, Frank Miller-esque version for a more family friendly, “campy” model. As I stated in the Forever post the film has a lot of opportunities for a more serious tone and disappointingly chooses to neglect them. The 1997 follow-up on the other hand is a total disaster: both production wise and box office wise. It can also be an extremely guilty pleasure.

Immediately following Batman Forever‘s heavy box-office debut in 1995, Warner Bros quickly commissioned a sequel with director Schumacher and writer Akiva Goldsman. Val Kilmer was ditched for rising ER star George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell reprises his role as Robin. The rest of the casting went bigger. The top billed Arnold Schwarzenegger sinks his teeth and proceeds to chew (or perhaps mangle) the scenery as Mr. Freeze, Pulp Fiction‘s Mia Wallace herself, Uma Thurman, hams it up as the venomous vixen Poison Ivy and Clueless superstar Alicia Silverstone squeezes into the suit of Batgirl.

The entire production was a tangled mess. O’Donnell claims to have never met Schwarzenegger until the opening night premiere of the film. Despite having numerous scenes together all of Schwarzenegger’s dialogue and action was shot separately from the other actors and Clooney and O’Donnell actually spend the majority of their time chasing the stunt double for Mr. Freeze. The script essentially became a 2 hour toy commercial. One evening Schumacher was presented with a series of new toy designs for snowbound Bat-vehicles known as the Bat Blade and the Bat Sled. Schumacher said “These vehicles aren’t in this movie” to which the merchandisers replied “They are now”.

The set was a total free-for-all. Clooney and O’Donnell compared it to being in a circus. Supposedly every actor and actress in Hollywood was bringing their young kids to the set to watch the filming and therefore the sets and locations were constantly overloaded with people. Could you imagine attempting to pull off the cheesiest of one-liners in a unbearably hot and suffocating costume all the while seeing Tom Hanks and his kids standing by and taking pictures? John Glover, who plays a diabolical scientist responsible for Poison Ivy’s transition, said Schumacher would scream before each take “Remember people, this is a cartoon”. This pretty much gives you an idea of what direction this film was consciously heading.

The plot is pretty much non existent. Mr. Freeze wants to cover everything in ice, Poison Ivy wants to cover everything in plants and somehow they feel their plan will work even better when merged together. Ivy has a brute of a sidekick, Bane, who tromps around like a brain-dead gorilla. Quite a step down from the near genius, South American mercenary we’ve come to know from the comics and Nolan would deliver in Rises. Ivy also has a love potion #9 that sends Batman and Robin head over heels for her and constantly at each other’s throats. And Wayne Manor’s resident butler Alfred Pennyworth (the late, great Michael Gough) is dying of a disease known as McGregor syndrome just as his long lost niece Barbara arrives. In no time at all Barbara discovers the Batcave and is clad in her own voluptuous Batsuit.

As notorious as this movie is for temporarily killing the Batman franchise and sitting in the middle of Jingle All The Way and End of Days as that triple threat that killed Schwarzenegger’s career, I actually find this movie much easier on the eyes than Forever. It is by no means “good” but it borders on “so bad that its good”. The abundance of ice and cold related references “Your not sending me to da coola” “Freeze in hell, Batman!” “The Iceman Cometh” are the best fodder for a drinking game. You would be hammered within 30 minutes. Uma Thurman is incredibly hot in her Poison Ivy gear and reason enough for anyone to watch it once. Clooney, god love him, makes the best out of catastrophe. His delivery of lines like “She’s trying to kill you…Dick!” is so tongue-in-cheek that you know deep inside he’s laughing along with you. And a small handful of action scenes actually sort of hold up, in particular the opening sequence in which Batman and Robin “air surf” away from an exploding rocket ship.

The film failed critically and in a summer full of blockbusters was overshadowed by the success of movies like The Lost World, Men in Black and Face/Off. We were thankfully spared the third follow-up Batman Triumphant which would have had Clooney or Kurt Russell as Batman, O’Donnell and Silverstone again as Robin and Batgirl, and the trio would have taken on The Scarecrow (John Travolta, Kevin Spacey, Viggo Mortensen, Nicolas Cage and Marilyn Manson were all in contention) and Harley Quinn (Madonna, Sandra Bullock and Selma Blair were considered). It would be 8 years before the Caped Crusader would soar again.


Batman Forever (1995)

The Dark Knight Rises is now a mere four weeks away and its time for the Bat-mania to continue. But first I must take a quick rant on movies and in particular movie criticism that has been building for some time.

I suppose it started at the beginning of May when I asked one of my theater co-workers what they thought of The Avengers. She is a reputed comic book fan and someone I felt would be absolutely floored with Joss Whedon’s dazzling superhero opus. She responded simply with “it could have been better”. To which I replied “How could it have been better?” She concludes “I don’t know, it just could have been better”. In the words of the Great Lo Pan: “This really pisses me off to no end.” My fried dumplings from China Wok could be better, but when I’m hungry it can really hit the spot.

The perfect movie is pretty much non-existent. Even the films that I would consider “perfect” (Godfather, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Goodfellas) can and have been debated by anyone. Working at Fat Cats, our local video store, I once got into a two hour debate with a customer on The Maltese Falcon and was eventually schooled by someone who adamantly hated the film and had just cause for doing so.

The fact is all movies have flaws. Its to be expected. Its part of the deal. The point of watching a movie, to me, is to celebrate what the movie has done right. Given the type of movie it doesn’t have to do EVERYTHING right but at least a couple of things right. Action movies don’t have to have great acting or logical scripts to be entertaining. It helps, of course, but it is not a necessity. Same goes for comedies. Who cares if the plot is thread bare or the cinematography and editing non-existent as long as it makes you laugh? Its easiest to go into a film with a blank slate, without preconceived notions, and without analyzing each detail as it unfolds. I strongly feel that its is most important to just WATCH a movie first time out and then decide afterwards whether you enjoyed it or not and why. Spending too much time thinking about a film as it plays out can only serve to sway your opinion too early and miss out on the bigger picture.

My frustration with fans and critics continued with the release of Prometheus earlier this month. Okay everyone, we’ve all pointed out the flaws to Prometheus. The holes in the script, the unanswered questions, the lack of dimension in secondary characters like Idris Elba’s Captain, Charlize Theron’s inability to move four feet to the left or right. You’ve pin pointed the discrepancies, good for you, give yourself a pat on the back. But my question to critics and online trolls is this: How would you fix it? You think you know better than Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof then you tell me where the Aliens should come from. You think Idris Elba and Benedict Wong are stock characters then you tell me how to add back story to the entire crew and keep the pacing of the film flowing. You tell me how you’d fix these so called problems or you get out of my face.

The only criticism I take in life and in film is constructive criticism. Here’s an example: My manager Geoff and I were discussing Prometheus and he said “I feel that if they added more to the first act of the film, the third act would have a much better payoff”. Yes! Now this my friends is constructive criticism. How could it have been better Geoff? By adding more to the first act, plain and simple. From now on my posts will include a celebration of what the movie actually does right and if their is a flaw in my opinion then it will be backed up with how I would handle it. Because to me its not enough to simply point out the certain low points without giving some sort of input on how to make them high points.

Whew! Rant over.

So with this in mind I now present Batman Forever. After the success of Superman in 1978 it took a solid ten years for a Batman film to get off the ground. The reason being is the public’s association with the campy 1960s television series. After the character took a darker turn in comic books in the 1980s the real Batman was finally able to make its way onscreen. The result was Tim Burton’s hugely successful Batman in 1989. 1992 saw the release of the follow-up Batman Returns. As I mentioned in the last Bat-post, the film is surprisingly darker and scarier than its predecessor. While pleasing fans like me, this move appalled corporate tie ins like McDonald’s who were shelling out fast food toys to kids for a flick in which Danny DeVito bites a man’s nose off in a blood soaked frenzy.

For the third film, Tim Burton stepped down (or is it up) from director to producer and the reigns were passed on to Joel Schumacher. Schumacher is actually a pretty solid choice to take over given the stylish neo-noir atmosphere of The Lost Boys and Falling Down and the success of big studio features like A Time to Kill. His Gotham City is one of the most beautiful depictions of the fictional city yet. Giant Greek statues tower over buildings, the slums are filled with bright neon colors, its night sky reminiscent of some futuristic landscape from Blade Runner. Unfortunately the studio decided to return to the 1960s camp roots they had waited a decade to forget.

The result is a very messy Batman flick, although still miles above the next feature Batman & Robin. The script by Akiva Goldsman (perhaps the most hit and miss screenwriter in Hollywood) is excessively campy and in no way is this more prominent than in the love triangle with Batman, his true identity Bruce Wayne and Dr. Chase Meridian (played by Nicole Kidman). The most ludicrous moment in the movie is when Dr. Meridan pages Batman with the Bat-signal and emerges in a skimpy silk nightie in an attempt to seduce the Caped Crusader. However I must say that Nicole Kidman may be the hottest she’s ever been in this movie. Cheesy dialogue aside I think this movie made her my first big-screen crush and following films To Die For and Eyes Wide Shut certainly secured that.

Batman takes on The Riddler, who has built a television device that steals peoples brain waves, and Two-Face, who doesn’t seem to have much motivation at all other than killing and stealing. I think Val Kilmer is a solid choice for Batman and in particular Bruce Wayne. Kilmer appears to be the only actor in the film with a controlled performance and is probably the highlight of the movie. Even when delivering lines like “Its the car right? Chicks love the car” he pulls it off.

Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey are perfect casting choices for Two-Face and The Riddler but they are forced into a “go for broke” performance that is draining on both the actors and the audience. The script gives them such little material to work with that the two are constantly over the top and the film heavily lies on their shoulders. In his early moments as Edward Nygma, Jim Carrey shows he is an acting force to be reckoned with. After comedies like Ace Ventura and The Mask in 1994, this was Jim Carrey’s first opportunity to really show his range and in the character of Edward Nygma he shows real depth. He’s able to go from neurotic, to psychotic to all out deranged in a wonderful sequence where he kills his boss. Yet as the movie progresses the feature relies more and more on Carrey’s manic capabilities and he becomes quite annoying.

Where the film does succeed and where I wish it had stayed is the telling of the Robin story. Its amazing! Casting Chris O’Donnell as Robin and updating the character to a twenty-something martial arts enthusiast is a great approach to Robin. I love that Bruce Wayne sees himself in Dick Grayson and there’s an excellent moment where Wayne remembers his parents death, its parallels with Grayson’s parents death and then ultimately concludes “I killed them”.  The tone of the film in these scenes are totally different than the rest of the film and seem to belong to a completely different and better Batman flick. Even the neon colors are replaced by a golden brown similar to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. If the entire film took itself as seriously as these sequences the franchise could have been saved.

The blame for Batman Forever lies on a number of people. The Warner Bros. execs who decided to go 60s camp. Joel Schumacher for allowing nipples to be put on the Batsuit (Why God did this happen! Who thought this would be cool?), Akiva Goldsman for never finding a tone to stick to.  I understand the need to go lighter for this sequel but this one is too light. If it were me writing this thing it would have been those Robin sequences throughout: not as Goth as the Burton films but still serious in its approach.

Luckily the Batman name and the film’s all star cast emerge completely unscathed. The same can’t be said for our next film: Batman & Robin. See you next time. Same Bat-time. Same Bat-channel.