Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Sunday, 24 April 2011
Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) face their greatest challenge ever when The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether) and The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) team up together to take over the World.
The first major superhero film, the film is truly carried by its cast. Romero, Meredith and Gorshin all bring lots of deliciously over-the-top energy to their three villains, exaggerating their characters to make them as comic book like as possible, truly capturing the obvious insanity of the characters, and the obvious energy and enthusiasm they put into their roles really draws you in as you watch them on screen. This is a great contrast to Batman and Robin, whom are portrayed as being very cool and level-headed, an innocent type of calm, which West and Ward play quite well. Of course, though, let's not forget Meriwether, who makes Catwoman such a gorgeous and seductive creature.
The entire film is shot in that over the top comic book style that made the TV series (1966-8) as appealing as it was to audiences. Everything is brought to life with energy and passion, but one can't help that it feels a little too over exaggerated and comic book like. Although it is fast paced, it just zips from one event to the next without much pause and you have to have your wits about you to make sure you keep up with it. You also expect no realism from the film, but they take the unrealistic side of the film slightly too far. Batman gets a shark bite down on his leg and cling on to his leg as he is on the Bat Ladder, only a few feet above the sea. There's no blood, his tights don't even get ripped. How? And when trying to dispose of a bomb, it takes five minutes as people and animals are always getting in the way. It's quite amusing that he can't get any luck, but surely the bomb would have exploded within a minute? It worked in 20 minute long episodes, but it does feel like they are trying too hard to fill up the 105 minutes of film. It would work better in cartoon form.
Ultimately this is a film a lot like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). As a film it is over exaggerated and ultimately not that great, but it has a certain amount of charm and appeal to it thanks to its originality, which is why it endears to viewers, and has earned its status as a classic.
Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Neil Hamilton, Alan Napier, Stafford Repp, Madge Blake, Reginald Denny, Milton Frome, Gil Perkins, Dick Crockett, George Sawaya.
Giffoni Film Festival Award: Golden Gryphon (Leslie H. Martinson).