Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mr Schumacher and the 90s Batman franchise

I was having a discussion about the Batman movies at work earlier this week and the discussion turned specifically to the last 2 of the 1990s series.

Personally, I disliked both of them. Batman and Batman Returns were decent films although they had many flaws in my opinion. Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, however, were just awful. The casting was all wrong and the actors portrayal of their respective characters were awful.

When they finally decided to cut this franchise off, I was relieved. At which time I blamed Joel Schumacher for the demise of the Batman franchise. I laid the majority of the blame at Schumacher's feet and the rest to the screenwriters.

However, it dawned on me during our conversation at work about this that I might have been too hasty in blaming it completely on Joel. Mostly because I started thinking of some of the other films he has directed in his career: The Lost Boys, Flatliners, A Time to Kill, Bad Company.....

How could a person that has directed such great films take over a franchise that really wasn't the best to begin with and turn it into a complete disaster.

So I did some snooping around the Internet to find out if there were any common denominators to all four films and I basically found none. The producers of each film were different. The cast, of course, was different. Even the writers on each movie were different.

So where do you think the blames lies? Any now that I come to think of it, why do I even care. The franchise is over and the new one is fathoms better. I suppose I should just get over it.



  1. While I too cannot stand any of the 90’s Batman films after the first two, I must disagree that the Tim Burton films were only descent. The first of this series was amazing and will probably live in the top 5 comic book films of all time. While the point of Batman Begins was to bring the film Batman up to date with the modern DC, post Crisis on Infinite Earths Batman, the point of the Burton Batman film was to bring the characterback to its original heart and soul. In Batman, Burton and Michael Keaton were trying to destroy the image of the Adam West Batman series and remind everyone of the Dark Knight’s origins. While I thought that Batman Begins was a great film, I loved Burton’s Batman (I still have yet to see The Dark Knight).

  2. I thought that the first Burton film was a decent film itself and I while I agree that Burton did venture away from the campy Adam West Batman series I do not think that he truly tapped into who and what Batman truly was and think Batman Begins did a much better job at that. Personally, that film would not make my top 5 comic book films of all time.

  3. I must respectfully disagree my friend and here is why. Batman and Batman Begins were trying to tap into two different versions of Batman. The Burton film was tapping into the original, Bob Kane 1930’s/40’s Batman. Batman Begins was tapping into the Frank Miller, 1986 Batman Year One version of Batman. These are actually fairly different characters. Kane’s Batman was from the Golden Age Earth (Earth 2) and Miller’s Batman was from the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earth (which was basically Earth 1’s Batman with updates). So in that respect, both films tap perfectly into the spirit of Batman, they are just tapping into two different versions of the Dark Knight.

  4. Ok. I think I can go along with you on that one.

    They are represenations of two different ideas so to speak.

    I guess I personally just like the Frank Miller Batman as opposed to the Golden Age Batman.

    Personally, I consider Batman Begins to be the best comic book movie ever made.