Saturday, 26 March 2011

Favourite Bat-Films - #6 - Batman Forever

Oh dear. Trying to choose between this and "Batman and Robin" is like trying to choose between Hitler and Himmler.
Warner Bros wanted to get away from the gothic oddness of Tim Burtons take and they got it in spades with a flashy, noisy, too bright, smug, self-indulgent mess that was the kiddie-friendly they wanted.
But a pile of poo.
Really, really can't type what irks me most.
Aside from the self indulgent feel, we've got Bruce Wayne with a highlighted blow wave, a hideous Robin, a rubbish Two Face (Tommy Lee's nadir?), a "i want to kill him now" Riddler, the list just goes on and on.
Can't face going in to more detail than that. I've had a crap day and don't want to be more wound up than i am.
Just take a look at the trailer here, and there's what's wrong right in front of you on the screen. Every. Bloody. Second.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Dave Taylor's Batman

Loving these sneak peeks Dave's been putting up on his Blog. The head shots remind me a lot of Steve Rude's "Worlds Finest" and David Mazzucchelli's "Batman Year One", two tales i loved for their realistic take on the character. And fantastic to see Dave is looking like he's going the same way.
And this elegant, graceful of the fella in mid air is just beautiful. Can't wait for it to come out.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Killing Joke vs Killing Joke

Just got the deluxe edition - and don't know what to think.
Its well documented that Brian Bolland wasn't happy at all with John Higgins' colouring on the original so redid it for this one.
Comparing the two, i have to say that, ignoring the deluxe being slightly bigger and having a backup strip and prelims, i still prefer the original.
Partly its because i got it on its release at a signing with Alan and Brian.
Partly because i've read and re-read it for nigh on 20 years.
But mainly because the garish, flourescent colouring actually works. Some of its to do with the tale itself, which looks far too subdued with the new version, and some of its to do with it being a product of the 80's, and the garish colours with glossy pages fits right in. In much the same way as the colouring of Watchmen did.
Here you go with a couple of compare and contrasts.

Monday, 7 March 2011

King Tut

One of the appeals of the TV show back when i were a nipper - and now - was the character of King Tut.
A brilliantly funny turn by Victor Buono who doesn't need to go over the top a la Romero to fit into the world, a lot of his appeal was the often very quiet, understated humour he injected into the role. He could be camp and over the top with just a sigh or a sideways glance.
Why he's never been given the acccolades he deserves is way beyond me.
Victor, you were a genius.
Here's a nice complilation, nicely put together with Steve Martins ace number.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Batman 1949 serial - Ep1 - Batman Takes Over

Bought the video box set when it first came out on the back of the '89 Burton film but haven't watched it for a looooong time, so thought it was time to add it to my DVD collection.
Boy, what to think?
It has a real charm to it, a true example of post-war cheapo filler material but, in this age of Youtube fanfilms, seems horribly familiar.
The charm comes from the very cheapness:
the standard car as the Batmobile,
the VERY sparse Batcave,
which has two filing cabinets which hold their uniforms,
the same cave being the Wizards lair.

And a lot of unintentional humour - Batman & Robin just running out to their "Batmobile" parked in the driveway of the very standard Wayne house, the "Batman Signal" which is wheeled to the window of Gordon's office when needed, and Batman's outfit...

On the plus side, its nice to see a "real" outfit, folds and all, that Alex Ross would go on to depiect so brilliantly and its interesting to see a spot-on Alfred and that Gordon's office is pretty much replicated in the TV series 17 years later.
And, even in this rather crude take, its still a thrill for me to see Batman with his outfit on but with his cowl off. Which happens often.

But, on the down side - and there's many:
Those ears. Floppy beyond belief. Worse than the slo-mo wobbliness of them at the end of Batman & Robin.
That cowl beak. Great when Brian Bolland et al do the elongated nose effect thing, but here it goes out far too far, just looking silly. And while we're at it, the eyeholes barely allow for Robert to see out of, making for very peculiar ways of looking at things.
Robert Lowery is far too chubby and far too bland for the role.
John Lowery is *ahem* a tad too mature and stocky for Robin, yes?
The Wizard. Hilarious beyond belief. What the heck is the point of that outfit when no-one can see it?
And, worst of all, the lame-o getouts of the supposed cliffhangers. This one has Batman and Robin locked in a burning plane that then blows up.
Can you guess how they get out of it?
Bat-Rating: 3/10

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Top Five Bat-Artists - #5

Been umming and ahhing over this for a long time, trying to narrow my favourite artists takes on Bats. And by that, i mean their version of Batman himself, not how good they are as a story teller, or at depecicting villans, buildings, hardware etc.
Its been kinda difficult to narrow them down to just five and what order they should go in.
Thinking i've settled on them and here's 5 - Jim Lee.
I love his square jawed chunky Batman, the short eared cowl, how is ears are visible at the sides and how he's shown very well how the suit has a lot going on beneath the surface with all its defences etc.
Top work, and why he's Five