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Monday, June 16, 2014

Movie Review:Batman Returns

Premise:Batman fights a deformed schemer, a corrupt businessman, and an unstable woman he falls in love with.

Cast:Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Christopher Walken as Max Shreck, Michael Murphy as the mayor, Andrew Bryniarski as Chip Shreck, Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth

Director:Tim Burton

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for dark, brooding violence.


Notes:Sequel to Batman. Poster taken from IMP Awards and belongs to Warner Brothers.

Pros:The villains. The acting.

Cons:Not always logical.

You'd think the criminals in Gotham would have learned. You'd think they'd be less blatant given that there's a guy with a ton of gadgets and a problem with crime patrolling the streets. But some new lawbreakers are in town, and they intend to bring this bat down.

Like the first film, don't expect it to be true to the source material. I'm looking specifically at the villains when I say this. Penguin's not a corrupt, though sane businessman and Catwoman is not a mischievous thief. Here, she starts out as an awkward secretary, then turns into a dark and vengeful whatever-she-is who's not right in the head. Even though she was pretty creepy, I still liked Michelle Pfeiffer's performance. Penguin was a creep, though for different reasons. He's a little over-the-top, but I would say he's a plus. As is Christopher Walken's movie-original character, Max Shreck. And I still like Michael Keaton as Batman, as well as Michael Gough as Alfred.

There are a few logical problems. How did Penguin's gang get their hands on the Batmobile's schematics? What made Catwoman's claws retractable? Why didn't the Ice Princess recognize Penguin? And how did that one gun still work after it had been underwater for who knows how long?

Overall, my summary of the first film stands. If you don't mind that it's little like the comics, check it out.

Sex:Catwoman's outfit is really tight-fitting. According to IMDB, it was vacuum sealed onto the actress's body. Other ladies shown cleavage. Bruce and Selina make out on a couch and later kiss at a party. Selina wears a backless dress and tells Bruce she knows of a large bed nearby. Earlier, she mentions remembering a boy who noticed she didn't wear underwear to school and a nun rumored to be pregnant. Bruce worries there's something going on between her and Max; she just laughs at the thought. Selina sarcastically asks her cat if she's back from more sexual escapades. When she has to leave abruptly, she asks Alfred to make up a sonnet or a dirty limerick. He replies one just came to mind.
A man takes a woman into an ally, intending to rape her (he's stopped). Catwoman pins Batman beneath her and licks his face. She's also angered by a perfume ad that makes a suggestion about attracting her boss. After putting on a costume she made, she says she feels "yummier." A guard who sees Catwoman remarks he isn't sure whether to open fire or fall in love. She retorts men are always confusing their pistols and their privates. She also says thinking about destroying Batman's reputation makes her feel dirty, so she starts licking herself.
Penguin shows perverted interest in several women. One gets her boob fondled when he pins a button on her blouse. In fact, Max talks him into something by telling him he'll have as many women as he wants. When someone says he'll fill the void, Penguin says about a woman "I'd like to fill her void", and says something about showing her his French flipper trick. Then there's the possible double entedre "that's the biggest parasol I've ever seen." When Penguin and Batman get their first look at Catwoman, the former remarks he saw her first. When she complains about the cold, he says he'll warm her. When she tells him they have something in common, he guess "Naked sexual charisma?" He also proposes they consummate their fiendish union.

Violence:Out of all the violent scenes I've watched ever (some kind of graphic), the one I can't sit through is Selina trashing her house. She crams her stuffed animals down the garbage disposal, breaks stuff with a pan, and spray paints over cutesy items. As Catwoman, she claws, kicks, and whips people.
Buildings are blown up and set ablaze. People are set on fire and hit by a car.  An exploding floor sends people flying. Penguin's gang kidnaps children with the intent of killing them. A woman is shoved out a window. Cats chew on her body. A man is electrocuted, leaving a fried body behind. A woman is shot several times.
Someone falls off a building. A woman falls through a glass greenhouse and into a truck of sand. Penguin bites a man's nose and uses an umbrella to choke another guy. A man takes a hostage with a taser. Batman places an explosive on a large henchman. Cars crash. A young boy kills a cat. His parents toss him in the river. When a plan to kill Batman fails, Penguin complains he didn't lose so much as a limb or an eye. Penguin's blackmail material against Max includes his dead partner's disembodied arm. A man falls and dies from his injuries.

Language:"G*d", "s**t", "b**ch", "d**n", "b****rd", and "h*ll" are used. Penguin sees Catwoman and remarks "Just the pussy I've been looking for."

Drugs/Alcohol:People are shown smoking and drinking.

Spiritual:It isn't explained exactly how Selina came back to life. Did she only appear to be dead? Did the cats somehow resurrect her? She does survive situations that would have killed most people. (It should be noted that there's a possible explanation in the movie Catwoman, but given that film's reception, most would likely ignore it.)
Meanwhile, Penguin's parents have a cross on their grave. When he sends an attractive woman to her death, he tells her to go to heaven. Max describes himself as the city's mean, twisted soul. Selina says a rhyme that goes "Six, seven, all good girls go to heaven."
One of the bad guys is dressed as a devil. An instrumental version of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" plays. Mention is made of a pregnant nun. A villain says the time has come to punish all God's children. Bruce says "Goodwill towards men. And women."

So what did you think?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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