Saturday, May 29, 2004

Batman Forever: A Retrospective

Before blogs, there was usenet. Here's a classic review published on from 1995.


The Making of BATMAN FOREVER: A Play

Cast of characters:
Al, a mild-mannered studio exec
Bob, a superior studio exec

Act 1 Scene 1: A meeting
Bob: I called you in here today for one reason, son.
Al: What's that sir?
Bob: Our plans for an infinite series of blockbuster money-spinners is in jeopardy!
Al: You mean ... the Batman franchise?
Bob: Exactly! And you know who is behind it?
Al: The public ... getting fed up with the same tired old formula perhaps?
Bob: WHAT?
Al: (Gulp) Erm ... sorry, I mean the film-makers, naturally. They do their best to reduce a film's appeal to merely the intelligent and thoughtful, don't they?
Bob: That's better ... And who is the prime mover behind this attempt at bringing ... the "A" word ... into our money-spinning franchise?
Al: The "A" word? You mean artistry?
Al: I'm sorry sir! It's Mr. Burton, surely? A guaranteed happy, smiley kids film, turned into a dark, brooding nightmare piece?
Bob: (smiles) I see great things for you boy ...
Al: And as for the sequel-
Bob: Don't talk to me about that sequel! We've probably lost $20m in revenue for Batman 3 'cos of that movie. I mean, what could be guaranteed to turn kids off more than a film about 3 demented freaks running around with personality disorders ...
Al: Not forgetting the fact that McDonalds didn't want to plug it on the side of their milkshakes ...
Bob: You've got it in one! We must make sure the new Batman appeals to the youngest possible audience - McDonalds must support us!
Al: So we should drop Tim Burton ... replace him with more of a "team player"?
Bob: I was thinking perhaps Joel Schumacher ...
Al: I completely agree sir! Someone we can contro- communicate with. And the cast?
Bob: Think "big stars."
Al: But shouldn't we think up a story first?
Bob: Forget the story! We just need lots of running around, loud bangs, vivid colours ... Stars! Jim Carrey! Tommy Lee Jones!
Al: But they wouldn't gel.
Al: Nothing. You were saying, big stars ...
Bob: Sex appeal ... Nicole Kidman. New feminist angle ... make her a shrink! Yes ... and Robin! We can hype up his appearance in the press releases.
Al: Shouldn't we work on a script now?
Bob: Give it to one of our lowly writers, tell 'em to knock it up in an hour. It's not important, we want to get the kids!
Al: But the parents, boss! They want something they can watch with their kids.
Bob: Okay. Keep the dark visuals. Maybe ol' Mr. Burton was onto something there ... but I want bright day-glo colours everywhere!
Al: You got it. I'll get to work right away sir. Anything else?
Bob: Never forget, why are we making this movie?
Al: $ CHING $ !
Bob: You'll go far son ...

Overall rating: 25 %

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