Thursday, 23 June 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence
Dir: Roland Emmerich
2016
**
Of all the possible sequels to films I have loved growing up, Independence Day is probably the only I've always wanted but never expected. 1996's Independence Day is far from perfect and there is much about it that I loath but it wouldn't be fair of me to refer to it as a guilty pleasure, it's a brilliant blockbuster and the special effects are still good today. It's incredibly watchable and I haven't tired of watching it every so often since it came out twenty years ago. Independence Day: Resurgence had pretty big boots to fill but unfortunately, after sitting down to watch it on the day of its release (in an eerily empty cinema), I couldn't help but wonder if this was really the best scenario they could come up with after nearly two decades? I liked the set up very much, since the invasion of 1996 the planet has unified and has worked together using the alien technology left behind to create a prosperous and flourishing society. They built weapons, spacecraft, advance planetary defenses - the works. There are no more wars and everyone lives in peace. The people of Earth got pretty lucky last time round in defeating the aliens, chances are they probably would come back again and this time with virus protection, so the planet is ready and poised for battle at any given time. At least, they think they are. This is where the story falls a little flat in my opinion. Everything is rushed and happens at the same time, we see how certain other societies have studied, fought and used the alien technologies but we see very little of what the larger, more powerful countries have done. Suddenly the film turns into a very poor episode of the X-Files and justifies the ridiculous by simply saying 'because telepathy'. Certain characters are brought back and thrown away for no real reason, others are brought back to life with no explanation and some of the original actors should have stayed away as Will Smith did. The first film was silly, cheesy, ridiculous but a lot of fun. Resurgence is all that but without the same level of fun as the first. The special effects are fantastic but I didn't think any of the scenes were particularly memorable. The first film is famous for the White House being blown to pieces, for the giant UFO entering into the atmosphere about New York City and the big air fight above Area 51. Resurgence has none of that, we see a little bit of London getting smashed but it's never clear how or why they were in London or how they got back to America's west coast so quickly. I suppose we saw all of the planets other famous landmarks get smashed in the last film, but in one incredibly headache-inducing scene, Jeff Goldblum's character states the obvious and quips 'They do like to get the landmarks' just as we see Tower Bridge collapse on itself in what has to be the years stupidest script so far - and there have been quite a few in 2016. Self-referencing should be avoid always but especially when your film is essentially an upgraded UFO b-movie. I want to give the film three stars but I just can't do it, I can forgive the poor structure, the horrible editing and pointless characters (seriously, what was the point of Nicolas Wright's character?) but I just can't get past the horribly similar ending and the big (not to mention stupid) rip off of James Cameron' Aliens. The story did open up the possibility of a different and interesting direction for the franchise to go down towards the end and it got my attention but please Mr. Emmerich, and please Hollywood in general, get some new ideas and stop churning out the same old stuff, its just not as good as it was first time round.
Independence Day
Dir: Roland Emmerich
1996
****
Roland Emmerich's alien invasion movie of 1996 was the big film of the year. The blockbuster had been forced to up its game somewhat since 1993's Jurassic Park and Independence Day was really the only big competition that followed in the subsequent years. It's pretty much what every 1950's UFO b-movie aficionado had wanted since special effects got really good. The special effects and CGI still hold up twenty years later but the script was already forty years past its best. As with all good blockbusters, Independence Day doesn't take itself too seriously, which is a personal preference thing really, I would have liked a little more realism but the studio stayed safe and pleased the wider audience. Personally I thought the humour was quite well balanced, although some jokes could and should have seen the cutting room floor. Some of the smaller, less important characters were written poorly and were questionably cast. It is generally the script that lets it down. Firstly, being from outside of the USA, I didn't feel the same connection Americans did what with American independence meaning very little to me. The idea and dialogue that comes with the whole Independence Day thing is about as cheesy as it gets. It's one big American patriot love-fest really, the president kicks ass, Area 51 has the Intel and the rest of the world waits for them to tell them what to do. Indeed, there is a scene whereby a British Captain is standing somewhere in the far east, a solder hands him the phone and tells him the Americans want propose a counter-strike and in the best mumbled home-counties voice he declares "About bloody time". It's fair enough though, it's an American film after all and all that stuff is easily ignored. The dog is saved in ridiculous fashion, people sacrifice themselves quite pointlessly and stereotypes are everywhere. I think the thing that bugged me the most were the performances that were both overacted and underacted at the same time. For instance, the beginning sequence, where a young technician wakes and first hears the alien's signal. He overacts by falling all over the place with his mouth wide open but also under acts by being completely unconvincing that he'd actually just heard proof of extra-terrestrial life. In my version he would have thrown up and launched into a thirty-minute monologue about all his regrets and fears, but then that wouldn't have been very family friendly. The way they end up defeating the invading aliens make Mars Attacks! look like a serious drama. The special effects might have been cutting edge but the ideas certainly were not. I loved the old 1950's UFO movies because they were shocking, funny and full of suspense, Independence Day is all that but with amazing special effects, is longer and never held back due to lack of budget or technology. It could have been a hundred-times better than it was but the scene whereby the UFO is revealed still sends shivers down my neck.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Youth
Dir: Paolo Sorrentino
2015
***
Quite typically of Paolo Sorrentino, his 2015 film Youth is a feast for the senses. The problem I had however, was that half way through I felt as if I was being force-fed. His 2013 masterpiece The Great Beauty is one of my favourite films of all time, while Youth shares a certain something with it, it also feels like a poor man's version or a half-hearted imitation. Michael Caine's performance is good, don't get me wrong there, but this character is for the likes of Toni Servillo or Michel Piccoli and almost feels like it had been written for them instead. Caine's character's relationship with Harvey Keitel's is very watchable but I never felt it to be convincing, although Keitel is also very good in his role. I once said of Sorrentino that he was the next Fellini, Rossellini or Pier Paolo Pasolini but Youth felt more like early Michael Gondry (the confusing bits), Danny Boyle (the bits that spoil it) and Steven Soderbergh (the poorly executed post-modernism). I'm afraid Yorgos Lanthimos is already making what this film wants to be and he's doing a much better job of it. I loved Il Divo and I disliked This must be the Place, so maybe it's an English language thing, I don't know. I loved the script and I loved the idea, I think it was woefully miscast but the visuals were nothing short of stunning throughout the entire film. I particularly liked Sorrentino's use of composition and colour and while I liked watching Caine conduct a heard of cows, Diego Maradona play keepy uppie with a tennis ball, Paul Dano eating breakfast as Adolf Hitler and Jane Fonda playing an exaggerated misconception of herself, I absolutely hated Paloma Faith appearing as herself and hated the film turning into a fake-Paloma Faith music video even more so. Celebrities playing themselves in all-star cast films is something of a pet-hate of mine but not since 2004's Ocean's 12 has it been so awful. I found it to be visually rich but lacking the depth of story to match. It's one step forward one scene, one step back the next. After The Great Beauty I felt enriched, inspired and excited, after Youth I expected the same, a bit of melancholia would have been something but I just felt deflated, disappointed and a bit down. Credit due but overall and considering, it's a bit of a damp squib.

    Monday, 20 June 2016

    The Resurrection of Jake The Snake
    Dir: Steve Yu
    2015
    *****
    I think every generation of wrestling fan will argue that their generation was the golden era. I'm not, nor have I ever been, a big wrestling fan but I do remember watching the UK's ITV wrestling in the mid-80s with my Grandfather that saw the likes of Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy compete against each other. It was good fun with many a colourful character to enjoy. Towards the end of the 80's American wrestling from what was then called the WWF became huge in the UK and many of my school mates became obsessed. I would watch it on a Saturday and I remember quite a few of my mates would have wrestling themed birthday parties that would often involve bouncy castles and bloody-noses. Most of the kids wanted to be either Hulk Hogan or The Ultimate Warrior but those in the know, the proper fans, wanted to be wrestlers like Jake the Snake. I remember myself, even as a casual watcher, Jake the Snake being that character that would make you wonder whether it was all real after all. All these years later, and after doing a bit of research (my colleague at work is obsessed and has told me almost everything there is to know about wrestling over the years) it is clear that wrestling is real, as our the injuries. The undertaker wasn't really an undertaker, Big Boss man wasn't really a police man and not everything was perfect with Mr. Perfect. Wrestlers lived fast and tough lives, particularly in the earlier days where they would be on tour, being thrown about by each other on a nightly basis. When your body is bruised and battered at an early age and feels like that of a person fifty years your age it is understandable that many turned to drink and drugs for pain relief. When you look at many of the greats of the sport, not many of them see later life, with many of them dying well before fifty, if not soon after. Jake the Snake Roberts is one of the most feared, respected, loved and remembered of these greats. He was always quite serious on TV and I remember liking the change of mood his entrance would usually bring. His moves were always perfectly executed and he was the only wrestler who never seemed to shout, demanding the audience’s silent attention with a quiet and husky voice. His is probably best remembered for his character's two traits; his infamous DDT move and his pet snake called Damien (who he'd bring into the ring in a hessian sack), who he would throw upon his components body once they were knocked out. I remember watching one infamous fight whereby the non-venomous snake actually bit into Macho Man Randy Savage. The man was a legend to us youngsters. So it was tragic to learn in later life that he had fallen on tough times, his career pretty much over, he was overweight, his body broken and alcoholic. Unbeknownst to us kids, Jake had had a tough childhood, one whereby the demons never really went away. The Resurrection of Jake The Snake is exactly what it says it is, because when long-time friend and fellow wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page contacted Jake and offered him help that is what happened. Dallas Page is the hero of this story really, his yoga and fitness program helped save Jake's life and gave him a life back. This film documents the long and winding road to recovery and never once sugar-coats the truth. It's real lesson in addiction, recovery, redemption and most importantly, friendship. It's never emotionally manipulative and it's always brutally honest, certainly no one is ever taken advantage of. One of the beautiful elements of the story is that Jake himself then goes on to help Diamond Dallas Page help another friend of theirs and one-time wrestler Scott 'Razor Ramon' Hall. Watching the three of them help each other out is something quite wonderful, I think this could have been the wrestling script Barton Fink was writing in the Coen Brothers' 1991 film as it was clear that this was each man's biggest fight to date. Even with tears in my eyes it was quite clear to see that wrestling most certainly isn't fixed.

    Friday, 17 June 2016

    The Look of Silence
    Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer
    2014
    *****
    How on earth do you top a film like The Act of killing? I consider Joshua Oppenheimer's 2012 film one of the greatest documentaries ever made, unrivalled in fact, until now. The Look of Silence is a companion piece to The Act of Killing, a very different style of film that tells the same story from a different angle. Once more, Oppenheimer explores the events surrounding the Indonesian Genocide of 1965-66 but instead of interviewing the surviving killers like he did last time, he goes one step further and films the brother of one of the more famous men murdered confront them. Adi Rukun (not his real name) is the brother of a well-known victim who escaped from the Indonesian police, was horrifically injured, crawled over a long distance through rice fields to his mother, only for the military to take him away with promise to his mother to take him to hospital, only to take him to the river and cut him up into pieces before dumping his remains. Adi was born two years after his brother's death but has grown up knowing what really happened in his country, watching the daily grief in his mother's eyes, dumbfounded by the silence of his fellow man. We watch Adi's children in school being taught propaganda, inconceivable lies are forced upon the children as they are taught a false version of history and are continuously told to repeat it. Adi discusses with this with his children who clearly struggle to grasp the concept of a teacher being untrustworthy and untruthful. As the community's only optician, Adi meets many of his fellow residents, many who were involved in the killings. His questions are subtle and the elderly murders are generally only too willing to boast about the number of people they slaughtered and how they did it. Now and then you feel there might be a glimpse of remorse but for so long they feel that what they did was justified and most as fiercely proud of it. Only when Adi asks more about why they committed such acts do they become uncomfortable. As the film progresses we watch Adi watch some older footage of the killers boast of their kills, including rather graphic details of how his brother died. The grief, horror, disgust and anger in Adi's eyes is about as powerful as cinema gets. In confronting the killers, many of whom are still in positions of power, he is taking a great risk. The film is understandably not without shock but what shocks the most is the way no one wants to talk of it, no one has talked about it and no one is doing anything about it. Adi talks to his uncle and discovers that he was indirectly responsible for his nephew’s death, something that his mother learns about for the first time on camera. At no point does Adi seek revenge or even try to embarrass the killers, quite the opposite in fact, he does to them something that has the greatest effect of all, he forgives them. Adi's dignity in the face of such horror, evil and ignorance is something to behold and is something to celebrate. Most importantly, Oppenheimer's masterpiece has been shown across 480 screens in Indonesia and to approximately 300,000 of its people. A truly astonishing film.

    Thursday, 16 June 2016

    Victoria
    Dir: Sebastian Schipper
    2015
    *****
    I sat down to watch Sebastian Schipper's Victoria without knowing anything about it and I'm so glad I did. It is the sort of film I always wanted to make when I was in film school, so as much as I enjoyed watching it, I couldn't help but feel jealous but also as excited as I'm sure the crew felt. Victoria is a pretty high-octane adventure, no surprising really when you realize the whole film, all two hours and twenty minutes of it, is all one take. There was only a very vague script in place, so most of what is said is improvised but I'm not sure what the cast didn't have to remember regarding script came as much relief to them, considering the choreography they had to remember. Victoria is almost like a dance or an Opera, one that uses an entire city as its stage. What Sebastian Schipper, cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovlen and the cast and crew achieve is astonishing, breathtaking and absolutely staggering. Aleksandr Sokurov's spectacular 2002 film Russian Ark was the film to be shot in one single take and as impressive as it was, it was only an hour and thirty-nine minutes long, was filmed in a confined space and it took four attempts to get right, one more than Victoria. Although it is one take, the film is cleverly divided into chapters with music often drowning out silence or unimportant dialogue. I can't get my head round how complicated this would be to get right but Sebastian Schipper never loses focus or forgets that a film has to have structure. This is a technical achievement the likes the world of cinema has never seen before but it is far more than just a cheap gimmick. There are many scenes that will make the viewer sit up straight, lead you in one direction before tugging you the other way. Every emotion you can think of is stirred up, one minute the film is a romance, the next it is a full on crime thriller, continually entertaining and never predictable. Laia Costa probably has it toughest as she is the only actor to be in the entirety of the film and is both the lead actor and the audience's protagonist, acting as our eyes and ears, but thanks to her plethora of emotion and her ability to switch them at break-neck speed, and her obvious energy, she is perfect in the lead role. Dazzling isn't a word I use often but it doesn't seem to quite cover it. Humble is a word that fits though, as Sebastian Schipper gives credit where it is well and truly due and gives cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovlen top billing in the credits. In many respects you could say that Victoria is neo-dogme, it certainly breaks many of the rules of its predecessor but betters pretty much all dogme films put together. Certainly one of the best of 2015, probably one of the best of the decade.
    Swamp Thing
    Dir: Wes Craven
    1982
    ***
    DC's Swamp Thing and Marvel's Man-Thing are pretty much the same comic-book character, developed by two friends and roommates who clearly went in different directions with the same idea, but it was DC's Swamp Thing who got to the big screen first. Although only based on Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's idea, Wes Craven's story isn't too far from the origins of the original character. This was a shame for Man-Thing, as he could have had a much brighter future within a bigger comic-book universe and Swamp Thing really isn't that great. However, there are a few elements about it that I loved. Firstly, it's a cheesy action/monster b-movie, my favourite. Secondly, there is something quite unique about Swamp Thing himself. His relationship with Adrienne Barbeau's Alice Cable, a combination of two characters from the original comic, feels quite genuine and rather touching. There is a dreamlike quality about the film that can be said in many of Wes Craven's films that would come post-Nightmare on Elm Street. It is obvious that Swamp Thing was an exercise in proving Craven's worth to the film studios, showing that he could do action, drama and romance as well as horror and deliver a film on budget and on time, something he was very proud of. The film wasn't a hit but it has become something of a cult favourite among fans, a highly regarded failure from the studios perspective. If anything, 1982's Swamp Thing made DC and Marvel up their game somewhat when it came to the comics, as when Swampy failed, the great Alan Moore was allowed full creative control of the character and he created one of the comic world's greatest runs. Now an adaptation of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing would be something wonderful. 1982's Swamp Thing isn't perfect but it's still a lot of b-movie fun, the monsters are rubbish but lovable and it does star cult favourite David Hess, which is always a bonus.
    Black Book
    Dir: Paul Verhoeven
    2006
    ****
    Although right at the beginning of Paul Verhoeven's 2006 war drama it claims to be based on a true story, the truth is that very little of what happens in Black Book is real at all. Verhoeven has instead suggested that many of the elements of the film were true but nothing specific, although some of the events probably happened to some during the war. I don't have an issue with fiction stories set in moments in history, I think directors should be careful when blurring the lines between fact and fiction when it comes to important historical events though, particularly in war, but Black Book is pretty harmless. It is an interesting look at certain realities not usually covered in classic war movies. Like Verhoeven says himself; "In this movie, everything has a shade of grey. There are no people who are completely good and no people who are completely bad. It's like life. It's not very Hollywoodian". I agree about the grey area of war and I would agree that Black Book isn't very 'Hollywoodian' but his good versus bad argument is a little unclear in regards to the way it is portrayed in his film but there are of course many accounts of good people doing bad things and vice-versa during the war. Any excuse to throw in a bit of raunchy sex into a film but to be fair, it works. If I disagreed with Black Book due to its historical inaccuracy then I would have to disagree with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and I'm not going to do that. It's full of twists and turns, scenes that aren't unfamiliar within war films but with refreshing originality and it's certainly never predictable. Carice van Houten is somewhat of a sensation in her role as a Jewish women who terns instead of escaping. The story of her love affair is a bit risqué but it is distrustful. It's a thoughtfully entertaining war film with thrills, action, and suspense and just about everything else you could want from the genre. I'm not sure it is every right or justified to make something entertaining out of a situation such as the Nazi regime but then there are very few war films that don't. Literacy critic Jessica Durlacher, daughter of an Auschwitz survivor, said that "The reality of 1940-45 as portrayed in Black Book compared to reality is like the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas compared to the original in Paris" but was never offended by it. It offers food for thought, irrespective of whether any of it happened or not and it is a beautifully produced film.

    Wednesday, 15 June 2016

    Kill Your Friends
    Dir: Owen Harris
    2015
    ***
    Adapted from John Niven's celebrated debut novel, Owen Harris's Kill Your Friends stays true to the source material. This is hardly surprising when Niven himself wrote the screenplay, although I was surprised he didn't steer it away from the glaringly similar structure of American Psycho. The novels are similar in many ways, the film version of American Psycho however is very different from the book but almost exactly the same as 2015's Kill Your Friends. The only difference between American Psycho and Kill Your Friends is the music. At least American Psycho looked like the time period it was set in (and featured the correct music), Kill Your Friends couldn't have looked less like 1997 if it had tried and is pretty music-light, considering it is set at a record label. I once worked at a record label for about five years, never in A&R but I knew the team. While some scenarios rang true and many big name bands weren't signed, it really wasn't as exciting or dangerous as Niven suggests. Of course this is exaggeration, I met quite a few people in the industry who would sooner eat their own children then give me the time of day but I'm pretty sure none of them would really kill anyone, physically that is, they would kill people (and their dreams) with words on a daily basis. I think what really worked with American Psycho was the fact that Patrick Bateman was a charming killer. It somehow made him more sinister. In Kill Your Friends, A&R man Steven Stelfox is just a bastard. Actually he's worse than that but I will refrain from using the colourful language the character deserves. Nicholas Hoult plays it well, he is utterly detestable, which makes it a funny thing to review, as I had little enjoyment in watching the character but he played him perfectly. I thought the overall plot was very clever and it is a successful satire that always plays close to the bone. I think it should have been much more of a period piece and I thought the production looked pretty cheap but I did enjoy the humour, the darkness and watching James Corden getting brutally murdered.
    Man-Thing
    Dir: Brett Leonard
    2005
    ***
    I've always considered Man-Thing to be one of Marvel's worst-used characters. I believe the character is full of potential, a potential that Marvel have largely wasted. DC on the other hand have not, their version, Swamp-Thing, is essentially the same character and has enjoyed a spectacular run in the comic world (although with a different origin). Those that think DC's Man-Thing and Swamp-Thing were a coincidence should know that Gerry Conway (Man-Thing creator) and Len Wein (Swamp-Thing creator) shared a room together in the early 70s. Wein also wrote a Man-Thing story but when Savage Tales got cancelled, he left Marvel. As far as movie adaptations went, Swamp-Thing got there first, first in 1982 and then again in 1989. After the popularity of X-Men and Spider-Man, Marvel were keen to see who else they could bring the big screen. 1982's Swamp-Thing stuck with the original origin story, even though Alan Moore's version had been far more popular. This kind of left Man-Thing with a bit of a problem. In the end, Marvel decided that it should be more of a horror and changed Dr. Ted Sallis/Man-Thing into a Native Indian chief who comes back as more of a ghost than a scientific experiment gone wrong. It's a shame really, as the original Man-Thing was a lot more fun. Originally, Dr. Ted Sallis was trying to recreate the superhuman serum that created Captain America, so he could have been included in one of the subsequent phases, after all, his one-time nemesis Howard the Duck managed it, why not him? So I didn't like the change in story at all, it's handled badly and Man-Thing didn't feel like the comic at all which is silly really considering the only thing rubbish about the original character was the name. However, for all its poor attempts at comedy and romance, it is a fairly good horror. The gore was pretty cool, with many horror fans giving it their approval and the final sequence where we really get to see Man-Thing in all his glory did feel like a good pay off. Much like Ang Lee's Hulk, it wasn't quite right, time for a rethink and a reboot and let’s get Man-Thing back into the franchise.
    Bubble Boy
    Dir: Blair Hayes
    2001
    **
    Blair Hayes's 2001 adventure comedy Bubble Boy is a somewhat altered remake of 1976's made-for-TV musical The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, starring John Travolta. Sadly, Hayes' film isn't a musical but it's certainly a more colourful affair. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jimmy Livingston, a boy born without an immune system who could be killed by the smallest of germs. Jimmy is placed in a germ free container at birth and was then moved into a huge bubble in his parents’ home at the age of four. Jimmy is protected from germs by the bubble and from anything else that might hurt him by his strictly religious mother. When Jimmy reaches the age of seventeen a beautiful young girl called Chloe moves in the house next door and the two become friends. After a few years, Jimmy is met with the horror that Chloe has a boyfriend and after she announces she is getting married to him the following week on the other side of the country, Jimmy decides to risk everything by going outside, traveling hundreds of miles to stop the wedding. Cue a mad-cap road-trip featuring Danny Trejo leading a band of bikers, Zach Galifianakis as a disgruntled bus vendor, a coach full of enthusiastic cult followers, a circus freak show (featuring Verne Troyer) and a traveling ice cream/curry salesman (played by Brian George). Gyllenhaal's enthusiastic, lovelorn innocents keeps the film going somewhat but while the various different characters add spice to the film, it also get very stupid very fast. It's also pretty offensive in places, although I'm sure this wasn't the intention but the racial stereotypes come thick and fast and go a few steps too far, for no good reason at all. The conclusion is predictable, unimaginative and a bit of a slap in the face. It started out so well and then went rapidly downhill in quality towards the end, it's really no surprise Hayes has struggled to make anything since, although his direction is actually rather good.

    Tuesday, 14 June 2016

    Come Drink with Me
    Dir: King Hu
    1966
    ****

    King Hu's 1966 martial arts extravaganza Come Drink with Me is a true kung-fu classic. A clear influence on every martial arts film made since, it marked a new best in the wuxia genre. It is set towards the end of the Ming dynasty but there is also an element of Shakespeare about the story. A general's son is captured by a group of bandits who at first are the assumed good guys, it is only when his sister, the general's daughter, comes to rescue him is it clear she is the intended hero of the story. At first she is assumed by all that she is in fact a he. This isn't clear to the viewer at first as it is pretty clear that she is in fact a she, but if it worked for the bard then I guess they thought they could get away with it. Thankfully everyone acknowledges her sex before it gets too annoying and the amazing kung-fu action begins. It's consistently inventive, exciting as well as suspenseful and it never skimps on the blood and gore. I don't always like the humour used in in old kung-fu movies, much of the time it doesn't work but here it is subtle and somewhat refined. It has a particularly cheerful musical number that I found to be quite an unexpected delight. I can see a lot of it in the work of Takeshi Kitano and Quentin Tarantino, indeed, Tarantino intended to make a remake of it for quite some time. If you want to get into kung-fu, this is a great place to start.

    Friday, 10 June 2016

    Top 10 - Batman

    All lists are in order with 1 being the best and 10 being not the best....


    Batman Films
    1. The Dark Knight
    2. Batman (1990)
    3. Batman Returns
    4. The Dark Knight Returns
    5. Batman Begins
    6. Batman (1966)
    7. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
    8. Batman Forever
    9. Batman (1943)
    10. Batman & Robin



    Animated films featuring Batman

    1. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
    2. Batman Year One
    3. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2
    4. Batman: Assault on Arkham
    5. Batman: Under the Red Hood



    Batman Villains

    1. The Joker (Heath Ledger)
    2. The Joker (Jack Nicholson)
    3. Penguin (Danny DeVito)
    4. Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart)
    5. Bane (Tom Hardy)
    6. Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy)
    7. Penguin (Burgess Meredith)
    8. The Joker (Cesar Romero)
    9. Max Shreck (Christopher Walken)
    10. Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger)


    Batman performances

    1. Michael Keaton
    2. Christian Bale
    3. Adam West
    4. Ben Affleck
    5. Kevin Conroy
    6. Lewis Wilson
    7. Robert Lowery
    8. Peter Weller
    9. Val Kilmer
    10. George Clooney


    Batman Directors

    1. Christopher Nolan
    2. Tim Burton
    3. Spencer Gordon Bennet
    4. Leslie H. Martinson
    5. Eric Radomski/Bruce Timm
    6. Chris McKay
    7. Lambert Hillyer
    8. Zack Snyder
    9. Joel Schmacher
    10. Brandon Vietti


    My favourite Batman moments

    10. The ultimate team up

    9. There is nothing to fear but fear itself

    8. But is it Art?

    7. Running into the unknown

    6. Hand me the mirror

    5. Batman doesn't save the girl or kill the baddie - a brilliant new direction in the superhero world

    4. Hello Two-Face

    3. Joker's Pencil trick

    2. "I'm Batman"

    1. Keep laughing

    My least favourite Batman moments

    5. What are you wearing?

    4. A personal niggle, but why didn't Cesar Romero ever shave his mustache? It has always bugged me!

    3. Most annoying actor of all time plays most annoying character of all time

    2. Holy Bat-nipples!

    1. Batman's approval of the internment of Japanese Americans.


    Weird and wonderful moments
    5. Nod to the comic

    4. Hello There Catwoman, Hell Here...

    3. Bob Kane's sketch in Batman 1989

    2. Penguin's questionable mode of transport

    1. Batman vs Shark

    Batman (1943)
    Batman (1966)
    Batman (1989)
    Batman Returns
    Batman Forever
    Batman & Robin
    Batman Begins
    The Dark Knight
    The Dark Knight Rises
    Batman v SupermanDawn of Justice
    Suicide Squad
    Batman & MrFreezeSubZero
    Batman Beyond: The Movie
    Batman BeyondReturn of the Joker
    Batman Year One
    BatmanAssault on Arkham
    Batman: Gotham Knight
    Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
    BatmanMystery of the Batwoman
    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1
    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2
    BatmanUnder the Red Hood

    Son of Batman
    Batman vs. Robin
    Batman: The Killing Joke
    Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite
    The Lego Batman Movie
    Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders