Movie Defense Force: Batman & Robin

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Batman & Robin

People didn't like this movie? That's cold, man. Stone cold.

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I love the new avatar btw, Jim. When are you going to get a gold name? You're a staff member now, right?

OT: I remember liking this movie as a kid for some reason. In retrospect, I can look back on it and laugh but I can see why people hated it so much when it first came out. Then again, Bat-nipples are pretty fucking awesome. If this were to come out tomorrow I'd see it just for the batnips.

I've always found the movie to be hilarious to watch. I've probably seen it half a dozen times, and each time i just can't hold back the laughter and smile i get from all the ridiculous puns and camp.

I challenge anyone with a sense of humor to watch the movie and not laugh at it the entire time.

The only thing I liked about this movie was Arnold. He knows how to ham up anything and still make it enjoyable. To me that is his #1 defining quality as an actor. That is the only thing I like about it. Puns. All of the puns.

I actually find it interesting that when it came out everyone I ever met that went to go see it absolutely LOVED B&R. There were a few people that hated it for the now popular reasons, but it wasn't until later that it became the popular consensus at least in the area I lived in. B&R feels like one of those awkward guilty pleasure movies. It doesn't help that the movie's props didn't age well.

So many people used to love it, but suddenly there is a bad review that is funny or popular and everyone thinks that every movie in cinema has to be dark and gritty. It's much akin to people complaining about grey and brown shooters with angry white protagonists, but then turn around and buy CoD Blimps 7: the Halos of War. Movie cinema in 1997 was a year before Saving Private Ryan, the movie that invented gritty realism. Everyone thought it would tank because of that. This was still a time when we loved colorful cheesy movies. People didn't hate B&R at first, but they all drastically changed their minds once the age of brown set in.

This is exactly how I feel about Batman Forever, which is a beautiful film that deserves a place in history. I don't get the same sort of entertainment from B&R though.

I saw this and 'Contact' back-to-back for free at some special screening a local theater was holding (execs from the studio wanted peoples opinions on 'Contact' after the film). Looking back, I call it the Sweet & Sour movie special. Contact was awesome. Batman & Robin... well... some days you just can't get rid of a bomb. ;)

oh god i'm trying to see your point on this one Jim. I like Movie Defense force and I typically agree with a lot of your points. I'm the kinda guy that can enjoy a bad movie. I love camp like the story of Riki-oh and I thought Freddy vs Jason was the best Comedy of 2003. But I can't get behind this one. I get the whole Adam west thing but this isn't a funny movie. its just terrible in all ways. I've never been able to watch it in one sitting. I start to literally get a headache halfway through. I've even tried watching the Rift Track version of the film and while the first 20 minutes is hilarious the guys sorta run out of steam half way through the movie. Its like another Manos Hands of Fate.

I do agree we could use less dark DC movie but not something as craptastic as Batman and Robin.

I love this film simply because of how ridiculously stupid it is and it's a fun watch.

I would agree that you can tell a lot of the actors aren't taking themselves too seriously, Arnold being one of them, and just having fun. Uma Thurman really makes the film for me since I think she's great in it, and watching Bane being dressed in a purple gorilla suit is just too perfect.

Batman Forever, on the other hand, really does nothing for me, and is my least favorite Batman movie.

God I forgot they had Bane wear a trench coat as a "disguise". I may need to rewatch this movie. Although I may enlist the help of my good friend Alcohol.

This movie gave me the chills. It can break the ice to bring it up, but it'll be a snow day in hell before I consider it to be cool.
Don't give me the cold shoulder for saying this, but if Schumacher's intent was to bring the campyness of Adam West back, he did a poor job.

This movie had snow many problems it makes me want to bury everyone involved in the script and directing under a frozen tundra.

Okay I can't think of any more ice puns.

The one good thing about this movie is that it's obvious all the actors had fun making it. Unfortunately what we got was a B-movie pissing all over the great Burton movie's legacy, not to mention the worst new Batgirl origin possible.

Yes! I've been waiting for this. I loved this movie. I still love this movie. It's absolutely insane and campy and I love every ridiculous second of it.

Thank God for Jim.

At the time I first saw it I couldn't believe any sane person could hate this movie...I was 8 then.

When I watched it again at an older age I was surprised to find out the movie wasn't very good but I still liked it a lot because mister Freeze is such a boss.

Am I the only person that went "Oh Gawd! XD" when they saw this was posted?

I've never been a fan of this film, but not for the reasons most people complain about. (Except Freeze, but I never liked Arnold to begin with). For me, my big issue is the team up. Why does Freeze team up with Poison Ivy? One wants to Freeze the planet and the other wants to...um... cover it in plants or whatever. Both their goals are the exact opposite. Both their methods are incompatible. Once Batman and Robin are out of the way, inevitably, they'd have to turn on each other for who ultimately wins out.

I get that further feeds into the audacity of this movie, but I feel like this logical fallacy made it impossible for me to really get into it from a plot standpoint.

That and I continue to question why Robin was an adult.

Michael Bay is BRAVE! He is the only one we can trust with any new Batman franchise.

Red X:
Am I the only person that went "Oh Gawd! XD" we they saw this was posted?

You're not alone, my friend. Dear lord, this movie.... hurts on so many levels.

I'l be honest.

I enjoy Batman and Robin more than the Dark Knight Rises, DKR bored me. Batman and Robin does not.

Soxafloppin:
I'l be honest.

I enjoy Batman and Robin more than the Dark Knight Rises, DKR bored me. Batman and Robin does not.

^^^THIS^^^

While the movie, in retrospect, was dumb as hell, I enjoyed it when I saw it in theaters (I was 12), and the movie does have a quirky sense of humor and a great throwback to the Adam West days, before Adam West became a parody of himself.

George Clooney was the worst batman though. Chris O'Donnell is awful in everything he has ever been in, and of course Batgirl... good lord Alicia Silverstone... good lord... why bother acting? We all know you can't.

STERLING!! This time you've gone too far!!! I backed you up on movies like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat! But, between this and your review of Transformers, you have truly lost your ever lovin' mind! And to end it on ice puns?!? THAT'S IT! TURN IN YOUR BADGE AND FIREARM!! YOU'RE OFF THE FORCE!!!

JK =P BTW, love the new avatar. Very spiffy.

As much as I want to enjoy the campy romp of Batman & Robin, I cannot. And its not just the rubber nipples and codpiece on the suits. There is so much that kills it as a movie; the terrible script, hiring actors who did not fit the part, total disregard for the cannon (I.E. Bane being the mindless henchman to Poison Ivy), the God awful puns, and so on. Hell, MovieBob covered this turd a hell of a lot better than I can during his retrospective of the Batman franchise.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/6041-Batman-Revisited-Part-4

This movie might have worked if proper care was done with the story and aimed for a more Flash Gordon approach. But Warner Brothers was more concerned on it being a cash cow and a way to make action figures. While the movie could be seen as a swipe at the grim & gritty era of 90s comics, it just doesn't hold up enough for me to watch by itself. I have to sync it with the Rifftrax commentary just to enjoy it and even Mike and the gang are struggling to handle the pain of this stinker. But, this is my opinion and your mileage may vary.

Personally, if you're looking for a fun yet campy version of Batman, you've got other options. Either track down the 1966 Batman movie, find episodes of the '66 TV series online (Seriously, WB and Fox! Get off the pot and release the show on DVD/Blu-ray!), pick up the comic Batman '66 (a continuation of the TV series that is available in comic stores and digital), or watch Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series. The first season is getting a Blu-ray release this December.

@ Jim have you ever watched the cartoon show "Batman the Brave and the Bold"? It is a love letter to the comics that were being made at the time of the Adam West show and it is gloriously over the top. Just watch any episode with Aquaman in it to see what I mean.

Ok fair enough, but I could still have done without the Bat-crotch and butt shots.

And here I was thinking you'd defend Batman Forever; which was all the colorful we needed from Batman. Let me put this into context:

I'm just young enough to have not watched the Adam West batman stuff when Batman and Robin came out so I was comparing it to the movies I had watched such as the 1989 Batman, Batman Returns and Batman Forever. Despite your arguments, Jim, compared to THOSE movies, B&R sucked balls. Tommy Lee Jones chewed the scenery and was 6x better at it than Ahnauld. It was the same colorful cartoony style but the set pieces (and one could argue, the story) were better.

In fact, you could say that BF and B&R were done in the EXACT same style and you you chose B&R over BF? Madness, I say, madness!

Edit: Oh, and I think it's worth mentioning that I didn't even being to noticed the bat nipples or crotch stuff when I first saw the movie. It never occured to me to be upset about that... or even recognize the change.

I enjoyed B&R for it's silliness, though in all fairness it is a pretty bad film. Of course the crotch thing still annoys me to this day.

Arnold is the only saving grace of this movie. When Matel was given creative control. And yes that's the reason that the costumes and vehichles look the way they do Because a Toy company said that they needed to. Well something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Never got the loathing for this at the time. Oh sure, I knew it wasn't very good - keeping Chris O'Donnell, the worst thing about Batman Forever was its biggest crime in my eyes - but it was more an acknowledgement of its failings rather than the all-out revulsion and bile and offence that some people seem to draw from it.

Now? Yeah, it's still bad, but its development of its villains is what rescues it; done in a way that's logical and thematic, with Victor Fries warming up enough to save Alfred and Poison Ivy being perverted by the very nature that she's supposed to exposit. In all, it looks like somebody's applied the James Bond adage - that the films are only ever as good as their villains.

That doesn't make the heroes completey ignorable though, and that's this film's problem. This film shouldn't even be called Batman And Robin, it should be Mr Freeze And Poison Ivy because they're who this film is about. Robin learns to be a douche, Batgirl learns to be a waste of space, and what does Batman gain through this film? Stick-on nipples and a couple of surrogate kids. Batman, a larger than life character who stands astride the entirety of the comics medium, a being whose logo they could stick on a plate full of shit and people would still lap it up, is basically a bystander in his own movie, remembered for credit cards and butt shots.

Great villains and bad Bats average out to a less than good film, and yes it stopped comic book movies being made for about four or five years - and they've never been colourful since, despite The Avengers' best efforts -, but it's not the all-consuming black hole that some people would have you think.

I love this movie

Pebkio:
I'm just young enough to have not watched the Adam West batman stuff when Batman and Robin came out so I was comparing it to the movies I had watched such as the 1989 Batman, Batman Returns and Batman Forever. Despite your arguments, Jim, compared to THOSE movies, B&R sucked balls. Tommy Lee Jones chewed the scenery and was 6x better at it than Ahnauld. It was the same colorful cartoony style but the set pieces (and one could argue, the story) were better.

Don't forget Jim Carrey being in Batman Forever. You want hamminess and scenery being chewed? Carrey has a damn good career going doing that. And like MovieBob said in that one Big Picture episode, it has the most character development any version of Batman has ever seen.

I like how you planted all those pun in the review. It would have been a mistake to leaf them out.

You are right. Interestingly enough, like many have said, the hate didn't get that widespread at the time. Sure plugged in teen Batman fans were angry but the hate has grown as Comic book movies struggled to find their feet just as the internet was emerging as a cultural force.

The online world connected all those grimdark loving butthurt fans of the serious 'goddamned batman!' and turned what is a roll your eyes campy farce into some kind of insult against comic book Jesus. Batman worship and the enforcement of serious business continuity is creepy. At the time of release and for the following years (from about 1997-2002) the superhero genre was in kind of a slump. B&R was seen as an attack on the medium by Hollywood and a pissing on what fans wanted to see. Not to mention many subsets of fans were allergic to camp and fun. To an extent a current of nasty homophobia runs through some of the visceral attacks on the film, I've heard it called the "Gay batman movie" or people referencing how Joel Schumacher brought an unwanted 'gay agenda' or aesthetic to the film.

In a world where there are multiple superhero films topping the box office every year the insecurity of fans seems very out of place and the film seems utterly harmless.

Soxafloppin:
I'l be honest.

I enjoy Batman and Robin more than the Dark Knight Rises, DKR bored me. Batman and Robin does not.

I almost hate myself for admiting it, but yeah, he's right. Batman and Robin is awful. It's horribly acted, over the top camp. and came at a time when others seemed to have perfectly hit that balance point between Batman's darkness and his fetishy campiness (see: Tim Burton). But it is nowhere near as bad as legends say it is. It's kinda fun and goofy in an embarrassing sort of way. If it pops on on a Sunday afternoon you can leave it on in the background without feeling any pain.

Dark Knight Rises just seems to suck the life out of you. If you leave it on in the background the cat becomes suicidal.

And honestly, for all my hate on Shumacher's take on DC Superheroes. I think at the end of the day it is better and healthier than the more recent offering from Zach Snyder. I'll take over the top campiness over gruesomely depressing morally ambiguous disaster porn any day.

finally Jim got an avatar.

Jim, arguing that a movie is good because it's so unbelievably horrible seems like a phone-in. It sounds like you couldn't find any redeeming qualities at all so you had to flip the script because it was the only option left.

But seriously, this movie was just not entertaining. So predictable that I fell asleep when I watched it. I don't even know what the middle is about, but I suppose I can guess based on the rest. Batman and Robin only exists to make Batman Forever, which is a pretty middling movie with a lot of terrible acting look reasonable by comparison.

I've softened a lot on this movie over the years. The only thing I find that I still can't overlook is making Bane nothing more than a mindless brute. To me, that's like making The Joker a mime. I know, I know. "It was amusing. It was a bold choice. It was outside the box." I seldom get nit-picky about things. I'm keeping this one, dammit.

I'm not sure the movie that nearly killed DC's presence in the movie market is what we need right now.

Unless...Jim, are you trying to wipe out DC?

Steve2911:
This is exactly how I feel about Batman Forever, which is a beautiful film that deserves a place in history. I don't get the same sort of entertainment from B&R though.

One of the things I liked about Batman Forever was how it had a very comic book look to it. Batman and Robin scaled that, along with the cheese, up to 11 and I think it was just...too much. Then again, I actually liked Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne/Batman. So maybe I'm just a freak.

TheBlueRabbit:
I've softened a lot on this movie over the years. The only thing I find that I still can't overlook is making Bane nothing more than a mindless brute. To me, that's like making The Joker a mime. I know, I know. "It was amusing. It was a bold choice. It was outside the box."

Whereas the Joker would be inside the box. And that's where he'll stay. At least until the wind picks up.

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