Re-Watch: Batman Returns (1992)

Batman Returns
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Daniel Waters
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Sequel to: Batman
Cast: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle
Seen on: 8.12.2017
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Plot:
The Penguin (Danny DeVito) was brought up in the sewers after his parents abandoned him because of his disability. Now he wants to rejoin society and he thinks that Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) is the person who can help him with this: Shreck is a popular business man who has successfully hidden the shady side of his business – but Penguin threatens to expose him. But even as Penguin’s plan seems to work, Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Michael Keaton) becomes suspicious. And he finds that his suspicions may align with the newly appeared Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), even if their methods and goals do not.

Batman Returns does have some weaknesses and some moments that made me want to headdesk, but with that incarnation of Catwoman, I can’t help but love the film. And I definitely liked it better than the first one.

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Re-Watch: Batman (1989)

Batman
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance, Jerry Hall
Seen on: 8.12.2017
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Plot:
Gotham City is filled with corruption and basically run by crime boss Grissom (Jack Palance). But then a new figure enters the playing field, shifting the power dynamics quite substantially: Batman (Michael Keaton). Photographer Vicky Hale (Kim Basinger) is intrigued by the phenomenon and decides to find out who is behind the mask. Hoping to speak with Commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle), she attends a charity eventy hosted by Bruce Wayne – not knowing that he is the man she is looking for. Meanwhile Grissom’s right-hand man Jack Napier (Jach Nicholson) is sent on a mission of his own – a mission that is about to change him very much.

It’s been many years that I watched the older Batman movies, and while I love them all, this one was probably the one I remembered least. Re-watching it with a bit of distance made it feel a little disappointing, although there are still many good things about it.

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The Man in the White Suit (1951)

[There’s currently a Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum and I’m trying to go as often as my time allows, so in the next few weeks there will be a few of these old films reviewed here.]

The Man in the White Suit is Alexander Mackendrick‘s adaptation of Roger MacDougall‘s play, starring Alec Guiness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker, Michael Gough, Ernest Thesiger and Vida Hope.

Plot:
Sidney (Alec Guinness) wants to invent the perfect fabric. But since nobody seems to trust him that he can, he has to organise his own workplaces, which leads to him infiltrating various textile factories. Finally he ends up at Brimley’s (Cecil Parker) factory – and to everybody’s surprise, he succeeds: he develops a fabric that is unbreakable and never gets dirty. Brimley wants to go into production, but slowly the industrial consequences of such a fabric comes into focus – and both capital and labour come together with one goal: Never to have the fabric see the light of day.

The Man in the White Suit is an incredibly funny movie with a mostly good cast. But even where the cast fails at times, Alexander Mackendrick knows how to hide that fact so you don’t feel it. And the story idea is just wonderful.

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