What's So Great About Batman?

One of the highlights of my summer so far was the chance to go on The Substream and collaborate with Rajo on the making of this mini-documentary, where we wandered around Toronto asking the very best of the best what they think about Batman. Plus, me and the Batmobile. Charmed life.

Tim Burton's Batman: A Look Back

Keaton – funny, neurotic, and painfully shy – is hardly the Bruce Wayne of the comic book (his “playboy” exploits, including bedding Vicki Vale, strain credulity), but he is nonetheless able to revolutionize the public conception of the character by leaning into, instead of away from, the fractured duality at the core of the Bruce/Batman mythology. It’s a fascinating portrait, and remains definitive.

And where… is the Batman? I’m taking a look back at the Tim Burton Batman movies this week on The Substream, starting today with the one that started it all: 1989’s Batman.

In which Christopher Nolan’s tendency to re-use his posters reaches its logical end point.


…and now:



Meanwhile, remember “The Bat, The Cat, The Penguin” from the poster campaign for one of my favourite Batman movies, 1992’s Batman Returns?

Well, I’m digging the new version. They even kept the snow.

Watched: Alice in Wonderland, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle

Yes, I get it - I get all of it. I get why critics and fans howled with derision upon the release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland; and I get why it made a billion dollars. It may be the most mediocre, the most automatically-handwritten, movie in the history of movies. There’s something to it, certainly; but every time it threatens to tip over into really having something to it, the film pulls back. It reminds me of that episode of Star Trek where Data prolonged a chess game indefinitely by taking the least risky move at every turn. At a hundred hours long, Alice in Wonderland would still be exactly this tweedle-humdrum.

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Eva Green’s rather magnificent cleavage

Eva Green’s rather magnificent cleavage

Chloe Moretz looking slouchy

Chloe Moretz looking slouchy

Michelle Pfeiffer with a gun

Michelle Pfeiffer with a gun

Watch This Instead: Hugo

I stopped by The Substream this week to talk 3-D, Melies, and the beautiful dream of Hugo.

[Avatar has] kind of gotten stomped out [of theatres] because of Alice in Wonderland. The word we’re getting back from exhibitors is we probably left a couple of hundred million dollars on the table as a result.
Mamo #161: Mamo in Underland

It’s 2 days to the Oscars, and our intrepid Mamo hosts consider the decaying nation of 3-D, the sideways evolution of TRON, and zombie career of Tim Burton: been dead for a while, still going. Plus,…