Posted in Other Media

Cinema Saturday, 12/19

Batman Returns

Year: 1992
Runtime: 2h 6m
Rated: PG-13

Director: Tim Burton

Writers: Bob Kane, Daniel Waters, Sam Hamm

Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer

Remember, Max: you flush it, I flaunt it!

Initial: A rewatch. My first Christmas movie of the year!

Production Notes: Wait, this movie was over two hours long? Didn’t feel that way *at all.*

What Did I Think:
A long time ago, the common movie- and tv-watcher’s concept of Batman was the Adam West television show. Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) was much darker, much more gritty, but missile-wearing penguins didn’t yet seem overly odd for the franchise. I can’t imagine The Batman (upcoming in 2022-ish) embracing the notion of the Penguin’s primary army being, well, penguins. Batman Returns has many kooky things, but it’s so fun and so very Tim Burton. What it doesn’t have is a lot of Batman. That’s fine, we know who Batman is; the villains are the show. Along with Danny DeVito’s almost sympathetic carnie Penguin is Michelle Pfieffer, purring and blowing things up as Catwoman, and Christopher Walkin, doing his best not to chew the scenery as tycoon Max Shrek. I don’t know how they’re going to do better than that 30 years later…

While You Were Sleeping

Year: 1995
Runtime: 1h 43m
Rated: PG

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Writers: Daniel G. Sullivan, Fredric Lebow

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher

Lucy: I’m having an affair. I like Jack.
Jerry: Who’s Jack?
Lucy: Peter’s brother.
Jerry: So?
Lucy: So he thinks I’m engaged.
Jerry: To who?
Lucy: To Peter.
Jerry: Lucy, I really don’t have time for this.

Initial: A rewatch. This movie is a Christmas tradition for me.

Production Notes: Jon Turteltaub, director of The Meg but also episodes of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. A man of facets, surely. The writers have pretty much no other credits, which is a shame.

What Did I Think:
In college, I think my friend Tania and I saw this movie about three times in the theater. It was originally released in late April, during the end of the semester crunch. Taking off to a quick movie was great stress relief.

If I’m going to watch a rom-com, I want one with a fairly ridiculous concept. I’m not interested in enemy-to-friends bookstore owners or friends who just eventually end up together. And if characters are going to have miscommunications, let them be big ones! Like never correcting the fact that our lead is NOT engaged to the guy in a coma. But, surely, a plot like that can be nearly believable and also romantic and funny with crisp dialog delivered by a top-notch cast. This movie should also be set in Chicago, the most photogenic movie city (just ask John Hughes). That’s not too much to ask, right?


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

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