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Holy 75 Years, Batman! Part 2

Date: Monday 27th October 2014
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The films

Many other blogs when starting in chronological order start with the 1960's film of the TV series but I'm going to go earlier than that. However, I will only be covering films that I've seen:

Batman: Serials (1943)

I first remember seeing this when it was on Channel 4, back when it was a truly independent channel - with decent programs. I can't remember if they showed them fully back to back or if they split it into hour chunks but I do know the full running time is about 3 hours. The Batman serials were about 20 minute episodes that were shown in cinemas during the second world war – it wasn't just confined to Batman either, Superman had his.

The plot involved Batman and Robin against Dr. Daka, a Japanese scientist and agent of Hirohito (the 124th Emperor of Japan), who invented a device which turns people into mindless zombies and has his base in a Funhouse of Horrors.

Batman and Robin: Serials (1949)

The next 15 chapter serial, starring our “dynamic duo”, is one that I don't remember that much, I do kinda remember Channel 4 showing it back in the day but I'm none too sure of it.

This time they face a hooded villain, with an electrical device capable of controlling cars, called the Wizard.

Batman (1966)

Ah yes, so we finally get to the somewhat iconic Batman film of this section, mainly due to it's grounding in the TV series. Although I'm not a big fan of this campy version of Batman, I do appreciate the tilted shots of the antagonists hideouts and the fantastic acting of all the cast.

In this film, the United Underworld (comprising of The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin and Catwoman) decide to use a secret invention that instantly dehydrates people and use it to hold the world to ransom by dehydrating the United World Organisation's Security Council.

Batman: The Movie (1989)

This is one film I do remember fondly, Tim Burton did a fantastic job of the dark visuals of Batman's world. I remember some of the sweets that came out during that time, including, one Christmas, getting boxes of Batman trading cards – which means I still have a full set of said cards. There was the text novel I got (can't remember whether I read it or not) and the boxed game, which I must try getting again just to see if it was as good as a game as I remember it.

This time the film pitted Batman and The Joker against each other and included the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents by a small time thug named Jack Napier – who later becomes The Joker.

Batman Returns (1992)

I remember seeing this when it came out in the cinema, despite it having a 15 rating. My mum was going with friends and took me along hoping that I'd get let in (which I did). The film is fantastic and grows the gothic city quite well and the performances from Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito were very good.

In Batman Returns, Batman now faces The Pengiun and Catwoman - both of whom have origin stories in this film, much like The Joker did in the previous film.

Batman Forever (1995)

When it first came out I did like it, I do have it on VHS and I can't remember if I bought it or if it was bought for me, but either way. I still sort of like it now, but it is the start of a direction that killed the series until Christopher Nolan rebooted it again.

Robin is introduced in this film and pits both against The Riddler and Two-Face.

Batman and Robin (1997)

Oh god! This film......

The film that killed the careers of Alicia Silverstone and Uma Thurman for a good 10 years.

I have nothing to say about this film, except showing you the Nostalgia Critic's take on this film which pretty much sums it up:

Batman Begins (2005)

I don't remember whether I saw this in the cinema or not (probably did) but I do remember that I couldn't get over the fact that Gary Oldman, who plays James Gordon, looks a little too much like Ned Flanders.

With this reboot, it follows Bruce Wayne from childhood (mostly in flashbacks) to adulthood and eventually pits him against Ra's al Gul and Scarecrow.

The Dark Knight (2008)

This film was notable for the portrayal of The Joker by Heath Ledger who did just as much of a good job of portraying him as Jack Nicholson, which was a tough act to follow.

In The Dark Knight, Batman is pitted against The Joker and Two-Face.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The end to the Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy, tying up all the lose ends from the previous films, with the exception of no Joker since Heath Ledger overdosed on drugs before The Dark Knight was released.

This time, Batman has to come out of hiding, since he wasn't needed as the city had managed to clean out most of the criminals, as Bane arrives in the city hell-bent on destroying it as Ra's al Ghul originally planned in Batman Begins.

In the next, and last, Batman post, I'll be taking a look at the Batman games that I've played – from arcades through to the consoles.

<< Previous: Batman 75 Years - Part 1: The Comics

Next: Batman 75 Years - Part 3: The Games >>

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