Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

What is the worst film ever made? On my sidebar I list Hannah, a cheesy short I saw at a filmfest about a little orphan bonding with her grandmother - though my hatred was considerably heightened by Friend 1, whose name is Hannah, and as far away from that stilton as a person can be. It was the Doctor Who movie for a few hours until I calmed down. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer was limp, unconvincing and suffered badly in comparison to the TV show. an Odyssey movie which was longer than Fellowship of the Ring and had a fraction of its ingenuity, not to mention budget.

This whole thing was sparked off by my friends - I wanted to get them over for a film, and decided Dungeons and Dragons would be good for a laugh (I've long given up dragging them through classics). But no one was around, so I, still indulging my craving for something bad, went over to see Batman Forever instead.

Oh. Dear. Just awful - I wasn't aware they made films this bad. By the second half, I was keeled over in agony on the floor. The music was intrusive and awful. The script was bare minimum. The production design was unpleasant. The costumes were crass.

The actors did their best. Nicole Kidman's role was the most interesting - finally, a spurious love interest who doesn't mince around like she's the love of the hero's life. She has an obvious and obsessive lust for Batman. He fancies her right back. They never even try the "love" word. I kinda like that - how often is pure carnal attraction at the root of blockbuster relationships? She also fits in great with Gotham's existing collection of psychos - her obsessive behavior fits in just great. Gotham's glitterati go to the circus for the social occasion of the season - says it all, really.

Anyone else ever noticed that? The majority of Batman villains - at least, those iconic enough for me to have heard of them, have no super powers? Mostly they're twisted civillians - Two Face, Riddler and Joker to name three. Poison Ivy, I admit, is an exception. Lex Luthor doesn't either (he's Superman, but same universe).

Tommy Lee Jones was great, absolutely great for the first half of this, in what can only be called LedgerJoker mode - a very similar performance, scarily so. It all went downhill when he was paired up with Jim Carrey - who individually, wasn't bad. Now one person on screen, mincing and monologing can just about get away with it. It's when you put these two over-the-top villains on screen together that it falls apart. Its almost convincing alone - but together, its too much, and you just want to scream.

"Too much" could be the watchword of this whole debacle. The problem I had with Dungeons and Dragons is it tried to do something unfeasibly ambitious very limply. Opposite case with Batman Forever - it only tried to do the barest and most obvious plot available, yet with so much enthusiasm it goes too far. The music is REALLY LOUD to tell you something DRAMATIC is happening! The script lacks imagination. The direction and editing is bare minimum and confusing. Val Kilmer makes for a soulless center, and Robin is only ever the "young rookie" of cliche. "I want to help, I'll be your partner!" "No, you can't help I'm fine alone" *Robin saves Batman* "You can be my partner now". Alfred is classy as always. But it's the volume of the villains, combined with the OTT of the sets really caps it off. I watch Doctor Who, OK? I put up with tash-twirling meglomaniacs on a episodely basis, so I've got a pretty high tolerance for over-acted threats of DEATH. But even by my low standards, this was awful.

These people aren't scary. They're not funny. And they're not charming. If a baddy is none of these things, then why does he even bother?

It basically failed by treating it as a comic book movie, and treating the audience as braindead chumps. I can certainly see why The Dark Knight was treated as the second coming - its realistic approach is a breath of air after this day-glo disaster. An hour and a half I'll never get back. Now I'm going to watch Batman Begins to recover.

In other news, they're making the Green Arrow movie!

My contact with comic books is governed by what's in the local library graphic novel section. It's pretty small, so I've devoured the Batman pretty quick and moved onto the rest of the DC universe. I like Green Arrow best, she said, like the girl who joins the Beatles fanclub on the strength of a "best ofs" album. "The Archer's Quest" is the only one I've read, but it was instant fan conversion - its a brilliant comic. Plus, bows and arrows are cool.

I was pretty sure, in this world of "darker" heroes that there wouldn't be room for a grown man dressed as Robin Hood - the costume, if nothing else, would be a bar to him ever getting a movie. Turns out I'm wrong, and if they do it well, then it could well be the most intriguing supermovie ever made.

Supermax - its a prison break movie, with a wrongly incarcerated Oliver Queen trying to escape with the help of various villains he put behind bars. But because its a prison for super-powered people, there are all sorts of additional challenges.

Ace idea - every super hero movie ever made goes down the same route of "12 hours to save the Earth" drama, when every fan of ANYthing knows the small-scale adventures are sometimes the most effective. This is different. It's about superheroes, but they're not saving the world. They're just doin regular stuff. It also scores points for using a tier-2 character like the Green Arrow, and while early reports say the Joker, Riddler and Lex Luthor are all in the script - there's also a whole host of people I haven't heard of, which is good for comic fans. It's nice to let the little people have a go: Blockbuster, Shock Trauma, Gemini, Cascade, Tattooed Man, Multiplex, Djinn, Merlyn, Pied Piper, Latarian Milton, Iron Cross & Heatmonger & Backlash (Aryan Nation), Calculator, Count Vertigo, Floronic Man, Split and Icicle. If that isn't enough, all will be imprisoned - going by their regular names, and without their costumes. Someone is actually trying to make a comic book movie for the people who made the graphic novel what it is - fanfriendly cameos that even I, with casual interest, hope to spot every reference.

So far, so awesome. One question: why the Green Arrow? His power relies completely on gadgetry - he's an ace shot with a bow. Not only will the prison enviroment rob him of his skill, it's not the type of thing you can easily replicate either. If the script truly does put a powerless superhero in the middle of their movie, this could well be the next greatest supermovie ever made...



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