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Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Frivolity: “Batman, You Sonofabitch!”

On a day we hear of George Clooney getting arrested (I won’t be joking about it, because stopping the genocide in Sudan is actually a serious and noble issue), we get to look back at his... um, less successful movie outing.

You might think that there is nothing that can be done to redeem the movie Batman and Robin, and on this point you are wrong.  It can be fixed... with a cheesy Phantom of the Opera style musical number:

I think what makes it work for me is the dead on imitation of how Ahnold would sound holding a long note.  Or trying to.

It has to be the funniest thing to happen in Batman’s universe since... well... this:

Yes, yes, the infamous shark repellant scene in the 1960’s Batman movie.  For some reason they recently released this movie on blu-ray (seriously, why?), and a long time ago I saw where Conan O’Brien argued that the 1960’s Batman show was actually a brilliant comedy—that the stuff that seemed ridiculous as we were grew out of the show was intentionally ridiculous.  Myself, I don’t know.  On one hand it is pretty absurd that there are multiple types of repellant.  And the shark blowing up (you find out later it was rigged to blow—that all of this was one of the most awkward assassination attempts in history, unless you count all the ways we tried to kill Castro)... it’s hard not to think it is a joke.  But on the other hand, the pacing of that scene is awful.  You watch the shark get creases in its foam from the rope ladder as Robin, supposedly an acrobat, makes an incredibly awkward climb down, complete with his cape batting Batman in the face.  I think maybe the best explanation is that some of the people on the show understood it was a joke and played that up, but others did not.

But it’s really hard not to catch the pitch perfect comic timing in this bit:

Um, yeah, Batman that isn’t exactly going to tamp down those rumors about your relationship with Robin.

And Julie Newmar is cute, but it’s really hard to beat this Catwoman:


(That is referred to as Rule 5, folks.)

That would be how she was portrayed in Batman: Arkham City.


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1 comment:

  1. >> I saw where Conan O’Brien argued that the 1960’s Batman show was actually a brilliant comedy—that the stuff that seemed ridiculous as we were grew out of the show was intentionally ridiculous.

    It was. A running gag was how Batman always seemed to have the right weapon (repellent, spray, etc.) in his tool belt. Or how the goal of the bad guys (e.g., the Hope Diamond) would be sitting in a museum with a huge label ("The Hope Diamond") next to it.

    Yes, it looks UNintentionally bad now, but that's because of the low budget production values, bad editing, etc. But at the time, the low budget production values weren't that noticeable. Now, with a 21st century eye, those production flaws just make the series (and movie) all the more funny.