Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The Lego Batman Movie is not at all perfect, and in some particular respects its not-perfection strongly suggests that the returns on theatrical Lego movies are going to start diminishing pretty damn quickly (coming in less than eight months: The Lego Ninjago Movie). But it’s got this going for it: for the first time since […]

The most upsetting thing about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – outside of a clunky title which draws attention to everything worst about the movie – isn’t that it’s outlandishly bad (worse tentpole movies are released to higher Rotten Tomato scores every summer). What’s truly upsetting about it is that an enormous proportion of […]

Batman, the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight of Gotham City, true identity of the callow playboy and son of privilege Bruce Wayne, has been around since May, 1939, when he appeared in a brief story in Detective Comics #27, and in that time he has had many iterations in the pages of DC Comics magazines […]

Barring a pair of 1940s serials that are largely forgotten today except by the most rabid completists, the theatrical debut of DC Comics’ Batman, the second most important and arguably the most popular of all the superheroes in that company’s stable was the 1966 film titled simply Batman, written by Lorenz Semple, Jr., directed by […]

I had many expectations, and no expectations for The Dark Knight Rises, but I can say with absolute certainty that I was never even remotely prepared for this: that it would remind me, of all things, of a 1921 D.W. Griffith picture. Orphans of the Storm, to be precise, a story of the French Revolution […]

1997’s Batman & Robin, a film so widely-reviled that flopped so hard that it put the Batman franchise in cold storage for eight years, until a certain Christopher Nolan figured out a way to rejuvenate the character by going as far in the other direction as possible, hinges on the action of two grotesque cartoon […]

Let us first deal with a misconception: there are nipples on the batsuit in Batman Forever, though this innovation is frequently held to have started with Batman & Robin, two years later. My suspicion is that this has happened because, and there’s not really a delicate way of putting this, Batman & Robin is “gayer”. […]

This isn’t even an actual binary: but let’s say you wanted to figure out whether somebody was ultimately a fan of Batman, or ultimately a fan of Tim Burton. They way you do this is by asking their opinion of Batman Returns, which is, honestly, kind of a lousy Batman film, and also kind of […]

I would like to begin, if I could, by restoring to Tim Burton’s 1989 adaptation of Batman some of its dignity. Nearly a quarter of a century after it was released to an amount of hype that had not at that point in history been matched by any film without the words “Star Wars” in […]

Let us begin by shooting the giant elephant in the room: yes, Heath Ledger is actually that good, and people would still be saying he was that good even if he were alive. His work as the Joker is just about the finest imaginable, and one of the most intense, most dangerous performances of a […]

In the current comic-book movie flood that began in 2000, it’s always seemed to me that 2005 ought to be regarded as the highest water-mark, producing three of the smartest, most stylistically compelling and absolutely the darkest films of the genre: in April of that year, we were treated to Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s […]