Friday, August 15, 2008

Movie Batmans, from Worst to Best

There have been many silver-screen Batmen o'er the years, and leave it to me to chronicle them according to my opinion, which is also fact. Please note, I am awarding points only in complete bats, because Bat-fractions (not to be confused with Matt Fraction) would be harmful to the general bat population.

(0/4 bats)


George Clooney. Clooney has gone on record (see: audacity) saying that while Batman is not gay, he CHOSE TO PLAY HIM THAT WAY ANYWAY. Clooney, I'm all for keeping yourself entertained to avoid suicide, (it WAS a Schumacher flick, and Schumacher was the Ratner and/or Bay of the 90's) but misplaced homosexual motivations aside – this monstrosity should NEVER have happened. (I'm referring to the Clooney part, not the gay part.) It killed Batman on-screen for eight years. This is the absolute worst possible scenario for Batman, and in Bat-mathematical terms, Clooney (who fought a cold-based villain, no less,) is a lot like absolute zero. Anything is greater than Clooney. Clooney times infinity can't even amount to a Val Kilmer, or even a mixed drink CALLED a Val Kilmer. The lime wedge IN a Val Kilmer is more Batman than you Clooney. So is the bar back who cuts it. And his knife. (BAT-DRINK!)

(1/4 bats)


Val Kilmer. Kilmer was a smug genius smartass in Real Genius and either a goof, hardass, or combination of the two in Top Gun and Tombstone. Of course, Real Genius is the only one of these movies I really remember, because the others are dramas. (All I remember about Tombstone is Lowell from Wings getting shot like 40 times in slow motion… me and all my friends shouting out, "Loooooowellllllllll!!!" as he took something like three clips straight to the torso. HARD. He later grew up to be Sandman, alongside 'That 70's Venom.') Irrelevant Tombstone memories aside, we already had vestiges of genius AND hardass going for Kilmer, so this flat-out should've been better. It probably lost a lot due to: the non-Lando-Calrissian-Harvey-Dent (continuity, people!), the abominable Jim Carrey Fire-Marshall-Riddler ("Let me ask ya somethin'!"), the fact that Tim Burton wasn't directing it, and that Val, you know, wasn't Michael Keaton. Don't feel bad Val, you beat Clooney, and you honestly had a lot more going against you. That's a victory in itself. Go listen to the soundtrack from The Saint (but don't watch it!) and treat yourself to a Val Kilmer on the rocks. You've earned it buddy.

(2/4 bats)


Christian Bale. "Blasphemy," say many of you. Well, let it be said that I am not a person who always thinks newer is better. (It's called hype, people - learn to filter it.) Sure, Bale does a decent job, but I just didn't find his Batman a convincing hero, or HIM a convincing hero. Bale would've been better as a villain, like the Marilyn Manson Riddler of Jeff Matsuda's The Batman, who's voiced by Freddy Krueger. (God, I loved typing that sentence.) There's nothing heroic about a guy who looks like Todd McFarlane. Plus he's full of himself. He had a line in a recent interview about how "some of the Batmen who came before him did an alright job," but, (he then said something like) "these were guys who dressed up in Bat-suits, they didn't become Bats." Bale, THAT'S THE STUPIDEST, MOST ARROGANT SHIT I'VE EVER HEARD. If you BECAME a Bat, you'd be Man-Bat, a villain, and you'd probably be better at that. Your mouth would emit echo-location and your poop would be made into bowls by indigenous people. Until that happens, settle the hell down. Go watch a video of you flexing while banging random whores to Genesis songs. (see: American Psycho) You do not pass Wayne Manor and you do not collect a Val Kilmer. (I love the idea that in Bat-Monopoly, the bank is a bar.) I should demote you to Kilmer, Bale. Don't think I can't do it. OK, you can stay, but ONLY since your, "all you rich people can suck it," scene in Begins was awesome. And because Ra's al Ghul isn't a real villain, so you had that working against you. (Side note: there are seven 'real' Batman villains.) But Bale, you're not getting past two bats. Since your Batmobile is (chrissakes) a tank-ified Hummer, blame the bad Bat-mileage.

(3/4 bats)

TIE: Michael Keaton, Kevin Conroy.


Beetlejuice as Batman? Like pre-Scientology Isaac Hayes says, "You're DAMMMMN right." (Mr. Hayes, R.I.P.) A lot of people say Bruce Wayne should be more attractive than Keaton. I say you can be average-looking if you're ludicrously rich, let alone if you KICK SERIOUS ASS. That backhand punch? Awesome. So the looks aren't a problem for me, because he looked good AS BATMAN, and Batman is the character I pay to see. Besides, those 'really-really-good-looking' Batmen – sucked. HARD. One movie a piece for those guys, because they were tools. And Batman is not a tool, not even with a Craftsman lifetime guarantee. (Kilmer was asked back, but turned it down. And Bale-lovers, I did take into consideration Bale's been asked back for a second film. See how he's above the solo-guys, and interrupting Keaton's post?) Back to Keaton – not only did he rock that shit, he rocked that shit EVEN THOUGH THE SOUNDTRACK WAS BY PRINCE. (I like Prince, a lot actually, but seriously. Nothing about Batman says "little pan-sexual purple Jehovah's Witness dude from Minnesota.") Also, no other Batman has earned his own dessert at Taco Bell. (BAT-CARBS!)


Kevin Conroy – who? The voice of Batman from Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, two or three other DC cartoons and movies, and YES there were Batman TAS movies, so he's in. (You've found the curveball.) Is it unfair to include him, since I'm judging him solely on his voice and have no idea what he looks like on top of that he didn't physically appear in anything? NOT AT ALL. Because his voice is THAT BATMAN. His voice is Batman enough to outweigh Clooney, Kilmer, and Bale combined. Which, if you're keeping score, totals up to Kilmer and Bale. (BAT-MATH!!)

(4/4 bats)


Adam f-ing West. Yes, there was a 60's Batman movie – and Adam West is amazingly awesome in it, just like he is in everything he's ever done. If you like Bruce Campbell, think of Adam West as his more-player uncle who taught him the ropes. West's joke-on-purpose Batman of the 60's helped revitalize the character across all genres. Hell, if BOB KANE thanked him for it then it should be good enough for you! He's got some bit role in every Bat-cartoon, works on Family Guy, etc – and do you know why? Because EVERYBODY LOVES HIM. He can grab your girlfriend's boob right in front of you, play it off like he didn't mean it, and you'll end up apologizing to him or asking him to grab her boob again so you can get a picture this time. He's THAT pimp. This is a guy with a great sense of humor, a really big heart, and is still active in the fan community. Return to the Batcave, anybody? Also 75% of 'West' is also present in 'best.' Coincidence, or providence?

And now, I must bid you adieu (like the butt-checking-out Gambit), but will leave you with this mind-bender...


And also, what could've been...


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