Batman: The Movie (1966) Movie Review

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Batman: The Movie (1966) DVD/Blu-ray

By: Matt Conway (A Toast) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Batman always seems to be the talk of the town. The caped crusader is known as one of the most well liked and respected super heroes out there, who has been able to become a huge hit with successful movie, television, and game franchises. Not only have these forms of media been popular, but widely regarded as great. Only a few years back, director Christopher Nolan changed the super hero game forever with The Dark Knight, which is easily regarded as the best superhero film ever. Then there is Batman: The Animated Series, which was a fantastic show that still has a big following today. Like The Dark Knight, Batman: Arkham City was able to change people’s views on superheroes in video games, and was overall a fantastic game. All of these depictions show Batman in a very grim way, but people seem to forget the more light-hearted Batman.

While many view Batman as a very dark character, he originally started out as a kind of hokey one. In the 60’s especially, Batman changed the game in a new way, really making super heroes relevant with the classic show Batman, which gave the superhero genre far more relevance. This Saturday morning cereal show was even adapted to a film, which is a hokey blast of fun, and a great example of the cereal genre.

Everyone’s favorite dynamic duo faces one of their toughest tasks yet, as they face not one, not two, not three, but four fearsome villains. Can Batman and Robin save the day, must I talk like we’re in the 60’s!?

A Toast 

The acting in the film for what the film is trying to do is great. Adam West may be at the bad end of many jokes for some of the silly actions he did in the show (the batusi), but he does a pretty solid job as Batman. West captures more of the suave nature of the Bruce Wayne character, and really goes for more of an imperfect hero than a true badass. His mannerisms are just hilarious to watch, and while he is not the best Batman (I’d say Michael Keaton), he is a great Batman in his own unique way.

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Please…No more!

Perhaps my favorite Robin was Burt Ward. While there has not been nearly as many adaptations of Robin as Batman, Ward is the best. He really nails that boy wonder spirit, and that goody two shoes attitude. For what the character was mapped out to be, Ward is able to capture that. Not only that, but both West and Ward have great chemistry together, as they are a convincing team.

Most superheroes have one or two big villains for their film, this one has four. The four are the Joker (Cesar Romero), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), and the Penguin (Burgess Meredith). All four do a great job together, and one of the highlights of the film is how the four all interact. Each of the four one-upping one another is great to watch, and the film balances the four, which no other superhero film has even gotten close to achieving.

*cough*
*cough*

The action in the film is simple, but well done. It has all of those great boom, bang, pow sound effects that you expect to see from something of this time period. These scenes are also well shot, with a simple wide shot being able to capture every bit of action, something filmmakers of today can’t quite seem to learn. The choreography of it all is great to, with the action scenes that have all sorts of exciting and different types of combat,  especially when multiple characters are involved. Its easy to see that there is a lot of creativity involved.

The technology for the time is well done. The director and team behind the film could not rely on CG effects to capture most of what they wanted to achieve, instead, they used creativity. From having a painted Bat copper, boat, and car, to using green screen, it seems like the team behind the film put in a good deal of effort to actually make this look good, and that is nice to see in a film.

The movie at its heart is a big ball of camp, and its just such a blast to watch for that. Some may ask, what is the difference between a film like this compared to The Room or Birdemic? Well, Batman: The Movie is an overall well-executed flick that is aware of its tongue-in-check ways, and embraces it. From an exploding shark, to running with a bomb, the film works at being a great entertainment.

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“Some days you just cant get rid of a bomb.”

Verdict

Batman: The Movie is a perfect representation of the serial era of film and television. It manages its camp to perfection, and its just one of the most entertaining films that I’ve seen.

 

Drinking Game:

Take a Shot: For each Adam West mannerism

Take a Drink: During the green screen run.

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Run Batman and Robin, run!

Do a Shot: For each quack the Penguin makes.

Take a Drink: During each awkward moment in the date scene.

Take a 32 oz: When Batman and Robin crash their helicopter on foam rubber.

Take a Shot: FOR THE SHARK!!!

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Get the shark repellent Batman!

About Matt Conway

I love movies and sports and run on sentences. You can find me at a basketball court, the local theater, or napping on a couch somewhere.

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