Small Change – Batman

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Here’s a little something left over from the “…I’m Batman” series.

If you’ve been checking in, and aren’t as totally obsessed by pop-culture as I am, then you may be forgiven for thinking that a regular comic, a couple of TV shows, games, and epically profitable films are the only places you can enjoy the exploits of the Dark Knight.

…well, ok, that’s about right.

But there are a few hidden gems amongst the seemingly limitless supply of stories that kind of got lost over time. Here’s some alternative Bat-snacks between your major motion meals.

(Note: These have all been chosen because, unlike so much else in comic books, you can enjoy these completely as a stand alone treat. The only prior knowledge you need for any of them is that, obviously…he’s Batman!) Continue reading

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Cash Cows – “…I’m Batman” Part 5

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It would seem that in the intervening period between this and the previous installment, the folks at Warner Bros. have illustrated better than I ever could the dependability of their Cash-Bat. On this the suits at WB and the MegaZord behemoth that is Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm/YourChildhood seem to be in total concert, as they definitively prioritise what I hereby establish as Superheroes First Principle:

More on that in a bit. Right now? Continue reading

Esoterica – Outland

Two words: Sean Connery

Do you really need anything more?

Outland

Year: 1981

Writer/Director: Peter Hyams

Starring: Sean Connery…and seriously who else do you need!?!!?

In the years following the 70’s, sci-fi cinema had a fairly steady audience, what with the meagre contributions made by flicks like Star Wars (have any of you seen that one?…not bad). As such, it became a reasonably good way to ensure that people would pay for a ticket if your next romantic comedy also featured some manner of shape-shifting alien. Continue reading

Cash Cows – “…I’m Batman” Part 4

Right. If we’re being honest (and this is the internet, so of course I expect we all are) this particular slice of the Batman saga has been pretty much talked out to exhaustion. I seriously doubt there is much new insight I can lend that hasn’t already been discussed by legions of highly qualified, incredibly discerning, articulate and level-headed online fans.

So we’ll be somewhat brief today. And we will start with this:

Joel Schumacher is a good director.

And not a half-bad muppet either.

We’re jumping a little bit ahead, so before we get too deep into this potential quagmire, go and check out his IMDB page. Let that list of films percolate in your brain while we get into Batman’s cinematic adventures – or as the suits at WB call them “CHA CHING CHA CHING CHA CHING!” Continue reading

Esoterica – Cube

Cube

Year: 1997

Director: Vicenzo Natali

Writers: Andre Bijelic, Vicenzo Natali & Graeme Manson

Starring: Maurice Dean Witt, David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer

It is a rare treat for me when I get to come to a film completely fresh – without any hint as to what will unfold over the next two hours. It is a rarer treat still when coming into a movie this way sees me leaving it dumbstruck at just how good it was.

Cube was just such an experience – and as such I find myself incredibly reluctant to say too much about it, for fear of spoiling the fun for you. Continue reading

Cash Cows – “…I’m Batman” Part 3

Now let’s see. Where was I? Oh yeah:

National/DC always knew they were onto a good thing with this whole “Tee Vee” thing. While what has become irrevocably known as the “Adam West Show” may have been a mixed bag of quality and camp, it certainly proved there was a huge market to present the four-color heroes to the Saturday morning crowd.

First out of the stables was The Batman/Superman Hour, which, as you can probably tell, didn’t really impact the medium as a benchmark of quality. Most of note about this brief run show (’68-’69) was the fact that the highest billing went to the actor voicing Robin – the legendary Casey Kasem.

Batman/Superman paved the way, however, for the far more enduring Superfriends run from 1977 onward. This series featured not just DC’s biggest guns, but many of the second-tier heroes who would never get a look in of their own, like Hawkman, or Aquaman. Continue reading

Esoterica – The Hidden

Ok; first off, my apologies to Al for being tardy in bringing in the articles. Life is busy etc. and we’ve been buried and etc. and the rolling stone kills the early worm da da da… but at least I could’ve called.

Secondly my apologies to you, my loyal readers. I should never let… uhh… wait…

If you’re reading this, do think you might consider becoming loyal?

I’m sure we all feel the pressure of things getting on top of us, and that, unfortunately, often means that the first thing to go out the window on any given week are the recreational type things we enjoy, but just don’t end up having time for. I know I should be making them a priority, but I’ve also gotta keep the wolf from the door and the parasites from invading my body and using me to subjugate the rest of humankind.

Speaking of which:

Continue reading