With the recent release of “The Batman” to cinemas – and now to HBO Max – the online debate has been reignited: “Which Batman movie is best?”
Of course, there are hardcore Christian Bale / Christian Nolan fans. These movies were critically well-received and Nolan is a master of film. If you want to see a real brain-bender, his “Memento” still ranks among my personal top-5 films of all time.
The classic Tim Burton series still has a broad group of advocates, although the 90s series of Batman blockbusters definitely sees its popularity wane as Burton and Keaton exit the franchise. Still, many fans regard this era of Batman movies in high regard.
The one era of Batman I don’t hear in the discussion ever is the 1966 “Batman: The Movie”, starring Adam West in the lead role. While I think this movie is tragically missing from the conversation, I wanted to check in and make sure that it’s just not a case of nostalgia. After all, there are still some people who have warm feelings for George Clooney in “Batman & Robin” that I can only explain to myself as an affinity for the film because it hit them at just the right age.
So, for our latest podcast, we re-watched “Batman: The Movie” with someone who came of age in the more modern age of Batman franchises.
Personally, I would say that Adam West deserves to be ranked – and to be ranked pretty darn high – among actors who have brought the Caped Crusader to life on the big screen. But, how would that hold up – watching it again with a casual comics fan of a different generation? Is there something that modern audiences will still enjoy about the Dynamic Duo?
And, most importantly, is there any “through line” connecting this Batman that’s, decidedly, from a different era to the more modern takes on the hero?
In this episode, we’ve got:
- A recap of Batman: The Movie (1966) – the good, the bad, and the just plain silly
- Hero hindsights – What do Adam West and Burt Ward bring to the characters of Batman and Robin, and how do they stack up in the annals of Batman movies?
- Rogues Recap – With The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler, and Catwoman all working to confound the heroes and take over not just Gotham, but (gasp) THE WORLD, how does this super-villain squad fare in the overall oeuvre of Batman films?
- What are the common threads from Batman: The Movie that survived through the ages and are still present in 2022’s “The Batman”?
So join us, as we dive head-first into BATMAN: THE MOVIE!
How’s a casual comics fan supposed to get into a Batman title nowadays? Last I heard, “Batman” is some kind of multi-national conglomeration. Maybe “Batman ‘66” can deliver that same Bat-action of the TV show without the weight of the continuity and mythology that drowns casual comic readers. Read the rest of this entry