Episode 19 — “Some Days You Just Can’t Get Rid of a Bomb: Batman Movie Retrospective”

In preparation for The Dark Knight Rises, Ben, Dr. Jayce, and Steve take on the Batman!

They take a look back at the Batman films, starting with Adam West’s 1966 Batman, moving to the Tim Burton era Batman and Batman Returns, into the Joel Schumacher era with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, taking a detour with a movie that only Ben had seen (and wishes he hadn’t), and into the Nolan Batman universe.

We’d LOVE to hear (or read) your thoughts and memories of watching Batman. As usual, you can contact us through our website or e-mail us at podcast@strangersandaliens.com. Also, if you like, you can e-mail us an MP3 recording (please try to keep it under three minutes).

Next episode will be a superhero from a different publisher: Spider-Man. And coming soon: The Dark Knight Rises!


8 responses to “Episode 19 — “Some Days You Just Can’t Get Rid of a Bomb: Batman Movie Retrospective””

  1. RC Avatar

    Interesting trip down Batman lane.

    I know I’ve voiced my opinions on various Batman’s before, so no need to reiterate.

    Still, my favorite is the 89 Batman. I was 13 just in time to go see it (as it was PG-13). I went looking like a total fanboy (because I was) and received ridicule from other teens kicking around outside the theater. But it was everything I had hoped it would be and did not disappoint.

    I was interested to hear Ben’s thoughts that Christian Bale made an excellent Bruce Wayne. I have the opposite opinion. I think he does an excellent Batman, but made a so-so Bruce Wayne. I didn’t feel that he was particularly charismatic as Bruce Wayne. However, he was brooding and seemed to embody many of the motives of the Dark Knight.

    I do enjoy the two Nolan Batmans, but haven’t been inclined to even pick them up on DVD.

    Batman Begins I found to be pretty interesting. The Dark Knight was interesting to watch once, but for me it was almost too mundane. I wasn’t sold on Harvey Dent/Two Face. Or I should say, the story didn’t invest me enough in him to really pull the heart strings it should have. Heath Ledger was a cool Joker, but the setting didn’t impress me. The movie stayed dark and the highs weren’t high enough to move me. Not enough contrast? Not saying it was bad at all. I enjoyed it, but at this juncture of time I am content I saw it once.

    For The Dark Knight Rises, I have many hopes. However I was curious at the choice of Bane for the villain. I agree these films have been about Batman, rather than his villains, so perhaps that’s why they have toned them down. They just feel everyday, like something you’d see on a CSI or similar. I am curious to see how they play Bane. Kind of wish they had gotten someone physically larger though. While an actor is an actor, there is something to say about physical presence. I realize he bulked up for the role, I think he is still a ways away from Bane that I am familiar with. We will see.

    1. Ben Avatar

      RE: Bane, it’s a good villain to use, although many Batman comic fans many not agree. I think it’s a logical choice, since he is the one who “broke the bat.” I’m curious what that will mean for this movie.

      RE: Christian Bale, what I like about his take on Batman/Bruce Wayne is that there are TWO masks. Bruce Wayne, the man, the son, the human, has two false personas that he puts up for the world to see. In the movie (Batman Begins), Rachel defines it differently: Batman is the real man and Bruce Wayne is the mask. But I see it as two false personas, and in Batman Begins I like the awkwardness Christian Bale brings to the character as he develops and defines each.

      One interesting thing between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight is the descent into darkness. Batman Begins, for all its darkness, has many moments of levity and ends on a bright note. Considering this descent, I wonder if the “Rises” in the title has any significance.

  2. Hank Harwell Avatar
    Hank Harwell

    I remember I was in college when Batman ’89 came out. I was an occasional reader of FilmFax magazine, and they had a cover story on the history of Batman on film. I found it very interesting to note that the Batman TV series was actually inspired by the Batman serials of the 1940’s. In fact there were two serials, the Batman (1943) and Batman and Robin (1949). According to this site, many of the items we associate with Batman canon apparently were invented by these serials.

    The FilmFax article indicates that by the early 1960’s, these serials were rediscovered, and as they were quickly and cheaply made, that they came off as campy, and as such, were the inspiration for the campy 1960’s Batman TV series.

    Also, it seems the both Batman serials are available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Complete-Movie-Serial-Collection/dp/B000AQOHNA

  3. Hank Harwell Avatar
    Hank Harwell

    While I’m at it, it might be fun for you guys to collaborate with the guys at the Sci-Fi Christian podcast on an update to their really well done “State of the Superhero Film” segment. I’d love to hear your input on the subject.

    1. Ben Avatar

      I’ve been enjoying their podcast lately. It’s a good one. Not sure how a collaboration with them would work, but I’d totally be open to that.

      Hank, btw, I was getting ready to do a “round up” post linking to your Max Headroom articles, but they seem to have disappeared. What happened?

  4. Hank Harwell Avatar
    Hank Harwell

    Whoops! I changed the URL of the blog:

    Here ’tis:


    1. Ben Avatar

      Very good! Thanks!

    2. Ben Avatar

      And I’ll let you know when it’s up.

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