Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I have never seen "Batman and Robin" and I'm OK with that

I am a man of wide and discerning tastes. And I do love the comic-book movies, from the very, very good (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Superman II) to the just OK (Fantastic Four, Superman Returns) to the oh god why did I watch that? (Ang Lee's Hulk, Elektra, the John Travolta Punisher movie which hurts my brain)

But while I'm a bona-fide comic geek fanboy, there is one comic movie I've never seen: 1997's hugely reviled Batman and Robin. I saw 1989's Batman, which is the perfect example of a movie that seemed awesome at the time but hasn't aged all that well. I saw Batman Returns -- loved Catwoman, hated the Penguin. I saw Batman Forever and I loathed it -- Val Kilmer's Botox-lipped Batman, Tommy Lee Jones chewing through walls as Two-Face (thank god for Aaron Eckhart), the day-glo production design, Chris O'Donnell's oh-sweet-jeezus-can-I-punch-him-in-the-face-pleeze-annoying Robin.

PhotobucketBy the time 1997 rolled around I had enough, and things were kind of chaotic that year for me anyway and so I never got to see the glories of Arnold Schwarzengegger as Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, or George Clooney pre-Oscar as Batman. A year or so later word of mouth had set in on this movie (random IMDB commenter to director Joel Schumacher: "I hate you so much, just for this film."), and despite working part-time at a video store for the late 1990s, I never felt the urge to see it. Then came the 'comic book movie revival' with X-Men and all the rest and so forth.

Occasionally I've thought, gosh, as a comic book geek, fannish completism is part of the gig, and I really ought to just watch this "Batman & Robin" one day to see just how bad it is. I watched Madonna's "Swept Away" after all (and lost the ability to see for a week, but never mind).

Then this morning I idly stumbled across a YouTube 10-minute "best of" clips from "Batman & Robin" online. I watched it all, coffee dribbling from my slack mouth in horror, Arnold Schwarzenegger's lame puns ricocheting about my brain, and I realized, that life is a precious jewel that is far too short and our time is far better spent. Ten minutes was enough.

Ten minutes I will never, ever get back:

Update: Comics blogging icon (well, demigod) Mike Sterling weighs in on "Batman & Robin", totally ripping me off really but I have to give him props because he actually watched the movie, and took notes. He's a hard, hard man, that Sterling.

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