I'm crashing right now - a one-day trip to Jefferson City, followed by a run-in with my pal Brian (who was at my comic shop trying to find the infamous Cherry Poptart/Strawberry Shortcake crossover hardcover, plus trying to deal with a one-day rally for middle school students this morning (including a futile attempt to sway two bus drivers from moving their buses)...at times, it felt like a bad movie, so I thought, hey, why not write about bad movies.
First, I think we owe Joel Schumacher a small apology - even though he's blamed for "ruining" the Batman movie franchise, the seeds were sown (in my opinion) by Tim Burton in Batman Returns Yes, it has its strengths - basically Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton's performances - but all-in-all, Mr. Burton gave the ingredients for Mr. Schumaker to exploit. It's all there: over-the-top performances (both Christopher Walken as William Hartnell's Doctor Who and Danny DeVito, who allegedly gained 50 pounds from chewing so much scenery); out-of-nowhere plot twists (just how did Penguin get the plans for the Batmobile - from the Internet?); and some less-than-stellar psychobabble about masks and duality...hoo, boy, and you thought the Batman comics were incomprehensible?
It's not as bad, however, as 8 Mile, the film which both started and ended rapper Eminem's career. OK, "Lose Yourself" is a great song, but that is the only good thing about this movie. Eminem stars as himself, with Brittany Murphy as the skanky love interest (and has Ms. Murphy ever starred as anything other than a skanky love interest? If not, she might want to consider changing agents) and Kim Basinger as the alcoholic mother (because every bad movie needs a dysfunctional mother figure). It's all there - the outsider who wants to get into the "predominant" culture, the good guys vs. bad guys motif...this movie is sheer cliche, from beginning to end. It also seems that Eminem has two looks - serious and the near-psychotic look, which would make him the Generation X version of Anthony Perkins. Of course, that is an insult to Mr. Perkins, and I hereby apologize to the late actor.
(And if any of Mr. Eminem's "posse" wants to "throw down", think of this - the guy was scared publicly by a frickin' rubber dog puppet. Yeah, he's somebody who intimidates me).
So, if you're tempted to rent/watch any of these movies, please don't. See something worthwhile, like Shaun of the Dead. You'll thank me for it later.