As I mentioned in my last blog entry about Customer Service, my obsession for Batman would be a blog for another time. That time is here! As a young boy, I knew there was something special about the caped crusader. Watching Adam West and Burt Ward team up against the old school Joker, Riddler & Penguin. I’m not quite that old, I just appreciate the reruns! Even Scooby-Doo was trying to appeal to the hardcore super hero fans by bringing the Dynamic Duo together with Mystery Inc to solve mysteries and fight crime! Scooby-Doo was awesome to begin with but add in a little Batman flavor, it’s a taste that can’t be beat!
Moving up in years, the draw to Batman only grew. Wearing towels tied around our necks as capes and swinging from the tree ropes in the back yard, trying to imagine that we’re swinging through the streets of Gotham. Then 1989 hit. A director with the background of such films as Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice decides to set the tone for the serious Batman films. Tim Burton still amazes me to this day with his vision, so much so that I have several of his themes tattooed on my body. I still remember to this day, sitting in the big La Z Boy chair with a bowl of popcorn in my lap watching Batman starring Michael Keaton for the first time. I was mesmerized. From the dark cityscape to the bright fun color Jack Nicholson added, the movie was incredible! Playing Batman in the yard after seeing that movie stepped up our game. We couldn’t just swing from the rope, no! We had to try to make our own Bat gadgets to make the experience all the more real.
The follow up movies to the Tim Burton reboot of Batman weren’t much to holler about. Batman Returns kept the dark theme and Michael Keaton and was a pretty decent flick to follow up with. After Michael Keaton put down the cape and cowl, the movies went to garbage. Batman Forever? Really? I can’t imagine someone came to Val Kilmer and said, “Hey, I have an idea! You should play Batman and we can put you up against Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face and Jim Carrey as the Riddler. Help? Yeah, we can throw in Chris O’Donnell as Robin. It’ll be great!” and Iceman said, “Wow, that’s a good plan!” Don’t get me wrong, I like everyone involved in the movie, just not in those roles. Just because Jim Carrey can make faces and be goofy doesn’t mean he should be the Riddler. Don’t even get me started on Batman & Robin. George Clooney…in a nipply Batman suit…no thank you!
Then along comes Christopher Nolan. He decides to reboot the franchise and wipe out the dirty taste in a lot of Batman fans mouths when they think of another Batman movie. He brings Batman back to his roots. Training to become a ninja, learning techniques and mastering weapons. It’s another dark film as well, with Christian Bale holding the reigns. But he doesn’t just hold them, he commands them! From the Scarecrow to Ra’s Al Ghul, no one can stand in his way. Batman Begins was GOOD! But I don’t think it was the Batman film that put Batman back on the map. It was followed by a small simple little film called The Dark Knight, with Christian Bale reprising his role and the late Heath Ledger bringing back the Joker. According to The Numbers, the 1989 Batman movie grossed $411 million worldwide, which is more than the $372 million that Batman Begins has brought in worldwide. Granted it’s had much more time to make money, but Batman Begins has a ways to go to catch up. The Dark Knight is just over $1 BILLION worldwide currently. It was HUGE. I was at the midnight release of the movie and it was INSANE. Now, I don’t live in a big town, and I didn’t go to a big town to see the movie. But even in rinky-dink Adrian, MI, the three theaters they opened up that night weren’t enough to hold all the awesome. They ended up opening SEVEN more theaters that night to hold all the people who showed up. There were people dressed as the Joker. There were people dressed as Poison Ivy. It was fun!
In steps The Dark Knight Rises. The third and final film in the Christopher Nolan reboot will be coming out this summer. Again starring Christian Bale as the Dark Knight and playing opposite Tom Hardy as Bane. I’m not a numerologist, but I think that the $158 million that Dark Knight made opening weekend, and the $1 BILLION it’s holding worldwide are about to be smashed. Since FEBRUARY, IMAX theaters in New York and Los Angeles have already SOLD OUT, for the July release of The Dark Knight Rises. This is going to be huge!
I’m going to end this by saying that I fully admit I’m a nerd. I’m a computer nerd, I’m a movie nerd and I’m a Batman nerd. I’ve got Batman riding with me in the car and on my body and I’m not stopping any time soon!