Five Questions “Batman & Robin” Left Me Asking

It’s been twenty years since “Batman & Robin” was unleashed in theaters, prompting a lot of folks that were there in 1997 to think back on what is easily one of the most unwatchable movies ever made. And I don’t mean unwatchable in that you can see it with a laugh, or unwatchable in that it hurts so good. I mean it’s unwatchable. The last time I popped in a Blu-Ray for “Batman & Robin” I had a very difficult time making it through the first half hour, and I admittedly shut the movie down right when Barbara finds the conveniently placed suit Alfred made for her.

1997 was a big year for me, and one of the most memorable of my life, it was a year of big movies, big music, and big changes and “Batman & Robin” is that movie that’s remembered for being so unbearably awful. What was once a childhood favorite is a movie that hasn’t aged well. At all. It’s putrid. But in honor of the twentieth anniversary of Joel Schumacher’s toy commercial, I thought I’d ponder on five questions the movie’s badly written script left me asking.

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Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (2017)

Most horror fans agree by now that most creative minds have pretty much tapped the zombie well dry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of filmmakers still trying to reinvent the wheel. “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” does not re-invent the wheel and probably won’t change anyone’s mind on zombie movies, but for devotees of the sub-genre, there’s a lot of fun to be had. There’s some good music, a brisk pace, and a different setting beyond the typical country farm house or city back drop. Two snowboarders head out to the Swiss Alps with their manager Branka to film a publicity video for their corporate sponsor. When snowboarder and slacker Steve botch’s the filming altogether, the trio are left on the mountain, stranded.

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Sausage Party (2016)

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are two men who can be funny when they want to, and whenever they come up with a premise for something out of the box they almost offer up something great. For some reason they can never seem to completely unfold their unusual premises whole hog, and hinder their own efforts to be absurd time and time again. “This is the End” had moments of pure hilarity but fell apart by the second half, and “Sausage Party” is a movie where I get what they’re doing. Yes, I understand what they’re doing here. “Sausage Party” is an off the wall and absurd twist on “Toy Story” where anthropomorphic sentient inanimate objects are treated as such to the point where they feel everything humans can. They can be scared, they have their own communities, and yes, they even have their own sexualities and religions. I get it.

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Go North (2017)

A potentially apocalyptic even wiped out all adults from the country, leaving kids to take care of younger kids.  In this situation, some became leaders, some teachers, while others thrived in chaos.  As things are looking bleaker and bleaker, Josh decides to do something and heads North with a friend.  Soon, some of those in charge go after them.  Through this, all will discover more about the world and themselves. Directed by Matt Ogens who co-wrote with Kyle Lierman, the film takes the post-apocalyptic approach that is being seen more and more again and removes all adults from the picture, leaving it to a Lord of the Flies situation with kids being left to their own devices and some knowing better how to keep going while others look for escape.

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80’s Beat: 8 Movie Collection (DVD)

For fans of eighties cinema, Mill Creek Entertainment offers up a collection of eight noteworthy eighties movies on DVD for the more cost conscious collector. Among the eight films in the collection is 1990’s “Flatliners.” The David Cronenberg supernatural drama about a group of medical students exploring the effects of near death experiences stars Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, and Julia Roberts, respectively. James Woods and Robert Downey Jr. co-star in the 1989 drama “True Believer,” about an embittered lawyer who re-opens an old murder case with a young lawyer, unraveling a web of corruption, and conspiracies.

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Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime) (1997)

Returns to theaters across the nation for a 20th Anniversary celebration, complete with a new 4K restoration. Premiered in theaters Thursday, January 5 in Japanese with English subtitles and will screen Monday, January 9 with an English dub at 7 p.m. local time. Tickets are available now. The event will also feature a screening of the never-before-released music video directed by Hayao Miyazaki, On Your Mark!

Back when “Princess Mononoke” hit the states in 1999, I literally had no idea who Hayao Miyazaki was. My teacher in high school kept a poster of the movie up on her bulletin board and I thought the movie looked amazing. Years after the Oscar buzz, I discovered “Princess Mononoke” and the brilliance of Studio Ghibli. The great thing about Studio Ghibli is there is no wrong way to enter in to their universe.
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Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

“Josie and the Pussycats” is kind of a “They Live” of its sub-genre, taking a cute premise and turning it on its head to show a decent rock trio and how they become consumed by corporations, merchandising, and the all consuming hunger of the fans that follow. Sadly in 2001, the world was inundated with endless boy bands and pop princesses, all of whom were Caucasian, very blond, and very young, and were always on MTV grinning and getting their fans to spend, spend, spend.  So, “Josie and the Pussycats” sadly got lost in the shuffle considered something of a celebration of consumerism, when really it kind of mocked the whole idea.

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Detroit Rock City (1999)

Adam Rifkins’ “Detroit Rock City” is the movie in the vein of “Rock n Roll High School” that seeks to unabashedly pay tribute to the magic of KISS and how they inspire four guys to travel across the country and break the law for them. Because they’re so fucking awesome, you see. Hawk (Edward Furlong), Lex (Giuseppe Andrews), Trip (James DeBello), and “Jam” (Sam Huntington) are four of the most hardcore KISS fans alive and are preparing to travel to Detroit to see the band in concert. Sadly, Jam’s Conservative Christian mother discovers the tickets he and his friends bought, and burn them. Anxious to find more tickets, the foursome win a call in contest but are so excited they hang up on the DJ before they can give them their names, disqualifying them.

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