Monday, May 27, 2013

Batman-A-Thon: Charles

Yay! I get a whole ten hours to watch Batman! Batman, no chores... Batman, no work... Batman, nothing else! Okay, like I would ever have ten hours to watch nothing but Batman, still this challenge was a lot harder than I thought it would be, not filling up ten hours, but picking so few as to not go over ten hours. As it is I went over a little... okay a bit more than a little. But, in for a penny in for a pound.

So, with my selections my total viewing time came in at 635 minutes or 10 hours and 35 minutes.

I am going to start my list with a classic, Batman (1966). The movie, not the series, the movie. Run Time 105 Minutes.

This one is totally to re-live my childhood memories. See, before cable we all had pretty much three T.V.  stations (not counting Public Television, is it wrong that I never considered that T.V. until I was much older?). In our town the local stations would run cartoons every Saturday morning, and usually followed by a Saturday Movie. Every once in a great while I would hit television gold and the Saturday Movie would be Batman the Movie! 

The rest of the day would be spent playing Batman! I could never climb a tree like Batman and Robin climbed those buildings I even tried starting by laying on the ground, the rope tied tight on a branch (which I had to climb the regular way to secure) and then tried the "walk up the wall" climb, no luck. I wrote it off to their superior training.

Next up are two of Episodes of Batman the Animated Series.

The first would be the premier episode, even though it is actually the second episode. Do you remember when they premiered the series on a Sunday night with On Leather Wings?

I knew from the title card this would be the end all be all Batman animated series. On Leather Wings, clocking in at 22 minutes was the origin story of the Man Bat, at least in the Animated Series. It followed Batman as he investigated a mysterious Man Bat terrorizing Gotham. It has all the elements of a great Batman story, detective work, action, and Bat gadgets.

I will continue with a fun episode, Beware of the Gray Ghost, another 22 minutes into my Batman-A-Thon. This one features a guest voice appearance by Adam West! Batman teams up with his childhood hero, the Gray Ghost. I love these type of stories, and what made this one funny was the Gray Ghost was just an actor, but hey, he played along and joined Batman on an adventure.

This next one I could have filled in with some Batman Beyond or even some older Batman Adventures, but I wanted to revisit The Batman. I will admit the first couple episodes of The Batman did not really win me over, but I kept watching and this show really grew on me, so with the release of the shows first direct to DVD movie I was in. I wish I could say I picked up the DVD with the little figurines, but you can't win them all.

The Batman vs Dracula, run time 83 minutes, is not my usual fare. I am all about Batman, but not a fan of Vampires, not at all. Goes back to my childhood, not the new sparkly ones, I really do not care for those, but the ones that sneak up on you in the night and suck you blood while you sleep, those creep me out. Those old black and white Dracula movies, ugh, they get me every time. Anyway, I gave this movie a shot and loved it. By the time this movie came out I was loving the new series and was knee deep in The Batman toys (I kept a few), even the vampire aspect of this movie did not really bug me, it is convenient though, and I understand why, that all the vampire's victims return to normal when he is defeated, (oh SPOILER, sorry). This one is just fun for the ride. A good break befor the next heavy hitter.

Batman 1989, 126 minutes of my all time favorite Batman film. This one had to be on this list for me. I have great memories of seeing this in theaters on opening night, free popcorn, a free Batman plastic mug, and the huge Batman Banner hanging on the same Cinema I saw Star Wars: A New Hope in (both the original release and the Special Edition)

Also, Batman 1989 (though on VHS) played a big part in my all night art project sessions in school. I would come home from work, pop in Batman 89 and start to drawing, sometimes watching it two or three times in a night.

That was until I got a hold of the next one on VHS, ha ha, how times have changed.

Batman Returns, another 126 minutes. This meant during those drawing sessions, I could watch them back to back. I pretty much quote jobs on the the scenes from these two movies. "Let's see that will be a tree ceremony job" or maybe a "A Double Final Battle Project"

You know I am not even sure we are supposed to be tying these picks into memories or talking about the movies themselves. I'm going with the memories.

For me the summer this movie arrived in theaters was my Batman Summer. I rember it being everywhere, once again, and hitting up the Mc Donalds for the Happy Meal toys. The Batmobile from that run is one of my all time favorites.

I also remember being out of town for my job at the time, attending a training class and having to improvise a poster for the class. Me and another student jumped in his car and hit up a local shop for some poster board and markers, where I also happened to pick up the souvenir magazine for the movie... hey a Batman fan is always on the look out.

Another Batman flick I saw in the same theater I saw the 89 Batman was Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, 76 minutes.

Mask of the Phantasm and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, 75 minutes long, are my next two choices in my Batman-A-Thon.

 Let's start with Mask of the Phantasm. I have to say I was pretty excited to see this movie in theaters, I even think it was the same actual theater I saw 89 Batman, I know it was the same Cinema. Then, to get this when it was released on VHS, in surround sound, was just as awesome. This movie had me borrowing extra speakers from friends and family so I could run temporary wires all of the place, just so I could crank up the volume on the receiver I tied our VCR into and enjoy every little bit of sound this movie had to offer.

Then, all wired up, I invited friends and family over to marvel at this instant batman classic... just be careful of the wires. I had wires coming from around the back of our T.V. stand, where I placed the VCR and receiver, running up to a hook that used to belong to a hanging plant, but was now allowing me to run the wire overhead to a set of speakers in the back of the room. More wires ran along the floor to a center and some side speakers. It was a mess and a little hard to get up to get pop corn or use the restroom, but it was my own personal THX, ha ha.

By time Mystery of the Batwoman was released, the days of crazy rewiring of an apartment to enjoy a movie were gone, I was now in a house and busy freelancing to make payments, it never ends does it?

Anyway I picked up this movie along with some of the BTAS DVD's and thought I could watch them while I work. Here's the thing with me, that works really well with a movie you have seen over and over again, say Batman 1989, not so much for new stuff. The BTAS DVD's went fine, but when I popped this one in for the first time I had never seen it and the story was a little better than I was expecting at the time. Not a hard one to figure out though, but another fun one to watch. If I remember right this was released when Batman the Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures was wrapped and we actually had a new Batman cartoon out, I am thinking Batman Beyond was even wrapping up (not 100% sure on this). So, it was sort of cool getting a new Batman adventure in the Animated Series style.

So, that is my list, four feature films, two direct to DVD (VHS, whatever), and two of the classic Batman the Animated Series. Doesn't seem like 10 hours does it? Now I am off to read what Brain A and Brian B picked, I have been avoiding reading each of theirs until I posted. Then maybe I will go watch some more Batman.


John Sholtz said...

Definitely my kind of day. I would love to do that sometime.

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

omg, you are a trooper! looks like fun :D

chunky B said...

Ha ha, this was a "what if" challenge, we were to plan it out, we (at least I didn't) actually take ten hours to watch all of those, I would not want to invite the wrath of my wife by laying around for ten hours watching Batman.

So, sorry to disapoint. Ha ha.