Friday, September 10, 2010

Batman vs. Smoky Floaty Pants

Actually written:  Sept 9th, 2010

So I was bored this evening and the most recent film I watched was Batman: Mask of The Phantasm.
If you ever intend to watch this movie in any kind of serious way, I suggest you stop here.
Or if you want to avoid spoilers of any kind. Otherwise, feel free to continue.
I warn you, this may be kinda long (I like to type, had lots of time and this movie was rather silly).
And stay tuned afterwords for a special list: Uses for Robin.

Our story opens with a rather weirdly animated view of Gotham City and what sounds like a church choir oohing and ahhing their way through the 90s Batman theme (for those of you who've seen The Hunt For Red October, that's pretty much what it sounded like... except a church choir.... to the Batman theme.... well, you get the picture).
And sure enough, according to the credits, people were involved in making this film.
I'm not sure why. But they were.
And then they woosh you under a bridge and through a random building. And you realize that these drawings were done by some chimps who once saw a bridge riding by on a speedboat.

And then you get to the actual opening scene where you zoom into one of the buildings (and see a convenient Batman shadow outside) to discover that some random goons that you've never seen before (and shall probably never encounter ever again) are making counterfeit money (those dastardly fiends!). But you don't really care because you're looking at the picture behind the head goon thinking “Ohmygosh!. Is that a human?!. Wait... yes, yes it is. It's a girl.... O.O is she naked?”. 'course, Mr. Head Goon thankfully never moves so you don't get to find out (sorry all you pervs, this movie is just PG).
And then the movie reveals its violent PG content. Batman smashes through a window and commences with the head-smashing of thugs. And they have guns. That shoot bullets. Not that they hit anything, though one guy manages to make many a whole in a wooden table Batman is using for cover (no, you don't want to know how those bullets missed him).
More goon smashing.
And then you see another picture. You're like “is that the same one?. It's hard to tell”. Seriously, it's hard. There are, like, three of them in the room and they all look like the exact same girl lying down in exactly the same way (Mr. Goon Leader must have a thing for her.... or maybe it's her casino since there's a freakin' huge figure of her on the roof. Did I mention that before?. I'm sorry).
Fortunately, this girl is dressed (barely), which leads you to assume that the original was too (but we'll never know for sure will we?).
Oops, Head Goon is escaping!. Gasp, what a surprise!. Never thought he'd do that while his thugs attacked Batman ineffectively.

Never mind, he just met the bad guy. There's an unusually large amount of smoke coming out from under that cape of his.... is he on fire?. And what's with the creepy Dr. Claw voice?. Except it's worse, I have no earthly idea what he's saying.
That's right, Mr. Head Goon, shoot at Mr. Smoky Floaty Pants, that will work well.
And then Mr. Smoky Floaty Pants slashes the gun in half. With a sharp implement. Which seems to be his hand. And just when he's about to.... well we can't say kill as this is a cartoon.... SURPRISE!. Car brakes squealing. That's never a good sign, but is a pretty standard “interrupt the bad guy before he does something evil” ploy.
And yep, you guessed it, that car has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It just makes Mr. Floaty (I am not gonna type that whole thing EVERY single time) look away long enough for Mr. Goon to start running away (if he were Batman, he could just vanish. It's a well-documented fact that goons are much slower than Batman).
Mr. Goon finds a handy-dandy car, leaps in and tries to run over Mr. Floaty (or is he the Grim Reaper?. He sure looks like the Grim Reaper). Seriously?. Because running people over is SO much more effective than shooting them with lots of bullets (and that worked so well).
And SURPRISE! Mr. Floaty smashes the windshield with his wicked claw hand.
And our friend, Mr. Goon, gets to scream repeatedly.
Where's Batman in all this?. Was he seriously THAT far behind Mr. Goon?.
Maybe it was time for his coffee break. I mean, Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night?. Gotta be tiring, right?. Surely he needs much caffeine to sustain himself.
Anyway, Mr. Floaty is just about to grab Mr. Goon when Goon suddenly swerves his car and knocks Mr. Floaty off (that's right, bullets don't bother him and he leaps onto the hood of a speeding vehicle, but it turns left and he falls right off).
Now, the smart thing to do here would be to drive away quickly. I mean, you've got Batman and the freakin' Grim Reaper chasing after you!. But NOOO, Mr. Goon is so thrilled by his success at knocking Mr. Floaty off his hood that he turns around and tries to run him over (because that worked so well ten seconds ago).
Mr. Floaty leaps OVER the car this time (what?. You think he's dumb enough to let Mr. Goon knock him off the hood again?). And Mr. Goon suddenly realizes he's steered himself towards a conveniently HUGE window (ooh, more glass smashing!. I dunno about you guys, but I've never seen a huge window in a parking garage. Sorry). He flies out the window and right into another building (how nice, another building just BARELY close enough for him to survive instead of falling to his..... massive injury.... at ground level). By now, his screams are becoming higher pitched. Any second now, he'll be screaming like a girl.

Ah, there's Batman. He JUST now entered the parking garage. He looks around quickly.
Obviously, Mr. Floaty has vanished. Batman looks over the edge through the.... concrete barrier (where'd the glass go?) at the car lodged in the next building over and listens to the horn honking for awhile (such a lovely sound, so distracting from.... whatever it was he was doing).
Oh look, convenient bystanders. In the street. In the middle of the night. In supposedly the most dangerous city in the world. They see car, and Batman (still mesmerized by the sound of the car horn) and obviously assume the worst. Batman ignores them and goes back inside to examine the glass from the broken concrete barrier. Dramatic music.
Suddenly, he sees the mysterious shadow of... he doesn't know who and gives chase (why didn't he notice this guy earlier?. And why didn't the guy run away until AFTER Batman was done being mesmerized by car horn?. I say “guy” because we're not supposed to realize it's Mr. Floaty).
Guess what?. The guy vanishes up some convenient stairs.
Time to cut to an argument the next morning between the Batman Fanclub and our resident Jerk of The Week. Who has very shiny hair (oh so very shinay....O.O).

And then we cut and realize that Bruce Wayne was watchin' the news while working on examining the glass he found. Alfred makes some creepy comments about “pressing tights” and “putting away explosive balls” (sorry, it's just.... the way he said it.... it was WEIRD. Bruce thought so too. At least, his tone of voice when he replied suggested that he did).
Examine, examine, examine. Random technobabble which means nothing to the average person.

And look, here comes an old girlfriend, though they only let us see her blood-red lip-sticked mouth. And she's talking to Jerk. Apparently he's the new boyfriend (good for him).
And.... then it's time to watch Bruce getting mobbed by guests at some random party (mostly fangirls).
Random Ex-Girlfriend time!. Yep, she's still mad at him. Which is shocking to the fangirls.
And then it's time for Jerk and Bruce to talk about love-life and Batman-bashing. And comments which are rather inappropriate for children (but only partially said so that only adults will notice them).
And then it's time to go and brood in his bedroom. Yep, his parents are still dead. Too bad about that.
After that, it's time to go to the cemetary. Yep, his parents are really dead.
Ooh, look, a crazy chick talkin' 'bout Bruce to her mother. Who is dead. And said chick seems to be standin' on her grave. Bruce wanders by, assumes she's talking to him and they strike up a conversation.
New girlfriend detected. Oh wait, she drove off, leaving him with a serious question “how crazy IS she?”. 'course ,he doesn't ask that.
Sigh, back to work.

But not in his batsuit. Naturally, he has more trouble without it. One of the thugs gets into a van and vrooms away. But Batty hops on the back and clings to the open door of the semi-trailer.
Some handy-dandy cops see and give chase. And attempt to slow down the semi-truck.... with their cop car. Why is this a bad idea?. Because semis are FREAKIN' HUGE!. The cops are fine, but their car is totaled. Too bad.
Hah!. This has given Our Hero just enough time to get on top of the truck. But can he stop the villain without his batsuit?. Meh, the guy crashes of his own accord.
Our Hero scales a wall and creeps away as the police show up (what is he now, Spider-Man?).

In the morning, the news says that a “mysterious vigilante” stopped some hoodlums. Yeah... there's really always just been the one. Should be an instant connection. But no. Not in the least.
And crazy girl returns. To observe the “injured” (he's bandaged, but not acting hurt) Bruce practicing jujitsu (and she makes a lame joke). They talk awhile. And then she takes him out in a single throw (yep... he's a real hero). To save some face, he knocks her over too (or maybe he just wants to lie on top of her and look deep into her craze-filled eyes). Yep, I'm seein' a new girlfriend. And she's really annoying. I hope she's not gonna be a super-hero too (most annoying hero ever). Maybe she's the Grim Reaper (wouldn't that be surprising?).
After that, it's time to go back to staring at the picture of his dead parents (Dude, they've been dead since you were four, aren't even a little tired of just standing there and brooding over the giant, creepy painting of them in your room every evening?. Just a little?). Sigh, back to the party.

Fortunately for us, we get to skip to..... YOU GUESSED IT: More thugs. In a cemetary this time. What for?. To examine a dead guy's grave. How surprising.
Aaannnnddd, Mr. Floaty shows up and terrorizes them. DUH!. He's secretly the Grim Reaper!. Of COURSE he's hangin' out in a cemetary (you there!. Stop looking at those dead people!. It's illegal!. Or whatever it was he said.... still can't understand a word).
These guys are even more creative. They have pick axes. Well, one of 'em does anyway. And we KNOW Mr. Floaty must be evil incarnate. He just said “death”. Not sure what else, but death was definitely one of the words. How dastardly!. How fiendishly evil!. Oh wait... thus far he's just been takin' out random thugs. I assume he musta killed the Mr. Head Goon and that must be the grave tonight's thug was at. He was muttering about “Batman icing him”. Good chance.
More spookishness happens. The pick axe is useless by the way. More creepy floatiness.
And the other thugs show up. More terrorizing of the thugs.
Well, we dropped an entire concrete angel on that guy... maybe he's dead. His henchmen are horrified, he must be dead (Are we SURE this is a PG movie?. People keep.... dying.). They see caped figure in distance. They think “BATMAN!”. Because there have never been ANY OTHER CAPED FIGURES EVER. NONE!.

Goodmorning, Gotham. Time for your daily dose of Batman Bashing and then for some weather (okay, they didn't have a weather report, but they should have). And we get to watch some old guy react so strongly to this news (this is like... third day in a row, it's not that shocking) that he nearly has a heart attack. But he doesn't.
Some more Bat Bashing by Jerk of The Week against Batman's Fanclub.
They decide to use their giant flashlight to try to contact him (yep, thank goodness we skipped Bruce's entire day. It's kinda monotonus). But he doesn't show up tonight (must be sleeping in).
Oh. Nope, he's just investiating the cemetary crime scene (which apparently the cops have done nothing with. The axe head is still imbedded in the ground).
And he discovers some convenient chemical residue, like that on the glass. SURPRISE!. Mr. Floaty was here!. Oh wait, Batsy hasn't figured that out yet (SHH!. Don't tell him!).
Time to pause at his parents grave site. Maybe nobody will notice. Oh, look, crazy girl is over there, talking to her dead mother and picking some grass. She hasn't noticed Batsy. Maybe he can just leave.
Leave. I said LEAVE!. Drat. Too late. She SAW him. And is frightened (surprising ain't it?).
He flees. She tries to follow (umm... lady, frightened means SCREAM AND RUN AWAY!. Not follow). Okay, so she's crazy and not bright enough to realize such things.
What do ya know, she comes around the MASSIVE gravestone for Bruce's parents and Batman has vanished. But she makes the obvious assumption that Batman is somehow connected to Bruce.
Please note that we are currently 20 minutes into the film.
Maybe I should skip some of this.

Is it just me or does Crazy Girl and Ex-Girlfriend look and sound exactly the same?. Are they actually the same person?. Or just identical twins?.
Basic story for now. Ex-Girlfriend is dating Jerkboy. Crazy Girl is curious and worried about Bruce. More Batman Bashing from Batty Haters. More Batsy protecting by Rabid Fans. More of Bruce's Fanclub. More creepiness from Mr. Floaty. More dead thugs who didn't even have names before they were dead. Do we care deeply?. Not really. We care more about the activities of Ex-Girlfriend.
Oh yeah, and some flashbacks about time spent with Ex-Girlfriend.
Which includes a scene where the choir returns to sing about the house of the future while Bruce and Ex-Girlfriend examine “The house of the future” which looks a heck of a lot like the house of the future from one of the Red Skelton movies. Right after that he sees.... her... the Batmobile. It's pink right now, but it's the Batmobile. And she's beautiful... oh wait.... his girlfriend... she's still there.
And here we see the origins of Batman. Surprise. Yep, he felt the need to protect the innocent and helpless. We didn't see that coming. And yet, somehow Ex-Girlfriend never realized that he was Batman. Even though she saw him fight some random gangsters before he had the cape and cowl.
Ex-Girlfriend isn't very bright. Then again, New Girlfriend is insane. Bruce has terrible taste in women.
Oh and by the way, no blood. Even though one of the gangsters ran over him with a motorcycle.
And some thunderstorms while he talks to himself and some dead people about stuff.
We also see Old Guy some more. Apparently he's a crime boss. He also has some relation to Jerk of The Week (Is Jerk his son?. Nephew?. Cousin?. Friend's Aunt's Son's Wife's Sister's Daughter's Boyfriend?. What is their relation!?. Nobody knows..).
So anyway, they broke up, he became Batman. The end. Oh wait, not the end... drat.
Hey look!. More irrelevant characters.
And The Joker. And he does fun Joker things. And then Old Guy hires Joker to take out Batman. Which may just be the dumbest idea anyone ever had. I mean.... hiring Joker?. What sort of an idiot is this guy?. And how did he survive this long?.

Nevermind. He's dead now. By Joker's hand. And Joker SCARED Mr. Floaty. This could get VERY interesting. Of course, Joker was after Batman. And Mr. Floaty was after Old Guy. So nobody won.
Batman arrives just in time to chase Mr. Floaty for awhile. And then they try to creep each other out.
But Mr. Floaty is feeling the need to win something tonight, so he vanishes in a puff of smoke just in time for the police to show up and blame Batman. ACK!. Time to run away.
After a merry (and physically impossible on both Batman and the police's parts) chase, Batman eventually escapes. By hiding in a building full of flammable gas. Ooh, pwetty explosion. O.O HE BLEEDS!. And crawls around on the floor. Pretty sure this movie is much too violent. I mean... there was... blood O.o. Anyway, he's not doin' too hot, but he gets away. They also destroyed his cape and cowl while they were at it. But he gets away. Because Ex-Girlfriend rescues him (think she knows he's Batman yet?). Oh, and by the way, no more Crazy Girl. Ex-Girlfriend is now Girlfriend again.
And she talks to her dead mother too. Two for the price of one, Bruce is on a roll.

And now for a scene with Jerk and Joker. Guess who's frightened. That's right, not Joker.
And Joker is annoyed with Jerk, but very pleased with himself.
Because he knows Batty is innocent (oh great, his worst enemy is one of the only three people who believe he's innocent: Alfred, Girlfriend and Joker. Poor Bats, no wonder he's crazy).
For some reason, he finds this hilariously funny. And this disturbs Jerk. Gee, I wonder why?.
Jerk is also a little slow on the uptake. Joker pretty much says three times that Batty is innocent before he finally goes “Someone else killed them?”. Sigh... no wonder Jerkboy lost the girl.
Joker is also greatly amused as he gets to listen while Girlfriend turns him down for lunch over the phone (basically breaking up with him. That's harsh. I mean, it IS Jerkboy, but over the phone?).
Unfortunately for Jerkboy, Joker believes he's actually Mr. Floaty!. 'course, we know better. Jerk of The Week would never be smart enough (or scary enough) to pull it off.
Instead of killing him though, Joker infects him with the “Uncontrollable Laughter Spray”. Joker's favorite. So now Jerkboy is laughing himself silly in a hospital.
Unfortunately for him, it's nighttime. And the doctors left him alone. We all know that Batsy wants to converse right about now. And that's not as fun as Joker.
Batsy gets the answers he wants, then leaves so that the hospital staff and come back and calm down the giggling Jerkboy again.

Batman invades Girlfriend's apartment for no apparent reason, only to be attacked by The Joker.
Though apparently he was actually aiming for Girlfriend (what a shocker, actually trying to kill the person who LIVES there?. No way!).

Off to see Girlfriend hangin' out in “the house of the future”. Which is now all old and broken and forgotten and messy. And, oh by the way, that's where Joker met with Old Guy.
But we don't care. Time for a useless flashback. Guess what, Girlfriend's father got killed. And she broke up with Bruce (so why was SHE mad at HIM?. I don't know).
Ooh, Joker, staying at the house of the future, is being visited by Mr. Floaty.
Hmmm... I'm guessing at this point, Mr. Floaty may actually be Girlfriend.
Either that or he's going to kidnap Girlfriend for no apparent reason.
But this could be entertaining. The Joker vs. Mr. Floaty.
And what do ya know, Joker's not as dumb as he looks. Mr. Floaty is actually *dun dun dun!* Girlfriend!. We're all shocked and surprised, I know.
Time for an impracticality battle. Who has the most impractial weapon of them all?.
And it's JOKER!. With the bologna. He escapes, but both naturally survive.

But it ain't over yet. Girlfriend follows Joker, only to be attacked by a giant fan. Looks like it's Joker's ball game. Of course, Girlfriend is completely out of costume by this time. Fortunately, she seems to be wearing ample clothing underneath that Grim Reaper outfit.
It's Ignorant, Lovestruck Batsy to the rescue!. At the last instant, he sacrifices his batcycle to save the girl!. Poor Batcycle. It was so young, so innocent in all of this. Sniffle.
Poor Joker is greatly disappointed and leaves, without Batsy seeing him (probably busy crying over his batcycle while Girlfriend picks herself up and dusts herself off. Both are FAR more important than catching The Joker).
Oopsie, Batsy isn't as lovestruck as we thought he was. He realizes that Girlfriend is actually Mr. Floaty. Poor Bats. Betrayed again.
And she tries to win him over with her crazy evil-person talk about revenge. Revenge is always bad. Unless you're wearing the Batsuit.
Aaannnnddd she leaves. Again. And Joker comes back to play.
Batman wants to play, as always. They have a fun little battle in a miniature version of Gotham City.
Made by Warner Brothers. The symbol was everywhere.
There is blood. For those of you who have seen Hot Fuzz, think the fight from that involving miniature buildings. Only... more PG. And also more comedic (it's JOKER, of COURSE it's more comedic!).
For the rest of you.... well... use your imagination.
Among other things, Joker looses a tooth and Batman fends off some mini helicopters with his cape.
They fight for about ten minutes (and do a variety of stupid things).
After they successfully beat each other senseless, Girlfriend (Ex-Girlfriend?) returns to try to kill The Joker, again (that's not fair. She took a coffee break and let Batman do all the real work!).
Batman, naturally, has to stop her. I mean, you can't have Batman without Joker. It's wrong.
Ex-Girlfriend wants everybody to stay for lunch. Or a giant explosion that will kill them all. Whichever. She obviously has deep feelings for Bruce if she's willing to let him die with her and Joker.
For some reason, Joker finds this hilarious. Even though his death is part of the plan.
Maybe he thought she was joking (I'm sorry, but it had to be said at some point).
Then, for no reason, Ex-Girlfriend poofs herself and Joker into... somewhere else, leaving Batsy to try to escape the explosion all by himself (yep, she's definitely a keeper. You always want a girlfriend who tries to kill you just because you happen to be there at the time).
Somehow, Batsy survives. Yep, there were some sewer tunnels. And he used them to escape into the ocean. Then he goes home and sits under a blanket for awhile (or was it his cape?).
Alfred talks at him for awhile, trying to make him not feel guilty (that's like telling fire not to burn stuff. Not using water on it, just talking to it and telling it that burning stuff is wrong).
He sees a shiny thing and wanders off.
Yep, you guessed it. Ex-Girlfriend's ring, stuffed into the wall of the batcave.
Why?. We don't know. Time for some crying and sad music.

POOF!. Look, random strangers on a boat. And Ex-Girlfriend staring off to sea.
Some nice stranger talks to her and she just says sad things at him.
Aaannnnddd Batman's on a building. Moping. As usual.
But wait!. BAT SIGNAL!. YAY!. ZOOM!.
And what happened to The Joker?. We'll never know. But we do know this: nobody (and I mean NOBODY) can kill The Joker. Believe me, it's been tried before.
End Credits time!. And the song is.... some really sappy sounding love song. Ewewewew!. KILL IT!.

Bonus: Uses For Robin (who did not appear in this film)
Robin's main function is to make Batman look good. He can do this in several ways:
  1. By getting kidnapped and needing rescue (for when damsel's are in short supply).
  2. By getting hurt and needing rescue (good for when bad guys need to escape).
  3. By getting hurt and making Batman feel guilty (good for a “Batman's having a bad day” story).
  4. By randomly not being smart enough to figure something out and needing Batman to tell him.
  5. Having a sudden Teenager/Orphan crisis that Batman needs to talk him out of.
  6. Randomly suddenly disagreeing with Batman so that Batty looks smart when he's right.
Other functions include:
  1. Acting as the second person when plans require two or more people to work.
  2. Being surprised that Batman is alive after something happens (or being the only person who believes he's alive).
  3. Allowing villains to make bird jokes at him (and then punching them).
  4. Fitting into spaces too small for Batman to go.
  5. Saying something smart when Batman isn't there to say it himself.
  6. Declaring things Holy. Such as: Sardines, Nightmares, Missiles and anything else even remotely related to the plot (Note: Only applies to Robin from the 60s). For instance, had this movie been a 60s Batman and had he been in it, he might have said something along the lines of "Holy Smokes" or "Holy Floaty Pants!" or maybe "Holy Grim Reaper!". Also quite possible are "Holy Flashback" and "Holy Dead Guys". I could go on, but you get the picture.

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