FM2 – Section A – Audience & ProducersHarry Knowles‘Aint it cool news’ review of: ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997) Folks, Im going to tell you to do something hideous, something against my better judgment, but I simply have to tell you to see BATMAN & ROBIN. Why? After all my screams of agony, of pain, or mistrust of Joel Schumacher? Because no matter how bad you have heard this film is, nothing can prepare you for the sheer glorious travesty of the 200-megaton bomb of a film this is. This film is so bad, so awful, so vanity ridden with horrible over the top performances, that nothing I can say, can prepare you for it. You dont have to see it this weekend, in fact its probably best if you didnt, but I suggest you see it during the week at some earlymatinee, or better yet a midnight show. Yes, this is a midnight movie. The sort of flick that cries out forvengeance. Joel Schumacher should not under any possible circumstances direct another one. This film willfill you with disbelief and rage if you are a long standing BATMAN fan, if you arent, youll be bored. On thepage before people mentioned Clockwork Orange and Max Headroom references, well there is even aBARBARELLA reference in here too. Do they cause a smile? More like a smirk. However, the most shockingcameo I saw was something I couldnt believe. Did you ever see FLESH GORDON? No, not FLESH GORDONAND THE COSMIC CHEERLEADERS, but the original film, which I kinda like? Well, the spaceship that lookslike a curved dildo that sparks away from the planet? I swear to god, that that is FREEZEs ship. My friend,and battle companion Glen, recognized it instantly and we turned and in unison said, "Thats FleshGordons Spaceship!!!" We smiled, shook our heads and continued to watch.Who are the survivors of this, the worst Batman film? George Clooney manages to weather the storm withminor cuts and bruises. Michael Gough seems to look like he actually is acting, despite the film around him.Everyone else is absolutely the worst they have ever been. Arnold has never been in a film this bad andinconsistent in tone. HERCULES GOES BANANAS is at least somewhat balanced in tone. His performanceif you could call it that, was TERRIBLE. He was the best of the TERRIBLE performances though. UMA was sobad, so awful, my friend and I literally grabbed vainly in front of us, as if in some desperate hope to rip herviolently off the screen. Get her out of the film, she is HORRENDOUS. Is it all her fault ooooooooohnooooooooooooooooo. Eliot Goldenthal (with Schumachers insistence Im sure) came up with theBRILLIANT idea to put sleazy saxophone music as her theme. You know, did you see THE SPECIALIST? Youknow the shower scene, where Stallone and Stone begin making love and out of nowhere comes hurtlingat our ears the terrible waning of out of tune saxophones screaming out. Well, they used saxophones muchbetter in that, than in this. Her theme hurt not only an already terrible performance, but contaminatesthe rest of film too.Ok, enough enough harping on the film, you want here what the audience did? Without some sort ofspeech from me, or a sign beneath the film saying RUN HOME RUN NOW!! They did that exactly. In almostperfect 5 minute intervals beginning at the 15 minute mark of the film they began their exodus. Firstunrelated individuals, then couples, then families. My friend Glen pleaded cried into my shoulder,"DAMMIT LET ME THE FUCK OUT HERE, I CANT HANDLE ANY MORE OF THIS!!" Oh no, it wasntgonna be that easy for him. He doesnt even think its a bomb in the watchable sense, but then he hadntseen SPEED 2 the week before.To me, this is Star Trek 5. But let me explain that. This is a much worse film for the following reasons.Shatner had the budget cut by 40% during the course of filmmaking; Schumacher had the entire sources ofone of the best studios behind him. He had a good script. He had the right cast. He destroyed this film. Hedirected the normally fun and enjoyable actors to act as if they were pumped up on amphetamines and
FM2 – Section A – Audience & Producerschased it with exotic hallucinogens. These people are lost. Only Clooney, Gough, and possibly ODonnell(though he stunk up the room pretty bad) seem somewhat immune. Alicia, well, shes Alicia.Kids were not excited by this film, often times SCREAMING could be heard. You know the sound a kidmakes when a parent is forcing them to STAY IN THEIR SEAT. Hey what type of movie makes you wanna getout of your seat? When I was kid, watching those SUPERMAN films you couldnt pry me from my seat. Infact nothing could remove me from the theater. Even the worst of that series, doesnt begin to compare.Mr Fingernails would kick Arnolds ass any day of the week. As for female villains URSA and Catwomanwould whoop IVYs rear (description of rear deleted for fear of offending those with less than adequatetoned butts)!!!This film has that, oh how do I do this? Ok, here I go. "Oh WOW thats kinda.. AWW MAN THAT SUCKS!!!"You see what Im getting at? You almost get the thought out that something you glimpsed on screen wascool, then instantly without reason that coolness is jerked away and replaced with a hideous wormy Umavoice. Her voice. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. This voice could scare men out of the trenches ina war. The defense department should study it. The voice would make a straight guy go gay; I heard thatafter the screening from an anonymous source.Speaking of after the film, the casualty victims, the audience, stood in front of the theater with stunnedlooks of disbelief. You know that look on peoples faces in ATOMIC CAFE? The survivors of Hiroshima? I sawthat stare again. The pain. The agony. The wish to make it all go away. The masochist in me loved it. I hadattended a train wreck and sat third row center. Far more effective than the one in THE FUGITIVE this iswhat I saw. This is honest. I love Batman, I was even wearing a BATMAN & ROBIN tie to the screening. Ididnt try to convince anyone this film was going to be awful. Instead I was like WANG in BIG TROUBLE INLITTLE CHINA. You know, "Ive got a real positive feeling about this." I did, its true. I had resolved myself towatching the 60s Adam West Batman series brought to life with the full cooperation of Hollywood. What Isaw cannot be explained. Why do people make ugly things? Is it stupidity, is it ignorance I dont know.Maybe this film is beautiful in an Ed Wood way. Maybe Schumacher is like that kindergarten child withfinger-paints doing portraits of mommy and daddy. When you see those finger-paints you say, ooooh Joel,thats nice, but inside you look at the indiscernible mixtures of colors forming vague shapes and wonderwhat the hell your kid was thinking. You put it on the fridge, and then one day its in the closet beingeaten by roaches and rats. This is that film. The one that gathers dust and fades away.Let it fade!
FM2 – Section A – Audience & Producers Batman & Robin weekly US box office figure. Per Date Rank Gross % ChangeTheaters Total Gross Days Theater 6/20/19971 $42,872,605 2,934 $14,612$42,872,605 3 6/27/19973 $15,735,702-63.30% 2,942 $5,349 $75,208,048 10 7/4/1997 5 $8,027,257 -48.99% 2,942 $2,729 $90,716,119 17 7/11/19977 $4,085,748 -49.10% 2,701 $1,513 $98,795,842 24 7/18/199710 $1,780,393 -56.42% 1,916 $929 $102,808,36631 7/25/199715 $703,205 -60.50% 1,090 $645 $104,552,40338 8/1/1997 23 $306,973 -56.35% 448 $685 $105,189,28345 8/8/1997 31 $149,408 -51.33% 210 $711 $105,506,13552 8/15/199739 $83,183 -44.32% 153 $544 $105,674,49859 8/22/199726 $417,528 +401.94%712 $586 $106,135,31366 8/29/199730 $412,090 -1.30% 677 $609 $106,712,33573 9/5/1997 33 $200,106 -51.44% 640 $313 $107,000,03380 9/12/199736 $103,126 -48.46% 569 $181 $107,188,61987 9/19/199743 $52,648 -48.95% 416 $127 $107,285,00494Harry Knowles’s review was released mid week after the film’s opening weekendNotice the dramatic 63% drop in box office revenue. These figures demonstrate the power and influencethe media has over a film’s success rate.Although Warner Brothers labelled the film a financial success it under performed at the box office andwas not the hit they had expected“Batman & Robin was released on June 20, 1997 in North America, earning $42,872,605 in its openingweekend, making it the third-highest opening weekend of 1997. However, the film rapidly declined witha 63% second week plunge. Many observers based the second week drop on negative word of mouth. Inaddition, Batman & Robin faced early competition with Face/Off and Hercules. Schumacher blamed iton yellow journalism started by Harry Knowles of Aint It Cool News and other film websites such asDark Horizons. The film went on to gross $107.3 million in North America and $130.9 millioninternationally, coming to a worldwide total of $238.2 million” From www.wikipedia.com