September 18th, 2004

krazy koati

What is your scene, baby, we just gotta know

Color me outraged. I watched the Batman movie -- the Adam West one, the Batman people like -- for the first time in decades. I'd forgotten the casual way a lighthearted movie kills five henchmen and two animals.

The United Underworld henchmen are dehydrated, snuck into the Batcave with Penguin, and rehydrated. Penguin accidentally uses the heavy water, so at the first tap they turn into antimatter and disintegrate. That's way out of character for the show. The dramatic need for a not-too-long fight showing dangers of rehydration could have been met by the henchmen re-crystallizing at the slightest touch, and permanently rehydratingwould set up the United World Security Council rehydration and given a nice rehydration/rehabilitation metaphor.

Worse -- Jack Hench surely warned the underlings of the risks -- is killing a shark, by Penguin's bomb; and a porpoise, who``sacrifices himself'' ramming a torpedo. Both dramatic needs could have been met, with a mechanical shark and with a utility belt gadget freeing bat and bird from the buoy they're magnetically stuck on. Yeesh.

Moral outrage aside it's a great movie, bright and colorful and exciting and fun. Lee Meriwether is no Eartha Kitt, but who cares? Bruce Wayne, Millionaire Playboy, does that 60s swinging maybe better than Captain Kirk. Polaris missiles are used to skywrite clues. Batman gripes, fairly, in one of the greatest scenes ever, ``Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!'' And the Batcopter has N number N3079(something) -- the bat-wings obscure it, and make me wonder how the FAA handles movie N-numbers, Did the Jimmy Stewart Spirit of Saint Louis, which flies a replica NX-211, really use Lindbergh's N-number, or did they have a real number kept off-camera? Still the series should be on DVD.

Trivia: A tree in the Ténéré Desert, Niger Republic, was 31 miles from the nearest other tree. In February 1960 it was hit by a truck. The tree survived. Source: 1982 Guinness Book of World Records, Norris McWirther.

Currently Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire, Alan Palmer.