Burgess Meredith

Batman: The Movie

You just knew that with all of FSR’s Batman coverage this week, we wanted to tackle a commentary worthy of the caped crusader’s name. Of course, we already handled Christopher Nolan’s sole DVD commentary contribution, and anything Joel Schumacher has to say has to be heard first-hand to be believed. Sure, we could have gone to Tim Burton for this one, but his track record on talking about his own movie is a big goose egg thus far. We didn’t want to chance it, so we went back, way back, to the swingin’ 60s and the POW, BLAM, and SPLAT of the colorful classic Batman: The Movie. Originally intended to be the TV series pilot, the film ended up getting a theatrical release between the series’ first and second seasons. It would continue on for three seasons total, but that classic “Batman” series would continue in the hearts of little boy wonders and batgirls all over the world for decades to come. Even now, the fandom behind this series is undeniable. Thanks to the never-ending wonders of DVD and Blu-Ray, we have this movie in all of its campy goodness. What’s more, we have Batman and Robin themselves, Adam West and Burt Ward, providing appropriately quirky commentary. Check out what they had to say right here. Holy Feature Length Amazement, Batman!

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Culture Warrior

Enduring cultural figures like Batman endure precisely because of the slight but notable changes they incur over time. Batman has had a long history in the moving image, and while the character has maintained both the central conceit of being a crime-fighting detective, the cinematic Batman of seventy years ago bears little resemblance to the Batman we’re familiar with today. The character and his myth have been interpreted with variation by a multitude of creative persons other than Bob Kane and Bill Finger. In the moving image, Batman has been embodied by a range of actors including Robert Lowery, Adam West, and George Clooney, and Batman has been realized by directors and showrunners prone to various tastes and aesthetic interpretations like William Dozier and Christopher Nolan. While Batman is perhaps best-known by a non-comic-astute mass culture through the many blockbuster feature films made about him, including this summer’s hotly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, the character’s cinematic origins are rooted in the long-dead format of the movie serial. Batman first leapt off the page in a 15-part serial made in 1943 titled Batman and another six years later titled Batman and Robin. These serials did not influence Batman’s later cinematic iterations realized by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher as much as they inspired Batman’s representation on television. Batman’s presence in film serials and on television have had a decisive and important impact in terms of how mass audiences perceive the Batman of feature films. At the same time, these serials […]

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone Episode #8 – “Time Enough At Last” (airdate 11/20/59) The Plot: A lover of books can’t get a break. At home, his wife henpecks him for reading, and at work they expect him to work instead of enjoying his hobby. Fortunately, a large explosion is about to give him all the free time in the world. The Goods: It would be difficult to come up with a single episode that encapsulates the themes and skill of this show, but “Time Enough At Last” would undoubtedly make a short list with ease. It is a titan of the series with an unrelentingly pathetic main character played with nuance and vinegar by Burgess Meredith (who is miles away from his cigarette filter, Penguin sneer and his mat-chewing, Rocky-training Mick). It’s a nice reminder that a man remembered for his characters was an Oscar nominee. Meredith disappears into the limp artifice and coke-bottle glasses of Henry Bemis – a man who wants nothing more than a quiet place and a few million hours to enjoy words on a page. Granted, he’s pretty terrible at his job as a bank teller, but he’s still dressed down with gusto by his boss (Vaughn Taylor), and heading home offers no respite because his bitch of a wife (there are more […]

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today.

Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t hide a dead fish in our backseat.

Part 11 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Rivalry of Kinsmen” with Grumpy Old Men.

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