"Speaking of Batman, count me among the minority who found THE DARK KNIGHT RISES the latest candidate for “Emperor’s New Clothes” status. The pretentiousness and the self-importance on display are almost as unbearable as the length of the thing, which contains more absurdities than a Dr. Seuss book (but is far less fun). What I come away with most are the unintelligible dialogue exchanges between pro-wrestler-like Bane, whose mouth is covered by a pointlessly grotesque mask, and Bale’s Batman, who talks in his now trademark low, lispy spooky Batman voice – not that any of it is worth hearing. Their muffled back-and-forth is the stuff that Riff Trax are made of. And if you like kettle drums, you’ll just love the score. Perfect for an endless Samoan war dance.
"On the plus side, Anne Hathaway makes a perfectly fine Catwoman who actually injects some humor into the mix (a rarity in these dour films). And while I like Ms. Hathaway’s rear view just fine, was it really necessary to design a bat-cycle that has her riding it prone with her butt in their air? Just wondering."
Ed here: Now if I bothered to see it I'd probably agree with Al. The review also reminded me of the letters I used to get about Al's long time movie review back when I was editing Mystery Scene. I could always count on him to stir things up. People either loved or loathed his reviews. As I recall after a few years the lovers outnumbered the loathers. I loved them.
I didn't always agree with Al. Still don't (see Adam Sandler who I can't believe gets work outside of handing out Big Macs through a drive-up window.) But Al's such a good writer and astute critic that I enjoy his reviews not only for his discussions of movies but just for the pleasure of reading him. His reviews were collected not too long ago. Somebody should make the book available in e form.
One thing I've always admired about his film reviews is his abhorrence of pretense. Some of these comic book movies--to name just one example--get treated with the kind of reverence usually reserved for films that have proved over decades to be masterpieces.
I'll admit to saying this with something of a grudge. When John Carter of Mars came out it was trashed in an orgy of loathing. That's fair. But to me it was not only a thoroughly entertaining movie and one--as a lifelong Edgar Rice Burroughs fan--that brought ERB's Mars to real life.
So I was laughing with great pleasure as I read Al's trashing of Batman's pomposity. And I'm sure he's right about Anne Hathaway's bottom. The rest of her is pretty damned nice, too.