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xx Batman Forever: Redbook Cut
« Thread started on: Nov 15th, 2014, 10:19pm »

Anyone heard of this?

So remember all those rumors of a Director's Cut for Forever? Someone actually tried to make it, and then some.


They added in all the "darker" deleted scenes, removed as much camp as possible, and toned down the color palette.

And it sucked.

In the years since the Nolan trilogy appeared, Ive grown soft on the Schumacher movies. When Batman Forever and B&R were half your Batman movies, it made sense to be mad, but since then they've kinda taken their place in history. Now, I believe that they perfectly capture the 1950's era of Batman. (I think Ive actually watched Batman Forever more than Dark Knight Rises in the past 2 years. Ask me how I feel about DKR in 20 years).

So watching the "dark" cut totally removed any charm that Forever had. No Batman in the court room, no more neon, no cheesy 90s jokes. It felt lifeless.

If you happen upon the cut then you should check it out for curiosity sake, but Im thinking Batman Forever is good as it is.
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xx Re: Batman Forever: Redbook Cut
« Reply #1 on: Nov 21st, 2014, 04:54am »

I don't know if I can watch Forever in any form. I tried a couple years ago -- name a hypothetical, disgusting curiosity as stand-in for the general idea -- and I couldn't get past the first twenty minutes. Tommy Lee Jones alone is so terrible that the movie is nearly unwatchable.

I feel like the general idea of of Forever -- the gayness=camp and pure pop product placement in place of the '60s Pop Zeitgeist -- is strongly associated with the West series, but the aesthetic is simultaneously divorced from that moment almost altogether. After all, what is pop if not the moment? BF (isn't that evocative?!) takes the psychosexual fetishism inherent and visualized in Burton's films, then subverts the Burton view of Wayne (basically a depressive, violent, schizophrenic child-monster), or transmutes it, into a suggestive sexual identity crisis.

You know, kid friendly stuff.

So because its a generation or three down the line from the Campbell's Soup Can, somehow it feels divorced from it though an ad for the Golden Arches. Dissonance.

I'd guess the "lost scenes" would be a vague disaster instead of a great or interesting disaster. The notion of the red book is, again, somewhere between Burton and Schumacher; the problem being that it resolves the internal conflict in the character, which the film expresses anyway through its sex/partner conflict/resolution. The more direct, dramatic problem for the film is that Schumacher had no interest in what the prior films explored and Val Kilmer was doing an almost pitch perfect impression of Adam West. Stiff as a board

Forever was a compromised production that was oddly predicted by the films before it, whether it be Selina-Kyle-as-Frankenstein's-monster or a Batmobile that was more purely phallic than what Schumacher commissioned from Giger. It sold tie-in partners' kiddy items more effectively than Returns and had a few mentions of psychological torment (while Kilmer stares blankly or *stares blankly with his mouth hanging open*) which let it, I guess generally, play as a positive compromise during its initial run.

Of course, Returns also predicts the demise of Burton's tenure: a franchise film (that the studio meant to move Happy Meals) that centers on child abuse and, ultimately, a child killer plot. The subversion remains humorous.

Batman Forever's resolution creates Batman & Robin, the franchise wrecker. But how different are they? It feels like little more than pretense. Forever is ridiculous and awful yet the mere mention of parental loss helped it to keep its ruse of being something other than a camp toy ad. Maybe that's the biggest joke with the shrink and the Rorschach: what was the audience seeing in 1995 that made this acceptable, and what did (some of) that audience see in 1997 that made it unacceptable?

But Schumacher's trick was to marry the facile commercialism of McDonald's/etc. with his gay fetish text. Thus the aesthetic. But the best way to hide the latter, if not the former, was with the barest of occasional nods to Tim Burton (Batman's crazy and depressed; no, wait, Batman's gay and repressed). With Joel, Batman's kind of fucked up...because he's a closet case.

The idea that Shcumacher put out there of a "better" Forever would be, I'd hazard, a retroactive feint. A lie. He made the movie he wanted to. In many ways, it contains a thematic core that is personal. That it's a slight thing was always the goal. The Red Book subplot was a muddying of the waters wherein it was closer to a full compromise between old and new.

And without having seen this stuff cut back into the movie, the scenes always played as condescending exposition in any case. Basically a means to an end rather than anything truly suggestive or exploratory.

The suggestive elements of Forever have always been there. Ironic. The suggestive elements are keyed on sex, toys and Robin. I wonder if Bryan Singer noticed?

To be honest, the movies will always be flawed even in that context. I mean Schumacher manages to shoehorn in a garish homage to Adam West climbing up the side of a building (that Batmbobile scene) and even creates hilariously gay mise-en-scene through action scene explosions (flaming...) but somehow leaves out the Bat-Poles-as-homoerotic-imagery? Come on. Grant Morrison nailed that in his first issue.
« Last Edit: Nov 21st, 2014, 05:07am by Will » User IP Logged

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