• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Batman Forever

TITLE: Batman Forever

YEAR: 1995

GENRE: Superhero/Comics

Most Batman fans need to learn the history of their favorite character. When discussing the Caped Crusader films with the most die-hard comic fanatics almost all of them are followers of the darker interpretations such as the 1989 Tim Burton epic or the 2008 The Dark Knight and will laugh at the less serious entries into the lore of Gotham City’s protector. Despite this, Batman and his sidekick Robin also have a less than serious past including the 1966 Batman cheese fest and the actual comic itself from the early 1940’s until about 1970. Because of this fact, I believe that there is room in the Dark Knight’s film history for some of the lighter fare that has been created over the years. That being said, Batman Forever is probably the best of the lighter fare Caped Crusader films and is an entertaining watch for those who enjoy superhero films with a more comical flair.

Batman (played by Val Kilmer) is currently in the hunt for Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) who is currently terrorizing Gotham City. Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) has recently come to town to study the Caped Crusader, and her beautiful charms have become a distraction for the crime fighter. Meanwhile, Dr. Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey) has been fired from Wayne Industries and becomes the puzzling villain The Riddler. Two-Face’s attack on a circus leaves performer Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell) an orphan and wealthy industrialist Bruce Wayne (Kilmer) adopts the teenager. As The Riddler and Two-Face team up become a psychotic duo bent on stealing the mind waves of Gotham City, Batman must work to break up the twosome to stop them from their dastardly work. But the Dark Knight will not work alone this time.

The first aspect that many superhero fans will notice about Batman Forever is that Gotham City is a brighter, more neon city than the Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan films. In addition, Batman Forever is very much action-packed and there are numerous quality fights and explosions throughout the production; this makes the film a little more immature feel than the more dramatic The Dark Knight but that is more acceptable since director Joel Schumacher (St. Elmo’s Fire, Flatliners, The Client) was not attempting to make the superhero version of The Godfather. Two-Face’s thugs are especially entertaining and create genuinely entertaining fight scenes with Batman including one guy swinging some type of razor claws. It is also enjoyable to watch all the over the top humor displayed throughout the action in Batman Forever: the scene where Two-Face and The Riddler play Battleship to blow Robin out of the water is hysterical; another scene where Two-Face is standing right next to wall that a wrecking ball takes down is insane; and the scene where Batman returns a bank vault stolen by Two-Face to his rightful place by only using a Batarang and a rope is hysterical in its absurdity. In terms of acting the villains take the cake here, as Carrey is utterly fantastic in his over the top rendition of the Riddler and Jones is fantastic as the multiple personality Two-Face. In addition, keep an eye out for Drew Barrymore as the lighter side of Two-Face’s femme fatales.

Schumacher followed this film up with the amazingly stupid Batman and Robin which is arguably the worst of any Caped Crusader adaptation ever made, and I would agree that most of the comical Batman films are not that great of a viewing. However, Batman Forever is an interesting mix of the somber and not so serious history of the Caped Crusader and his sidekick and does have its place in the collection of superhero fans that have a sense of humor. Batman Forever is not to be taken seriously by die-hard comic book fans, but then again that is not its intention. Pour a cold beverage of choice and enjoy Batman Forever for what it is: a lot of fun.

* * * 1/2

–Mark

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