Gloria Goes To The Movies

Good ideas are not restricted to one blog round here, and an agitated pub discussion (what else) last Friday suggested Gloria might want to come to Do You See. After all the concepts of authenticity, pretension and critical knee jerk showing off is just at home in visual media. And to start off we have a lovely case of cross-media synergy.

The Case Of The Dark Knight’s Returns:

A three way Gloria this, pitting film, film/tv and television against each other. To start with we have box office success. For all the over emphasis on Jack Nicholson, the lousy Prince sound track and lack of Robin: it cannot be denied that Tim Burton’s Batman was an immensely successful film. Trading on the late eighties grim and gritty comic stylings, and with occasionally audacious casting, the film revolutionised movie marketing and launched Burton the maverick director that Hollywood liked to use (not always to good effect). This franchise of films launches a mini-gloria of its own of course: which of the nineties Batman films is the best. Schumacher however is not the focus of this Gloria.

Why? Because there will be entertainment purists who will say that the One True Batman is the sixties TV series and its spin-off movie. And a strong argument can be advocated. Sure the acting was wooden, the campness factor was turned up to ten and it was not exactly respectful to its source. But wait, the source is a man dressed up as a bat fighting crime and you have to earn respect right? And BIFF! POW!! and lest we forget Bat Anti-Shark Repellent: the fans of this version say sod the Dark Knight, lets have some fun.

But hold: who is that in the corner? There appears to be a further option in this bun fight, and its fans use terms like “the real actual one true Batman” or the only faithful adaptation. These are the fans of Batman: The Animated Series. It certainly exceeded its original remit of being a spin-off of the Burton film, creating a look and feel all of its own. It even had its own theatrically released film: Mask Of The Phantasm.Gothic designs, clarity of writing and simplicity was its key selling point. Or alternatively over-simplified character designs mixed with a violent dourness that has no room in kiddie cartoon land.

So what is it to be? I will be leaving you Easter to mull this one over as we try and work out a way of fixing the Poptimiser to a DVD machine. Is it Tim Burton’s box office bonanza, the camp classic from the sixties or mature animation from the nineties? You decide. And then the Poptimiser decides and you find out if you were right.