Thanks to the watch instantly option at Netflix, I’m able to spend most of my time at work slack-jawed and staring at my second monitor, which is cleverly tilted away from the door of my not-quite-private office. I get to work at about 8:30 and that whistle don’t blow till around six so, in the end, I’ve plenty of time to kill. I should be writing shit for the GS front page, or elsewhere, but why do that when I can rewatch the classics?
Currently, I’m watching Tim Burton’s Batman and remembering how stoked I was when it first came out. Though now I wonder why the tourist family decides to cut through a dark alleyway to find a cab. But the problems don’t really begin until the proto-meth heads get fucked up by Michael Keaton. I could never buy him as Batman. And was just plain confused by Billy Dee Williams – clearly twisted on Colt 45 – trying to do Harvey Dent. Meanwhile, Nicholson, while amazing, was really just calling that performance in, wasn’t he? Batman is, in my opinion, the first movie where he gave up. Just show up high every day and ad lib, Jack! No problem. Send the check to my Malibu house and, this weekend, I’ll be filming The Two Jakes with both eyes closed while in a coma.
The Tim Burton fantasy glitz is what hurt Batman. Saved only by an unusual restraint on his part, Nicholson’s touched acting ability, and Sam Hamm’s surprisingly enjoyable script. Of course, he’s the guy who brought us the sublime Never Cry Wolf, and introduced a storyline into the franchise (through the comics) that would later inspire Batman Begins. The Sam Hamm Batman Circle! Still, though, it’s dangerously close to the hideous Dick Tracy.
Jack Palance ruined his career with Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Having him on board as Boss Grissom is about as distracting as someone blowing an airhorn throughout his scenes. You just want him to turn to the camera and breathlessly say “Believe it…or not!” Or maybe do showy push-ups with one arm while delivering his lines.
And is Commissioner Gordon a bit too touchy? When the cop comes to the party to tell him about the robbery at Axis Chemicals, he’s all over that poor guy.
But let’s move on to what makes Batman immortal… Yep, you guessed it. Kim Basinger. Or, as my friend in high school would always say, “Kim My Cock Basinger.” Definite early crush territory there. Even though she teased us with nudity for ages… Not like Nicole Kidman who was doing weird, violent, highly erotic sex scenes as soon as she was old enough. God, the rape scene in Dead Calm still has me hot and bothered. That’s one of those scenes where you feel guilty for being aroused because it’s so terrible but, god, it’s young Nicole Kidman in break-away short shorts!
Now I’m trying to think of who my first movie star crush was… That steamy scene with a very young Valentino Vargas in 1986’s The Name of the Rose often comes to mind. But I’ll probably have to settle on 1983’s The Hunger, which came out right when I was about to launch headlong into puberty. Insane lesbian sex with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon? Yes please! David Bowie slaughtering a young Ann Magnuson while Bauhaus rocked the soundtrack? Just what a growing boy needs. The same year threw out that amazing sex scene with Rebecca De Morney in Risky Business (back when Tom Cruise was tall) and was followed so closely by Revenge of the Nerds in 1984 with the infamous beaver shot. By the time we got to Joyce Hyser’s boinging boobs (to use my mid-80’s vernacular) in 1985’s Just One of the Guys, I was getting used to nudity. It took weird fetish scenes like in The Name of the Rose and Dead Calm to get the blood going again. I’m not happy unless Catherine Deneuve has her nose buried in the crotch of America’s favorite mousy girl, or Nicole Kidman is getting what she deserves (based on her later film rolls).
I’m off topic. How’d I get here? From Kim Basinger’s Batman legs and poor taste in clothes to monks molesting Valentino Vargas! God, I miss the 80’s. We don’t have girls like that anymore. Monica Bellucci upsets me because her rape scene in Irreversible is so violent and horrific you can’t actually sit through it. If you did, then you’re fucked up and I should put your eyes out. It’s so graphic that I can’t look straight at her in anything else.
Lena Headey might count as a current crush but, oddly, I like her better when her clothes are on. Which is the opposite where Gina Torres is concerned. How wonderful was it to get that ass shot in The Shield, eh? I want the cast of Cleopatra 2525 to have a huge on-screen Caligula-like orgy for three or four hours. I’d pay fake IMAX prices for that!
TV crushes are different than movie crushes because you have to fall in love with them while they’re fully clothed. Which is good, because all of my first TV crushes are little girls. Like that chick from Out of This World and, of course, V.I.C.K.I.
But, really. Back to Batman. I’m going to soak in this two hour plus movie featuring Prince phoning in a soundtrack from his bathroom, Michael Keaton muttering his way through every line, space-age gadgets and technology circa 1947, and Jack Nicholson showing the ever-increasing symptoms of somebody on a serious PCP binge. When he shoots Bob, there’s almost this feeling that even that was ad-libbed. That, after a point, the entire movie is some sort of improv adventure. And, while I watch, I’ll think of Catherine Deneuve eating out Kim Basinger while Rosanna Arquette takes her from behind with a strap-on.
Oh! And to avoid the Bedazzled trap, I’ll specify that all three women in that situation should be as they were in the 1980’s, not 2009.