12 Films of Christmas (Part 2)

As I promised earlier, here’s the second part in my 12 Films of Christmas series. So let’s get into it and see what Santa has brought us this time!

So for my second choice I’m going with a bit of an out of left field choice. This is “Batman Returns”. So what’s the plot? It’s christmas time in Gotham City and everyone’s preparing up to have a jolly good time. However, things take a strange turn when two mysterious figures called The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) show up and start causing trouble. So it’s up to Batman (Michael Keaton) to find out what their plans are and then stop them. Don’t be surprised that I managed to squeeze a Batman movie into this series, you knew it would happen somehow. But this is truly a christmas movie, as plenty of christmas stuff pops up both in the forefront and background of the movie. But more importantly, do I like this movie? Yeah, I do. Sure, it’s (pun intended) batshit crazy, and there are things about it that I’m not the biggest fan of. But there is still enough good stuff here to make it a highly enjoyable movie. Tim Burton returned (pun intended… again) to direct this movie after his 1989 smash hit “Batman”, and you can tell here that this is a Tim Burton movie. Dark yet playful imagery combined with an epic yet odd Danny Elfman score makes this one of Tim Burton’s Tim Burton-iest movies (before he found Johnny Depp). Keaton is of course once again fantastic as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Pfeiffer is strange and sexy as Catwoman, and Danny DeVito is one fucked up Penguin… but it somehow works in this strange world that Burton has established. And Christopher Walken as Max Shreck is one of the most delightfully slimy performances I’ve ever seen. It’s a dark movie, but it’s still a lot of fun and definitely something that can and probably should be put on during the holidays.

What do you think about “Batman Returns”? Did you like the darker tone that this had compared to the already dark “Batman”? Please, leave any and all thoughts on this movie in the comments, I’d love to hear your opinions on it.
Have a good one.

Movie Review: Hang ’em High (1968)

hang-em-high

You guys already know that I love westerns, I have said it so much that it has almost wore thin. So let’s just start the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hang ’em High”.

In this movie we follow rancher Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood) who one day when moving his cattle gets hung by a bunch of men. Problem is that they hung an innocent man, they also didn’t finish the job. So when he ís taken to a town, he once again becomes a lawman (Sidenote: I forgot to mention, this rancher is an ex-lawman). That’s right, he picks up the badge again to find the men who did him wrong and then bring them to justice. You know, so he can… hang ’em high (Roll Credits). It is really a simple revenge tale with a conspiracy-based twist which I will not spoil because I thought it was pretty good. What I didn’t enjoy that much was a romance sub-plot which arrived later in the movie. It felt shoehorned in and unnecessary. The plot overall was fine.

It’s Clint Eastwood in a western, of course he is good in the movie. Sure, he is not as good as in “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. But to be fair, that movie came out seven years after this one. But yeah… he was good. Every actor was in fact good and did good jobs as their characters. There’s really nothing more to it here.

The score for the movie was done by Dominic Frontiere and it was pretty good. While not as good as any of Ennio Morricone’s scores, this one still holds up. The tracks fit the movie and they all work to keep the desired mood for each scene.

Seeinf as this is a review for a western, it is time to give a warm welcome back to the segment “Gunfights”. So how were the gunfights in this movie? Limited. There weren’t that many. But those we got were good. They weren’t that intense, lengthy or badass as in a lot of other westerns, but for what they were they were good.

This movie was pretty well-directed. It was directed by Ted Post who I have never seen anything from. But he showed with this movie that he knows how to make a shot look good. Huh… I can’t think of anything else to say here in the “General Stuff” segment. That’s a bummer. Uhm… help.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com 7,0/10.

“Hang ’em High” is a western that is just good. It really is nothing special in either way. The story is fine (romance felt tacked on though), the performances were good, the score was good, the direction was good, the gunsights were good… it’s just good. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hang ’em High” is an 8,72/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

“Hang ’em High” is reviewed.

I am conflicted…