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Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Sybil Pandemic
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
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the agony booth
Batman Forever (1995) Movie Recap Page 2 of 14
Posted by Dan Laurikietis Posted on: November 17, 2008
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Cut to a close-up of Batman as he mentally prepares himself for his nightly assault on the criminal scourge of Gotham. Actually, if his facial expression is anything to go by, he's trying to decide between stopping off at Burger King or Wendy's. Seriously, I have cauliflower in my refrigerator that emotes better than Kilmer.

You know, from all the talk of bad blood between Kilmer and Schumacher, and Kilmer's fairly respectable back catalogue of performances, I can't help but wonder if his distinct lack of effort in this movie was meant to spite the director. If this is the case, then he clearly cut off his nose to spite his face. Kilmer's portrayal of Batman has pretty much dropped off the cultural radar. These days, he's like the George Lazenby of the Bat-universe. Hell, even Lewis Wilson's 1943 portrayal is more fondly remembered.

Caption contributed by Dan
"Bruce from Gotham, you're on Talk Radio."
"Hi, Barry, I'm narcoleptic and I think it's having an adverse affect on my crime fighting career."

Also in this sequence, Batman uses a Bat-omni-control-lever to accelerate, decelerate, and ignite the engines, almost by magic, regardless of the direction in which it's being pushed or pulled. I'd suggest it was powered by brain waves, except there's a notable absence of swirling green light (more on that later).

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So far, this scene hasn't been without its faults, but it's at least demonstrated a degree of pace and energy. They're also setting up Batman as a fairly cool customer. The palette has been relatively dark, and the production design cool and sleek, even if it's lacking the character of the previous films.

Well, enjoy it while it lasts, and drive carefully, because we are now leaving The Limits of Joel Schumacher's Restraint. Like some kind of visual Tourette's outburst, we're about to get assaulted by the neon-drenched abomination that is this movie's Gotham City.

Gone are the gothic spires and towering archways of the previous films. Instead, we get neon! Lots and lots of neon!

In the DVD special features, production designer Barbara Ling says she was trying to invoke a myriad of times and cultures through using different types of neon. I can see a semblance of logic in this. In the first Batman film, Anton Furst deliberately mixed disparate forms of architecture to give his Gotham a sense of foreboding and hopelessness, like a Frankenstein's monster of brick and mortar. But whereas Furst created a caricature of a metropolitan city, the only thing Ling has created here is a garish mess.

And not only is it a mess, but it fails at the entire function of production design. A production designer's job is to tell the story visually. The set, costumes, props, etc. need to supplement the narrative by giving us a sense of what's going on in the story. The twirling mass of color before me makes no sense at all from a storytelling point of view. All around are Chinese characters, and red paper lamps, indicating that we're maybe in Gotham's Chinatown. But later, we'll find out that we're actually outside the Second Bank of Gotham.

Now think about it. There's this much neon and shit in Gotham's financial district? Christ on a bike! Between the neon! lights and people in outlandish fluorescent wigs, it looks like Harajuku. In fact, any more intense neon! exposure would surely require me to wear a lead vest. Hell, I feel I should at least be shielding my crotch when I'm watching this DVD.

The streets are teeming with people, and in keeping with Gothamite tradition, they're all standing around like morons. A few of them are jabbering amongst themselves, and pointing excitedly at something. Amongst the finger-jabbing masses are actually a few firemen, who are also pointing excitedly. There must be something pretty spectacular up there to strip away those guys' professional veneer.

Wait, no, it's just this:

Caption contributed by Dan
Check out our exxxxxtreme high yield savings account at the Second Bank of Gotham!

The side of a building. Great. Honestly, one would think the original Shroud of Turin was hanging from a window. How these people manage to get to work in the morning without spontaneously exploding in a shower of their own orgasmic secretions is quite beyond me. I can see them now, swerving perilously down the Gotham highways, shouting incredulously.

"Hey look, a tree!"
"Woah, check it out, that car's metallic blue!"
"Oh, my fucking God! A puppy!!"

Perhaps the luminously be-wigged masses are pointing at the search lights currently weaving up and down the building in increasingly spastic patterns. I keep expecting them to land on Burt Ward as he smacks his fist into his palm, à la the introduction to the 1966 movie. But the references to the '60s Batman TV show won't be elbowing their way in until later, and they won't be anywhere near that clever or subtle.

Just when I think my eyes are about to shrivel into charred raisins, we cut to the inside of the bank. In perhaps the most artful shot of the film, the Bat-signal is shimmering, ghostly and ethereal, in the Gotham night sky. In slow motion, a coin somersaults through the air, blocking out the bat logo. The coin is double-headed, and one side is scratched and scarred beyond recognition. As any Bat-fan will recognize, this is Two Face's coin.

In the hands of a better director, this moment would be a clever introduction to a classic comic book villain. However, once you see the ham-fisted mess that is Tommy Lee Jones's portrayal of Two Face, you'll realize that this (like all of the film's better moments) serves only to reinforce how much the rest of the film sucks.

As it so happens, this wasn't Two Face's original introduction. Before the studio recuts, there was originally a scene where Two Face breaks out of Arkham Asylum. That scene featured a character named Dr. Burton (played by Deep Space Nine's Rene Auberjonois), who now appears at the end of the film with little to no explanation.

For the uninitiated, Harvey Dent AKA Two Face was created in 1942 by Batman creator Bob Kane. Drawing inspiration from the Spencer Tracy film version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Kane decided to create a villain with a dual personality, represented by his half-scarred face. In the comics, Harvey Dent was Gotham City's District Attorney, until he was hideously scarred at the trial of gang lord Sal "The Boss" Maroni, causing the otherwise kind-natured Dent to create a ghoulish alter ego.

And in a nod to the original Scarface starring George Raft, Kane decided that Two Face would flip a coin—one half of which was scratched and scarred—to decide whether to do good or evil. In recent comics (following some minor retcons), it was revealed that Harvey had a case of multiple personality disorder, due to deeply repressed childhood abuse.

Why am I telling you all this? Just to give you an idea of the rich, multilayered nature of the character, which will now be completely ignored by this movie. Also, I wanted to make it clear just how poorly the film is going to illustrate Two Face's origin in just a few minutes.

Anyway. Coin. Sailing through air. Slow mo. Arty. Nice. Nice!

Harvey Dent, played by Tommy Lee Jones, catches the coin while standing in profile, showing only the "good" half of his face. Brace yourself for his first line.

Two Face: You're counting on the winged avenger to deliver you from evil, aren't you, my friend?

What the cocking nuts is that? Never have I read any instances of Harvey Dent speaking like this in the comics. It sounds like the kind of pretentious, quasi-poetic drivel you'd encounter in a Batman fanfic.

Dent looks down at a bound and gagged security guard, who's being played by Joe Grifasi. Judging by his performance here, I assumed for years that Grifasi was perhaps the first AD's slightly autistic brother, or Val Kilmer's drug mule. It certainly never occurred to me that this was the work of a professional actor, who does acting... for a living.

As it turns out, Mr. Grifasi is an accomplished stage and screen actor, and his résumé includes appearances on Law and Order and ER. So welcome to the first installment of Joel Schumacher making talented performers look and sound like amateurs. He does this a lot.

Joe the Security Guard asks if Two Face is going to kill him. If I was being held hostage by a disfigured psychopath, I might veer the conversation away from murder altogether, but to each his own.

Two Face, in the first of the film's many delightful bouts of wordplay, informs the guard that he is "of two minds on the subject". It's not quite "let's kick some ice", but it's still pretty cringe-worthy. Two Face then begins to monologue about how all the world's justices and injustices are decided by blind, stupid luck. He says that tossing his coin is the blindest possible luck, and is therefore the only true justice.

Actually, in the comics, the coin is a way for Two Face to reconcile his warring split psyches, so thanks, Herr Goldsman, for completely missing the point of the character.

Caption contributed by Dan
The execs at Warner Brothers hand Akiva Goldsman his research budget.

The security guard's response to this ominous monologue is to whimper like a little girl. Honestly, whoever runs this bank deserves everything they get for letting this pansy guard their money.

While Dent's been a-monologueing, the camera has swiveled 'round to reveal the scarred half of Dent's face in all its fluorescent pink, perfectly symmetrical glory. Suddenly, both Two Face and Joe the Hostage are bathed in red light. Because red light means evil? Oh yes, of course, I forgot we were studying at the I Know Who Killed Me School of Expressionism.

Caption contributed by Dan
Joel Schumacher... You don't have to put on the red light!

While we're here, I'd like to take the opportunity to draw attention to Two Face's utterly ridiculous wardrobe. I can see why a costume designer might want to, say, make Two Face's suit incorporate two designs, each representing a part of his fractured psyche. I can see no logic, however, in incorporating a pink and black zebra stripe motif into the suit. Nor a leopard print shirt, nor a tie which appears to be studded with rhinestones. Fucking rhinestones. Still, what do I know about Supervillain Couture?

After what seems like an eternity of mugging, Two Face flips the coin and informs Joe Hostage that fortune has smiled upon him. He lives to whimper another day.

With a very theatrical (or drunken, I can't quite tell) flourish, Two Face motions to his guards to drop Joe Hostage into a nearby bank vault. This vault appears to be the source of the ludicrous red glow. Because when I deposit my money, I want to know it's being kept safe under heat lamps! If anyone out there knows why red neon is such a vital part of modern security technology, I'd be delighted to know.

Two Face declares that Joe Hostage will be used as bait to trap Batman. If I were Two Face, I'd be more selective in my choice of hostage, but there you go.

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