BATMAN ON FILM, 'The Dark Knight Fansite!' Est. 1998.

OPINION

Book Review: THE BATMAN FILMOGRAPHY
Janurary 26, 2006
Author: Bill Ramey

(EDITOR'S NOTE: It must be noted that the reviewer of this article and the author of this book have a friendly acquaintance. The author has also written articles for BATMAN ON FILM.)

Obviously, I’m a huge fan of the cinematic version of The Batman. Of course, I dig the character in all of his forms, but I’m a big fan of the BATMAN films. I loved BATMAN: THE MOVIE when I was a child; I got caught up in “Batmania” back in 1989; and, I believe BATMAN BEGINS to be the best comic book/superhero film to date.

And of course, I started the little website your are currently reading devoted to the on screen incarnation of The Dark Knight.

As The Batman has been around for nearly 70 years come 2009, there are numerous books about the character, and nearly all of them are dedicated to The Batman of the comic books. And that’s to be expected as The Batman is, first and foremost, a comic book character. As a result, I’ve never found a book that focused on the live-action, film version of The Caped Crusader -- until 2005.

Author Mark S. Reinhart’s THE BATMAN FILMOGRAPHY: LIVE-ACTION FEATURES, 1943-1997 (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2005) is a complete rundown of all the big screen outings of The Batman. From the 1943 Columbia film serial BATMAN to 1997’s abomination BATMAN AND ROBIN, detailed accounts of seven Bat-films can be found in this book.

If you are interested in a thorough examination of Batman on film, this is indeed the book for you. FILMOGRAPHY offers a bit of the history of each film, extensive film and production credits, and what I feel is the best part of the book -- a critical analysis of each of the BATMAN films. Mr. Reinhart doesn’t pull any punches either. He is very critical of the things he finds at fault with all the films. Whether it is poor production, cheesy costumes, silly dialogue, or overt bizarreness, all are called out.

If it sounds like FILMOGRAPHY is nothing but a Bat-movie “trash session,” that is far from the case. All of the good things found in the seven films are discussed as well. It is a celebration of the Batman character in general. Not only is the book about Batman on the silver screen, it is also about the importance of The Batman as a literary character and cultural icon.

The only negatives to this reviewer were the lack of photographs (there are none) and the fact that there is no chapter on BATMAN BEGINS. The lack of pictures from the films can be attributed to copyright issues. There is no chapter on BATMAN BEGINS (Although it is mentioned in the book) because the film had not been released at press time. The author does hope to one day include an updated edition to include what he has called the best live-action Batman film to date.

I give THE BATMAN FILMAGRAPHY an A and recommend it to all fans of The Dark Knight.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM,
BATMAN-IN-COMICS.COM, and ON-FILM.NET.

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