You probably know that while I harbored fond memories for it, upon rewatch, I hated Batman (1989). So it’s with great joy and pleasure I can confirm that Batman And Robin, one of the most maligned movies of all time, remains a wonderful, ridiculous, extremely gay banger.
Oh yes, this is one of the gayest movies of all time. At least, it’s about as gay as a hyper-mainstream superhero movie could be in the 1990s, and I am slightly in awe of just how many campy, queer, often kinky references beloved queer director Joel Shumacher shoved into this neon-hued, bat-nippled masterpiece.
We get all the way into it in the show, but the queer clues are everywhere: starting with the fact that the first shots in the film are close-ups on bat-nipples and leather-clad bat-butts. There is a very strong reference to infamous anti-gay supreme court decision Bowers v. Hardwick. In the actual text, Batman and Robin both have to be drugged to be attracted to Uma Thurman, one of the most attractive women to ever grace the screen (and she was herself lauded for her performance, which even people at the time saw as a very drag queen influenced take on Poison Ivy). Clooney’s Batman reads as a queer man with an obvious beard. And please, do not ever forget… the password to a secret file is peg. Peg. Peg!
You can hate this movie all you like. Most people do. But frankly, for me, I will prefer a gay director’s wink-and-nod, neon and leather draped take on superhero sexuality every day of the week over… basically anything else. In my humble opinion, there’s a lot of room for campy fun in this genre.
As always, you can listen to the show in the embed, or find it on your podcatcher of choice here. I’m including our show notes here, which contain some creative capitalization, but should give a good sense of our research and thoughts moving into recording day. You can also read the full transcription below our show notes, if you prefer your podcast in this format!
This week, we’re taking another look at our favorite caped sad boy Batman, this time through the beautifully deranged lenses of director Joel Schumacher, who handpicked Arnold Schwarzenegger to portray the punny Mr Freeze for a 25 million-dollar paycheck — which is about 25 times more than what swoony George Clooney got to portray the main bat dude himself. Good gig if you can get it and, if you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger in the late 90s, you can get it. In more ways than one, if you know what I mean. So sit back, relax, rid your brain of every preconceived notion of what’s good and logical, and join us for Batman & Robin.
Fernanda’s must-discuss items:
- Let us not get it twisted: This is by no conventional or rational standards a *good* movie. It is truly just an unhinged piece of cinematography. It’s got like a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s got a 3.7 grade on IMDB. It’s been universally panned and I can absolutely understand why. I cannot, however, convince my heart of what my brain knows to be true. I loved this 2-hour vertiginous spiral into chaos 15 years ago and I love this 2-hour vertiginous spiral into chaos now. I witnessed in awe as all these amazing actors delivered the most ludicrous lines in the most awkward, unintentionally comical ways. Rodrigo must have said “wow this sucks” about 46 times over the course of the 20 minutes he managed to endure it next to me, and I responded to all of them with a gleeful “I KNOW! IT RULES!” (well, all of them except the last one, which was met with a kind request for him to shut the fuck up and let me be a trash panda in peace). I KNOW all of this, yet I cannot FEEL any of this. I feel only joy.
- But honestly, again I come across proof of one of the few philosophies I subscribe to in life: If you’re gonna be a deranged mess, be a DETERMINED deranged mess. Do not waiver. Do not hesitate. Truly put your back into it. Take no fucking prisoners. This is a movie that absolutely refuses to apologize for itself and I. am. here. for. it. Am I part of a group of, like, 15 people worldwide who feel this way? Maybe. But I don’t wanna hang out with the other, lesser billions of people anyway. They don’t get it. Conformists.
- Among these people is George Clooney himself, who told Howard Stern the movie is so bad that it hurts him to watch and he instinctively switches channels whenever he sees it’s on. Joel Schumacher also literally apologized for the movie, so I guess I shouldn’t say it doesn’t apologize for itself? I’ll just chalk it up to societal pressure, though. JOEL, THEY JUST DON’T GET YOU.
- I don’t really hate the 1989 Batman and I respect its vibe much more than you do, Danielle. HOWEVER, I stand by my hatred of Michael Keaton’s Batman and I fully throw my support behind George Clooney’s. I understand he’s a totally different character, because this is not supposed to be one of the annoying, tortured, woe-is-me Batmans (Batmen?), but *this* is a self-absorbed rich boy with attachment issues that I can get behind. Leave it to Dr. Ross to make me horny for the most insufferable of superheroes.
- This might be my most controversial take yet, but… I support the bat nipple.
- I will go a bit further and say that I think it’s funny that so many people were enraged by the batnipples but for a long time there didn’t seem to be a problem with all the hypersexualized costumes of female superheroes… It’s almost like dudes who watch superhero movies don’t mind seeing women as sex objects but are uncomfortable when men — especially supposedly tough ones — are portrayed in the same light. Who’d have thought. If I didn’t know any better I’d say we have double standards.
- OK, I take that back, because *this* might be most controversial take yet: I am so so so sorry, but I truly, profoundly, deeply fucking hate Uma Thurman in this movie. I like her as the nerdy scientist but I, for some reason, simply cannot stand the choices she made for Poison Ivy. The facial expressions, the body language, the hand gestures… It’s all giving middle school try-hard playing grown-up seductress in the year-end play. I *know* I’m wrong for this, but I can’t get over it. It’s truly a visceral sentiment.
- (DR: I love this performance, but I do understand – sometimes, you go out so far on a limb that you lose people! I also genuinely loved it because, in my brain, she is doing a full on drag performance. Yes, I know Uma is a woman, but in my heart I believe she is a woman playing a drag character with FULL FORCE and it makes it work for me)
- Also, not gonna lie here… The fact that the only latinx representation is a bumbling idiot who happens to be a juiced-up criminal stung a little. I’m referring, of course, to Bane, who first appears as “Antonio Diego” and after becoming a supervillain dons what looks a lot like a lucha libre mask. Also, I’m no expert in Batman history and therefore do not know if the original Bane was this stupid but, having watched Tom Hardy’s spectacular asshole in The Dark Knight Rises, I feel like they did the guy dirty here. Also, how are you gonna be the incredibly strong villain who breaks Batman’s back in the comics but who can be defeated by… Someone easily pulling a giant plug that is located literally on the back of your very visible head? MAKE IT MAKE SENSE.
- Also, they say Alfred has the same disease (MacGregor syndrome; my MMA brain can’t help but wonder if it turns you into an Irish narcissist with anger issues) as Mr Freeze’s wife, but his is stage 1 and “not as serious” as hers. Yet he is bedridden and pretty much taking his last breaths, so… How much more serious can it get? What do the other stages look like? What can be “more serious” than literal death? I have questions.
- Stop glorifying the hustle and start glorifying whatever Schwarzenegger speaking only in ice puns is.
- I know we have more pressing questions considering this is a movie about three people with latex nipples chasing a frozen guy who collects diamonds to cure his frozen wife while a poisonous lady plots to lead to big mutant plant uprising, but… Why does Alicia Silverstone get a mole under her lips after becoming Batgirl?
- I love how they went about adding the nipple to her suit, choosing a more subtle, angular version over Batman and Robin’s pepperoni-like circles. I mean, leaving her nippleless next to her nipple-clad counterparts could have come across as exclusionary and misogynistic, and I find that they found to a sophisticated design solution to the problem. Quite ArTITstic, some would say (I am so sorry).
- Speaking of which… Batgirl’s speech about how Alfred is part of an outdated servitude dynamic and you can’t call someone your family while paying for them to cater to your needs? I’m not gonna say “Yes queen” because it’s 2022 and I have some dignity but boy was that a moment. I actually like her character a lot more than I was expecting. There’s a very stereotypical college feminist thing going on, but how can I hate on a woman who rides bikes, throws spinning kicks and doesn’t bow to male authority despite caring deeply for her beloved elderly uncle? I will even forgive her for shaming Poison Ivy for using her female charms to lure dudes into being murdered. She is young. She will learn to understand and accept that there is no right away to be a strong female icon.
Danielle’s must-discuss items:
- THIS! THIS IS WHAT SUPERHERO MOVIES SHOULD BE! Colorful, campy, stupid, gay as all get out! This is a genre made for camp and kink and gender play and power, and finally, here is a himbo-ass movie that understands that. Give me this every single day of the week over dour grimdark sadmans and angrymans and everything else in this entire genre, please, thank you, amen.
- We start on close-ups of the nips and butts. THANK YOU, JOEL SHUMACHER.
- Arnold got paid 25 million American dollars to run around in a dumbass costume making horrible dad jokes. I want this job. This is a job for me.
- FP: I literally told Rodrigo this is the sweetest deal in movie history (he did have to sit for 5 hours to get into costume, so there’s that)
- The Batmobile has never looked more phallic. This is a dong with batwings, y’all.
- FP: “A dong with batwings” should be someone’s nickname
- I love the batshit set design and lighting – all these wild blues and pinks, this is a big bright, beautiful dumbass cartoon. The miniatures in the city sets – include the ULTRA RIPPED DUDE statue, is such a powerful highlight.
- Same thing for the sound effects and editing and overall tone (and use of gravity/physics). It’s a fun gay cartoon, again, as it should be.
- OMFG Nerd Uma Thurman – also, i honestly love Poison Ivy, the environmentalist villain who is hot and loves plants. The best-ever DC comics thing on earth (currently) is the Harly Quinn animated series, starring Harly and Poison Ivy, which takes such massive shits on the worst parts of the fandom and is just a very funny (and actually queer) show, I love it.
- Uma Thurman’s wiki page says this, LMAO
- “Her next film role was that of supervillain Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997). Budgeted at $160 million, the film grossed a modest $238 million worldwide and is often considered to be one of the worst films ever made. Thurman’s performance, however, was largely highlighted upon the film’s release; the Houston Chronicle remarked that “Thurman […] sometimes seems to be doing Mae West by way of Jessica Rabbit“, and a similar comparison was made by The New York Times: “[L]ike Mae West, she mixes true femininity with the winking womanliness of a drag queen”. She obtained a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Sci-fi Actress and was also nominated for Favourite Movie Actress at the Kids’ Choice Awards.”
- Nothing in ten million earth years would convince me that Batman and Robin are supposed to be heterosexuals in this film, they also need to be literally drugged to be attracted to a hot lady…
- Supporting this ^ Bruce Wayne’s obvious beard and “don’t look in my bedroom” line, which directly recalls Bowers v. Hardwick (huge gay rights case — a terrible anti-sodomy law — from the 80s, landmark horrible Supreme Court decision that was eventually overturned in 2003).
- Ok, the Majora’s Mask moon shows up in the prop folder for the botanical gardens fundraiser that Bruce gives to Poison Ivy, lol
- The password on the secret disk is peg. The password on the secret disc is PEG. The password on the secret disc is peg!
- I love a lot of this movie, with its hyper campy neon gay tone, but it is definitely too long. And some of the interpersonal drama is a bit much. I agree re: the stupid disease and near death bits.
- With that said, this movie and the Harley Quinn series are definitely by far the best Batman (maybe best superhero) things. Also, Batman Forever. Fuck everything else, tbh.
Our Full Transcript:
(movie clip plays with Poison Ivy approaching Commissioner Gordon)
[00:00:00] Poison Ivy: Commissioner Gordon?
[00:00:02] Commissioner Gordon: Yes?
[00:00:04] Poison Ivy: I’ve always wondered. Where does that big, old bat light come from?
(Poison Ivy blows her weird poison dust into Gordon’s face, hypnotizing him.)
[00:00:16] Commissioner Gordon: Why it’s right on top of police headquarters.
[00:00:20] Poison Ivy: I’d just love to see it.
(Intro music plays)
EXT. FANBYTE CITY – EVENING
Some very chill 80s-inspired music plays as we slowly move from an extreme wide shot of the sun setting on the city into a quiet main street revealing the You Love to See It store, complete with a sign in the window that reads: “Ask about our new toy section!”
Through that same window, a view of the carpeted store inside emerges. Shelves line the walls and form aisles full of bright red VHS tape covers.
INT. YOU LOVE TO SEE IT STORE – CONTINUOUS
Fernanda, store uniform rolled up to accentuate her cool tattoos, refreshes the new YLTSI@fanbyte.com email for any new messages on the dusty old computer by the register. Danielle, in the perfect combo of workout gear and her store uniform, rummages through a box full of neatly-packaged leather harnesses and buckles.
You walk through the front door and the bells chime, they both look over at you.
[00:00:43] Fernanda: Oh, hi there. Welcome to You Love to See It. Fanbyte’s movie review podcast. Every month, we pick a theme, every week we watch a movie and then we decide where its VHS tape belongs in our delightful neighborhood video store. We’ll get to judge whether it’s got enough plant poison to modify our brain chemicals and make its way into the staff picks shelf, whether it’s no glacial era, but it’s still just cool and crisp enough to secure a spot in our totally chill middle aisle or whether it’s nothing but a half-witted inflatable henchman, and therefore shall be banished to our dreaded dumpster, where everyone really likes Tony Robbins. (Danielle laughs) Working the counter today, we have yours truly Fernanda “why are all the gorgeous ones homicidal maniacs” Prates, and my fellow snowy cones thug, Danielle “dong with bat wings” Riendeau. How are you Danielle?
[00:01:45] Danielle: (laughs) I am doing great because this is going to be a very fun movie to talk about.
[00:01:51] Fernanda: (laughs) Are we all just dongs with bat wings when it comes down to it?
[00:01:54] Danielle: I mean, that’s this whole movie right here.
[00:01:59] Fernanda: As a reminder, before we get to the movie this month, we’re doing Payday May. That means we’re watching movies where an actor infamously got a massive paycheck from a movie, according to Hollywood legend and or the reporting we could find on the subject. So get ready for big budgets, big egos, and big, bold spectacles.
As we dive all the way into Payday May. And this week we’re taking another look at our favorite caped sad boy, Batman. This time through the beautifully deranged lenses of director, Joel Schumacher, who handpicked Arnold Schwarzenegger to portray the pun-y Mr. Freeze for a $25 million paycheck, which apparently is about 25 times more than what swooney George Clooney got to portray the main bat dude himself.
Good gig, if you can get it. And if you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger in the late nineties, you can get it. In more ways than one. If no? Just me. Okay. So literally just me? Okay, I’ll take it. (they both laugh) We’ll get into all of that in the meantime, sit back, relax, rid your brain of every preconceived notion of what’s good and logical and join us for Batman & Robin.
[00:04:17] Fernanda: So we are about to fly into our first segment called Setting the Scene where we introduce the movie at hand and have a little spoiler free chat about our own personal histories with it. But first to those unfamiliar with the story, here’s a brief summary that I wrote of this movie.
Rated a depressing 12% on Rotten Tomatoes with an equally said 3.7 score on I MDB Batman & Robin is basically two hours of nonstop stuff happening. The gist of it is that Mr. Freeze, a mad scientist who fell into a vat of cold shit, and it’s now called himself has frozen his wife while he pursues a cure for her fatal illness.
He joins forces with Poison Ivy who I guess wants plants to take over the world. Gotham and the world’s really only hope to stop them is Batman, of course, but also Robin and also Batgirl. Also, Alfred is dying and then there is also Bain. Also Elle MacPherson wants to marry Badman. Again, like I said, it is a lot, but we’ll get into all of that or at least most of it in due time, because first we’re going to move on with our setting, the scene segment.
And I will ask, of course my wonderful cohost, Danielle, what is your history? What is your background with this piece? Batman and Robin.
[00:06:04] Danielle: It’s a little weird. I was trying to think about how many times I’ve seen this movie. And I don’t think I had ever sat down to watch it in full before, but I always had a huge fondness for it because I definitely caught it like playing at my parents’ house at some point. I was an adult, by the way, I never watched this, when it came out, I would have been 13 when it came out. So I was like aware of it. I was like aware of the world in the late nineties, but everybody just always talked about what a pile of shit it was. It was such trash that it was so stupid that it was so crappy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. (Fernanda laughs)
That’s all anybody ever talks about this movie. Or at least that’s the sort of popular consensus. So I never went out of my way to watch it, but it’s definitely on at one point. And I think it was like the prison break sequence, which I won’t spoil anything, but there’s a prison break sequence.
And I was just like, that’s Poison Ivy?
[00:06:50] Fernanda: It’s a Batman movie. Of course there’s a prison escape. (laughs)
[00:06:55] Danielle: Like of course I’m not like a huge Batman fan as everybody has fairly figured out at this point. I really like Harley Quinn the animated series. That’s probably my favorite Batman thing of all time, but yeah. Like I remember really enjoying it and thinking, why is everybody say this is so crappy?
And I read a piece once online that was like a defense of this movie. As the most true to the spirit of like a Batman 66 or like the Batman like the original series, like very cartoonish, very campy, very fun. And saying this movie got such a bad rep, like it’s so campy and so fun.
So yeah, I only have good memories of this other than the sort of miasma of very wrong people saying this movie is bad. Like that incredibly wrong. Like everyone on Earth is wrong. This is like a crime on par with people thinking Showgirls wasn’t satire, which like, again, I could not- I don’t know what’s wrong with everyone on this planet.
I’m very sorry, but I don’t know what’s wrong with people. Anyway, that’s my history with the movie.
[00:07:57] Fernanda: We don’t want to hang out with them anyway.
(Danielle: “I know. I don’t need to.” laughs)
[00:07:59] Fernanda: All of these people. Who are literally the vast majority of people, ’cause everybody really hates this movie. (Danielle: “I don’t understand it.”) Quick note before I talk about my history with it. It’s funny that I saw in your notes and you just mentioned really liking the Harley Quinn animated series. And my, my husband, who did he go, who has been on the show and who I talk about every time on the show. So you know all about him, but he really likes the series. And as we were watching the movie and he keeps trying to convince me to watch it, but I hate animated stuff. So it’s a lost battle.
But as we were watching the movie, he was like: “you and Danielle”- he didn’t know you watched it. I didn’t know you watched it- “you need to watch this because it’s so you and I’m sure Danielle is going to freaking love it.”
[00:08:50] Danielle: I genuinely love it. I actually love it, love it. Yeah.
[00:08:54] Fernanda: (laughs) So when I saw your notes. I was like “ah yeah, he was absolutely right.”
But my history with this, and we talked- when we talked about the 1989 Batman, like my memories of this and Batman Forever, which were the ones that were like most on TV when I was a kid is just like this- watching bits and pieces. And I also only watched the full thing for the first time as an adult.
And I watched it I don’t remember with a friend who like really the next or a friend. I don’t remember exactly, but who really liked? That’s all I remember just hearing about after I finished watching, I saw both Forever and Robin, I think on the same day. And I remember they were like, “you do know that everybody hates these fucking movies?”
“I’ll show you, like we’ll watch, but they’re bad.” And I remember just like- why do people hate fun? Honestly, don’t they like enjoying themselves. So I just remember finding it- just both of them just incredibly entertaining and then watching it again yesterday, I was watching- like I was consciously, my brain was very much aware of the badness of it all. (Danielle laughs)
I was like, my conscious brain was like, I understand why this has got 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This is awful in many ways. However, the heart wants what it wants as Selena Gomez once said, and probably is some people before her, but the main person would be Selena Gomez. The heart wants what it wants and my heart was singing. (laughs)
[00:10:37] Danielle: Yes! Yes!
[00:10:39] Fernanda: My heart sang. I feel like- I would like to read the text that you mentioned, Danielle, in defense of the movie, because I feel like we’re literally the only two people on earth who will stand up and defend- and whoever wrote that- (laughs) who will stand up and defend Batman & Robin and I love it for us.
[00:11:02] Danielle: Honestly, what the f- I’m going to sit here.
I’m going to directly stare into the soul of other people.
[00:11:08] Fernanda: Paul said something in the chat. I don’t know if that means Paul also likes the movie. I actually don’t know.
[00:11:13] Danielle: “Talk to him, Danielle. I love this movie.” Thank you. Thank you, Paul. I’m leaning in, I’m leaning in. This is, I know we don’t normally do this, but I’m talking to you dear listener, as a bias against good things and campy things and fun things and colorful things. (Fernanda laughs)
And has any affinity whatsoever for the grim dark sour dour, misery angry Batman’s staring into your eyes. (Fernanda laughs) I’m putting my hands on your shoulders. I’m shaking you violently. And I’m saying, “what actual holy fuck is wrong with you? You’re wrong. You have wrong ideas about movies.” And then I’m patting you on the back.
And I’m saying “you’re allowed to have your opinions, but you’re very deeply wrong because this movie is so much more fun than any of those crappy, terrible things. Thank you. Thank you.”
[00:12:07] Fernanda: I feel like maybe after our conversation, like hearing what we have to like- just give our talk a chance and then maybe rewatch it with a different framing of it.
[00:12:20] Danielle: Yeah. You know, normally I’m a very gentle soul Fernanda. Normally I don’t say things to people that are that judgy, (Fernanda laughs) but like with this? I feel very- I’m feel very secure in my feelings, so yeah.
[00:12:31] Fernanda: Literally the only person. I love it. I’m pretty sure Joel Schumacher isn’t alive anymore, or I would be like, I would have you like write an email to him or something.
[00:12:41] Danielle: Dear Joel, let me, I’ll check. As we move on, I will check, but I know we move on. I know this is longer than we usually go in the segment. I just needed to let everybody know how I felt.
[00:12:51] Fernanda: I feel like this required like a preamble because people will look at it and be like, hmm. Pretty sure this will be a dumpster pick and we need to prepare them so they’re not shocked by our conversation. So I guess that settles it for our little spoiler free section. And we are ready to jump into our form fitting bat suits. That perfectly outline our gorgeous asses and enter the more spoiler filled section of the show, which we call Stripping it Down.
[00:13:41] Fernanda: So Stripping it Down, as you know, even though we know you’ve been here before you can’t quit us, is the part of the episode where we discuss details of the film, including specific aspects of the plot and the characters. Stuff that otherwise we refer to as spoilers. So in case you haven’t seen the movie be aware before entering this section with us.
Okay. There’s a lot of ground to cover.
(they both laugh)
[00:14:07] Fernanda: There ‘s a lot to discuss, but I guess let’s start with the man of the hour because as we mentioned on the intro Arnold Schwarzenegger- I just refer to him as Schwarzi cause we’re BFFs because I have a picture to prove it.
You are BFFs with him. There is a beautiful image.
Yeah, it’s really great. There’s a literal photo of me and Arnie or Schwarzi and that makes, that means we have a bond.
So I get to call him Schwarzi, but he made $25 million for the movie, which according to George Clooney himself on a Howard stern interview, he said it, he only made about $1 million. (laughs) And he was the literal Batman. At that time, he wasn’t as big of a star as he is now. He was doing, ER, he actually a shot this at the same time as she was shooting ER, so he was up and coming and this was obviously after the Conan and the terminators and whatever. Schwarzi he was already a pretty, pretty big name. So that makes sense.
[00:15:12] Danielle: Yeah. He’s top billed in the credits and the opening credits, so yeah.
[00:15:15] Fernanda: Yeah. And that was- apparently like Joel Schumacher was like fixated- he just really wanted- I saw a behind the scenes thing in which he talked about how- he fixated on actors. So like he could only fall in love with one actor for a role. And then only after it was a definitive no, he like allowed himself to like other people for the role. And there is in the same little thing, there is Schwarzenegger saying something to the lines of- Joel called me and said that if I didn’t do it, he wouldn’t do the movie so I felt a little pressure.
I’m pretty sure $25 million sweetened the deal. But I think that was like what he was making at the time. Like it wasn’t- I’ve found this like a write up that I could only find on the way back machine on Time. And there was a story called Hollywood Fades to Red, and it was about like money and Hollywood and whatever.
And I didn’t read the whole thing. It was boring, but at one point we’re talking about inflation and inflation caused by like salaries of superstars and some people say that no, the marketing costs were the problem, and some people saying that the inflation was the problem. And then yeah, there, there was a thing about how “Warner Brothers agreed to pay Arnold Schwarzenegger $25 million to appear as Mr. Freeze, the villain in the next Batman installment. Some exclusives executives are complaining that Warner is compounding the cost problem. Daily says that the deal makes sense because Schwarzenegger’s presence will boost the films grosses particularly overseas. Arnold is also taking a lot less of the film’s gross profits than usual. He generally gets up to 20% as well as a reduced sharing profits from Batman related merchandise. The studio already has 50 million guarantees from licenses. Arnold will make more money out of doing Eraser
then he will do with Batman.” Eraser is another movie that he was doing that about the same time. And they go on to say it wasn’t a groundbreaking deal, but still it’s a truckload of money to play a guy who speaks in puns. I ask you, how do you feel about- there are two villains in this movie and we’ll get to the other one.
But how do you feel about the character of Mr. Freeze?
[00:17:27] Danielle: I truly like- all I can think about, and I’m not a narcissist, I promise not everything is about me. I promise. (Fernanda laughs) However, I don’t think there’s a better job in the universe than putting out a weird costume and making dad jokes and getting $25 million for it.
Now I know, I understand that makeup sounded rough, that was like five hours in the makeup chair. I’m not saying that’s easy. I’m not saying this is an easy job by any means. I don’t think it’s easy. However, to fuckin’ put on a stupid outfit and make incredibly stupid dad jokes at everyone and make $25 million to do that. (Fernanda laughs)
Chef’s fucking kiss like that is again, this it angers me on the level that capitalism is bad and that nobody should have all that money. Yes, we need to be honest about that. However, if your Hollywood excess is in service of a movie about dicks and nipples and butts in leather and the campiest costumes in the entire universe and everything, really everything.
And the whole thing is just one big campy gay kink joke? (Fernanda laughs) Then I’m fine with Hollywood excess going towards that than- any I’m more fine with it than going towards anything else in the entire universe. So yes. I will absolutely excuse this as okay, that sounds like a great job.
[00:18:59] Fernanda: I even put it down on my notes, stop glorifying the hustle and start glorifying, whatever Schwarzenegger speaking only in ice puns is. (laughs)
[00:19:09] Danielle: Everything says it’s one of the best parts. And this speaks to the other villain too, which I know we’ll get to. And I know we have some differing opinions about Uma Thurman’s performance as poison Ivy. However, I just want to point out both of our villains are scientists who had something bad happened to them.
Where they go through a transition of “we’re nerds with glasses and are now like super villains.” One, is like that sort of masculine ideal. Like he’s where he’s like ultra pumped and like giant with giant muscles and super freakish like muscles. Yes. I know he has a whole thing about being cold, whatever.
[00:19:53] Fernanda: Yeah, he should be cold at all times in suit that is powered by diamonds.
(they both laugh, slowly getting Jokerfied)
[00:19:58] Danielle: Yeah. it’s powered by fucking diamonds! And he wears like a smoking jacket when he’s not in his suit. Like it’s perfect. There’s that? And then the woman villain, like it reads to me as like a complete joke on the- “oh, she’s really hot, but they put glasses on her. So she’s a dork.”
Like they do that. And they do that multiple times in this movie. And again, it feels very winking and very aware where- it’s Uma Thurman. Like it’s one of the hottest people who’s ever lived. You put glasses on her and tell her to act like a nerd. And it’s oh, and now she’s pretty. It’s very funny to me, but it’s funny to me that they do that with both of our villains here.
They’re both like dorks, like hot dorks who a bad thing happened. And now they’re villains. Like it’s real good.
[00:20:45] Fernanda: Uma Thurman walked so that Rachel Lee Cook could fly. (Danielle laughs) I checked and she’s all that is from ’99. So it was after this.
[00:20:53] Danielle: This is just after and honestly…
[00:20:56] Fernanda: So they got us inspired by Poison Ivy.
[00:20:58] Danielle: Truly.
[00:21:00] Fernanda: Like the one thing, for instance in this interview with Howard Stern, George Clooney, who hates the movie, he talks about how like, when it comes on, he like cringes and changes the channel.
[00:21:12] Danielle: Clooney, this is the best thing you’ve ever done! Don’t cringe! (laughs)
[00:21:15] Fernanda: (laughs) HARD disagree. Cause ER is the best thing that’s ever happened to the planet as a whole. (Danielle: “I understand.”) But it’s up there. It’s up there. He was saying is he didn’t even run into Schwarzenegger, like on set that they didn’t even interact. And that like, basically he was put in a scene and told to do things and he did them.
And that shows to me, that’s like, when you talk about the badness, the objective badness of the movie in that sense, I feel like it’s the worst for me are the dialogues because none of it feels natural. None of them feel like interactions, it just feels like people saying funny things all the time.
And I feel like a lot of it is because it doesn’t seem like they are, the actors are connected with the story. They just seem to be saying the things that they need to be saying at the time. Which is a shame because these are really good actors. Robin is Chris O’Donnell. Batgirl is Alicia Silverstone, who is not Aleisha she’s Alicia, as I’ve learned from her own TikToks or something.
And then you have Uma Thurman, then you have Arnie, like it’s so many good people that it is to me upsetting that they all come across as just like really bad actors. But again, everything is so ridiculous. And so over the top, and that’s why I keep saying if you’re just going to be dumb, just do it with determination.
[00:22:42] Danielle: Go for it! Yes, yes, yes.
But like I said if you’re going to be a deranged mess, be a determined deranged mess. (Danielle: “Absolutely!”) Like just lean into it, put your back into it. (laughs)
And it’s fucking beautiful. Do you know what? I’m going to just say this. I’m just going to say this. Okay? (hot take: incoming) This is what a superhero movie should be! Okay? This is what it should be. And I’m not saying always, I’m not saying, oh, this is the only thing it can be that you can never do something else.
However, this should be the rule and not the exception! Colorful and campy and stupid and gay as humanly possible, and kinky and weird, and obsessed with leather and nipples and like neon. That’s what you should fucking do with a comic book movie. I’m just going to say it. I’m just going to say it.
I’m sorry, but I think that’s what you should do because this is the place for it. This is a great place for it. You should have fun with it. Sad, angry, man dowers are just not fun or exciting. I’m sorry.
[00:23:51] Fernanda: (laughs) Yeah. It’s a personal taste thing, but I’m like, I’m with you. Like I don’t- As I’ve said in the previous Batman episode, and if you guys haven’t listened to it, go back because we also have a really cool guest but like I understand the appeal of Nolan’s sad Batman. I understand why people were drawn to it because it is it’s a dark story, right? This is an orphan who is obviously decided to deal with his emotional problems by spending a lot of money on becoming- (Danielle: “dressing like a bat. Yes.”) dressing like a bat and becoming a vigilante. (laughs)
So obviously this is a person who has some issues, but I am not a fan of like gloomy Batman. He bores me. He’s just not- Like if I’m going to take a sad boy, I’ll take like the Daredevil. I feel like he’s said with layers and at least like he has friends and like social circle and a job. (laughs)
[00:24:52] Danielle: He does things, like he’s a lawyer and he tries to help people. He at least does things. I don’t know.
[00:24:59] Fernanda: Yeah. I feel like it’s a more interesting and layered character. But I liked George Clooney’s Batman, even though Clooney hates him. (Danielle: “Me too!”) He just seems like a fun- he just seems like fun times. This is a millionaire sad boy I could hang out with. (laughs)
[00:25:15] Danielle: Whether he played it this way, intentionally or not. And I’m open to either interpretation. Truly. He really reads as like- he’s a gay billionaire who has a beard and makes appearances and does all that kind of shit. But like he knows who he really loves. He really loves Robin. He really loves Alfred.
I’m not saying it the same way, but that’s his family. That’s who he cares about. And he just kinda does shit that he feels like he has to do because “all right, whatever, I gotta do these things, I gotta be, I’ll be a philanthropist, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’ll show up at these things. I’ll date a woman. I guess! Jesus, If I have to!” (Fernanda laughs)
Like in this movie, the men have to be poisoned to be attracted to a woman. Like they have to literally be drugged to be attracted to Uma fucking Thurman. The hottest woman who’s ever lived. Like I cannot, under any circumstances, be convinced that anything was supposed to be heterosexual in this movie.
Anything whatsoever except for maybe the woman who is dating Batman. Elle MacPherson. Maybe she’s not gay, but I don’t- (Fernanda laughs) everyone else in every sequence in every moment in every frame of this movie is incredibly like heightened gay.
[00:26:36] Fernanda: I love that read and I’m adopting it for myself. It just makes me like the movie…
[00:26:42] Danielle: I have one piece of supporting evidence. Are you ready for my supporting evidence? (looks to the jury)
[00:26:49] Fernanda: Yes.
[00:26:49] Danielle: Okay, I also think that Joel Schumacher, who again has said in an interview- and he is no longer with us, God rest his soul- that he has slept with between 10,000 and 20,000 men in his life, (Fernanda: “Aspirational!”) which is absolutely a fucking king, literally a fucking king.
[00:27:06] Fernanda: And I thought I was a whore! I love it.
[00:27:08] Danielle: What a fucking inspiration. Love him forever.
[00:27:11] Fernanda: I have so much to learn. Okay.
[00:27:14] Danielle: There is a line. And I caught this and I like really- I actually ended up doing a little bit of research on this with my lawyer girlfriend. She helped me do the research and actually find the cases, but there is a very specific line. It’s in the, when they’re doing the telescope dedication, whatever the fuck scene, where, Mr. Philanthropist is dedicating all these resources to science and this telescope to try to help whatever. And they talk about, oh, it has this imaging power. It could do all this stuff. And he distinctly says, “hopefully not my bedroom.” And then they start talking about his beard, the woman, whatever, she’s just a beard.
And that’s a really direct line to a very specific case in the eighties, it was an ACLU case. It was a really famous Supreme Court decision. We’re an anti-sodomy law was upheld. It’s called Bowers V Hardwick. And the, the client in that case specifically said that exact thing. There was a cop who came into his bedroom while he was, engaged with completely consensual sex with a dude and the cop arrested them.
And it was upheld in 1986. And like he said that in all the sort of press around it, he asked the cop, he was like, “excuse me, what are you doing in my bedroom?” It was like this very direct correlation here between no, don’t look at my bedroom. Don’t come to my bedroom. Don’t be in my bedroom.
I really think this is like a very direct thing that like, yes, of course it’s like a little subtle because it’s this movie with a massive fucking budget and it’s Hollywood and etc. etc. But like with a gay director who has also had both the like, dude characters who are supposedly heterosexual who have to be drugged to be attracted to a woman.
Like it’s very- it reads as like hyper gay in any way it took until 2003 for that law to be gotten rid of, which is absolutely bat shit fucking insane to me.
[00:29:01] Fernanda: (laughs) Pardon the pun.
[00:29:03] Danielle: Like for gay sex to be legal took until 2003 in that state, in which I believe it was Georgia. Are you serious? I think I said this, like to my girlfriend this morning, but I was like, I was having gay sex by then! Me! (Fernanda laughs) I’m a millennial this is insane to me. What the fuck?
[00:29:19] Fernanda: We talk about like gay rights and I think a lot of people are like, ah, but like nowadays it’s fine to be gay. And it’s cause this was literally 20 years ago. Not even that!
[00:29:30] Danielle: Not even two decades ago where this was was struck down anyway, absolutely crazy. But for me, I thought this was like a really direct correlation. He’s also wearing these really gay turtlenecks the whole time. I can’t even. (Fernanda laughs) I can’t even- and the fact- okay, sorry. Last piece of evidence. This movie starts- like the first shots of this movie are men’s nipples and men’s leather-clad butts.
That’s how this starts. That’s how we start this movie and anybody who even begins to try to tell me there’s anything heterosexual about this movie, I’m like, “are you serious? Are you actually, are you serious? Did you see that shot? That’s a butt. That’s a butt in leather.” I rest my case. I will now sit, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. (Fernanda laughs)
I rest my case. This movie’s gay.
[00:30:15] Fernanda: I’m like knocking my little gavel thing. (Danielle laughs) The verdict. Danielle is correct. As Paul just said on the chat, “Danielle showed her work. A hundred percent.” No objections, your honor. Yeah. I don’t know how people- I don’t object to anything as the prosecutor, I will give up my case.
[00:30:41] Fernanda: I will drop the charges and accept that I’m wrong. And that Danielle’s correct. Not that I was ever arguing that this is a hetero movie, but just for the effect of the courtroom here just to pretend like we had opposing counsel to your arguments, which we did, because there’s no opposing, there iron clad really, and we know it because you literally had a lawyer help you build your case.
[00:31:02] Danielle: I did! I had an actual ACLU lawyer help me build my case. So I think I’m good.
[00:31:09] Fernanda: And it’s interesting, right? ‘Cause one of the main things, whenever you’re everybody brings up this this movie and whenever people want to mock the movie, they bring up the fucking nipples that like both Batman and Robin and Batgirl had tiny nipples.
She had more discreet pointier, angular subtle nipples. Very, I called them art-tits-tic. (Danielle laughs) And I’m sorry for it, but I’m not because I’m never sorry for my stupid little puns, but yeah, so they all have nipples. It would have been very misogynistic for Batgirl to not have nipples, but the thing with the nipples and I think a lot of it is it’s interesting.
‘Cause I think people had real problem with the sort of like hypersexualization of the costumes and it’s like Have you ever seen wonder woman? Like how she was portrayed forever? Have you seen the suits that like Catwoman has always worn? That, honestly, we’ve nothing to the imagination. Like women have been dressed- every like superhero woman, every sidekick woman, like in those outfits forever.
But the moment that men are put in a- and it’s it’s just nipples. They’re like, what the fuck? I don’t even understand it. But I do think it has a lot to do in this, my theory with the fact that the bat suit, like in the angles and the very deliberate choices showed like butts and abs and nipples and show the male, protagonists and heroes in a sexualized way.
And it’s if I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn there was a bit of a double standard going on here.
[00:32:51] Danielle: It like arguably objectifies the dudes more than the ladies. And that’s only like a math thing. Like obviously Uma Thurman’s outfit is rather revealing, but she also has a very funny line about I’ll bring everything you can see here and everything you can’t, which is like also again, this movie is smarter than anybody gives it credit for! I’m telling you. A secret genius movie here, but-
[00:33:13] Fernanda: There are some spicy bits, like when Robin asked is every part of you green or something like that. (laughs) it’s so good.
[00:33:19] Danielle: And she’s just- she says slippery when wet. She wanted a sign and she’s like, how about “slippery when wet” again, he needed to be drugged into being interested in this. I’m just saying, I’m just saying for the record.
[00:33:36] Fernanda: And I feel like Batman, now that you mention it was also very aware that he was being drugged. He was like- he was very conscious of this can’t be, I can’t be attracted to-
[00:33:45] Danielle: That’s not how it works for Batman, which again is like totes cool. Like, gay Batman, I’m going for it.
[00:33:49] Fernanda: (laughs) Like, oh I’m dating a supermodel and I’m not that interested in her so it’s like-
[00:33:53] Danielle: He just looks like mildly disappointed that she brings up emotions. And also there, they like, don’t touch really much. He and his whatever girlfriend and like the way he’s explaining things to her at that dinner scene, again, as he’s wearing a very gay outfit, like- where he’s like ” you don’t- you wouldn’t understand.” It just reads as like a closeted queer person, like telling someone like you wouldn’t understand. Like “wild doesn’t even cover it.”
I genuinely do think there’s a lot about this movie that is kink coded that there’s a lot of lines and a lot of playful stuff, and it’s a lot of the power stuff. And basically like Batman and Robin, like fighting over who’s the top.
That’s like the whole movie. (Fernanda laughs) That’s the whole subtext of this movie is Batman and Robin: Who’s the Top? is like the actual subtitle that it should have been basically here. It’s Robin not being happy that he’s the bottom. Like he wants to be a power bottom and he’s not really doing it.
It’s a whole thing. When you talk about rope all the time, they talk about who’s hanging from where like all of it, like this whole fucking movie, I don’t know. Maybe people will think I’m reaching a little far, but look who directed it, y’all. I’m not making up- . “Oh, there’s some movie from like 1922 where, you know, a very dorky straight laced, heterosexual person directed this movie. That ain’t what we’re talking about here.
[00:35:10] Fernanda: And wouldn’t it be like the amazing troll job of the century, like , you have to do a happy, family friendly Batman.
And one that I read somewhere that he was like, I couldn’t, the link was no longer there. So I couldn’t see it. There was a little mention on Wikipedia that Schumacher said that he was pressured to do the most toy-istic movie. And I’m watching it with my husband. He mentioned this looks like a movie made to sell toys.
And once you see that you can’t even see it, it really does. So I don’t doubt that-
[00:35:42] Danielle: And it should be sex toys. In an actual world, like based on anything like reality, there would be toys. Sure. But there would also be lots and lots of sex toys based on this movie, for sure.
[00:35:55] Fernanda: Batman sex toys. Maybe that’s our new business. (laughs)
[00:35:58] Danielle: Honestly, maybe this is what we should be doing! (laughs)
[00:36:03] Fernanda: Maybe this is how we find our first million. Who knows? Let’s stew on this thought, but it is to me it makes it all the more delicious to think about somebody just shoving in all this- not just only gay, but like kink messaging and this family friendly toy-selling movie that kids love.
[00:36:23] Danielle: Yeah. A stupid-ass superhero movie. Honestly that gives me a little bit of hope for humanity. Not much, but a little bit.
[00:36:29] Fernanda: It gives me so much joy. I love it for all of us. But [Clooney] was saying that it sucked and he like, said that he hadn’t watched it again because he couldn’t. So maybe he needs to rewatch it and listen to this episode!
(Danielle laughs like the Joker)
[00:36:41] Fernanda: So if any of you listening out there have some contact with a swooney George Clooney just send him this and be like, “Hey, give your Batman a shot. Hear what Danielle has to say.” Maybe he’ll reconsider. He seems like a reasonable person.
[00:36:58] Danielle: Honestly, it’s this movie’s time. And also I feel so- this is so similar to Showgirls in so many ways of life, people just didn’t get it at the time.
People just didn’t understand like what was going on. People just weren’t ready. I think people know what kink is now maybe. Or they have some idea. They probably have the wrong idea, but I feel like a lot of people have heard of it who maybe didn’t hear of it in the nineties. And like people know that gay people exist now. I do think that, we’re in enough corners of the world and out, at least in, in America that like people know that gay people exist, at leas. I’m not even entirely sure that they did not all that long to be totally honest with you. (laughs) It’s a weird, but true. I think that at least queer folks are a bit more visible.
So now maybe is the time now is the time that people are ready for Joel Schumacher’s vision of again, what a superhero movie should be and ideally is.
[00:38:00] Fernanda: You also included another observation about the password on the secret disc, speaking of sex toys.
[00:38:06] Danielle: I can’t even. I cannot even, I cannot even. It’s “peg,” the fucking password is “peg.”
Yeah. Yeah, sure. I know it’s supposed to be like Margaret, whatever. It’s “PEG” the password on the disc is peg! It’s peg! I can’t even imagine Joel Schumacher was probably like putting a lot of this in like semi secret or saying oh, play it this way without necessarily telling people like, oh, because it’s gay because this is much cooler because this is so gay.
You’re fighting to be a top or fighting to be a bottom, blah, blah, blah. Because this is like a kink thing. I doubt that he even said that, but I am just gonna- I just- my theory that he thought this was very fucking funny that he’s making these like massive budget, hetero movies be this gay. I can only imagine just getting some satisfaction from that, basically.
[00:39:06] Fernanda: Joel, if you can hear us and if that’s the case-
[00:39:10] Danielle: He is not, he’s not among us anymore. Very sadly. I’m so sorry.
[00:39:13] Fernanda: I know. That’s what I’m saying. I’m talking to the entity, Joel, if you can hear us.
[00:39:18] Danielle: The ghost of Joel. The ghost of Joel. I see you and I appreciate you so much. So much. Where the haters could not, I am here appreciating for every single one of them, times 10. I am appreciating.
[00:39:31] Fernanda: We were talking about starting a cult before we started rolling today. Just casual pre- podcast conversation, which you will understand the reason why soon and then maybe this is the cult, Danielle.
Maybe you’re about to open people’s eyes and spread the gospel of Batman & Robin. I feel like this is a good source material. It’s a good way to weed out the nonbelievers right off the bat. Unfortunately, I will have to kick my husband out of the cult. He won’t be able to join us.
[00:40:06] Danielle: Oh noooo!
[00:40:06] Fernanda: Yeah, he really hates the movie. He only watched like 20 minutes of it with me and the entire time he was like, “this sucks. Holy shit. This movie sucks. Holy fuck. This sucks.” And I’m like,
“I know, it’s amazing!” or “I know, isn’t it great?”
And then at one point. I was just like, “dude, just don’t. You’re killing my vibe here. Like I’m a trash panda, let me enjoy my trash.” Like just not letting me savor it. And he got the message.
[00:40:39] Danielle: I also have space in my heart for people who don’t like it, as long as they don’t try to argue that it’s heterosexual like in any fashion, like of any dimension, any molecule of this movie is heterosexual. (Fernanda laughs) Like I can still be like, I understand you don’t like it. That’s fine. But don’t even begin to pretend that this movie is a heterosexual film for heterosexual people.
[00:41:01] Fernanda: That’s the only demand of our of our god. That’s the only dogma (laughs) of our cult.
[00:41:08] Danielle: You can have whatever opinion, whatever, just don’t even begin to try to say that Batman and Robin, isn’t an incredibly gay film.
[00:41:15] Fernanda: We’re going to call ourselves CGB- cult of the gay Batman. (Danielle laughs: “that’s us!”)
We’re going to have outfits. I’m already like a latex/pleather girl myself. So I feel like this will fit in with my sense of style. (laughs)
[00:41:32] Danielle: Amazing. Absolutely.
[00:41:33] Fernanda: One thing I did want to get into, you alluded to it, and it’s, I think it’s the main point of our disagreement, but I do think I’m in the wrong here. I understand on a conscious level that I’m in the wrong, both viscerally- (Danielle laughs) this truly- emotionally, like you really hate Jeremy Renner. I don’t hate Uma Thurman as an entity.
I should clarify Uma Thurman, the person. I like her, think she’s awesome, pretty… whatever you’re doing to my hope. You’re thriving right now, but I hate her as Poison Ivy. I hate her to an extent. I can’t even- as the goofy scientist I’m cool with it, but Poison Ivy is given me middle school play.
[00:42:18] Danielle: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
[00:42:19] Fernanda: To me it’s very much like a teenager being briefed that you’re going to play this seductress and you’re going to wear these shoes that are in the archive. And they’re a little too big for you. You’re going to wear a red dress because that’s what people think is sexy when you’re a teenager and you’re going to have to seduce these guys, but she doesn’t know how to seduce guys, like her braces get caught on things.
[00:42:46] Fernanda: She has like apple bits on her leg brackets and she’s trying to be sexy. And that’s her idea of it. To me, that’s Poison Ivy as portrayed by Uma Thurman. And I truly profoundly hate it, but I can’t like every gesture, the movements to me- just very try-hard very tacky.
I cannot. To me, sexiness needs to be effortless. It needs to be something that a person exudes and to me this- and then again, how are you going to do that in a movie like this? I know it had to be extra she probably told to be extra. And I know you not the only you, because you shared some reviews and stuff, like disagree with me.
You actually like Uma Thurman in this.
[00:43:27] Danielle: Yes I really do, but again, I have room in my heart for disagreement, because this is such an over the wall, like over the top. So over the top, it’s an orbit around Saturn, kind of performance. (Fernanda laughs) And that can be tiring. Like I fully- I get it. If I was not in the mood, I think to watch Uma Thurman be that far over the top, I would have been annoyed by it too.
It is turned up to 11, like a hundred percent for me, she reads like a drag queen. Like she reads this is a drag performance. It’s the makeup. It’s the mannerisms, it’s the winking and blinking and making the hand movements. Like it’s very drag to me and I am not- I know you have watched a lot more of RuPaul’s Drag Race than I have.
Most of the drag I’ve been to in my life is like in person, I don’t have a great like I just don’t have a great sense of what TV drag is or what, like a lot of modern, like filmed drag is- it’s drag brunch in Bushwick. (Fernanda laughs) That’s for me, like that’s what I that’s the drag in my life. Or there’s a local place that’s like has a lot of burlesque and a lot of drag and a lot of stuff like that. So for me, it’s like aerialists and drag doing whatever the fuck. So again, if I’m like wrong here, you’ve seen more of that type of drag than I have. That’s just how it read.
So drag, and I know she is a woman, she’s an actress who identifies as a woman. So I’m not saying this is a drag performance, but it felt like her inspirations were drag Queens. And like somebody I have it in my notes, but that there was some review that it was like, she’s doing Mae West by way of Jessica Rabbit.
And someone else said Mae West by way of a drag queen. (they both laugh) So like somewhere in there is like the influence that she’s working with here, but that’s how it read for me. So I really enjoyed it. And I thought it was very fun and playful. How like really, I think winking at the camera, the like nerdy-girl-in-glasses-becomes-hot trope was done. It felt very, very obvious to me that was like, we’re doing this on purpose. We are not like, this is like a commentary of how stupid of a trope that, that is, like she’s being dorky and gawky at points and then being seductive, like it’s so stupid and it’s so sexual, like it’s really very sexual the way she’s like “slippery when wet” and “oh, the things that aren’t showing” like she’s, she is just trying to fuck every guy in this movie and no guy is interested in her in the slightest, like that’s what’s happening here. So there’s a lot, there’s a lot going on with like gender and play and dynamics that was fun for me to watch. But again, I truly respect like your opinion and your tastes here because I also get it that sometimes when things are this heightened, you can fall, right? Like it’s easy to fall from that height basically.
[00:46:09] Fernanda: Yeah. I don’t. Yeah. And I see what you’re saying. And especially, even before you mentioned that there was a scene right after she takes over a room and makes it like her plant paradise and I love how, so she’s an environmentalist.
I think that’s her-
[00:46:27] Danielle: Yeah. I think that’s- eco terrorist, environmentalist. That’s it yeah.
[00:46:32] Fernanda: And then she just want plans to be able to defend themselves like animals. I’m like, that’s the most terrifying thing anybody could ever think of. (Danielle laughs) Why would you want that, Uma?
Why would you want that? Have you seen plants? They’re really scary. Even if they can’t do anything, why would you want them to attack us? And you’re crossing them with snakes- the most vile creature in nature? Absolutely not. But there is a point where she I guess when she’s like completing her transformation where they show her makeup. And I immediately thought this is the draggiest that she’s looked and that’s very much at the end when she’s about to get defeated by Robin who puts a thing on his lips (laughs) so as to avoid- in the vein of the mask reveals and Mission Impossible, has a capsule on his lips to avoid being poisoned by the Poison Ivy.
But she she had a makeup that like the eyebrows where it see, they seem like glued and done way up and the eye shadow way up in a very drag way. And I immediately fixated on that. I was like, oh, that is an incredibly drag makeup. So that’s, to me what you’re talking about, it does make a lot of sense.
I just don’t know. I feel like, I would have liked somebody else in the part, I don’t know. But again, it fit with the rest of the movie. I just, it’s- again, a visceral kind of reaction of mine. And then onto the other woman of the movie. And that’s another thing, the movie packs a lot which to me again, it’s the other problem.
You don’t really- on the one hand, it’s not a problem because you’re constantly entertained. As you said in you, it’s got, it’s so much campiness, there’s so much color and everything is so over the top, I love the costume designs.
[00:48:26] Danielle: Ah, yes!
[00:48:27] Fernanda: Dude, the set pieces, the way they made Gotham, instead of the very depressing Gotham, we’re used to- this Gotham is like vibrant and we don’t see a lot of it, but the little we see just a lot of lights.
It’s a very- a very vibrant place.
[00:48:42] Danielle: Neon and black light and like statues of unbelievably ripped men holding things up. Again, I just, I don’t mean to beat a drum here, but the gayest thing ever.
(they both laugh)
[00:48:58] Fernanda: There’s a pattern. But it is like- yeah, it’s all like yummy to look at, in my opinion some choices are questionable, like the jungle people at the jungle party? (Fernanda’s voice goes up three octaves)
[00:49:12] Danielle: Just not the best.
[00:49:13] Fernanda: Choices were made. I don’t know that I love in this very white movie to have just like jungle people and like the mindless villain being obviously Latino. Do I like that? Not really, but umm… (laughs)
[00:49:28] Danielle: I think it’s worth- I think that’s really worth mentioning if you want to get into that because I didn’t even notice it cause I’m an idiot, but like you, you made a really good point in the notes of like Bane’s whole thing here actually really sucks. It’s not great.
[00:49:42] Fernanda: Yeah. So I was reading up cause I don’t really know the history of Bain. I knew him because of the Nolan movie and he’s wonderfully portrayed by Tom Hardy because obviously it’s Tom Hardy, he can literally never do anything wrong, even though he did that horrible movie with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine.
Yeah, he’s still a yummy and amazing and delicious in it so he can get away with anything, but I digress, the point is that Tom Hardy- I think he portrayed a really freaking cool Bane. It was a very layered villain, a very interesting guy for that very obviously different story than this Bane. I was looking it up and Bane apparently, the character, is vaguely Latino ’cause he’s from a fictional place. Santa Prisca. Which is supposed to be like in the Caribbean. And he escaped a prison that’s has a Latin sounding name pain, your Pena Dura, something like this. And he has a Teddy bear that he called “osito” which is a little bear in Spanish, which had a knife in it that he used to defend himself, of course, because this bait but so there is a Latino- like root to the character himself, but in the movie, like we only see him for a second, right? His is like petty criminal, scrawny- we hear that his name is Antonio Diego, which could be in Spanish. It could be Brazilian too.
These are- this is a name that is also Portuguese sounding. But then they put what to me looks a lot like a lucha mask while the original Bane lake, his mask kind of lucha, but not as obvious from what I can tell. And then he becomes this dimwitted villain who is just all muscle, no brain at all, no brain just brawn.
And he just basically is there, is this inflatable like character to serve Uma Thurman. And he gets defeated in the dumbest fucking way because they just pulled the plug. Cause he’s he’s a juiced up like character he’s scrawny but he’s got this venom floating into him and that’s how he’s like a super strong character.
‘Cause that’s the original thing he’s supposed to be strong enough to break a Batman’s back. That’s his origin, but like when you see him in the movie- the Nolan movie, he’s just this really intelligent if deranged character with all these layers. And of course you can’t compare, he’s a very secondary character here.
It’s an entirely different context, but she’s just like one Latino person in this whole thing. And he’s this fucking dimwitted asshole who gets defeated in the dumbest fucking way. Like how can you be a super strong- almost like unbeatable henchman, who is also very beatable, because the way to beat him is just pulling this incredibly apparent, visible plug that’s on the literal back of his head?
Make it make sense to me. It does not.
[00:52:45] Danielle: Yeah. It’s pretty- it’s not great. It’s not great. I completely agree with you.
[00:52:50] Fernanda: Like, I get it. Different times. Yeah, I’m sure nobody was even thinking about it, but it’s a little… hmm…
[00:52:58] Danielle: Yeah, no, I think it’s a more than fair point. Like it does suck and it’s not good. And the fact that I didn’t even see it is like also not great because it’s yeah.
I’m so busy looking at the cod pieces and hearing the lines about the rubber suits and how much it turns on Poison Ivy that I didn’t see like a fairly obvious, like shitty thing about this movie. Yeah. Let’s be clear. That’s pretty shitty.
[00:53:21] Fernanda: Representation matters. Latinos can be fucking assholes too. (Producer Paul here, resident Latino. Can confirm.)
[00:53:26] Danielle: Yeah, of course. Of course. It’s just like this way, like in this one stupid way of oh, that’s, oh-
[00:53:32] Fernanda: And then everybody else’s very much white. We have Vivica A Fox up period for a total of two seconds.
[00:53:37] Danielle: I know! And she just wants to get some too- like the women can’t have sex in this movie!
The men are not interested at all!
[00:53:47] Fernanda: I guess Ivy cannot because like she’ll literally killed people. I think she kills them with kisses which-
[00:53:54] Danielle: She also has to physically drug these guys to even be interested like at all, like to even kiss! (laughs)
[00:54:04] Fernanda: Yeah. Chris O’donnell seem a little infatuated with the Alicia Silverstone character, which is- So Alicia Silverstone appears in this as Batgir- again- it’s a lot like that’s the thing we have, like Mr. Freeze and the whole storyline about him wanting to save his wife, who he cryogenically conserved, because she had a fatal syndrome. McGregor’s syndrome? I immediately, my MMA brain immediately went to, does it make you an Irish asshole? Conor McGregor’s an Irish fighter for those of you who do not know, who fucking sucks.
He straight up sucks, but- so like he there’s that, and then you have Poison Ivy who, I guess I still don’t know her motivation. I think it’s plants to take over and get revenge on humans because humans suck. And she-
[00:54:54] Danielle: She also wants to like restart, like restart the world, like, get rid of all the people and then she can start restart the whole world and it’ll be awesome. That’s her whole thing. Yeah.
[00:55:06] Fernanda: Yeah. I feel like that’s a big decision for a single person. Like not knocking it. Like sometimes I feel like we’re hopeless and we do need to start from scratch, but I’m also like, I don’t think it’s up for one person to decide who gets to repopulate it.
It’s like a bit of a slippery slope over there. I don’t know. Who’s thinking unless person is Keanu Reeves. He was like, he’s allowed to decide if I were to choose a person to decide. Like I trust Keanu to make the proper choices for all of humanity. Not Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy has been- she needs to unpack her trauma first, I feel like.
[00:55:44] Danielle: Yeah, she does. She really does. Absolutely.
[00:55:48] Fernanda: You literally just went through a very scary experience. And then you’ve got transformed into a creature who can seduce men, but not even make out with them. Like this must be a lot to process. I feel like you need some time to sit with yourself and understand your new circumstances before you start repopulating the Earth. (laughs)
And then the other woman, like I was saying, is Batgirl who I liked her more than I was expecting. (Danielle: “Same.”) Like the Alicia Silverstone character-
[00:56:18] Danielle: She’s- she’s doing a lot of the- almost like she’s the new Robin. Like the slightly troubled kid who’s really into motorcycles and also a super genius and also a computer genius? And also martial arts superstar.
She’s basically just a younger Robin. So Robin is now going to be oh, I get to be older than someone kinda thing. (Fernanda laughs) And they have- whatever, their partnership at the end. But she’s actually pretty cool! And she has that great speech that you mentioned in your notes about like servitude and oh, Alfred’s happy and all this kind of shit, which was like, honestly, you’re making some great points there.
You’re making some good points Batgirl. I don’t remember her name in the movie until she’s Batgirl. I’m sure she has some other name too.
[00:56:58] Fernanda: I totally forgot too- again, it’s a lot to think about in this movie.
Yeah, like that, that, because that’s another storyline. So Alfred is dying again by the same like disease, the, McGregor Syndrome that Mr. Freeze’s wife was suffering from when she was frozen. I love that. He’s still stage one. Like it’s not as serious as the Freeze lady.
And then he’s like on his death bed, I’m like, how does this progress? (laughs)
[00:57:28] Danielle: Barely breathing? And it’s stage one, it’s not too serious as he dies. What the fuck?
[00:57:34] Fernanda: What’s worse than literal death in terms of a disease progression. There are worse things in life, but like in this perfect situation. But again, you can’t be bothered with asking those types of questions.
Like why does Batgirl get a mole after she becomes Batgirl, She gets a mole under her lip. It makes absolutely no sense why. I need explanations, but I feel like I’m not going to get them.
[00:58:01] Danielle: Is it like- Batman’s name when he’s not being, sorry. Superman’s name way when being Superman? Yeah. (Fernanda: “Oh, Clark Kent.”) A Clark Kent glasses situation.
She has a stupid fake mole. I don’t know. (laughs)
[00:58:14] Fernanda: She gets a fake mole- like this to me is so unexplainable it’s just like when we’re watching Hard Target and the lady put the lit cake inside the drawer. It’s one of those things that is just going to haunt me forever. It just makes absolutely no sense. I feel like I’m missing a very important nod to something here, because this was a choice.
Somebody was like, put that mole there and we never got an explanation for it. But I digress. And her name is Barbara in the series. Rodrigo was telling me that in other universes or I don’t know, the actual universe is actually commissioner Gordon’s daughter.
[00:58:45] Danielle: Yeah, Barbara Gordon Instead of Barbara Wayne? I don’t know.
[00:58:49] Fernanda: Barbara Wilson
[00:58:53] Danielle: Yeah, sure. Why not?
[00:58:55] Fernanda: Yeah. Alfred is dying from this disease and she gives this little speech to Robin about how, like she wants to give enough money that Alfred can live his life. And he’s like “he loves being here!”
[00:59:05] Danielle: (laughs) “He loves being a servant!”
[00:59:08] Fernanda: “He’s family!” Who hasn’t heard that? “He’s like family, he’s not-” and she’s like “you pay him to do your dishes. How can you call him family?” “He’s happy!” I’m like, oh my God this little piece in the middle of this chaotic mess of a movie contains so much truth. That is applicable in 2022. But again, I digress, but yeah, she’s an interesting little, like character, like she’s very stereotypically college feminist in many ways, like she gives the Poison Ivy like a little speech before fighting her, like “you’re using your female charms to get what you want. You give women a bad name!” And things like that. But I still like her, I feel like they were able to pack in a little bit of a layering there in a movie that doesn’t really- it’s not in the business of nuanced and complex characters by any means.
[01:00:06] Danielle: Yeah, exactly. And it’s also- the only way- I don’t forgive what she says, but she does use the line: “I kicked her botanical butt.” Which- all right, Batgirl, I’m going to give you that one. I’ll give you that one. That was pretty funny to me. I don’t know why it just really worked for me. Botanical butt. There it is. There it is.
[01:00:29] Fernanda: The people writing- I would imagine being like the actor receiving the script and just being like, “I need to say this with a straight face.” (Danielle laughs) And again, to me, it’s hilarious because you have all these actors- (Danielle: “Great actors!”) great actors and well-known and big names. And they’re saying the most ridiculous shit with us a straight face and that’s skill. And as Paul pointed out a Coolio cameo.
[01:00:56] Danielle: Oh my God! That’s right! I actually was watching it, I said out loud: is that Coolio? It totally is. It’s Coolio. Oh my God. I love it.
[01:01:05] Fernanda: He’s in the motorcycle scenes because we also get like motorcycle chasing scenes. People talk about Nolan’s car chase scene that could never. The real chase scene is a motorcycle scene. And the villains with the like neon paint-
Again, it’s a lot! (they both laugh)
[01:01:23] Danielle: It’s a lot going on, I will say this movie could have been 75 minutes long and still like really retained everything it needed for sure. For sure. For sure. But yeah, perfect. Nothing is perfect.
(they both laugh)
[01:01:43] Fernanda: You concede that Batman & Robin, one of the most maligned movies of all time, is not perfect. (laughs)
[01:01:49] Danielle: There are some things wrong here. I will fully admit not everything is firing on all cylinders, but enough is firing on enough cylinders that it’s pretty wonderful so… IMO.
[01:02:03] Fernanda: I love your fandom of this, Danielle. We’ll get it. I’m sure we’ll get into it more when we discuss the little when we go into our final segment. But before we do, is there anything else you want to add that we haven’t touched on?
[01:02:18] Danielle: Oh my goodness. I don’t think so. Oh yes. Sorry. One last thing. The Majora’s Mask, scary moon appears to be in this movie. It’s not really the Majora’s Mask scary moon, but for video game nerds, there’s like a brief moment where it’s in the program for whatever the telescope thing. And Bruce Wayne gives it to Poison Ivy- whatever poison- Doctor Whoever, Poison Ivy..
And you just get this like beautiful thing of a screaming moon that looks a lot like the Majora’s Mask screaming moon and I thought that was cool. And I wonder if that was somewhat inspiration for Majora’s Mask. I don’t know that it was, it just looked like it to me and it made me happy.
[01:02:54] Fernanda: I was feeling like, should I know what this is? And then you said, it’s a video game thing so I was like, oh okay, it makes sense that- I was like, should I pretend I know? And then Google it later?
[01:03:04] Danielle: Oh no. It’s a video game. Nerd thing. Listen, my nerdom contains multitudes and that’s among it.
[01:03:09] Fernanda: It does! It truly is a skill. It’s wonderful.
[01:03:12] Danielle: It’s close. Paul, it looks pretty close to the scary moon. It’s like a moon with like scary eyes and a scary mouth. So it’s just a quick shot, but again just going to tell how fun and off the fucking wall, the production design is. Wonderful, wonderful visuals.
[01:03:28] Fernanda: Yeah. I will say this. If any, if you don’t like the movie, but you’re like, maybe- if you’re willing to give it another watch. And if you focus on the costume design and like these little pieces here and there, like it will at least improve your experience of not liking it.
Because again, there’s a lot, that’s just like wrong in an objective way.
(they both erupt into laughter )
[01:03:50] Fernanda: I get it. But you should- that’s another thing I feel like people can benefit from in a rewatch. So I guess that will settle it for our middle and second installment- segment of this show, where we dive deep and we strip it down and we’re ready to move on to our final segment: Shelf Life.
[01:04:34] Fernanda: So now we arrive at shelf life, which is the part of the show where we discuss where we want to place the movie, the VHS tape in our beautiful video store. If it’s a bonafide staff page, it should be this displayed proudly as such. Her fits a totally acceptable. Totally cool. Middle have placement, or if it just needs to go to the freaking dumpster. (Danielle laughs)
I will start with you, Danielle, where I’m curious, are you placing Batman & Robin in our video store?
[01:05:11] Danielle: I don’t think it’s perfect. I don’t think it’s perfect. Alright? I just want to be clear. We have some problems here. However, it gives me enough joy where I will pull for a staff pick. Now I will also respect, I will respect a high middle aisle placement, but my vote is for a staff pick.
[01:05:32] Fernanda: I love that. You’re literally the only person on earth. I feel like we should-
(they both laugh)
[01:05:40] Fernanda: Like I said, I enjoyed- I really thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Like I just had a ton of fun the first time. And I had a ton of fun this time. It was like a two hour chaotic descent into just like madness that I enjoyed every second of. But as I was doing the research for the show, literally everybody hates it. (laughs)
I came across like an Empire- like 50 movies of all worst movies of all time list chosen by the viewers. And the first one was Batman & Robin. It truly is spectacularly ragged on. So I love it. I love that you’re just like, “fuck it. I’m going to give it a staff pick placement.” I wouldn’t personally,
(They both laugh. Danielle: “That’s ok!”)
[01:06:27] Fernanda: I would give it a middle aisle and with a little- Danielle. I’ll put ” Danielle loves this.” Just that. Just that.
[01:06:37] Danielle: I’m very ok with that. Yeah.
[01:06:39] Fernanda: I would say like with a gold, but we just do it like with a rainbow-
[01:06:43] Danielle: Like a rainbow prism. Like a- I don’t know- like a rainbow leather harness, like-
(they both laugh)
[01:06:55] Fernanda: The VHS tape is like encompassed in a little harness.
[01:06:58] Danielle: In a little rainbow flagged-up leather harness. And that’s that’ll tell anybody who needs to know, what this is…
[01:07:07] Fernanda: Ask Danielle about this movie. I’ll put this in the- she’ll gladly walk you through this. And I feel like that’s honestly like the best decor of all the- that’s the highest honor for anything. Fuck the staff picks. Like anybody can do- can make it there, but this leather harness with the rainbow little thingy, that’s a very distinct honor. (laughs)
[01:07:34] Danielle: Absolutely.
[01:07:36] Fernanda: With the proper attire. (laughs)
[01:07:39] Danielle: Yeah, it’s ready. It’s ready to watch this movie. It’s ready to watch this movie. Like it’s good. (laughs)
[01:07:46] Fernanda: Perfect. I feel like that really settles it and that is all for this week. Thank you to my cohost. My beautiful, amazing, perfect, co-host Danielle for joining me. Thank you all at home for listening. Thank you to our producer, Paul “clever little clover” Tamayo for all the help in making this show not only not suck, but also, in my very biased opinion kind of rule.
We would love to hear from all of you. So if you would like to get in touch with us, please send us an email to YLTSI@fanbyte.com. Now it’s not “You Love to See It” it’s the acronym. YLTSI@fanbyte.com again, YLTSI@fanbyte.com. We would love for you to send us your reviews, your recommendations, your questions, and any general feedback, and maybe we’ll even read them on the show.
We’d really appreciate it. And if you like the work we do, and you want to show us some support, you can rate and review us on apple podcasts or rate us on Spotify. It really does go a long way in helping us spread the word about the show. It really helps us out. You can find links to our other podcasts, our discord, and our socials in the show notes.
And that is all for this week until next time. You love to see it. <3
EXT. FANBYTE CITY NIGHT – YOU LOVE TO SEE IT
The camera glides backwards out of the door while Fernanda and Danielle clean up and shut the lights off. We move back to the extreme wide in front of the store.
Fanbyte City sits on the horizon, all lit up. Suddenly a heart signal lights up the night sky.
The store lights turn off and we see two figures hop onto motorcycles and race off into the skyline.
[Fade to black]