Scott Janovitz is a musician. Greg Conley is a scientist. On this podcast, Citizen Critic, they come together to critique the critics. Whether it’s decades-old criticism of classic movies, hot takes on current box office hits, or all-caps Amazon reviews, Scott and Greg are here to put these critics in the hot seat. On this episode, they decide to revisit the 1989 Tim Burton classic, Batman, starring Michael Keaton. They read a terrible review from the Los Angeles Times, discover how much three decades can change the public’s opinion of a performance, and then dive into Amazon customer reviews for one-star gems complaining about the Batman movie, a Batman costume, and a Batman toaster, roasting them all with as much fervor as the reviewers bemoaned Michael Keaton’s “Bat-jock.”
The Times review of Batman is detailed in its negativity, going on at length about the scene where the Joker destroys art in the museum, and the guys get a lot of laughs over several turns of phrase, including “driven to right a naughty world” (“Naughty? They’re dropping acid on people’s faces!” Greg exclaims) and “waltzes to the climax” (“Naughty indeed,” Scott laughs), as well as the critic’s take on Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker (he made her “wish he’d get off screen just so this headache could end, just for a moment,” telling parents not to take their kids to this movie because “this is where bad dreams are born”).
Michael Keaton’s performance is now considered to be one of the better Batman portrayals in the movies, but at the time, he was a controversial casting decision. Scott reads us a petition that was circulated at the time to protest his casting, and compare it to a current petition on Change.org called “Bring Back Michael Keaton As Batman,” which argues that people want to see an older Batman fight crime. “Why not just cast Wilford Brimley?” Greg laughs.
Then they dive into the Amazon reviews, snorting over reviewers who were angry that the PG-13 movie wasn’t appropriate for their 10-year-old, or the woman who didn’t like the way her husband looked in his Batman costume (“It made him look nothing like George Clooney!” the guys imagine her saying). They also talk about Birds of Prey, Joker, how Greg was surprised to find out that Christian Bale is British (“throw him a ha’penny!”), and a lot more about your favorite '80s Batman classic on this episode of Citizen Critic.
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