Batman: 20th Anniversary Edition (2009, Warner Bros.)
purchase from Amazon: Blu-ray
The movie industry seems to break a new record for box-office totals every single year, but if you remember the summer of Tim Burton’s Batman — and all the crazy lengths people went to in order to get tickets for an opening night screening — you know that the movies themselves tend not to inspire the same level of frenzy that they once did. I was 15 when Batman came out, and I remember spending pretty much an entire day looking for a theater that wasn’t completely sold out; I ended up at a midnight screening at a dingy little multiplex over an hour from where I lived, and I went home absolutely thrilled with the experience.
I’ve seen all of Warner Bros.’ subsequent Batman adaptations, but none more than once, including the original, so I was eager to break in my new Blu-ray player with the 20th Anniversary Edition release that hits stores tomorrow. Although there isn’t really anything new here — it just breaks off Batman from the previously released Anthology box — it was all new enough to me, and having never been a fan of the “buy the whole series or you don’t get none” philosophy that studios love, I was staunchly in favor of this edition even before I unwrapped it.
The movie, though? It doesn’t hold up so well. Twenty years can do a lot of things, and not all of them are kind.
Since its inception, this column has at times deviated from the strict parameters that most “movie” columns adhere to. In many ways, my intention has always been to touch on more than the average movie discussion, as it is my belief that there is a link to the world of cinema in every facet of our lives. That said, I hope you’ll forgive me from straying a little further even than normal.
I’ve been working for a small photography agency for the past two and a half years. It has become an almost ideal situation for me. It is only a mile from my home, and I have been able to walk. The pay is better than any job I’ve had. I have my own private office, and very few coworkers to have conflicts with.
A couple weeks ago, I was informed that I am to be laid off, effective April 1st. Talk about a great April Fool’s Day. Maybe the day will come and everyone will pop out of a closet and shout, “Just kidding!” and everything will be all right again. Since there is virtually zero chance of this occurring, I must instead spend my time looking for a new job in what is effectively a flatlining economy.
As Americans, many of us view our jobs like relationships. Our office becomes like a home, and our coworkers like family. Many of us have a difficult time separating our personal lives from our professional ones.
Let’s take that idea, and turn it on its head: Since we are equating our jobs with relationships, I’d like everyone to think of a relationship they’ve had that has ended. It can be romantic or platonic. I’m sure we can all think of a situation in our past that we didn’t want to end, but now are better off for its demise.
Sometimes, to truly improve ourselves, we have to be released from that which we enjoy. There is an expression, often attributed to the writer Richard Bach, which says “if you love someone, set them free.” I know I am not the only soul to have been set free recently.
Therefore, we must all accept the inevitability that we are all in this together. No job is entirely safe right now, a fact that I overlooked until it was too late. What I think is happening right now is akin to a reset button being pushed. We have come so far in our excess that the only way to move forward again is from the starting line.
My primary brief, with How Bad Can It Be?, is to look at media product that for whatever reason — an unpromising premise, a poisoned reputation, a creator's track record — gives me no reason to expect that it'll be any good, and to try