This week, The Unenthusiastic Critic is suiting up for her first viewing of a dynamic duo of movies: Batman (1989) and Batman & Robin (1997).

Coming on the scene when comic book movies were considered a money-losing proposition, Tim Burton's smash-hit became the template for modern blockbusters—in ways both good and bad—and set the stage for Hollywood's ongoing, multi-billion-dollar love affair with costumed avengers.

But, just a few years later, Joel Schumacher's godforsaken sequel became a cautionary tale for the genre, killing the franchise dead and teaching an entire industry how not to make a superhero movie.

Join us as we discuss the Dark Knight's rise and fall, wince at terrible puns, and wonder just why there are so many open vats of toxic goop lying around Gotham City.


0:00: Intro (Theme from Batman TV show)
00:28: Preliminary Conversation: Superhero Movies
21:36: Musical Interlude: "Worst Superpower Ever" by The Doubleclicks
23:08: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
39:06: Batman Original Trailer
40:35: The Verdict I: Post-Viewing Discussion
54:34: Batman & Robin Original Trailer
56:49: The Verdict II: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:19:06: Outro and Next Week's Movie
1:20:07: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Movies Reviewed: Batman (dir. Tim Burton, Warner Bros., 1989) and Batman & Robin (dir. Joel Schumacher, Warner Bros., 1997).
—Links and Sources: "Tim Burton's Batman At 25, And Its Wonderful, Terrible Legacy," Scott Mendelson, Forbes; "How Tim Burton's Batman Set the Stage for Comic Books' Hollywood Takeover," Jordan Zakarin, SyFyWire; "25 Years Ago: Batman Saves Prince's Career," Matthew Wilkening, The Boombox; "Artist Tim Burgard Tells What it Was Like Working on Batman & Robin," Maurice Mitchell, Film Sketchr; "Bad Movie Night: The Sequel-Sinking Silliness of Batman & Robin," Jason Bailey, Flavorwire; "Batman & Robin is terrible, and here's why you should watch it immediately," Kwame Opam, The Verge.
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—"Worst Superpower Ever" by The Doubleclicks used with the generous permission of the artists. (Musicians who allow their songs to be used in podcasts are the absolute best, so please check out and support The Doubleclicks at
—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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1 thought on “BATMAN (1989) AND BATMAN & ROBIN (1997)”

  1. Apologies to The Unenthusiastic Critic, but I definitely go with Danny Elfman's score over Prince's songs.

    To sum up the trend culminating with the outlandish "Batman and Robin," I'm reminded of Jim Carrey's line in "Batman Forever," "Was that over the top? I can never tell."

    Given her enthusiasm for "Black Panther," has The Unenthusiastic Critic watched the CW's "Black Lightning"? I highly recommend it for being the most grounded (the pun fits) and character-driven of the DC comics adaptations. And it gets better as it goes along, with the protagonist's daughters coming into their own as, in some instances conflicted, heroes.

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