Batman Returns (1992)

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Batman Returns might not be very good as a Batman movie, because it violates many of the central rules that makes Batman who he is at his very core, but it’s one hell of a Tim Burton movie.

I also like 1989’s Batman, but its sequel, Batman Returns, is something that speaks to me on a very personal level, and I feel like it subliminally implanted in me the essentials of German Expressionism and Filmmaking 101.  Tim Burton seemed to have taken every complaint he had about the first movie and doubled down on it.  What we’re left with is this dark, depressing Christmas movie about alienation, freaks and shadows crawling up walls in dimly-lit gothic buildings and sewers.  In fact, I think it gives Die Hard a run for its money in terms of all-time best nontraditional Christmas movies.  Does Die Hard have Danny DeVito biting someone on the nose, causing a jet a blood to spray everywhere?  No, it doesn’t.

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Guillermo del Toro – A Career in Review

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Very rarely are there directors or filmmakers that I would outright label as an “auteur.”  An auteur, I think, is someone who has their work oft-copied and oft-imitated, but has such an original visual flare that you can instantly recognize the real deal from a forgery as long as you’re pretty familiar with the real work from the master.  I would consider Martin Scorsese to be an auteur, especially in his early work.  Wes Anderson fits the bill–you know you’re watching a Wes Anderson movie just by a single frame and its composition.

To that end, I would definitely label Guillermo del Toro as an auteur.

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