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Monday
Dec 19 2016

Beauty vs Beast: Happy Gotham Holidays

Hey everybody,Jason fromMNPPhere with our final edition of "Beauty vs Beast"for 2016 -- we will be back after the holidays...as long as the world still exists.(Lately I wonder.) Until then let's think happy thoughts (or die trying) and consider one of my favorite holiday movies,Tim Burton'sBatman Returns.I was just readinga piece on the filmthis morning,placing its bleak worldview of politics against our own (I did say these were happy thoughts right?) so the movie's feeling fresh as a bowl of milk.And there's always room beside my Xmas tree for these two great villains - as The Penguin at one point says to Miss Kitty...

"You're Beauty and the Beast in one luscious Christmas gift pack."

PREVIOUSLYSinceStar Warsis in the air last weekwe forced you all to take sidesbetween the greatest bickering space pair since Dave disconnected HAL - beating Han Solo himself is no small feat (he shoots first,remember) so give it up to Princess Leia,who hair-rolled away with just under 60% of your vote.Saidtom:

"She has one of the most famous wardrobes in movie history,an entire fleet at her disposal,and her sidekick is gold.His best friend is a walking carpet - her words.I think she wins."

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Reader Comments (20)

No contest.Catwoman.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

No contest.Catwoman.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

DeVito's own weirdness and camp really is impressive in itself,but Pfeiffer's Catwoman has so much gravitas and genuine emotion while keeping with the film's weirdness underneath all that stitched-up leather that she's undeniable.Vamping with heart counts for a lot when your character keeps getting killed.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

Damn zero for Danny.He and the other Danny (Glover) deserve honorary Oscar recognition.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

BTW obviously I knew when I posted this that MP would win this one handily (we all know it!) so the real contest here becomes -- who can say the greatest thing about her performance here in the comments and get quoted next time around?I LEAVE IT TO YOU,FOLKS.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I feel like anyone voting for DeVito on this blog gets a pop up of Nathaniel giving a "REALLY?"Look.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Matt St.Clair: Agreed.That they mangled Catwoman (who's usually adapted well) is more of a sigh moment than Penguin (Frankly,adaptations have almost always mangled Penguin (B:TAS gets close (not perfect,but CLOSE),but even recent adaptations like Gotham (where he's Municipal Trump (UGH!)) and ESPECIALLY Batman: Arkham (if you're going to go the British angle,he's not a Ray Winstone,game) don't even try to adapt him well.),so what's one more on the pile?)

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Catwoman bitches!

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

I know we're not supposed to compare performances and styles and all the rest of it but *where* the Hell was Michelle Pfeiffer's Oscar for doing what Ledger did 15 years previous,with an admittedly worse script,but with arguably better results?Obviously the circumstances were totally different but the genre snobbery is sickening,especially considering the level of acting genius Pfeiffer managed to accomplish within such a flawed film.Honestly,if I've missed the scene where she trashes her apartment I've missed the entire film.And I'm probably going to get booed for this,but no Batman film has come close to the emotional powerstorm between two characters than what Pfeiffer and Keaton brought to their shared scenes.In fact,DeVito does an admirable job in portraying the sadness of The Penguin.This was tough because he's underrated in the film.But this is Catwoman's show,and no Oscar.To quote Suzanne Stone "It simply boggles one with disbelief"

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Buffamonteezi

@Amanda Buffamonteezi - I'm totally with you!It's so impressive that they're even in the same ballpark given how weird and not-as-good Returns is,but Pfeiffer has so much intensity!I can't rank her over Ledger (or,in her own year,either of the Howards End women,since Pfeiffer really felt like a lead),but her genius is so remarkable,and given the material they had to work with that got her those results maybe I should give her as much love as Ledger.Pfeiffer was brilliant in a comic book film that stayed as weird as the comics.Where's the credit for that?

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

On this site?Catwoman - I just loved seeing that over 90% of TFE readers agree.Also happens to be a great comic performance.Pfeiffer surpasses Eartha Kitt & Anne Hathaway who are pretty good as well.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Amanda: I don't think Ledger's Joker and Pfeiffer's Catwoman are really THAT comparable unless you're thinking ONLY in terms of source material.Ledger's Joker is most comparable to Anthony Hopkins as Lecter or the previous year's winner Javier Bardem in No Country.(A cold calculating sociopath with only touches of ill humour.) Pfeiffer's Catwoman,on the other hand,is probably closest (character arc/persona wise) not to Roy Batty (though,good touch on that homage in the final scene),but to Gary Oldman in Leon.(Large,loud figure who projects toughness but is ultimately more pitiable than dangerous.) All of those performances are good to great,but to compare Hopkins,Bardem and Ledger to Pfeiffer and Oldman is apples to oranges.

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I want to know who visits a site run by Nathaniel Rodgers and picks DeVito...

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMSP

............................

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I'm not sure what the opposite of a SOPHIE'S CHOICE is - but this is definitely it!

December 19,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

That scene pictured is everything.And she put an actual bird in her mouth!

What most impresses me about Pfeiffer's performance -- and there's a lot -- is the way she mapped out Selina/Catwoman's arc.The film was shot out of order (as is the norm),and I saw an interview from back in the day where she said she was essentially playing three different characters.

Amanda,your comment about Pfeiffer and Keaton is so accurate.That scene where they're dancing at the Shrek Ball and reailzing what's really happening (Bruce is Batman!Selina is Catwoman!) is sooooo good.

December 20,2016 | Unregistered Commenterjakey

I would've nominated Jack Nicholson's Joker over Ledger's...

December 20,2016 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Perfection by Pfieffer.Even more perfect would have been if she sang "Felines"as a tip to Fab Baker Boys lol

December 20,2016 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Pfeiffer for sure.I think DeVito was underrated in this,and this is probably my favorite Batman film,even if it's messy.Its messiness is actually part of its charm.Pfeiffer's Catwoman is one of my all-time favorite performances--she is just sublime here and was deserving of a Best Actress nomination and win.I remember being so excited when Bening was cast,and I'm sure she would have been quite good--but it's hard to imagine anyone else in this role.Hathaway was good in DKR and there have been other solid Catwomen--but Michelle is the gold standard in my book.

December 20,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I do prefer Jack Nicholson's Joker also more than Ledger,because he's more of an "old-fashioned"Gangster that I like than a maniac.But I don't mind Ledger winning an Oscar.He sadly was not alive anymore to accept the honor himself.*sigh*

This poll is an easy choice though,but Danny as the penguin is also really good,too.The whole film is amazing.My favorite Batman movie!

December 20,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

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