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There are many kinds of reunion shows. One kind is where old actors are
taken out of mothballs and set to recreate characters they haven't played
for twenty or thirty years. These have mixed results. `Return to
Mayberry', despite some silliness, was okay; `Return to Green Acres' as
execrable (Eddie Albert used a word for the script I won't repeat here, but
both it and the movie stink); `Rescue from Gilligan's Island' filled in a
necessary gap in the story of the castaways, though the show itself was
silly even from a `Gilligan's Island' viewpoint. In most cases, the scripts
are weak; sometimes a silliness appears in the scripts that is too knowing
and in comedy it's nearly always fatal for the characters to know they're
being funny. New characters are introduced who don't fit the mix. In the
main, these reunion shows are pretty weak. A second sort of `reunion' show
is the kind where the cast lays its past aside but sits around, telling
stories, reminiscing, interspersed with flashbacks from the shows. Then
there are movies based on the shows, which are rarely good; and movies based
on the history of the show (`The Brady Bunch' has had both of these happen
to it, with various results).
`Return to the Batcave' uses nearly all the above, with a wonderfully twisted viewpoint, which makes it the best of the reunion shows, and has raised the bar for the others.
Adam West and Burt Ward and summoned to a showing of the original Batmobile. While they are there, the car is stolen.
The Adam West of the movie is a man demented. He called Jerry, his butler, `Alfred'. He opens a bust of Shakespeare in his apartment and reveals a hidden pole to slide down to the parking garage. He's obsessed with being a crime fighter, when in fact he's merely a washed up actor. When the Batmobile is stolen he not only believes it's his duty as a crime fighter to recover it, he drags and unwilling Burt Ward in as his assistant.
The pursuit is largely loquacious, with West and Ward reminiscing about the old days. It is broken by `flashbacks' with actors playing West and Ward in the old days. The modern scenes and the `flashbacks' both have the wacky lack of reality the show maintained. There are also running gags that show West is able to make fun of himself: in Ward's book about his time on the show, he spoke frankly about West's libido and also his being a skinflint (West makes Ward pay for everything in their pursuit, down to tips and bus fare). The clues they follow, the characters they meet (even in flashback) all fit the mentality of the old series, and there are several homages, including a fist fight with written sound effects.
The whole thing is extremely funny and done with great panache. There are also cameos by Julie Newmar (looking like she's had one facelift too many) and Frank Gorshin, reminding us why he has such a cult following. Gorshin will be the Riddler when Jim Carey, his obvious successor, is long forgotten. The movie builds to a fairly obvious but funny climax.
This show is a model for reunion shows unfortunately, there are few that can fit the pattern. This show had actors replaying their old characters; young actors playing a movie about the making of the show; the actors West and Ward reminiscing; and a modern-day movie with the real Adam West playing the demented Adam West. It has everything. If you loved the old show, this is the stopper on the bottle.
Yes, I did, as I sit here red-faced, remembering having felt almost
guilty as I watched it a couple of weeks back while my wife chose to
watch something as inconsequential (in comparison) as "Mommie Dearest."
How does one explain the appeal of "Batman and Robin" - I mean the only ones who ever really counted, Adam West and Burt Ward. It was a terrible show, with terrible plots and terrible acting - and, oh yes, it was terribly funny! And the same applies to this "reunion" and "flashback" movie. Adam and Burt are invited to an auction where the old Batmobile is going to be sold off for charity. But it gets stolen, and our pals (as themselves) jump into their old characters' personas (if not their costumes) and head off to find out what's happened. Along the way they reminisce about the series, and we see how it all came together in flashbacks, with Jack Brewer and Jason Marsden playing the young Adam and Burt of the TV series. It really was quite interesting to get some behind the scenes looks at the old series, and Adam and Burt just stepped perfectly back into character (even though they weren't really in character - well, you'd have to watch it to see what I mean.) It was also great to see Julie Newmar and Frank Gorshin.
If you're not a fan of the old series, you'll hate this. If - heaven forbid - you actually thought Michael Keaton and George Clooney made acceptable "Batmans" then you'll hate this even more. But if you grew up with Adam and Burt and are still willing to admit that you never missed an episode - well, this one's for you.
Yes, it's true - 9/10
Okay, I'll admit it: Reunion movies don't always work. They're almost
missing that special something that makes them pale in comparison to the
original. That's what I was expecting when I tuned into this, but that's
what I got. "The Misadventures of Adam and Burt" is a BANG! POW! WHAM!
gasser, especially if you're a long-time BatFan like me!
First, there's the cast. If there is any justice, Adam West and Burt Ward should be nominated for Emmys for their delightfully funny, wickedly self-parodying performances. Ditto Jack Brewer and, especially, Jason Marsden as their younger incarnations. All four of them truly seemed to be having fun with the roles. And that's the sort of enthusiasm that quickly finds its way to the audience. Sort of like the original series, come to think of it.
As to the other visitors from the series, Lee Meriwether has a delightful cameo as a waitress with at least one surprise up her sleeve. Julie Newmar still looks stupafyin'-ly super in her walk-on, and can still heat up the tube. If time has been a bit less kind to Frank Gorshin, he more than compensates with the sheer enthusiasm and good humor which has always been his trademark.
It's my hope that Fox will bring this out on VHS and DVD soon, ALONG WITH the original "Batman" series. I know BatFans would eat up both like BatBurgers.
God bless Adam and Burt, always heroes in the hearts of their many fans.
Lots of biography movies are not always laughable. But this one is every bit has laughable. The old Batman was campy, and this movie tries to be campy and funny has it was in the sixties. Adam West and Burt Ward seem to enjoy making fun themselves. They are at a Batman convention. But get pulled into action, when someone steals the batmoblie. During that time they remember the time on the set of Batman. A pure delight for Batman fans.
This wild, wooley and wacky look back at the evolution of the 1960's camp
classic is a lighthearted romp through a lot of memories for fans of the
series, as well as an interesting expose for those who were unaware of the
true lives of the stars.
Hosted by the originals, Adam West and Burt Ward, their hunt for a missing Batmobile (George Barris' 1955 Ford Futura), is filled with rememberances of the lives of the dynamic duo in and out of their tights. The plot is peppered with actual Batlore, including Mickey Rooney's turning down the part of The Penguin, Lyle Waggoner's original screen test as the Dark Knight, et al.
Appearences by Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriweather help round out the cast that are superbly lead by West and Ward, taking a step backwards from ego and attitudes and goofing it up with the rest of the gang, with great impersonations of younger versions of West, Ward, Gorshin, Burgess Merideth, Meriweather, Vincent Price, Yvonne Craig and a Ceaser Romero Joker that will knock your socks off.
Another amazing bit of trivia is that Dawn Wells, "Mary Ann" of Gilligan's Island fame was an executive producer for the show.
This dinamic duo won't call it quits til their dead and gone! This special was outragiously funny! Seeing Burt and Adam back together again brings back memories of the show. I may be young, but the Batman and Robin show will always be one of my favorites. This movie was so great, I wish I would have taped it. 9 out of 10!
I was laughing out loud with the story of "behind the scenes" of
this classic TV show.
It was a good surprise. Very funny and interesting to find out how things developed in the '60s for this group.
Watching Adam West dancing the "Batusi" once more...priceless!
I have to admit that the Batman tv series was a sort of guilty pleasure with me as a kid. Like millions of other kids I always came home from second grade and flopped down in front of the tv to watch the exploits of Batman and Robin. Yes I always held my breath at the cliffhanging end of each episode and wondered if our heroes the dynamic duo would escape a horrible death! They put the Batman series back into syndication when the movie was released in 1989. I was a junior in college at the time and still watched it with equal enjoyment. Adam West was very typecast after this show and seldom found other work, but he made a fortune doing personal appearances and kids parties and cartoon shows as the Caped Crusader so I can't feel sorry for him. It is fun watching him and Burt Ward together again. All right they are older and Burt is, how shall I put this, he throws a much larger shadow then he used to, but they are still our childhood heroes, just a lot older. They have a ball in this film poking fun at themselves and its really fascinating when they have flashback sequences showing how the original Batman series came to be and how Adam and Burt were cast in their most famous roles. They originally wanted Lyle Waggoner to be Batman. Its amusing when they show Adam and Burt fueding behind the scenes and when the tv censors were concerned about the way Burts tight outfit showed off his....oh never mind. Working on the Batman show must have been a great pleasure for all involved because the highest quality actors were the villians. It must have been the "in" thing at the time to be a heavy on the Batman show. Burgess Meredith, Vincent Price, Frank Gorshin and Cesar Romero all had their turns. The actors who play them in the movie all do a wonderful job especially the one who plays Burgess Meredith. He has a really funny line, he talks about playing the Penguin and says "I am feared by children and adored by women, I have the best of both worlds!!!" The only problem that I have with this film is that they didn't offer Yvonne Craig a role in it. After all, she was part of the show to. It would have been fun to see her. All right folks, I am going to make a prediction. In the next few years Erin Carufel will break out as a major young star to be reckoned with! She really shines like a diamond in this movie playing the young Yvonne Craig (Batgirl). She looks like a young Yvonne Craig and has the same spunky quality that she had. This young woman is an Olympic Gymnist and a black belt in karate. She did an awesome job and I think she will become a very well known actress in the near future. You all can quote me on that.
Talk about surreal? Yowza!
The Misadventures Of Adam and Burt is a genuine hoot, mixing (confusing?) the real-life Adam West and Burt Ward with the public persona others have of Adam West and Burt Ward and also with that of the legendary television characters they've never been able shake, Batman and Robin.
The appearance of Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether (both played Catwoman) and Frank Gorshin (the Riddler), playing parts other than their legendary villain roles (or are they?), adds to the surreal fun.
Co-executive producer Dawn Wells (MaryAnn on "Gilligan's Island") has done some interesting things the past few years, but this is her creme de la creme.
Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt is loopy, goofy off-the-wall fun and deserves true cult status. I hope cable picks it up and airs it every now and then. I loved it!
Part reunion show, bringing back the original stars (Adam West, Burt
Ward, Frank Gorshin and Julie Newmar) and part re-creation of the
series shown in flashbacks, this is an affectionate tribute to one of
the 60s most popular shows, and a must-see for series fans. Throwaway
riffs (on, for instance, Adam West's cheapness and Burt Ward's weight
gain) add to the fun as Adam and Burt are re-united to hunt for the
stolen Batmobile, a hunt replete with the BIFF and THWAK sound effects,
and cheap looking minimalist sets so characteristic of the show.
And as the movie goes along, we flash back through the progress of the series' production from casting to cancellation. It's a nice blend of affectionate nostalgia and silly post modern fun.
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