Batman and Robin: Amazingly Awful 1949 Columbia Pictures Serial

Batman and Robin was a Columbia Pictures serial of 1949. It starred Robert Lowery as the batman and a rather stolid little fellow named Johnny Duncan. It’s a totally awkward, cheesy and humorless affair that very perfectly captures the true spirit of the comic book.  But shockingly there’s no batmobile!  The caped crime-fighting duo drive around in an old Mercury convertible as if they’re married and looking for a gas station.

Look, if Christopher Nolan wants to try to convince us all that he can make gritty realistic films about Batman, go ahead and let him. He’s wasting his own time. Batman is an absurdity and should be filmed as such. Enjoy this horrendous bit of movie serial history and don’t try to figure out all the machines and criminal plots. None of it makes any sense at all!

A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles in the 1940s

Extraordinary and crystal clear film of L.A.’s old Bunker Hill neighborhood. The entire area up the hill was blown out completely and basically strip-mined to make way for L.A.’s skyscraper district. On the one hand, it is a damn good thing the city isolated the destruction to the hill and left much of old downtown intact. But neighborhoods are always better than corporate complexes because people can actually do things in them. You can’t do anything in a corporate complex except hold a fake job that nobody needs anyway. You can’t even go for a walk on Bunker Hill anymore. Not really. You may think you can but you’re really just sneaking along next to a cement wall that’s meant to keep you out. Watching this film also makes it clear just how right they got 1948 Los Angeles in the recent L.A. Noir game.