Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.x
review, Batman and Me, Batman, and, Me, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Darren Maxwell, Michael Wayne, Documentary

BATMAN AND ME

IRONICALLY, THIS FILM IS NOT FOR BATMAN FANS

MELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jess Fenton
5th July 2020

Documentaries are spotlights - magnifying glasses and gold-tasselled cords that pull back curtains to expose the wizard as a fraud or the magical land of Oz, whichever way you look at it. These films teach, enlighten and inspire. Well, at least that's what I've always thought they were supposed to do. Sometimes a film comes along that, to quote my boyfriend's favourite film to which he has many collectables, they "were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should".

Meet Darren Maxwell, or "Dags" to his friends and followers both in real life and online. Between 1989 and 1997, he collected Batman merchandise thanks to the Tim Burton film and its subsequent sequels. Darren himself admits that his collection was the result of compulsion instead of obsession with the franchise itself. His real passion lies in 'Star Wars'. Back in the day, he started collecting 'Star Wars' posters, but when he realised he couldn't compete with the hardcore collectors, he moved on to movie soundtrack LPs. But when Batmania hit in 1989, the lid to Pandora's box was opened, only to be shut almost nine years later when Joel Schumacher fucked it all up. Nipples don't belong on a Batsuit!!

'BATMAN AND ME' TRAILER

Darren isn't a particularly intriguing person. His story isn't compelling, nor is it unique. Yet here we are, watching 84 minutes of nothing. 'Batman and Me' tries desperately to fit Darren - or Dags as the film insists on calling him - into its narrative, but the irony is that even the film doesn't know what it's about. For its majority, it harps on the idea of identity - with Dags being Darren's alter ego, much like our caped crusader, completely ignoring that fact that while the name does have real-life connotations, in this situation it's simply a nickname. We all have them. We don't all have alternative personalities to go with them. We're not bloody Beyoncé!

In the final act, 'Batman and Me' even throws in the ideas of pop culture fandom, childhood nostalgia, the rise in popularity of modern superhero film franchises, the collectables industry and simple corporate greed - basically everything except the painfully obvious conclusion that Darren Maxwell is a man with an obsessive-compulsive personality - but instead of channelling it towards drugs, alcohol and sex like a normal person, he collects Batman stuff! 'Batman and Me' tries to manipulate every angle, including Darren's "well-rehearsed" stories, as some sort of mask to hide behind - the film itself filming him tell the same story three times in three different circumstances. Of course the yarn repeats itself. It's fact, told by the same voice. What do you expect? It's not a personality glitch, it's the truth. And Darren turns out to be somewhat of a filmmaker; meaning he's a storyteller by trade. Argh! My god, this movie was frustrating to watch. For documentary filmmakers, they seem to not know how human beings work. Odd.

The painfully obvious conclusion that Darren Maxwell is a man with an obsessive-compulsive personality, but instead of channeling it towards drugs, alcohol and sex like a normal person, he collects Batman stuff!

Honestly, this film commits every documentary faux pas in the book, and what we get is a boring, manipulated tale of a man who once collected stuff for a short period of time and has since stopped... 23 years ago! You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, and 'Batman and Me' is a losing hand. At best, if well made, it could have been a documentary short. Instead, it's an hour too long and a waste of your time regardless.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 24m
CAST: Darren Maxwell
DIRECTOR: Michael Wayne
WRITERS: Michael Wayne
Andrew Martyn
Rebecca Richardson
PRODUCERS: Andrew Martyn
Michael Wayne
SCORE: Scott Moseley
www.batmanandme.com
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne Documentary Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights. 
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Who the hell is Bloodshot? - A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
TRENDINGWHO THE HELL IS BLOODSHOT?A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two - New villains, same problems
TRENDINGBATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART TWONew villains, same problems
Buckley's Chance - Not worth a chance
TRENDINGBUCKLEY'S CHANCENot worth a chance
Calm with Horses - A savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
TRENDINGCALM WITH HORSESA savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
Shiva Baby - A comedy of discomfort
TRENDINGSHIVA BABYA comedy of discomfort
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Some Kind of Heaven - A bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
TRENDINGSOME KIND OF HEAVENA bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Cerulean Blue - Promising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
TRENDINGCERULEAN BLUEPromising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
2:22 - Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
TRENDING2:22Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
Birds of Prey - I'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
TRENDINGBIRDS OF PREYI'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
La Dolce Vita - Not as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
TRENDINGLA DOLCE VITANot as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!