R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Jake Lipson

Executive Producer
Premium
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
10,612
Real Name
Jake Lipson
It's too bad that most of the obituaries for Schumacher are mentioning Batman first, since those are the films he gets the most flack for, but I think he also did some interesting work.

Because I didn't become a Batman fan until Christopher Nolan took over, I have no relationship with Schumacher's Batman work. However, he was the director of the film version of The Phantom of the Opera, which is a show that I love. The film did not work as well as I think it should have, and I have some issues with some of his directorial choices on it. But even though there's some stuff in it that isn't so great, there are also unquestionably occasional moments of brilliance in there, especially the transition from black and white to color in the overture sequence, which is just stunning. So, even though I don't agree with everything in it and wish I liked it more, I do thank him for his service to that material.


I also thought A Time to Kill was excellent. Funny story: I saw that in health class in summer 2003 at the beginning of high school. The school system had a policy that required a parental permission slip to be signed for any film that wasn't rated G, but the student teacher who ran that class just showed us A Time to Kill without even thinking about it, which I thought was sort of hilarious because it is very R. In another class a few weeks beforehand, a teacher who was conscious of the rules sent a permission slip home to show Remember the Titans, which was PG and which I own, so I just thought it was hilarious that I needed to get my parents to sign for that but not for A Time to Kill.

I remember Phone Booth being a very interesting film too, although haven't seen it in years.
 
Last edited:

WillG

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
6,888
Falling Down was his crowning achievement. A sorely misunderstood film. In later years it has gained some understanding and appreciation, though.
the one thing about Falling Down that I never really liked is that it turns out that Michael Douglas’s character is legitimately crazy. I wish they could have found a way to do the movie without that. I feel like it could have been a more interesting piece if it left some question as to how we should view the character. Do we still consider him an anti hero or come to condemn his actions. The third act kind of strips all of that away.
 

JohnRice

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
12,992
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
the one thing about Falling Down that I never really liked is that it turns out that Michael Douglas’s character is legitimately crazy. I wish they could have found a way to do the movie without that. I feel like it could have been a more interesting piece if it left some question as to how we should view the character. Do we still consider him an anti hero or come to condemn his actions. The third act kind of strips all of that away.
That's just part of the complexity of the story. Figuring out what the story is about, rather than expecting it to be something. The movie was tragically misrepresented in the promotions. It almost seemed like some kind of weird slapstick comedy, when it's an extremely dark movie.

It's all about that line...
I'M THE BAD GUY?!?
 

Jake Lipson

Executive Producer
Premium
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
10,612
Real Name
Jake Lipson

Walter Kittel

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 28, 1998
Messages
7,263
Schumacher was something of a mixed bag for me personally; but he clearly was a talented individual. I know that he had a variety of roles in the films including costume designer and I thought that translated to his films. Even if some of the films themselves weren't entirely successful they usually had a good / interesting production design. Batman & Robin is not a very good film, but it does feature some interesting production designs.

I would agree with John about Falling Down. I thought one of the real strengths of the film was how easy it was to identify with Douglas' character in the first act of the film; and with his frustration. (The shopkeeper basically forcing him to make a purchase, his inability to order breakfast because of the time of day, etc.) Of course the film escalates and he becomes less identifiable. And while I would not classify the film as a 'comedy' there are some darkly funny lines and moments in the film, mostly due to Douglas' performance which I think is one of the best of his storied career.

- Walter.
 

joshEH

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
5,753
Location
Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
Real Name
Josh
Schumacher gets a lifetime-pass for me for Falling Down and The Lost Boys.

I do not mean it in an uncharitable way when I say the first thing that now comes instantly to mind when I think of Schumacher is the MST3K Blockbuster Review when they are riffing on behind-the-scenes material for Batman & Robin. There is a cringy moment where Schumacher is being flirty with Alicia Silverstone, and Mike reacts like he's just stared into the abyss. ("...SO LET'S ROLL IT AGAIN!!!")

But we're here to praise the man. The Lost Boys is a perfect movie. It is such an '80s-snapshot. A pure cinematic blast of that decade's delightful decadence and tackiness. An MTV horror movie. It introduced Brando-mode Jason Patric and united the Coreys. Now that's a legacy.

This tweet sums up my feelings nicely:



R.I.P., Joel. May his hearse do an extended course of improbable jumps using gigantic statues of nude men as ramps on the way to the cemetery.
 

Tommy R

Screenwriter
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
1,227
Real Name
Tommy
A big shout out to The Number 23. Absolutely love that film! Also have fond memories of Batman Forever, which was a really fun movie for its time. May not have aged well, but it holds a lot of nostalgia for me.

R.I.P. Joel :mellow:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

Reed Grele

Screenwriter
Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
1,782
Location
Beacon Falls, CT
Real Name
Reed Grele
Lost Boys, Phantom of the Opera (two of my very favorite films) and many others will assure a long lasting legacy.
R.I.P.
 

Jake Lipson

Executive Producer
Premium
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
10,612
Real Name
Jake Lipson
This seems appropriate to post here.

Although there are a lot of areas in the Phantom film that I have problems with, this was not one of them. It's one of the best sequences in the movie.


I hope he is resting in peace.
 

Colin Jacobson

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,884
I do not mean it in an uncharitable way when I say the first thing that now comes instantly to mind when I think of Schumacher is the MST3K Blockbuster Review when they are riffing on behind-the-scenes material for Batman & Robin. There is a cringy moment where Schumacher is being flirty with Alicia Silverstone
Given Schumacher was gay, I don't think he was flirting with Silverstone...
 

Jeffrey D

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
1,290
Real Name
Jeffrey D Hanawalt
Did Joel direct the Chris Rock/Anthony Hopkins film Bad Company? I think he did- another decent film.
 

Colin Jacobson

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,884
doesn’t mean he can’t flirt. Didn’t he claim he slept with like 20,000 people? if true I would imagine some of them were women
Maybe. Just seems like the clip is probably being misconstrued as "creepy old dude hitting on teen girl" when that feels really unlikely to me...
 

Sam Favate

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
9,301
Real Name
Sam Favate
I liked The Lost Boys, A Time To Kill and some other films he did (I remember enjoying Flatliners the one time I saw it, on a date, thirty years ago), but most of his work never did it for me. Yes, he does get a lot of grief for the Batman films, and it's not undeserved, but his producers were complicit too.

Still, I remember stories about how he kicked drugs and became one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood, and there's a lot to admire in that.
 

Edwin-S

Lead Actor
Premium
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
8,421
It doesn't seem to be remembered much, including by me, but I thought TIGERLAND was quite good when I saw it. I have a DVD copy but have not revisited the film in years. Should give it a spin in his memory. RIP.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,070
Messages
4,699,253
Members
141,161
Latest member
Bart T