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Top 5 Batman Movie Villains

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by Tarryn Guttenberg (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer born in Johannesburg now living in Melbourne. I love travelling and have lived in London and Taipei as well as travelling in and around South Africa. I have a great interest in exploring and love to share my finds with others.
Published August 9th 2012
[ADVERT]Eight years on, a new terror and its fearless leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham and its leading authorities. The Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him enemy number one.

On seeing the release of The Dark Knight Rises, from the mind of Christopher Nolan, I began to ponder the history of villains in the Batman films – each with their own story, eccentricities and evil plot for the destruction of Gotham city.

So my suggestion to you this weekend is a Batman Marathon with a close inspection of the top 5 movie villains from the Batman films.

5. Poison Ivy - Watch Batman and Robin.
Snacks to consider when watching this movie: Anything green! Crudite and dips, green lollies, green jelly!

Poison Ivy was played by Uma Thurman in the 1997 release of Batman and Robin opposite George Clooney as Batman. Poison Ivy is the alter ego of Dr Pamela Isley, a botanical scientist specialising in flowers. Her lab is funded by Wayne enterprise. Dr Isley conducts experiments to allow flowers to fight back against man, using of venomous poisons with little success.

Poison Ivy is created when she is pushed into the same venom she create. Her blood is replaced with aloe and she has chlorophyll skin. Her lips are filled with poison and she can control plants and use hypnotising pheromones.

Thurman's portrayal of Poison Ivy has character, but is played as a little too camp without enough actual power as a smart, powerful feminine villain like Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. However Poison Ivy is still one of my favourite villains of the films and definitely worth a revisit.

4. The Riddler - Watch Batman Forever
An alcoholic beverage to drink during this film:
The Riddler
1 shot Midori
1 shot vodka
1 shot banana liquor
Place in shaker and top halfway with pineapple juice.
Mix in iced shaker and strain into a glass.

The Riddler appeared in film Batman Forever (1995) played by Jim Carey alongside Val Kilmer as Batman. The Riddler is the alter ego of Edward Nigma, who used puzzles in his criminal career. His riddle obsession is shown in his partiality to create life and death intellectual challenges that the hero cannot solve and escape.

Nygma, as a researcher under the employment of Wayne Enterprises, develops a device to beam television directly to a person's brain, which he later uses as a brain-manipulation device, which he markets and sells to Gotham residents. He uses the machine to read viewer's minds while increasing his own intelligence and eventually leading to the discovery of Batman's true identity.

I really like The Riddler and I thought Carey portrayed him in the best fashion customary of his acting style and I appreciate that the Riddler is more of a comedic character. I would however enjoy seeing a darker version of the Riddler in future films.

3. The Penguin - Watch Batman Returns.
Snacks to consider while watching this film: Anything cold!

Ice cream, icy poles and cold drinks. Why not make your own icy desserts by freezing your favourite juice in small store bought containers or old juice boxes with the bottom removed.

The Penguin appears in Batman Returns (1992) played by Danny Devito alongside Michael Keaton as Batman and with his repertoire of umbrella weaponry. Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot is the given name of The Penguin who was deformed from birth and placed in a box by his parents to hide him. After showing a his homicidal tendencies, he is abandoned to the sewers by his rich family.

Baby Cobblepot is washed up in the Arctic World exhibit at the Gotham Zoo, forming the Red Triangle Gang of circus freaks.

His main evil plot involves the kidnapping of the Ice Princess, which leads to the framing of the Batman and his master plan to kidnap and kill the first born children of Gotham's most prominent families in revenge of his own terrible history. In the same sequence, the kidnapping is thwarted by Batman leading the Penguin to dispatch an army of Missile-armed Penguins to destroy Gotham City. This is again stopped by Batman, who with a remote control causes all the Penguins to return to the zoo and destroy the Penguins lair, which leads to the Penguins death.

I thoroughly enjoyed Danny Devito's portrayal of the Penguin as a cold blooded, animalistic criminal. It had the right recipe for a villain, including a gloomy and miserable childhood that leads to the disturbed, revenge seeking individual we meet in the film.

2. Two-Face - Watch Batman Forever and The Dark Knight.
Another delicious cocktail this time inspired by Two-face.

In a glass layer:

1 shot vodka
3/4 fill the glass with apple juice
1 shot of cherry liquor BUT gently angle the main glass and pour the cherry liquor slowly down the inside of the glass so it settles at the bottom giving a two - tone effect.

Drink and enjoy!

Two-Face played by Tommy-Lee Jones appeared in Batman Forever (1995) alongside Val Kilmer as Batman and then again played by Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight (2008) alongside Christian Bale as Batman.

Harvey Dent is the alias of Two-Face who was the Gotham City's heroic and kind-hearted district-attorney and one of strongest supporters of Batman. Sal "Boss" Maroni threw acid in his face, which left him hideously scarred on one side of his face, fracturing his mental state and giving birth to 'Two-Face', a schizoid criminal-mastermind obsessed with a "two-headed" silver dollar, which Dent uses to decide the fate of his victims.

Two-Face's obsession with the number two is shown in Tommy-Lee Jones' portrayal of the character in Batman Forever. Shown in his attire, which always two different halves and his two love interests sugar and spice – always wearing light and dark respectively.

The Dark Knight - Two-Face/ Harvey Dent

The representation and history of Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, played by Eckhart, shows more detail with regard to the history of this character and instead of the acid attack, it is the Joker's ploy to destroy Batman that sees Harvey Dent and his love Rachel, who is killed in an explosion designed by The Joker, simultaneously leave Dent scarred on one side of his face.

The homicidal motivation in this film changes to revenge upon The Batman, who he blames for the loss of love Rachel.

I really enjoyed the depiction of both Two-face representations. Jones for the sinister, quirky nature of the character – in particular his obsession with the number two and the emphasis on his insanity and Eckhart, for his dark and heart-wrenching depiction of the love-torn and revenge obsessed villain with a more focused target – that being The Batman.

1. The Joker - Watch Batman and Dark Knight
Why not try this delightful drink while watching The Joker!

1 shot Blue Curacao
3/4 of glass served in of orange juice
1 shot peach schnapps
1 shot Malibu

Serve this drink over ice. Adding the blue curacao last and slowly. Enjoy!

The Joker was played by Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989) alongside Michael Keaton as Batman and again by Heath Ledger Dark knight (2008) alongside Christian Bale as Batman.

The Joker as portrayed in 1989 was the alias of Jack Napier who was emotionally unstable since early childhood, but with a high intellect. Turning to a life of crime, it comes to light that Napier and his partner were in fact the murderers of Bruce Wayne's parents.

Napier earned his famous appearance after having an affair the girlfriend of crime lord Boss Carl Grissom who orders his death. Napier catches a bullet in the cheek and despite Batman's efforts to save him, falls into a vat of toxic chemicals that permanently alter his to an emerald green, his skin chalk white, and mouth and lips a ruby red.

Nicholson's interpretation of The Joker was more on the comedic side. Shown by the laughing gas that both killed Gotham citizens and left their faces physically altered with large grins. The character had a strong sense of insanity and criminal planning but with a more sadistic feel as he almost finds death and maiming humorous.

Heath Ledgers depiction of The Joker has no defined history and keeps his anonymity throughout the film, often with The Joker telling contradictory stories of his own past.

He is shown as a cold criminally insane mastermind whose goal is to create total anarchy in the world – 'a world without rules'. Even when captured, it is found that The Joker has no fingerprints, dental records or DNA matches.

The Joker's major strategy is to turn society on The Batman by proclaiming Batman reveal himself or he will kill one Gotham citizen a day.

Ledger's portrayal of The Joker was astonishing. He played the character with an intense moral insanity, shown by his admittance to Dent after involving him in the acid explosions that 'it was nothing against him or his girlfriend' despite his horrific injuries and Rachel's death due to the evil plot and at the same time, giving him such conviction in his plans that also highlighted his criminal genius.

Can you add your own favourite Batman villains?

Perhaps this is the weekend to start your Batman marathon and come up with your very cocktail equivalent!
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