Wayne's World

Oingo Boingo's talented Danny Elfman (who has composed music for each of Burton's feature films - Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, and Edward Scissorhands) contributes once more an overblown, martial-sounding, heavily orchestrated score. Some of the brass fanfares are omitted this time, but that is the single example of restraint. For the death and funeral procession of the Penguin, he even brings in a bit of Bach.

What is to be done with the concept -and proliferation - of popular culture? It is a temptation, naturally, for critics and other armchair pundits to look for concealed agendas and subliminal wisdom in works of music, film, and television whose ostensible purpose is first to entertain, and whose more obvious raison d'etre is to generate fodder for mass consumption. Some of it can be intelligent and subtle; but not often, let's face it. Yet the campaign to rake in those recession dollars has been launched, and I hear even McDonald's is featuring Batman and Catwoman on their Big Macs and fries. I wouldn't be surprised if Batmania fosters Catmania, too - and a line of commemorative bathroom tissue isn't even the bottom of the promotional barrel. There's something approaching decadence in a society and culture, popular or otherwise, that succumbs so gladly to hype. And something surpassing putrescence when the hyped subject is a cartoon character on a screen rather than the decimated victims of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Directed by Tim Burton; written by Daniel Waters from a story by Daniel Waters and Sam Hamm; with Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Pat Hingle, Michael Murphy, and Michael Gough.


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