Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

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Wow. So there you have it folks! Warner Bros. are not messing around when it comes to DC. After months and months of rumours, yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Joaquin Phoenix will be taking on the iconic role of The Joker.

The untitled Joker movie is set to be directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School) and will – this is the kicker – not be connected to the current DC universe movies. Once more according to The Hollywood Reporter’s sources this flick will be a stand alone crime thriller. One which will boast a modest budget compared to the current DC movies. They also state a brand new label – as yet unkown – will be used to brand these (I assure there’s gonna be more of these) one of a kind DC adaptations.

Okay. So I ask what the hell are they doing over at Warner Bros./DC? Does this news bother me? Nope. It sure doesn’t. Joaquin Phoenix is an amazing talent and the thought of him playing the Joker is music to my ears. If this is a stand alone then cool. No issue. What does bother me, a bit, is it all just seems messy. For example there’s ANOTHER solo Joker movie currently in the works over at the studio and this one focuses on Jared Leto’s Joker. In fact let’s take a look at the current projects on the way from Warners/DC –

Aquaman debuts this fall

Shazam! will take a bow next spring

Wonder Woman 84 comes out next fall

Gotham City Sirens is due to shoot early next year and all of these films will be set in the same universe.

Then there’s the untitled Batman solo movie. That’s been in development for a few years now and may or may not (sigh) be set within the current continuity.

It is a mess. But it’s what we got. As long as each film turns out great I guess I don’t care what is connected to what but man oh man do these guys like to make all of this seem OVERLY complicated. My thinking on this? Drop the shared universe stuff for all of these projects and just take it one movie at a time. Slay one, it turns out awesome and everyone is happy. Don’t worry about what is tied to what. I am committed to DC and believe, due to their rich legacy, they totally warrant a fantastic stream of movies and with a bit more direction I think it can be done. Maybe lighten up a bit also.

Filming on Phoenix’s Joker movie kicks off pretty soon.

 

Batman: The Movie

Posted: July 9, 2018 in Movies
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This past week has been a case of several first time viewings of movies a lot of fans have no doubt seen countless times before. Yep. Batman: The Movie. Never saw it. Sure I saw the re-runs of the TV series when I was a kid and I loved that. Yet I had never saw the movie which was put out into theatres in between the show’s first and second seasons. Directed by Leslie H. Martinson and starring several of the show’s key cast bar Julie Newmar who was unable to appear in the film. For fans of Batman and those who love all versions of this iconic character – more so if you loved the show – this is an essential watch.

The plot is great. Batman’s rogues gallery – the Joker (Cesar Romero), Penguin (Burgess Meredith), Riddler (Frank Gorshin) and Catwoman ( a great Lee Meriwether taking on the role for the movie) – hatch a diabolical scheme to take over the world. So it falls to the dynamic duo of Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) to save the world.

This film is brilliant and crazy. It’s so bonkers. I can’t help but feel that surely the cast and crew knew how outlandish the dialogue and situations were and had their tongues placed firmly in cheek throughout. Of course everyone plays it straight which is the right call but that simply adds to the charm and the humour of the film. Fans of the Batman 60’s series will know what I mean when I say this film is camp fun. The set design is fantastic – vibrant and colourful sets feature throughout from the Batcave to the villain’s lair. I love the look of this movie and the tone.

There are countless quoteable lines of dialogue scattered throughout the film. I don’t want to give away any of the gags. No doubt you all know what I am hinting at because I have a feeling most Batman fans will have seen this by now but just in case you ain’t seen it I don’t want to ruin any of the set pieces or gags. The actors playing the villains are excellent. All of them do a great job. The stand out would be Romero as Joker. He was a big fixture in my childhood and I still find the look of his character freaky to this day. He’s great in the film. Meriwether also does great work as Catwoman. She really jumps into the role and has fun with it. The star of the flick though is Batman himself. Adam West is excellent. He has this earnestness to him that just had me laughing out loud at some of his words of advice or his wisdom that he so freely delivers throughout the film. Everyone involved must have had a ball.

Clearly this Batman is tone wise unlike any other Batman more modern fans would know of. Although look, putting it simply, the show/movie is the stuff of legend to this day and I find it hard to believe that any fan born post 2000 has no clue as to the existance of this version of the caped crusader. This film has great gags, funny dialogue, that kick arse theme music and some fun fights. It’s a must see for Batman fans and as an early example of one of Hollywood’s first big studio superhero movies. This film came out in 1966 and it would only be the following decade that saw the release of Superman in 1978 and the rest as we know is history. Those early films taking on a more hopeful and colourful approach to two of DC comics icons. These days it’s all so dark and serious. If today’s directors and producers can only look to the past and understand why these older films are held in such high regard. Sometimes it’s okay to have a little fun with these sort of films.

 

Batman & Robin

Posted: April 23, 2018 in Movies
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I ain’t going to take a crap on Batman & Robin. I know that sounds nuts. I’m kind of not going to defend the film either. Well I am sort of. See I have a bit of love for this movie. Am I alone?

Here’s a quick recap of where we were with the Batman franchise in the summer of 1997 when this fourth entry was released. Val Kilmer had opted not to come back as Batman. Taking over the role was 90’s heartthrob and budding big screen leading man Geroge Clooney. Batman & Robin marked his most high profile role to date. Alicia Silverstone, who had gained a massive following after comedy hit Clueless, was onboard as Batgirl. Batman Forever‘s Chris O’Donnell was back as Robin along with director Joel Schumacher. On the villian side of things Pulp Fiction breakout Uma Thurman was Poison Ivy and the biggest addition was without a doubt Arnie Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze. Batman Forver proved a massive hit and was generally well recieved by critics and fans. Seemed like a another hit was on the horizon right?

The plot is just there, like with most of these films based on comics (yeah even the MCU ones guys). You got your heroes – Batman, Robin and Batgirl – and you throw them against their latest threat which in this instalment is Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze. They want to take over Gotham City. Batman and co. has to stop them.

I can remeber seeing this film at the cinema. Back then there was no Twitter or massive online community. So there were no early reactions except in the movie magazines like Empire and Total Film. I had read the Empire review (they gave it an okay-ish review if you can believe it) and my buddies had seen it before me so I got some idea of the film. Me and another of my pals went off to see it one night after school. Fourteen years old. When the credits rolled we both looked at one another. Not quite sure how to put into words what we had just seen. Batman & Robin was like Batman Forever on drugs. In a bad way. An explosion of neo colours coated a camptastic Gotham City and was unlike anything that had come before it.

Even understanding the films failings (on the nose dialogue, a clearly uncomfotable George Clooney, slapstick humour and WAY too many plot points) I would come back to this entry again and again. I own it. In it’s own sickly beautiful way it’s a stunning looking film in places. Gotham City has never looked more epic, Mr Freeze looks excellent and you can see every pound of the budget up on the screen. From the massive and impressive sets to the costumes and wide array of Bat-vehicles. Arkham Asylum is beyond gothic. Visually the film is never a bore. I’ll argue the film is not a bore at all. It’s just extremley messy and as I said (and it bears repeating) it is very camp.

The camp factor, I think, is kind of why I like this film. I’m not the first fan to say Batman & Robin shares a strong string of DNA with the vibe of the 1960’s Adam West show. I love that. That TV show was my first introduction to Batman and his world. Yes it’s camp and would look odd to fans who grew up on Batman Begins and the Nolan movies or the new darker recent Justice League and Batman vs. Superman iteration but that’s just one of those things. Being a fan of Batman is awesome because there are SO many falvours out there in film, TV and the comics.

The difference between the 60’s series and this movie is one was a half hour slice of entertainment and this is a two hour movie with that camp style stretched out throughout it’s running time and I get that is not going to be for everyone. The issues don’t stop there either. There’s too many characters in this movie. Check out Batgirl’s arc and eventual introduction. It’s laughable in how it’s handled but that absurdity only adds to the films charm for me. Arnie and Thurman, seriously now, are GREAT in this. Their performences are beyond over the top. Arnie woefully miscast but, for me, it just all works.

The film is a beautiful disaster. I get it. I’m not crazy. I know fans, die hard fans, must have been throwing up seeing Bane, another iconic villian, portrayed nothing like his comic counterpart. I see this film’s faults (how can’t you?) but I like it anyway. It’s not the best entry in the Batman on film saga but if anything it’s one that plays a vital role to future creatives. Bigger and bolder isn’t always better when you’re riding the wave of success

 

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Batman Beyond is an awesome cartoon series. No wonder as it came from the great minds behind Batman: The Animated Series. It had that same attitude and attention to detail and due to that care it proved a hit with fans of Batman around the world. No wonder. This thing was like Blade Runner meets the world of Batman and the results were fantastic. Gotham City of the future sure looked different but as fans would quickly learn some things never change, Gotham was still overrun with crime and it needed a Batman.

Step in ex-thug Terry McGinnis AKA Batman of the future. Under the watchful eye of a much older Bruce Wayne, McGinnis took over the role of Batman and proved so popular he’d get his own animated movie in the form of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

This film is boss. Much in the same way that Batman: Mask of the Phantasm ranks as one of the best Batman movies, so does this. The story picks up within the continuity of the Batman Beyond show but honestly you can watch this and not feel lost. The film brings the viewer right up to speed on this new Batman and the future Gotham. It’s dark too. There’s deaths and the mystery regarding the return of the Joker, once revealed, pulls no punches. For that is the central plot of the film. What happend to the Joker in the years between Bruce Wayne’s run as Batman and Terry’s and just how and why is he back? Like the best Batman tales in order to uncover this mystery it is going to take not just beatdowns between the Bat and the goons but serious detective work.

The standouts in this film are it’s strong story and the animation. Return of the Joker looks great. It boasts first class animation. It’s a shame this style (used through The Animated Series to Return of the Joker and I think the Justice League series) did not become THE go to style for all DC animated movies. Recent ones in particular come off looking not as good despite these earlier efforts dating back in some cases over tweny years. I did mention the plot being a strong element of the film but the less you know the better because it has many twists and turns before it gives up it’s answers. The film was initially censored due to some scenes being too intense for younger audiences. Due to fan demand a uncut version of the movie would see the light of day which was the right decision as the violence shown on screen, which is arguably intense for the younger crowd, serves the tone of the movie.

The DC animated universe that Bruce Timm and Paul Dini created is easily the most faithful (for me) and well done adaptation of Batman and co. to date. None of the live action movies to date have managed to be as great. Whether you’re approaching Return of the Joker as a stand alone movie or one that fits within the continuity of the larger animated universe of Timm and Dini it delivers. Just like with Mask of the Phantasm I can not reccomend this movie enough for fans of Batman, mysteries and excellent animation. This is a must see!

 

 

Batman Returns

Posted: January 10, 2018 in Movies
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Aw man. Batman Returns, now this one, is my favourite Batman movie. When it came out in 1992 my excitment was off the charts. 1989’s Batman had cemented the iconic DC hero as the comic book icon of the decade. Anticipation for Michael Keaton’s return to the role, Tim Burton once again directing and the new additions of Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) and The Penguin (Danny DeVito) was at an all time high. In the lead up to the film’s release Batman was all over posters and TV. Batman Returns was the first comic book movie I saw at the cinema and the fact that it’s a great movie has only helped to imprint the film in my mind as one of the genre’s best.

The Burton Batman movies and subsquesent sequels always had the fact they fcoused on the villians more than the hero throw at them. It’s true. Tim Burton always seemed to be more interested in the dark and twisted rogues that surrounded Batman than the man himself and this sequel is no exception. Batman features throughout, make no mistake, yet the focus of the movie and arguably it’s ‘new leads’ are Pfeiffer’s Catwoman and DeVito’s Penguin and both actors are excellent in their roles.

King of Cool Christopher Walken (True Romance) makes a big impact as the true villain of the movie Max Shreck. This guy puts a heavy empthasis on the dime and to hell with whoever stands in his way. Shrek’s interactions with Penguin being just some of the films many highlights. The plot, in simple terms, sees the villians team up to frame the Bat and turn Gotham against him. Ideally eradicating Batman and leaving the city wide open for thier own criminal desires. A scaled down plot, than more modern audiences are used to, but one which works brilliantly. Batman’s worse fears being to become what he despises and the horror he feels at thinking that’s how his city sees him is as impactful as any world ending event.

Yet Burton, nor the film, is in no big rush to get to the main plot. As I said the film loves it’s villians and so we spend a lot of time with Catwoman and Penguin as both adjust to their Gotham debuts and each one sets out to make their mark on the city. For me I loved it. Catwoman/Selina Kyle is a damaged and twisted figure but never a victim and her sly sense of humour makes this films version – dare I say it – more engaging than her comic counterpart. The same can be said of DeVito and Penguin. It’s clear he’s the less sympathetic of the two leads yet his arc is not without it’s own tragic origins.

Batman Returns is an important legacy component of the DC hero in other areas. For one the look of the film and Gotham would go on to play a massive influence in  Batman: The Animated Series. As would the excellent score from Danny Elfman. Batman has never sounded more iconic and needed as when Elfman’s tremendous theme is signaling his arrivial on the streets of Gotham City.

The action is well shot and staged, again not as loud and as big as what those who saw 2017’s Justice League may expect, but by no means less impactful. It works because it stays true to the foundations of the films plot and it’s characters. Seeing Batman and Catwoman face off amongst the rooftops of Gotham City is boss. Like a living comic. The final confrontation(s) are just as pulp/comic book like yet filled with real stakes.

The film has one of the all time best final shots of a comic book movie too. Oh when ____ rose my face must have looked like I had a coat hanger in my mouth. I was that happy and it still gets me now every time all these years later. If only Burton, Keaton and those lucky enough to live through the movie could have returned for one more go around I can say without hesitation THAT trilogy would have been MY treasured Batman trilogy. I’ll get to Nolan’s someday. I love them, but not without seeing flaws, at times they feel almost like apolegectic comic adaptations. Not so with Batman and Batman Returns, and hey two great movies is better than one great movie so I’m just glad Keaton and Burton managed to make two flicks together.

 

 

 

 

Justice League

Posted: December 6, 2017 in Comics, Movies
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I finally got to see Justice League. I couldn’t get out to see it upon its release and in some ways I think that distance did me good. A lot went on behind the scenes in the making of this movie. I try to ignore those things because what matters is the finished film. In the case of this film though it was hard. Director Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice) and writer Joss Whedon (Avengers, Buffy) had to come together through circumstances neither could have foreseen and finish the film. The result is mixed, overall it’s a decent movie that does it’s classic characters and the talent – from Zack, to Joss and the cast and crew – proud.

The plot follows on from the events of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Superman is gone, Batman feels guilty and there’s a world ending threat looming that’s about to kick off. Batman and Wonder Woman must unite Earth’s greatest warriors – The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg AKA the Justice League to save the world.

During the first act I was worried. Some scenes felt a bit thrown together for the sake of quickly establishing characters we hadn’t got to know yet and the need to bring everyone together. Thankfully as the film moves into the second and third acts the film begins to really come into it’s own. Feeling clear in tone, confident in it’s execution and by the time the credits rolled delivering a solid big screen debut for DC’s most famous super hero team.

The cast is very good. Affleck is a great Batman and it saddens me to think he could be done with the role after this movie. Gal Gadot shines as Wonder Woman and Henry Cavill does good with what he’s given to do. The big draws for comic fans in this movie are the new additions. Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher are all great additions to the DCEU. Don’t forget this is the first proper time we’ve got to spend with Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash. It’s a credit to each of them they’re alble to leave their marks despite having to share the billing with DC’s most inconic heroes.

Zack Snyder always delivers on action and visuals. The action is great in Justice League. It’s not easy working out big fight scenes and who gets their chance to shine and when but Snyder makes sure each of the League gets their moments to stand out. All of the action is well shot and clear. My favourite action scenes being the last act smackdown, those featuring Connie Nielsen’s Queen Hippolyta (what a character!) and a small but welcome one of Batman being Batman. I love Batman and I love the look of Gotham City so anytime spent on either is a plus.

I was surprised the fim’s score didn’t resonate more with me, one thing the DC movies have done a great job at is the character musical themes. I was under the impression this featured both Batman and Superman’s classic themes but the way they’re used in the movie you have to listen to pick them up.

Justice League is a solid movie. As a cap to Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice it works. It brings light to a series that some have issue with for being too dark. As the begining of a new series of Justice League movies it does it’s job. In a good way. It’s not without flaws but it’s fun and as a debut for DC’s finest it’s a welcome addition to the DCEU.

Roll on Aquaman, Wonder Woman II and hopefully a Affleck led solo Batman movie.

 

 

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Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is one of the best Batman movies to date. Regardless of the fact it happens to be an animated movie. It’s a brilliant Batman flick, one which captures the caped crusader perfectly and would go on to be smash with critics and fans worldwide. Today, over twenty five years since it’s Christmas ’93 release, Mask of the Phantasm is a classic.

The plot of the film focuses on Batman, naturally, but what seals the deal for this movie as one of the greats is how the narrative focuses just as much on Bruce Wayne. Batman comes under fire from Gotham officials after a series of mobsters are murdered. He sets out to clear his name and solve the identity of the killer. During his investigation the plot uses flashbacks to paint a picture of Bruce’s early years and his first battles with crime.

These interludes prove key to the main narrative and work as a well written and overall well done origin story for Bruce/Batman. Batman, as we know, is a detective first and arse kicker later and he gets to put his detective brian to use. I appreciated that.

Directors Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski clearly know and adore everything about Batman and his comic book roots. If anyone needed further evidence they need only watch Timm and Radomski’s fantastic Batman: The Animated Series. Mask of the Phantasm is linked to the show with the origin of Batman and other plots carrying over. Yet the movie can be seen as a stand alone without having ever seen an episode of the series.

All of the talented animators, much like in the series, deliver outstanding work. This is one beautiful looking movie. Excellent animation and tremendous art direction. Gotham and it’s inhabitants look and feel like they are in the midst of a 1940’s film noir. What we get here is my favourite representation of Batman and his world, yes, to date. I think, this is a tall order, but any movie (live action) that could come close to matching the tone and quality of the work on display here would be a accomplishment. The music in Mask of the Phantasm is really well done. The score is excellent and compliments the film perfectly.

The film features a host of excellent voice talent. Kevin Conroy as Batman is very good and it’s little wonder he’s played the role the longest than any actor out there. Mark Hamill as The Joker would go on to gain as much fame as he did from Star Wars due to his excellent work as the king of crime. Dana Delany, as one of Bruce’s lost loves, also puts in great work.

There aren’t enough great things I can say about this movie. The plot is great, the writing is excellent, direction is confident and the action is a match for anything you’d see in any other big screen Batman movie. Mask of the Phantasm is a must own for any Batman fan and fans of animation in general. They sure don’t make them like this any more and that’s a shame.

 

This movie looks STACKED! There is a lot going on in this teaser with an abundance of characters and action set pieces. Here is where I sit on the film, first up I hope it delivers and it’s at least decent. Yeah it would be great to get an amazing movie but I don’t want to even get my hopes up that high. Just let it be good. One or two of the backgrounds look a bit fake and the CGI on Cyborg isn’t as good as I thought it may be. Yet there’s plenty of time to fix those things and look even if the film does come out and it has some less than great CGI work who cares as long as the rest of the movie delivers right?

For me the standouts are Aquaman and funnily enough Cyborg. All the scenes with those two looked great (some CGI aside). These are the two I am least familiar with out of the Justice League and I look forward to seeing both of these guys get some exploration over the course of the movie. Amber Heard as Mera, the Queen of Atlantis no less, also gets to cameo in this trailer and while I expect she’ll have a small role I still look forward to seeing what she does in the movie.

This is a solid teaser trailer that is hopefully giving us just a glimpse of the fun times ahead when the movie hits screens this November.

Batman Forever

Posted: November 11, 2016 in Movies
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Back in 1995 Batman Forever’s release was a massive event, the toys were hitting the shelves, you had the excellent Batman: The Animated Series on TV and the comics of course. Batman was everywhere that summer. Even the music charts with both U2 and Seal having contributed two massive songs to the Batman Forever soundtrack. The film was a gamble and fans held their breaths as the third film in the Bat-series had not only lost visionary director Tim Burton but the star of the previous two films in the form of Michael Keaton.

Warner Brothers went with Joel Schumacher to direct and Val Kilmer as their new Bruce Wayne/Batman. Schumacher had many hits (The Lost Boys, Falling Down, The Client) already under his belt by the time he took on Batman. Like Burton, Schumacher had made a name for his unique visual style. Kilmer was making a name for himself as a character actor able to vanish into roles similar to Keaton. The studio brought in two heavy hitters for the villains with Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face and 90’s breakout super star Jim Carrey as The Riddler with Chris O’Donnell on board as Robin and Nicole Kidman as Chase rounding out the main cast. It seemed like a win win movie with a exciting director and a stacked cast bursting with name talent.

What we got was a fun if problematic Batman movie. I like this film but it’s at times a bit too camp for it’s own good. Often the film feels like a feature attempt of the 1960’s TV show. Based on your taste that’s either a fun call back or a total tonal disaster after coming off the Burton/Keaton gothic and darkly comic previous films. Jone’s Two Face is more over the top villain than serious character portrait and that is a shame when you think of what Jones would have been capable of if given the chance. Carrey is totally off the crazy leash as Riddler but he’s so committed to it that I found myself loving him in this movie. I think Carrey’s The Riddler is one of the main reasons I like the film as much as I do.

On the hero side Kilmer does not fare as well as Keaton. Kilmer is a talented guy but he was probably not the right fit for the cape and cowl. O’Donnell’s Robin is good, one thing that bugged me was he’s not really given that much to do until the film’s last act and his reveal as Robin didn’t feel earned. He’s just like “Here I am!” it’s SO throw away but this was the 90’s so…we kind of all went with it. The standout is Kidman as Chase because she manages to inject charisma and depth to what could have been a throw away ‘love interest’ role. The fact Chase is a psychologist means she has tons of fun interacting with both Bruce and Batman and she even fights her own battles when up against some goons.

Action wise there’s a few cool set pieces. The opening of the film, when I first saw it twenty one years ago, was really good but the CGI doesn’t hold up. It’s cool seeing Batman trapped in the acid vault as Two Face hauls it through the skies of Gotham via chopper. Back then that sort of thing was impressive. Same applies to a random car chase, it’s cool seeing the Batmobile go vertically up the side of a building and I can dig those touches. I’d have liked to have saw more well thought out hand to hand fights but that’s probably just because I’m used to stuff like The Raid (I know right haha, not a fair comparison) and Civil War.

Should state the other star of the movie is Schumacher’s neo noir style before it went even crazier and more NEO!!! in the next film in the series. Gotham is a vibrant, neo-gothic city that manages to keep in step with what went before but show evolution in it’s style and scale. It’s a shame the script, considering how many people had a hand in it, provided an as not stable template than what came before. It’s not horrendous no, but it’s just a bit too comic book like with a lot of WOW and big villain schemes both of which would probably have worked better in the 1960’s than in 1995. Too harsh? Depends on what mood you’re in. Sometimes I can loose myself in Batman Forever and appreciate it for the camp-tastic comic book fun it attempts but at others I have to question if the studio was focusing more on bigger and better and how many toys they could spin off from this movie.

 

Batman

Posted: August 30, 2016 in Movies
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Tim Burton’s Batman was the biggest comic book movie ever at the time of it’s release. There had not been a similar movie of its kind since the release of Superman The Movie back in the 1970’s. Burton is able to inject the film with a distinct look and tone. Forties America but timeless. Still somehow in the now. The film came out the summer of 1989 and it was a box office smash hit. I can remember my dad telling me we would have to wait to see it due to the insane demand. I was too young to go the cinema to see Batman and we had to wait till the film came out on VHS. Despite not being able to see the film on the big screen I could still feel in awe of it. Which is crazy because back then we all had tiny TV’s, no HD pictures or surround sound. It is a credit to Burton he was able to make such an impactful comic book movie that losses none of its appeal on the small screen.

Michael Keaton is my Batman. Know how people have their own Bond? Well my Batman is Keaton. Always will be. Keaton is very good as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, sure he is not the most intimidating guy when you compare his build to say Affleck in Dawn of Justice or Bale in the Nolan flicks but his acting alone helps to cement him in the dual role. Jack Nicholson took a lot of money to play the Joker and he’s good. It’s a performance that sticks with you and it’s boss seeing Nicholson embrace the crazy and the intimidation. Rounding out the lead cast is Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale. Basinger is good in the role, which on the surface is basically the ‘love interest’ but ’cause she is a good actress Basinger gives Vale a winning personality and she looks incredible. Keaton and Basinger have real good chemistry and work off of one another well.

What I love about the film is the look. As I said above the film has this mix of a noir filled city but manages to feel modern at the same time. More in how the characters interact with one another and the modern (by 1989’s standards 🙂 ) technology. Joker’s designs on bringing down Gotham are well thought out. Poisoning the beauty products is horrific and hysterical. You see the on-going news coverage on the contamination and the news casters looking worse and worse because they aren’t able to look after their appearance! It’s quirky, funny and scary.

Burton made the choice to have the Joker be the guy who is responsible for Bruce’s parents murders. It is a decision that bothered some fans but not me. I think for the film Burton and co. wanted to make the Joker have more of a tie to Bruce to give the Gotham Cathedral showdown a more epic feel. It wasn’t needed but I understand the decision. Batman’s toys have a wicked showcase with the Batmobile and the Batwing on display in stand out action sequences that still play great almost thirty years later. Good filmmaking is good filmmaking regardless of when said film is made. Yeah there is some miniature work on hand but it doesn’t detract from the movie magic of it all and part of me will take that sort of movie magic over CGI nine times out of ten.

I have to mention Danny Elfman’s score is timeless and it would go on to be linked with Batman throughout the 90’s in both film and the brilliant animated series. Neither the Nolan nor Snyder iterations on the Caped Crusader have been able to match the incredible music of Elfman’s theme. It’s epic.

There is no point in recommending this film because it was so big and is regarded so highly. Maybe like me you own it and haven’t watched it in a while? Well if that is the case I can say you’d be doing yourself a favour by taking it off the self and putting the movie on.