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- "And as you can see . . . I've been a lot happier."
This review focuses on Burton's Batman (Batman89, Batman Returns), Nolan's Batman (Batman Begins, the Dark Knight), and 1992 original Batman: The Animated Series. I'm excluding Schumacher's Batman (Batman Forever, Batman and Robin), the 1960's Batman series, and "The Batman", simply because I believe they are the weakest representations.
To be perfectly honest, I love Burton, Nolan, and BTAS equally. All three interpretations are so different, that they cannot be compared. And it is really annoying that I find people on YouTube trying to see which one is better (most opinions are biased). So here it goes with MY opinions:
BATMAN: Michael Keaton, Kevin Conroy, and Christian Bale have given us excellent performances. Conroy (from BTAS) has the perfect voice for Batman, though the physical depiction seems a bit too much. Bale really acts well as Bruce Wayne, but his voice for Batman is too deep and goofy. To me, Keaton is the ultimate "Bruce". He has the awkwardness and the eccentricity of the character, and plus his hoarse voice for the Bat is far superior to Bale's. It's too bad that he doesn't get that much screen time in both of Burton's films.
VILLAINS: Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Clayface, Mad Hatter, Scarface, Killer Croc, Bane, Baby Doll, Penguin, Clock King, Harley Quinn, Professor Milo, Poison Ivy, and Rupert Thorne appear only on BTAS, and they are marvelous in their own right.
The Scarecrow was better portrayed in BTAS (voice by Henry Polic II) than he was in Begins. Cillian Murphy looked too young as Doctor Crane, and the actual villain was much underused in the film. Two-Face had the scariest appearance in TDK; Aaron Eckhardt was flawless. However, Two-Face in BTAS (Richard Moll) had a much better origin. Years of suppressing anger can do that, you know. Ra's al Ghul is much more interesting in BTAS (David Warner); Liam Neeson's performance in BB was just above average as he wasn't very believable to me. The Penguin, one of my favorite Batman villains, has been blessed with both BReturns and BTAS. Danny Devito and Paul Williams have done superb jobs with this antagonist. Same goes with Catwoman: Michelle Pfeiffer had the better dialogue and better catsuit, while Adrienne Barbeau was a better Selina Kyle, and her chemistry with Batman is deeper.
Finally, for the Joker we have Jack Nicholson (B89), Mark Hamill (BTAS), and Heath Ledger (TDK). All three of them are perfect. Nicholson has the best dialogue, Hamill has the best laugh and look, and Ledger has the best sadism. Three different worlds, three different performances. People on YouTube should understand that.
SUPPORTING CHARACTERS: I couldn't see Michael Caine as Alfred, so it's thumbs down from me. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Michael Gough are the ideal Alfred's. Aaron Eckhardt is truly a one-of-a-kind Harvey Dent. I Believe in Harvey Dent! Billy Dee Williams was great in B89, also, and he had the tough and virtuous personality, as did Richard Moll in BTAS. Gary Oldman and Bob Hastings are the definitive Commissioner Gordon's; Pat Hingle is the weakest, but certainly not at all terrible. He's just a bit too short. Morgan Freeman is the one and only Lucius Fox; Brock Peters of BTAS had the better persona, but Freeman had the better chemistry with Batman.
GOTHAM CITY: Burton captured the dark and gothic feel of the hellish city perfectly. It looks as if "Hell came sprouting out of the concrete and kept right on growing. You gotta give credit to Anton Furst, the film's art director, for creating this atmospheric universe. Gotham in BTAS also has its advantages. The towering skyline, the dangerous alleys, and the red sky make it all more mesmerizing. Nolan's Gotham looks hellish, too, but it looks too much like Chicago (filming location for both BB and TDK). But other than that, it succeeds in creating a Faustian nightmare.
EVERYTHING ELSE: The gadgets in BTAS were the most realistic, while the Batmobile for B89 was better-looking. Keaton's Batsuit is classic, while Conroy's cape and cowl is ultimately frightening. The heroines (Basinger, Holmes, and Gyllenhaal) are lovely additions, although I wish Basinger would stop screaming throughout B89. And let's not forget the music: let's give it up for Danny Elfman, Shirley Walker, James Newton Howard, and Hans Zimmer. These are the composers who gave us those catchy Batman themes. We will never forget them or their work.
CONCLUSION: Burton's universe, Nolan's universe, and Timm's universe are near ideal. I love them equally, really. I can't wait for the next film....more info
- BATMAN GETS SERIOUS
I believe I watched this movie six times in one week after it's release. I had always enjoyed Michael Keaton in comedic roles ( MR. MOM, and especially BEETLEJUICE ), and was curious to see what he'd do with a serious role. His low-key, brooding, portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman was excellent, and Jack Nicholson as the Joker was phenomenal, however I was even more impressed with Tim Burton's use of darkly operatic sets, and atmospheric shadows to heighten suspense. Danny Elfman's score ( with the use of only 6 minute's of Pince's songs ) added greatly to the mood of this classic.
I love BATMAN BEGINS, and THE DARK KNIGHT ( and I wholeheartedly agree that Heath Ledger was an even better Joker than Nicholson ), but this is the BATMAN movie to beat as far as I'm concerned....more info
- Enjoyable but Batman Begins is way Better.
It's a pretty good movie with all the right actors. Michael Keaton is a good Batman and I love Jack Nicholson as the Joker because he always makes me laugh.I like how the film is dark and scary but sometimes when you see the city it's not realistic.I hate the way Batman kills villians in the movie.He would never do that in the comics.Batman Begins is way better with better acting and a better cast but I think this is one of the best Batman films evermade. ...more info
- JACK IS GOD!!!
First of all, I thought I had submitted a review for this but, alas, it must have gotten lost... so, without further adieu...
This 1989 masterpiece by Tim Burton deserves 10 stars simply because of Jack Nicholson. He was born to play that part. Also, I do not recall ever reading about Joker's real name in any of the comics; but for this movie... it's Jack.
Now, Michael Keaton was absolutely brilliant as Bruce Wayne/Batman; I would say even better than Christian Bale (who was also very good). The way he played Bruce Wayne was the same way Christopher Reeve played Calrk Kent; you looked at him and would never put the hero-alterego in the same sentence. Michael Keaton played Bruce Wayne with a very laid back persona. A perfect example is when Kim Basinger's Vicki Vale and Robert Wuhl's Alex Knox are roaming around Wayne Manor. They enter the room with all the vintage armour and they start making snide comments about Bruce Wayne. Of course, Michael Keaton quietly walks in behind them and just observes the situation. When Wuhl's character points to a suit of armour and says to Vicki "Where do you think he got this?" Michael Keaton says "Japan." When Knox says "How do you know that" Keaton answers "Well, I bought it there... oh hi, Bruce Wayne."
Kim Basinger was also perfectly cast as Vicki Vale. Kim played Vicki with strength, dignity and did not show the "damsel in distress"
But it was Jack who carried that movie. He even made Joker likable. Jack also had all the best lines in the movie. His Joker was deliciously evil!
Joker was originally supposed to return in the sequel; I remember reading a review, a week after the movie was released, that said the sequel was going to have Nicholson return. If you remember, after Joker falls from the building, you hear a cackling coming from Joker's pocket; Commissioner Gordon reaches into Joker's pocket and removes the lucky deck that Joker carries with him. The review said that as long as Joker had his lucky deck, he'd be back. I guess that Warner Brothers were too cheap to give Jack the money he wanted.
Before I end this review, I will also add some information that a friend of mine from a while back told me. He said that before Nicholson and Keaton were cast, there is footage of David Bowie as Joker and Peter Weller as Bruce Wayne/Batman. That would be interesting......more info
- Best Batman Made Yet
This is by far the best Batman movie. I give Batman Returns and Batman Begins a lot of credit, but you can't beat the cast assembled for this movie. The combination of Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson is incredibe, and Kim Basinger, Billy Dee Williams, and Jack Palance make a good supporting cast. The story is excellent, with plenty of action. Tim Burton could not have directed this movie any better, creating a dark and eerie feeling throughout the entire movie. Overall, this movie is superb in every category. ...more info
- Could've been darker
This is a solid Batman film, but falls short of The Dark Knight legacy of the original comics (thankfully, Christopher Nolan has brought that vision to life).
This is Jack Nicholson's best role. He (like Ledger just did) became this role. It suits him. And while he is an entirely different Joker than
Ledger, he certainly isn't inferior. This is an adaptation of this Joker
as a jolly ringmaster of death, and Nicholson is perfectly cast here.
He electrocutes, shoots and poisons Gothamites with a gleeful persona
that is simultaneously hilarious and chilling. The viewer almost feels sad once he dies.
What doesn't work in this film is Batman himself. Keaton does a decent job, but that doesn't make up for a lack of screen time or a lighter
approach to mysterious Batman....more info
- 80's Great
The best of the Batman Movies , and still should have been previewed , and , or consolidated with the " Bataman , From the Beginning " Movie , the 2nd best Movie in this Series...more info
- IMPORTANT TO THE COMIC FILM HISTORY, BUT HASN'T AGED WELL!
It's a tough thing growing old!......and this film hasn't grown old gracefully. Tim Burton tried so hard to make the film the fans wanted to see, but the 1966 TV show is still present to a degree in this "not so dark" romp through Gotham City! I do enjoy this film despite it's flaws, but you have to remember at the time this was fairly new territory. I went to see this opening night and it was a grand experience for the most part although I was not completely happy with the film!
Keaton who fans and critics scoffed at for being picked to play the caped crusader is actually pretty good and way better than Kilmer or the abysmal Clooney! Jack Nicholson's Joker is a slightly more deranged Caesar Romero, his perfomance is sometimes genius, but ultimately it's not that memorable because of the uneven tone of the film. A tone that switches from dark to camp to Hollywood and back again. If there is one consistent critique that remained the same in the last 20 years, it's that the Prince music is horrible and inappropriate in this film! Making the art gallery scene one of my least favorite parts of the movie!
OK enough already, the film is still pretty entertaining earning a 3 1/2 star rating from me and this two disc edition is awesome! Great DVD transfer and lots of Batman goodies to look at!
- ONE OF THE BETTER "BATMAN" FILMS MADE BEFORE "THE DARK KNIGHT"
I PLACED AN ORDER FOR THIS DVD MOVIE ON August 2, 2008, BUT I WAS TOLD IT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED BUT I WILL BE NOTIFIED AS SOON AS IT BEOMES AVAILABLE! I HOPE SO,THIS "BATMAN" IS A BETTER FILM COMPARED TO IT'S FOLLOW UP'S,EVEN THOUGH I DID ENJOY "BATMAN BEGINS" AND "THE DARK KNIGHT". HOPE IT BECOMES AVAILABLE ASAP OR VERY SOON,HEATH LEDGER MADE A DARK JOKER BUT I STILL ENJOY JACK NICHOLSON AS A FUNNY BUT EVIL JOKER. ...more info
- Why is Prince's Partyman video edited? WHY!?!?!?
Bought this to get the Prince videos and watched in horror as I discovered that they put a poorly edited version of the Partyman video and not the full version. If they ever do another special edition of Batman, they MUST include the real versions of the Prince videos and not crappy edits....more info
- BETTER THAN CLASSIC AND GREAT
Although this was't precisely the beginning of the revival of comic book heroes as hi-budget color movies, it was certainly one of the mos famous and successful of the transformations. Tim Burton, by casting Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger and Michael Keaton assured at least big headlines for his provocative cast. It was a signal that Button, the arch-eccentric director, intended to do something worthy of notice with this new film. And indeed he did.
The supporting cast was excellent: Billy Dee Williams, and Jack Palance were sensational, each in his own way, and Palance more even than Pat Hingle, captured the public imagination with his characterization.
Myself, I'm impressed mostly by the unique and effective music by Prince, one of yhe most innovative of POP artists. The stuff made for this movie particularly, was outstanding. And, in addition to that, the art design -- of the sets and of the ariel floats -- was brash, sensational and thrilling, like cheap candy. The idea of gassing an entire city by means of festive baloons is a high point in demenedness.
The sight jokes and the staging of them is wonderful. Basinger is exquisite and the perfect foil for the JOKER"S perverse, monomonical lust.
In short, while keeping most of the elemens of the original Detective Comics creation -- the demented, sadistic arch-villain; the beautiful, helpless girl; the bumbling, well-meaning police force; the blithering and spooked population of corrupt Gotham, and above off the appearances and disappearances of the caped crusader -- this version of the BATMAN myth, combines with the 1943 Serial, to offer the careful observer of the changes in American POP culture and behavior, a rich and irreplacable reward. The sexual symbolism is hotter and more overt; the overall feeling of irrational psychosis is more intense and shrill, and the cynicism of the concept thrills the nerves like an Asian aphrodisiac.
This is or can be a valuable addition to your collection of BATMAN POP junk treasure. Long shelf life. It defies time....more info
Although the superior "Batman Begins" reinvented, reimagined and reinvigorated Batman, this, the original, still stands alone as a very good movie. Tim Burton's ideas and vision of Gotham and the Dark Knight look great on DVD. Forget the color-laden, comic book"Batman Forever" and the horrible, unforgivable "Batman and Robin." By-pass the box set and add this and the special two-disc edition of Burton's even darker follow-up, "Batman Returns" to your collection. ...more info
- Batman VS. Batman Begins
The other reviews contained here seem to divide into preferring Burton's original "Batman" vs the new "Batman Begins". I have some thoughts on this.
First, let me say I much prefer Burton's film. I find it's baroque theatricality far more interesting and entertaining than "Begins" attempt to shoehorn Bruce Wayne/Batman into something like the real world. It always seemed to me the approach on "Batman" was to ask "what kind of world could have created these people?". "Begins" approach is to ask "what would these people be like in the real world?". I suspect that the "Begins" franchise may run into significant problems as it tries to reconcile some of Batman's more exotic villains into that reality.
Despite having no super powers, Batman is a mythic character. He doesn't belong in everyday reality. None of Burton's films are set in reality. Like myths and fairy-tales, they exist in a parallel reality that informs our own.
The last point I'll include here is the CHARACTER of Batman himself (not the actors or their performances: they're both excellent).
By the end of "Begins" he has pretty much overcome his childhood traumas (bats & loss of parents) and the decision to become/remain Batman is a conscious, rational choice. (What a swell guy.)
That's OK, but not nearly as interesting as what they did in "Batman". In Burton's films he is almost like a drug addict. There is no altruism here. He MUST be Batman to deal with his inner demons. Repression creates perversion and 'Batman' is what has oozed out of the cracks in Bruce Wayne's psyche. Anyone who has to create as elaborate a coping mechanism as Batman must be really screwed up. Wayne must be Batman or go mad. Perhaps he has done both. Burton's version of Batman may be less "real" but it is far more human.
Oh, yeah. Also- Danny Elfman's score rocks and the Batmobile in "Begins" sucks!...more info
- The film that began the modern "superhero" genre
This film holds a special place in my heart. It's really the film that got me into comic books and solidified Batman as my all-time favorite superhero. That being said I realized it was probably over a decade since I last watched this film. I've pretty much every line of this film memorized since I watched it so much as a kid, but whenever I talked about the film with friends it was always through those rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. After watching this new 2-disc DVD and the recent film Batma Begins I have to say Batman Begins is indeed a better film--but only slightly. Burton's Batman set a stylized reality for Batman on film, but Nolan's version gave Batman something Burton's lacked: plausibility. Now, some people may say plausibility has no business in a superhero film, but I disagree. I think the more realistic you can make the characters and their problems the more the audience will be able to connect with them and the story.
What Burton's films lack in plausibility it makes up for in style. There are a few points in the film that don't hold up so well to the trained filmgoer's eye, honed on years of sophisticated CGI pampering since this films initial release in 1989. In case you forgot, BATMAN used all models and at least two scenes use obvious (and inexplicably unnecessary) cell animation. The Acme Chemical plant and Joker's chopper are the two most obvious and cheesy models used in the film, but the rest are gorgeous and nearly seamless. Plus the Batmobile scenes are breathtaking. The 1989 Batmobile has to be one of the coolest cars ever designed.
And let's not forget performances. I absolutely love, love, love Jack Nicholson's Joker. It's classic. A lot of reviewers criticized it as over the top and hammy, but that's exactly what the Joker is! Keaton doesn't say much, but he doesn't have to: his eyes say it all. And Bassinger as Vicki Vale is just the right amount of scared and confused.
The DVD extras on this new 2 disc edition are the best of all the Btaman DVDs I've seen. We get a new 3-part in-depth documentary with new interviews from all the key players (except for Keaton--they just use footage from an older interview) plus other great featurettes including one on the making of the Batmobile. An Tim Burton who usually gives yawn inspiring commentaries manages to be insightful and informative with his Batman commentary....more info
- Not my Batman
Batman Begins is soooo much better than this or any other of the batman movies. Nicholson SUCKED as the Joker. Joker is a comedian who had an accident trying to pull a robbery to help his pregnant wife. HE IS NOT A GANGSTER OR THE ONE WHO KILLED BATMAN'S PARENTS!!!! HE IS A PSYCHO AND BATMAN'S NEMESIS!!! YOU CAN'T KILL HIM OFF!!! HOW STUPID IS THAT?!!! Who came up with that one. Keaton is a sissy, Christian Bale could beat him down!!! Keaton DID NOT have the physical prescence to play Batman. All in all, a joke of a comic movie..But it is better than Daredevil!!!!:-)...more info
- Pure classic. Best one in the series!
This was a great movie. Flowed perfectly from one scene to the next. It had a strong humorous element as well! I believe this is the best one in the entire series. Jack Nicholson stole the show, he was phenomenal as the Joker!...more info
- Welcome to Gotham...
Let me tell you a story, and take you back in time.
The year, was 1986. The world had last known Batman as Adam West, a campy, blue caped superhero who fought the likes of a silly goofball named the Joker, among others, whilst passing on good advice to his good natured compadre, Robin. His use of puns, bad one liners and amusing dance routines genuinely made people laugh, and unfortunately reinforced the idea that the Batman was nothing more than a wierd man in a costume, masquerading around town with his teenage pals.
A man named Michael Uslan had been trying for years, as one of his life's pursuits, to awaken to the world a different vision of Batman, in his opinion, and many others, the real vision of Batman, as a Dark Guardian of his city, striking terror into the hearts of criminals as he stalked the city rooftops, protecting the innocent.
Finally, with the help of a well funded producer, and the creator of Batman himself, Bob Kane, Michael Uslan managed to get Warner Bros. to accept the possibility of making a serious Batman film.
And so the great wheel began to turn, towards a date in 1989 when the world rediscovered a hero.
Fast forward to the summer of 1989 and you'll find thousands of fans, dressed in Batman tshirts and hats, waiting to see this mega-blockbuster movie.
The first Batman movie portrays the Dark Knight as Adam West never could, opening the eyes of people everywhere to a stoic, avenging man whose quest to defeat evil in his city has lead him to become a terrifying creature of the night, The Batman. Micheal Keaton uses his talents to portray Batman as a driven man, one who masquerades as just a social billionaire in the daytime, all the while waiting to descend into another life, the one he truly wants to live. Dark and mysterious, Tim Burton's vision of the Batman encompasses the best of the comics that inspired him, portraying an avenging guardian angel, whose only purpose is to defend the weak and innocent people of his city.
Jack Nicholson portrays an insane, but brilliant madman, the Joker, who terrorizes the citizens of Gotham with his cruel and deadly jokes.
Tim Burton redefines all the elements of Batman's world, and brings them to the big screen in a way never before seen by audiences. An engaging, twisting and turning plot drives the characters and the film to a satisfying ending that will have you wishing it was Halloween, so you too could put on the cape and cowl of the Batman.
All in all, the first Batman movie is by far one of the best, and it captures Batman as he was always meant to be captured, as the Dark Knight we all know today....more info
- Batman DVD
The product failed to be delivered and no response from the vendor was received after inquiries....more info
- Batman and The Joker a classic showdown.
Batman is a great comic book movie. The pace keeps it from dragging. Jack gives an inspired effort as the Joker, Michael Keaton does well as Bruce Wayne and Batman. The supporting cast do a good job Jack Palance stands out. This is a dark violent film. The Jokers warped sense of humor gives enough laughs to to break the tension, the gadgets, weapons and vehicles are inovative. Batman has never been done better....more info
- Good movie, great DVD
Before the frachise hit rock-bottom with the ill-fated "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin" and before it was gloriously revived with the spectacular "Batman Begins" (which in my humble opinion is even better than this film), there was Tim Burton's "Batman." Utilizing a huge market campaign and boasting top-name stars such as Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger, the film became one of 1989's biggest hits, earning over $251 million domestically. A lot of people loved this film (and quite a few of them still do today), but when I first saw it when I was a kid I really didn't care for it. But as I'm much older, I've warmed up to it.
The film boasts an impressive production design (which earned a well-deserved Oscar) with casts Gotham as a moody, Gothic place in the mold of the twenty-first century, with distinct 1940s and 1980s flavor. The score by Danny Elfman is a wonderful orchestral score that has some of the heroism of John Williams's "Superman" theme but with a moody and oppressive tone to it. And the acting is fairly good -- Michael Keaton makes for a quiet, unassuming Bruce Wayne (but unimpressive Batman), Jack Nicholson makes for a wonderfully loony and twisted Joker and Michael Gough makes for a homely, well-mannered Alfred.
However, the film is immensely flawed. The plot doesn't detail about how Bruce Wayne became Batman (save for one or two flashbacks) and the backstory of who kills Bruce Wayne's parents is dramatically altered to focus on the villain. And Batman's entrances were always too dramatic, such as the opening scene where he frightens off the robbers by just raising his cape and the scene where he rescues Vicki Vale by crashing in through the skylight. (I always pictured Batman as a less dramatic and more scary superhero who catches his victims completely off guard, like in the Timm/Dini animated series or in 2005's "Batman Begins".) And while Jack Nicholson is indeed great as the Joker, he hogs too much screentime and relegates Keaton as a supporting character and not the leading character as the film's title asserts. And let's not forget Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale -- while Basinger is certainly very beautiful, the script requires her character to scream often (probably took a cue from Kate Capshaw in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", but Basinger does have a great scream) and the script just renders her two-dimensional. Nevertheless, the movie is entertaining to a fault and while it isn't one of the finest superhero movies ever made, it is responsible for reviving comic-book superhero movies up into the mid-90s where "Batman & Robin" ran the Batman franchise into the ground.
When the movie was first released on DVD in late 1997 as one of Warner Brothers's first titles to debut on the new home video format, without much in the way of extras and was a flipper disc (with open matte full-screen and anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfers on either side), packaged in Warner's now-thankfully extinct snapper cases. With the impending arrival of "Batman Begins" on DVD in October 2005, Warner Brothers saw fit to give all four Batman movies a new digital transfer and provide quality extras for each film. And is the upgrade worth it? A resounding yes.
First off, the transfer. Compared to the 1997 DVD, the new 2005 digital transfer is a revelation. The 1997 DVD had boosted black levels, an unnaturally high level of film grain, and the low-lit scenes looked really murky. The 2005 transfer fixes all these problems -- the transfer is brighter, more natural-looking and much cleaner. Much of the unnecessary grain has been removed but enough has been left to maintain a good film-like texture. You can finally make out the details in the darker scenes and overall the video transfer is very pleasing. The disc still has the original Dolby Digital 5.1 remix from the old DVD, but a brand-new DTS mix is offered. The tracks sound good for their age, but are front-centric mainly, with some panning effects (like during the Batmobile chase) and occasional use of the surrounds, which make Elfman's score sound even better. The DTS track sounds a bit more robust and clearer than the Dolby track, but it's not the Batman film to show off your surround system (like "Batman Begins" or even "Batman & Robin"). An optional French stereo dub is provided, alongside optional subtitles in English, French or Spanish.
Now, the extras. We get a commentary from Burton and the then-highly anticipated theatrical trailer for the film on the first disc. The commentary is good, but Burton has the tendency to stop for long stretches of time and just watch the movie. A cast or crew member sitting with him could've made the commentary more engaging, but it's good for some of the information Burton tells us. The theatrical trailer is presented in anamorphic widescreen with stereo audio, but it's pretty dull for the most part (it's mostly large chunks of footage put together with Elfman's score in the background). Still, it's good for archival purposes. The movie is divided into 38 chapters, and the main menu is animated against a brief excerpt of Elfman's main title theme.
But the second disc is just exhaustive in terms of the quantity and quality of extras. There are three documentaries ("Legends of the Dark Knight", "Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic History of the Dark Knight" and "Beyond Batman") -- most of which are divided into smaller chunks for easier access. Most of the documentaries feature new interviews with the cast and crew of "Batman", such as Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, Kim Basinger, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Nicholson, Sam Hamm and would-be Vicki Vale Sean Young. All of the new interviews provide some nice behind-the-scenes info about the movie and what happened after. Additionally, there are mini profiles about the main characters of the movie, most of them featuring new interviews with the cast ("Batman: The Heroes" and "Batman: The Villains") and a vintage 1989 featurette "On the Set with Bob Kane". As a nice touch, there's a storyboarded deleted scene featuring the voices of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (who provide the voices for the Tim/Dini Batman animated series) and a collection of music videos Prince contributed to the film ("Partyman", "Scandalous" and "Batdance"). Still menus are offered on the second disc, although there's music on the main menu only.
This set is available separately or can be purchased as part of the "Complete Batman Anthology", which boxes up this edition along with the other special editions of the three successive Batman sequels. The 1997 disc is also available (for a much lower price than this edition), but I highly recommend this edition if you still haven't got a copy of this movie yet. The video transfer (and the fact that it's in a keep case) alone is worth the upgrade....more info
- A very mixed bag that's ultimately not up to snuff
Batman is one of the most pivotal comic book characters ever. From his humble beginnings Batman was a dark and grim character, and through the years we have seen him go into a lighter image on screen with the cartoons and television shows. It's like the average person on the street never really got to know the true Batman until now. I had so much hope for this movie, but ultimately it was a let down. While the imagery, soundtrack and special effects were superb other aspects of script and production made this more than just a mixed bad. It was a mess.
Lets first talk about the good stuff like the backdrop and designs for this movie. Gotham city never looked cooler. That goes the same for batman. When you see him first appear in the shadows you definitely get the idea of what Batman was supposed to really be like. There is an interesting use of color, lighting and shadow that give the movie a very stylized and comic book feel to it. Other designs like the Batmobile, the Batcave and Batman's various gadgets are equally impressive and are definitely things I wouldn't mind having... if I knew how to use them properly. And as if to only top off the spellbinding design of the movie you get what has become one of the most grand and memorable soundtracks of any superhero show. What more could you want?
Plenty. You would think Tim Burton would do a full out grim and gritty Batman like the true fans of the character were looking for. As a matter of fact for the first 30 minutes we got that to the hilt. In that first half hour the movie is an amazing combination of all that design style as well as the perfect feeling of Batman being the ultimate crime fighter. What happens after that changes the tone of the movie into something that falls between gritty and camp. Instead of continuing the coolness and mystery of the Dark Knight you get stuff that seems more appropriate from the 60's television show... only done darker. Yeah you can say it's because that's how The Joker was written. Well he was written wrong in my eyes and seems more like an aloof copout in the script-writing department. From then on the movie slips into just another Hollywood plot placating to the crowd, giving up all opportunities they had to truly stand out.
The acting is pretty good, but I can't help but think the choice of actors was strange. Keaton seemed an odd choice but he did do the part admirably. He just didn't really look the part. Jack Nicholson as The Joker? I don't think so. Instead of getting the type of Joker I know from the books and previous shows we get... well... Jack Nicholson. He might as well be calling himself Jack instead of Joker. I didn't even think Jack Palance, whom I love as an actor, fit well in this movie. Actually I can't think of any actor in this film other than the guy who played Alfred the butler and the police chief who really fit here.
Basically this version of Batman is quite a departure from the mythos that was known before it. Tim Burton was pretty open about that, but the problem I have is it's too different and ultimately didn't entertain me. If you have no previous conceptions of Batman or are open minded enough to see a very different rendition of that story then you might end up enjoying this. If you were hungrily waiting for a truly nail-biting and serious Batman movie then look at the more recent Batman Begins.
- Batman, the Way he was Intended
This is by far the best packaging I have seen for the original, and in my opinion, best Batman movie to date. The original creation of Batman as intended to be dark and be mysterious which this movie mastered very well. The creator of the original story and comic book charecter, Bob Kane, was on set during the making of this film. I was pleased to run into this 2-Disc collection of Batman by accident, as it serves the film well.
The bonus features are numerous. I like the features that introduce the charecter of Batman, the creator, and the evolution of the comic strip charecter over time. I am very pleased with the digital sound and picture. I could actually make out some of the scenes watching this DVD that were hard to see on previous releases.
This is the first of the 8-Disc Batman Anthology: Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997 (Batman / Batman Returns / Batman Forever / Batman & Robin) (Two-Disc Special Editions). The collection features all four movies between 1989 and 1997 in 2-Disc packaging. A great addition to the DVD collection of a Batman fan. For a different approach to the Batman legacy, Warner Bros. recreated the Batman legacy in a newer film entitled Batman Begins with Christian Bale: Batman Begins (Two-Disc Special Edition)....more info
- Classical Batman
The Best Batman movie. Val Kilmer was the 2nd best. Michael Keaton has a nice black Batman costumeBatman (Two-Disc Special Edition)...more info
- the best batman yet !!
In tis film,Bruce Wayne becomes the Dark Knight ''Batman.''he is trying to protect the city from the evil forces of the crimanal underworld.Meanwhile ,Jack Napier falls into a vat of acid while having an encounter with Batman.
This fall turned him into the homicidel maniac called ''The Joker''.And a very intresting photojourulist named
Vicki Vale trys to find out what her boyfriend,Bruce Wayne is trying to hide from her.The joker plans to get his
face on the One Dollar Bill,and murder all of Gotham City with deathly Joker grins on there face.Will Batman be able to stop joker from having the last laugh?Will Vicki understand Bruce's tragic past?Find out in ''Batman''....more info
- The all time Batman classic
After much anticipation, legendary director Tim Burton directs the memorable box office hit "Batman."Set in the brooding and morbid Gotham City, a millionare bachelor, Bruce Wayne dons a persona to make sure that no innocent person faces the fate his parents faced. He calls himself "Batman."
He causes contreversy in the city, which in the polices eyes, he is a criminal who is taking the law in his own hands. Well, soon enough he has a showdown with Jack Napier, Boss Carl Grissom's right hand man.Napier the falls in a vat of acid, which turns him into the homicidal Joker.Joker now sets out on a grizzly crime spree, causing chaos and mayhem for Gotham.
His Big plan:Poisoning all of Gotham with his "Smylex"gas.Batman must stop the Joker before this plan can be set into action.But,Brucie's love interest, photojournalist Vicki Vale(Kim Basinger)gets suspicious of him for his mysterious dissapearances.But soon, Vicki becomes a love target for Joker, and he uses extreme homicidal remarks and gifts to try to get her love.
This film is extremely entertaining, and you will always treasure this in your movie collection. ...more info
- Surpassed by Bale and Nolan
When Tim Burton put out Batman in 1989, comic book fans and movie fans alike were pleased with this movie about the caped crusader. Coming in at 2 hours in length, this was the first "modern" comic book movie. Starkly different from the optimistic Superman movies of Christopher Reeves with its bright colors and undercurrents of patriotism and American greatness, Burton's Batman was more of a drama than a comic book come to life. Good and evil often fought it out at night, in hidden places, away from the press and public. And so Michael Keaton's Batman set the standard for comic book movies for over a decade until the early 2000's when the Spiderman and X-Men franchises began.
Then came Christopher Nolan with Batman Begins and Dark Knight. Now, comic-book movie fans were treated to the pleasure of two separate, distinctly different movies about the same conflict; Batman versus the Joker. Therefore, this review of Tim Burton's original Batman is written from the POV of a judge who has seen both Nolan's and Burton's creations and is deciding on the better one. I will flat out declare that The Dark Knight is a better movie in just about every respect when compared to Batman. Now here's why.
First of, Michael Keaton and Christian Bale portray the same character, but whereas Keaton's dialogue is stiff and stilting, Bale's is reflective, emotive, and more polished; in total a better representation of his character - a wealthy man with many secrets and too many experiences for a person of his age. This comparison is best illustrated in their respective scenes with their love interest; played by Kim Basinger and Maggie Gyllenhall. Keaton's dialogue with Basinger is terse, monotonous and ultimately melodramatic, and Basinger's character screams too much. Contrast this with Gyllenhall's portrayal of Rachel Dawes; a seasoned DA whose balance of personal and professional goals reflects the lives of many modern woman. The dialogue between Bale and Gyllenhall are serious, introspective, with tinges of melancholy, hope, longing and regret all rolled into one.
The soundtrack of this movie is another letdown; no main themes carry the movie. Instead, we have a series of quirky tones punctuated by a lot of silence. Contrast this with the Dark Knight which has several musical motifs that drive the suspense and action.
Probably the most vivid contrast between the movies is the emphasis on ethics, morals, straw-men scenarios, and conflicts of interest. Burton's Batman is essentially a comic-book adapted to the big screen, a simple story with some action, some comedy, but no morality plays undergirding it. Nolan's Dark Knight is the exact opposite; the entire movie is about individuals being put into situations that challenge their morals, ethics, and judgements. The Dark Knight is a drama set against the backdrop of a comic-book world, and does for comic-book movies what Traffic did for movies about the drug war; i.e. make them deadly serious. And this difference is driven by the Joker. In Burton's Batman, the Joker is essentially that, a guy who fools around with people's lives to rouse laughter either in himself or those around him. Ledger's Joker is an altogether different creature; his evil is purposeful and precise, with the intent to force people to make tough decisions. This is where the original Batman got overshadowed by the Dark Knight, the Joker's portrayal.
So all in all, Keaton's first Batman movie is good, but not great. Its worth the watch, especially to see the progression of how Hollywood has done comic-book movies. ...more info
- Dig that Bat mobile!
Well, I've had this tape for a couple of years and just got finished watching it half an hour ago for probably the third time. I'd have to say (because I still find it interesting) that constitutes the movie being art.
1. Ok writing, that's a star.
2. Ok acting and at times a little better, that's a star.
3. Ok directing and that's a star.
4. Neat idea handle ok, sometimes better. That's another star.
5. Neat modeling, music (for the Batman scenes) right on target, that's a star.
1. The truth is, I and anybody else could pick this and most movies apart and suggest changes, additions, subtractions or out and right distruction or run it up the flag pole and see who salutes. In this case it is a popcorn movie and not to be take as serious as Casablanca. Therefore I see no reason to chop or pick it apart. The only real question is, is Batman entertaining? Was it interesting enough to see a couple more times? If so, then it did its duty enough to be called art, (provided it is original).
Batman is art. It isn't on the same level as Casablanca, but what is! It's a popcorn movie and because it came out, and had such a big reception, the industry tried to make other Batman type and style movies.
My favorite scenes? Fast-forward until the girl gets into the Batmobile
and watch that thunderbolt go down the road progressively faster, and the music was perfect for that scene. I think the scene should have lasted another ten to twenty seconds longer and the Batmobile should have gotten progressively even faster. But in the beginning, when they were driving through the forest road (with all the fallen leaves) it looked as if they were only going fourty miles per hour. (I know it was only a gas powered model). By the time they hit that last stretch the Batmobile couldn't have been doing over 100. I know that's fast even for a model in scale miles per hour BUT...well, its is a jet powered car. You know a real race car at the Indie 500 start off at 200 mph just to qualify. The Batmobile is Jet powered...and it's just a model and just a movie...I wish you guys had--you know--got it up there where a bowshock pressure wave had been visible.
Oh well, so what.
I still like the movie despite a few flaws. The Joker gave a fine performance no matter what anybody says, and the other Jack played his part well--Palance always has (I hope I spelled that right). So, I give this popcorn popper a five star rating and recommend it to all of us who still haven't sold out our taste.
One last thing...the real Batman never kills.