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"Batman" (1989) Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'DC Live-Action Movies and Television' started by The Penguin, Jul 11, 2002.

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Rate "Batman"

  1. *****

    41 vote(s)
    34.7%
  2. ****1/2

    22 vote(s)
    18.6%
  3. ****

    26 vote(s)
    22.0%
  4. ***1/2

    12 vote(s)
    10.2%
  5. ***

    5 vote(s)
    4.2%
  6. **1/2

    4 vote(s)
    3.4%
  7. **

    2 vote(s)
    1.7%
  8. *1/2

    2 vote(s)
    1.7%
  9. *

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  10. 1/2

    3 vote(s)
    2.5%
  1. The Penguin

    The Penguin All Hail the King!
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    Revisit one of the classics of modern cinema and a great super-hero film to boot! Here is your official talkback thread for Batman.

    [​IMG]

    Batman
    Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
    Release Date: June 23rd, 1989

    Synopsis: Released in theaters in the summer of 1989, "Batman" featured the return of the Dark Knight to the silver screen for the first time since the television series from the 1960s and the feature film with the show's characters. Jack Nicholson starred as The Joker, Batman's most well-known villain, and Michael Keaton starred as Batman/Bruce Wayne for director Tim Burton. Kim Basinger played photojournalist Vickie Vale with Robert Wuhl as reporter Alexander Knox. Veteran actors Pat Hingle and Michael Gough joined the cast in their first outings as Commissioner Gordon and Alfred respectively. In his only Batman appearance, Billy Dee Williams portrayed District Attorney Harvey Dent.

    Talk about Batman here!
     
  2. ZorBrak

    ZorBrak I AM A BUFFET OF MANLINESS.

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    Ahh WB, you have the ability to cash in on the super hero craze, yet for some reason you just don't really try. This film actually worked, it was good, it had everything down, not too many flaws, but it could have been better, the biggest mistake made was killing off the Joker so soon, that was a HUGE mistake on WB's part. I can't say much more than this, I liked it, I don't cringe when I watch it, Burton Definatly knows his Batman, but the problem is WB does not.

    (here comes a little almost off topic rant btw)
    They are so dumb when it comes to these films, they insist on tarnashing the series with these concepts they must get from their 4 year old children. They say they have films coming now...but they all sound sucky to me with the exceptions of Batman Year One and Batman Vs. Superman (this one might suck) WB truly scares me. In development comes Catwoman, a catwoman who does not live in gotham, does not fight batman, is not named selina kyle, works at a tupperware company or something like that, and wants to avenge her murdered mother...DUMB! and then Superman!...who can't fly, doesn't where a suit, Will Smith!! may star...I'm scarred boys and girls REAL scarred, WB scares me...ALOT...did I mention I am scarred of the way this comapny treats comic franchises?
     
  3. Zoddman

    Zoddman Made for your pleasure

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    The film, while watching it, does work to a degree.(With the exception of the annoying Prince songs stuck in there.) The problem I have is with those idiotic producers Jon Peters and Peter Guber. There's a lot of things you can tell Burton and screenwriter Sam Hamm,(A very good comic-book writer, btw.) had to shoehorn into the movie without Barbara Streisand's former hairdresser knowing.(Peters) The quiet moments between Bruce, Alfred, and Vicki, the nice touches of dark humor from Keaton as Batman, Nicholson trying REALLY hard to be the Joker. But all the while Peter's and Guber's dirty fingerprints are all over this. Like Prince songs, long drawn out Joker scenes that really don't go anywhere, and big explosions that hardly ever happen in Batman comics. Burton said in an interview w/ Starlog years ago that he fought tooth and nail to keep marketing crap out of this, and he came out of this movie emotionally drained, not wanting to return for the sequel. (It took Edward Scissorhands to get Burton in the mood for Batman Returns.)

    All in all, I REALLY want Burton's directors cut. Ya' know, all the stuff that was "boring" for Peters. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Sapphic Amazon

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    A decent offering with some interesting interpretations, but ultimately I found this movie to be disappointing. The animated movies were much better.


    Sapphic Amazon
     
  5. Webryder

    Webryder Cyclops aint got nothin' on me

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    I don't know, you guys maybe are being too hard on this flick. At a time when comic book adaptations were few and laughable at best, this one really tried to take the material seriously. I thought Nickelson Joker interprations were dark and funny (the part where he joybuzz's the discenting mob boss-classic), with a hint of cool confidence that he does so well in films. This was evident in his and Bats first meeting which was well done (don't know if I liked Batman smiling there, never understood what that was about)

    Keaton had the brooding dark sense of him down, but his Bruce Wayne wasn't "playboy" enuff in public to make too big a contrast with the heavy darkness of his alter-ego. He played him sort of unconfident, out of place, with-drawn and introverted which I didn't agree with. And speaking of his alter-ego, his Batman was way to stiff in his fights with the notable exception of the one with Joker's swordsman-to this day I still get a kick outta watching that. But really this guy is supposed to be the most dangerous man on earth in the peak of human condition with years of martial arts training and how he got manhandled by that one henchman in the tower was just...... :eek: :eek: says it best. If it wasn't for the bell Batman knocked him into he still woulda been gettin his butt kicked.

    That's why I wish Brandon Lee would've played him back then. He had the look, the confidence (Bruce Wayne part practically would've wrote itself) and already came with the neccessary skills do at least do his own stunts.

    P.S. Biggest gripe of all.....what's with having a close-up of a stuntman saying the most memorable line of the movie, "I'm Batman"?!? How did that happen?
     
  6. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
    Staff Member Moderator Reporter

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    Howdy,

    I hated the first Batman movie. I'm probably going to come off like Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons for this, but here's some of my reasons:

    1. Batman is nowhere near as dynamic as I think he should be. When he lands on the rooftop at the beginning of the movie, he LOOKS like he's being lowered on wires. I wanted him to land like he does in the intro to BTAS, swooping in from a height and landing in a pool of his own cape, looking like a horrific beast of the night. The only thing you see him do in the Joker origin sequence is the shot where a bad guy RUNS INTO his fist. I wanted a Batman who moved like Bruce Lee, and got a mannequin.

    2. Batman sends a remote-controlled Batmobile into a factory filled with the Joker's goons, drops a bomb in it, and blows up the entire place, presumably killing everybody in it. This is not any Batman that I know, or want to know. For those who argue this is a "darker, grittier Batman who's not afraid to kill" then why doesn't he blow away the Joker while he's rescuing Vicki Vale (he had a perfectly clear shot), or throw one of the goons off the roof at the start of the movie? One of The Rules of Batman is that he doesn't kill people directly. Work with that rule or write the Punisher.

    3. Making the Joker the killer of Batman's parents. I don't much care for ANY strong connection between Batman and the Joker (this includes the new story element in Mask of the Phantasm), and would be perfectly happy without any origin for the Joker at all if Alan Moore hadn't written The Killing Joke.

    4. Michael Keaton was dull dull dull dull dull dull dull horribly, stultifyingly, awfully dull. To me, he didn't come off as grim and determined so much as "wooden." Also, IMO, the only actor who has ever gotten the duality of Bruce Wayne and Batman right is Kevin Conroy.

    5. I recall an interview where Tim Burton stated with some pride that he had never read a Batman comic before he directed the movie. That's not something to be proud of.

    6. This was not Batman's movie. This was the Joker's movie.

    I'm also not a terrific fan of Tim Burton's style in general. About the only really cool things I got out of this movie were Danny Elfman's theme music, Anton Furst's brilliant and horrific Gotham City sets, and the car. And Kim Basinger, as long as she isn't talking.

    I gave it two stars, and I think I may have been generous. I also think this was probably the best of all the modern live-action Batman movies.

    -- Ed/Ace
     
  7. TimTwoFace

    TimTwoFace Mod, and Minotaur Bait
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    This movie is the perfect proof that you needn't a huge budget, loads of special effects, and huge star power to make a good movie. (Seriously, the only bonafide superstar at the time was Jack Nicholson...but he worked in the film.)

    All you need is a good cast, some good music, good writing, and a good director. All of the small things that a large budget couldn't buy (SFX, etc) were made up for with my imagination. Hey, it's not wrong to use the imagination to overlook technical flaws in a movie...sometimes, I think that's better.

    Therefore, BATMAN gets a perfect 5 from me, and is the second best on my list of favourites, with MASK OF THE PHANTASM taking the top spot.

    -Tim
     
  8. Mattashell

    Mattashell Before punk,there were NUGGETS

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    Could have been better, and certainly won't do well with anyone who expects it to follow the rules of the comics. Keaton was a poor choice, but Nicholson was excelent. The ending was a bit slow. Is anyone wants to know, that Batcostume was the main reason it was hard for the stuntman to move around and fight in. Special effect flaws were noticable but forgivable. I apreciate some of Burton's work, but I definitely do not think everything he touches turns to gold. Besides I liked the prince songs and I think it suited this version of the Joker well. This is not the best movie ever, but it is the best of this franchise.
     
  9. Joker85

    Joker85 Clown Prince

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    This was by far the best live action, and the second best Batman movie(tied with ROTJ, under MOTP) of all time. It has always been one of my favorite movies. Michael Keaton(while not quite Kevin Conroy) does Batman perfectly for that movie. I enjoyed both his Batman and his Bruce Wayne. I didn't really mind the killing aspect of the movie, as Batman really used to do that in the earliest of comics. Maybe not to that degree, but he still killed. Many of you pointed out that this is the Joker's movie, and you're right! Joker is played to perfection by Jack Nicholson, and it seemed to me like Jack really had fun making this movie. Every scene that he was in I loved! I remember when I was little, and would watch this movie over and over again, I would always hope that the Joker would somehow survive. I do think it was a mistake to kill him off in the first movie. Kim Basinger's performance wasn't great, but I could live with it. I did get tired of her constant screaming though. Knox was a great character, but one which would have gotten annoying if used in any future movies. Overall, I give this movie a 5 out of 5!
     
  10. Bleu Unicorn

    Bleu Unicorn \ (^v^) /

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    Of the four live-action Batman movies, this one is hands-down my pick for both my favorite and the best Batman live-action film. Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm is still my absolute favorite and I've yet to see something top it. Though, possibly ROTJ also squeaks ahead of this film. Regardless, it is done very well and I'm not the first to say that they just got worse each time. As Tim said, this movie shows you don't need a huge budget, or a famous cast, and whatnot to make a great movie. 4 1/2 stars, just cause I had to take away half a star for the death of The Joker. I'll never be convinced that was a good thing.

    ~Bleu~
     
  11. Squall

    Squall Calm Before The Storm

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    This is the only Batman live-action movie worth watching. The other three Batman live-action movies are terrible beyond words. The first one is actually a great movie though!
     
  12. James

    James Administrator
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    The best of the lot.

    Keaton is great and so is 'Jack'. The tone of the film, the music, the model work made some big changes in the industry. At the time it was shockingly good and even now it retains it's original value.

    Grumbles? Well couldn't be helped at the time, but Keaton's costume was too stiff meaning his flexibility was obviously hampered.

    The background character's were enjoyable in this film - something seriously lacking in the next films. Knox, Dent, Eckhart, Grissom... all worthy additions to the frey.

    The music suited the film (however I felt Elfman's similar score on Spiderman was a little lazy and uncharacteristic) and the script and dialogue did the legend justice. Pity we were never privy to seeing Batman swing from a building - although the chances in such a weighty costume would be a fine thing...
     
  13. Two-Face

    Two-Face Member

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    I gave it 4 1/2 stars. It was a great movie, but the special effects were pretty bad, even for that time. The animation they spliced in, the bad sound (gunshots sounded like the ones in old cowboy movies), and the costume problems that were alreay mentioned. But, still my favorite nonetheless.
     
  14. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    I would give this film a perfect score except for one little thing - he kills. Batman does not kill, and he kills like four or five people in this movie. Other than that, this is a pretty enjoyable movie. Micheal Keaton really does a good job as Batman and Bruce Wayne in the movie. Jack brings an unpredictability to the Joker as well. The best movie of the live action bunch.
     
  15. James

    James Administrator
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    At least (as far as I can recall - I don't recall 4-5 deaths of the top of my head...) the deaths in this one are in self defense. The guy in the belfrey (although any other Bat would have somehow grabbed him. The same with the Joker.

    In Batman Returns, he torches a guy from the safety of his Batmobile and straps a bomb to someone! Obviously the killing tendancies get worse... ;)
     
  16. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    There are the two or three thugs in the factory he blows up. Drops a bomb on the ground (via Batmobile) right between one of the thugs legs. I usually overlook this, though. I don't let it hamper me when I watch - only after. :)
     
  17. Zoddman

    Zoddman Made for your pleasure

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    Early Batman comics=He kills

    first Batman movie=He kills

    :)
     
  18. The Penguin

    The Penguin All Hail the King!
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    *****

    "I'm only laughing on the outside. My smile is just skin deep. If you could see inside, I'm really crying. You might join me for a weep." - The Joker, Batman

    Overall I like this movie and it deserves a top rating. I didn't see it right away because after my parents saw it they decided it wasn't the kind of thing their eight-year-old should see. :eek: Sure it's dark, but I think Batman is probably better that way. Coming off of repeats of the 60s TV series, this movie was a lot different and I imagine quite a shock to some. When I was younger I was not a fan of Joker frying Rotelli the mob boss. Now I find the whole exchange with the charred corpse funny "What's that? Grease 'em now?" :D "I'm glad you're dead!" :D

    I was pretty happy with everyone in the cast. Nicholson was excellent and evil as The Joker and Keaton makes a decent Batman. I have absolutely no complaints about Gough as Alfred and Hingle as Gordon—they just seemed perfect for the roles. And I would have to say that no one can annoy me quite like Robert Wuhl as Knox. I usually find it hard not to cheer when Vickie hits him with the car. Speaking of Ms. Vale, I don't really have any strong, great thoughts on Kim Basinger, but I don't have any bad thoughts about her either. I rather enjoyed Billy Dee Williams as D.A. Harvey Dent and it's a shame we never saw him developed more.

    As far as the story goes, I think it really added an interesting aspect to the Batman-Joker relationship with Jack Napier killing Thomas and Martha Wayne. Coupled with Joker's view that Batman 'made' him really makes their conflict more interesting. Joker goes after both Batman and Bruce Wayne in this movie not knowing that they are one in the same. Bruce's own conflict about whether or not he should allow himself to go for Vickie also makes things interesting on the secret identity side.

    Until I read it in others' comments I must admit I never really thought about Batman killing—like the goons in Axis Chemical. Looking back it doesn't seem quite right, but I just think of it as part of this darker version of the Dark Knight.

    I for one don't really have a problem with the death of The Joker, if you ask me it was the way to go. He was way to menacing and evil to survive at the end and be sent to prison or something. The Joker is the kind of villain that can come back from the dead again and again without so much as a bat of an eye. He could have done the same here and it would have meant more than him busting out of Arkham or returning after an escape.

    Overall, Batman was a good way to re-introduce Batman to the general public and make Bob Kane's creation even more popular than ever before.


    (Boy, I started the threads and yet it has taken me awhile to get back here, but I guess "we do get so busy here." My comments on the other three films will be up shortly or already are. ;) )
     
  19. Eddie G.

    Eddie G. Former Wolf/Writer.

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    My biggest problem with this film is that it's self-conflicting in nature. I wouldn't have minded a realistic take on Batman and I would have loved a live action version of Batman the Animated Series. I got neither. In some ways the movie is very abstract and bizzare (the set design and overall retro feel). In some ways the movie tries for brutal realism (Batman killing). I don't get what the movie is trying to do. Is it trying to adapt the original 1930's/1940's Batman into a live-action format or is it trying to show a more realistic gritty Batman? I don't know and that bothers me.

    My second biggest problem with this film is that the characters are not interesting at all. Batman doesn't change at all during this movie, his character learns no lesson, he gains nothing but the information that Joker killed his parents, a blown up jet, a girlfriend, and a batsignal. The character doesn't evolve at all. The film doesn't explain how exactly he became Batman, what events lead up to it besides his parent's death, why he dresses up as a bat, it doesn't address anything. Batman is just a guy with a cave who dresses up as a bat and fights/kills bad guys with his gizmos and armor. There is no inner conflict and besides for Keaton's voice the duality of the character isn't touched on at all.

    Batman's killing isn't touched on either which sucks for a film that was supposed to have roots in The Dark Knight Returns. Do you know what the best part of The Dark Knight Returns was? When Batman claims that he is guilty and responsible for the deaths of all the people that the Joker killed because he didn't kill the Joker. Do you know why that's the best part? Becuase it's brilliant writing that touches on a real issue with no clear cut answer. Does this film even try to touch on morals? No. In fact the film at no point questions any of Batman's actions, he never does the wrong thing or even a questionable thing. Even Batman the 1960's series dealt with the morality of Batman even slightly in the first few moments of the first episode. You could argue that the fact that the cops go after Batman does show him as a morally ambiguous character but the fact that in the end they just accept him because he killed the Joker ruins that idea. Maybe Burton was being ironic with this movie, maybe the point of the movie is that Batman is a stupid character who re-enforces violent behavoir and is turned into a hero despite not being a good person. I doubt that though.

    The Joker was dead-on but his origin is pretty stupid and empty. Unless you can create a great origin like Alan Moore did that explains the madness perfectly then don't even attempt it. Depsite being well acted and getting to do some really sick and twisted stuff, the character only has one really great moment. When Batman and Joker basically spell out that they exist because the other one exists, that's a great moment.

    That moment would've been greater if it were the theme of the movie or something, but it really isn't. The cycle of creation between Joker and Batman is an interesting concept that just sticks out and adds nothing to either character or the movie on the whole since there is nothing else in the movie to support the concept as a solid theme.

    As for the rest of the characters, ugh. For a film that tries to be realistic and dark they turn what has to be the most interesting supporting character in the Batman comics, James Gordon, into an idiot. Any other characters in the film are just generic idiots who run around while Batman and Joker have their battles.

    The only character of interest is Vicky Vale who exists as a really interesting concept. Like the Joker/Batman creation cycle Vicky's role in the film is an interesting concept that doesn't get much support and isn't carried through. Basically she's the outsider who is slowly introduced to both Batman and Bruce Wayne and a good part of the film is told from her POV, which I like. Actually I think the movie would've worked better if the whole film had been told from Vicky's point of view, if we had seen her slowly piece together the life of Bruce Wayne and the fact that he is Batman, that would've been interesting. I would've enjoyed that and wouldn't have complained about not going too much in depth into Batman's character. My problem with Vicky is that the potential of her character and her basically figuring out the mystery of Bruce Wayne isn't used to its full. So what could have been a really interesting character and a really interesting way to tell a story just sticks out in this convoluted mess of a movie as something of interest but something that doesn't seem to go anywhere.

    The movie isn't horrible. The set design is nice if not lacking of substance, the score is obviously wonderful, and the main cast of three all give some good performances. In the end though the movie fails at being a good adaptation and instead becomes a convoluted mess of four or more really interesting concepts that go no where.

    **
     
  20. sun

    sun You stay, I go

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    I think Jack Nicholson made the film.,

    There was something so perfect about Nicholson's performace for me, he made the character come alive..Like that first 15 minutes of Superman,where Brando helps set a tone, as Superman's father, Nicholson helps set a tone for the film...He took no pay, just a good percent of the profits...probably the highest payday for almost any actor..I think he got over 50 million for being the Joker in that film, and he was worth it in my eyes...Stu
     

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