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Nose Norton

Location: Plainville
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,626
In Reply To
America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139
Subj: Re: New banner! Looking back, how do Tim Burton's BATMAN films hold up?
Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 at 11:42:11 pm EST (Viewed 237 times)
Reply Subj: New banner! Looking back, how do Tim Burton's BATMAN films hold up?
Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 at 06:41:58 am EST (Viewed 420 times)

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Two with Michael Keaton. One with Val Kilmer. One with George Clooney. Along the way we got the Joker, the Penguin, Catwoman, the Riddler, Robin, and others I can't recall. The aesthetic was one part Kane/Fingeroth and one part Nightmare Before Christmas. The first Batman actor might legitimately, under another director, have been cast as the Joker - and I've sometimes wondered if that was the point, that Batman could have been the Joker, and the Joker could have been Batman, or so Tim Burton was trying to imply.

How do you rank these films? Best ever? Worst ever? Better than the 60s film with its celebration of campiness? Worse than the Christopher Nolan films? Better than the Ben Affleck stuff? Worse even than that?

I think Burton's strong point was the villains and the City. I think his weak point was Batman. What do you think?

BONUS QUESTION: How did you react back then?

I was strongly anti-Burton because I was strongly anti-Keaton. I liked Michael Keaton a lot in roles I considered meant for him. I didn't think Batman was meant for him and I couldn't get past it. He would have made a better Joker. Sort of in the Keith Ledger vein.

I also, at the time, wanted zero camp. I wanted all dark all the time. Which of course is what we got with Christopher Nolan's version, pretty much, and I wasn't thrilled with that either. In the end, I think Burton was moving in the right direction. I wonder what Joss Whedon would have done. Probably something closer to Burton than to Nolan.

Great banner!

I love the first Batman movie, but I'm going to get right to your main question first: Does it hold up?

In my mind, yes, but I can't get my kids, 14 and 12 and big fans of the MCU and the Arrowverse, to sit through it. I don't know why. They've loved Batman since the Brave And The Bold cartoon(2008-11). They've gone through phases with the 60s show. I don't know why they don't get the Burton movies. The first one is a defining point in the superhero movie genre. It's a great melding of 30s/40s pulp, 60s camp and 80s/90s grit. I can still watch it over and over but what does the next generation think?

I remember being very excited for the first movie and I saw it in the theater with my brother opening week. The casting of the two main characters was odd but in a good way and it worked.
Michael Keaton at the time was known for comedy movies. I knew him best from Night Shift, Johnny Dangerously and Mr. Mom. He did score a big hit with Clean And Sober, though, so he was obviously a better actor than I thought at the time. I think he was a pretty good Bruce Wayne and the costume and stunts helped make him an imposing Batman.
Jack Nicholson(52) was too old to play the Joker at the time but he still knocked it out of the park simply by being Jack. He was chubby and not very physical but, damn, he hit some great Joker moments. And he looked great as a trenchcoated gangster.
The plot, atmosphere, and setting worked great. Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Michael Gough, Jack Palance and William Hootkins(Eckhardt) were all great but that might've been better casting than actual acting as all the players seemed to just play themselves.

I've seen all the other movies but don't really feel connected enough to comment on them, not like the 1989 movie, which is my favorite Batman movie.

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