Tim Burton’s Batman discussion

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by QLRformer, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. QLRformer

    QLRformer Seeker

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Posts:
    22,190
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    327
    Likes:
    +9,496
    The film celebrates its 30th anniversary in June.

    What makes the film stand out after all these years, and from most superhero films, is how theatrical the film looks. Theatrical, as in how unnaturally stylish the film looks, in comparison to the more naturalistic superhero films that have come out since then.

    The massive promotion campaign that went on for the film also played a major factor for the film in raising its hype, but thankfully the film handled it and become iconic in its own right.

    Tim Burton’s gothic style turns Gotham City into a nocturnal 40s-80s fused-style wonderland; the ideal setting for a man to dress up as a bat and a demented clownish gangster to caper about. Production designer Anton Furst won an Oscar for the film; he committed suicide, which is a shame.

    The script is its own tale, but draws from notable Batman comics THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE KILLING JOKE. And it's got some fun lines too. ("Where does he get these wonderful toys?")

    Keaton is an awkward Bruce Wayne and is too easily seen though (a visible flaw, thanks to Burton's taste for damaged outsiders), but his Batman is menacing and badass.

    Jack Nicholson is charming and creepy. I didn’t mind this Joker being also based on Joe Chill because it ties the hero and villain together in a manner I found satisfying.

    Early Tim Burton direction is a joy to watch (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands). His films didn’t appear pretentious but were stylish and enjoyable to watch. I don’t know if I’ll watch DUMBO (comes out this year, also stars Keaton), but I will watch Batman again and again.

    Danny Elfman’s score is operatic and glorious.

    And let’s not forget, the film inspired Bruce Timm’s series, or at least contributed to its production.








    This film is a solid watch, 30 years on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2019
    • Like Like x 10
  2. ABH1979

    ABH1979 Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    14,593
    Trophy Points:
    402
    Location:
    Lone ★ State
    Likes:
    +5,832
    It’s also Batman’s 80th Anniversary this year — when the Burton movie came out, it was the 50th.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Rodimus Prime

    Rodimus Prime Sola Gratia, Sola Fide TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Posts:
    17,544
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Likes:
    +12,306
    First one was good for the time. Second one sucked.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Rusty24

    Rusty24 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Posts:
    16,479
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Likes:
    +4,894
    I really don’t like Tim Burton as a filmmaker. His style just isn’t for me usually. However, it totally worked for Batman 1989 and Ed Wood. Batman 1989 just captures the visual style of Gotham from the comic books so well. Michael Keaton is still my favorite live action Batman (although it’s obviously Kevin Conroy for the overall title). Jack Nicholson may have been typecast as a crazy murderer, but the guy is too good at it to complain. The only complaints I really have about it is that Batman kills, and that Joker is the one who killed his parents. However, I can overlook the first part if you think of it as an adaptation of his original incarnation; which isn’t hard to do given the gothic style. The only thing off the top of my head that really dates the movie is Prince.

    The sequel on the other hand, I didn’t like. They let Tim Burton off the leash a bit too much. It also varied too much in tone. One minute, something really dark and violent is happening. The next, something really goofy happens like rocket penguins.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Jochimus

    Jochimus Sandwiches? Blimey, whatever did I give the wife?

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Posts:
    2,946
    Trophy Points:
    307
    Likes:
    +2,566
    I like the first one only SLIGHTLY more than the second one, but I've come to find that both have certain merits. Neither one has aged all that well, to be honest, but the darker and drearier and grittier and more serious they've tried to make the more recent Batman movies lately, the more I've come to appreciate Burton's two entries for being a little more imaginative and personalized without TOTALLY betraying what was already becoming the generally-accepted tone of the character.

    For example, while I prefer the retro-'30s design influences and gangster-movie aura of the first one, I do think Pfeiffer's Catwoman was both the most potent villain AND far and away the most effective love interest of the Burton/Schumacher era, for the simple reason that she was a reminder of why that kind of happy ending is simply not in the cards for him. I also prefer the Returns Batsuit to the '89 one just because Burton was at least smart enough to realize that the all-around bad joke that is sculpted rubber muscles had worn out its welcome with the end of the first movie, and I appreciate that the Returns Batsuit's more armored look isn't taken to the ridiculous lengths of the later franchises, neck mobility or no. Of course, said factors are counterbalanced by stuff like Basinger's utter uselessness as Vicki Vale and ManBirdPig - er, I mean, DeVito's Penguin (seriously, WTF was up with that constant black oozy s*** coming out of him?), but all in all I still find myself more and more able to re-watch them despite their flaws.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Rodimus74

    Rodimus74 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Posts:
    6,473
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +2,497
    This is kinda a touchy subject with me. I was 14 years old when this came out. I was one of the many who were upset over Keaton's casting, but that ended after I saw the movie. He's still #2 on my Batman list though. Also, this was sort of the prelude to fandom being bastardized into pop culture. I remember all the buzz when the movie was announced, followed by everyone jumping on the bandwagon. Suddenly everybody was a Batman fan. I remember the sudden spike in business at our local comic book shop. All these so-called fans (who we had never once seen in the shop) buying up everything and all of us young fanboys being like what the hell is going on? Then the aftermath of the movie where you kept hearing how pretty much every comic book property was going to be made into a movie. But we all know how that turned out as it would be a little over a decade for Marvel to get in on the movies.
     
  7. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Posts:
    24,347
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    322
    Likes:
    +8,409
    I liked the Burton movies when they came out, but maybe not as much as I might have, because what I really wanted were movies more reflective of the modern, O'Neil-era version Batman. But then we got that with the Nolan movies, and suddenly I realized I had much more appreciation for the Golden Age-inspired Tim Burton version than I thought.

    The '89 movie is good, but Returns is probably my favorite of all Batman movies ever made. (Begins, '66, and Phantasm being runners-up) For me, it's the perfect blend of drama and surreality, just like that first year of Batman in Detective Comics.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2019
    • Like Like x 5
  8. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Posts:
    11,572
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +4,649
    Ugh. 30 years old. I feel old now. Thanks :D 

    I remember how hyped it was over this movie. Batman everywhere. Wish modern Batman suits still used the yellow oval with bat in it instead of the lamer bat on a grey chest. I besides Superman 1 & 2, this Batman series was one of the few actual blockbuster superhero films up until the modern age when X-Men came out. Comic films just weren't that popular back then.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. kaijuguy19

    kaijuguy19 Keyblade Wielder

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Posts:
    30,066
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    327
    Likes:
    +10,025
    To this day Batman and also Batman Returns remain among my favorite incarnations of Batman in general and among my top superhero movies too because of how effectivly they've captured Batman's world and characters in a way that was both compelling and interesting. They've really done a lot to stand out from a lot of superhero movies back then or since even. The blend of 30's/40's city style and gothic styles really helped gave Gotham in general a strong identity and not just Batman who I still think is among the best if not the best live action depiction on the Dark Knight.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. ABH1979

    ABH1979 Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    14,593
    Trophy Points:
    402
    Location:
    Lone ★ State
    Likes:
    +5,832
    I actually went on a bit of a appreciation rollercoaster with this movie, over the years. I absolutely loved it when it first came out (I was 10) — would rewatch it on tape all the time, and or course, had a bunch of the movie toys. As I got a bit older, though, I became more critical of it’s flaws, and the ways it seemed so un-Batman-like — the deathcount, Jack “Joe Chill” Napier, etc.

    After many years I began to look at the ‘89 movie as an interpretation of the early ‘39 version of Batman, and then all the guns and death made a lot more sense to me. Now I actually enjoy the wanton death and destruction in this movie and Returns.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Posts:
    24,347
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    322
    Likes:
    +8,409
    Weirdly enough, I've been reading the Bronze Age Batman Omnibus volumes collecting Brave & the Bold issues from the early '70s, and in volume 2, not only did Batman kill a guy in one issue, but only a few pages later in the same issue, Alfred shot and killed a guy right in front of Batman who didn't even comment on it. A couple issues later, Green Arrow shot and killed a guy. This is amidst multiple instances of Batman picking up a rifle or machine gun and using it, or Batman announcing to Gordon that if he finds a criminal before the police, he's going to kill him. Bob Haney was a crazy writer, and it's crazy that stuff like this was still happening as recently as the 1970s.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. ABH1979

    ABH1979 Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    14,593
    Trophy Points:
    402
    Location:
    Lone ★ State
    Likes:
    +5,832
    Right, I believe it. As I’ve read more and more Batman comics over the years, I’ve learned that Batman doesn’t use guns, except for when he does, and Batman never kills, except when he does. They can try to re-apply the “no guns/no killing” rule as many times as they want, someone will come along and decide to bend or break that rule.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    10,489
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Likes:
    +2,853
    Burtman is probably my favorite live action superhero movie, still enjoy the shit out of watching it in a way that I just don't with more modern stuff.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Posts:
    9,468
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    282
    Likes:
    +1,039
    I liked Batman Returns better, both then and now. It's more cohesive, more stylish, more eccentric. Crazier. The soundtrack is exceptional. There are aspects of the 1989 version that feel like they've been imposed on it, that Burton did not have the power to overrule at that point in his career.

    Neither film is definitive Batman, and are all the better for it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Galvatron II

    Galvatron II I can type whatever here?

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Posts:
    4,505
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Likes:
    +1,106
    This movie has a bad script. Like Knox, who's sort of introduced as our protagonist and is in a love triangle with the title character, just kind of peters out of the movie after a while. He doesn't even break the big "Batman is real" story, there's no moment when he proves everyone wrong, he just kind of stops being an active player. He is a walking setup with no payoff. Vicki Vale is a vacuous non personality as written and everybody (even the usually asexual Joker) is after her mostly because it seems like she's the only prominent female character in the city.

    I think the Joker's origin might have worked better if we don't see any of the "he's sleeping with the boss's girlfriend" stuff. Like we just meet this guy at the chemical factory and then Grissom kind of recognizes him but before he can explain anything to us the Joker kills him. As it stands his actions have concrete, logical motivations for most of the movie so things like "And now I will kill a man with a joy buzzer!" or "I will murder Bob for no discernible reason!", things that the Joker would definitely do, don't feel at line with the way Jack moves for most of the movie. Also he kills Batman's parents almost exclusively to excuse a really shockingly gruesome death scene (it's not gory but Jesus Christ there's a palpable sense of terror as he slips to his death one rung at a time with no way to save himself). That was a dumb studio note I promise you.

    Also this Batman doesn't carry a gun but he kills. It would actually be much better if he did carry a gun because the way he kills people is usually way more awful than just shooting them. Like the random he throws down the cathedral had a horrible, blunt trauma of a death if he had just popped up with a gun he would have died painlessly. He explodes a factory of people, most of whom I'm pretty sure were chemists being held against their will (or maybe they were Evil (TM) chemists, it is a kid's movie I guess). I'm not going to have the argument about Batman not killing, because he clearly doesn't except when he does and you're assuming I value random back issues from the seventies as much as Year One or The Dark Knight Returns or The Killing Joke just because they're cannon too, I guess. But it's strange to me that most depictions of Batman often go out of their way describe that one rule about killing, and we have not had a live action Batman movie since 1966 wherein he doesn't murder someone. Like not a single one. Maybe Batman and Robin I can't remember.

    BUT, despite those things, this movie nails look and tone. There's a palpable sense of fun here and when people say it's not really dark it's strange to me because it's most definitely not trying to be. It's the same pulpy tone as Indiana Jones. This movie's visuals are both totally unique and cribbed from disparate influences like Citizen Kane and Scarface, the color palette is gorgeous, the lighting is painterly and the composition is usually really quite good. Plus there's a ton of turns and reversals in the sequences and that is what keeps audiences engaged.

    The world of Batman as discovered in this movie is a really fun mystery, we find out his parents were killed yes but we never learn where he learned karate or even really why he dresses like a bat because we don't need to know. All the gadgets and "wonderful toys" really come alive and there are so many iconic "Batman" moments that have been cribbed from this movie (and even outside of Batman, how many times has someone screamed like they were going to crash only to discover that wall/cliffside/whatever was a hologram/door/whatever?). "BrUCe WAyNe iS a WEirD LonER EveRYOne wOULd KnOW!" except no one knows if there is a Batman, let alone that he's a human being. Plus Bruce being that weirdly secluded loner who throws great parties and disappears makes him and his psyche an interesting mystery for the audience and other characters. That is an adaptational change that I think works, him playing the part of James Bond is fun but is it really a core tenant of the character you need to nail? People would guess Bale before Keaton.

    Plus, the Joker's plan is exactly something comic book Joker would do, and Jack's performance is great even if the character as written is made weaker by the formulaic movie he's in. Every movie had to have it's own Joker (and I guess they still do, it's just they're imitating someone else now).

    So, all in all, Batman '89 is a real mixed bag of a movie with a lot of highlights and neat concepts and a god awful script that should definitely be appreciated for what it meant at the time.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Posts:
    10,308
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Location:
    The State of insanity.
    Likes:
    +3,345
    Jack Nickelson is still the best live action Joker.

    Ceaser Romero was good for his time but the refusal to shave his mustach for the character kinda annoys me.

    Heath Ledger I think is over rated just because it's the last role he played before he died. I didn't like him, his laugh is forgettable and most of the movie ironically for a guy who literally says the line "Why so Serious?" He's the one being serious which is one thing the Joker should never be. He's a freaking terrifying villain he just wasn't the Joker.

    Jerrod Letto... Supposedly there are a ton of deleted scenes of him that didn't make it into the movie but from what little we did see he's also forgettable. Plus add every other critism you've already heard from others on top of that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. deathzero23

    deathzero23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Posts:
    4,500
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +3,218
    Rocket Penguins! FTW! :lol 
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. areaseven

    areaseven Live to Win

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Posts:
    4,833
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    307
    Likes:
    +2,900
    Ebay:
    Facebook:
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    YouTube:
    "Gentlemen, let's broaden our minds. Lawrence?"

     
    • Like Like x 6
  19. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Posts:
    2,885
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +173
    Still the best Batman movie ever made. One of my all-time favourites. "Batman Returns" is also excellent.

    Tim Burton created a magnificent world in these two films -stylish and evocative, populated by interesting and damaged characters. I love Keaton's portrayal of Wayne and Batman - in fact, almost all the actors in these two films feel like they are bringing their "A" game.

    I'm not sure how commercially viable it would be, but I would still love Burton and Keaton to come back one more time for a "final Batman story"-type adventure.

    And 30 years! Incredible. Also means some other fun films are hitting that milestone as well - Ghostbusters 2, Lethal Weapon 2, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade etc.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  20. GBglide

    GBglide Furst Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Posts:
    754
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +448
    Anton Furst created the look and feel of everything in that film. He designed Gotham city, the Batmobile, Batwing, and even painted the batsymbol for the poster.
    Here are some examples of his work:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2019
    • Like Like x 9