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Why do you like BATMAN RETURNS???

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#1 of 47 OFFLINE   David Coleman

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Posted August 03 2005 - 08:27 PM

First of all I must say that I love, I mean LOVE BATMAN BEGINS and it got me into looking back at the other films in the series.

Of the films BATMAN RETURNS is the one I just can't get into. I just found all the villians (Penguin, Catwoman, Max Shreck) to be rather dull and Batman/Bruce Wayne to be even more dull!!! I just think it's a bad movie and I wasn't into it when it came out and still can't get into after watching it a couple of weeks ago.

So for the fans of this BATMAN film i'm wondering what do you like about it? What do you see as the highlights?

Thanks in advance!!

#2 of 47 OFFLINE   Dustin Elmore

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Posted August 03 2005 - 09:22 PM

Well I personally find the aesthetic values of it the best of any Batman Movie to date. I loved the design of Gotham with its blanket of snow. The cowl never looked as good as the sculpt used in returns. The rooftops, such a staple for Batman, never more perfectly realized as they were in that fight with Catwoman. It also has, arguably, the best plot. Batman really didn't have one at all, Forever and B&R barely warrant a mention, and Begins had good characters stuck in a story that just self destructed by the time Liam shows back up. Some people have a problem with the way the penguin was portrayed, but many people don't realize that the character of the penguin from the comics was a joke, barely respectable. It's only the portrayal by Burgess Meredith that brings the man credit. In Returns he's very Burtonesqe, but that wasn't apparent when it was released, and it doesn't make it bad. Catwoman was great and could have easily carried her own movie. There's actually a lot more. I liked Begins and it may have gotten the characters closer to their comic counterparts, but I still rank Batman Returns as a higher cinematic achievement.

#3 of 47 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 03 2005 - 09:40 PM

I'm with you Dave on this. Except for Michelle as Catwoman this movie is just as bad as the Schumacher ones. I really disliked DeVitos portrayal of the Penguin and the shots with all the penguins with rockets on their backs are just plain brutal. It also started the multiple villian trend which I never like.
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#4 of 47 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted August 03 2005 - 11:05 PM

The film was definitely a step down from the 1989 movie, mainly because none of the villians were going to top Nicholson's Joker. But I still applaud Burton for not going down the route of trying to copy the original and including villians in which he at least tried to make them more than one-dimensional bad guys for Batman to catch. More successful with Catwoman than The Penguin I thought and I was looking forward to a sequel with Catwoman until Forever came along.

I think the other part of the problem is that much of the focus of the 1989 Batman is the character's mystique and how the people of Gotham dont yet know who he is or if he is good or bad. Once Batman Returns comes around that element has been lost and they just call him up when they need him. Burton tried to bring this element back by making people suspicious of Batman with the murder he is framed for but I never felt this aspect was particularly convincing really.

And I love the car in the Burton films (and the plane). Schumacher just went over the top with his designs. Posted Image

Danny Elfman's score is also a highlight, improving on the themes he established in the 1989 film

#5 of 47 OFFLINE   Michael Martin

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Posted August 04 2005 - 12:32 AM

The best thing about Batman Returns is the interaction between Batman and Catwoman. That works - action, suspense, romance and it helps expand both characters.

Agree about the batsuit and cowl, too - thought they looked great in this film.

However, just about everything else doesn't work; far too much time is spent on the villains (all THREE of them), the Penguin's political subplot falls very flat (and the scene with him and the political workers is just icky). Batman kills at least two people very nonchalantly. Schreck's plan for "sucking" energy is dropped after the first act, with no resolution or mention again. As we've said in other threads, Burton just doesn't "get" Batman, and it shows. Batman Returns is really just another Tim Burton movie about lonely, misunderstood outsiders that happens to feature a character called Batman, and it's hardly of one his best variations on the theme.

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#6 of 47 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted August 04 2005 - 12:51 AM

I prefer Batman Returns to the 89 film which I really really REALLY hate.

The idea to change Penguin was really Devitos idea as he and Tim Burton didnt want to just have Danny walking around in a tuxedo - they wanted to add tragedy to the character.
Keaton,who I dont like as Batmn seems a bit more comfortable in the role, both as Batman and Bruce Wayne.

Elfmans score is really great, a improvement over the first film.The scene I really love is when Penguin rises out of the water behind Bruce Wayne and pulls out the wrong umbrella. Ive always liked that scene.

The real problem with this film is everything loks like a set. The whole film takes place on the same streets in Gotham.

I like the Siouxsie and the Banshees songs MUCH better than the Prince ones(give me a break).

BR isnt a good movie. Its got some good parts, but I cant even remember the last time I watched it straight thru.Whenever I needed any sort of Batman fix Id put it in watch what I wanted.

Regarding Nicholsons Joker,he did a ok job, but IMHO is far from being the definitive version.He pushed the comedic aspect too much and there was no menace(I said it before and Ill say it again, Scarecrow is EASILY the best Bat villian we've seen on film).

I know Im get hell for this but after seeing these two films(along with Beetlejuice and Edwards Scissorhands)really made me belive that Burton was overrated and was probably better at design that directing. The Jokers falling scene in Batman always burned my ass(as well as the improv "lets get nuts" scene in Vickis aptPosted Image.The script called for the smile to leave Jokers face as he fell and Burton used a crappy animation for this. Now compare that to the excellent scene where Hans realizes hes falling in Die Hard and you can see the difference.

Batman cost about 80mil to make and at the time that was alot. I always remember thinking "What the hell did he spend 80 mil on?"Posted Image

I find BR to be more tolerable than the other 3 which I consider to be unwatchable.

#7 of 47 OFFLINE   DavidPla



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Posted August 04 2005 - 02:01 AM

See, can't agree with you at all on that point. Especially considering you listed "Edward Scissorhands", my favourite movie. I think what people mentioned here is about right. It's probably not a great Batman movie but as far as a Tim Burton movie goes, it's brilliant. You either can get into his style or not and this was very much his style. During Burton's very dark movie period about loneliness (ie. Scissorhands, Returns). With that said, this film has to have some of the best visual shots in any Batman movie. The Bat Signal lit in the sky with Bruce Wayne sitting in his study alone. Bruce and Selina realizing it's each other at the Maxerade ball. The end is really brilliant when Bruce thinks he sees Catwoman in the alley way. And it does to this date have the best love story in any superhero movie. I just love the tragedy aspect of it all. It might not be the best Batman movie, but as a Tim Burton fan it's one of his best movies.

#8 of 47 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted August 04 2005 - 02:44 AM

I think the themes of BATMAN RETURNS are much more defined than they were in the original, especially the idea of the duality between Batman and Bruce Wayne -- which is a key component of the character hit upon often in the comics such as the run of Bruce Wayne being suspected of murder and Batman eventually giving up his alternate identity. The relationship with Catwoman is beautifully played between each characters' dual identity. There's a wonderful idea of masks, which is meant to go a bit deeper than the litral masks they wear. We all wear masks, especially in burgeonning relationships, which have to fall before a true connection can be made. In the film, Bruce and Selina don't really connect until they realize each other's true identity. The Penguin has a nice connection to Batman with regarrds to parentage. Whereas Bruce was abandoned by his parents unwittingly, Penguin was by choice. This is a much more interesting connection between good and bad guy than the whole, "you made me, I made you" idea in the original. Penguin hates Bruce Wayne, and unkowingly, Batman by extension. But what resonates with Penguin is his feelings of alienation. That can tap into feelings everyone has, as at least once in a person's life one can feel alienated from family and friends (most probably in the teen years). So, Penguin's lash out against the people of Gotham is almost understandable, making him very human, and also very tragic. The political subplot is probably the most shallow and obvious, but since it drives Penguin's re-alienation, it's tolerable. RETURNS is the strongest of that line of BATMAN movies, and I watch it the most often compared to the original (at least until BEGINS is released which I think is as perfect a BATMAN as we're going to get).

#9 of 47 OFFLINE   DavidPla



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Posted August 04 2005 - 03:40 AM

Here's a quote from Burton about the "Batman Returns" backlash from the book "Burton on Burton". "In retrospect I don't think Warners were very happy with the movie. That's my feeling. I had put them through a lot, but I was just trying to give them a good movie. The first one was very successful and there are all of those traps that go along with that, but I tried not to think too much about that and just make a good, fun movie. A lot of it was, I think, just the sheer size of the production. They always want you to go faster, they always want you to hurry up. These kind of productions are big; it's not an exact science and I was going through a lot at the time. It probably had more to do with personal things than anything else. There was the death of a friend of mine, I was having trouble in a relationship, and sometimes, consciously, you don't know until later what's wrong. I just thought it was the hellish shoot of this movie, which didn't help the situation at all. But I really like the film. I like it better than the first one. There was a big backlash that it was too dark, but I found this movie much less dark than the first one. It's just the cultural climate. And they hear that. They listen to that. I guess they have to to some degree. I don't want to because I think it's dangerous and perverse. I think the culture is much more disturbed and disturbing than this movie, a lot more. But they just fixate on things and they choose targets. I like the movie and I don't feel bad about it, and in some ways it's a purer form of what the Batman material is all about, which is that the line between villain and hero is blurred. Max Shreck was like the catalyst of all the characters, which I liked. He was the one who wasn't wearing the mask but, in some ways he was. And the film in some ways, is just a visual comment on the differences in perception of what is good and bad." About Burton not being able to tell a coherent story. "I guess it must be the way my brain works, because the first Batman was probably my most concentrated effort to tell a linear story, and I realize that it's like a joke. I realized from Beetlejuice that there are some people who can do that, and that's fine. In any of my movies the narrative is the worst thing you've ever seen, and that constant. I don't know why people are so into that because there are lots of movies that have a strong narrative, and I love those. But there are other types as well. Do Fellini movies have a strong narrative drive? I love movies where I make up my own idea about them. In fact, there'll be movies that maybe aren't even about what I they're about. I just like making things up. Everybody is different, so things are going to affect people differently. So why not have your own opinions, have different levels of things you can find you want them, however deeply you want to go. That's why I like Roman Polanski's movies, like The Tenant. I've felt like that, I've lived it, I know what that's like. Or Repulsion, I know that feeling, I understand it. Bitter Moon, I've seen that happen. You must connect. It may not be something that anybody else connects with, but it's like I get that, I understand that feeling. I will always fight that literal impulse to lay everything directly in front you of. I just hate it. Some people are really good at narrative and some people are really good at action. I'm not that sort of person. So, if I'm going do do something, just let me do my thing and hope for the best. If you don't want me do it, then don't have me do it. But if I do it, then don't make me conform. If you want it to be a James Cameron movie then get James Cameron to do it. Me directing action is a joke; I don't like guns. I heard a gunshot and I close my eyes. But again it comes down to your interpretation of action. I mean, there's plenty of action in a Godzilla movie, but I don't know if people would consider that action."

#10 of 47 OFFLINE   Jacob McCraw

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Posted August 04 2005 - 04:16 AM

I feel the movie has a very strong beginning with a good ending and a lot of filler inbetween.

#11 of 47 ONLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted August 04 2005 - 04:47 AM

If I could excise the Penguin bits, I'd like this movie more, but Penguin was just a gross, vile person.
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#12 of 47 OFFLINE   TheLongshot



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Posted August 04 2005 - 05:43 AM

Really, the only redeeming feature for the film for me was the Batman/Catwoman relationship and Michelle's Catwoman. Just about everything else I hate about it, including DeVito's Penguin. Unfortunatly for me, that's enough for a no sale for me. Jason

#13 of 47 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted August 04 2005 - 06:09 AM

The movie's alright but I find its darkness (namely the Penguin's disgusting nature) to be as much a turn off as the silliness of Batman and Robin. I prefer Batman Forever but it's got its own problems.
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#14 of 47 OFFLINE   Dustin Elmore

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Posted August 04 2005 - 06:45 AM

You know I never realized this before. I was going to mention the the whole political sub plot of the film stems from one of the all time great penguin stories from the comics. They even did a couple of episodes on it in the old Batman TV show. But it just now occured to me that Batman Returns is the only Bat-film to use a specific storyline from the orginal scorce material.

#15 of 47 OFFLINE   LawZalasky



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Posted August 04 2005 - 06:59 AM

That's actually exactly why he is my favorite part of the movie. I read comics for most of my teenage years and Batman was always my favorite, but I never really liked the Penquin. He just never really seemed dangerous or even worthy of being a Batman villain. DeVito's character was vile and disgusting and sometimes, even evil. Too me, that's when Penquin became a worthy Batman villain. Of course, I'm a bit of a hypocrite because I'm also the first to say, "They screwed it up, that's not how it is in the comic."

#16 of 47 OFFLINE   Rocky F

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Posted August 04 2005 - 07:52 AM

I haven't watched BR in years and honestly I don't think that I am going to get the SE when it comes out. I rank it just a little higher than BF. A couple of myy problems with the film have already been mentioned here. I just didn't really like the direction they took with the Penguin, and I hated the penguins with rockets strapped on there backs. Another thing I haven't really seen anybody else mention, and its a nitpicky thing, but it has bugged me since the first time I saw it, is when Batman "scratches" the CD and it sounds like a record. A tiny detail, but it takes me out of the movie every time. Although I'm not going to buy the SE, I might rent it just because I haven't seen it in so long, I really did enjoy the movie as a whole.

#17 of 47 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted August 04 2005 - 07:54 AM

BATMAN RETURNS is the most Burton-esque of Burton's live-action films. The 89 film is compromised by producer throw-ins like the Prince score and the martial arts fight in the tower at the end of the picture. But with RETURNS WB allowed Burton to be Burton, and we all paid the price: parents and product tie-in partners complained vociferously about its dark tone (I guess the Joker was more "family-friendly"), the boxoffice was off, and WB got Joel Schumacher to direct the other unremarkable installments. Burton has never had as free a hand since, or has pulled back; no one's complaining about CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which is better than his recent flops but a far cry from his heyday. But I love RETURNS. Its design, its music, its humor, its villains, the squalid Christmas setting, the over-the-top action scenes, the thwarted romance, the penguins...all of it. I saw it three or four times at the theater and many more times on cable, LD, and DVD. It's not just my favorite BATMAN film (BEGINS, which I also liked, is completely separate from the past quartet) but it's one of favorite films, period.

#18 of 47 OFFLINE   Steve Christou

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Posted August 04 2005 - 07:56 AM

Are you sure you're not talking about the Batman Begins villains? I saw the film a month ago and none of them stick in my mind. Come to think of it the whole film has practically evaporated from my memory, strange because I remember liking it quite a bit. One reason I prefer the two twisted Tim Burton Batmans is the pitch black humour and grotesque villains. The new Batman took itself far too seriously, it's a comicbook for chrissakes.
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#19 of 47 OFFLINE   Grant H

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Posted August 04 2005 - 08:33 AM

I preferred (I won't say liked) Batman Returns because it wasn't as damned boring as "Batman." Even as a kid I was disappointed in Batman because ALL the action was in the previews. If you'd seen the previews, you'd already seen the best parts of the movie. Batman Returns actually had some unexpected thrills the first time through. I gave the original a lot more chances over the years and could never come away with any kind of appreciation for it. I used to get some enjoyment out BR, but after I bought the DVD I found most of it silly and nearly unwatchable. I'll still take "Batman Forever" over the Burton nightmares, but it isn't a great film either. It is, however, watchable. So glad we got to make a fresh start with Bale and "Batman Begins." I thought BB had a surprisingly good dose of humor it it as well, much of it from Bale himself. No resorting to easy fast food tie-ins like "I'll get drive thru" either.
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#20 of 47 OFFLINE   Ryan L. Bisasky

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Posted August 04 2005 - 08:51 AM

BATMAN RETURNS is the most Burton-esque of Burton's live-action films. The 89 film is compromised by producer throw-ins like the Prince score and the martial arts fight in the tower at the end of the picture. But with RETURNS WB allowed Burton to be Burton, and we all paid the price: parents and product tie-in partners complained vociferously about its dark tone (I guess the Joker was more "family-friendly"), the boxoffice was off, and WB got Joel Schumacher to direct the other unremarkable installments. Burton has never had as free a hand since, or has pulled back; no one's complaining about CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which is better than his recent flops but a far cry from his heyday. the producer of Batman (Jon Peters) is a nutcase, if you have seen "an evening with kevin smith" it just prooves the point, he also knew nothing about superman, and wanted to put a big giant spider as the villian (and he put that in "wild wild west"
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