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BATMAN: 20 Years ago today


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#1 of 55 Nicholas Martin

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Posted June 23 2009 - 08:21 AM

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"The Movie Of The Decade"

While there's probably nothing significant left to say about this film and the franchise that followed, I thought it was worth mentioning that today is the film's 20th anniversary of the original theatrical release.

Anyone considering watching it tonight? I've saved watching the anniversary Blu-ray until today's date.

Happy 20th, Batman Posted Image

#2 of 55 TheBat

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Posted June 23 2009 - 10:35 AM

still the best batman movie.

Jacob

#3 of 55 Cory S.

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Posted June 23 2009 - 10:42 AM

Since Nolan came aboard, I have a hard time watching this film...even though I still respect it.

Funny enough, I don't have a problem with Returns or Forever...especially Returns.

Still, I remember the lead up to the film like it was yesterday. Still a pretty big event in the history of genre filmmaking.

Happy 20th...even if you've been replaced by two superior (I believe) films.
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#4 of 55 Bob_S.

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Posted June 23 2009 - 11:20 AM

Happy 20th!

Here's how I rank them:

1. Batman
2. Batman Returns
3. The Dark Knight
4. Batman Begins
5. Batman (60's movie)
6. Batman Forever
7. Batman and Robin

Even though I have some believability issues with TDK, after more viewings, I'm starting to warm up to it a bit (I still think it's somewhat overrated).

#5 of 55 Ron-P

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Posted June 23 2009 - 12:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBat
still the best batman movie.

Jacob

Agreed. Always will be too.

While Nolans Batman films are good, they're just a bit too boring and long, he tries to hard for an epic style film, but falls far short.
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#6 of 55 JoshuaB.

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Posted June 23 2009 - 12:20 PM

Wow, I can't believe it was twenty years ago today! I was a wee lad who waited with his older brother in line for over two hours on opening night in Winnipeg. We had moved to Winnipeg from Edmonton that February and I absolutely hated living in the such a dreary city. I loved the Burton film and saw it three times that summer (along with buying up ample Batman comics), making our brief stay in Winnipeg more bearable.

#7 of 55 TheBat

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Posted June 23 2009 - 04:24 PM

I had problems with the nolan batman films. I was able to beleive in tim burton's world about batman more so then nolan.. nolan films were too real.
regardless if you like the nolan films better or not.. batman 89 still has the better music score.
Jacob

#8 of 55 Bob_S.

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Posted June 23 2009 - 07:23 PM

Jacob, couldn't agree with you more, the Burton films had more of a comic book feel to them. When I sit down and read my Batman comics er, I mean graphic novels, I like to play the Elfman scores and I can totally get into the stories. I've tried this with the BB and TDK scores and they just don't do it for me.

#9 of 55 Lou Sytsma

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Posted June 23 2009 - 11:03 PM

This is not a film that has aged well. Nicholson's prominence over Keaton bothered me upon the film's release and has become even more annoying over time.

Much prefer Nolan's vision.
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#10 of 55 Steve Christou

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Posted June 24 2009 - 12:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBat
still the best batman movie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-P
Agreed. Always will be too.

While Nolans Batman films are good, they're just a bit too boring and long, he tries to hard for an epic style film, but falls far short.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_S.
Here's how I rank them:

1. Batman
2. Batman Returns
3. The Dark Knight
4. Batman Begins
5. Batman (60's movie)
6. Batman Forever
7. Batman and Robin


Where were you guys last year when I was up against all the Dark Knight fanatics? I wonder what they think of their "bestest film ever!" now that they've had their fill of it. Posted Image

There are times I prefer Batman Returns to Batman, it's nastier and I enjoyed Pfeiffer's crazy Catwoman and De Vito's grotesque Penguin. But I'll stick with the 1989 Batman being my favourite.

My ranking of the 6 Batman films -

1) Batman (1989)
2) Batman Returns (1992)
3) Batman Begins (2005)
4) The Dark Knight (2008)
5) Batman Forever (1995)
6) Batman & Robin (1997)




Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBat
batman 89 still has the better music score.
Jacob


I still listen to Danny Elfmans two Batman soundtracks, favourite and most played track would probably be "Descent into Mystery". This was back in the days when movies actually had memorable music scores and they weren't just droning away and thumping around in the background, like they do now. Posted Image

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#11 of 55 Joseph J.D

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Posted June 24 2009 - 01:58 AM

Man....I still can't believe it's been 2 decades already. Posted Image

Still remember going to see it the night of it's premiere like it was yesterday. I still love the film....but for me, it has been far surpassed by the Nolan films...especially TDK.

Batman just seems almost too cartoonish to me now despite being quite dark compared to the 60's TV show. The Nolan films really upped the darkness factor 10-fold - and that's how I like it now. Dark and serious....as Batman (the character) should be.

Still.....it was the best of the previous franchise, and that is a good thing.
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#12 of 55 Shane D

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Posted June 24 2009 - 02:50 AM

i remember hearing batdance on the radio non stop that summer too. It was THE movie to see for a 13 year old

#13 of 55 Nicholas Martin

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Posted June 24 2009 - 03:32 AM

I started this thread both here and DVD Talk, and this is how they've played out so far:

HTF - endless quality/enjoyment comparisons between Nolan's and Burton's films.

DVDTalk - nostalgic, fond memories of the era.

That's an interesting turnout.

#14 of 55 Sam Favate

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Posted June 24 2009 - 04:26 AM

It's almost impossible to tell someone about the hoopla surrounding this movie when it came out. You had to be there. I saw it the Thursday before it opened with a very receptive crowd.

I liked it -at the time, I liked it even more. I grew tired of Burton's sense of humor (especially in later films, like Returns), and I think it diluted the Batman character a bit. But it is still a very solid film, with great performances, including Nicholson (although his Joker is over the top much of the time). Of the 1989-1997 films, the first is the best by far. Returns got a little silly (despite being darker) and accelerated the "place the celebrity in the villain" game. (A review of Returns noted, correctly, that using celebrities in these roles is a detriment to the films, because it takes you out of the movie - you're not watching the film and thinking "that's the Penguin," you're thinking "Hey, that's Danny DeVito! He looks cool!")

Comparisons to Begins and Dark Knight aren't terribly fair. Most people will prefer one style over the other. I like Nolan's vision better than Burton's (and while we are on the subject, I despise Schumacher's vision and his films). I do dislike the heavy gadgetry, even in the Nolan films, and I especially dislike the complex costume Batman wears. The costume should be simple, like the '89 version, or the 60s TV show.

All that said, I still get a kick out of the 1966 Batman with Adam West. Sorry, but no Batman was ever cooler. (And if you haven't seen the film on Blu-Ray, wow. A great transfer.)

#15 of 55 Gary Seven

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Posted June 24 2009 - 04:32 AM

Yes... Batman 89 had the better music score.

Happy 20th!!

#16 of 55 Paul_Scott

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Posted June 24 2009 - 05:34 AM

Loved the hype for the film, but was extremely disappointed in the final product. I couldn't admit it to myself at the time because my love of the character and the months of hype created a lot of investment in it- but I knew by the final act during that first midnight showing, that something was missing. I was confused as it had all the elements for the proper mix on paper, and tearing the film apart bit by bit (the music, the look, Nicholsons presence, the production design) every aspect was stellar. So then how could I feel the final product be so...lethargic and inert?

I still do like the look of the film (not so much the derivative production design as the lighting and composition of shots), and the music is still sensational, and I'm surprised how much better the Bat costume looks than anything Nolan has come up with so far. But as far as a movie with characters I enjoy being with and a story that keeps me invested...

Another reason I came to dislike the film is that it unfortunately became so influential that every comic property was inflicted with the same stylistic flourishes for years after- the most blatant probably being the Flash TV show. That could have been a great property, but they had to impose a style that was so dead wrong for the material that it suffocated under it. It really took 13 years to get past Burtons stylistic influence- when Raimi wisely used a predominantly 'sunny' palate for Spider-man.

#17 of 55 Pete-D

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Posted June 24 2009 - 06:25 AM

Still the greatest movie marketing campaign ever I maintain.

You couldn't walk down the street without seeing the Bat-logo because of all the t-shirts.

I watched the movie a few days ago again, actually, if you let go of the "Burton vs. Nolan" thing, it's still quite enjoyable taken on its own merits. The Tim Burton commentary on the DVD/Blu-Ray is worth a listen too.

I actually really like the third act, Batman in a cathedral versus the Joker is so ... Burton.

#18 of 55 David Deeb

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Posted June 24 2009 - 08:10 AM

Excellent post Sam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Favate
It's almost impossible to tell someone about the hoopla surrounding this movie when it came out. You had to be there.

So true. If you weren't there, you can't appreciate it. I don't think there's been another film that's reached the excitement & hype this one had. Not even Spider-man or Harry Potter. One could argue Lord of the Rings, but it still wasn't as BIG as this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Favate
I liked it -at the time, I liked it even more. I grew tired of Burton's sense of humor (especially in later films, like Returns), and I think it diluted the Batman character a bit.

I still like the movie. Keaton is great in both outings. But I think 2 things date it. 1) The action is sluggish compared to today's films - the Bat-suit & the Batmobile both look like they must weigh 10 tons each.

But mostly, it's 2) Burton's style & sense of humor that has dated it. Burton's looks & styles are seen in several other of his movies. He's repeated it so many times, it diluted the uniqueness of Batman.

I found Woody Allen's films started to do this. Even the credits, music, etc to Allen's films haven't changed and while you can call it "the director's style" it starts to make their films look like each other.

Having said all that, I still like the film and may have to watch it tonight for kicks.

#19 of 55 Pete-D

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Posted June 24 2009 - 08:15 AM

The only thing comparable to 1989 Batman in terms of marketing/pre-hype was Star Wars Episode I ten years later and even that I don't think is quite comparable.

Star Wars had a very vocal die-hard core fanbase, whereas '89 Batman really seeped into the actual popular culture and even popular fashion of the time.

#20 of 55 Nicholas Martin

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Posted June 24 2009 - 08:21 AM

This is the original teaser, not included on the DVD or Blu-ray that Warner made to stop the Keaton backlash:

BATMAN - 20 years


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