Monday, April 25, 2016

Batman (1989)

I'm Batman.

And with those two words, Michael Keaton proved everyone wrong. This was actually not the first Batman movie I ever saw. It was my fourth actually believe it or not, but it is my favorite. Yeah, more so than The Dark Knight! It just screams Batman to me in the comic book sense, I enjoy the fact that comic book films are being realistic but it comes from a medium that is FAR from being realistic. Now obviously this movie was made in 1989 when the Batman comics were very dark and serious, moving away from the Adam West potrayal of the Batman. This is a time period when you know, The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke were examples of the Dark Knight. And it shows in this film. Dark and gothic setting, terrific character acting, an amazing score by Danny Elfman, and the best Batman and Joker in my opinion. I mean, my dear sweet God how do you pick better casting as the Joker than Jack Nicholson? He's been practically playing the role his whole damn life! He is creepy, he is funny, he really does steal the whole show even from Michael Keaton. And he is the best action wise. Kevin Conroy has been Batman for over 20 years, and for good reason. But Keaton is THE Batman to me. If I had to guess what Batman would be like, it would be Keaton's potrayal. And most people don't realize he is a comedic actor first and Batman second and his humor shows in the film. He's quirky but he just does a funny and real potrayal of Bruce Wayne. And people petitioned against him! Because they saw him as a comedy actor and nothing else so it made his performance that much greater. Danny Elfman's score is the best Batman soundtrack I have ever heard and I own it, and the Prince songs while very product of the times are fun, and how strange is this? Prince just passed away and I just so happened to have a film with his music in it to review and I planned this long before his unfortunate passing. They're good songs and they work really well with this Joker potrayal. Now plot wise, it's pretty basic but it has a lot of commendable points. The Batman is pretty much an urban myth cracking down on the criminal underworld of Gotham City while avoiding arrest by the Gotham City Police. During one of his nightly patrols, he knocks a gangster into a vat of chemicals giving birth to the Joker who soon declares war on the Dark Knight and starts to terrorize Gotham. And, as the director Tim Burton put it, it's a battle of the freaks. The film has almost too many excellent choices in acting, directing, etc. so I will just give you the absolute best one. And it's why Batman is Batman, and while I praise the discussions in The Dark Knight this sums it up so well in such a short time. Not even 2 minutes. And the reason it works so well is in how Keaton potrays Bruce Wayne, it fits so well to the character. I could talk a good long while about this movie and all the inner workings of what makes it so good but I will merely task you with watching both the 1989 Batman movie and The Dark Knight from 2008. And I will let you criticize both and come to your own conclusions. I'm of a mind to make some mookie, and I'll see you tomorrow.

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