Batman (Michael Keaton) (spoilers, but who cares?)

I just saw this movie this weekend and thought I’d start a thread.
*This is such an old movie I see no need to put anything in spoiler boxes, so be warned! *
I loved this movie. Batman was appreciably dark, just the way I like my Batman. The romance was neither annoying nor cloying.
I also liked that the Joker died. I know he doesn’t die in the comics but I felt it was highly necesary for him to die in the movie, for a sense of completeness.


  1. Joker takes down the jet with one extra-long gun? Silly.
  2. Large black guard at the end beats nine ways of hell out of Batman but feels nothing in his fists. Joker hits his armor once and cries? That armor should have broken the guard’s knuckles.

Good things:

  1. Batman was VERY hot in his suit. I thought it would be cheesy but it was remarkably well done.
  2. The Batmobile. Loved it! Loved the jet even better.

In the end, I recommend it. Going to see 2 & 3 next weekend. Any input on this one or those?

Silly yes, but the long barreled revolver did suit his style somewhat.

I suppose for Keaton there were problems with having someone who’s broody fighting for screen prescence with someone who’s as exuberant as Nicholson’s Joker, but I did enjoy it all.

Two (Batman Returns) is very dark–a lot of people complained it was TOO dark. Michelle Pfeiffer is well-known for playing a sexy, vampy, dominatrix-style Catwoman, but even as a straight male with plenty of domme fantasies, I didn’t care for the costume and I think she was miscast. I also didn’t like the Penguin portrayed as a disfigured freak. My favorite character in the movie is a minor villain played by the always-great Christopher Walken.

The third and fourth movies, both directed by Joel Schumacher, are terrible. All campy, childish, over-the-top, and very homoerotic (the Batsuit now has nipples for no good reason, and a gigantic codpiece). Val Kimer is a bland Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever, and George Clooney was perfectly fine in Batman and Robin (but the movie around him was a mockery and an embarrassment to everyone involved with it). The villains are goofy and speak in bad puns and silly catch-phrases. There are too many villains, and the movies become distracting messes, drenched in bright neon colors. Schumacher totally missed the point–he wanted to pay tribute to the campiness of the late-'60s Batman TV show, while ignoring Burton’s dark, atmospheric, moody movies (and more importantly, the progress made in the last 30 years in the comics).

I too enjoyed the darkness of the film.

Anaamika, just so you know, in the comics, the Joker did not kill Bruce Wayne’s parents. The robber who killed them was never identified nor caught, making Batman’s tireless war on crime into a never-ending vendetta (rather than a campaign against anyone in particular).

For a while, I think writers identified the killer as “Joe Chill,” but I think this is largely ignored nowadays (and I’m not sure why, but it’s more effective to have the killer be nameless).

The first Batman movie is my absolute favorite. It’s filled with little details that make it the best of the Batman franchise. Jack Nicholson IS the Joker. Michael Keaton is perfect in his different portrayals of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Batman Returns is good as well, but it’s nowhere near as great as Batman. With the first film, Tim Burton seemed to bring the comic book to life. The colors, the music, the architecture, and the actors are absolutely perfect.

I’d advise you to steer clear of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. Seriously.

Big Bad Voodoo Lou, I did know that Joker didn’t kill Batman’s parents. I kind of understood that the movie, to tie together from beginning to end, had to be different.

Batman’s always been my favorite superhero (until I learned about NightCrawler). I actually know a fair bit about him as opposed to say, Superman.

I won’t watch the fourth one, I’ve been told by a lot of people that the fourth one just sucks. However, I do love Val Kilmer and will watch Batman Forever just for him. I also like Jim Carrey a lot.

Anyway, this is sort of in semi-preparation to see Batman Begins when it comes out (Friday everyone!) I wanted to see how the movie had grown and matured (or not). Plus I’ve never seen Batman.

I only half agree with you. Batman and Robin sucked ass. But Batman Forever is, IMHO, the most watchable of all the flicks. Some of the visuals are truly comic booky, and I’m a sucker for Jim Carrey.

If you’re watching them all, then I strongly suggest you check out the feature-length animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, which was released in theaters in the mid-'90s. It is done in the same style of Batman: The Animated Series, and it is by far the greatest Batman movie to date (although Batman Begins might top it). It is dark and stylish (as the Animated Series usually was), and sheds a great deal of light on Bruce Wayne’s persona as well as Batman’s. It also has the best Bruce Wayne romance to date.

Ok, sure! I can take or leave romance as a rule, but I do like dark & stylish.

I too think Keaton makes a good Batman (not that I have any background expectations from the comics, as I haven’t read any), but I like the sort of piercingly manic nutcase aspects that Keaton does so well.

Joe Chill was definitively named as the killer of the Waynes in a story from 1948. Batman revealed his identity to Chill and threatened to track him down. Chill, shaken, told a bunch of gangsters that he was responsible for creating the Batman, and was immediately gunned down.

In 1956, another story showed that Chill was hired by gangster Lew Moxon to kill Thomas Wayne and make it look like a random mugging. Moxon suffered the same fate as Chill.

I don’t know if this has ever been refuted as part of the mythology, but they may not talk about it.

However, the choice of using Jack Napier (i.e., the Joker) as the killer was an inspired one. It was for the movie only, but it’s a much more powerful relationship.

I just want to be a voice of dissent regarding the fourth movie. I’m really not quite sure of the reason for the near-universal hatred of it. It’s a lot of fun and is actually my favorite of the series.

Also, IMHO, Michael Keaton as Batman is the worst casting travesty ever. Look at Bruce Wayne in the comics and tell me that’s the skinny, middle-aged, receding-hairline-having, no-chin-having Michael Keaton. Jeez, why didn’t they just go with Woody Allen? :rolleyes: :mad:

Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne wasn’t that great, I agree.

However, in the Batsuit, most of his physical attributes were hidden. What remained were two very piercing gray eyes, which was perfect, and lips that were serious and flat most of the time.

The chin didn’t bother me. Mostly I don’t care about chins as long as they’re not butt-chins.

“Why am I depressed? Well, I saw my parents get killed by a mugger right in front of me when I was just a little kid. We were on our way home from a movie, The Mark of Zorro, and to make things even worse, we had missed the opening credits! So now I dress up as a bat and patrol the city by night, which really interferes with my sex life, not that it was great to begin with. I met a nice girl recently, very sexy, dresses up like a cat, always trying to kill me. Could it be because I’m a Jew? Cat-Shiksa, she should call herself! I have a secret headquarters in an underground cave, which wasn’t my first choice, but it’s so hard to find a nice apartment on the Upper West Side, and forget about keeping a car in the city. Don’t get me started on all the guano I always have to clean up–”

Reason? I thought everyone but Batman’s niece was miscast in that one. The whole atmosphere for some reason reminded me of a Christmas episode of ER, with the dying butler, Cloony’s Droopy-eyes and the Ice-skating. And Arnie should have been lip-synched by a real voice actor, his doesn’t work at all - he sounds as much like a villain as he did in Twins or Kindergarten cop.

I agree. Although the first movie wasn’t altogether bad and he saved a little bit with some fair acting, Micheal Keaton was at the very least not physically convincing.

Finally, I’m going to add to the love given to Batman Forever. I consider it one of my favorite movies, not just of the series, and have enjoyed watching it again and again. It is one of the very few movies like these that actually has a decent script, done justice by the pacing and acting. And all the actors have done their characters a fair bit of justice - the only criticism I could come up with casting wise that playing Robin was a bit of a stretch for Chris O’Donnell in terms of image, but in the context of the rest of the cast he manage to pull it off quite decently.

Wow. I’ve heard of you, but I never thought I’d meet you. :wink:

Somewhere on the 'net is a loooong essay/movie review regarding Batman and Robin. I don’t have time to search for it now, but maybe somebody else can provide a link. It gives an excellent rundown on why that movie was so hated, by Batman fans and the public in general.

I agreed with you back when that announcement was first made; my initial reaction was disbelief. “Mr. Mom is gonna be Batman?”

However, I truly think he was the best of the three so far. In retrospect, I think he captured the essence of the character much better than either Kilmer or Clooney. It would have been interesting to see what Kilmer could have done with the character in the first two movies.

Nitpick: Alicia Silverwhatever played Alfred the Butler’s niece. I thought they at least should have stuck with her being Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara.

Batman Forever was decent. It was supposed to be a fun comic book movie.
The only good thing about B&R is the musical theme whenever Poison Ivy appears.
Mask of the Phantasm is horribly overhyped by animation fans.

I really liked Wayne as Batman.

Scratch that… I meant Keaton, not ‘Wayne’.