The Batman films

Take a look at all the Batman films.
By dg
July 30, 2008

With all the Batman hype I thought I would do Batman article. You might not like some of my opinions but that's just how I feel about them.

Tim Burton was the first to tackle the Batman films and did a brilliant job. Batman was still in the shadow of the camp TV show back in the 60's and needed a make over and Burton was the man to do it.
He was inspired by the Dark Knight Returns written by Frank Miller. He went back to a much darker Batman with a gothic look and feel which worked brilliantly for the character and what it needed. Even Bob Kane was on the set to give his blessing.

The caped crusader was to be played by Michael Keaton who I feel is still the best Batman. He was a controversial choice at the time when fans disliked him because of his previous films and I suppose they couldn't picture him as the Dark Knight but that was about to change. When he put the batman costume on he looked a kick ass Batman and I thought he was also great as Bruce Wayne giving a bit of humour as well as a dark edge. In a DVD magazine I bought they described him as the manic knight. I think that's why he was so good because he was able to combine all those things.

To play the Joker there was only one true contender at he time and that was Jack Nicholson. People complain about him now that he was too old and fat which it a load of rubbish because you can clearly see that he wasn't. Ok I'll admit he wasn't a young joker or a really skinny Joker but if you compare the way he looks now to back then you can see he isn't as fat as people make out. Anyway Nicholson steals the show in the film as a very funny and dark evil Joker and looked great playing him.

Kim Basinger played Vickie Vale who was originally going to be played by Sean Young. I thought she did a good job through out the film and fitted the role well. The whole cast in fact was great fitting into the dark gothic feel that Burton created. Michael Gough did a great job playing Alfred Pennyworth and even appeared in the other Batman films.
Batman's gadgets were great and the most impressive thing was the batmobile which was a beast. I really love the look of it and I think its still the best looking batmobile, it just looked mean.

I thought the story was good and another controversial idea was having the Joker kill Bruce Wayne's parents. Now to me I feel the same way as Burton, it was just a bit of Joker this and Joker that. Its not really a major crime, it doesn't ruin any of the characters because its done in a very eerie way. It also gives Bruce Wayne more of a mission to kill him for what he did. That was another thing people moaned about the film that Batman doesn't kill anyone but I carnt remember him killing anyone or I just didn't notice it but regardless it just seemed more nit picking from the comic fans because its not the end of the world. The film still works and the story flows well.

Danny Elfman did the music who's worked with Burton in lots of films and really captures the dark gothic feel.
I loved the whole look of the film. Gotham City looked so cool and dark.The bat cave also had a good look to it. If you compare it to Nolan's films it has a much more comic book look to it. I just prefer Burtons batman films over Nolan's because they seem much more direct. He doesn't mess around so much with the character development all the time.He just gives you what you want and you don't have to wait ages for Batman to appear and over all I just find it much more entertaining. The ending was quite epic with Batman having to take the Jokers balloons up into the sky and revealing his plain as a bat symbol on the moon. I thought was a nice touch. Those were things I enjoyed through out the film a touch of charm here and there. Then Batman having to climb the clock stairs all banged up. It was just a great ending to a brilliant film. And of course when hes stood on top of a building at the end with the bat symbol shining in the sky to finish the film off.
I felt Burton captured the Dark Knight the best. It set a standard for future comic book films. It also influenced a long running Batman cartoon which was very successful. So that tells you how well the film did.

Burton then made Batman Returns continuing the Dark Knights battle against new villains. It had another great cast including Christopher Walken as a corrupt businessman. The two main villains Cat Women played by sexy Michelle Pfeiffer and the penguin played by Danny Divito. There was even cameos from Paul Reubens and the lady that was in Pee-wee's Big Adventure as the Penguins parents, "how big is your butt". Sorry had to put that in lol. Danny Elfman returned again to do another great score for the film.

To me Returns is a brilliant sequel but not as good as 89. It still had a dark gothic look but this time Burton added more of his own quirky style that were all used to now. I think that was one of the things that made it less better than the first but it was still really enjoyable and action packed. Keaton was on top form as Batman and had good chemistry with Michelle Pfeiffer.

I think Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny Devito did a great job as the villains and both looked the part. I remember playing the Batman Returns game on the megadrive which was quite good, so I do have fond memories of this film. I think its either a film you like or dislike. Gotham City again looked very gothic and had that cool dark comic book look to it. Its shame Burton didn't make one more Batman film but I think he achieved as much as he could and did a brilliant job.

Now Joel Schumacher takes over on Batman Forever to begin and much more campy franchise . I remember some news just before it was released that Michael Keaton wasn't returning. I was pretty disappointed and the reason was he was too small which I thought was ridicules considering he played a brilliant Batman. Filling the batman boots was Val Kilmer who I thought was quite good. This film finally introduces Robin played by Chris O'Donnell who I thought did a pretty decent job but he was part of the camp Batman era which was a shame. They changed the batmobile slightly giving a more jazzy look.

The villains were two-face played by Tommy Lee Jones who was a larger than life character and Jim Carrey which was hilarious as usual. Nicole Kidman played the sexy female of the film and Bruce Wayne's love interest Dr. chase Meridian. She was ok in the film.
I thought Forever was really entertaining but that's it. Everyone knows Schumacher made it far too campy but I still enjoyed it just for what it was.

Now to the worst Batman film in the franchise. I wont spend much time on this film because it would be a waste of time. George Clooney replaces Val Kilmer and he had to be the worst choice ever and probably the worst role he's ever played. They managed to get back Chris O'Donnell to play Robin again. They even introduced batgirl thats how bad the film was.
The villains were Mr Freeze played by good old Schwarzenegger which was a career killer for him "your not sending me to the cooler". Infact it was a career killer for anyone who starred in the film. Uma Thurman played Poison Ivy and the other cool villain was Bane but they ruined his character by making him some dumb moron that couldn't speak.
I wont go into the plot or anything else because there no point. Basically just don't waste your time with this one.

Now Nolan takes over and brings back the much darker Batman film again. Don't get me wrong I think he did a good job with Begins but it didn't do it for me. I found to many annoying things with it. For a start I realise they wanted to tell Batman's origin story but I wouldn't have gone for the whole ninja thing. I didn't see why he couldn't train in his caves making obstacles and what not to make himself stronger and practise fighting in the shadows of the cave or even on the rooftops of Gotham City.
The actors were all great obviously with Christian Bale doing amazing now even playing John Connor in the up coming Terminator film. The main annoying thing I found with Bale was the voice when Batman, it sounded so corny when he puts on the hard man talk. And the line at the end of the film when he speaks to Katie Holmes "Its not what I do but the way I do them" or something like that which just topped off all the corniness I found in the film. I felt it was all too dramatised to make it more intense and I got bored with it to tell you the truth.

I thought it was great to see the Scarecrow because he's a villain I wished Burton put in one of his films but you hardly see him in the film which is a shame becuase the actor who played him was quite good. Another villain is a ninja played by Liam Neeson who does a good job but I much prefer a villain that we all know. Elfred was now played by Michael Cane who for me was ok its was just the whole cockney accent that seemed a bit off since we were used to a more well spoken one.
Instead of the batmobile they replaced it with a tumbler which I wasn't to keen on. It did rip through the city which was really cool but I still preferred the batmobile from Burtons films. Another thing I didn't quite get with Gotham City in Begins was a complete shit-hole in the middle of a nice city. Shouldn't the whole city be rough instead of just a small part in the middle. I also thought that Batman overused his grapple gun especially at the end. I just feel the film is quite overrated.
I have no problem with modernizing the Batman films its just how they did it, Begins felt more like Batman Beyond than the old Batman we know. People dislike 89 for their own reasons and these are mine on Begins. I didn't hate the film over all but you know the reasons why I dislike it.
Over all I think Begins is better than Schumacher's films by a mile but still not as good as Burtons in my opinion.

Now to talk about the The Dark Knight. I can defiantly say I enjoyed more than Begins. Mostly because there were main villains we all know the Joker and Two-Face even though he had a small part. Its quite wierd even witht he scarecrow popping up which seemed quite random and then thats it you dont see him again. There was plenty of good action and the story was decent enough. I was surprised how good the cast was even Michael Jai White appearing who played Spawn. A shame he couldn't play him again but maybe there do a reboot themselves with that film.

Ok my take on the whole Joker and who was better. I personally think ledger did a great job, there both very different Jokers and you carnt really say who is better, its more about who you prefer. Ledger played a much more sadistic and messy Joker and Nicholson played a more menacing and theatrical Joker. Since I'm more of a Burton Batman fan anyway I would still prefer Nicholson over Ledger but I do think he did a great job at playing the Joker. You could see Ledger had allot of fun with it.

Christian Bale still spoke very corny as Batman which I always seem to cringe at. I really don't know why he talks like that, he tries to talk too much of a hard man. Keaton did the same but it was less aggressive and more suitable.
The main thing I didn't like about the film is that it dragged on way too long. I know Nolan wants to flesh out the characters but I felt it takes too long and by the time it gets to the action I'm half asleep where as Burtons it doesn't take too long for the next exciting thing to happen. Maggie Gyllenhaal takes over as the new girl in the film and was average if you ask me there nothing to shout about.The look of the film was very sleek and stylish but then this is a more modern and realistic Batman film. They didn't put the craphole part of the city that was in Begins because I never understood what it was doing right in the middle in the first place like I mentioned on the Begins film. I actually liked the Tumbler a bit more in this film, it was used more to good use and when it turned into that bike I have to admit it was pretty wicked.The whole mobile thing at the end just got too far fetched for me and I wasn't really interested in it.

Aaron Eckhart who played Harvey Dent did a great job in the film. When he turns into Two-face I have to say he looked really good and much more grittier than the Tommy Lee Jones version but that wasn't hard since those films were so camp and colourful.

The ending was ok but to be honest Im not bothered whether they make any more. Over all I think Nolan has done a good job on the new Batman films. They had to be changed some how and different and the only way to do that was to modernise them. He done that really well but I still prefer Burtons films simply because I find them more entertaining and fun.
More Articles From dg
1 year, 1 month ago
2008's The Dark Knight Is My Favorite Superhero Film Of All Time On My Top 10: Superhero Films List.
    7 years, 3 months ago
    Great article, way better then TheMusicdewd18's article on the Burton/Keaton films. All TheMusicdewd18 was trying to make those movies look awful, those films & Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever were way better than the Dark Knight films. I give this article 4 stars:D
      12 years, 7 months ago
      Batman from 1989 is my favorite Batman movie. Batman Returns was good, Batman Forever was good, Batman & Robin... well... it was stupid, funny, and I actually liked it. Batman Begins was good and The Dark Knight was good and okay at the same time. Two-Face in The Dark Knight is one scary looking Two-Face.
        12 years, 10 months ago
        Now this is how you make a Batman movie article, better then that half assed Batman article Dalmationlover made, BIG THUMBS UP.
          7 years, 3 months ago
          I saying the same thing about TheMusicdewd18's horrible article this one is definitely to be no. 1 for best Batman movie article:)
            13 years, 3 months ago
            1989 is the only Batmobile. EVER.
              13 years, 5 months ago
              I felt that Burton's films lost balance when they emphasized the villains over the hero. In the 1989 movie, Bruce Wayne's origin story is told through a flashback, and 70% of the movie is focused on the Joker. The Nolan films got a whole movie to tell Batman's origin story and then introduced the Joker. That way, the emphasis on the Joker in TDK didn't seem like it was stealing the spotlight from Batman. If I recall correctly, both Keaton and Kilmer left because they felt that too much emphasis was being placed on the villains instead of Batman.

              Batman Returns was a great movie, but it precipitated the fatal flaws of the Schumacher films: too many villains. By the time Schumacher took over, the only big-name villains left to film were Two-Face and the Riddler, both of which were terribly miscast. I always flet one of the biggest flaws of Batman and Robin (besides the obvious) was that it was stuck with B-list villains like Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. Mr. Freeze was always the stupidest villain, because every single one of his evil schemes involved ice in some way. Just build a flamethrower and you've beaten both of that film's villains.
                13 years, 5 months ago
                even though i feel that ledger did a great job on the joker his style was too much like jigsaw, it lacked that certain ambiance that got from nicholsan
                  13 years, 5 months ago
                  Right on, SkeksisGirl! Aside from being a childish fanboy, s/he didn't even have the balls to leave their name (can I say "balls" on this site?), so I guess everything said is just null and void. There's such a thing as being able to argue intelligently, which both you and Achilles succeeded at, and I don't think whoever has/ever will cross that bridge.

                  Also, seeing the synopsis for the '89 Batman this article makes me want to track it down and watch again for the fluidity of Burton's writing, Keaton's skill and mannerisms, and of course to hear Nicholson cry out "Wait 'til they get a load of me!". :)
                    13 years, 5 months ago
                    The above was in reply to the guy that asked if someone was on crack. I tried to quote his stuff but it didn't go through. Sorry guys.
                      13 years, 5 months ago
                      Batman Forever wasn't as god awful as Batman and Robin because the script was originally written for Burton. Warner "fired" Burton though because they were unhappy with his direction for the third film. They felt Burton turning the Penguin into a child killer in Returns went too far, and I heard that the original script for Batman Forever was way over the edge for a "superhero movie". Warner Bros. wanted to market the movie to kids and felt that Burton's script was far too unfriendly for children. Schumacher was brought in to camp it up a bit and he did just that. Some surviving plot elements made it through though. Two Face killing Dick's family making a link between him and Batman, and Edward Nigma's obsession with Bruce Wayne were from the original Burton script. The Box plotline, however, was all Schumacher. I felt Val Kilmer was a good Batman, but was hindered by Schumacher's direction. If Burton had been directing, I think Kilmer would have done a better job.

                      Schumacher also said that Batman and Robin was just a Warner vehicle to sell toys to kids. There was absolutely no heart to the film. No love for it. And Schumacher openly apologized for the film in the DVD commentary.
                        13 years, 5 months ago
                        keaton is a WAY better batman than bale, in my opinion. basiclly everything you said in your article i agree with, (with of course the exception of saying batman forever was good). the new batman films depend way too much on the characterization making the films a bit too boring. the new batman, the dark knight, i have to admit, was actually kind of boring, im sorry to admit. the parts with the joker and 2-face were cool, and are enough reason to see the movie, but everything else, is frankly, not enough to keep you interested. again, burton does a better job at batman.
                          13 years, 5 months ago
                          what the hell? why this attitude? "Nolans Batmans are the best and everything else you have to hate.
                          Thats really childish. And it shows you didnt read the article because he never said theyre bad. I dont think anybody did, everyone admitted theyre great, some just prefer Burton's take and some Nolan's, but theyre so close to each other that I think iots pointless to compare. Nolan didnt do darker batman, he said HIMSELF he went back to Burton's formula. Check out the blue campy Batman before Burton and youll see what darker means

                          And IMO, Keaton is way darker. With bale we got to know him like our own pockets. Keaton is a mystery, and they never explain anything. He seesm like a regular guy, like us, yet when alone in the dark, gothic music playing and we see his pain and that something bothering him. He is not normal, and that what freaked poeple out then and does now. For example, I think the scene where they killed his parents was waaaay darker and scarier in 89. Almost no words, just creepy operatic music, echoes and shots. Very eerie.
                          In begins we got to see Bruce transforming from a kid to batman, we knew him like out own father. In 89, Batman was constantly in the shadows. We didnt know anything, he was weird, didnt talk. THAT was a classic hollywood portrayal
                            13 years, 5 months ago
                              13 years, 5 months ago
                              I love the Burton and Nolan batman films. This was a very well written article, and more power to the short act on the abomination of Batman and Robin.

                              Dark Knight I believe is superior to the previous movies, mainly due to the action scenes, realism, grittiness, and acting of everyone including Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Bale. But I do give props to Keaton for being the original badass batman (other than Adam West) lol.
                                13 years, 5 months ago
                                Greengoblin wrote: "Look i'm sorry but the old Burton Batman is dead! i mean they are good but Nolan's vision is far superior and is made for us Batman fans, not Burton fans."

                                This is why I am beginning to not like Batfans, because of closed-minded comments like these. It's okay if you don't like a certain era of Batman or whatever, but it is that kind of elitist attitude that turns people away from their loves or at least downplays it in fear of having the "wrong" opinion. I should know, because that is the same reason I am not a fan of anime anymore, but I digress. I mean seriously. Are Superman fans this obsessed, bemoaning ad nauseam over which Superman/director of Superman is the "best"?

                                Anyroad, I felt this was a fair, even-handed and well-written article. I have been a fan of Batman for a while now and my favorite ones are Batman Forever and Batman Returns, mainly because of the talented actors in the films and I grew up on them, as well as the effectiveness of keeping with the Batman/Bruce Wayne storyline. I also loved the animated series as well and felt it was pretty effective too.
                                  13 years, 5 months ago
                                  That whole ninja deal in Batman begins ng, I'm pretty sure was'nt made up and beside i'm pretty sure Bruce Wayne did'nt have one of them chairs from the matrix and goes off and sits in it and just "bam" he learns how to fight.
                                    13 years, 5 months ago
                                    Look i'm sorry but the old Burton Batman is dead! i mean they are good but Nolan's vision is far superior and is made for us Batman fans, not Burton fans.
                                      13 years, 5 months ago
                                      Nolan didnt change much. He brought realism but pretty much thats it. The darkness and crime infested city was there already. the costume and overall look almost didnt change at all. Its Burton who brought Batman to the shadowns on the screen from being a campy, daylight blue tights guy. Noland didnt reinvent the wheel, like he himself said, he went back to Burtons formula cause he loved it, just minus the weirdness of Burton's movies
                                        13 years, 5 months ago
                                        I agree with Greengoblin. Nolan's take on Batman follows the comic continuity much closer than the previous Batman films. It isn't 100% true to the source material, but I have yet to meet a Batman fan that doesn't enjoy the new films much more than the Burton and Schumacher outings. Incidentally, the 1989 version was the only one I would repeatedly watch until I saw Batman Begins. Now I just can't enjoy it anymore. I've been spoiled by the new series.
                                          13 years, 5 months ago
                                          I know uve already said this a million times but...I LOVE BATMAN!!! great article.
                                            13 years, 5 months ago
                                            I agree with most of your article. The 89 Batman is still the best, Nolan's are right behind it. The neon colorful Batman movies I just ignore.
                                              13 years, 5 months ago
                                              Oh and Before I forget....
                                              The biggest reason many movie goers today like the new ones better are because they weren't old enough to remember how huge the 89 Batman was, to see it in the theater, and to experience the hype of the "New Dark knight" (at the time we were used to the blue and grey, goofy batman show)
                                                13 years, 5 months ago
                                                Well look Burtons and Nolans movies belong in different times, different eras and different series.
                                                  13 years, 5 months ago
                                                  Aww crap. Another Batman article. I've never been a big fan of Batman, but I think Christian Bale plays Bruce/Bats the best. And yes, I grew up with the 60's Batman as well as the Tim Burton version.
                                                    13 years, 5 months ago
                                                    i liked the Burton Batman films when all i had to compare them to is 1960s batman. now that i have seen the newest batman flicks, Burtons don't really compare. they are good for nostalgic purposes but Nolan's are far, far superior.
                                                      13 years, 5 months ago
                                                      I agree with a lot of your opinions. I watched the older Batman movies growing up. The original and Batman Returns really do capture Gotham City in its darkest tone, Burton knows what he's doing, good casting for both movies. When Joel Schumacher takes over the franchise it turns to crap. While I do agree in Batman Forever, Val Kilmer actually does a decent job as Batman and Bruce Wayne as well as ridiculous Jim Carey as the Riddler. Tommy Lee Jones was awful as two-face and im glad we finally got a good one with the Dark Knight. But when you get to Batman and Robin I basically lost all hope till Nolan took over and I can say I have been very satisfied with the new generation so far.
                                                        13 years, 5 months ago
                                                        I'm a huge fan of both the Burton and Nolan movies. I personally have issues with Bale's "Batman" voice and I always liked Keaton's Bruce. But personally... the Batman I watch more than the movies will always be the Animated Series by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. For me, that's Batman on the small and big screen.

                                                        I think that Bale should watch some episodes of B:TAS to see how Kevin Conroy changed his vocal attitude between Batman and Bruce. Also, as much as I love Nicholson and Ledger as the Joker, in my mind, when I read Batman comics featuring Joker... I hear Mark Hamill, I'll always hear Mark Hamill, and no one can replace that for me.

                                                        Yeah, we are being glutted on Batman articles... but I feel we REALLY need an article on the Timm/Dini DC universe. That would rock.
                                                          13 years, 5 months ago
                                                          Someone already did this, fairly recently (like last week or so).
                                                            13 years, 5 months ago
                                                            Aww you missed the 1940s serial, the 1960 Adam West movie, and perhaps worst of all the animated 1990's movies. Oh well the ones you wrote about were still good. You should write a follow up on the others though there is easily enough material for another article, Until then I can only give you a mild thumbs up. Still a thumbs up is a thumbs up right?
                                                              13 years, 5 months ago
                                                              There were quite few flaws in nolan's movie. As a movie so prided in being modern and realistic, cheezy lines are still there as well as absolutely corny scenes. Oh, accidentally they smashed the controls in the train and the train is out of control! lol, c'mon, thats cheez in all its glory, and thats only one example.
                                                              I absolutely love Nolans movies, but its not the perfection so many make it out to be
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