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 humor 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 cant 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 realize 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 practice 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 dramatized 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 because 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 weird even with he scarecrow popping up which seemed quite random and then that's it you don't 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 can't 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.
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