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BATMAN: "The Movie Of The Decade" - 20 years ago today [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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DVD Reviews

View Full Version : BATMAN: "The Movie Of The Decade" - 20 years ago today


Nick Martin
06-23-09, 03:20 PM
http://www.impawards.com/1989/posters/batman.jpg

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 :)

Charlie Goose
06-23-09, 03:35 PM
Wow. I remember the line of humanity outside the United Artist Multiplex on that date. It was the only multiplex on Staten Island at that point. I was very excited, I had been waiting for many years for BATMAN. I had the presence of mind to hit the theater as soon as it opened to get tickets for the evening. There was a genuine buzz in the air, this was going to be a big adventure. One guy even dressed up in a pretty good Batman costume to pose for polaroids for $5 each. We watched a pretty terrific movie and although it hasn't held up well, it's still one of my favorite summertime movie memories.

The O
06-23-09, 03:57 PM
I actually covered the film this week in my 1989 diary.

Still holds up wonderfully.

Kal-El
06-23-09, 04:09 PM
Meh. It wasn't that big of a deal for me when it came out and as the years have gone by, it hasn't really held up very well for me. The title of the movie is "Batman" but the movie was all about the Joker played by an old fat guy who looks a lot like Jack Nicholson.

Batman Returns is a much, much better film.

mcnabb
06-23-09, 04:28 PM
This was one of the last movies before the days of movieplexes, and you would have to actually wait to see a summer blockbuster.

I was in highschool when Batman came out that summer of '89, and I remember we couldn't get tickets for a week, as one night we walked all the way up to the mall, "Sold Out!"

Nowadays, everyone sees it the first weekend, and you can get every spoiler on the internet, back then things were totally different. Batman was the talk of the town that summer.

I still think it was disappointing, as it was a good movie, but never as great as many said at the time.

Hokeyboy
06-23-09, 04:38 PM
Definitely not has held up well as a movie, but as a cinematic vision it holds up. Burton's world was like nothing seen before in a major big-budget motion picture, equal parts noir, gothic, retro-futuristic, and cartoonish.

Otherwise, the plot is a mess, the film makes no sense, there are plotholes you could drive a tank through with enough room for the Chinese Army strapped to the hood, and it really should have been called "THE JOKER!!!". Still, I still enjoy watching it.

Ronnie Dobbs
06-23-09, 05:40 PM
I vaguely remember thsi movie I don't think isaw it in the theaters since I was so young but I do remember the news with people and the Batman logo in their haircuts.

wm lopez
06-23-09, 05:44 PM
Meh. It wasn't that big of a deal for me when it came out and as the years have gone by, it hasn't really held up very well for me. The title of the movie is "Batman" but the movie was all about the Joker played by an old fat guy who looks a lot like Jack Nicholson.

Batman Returns is a much, much better film.
I agree 100%!!
SUPERMAN 2 was a better comic-book movie in the 80's and that movie didn't get as much hype.

RobCA
06-23-09, 05:58 PM
Wow, I can't believe it's already been 20 years. I went to see it the day after it came out, waited in line for what seemed like forever, but it was worth it. That's the only time I've ever been in a movie theater that was completely packed. As soon as the movie was over, I went to the mall across the street and bought the Prince soundtrack.

Rob

The Bus
06-23-09, 06:04 PM
I didn't see it until it was on HBO and it never impressed me. Sure, it was cool, but it wasn't mind-blowing.

Ash Ketchum
06-23-09, 06:10 PM
I remember leaving the theater in a dreamlike mood because of the way the movie seeped into my subconscious and walking down Third Avenue in Manhattan and seeing all these bizarrely shaped buildings that looked like they'd been designed for the movie's baroque version of Gotham City. So I just glided through the streets maintaining the mood and feeling like Batman moving through the shadows. All I needed was a cape to make it complete. When I got to 42 St. and Grand Central Terminal (an 18-block walk downtown), the buildings were back to normal and the mood had worn off. But it was nice while it lasted.

majorjoe23
06-23-09, 08:47 PM
I remember going the first night dressed as Batman (I was 10). I held some guy's seat and he gave me a buck when he got back, yelling "Batman just saved my seat!" to the theater.

Nick Danger
06-23-09, 08:48 PM
I was working in a magazine store. Lots and lots of magazines were doing promotion for the movie.

One of our regular customers sold his copy of Detective Comics #27. He was supposed to have been
the only person in the world who still owned the copy that he had bought when it was originally published. He'd carried it to Korea in 1950 and everything. It was a peak of the market, and he made a nice bit of change, but I preferred the romance of a boy holding onto a special comic for 50 years.

Lateralus
06-23-09, 08:53 PM
Saw this movie right after graduating high school, I remember people coming to the theatre dressed up as Batman. One of the few movies I can remember who I was with and actually where I sat!

starman9000
06-23-09, 08:57 PM
Saw this at the Drive In, which means I couldn't really see what was going on in the 1st half hour due to the darkness of the film and relatively bright sunset.

naitram
06-23-09, 08:59 PM
Still holds up for me, though I'll never recapture the entire feeling of that time. Still have my Batman shoes, though! (can't believe I wore those to high school)

Travis McClain
06-23-09, 09:00 PM
I can easily appreciate why younger fans wouldn't be as impressed, what with growing up in a CGI world and all. For many of us, though, it was the first time we'd ever really seen a superhero movie that we completely bought. Christopher Reeve was a great Superman, yes, but none of his series really had a lot of resonance for me. Batman, though, was magnificent, and in large part to Anton Furst's production design. The Gotham City in that film will forever be my Gotham, and Danny Elfman's score is iconic--in fact, it was the first score I ever bought (excluding the handful of instrumental Vince DiCola compositions that appeared on The Transformers: The Movie soundtrack), introducing me to the world of scores.

Hokeyboy
06-23-09, 09:18 PM
Meh. I was 18 when BATMAN came out and it was both exhilarating and disappointing all at once. Nothing to do with CGI or editing or anything, just a bad storyline. BEAUTIFUL to look at though, a haunting gothic madhouse.

Superboy
06-23-09, 09:28 PM
I thought this was the best movie when I was a kid... it had everything! although it took me a long time to understand some of the jokes and plot points.

cranberries fan
06-23-09, 10:04 PM
Wow June 23rd I was 18 and the first-one in line for this marvel of DC comic movie I love it and still watch it from time-to-time!

Sanjuro37
06-23-09, 10:06 PM
Two weeks after the film came out I was born early. My mother likes to wait a week or two to see new films, so clearly the reason I was born prematurely was because the greatness of this film induced labor.

milo bloom
06-23-09, 10:10 PM
I remember some of the kids at school started wearing shirts with the bat-symbol on them way in advance of the movie, and the rest of us were thinking it had to do with the silly old 60's show.

It's certainly a visual tour de force, and Keaton was far better than expected.

As for the Prince soundtrack, I still spin it now and then and we even played the track Arms of Orion at our wedding 13 years ago.

GoldenJCJ
06-23-09, 10:53 PM
Oddly enough, I remember the merchandise better than I remember the movie. Those yellow bat symbols were freaking everywhere!

A sight that hadn't been seen since the days of Star Wars. Heck, even as much as some movies get promoted these days, they still don't hold a candle to Batman's merchandising campaign.

Zen Peckinpah
06-23-09, 11:10 PM
I was literally not even 2 when Batman came out, but I can tell you that if I was anywhere over 5 and this was coming out, I'd be one hyped motherfucker. I remember though that we had the VHS growing up, and I remember my mom's friend had it taped off Cinemax with the ridiculously 80's intro to their movies (and a promo for Licence to Kill as well!).

Still love the movie to this day, up until The Dark Knight hit was the Batman movie I could watch the most times. Wish I could see this and all the other big '89 movies in theaters. Of course, we should also probably assume Lethal Weapon 2 had its trailer in front of this one.

By the way, this is the AWESOME teaser trailer from late '88 I think, which is shamefully not on the DVD. No music, just raw footage, enough to get you excited:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/EyozzozRsCk&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/EyozzozRsCk&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

I think I read that this was attached to Tequila Sunrise and people pulled a Phantom Menace and bought tickets solely to see this trailer. And it was probably worth seeing it.

Solid Snake
06-23-09, 11:22 PM
My mom wanted me to get into Batman when it came out, I never got into him till Batman Returns. I was 2 yrs old when this came out. I never really gave a damn about this film till I saw it around Returns' release. I love the film, it's fun and it's visually entertaining. It hasn't held up true..but..it's still a good film. Not great but heavily entertaining nonetheless.

RagingBull80
06-23-09, 11:35 PM
I don't remember that day in '89 being as I was about 2 and a half but I do have fond memories of this flick. I was constantly watching it during the early '90s.

bluetoast
06-23-09, 11:40 PM
I was only three (soon to be four) when it came out, but I certainly remember a giant Batman symbol billboard as a kid in Californina. Had the soundtrack on Tape, and the Batdance single on CD....listened to the former all the time. Ate Batman cereal, sent away for the glow in the dark frisbee. Didn't see it in theaters, but did get to see it when my parents rented it later on.

wm lopez
06-24-09, 12:21 AM
I can easily appreciate why younger fans wouldn't be as impressed, what with growing up in a CGI world and all. For many of us, though, it was the first time we'd ever really seen a superhero movie that we completely bought. Christopher Reeve was a great Superman, yes, but none of his series really had a lot of resonance for me. Batman, though, was magnificent, and in large part to Anton Furst's production design. The Gotham City in that film will forever be my Gotham, and Danny Elfman's score is iconic--in fact, it was the first score I ever bought (excluding the handful of instrumental Vince DiCola compositions that appeared on The Transformers: The Movie soundtrack), introducing me to the world of scores. If Danny Elfman's score is iconic then what do you think of John Williams score of SUPERMAN?
I have never heard BATMAN score at a sports game. Where SUPERMAN you do.

Solid Snake
06-24-09, 12:25 AM
Maybe cuz it's a dark theme?

Crocker Jarmen
06-24-09, 01:23 AM
I was 10 when Batman came out. The commercials for it played on TV non-stop. When I went to see it on the opening weekend, I was struck by the number of people in the audience who spoke along with the movie when certain lines were delievered (like when Jack is examining himself in the mirror and Jerry Hall says, "You look fine", and Jack says, along with twenty people in unison, "I didn't ask.").

Batman was also the last movie I ever saw at the drive-in. My parents took us to see it a few weeks after the opening and hated it. I was furious with my father, who drove away before the second feature (which was Beetlejuice). He said, "Why should we sit here to watch a movie we've already seen on video?"

Nick Martin
06-24-09, 02:48 AM
Maybe cuz it's a dark theme?

Don't waste your time.

Every time there's a Batman score-related comment he becomes a "Superman theme is way better than Batman" troll.

P.S. I don't give a damn about what music is played at sporting events, but I've always hated the Superman theme. Can't stand it.

Neeb
06-24-09, 03:45 AM
Saw it on opening day at the Sports Arena 6 in San Diego.
It was awesome.

Supermallet
06-24-09, 04:10 AM
I was 5 when this came out and I can't remember being more excited for anything. However, my parents, being far too over-protective, thought I would be afraid of The Joker and refused to take me. I also can't remember being more upset about anything at the time, either. I had to see it on cable and remember being entranced. I was so into Batman, and so mad at my parents for not taking me to the first movie, I demanded my father take me to the first showing of Batman Returns on opening day. I still think Returns is the best of the pre-Nolan Batman films.

As for the movie itself, it's awkward and it's all about Nicholson. Keaton has a few good moments, and some of the set pieces are fantastic. But on the whole, it's a lopsided film that showed just how green but inventive Tim Burton was. But Returns is much more interesting and assured.

Travis McClain
06-24-09, 07:25 AM
Oddly enough, I remember the merchandise better than I remember the movie. Those yellow bat symbols were freaking everywhere!

A sight that hadn't been seen since the days of Star Wars. Heck, even as much as some movies get promoted these days, they still don't hold a candle to Batman's merchandising campaign.

I still consider 1989's Batmania as the gold standard for a marketing blitz. The movie came out 23 June and for my then-tiny semi-rural county celebration day, there was Bat-merchandise (some of which was homemade) for sale. We celebrate the county the first Saturday in July. It was crazy!

I was literally not even 2 when Batman came out, but I can tell you that if I was anywhere over 5 and this was coming out, I'd be one hyped motherfucker. I remember though that we had the VHS growing up, and I remember my mom's friend had it taped off Cinemax with the ridiculously 80's intro to their movies (and a promo for Licence to Kill as well!).

Still love the movie to this day, up until The Dark Knight hit was the Batman movie I could watch the most times. Wish I could see this and all the other big '89 movies in theaters. Of course, we should also probably assume Lethal Weapon 2 had its trailer in front of this one.

Thanks for sharing that teaser! Also, if you can make time for it somehow, there is a theater in Louisville that will be screening Batman at midnight on 11 July.

If Danny Elfman's score is iconic then what do you think of John Williams score of SUPERMAN?
I have never heard BATMAN score at a sports game. Where SUPERMAN you do.

I think Superman is certainly one of Williams's more iconic compositions, and for all the mockery "Can You Read My Mind" has taken I still think it's one of the most beautiful sounding love themes of his oeuvre. No reason to get defensive on behalf of a score you love; it's not a competition. Say what you might, but I would posit that most superhero music since 1989 has been patterned after Elfman's Batman, starting with Elfman's own Dick Tracy score--for which he was recruited by Warren Beatty because of his work on Batman. Besides which, it's so iconic it was the only Bat-music they saw a need to use for last year's LEGO Batman: The Videogame!

I'm not entirely sure that being played at a sporting event is a particularly great litmus test of whether music is iconic--I've heard all kinds of songs as player introductions and responses to events. One of my favorites is from a Reds/Braves game in Atlanta, and during an at-bat in the 9th inning the stadium lights went out and a moment later, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" came on over the loudspeakers. That's Boy Scout-level preparedness!

And, for what it's worth, I have heard "The Batman Theme" used at the occasional baseball game. Those are still classified as "sports games," right?

TheKing
06-24-09, 08:28 AM
I saw it at the Cinedome in Orange, CA. The theater was iconic in and of itself, one of the few places that regularly had 70mm prints in the late 80s, at least in Orange County.

I don't know if I remember all the details of seeing Batman itself, but I do remember spending countless days at the Cinedome during 1989. Really, looking back now, it's amazing how many successful films came out that year.

Major League, Bill & Ted, UHF, Star Trek V, BTTF 2, Batman, Ghostbusters II, Indy 3, The Abyss, Lethal Weapon 2, Field Of Dreams, The Wizard... and I'm just scratching the surface here.

And I saw most of these films at the Cinedome. Many of them in the huge 873 seat domes, especially the biggest films. Batman was one of them, saw it with a huge crowd, and it was even the first time that I saw a beach ball in a theater, though it wouldn't be the last. I think I saw Indy 3 and Ghostbusters II that same day, as I would go early and stay late. One of the great things about the Cinedome was how easy it was to hop screens there.

I think the summer of '89 was when I really fell in love with movies. And while the '90s would have some good years as well, none of them could top this one.

It still kind of pains me to go down Chapman Ave. and see the high rise apartments that have taken over where the Cinedome used to be. I miss that place, even 10 years after it closed down. Sure, the company replaced it with a 25 screen building not too far away, and AMC built a 30 screen complex just down the street, but they're just halls with screens. The Cinedome was epic.

Mr. Cinema
06-24-09, 08:52 AM
If Danny Elfman's score is iconic then what do you think of John Williams score of SUPERMAN?
I have never heard BATMAN score at a sports game. Where SUPERMAN you do.
Jaws' theme is iconic. I guess it's not iconic enough since I haven't heard it playing at a sports game? Although it would be nice to hear the theme to 2001 during some NBA games.

Mr. Cinema
06-24-09, 08:55 AM
I was 11 when this came out and was obsessed with it. Had all the toys, etc.

But T2 is probably what really got me into the Summer blockbuster.

stingermck
06-24-09, 09:13 AM
I was 10 when it came out. As cheesy as it sounds, it changed my life. I had a few comic books here and there that people bought for me, but the movie really got me into serious comic collecting/reading that I still do today.

I remember the bat logo on EVERYTHING that summer. The movie was just so damn big. And I also remember baby boomer's saying it wasn't as good at Adam West. Ah generation gap.

Nick Martin
06-24-09, 10:22 AM
I think Superman is certainly one of Williams's more iconic compositions, and for all the mockery "Can You Read My Mind" has taken I still think it's one of the most beautiful sounding love themes of his oeuvre. No reason to get defensive on behalf of a score you love; it's not a competition. Say what you might, but I would posit that most superhero music since 1989 has been patterned after Elfman's Batman, starting with Elfman's own Dick Tracy score--for which he was recruited by Warren Beatty because of his work on Batman. Besides which, it's so iconic it was the only Bat-music they saw a need to use for last year's LEGO Batman: The Videogame!

I'm not entirely sure that being played at a sporting event is a particularly great litmus test of whether music is iconic--I've heard all kinds of songs as player introductions and responses to events. One of my favorites is from a Reds/Braves game in Atlanta, and during an at-bat in the 9th inning the stadium lights went out and a moment later, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" came on over the loudspeakers. That's Boy Scout-level preparedness!

And, for what it's worth, I have heard "The Batman Theme" used at the occasional baseball game. Those are still classified as "sports games," right?


Jaws' theme is iconic. I guess it's not iconic enough since I haven't heard it playing at a sports game? Although it would be nice to hear the theme to 2001 during some NBA games.


You're both just feeding a troll.

moonraker
06-24-09, 10:47 AM
Meh. It wasn't that big of a deal for me when it came out and as the years have gone by, it hasn't really held up very well for me. The title of the movie is "Batman" but the movie was all about the Joker played by an old fat guy who looks a lot like Jack Nicholson.

Batman Returns is a much, much better film.

Ok... I'm going to actually state this for the record: I like Nicholson's Joker far better as a Batman villian than Ledger's Joker. There, I said it.

Why? Because Nicholson's Joker was unpredictable, in a frightening way. One moment he could be someone's buddy, laughing with them like an old friend. The next moment, he could be killing that same person in cold blood. He really was mentally deranged/unstable -- and this unpredicatability gave him a scary edge. It also made him much more difficult to anticipate and figure out. I can believe that the police would not be up to the task of stopping this guy, that only someone like Batman would be able to deduce his plan and ultimately stop this super-villain.

Ledger's Joker, on the other hand, was pretty much just an ordinary terrorist. Take away the clown makeup and he could be interchangeable with any number of other terrorist bad buys from dozens of other movies.

DRG
06-24-09, 11:12 AM
I remember that year being the first huge blockbuster summer for me... it seemed so many big name franchises came out in that summer. Batman, Indiana Jones (Last Crusade), James Bond (License to Kill), Ghostbusters 2, Lethal Weapon 2, Star Trek 5, Karate Kid 3... not to mention other big movies like Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Not all the movies turned out to be good, but at the time I marvelled at all the big movies coming out back-to-back-to-back. Nowadays this sort of thing is commonplace, plus as an adult I'm slightly more cynical about the whole blockbuster hype/release pattern, but back then it seemed like a treat.

Hokeyboy
06-24-09, 11:20 AM
I can believe that the police would not be up to the task of stopping this guy, that only someone like Batman would be able to deduce his plan and ultimately stop this super-villain.

Actually, you can blame the lack of police action on Tim Burton's complete inability to understand plot, story structure, or how a basic narrative actually flows.

Ask yourself this: why would the Joker -- who had committed murder in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses (including the press), and had basically admitted live on national TV that he had poisoned and killed dozens of Gotham citizens -- be allowed to stand on a float in a HUGE parade right through the heart of Gotham City with balloons and crowds and everything without 4 dozen S.W.A.T. team members storming it and arresting him?

Burton didn't care. He just wanted to stage his scene because it "looked cool".

But there WAS a barely-but-somewhat-movie-plausible reason for this in the shooting script. An entire subplot was excised from the movie entirely -- that Joker had poisoned the coffee machines in each Precinct. That dozens if not hundreds of cops throughout Gotham were immobilized or outright killed that very night, giving him free reign to perform his shenanigans.

This was *in the script*. Burton chose not to film it, and just forged right ahead with one of the many narrative idiocies the movie just chooses to ignore.

Burton's Batman movies (and Schumacher's even moreso, but don't get me started on those) were all about style, and had little-to-no substance whatsoever. They make no sense. But fun to watch, admittedly.

Mordred
06-24-09, 11:29 AM
Don't waste your time.

Every time there's a <strike>Batman score-related</strike> comment he becomes a <strike>"Superman theme is way better than Batman"</strike> troll.Fixed that for you.

Nick Martin
06-24-09, 11:45 AM
Fixed that for you.

I hadn't noticed it in other instances so I'll take your word for it. :)

Solid Snake
06-24-09, 11:48 AM
Wow. Yeah...I always found it so odd that The Joker could be so free in the middle of Gotham w/ no issue.

stingermck
06-24-09, 12:01 PM
Damn, I never really thought about that. 10 years old and I didnt care :lol:

But totally different from TDK with the entire city in panic, and no one could find Joker.

GenPion
06-24-09, 12:04 PM
This is a really good film. Yes, Batman Returns is superior, but I still think Batman holds up.

The only reason I don't like these movies quite as much as I used to though is because Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are vastly superior. Tim Burton always had a great, unique vision for the character though and it's still worth the attention and time spent to revisit.

moonraker
06-24-09, 01:54 PM
Actually, you can blame the lack of police action on Tim Burton's complete inability to understand plot, story structure, or how a basic narrative actually flows.

Ask yourself this: why would the Joker -- who had committed murder in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses (including the press), and had basically admitted live on national TV that he had poisoned and killed dozens of Gotham citizens -- be allowed to stand on a float in a HUGE parade right through the heart of Gotham City with balloons and crowds and everything without 4 dozen S.W.A.T. team members storming it and arresting him?

Burton didn't care. He just wanted to stage his scene because it "looked cool".

But there WAS a barely-but-somewhat-movie-plausible reason for this in the shooting script. An entire subplot was excised from the movie entirely -- that Joker had poisoned the coffee machines in each Precinct. That dozens if not hundreds of cops throughout Gotham were immobilized or outright killed that very night, giving him free reign to perform his shenanigans.

This was *in the script*. Burton chose not to film it, and just forged right ahead with one of the many narrative idiocies the movie just chooses to ignore.

Burton's Batman movies (and Schumacher's even moreso, but don't get me started on those) were all about style, and had little-to-no substance whatsoever. They make no sense. But fun to watch, admittedly.


It all depends on how much you, as a movie-watcher, are willing to use your own imagination. Some viewers require everything to be spelled out and explicitly shown to them. I can understand why this type of movie-goer would have a problem with the scene you point out.

But it doesn't bother me. We can presume, from the fact that the police are not there to arrest the Joker, that he arranged someway to detain them. Perhaps he poisoned the majority of them as you suggest. I can use my imagination to derive many possibilities. It could be as simple as having some of his goons pour sugar into the gas tanks of all the police cars before the parade begins. The details are not that important to me; instead, it is clear that it will be up to Batman alone to try and stop this mad man.

Travis McClain
06-24-09, 01:58 PM
Ask yourself this: why would the Joker -- who had committed murder in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses (including the press), and had basically admitted live on national TV that he had poisoned and killed dozens of Gotham citizens -- be allowed to stand on a float in a HUGE parade right through the heart of Gotham City with balloons and crowds and everything without 4 dozen S.W.A.T. team members storming it and arresting him?

I just chalked it up to the Gotham City Police either being too corrupt or too timid to go near the scene. Plus, don't forget that right before the parade, Batman destroyed the Axis Chemicals plant. Surely that required some attention?

majorjoe23
06-24-09, 02:04 PM
The thing that always bugged me was the fight on top of the church. Batman crashes, seemingly randomly, and tells his goons to meet him at the top (I forget how long he told them). When he gets to the top, he uses acid to knock the bell down, taking out the stairs.

When Batman gets to the top, there are goons all over for him to fight. This would make sense if it was the goons Joker told to come pick him up, but they're not, since they arrive by helicopter later.

So where did all these guys come from? Did Joker just have thugs waiting on top of every building in case he ended up fighting Batman there?

wlj
06-24-09, 02:13 PM
I was 11 when it came out. OMG I was crazy over this movie and I still love it to this day. I love Batman Begins and Dark Knight, but Batman(89) is a work of art.

Travis McClain
06-24-09, 02:42 PM
The thing that always bugged me was the fight on top of the church. Batman crashes, seemingly randomly, and tells his goons to meet him at the top (I forget how long he told them). When he gets to the top, he uses acid to knock the bell down, taking out the stairs.

When Batman gets to the top, there are goons all over for him to fight. This would make sense if it was the goons Joker told to come pick him up, but they're not, since they arrive by helicopter later.

So where did all these guys come from? Did Joker just have thugs waiting on top of every building in case he ended up fighting Batman there?

I decided years ago that, off-screen, the Joker simply instructed these goons to precede him up to the top of the cathedral when he shot down the Batwing and took Vicki Vale captive. Of course, what never quite made sense to me was, with Batman apparently shot down and the police nowhere in sight, just why he would feel the need for a rooftop escape in the first place. Then again, the dude's crazy.

Hokeyboy
06-24-09, 03:59 PM
Having to constantly "fill-in-the-blanks" in order to fill in the numerous illogical gaps pretty much defines a poorly plotted movie.

It's one thing to leave out the obvious elements -- if two characters get into a car and we cut to a scene of them arriving, we obviously don't need to see how they got there -- but wowie the more you think about the plot mechanics of BATMAN, the more you're better off just shutting down that part of your brain and just enjoying the carnival circus ride.

And BATMAN is a fantastic carnival circus ride, no question about that.

AnonomusBob15
06-24-09, 04:33 PM
I remember seeing this and loving the opening WB logo the most. As a 4 year old, I loved it. As an adult, not so much. Thank god the franchise got a reboot.

moonraker
06-24-09, 05:18 PM
I was 11 when it came out. OMG I was crazy over this movie and I still love it to this day. I love Batman Begins and Dark Knight, but Batman(89) is a work of art.

I agree. The scene in which the batmobile is speeding towards the batcave is a great example of this. The camera angle provided shows us the leaves being blown around in the wake of the vehicle's passing. The colors, the sounds, the camera angle of this scene -- it's almost like a painting come to life. Its mesmerizing to me! Many other scenes, too, but this one in particular comes to mind when you mention work of art.

InstantKarma
06-24-09, 05:34 PM
I loved the movie but I like Batman Returns more than the first one :)

Bluelitespecial
06-24-09, 05:42 PM
I was seven when it came out that summer, I didn't get to see it until that fall. My parents were afraid it was too violent. Its still one of my favorite summer movies of all time along with Terminator 2.

wm lopez
06-24-09, 06:00 PM
Jaws' theme is iconic. I guess it's not iconic enough since I haven't heard it playing at a sports game? Although it would be nice to hear the theme to 2001 during some NBA games.

But they hum it on the beach. And anybody off the street can hum it.
It's a well known tune all over.

Tarantino
06-24-09, 06:08 PM
I was seven when it came out that summer, I didn't get to see it until that fall. My parents were afraid it was too violent. Its still one of my favorite summer movies of all time along with Terminator 2.

Same here. I was 7, and mom wouldn't let me see it due to the violence. We ended up getting the VHS tape, and my brother and I watched it constantly.

Loved it then, but haven't watched it for many, many years. Maybe I'll pop it in soon.

= J

CertifiedTHX
06-24-09, 06:20 PM
I loved it back in the day. I went as crazy over Batman in 1989 as I did over Jurassic Park four years later. And while I definitely prefer Nolan's superior work, I will always hold a special place for this one.

Keaton embodied a bigger than life Batman, one whose actions and abilities denoted years of experience. (Bale, while certainly improved in The Dark Knight, still seems to be working out a few kinks.) And I still get chills when Keaton holds the mugger over the side of the building and proclaims in his affected voice, "I'm Batman." I think that's the pinnacle of the entire series for me now.

--THX

Nick Martin
06-24-09, 06:24 PM
But they hum it on the beach. And anybody off the street can hum it.
It's a well known tune all over.

Worthless troll.

Mr. Cinema
06-24-09, 06:32 PM
I still think Keaton was the best Batman. I haaaaaate Bale's Batman voice.

InstantKarma
06-24-09, 07:25 PM
I still think Keaton was the best Batman. I haaaaaate Bale's Batman voice.

Keaton is the best Batman ever!!!!

Dean Kousoulas
06-24-09, 08:49 PM
I was 4 when this came out. I remember opening week though like it was yesterday. The line to get in was so long I thought it never ended. I most likely fell asleep, but at least I know I was there LOL

GoldenJCJ
06-24-09, 10:39 PM
This thread makes me laugh. Half of the posts make me want to run out and revisit this movie, the other half make me want to forget I ever saw it in the first place. :lol:

jeffbase34
06-25-09, 07:47 AM
I think Batman was the first movie that I got to go see on my own. I was 16 at the time, and just got my driver's license. The movie just doesn't feel 20 freaking years old. I remember the endless Batman merchandise, mugs, T-shirts, posters, fast food promotions.

Doughboy
06-25-09, 02:43 PM
I saw it in the theater about a month after it came out. I was at summer camp for 3 weeks right after its release. There was Batman merchandise EVERYWHERE at that camp, BTW. T-shirts, Converse hightops, ballcaps. That logo was plastered on everything.

As for the movie, I really liked it as a kid(I was 12 at the time), but now I consider it a watchable but ultimately mediocre and very flawed film. I won't get into the aforementioned plotholes, but those have bugged me for years.

Batman Returns I thought was ok when I first saw it, but it's aged pretty well for me provided I view it as a Tim Burton freakfest and less as a Batflick. But it's not the masterpiece some retroactively make it out to be.

Regardless, both movies pale in comparison to what Chris Nolan has done with the franchise.

sauce07
06-25-09, 03:05 PM
This was the summer that got me into movies. I was about to turn 6 and my parents just started taking me to the movies alot. Going to see Batman, Indiana Jones 3 and Ghostbusters 2 are still very clear memories in my head. I remember sitting in the theater for what seemed like hours, stairing at a blank screen waiting for the lights to go down.
I still enjoy Batman, but remember being confused as to why Nicholson was listed first on the VHS. The movie was called Batman, why wouldn't Keaton be listed first. This was the start of my movie obsession, I had to figure out why. Eventually I found out that this Jack Nicholson guy had been a huge actor for over 20 years, that's why he got top billing.

islandclaws
06-25-09, 03:14 PM
I've said it a few times before... Hell, I think I ever started a thread on it... but this film does not hold up well. At all. Sure, Keaton is good as Bats and Jack makes a great Joker, but the film is so ridiculous, cheesy, dated, lame and gimmicky that I had a hard time getting through it the last time I popped it on my player.

panchor
06-25-09, 03:22 PM
Keaton is the best Batman ever!!!!

Adam West is the best Batman ever!!!!

Cardiac161
06-25-09, 04:42 PM
This was the summer that got me into movies. I was about to turn 6 and my parents just started taking me to the movies alot. Going to see Batman, Indiana Jones 3 and Ghostbusters 2 are still very clear memories in my head.

I was 8 yrs old at that time and it was same for me too in regards to the slew of huge movies. I remember being so excited in getting that month's Premiere magazine with Harrison Ford & Spielberg on the cover; & the whole mag covered all the summer movies with extensive articles on Batman (how everyone was aghast with Keaton's casting, the pressure to release the film on time, etc). I think I read that particular issue more than 10x.

Burton's Batman doesn't hold to well for me years after, but that the time my eyes were totally opened to cinema (from summer blockbusters to Kubrick/Scorsese to foreign films).

mcnabb
06-25-09, 05:51 PM
I've said it a few times before... Hell, I think I ever started a thread on it... but this film does not hold up well. At all. Sure, Keaton is good as Bats and Jack makes a great Joker, but the film is so ridiculous, cheesy, dated, lame and gimmicky that I had a hard time getting through it the last time I popped it on my player.

I always thought it was overrated, and never understood the love back in '89. It was an entertaining movie, and I loved Nicholson's portrayal too, but I still feel the way I did when I walked out of the theater in '89, "OK movie, but nothing special."

Supermallet
06-26-09, 04:00 AM
I'm watching it again since I picked up the Blu-ray set for all four pretty cheap. Nicholson really does make an impression; the scene where he first appears as The Joker in front of Grissom is particularly well-played. On the other hand, a lot of his shtick just feels like too much. I like the nods to The Dark Knight Returns (the Joker cosmetics that put smiles on the dead people's faces), but the pacing is terrible and the characters get short shrift. Keaton also does a good job, especially for someone who was known for comedic roles prior. Elfman's score, of course, is a classic that cannot be denied.

The art direction is monumental, but also so fantastical that it blows any semblance of realism out of the water. What city in the world looks like this Gotham? None. Who would want to live there? It's like a nightmare house of horrors, punctuated by completely clashing architectural styles every other building. I can see people living in Nolan's Gotham, as it's pretty much like living in any big city, but the Gotham in Batman '89 is painted as a town under siege by criminals, to the point where people don't want to come out at night.

It's kind of incredible Burton got this gig, given that he had only directed Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice beforehand (not including shorts), and while Beetlejuice was a hit, I'm not sure what it was about that movie that made the film's producers think that he was right for Batman. He does a good job for someone going from small budget projects to big budget massive blockbusters, but you can tell from the awkwardness of the pacing and general lopsidedness of the movie that he's not yet fully aware of what it takes to helm a film of this size. The action works well for someone who had never directed an action sequence before, especially the Batmobile chase.

I definitely think that Batman Returns improves upon Batman '89 in every possible way. The characters, instead of just being sketches, become archetypes, the art direction is unified, the direction is more assured, and De Vito and Pfeiffer make for more interesting villains. It also feels like a modern day German Expressionist film, and it has Christopher Walken, which is always a plus. To top it off, Elfman's score for that film is more mature and varied, with individual themes for each main character, a wider range of instrumentation, and so on.

In light of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, it's hard to watch Batman '89 as anything more than an art piece. It has its interesting moments, but it doesn't come together as a film. The outlandish elements seem laughable in comparison to Nolan's nuanced and psychologically rich storytelling. Still, there's no denying that it is entertaining and unforgettable in its own way.

Claytonian
06-26-09, 11:21 AM
I saw it at the Cinedome in Orange, CA. The theater was iconic in and of itself, one of the few places that regularly had 70mm prints in the late 80s, at least in Orange County.

I don't know if I remember all the details of seeing Batman itself, but I do remember spending countless days at the Cinedome during 1989. Really, looking back now, it's amazing how many successful films came out that year.

Major League, Bill & Ted, UHF, Star Trek V, BTTF 2, Batman, Ghostbusters II, Indy 3, The Abyss, Lethal Weapon 2, Field Of Dreams, The Wizard... and I'm just scratching the surface here.

And I saw most of these films at the Cinedome. Many of them in the huge 873 seat domes, especially the biggest films. Batman was one of them, saw it with a huge crowd, and it was even the first time that I saw a beach ball in a theater, though it wouldn't be the last. I think I saw Indy 3 and Ghostbusters II that same day, as I would go early and stay late. One of the great things about the Cinedome was how easy it was to hop screens there.

I think the summer of '89 was when I really fell in love with movies. And while the '90s would have some good years as well, none of them could top this one.

It still kind of pains me to go down Chapman Ave. and see the high rise apartments that have taken over where the Cinedome used to be. I miss that place, even 10 years after it closed down. Sure, the company replaced it with a 25 screen building not too far away, and AMC built a 30 screen complex just down the street, but they're just halls with screens. The Cinedome was epic.

I just did a search for a list of 1989 movies and, WOW, you are totally right. This was a *huge* year for movies. I went down the list and there are many, many that I would consider highlights. Of course, a lot of them are just close to my heart because I was a teenager and watched movies over and over again, especially when they came to cable. Great memories when I viewed that list!

zero
06-26-09, 02:03 PM
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Zen Peckinpah
06-26-09, 03:09 PM
Totally had those two Batman figures and I had the Batcopter too. And I remember the Diet Coke ad like it was yesterday.

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The first commercial in this one is a TV spot for it. Also has a Last Crusade spot for good measure!

FRwL
06-26-09, 03:32 PM
I still think Keaton was the best Batman. I haaaaaate Bale's Batman voice.

you know Keaton is my favorite too. Bale is too bland and cold as Bruce and as Batman sounds like he's going to cough up a lung. Keaton's Bruce felt more relatable and down to earth while his Batman had the coolest Batvoice. Bale might look like the character more, muscular model but Keaton the shorter curlyhaired widow peaked comedian played it better, i suppose that's always that way that looks don't matter.