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"Batman SE" or "Batman Begins" first for a newbie

Old 10-17-05, 12:32 AM
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"Batman SE" or "Batman Begins" first for a newbie

Just interested in your opinion.


I have a pre-teen child who doesn't know much about Batman, and has not seen any of the comics, movies, and TV series. I have given a ten-minute explanation, but not much beyond that. Now (with the Tuesday releases on DVD) I am curious which movie you would recommend showing to someone who hasn't seen any. Which order?


Which would be first, and why? Michael-Keaton-Batman, Christian-Bale-Batman-Begins, or perhaps Adam-West-Batman, or perhaps something else completely. Would you include the other Keaton, Kilmer, West, and Clooney titles? Which order?


I am also interested in why you would choose the order that you did. Does it affect the storytelling?

Background as to why I am asking:

When the Star Wars prequels came out, I purposely did not show my child episodes IV, V, and VI (Hope, Empire, Return) because I wanted her to see the story as it progressed in reel time. After watching Phantom, Clones, and Revenge in the theaters, then we watched the IV, V, and VI on disc.

It was a different experience for my child (and me too as it gave me a chance to enjoy twelve-plus hours of Star Wars again).

When I experienced Star Wars for the first time I watched it in the theater in 1977. I can remember the faceless mask of Darth Vader being the epitomy of evil. I can remember not being able to go to sleep at night back then.


However, after watching all six movies (in order I, II, III, IV, V, VI) with my child, I saw a different story. I saw a story of an evil Palpatine corrupting a young boy. I saw a story of Anakin's ultimate redemption.

Most of all, I saw a face to go with the Vader mask. There was a human face under that mask. A face that I knew and empathized with. And I knew that my child was seeing the six Star Wars movies different than what I had seen. For 25 years, Vader's mask represented evil to me. But, now it is sorrow or sadness or something less than evil.

So, my point is: I am aware that the order I choose will influence my child's movie-going experience. I doubt "choosing the order of Batman films" will have as dramatic an influence on someone as choosing the order of the Star Wars movies. But, I am curious of your thoughts.

So, would you recommend "Batman SE" first? or "Batman Begins" first? or something else entirely?

Thanks!

Last edited by stanl2; 10-17-05 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:37 AM
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honestly, the new one is a bit dark for a pre teen. I saw the original at about his age and loved it, but well after my parents went to see if it was ok for a kid to watch...i persisted. It was a good time. However. At that age, i would get him the Adam West movie, and a few old school comics. Then show him Michael keaton...its a drastic change.

The new flick has nothing to do with the others, but remember if you start with Keaton, there is some crappy movies to get through before Batman begins....though i could see a kid enjoying them...

by the way....ice to meet you
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Old 10-17-05, 01:07 AM
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Start with the Batman animated Series. (the feature tie in Batman Mask of the Phantasm goes into his background a bit but you should wait until some of the early episodes are seen first) It is actually the best representation of Batman beyond the comics and is generally better than the 80s-90s era Batman films.

Otherwise I would start with Batman Begins and wait on the others because there is no continuity and it might confuse him.

Stay away from the Adam West Batman because it is an abomination (almost as much as Batman and Robin) and has nothing to do with the true essence of Batman

Last edited by cactusoly; 10-17-05 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 10-17-05, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Cameron
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I would just show them in the order they were released, just so he can see how the films progressed (or regressed, until "Begins" came out, that is). I consider "Begins" the best so far, so I would save that for last.

It's been a while since I've seen them, so I don't remember that much about them, but I think the films don't really play out like a long story the way SW or LOTR does. I don't recall any references to previous films that make the order they should be watched in make sense. From what I remember, the Batman films are like the Bond films where each movie is another adventure featuring the character. The addition of Robin aside, The Schumacher films are so different stylistically from the Burton films that I consider them to be a restart like "Begins" is. Obviously you would want to show "Returns" right after the first one, but other than that I don't think it would matter much.
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Old 10-17-05, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cactusoly
Stay away from the Adam West Batman because it is an abomination (almost as much as Batman and Robin) and has nothing to do with the true essence of Batman
blasphemy



BATTUSSI
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Old 10-17-05, 01:32 AM
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Your kid's never seen any of the cartoons? I'd probably start, & honestly, maybe end with them. The movies just aren't that great. The 90s cartoon is on Boomerang at midnight & the new cartoon is on the WB Saturday mornings.

If I had to show a kid all of the Batman movies, I'd want to start with Adam West because it was the one I grew up with & still my favorite, but I'd probably start with the '89 Keaton & go in order. Save the Adam West for either between Returns & Forever or B&R & Begins & say, "here's the Batman from when I was a kid" (if that was the case for you). It could be a nice palate cleanser. I'd save Begins for last because it is the newest, & maybe more adult than the others. Kids seemed kind of bored by it in the theater I saw it in. Hard to say which is the scariest - both Keaton flicks have some gruesome bits, but several adults jumped during Begins.

It's too bad that the old Batman show isn't on DVD or even on cable anymore. I enjoyed the series much more than the movie. & it's unfair that little girls don't get to see Batgirl (though she is in the cartoon).

By the way, how does your daughter rate the Star Wars movies? Was she bothered at all by Revenge of the Sith? Bored by the originals?

Last edited by Lokimok; 10-17-05 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 10-17-05, 01:32 AM
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Whatever you do, do not show her Forever or Batman & Robin. DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!

I went to see Burton's Batman when I was around 10 and absolutely loved it. And I had other ideas/stories about batman in my head that didnt jive with this movie, but those were quickly put aside because it was so good.
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Old 10-17-05, 01:35 AM
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Witholding the holy trilogy from your kids is child abuse.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:15 AM
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DEFINITELY start with the animated series... it's easily the best representation of everything Batman should be. The sets can be had relatively cheap. If she enjoys the cartoons, and is really into Batman - then start the films off with Batman Begins.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:35 PM
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The old Animated series is the best Batman going, the new current series is starting to grow on me a little, but the first animated series is just classic...a lot of animated series are better than most shows on TV. This past season of Justice League was better than most stuff I've seen on TV for some time.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:53 PM
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Personally, I'd steer them towards Batman and Batman Forever, AFTER they have gotten into the Batman Animated Series (which, by the way, is great). Then, once they have gotten to teen status, introduce them to Batman Returns and, finally, once they appreciate the character and can really appreciate a dark, brooding film involving the character, then show them the masterpiece that is Batman Begins.

Like the above posts have stated, stay away from B&R, unless they willingly choose to put themselves through that misery .
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Old 10-17-05, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Flynn
DEFINITELY start with the animated series... it's easily the best representation of everything Batman should be. The sets can be had relatively cheap. If she enjoys the cartoons, and is really into Batman - then start the films off with Batman Begins.
I wholeheartedly agree--The Animated Series is the best way to go, especially for that age. I saw it when it first aired, and I was 17, and I loved it, and still love it. To me, it's the best incarnation of Batman, including the comics. You could start with Begins, but I think the Burton films are more interesting looking.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:09 PM
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I'll give another shout out for starting with the animated series. That's possibly the best introduction to Batman that you could ever give a person.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:17 PM
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Eh, I'd save the best for last (Animated series) and just start off with the '89 movie.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:27 PM
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Both the 89 Batman and Batman Begins are not intended for pre-teens, hence the PG-13 ratings on both of them.

Wait a few years, then show her the Burton BATMAN first. BATMAN BEGINS is really made for the mature die-harders, even though it's a "beginning" story.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:31 PM
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Personally i would start with the Animated series. That was well done and covered Batman pretty well. Then after that show him the Adam West Batman movie.

I would then move onto Batman and Robin (get the worst over and done with...that way each film he sees after that wil only get better), then onto Batman Forever, then Batman, then Batman Returns and finally Batman Begins (although i think for a child Batman Begins is not a suitable...it is too much story and is more an adult version of a comic book film rather than the pop corn spectacles that the others were.
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Old 10-17-05, 07:54 PM
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Why not start with a couple of reprint old comics. One of the serials, preferably 1949 and then the animated shows. The Adam West series...that movie, then the Tim Burton blockbuster???

Once he appreciates the genre...blast him with "Batman Begins!"

There, you've continued the tradition of a new comic book reader, old b&w movie watcher, TV nostalgia and modern movie making!!!

You've done your part as a dad and you'll be there to answer all his questions and discuss them afterward!
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Old 10-18-05, 08:11 AM
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When he gets old enough to watch the movies, only show him Batman Begins, it is the best of the 5 movies. The original Batman from '89 with Michael Keaton is pretty good, but not as good as the hype that year. The other three, especially the ones with Joel Schumacher are pretty bad. The one with Christopher Nolan is a damn good comic-book adaptation to a movie that is up there with the original Superman with Christopher Reeves.
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Old 10-18-05, 08:36 AM
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There's only one true Batman:
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Old 10-18-05, 09:18 AM
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isn't this more "movie talk" than "DVD talk?"
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Old 10-18-05, 10:10 AM
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LOL! Oh my God, are you shitting me?! All these recommedations for the Adam West series! Do you really think in your wildest hallucinations that a pre-teen Gen Y'er would watch this and not either die of laughing or just slip into a boredom-induced coma?!

I will second the vote that BATMAN BEGINS, as extraordinary as it is, is too intense for most preteens. BATMAN (1989) is the way to go (assuming the cartoon is not your area of interest).
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Old 10-18-05, 10:35 AM
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If it wasn't for the Adam West Batman movie, I would never have known about shark repellent bat-spray. It's saved my life on more than one occassion.
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Old 10-18-05, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Drexl
It's been a while since I've seen them, so I don't remember that much about them, but I think the films don't really play out like a long story the way SW or LOTR does. I don't recall any references to previous films that make the order they should be watched in make sense. From what I remember, the Batman films are like the Bond films where each movie is another adventure featuring the character. The addition of Robin aside, The Schumacher films are so different stylistically from the Burton films that I consider them to be a restart like "Begins" is.
I would actually disagree with this ... it's not a huge continuity or anything, but I think that Bruce Wayne's character does have an arc over the course of the four films. Not a strong one between the first two Burton ones; he just gets a little darker between 1&2 (probably because Vicki left) ... but then, the third one, Schumacher does *not* just leap into the camp ... he added the psychiatrist character who, coupled with the new friend in his life, really turns Wayne around and makes him less of a dark person. [Granted, this works better when describing the things that happen in 'Forever', rather than actually watching the movie, but I do think the intent was there, however mangled the execution turned out.] This left him much more free of psychological baggage, which is how Schumacher/WB seems to have envisioned the character (odd, since it's so central to Batman). But I do give him credit for addressing, at least a little, why the tone shifts so greatly.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to in any way endorse the Schumacher versions.

As for the kid, probably wait a few years before seeing any 'Batman'. Maybe the Animated Series, but, to be honest, you should watch it first and judge, because a lot of those episodes are *really* dark (which is the fun, when you're a kid). *Definitely* hold off on 'Batman Returns'. And, personally, I'd only reccommend the Burton ones. But the kid will probably like 'Begins', since a lot of other people seem to.
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Old 10-18-05, 11:07 AM
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once again. The Batman TV series was an abomination. Yes that is what introduced me to Batman when I was really young, but looking at it now I see how bad it really is.
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Old 10-18-05, 11:23 AM
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I can't get past doing your child a serious disservice in playing out Star Wars like that.
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