Tuesday 12 January 2016

Popcorn Review! - Batman (1989)

batman 1989The Film/ TV Adap: Batman (1989)

The Bookish Inspiration: Batman comics and graphic novels

Main Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

Director: Tim Burton

BBFC Rating: 15

Amazon: UK - USA

Opening credits:

This is the first of the Batman series which comprised of Batman (UK - USA,) Batman Returns (UK - US,) and the ill-remembered Batman Forever (UK - US,) and Batman and Robin (UK - US.)

Still, perhaps the Christopher Nolan films would not even have been made if not for the success of the 80s and 90s movies.


Billionaire Bruce Wayne  (Michael Keaton) dresses like a bat to fight crime, and faces off against Jack Nicholson's Joker (which was a very nice business deal for Mr Nicholson.)

Best bits:

This re-invigorated superhero movies - and Batman. Blowing aside the campy 1960s TV show, this allowed Batman to be more as he was in the comics - a little more dark, a little more brooding, a little less safe.

And the Gotham city architecture, the Batmobile, and the randomness of the Joker, all have Tim Burton's fingerprints all over them.

True, this isn't enough Burton for mega Burton fans (guilty as charged,) but there's enough in the little details and gothic fairy-tale to show that this is, indeed, a Burton film.

Nicholson's Joker is fab. I know that the defining performance is Heath Ledger's - I get that. But the blend of comic and sinister is pretty damned

Not so great bits:

The fashion and hair-styles look exceptionally dated - 80s much? The Batman suit? Well, they did their best.

I'm not a fan of Michael Keaton in the role, but that's more a personal thing than anything else - in my humble opinion, the character needs more quiet gravitas.

The love interest keeps being in peril, and having to be rescued. It's annoying.

Popcorn Worthy?

A very watchable film - with a bit more fun than the Nolan films, and more sense than the 60s TV series.

It nevertheless deserves to be judged on its own merits - and it's a pretty good film, certainly fine for a lazy Sunday afternoon, but maybe you'll want to save the popcorn for the Dark Knight trilogy (UK - US.)

Buy Now UKBuy Now USA - IMDb

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