Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Batman (1989)- Batman and Robin (1997)

Most of us are familiar with the Batman movies that were directed by the great director Christopher Nolan, but there is another series of movies that often has fans divided. Some say there are great, others think they are crap and there are even those who are willing to debate that these movies are better than the Chris Nolan movies. I respectfully disagree with said people, but I do think that these movies have their value. Let's start with the first one, Batman directed by Tim Burton. At the time, Burton was a newbie to the industry, and Batman was probably one of the first big projects that the studio would let him helm. And to be honest, I think he did really well. While it may feel a bit dated now, there is some nostalgic value to it. After all, it was my first exposure to the caped crusader on the screen in a live action movie. What are the strong points? Well for one thing, the actor that they cast as Batman himself is actually pretty good. I had read somewhere that after he was cast, a group of fans actually got a petition together to get him booted from the role because they thought that he would screw it up. To be honest, I don't think he did that bad, he was able to nail down the emotional torture that the character was going through. Though I think he fell flat when it came to getting the charisma or the arrogance of Bruce Wayne. The other good thing about this movie is Jack Nicholson as Jack Nicholson... I mean the Joker. Whenever Jack Nicholson does a movie, it's next to impossible to not mention his name. Here, he plays the villainous Joker and to be honest, while I do think he turned in a good performance, I don't think this is anywhere near being the best adaptation of the Joker. Mostly because when I see the character, I see Jack Nicholson first and the Joker second. Nothing really bad about it, but when you compare it to Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight where he got totally lost in the character, I just don't think it holds up as well. Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a bad performance, Nicholson is a fantastic actor and does even better when he is cast as a villain, but after seeing The Dark Knight... You get the idea. The story is your straight up comic book story, the Joker is reeking havoc and Batman takes it upon himself to stop him. Pretty basic but it's a good one and when mixed with the dark tone that both Burton and Batman are famous for, it works pretty well. However the one thing that does stand out about this movie is the music. When I think of Batman, the score that Danny Elfman wrote for this movie is one of the first things that comes to mind. It's dark and has an aura of mystery about it. In fact, I think this is the one area where the Burton film trumps the Nolan film. The score for the Nolan films is fantastic, but the Elfman version just screams classic Batman. For all its flaws, this is still a good movie and is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a Batman fan.

Final Score: B

Batman Returns

Returns is a movie that I am very pick and choose on. Some things I think they hit on the mark and others I think they were way off. Once again, Tim Burton's dark tone is there and it really fits, but it was a bit more cartoony than the first movie. Danny Devito as the Penguin did alright, but the way he was written didn't really match up with the way he was in the animated series, which is what I was used to. In the movie, he's a slobbering savage but in the animated series, he had a sense of elegance and class to him. The two characters that I loved in this movie were Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Christopher Walken as... I don't remember the character's name, but it's Christopher Walken, that's all we really care about. It is funny to here him say things like "Bruce, Shame on you". From a story angle, the only thing this one got right was the love angle between Catwoman and Batman as they swing from lovers to fighters. The moment when they figure each other out and realize that they can't be together is actually pretty heart-breaking. This may be the one thing that the movie got right, but they got it really right.

Final Score: B-

Batman Forever

I already reviewed this movie. I'll put the link for it down below so you don't have to search too far for it

Batman and Robin

You know what? I don't have the emotional strength to talk about this movie today. Just for now, know that I hate it.

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