Sunday, July 31, 2011

Batman (1989)

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance, Jerry Hall, Tracey Walter, Lee Wallace, William "Porkins" Hootkins

More info: IMDb

Plot: Bruce Wayne (Keaton) starts to make a name for himself as a masked enemy to the criminal set just when the flamboyant Joker (Nicholson) takes over as tops in the mafia.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah, but I'm a gonna wait another 10-15 years.

Man. Here's one from the archives. I haven't seen this one in almost twenty years. Then I would have rated this one a little higher. I really like the picture but I can abide by those Prince songs. Not only are they not that good but they're not even good Prince Songs. I'm getting ahead of myself. When I heard Keaton was going to be Batman I about shit my college-aged britches. It was the miscasting call of the decade. Then I saw the picture and my fears were set aside. I liked Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I've always liked him as an actor (especially the comedies like JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY) and I really dug him in BATMAN.

Not so much on the Kim Basinger choice. Never cared for her. Over rated and not THAT pretty. Gee whiz. The rest of the cast was great. I LOVED seeing Palance as the crime boss that The Joker takes out. Nicholson was great and that little piece of Palance impression he does was hilarious. I was curious as to how his performance would stand up to having not seen it in so long AND having seen THE DARK KNIGHT with Heath Ledger's iconic and definitive performance a gazillion times. It holds up just fine. I thoroughly enjoyed Nicholson's Joker. These two guys had their own take on the villain and there's plenty of room for both.

I never noticed Nicholson's Palance impression until now...

The set design is marvelous. I love Anton Furst's and Burton's dark, Gothic take on Gotham City. And how about Danny Elfman's score??? HOLY SHIT is it batshit awesome!!! It's just as dark as the central character and the look of the film AND I left the theater humming it for days. Throughout the 80s and 90s Elfman shone as bright as the sun and he had one memorable score after another. I don't know what happened but I've been wondering where that man went. After the entirely forgettable themes to his later-day comic book/super hero scores like SPIDER-MAN (2002) and HULK (2003), I've just about given up all hope in watching a super hero movie with some fun, memorable themes. Those days are over.

What the deuce? There's a bottle of Bat Scope on the Bat Console!
I hope he protects himself from STDs with Bat Rubbers
when bangin' Kim Basinger.

So even though I dig the movie, I don't think I'll be watching it for another twenty years. I'm not sure why but I'm OK with it. I hope BATMAN RETURNS holds up like this one. Still haven't seen the third or fourth pictures and I'm OK with that, too. A roomful of people loaded with liquor will fix that. I hear they're ripe for goofing on.

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