Movie Meltdown

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Burton's Batman

by Kyle Armstrong

     Here is the Batman that inspired a new generation of the characters adaptation into media. And here is the most mysterious and unsuspecting Batman of them all, seeing that not even the audience could see Michael Keaton portraying Batman as well as he did.

     There is a sympathy to the character of Bruce Wayne portrayed in the film, it shows that piece by piece, but doesn't rub your face in it. The character of Harvey Dent is set up perfectly, but sadly, never got to go through the Two Face stage since Batman Returns didn't do well at the box office because it was considered "too dark". There is always that question of what could have happened. Then there is the Joker, with so many good portrayals of the Joker it is hard to pick just one, but there is no doubt Jack Nicholson would be near the top of the list.

     This film, like many of Burton's, is a visual masterpiece. In many Batman films, Gotham doesn't stand out much as a city itself. But with Burton's interpretation, I can feel the dark and gloomy Gotham City being portrayed on the screen. The city gives an eerie feeling like no other comic book movie city did. Do you watch Superman and Spider-Man thinking "what a magnificent looking city"? Of course not. There isn't much to the city in those movies, because it isn’t something out of the ordinary. It is just New York (or a DC stand-in). And hopefully the Gotham City portrayed in the 1989 film is not ordinary for you at all.

     Why is it the best looking Gotham? Because Schumacher's Gotham was basically a playground and Nolan's was basically New York with a different name, this is how Gotham should look.

     The costume design is just great as well. Though the costume doesn't seem very protective beyond the chest, seeing in Batman Returns how Catwoman just rips off the mask with an ease (symbolizing the power she had over Bruce/Batman at that moment).

     Then there is the directing, Tim Burton is the ideal director for Batman. Like Batman, Burton has a dark and creative side. It is weird and gothy, with an imaginative style and characters that will give audiences an emotional attachment.

     Why is Batman (‘89) the best Batman in my opinion? It wasn't afraid to take the character or the concept too seriously. While I love the 60's television show, the TV version had a way of being too goofy. While another show, (that was way ahead of its time) The Green Hornet was canceled after one season because of immensely low ratings, and to me is one of the best comic book adapted shows out there.

     Batman (‘89) took things a step further to give a new generation, a new Batman. This new Batman would follow the crime noir of the Bob Kane comics, while giving the material the grittier tone of the Frank Miller comics. Batman is a visual masterpiece. It is imaginative and my personal favorite Batman film.


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