Batman (1989)

Batman (1989)

Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

The mysterious vigilante known as the Batman must thwart the mad schemes of the Joker.

When this came out, I held a grudge against it because it was grossing more (domestically) than Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. (I was and am a big Indy fan, you see.) However, once I did finally get around to watching it, I liked it quite a bit and the years haven't changed that. Michael Keaton wasn't the first person people imagined as Batman, but while he may be a little too much of an everyman to pass as playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne, once he dons the cape and cowl, he delivers one of the best live action portrayals of the Caped Crusader I've seen. Note well how he can be intimidating without the ridiculous overacted Bat-voice Christian Bale affects. Speaking of the Nolanverse, much is made of comparing Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the Joker to Heath Ledger's. Ledger's performance is amazing and worth all the accolades it gets, but Nicholson is going for a different sort of Joker and it's very effective in its own story. While the movie is certainly much darker than anything people raised on the Adam West TV series would be accustomed to, it's not depressingly grimdark and while there's some humor to be had, it's not as painfully silly as the Schumacher films. And let's not forget the awesome score by Danny Elfman, particularly the main theme. It's definitely worth seeing and I'd say it's worth adding to your collection too.

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